« AnteriorContinuar »
he been present. He had come, but not until death had executed his commission; still he comforted them with the declaration that it was not yet too late. He could by his word loose the bands of death and set the prisoner free; he did speak, and the grave resigned its prey. “I am the resurrection and the life," was his declaration, and Lazarus springing up into life, was the beautiful comment on its truth. Surely that grave was invested with no gloom; neither is that of any believer in Jesus. The dust of the saints is precious in the eyes of the Lord, and all that is dust shall rise again in a form more beautiful and enduring. It may slumber long in the ground; but it is neither forgotten nor lost. He that first infused life into it, will reanimate it; and although sown in corruption it shall be
raised in incorruption; though sown in dishonour it shall be raised in glory; though sown in weakness it shall be raised in power; though sown a natural body, it shall be raised a spiritual body. Since the scene in Bethany, Jesus himself has died and risen again gloriously, and has become the first fruits of them that slept. Blessed Lord, do I commit my soul into thy hand to be redeemed ? I can with equal confidence commit my body to thy care, in the joyful expectation, that when it has undergone a purifying process in the grave, it shall be raised in the likeness of thy glorified body.
“I go to prepare a place for you.” John xiv. 2.
The last hour of the Redeemer's earthly sojourn was approaching. The terrible conflict through which he was to pass, was full in view. He was to be betrayed, contumeliously treated, crucified; nay, he was to be deserted by his friends, and to die under the hidings of his Father's face. Yet in such an hour, he thought tenderly of his disciples, and to soothe their griefs, encouraged them with the promise, not only that he would send the Holy Spirit, the Comforter, but that in leaving them, he was going to the Father, in whose house there were mansions, in which he would prepare a place for them. I have learned that this is not my rest. I am a stranger and sojourner on the earth as all my fathers were. Every thing I possess is held by an uncertain tenure; every enjoyment is evanescent; riches, ho nours, friends, health, are subject to decay; and in the disappointments, perplexities, and pains I endure, I am daily admonished that here I have no permanent residence. Be it so, Lord; if the climate here is uncongenial, there is a land of pure delight above; if I have sorrow and tribulation here, as my portion, there is a place, where every tear shall be wiped from the eyes; if this wilderness affords not a home, there is a home in the heavens. Wean me from the world and awaken my desires for that better country. I bless thee, my Saviour, that thou hast travelled the road before me; and hast not only provided for my entertain
ment by the way, but made all things ready for my reception when the journey is finished. O how glorious must be the place which thou hast provided, and how complete the enjoyment of those who have already taken possession! And wilt thou give me a title to it ? Amazing grace, so to distinguish a chief sinner-a worm of the dust! Perfect in me the qualifications for so high a station; and if I am to be made perfect through sufferings, help me to endure unto the end, and then let the work which thy grace has commenced on earth, be crowned with glory in heaven.