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life will not be followed by death. Every thing here is short. Our natural life is but a vapour, which appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away; but the life of heaven will know no end. When millions of ages are past, it will be but just beginning. It will continue as long as God continues, which will be for ever and ever. The duration of heaven's glory crowns all. Fading crowns of glory would be of little value; but the crown which God has promised will never fade. The most remote prospect of death would put a damp upon the joys of heaven; but the inhabitants of that place have no such dismal prospect. That which puts a damp upon the world's glory, is the death which follows : how desirable, then, must perfect happiness be, which will never, never end ! : 2. Eternal life is the gift of God.
It is a gift; but it cannot be purchased : we may have it without either money or price. Were it to be purchased, who could obtain it? The sum would be greater than any man could raise; a world, a thousand worlds would not be of sufficient value to purchase eternal life. It is the gift of God. We should rejoice that eternal life is not the gift of man, whose narrow prejudices would dispose of it with blind partiality. God will give eternal life to those who are made fit for it by holiness. He has his fa
vourites; but they are such as are like himself; and every man who will forsake sin and seek holiness may become a favourite of heaven. Repent, believe, love, and obey, and eternal life will be thine.
2. But God gives eternal life through Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ our Lord, has undertaken the cause of sinful man. He atoned for sin, by shedding his most precious blood upon mount calvary: he rose from the dead, and ascended into heaven to intercede. Had it not been for his gracious undertakings, the mercy of God would never have reached a sinful world. Devils, having no mediator, are out of the reach of mercy; and man would have been in the same dreadful state, if it had not been for our Lord Jesus Christ. Hence we see a need of coming to God through Christ: our prayers are offered up in the name of Jesus: and our praises go up with acceptance in his ever-adored name.
Let us be humbled under a deep sense of our sins and follies. We have deserved death; but through mercy we are yet alive. We have deserved hell; but we are yet on praying ground. “It is of the Lord's mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.” Olet us seek eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord while it may be found ! The season of mercy will soon pass away. The judge is at the door; and an awful eternity will soon open to our view. The vilest sinners may be encouraged; for Jesus died for all, and God is merciful to all. Hasten to Jesus, that thou mayest live for ever. He hath said, “I am the resurrection, and the life; he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live : and whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die."
The Master's Call for Mary.
JOHN xi. 28.
OUR Lord was very intimate with the family of Mary, and Martha, and Lazarus. Lazarus, whom Jesus loved, was seized with sickness; and the two sisters sent immediately to Jesus, saying, Behold, he whom thou lovest is sick." For wise reasons Jesus delayed going till Lazarus was dead. Then he went to Bethany, and Martha, as soon as she heard that he was coming, went out to meet him. A very interesting conversation took place between them, at the end of which she went her way,
and called Mary her sister secretly, saying, “ The Master is come, and calleth for thee.”
Let us consider, first, the title given to our Lord: secondly, the ends of this journey: and thirdly, the enquiry for Mary.
I. THE TITLE GIVEN TO OUR LORD.
Martha calls him, “The Master,” which implies two things: first, that he was a
teacher, and secondly, that he was a go
1. Christ was a teacher. When he appeared in human nature the world stood in great need of a teacher. The heathens were sunk into senseless and shameful idolatry; and the Jews had nearly lost those blessed truths which had been taught in the law and the prophets. They had lost the spirit in the letter, and the substance in the shadow. Their religion was generally mere outside shew. They expected a temporal kingdom of great grandeur; but the spiritual kingdom of Messiah was overlooked.
Christ was such a teacher as the world had never seen before ; nor will the world ever see such a teacher again. He taught nothing that was unimportant. He taught in plain language, which the most ignorant might understand. There is a clearness, strength, and brevity in all his discourses, which is worthy of the imitation of every christian minister. He taught with great authority, and not as the scribes; and all his words were pure truth, without any mixture of error.
2. Christ is a governor. The church is a large family, in which Christ is Lord and Master. Every individual in this family acknowledges his authority, and cheerfully submits to his government. As a Master,