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no more forget Lazarus who was comforted, than himself who was tormented. Those who finally walk through life in the paths of the destroyer, can never forget those with whom they walked, nor those with whom they refused to walk. They will remember, that saints are in light, while they are in darkness; and that saints are comforted, while they are tormented. They will remember how kindly and tenderly saints invited them to leave their crooked paths, and walk with them to heaven; and how artfully and malignantly the wicked invited them to shun the paths of the righteous, and bear them company in the path to perdition. The remembrance of these things will be a perpetual and everlasting source of self-reproach and self-condemnation. “The spirit of a man will sustain his infirmity; but a wounded spirit who can bear ?" God himself demands of the sinner, “Can thine heart endure, or can thine hands be strong, in the days that I shall deal with thee?” Whether God will inflict any external punishment on the finally impenitent, or not, their inward reflections will be a source of unutterable misery and despair. This has often partially appeared before they left the world.

7. This subject calls upon all to inquire and determine in what path they are walking. There are but two essentially different. The one is holy, and the other unholy. The one is

. straight, and the other is crooked. The one is safe, and the other dangerous. The one leads to a blessed immortality, and the other to a miserable eternity. You have all walked in the wrong road, and know what it is; and some have walked in the right road, and may know what it is. Now be so good to yourselves as to inquire whether you have ever turned out of the wrong into the right road? When did you turn? Why did you turn? With whom are you now walking ? Who now claim you as companions ? Those in the right road, or those in the wrong, or both? These are serious questions, which you can and ought to answer according to truth. Some in the right road are ready to answer, and some in the wrong road are equally ready to answer. But there may be many who have allowed themselves to live in doubt. Why stand ye halting between two opinions? It concerns you to determine, and to tell the world that you have determined. Let saints run, and not be weary, walk and not faint in their pilgrimage to heaven. Let sinners stop and turn about. Let them forsake their

way, renounce their thoughts, and let them “ return to the Lord, and he will have mercy upon them, and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon."

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SERMON XXXVII.

THE HOPE OF CHRISTIANS IN CHRIST.

"IF in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most

miserable."--1 Cor. xv. 19.

Though Paul preached the gospel plainly and fully for nearly two years in Corinth, yet, soon after he left that place, there came in false teachers, who destroyed the peace and purity of the large and promising church which he had planted and faithfully instructed. Among other gross and dangerous errors, they denied the resurrection of the dead, and, consequently, the existence of the soul in a future state. The apostle, having heard of their errors and divisions, wrote this epistle to them ; in which he reminds them how plainly he had preached on the subject of the resurrection, and how absurd it was in them to deny that doctrine, after they had professed to believe the gospel which was founded upon it. He points out the absurdity of the error which they had imbibed, by a long chain of plain and conclusive reasoning. He says, “I delivered unto you first of all, that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; and that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures, and that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve; after that he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once : after that he was seen of James; then of all the apostles. And last of all, he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time. For I am the least of the apostles, that am not meet to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me, was not in vain: but I labored more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me. Therefore, whether it were I or they, so we preached, and so ye believed. Now if Christ

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be preached that he rose from the dead, how say some among you, that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen. And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain. Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God; because we have testified of God, that he raised up Christ : whom he raised not up, if so be that the dead rise not. For, if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised. And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins. Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished.? From these premises, the apostle draws a plain and just conclusion in the next words. “If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable." He here means to declare, that he and all true believers had a hope in Christ, which was not confined to this life only, but extended to future scenes and objects that lay beyond the grave; and that it was this hope in Christ, which alone prevented them from being of all men most miserable in this present evil world. According to this construction of the text, it warrants us to say,

That true believers would be of all men most miserable, were it not for the hope they have in Christ. In order to illusrate this very interesting truth, I shall first show what hope true believers have in Christ; and then make it appear that they would be of all men most miserable, were it not for that hope.

I. I shall endeavor to show, what hope true believers have in Christ.

None are true believers but those, who have been born again; who have passed from death unto life; who have repented of sin; who have become reconciled to God; who have renounced all self-dependence and self-righteousness; who have become united to Christ, and place their sole dependence on his atonement for pardon and acceptance in the sight of God. Hence says the apostle, “ being justified by faith, we have peace with God, through our Lord Jesus Christ; by whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts, by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us." Such true believers are the only persons, who have a well-grounded hope in Christ. And the question now before us is: what does the hope, which true believers have in Christ, imply? Here it may be observed,

1. That it implies an expectation that they shall be completely forgiven, or saved from that everlasting punishment

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which they have deserved, through the atonement which Christ made for sin on the cross. Peter said to awakened and con. vinced sinners on the day of Pentecost, “Repent ye, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out."

be blotted out." And Paul said in his discourse in the synagogue at Antioch, “ Be it known unto you, men and brethren, that through this man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins; and by him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses." And he said to the Thessalonians, who had turned from idols to serve the living and true God, that they “waited for his Son from Heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered them from the wrath to come.” All true believers have solid ground to hope that their sins shall be forgiven, and they shall never come into condemnation, but be freed from all future punishment.

2. All true believers have reason to hope that they shall be completely purified, sanctified, and made perfectly holy. They have the promise of the Spirit to carry on a work of sanctification in their hearts. Paul says to the Philippians, “I thank God upon every remembrance of you, for your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now; being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you,

will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.” We are told that

Christ gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.” And again we are told, that “Christ loved the church, and gave himself for it; that he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, that he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy, and without blemish." “ The grace of God that bringeth salvation," saith the apostle, “hath appeared to all men, teaching us, that denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world : looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God, and our Saviour Jesus Christ: who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.” Thus it appears from the very design of the gospel, that it gives those who cordially embrace it a right to hope that they shall be saved from spiritual as well as eternal death, and made perfectly holy in the world to come. And

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the apostle John tells us that Christians in his day did entertain this glorious and blessed hope. "Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be : but we know that when he shall appear, we shall be like him ; for we shall see him as he is. And every man that hath this hope in him, purifieth himself, even as he is pure."

3. All true believers have good reason to hope for a future and eternal existence after death. When death comes, and dissolves the connection between the soul and the body, it appears to put an end to the existence of both. Nor can it be proved, from the bare light of nature, that the souls of men survive their bodies after death. We are entirely indebted to the gospel for the infallible evidence we have, that mankind will have a future and eternal existence beyond the grave. Some of the wisest heathen were in doubt about a future state, and the Sadducees in Christ's day absolutely denied the existence of the soul after death. But Christ brought life and immortality clearly to light. He taught that though men may kill the body, yet they cannot kill the soul. He 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." He represented Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob as being still alive. And we are told that Moses and Elias appeared and conversed with him on the mount of transfiguration. We read also of the general assembly of the church of the first-born, and of the spirits of just men made perfect, who are now in heaven. All true believers have good ground of hope in Christ, that, though their bodies must die, yet their souls shall live and exist forever in a future and eternal state beyond the grave.

4. Those who cordially embrace the gospel, have reason to hope that their bodies, after having crumbled to dust, shall be raised again, and re-united to their pure and happy spirits. The ground of this hope is founded entirely on Christ. The doctrine of the resurrection of the body could not be discovered by the light of nature, and all the evidence we have of it, we derive solely from divine revelation. The Epicurean philosophers derided Paul for preaching Jesus and the resurrection. And there were some, it seems, in the church at Corinth, who denied the doctrine of the resurrection of the dead. But Paul condemned and disproved their erroneous opinion. “Now," says he, “is Christ risen from the dead, and become the first fruits of them that slept. For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. But every

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