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the members of the household of faith, and survey the Author and Finisher of faith. Jesus dies, and his death is the life of the world. The death of the believer has been the life of the sinner; the death of the father has been the life of the son; the death of the preacher has been the life of the hearer; the death of the martyr has been the life of the beholder.-But our Lord Jesus, as he was going to be crucified, exclaimed, "I, if I be lifted up, will draw all men unto me."-This is the meaning of the words which I have read. "Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit."
Go forth and behold the process of vegetation. Take a corn of wheat-how small, how insignificant, how useless it appears. But it is extremely valuable, and with care may be made to stock a field, a country. But how does it thus multiply? Keep it in the granary, and it remains the same. It must be sown to fructify and increase. Let it be buried under the clods, and perish as to its present form and appearance; and, lo, it springs up, and brings forth in some places thirty, in some sixty, and in some a hundred fold." And behold the mystery of the cross, around which we are this day assembled. It was equally necessary for our Saviour to suffer and die. In death he becomes the principle of our life by this he fills heaven with praise, the church with blessings, the world with followers. This is the fruit which by dying he brings forth an immense number of Christians.
For you know a grain of corn multiplies by yielding other grains like itself: "That which thou sowest is not quickened except it die; and
that which thou sowest, thou sowest not that body that shall be, but bare grain, it may chance of wheat or of some other grain; but God giveth it a body as it hath pleased him, and to every seed his own body."
If, therefore, Jesus be compared to seed, and he be sown to increase, he will produce others like himself. If barley be sown, barley comes up; if wheat be sown, wheat appears; if Christ be sown, Christians are brought forth. This is a very striking and a very useful thought. For it may be asked, What are Christians? And the answer is, What was Christ? They are predestinated to be conformed to him: and as they "have borne the image of the earthly, they must also bear the image of the heavenly." Here, indeed, the likeness is not complete-but it will be perfect in due time; they" shall be like him, for they shall see him as he is;"-[though infinitely inferior to him in dignity, yet they shall be] like him, as one grain of corn resembles another, from which it was derived, in substance and in figure. But let us remember that the likeness is now begun, and must be advancing, according to the words of the apostle: "Beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, we are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the spirit of the Lord."-He was "not of the world," and Christians" are not of the world." It was his "meat to do the will of him that sent him ;" and they also can say," His commandments are not grievous.-He went about doing good;" and they are endeavouring to "serve their generation according to the will of God." He "was meek and lowly in heart ;" and they are "learning of him. The world knoweth them not, for
it knew him not." A Christian springs from Christ; and he is like him.
There is one thing here which we should not overlook, for it will afford the benevolent mind a delicious pleasure; I mean the largeness of the crop. This corn of wheat by dying bringeth forth much fruit. "Are there few that shall be saved?" This question was once proposed to our Saviour, and it is observable that he made no reply to it; but he did say to those that asked him," Strive to enter in at the strait gate; for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able;" and by this he has taught us that it is wiser to endeavour to secure our salvation individually, than curiously to inquire after or dispute about the number of the saved. If, however, the question were asked properly, we could answer-no. He is leading many sons unto glory: and when he has collected them all together, they will be found "a great multitude which no man can number, of all nations, and kindred, and people, and tongues." Of him whose soul was made an offering for sin, it is said, "The pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in his hand. He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied." And will a little good, a little success, satisfy the vastness of his benevolence? O how many must be delivered from misery and restored to happiness before he will say, "It is enough; I am fully repaid for the anguish I endured in the garden and on the cross!"
Now all those who will be saved owe their spiritual being and blessedness to his death. This is fully expressed. Had he not died, he would have remained alone; and accordingly while alive he was comparatively alone. He had some fol
lowers, but they were few in number and of one nation only: the Gentiles were not addressedBut, lo! when he dies he brings forth much fruit: he becomes considerable and renowned as a leader: three thousand were called under one sermon; "and the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved. Mightily grew the word of the Lord, and prevailed." It spread from city to city, from province to province, till it soon reached the boundaries of the Roman empire. Now, this was adapted and designed to show that his sufferings were to precede his glory; and that by dying he was to have a numerous "seed to serve him, which should be accounted to the Lord for a generation."
And does not everything that enlivens us, and conforms us to our Lord and Saviour, derive its existence and its efficacy from his death?
Is the influence of the Holy Ghost needful to convince us of sin and renew us in the spirit of our minds? This is the purchase, the reward, the consequence of his death. "Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree; that the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith."
Is deliverance from our spiritual enemies necessary to our "serving him without fear in holiness and righteousness before him all the days of our life? Here he spoils principalities and powers, and makes a show of them openly. Now is the judgment of this world; now is the prince of this world cast out."
Is it necessary for us to feel "a lively hope,"
by which we "draw nigh to God? The cross inspires it. Surely he hath borne our grief and carried our sorrow; the chastisement of our peace was upon him, and with his stripes we are healed. He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?"
Has gratitude an influence in forming the Christian character? Here, here it is inflamed. "For the love of Christ constraineth us, because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead; and that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them and rose again. Unto him that loved us and washed us from our sins in his own blood, and hath made us kings and priests unto God and to his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen."
Finally. Is an example of holiness indispensable? Here we behold a representation of all the graces and the duties he recommended. Here we see an entire obedience and submission to the will of his heavenly Father: humility the most profound patience the most astonishing-forbearance the most free from revenge-the love of relations and friends the most exquisitely tender. "He suffered for us, leaving us an example that we should follow his steps.' And thus all the principles and assistances of the Christian life are furnished by the death of the Saviour. Let us conclude by three reflections:
And, first, let us render the works of nature instructive and edifying. Let us not be of the number of those of whom the prophet speaks, when he says, Seeing many things they observe not-nor let us contemplate the creation with the