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head of being, God saw all forms of being that were to exist in their unity and harmony.
“ I was dead (I became dead), and am alive, for evermore. Amen." He who had life within himself from all eternity, he who was made the depositary of all outward life before any creature was formed, became a dead person, to the intent of its being proved by God that he was the Prince and Author of life. Not to die as an end, but as a means of proving him to be the very life, did he come into this mortal estate. If I were wishing to prove that one man alone, of many men, could accomplish some object, I would first exhibit all the rest foiled in attempting it: so God, in order to prove that Christ, and he alone, is the living One, doth permit the many living ones to come under the dominion of death; and having thus proved that no man is the living one, he then bringeth Christ into the same controversy with death, who, by overcoming it, doth prove himself the Prince of life, and the Master of death. So that he could say, “I am the resurrection and the life.” By being the resurrection, he is proved to be the life. He is not the life in consequence of the resurrection, but in antecedence of it. The resurrection proves him to be that being in whom it had pleased God that it should reside as in an invincible fortress, which was tried and proved to be death proof. By becoming mortal, moreover, there was another great principle of the subsistence of the Christ established. The principle, to wit, that the Christ is not selfsubsisting; but subsisteth upon and by the Father. The Son is self-subsisting; but upon becoming the Christ, he passeth out of that Divine attribute, into the creature attribute of subsisting by the Father. Not that his Godhead is changed, or can be changed, without changing Godhead altogether. For Godhead, as hath been expressed, is not the property of one person, but the community of all the Persons of Godhead : and being fully preserved in the Father, the Son, in order to shew what it is, unto the comprehension of intelligent creatures, doth drop all use and claim of it, condescending to become, and to be known, and to be spoken of, as that noblest form of creature, the Christ ;--- whose manner of subsistence, as connected with God, in order to exhibit, and thereby to exhibit the manner of the subsistence of all creatures, which
are but the limbs of the same Christ in respect of God, he doth take unto himself a body, that he may be seen, and handled, and reported of; and that all men may know the mystery of God, which was hid from the ages past, but is now revealed unto the church. Now when Christ appeared within the intelligible and sensible world, under the conditions of mortality, he did, as it were, put himself out of self-existing life in order to receive it again from the Father, that it might be seen and manifest, that in his form of Christ the Son liveth upon the Father, according as it is written in John vi. “ As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father.” Thus bringing himself into the mortal, and denuding himself of the life which was in him reposed, as in the fountain-head, he did exhibit himself receiving life from the Father, and using it for the Father, which appearance again is the very reality that had been from eternity, to wit; That the Son, as the Christ, is fed with life from the Father by the Holy Ghost, wherefore in the deeper divinity of a better age, Christ was wont to be called the Pleroma, or fulness, and the Holy Ghost the Vinculum Trinitatis, or bond of the Trinity. So that, did Christ heal a withered hand, he referred it to the Father; saying, “ As the Father hath life in himself, so hath he given the Son to have life in himself.” Did he raise Lazarus ? It was through the answer of the Father to his faithful prayers.
Is he raised from the dead? It is by the working of the mighty power of the Father of glory. And now that he sitteth and reigneth Lord of life, great Regenerator, second Adam, he doth refer the power which he hath received wholly to the gift of the Father; and in so doing doth teach the Godhead by shewing it in action ; doth give the basis of all morality by shewing the severity and the goodness of God; doth teach the way of redemption by treading it in his own person ;-all which doctrine, with much more of a practical kind which I defer till the same expressions come before us in the Epistle to the Church in Smyrna, is taught us by these words, “I was dead, and am alive for evermore.”
It doth only remain that I explain, “And have the keys of hell and death.”. The word translated “hell” is Hades, which properly signifies the place of the separate souls. It certainly is not the lake that burneth, which is never represented as a prison in creation ; but as a waste howling misery beyond the bounds of redeemed creation, from which there is no escape, and upon which, therefore, no key is placed; but otherwise with the place of the soul in its separate state, which is represented in many parts of Scripture as a place of safe-keeping : the hell here spoken of is truly the place of separate spirits. Death is not merely the separation of soul and body; but besides this, is the falling away of the body into corruption, and the retention of the soul in hades. That the body should corrupt, is not the whole of death : it is needful to add, that the soul goeth into hades to remain there for ever, unless a Redeemer shall be found; and the Redeemer, when he shall come, must not only be able to take the body from the grave, but likewise to take the soul from bades. He must have two keys; one able to unlock the grave, another able to unlock hades. Christ, when he would prove himself greater than death, must go into the prison-house of death, which is the grave; and his soul must go into the prison-place of the soul, which is hades: and having been thus fully certified as dead, he must by strength of hand, like Samson, come forth of Gaza, with the gates upon his shoulders. And this truly he did, for his soul having descended into hades, did thence come forth amain; aye, and bring a levy out along with him, shewing that he was master of that key, and then went he and took his body from the grave, and likewise the bodies of many other saints, proving that he was master of that key also; so that his complete death and his complete resurrection do indeed demonstrate that he hath the keys of hell and death. Lord he is of death, the captivity he hath led captive; and when the time cometh for bim to speak the word, death and hell will tremble and obey. Not a soul, not a body, but at his sovereign command shall come forth ; some to the resurrection of life, some to the resurrection of judgment; and thus standeth Christ gloriously manifested as the living one, of whom it was said of old, “O death, I will be thy plague: 0 grave, I will be thy destruction."-Such are, as they appear to me, the doctrines of this comfortable speech which our Shepherd spake to the petrified seer. The practical uses of them I postpone, until I meet them again in the course of the Epistles.
THE REV. SAMUEL MARTIN, D.D.,
MY VENERABLE GRANDFATHER-IN-LAW, WHO WAS TAKEN AWAY FROM US IN THE 90TH YEAR OF HIS LIFE,
AND THE 68TH OF HIS MINISTRY.
FAREWELL man's dark-last journey o'er the deep,
Thou Sire of Sires ! whose bow in strength hath stood
These threescore years and ten, that thou hast wooed
Reard on thy knees with wisdom's heav'nly food,
And by thy counsels taught to choose the good; Who in thy footsteps press up Zion's steep,
To reach that temple, which but now did ope And let their Father in. O'er his bier wake
No doleful strain, but high the note of hope And praise uplift to God, who did him make
A faithful shepherd, of his church a prop; And of his seed did faithful shepherds take.
TO THE MEMORY OF MY REVERED AND BELOVED FRIEND, THE
REV. EDWARD THOMAS VAUGHAN. And is our Vaughan gone? he who the toil
Of conflict for the truth did fearless bide;
A standard-bearer, who his foot aside
The serpent's subtle seed? They could not hide
Their wiles from thee; but in their wounded pride Hiss'd envious, and 'gainst thee rais'd turmoil.
Thou wast a churchman of the ancient seed; A shepherd, who thy care did ne'er abate ;
A watchman, who the nation's weal did heed; Which drew upon thee sons of Belial's hate.
Now thou art ta'en away in time of need, When darkness thickens round our sinking state!