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nial, and complete. From the conflicts of the dying hour his body shall descend into the grave, where the wicked cease from troubling and the weary are at rest. His flesh, guarded and secured by the vigils of the blessed Spirit, shall sleep as in the bosom of Jesus, and rest in the hope of a certain and joyful resurrection. Profound and peaceful rest! The tread of armies may shake the ground above our heads, but shall not break that deep repose. No shocks of conflict, and no agitations of revolution shall disturb the calm of the tomb which succeeds the tumults of passion, the assaults of foes, and the storms of grief. No power shall disturb our sleeping bones, but that which resident in the particles of our mouldering flesh shall quicken our mortal bodies; and no voice shall wake us from our last sleep but that which stirs the ear of the dead and calls them from their graves to everlasting life.

Passing from the struggles of the dying bed the believer shall enter into the heavenly rest and experience a perfect exemption from the evils of this disciplinary state. Not one of all the ills from which he suffers in this life shall intrude itself with him into the paradise of God. At the gate of the celestial city he shall look back only to part, and to part forever, with bodily sicknesses, privations, and pains, with death-beds, funerals, and graves. He shall bid an everlasting farewell to a deceitful heart, a tempting Devil, and a frowning world. The tormenting anxieties, the fruitless labors, and the vain and consuming sacrifices of a self-righteous spirit shall cease forever. He shall leave behind him the thunders of Sinai, the rod of Moses, and the lash of conscience. The storms of earthly conflicts shall roll away into the distance, and their sounds shall

strike his ear and disturb his soul no more. The revolutionary changes which hurl thrones and dynasties into the dust shall have no influence on that immovable kingdom which, founded in the blood of Jesus, and conserved by the power of the everlasting covenant, shall survive the shaking of the heavens and the conflagration of the earth. The night of doubt, perplexity, and unrest shall give way to the morning light of an unclouded and eternal day. The mysteries of providence will no longer tempt to skepticism, and the perfect temper of submissiveness to the divine will, which is the result of the believer's earthly discipline, will forever preclude the excursions of the imagination which might tend to excite discontent even with a heavenly sphere of activity and joy. An unbroken sabbatism shall reign within him, and a perpetual Sabbath shall lie before him in which to employ the habitudes of his glorified spirit in the ministrations of the celestial sanctuary. He shall come home to Jesus, the dwellingplace of His people, and rest with Him forever. And sitting down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, with patriarchs, prophets, and apostles, with the confessors, martyrs, and ministers of Jesus, with sainted kindred, brethren and friends, he shall rest in a communion which will realize the idea of a perfect society, and prove an everlasting banquet of the soul.



John xvi:9 "Of sin, because they believe not on Me."

In the affecting valedictory discourse which the Savior delivered to His disciples, immediately before His last passion, He assures them that it was expedient that He should leave them. The reason which He assigned was that if He did not go away the Comforter would not come to them, but if He departed He would send Him unto them. In the wonderful economy of redemption, the Scriptures inform us that each person in the Godhead discharges a peculiar function. As it was the office of the Father to conceive the plan of salvation, and to commission the Son to fulfil it by His atoning sufferings on earth and His intercessions in heaven, so it is the province of the Spirit to apply the benefits which Christ purchased for His people by His blood. But in order that that blessed Agent should come upon this gracious and salutary mission, it was necessary that the Savior, after having offered Himself as an expiatory sacrifice, should, as the High Priest of His elect people, ascend into the heavens, and by presenting the memorials of His death, and pressing His sacerdotal pleas, should actually obtain the saving offices of the Holy Ghost. Thus securing them He imparts, from His mediatorial throne, the spirit of all grace to convince the world of sin, of righteousness and of judgment. The text gives us the statement of Christ


NOTE.—This sermon was first preached in Charleston in 1865. Girardeau constantly used its main thoughts in his preaching.

as to the mode by which the Holy Spirit would convince men of sin. “He will reprove,” or convince, “the world of sin, because they believe not on Me." It is obvious that our Savior regarded unbelief in Himself as the greatest, the most comprehensive of all sins. According to this statement, unbelief in Christ is an epitome, a recapitulation of all conceivable forms of sin. In convincing the world of unbelief in Him, the Holy Spirit would convince them of all sin. As in the gospel, faith, in consequence of its relation to Christ, is treated as the occasion of all the other Christian virtues, so unbelief, from its opposition to Him, is considered as the occasion of all the other sins. And as faith in Christ is enjoined as the first great duty to be discharged by the sinner, unbelief in Him is pronounced to be the capital sin to which his attention is to be first directed, and which is chiefly to be repented of and forsaken.

Unbelief is a condition of the heart which renders the sinner unwilling to receive Christ as a Savior, and is indicated in the specific acts of the will by which, in that capacity, He is rejected. The judgment of unbelievers as to the criminality of this sin is different from that which the Savior enounces in the text. In the attempts which they sometimes make at repentance or reformation, so far from being regarded as the most monstrous of all sins, it is apt to be considered as less aggravated than their other offences. These efforts must end in vanity. They begin in error, and must terminate in failure. It will be my purpose to show that unbelief is the greatest of all sins, and in doing so to induce you, my friends, to seek that grace by which you may be convinced of its enormity and to

embrace Jesus Christ as He is freely offered to you in the gospel

I. Unbelief in Christ, it may be remarked in the first place, is the greatest of sins, because it comprehends all other sins in itself, and is a deliberate approval and justification of them. This is evident from the consideration that the scheme of redemption through Christ furnishes the means, and the only means, by which the guilt of sin may be pardoned and its power destroyed; and unbelief in the Savior is a wilful rejection of these means. The very purpose for which the plan of salvation was instituted, and the mission of the Son of God was undertaken, was that the works of the Devil might be destroyed and the dominion of sin be broken. Previously to the incarnation of the Redeemer, the announcement was made, through an angelic ministry, that He should be called Jesus, for He should save His people from their sins. The whole scheme of redemption contemplates the deliverance of sinners from the condemning sentence of the violated law, the destruction of the influence of sin within them, and their restoration to the image of God, which consists in knowledge, righteousness and true holiness. Of this scheme, and of the accomplishment of the wise, beneficent and merciful ends which it proposes, unbelief in Christ is the open and defiant resistance. So far as it goes, it would destroy the plan and defeat its ends. It is as if the unbeliever should say:

I am aware that the gospel affords the means by which I may repair the injury done the divine name and government, secure the pardon of my guilt, and render acceptable service to God, but I am unwilling to subserve these purposes, and prefer to continue in that condition in which, so far as I am concerned, they

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