« AnteriorContinuar »
Little children receive the principle of new life in Baptism; and if they do not grieve the Spirit, they will in time bring forth the fruits of the Spirit. In this
“ doth Baptism now save us, by the resurrection of Jesus Christ;" when we so trust in Him, as to live to God by Him; when we thus show ourselves to be risen with Him. This is the needful “ answer of a good conscience;” and holy Scripture tells us of no other condition, on which Baptism will save us.
RESURRECTION OF THE DEAD.
As Jesus Christ rose on the third day from the dead, so at the last day will the bodies of all the dead rise again; and each body will receive back its proper soul from the hand of God: “for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear the voice of the Son of God, and shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.” And the same bodies, which were before mortal, will be so changed as to last for ever; the bodies of the wicked, fitted for misery; and those of the righteous, glorified that they may live in glory. They therefore, who while on earth have risen with Christ to righteousness, shall hereafter rise again to everlasting life; but the rest “ will awake to shame and everlasting contempt.”
This is “the resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust,” of which St. Paul had hope : and therefore “herein did he exercise himself, to have always a conscience void of offence toward God and toward men." And thus too does the
Church "look for the resurrection of the dead,” as all her members profess at least every Lord's day. If this then be really our hope, we shall, like St. Paul, be ever on the watch; "yea, doubtless, we shall count all things but loss, that we may win Christ," and share His righteousness, “and know the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being made conformable unto His death, if by any means we might attain unto the resurrection of the dead.” And we shall long always after greater perfectness, and “forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, we shall press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.”
COLLECT.—Burial Service. O merciful God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who is the resurrection and the life; in whom whosoever believeth shall live, though he die; and whosoever liveth, and believeth in Him, shall not die eternally; we meekly beseech Thee, o Father, to raise us from the death of sin unto the life of righteousness; that, when we shall depart this life, we may rest in Him; and that, at the general resurrection in the last day, we may be found acceptable in Thy sight; and receive that blessing, which Thy well-beloved Son shall then pronounce to all that love and fear Thee, saying, Come, ye blessed children of my Father, receive the kingdom prepared for you from the beginning of the world : Grant this, we beseech Thee, O merciful Father, through Jesus Christ, our Mediator and Redeemer. Amen.