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“ into death; that like as Christ was raised from “ the dead, by the glory of the Father, even so

we also should walk in newness of life.”

They who, in baptism regenerated, and by the Holy Ghost daily renewed in the Spirit of their minds, have put on that new nature which, after Christ, is created in righteousness and true holiness, do still carry about with them their former bodies. Their passions, their senses, their inclinations and desires, are the same, and consequently the temptations to which they are exposed are the same as those of other men; but they themselves are new creatures, for they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh; their affections are set on things above, not on things on the earth; they strive continually against the solicitations of sinful indulgence; and from this body of sin and death they hope to be delivered.

Thus“ being made free from sin, and become "servants to God, they have their fruit unto holi“ ness, and the end everlasting life.” Already are they the sons of God, the children of the resurrection. Their true, their heavenly life, is advancing upon them. Grace has opened for them the pathway to glory; and they only wait the appearing of Christ, to change and glorify their bodies, in order to give them the full enjoyment of that better existence which already has begun to dawn on their souls.

This is the first sense in which it may be said of Christians, that they are dead. They are dead to sin.

But Christians are said to be dead not merely in reference to the ruling power of sin within them, but also in relation to the world and the alluring joys it spreads around them ; in which they no longer find their chief enjoyment or pleasure. “God forbid,” says the Christian,“ that “ I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord “ Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified “ unto me, and I unto the world."

This does not arise from any insensibility to enjoyment, as worldly men are ready to suppose; but from having implanted in the mind new and more exalted expectations of happiness, infinitely exceeding those with which worldly men are content. The blessedness which, in the Gospel, Christians are taught to anticipate, and the hopes which they have learned to cherish, have raised so high their standard of enjoyment, that all that the world can offer has to them come to be worthless and insipid. The man has ceased to find gratification in the trifling pursuits which engrossed the child. Having become a man, he has put away childish things. His eyes have been opened to perceive the glories of heaven, and now he scorns the follies of earth. In the greatness of those future prospects which have burst upon his view, he overlooks the trifles which surround him. Old things are passed away, behold all things are become new. Faith has presented to his endeavour scenes of surpassing glory in the life to come; and this has taught him to form a very low estimate of present joys. The soul contemplating with enlarged perception its infinite capabilities of happiness, has risen in its requisitions and demands, and the world has nothing to offer which can in any way meet them. The best, the highest gratifications which the world can bestow, are imperfect and merely temporal. They can never fully satisfy the mind which, in its nobler aspirations, has dared to seek its enjoyment in things eternal, though now

unseen,

The Christian, then, is not liable to the charge of affecting a stoical indifference to what is really desirable or good. He does not scorn happiness; but he scorns the happiness which earth has to bestow, the unsubstantial shadow of happiness, miscalled by worldly men, and unsatisfying even to themselves.

The world may allure him by its riches, but he knows that while they are perishing and corrupting, there are unfading, celestial treasures, which they cannot purchase. The world may extend its honours, but he has in view the higher honours which belong to a child of God, an heir of eternal life. The world may bring its pleasures; but he regards them as too mean and

unworthy to divert him from his Christian course, when he reflects on those exalted rewards which await him before the throne of God, “in whose

presence there is fulness of joy, and at whose

right hand there are pleasures for ever more.” These worldly enjoyments the Christian leaves to worldly men, those who have no perception of higher delights. He cannot find in them that satisfaction to which he aspires, and therefore it is that to all their allurement, and all their promise, he is dead.

It was not merely in reference to the sufferings and persecutions which they were called to endure, that the first believers in the Gospel had reason to say, “If in this life only we have hope “ in Christ, we are of all men most miserable." It had been true even though they had been free from persecution and fear; and even now this language may be adopted by those who are surrounded by prosperity, and blessed with every earthly good. The felicity which they have been taught to anticipate, the hope of life and immortality which they have been permitted to cherish, the wide and glorious prospects which have been opened to their view by the resurrection of Jesus Christ, the disclosure of an eternal state, and the promise of an inheritance which is incorruptible, undefiled, and that fadeth not away, have given such a distaste for ordinary and fleeting pleasures, especially when sought and pursued as the end and highest object of life, that they justly contemn and disregard them; and considering this as the night, and the future as their glorious day of existence, in which their true and lasting felicity is laid up, they may say, in the midst of the world's best prospects and possessions, If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable; most miserable, because we have lost that relish for present things which animates worldly men, and without which it is impossible they should be enjoyed.

These views may sufficiently explain, my brethen, why it is said of Christians, “ye are dead." In what respects it may also be said, “their life “ is hid with Christ in God,” though it may, in a

a great degree, be inferred from the exposition which has now been given of the former part of the text, requires to be more particularly noticed.

The life of the Christian is a hidden life, because its enjoyments are not of that perceptible kind which the world can estimate. The kingdom of Christ is not of this world; and they who are its subjects, like him their Lord, have bread to eat which the world knoweth not of. For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink, consists not in bodily gratifications and indulgences, however needful or grateful, but is righteousness, and peace, and joy, in the Holy Ghost. The life which the Christian lives, he lives by the faith of the Son of God. It is a spiritual life; and they

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