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1. What sort of a victory is it Jesus hath obtained over death ?—It is,
(i.) A dear-bought victory, it cost the glorious Conqueror his precious lise; he suffered the • bruising of his heel, before the serpent's head could be got bruised. He suffered in his body, and also in his soul, and to such a degree, that the holy human nature could not have borne up under it, had it not been supported by his divine nature.
(2.) A complete victory in respect of himself, though not yet complete in respect of his members: Rom. vi. 9. "Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead, dieth no more, death hath no more dominion over him." Now he is beyond the reach of death and all his enemies, sitting at the Lord's right-hand until he make his enemies Iris footstool, Pfal. ex. 1.
(3.) A glorious victory, saints and angels singing the triumphant song. Hear the acclamations of joy and wonder with which he was met at his return from the battle, Isa. lxiiL 1. "Who is this that cometh from Edom, with died garments from Bozrah? This that is glorious in his apparel, travelling in the greatness of his strength? I that speak in righteousness, mighty to save." What a glorious victory was it which he obtained over the king of tenors, who subdues the most potent armies, overcomes the conquerors of the earth; but behold the great spoiler spoiled, the conqueror conquered by the King of glory.
(4.) An everlasting victory. Now death's power is iirecoverably broke; the serpent is wounded in the head, which is a deadly wound, it shall never be able to rally its broken forces against him any aiore; it went out into. the world sull, but the
King of saints has met it, and spoiled it, so that it in some sort is now empty.
As a practical improvement of what has been said, I would on this occasion earnestly call upon
i. As mortals, 'dying men and women, to come 'over this day to the Conqueror's side. Our Lord has obtained the victory over death, come ye and surrender yourselves to him, break your covenant with death and hell, enter into his covenant, and honestly enlist yourselves under his victorious banners, abide no longer among his enemies.—To prevail with you, I would lay before you the following Motives.
(1.) If ye are out of Christ, ye live in death's territories; yea, ye are dead; while ye live, death hath dominion over you, Eph. v. 14. "Wherefore he faith, Awake thou that steepest, arise from the dead, and Christ shall give you light." Ye are spiritually dead, the threatcnings of the law, as the bands of death, gird you about; the clivers lusts ye serve are as the chains of death unto you. O! awake, ere ye be cast out of this world, and buried out of his sight.
(2.) The Conqueror is ready to receive you, and give you the privileges of the subjects of his kingdom, Zech. ix. 11. 12. "As for thee also, by the blood of thy covenant, I have sent forth thy prisoners out of the pit, wherein is no water; turn ye to the strong-hold, ye prisoners of hope, even today do I declare, that I will render double unto thee." Christ is coming this day in the word to your graves, and saying to you, as to Lazarus, Come forth, bestir yourselves, O prisoners of hope! and come away, when the Redeemer and Deliverer, who has overcome death, is calling you! Abide
not not under the dominion of the soiled enemy, but come away to the victorious Lord of lise.
(3.) Behold how he loved the children of men, John, xiv. 13. " And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorisikd in the Son." Why did he sight this battle with death, but to rescue sinners to himself, as a prey out of the mouth of the devouring lion? Shall not his dying love win you, his dying groans awake you, out of your fleep in lin? Does not every wound he received call you to call away your sins which lay so heavy on him? will ye love death, and flight the Redeemer, Prov. viii. 26. "All they that hate me love death."
(4.) How will ye grapple with death, if ye come not out of your sins to Jesus Christ? Man, remember thou must die; the day is coming these eyes will be closed, the breath that is now going out and in will go, to return no more till the last pulse beat. How wilt thou be able to grapple with the king of terrors alone? Death cast down the man Christ; if it did so to the green-tree, what will become of thee, a withered dead branch? Thou shalt sind death lively as to thee, armed with its sting .against thee, since thou art not in Christ, his victory belongs not to thee, but the sirst death will turn .thee over into the hands of the second death; and so thou shalt be eternally dying, but never die.
(5.) Come to Christ, and thou shalt have the benesit of his victory over death: John, viii. 51. v( Verily, verily, I fay unto you, If a man keep my sayings, he shall never see death," never seel the sting of death, its nature st.all.be quite altered to thee. O! are ye not thinking what way ye shall get through that ford on that Red Sea, which
ye know not how soon ye may come to? Come to Christ, lay hold on the Conqueror by faith, in the way of his covenant; the sealed covenant will be your pass for sase conduct to the other side; it has carried all through that took their passage with it hitherto, and so will it you. 1 exhort you,
%. To prepare yourselves for celebrating the triumph of this victory. The saints above are celebrating it at the upper table, ye are called to celebrate it at the lower table: "This do ye in remembrance of me." Let not Satan get advantage of such as look for the benesit of this victory, to flight the memorial of it, lest they vex the Spirit of God, and pour contempt on Christ's institution, and give their souls such a throw as they will not easily recover, while their sig-leas covers of excuses will avail them nothing. Let none, however, venture rashly on such an ordinance. Take heed to your state, see that ye be not the King's enemies, but his friends, by your coming honestly into his covenant, and putting a divorce into the hands of all your idols. In the midst of the triumphal throng, he will notice the man that wants the wedding-garment: Matth. xxii. 11. "And when the king came. in to see the guests, he saw there a man which had not on a wedding-garment." Sinners dead in trespasses and sins are not sit to celebrate the memorial of Christ's victory over death. Off with the grave-cloaths of your lusts, then, that you may be sit guests for the Lord of lise on such an occasion.—Take heed to your frame; a dead frame is not sit for such an occasion. Alas! for the deadness on the spirits of prosessors at this day. O! labour to get a lively frame of spirit, wherewith to celebrate the memorial of Christ's victory; get faith, love, repentance, desires, thanksulness, &c. in exercise; and for this end, I
Vol. I. O recommend
recommend to you this night, to meditate on, and
take a believing view of this battle. Consider,
i. It was a set battle; not an accidental rencounter, but determined from eternity: Gal. iv. 4. "But when the sulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law." Zechariah in his time proclaims the war: Zech. xiii. 7. "Awake, O sword! against my Shepherd, against the man that is my sellow, faith the Lord of hosts." Nay, it was proclaimed in paradise: Gen. iii. 15. "And I will put enmity between the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel." The ceremonial law, by which so much blood was shed, plainly predicted that a bloody day was coming.—It was,
2. A hot battle. Heavy were the strokes given here: Psal. xxii. 14. "I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint, my heart is like wax, it is melted in the midst of my bowels. My strength is dried up like a potsherd, and my tongue cleaveth to my jaws; and thou hast brought me into the dust of death." It was a bloody battle, Isa. ix. 5v *' For every battle of the warriors is with consused noise, and garments rolled in blood; but this shall be with burning, and suel of sire." A dreadsul noise was here, the law, men, and devils, crying against the Son of God, death roaring for its prey, and the Mediator himself crying with strong cries and tears. What garments rolled in blood were here on every side !—rolled in the most precious blood of the Son of God: Isa. lxiii. 2. "Wherefore art thou red in thine apparel, and thy garments like him that treadeth in the winefat?" A bloody spouse have we been to him.— It was,
3. A solitary battle on Christ's part. His ene