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bunal—then, it is he with whom you have to do—and then, finally, unless you really lcve, trust, and serve him, unless he is the beloved and the Lord of your heart, your present state is awfully dangerous and miieiable.
Bat let those who love his name be joyful in him. Your Lord who was dead, is alive, izd feisxft be livetb, you stall live also. Is 1* ?e r;~ >« vritb bim, seek the things which are Jlkt^, iricTV be sttetb on the right hand of Cvi. And, vcbem be, ivbo is our life, shall -r^tr, tit* shallye also appear with him in
DEATH BY ADAM, LIFE BY CHRIST.
i Cor. xv. 21, 22.
For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all diet even so in Christ Jhall all be made alive.
FROM Mr. Handel's acknowledged abilities as a composer, and particularly, from what I have heard of his great taste and success, in adapting the style of his music to the subject, I judge, that this passage afforded him a fair occasion of displaying his genius and powers. Two ideas, vastly important in themselves, are here represented in the strongest light, by being placed in contrast to each other. Surely the most solemn, the
most most pathetic strains mail be employed, i£ they accord with the awful words, By matt came death, in Admit all die. Nor can even the highest efforts of the heavenly harpers, mere than answer, to the joy, the triumph and the praise, which the other part of my text would excite in our hearts, if we are interested in it, provided we were capable of comprehending the full force and meaning of the expressions, By man cams also the reJurreBion, In. Cbrijl Jhall all be made alive.
By one man came death. By one man Jin entered into tbe world, and death by Jin *. Sin opened the door to death. The creation, at the beginning, was fall of order and beauty. Godjaia every thing that he had made, and behold all ivas very good -f. Adam, happy in the image and favour of his Maker, breathed the air of immortality in paradise. While moral evil was unknown, natural evils, such as sickness, pain and death, had no place. How different has the state of things been since! Would you account for the change? Charge it upon man. He finned against his Creator, Lawgiver and Benefactor, and thus, by him, came death. The * Rom. v. 12. f Gen. i. 31.
fact is sure, and therefore, our reasonings upon it, in order to account for it, farther than we are enlightened and taught by scripture, are unnecessary and vain. God is infinitely wife, and therefore this change was foreseen by him. He doubtless could have prevented it, for to Omnipotence every thing that does not imply a contradiction, is possible, is easy. But he permitted it, and therefore it must have been agreeable to his wisdom, holiness and goodness, to permit it. He can overrule it to the purposes of his own glory, and to ends worthy of himself, and he has assured us, that he will do so. Thus far I can go, nor do I wish to go farther. An endeavour to vindicate the ways of God to man, to fallen man, upon the grounds of what he proudly calls his reason, would be an impracticable, and, in my view, a presumptuous attempt. In proportion as his grace enlightens our minds, convinces us of our ignorance, and humbles our pride, we shall be satisfied, that in whatever he appoints or permits, he acts in a manner becoming his own perfections. Nor can we be satisfied in any other way. We fee, we feel, that evil is in the world. Death reigns. It has pleased God to afford us a revelation, to visit us with the light of his gospel. If, instead of reasoning, we believe and obey, a way is set before us, by which we may finally overcome every evil, and obtain a happiness and honour, superior to what belonged to man, in his original state. They who refuse this gospel, must be lest to their cavils and perplexities, until the day, in which, the great Judge and Governor of all, shall arise to plead his own cause, and to vindicate his proceedings, from their arrogant exceptions. Then every mouth will be stopped*. Let us look to the heavens, which are higher than we; and attend to what we may learn from sure principles, that the earth, with all its inhabitants, is but as dust upon the balance, if compared with the immensity of God's creation. Unless we could know the whole, and the relation, which this very small part, bears to the rest of his government, we must be utterly incompetent to judge, how it becomes the great God to act. We are infected with the sin, and we are subject to the death, with all its concomitant evils, which came into the world by the * Job xxxv. 5.