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mage of life. All the dead, both small and great, shall stand before his throne. Their dust may have been scattered by the winds of heaven; their bodies may have undergone many changes to us inexplicable; still we have a solution for every difficulty in the promise and power of God. He who formed man of dust can doubtless re-animate the same. He who gave life at first can surely restore it, can re-organise the scattered atoms, if necessary, and dispose them in the same order as before. He has already given us many proofs of his power over the tyrant of the grave. Did he not, by the voice of his prophets, call back from his
grasp the bodies of different men whose spirits had departed ? Did he not, while he sojourned on earth; restore to Jairus his daughter, to the widow of Nain her son, to the sisters of Lazarus their brother, whom they had buried ? Did not, in the hour of his crucifixion, the graves open, many bodies of the saints that slept arise ? And as a further proof of the
a resurrection, he himself arose from the dead. “ Our Redeemer liveth, and be
cause he lives, we shall live also."
Fear not then, my Christian brethren, “ to go down to the grave; for Christ 66 “ will go down with you, and bring you
up again.” Though your bodies must decay in the ground, yet they will be raised spiritual and immortal, and in these glorified bodies you shall see God, and be blessed in his immediate presence, throughout ages that shall never have an end. Let this glorious prospect reconcile
hearts to all the troubles and vicissitudes of life, and excite you to the utmost activity and diligence in your preparations for death and judgment. Knowing that the day of the Lord cometh as a thief in the night, watch always that he may not surprise you, but that you may be found with your loins girded and your lamps burning, ready to enter into the joys of eternity. Amen.
IT IS NOT IN MAN TO DIRECT HIS STEPS.
JEREMIAH X. 23.
It is not in man that walketh to direct his steps.
To walk, is one of the actions of the body, that denotes motion from one place to another. It is often figuratively employed in Scripture to mark the conversation and manner of life. “ To walk in “ darkness," is to live in a course of ignorance, error, and sin ; “ and to walk in " the light,” is to live in the ways of truth and holiness. " To walk with “ God,” denotes a life of sweet communion with him, a lively sense of his presence, and endeavours, above all things, to please him and obtain his approbation. And, in like manner, “ to walk af
“ ter the Spirit,” is to be led and guided by his counsels, to regulate and order the whole of our conversation according to the rule and direction of the word and spirit of God. When the prophet thus says, that " it is not in man that
“, “ walketh to direct his steps," he thereby intimates, that though man seems at perfect liberty in choosing his own way, yet of himself he can do nothing, either for his own relief, or in the discharge of his duty, without the divine conduct and direction.
In the preceding verses, he threatens, in God's name, the approaching ruin of the cities of Judah and Jerusalem. And finding it to little purpose to remonstrate with the people, he here addresses himself to God, acknowledges the absolute sovereignty of the Divine Providence, and that by it, and not by their own power, will, and wisdom, the affairs both of nations and of individuals are determined.
6 O Lord,” says he, “ I know that the way of man is not “ in himself: it is not in man that walk“eth to direct his steps.” all apply these words to ourselves, and
As we may
ought to mix faith with the prophet's declaration ; so, in farther discoursing from this subject, all that I propose, through the help of God, is, first, To illustrate the truth of the proposition in the text ; and, second, To mention some important lessons of instruction which it is calculated to teach us.
First, I am to attempt an illustration of the proposition in the text, “ It is not 66 in man that walketh to direct his
To enumerate the various proofs and arguments that might be adduced in confirmation of this, were to mention a very considerable part of the experience and observation of mankind in all ages of the world, and in every condition of being. It seems, indeed, to be one of those selfevident truths, which requires only to be proposed in order to gain our assent. Adam, though originally formed after the image of his Creator, which consisted in knowledge, righteousness, and holiness; yet those farther measures of divine grace, which were necessary to secure him in that holy and happy state,