1 Corinthians 15:26
For each individual death is the last enemy, in the sense of being the worst, the one unconquerable enemy; and it is the last in time, so far as time concerns our earthly sphere. The apostle's thought is, that he who has proved himself able to mate and master death, by his own resurrection, must be able to master sin, all the evils which sin brings, and all the lesser consequences of sin's reign. Christ's miracles of raising the dead, as well as his own resurrection, confirm his power to mate and master man's greatest enemy. Scripture teaches us to regard our Lord's resurrection as a final and irremediable conquest of death for us and on our behalf (see Acts 2:24; vers. 21, 55, 56; Ephesians 4:8; 2 Timothy 1:10; Hebrews 2:14; Revelation 1:18). By that resurrection he abolishes death, and gains the mastery over all that death symbolizes to us.

I. CHRIST IS THE CONQUEROR OF DEATH ITSELF. It was no design of Christ's to destroy death altogether, and pluck from it its commission to the human race. He left it still to bite, but took away its sting, its hopelessness, and its relation to human sin. We shall die though Christ has conquered death; but death has now become the messenger of our Saviour, who would call us to himself, not the foe who drags us down to our doom. Even while this may be said, it must be admitted that death keeps a bitter enemy, dreaded still by men, even Christian men. We are impressed with the certainty of its coming. "There is no discharge from that war." The exceptions have been so few, and they have been made on such distinct grounds, that none of us can hold one moment's hope that we shall escape it. There is the humbling power of an irresistible destiny hanging over us all. And the certainty is blended with a most painful uncertainty as to the time or mode of its appearing for us. Death may be lurking in every journey. Morning, noon, and night it chooses for its visits. It "reaps the bearded grain," and the scythe sweeps down also "the flowers that grow between." Death can also put on repulsive and hideous forms. It can come as accident, as loathsome disease, as plague. And the separations it makes from loves and friendships add greatly to the bitterness with which we think of it. No wonder that so many of us are "all our lifetime in bondage, through fear of death." Then he who would be the Saviour of men must do something to deliver men from the power and fear of death. He must deliver men from that part of death which has come as a consequence of sin. In our human nature he submitted to death, when it grasped him in its most dreadful forms; but when he was fairly in its grasp, he lifted up his power - as Samson, when he awoke, snapped asunder the cords that bound him - he broke asunder the bars and gates; he "led captivity captive;" and rose, showing us our foe conquered, his arrows broken, his sting gone. Looked at now from Christ's point of view, the aspects of death are all changed. It is still "certain," but only because the Father wants all his children gathered safely home. It is still "uncertain," but only because such uncertainty is an important part of the Father's training. It puts on "repulsive forms," but only because Christian love needs severe testings. It involves "separations," but earthly separations are necessary to perfect the unities of heaven, whence they go no more out forever. So, for the Christian, death is already virtually destroyed.

II. CHRIST IS THE CONQUEROR OF THAT WHICH DEATH SYMBOLIZES TO US. Scripture personifies death, and makes it the embodiment of all human ills. "Sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death," some kind of death. All trouble is a little death; all disease is a little death. These things are symbolized in physical death.

1. Death is our ideal of loneliness. It is our great lonely time. Our best beloved must stand back from the gate while we go through alone. There are many lonely times in the course of our lives. Times when friends forsake; times of doubt; times of grief. But Christ, in mastering death, the height of loneliness, mastered all lesser phases of it for us. He is with us in death, and we know that we can be nowhere alone - he is with us.

2. Death is the ideal of all bad, untoward circumstances. We think of it as the sad time, when all things seem to be against us. But life is full of such times. Still, our Lord is the Master of all circumstances, and however wild and wanton the storms of life may seem, he holds the helm, and will bring us through to the desired haven.

3. Death is the great sorrow, the ideal of all sorrows. But to him who rose from the dead it is given to wipe the tear from every eye, to quiet every heaving heart, and shed abroad the "peace that passeth understanding." For the disciples of Christ death - the bitter, stinging thing death - is gone; and there is nothing whatever left now in the world that can be overwhelming. Christ conquered all our foes when he conquered death. - R.T.







The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death
I. THE NATURE OF THAT ENEMY. Consider —

1. The dissolution of the human frame. The body is a wonderful machine, which bears the mark of Divine wisdom and skill. If we look upon the Goths and Vandals as the enemies of society because they destroyed the ancient monuments of art, what must we think of death?

2. Death puts an end to all that is terrestrial. All schemes and thoughts that relate only to time are destroyed. As much, therefore, as the world is worth, so much is death to be considered as a formidable foe. Say, ye ambitious, ye lovers of wealth or pleasure, what will these things avail you when you are summoned to meet this last enemy?

3. It dissolves the tenderest ties of nature and affection. Death tears asunder husbands and wives, parents and children, etc. One part of the mortal compound is left by him to mourn while the other part is mingled with corruption. Death so mars the features that the most passionate admirers of beauty are constrained to say, "Bury my dead out of my sight." All the fruits of friendship are withered by his breath. Nor is there any union so closely formed but it will be cut asunder by this great enemy.

4. Its moral or eternal consequences (ver. 56). The death of the body is by no means the full infliction of the penalty of the Divine law. It is but a preparation; like knocking off the chains and fetters from a prisoner who is about to be led forth to the place of execution (Romans 6:23).

5. There are many properties of this enemy which give him the pre-eminence of terror.(1) He is an inexorable enemy. Others may be bribed by riches, soothed by flatteries, moved by the tears and sorrows of a suppliant, or reconciled by a mediator; but not he.(2) Death is an impartial enemy. Other enemies have particular grounds of quarrel; they do not oppose the whole of the species, but some individual, or individuals; but every one of the human race is the object of his enmity; his arrows will level all in the dust.(3) Like other great monarchs he also has harbingers to herald his approach — pains, afflictions, diseases, etc.(4) As these are his forerunners, so he has dreadful instruments for destruction — famine, pestilence, war, the lightning, and the earthquake. The air, the elements, food, etc., are often converted into instruments of death,

II. WHY HE IS CALLED THE "LAST ENEMY." To denote the completeness of the Redeemer's conquest: nothing remains after the last.

1. This is the last enemy of the Church of God in its collective capacity. Persecution shall cease, affliction be removed, fears and terrors of conscience quelled, temptations overcome, and Satan subdued: still the triumphs of death will remain; a large portion of what the Lord has redeemed will remain under His dominion; the bodies of believers will continue in the grave till the final consummation of all things.

2. He is the last enemy of every believer. The Christian obtains a hope of pardon; he goes on conquering one temptation after another, but he knows that, after all, his body must come under the power of this enemy, and remain for a season in his dark domain.

3. To other men what ought I to say of the last enemy? However long they have escaped his power, he will meet them at last, and they must conquer him or be defeated and lost for ever.

III. CHRIST HAS CONQUERED THIS ENEMY IN PART AND WILL ULTIMATELY DESTROY HIM. Note —

1. The degrees and stages by which Christ conquers death.(1) By His incarnation and passion He purchased a right, in behalf of the human race, to conquer death. Power and right are two distinct things; and, among men, the former is frequently opposed to the latter. Christ, as God, had power to put down death; but it was necessary, in order that it might be put down fitly and properly, that such an expiation should be made as would remove the guilt on account of which mankind were doomed to die (Hebrews 2:10, 14, 15).(2) Christ, by His Spirit, gives the earnest and the pledge of victory over the last enemy: He takes away the power of sin, which is the sting of death, and He communicates the principle of life. Whoever is enabled, through the Spirit, to lay hold of Jesus Christ by faith lays hold of Him who is the "resurrection and the life."

2. When these preparatory measures have taken place the empire of death shall be sapped to the foundation. It has, indeed, been a widely extended empire, founded on, or spreading over, the ruins of all other empires: it has comprehended within its domains all the seed of Adam: it has continued from age to age. But the final stroke will produce the entire overthrow of this wide and lasting dominion.Conclusion: "What is the proper improvement of this subject?

1. To raise our eyes in adoration and gratitude to the conqueror of death.

2. To elevate believers above the sorrows and afflictions of time! This enemy is the "last"; when he is destroyed, the field will be quite clear; the vast field of eternity will be free from every molestation.

(R. Hall, M.A.)

Consider death as —

I. AN ENEMY.

1. It is always repugnant to the nature of living creatures to die. God has made self-preservation one of the first laws of our nature. We are bound to prize life.

2. It entered into the world through our worst enemy — viz., sin. It came not in accordance to the course of nature, but according to the course of evil. Physiologists have said that they do not detect any particular reason why man should die at fourscore years. The same wheels which have gone on for forty years might have continued their revolutions even for centuries, so far as their own self-renewing power is concerned.

3. It embitters existence.

4. It has made fearful breaches in our daily comforts. The widow has lost her stay; the children have been left desolate. O death! thou art the cruel enemy of our hearths and homes.

5. It has taken away from us One who is dearer to us than all others. On yonder Cross behold death's most dreadful work. Could it not spare Him? Were there not enough of us?

6. It bears us away from all our prized possessions. "These things," said one, as he walked through his grand estate, "make it hard to die." When the rich man has made his fortune he wins six foot of earth and nothing more, and what less hath he who died a pauper?

7. It carries us away from choice society.

8. It breaks up all our enjoyments and employments and successes.

9. It is accompanied with many pains, infirmities, and since the decay and utter dissolution of the body is in itself a most terrible thing, we are alarmed at the prospect of it. He is an enemy, nay the enemy, the very worst enemy that our fears could conjure up, for we could fight with Satan and overcome him, but who can overcome death?

II. THE LAST ENEMY.

1. The dreaded reserve of the army of hell. When Satan shall have brought up every other adversary, and all these shall have been overcome through the blood of the Lamb, then the last, the strongest, the most terrible, shall assail us! The soldiers of the Cross have pursued the foe up to the city walls, as if the Lord had said to his soldier, "There are more laurels yet to win."

2. But if death be the last enemy we have not to fight with him now; we have other enemies, and in attending to these we shall best be found prepared to die. To live well is the way to die well.

3. Notice — for herein lies the savour of the thought — it is the last enemy. Picture our brave soldiers at the battle of Waterloo; for many weary hours they have been face to face with the foe; now the commander announces that they have only to endure one more onslaught. How cheerfully do the ranks close! The last enemy! Soldiers of Christ, do not the words animate you? Courage! the tide must turn after this, it is the highest wave that now dashes over thee.

4. Having overcome death, peace is proclaimed, the sword is sheathed, the banners furled, and you are for ever more than a conqueror through Him that loved you.

III. AN ENEMY TO BE DESTROYED. At the resurrection, death's castle, the tomb, will be demolished, and all its captives must go free. But although this is a great truth with regard to the future, I desire just to conduct you over the road by which Christ has, in effect, virtually destroyed death already. He has taken away —

1. The shame of death. A man might hold his head low in the presence of angels who could not die, but now we can talk of death in the presence of archangels and not be ashamed, for Jesus died.

2. The sting of death. Christmas Evans represents the monster as driving its dart right through the Saviour, till it stuck in the Cross on the other side, and so has never been able to draw it out again.

3. Its slavery. The bondage of death arises from man's fearing to die.

4. Its greatest sorrows. Death snatches us away from the society of those we love, but it introduces us into nobler society far. We leave the imperfect Church on earth, but for the perfect Church in heaven. We leave possessions, but death gives us infinitely more than he takes away. Death takes us from sacred employments; but he ushers us into nobler. If death doth but give us a sight of Jesus, then let him come when he wills, we will scarcely call him enemy again. An enemy destroyed in this case becomes a friend.

IV. THE LAST ENEMY THAT WILT BE DESTROYED. Do not, therefore, give yourself so much concern if you do not feel death to be destroyed in you at present. Remember that dying grace is of no value in living moments. Expect that if your faith is not faith enough to die with, yet as a grain of mustard seed it will grow, and enable you to die triumphantly when dying time comes. You have many enemies who are not destroyed, e.g., inbred sins. Look well to them. Until they are all gone you must not expect death to be destroyed, for he is the last to die. Expect to lose thy dear ones still, for death is not destroyed. Hold them with a loose hand; do not count that to be freehold which are only leasehold; do not call that yours which is only lent you. And then remember that you too must die.

(C. H. Spurgeon).

Note —

I. WHAT DEATH THE APOSTLE HERE SPEAKS OF AND STYLES AN ENEMY. We may view this death with reference to —

1. The creature it divides. We live by the conjunction of soul and body, and the separation of them is death.

2. The state it puts an end to. We are here in a state of probation, wherein heaven is to be won or lost. Death ends this state.

3. What follows upon it (Ecclesiastes 12:7).

II. WHAT KIND OF ENEMY IT IS.

1. A common enemy: common to young and old, rich and poor, saints and sinners.

2. A hidden enemy. We know that there is such an enemy; but know not when it will make its assault upon us.

3. An enemy we are always liable to. In the midst of life we are in death.

4. A most powerful and irresistible enemy. There is no defence against its stroke, nor way to escape or prevent it.

5. An authorised enemy. It comes by commission from heaven, and acts according to His order, in whose hand all our times are.

6. An inexorable enemy. No wealth can bribe, nor eloquence persuade, nor cries or entreaties move, nor holiness awe, or otherwise prevail with it to spare.

7. A formidable enemy. And it may be said to be so in regard of(1) Its forerunners, the sicknesses, pains, and wearisome restless days and nights that load it on.(2) What it is, and comes to do, and of what follows upon it.

III. THE RANK DEATH HOLDS AMONG OUR ENEMIES. It is the last. This intimates

1. That there are others that we are not to overlook and be unconcerned about. A Christian's life is a continual warfare, and he is to finish the conflict by dying.

2. Whatever enemies go before it, death, to a believer, will be the last. After this the warfare will be over.

IV. THAT IT IS TO BE DESTROYED.

1. The way of its destruction is to be by the resurrection.

2. Of this we are secured by Christ's death and resurrection, whereby He hath laid the foundation of His people's happiness, and hath obtained all power in heaven and earth to complete it.

V. DEATH, AS IT IS TO BE DESTROYED, IS TO BE DESTROYED LAST.

(D. Wilcox.)

1. Death is represented in Scripture under very different, aspects; at one time he is the king of terrors — at another a slave; now in full possession of all his power — and then spoiled and abolished. In one place you will find the inspired writer speaking of it as a gainful thing to die, whilst in another he seems to shrink from dissolution. There is no great difficulty in understanding why these opposite representations should thus be given. If he still reign, it is by sufferance, no longer by right, as a minister employed by God in the effecting certain purposes, and not as a ruler exercising undisputed supremacy.

2. But whilst there is this variety we may safely say that death is never represented as desirable in itself. Death may, in some sense, be made to perform towards us the part of a friend; but, nevertheless, death is never set before us in Scripture as a friend, but invariably as an enemy. It came into the world with sin, constituting the burden of the curse which sin had provoked; and though, through the interference of Christ, provision has been made for the complete removal of the curse, death still retains so much of its original character that it cannot be regarded as anything but a foe. Consider —

I. WITH WHAT JUSTICE DEATH IS STYLED AN ENEMY.

1. Coming into households and filling them with mourning, marring the might and withering the beauty of man, snatching away the wise in the midst of their searchings after knowledge, and the useful ere they have half perfected their benevolent plans, what enemy is so destructive as death? What conqueror ever made such ravages? Whose progress ever caused so much terror? Witness the tears of orphans and widows; witness the rapid pains which attend the taking down of the "earthly house of this tabernacle"; witness the dishonours of the grave. And if we consider that death sends the immortal part to the judgment-seat of God, cutting off all opportunities for repentance, no language can exaggerate this enemy's office.

2. But death is an enemy even to the righteous. Is it nothing that the soul has to go alone into the invisible world, without that body, through whose organs it has seen and heard and gathered in knowledge while a sojourner below? We do not dispute that the soul will have great enjoyment in the separate state. The saint has exchanged labour for repose, danger for security; but in making the exchange he has laid aside his weapons as well as his anxieties, and must rest in comparative inactivity till the voice of the Son of Man revivify his lost members. Then count it not strange that we suppose the souls of the buried saints crying out like those which St. John saw beneath the altar. "How long, O Lord, how long?" These souls do not feel that every enemy is yet trampled under foot, though they do feel the final conquest to be as certain as though already were the last foe annihilated.

II. WHY IS THE DESTRUCTION OF THIS ENEMY DEFERRED?

1. Certainly this does seem strange. We cannot but feel that so complete was the victory won by the Redeemer that death might have been at once annihilated. The original curse was exhausted when that sinless One who made Himself our substitute expired on the Cross, and it would only be allowing the consequences of Christ's work to take immediate and continued effect, had He been the last human being who died. We know that numbers are to be living on the earth at the time of Christ's second appearing, and that these are to escape death altogether, and to become instantaneously what they would have been had they undergone dissolution, and we may certainly learn from this that there might be universally the "swallowing up of mortality in life."

2. And it is very interesting to consider why this is not the case. Were it so —(1) Men would still have to live a period of probation; but the difference would be, that when the period of probation came to a close, there would be no intermediate state. The righteous and unrighteous would disappear altogether from the scene, the one entering immediately body and soul into heaven, the other into hell. But now there is something so humiliating about death and the grave, something which so demonstrates the evil of sin, that we feel as though it would be to take from us what is most wholesome and instructive to substitute the process of translation for the process of dissolution. It is hardly possible now to put away altogether some such thought as this — What must sin be, which could bring such a doom on a creature that was made in the likeness of God!(2) There would be no resurrection, and a resurrection is just that article of faith which lays a vast demand on our submissiveness and belief. We can afford to spare nothing which tends to show the nature of transgression or to lead us to the simply taking the Almighty at His word.(3) Survivors would miss much comfort, and be liable to great errors. We appear not to have lost all connection with the dead, so long as we have their graves. And over and above all this the vanishing away of matter would be very likely to induce a persuasion that man was actually annihilated, or give rise to theories as to the nonentity of matter.(4) There could be no general resurrection, and of all the wonderful proofs of Divine almightiness, probably none is to be compared with this: and this besides will constitute the majestic triumph of Christ. He who was a "Man of sorrows" and refused a resting-place shall speak the word and bid Himself be attended as a conqueror by multitudes. And shall we doubt that the spirits of the righteous in the separate state thankfully forego the being advanced at once to their summit of happiness, inasmuch as the delay is to contribute to the splendour of His final manifestation.

(H. Melvill, B.D.)

I. DEATH AN ENEMY.

1. It was so born. Death is the child of our direst foe, for "sin when it is finished bringeth forth death." "Sin entered into the world and death by sin."

2. It does an enemy's work. It tears in pieces that comely handiwork of God, the fabric of the human body. This Vandal spares no work of life, however full of wisdom, or beauty, for it looseth the silver cord and breaketh the golden bowl. Whither can we go to find no sepulchres? The tear of the bereaved, the wail of the widow, and the moan of the orphan — these have been death's war music, and he has found therein a song of victory. War is nothing better than death holding carnival, and devouring his prey a little more in haste than is his common wont. Death has done the work of an enemy —(1) To those of us who have as yet escaped his arrows. Those who have lately stood around a new-made grave and buried half their hearts can tell you what an enemy death is. What head of a family among us has not had to say to him, "Me thou hast bereaved again and again!" Especially is death an enemy to the living when he invades God's house. The most useful ministers and most earnest workers are taken away.(2) To those who die. All that a man hath will he give for his life, yet death cannot be bribed. When death cometh even to the good man he is attended by such terrible heralds and grim outriders as do greatly scare us. And what comes he to do to our bodies? He comes to take the light from the eyes, the hearing from the ears, the speech from the tongue, the activity from the hand, and the thought from the brain.

3. It is a subtle enemy, lurking everywhere, even in the most harmless things.

4. It is an enemy whom none of us will be able to avoid, take what by-paths we may, nor can we escape from him when our hour is come.

5. Sudden, too, full often, are its assaults.

II. AN ENEMY TO BE DESTROYED.

1. Christ has already subdued death.(1) By having delivered His people from spiritual death. "And you hath He quickened who were dead in trespasses and sins."(2) By restoring certain individuals to life.(3) By removing from it its penal character through His death on the Cross. Why die the saints then? Because their bodies must be changed ere they can enter heaven. "Flesh and blood" as they are "cannot inherit the kingdom of God."(4) By His resurrection. As surely as Christ rose so did He guarantee as an absolute certainty the resurrection of all His saints.(5) By the work of His Spirit in the saints, who enables them to face the last enemy without alarm.

2. But death in the sense meant by the text is not destroyed yet. He is to be destroyed, and how will that be?(1) At the coming of Christ, those who are alive and remain shall not see death. But in the case of the sleeping ones, death shall be destroyed, for they shall rise from the tomb. The resurrection is the destruction of death.(2) Those who rise will not be one whit the worse for having died. There will be no trace upon them of the feebleness of old age, none of the marks of long and wearying sickness.(3) There shall be no more death. "Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more, death hath no more dominion over Him"; and so also the quickened ones, His own redeemed, they too shall die no more. "Because I live, ye shall live also."

III. DEATH IS TO BE DESTROYED LAST.

1. Because he came in last he must go out last. First came the devil, then sin, then death. Death is not the worst of enemies. It were better to die a thousand times than to sin.

2. Death is the last enemy to each individual Christian; therefore leave him to be the last. You do not want dying grace till dying moments. Ask for living grace, and glorify Christ thereby, and then you shall have dying grace when dying time comes.

3. Why is death left to the last? Because Christ can make much use of him.(1) There are, perhaps, no sermons like the deaths which have happened in our households.(2) If there had been no death the saints would not have had the opportunity to exhibit the highest ardour of their love. Where has love to Christ triumphed most? Why, in the death of the martyrs at the stake and on the rack. So is it in their measure with saints who die from ordinary deaths; they would have had no such test for faith and work for patience as they now have if there had been no death.(3) Without death we should not be so conformed to Christ as we shall be if we fall asleep in Him.(4) Death brings the saints home. He does but come to them and whisper his message, and in a moment they are supremely blessed.

(C. H. Spurgeon.)

There is an enemy before every one of us, and we are all advancing to encounter him; let each ask himself, In what spirit, in what strength, under whose banner, and with what hope?

I. I WILL MENTION THREE REASONS WHY DEATH SHOULD BE CALLED AN ENEMY. First, because of his probable antecedents. Secondly, because of his certain concomitants. And thirdly, because of his possible consequences. A brief word upon each.

1. The latest stage of earthly life is commonly a time of trial — a very valley of humiliation. The consciousness of reduced strength must be very trying to a man of vigour.

2. Still the antecedents of death are but probable; he himself may prevent them by an earlier stroke than is usual. But of the concomitants of death we cannot say even this. They are certain; they must be. And what are they? I will name but one — separation. Death is loneliness in its strongest sense.

3. I hasten to the consequences of death. I called the antecedents probable. I called the concomitants certain. I must call the consequences (blessed be God) only possible. Still that possibility is dreadful. I suppose a man to be pondering the old question — What shall be after death? What shall I be, and where? An anxious and (apart from the gospel) an indeterminable inquiry. Only there is something within me which seems to tell me that I shall be after death. Can I be quite sure that things done in the body will not influence or affect that future existence? Can I be quite sure that words which have done injury to others, and imaginations which have done injury to myself, may not, in some strange way, be bearing fruit in that state into which death shall usher me? And if all this be (as we are at this moment supposing it to be) less than certain, still is not the possibility serious enough? Does it not make me feel that "enemy" is the only name befitting him who is to introduce me into a condition, at the very worst, so mysterious and so critical?

II. WE THANK JESUS CHRIST FOR NOT REQUIRING US TO DO VIOLENCE TO NATURAL CONVICTIONS, BY CHANGING THE APPELLATION OF THAT TERRIFIC FOE, whom each one of us has inevitably to encounter. But we thank Him still more for having revealed to us one way of meeting and conquering this foe; yea, for words stronger far than any promise of resistance or of victory — "The last enemy that shall be destroyed is Death!"

1. The foundation is laid for the individual destruction of death, when a man heartily believes in Jesus Christ as his Saviour. A young man is alarmed by the first touch of serious illness — none so timid on this point — lest it should run on into that which is fatal. And the feeling lasts; which of us has got over it? But whenever in any particular instance a man turns heartily to Christ as his Saviour, then is the foundation laid, in his case, for that which St. Paul here calls the destruction or the abolition of death.

2. Again, we read at the end of this chapter, that "the sting of death is sin." And we must distinguish at all times between what is called the guilt of sin and what we all understand by the power of sin. It is sad that we should be obliged to do so. But, unhappily, all experience tells us — and we need the warning most of all for ourselves — that a person may take to himself the comforts of the gospel without knowing anything really of its living strength. Therefore I say that we must separate that first step towards the destruction of death — faith in the merits of Jesus Christ — from this second step, the habitual growing mastery over self and sin by the power of the Holy Spirit of God, given to all who ask for Him in the name of Jesus.

3. The next step carries us far onward; it is a death-bed cheered by the sense of a Saviour's presence. This is the result of the other two.

4. And yet, thus far, although death has been boldly encountered, and although, in one sense, he has been vanquished, yet to the end, in another sense, the victory has remained with him. The lifeless body has been left his prey; he has carried it off, he has triumphed over it, he has made it his very sport and trophy. Not till all the dead shall have been raised in newness of life can the Destroyer of death be said to have fulfilled His mission. Till then, death may have been overruled, may have been made tolerable, may have been even, in certain cases, converted into an instrument of blessing; as when the same apostle said, "I have a desire to depart, and to be with Christ, which is far better"; but never till then will death have been abolished and annihilated; never till then will the corruptible have put on incorruption, and mortality have been swallowed up of life.

(Dean Vaughan.)

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