Hebrews 9:27
Just as man is appointed to die once, and after that to face judgment,
Sermons
CalledC. Girdlestone, M. A.Hebrews 9:15-28
Christ's Last Will and TestamentT. M. Morris., A. Roberts, M. A.Hebrews 9:15-28
Christ's TestamentJohn Davies.Hebrews 9:15-28
Christ's Testamentary CovenantH. Melvill, B. D.Hebrews 9:15-28
Effectual CallingC. Simeon.Hebrews 9:15-28
The Blood of SprinklingW. Jones, D. D.Hebrews 9:15-28
The Blood of the TestamentC. H. Spurgeon.Hebrews 9:15-28
The Dying Will of Jesus ChristH. S. Keating.Hebrews 9:15-28
The Old and the NewH. W. Beecher.Hebrews 9:15-28
The Testament of ChristAm. Nat. PreacherHebrews 9:15-28
The Two MediatorsD. Young, B. A.Hebrews 9:15-28
A Judgment to ComeR. Neville, B. D.Hebrews 9:27-28
Certainty of DeathThos. Spurgeon.Hebrews 9:27-28
Certainty of the Judgment DayArcher Butler.Hebrews 9:27-28
Christ the Only Sin-BearerHebrews 9:27-28
Christ's Future Appearance, Without Sin, unto SalvationLewis O. Thompson.Hebrews 9:27-28
Christ's Second ComingR. Walker.Hebrews 9:27-28
Confessions of Dying MenJ. Hawes, D. D.Hebrews 9:27-28
Contraband GoodsC. W. Bibb.Hebrews 9:27-28
DeathJohn Logan.Hebrews 9:27-28
DeathJ. Parker, D. D.Hebrews 9:27-28
DeathPersian proverbHebrews 9:27-28
Death a Divine AppointmentJ. Hewlett.Hebrews 9:27-28
Death an AppointmentW. Pulsford, D. D.Hebrews 9:27-28
Death and JudgmentGeorge Hall.Hebrews 9:27-28
Death and JudgmentW. Jones, D. D.Hebrews 9:27-28
Death and JudgmentJ. Punshon.Hebrews 9:27-28
Death as a LiberatorC. Colton.Hebrews 9:27-28
Death as a MessengerHebrews 9:27-28
Death Common to AllHeralds of the Cross.Hebrews 9:27-28
Death InevitableFrancis Jacox.Hebrews 9:27-28
Death Should be First Prepared ForS. Coley.Hebrews 9:27-28
Death the Universal LotHebrews 9:27-28
Death, Judgment, and SalvationW. B. Collyer, D. D.Hebrews 9:27-28
ExitsJohn Webster.Hebrews 9:27-28
JudgmentJ. Saurin.Hebrews 9:27-28
JudgmentH. J. Wilmot Buxton, M. A.Hebrews 9:27-28
Judgment Day ForgottenC. H. Spurgeon.Hebrews 9:27-28
Judgment to ComeHomilistHebrews 9:27-28
Life the Preparation for DeathE. B. Pusey, . D. D.Hebrews 9:27-28
Man's MortalityBp. E. Hopkins.Hebrews 9:27-28
On DeathG. Carr, B. A.Hebrews 9:27-28
On the Sacrifice and Atonement of ChristJ. Hewlett, B. D.Hebrews 9:27-28
One Death and One SalvationH. Melvill, B. D.Hebrews 9:27-28
One for ManyBaxendale's AneodotesHebrews 9:27-28
Personal Responsibility of Man in the Great AccountR. Scott, D. D.Hebrews 9:27-28
Preparation for DeathW. Gurnall.Hebrews 9:27-28
Ready for the Lord's ComingBaxendale's AnecdotesHebrews 9:27-28
The Advent of Our SaviourR. Vaughan, M. A.Hebrews 9:27-28
The Backslider's DreamK. Arvine.Hebrews 9:27-28
The Blessing of JudgmentH. H. Snell, B. A.Hebrews 9:27-28
The Expectation of a Judgment is ReasonableH. H. Snell, B. A.Hebrews 9:27-28
The Inevitable EndingCanon Liddon.Hebrews 9:27-28
The Last JudgmentJ. A. James.Hebrews 9:27-28
The Sacrifice and the Second Coming of ChristJohn Rawlinson.Hebrews 9:27-28
The Sacrifice of ChristT. B. Baker.Hebrews 9:27-28
The Second AdventG. Lawson.Hebrews 9:27-28
The Sinner's SubstituteHebrews 9:27-28
The Time of Each Man's Death Divinely AppointedJ. Cumming, D. D.Hebrews 9:27-28
The Two Advents of ChristC. H. Spurgeon.Hebrews 9:27-28
The Two CrisesT. De Witt Talmage.Hebrews 9:27-28
The Two Deaths, and the Two Appearings After DeathW. Jones Hebrews 9:27, 28
Unprepared for DeathHebrews 9:27-28
We Can Die But OnceHebrews 9:27-28
And as it is appointed unto men once to die, etc. The writer is still treating of the completeness of the sacrifice of our Savior. That sacrifice was offered once for all. Being perfect, it needed no repetition. And now he shows that its repetition was impossible. Notice -

I. THE TWO DEATHS. The death of man, and the death of the Christ. They are mentioned together here to bring out the fact that Christ's offering of himself will not be repeated. Notice these two deaths in the order in which they are here mentioned.

1. The death of man.

(1) The event itself. Seneca asks, "What is death, but a ceasing to be what we were before? We were kindled and put out; we die daily." "The cessation of the vital activities is death, which is simply another name for discontinuance," says Grindon. And Longfellow, "Tis the cessation of our breath." It is dissolution, the separation of the soul and body. "Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was," etc. (Ecclesiastes 12:7). It leads to great and momentous changes in the mode and conditions of our life.

(2) The certainty of the event. "It is appointed unto men," etc. It is the lot assigned to us by the great Sovereign of being. God, says Gurnall, "to prevent all escape, hath sown the seeds of death in our very constitution and nature, so that we can as soon run from ourselves as run from death. We need no feller to come with a hand of violence and hew us down; there is in the tree a worm, which grows out of its own substance, that will destroy it; so in us, those infirmities of nature that will bring us down to the dust." "No man hath power over the spirit to retain the spirit," etc. (Ecclesiastes 8:8; cf. Psalm 49:6-10).

(3) The solitariness of the event. "It is appointed unto men once to die." This death occurs but once. It is an event which can never be repeated. In this fact we have a reason why we should pre- pare for it. Many actions are done often in a lifetime, and if their earliest performance be not satisfactory, we may do them better afterwards. Some of our experiences occur often, and if at first we were not prepared for them, and passed through them without advantage, or with disadvantage, we may prepare for their recurrence, and then pass through them with decided benefit. But death is an experience which never recurs; let us, then, prepare for it. It is a journey which we shall travel only once - " the way whence we shall not return;" therefore let us be in readiness for it.

2. The death of the Christ. "So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many."

(1) He died as a Sacrifice for sin. "Offered to bear the sins." He bore our sins in his feeling. In his heart he had such a deep sense of the wickedness of human sin as was possible only to a Being of perfect holiness. He mourned over sin with deepest sorrow; he condemned it as utterly wicked; and he sought to deliver men from it. He also bore our sins in his sufferings and in his death upon the cross. Here he was offered to bear the sins of many. "His own self bare our sins in his body upon the tree by whose stripes ye were healed" (1 Peter 2:24). "He was wounded for our transgressions," etc. (Isaiah 53:5, 6, 12).

(2) He died as a Sacrifice for the sins of all men. "To bear the sins of many." The "many" signifies men in general; all men, as in Hebrews 2:9: "By the grace of God he should taste death for every man." So also teaches St. Paul: "He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all." "And he died for all." "Who gave himself a Ransom for all." So also St. John (1 John 2:2). And our Lord himself (John 3:15, 16; John 12:32).

(3) He died as a Sacrifice which is never to be repeated.

(a) Its repetition is impossible. As man can die only once, so the Christ can only be offered in death once.

(b) Its repetition is unnecessary. His offering was perfect in itself and in its efficacy; its efficacy, moreover, is perpetual, so that it need not be repeated. Heaven asks no more. Man needs no more.

"His precious blood
Shall never lose its power,
Till the whole ransomed Church of God
Be saved, to sin no more."


(Cowper.)

II. THE TWO APPEARINGS AFTER DEATH.

1. The appearing of man after death. "It is appointed unto men once to die, and after this, judgment." "We must all appear before the judgment-seat of Christ," etc. (2 Corinthians 5:10). The fact of human responsibility to God suggests the coming of a great day of account. The Divine government of the world, and the inequalities between the characters and conditions and circumstances of men, which are so many and remarkable at present, point to the necessity of such a day. The holy Bible declares it as a certainty (cf. Ecclesiastes 12:14; Matthew 25:31-46; Acts 17:31; Romans 14:10-12). How unutterably solemn the consideration that all the myriads of the dead shall appear again in the great day, and before the awful and holy tribunal of the Son of God and Son of man.

2. The appearing of the Christ after death. "The Christ, also, having been offered to bear the sins of many, shall appear a second time," etc.

(1) He will appear again. "The Christ shall appear a second time." "This Jesus, which was received up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner," etc. (Acts 1:11). He promised his disciples, "I will come again," etc. (John 14:3; and cf. Matthew 16:27; Matthew 24:30; 1 Thessalonians 1:10; 1 Thessalonians 4:16; 2 Thessalonians 1:10; Revelation 1:7).

(2) He will appear again "apart from sin. His first coming was distinctly related to sin. Him who knew no sin, God made to be sin on our behalf" (2 Corinthians 5:21). That relation and character is completed, fulfilled. "Having been once offered to bear the sin of many," his personal connection with it is ended. He has done with it. His next coming will be apart from sin, and in great glory. "The Son of man shall come in his glory," etc. (Matthew 25:31). "Looking for the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ."

(3) He will appear to perfect the salvation of his people. "Unto salvation." Here are two points:

(a) The attitude of his people in relation to his coming. "Them that wait for him" This implies:

(α) Faith in his coming. "We look for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ," etc. (Philippians 3:20, 21). (β) Desire for his coming. "Even so, come, Lord Jesus."

(γ) Expectation of his coming. They "wait for God's Son from heaven," etc. (1 Thessalonians 1:10).

(b) The object of his coming in relation to his people. "Unto salvation." To perfect their salvation. He will raise their bodies, reunite body and soul, receive them into his glory. He will say unto them, "Come, ye blessed of my Father," etc. They shall enter into the joy of their Lord. "Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things," etc. (2 Peter 3:14). - W.J.







Appointed unto men once to die.
There is a very cheerful emphasis on that word "once." I know people who have so much grace that death seems to be attractive to them, and they really talk as though they would be willing to die half a dozen times. It is not so with me. I submit to the idea only because I have to. But, thank God, we die but once. We take seventeen thousand breaths in a day, but there will be only one last breath.

1. I remark, in regard to the first crisis, that it will be the ending of all our earthly plans. If Napoleon wants to fight Austerlitz, he must do it before that, or never fight it at all. If John Howard wants to burn out the dampness of the dungeon, he must do it before that, or never do it at all. The last moments will snap off all our earthly schemes. If our work at that time be rounded, it will stay rounded. If it be incomplete, it will stay incomplete, like the national monument on Calton Hill, Edinburgh — a row of pillars showing what the building was meant to be, but is not.

2. Again, I remark that the first crisis spoken of in my text will be our physical ruin. However attractive the body may have been, it must come to defacement and mutilation. Dissolution!

3. Again, I remark, in regard to the first crisis of which I speak, it will be the ending of all our earthly associations. From all our commercial, all our social, all our political, all our religious, all our earthly associations, we will be snapped short off.

4. Again, I remark, in regard to that first crisis, it will be the ending of the day of grace. Before that, plenty of bright sabbaths, and golden communion days, and prayers, and sermons, and songs; but at that point a messenger from God will stand with uplifted hand, bidding all opportunities of salvation "Stand back!" But I have given you only half the text. Is there anything after that? When our physical life is extinct, are we done? No! I am immortal. "It is appointed unto men once to die, and after that the judgment."In that one word of eight letters are piled up harps and chains, palaces and dungeons, hallelujahs and wailings of eternity.

1. I remark, in regard to that second crisis, that it will be our physical reconstruction. Paul will get back his body without the thorn in the flesh; Payson his, without the pang; Robert Hall his, without the lifelong excruciation; Nero his; Robespierre his; Napoleon III. his; the sot his; the libertine his. Some of the bodies built up into unending rapture, some of them into unending pang.

2. I remark, again, in regard to that second crisis, that it will be the time of explanation. Why is it that the good have it hard and. the bad have it easy? Why that the Christian mother is deprived to-day of her only child, and the household of the godless left undisturbed? I appeal to the day of judgment. On that day God will be vindicated, and men will cry out, "He is right — everlastingly right!"

3. That last crisis, I remark, will be one also of scrutiny. I do not know how long the last trial will take, but I am very certain that all the past will rush through our recollection. And just imagine it, how that man, that woman will feel when displayed before him or her there shall be ten, twenty, thirty, or forty years of unimproved opportunities.

4. I remark, again, in regard to that crisis, that it will be one of irrevocable decision. If we lose our case in the Court of "Common Pleas," we take it to the "Circuit"; or, failing there, we take it to "Chancery," or "Supreme Court." If we are tried before a petit jury, and the case goes against us through some technicality of the law, we get a new trial. But, when the decision of the last day shall be given, there will be no appeal.

(T. De Witt Talmage.)

I. A SOLEMN EVENT — death and judgment.

II. THE GLORIOUS WORK OF CHRIST — He was offered to bear the sins of many.

III. THE FINAL AND TRIUMPHANT RESULTS — unto them that look for Him shall He appear a second time without sin, unto salvation.

(George Hall.)

I. THE SENTENCE OF DEATH. When it is said "once to die," a resurrection from the dead and life after death are implied. Otherwise, had death been the extinction of being, it would have been sufficient to have said simply "to die"; for what could have remained beyond it to render repetition possible? One awful truth is established — that, dying once, we can die no more. Whatsoever state, therefore, we enter, whether of happiness or of misery, is eternal.

II. THE SUMMONS TO JUDGMENT. The sin of another renders us liable to death; but associated with the last tribunal everything is personal. I shall be judged by myself, and must answer for myself. "So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God."

III. THE REVELATION OF LIFE. "So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many." "Offered" — behold here the character of His death. The whole argument of this Epistle is, that the death of Christ was a sacrifice. Connect whatever else with it you please, this is its leading feature — "to bear the sins of many." In what sense to bear their sins? Assuredly as their substitute, to suffer in their stead. "To bear the sins of many." It is clear that they are not few who shall be saved. Bigotry and party find no ground on which to place their foot here.

IV. THE RETURN OF THE SAVIOUR. "He shall appear the second time without sin," properly without a sin-offering. He appears not again to make an atonement for sin. For what purpose, then, shall He appear in all this glory the second time? "Unto salvation." To bring with Him the glorified spirits of His people; to raise their bodies from the grave, and to transform them into the likeness of His own, to give a public manifestation of their adoption, to place them upon His throne; and so shall they ever be with the Lord. To whom will this second appearance of our Lord Jesus Christ be fraught with such transcendant blessings? "Unto them that look for Him." In this fine figure of one watching until the day break and the shadows flee away, what lively faith, unyielding patience, established hope, fixed expectation, unslumbering vigilance, inextinguishable zeal, and ardent love, are implied! — all the graces of the Spirit in full exercise — all present ills swallowed up in the anticipation of the approaching crisis.

(W. B. Collyer, D. D.)

I. HERE WE SEE AN APPOINTMENT, A DECREE, A SENTENCE: WHEREIN FOUR CIRCUMSTANCES ARE TO BE OBSERVED.

1. By whom this appointment is made, namely, by God Almighty, in whom there is not a shadow of turning, and which is able to bring that to pass which He hath appointed. Men are mutable; they appoint and disappoint; it is not so with God; hath He said it, and shall He not do it? Therefore, as sure as God is in heaven, this appointment shall stand. Who at any time hath resisted His will? who can break His appointment?

2. What it is that is appointed — once to die. What is death? Properly to speak, it is a separation of the soul from the body.

3. There is an extraordinary dying, and an ordinary. Some have died twice, as Lazarus, and those that rose with Christ at His resurrection; but ordinarily it is appointed to all men once to die. It is not. appointed to all to be rich, wise, learned, but to die.

4. Why was this appointment made? Because of sin (Romans 5:12), "at what time thou eatest, thou shalt die the. death." Why are we afraid of the plague? Because it will kill us. Sin will kill both soul and body; therefore let us all be afraid to sin.

5. The persons to whom this appointment is made, to men — to all men. There is no man living but shall see death: it is appointed to kings to die, to dukes, earls, lords, knights, gentlemen, merchants, clothiers, husbandmen, to high and low, rich and poor, learned and unlearned. It is appointed to the ministers to die, and to the people; to the master, and servant; to the husband, and to the wife. We read of a woman that had seven husbands, they all died, and in the end the woman died also. None can avoid the stroke of death: the physicians that cure others, at the length die; the godly die; so good men and women die, as well as bad, as the faithful are sick as well as the unfaithful, so also they die as well as others.

II. DEATH GOES NOT ALONE, THERE IS ONE THAT FOLLOWS HER, AND THAT IS JUDGMENT. Judgment, either of absolution for the godly, or of condemnation for the wicked. If there were no. judgment after death, the godly of all others were most miserable; and if no judgment, the ungodly were the happiest men. The drunkard must give an account of his drunkenness, the covetous man how he hath employed his riches; we must give an account of our oppressions, thefts secret or open, of our negligent coming to church and contempt of the Word of God. Let this cause us with a narrow eye to look into our lives, let us judge ourselves in this world, that we be not condemned hereafter. Yet there be a number in the Church that think it a scarecrow, and make a mock at this judgment, as the Athenians did at the resurrection (Acts 17:32). Let it be a means to pull us from sin, and to make our peace with God in this world, that we may stand without trembling before the Son of man.

(W. Jones, D. D.)

I. This passage, beyond all its solemnity, DOES HONOUR TO MAN. It declares that death leaves his essential nature untouched. After death he is still man. No affection, no principle of human nature is lost.

II. These TWO APPEARANCES OF MAN CORRESPOND WITH THE TWO APPEARANCES OF CHRIST, the representative Man of the race. As Christ inherits to eternity what He acquired in His earthly humanity, so shall we.

III. Our brief planetary existence IS QUITE LONG ENOUGH FOR THE INNER, THE ESSENTIAL MAN, TO TAKE THE STAMP, SPIRIT, AND GENERAL CHARACTER OF HIS ENDLESS AFTER LIFE.

IV. In the present outer court or vestibule of our nature OUR ESSENTIAL HUMANITY IS IN PROCESS OF FORMATION. And who can fail to admire the justice and mercy of the Divine provision by which the hereditary nature, formed independently of our personal choice, is not permitted to be our final nature; but every man's final nature shall be the result of the choice and co-operation of his own will and personality.

V. A MAN IS UNDER NO ABSOLUTE NECESSITY OF CONSIDERING THE BEARINGS OF HIS PRESENT LIFE ON HIS FUTURE. It is not more time we want, but more will.

VI. Whether we are made out of heaven for heaven, or out of more dusky elements for the dusky world, WE SHALL HAVE TO KEEP OUR APPOINTMENT.

VII. By death we go into THE SEARCHING ROOM OF TRUTH. That will not harm us if we invite the truth to search us beforehand.

VIII. IT IS WISE AND FRIENDLY THAT TIME SHOULD CLOSE WITH US AND ETERNITY OPEN.

IX. TIME IS A SURPRISING MERCY BEFORE ETERNITY BEGINS.

X. EVERY MAN'S LOOK FORWARD DEPENDS ON HIS LOOK BACKWARD.

XI. IF THE HEAVENLY NATURE IS NOT IN US, IT IS IMPOSSIBLE THAT THE JUDGMENT OF GOD SHOULD PUT US INTO THE SOCIETY OF HEAVENLY PERSONS.

XII. YOU SHALL NOT BE ADJUDGED TO A PLACE OUTSIDE HEAVEN, UNLESS YOU ADJUDGE CHRIST TO A PLACE OUTSIDE YOUR SOULS.

(J. Punshon.)

There are few things which more strike a reflective mind, one which seriously ponders the relation of the creature to the moral Governor of the universe, than that the period of human probation should be so short, when compared with the period of recompense. There seems, at first sight, little or nothing of proportion between the thing done and the penalty incurred: and, accordingly, it is no unfrequent argument with those who wish to get rid of the plain statements of Scripture, that it cannot be just to visit the momentary gratification of a passion with everlasting pains, and that, therefore, there will come a termination of the torments of the lost. We need hardly pause to observe to you, that in every such reasoning there is a grievous forgetfulness of the very nature of sin, as committed against an infinite Being; for it is impossible that any sin should be inconsiderable, seeing that it offers violence to all the attributes of God, however insignificant it may appear in itself. But nevertheless, we are free to own, that had not Scripture been definite on the point, there would have seemed nothing wild in the supposition that men might be admitted to other states of probation, and that the whole of their eternity would not be made dependent on the single trial they pass through on earth. We do not know that we have a right to refer it to anything else but a Divine appointment, that those who fail in the single trial are not allowed to try again, so that no opportunity is afforded for endeavouring to retrieve what is lost: but certainly the statements of the Bible are sufficiently explicit, and leave no room for the supposition that the present life is to be followed by other periods of probation. "It is appointed unto men once to die, and after this the judgment"; and the judgment as delineated in the figures and assertions of Holy Writ, closes up God's dealings with the human race in its probationary character, and is followed by nothing but one interminable dispensation of happiness or misery. So that if there be but one death, and that one succeeded by the judgment, without the intervention of new seasons of trial, it is evident that man's portion for eternity is to be decided exclusively by what he now does on the earth: that in the brief space of his present life he is to lose or secure everlasting glory. And is there in this any just ground of complaint, anything that can be proved at variance with either the wisdom or mercy of God? We know that at first thought the persuasion will be, that if the appointment were somewhat less rigid — if men might die twice in place of only once, so that, having failed in the first trial, they might return to the second with all the experience derived from having actually entered the invisible world — there would be a vast increase in the numbers of the righteous; and we may possibly marvel that no further opportunity should be granted, when the result would be to throng heaven with a mightier multitude. But even if you put out of sight that sufficient has been done for every man in his present state of probation, we can have no right to wonder; and we see strong ground for question-in whether there would be any such increase in the number of the righteous as you are inclined to suppose. We rather think, if it had been appointed to men to die twice, far more would die eternally than now that it is appointed unto men to die once. If even now, when we tell you, if you die in your sins you are everlastingly lost, we are heard with indifference, what would it be if you had the thorough assurance that though you threw away the present opportunity, another would yet be vouchsafed? Indeed, if you could only die twice, we could hope to produce no moral impression on any man who had not yet died once. It is impossible to question, seeing that even under the present arrangement everybody is disposed to defer the work of repentance — it is impossible to question, that, with scarce an exception, men would put off seeking the Lord until after the first death; and the rarest thing on earth would be the spectacle of an individual who had resolved to forego the pleasures of sin, without waiting to undergo the second probation. So that we should have to seek the righteous almost exclusively among those upon whom the first death had passed. And here, perhaps, you think we should find them in great numbers. We do not think so. These men would enter upon their second season of probation, with a conscience hardened and seared by the despite done to God through the whole of their first. It is true, they would have been made to taste something of the recompence of sin, and that therefore they would be their own witnesses to the stern consequences of persisting in evil; but in a short time the testimony of sense wears away, and it becomes nothing more than the testimony of faith; and the man who is impervious to God's threatenings might easily become proof against his own recollections. And then you are to consider, that with this hardened conscience, and this ever-strengthening tendency to forgetfulness of their sufferings, they have before them the prospect of another long life, and therefore are as likely as ever to procrastinate. We now advance to the statements in the second verse of our text, between which and those of the first we are to search for such a correspondence as may justify the form of expression which the apostle adopts. It will not be necessary that we insist on the great doctrine of the atonement, which is evidently affirmed by the words under review. Without enlarging on points on which we may suppose you to be agreed, we shall lay the stress where the apostle seems to lay it, on the fact that "Christ was once offered" — a fact which is made to answer to the other, that "it is appointed unto men once to die." We wish you again especially to observe how the apostle sets these facts one against the other. You strip his expressions of all force, unless you suppose that the appointment of a single death proves in some way the sufficiency of a single sacrifice. Why was Christ offered but once? Because "it is appointed unto men once to die." St. Paul states in the one verse what was the condition of man, and to what he was exposed in consequence of sin, and then he shows in the other verse that Christ had done precisely what was needed in order to man's deliverance and happiness. The one verse is the law, requiring that man should die and be then eternally condemned; the other verse is the gospel, proclaiming an arrangement through which death is abolished, and judgment may issue in nothing but salvation. And by putting the one verse in contrast with the other, St. Paul affirms the precision with which the provisions of the gospel meet the demands of the law; the former so answering to the latter, as to prove them constructed for the purpose of setting man free. The whole appointment of vengeance might be gathered into two articles, the death and the judgment. This was the appalling sum of the penalties which man incurred by disobedience to God; it is appointed to him once to die, and after this the judgment. And then there stood forth a Surety for the lost, a Surety so capable of suffering in their stead, that by one offering of Himself, He could redeem the whole race from the curse which had fastened on both body and soul. Yea, and so confident have we a right to be in the extent of that love which was felt for human kind, that we may be sure that had a second sacrifice been necessary, a second sacrifice would not have been withheld; but there remained nothing that love with all its anxiety could suggest, which has not been done for the welfare of its objects. The one death of the Mediator threw life into the dead, and gaining for Him the office of Judge, secured the final acquittal of all that believe on His name. And therefore might the apostle glory in this one death, and magnify it in comparison with the altars and sacrifices of the Mosaic economy; therefore might he insist on the fact that Christ was to die only once, as overwhelming evidence of the awful dignity of the surety, for that myriads were to be quickened through one death — the past, the present, the future being alike pervaded by the energies of one expiatory act.

(H. Melvill, B. D.)

I. UNDER WHAT PRACTICAL NOTIONS WE SHOULD CONSIDER DEATH.

1. We should consider death as an event certain and inevitable, in consequence of the irreversible sentence once pronounced to our first parents, and, in them, to all succeeding generations.

2. We should consider death as an event removed at no great, though an uncertain, distance. For, how transitory is life! at the longest, how short! and at the best, how frail!

3. Again, we should consider death as an event that will consign us to an immediate state of happiness or misery.

II. THE UTILITY OF THE RELIGIOUS CONSIDERATION OF DEATH,

1. It discovers to us the unimportance and vanity of all temporal enjoyments; which, however satisfactory or delightful, are yet short and transitory. It evinces the indiscretion of an intemperate attachment to the world. It serves to extend our views, and elevate our desires.

2. It is the best guard of innocence and virtue. Temptations .surround us on all sides, to prevent which nothing can be more effectual than ,serious meditations on that eternity into which we must soon, and may suddenly, enter.

3. It is the best preparative for a comfortable death. Nothing dissipates the fears of death so much as due preparation for it; nothing so effectually disarms it of its terrors, as the consciousness of integrity.

(G. Carr, B. A.)

I. ALL THE ANTECEDENTS AND PRELIMINARIES OF DEATH ARE INCLUDED IN THE APPOINTMENT.

II. THIS APPOINTMENT, THOUGH UNIVERSAL, HAS VERY DIFFERENT ASPECTS.

III. THIS APPOINTMENT ILLUSTRATES THE WISDOM AND GOODNESS OF GOD.

IV. THIS APPOINTMENT SPEAKS INTELLIGIBLY AND IMPRESSIVELY TO ALL.

V. THIS APPOINTMENT EXERTS A MOST SALUTARY INFLUENCE ON THE EXPERIENCE OF THE BELIEVER.

VI. THIS APPOINTMENT DERIVES MUCH OF ITS SOLEMNITY FROM THE FACT THAT AFTER "DEATH THE JUDGMENT."

(J. Hewlett.)

I. That which I shall do, shall be, in an applicatory way, to make some REFLECTIONS UPON THE STUPIDITY OF MEN; who, though they know themselves mortal, yet thrust from themselves the thoughts of death, and neglect due preparations for it.

1. The generality of men are so immersed in the affairs and pleasures of life, that all serious thoughts of death and preparations for it are swallowed up by them.

2. Men put off the thoughts of death and their preparations for it, because they generally look upon it as afar off.

3. Men generally put off the thoughts of death and their preparation for it, because of those frightful terrors and that insupportable dread which such apprehensions bring with them.

II. The next thing shall be to lay down some CONSIDERATIONS, WHICH MAY FORE-ARM CHRISTIANS AGAINST THE FEARS AND TERRORS OF DEATH, and make them willing to submit unto this law of dying, unto which God hath subjected all men.

1. If the soul be immortal, as certainly it is, and that, parting from this, it enters upon a better life than this, we may well then be contented to die upon that account.

2. The whole life of a Christian is founded upon a hope that cannot be accomplished but by dying.

3. This death, though so much dreaded, is no other than a quiet sleep.

III. But now, beside this general appointment of God, that all shall die, there is a PARTICULAR APPOINTMENT, which reacheth to every particular circumstance of man's death; the time when, the manner how, we shall die. These are unalterably determined, in God's secret counsel.

IV. Let us now make some PRACTICAL IMPROVEMENT of this.

1. If God hath thus appointed us to die, let this then serve to convince us of the gross folly of setting our affections eagerly upon this present world, a world which we must shortly leave behind us.

2. Seeing by the appointment of God we must all shortly die, let us he persuaded to be always in a readiness and preparation for it.(1) Wean your hearts from an inordinate love of the world. Death must and will pluck you from it: and, oh! it will be a violent rending, if your affections be glued to it.(2) Would you be prepared for death? Beware, then, that you do not defer your repentance one day or hour longer, upon any presumption of the continuance of your life. Death depends not upon the warning of a sickness. God doth not always afford it; but, sometimes, He doth execution before He shoots off His warning-piece. And why may it not be so with you?(3) Live every day so, as if every day were your last and dying day, and the very next day allotted to you unto eternity. If it be not so, it is more than any of us know; and, since we have no assurance of one day or hour longer, it is but wisdom to look upon every day as that which may prove our very last.(4) Be constant in the exercise of a holy life, and always doing of that which you would be content Christ should find you doing when He comes to summon you before His bar.(5) Labour to get an assurance of a better life, and this will prepare you for a temporal death. When you and all things in the world must take leave of one another and part for ever, then to have the sense of the love of God, of an interest in Jesus Christ, and the sight of your own graces; these will bear up your heart in a dying hour: these things are immortal, as your souls are.

(Bp. E. Hopkins.)

I. CONSIDER DEATH AS AN :EVENT THE PERIOD OF WHICH IS UNCERTAIN.

II. A GOOD LIFE IS THE REST PREPARATION FOR DEATH. Every man dies as he lives; and it is by the general tenor of the life, not a particular frame of mind at the hour of death, that we are to be judged at the tribunal of God.

III. CONSIDER DEATH AS BECOMING PRESENT TO US. HOW will the closing eye contemplate the glitter of life, the evil of avarice, the bustling of ambition, and all this circle of vanity to which we are now enchanted?

IV. BY MAKING THE THOUGHT OF DEATH PRESENT TO US, LET US REGULATE OUR CONDUCT with respect to the friendships which we form, and concerning the animosities which we entertain. However some men choose to live, all men would wish to die at peace with their neighbours; there is no enmity in the grave.

(John Logan.)

I. IT IS APPOINTED UNTO MEN TO DIE. Man, then, is no exception to the universal doom, to the all-prevailing law of earthly life. We live in a dying world. At any time, under any circumstances, death is appalling. He is well called "the King of terrors." The dread of death crowns all our fears. He comes to the work of destruction blind, heartless, inexorable. All the approaches to death make it dreadful. The crowded way of pale disease, of corrupting beauty, of enfeebled powers, of grief and distressing care, of disconsolate old age, of life which enjoys life no longer, makes us dread death. For, if the way be such, what must it be to pass through that crowded gate. Moreover, dying is an utterly new experience, to be undergone alone, and not to be repeated. We cannot practise dying, nor can any one accompany us.

II. OUR TEXT, HOWEVER, MEETS THIS DREAD, RELIEVES THE DANKNESS AND FURNISHES GROUND FOR HOPE. It speaks of death as an "appointment" — a Divine appointment, also, of an "after-death." It, moreover, brings our death into relation with the death of Christ, and our "after-death" with "His coming again without sin unto salvation." Death, then, is not an end, still less is it simply a punishment.

III. Now LET US SEE THAT DEATH IS AN APPOINTMENT WHICH IS RETROSPECTIVE. The spirit in the full contents of its life looks back upon all opportunity and power, in relation to the possibilities of its being, as closed, and begins to learn from within what have been their use or abuse, and to anticipate their future consequences.

IV. FOR DEATH IS AN APPOINTMENT WHICH IS RETROSPECTIVE BECAUSE IT IS ALSO PROSPECTIVE. It looks back, and from the past determines the future. There is an after-death to which our moral nature points, of which it makes demands. Things do not appear on this side the grave in their true relations. Strange combinations present themselves, which are often held together simply by the force of circumstances and the necessities of our temporal forms of life, against which we often carry a deep inward protest. But death resolves all these false combinations and unrighteous alliances, and separates from us all that is foreign to our real life, and restores to us all that is truly ours.

(W. Pulsford, D. D.)

Why is there such awe in that brief word, "death"? It is not the mere loss of this life or its joys, which gives that start of fear. Loss we may grieve over! It does not give that piercing shock of personal fear. The poet truly said, "Conscience does make cowards of us all." For the apostle said, "The sting of death is sin." Hence was it that a brave man, sent on a forlorn hope, turned back to meet a disgraced death. Death confronted:him; one deadly unrepented sin flashed on his mind; he dared meet death; he dared not meet an unreconciled God. Why did the sight of the decayed remains of his pious and beautiful queen so affect the young Duke of Gandia (S. Francis Borgia), that for his thirty-three remaining years he never forgot that sight, and at once died to the world, that at his death he might live to God? Why, in our own days, did that chance glance at the morning dress laid aside for dinner, awakening the thought of our laying aside this our mortal frame, change in an -instant the whole current of the life of a noble convert, while yet young, and make him give his life, his all to God? What gives to death this solemn aspect? The answer is simple. We can but die once. Every error, negligence, ignorance, sin, can be, in some sort, undone. But if we fail in death, it cannot be repaired. All of life is summed up there. "It is appointed unto all men once to die, and after that" — what, a second trial? a second plank after shipwreck? a fresh use of all the experience of life? However any may act, you too know that God saith none of these things, but, "It is appointed unto all men once to die, but after that, the judgment.". But, because death is an act so alone, so single, so distinct and separate in its nature and its issue from all besides in life, does it therefore stand insulated? If one were to judge from the ways and words of mankind, it must surely be so. It is the one thing in this life, which is absolutely certain! All depends on it. Eternity hangs upon the moment of death; eternal bliss, eternal woe. And yet who prepares for it? The thought is an unwelcome guest, to whom men refuse entrance, if they can; if they cannot, they are fertile in excuses for dismissing him. They would fain never think of him, till he comes to carry them to judgment. We know that we must die. Why embitter life with the thought of it? And yet how should it be, that everything of moment in this life, which has to be done well, is to be studied, and that the weightiest act of all should need no study, no preparation? Is there no science of dying well? Life, will we, nill we, is the preparation for death. We liltSS, but to die. Our death is not the end only, it is the object of our life. Time and eternity meet in that one point. As we are in that last moment of time, such are we throughout eternity. How then can we prepare for that moment, upon which our all hangs, and in which we can do so little, nay, in which almost all must be done for us? What can men do then mostly, but repeat what they have done before? Good, if by God's grace they are done sincerely; comforts to survivors. But are such few acts, even if God continue the grace to do them, are such few acts the turning-points of life and death? Would they replace a wasted life? Would they efface whole multitudes of lifelong sins? Death has a great work for grace to do, in itself, without weighting it with a work not its own. Every sort of death has its own trials. It has become a sort of proverb, "The ruling passion strong in death." What, if that ruling passion have been something antagonistic to simplicity of character, to the tranquil workings of grace? What if it have been vainglory, or love of praise, or vanity, or impatience, or love of ease, or again disputing, or censoriousness, what pitfalls there yawn on all sides for us, what opening in our armour (if spiritual armour we have) for Satan's deadly thrusts, what occasions for unreality, in the face of the truth itself, for loss of faith when faith is our all; for murmuring against Divine justice when about to appear at its bar! Probably those evil deaths after specious lives have had this in common, that it was the evil passion to which such men had often secretly given way, a smothered, smouldering, but unextinguished fire, which burst out at last and destroyed them. I have known of relapse into the deadly accustomed sin on the bed of death. Since then death has enough of trial in itself for the grace of God to master, since those trials are aggravated by all unconquered evil in our whole life, since a good death is the object of our life, and such as we are in life, such we shall almost surely be in death, and what we are in death, such we shall certainly be in all eternity, what remains but that we make all our life a preparation for eternity? Heathen wisdom saw a gleam of this. "Who closes best his last day?" one was asked. "He who ever set before him, that the last day of life was imminent." Not without inspiration of God was that counsel, "In all thy works remember thy end, and thou shalt never do amiss." It was a good old-fashioned practice, morning by morning, to think of the four last things, death, judgment, heaven, hell, and to pray to live that day as one would wish to have lived when the last day came. Every day is a part of our death, and enters into it. For death, which sums up all, gathers into one the results of each of our days; and each day as we live well or ill, through the grace of God or our own fault, is the earnest of many like days beyond. It is a stern nakedness of truth, stern only because it is so true: "He is not worthy to be called a Christian, who lives in that state wherein he would fear to die." For nothing makes death fearful except the fear of all fears, lest we be separated from Christ.

(E. B. Pusey, . D. D.)

1. When men come to die, they are wont to feel, with a vividness of impression wholly unknown before, the shortness of life and the unspeakable value of time. Lord Chesterfield, though a sceptic, and devoted to a life of pleasure, was compelled to say, near the close of his days, "When I reflect upon what I have seen, what I have heard, and what I have done, I can hardly persuade myself that all the frivolous hurry and bustle and pleasure of the world are a reality; but they seem to have been the dreams of restless nights." Voltaire, after having spent a long life in blaspheming the Saviour and opposing His gospel, said to his physician on his dying bed, "I will give you half of what I am worth, if you will give me six months of life." "O time! time!" exclaimed the dying Altamont; "how art thou fled for ever! A month! oh, for a single week! I ask not for years, though an age were too little for the much I have to do." Said Gibbon, "The present is a fleeting moment, the past is no more, and my prospect of futurity is dark and doubtful." Hobbes said, as the last hour approached, "If I bad the whole world to dispose of, I would give it to live one day." "Oh! " cried the Duke of Buckingham, as he was closing a life devoted to folly and sin," what a prodigal I have been of the most valuable of all possessions — time! I have squandered it away with the persuasion that it was lasting; and, now, when a few days would be worth a heatcomb of worlds, I cannot flatter myself with the prospect of half a dozen hours.

2. Another confession which is wont to be made by dying men is that there is nothing in this world that can satisfy the wants of the immortal soul. When Salmasius, one of the greatest scholars of his time, drew near to death, he exclaimed bitterly against himself — "Oh, I have lost a world of time; time, the most precious thing on the earth, whereof if I had but one year more, it should be spent in David's Psalms and Paul's Epistles. Oh, mind the world less and God more!" Grotius possessed the finest genius ever recorded of a youth in the learned world, and rose to an eminence in literature and science which drew upon him the admiration of all Europe; yet after all his attainments and high reputation, he was constrained at last to cry out — "Ah, I have consumed my life in a laborious doing of nothing! I would give all my learning and honour for the plain integrity of John Urick" — a poor man of eminent piety. Sir John Mason, on his deathbed, said — "I have lived to see five princes, and have been privy counsellor to four of them; I have seen the most important things in foreign parts, and have been present at most state transactions for thirty years together; and I have learned, after so many years' experience, that seriousness is the greatest wisdom, temperance the best physic, and a good conscience the best estate. And were I to live again I would change the whole life I have lived in the palace, for an hour's enjoyment of God in the chapel." Philip, the third king of Spain, when he drew near the end of his days, expressed his deep regret for a worldly and careless life in these emphatic words — "Ah, how happy it would have been for me had I spent these twenty-three years I have held my kingdom, in retirement." "Good God!" exclaimed a dying nobleman, "how have I employed myself! In what delirium has my life been passed! What have I been doing while the sun in its race and the stars in their courses have lent their beams, perhaps, only to light me to perdition! I have pursued shadows, and entertained myself with dreams. I have been treasuring up dust, and sporting myself with the wind. I might have grazed with the beasts of the field, or sung with the winged inhabitants of the woods, to much better purpose than any for which I have lived."

3. When men are laid upon a dying bed they are wont to feel and to acknowledge the utter insufficiency of a mere moral life to prepare them to appear in the presence of God. "It is not giving up my breath," said the nobleman before referred to, "it is not being for ever insensible, that is the thought at which I shrink; it is the terrible hereafter, the something beyond the grave, at which I recoil. Those great realities which in the hours of mirth and vanity I have treated as phantoms, as the idle dreams of superstitious beings, these start forth and dare me now in their most terrible demonstrations." "Oh, my friends," exclaimed the pious Janeway, we "little think what Christ is worth on a death-bed. I would not now for a world, nay, for millions of worlds, be without Christ and pardon." "God might justly condemn me," said Richard Baxter, "for the best deeds I ever did, and all my hopes are from the free mercy of God in Christ." Said the meek and learned Hooker, as he approached his end: "Though I have by His grace loved God in my youth and feared Him in my age, and laboured to have a conscience void of offence to Him and to all men, yet, if Thou, O Lord, be extreme to mark what I have done amiss, who can abide it? And, therefore, where I have failed, show mercy to me, for I plead not my righteousness, but the forgiveness of my unrighteousness, for His merits who died to purchase pardon for penitent sinners." Such too were the feelings of our own venerated Hooker in his dying hour. To a friend who said to him, "Sir, you are going to receive the reward of your labours," he replied, "Brother, I am going to receive mercy." And not to mention other examples under this head, let me refer to the case of Dr. Johnson. He was a moral man; but his morality could not soften the terrors of a death-bed, nor give him the least peace in prospect of meeting his Judge. When a friend, to calm his agitated mind, referred him to his correct morals and useful life for topics of consolation, he put them away as nothing worth, and in bitterness of soul exclaimed, "Shall I, who have been a teacher of others, be myself cast away?" This great man had not then fled for refuge to the blood of atonement, as he afterwards did; and, therefore, notwithstanding his moral and useful life, he was afraid to die, and all beyond the grave looked dark and gloomy to him. And so it must look to all who come to the dying hour with no better preparation than is furnished in a moral life.

4. Men at the hour of death are constrained to acknowledge the folly and guilt of an irreligious life, and the supreme importance of a saving interest in the Lord Jesus Christ. Whatever apologies are made in the days of health and prosperity for the neglect, of religion, those apologies are found utterly worthless on a death-bed, and are renounced as vain and delusive. Religion is then felt to be indeed the one thing needful, and the whole earth too poor to be given in exchange for the soul. None find peace and hope in that hour but those who have fled for refuge to lay hold on the hope set before them in the gospel. The world retires then, and leaves its wretched votaries in poverty and despair. But heaven comes near to sustain and comfort the faithful servants of God; and they feel that an interest in Christ is of more value than a thousand worlds like this. Look at Enoch walking with God, who through faith was exempted from death, and was not, for God took him; at David comforting himself in the close of life in the assurance that God had made an everlasting covenant with him, ordered in all things and sure; at Paul joyfully declaring in the near view of death, "I know in whom I have believed"; at the dying missionary, Ziegenbalger, exclaiming, "Washed from my sins in the blood of Christ, and clothed with His righteousness, I shall enter into His eternal kingdom"; at Swartz sweetly singing his soul away to everlasting bliss; at Baxter, saying, amid the sinkings of nature, "I am almost well"; at Owen lifting up his eyes and his hands as in a kind of rapture, and exclaiming to a friend, "Oh, brother, the long looked for day is come at last, in which I shall see the glory of Christ in another manner than I have ever yet done"; at Edwards comforting his family, as they stood around his dying bed, with the memorable words, "Trust in God, and you have nothing to fear"; at Martyn in the solitudes of Persia, writing thus s few days before his death — "I sat alone, and thought with sweet comfort and peace of God, in solitude my company, my friend, and comforter"; at Dwight exclaiming, when the seventeenth chapter of John was' read to him, "Oh, what triumphant truths!"; at Evarts shouting "Glory! Jesus reigns! " as he closed his eyes on death; at Payson uttering the language of assurance, as he grappled with his last enemy — "The battle is fought! the battle is fought! and the victory is won for ever!" In a word, look at the great cloud of witnesses, who in the faith of Jesus have triumphed over death and the grave, and peacefully closed their eyes on this world in joyful hope of opening them in another and a better, and you will learn in what estimation religion is held, when the scenes of earth are retiring, and those of eternity are opening upon the vision of dying men. Think of it as we may, while the event is viewed as future and distant, we shall all find, when the last hour comes, that it is indeed a serious matter to die. A future state, said the Duke of Buckingham, dying in despair, may well strike terror into a man who has not acted well in life; and he must have an uncommon share of courage indeed who does not shrink at the presence of God. And even Lord Chesterfield, sceptic and devotee of pleasure as he was, was compelled to acknowledge, as the closing scene drew on, "When one does see death near, let the best or the worst people say what they please, it is a serious consideration." "Remorse for the past," exclaimed the dying Altamont, "throws my thoughts on the future. Worse dread of the future strikes them back on the past. I turn and turn, and find no ray of light. Death is knocking at my doors; in a few hours more I shall draw my last gasp; and then the judgment, the tremendous judgment! How shall I appear, all unprepared as I am, before the all-knowing and omnipotent God?" "O eternity, eternity," cried the distracted Newport, as he lay upon his death-bed, contemplating the solemn scenes before him, "who can paraphrase on the words for ever and ever?" Such are the confessions that are wont to be made by dying men; such the feelings and thoughts that crowd upon the mind as the last hour approaches. And in view of them we may remark:

1. They are founded in truth; there is just cause for them It is true that life is short, and that time is of infinite value. It is true that this world contains nothing which can satisfy the wants of the immortal mind. It is true that a moral life is utterly insufficient as a preparation for death and the judgment. It is true that an irreligious life is a life of extreme folly and presumption, and that a saving interest in Christ is a matter of supreme importance to every living man. And the wonder is, not that dying men should feel these things to be true, and be deeply affected by them, but that living men should treat them with indifference.

2. That many of my hearers will, in a short time, view the subject in a very different light from that in which they now contemplate it. Some of you are young, and in the buoyant feelings of youth and health scarcely think it possible that you may soon be called to death and the judgment. Some of you are profoundly careless of your immortal well-being, and are so enamoured of the things of the world that you seldom think of your latter end. Others of you are perhaps sceptical as to the reality of a change of heart to fit you for the closing scene; others of you still, who bear the Christian name, are probably deceived as to the ground of your hope, or are living in a state of backsliding from God, awfully unprepared for His summons to leave the world. To all such the Son of man is likely to come in an hour they think not of; and when He comes, they will be thrown into fearful consternation, and the dreams with which they are now deluded will vanish for ever.

3. It is the part of true wisdom to cherish those views and feelings now, which we know we shall regard as of supreme importance when we come to die. Why should any spend life in treasuring materials for sorrow, disappointment, and despair in the dying hour? Why should any gather food for the worm that never dies, or fuel for the fire that is never quenched?

4. The confessions of dying men are of no avail, only as they indicate the folly of sin and the value of religion. They do not change the character — they do not fit the soul for death or for heaven. The strong bands of sin are not so dissolved, nor is it so that the love of God and Christ is inspired in the bosom, and mettness acquired for a place among the redeemed in heaven. Be wise, then, in this your day, to attend to the things which belong to your peace, lest they be hid for ever from your eyes. Go learn the value of religion in the peaceful and triumphant death of those that die in the Lord; go learn its value in the remorse and despair of those that die in neglect of Christ and His salvation.

(J. Hawes, D. D.)

1. Consider the statement in itself. It affirms a universal law. "What man is he that liveth and shall not see death?"

2. How are we to account for this great law?(1) It is, says our science, a law of nature: it is an inevitable incident in the chemical development of animal organism. From the moment of our birth we carry within us the seeds, the secrets of our dissolution. The operation of the law may be delayed by precautions which interrupt the action of the causes which would more immediately precipitate it: it may be prematurely enforced through the rapid development of some latent poison or weakness in the system; but in the end will have its way anyhow.(2) It is, says faith, a law of religion. I had better said, it is a law of the Divine government. We do not deny that death is the term of a process which the chemistry of the human body renders inevitable, because we also see in it a great moral act of the living God, a fact which belongs, in all its highest aspects, purely to the spiritual, to the supersensuous world. Death, it has been finely said by a modern writer, is the very masterpiece of the Divine justice. It is not merely a consequence, it is a measure, of sin. It is God's way of tracing out, as if before our very eyes, what, in His judgment, sin is, because sin has lodged itself in the inmost recesses of our complex being, where spirit and body find their unseen, their unimagined, point of unity, and so is transmitted with the inheritance of life from sire to son. Therefore, we may dare to say, it was necessary, if sin was to be exposed and vanquished, if it was to be torn forth by the very roots, from the nature with which it was so mercilessly interwoven, that God should sever the most secret bonds which unite soul and body — that He should break up this mould of life which had been so deeply dishonoured in the interests of His enemy. And yet in doing this He was only letting sin take its natural course, for sin is in its essence the germ of death. Death is merely the prolongation into the sphere of physical existence of that disorganisation which sin induces into the sphere of spirit. Death is destruction spreading downwards from a higher to a lower department of being, like a fire which has broken out in the upper story of a palace, and which goes on to enwrap in its fury the floors beneath.

3. The practical bearings of this appointment to die. It teaches us our highest work in this life. We live that we may prepare to die. There are four lines of preparation.(1) There is the discipline of resignation. It may seem hard to part with so many friends, so many interests, so much work, so many hopes, so many enthusiasms. But there is no help for it, and it is better, for our own sakes, and still more for the honour of our God, that we should bow to the inevitable.(2) There is the discipline of repentance.(3) There is the training of prayer — I should speak more accurately — of worship. When we pray, really shutting out the things and thoughts of time, cleansing the inner temple of the soul; when we behold the realities over which death has no power, the realities which have no relation to time — the everlasting throne, the unceasing intercession — we are not only insensibly suffused with the light which streams down from that other world; we learn here upon earth how to behave ourselves in that majestic presence; we learn the manners of another climate, the habits of another society, before our time. And this worship is a training for death.(4) There is the discipline of voluntary sacrifice. By sacrifice man does not merely learn to await death; he goes out to welcome it. He learns how to transfigure a stern necessity into the sublimest of virtues. His life is not simply to be taken from him: he will have the privilege of offering it to God; for each true act of sacrifice, each surrender, whether in will or in act, of self, carries with it the implied power of controlling the whole being, not merely on ordinary occasions, but at the crisis, at the trial time of destiny. Like his Lord, the Christian must, by many a free surrender of that which he desires, or of that which he loves, prepare himself for the last great act which awaits him when, anticipating, controlling the final struggle, the last agony, the rent, the pang of separation between his body and his soul, he will exclaim with the Redeemer, "Into Thy hands, O Father, I commend my spirit"; but he will add, because he is a sinner — a redeemed sinner — "for Thou hast redeemed me, O Lord God of Truth."

(Canon Liddon.)

The fact that God has chosen us to salvation does not make us careless of the means of salvation; so the fact that God has fixed the day, the hour, and the mode of my death, will not make me less attentive to the duties that devolve upon me as a rational, a sensible and a reasonable being. And the practical fact that we find, wherever that thought is cherished, is, that they who believe it most strictly are most attentive to present duties, but most fearless of possible perils.

(J. Cumming, D. D.)

I had an interview with death. The place, a lonely dell, winter-bound, swathed in spotless snow. The time, new-risen morn; the last star paling, as if in fear, retired, but not extinguished. A spirit strengthened me to brave the enemy of life, and gave me courage to upbraid his cruelty. My speech I do remember well, and death's reply. Said I, in heightened tone, as if to keep uncertain courage steadfast and ardent: "Monster, of thee no man speaks well. Thy silent tread makes the house tremble, and in thy cold breath all flowers die. No little child is safe from death's all-withering touch: nor mothers dost thou spare, nor lovers weaving life's story into coloured dream, nor saints in lowly prayer. Why not content thyself with warring and succeeding in the gloomy jungle? Smite the tiger crouching for his prey, or the lion in his fierceness, or fly after the punting wolf, or lodge an arrow in the heart of the proud eagle. Why devastate our homes? Why kill our little ones? Why break our hearts and mock our thirst with the brine of useless tears? O death! I would that thou wert dead." Then death answered me, and filled me with amaze. "Believe me," said the weird defendant, "thy reasoning is false, thy reproach an unintelligent assault." His voice was gentle, and through all his pallor there gleamed the outline of a smile. I saw transfigured death. "I am God's servant. The flock must be brought home. I go to bring the wanderers to the fold. The lambs are God's, not yours; or yours but to watch and tend until He sends for them. Through your own fatherhood read God's heart. Through your own watching for the child's return conceive the thought that glows in love Divine." He paused. Said I: "Could not some brighter messenger be sent? An angel with sunlight in his eyes and music in his voice? Thou dost affright us so, and make us die so oft in dying once. If our mother could but come, or some kindred soul, or old pastor, whose voice we know; any but thou, so cold, so grim." "I understand thee well," said death, "but thou dost not understand thyself. Why does God send this cold snow before the spring? Why icebergs first, then daffodils? My grimness, too, thou dost not comprehend. The living have never seen me. Only the dying can see death. I am but a mask. The angel thou dost pine for is behind. Sometimes angel-mother, sometimes father, sometimes a vanished love, but always, to the good and true, the very image of the Christ. No more revile me. I am a visored friend." The dell was then transformed. The snow gleamed like silver. The day a cloudless blue. And suddenly living images filled the translucent space. And then I asked of death if he could tell whence came they? And he said: "These are mine. A reaper I, as well as shepherd. I put in the sharp sickle; I bound the sheaves; I garnered the precious harvest; and when I come angels sing 'Harvest home.'"

(J. Parker, D. D.)

A beautiful story is told of Buddha and a poor woman who came to ask him if there was any medicine which would bring back to life her dead child. When he saw her distress he spoke tenderly to her, and he told her that there was one thing which might cure her son. He bade her bring him a handful of mustard seed, common mustard seed; only he charged her to bring it from some house where neither father or mother, child nor servant had died. So the woman took her dead baby in her arms, and went from door to door asking for the mustard seed, and gladly was it given to her; but when she asked whether any had died in that house, each one made the same sad answer "I have lost my husband," or "My child is dead," or "Our servant has died." So with a heavy heart the woman went back to Buddha, and told him how she had failed to get the mustard seed, for that she could not find a single house where none had died. Then Buddha showed her lovingly that she must learn not to think of her own grief alone, but must remember the griefs of others, seeing that all alike are sharers in sorrow and death.

(Heralds of the Cross.)

Prepare to die whilst you are in health. It is an ill time to calk the ship when at sea, tumbling up and down in a storm: this should have been looked to when she was in port. And as bad is it to begin and trim a soul for heaven when tossing on a sick bed. Things that are done in a hurry are seldom done well. Those poor creatures, I fear, go in an ill dress into another world who begin to provide for it when they are dying but alas, they must go, though they have not time to put on proper clothes.

(W. Gurnall.)

There was a young man who once went to the city of Rome. He was an intense student. He had studied by the midnight lamp until his face was pale and his eyes were dim, and as he passed along the streets of Rome, he met one who asked him wherefore he had come. The young man replied: "I have come that I may improve and .have opportunities for reading." "And when you have done that, what then?" The youth's eye brightened with the instinctive ardour of youth, as he said, "Who can tell? I may become a bishop." "And when you have become a bishop, what then?" It seemed almost a vain thing, but still elasticity and youthful hope were there; and he said, "I may become a cardinal." "And when you become a cardinal, what then?" "It seems almost madness." was the reply, "but who can tell? I may become Pope." "And when you have become Pope, what then?" Poor lad! he had got to the end, and he said, "Well, I suppose I must die." "Ah!" said the wise old man, "first get ready for that which must be, and afterwards for that which may be. You may be a bishop; you must die. You may be a cardinal; you must die. You may be Pope; but you must die. First make ready for that which must be." That was wise advice.

(S. Coley.)

A good old man who used to go about doing good in the Tasmanian "bush" stood, shortly before his death, in a small country place of worship to preach the gospel. In the course of his simple address he pulled out a large watch which had long been his faithful companion. "This watch of mine," said he, "has been going for many years — tick, tick, tick. It is one of the old-fashioned sort and a real trusty one, but it stopped the other day, and has refused to go again. Now, I have lived to old age, healthy and well for the most part: my heart has been beating and my pulse throbbing — tick, tick, tick — "very much like the watch; but I shall stop some day, and be numbered with the dead." From the way in which the earnest pastor uttered those words, his little congregation knew he spake as a dying man to dying men, and that he realised that he was as likely to go as any. Hence the power which accompanied the exhortation that followed.

(Thos. Spurgeon.)

John Asgill distinguished himself by maintaining in a treatise, now forgotten, that death is no natural necessity, and that to escape it is within the range of the humanly practicable. But Asgill's biography, like every other, has for a last page the inevitable "And he died."

(Francis Jacox.)

Persian proverb.
Death is a black camel which kneels at every door.

(Persian proverb.)

Death hath ten thousand several doors for men to take their exits.

(John Webster.)

Death is like a postman, who knocks alike at the door of rich and poor; and brings to this man wedding cards, and to his neighbour a funeral envelope; to one the pleasant news that his richly-laden vessel has arrived in port, and to another tidings of disaster and bankruptcy.

Death is the liberator of him whom freedom cannot release, the physician of him whom medicine cannot cure, and the comforter of him whom time cannot console.

(C. Colton.)

Daniel Webster once attended church in a quiet country village. The clergyman was a simple-hearted, pious old man, who rose and named his text with the utmost simplicity. He then said, "My friends, we can die but once!" — and paused. Said Webster: "Frigid and weak as these words might seem at first, they were to me among the most impressive and awakening I ever heard. I never felt so sensibly that I must die at all as when that devout old man told me I could die but once."

There is a fig-tree in India, the branches of which, after growing to a certain height, bend, and grow down into the ground. This tree is a symbol of every human life. From the dust we came, and to the dust we return.

It is said of the celebrated Caesar Borgia, that in his last moments he exclaimed, "I have provided, in the course of my life, for everything except death; and now, alas! I am to die, although entirely unprepared."

After this the judgment.
I. THE CERTAINTY OF JUDGMENT TO COME. TO get rid of the doctrine, a man must plunge into the gloomy absurdities of atheism. And is he safe there? He has conscience still left; he is rebuked for sin. There is its premonition. What passes thus in the court of conscience, may be called a kind of petty session, before the great assize, when the Judge shall come and call the nations round His bar.

II. THE TIME OF JUDGMENT. At the end of the world. What epithets are attached to this "day" in Scripture! In some places it is called "that day." As if there were no other day. The day of days. In other places it is called "the day of Christ," the "day of the revelation of Christ"; to intimate that it is the day on which publicly He will be manifested in all His glory, as " the great God and our Saviour." It is called in other places " the day of the revelation of God's righteous judgment." Intimating that then the principles of His moral government are to be exposed and vindicated. In another passage it is called " the day of wrath." The impenitent sinner is said to be "treasuring up unto himself wrath against the day of wrath." It is called in other places "the last day." The close of time; the world's dying day.

III. THE JUDGE. To call rational creatures to account for their conduct, with a view to final retribution, implies that they are the subjects of Him who thus deals with them. It is an act of authority, therefore, over them which belongs exclusively to God. .And God has not only right, not only authority, but every qualification for calling us into judgment. Dwell upon His attributes. He is not only omnipresent, but He is omniscient. All their history, their lives, their words, their thoughts, their feelings. He is omnipotent. He can arrest the sinner. Where will the sinner go, and the hand of God cannot reach him? Then think of His justice. His award must be right. Power cannot awe Him; wealth cannot bribe Him; cunning cannot deceive Him. God is to be Judge. But the Father has delegated this awful commission to the Son. It is part of His mediatorial reward, as God-Man, to judge the world. And how fit that He, who to redeem the world assumed human nature, should in that human nature judge the world! How congruous, that He who came to fulfil the covenant of grace, should be Judge of those who have been placed under it!

IV. WHO ARE TO BE JUDGED? "All." All kings and their subjects; all pastors and their flocks. All; the great and the small.

V. FOR WHAT THEY WILL BE JUDGED. Everything. You must account for all your privileges. Your Bible; your minister; your sabbaths; your sermons; your sacraments. Your religious parents. Your judgment; your conscience; your memory. Your bodies; all the organs of sense. You must be judged as to your actions. All your secret actions; the deeds which many of you would be glad to forget. For your words. Your slanderous words; your impure words; your malicious words; your false words. The judgment will go further: it will go to the heart. The heart makes the character; motive gives character to action; it is as a man feels and purposes, that he is. There are a thousand thoughts for one action. And all those thoughts are to be brought into judgment. The secrets of all hearts are to be laid open. Oh! who would like to be known for an hour? What, then, must it be to have the life, the history of the heart, laid open? You must be judged, not only for what you have done, but for what you have not done. You are to be judged for your property. And for your influence. Influence is a talent, and we must give account of it to God.

(J. A. James.)

Homilist.
I. THERE ARE FACTS IN MATERIAL NATURE WHICH SUGGEST FUTURE RETRIBUTION FOR PRESENT WRONG.

1. The connection of suffering with transgression.

2. The power to adjust disturbances.

3. The frequent adjournment of punishment to a future time.

II. THERE ARE FACTS IN HUMAN SOCIETY WHICH SUGGEST FUTURE RETRIBUTION FOR PRESENT WRONG.

1. All society implies laws: laws imply penalties.

2. In society the penalties of broken laws are often adjourned.

III. THERE ARE FACTS IN MAN'S SPIRITUAL CONSTITUTION WHICH SUGGEST FUTURE RETRIBUTION FOR PRESENT WRONG.

1. There is a principle in the human soul which reproduces the past.

(1)In actions.

(2)In memory.

2. There is a principle in the human soul which excites forebodements of the future.

(Homilist.)

I. WE HAVE THREE DIRECTIONS TO GIVE YOU.

1. Our first direction regards the argument taken from the disorders of society. Do not confine your attention to those disorders which strike the senses, astonish reason, and subvert faith itself Reflect on other irregularities which, although they are less shocking to sense,. are yet no less deserving the attention of the Judge of the whole earth, and require-a future judgment. Have human laws been ever made against hypocrites? See that man artfully covering himself with the veil of religion, that hypocrite, who excels in his art! See his vivacity — or his flaming zeal, shall I call it? — to maintain the doctrines of religion, and to pour out anathemas against heretics! Not one grain of religion, not the least shadow of piety in all his whole conversation. It is a party-spirit, or a sordid interest, or a barbarous disposition to revenge, which produces all his pretended piety. And the justice of God, what is it doing? My text tells you, "After death comes judgment." Have human laws been ever made against the ungrateful? Who shall punish this black crime? I answer again, "After death comes judgment." Have men made laws against cowards? I do not mean cowardice in war; the infamy that follows this crime is a just punishment of it. I speak of that mean cowardice of soul which makes a man forsake an oppressed innocent sufferer, and keep a criminal silence in regard to the oppressor. Pursue this train of thought, and ye will everywhere find arguments for a future judgment; because there will everywhere appear disorders which establish the necessity of it.

2. Our second direction regards the argument taken from conscience. Conscience is that faculty of our minds by which we are able to distinguish right from wrong, and to know whether we neglect our duties or discharge them. The judgment that constitutes the nature of conscience is founded on three principles, either fully demonstrable, or barely probable. First, I am in a state of dependence. Second, there is a supreme law; or what is the same thing, there is something right and something wrong. Third, I am either innocent or guilty. On these three principles an intelligent spirit grounds a judgment, whether it deserves to be happy or miserable; it rejoiceth if it deserve to be happy; it mourns if it deserve to be miserable; and this judgment, and this joy, or sorrow, which results from it, constitutes what we call conscience.

3. Our third direction concerns the proof taken from revelation.

II. BUT WHAT SHALL BE THE DESTINY OF THIS AUDIENCE?

1. We shall be judged as having lived under an economy of light. We shall be judged according to what is clear in the gospel itself; and not according to what is abstruse and impenetrable in the systems of the schools. But if this truth be comfortable to good people, it is also terrifying to people of an opposite character. Ye will be judged as reasonable beings, who had it in their power to discover truth and virtue.

2. We shall be judged as having lived under an economy of proportion; I mean to say, the virtues, which God requireth of us under the gospel, are proportioned to the faculties that He hath given us to perform them. Endeavours to be perfect will be accounted perfection. This very law of proportion, which will regulate the judgment of us, will overwhelm the wicked with misery. It is always an aggravation of a misery to reflect that we might have avoided it, and that we brought it upon ourselves.

3. We shall be judged as having lived under an economy of mercy. What can be more capable, at once, of comforting a good man against an excessive fear of judgment, and of arousing a bad man from his fatal security?

(J. Saurin.)

I. A judgment to come, or a future state, may be PROVED FROM REASON, OR THE PRINCIPLES OF NATURE. And hence it was, that every sect of men that did prescribe morality, did teach an afterlife. Nothing was more generally believed among the heathens. Their tribunal below, where three most severe judges were appointed, meant the same thing with our last judgment; their elysian fields were but a poetical paradise; their Phlegethon, or river of fire, was set to express our lake of fire and brimstone. The notion of future judgment is so obvious to the capacity of every natural man, that when St. Paul (Acts 24:25) reasoned about it, Felix, though a heathen, trembled at it. The certainty whereof may appear to any considerative man from these three things —

1. The unequal distribution of rewards and punishments in this world.

2. Those natural hopes and expectations which good men have of a state of perfect happiness.

3. Those natural fears which wicked, men usually have of a state of torment.

II. FROM SCRIPTURE AND DIVINE REVELATION. The principal evidence, therefore, of a future judgment is to be found in (2 Corinthians 5:10; 2 Timothy 1:10).

1. The great Judge of heaven and earth hath clear knowledge.

2. Entire justice in God is no quality, that may be got and lost again; but His very nature and essence. And can there flow any injustice from the pure fountain of justice? (Genesis 18:25.)

3. A third property of the Judge of all the earth, which may render Him terrible to as, is His uncontrollable power, which no earthly judge can pretend to. For though man by sin runs away from his God, yet he is still in His chain; and though he may have put on the devil's livery, yet he is still within the verge and reach of God's power, who can deliver him up to Satan, and make his new master whom he serves his gaoler, his executioner. When Popilius, by order of the Roman Senate, required Antiochus to withdraw his army from the king of Egypt, and he desired time to deliberate upon it, Popilius drew a circle about him with his wand, and said, "Give me your answer and final resolution, which I may return to the Senate, before you stir out of this circle." The day of judgment is making its approaches towards you, and you must now, before you go out of the circle of this world, resolve whether you will withdraw from the service of sin and Satan, and thereby make it prove to you a joyful and a happy day.

(R. Neville, B. D.)

To the Father who created us, the Son "who redeemed us, the Holy Ghost who dwelleth in us, we have to give account, not merely by the enactment of a positive law, but by the declaration of an eternal necessity, which forbids the divorce of responsibility from the consciousness of privilege and power. And this is ours, not as being atoms merged in the corporate ,existence and workings of the Church, but as presented individually to Him with whom we have to do; brought face to face with Him at every turn of life; either consciously walking with Him, like the Prophet of the patriarchal world, or less consciously watched by a Divine Presence which we only recognise when it thwarts us, like the angel whom Balaam had not at first his eyes open to see. There is a general way of recognising this, which easily admits it, but with little fruit. But we further trace the lesson into its details; and confess ourselves accountable for the possession and the use of every one of those separate gifts which form or adorn the master of this world and heir of the next —

1. Whether it be intellect — given us to comprehend, in a measure, that which passes comprehension in the deep things of God; — yet, when unsanctified, the characteristic attribute of the enemy of God.

2. Or speech — our glory, the best member that we have, when consecrated to the praises of God and to the proclamation of His will; — yet in its misuse a fire, a world of iniquity, defiling the whole body, setting on fire the course of nature, itself set on fire of hell; made to bless God, used to curse men.

3. Or time — the stuff that our lives are made of, the seed-field in which we are permitted to sow for eternity; given us for work, thought, prayer; given to carry us on from strength to strength till we appear before the God of gods in Sion; — but wasted, it may be, abused in vanities and pleasures which perish in the using, in raking together stones for the tomb of our sepulture, or faggots for the fire that is to burn us.

4. Or money — the most hazardous, yet the real gift of God. It may open heaven to us if we have sent our treasure there before us. But oh! how much oftener it is carried with us on the downward road, as if we had a toll to pay to open the gates of hell! And as all these gifts, and the many others which might be instanced, go to mould a man's character, ay, go to mould the characters of others by the imperceptible, irresistible interdependence of society, for these things too we are responsible; for that which we have made ourselves, for that which we have made others. But in this multifarious responsibility there is necessarily something of vagueness and uncertainty. One by one the burdens upon us have seemed more than we could bear. But what is there cumulative effect?(1) It is, perhaps, bewilderment. Take the colours on a painter's palette, as they lie side by side so brilliant in their beauty. Try the experiment of blending them into one, and what will be the result? One undistinguishable blotch of mud! And so it may prove to be with the mind, overstrained in the attempt to grasp the total of that which has been so alarming in its details.(2) Or the result may be carelessness. The first impression may have been deep, the second slighter, the third slighter still; and before the catalogue has been gone through, attention flags; some new trick of the tempter's art dazzles the eyes; and the man turns again, forgetting the burden on his back, to chase the butterflies of his childhood.(3) Or it may be desperation; — and like a beast of chase that faces round and breaks away through the array of its pursuers, he may altogether break the yoke and burst the bonds. And thus life glides away; and while responsibility is accumulating, the sense of it grows dull; conscience loses its sensitiveness and power, becomes callous, is seared as with a hot iron. But if a man can live, if a man can die with his eyes shut or his heart hardened to the sense of his responsibility, is he therefore free? If death were the end of all, then those who were content to accept the life and the death of the brute, might be almost deemed impregnable in their position. Fallen so low,. it might seem that they could fall no further. But though there are instances of this kind, how is it that they are so rare, even among those whose interest it would seem not to believe? How is it that conscience does make herself heard in the closing hours of life, when she has been bound and tongue-tied before? It is because at the approach of death there is something lifted of the veil that shrouds the unseen. Then the voice of warning assumes the voice of prophecy; and the message is, "It is appointed to all men once to die, and after this the judgment." Then, at last, all masks drop off, all veils fall away. It will be of little advantage to have silenced conscience, in the day when her whispers are replaced by the record written in the opened books. It will be no time to plead ignorance or lack of memory, when the light of the Judge's countenance shall illuminate the secret chambers of all hearts. Of all the terrors of that day, to men who, while the day of salvation lasted, have refused to be persuaded of the terrors of the Lord, which will be the chief? Will it be the exposure of all our sins and all our shame; the sins that we might have hidden, might have cleansed in His blood, but would not; the shame that we might have anticipated by taking shame to ourselves, clothing ourselves in our own confusion before Him, that we might receive from Him robes of grace and glory? This would be sufficiently terrible. Think, but for a moment, what an influence this sense of exposure to your fellow-sinners' judgment exerts over you even now. Ask yourselves, Has it ever happened that you have felt quite comfortable under the secret consciousness of an action, which has caused you agony as soon as you began to think that your neighbours knew it as well as yourselves? Is not this the plain and simple history of nine-tenths of the cases of desperate suicide that we hear of? But in that day all will be naked before all the world; no shelter in the present, no hope in the future! But amidst that great company — the first and last gathering of the universal human race — there are individuals whose presence may suggest a special pang. There are those whom we have known only too well, those whose companions we have been in vanity or in sin, those for whom we have to answer. If we have led souls into sin, either to share our own wickedness or to follow it; if we have made them the victims of our vile passions, or have taught them to indulge their own; if our words have shaken their faith, or hardened them in ungodliness; nay, if our silence has left them un-warned and unreproved, when a word spoken in season might have saved them from sin; then indeed the burden of responsibility will be as lead upon our souls in that day. Again, there will be those there who had a responsibility for us, and who knew it, and did their best to discharge it; those who loved us in our childhood; those who have nursed us in our decline. Their Christian love cannot lack its reward for themselves. But if all this, their ministry, their devotion, has been without avail to us, with what feelings are we to meet their eyes in that day? But we are still lingering in the suburbs of that judgment-place; as if for very shame turning our eyes away from the throne and Him that sitteth thereon. But though the presence of the universal race of Adam in that day shall enhance its horrors for the wicked, it is not to them that we are responsible; it is not they that shall fix our doom. No trees of the garden will be there to shelter us; no rocks and mountains to cover us. And not of God only, but of Him who is God and Man — of the man Christ Jesus, to whom the Father has committed this judgment, even because He is the Son of man.

(R. Scott, D. D.)

A thing so universal as death must, we believe, prove a benefit to all, and this after-intensity of consciousness, this revelation of judgment, will be a blessing. For just those of us who need most a judgment day cannot obtain it on earth; memory is dull, the temper of the brain is such that remembrances are written in sand, and those things which ought to come into our minds to help us form a right estimate of ourselves or a fit determination for the future are covered over by oblivion, and we go blundering on, never knowing our own powers, never doing our right work, ever falling into the same snares, beaten by the same enemies. Here, cruel misunderstandings occur, leading to long tragedies in which good people are mutually estranged by misconception and falsehood; here, the egotist is blind to the direful malady from which he suffers; here, the hypocrite sometimes deceives himself as well as others; here, patient hearts bear and forbear without complaint, cling to the right amid sharp trial, and no one gives them credit for their fortitude; here, malice, covetousness, and sensuality make men's .lives ugly and foul, and through training or heredity the truth is kept from them — conscience erects no throne of God in their gloomy souls to judge them — ignorant and unrepentant they die in their sins. God's judgment day shall set all these things right; His light shall shine into the darkest crypts of the soul; the secrets of all hearts shall be revealed; in heaven "the books shall be opened." It will be a blessing to us all to see ourselves as God sees us, to know the truth though it condemns us, to be driven out of the refuges of lies that we run to when conscience would upbraid us, to experience in the nakedness of our souls even the pains of hell, if so be that thereby can enter heaven at last. Every wise man prepares for contingencies. This judgment day after death is the contingency we have to face — not to fear it, but to thank God for it and prepare for it. There is more good than evil in it for all of us, just as there is in this life if we will only find it.

(H. H. Snell, B. A.)

Our little life is rounded with a sleep: after sleep an awaking. We must expect judgment after death just as naturally as we experience it in the great crises of life. A drowning man sees in a minute his life flash through his mind, illuminating the track of all the years; memory, in the agony of that critical experience, accomplishes the marvel for him. Any great experience — a death, a misfortune, a grave temptation — will similarly vitalise memory and conscience. Is it not natural that death, the means by which our spirits pass into complete realisation of themselves, should be such a stupendous change that memory and conscience will be awakened into such vitality as is here unknown? By everything we know of Nature we must expect it, by the same laws which enable a worm to crawl into the chrysalis state and emerge therefrom a winged sylph, we must look for the rising of our spirits into a condition in which our conscience shall be winged to fly from end to end of our lives and discover what we really are when stripped of the disguises of mortality.

(H. H. Snell, B. A.)

I have read somewhere of a company of young men who were jesting on sacred things. Suddenly a funeral passed by, and one of the company, pointing to it, said, "There goes the last affair of all." "Not so," answered a quiet bystander; "it is appointed to men once to die, and after this the judgment." It is a common mistake to speak of a man's death as the end of him; it is simply for him the beginning of eternity.

(H. J. Wilmot Buxton, M. A.)

Let us suppose, that at the time when Britain was peopled by half-savage tribes, before the period of the Roman sway, some gifted seer among the Druids had engraven upon a rock a minute prediction of a portion of the future history of the island. Suppose he had declared that it should, ere long, be conquered by a warrior people from the south; that he should name the Caesar himself, describe his eagle standard, and all the circumstances of the conquest. Suppose he should portray the Saxon invasion centuries after, the sevenfold division of the monarchy, the Danish inroad, the arrival and victory of the Normans. Our imagined prophet pauses here, or at whatever other precise period you please to suppose; and his next prediction, overleaping a vast undescribed interval, suddenly represents the England of the present day. Now conceive the forefathers of existing England to have studied this wondrous record, and to find, to their amazement, that every one of its predictions was accurately verified; that, as their generations succeeded, they but walked in the traces assigned for them by the prophetic inscription, and all it spoke progressively became fact. Can we suppose, that however far away in futurity was the one remaining event, and however impossible to them, at their early stage, to conceive the means by which all the present wonders of this mighty empire could ever be realised, they would permit themselves to doubt its absolute certainty after such overwhelming proofs of the supernatural powers of the seer who guaranteed it? Would they not shape their course as confidently in view of the unquestionable future as in reference to the unquestionable past? It should be thus with regard to the coming judgment.

(Archer Butler.)

Is it not foolish to be living in this world without a thought of what you will do at last? A man goes into an inn, and as soon as he sits down he begins to order his wine, his dinner, his bed; there is no delicacy in season which he forgets to bespeak. He stops at the inn for some time. By and by the bill is forthcoming, and it takes him by surprise. "I never thought of that — I never thought of that!" "Why," says the landlord, "here is a man who is either a born fool or else a knave. What! never thought of the reckoning — never thought of settling with me!" After this fashion too many live. They eat, and drink, and sin, but they forget the inevitable hereafter, when for all the deeds done in the body the Lord will bring us into judgment.

(C. H. Spurgeon.)

: — A traveller crossing the frontier had to pass the custom-house. The examining officers said to him: "Have you any contraband goods?" "I don't think I have," he replied. "But we cannot allow you to pass until we have examined you," said the officers in charge. After he was examined he said to the officers: "Gentlemen, will you permit me to tell you what thoughts this examination has brought to my mind? We are all travellers to an eternal kingdom, into which we cannot take any contraband goods. By these forbidden things, I mean deceitfulness, anger, pride, lying, covetousness, and all such offences, which are an abomination in the sight of God Almighty. For all these, every man that passes the boundary line of the grave is searched far more strictly than you have searched me. God is the great Searcher of hearts, and from Him nothing is hid that shall not in that day be revealed."

(C. W. Bibb.)

A young gentleman, being reproved by his mother for being religious, made her this answer: "I am resolved by all means to save my soul." Some time afterwards he fell into a lukewarm state, and was, besides, sick and nigh unto death. One night he dreamed that he saw himself summoned before God's throne, and from thence hurried into a place of torments; where, seeing his mother full of scorn, she upbraided him with his former answer, because he did not save his soul by all means. This was so much impressed upon his mind when he awoke, that, under God, it became the means of his turning again to Him; and when anybody asked him the reason why he became again religious, he gave them no other answer than this: "If I could not in my dream endure my mother's upbraiding my folly and lukewarmness, how could I be able to suffer that God should call me to an account in the last day, that the angels should reproach my lukewarmness, that the devil should aggravate my sins, and that all the saints of God should deride my folly and hypocrisy?"

(K. Arvine.)

Christ was once offered.
1. On contemplating the death of Christ, let us consider that "it brought life and immortality to light"; and while it manifested in the most striking manner God's abhorrence of sin, it assured us of the riches of His Divine love in admitting such an expiation and atonement for it.

2. Farther, the death of Christ "sealed up the vision, and the prophecy," to use the language of the prophet, "caused the oblation and sacrifice to cease, and brought in everlasting righteousness."

3. But, above all, the death of Christ set before us a heavenly example of those virtues, which in this world of discipline and trial we most want, and are chiefly required to practise. Let us distinctly consider His patience and forbearance, His charity and great humility.

(J. Hewlett, B. D.)

I. WHAT THE SACRIFICE OF CHRIST SIGNIFIES.

1. It supposes man's revolt and fall from God (Romans 5:18).

2. It supposes God's purpose to take vengeance for sin (Exodus 34:7).

3. It implies man's helplessness to .recover himself (Psalm 49:7, 8).

4. It implies the necessity of Christ's being God and man (1 Timothy 2:5).

5. It denotes the extremity of Christ's sufferings (1 Peter 3:18).

6. It implies the gracious design of God to reconcile us to Himself at so dear a rate (John 3:16).

II. THE NECESSITY OF CHRIST'S PRIESTHOOD.

1. This .appears from the nature of sin (Romans 6:23).

2. The veracity of God requires it (Genesis 2:17).

3. The justice of God admits not of relaxation.

III. THE INFERENCES DEDUCIBLE.

1. It evinces the incomprehensible superiority of the Christian religion over all others.

2. Hence also the necessity of having true faith, in order to the possession of a state and sense of peace in the soul, with and from God.

3. If Christ be your high priest, and if His priesthood be felt as necessary for us, then you will freely acknowledge your utter incapacity to reconcile your own souls to God.

4. All you that believe can daily feel the absolute need of a Saviour every day, not only to plead your cause, but to render rich supplies to your souls, with all necessary help.

5. The strict duties of the best men do not supersede this sacrifice.

6. See the goodness of God in providing this sacrifice.

7. Let your souls exult whilst meditation is their employment respecting the glories and superlative excellency of Christ.

8. This sacrifice has only once been offered.

9. None but Christ could bear the sins of sinners.

10. The believing sinner shall never bear his own sins.

(T. B. Baker.)

I. THE FACTS CONCERNING MAN.

II. THE FACTS CONCERNING CHRIST. They are two, corresponding with the two concerning man.

1. The first fact is past. It corresponds to man's one certain death. He was once offered.

2. The second fact is future. It corresponds to the certain judgment. He cannot die the second time, but He can come the second time. He will come to judgment. Not Himself to be judged. Mark —(1) The fact itself. He will "appear." It is the word used in 1 Corinthians 15:5-8, to express His appearance after His resurrection. As then, He will be seen in His glorified body.(2) The persons interested in it. "Them that look for Him." They are distinctly taught to anticipate this event (Matthew 16:27; Acts 9:11). Hence they stand in the attitude of believing, longing expectation (Romans 8:19, 23, 25; Philippians 3:20, 21; Titus 2:13; 1 Thessalonians 1:10).(3) The ends contemplated by it.(a) A contrast with the first coming. "Without sin." He was personally without it. At His second coming He will be officially without it. He will come in His glory as the Judge of men.(b) A resemblance to His first coming. When He came before He came to save. When He comes again it will be " unto salvation." This is equivalent to full salvation. It will be both the public manifestation of His position as the Saviour and the public acknowledgment of His people. The best preparation for His coming is the cultivation of faith, love, holy character (2 Peter 3:11-14).

(John Rawlinson.)

Mr. Innis, a great Scotch minister, once visited an infidel who was dying. When he came to him the first time, he said, "Mr. Innis, I am relying on the mercy of God; God is merciful, and lie will never damn a man for ever." When he got worse and was nearer death, Mr. Innis went to him again, and he said, "Oh! Mr. Innis, my hope is gone; for I haw been thinking if God be merciful, God is just too; and what if, instead of being merciful to me, He should be just to me? What would then become of me? I must give up my hope in the mere mercy of God; tell me how to he saved!" Mr. Innis told him that Christ had died in the stead of all believers-that God could be just, and yet the justifier through the death of Christ. "Ah!" said he, "Mr. Innis, there is something solid in that; I can rest on that; I cannot rest on anything else"; and it is a remarkable fact that none of us ever met with a man who thought he had his sins forgiven unless it was through the blood of Christ. Meet a Mussulman; he never had his sins forgiven; he does not say so. Meet an Infidel; he never knows that his sins are forgiven. Meet a Legalist; he says, "I hope they will be forgiven"; but he does not pretend they are. No one ever gets even a fancied hope apart from this, that Christ, and Christ alone, must save by the shedding of His blood.

A good old Christian woman in humble life was once asked, as she lay on her dying pillow, the ground of her hope for eternity. She replied, with great composure, "I rely on the justice of God"; but seeing that the reply excited surprise, added, "justice, not to me, but to my Substitute, in whom I trust."

Baxendale's Aneodotes.
A deaf and dumb scholar once wrote on the slate to his teacher, "I cannot see how Jesus Christ alone should be able to die for all men." The teacher (Charlotte Elizabeth) thought for a while how she should open his mind to the blessed truth; and then she went out and brought in a whole apronful of dead leaves, which she put on one end of her desk; then she took off a diamond ring, and put it on the other end. The countenance of the mute scholar lighted up in a moment. "I see it now," he wrote, "Jesus is a diamond worth more than all the leaves of a dead world."

(Baxendale's Aneodotes.)

Appear the second time.
I. WHO ARE THEY THAT LOOK FOR HIM?

1. Not all those who believe in, and anticipate, His second coming. There are many who desire the honour and happiness which they believe the second advent will bring; but they have not the mind to obey Christ when He comes, for they do not obey Him now. They are proud, envious, self-willed, unloving, unmerciful, and unjust; their Christian creed enters only their heads, while the creed of the world possesses their hearts and rules their lives. To such the day of the Lord will be darkness and not light; it will disappoint their vain hope.

2. There are those who look for Christ from other feelings. They believe that that day will bring joy to the world by a rule of righteousness; and out of love and pity for humanity they rejoice in the prospect. They look to His coming as the consummation of all which they are now striving after in themselves and in the world. And because they look for the time when truth will be revealed and righteousness rule, they the more hopefully labour to spread the one and establish the other. They only look truly for His personal coming who are now seeking union with Him in His spiritual presence; they only desire truly His future dominion who are earnestly seeking His rule within and around them now.

II. How WILL THE APPEARING OF CHRIST BRING THEM SALVATION?

1. The coming will be personal and real. The personal presence of Christ was an immense power even in the days of His humiliation; and it may be safely believed that it will be far greater in His glorification.

2. The precise character of the power of the presence of Christ will be better understood if we remember that His coming will take place in the spirit-world. Now in such a world the spiritual predominates in all things. It will be so in the appearing of Christ in that world. He will be seen in bodily form; but the vision of His spirit will be more powerful than that of His form. I will try to illustrate my meaning by the impressions which we obtain from language. If we do not understand a language which we hear, we are wholly occupied with the sounds; but if we listen to words which we do understand the mind takes in the sense and is more occupied with it than with the sounds of the voice. The mind, or spirit, in the words dominates over the sounds. So will it be with everything in a spiritual world; the mind in things will be more apparent to us, and will affect us more powerfully, than the external appearances. In Jesus Christ we shall see not only a glorious person, but yet more distinctly the glorious mind and spirit. We shall see Christ's thought, and it will enter our thought; we shall see Christ's heart, and it will affect our hearts; and we shall see all the moral perfections of Christ's character, and they will affect our characters. The bodily form of Christ, which is a spiritual body, will be only a medium for connecting us more closely with His Spirit. He will flow into us in the measure of our capability of receiving Him; and He will thus put forth in all our hearts the direct power of His own life. I think it will be apparent from this that to all them that look for Christ His appearing will be "unto salvation." Their faith will conjoin them more intimately with His thought; their love will unite them with His heart; and these will cause their characters to fall into perfect harmony with His. But salvation includes more than this. The glorification of the body and its entire deliverance from suffering is required, blow, in a spiritual state, not only does spirit dominate over body, but it makes the body what it is. A glorious soul makes a glorious body; a soul without disease makes a body without disease. And so also a society without Sin will call for a world without darkness or evil of any kind. For in a spiritual world all things are images of the spirits which dwell in it. Thus at the appearing of Christ all things will be made new. The thought and life of God, which make heaven, will be set forth in the harmony, beauty, and variety of a heavenly world.

(R. Vaughan, M. A.)

I. The text asserts very plainly that as we are here twice once in a life of probation, and a second time in the day of judgment; so Christ shall be here twice — once in His life of suffering, and then again in His hour of triumph, THE TWO COMINGS OF CHRIST HAVE SOME DEGREE OF LIKENESS.

1. They are like each other in the fact that they are both of them personal comings.

2. Nor less shall the advents be like each other in the fact that they shall both be according to promise.

3. But we must remark in the next place that the second advent of Christ will be like the first in its being unexpected by the mass of people.

4. He will come to bless those who do wait for Him, just as He did at the first.

5. There is this further likeness; He comes, not only to bless His people, but to be a stone of stumbling and a rock of offence to them that believe not upon Him.

II. THE UNLIKENESS BETWEEN THE TWO ADVENTS.

1. In His coming. Then a manger, now a throne. Then an infant, now the Infinite.

2. In His person. Ah! who would think to recognise in the weary man and full of woes the King eternal, immortal, invisible. Wire would think that the humble man, despised and rejected, was the seed-corn out of which there should grow that full corn in the ear, Christ all-glorious, before whom the angels veil their faces and cry, "Holy, holy, holy, Lord God of Sabaoth!" He is the same, but yet how changed! Ye that despised Him, will ye despise Him now?

3. In the treatment which He will then receive.

4. The difference appears once more in this; He comes again for a very different purpose. He came the first time with, "I delight to do Thy will, O God." He comes a second time to claim the reward and to divide the spoil with the strong. He came the first time with a sin-offering; that offering having been once made, there is no more sacrifice for sin. He crones the second time to administer righteousness. He was righteous at His first coming, but it was the righteousness of allegiance. He shall be righteous at His second coming with the righteousness of supremacy.

(C. H. Spurgeon.)

I. THE CERTAINTY OF OUR LORD'S RETURN.

II. THE GRACIOUS DESIGN OF HIS APPEARANCE.

1. At His second coming Christ will raise the dead bodies of His servants, which will be a considerable addition to their felicity.

2. In that day the Church, which is called the body of Christ, shall be complete, which must add to the happiness of every saint in particular.

3. Then also shall believers be solemnly acquitted by the Judge Himself, and publicly acknowledged in the presence of an assembled world.

4. To complete the happiness of the saints, then shall there be the clearest discovery of all God's works.

III. His APPEARANCE SHALL BE "WITHOUT SIN."

1. Without that guilt which was charged upon Him, while He sustained the character of Surety, and stood in the place of sinful man.

2. Without any of the effects of sin, such as pain, poverty, reproach, or infirmity of any kind.

IV. THE CHARACTER OF THOSE TO WHOM THIS SECOND APPEARANCE OF OUR LORD SHALL BE COMFORTABLE. They are such as "look for Him." This short, but insignificant description, may be considered as including —

1. A firm belief of this event.

2. The love and desire of this event (2 Timothy 4:8).

3. A patient waiting for His appearance, in spite of all discouragements,

4. An habitual preparation for this event.

(R. Walker.)

He shall not come the second time to die for our sins as He did the first; this is the genuine sense. When He came to sacrifice for sin, He came in great humility; this low condition was suitable to the work He then undertook. But now He comes as King and Lord to judge the world, and therefore He comes in glory. The end of His coming is to reward, and the reward is salvation, and the parties to be rewarded are such as look for Him. By salvation is meant eternal life and full happiness, which He purchased by His precious blood, and it is so called because man in danger of eternal death shall then be fully delivered from all sin, and all the sad consequences of sin, and that for ever, for then death, man's last enemy, shall be destroyed. Yet this immunity from all evil believers do expect, and because they know they shall not fully enjoy it till Ills second appearance, they look for His coming from heaven, that then their joy may be full. Some think the apostle doth here allude to the order of the Levitical service. The high priest enters the sanctuary to pray and expiate sin, and the people stay without, and wait for his coming out to bless them. So Christ enters heaven, that glorious sanctuary, there appears before God, and stays a while, and all His saints do wait for His return and coming out from thence, that they may by Him be eternally blessed. These lookers for Him are they who shall be rewarded. For though Christ came the first time to die for all, so far as to make their sins remissible, yet lie comes the second time to confer the ultimate benefit of His redemption only upon them that look for Him. To look for Christ from heaven doth presuppose the parties regenerate and renewed from heaven, justified, and in the estate of justification. And this looking for Christ is their hope, with a longing desire, expressed sometimes by groans, and yet a patient waiting God's leisure, out of an assurance that He that shall come will come, and will mot tarry.

(G. Lawson.)

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