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Christ Wielding the Keys of Death, And Of THE WORLD UNSEEN

Christ Wielding the Keys of Death, And Of THE WORLD UNSEEN

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Published by GLENN DALE PEASE
BY EDWARD MEYEICK GOULBURN, D.D.

Rev. i. 18.
BY EDWARD MEYEICK GOULBURN, D.D.

Rev. i. 18.

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Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on Sep 30, 2013
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09/30/2013

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CHRIST WIELDIG THE KEYS OF DEATH, AD OFTHE WORLD USEE.BY EDWARD MEYEICK GOULBUR, D.D.Rev. i. 18.The Scriptures of the ew Testament may be dividedinto three classes, each adapted to the sanctification of some great moral faculty. The four Gospels, whichare the basis and foundation of the whole Volume,present to the affections of man (that fundamentalfaculty, with which the work of renewal must com-mence) an Object in every way calculated to attractthe regards of the heart, and to win it away from thepursuits of sin and folly, — an Object, which we mayadore without idolatry, as being no less than a Personin the Godhead, and yet an Object, which, as being forour sakes " manifest in the flesh," irresistibly engagesevery pure and good sympathy of our nature.The Epistles (for I pass over the Acts of theApostles, as being simply the corollary to the Gospels)constitute the second section of the Holy Volume.Divine Love having been poured into man's heart bythe instrumentality of the Gospels, it remains thatthenceforth Divine Light should be poured into hisBd by Google242 Christ wielding the Keys of Death,mind through the medium of the Epistles. TheseInspired Letters explain to us, so far as man is capable
 
of understanding it, the philosophy of the Scheme of Redemption, — they lead us to an intelligent receptionof the doctrines of Grace, as being always founded inreason, even where we are not able, through the feeble-ness of our mental powers, to explore their depths, — they illuminate the mind on the grand subject of theDivine designs, of those counsels, which God is nowconsummating indeed by the present system of things,but which have been laid from all eternity, and havebeen constantly emerging, like a golden thread, throughthe tissue of the various (Economies.And now, what of the Book of the Revelation ?Although many fail to perceive it, this, like the othersections of the Sacred Volume, has its distinct practicalpurpose. It is adapted to the sanctification of thatmoral faculty, which, in minds of a certain cast, givesthe tone to the entire character; — it is designed torefine and elevate the imagination, by occupying it withthe pictures of Divine imagery, and so drawing it off from the objects among which it naturally loves toexpatiate, — sensual pleasure, or secular ambition. Evenwhere its predictive character cannot be understood orappreciated, — even where, as a prophecy, it must ne-cessarily be a dead letter to the reader, as havingneither leisure nor ability for critical study,— even therewe may surely hope that, though the intelligence mayreceive comparatively little from its perusal, the ima-gination, which is to a great extent independent of theintelligence, may be deeply impressed, and that thefigures employed to depict heavenly m ^ nC8 : J^J.chasten this faculty with a solemn awe, an d a <*~ation, — sentiments analogouby Google
 
and of the World unseen. 243impressions, which are produced by the dim religiouslight of some vast Cathedral.In the whole range of the Book, there are but fewpassages, which, when unfolded by patient meditation,would be found more replete with sublime imagery,than that which I have read as my text. Their sub- ject, in brief, is, Christ's connexion with the deathop DTDrvrDiTALB — a subject embracing in the smallcompass of seven or eight words, topics of the mostuniversal and most intense interest. And as all prac-tical exhortations should be based upon, and arise out of,the faithful exposition of God's Word, I shall nowaddress myself to the examination of the passage indetail, heartily imploring the presence and assistanceof that Divine Spirit, who alone, whether through thesublimities of Inspired Poetry, or the simplicity andpathos of Inspired arrative, can move the springs of man's moral nature.It is hard to disenchant our minds of the spell whichis laid upon them by words, — hard to divest ourselvesof the associations which words call up. That solemnand awful word " Hell," which occurs in my text, howinevitably does its very sound bring up into thethoughts the idea of everlasting torments, — of theplace, wherever and whatever it is, destined to be theeternal abode of impenitent sinners. And yet, as iswell known, by the " Hell " of the Apostles' Creed,into which our Lord is said to have descended, is notmeant the place of torments, but the place of departedspirits, — the very sense attaching to the word in thepassage now under examination. It is no doubt familiarto the larger part of my hearers — but still words soinstinctively call up the impression, which has beenhabitually associated with them from childhood, that IE2

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