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Christian Uprising.

Christian Uprising.

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Psalm iii. 5.
" I laid Mc down and slept, and rose up again ; for the Lord sustained Me."



Psalm iii. 5.
" I laid Mc down and slept, and rose up again ; for the Lord sustained Me."

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Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on May 04, 2014
Copyright:Traditional Copyright: All rights reserved


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PREACHED ON EASTER DAY. Psalm iii. 5. " I laid Mc down and slept, and rose up again ; for the Lord sustained Me." Ik Christians would but observe what they read or hear in the Bible, and what they experience in life, and compare diligently the one with the other, they would find that the whole world around them is, in a certain sense, full of divine tokens ; every thing almost would put them in mind, more or less directly, of Jesus Christ our Saviour, and they would see that God meant it so to do : much in the same way as, when people's hearts are turned any way, towards any thing on earth, with entire aftcction, whatever they see, hear, or meet with, reminds them, they hardly know how, of that beloved object. Our Saviour, perhaps, meant something of this kind, when He told His disciples that " every Scribe instructed into the Kingdom of Heaven is like ujito a man that is an householder, who bringeth out of his treasures things new and old ;" that is, as it has been explained, " the old things of nature," and of this world of sight and sgnse, " and the new things of grace," and of the other world, which is only known by faith. A well-instructed Christian heart, He seems to say, will know how to connect these two one with another ; — will discern what jiart of Gou's mysterious dealings with us through Jesus Christ maybe fitly represented as in parable, by the several ways of His Providence, as seen in the things of this world; — \\ill un- derstand, in short, "all parables;" that is Christ's own word. CHRISTIAN UPRISING. 93 What I mean is not, perhaps, clear : I will try and explain it by some examples. We know that our Saviour is called " the Sun of Righteousness," " the Davspring from on high," and that on that account particular respect has been shown, in various ordinances of the Church Catholic, to the east above all the other quarters of the heaven ; we know that on Christmas-Day that Psalm is used, which speaks of Him as the Sun coming out of His chamber, like a bridegroom, and " rejoicing as a giant to run His course." Whoever has considered these things, if he be a true lover of Christ, will never be able to see the sun rise, without thinking of Him who is the true light of the world ; and thus so common a thing as the sunrise, a thing which must happen every day so long as the world lasts, is made a token, — the old Chris-
tians would call it a sacrament, — of a great mystery of divine faith and salvation. The sun rising in the east is nature's token, to remind us of Christmas-Day ; and here in the text, if we consider it well, we find a no less clear token of the mysteries of this solemn time of Easter : our Lord dying and rising again. " I laid me down and slept, and rose up again, for the Lord sustained me :" once let it be well understood that the Psalms all relate to Jesus Christ, to His Church, and to His Members, and it will be very clear that this verse, plain and simple as it sounds, contains a deep mvstery also. If the Person who speaks is Jesus Christ, no doubt His lying down is His death upon the Cross, His sleep is the rest which He took, from Friday evening to Sunday morn- ing, in the sepulchre, which Joseph's faithful love had provided for Him : His rising up again is that glorious awaking, and burst- ing of the bonds of death, which makes the Church joyful this day, and every Sunday in the year. Neither is it any thing new, to have such a verse as this ap- plied to the Death, Burial, and Resurrection of our Lord. The old Fathers and Bishops so explained it from the very beginning of the Church ; and one of them in particular, would have us observe the particular stress to be laid on the word "I" in this verse. It so stands in the Hebrew language, in which David spake by the Holy Ghost, as to mean " I myself" and no other, I of mine own accord and free will, '•' laid me down and slept, and rose up again ; for the Lord sustained Me." Thus it sig- 94 CHRISTIAN UPRISING. nifies our Lord's own voluntary consent and purpose, in all that happened to Him ; according to that saying of His, " Therefore doth My Father love Me, because I lay down My life, that I might take it again. No man taketh it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. Not against Mine own will, therefore, did you seize and slay Me ; but it was I who laid Me down, slept so long as I pleased, and rose up again when I would." Thus speaks the holy Bishop St. Augustin of the meaning of this Psalm. Upon his authority, and that of the whole Church, we conclude that the words, " I laid Me down and slept, and rose up again," plain and simple as they sound, contain in them a great mystery, the beginning and end of a Christian's hope, the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
And surely we do well to connect that mystery with our own lying down and rising up, as often as night and morning return. Sleep, to all men, even to the heathen and unbeliever, has always seemed an image of death ; to a Christian it is an image of the death of Christ; and not only an image, but a token from above, a sign and pledge from the Truth itself, that He died, and died for us. Rising again in the morning may be to Jews or Heathens a ground of hope, that possibly, for aught they know, God may provide for us even after death : but to Christian people it is as a word from Heaven, a promise and warning, though a silent one, that by the virtue of Him who is the Resurrection and the Life, we, too, shall rise again ; we shall but sleep in our graves, and never really die. In a word, our daily lying down and rising up is given us for a sacramental sign and pledge of Christ's death and resurrection, and of our own. Tims we see that Christmas and Easter have each their out- ward and visible sign, something to remind us of them, in the common course of life, which every one of us has to go through continually. "Whitsuntide, too, has its own proper token, chosen out among natural things, and assigned to it by the highest of all authorities ; but I will not say more of that until the time comes. At present the season itself leads us to consider, what use we should make of the mystery of our own sleep and awakening, taught as we are by Scripture and the Church the high things which are betokened therein. , CHRISTIAN UPRISING. 95 I say, the Mystery of our daily sleep and awakening ; for, little as we are apt to reflect on it, surely these things are in themselves as mysterious as any thing can be. Who knows any thing about his own dropping asleep ? It comes on hke the dew from Heaven, without any consciousness of ours at the time, neither do we re- member any thing of it when we wake up again. It leaves us, to all appearance, perfectly helpless, exposed to every danger and enemy ; we can do nothing for ourselves, no more than a child  just born, no more than a corpse from which the life has departed : so that, as I have somewhere read, it seems probable that when the first man began to fall asleep for the first time after his crea- tion, he might well think he was going to melt away, and pass altogether out of being. Thus our falling asleep is a Mystery, a thing which takes place we know not how, a thing out of our own power, as much so as death itself; and then what becomes of us during our sleep ? where is that gone which was just before so active within us, our

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