2 Samuel, xv. 21. " As the Lord lircth, and as my lord the king liveth, surely in what place my lord the king shall be, whether in death or life, even there also will thy servant be" EASY words to take into our mouths now. Easy to declare ourselves ready to share in our King s triumph. Easy, with our lips at least, to join in the new song of this day. Had we said so at the commencement of Lent had we promised so at the beginning of Holy Week, then, indeed, it would have been more like faithful followers, more like valiant soldiers. You, who could not thus have used them then, have no comfort in them now. Now the answer of the Lord would be, " Is this thy kindness to thy Friend ? Why wentcst thou not forth with thy Friend?" The stone rolled away is nothing to those who shrank from Gethsemane. The garden w r here the Lord appeared to Mary is nothing to

THE RESURRECTION. 149 those who would not tread the Pavement. The Mount of Ascension is nothing to those who had no lot in Mount Calvary. But you who had, you who followed the Man of Sorrows, follow now the Man of Glory. You, who were with your Lord in death, remain with Him still in life. If He died for you not less He lives for you: if He suffered for you, equally true is it that He reigns for you. If you said these words with Ittai, say them now in the Joy of the Resur rection. For now our truer David has con quered the rebellion of His disobedient sons; now He has returned from His banishment in the wilderness ; now He is drawing nigh to the Heavenly Jerusalem, truly so named since He died, the true Vision of true Peace. It is strange how God ordains and consti tutes that the same places shall so often see the type and the antitype, the faint fore shadowing, and the glorious realization. Isaac and the Lord were offered on the same moun tain ; David and the Son of David born in the

same city ; Israel and the Prince of Israel called out of the same Egypt. So here again. For behold David, in the season of his deepest humiliation, is drawing near to the brook Cedron. A thousand years, and more, before those Blessed Feet should tread the

150 THE RESURRECTION. same path. And yet we hear almost the same words in both. " Then said the king to Ittai the Gittite, Wherefore goest thou also with us ? return to thy place, and abide with the king: for thou art a stranger, and also an exile." And so the King of kings spake of His followers, " If therefore ye seek Me, let these go their way." And was the answer the same? 4t As the Lord liveth, and as my lord the king liveth, surely in what place my lord the king shall be, whether in life or death, even there also will thy servant be." " Then all the disciples forsook Him, and fled." So they passed the brook Cedron : the one, still girt with his faithful friends, his chosen warriors, the Cherethites, and all the Pelethites, and all the Gittites ; the other, despised and rejected of men, alone amidst a band of enemies, hurried on to the unrighteous judgment-seat and the Cross. Yes ; Jewish rebellion was complete. Absalom had entered into Jerusalem ; Ahithophel, the companion, the guide, and the own familiar friend, had deserted the king; the hearts of the men of Israel were with the usurper; their lawful monarch was a fugitive and an exile. And man s rebellion was also complete.

THE RESURRECTION. 151 The Prince of Life was delivered to death; the God who stretched out the Heavens was bound ; the Lord of the Angels was defiled with the spitting of men. But then there came the Day of Glory. There came the day when King David crossed

the Jordan, and advanced to Jerusalem in his royal splendour. There came the day when the sons of those that afflicted him came bending unto him, and all they that despised him bowed themselves down at the soles of his feet; when, with the crowds of His fol lowers and the songs of his soldiers, he went up to the Holy City, never more to be cast out, never more to be an exile in the wilder ness, never more to fear shame or to suffer reproach. And that day has come to us now. Our David entered the Jordan on Friday afternoon. The feet of the true High Priest were then dipped in the brim of the water ; and now He has come up from the flood, and has entered the Land of Promise. This is the Day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it. And so now we are to be with Him in His glorified Life on earth, while He shall yet remain with us forty days speaking of the things pertaining to the Kingdom of God.

152 THE RESURRECTION. " In what place my Lord the King shall be, whether in life or death, there also will Thy servant be." And now let us lay this to our hearts. In one sense, it is more difficult to abide with our Lord now, than it was in the forty days out of which we have just come. Then we shut the world out, more or less ; then we were almost shamed into some kind of self-denial ; then the very season of the year seemed to invite us to quiet, to commune with our own heart and in our chambers, and to be still. Now the world breaks in again. Now we are called to no especial acts of self-denial. Now we have no excuse for avoiding those gaieties and engagements which are so apt to call us off from God. Yes ; I say it with all boldness ; in a certain sense, it is a greater and holier thing to keep us close by God in the Great Forty Days after Easter, than in the preced ing Lent. To-day, when we are so about to offer the Eucharistic Sacrifice* to God as at no other time when this is the Feast to which such multitudes come up, the Feast of all feasts,

* As ignorant, or possibly designing men, have misunderstood or misrepresented this phrase, it may be as well to state, that it is equivalent to the Sacrifice of Praise and Thanksgiving of the Praver-book.

THE RESURRECTION. 153 the Holy Day of all holy days, who would wish to speak much in his own poor words? Let us but console ourselves with the saying of Ittai, and then let us draw near to the Banquet of the Immaculate Lanib. " Whether in death or life." He speaks not as a man. God s ways are not as our ways, neither His thoughts as our thoughts. We regard life as the first of two things, and death as the second. To-day might teach us better. Death came before life, as trouble came before joy. The Death was the death of three days : the Life is the life of an eternity. And we in this world, whether we will or not, must, in one sense, take these words on our lips. We, like our Head, are called to that passing the waves of this troublesome world, which we call Life. We, like our Head, must taste of that bitter cup which He tasted : we must endure first the dominion of death, and then death itself. And we may pass through both with joy, because He has passed through them before us. We may take up all the cares, and troubles, and fatigue of this life, as things hallowed and glorified by Himself. We may pass through the valley of the shadow of death, because He so passed through it, that of this also it may be written, " The

154 THE RESURRECTION. glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb was the Light thereof." " Ye are dead : and your life is hid with Christ in God." And here we have another meaning in which we may take the text, "Whether in death or life." Dead to all worldly desires and cares, as he was ; dead to all fleshly lusts, as He was; dead to all the interest and affections of this life, as He was. And yet leading a hidden life with Him, and because of Him; having our conversations where He now is; having our hope where

He, our exceeding great Reward, is now seated, and where we trust some day to dwell ourselves. " For if we be dead with Christ, we believe also that we shall live with Him." And how more surely than by drawing nigh to that Feast which He instituted at the begin ning of His most precious Passion, and which now, of all other times, He most especially calls us to receive? Thus the Resurrection, wtrch we celebrate to-day, is nearer to our selves ; thus our bodies became one with His ; thus they receive a witness that " He is the Saviour of the body," and that virtue is in fused into us, which, after darkness, and cor ruption, and the worm, will bring us forth to light, and immortality, and the companionship

THE RESURRECTION. 155 of angels. Yes ; and will fulfil the text in a yet more glorious way : leading us into that eternal Life which He won for us by His Death. It is the time of life now. The young shoots, the green fields, the fresh flowers, make it the Easter of the year, as well as of the Church : make it the Resurrection of the type, as well as of the antitype : show how, from the beginning of the world, this death, and this revival, were fore-ordained: proclaim that " Old things are passed away : behold, all things are become new." And what follows? That we also should walk in newness of life. That we should enter this spiritual spring, seeing the glory, and feel ing the warmth of that Sun of Righteousness which now beams upon us. For lo ! " the win ter is past;" the season of affliction is at an end ; " the rain is over and gone ;" penitential tears are now to be put away ; " the flowers appear on the earth," for that dead, hard wood of the Cross, has blossomed into all beauty, and into every grace ; " the time of the singing of birds is come," for now the songs of the Angels may again tell of glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men of good will; "and the voice of the turtle is heard in our land :" for the Holy Ghost now speaks more clearly, now


persuades more convincingly, now guide.s more manifestly. Happy, happy words now ; but what when they shall be fulfilled in their fuller and more blessed sense? What when the bleak, long winter of this life shall have passed into the everlasting spring of Heaven? What when the rain shall be over for ever, and the tears wiped from all eyes? What when the time of the everlasting song shall be come, and the voice of the Heavenly Dove shall be heard in our land, in our own land, the land of peace, the Land of the Living? Then will Easter Day have its glorious accomplishment then shall mortality be fully swallowed up of life. And now to God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost, be all honour and glory for ever. Amen.


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