On the Resurrection Life of the Christian.

UPPER CA ADA TRACT SOCIETY

The God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shep herd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is well-pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen. HEBREWS xiii. 20, 21. ow, upon the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they came unto the sepulchre, bringing the spices which they had prepared, and certain others with them. S. LUKE xxiv. i. I. \\ WITHOUT the right aim of life, there is no spirit of life. V V But this must not be established alone, but only in union with a corresponding power of life. Should we courageously and 80

OUTLI ES O VARIOUS PASSAGES joyfully behold the real human purpose of life, then we may have the certainty that it is attainable. Otherwise we should look upon it with hesitation and doubt. We must be animated with the joyful hope that we shall succeed in its accomplishment ; for without hope there is no joyousness and no courage. And what does all this depend on ? Two things. We must, on the one side, find in our selves the requisite ability for the attainment of that aim, and so have true respect for ourselves individually, as well as for mankind in general. And, on the other hand, we must have the certainty that, if we honestly do our duty, the external conditions of success, which are independent of us, will not be wanting to us. In this respect, the chief thing is, as you are aware, that we know ourselves to be in harmony, in our work for carrying out the purpose of our life, with the holy guidance of divine Providence, so that all things work together for good (Rom. viii. 28), that we know ourselves at one with God s holy purpose, and feel ourselves sustained, supported, and led by Him. And only in so far as we know ourselves in such a relation to our God, can we consider ourselves capable of the realisation of the aim of our life. Yes, he who, with all his will and deeds, with all his effort and endeavour, keeps throughout his whole existence thus near to his God, and can lay himself with such child

like confidence in his Father s arm, his heart beats high with joyful resurrection life ; but his only can do this. II. Only look how Christ grasped the aim of His life. I mean, with what decision, with what perfect distinctness. For here we see a life of such consistency as has never again happened in our experience, a human life, in which there were no vacillations, but only the steady, constant progress pursued with unhesitating inward steadfastness, straight forward to a fixed and immovable aim, which was not left out of sight for one moment, among the changeful external conditions of the world. And therefore it was also a human life of no less unexampled unity and entireness. And did not the aim, which so completely governed this human life, embrace time and eternity ; did it not unite earth and heaven into a peaceful union, while it grasped this poor existence in the world of sin as the material from which an eternal and heavenly existence was to be fashioned ? And did He not have regard to God s aim ? Did He, who lived this life, wish for anything else than the will of His heavenly Father, who showed the Son all that He did, that He also might do likewise ? Did He know any other meat than this, to do the will of Him that sent Him, and to finish His work ? Since the risen Christ is in the world, sin can no longer frustrate our true life, unless we wish to remain the servants of vanity. Sin is now conquered, it can now tie down no one, against his will, to the dust and the mire. YOL. vii. F 81

EASTER DAY What else was the work of His life, then, than the awakening of pure goodness in the world, than the conquering of sin ? In the first place, His Resurrection from the dead was the testimony of God Himself, that He had succeeded in it. But He has conquered sin for us. Our redemption from sin was the work of His life, the atonement for the sins of the world, making the forgiveness of sins and the adoption of God possible for us, as well as the acquisition of the Holy Ghost, in whose power we are also able to conquer sin, in ourselves and in the world. Faith only draws out of this fountain in proportion as we surrender ourselves with absolute obedience to the risen Christ. For only by this can we recognise Him in ourselves as the risen Saviour. Only the pure heart knows the courageous spirit of life which comes from the Resurrection. Therefore we always go through Holy Week to arrive at the Feast of the Resurrection. For purity is not won with

out the school of sufferings, and these have a tendency to depress the spirit of our life. It is certainly not an easy thing to find the resurrection spirit of life ; but it is a precious thing, and let that be enough for us. R. ROTHE.

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