LIFE, DEATH, A D IMMORTALITY. BY REV. HE RY BAKER.

"If a man die, shall lie live again?" Job xrv, 14. Job lived in Arabia, in an early age of the world, perhaps prior to the days of Abraham. Little was known, in his day, of divine things ; yet God was pleased to reveal himself to individuals in various ways, and make known his mind and will. Among those thus highly favored, we may reckon Job, as one of the most eminent of his day for both piety and wisdom, being recognized by the Almighty as among the most eminently good, as oah and Daniel, who were distinguished for their influence with him in prayer. Also, God accepted Job's intercession in behalf of his mistaken friends, who, through ignorance, had sinned in charging him falsely with secret crime, as the procuring cause of his extraordinary afflictions. By experience and observation, Job had learned much of human life ; by meditation he had familiarized himself with death ; and by inspiration was permitted to look into the future. I. We have, in the context, human life vividly and IMPRESSIVELY PRESE TED. II. In THE TEXT, THE RECOG ITIO OF DEATH AS A EVE T CERTAI TO ALL ; A D III. An inquiry in relation to the future. I. Let us contemplate briefly this picture of human life, as drawn by the pen of inspiration. It "is of few days," and those not only "days of trouble/' but "full of trouble"- — care, solicitude, disappointment, toil, fear, and suffering, constitute a large share of the history of the life

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Of man, and demonstrate that disappointment in pursuit dissatisfaction in enjoyment, and uncertainty in possession are characteristic of all earthly things. Life may be Ma 4 , tcring in its commencement, "cometh forth as the flower,' full of health, beauty, and promise, but mortality date: from birth. It is "cut down," perhaps in the cradle, and its beauties fade — "fleeth, also, as the shadow" upon the dial-plate, continually moving, and the fashion of it soon passeth away, and is lost in the shades of night. His days and months are numbered — "bounds" limited to "a hand-breadth" are appointed him, that he can not pass. Death, with all, will soon close this scene of commotion and strife. In yiew of this, Job prays that God would "turn from him" those fearful calamities, till he should "accomplish, as a hireling, his day" of ordinary labor and care. "There is hope of a tree;" but man, when "cut down," is not like the yegetable, subject to the influence of rain and sun ; he will not be revived by any natural agents or process. The roots of the tree, when cut down, may "sprout again," and reproduce its kind. The waters may fall, the floods come, subside, evaporate, condense, and return again; but "man dieth and wasteth away ; yea, man giveth up the ghost, and where is he" to be found? When this ephemeral life expires, "man lieth down, as the weary laborer, when the toils of the day are over, and from the night of the grave," the profound slumber of that dreamless bed, he shall not awake nor arise till the aerial and starry "heavens be no more." The sun, in all its effulgence, may shine upon his tomb, or the storms that wreck the wintery sky may beat upon it, but the unconscious dust shall sweetly re-

pose, secure from all the mutations of a changeful world, its storms and its calms, its pleasures and its pains. " 0, that thou wouldst hide me in the grave !" Although the dark and lonely grave bo the earthly destiny of the good,

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it is a place of both rest and secrecy. And He who conceals will not only watch over and safely guard the sacred deposit, but will find and restore it again to renewed life, immortal beauty, and vigor. There is an appointed time, yea, a "set time," when he that remembered oah will remember the pious dead. He will "call," and the call shall be responded to by all. He has, and forever will have a desire to the work of his own hands. He has the "keys of death and of hell," and in the end of time, when the heavens shall have passed away, He who is "the resurrection and the life," will awake and bring them forth; "yea, all that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake and come forth." II. What is implied in dying? "If a man die, shall he live again?" Two changes, in the mode of man's existence, are here contemplated : First. The material man returning to his parent element, dust; Secondly. Its resuscitation to conscious existence. Inquire we, then, what is implied in dying? Death is a privation: consider it 1 . As it affects the body : it implies the loss, (1.) Of the vital principle. Death sometimes does his work in a very summary manner, as in apoplexy, diseases

of the heart, by electricity, and other fatal agents and casualties. In such cases, all the functions of life are so suddenly and profoundly impressed, as to be broken down at once. But, generally, it is a more gradual work ; the heart ceases to beat, the blood to circulate, the lungs to respire, and the brain to receive impressions ; the body loses its animal heat — is deprived of sensation and the power of motion; he "giveth up the ghost; the body without the spirit is dead." (2.) The conservative principle. When the silver cord is loosed, and the golden bowl broken, the vital principle is extinguished, the physical organization is dissolved, and conservative power is lost. Hence, there is an immediate

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and necessary tendency to decomposition and putrefaction. Such is the end of all flesh. It is corruptible, and must put on incorruption. The house of this tabernacle is earthly in its composition, earthly in its support, and earthly in its destination. Man is not only mortal in his earthly destiny, but from birth. We decay while we receive support ; while we nourish the body we cherish the seeds of death. " Our strength is weakened in the way." We die daily. "The cradle rocks us to the tomb." The old, the middle-aged, and the young ; the decrepit, the deformed, and the beautiful; the feeble, the active, and the strong ; all, all must fall as the trees of the forest, the herbage of the mountains, and the flowers of the field. God hath declared it, and all flesh shall fail before him.

' o strength can resist, no art can elude, no beauty can captivate, no wealth can bribe the "last enemy." Yes, my young friends, whatever of symmetry, beauty, agility, or strength you may now possess, a blight will fall upon it. Your strength is a thing of naught; your "beauty will consume away like the moth blasting and mildew will tarnish, and all your glory will "fade as a leaf." Thy body will soon become a mass of putrefaction, and emit the odor of rottenness and death. Idolize not mortality, it will soon be cut down ; worship not beauty, it will fade as a flower. The coral is passing from thy lips, and the tints are fading from thy cheeks. Insult not the poor carcass by decorating it in vain and gaudy attire ; pamper it not, as it is falling into the tomb. Rather say to corruption, "Thou art my father; and to the worm, thou art my mother and my sister. " 0, consider and be wise. "Set thine house in order; for thou shalt die, and not live." 2. As it affects his relation to earthly things — his interests, business concerns, social and kindred ties. (1.) Death will close up the concern with him forever,

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and sever all the ligaments that may have bound him to •earth and time. He will cease to participate in the busy scenes of life, and share no longer in the things that are done under the sun. All his calculations and plans of operation to attain honor, wealth, or fame, in a moment are scattered to the winds. His interest in life ceases

with his last expiration. His earthly wisdom and prudence, or his folly and improvidence, while here, may affect others, when he is gone, but not him. To him it will be the same, whether he died rich or poor, famed or " unknown to fame." (2.) It will be the disruption of all social and kindred ties that have allied him to earthly society and friends. It will be his farewell to earth, with all its possessions, associations, and attractions. "His eye shall no more see good." Whether he be buried in obscurity, or with pomp and show; whether "lamented or unsung;" whether his mortal remains be deposited in a solitary grave, unadorned and unknown, or repose beneath the sculptured marble, it is naught to him. The eloquent orator may pronounce his eulogy, and a train of "mourners go about the streets," and lament the "illustrious dead;" or a solitary mourner, in penury and rags, weep over his lonely grave ; fame may blow his silver trumpet, or the pestiferous tongue of slander asperse his reputation ; all, all will pass unheeded by the unconscious clay. "His sons come to honor, and he knoweth it not : they are brought low, but he perceiveth it not of them." III. What is implied in living again? 1. The soul surviving the death of the body andjsontinuinp* in a state of conscious existence. Is the soul ino deed deathless ? Shall it escape unscathed from its dissolving tabernacle, and live in a state of conscious bliss or woe till the resurrection of the dead at the last day ? It can, it will. It is immortal, and can never cease to be.

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It will live coexistent with God, its author and preserver. This is proven (1.) From its essential nature — spiritual, immaterial. It partakes of the nature of angels, yea, of Deity himself. Death hath no dominion over it. It can not see corruption. Although the operations or exercise of its powers and faculties may be embarrassed or obstructed by disease of the body, which is its medium of contact with external things, yet its essential nature and attributes can bid defiance to disease, and often shine most brilliantly in the agonies of dissolving mortality. The attributes of the soul, understanding, reason, judgment, and conscience, by which it apprehends itself, its relations, its character and condition, are too exalted and celestial for the limited range of earth and time. How vast its powers ! and they are ever active, whether the body be weary or at rest, sleeping or waking, living or dying. (2.) From its capability of enjoyment or suffering, independent of the body. A sense of guilt, mental anguish or agony, or a consciousness of rectitude, peace and joy, realized in an intense degree, either by depressing or elating the mind, often causes suffering mortality to forget its pains, and brings the soul into contact with the realities of the future. If such be the sensibilities of our spiritual nature, while clogged with the weight and stupidity of this mortal organization, how acute will they become when dislodged from this earthly prison ! (3.) From its capacity for improvement; commensurate with the highest finite intelligence, the purest pleasures, and endless duration. Contemplate those great lights of the intellectual and moral world — Bacon, ewton, Locke,

and Milton ; a Luther, Wesley, Chalmers, Dick, and others. See them in their infancy, ignorant and imbecile ; but mark the development of intellect in their progressive career through life ! They rise and soar, shining like stars

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of the first magnitude, shedding abroad a luminous radiance upon earth's dark mass of matter and mind ; and yet, we suppose, an infant in immortality possesses more knowledge than they all, while their views were bounded by terrestrial things. Such is the progressive character of intellectual and moral natures. (4.) From its instinctive impressions and innate desires of immortality. Man lives in the future, ever looking and hoping for something he has not; his desires never reach a climax; Even in the enjoyment of his God, he presses onward and says, "I shall be satisfied when I awake in thy likeness." However dark and confused be the impressions of immortality upon the minds of benighted Pagans and hardened skeptics, they are universal in all ages and nations. (5.) From the manifest want of wisdom in the design of man's being, if he be not immortal. Why those vast powers, those desires and longings after immortality, if he be not designed to live in a future state ? The instincts of the brute animal enable him to eat, to drink, and to sleep ; to enjoy all the pleasures of sense ; but man's nature claims and demands higher, nobler enjoyments, such as the corporeal senses can not apprehend, nor animal

instincts realize. (6.) Revelation demonstrates it. Here "life and immortality are brought to light." The rich man and Lazarus were declared by the Son of God to exist in the spirit-world, after leaving their bodies on earth — one comforted and the other tormented. Jehovah said, "I am the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob," when they had been long dead. "He is not the God of the dead, but of the living." Paul and his companions believed there was an intermediate state, in which the soul existed independent of the body — "We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present 8

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with the Lord." This he esteemed as "far better." The translation of Enoch and Elijah, body and soul, and the changing of those who remain and are alive at the coming of the Lord, prove that the existence of neither soul nor body is limited to the present state ; but that, in accordance with his impressions and desires, man will realize an immortal destiny, whether of weal or of woe. 2. And what we presume Job had especial reference to in the text, the resuscitation of the same body that died to renewed life. Can this be? "Can these dry bones live?" Can this corruption, rottenness, and death, resume form, vitality, and beauty? Can it live to act, realize, enjoy, or suffer? "Shall he live again?" Yes,

he can, he will, he shall — because (1.) God is able to raise him up. He that created can raise the dead ; he that gave life can restore it when lost. His power is commensurate with any work that does not contravene his purposes or designs, or conflict with his goodness, his wisdom, his justice, or his truth. (2.) The goodness of God requires it. The body, in connection with the soul, has capabilities of enjoyment — is allied to it by strong affinities and tender sympathies ; and to indulge these capabilities, and perpetuate those affinities and sympathies, would be the dictate of infinite goodness. (3.) The wisdom of God requires it. Were those bodies, which are the "temples of the Holy Ghost, fearfully and wonderfully made," to perish forever, it would argue folly in the design, or weakness in the execution of God's plan of securing the greatest possible good to man. (4.) The justice of God requires it. 1. Justice to himself. The human body is his own, his own work, and, as well as the soul, was created in his own image, and for his own glory. It should be preserved as a monument of his handiwork, and employed in his service, to show forth his praise. 2. Justice to the good. Their bodies participated

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with their souls in the sufferings of the present life, and in the services here offered to God, and are entitled to a participation in its rewards. 3. Justice to the wicked.

Their bodies, also, participated with their souls in sin, and, by their passions, appetites, and propensions, were often the occasions and instruments of crime, and should be partakers of its plagues. (5.) The truth of God requires it. " There shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and of the unjust. For the hour is coming in the which all that are in their graves shall hear his voice, and come forth ; they that have done good to the resurrection of life, and they that have done evil to the resurrection of damnation. Behold, I show you a mystery : we shall not all sleep ; but we shall be changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump ; for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed ; for this corruption must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality/ ' In these and other Scriptures we have both the fact and the object of the resurrection positively and plainly stated. }. The fact: the dead body shall be raised and made immortal. 2. The object : that, in connection with the soul, it may be judged, and rewarded or punished ; and those who shall not "see death," but remain and are alive at his coming, shall, like Enoch and Elijah, undergo a change equivalent with death and the resurrection ; for this plain reason, that "flesh and blood," in its present gross and mortal state, "can not inherit the kingdom of God." These vile bodies of ours must be changed, and fashioned like unto the glorious resurrected body of the Son of God. "Then shall mortality be swallowed up of life." Reader, "thou shalt surely die !" Let us " stand still," and consider what awful and important thoughts are suggested by this solemn sentence. The last hours of this

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ephemeral life must come to all. We came into this world fallen beings, children of iniquity, and heirs of death. The moment is hastening when the untiring ano-el of death will summon us to our final account, to answer to the Judge of all for our conduct on earth. Do we observe the declining, the setting sun, sinking in darkness ? So passes and declines the day of life with all ; morning, noon, and night, and it is gone. Do we observe the shadow upon the dial-plate ? It is slow, but steady. By an imperceptible progress it passes over the fixed lines upon its shining disk. Soon will the last, lengthened, oblique rays of the setting sun pass the last line — the boundary -line of this brief existence — the terminus of our earthly journey. Our wasting periods move on with a silent pace, and, whether we are heedless of their motion or observant of their flight, will soon reach, with unerring certainty, their utmost limit. The revolving wheel of time, the ceaseless revolutions of the sun, moon, and planets, as they revolve in the sunlit or the dusky sky, are measuring out and bringing to a close the number of the months, the days, the hours of this "span of life." Do new periods of time and seasons regularly recur, as, the new year, month, week, or day ? Remember ! the birth of each new period is the death-knell of its predecessor. Thus, however joyous may be the approach of each new epoch in our history, it is saddened by the thought that its birth is but the funeral dirge of buried time. The annual return of our natal day is hailed with joy, and often observed with birthday festivities ; but, let us remember, its first office is to celebrate the obsequies of another finished year of expired time. Thus stealthily pass the days, the months, the } T ears of our appointed time on earth. "Time is short." Be wise; catch the flitting moments as they pass; husband them well; im-

prove them and live. 0, the confident language of faith

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in the future! "Thou shalt call, and I will answer." That call will be, to the righteous, a call to renewed life and eternal rest. There is hope for the pious dead. It is this hope, the sheet-anchor of the soul, that sustains the Christian amid the conflicts and turmoils of life and its cares. Bathed in sweat and dust, he "bears the burden and heat of the day," awaiting the rest of the tomb, as the dawn of eternal bliss. This hope sustains the herald of the cross, and sus- ¦ tained a Paul, "more abundant in labors," in daily and nightly sowing the seed of the kingdom, knowing that not in this world only he has hope, but that in due time he shall reap if he faint not; that his work is with the Lord, and his judgment with his God ; and that, hereafter, he "shall return with joy, bringing his sheaves with him." It is this "assurance of hope" that enables the bereaved widow in her weeds, and the orphan in his tears, to look upon the humble monuments that perpetuate memories sacredly cherished in their heart, and read in radiant characters engraven there, "I am the resurrection and the life: he that believeth on me, though he were dead, yet shall he live." Conclusion : Reader, do you find yourself in a world of trouble, the subject of affliction, disappointment, and sorrow? Labor to improve all.

1. By suffering, learn to exercise patience; from disappointment, learn wisdom ; and thus endeavor to realize a revenue from the "varied ills of life." Remember this is not your home. You are but a stranger and pilgrim upon earth. Here you have no continuing city. Let the scenes that daily surround you, in this life of vicissitudes and world of death, but prompt you to efforts in the great enterprise of securing a better and more enduring inheritance. 2. Whether old or young, you are but in the infancy of jour existence, destined to an eternal world and a changeless mode of being. But, in passing to that world, you must die. Death's dark domain lies between you and it; and though death to the wicked be terrible, it need not be so to you. To the righteous, it is but passing from a state of suffering and conflict to a state of peace and rest. Through death the Christian traveler passes to his longsought home. Here the weary find repose, the warrior a triumph, and the victor a crown.

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