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feasts in one.

The feast of the Incarnation, the feast of the Resurrection, the feast of the Ascension, the feast of the Holy Ghost, the feast of the ever-blessed Three in the Beatific Vision, — these they keep always, in the fulness of adoration, and it may be more than this. If there be “joy in heaven over one sinner that repenteth ;" if the angels of God's little ones do always behold the face of their Father; if there be perpetual sympathy and perpetual intercession between the Church in warfare and the Church in rest; if at the altar they adore with us before the eternal throne, and in the light of God's countenance behold all that He wills for their beatitude,—we may surely believe that the festivals of the Church on earth are no less noted than its repentance ; that as they look down upon our sorrows, they keep harmony with our praise; that the fellowship of heavenly hosts, which is ever about the altar, shares with us in the celebration of our Easter sacrifice. Be this

may, it is but a little time, and we shall all keep Easter in heaven: yet a little while,-and what matters a little while of sorrow or care, toil or weariness, hardness and solitude, repentance and striving, temptation and patience ? After the fret and fever of a few short years will come the river of the water of life, “ the times of refreshing,” and the rest of God. Let us remember that He who is

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the Resurrection is always with us; and if we be in Him, all things are ours; all shall be restored to us, all made new, all sinless and deathless, all our own again for ever.

O eternal Life, O everlasting Peace, O Beauty uncreated, O changeless Love, Thou didst say,

Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone ; but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit." Thou hast fallen into the earth and died ; Thou art “ the first-fruits of them that slept;" and from Thee, the divine seed of the new creation, shall spring up the harvest of God upon the everlasting bills. Quicken us by Thyself, that Thou mayest be now our Life ; and that at Thy coming we may rise in Thee.

SERMON XXI.

LIFE EVERLASTING.

St. John xi. 25.

“ I am the Resurrection and the Life.”

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FTER the resurrection comes life everlasting.

“I am the Life." “As the Father hath life in Himself; so hath He given to the Son to have life in Himself." The Eternal Son is the Life of the world, the fountain from which all created life descends. Therefore He says, “. He

· that believeth in Me,' that is, he who, being joined to Me by My Spirit, holds to Me by his heart and soul, partaking thereby of My divine life, as members derive life from a living head, _ ' though he were dead, yet shall he live;' though soul and body were already parted—the soul unclothed, the body in the dust-‘yet shall he live. I hold both body and soul unto My

.' self, and will knit them together again by the

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power of a life divine. He shall rise again, and live eternally. “And he that liveth and believeth in Me shall never die;' that is, shall not die for ever, or shall live for ever.

Death shall not be death to him. Death shall be changed to sleep, full of life and rest, gentle and soft, the body in the quiet earth, the soul in the Paradise of God. And that short slumber of the weary dust shall have its waking ; at the resurrection he shall awake up into eternal life.” Such is the promise. What does it further teach us ?

1. First, we learn that this life and the life to come are not two, but one and the same. Death is not the ending of one, and resurrection the beginning of another, but through all there runs one imperishable life. A river which plunges into the earth, is buried for awhile, and then bursts forth more mightily and in a fuller tide, is not two, but one continuous stream. The light of to-day and the light of to-morrow are not two, but one living splendour. The light of to-day is not quenched at sunset, and rekindled at to-morrow's sunrise; but is ever one, always burning broad and luminous in the sight of God and of holy angels. Night is but a veil between the light and us.

So with life and death. The life of the soul is immortal, an image of God's own eternity. It lives on in sleep; it lives on through death ;

it lives even more abundantly, and with fuller and mightier energy. “We that are in this body do groan, being burdened.” The flesh that is upon us is a clothing of mortality; and death weighs

' heaviest upon us while we live. Our true life is vast in expanse, capacity, and power; but in the body it is pent up, narrowed, and enthralled. A sinless body, as in the beginning, was a worthy instrument of its perfection ; and the glorious body of the resurrection will be a diviner raiment: but the body of sin is a thraldom and a shroud upon our immortal being. When we put off our sinful flesh, we are delivered “ from the body of this death." We begin to live indeed. The one endless life of the soul comes forth from its restraint, and passes onward to a wider and more kindred world.

2. Another great law here revealed is, that as we die, so we shall rise ; as there is no new beginning of our life, so there is no new beginning of our character. The stream which buries itself cloudy and turbid shall rise clouded and foul. The waters that pass clear and bright into the earth shall issue from it bright and clear again. As we fall into eternity, so shall we be eternally : “He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still : and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and

1 Rom. vii. 24.

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