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and your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory."* Here the remarkable strength of the expression is-your life is hid, that is, safely lodged with God; and in the same passage he is called our life, precisely in the same manner in which, by the prophet Jeremiah, he is called our righteousness. Taking the same view of the subject, St. Paul encourages Timothy in the faithful discharge of his duty-" For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed; for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day." To no other being could the security of the believer be entrusted; in no other hands could it be safe. Here alone it is secure. Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ with a living faith; trust in him; repose on him; live upon him; and the eternal life which is promised to those who believe, is placed on a foundation which cannot be shaken. While you cling to him, not all the power of the earth, not all the malice of the devil, can rob you of the gift. That Christ then, is the possessor, is the sole dispenser, and is the guardian of the eternal life or happiness of his believing people, is the distinct and the infinitely important language of the text-"And this is the record, that God hath given us eternal life; and this life is in his Son. He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life."
The other divisions of this discourse will be re
• Colossians iii. 1-4.
† 2 Tim. i. 12.
served for future consideration. What has been said is amply sufficient for the present, if you will but give it the serious consideration it demands; and it is more than sufficient, if you shall refuse that attention. There is one leading idea connected with this discourse, upon which I would wish you to fix your most profound attention. In the economy of redemption and of grace, the Lord Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of God, as mediator, divine and human, is the depositary of eternal life. It resides in him, and no sinner that treads upon the earth can have the promise or the prospect of pardon, except as in him. "No man cometh unto the Father but by me." If there is any presumption which seems to be pre-eminently fatal, it is the presumption which dares to hope for heaven, unconnected with the atoning blood of Jesus Christ, and through the medium of a vital faith in his name.
Men who take their opinions as their Gospel, dare to talk of their dependence upon the mercy of God, and will build on one foundation of sand after another, until they lose sight entirely of the only foundation laid in Zion. The mercy of God does not exist towards sinners except as it is connected with Jesus Christ in his character as divine mediator. What, then, can be more explicit than the language of my text "This is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life; and this life is in his Son. He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life." Suppose I tell you of a treasure hid in a particular field; you would scarcely be guilty of the practical absurdity of searching for it in another place, distant and remote. God the Father tells us, and records his testimony,
that eternal life is in his Son. Can you find it any where but in his Son? And yet, as sinners, you are guilty of the daily, hourly, practical absurdity, of looking for this in some other place. In the case of a treasure hid in a field, it would be a matter of comparatively little import whether you found it or not.
If you chose to waste your time looking for it where it was never said to exist, you would only lose your labour and remain in the same condition. But eternal life being in Jesus Christ, and in him alone, look for it elsewhere and you lose not only time and strength and opportunity, but you lose your souls— "For he that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life."-"He that believeth on the Son of God, hath everlasting life; and he that believeth not shall not see life, but the wrath of God abideth on him."-" Ye will not come unto me," saith the Saviour-"ye will not come unto me that ye might have life." Look to it, my beloved brethren. "He that believeth shall be saved, and he that believeth not shall be damned." Other refuge than the Son of God have you none; refuse this and you are lost; for how shall you escape if you neglect so great salvation?
THE RECORD OF ETERNAL LIFE.
1 JOHN v. 11, 12.
A PORTION of the discussion connected with this text has already been passed over, viz: 1. The limitation fixed by the Apostle to those whom he designated by the word us, meaning, as was clearly shown, those who were true believers in the Lord Jesus Christ. 2. The description of the eternal life spoken of as given to believers. Under this dispensation, it was shown that the eternal life was not mere perpetuity of existence, but a state of eternal happiness. And, 3. It was considered in what sense this eternal life was in the Son of God, carrying along the idea of the peculiarity attached to that phrase. The sense in which eternal life is in Jesus Christ, as the Son of God is, that in himself he has full possession of that life, not only as having eternal life or happiness in himself, but as having in his own divine hand all the eternal life or happiness which believers ever can enjoy. 2. That he is the only source from whence eternal life or happiness flows to believers. And, 3.
That it is in him as a sacred deposit, and thus secured to believers. This was the course of observation through which we passed, of deep, doctrinal, and practical importance. There was one division. left untouched, with the solemn declaration made by the Apostle, as founded on his premises, viz:-"He that hath the Son hath life, and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life."
IV. This eternal life, which is imparted to believers, and is in the Lord Jesus Christ, is declared to be to them a gift; this is the record that God hath given us. This is the unvarying representation of the Scripture, and the object of this is not only to present the true state of the case, but to cut up by the roots every thing like pride or glory in saint or sinner, by ascribing eternal life even to believers as a free gift of God. Since the fall of Adam, man has unquestionably lost all right to eternal life, for the simple reason, that in consequence of the possession of a corrupted nature, every individual is utterly disqualified for that perfect obedience through which alone a right to eternal life could be secured. And besides this, there is no man but who has rendered himself obnoxious to everlasting condemnation, in consequence of transgression, the result of his own volitions. In this state of things, God, from the impulse alone of his own infinite benevolence, sent his only begotten Son to be the propitiation for the sins of the world; to make an atonement for sin. And thus the eternal Father, having opened up a way of escape through the blood and righteousness of his Son, has published the glad tidings of salvation, and has offered eternal life to as many as would receive it in his appoint