Page images
PDF
EPUB

even unto death. Our Leader has conquered death and sat down at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty on high. There he will remain till the restitution of all things, and then his followers will meet him in another and a better world, and enjoy his presence forever.

19*

XLVIII. LIFE.

• Jesus saith unto Thomas, I am the Way, and the Truth, and the Life.'

John xiv. 6.

Jesus, in a few other instances, though in language somewhat different, declares himself to be the Life. Thus, he says, “The Bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world.'* 'I am the resurrection and the Life.'t Peter calls him the Prince of life.'I The great Apostle, in writing to the Colossian church, says, When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.'S The apostle John opens his first epistle with a reference to Jesus, as our life: “That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked

and our hands have handled, of the Word of life; for the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and show unto you that eternal life which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us.'ll Again : "This is the record that God hath given to us, eternal life, and this life is in his Son.'T In fine, Jesus is ever considered by the sacred writers as the Life of the world, and to present the various passages.

upon,

* John vi. 33.
Ś Colos. iii. 4.

† Ib. xi. 25.
|| 1 John i. 1, 2.

| Acts iïi. 15. | Ib. v. 11.

wherein this great truth occurs, would be to transcribe a large portion of the New Testament.

The motto occurs in the midst of the conversation and exciting events connected with the Last Supper. From the bustling world of festive Jerusalem, the Saviour withdrew among the quiet circle of his disciples. The twelve whom he had chosen to be the props and pillars of a new world, were the company among whom Jesus had resolved to keep the festival. There he sat as head of a family and priest, uttering the prayers and songs, breaking the bread, and distributing the wine. Soon the Shepherd was to be slain, and the sheep to be scattered. In view of the approaching sufferings of the little flock,' he who was their Life, and the Life of the world, said, 'Let not your heart be troubled : ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know.' On hearing of the way, Thomas says, 'Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way?' Then the great Teacher said, 'I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No man cometh unto the Father, but by me.' But we cannot follow out the history. That we may do in considering the other two titles found in connection with the one under consideration.

In what sense is Jesus the Life? He is to the soul that which bread is to the body. As the latter imparts vigor and nourishment to our physical nature,

so the other gives strength to our moral nature. And as the world cannot do without bread, neither can it do without Jesus. He is the great source or fountain of all spiritual blessings. To him, then, and to him alone, must we look. 'My natural life,' says one, 'is exposed to ten thousand contingencies, the least of which may destroy it as soon as my foot crushes the moth, or as the breeze breaks the bubble. That I live, as it regards the life of nature, is a constant miracle of Providence. That I live spiritually, is a greater miracle of grace, for which I am indebted to him who is himself my Life. Was that new life, which he hath given me, vested in myself, it would soon perish; but in him it is far beyond the reach of violence or accident.' 'In him was life, and the Life was the light of men.'* Jesus presents himself to us as 'the bread of life;' as 'the water of life. "The words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.'t 'He that hath the Son hath life.'I 'He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life.'s Passages like these abound every where in the discourses of our Lord and in the subsequent teachings of his disciples.

It should be remembered that Jesus not only imparted spiritual life, but he even gave life to the dead. The very graves opened at his presence. Indeed, the power of Jesus was unbounded. For he could impart life to the physical, intellectual, and moral worlds. He could say to a Lazarus, 'Come forth !' Then to a maniac, 'Come out of the man, thou unclean spirit!' Then to the transgressor, 'Go, and sin no more!' And if we follow him, we find even the waves and the sea becoming calm at his approach !

* John i. 4.
# 1 John v. 12.

† Ib. vi. 63.
$ John iii. 36.

Here we cannot refrain from presenting the words of Pollock, who has graphically described the blessed effects that flowed from him who is emphatically called the Life:

* * * The wretch that begging sat,
Limbless, deformed, at corner of the way,
Unmindful of his crutch, in joint and limb,
Arose complete ; and he that on the bed
Of mortal sickness, worn with sore distress,
Lay breathing forth his soul to death, felt now
The tide of life and vigor rushing back,
And looking up, beheld his weeping wife
And daughter fond that o'er him bending stooped
To close his eyes. The frantic madman too,
In whose confused brain reason had lost
Her way, long driven at random to and fro,
Grew sober, and his manacles fell off.
The newly-sheeted corpse arose, and stared
On those who dressed it, and the coffined dead,
That men were bearing to the tomb, awoke,
And mii

led with their friends.' * * *

In conclusion, we may well cite the strong language of an apostle, when Jesus, seeing many of his disciples going back, and walking no more with him, said, 'Will ye also go away? Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? Thou hast the words of eternal life. And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ the Son of the living God.' Glorious confession! Let us thus under all circumstances acknowledge our Master. Let us put entire confidence in him, and finally we shall enter upon that world where we shall enjoy that life and immortality which he brought to light!

« PreviousContinue »