The deluge of wrath, then, will come, like the deluge that swept away the millions of mankind in the days of Noah.II. W. Noel, M. A.I. It bids us not to rest in forms; not to multiply services as services, not to rest in sacraments as sacraments, but to look through all to One who is not here, but ascended; and to be sought therefore as one deeply sympathising with human infirmity, but exercising that sympathy not in weak indulgence but in transforming strength. (John Rogers. As the argument is strong in itself, so, to the new man it is particularly strong; it binds him most, as it is not far fetched, but a home pattern; as when you persuade men to virtue by the example of those that they have a near relation to.3. WE HAVE A REFERENCE TO THE OBJECT OF CHRIST'S ACCOMPLISHING THIS OBJECT — "To bring us to God." "Who is gone into heaven." Take such an instance as that of the disobedient prophet — a man lied to by another prophet — and failing, under that persuasion, to keep the safe rule, what God has said to thee thyself is more true, for thee at least, and more concerning, than that which God is said to have said, in correction of it, or in repeal of it, to another. But those words, doubtless, mean the evil angels as well as the good; our unseen enemies, as well as our unseen friends. (Essex Remembrancer. It is some ease to the mind in any distress, to look upon examples of the like or greater distress, in present or former times. FOR THE EVIL ANGELS.1. And when that was once done, there was no defeat. Men looked at it, and said that human foot could never scale its heights. Or, if it had been possible to compel Him, His sufferings would have possessed no value. The language intimates that Christ the just One, hath suffered for the sins of the unjust. To sit at the right hand of God is the highest conceivable glory. "The unjust" of all grades and types of wickedness.IV. If such glorious creatures be subject to Christ, then —(1) How great a one is He, and how glorious is His kingdom. We are saved by baptism. (Dean Vaughan.). (2)It is spiritual. The government is beginning to turn against Christ followers. THAT YOU HAVE CONSECRATED YOURSELF TO CHRIST'S SERVICE. Let not the wicked be emboldened by numbers.4. Smart. Just so far as they are real offences at all, they are offences against Him before they are to us. The connection is by no means so obvious as in some other types; but it is net less real.I. (John Rogers. It is very shortly told. But there are two features connected with hell that distinguish it from all the prisons on earth. God's long suffering waited for them.Applications:1. The gospel way of pardon is by substitution — by One taking the place of another, by the Just taking the place of the unjust — the Good taking the place of the evil — the just Jesus, the good Jesus, taking the place of the unjust and the evil. "(Sketches of Four Hundred Sermons. And then, if we could look far into the heart of God, might it not: appear that He has — considering their light, their calling, their privileges, and promises — quite as much occasion to let His patience have her perfect work in the inconstancies of Christians as in the crimes of unbelievers? (1)It effectually removes all obstacles to it. To sit at the right hand of God is the highest conceivable glory. His was just one of those impressible, impetuous temperaments, with great faults and great virtues, which lay a heavy tax upon the patience of friends, and yet inspire, beneath all that, a lively interest. It comes from the first wailings of the infant to the last enfeebled cry of old age. He therefore took our flesh, to put it off thus, and to offer it up as a sacrifice, which, to be acceptable, must of necessity be free and voluntary; and, in this sense, He is said to have died even by that same Spirit, which here, in opposition to death, is said to quicken Him; "Through the eternal Spirit, He offered Himself without spot unto God." A prison is a scene of guilt.3. It, too, is like Noah's. He sees the tyrants, the traitors, the hardened profligates, living out their many days, and some of them dying natural deaths in their beds, the Alvas and Torquemadas, small and great, of every age — His judgment seat not moved forward one hair's breadth to meet them this side the grave. He was at once the foundation, standard, and revelation, of eternal rectitude.III. Such is St. Paul's argument in his Epistle to the Ephesians. In this sense, therefore, it may be said that He "once suffered" — the entire of His sufferings from the very first lay before Him. ", 1. (1) That the chief happiness of man consisteth in the enjoyment of God: that the creature hath as necessary dependence upon God for happiness, as the stream hath upon the fountain. But if God be for you, who can be against you? (Canon T. S. Evades, D. D.)The spirits in prisonDean Vaughan.St. There are some in whom the process or change we call "repentance" is not very marked or great. You may come out of a successful business or social career with all that the flesh can possibly give you, and find that the virtues of the spirit — the unselfishness, the purity, the honour, the thought of better things have been put out of existence; you are quickened in the flesh, you are put to death in the spirit. THAT THERE ARE HUMAN SPIRITS WHO HAVE BEEN IN THE PRISON OF HELL FOR CENTURIES, TO WHOM THE GOSPEL WAS ONCE PREACHED. He has gone there as to His proper abode.2. Christ's cause is safe. Let it open to thee just a glimpse of realities out of thy sight! But those words, doubtless, mean the evil angels as well as the good; our unseen enemies, as well as our unseen friends. )Angels and authorities and powers being made subject unto HimAll angels subject to ChristJohn Rogers.Both good and bad; the good willingly, the others against their will.I. Very seldom has He come to them with sudden judgments or wide spread desolations. This His glorious state of final perfection of humanity is not His alone. But there is another similarity between the disciples of Christ and Noah and his family. The very trials of our life are ordered by a wiser will than ours, and are parts of a Heavenly Father's discipline. The natural state of fallen sinners.2. But then, as THERE WAS AN ARK which Noah constructed for his preservation and that of his family, we have an ark too, built not by our own hands, but built by our great Creator and Redeemer. A. Or do you graciously overlook her sin (since love covers a multitude of sins)? Can we wonder, then, at the Christian's joy at Easter? From Him all spiritual influence comes direct, and without union with Him no man has the Spirit of the Lord. His sufferings are sufficient.2. He suffered not only unjustly but for the unjust. The wheel will turn, and they that are lowest now shall soon be highest; they that have been with Him in the dust shall be with Him in His glory.3. )Christ the King of angelsPlain Sermons by Contributors to, Tracts for the Times.We indeed are but little able to enter into the thoughts of apostles when they saw Him in His crucified body, ascending up into heaven. "For sins."3. But I beg you to remember that He is gone up into heaven as our representative. It seems to me that there are some few passages in Scripture which indicate the broad theory that all men of all ages, who in this life never had the opportunity of hearing of Christ and of His salvation, will not perish hereafter for lack of that opportunity given some time, but failing this world will find that opportunity in the world to come; and if they are equal to it, if by patient continuance in well-doing here they are able to meet it, then they will embrace the gospel, and become par takers of the kingdom of heaven, if not as princes and rulers in Israel, yet as subjects. That man, for that yielding, is executed, within the day, under God's death warrant. But when this great Master approaches this very fact of suffering, as the one which He will use in His work, we have reason to expect a word of authority from Him on this most distressing feature of it. The danger. OUR ATONEMENT. This is an encouragement for the greatest sinner. Thomas, D. D.I. And yet it was also expedient that His death should be violent, and so the more penal, to carry the more clear expression of a punishment, and such a violent death as had both ignominy and a curse tied to it, and this inflicted in a judicial way; that He should stand, and be judged, and condemned to death as a guilty person, carrying in that person the persons of so many who would otherwise have fallen under condemnation, as indeed guilty. Hell is a dark realm of thinkers. THAT THERE ARE HUMAN SPIRITS ACTUALLY IN THE PRISON OF HELL.1. (2)Nothing more will be given.III. When we stand, at last, in Zion and before God, and look back upon our past career, how inevitable will it be that every one shall turn disgusted from the thought of his own strength, and that we shall take our crowns and cast them at the feet of Christ, and say, "Not unto us, not unto us, but unto Thy name be the praise of our salvation!" I have heard an esteemed Edinburgh minister tell of his visiting an aged Christian man on his deathbed, and saying to him, "Is it not a happy thing that we have the gospel set forth in so few and in such simple words?" THE LESSONS OF THESE CIRCUMSTANCES.1. )Christ at homeHomilist.I. But I beg you to remember that He is gone up into heaven as our representative. His death was both voluntary and violent. It is the presentation of such a Saviour as this that makes confession easy to pride. What period of time has elapsed between this lengthened suffering, however, impresses me with two considerations —1. Man's capacity for endurance. He who is very God and very man, one person in two natures, did suffer death — in which nature? The wheel will turn, and they that are lowest now shall soon be highest; they that have been with Him in the dust shall be with Him in His glory.3. They have tempted and betrayed each other; cheated, fought, enslaved, murdered each other. Our baptism is into Him, and He meets the baptism for us which would have carried us away. Chains of iron confined the miserable culprit.4. Through Him, not as an unconscious medium, but as the living and conscious offerer, all prayer is made. He suffered in His body. He was wounded, bruised, scourged, crucified. Hold them fast, and it will be for your happiness. Scripture: 1 Peter 3:7. And do you not think that the man thus plucked from the jaws of death would be heartily ashamed of his past reproaches, and would nevermore cease to love his deliverer? Not that I would make light of trials; far from it. God employed one flood to wipe away another. Now the gospel way of pardon, though it might be said to include all these, is yet different from them all. Surely this could not be; such a theory could never be in harmony with what we know of His Divine mission. This language intimates, that Christ the just One hath suffered. The Lamb was historically slain in the time of Christ; but long before the coming of Christ there was the Divine atoning love, there was the vicarious suffering of the Saviour. THE CIRCUMSTANCES.1. "He suffered even unto death."2. B. Meyer, B. A.The main idea is of course a comparison between the experiences of our Lord and those of His suffering followers. W. Noel, M. )Christ in the flesh and in the spiritA. There is a palate in this same Epistle which, rightly considered, makes it evident that St. Peter believed that to the dead in Hades the gospel itself had been proclaimed. The other always seems to be buoyant with joy and hope of something better. Spurgeon. As it is no small honour to Him our Head to have all these under Him, so the meditation hereof cannot but be comfortable to us, both in regard of Him and ourselves.3. Remember that this being on the right hand of God relates to the complex person of our Lord; it relates to Him not as God alone, but as God and man. His life was as pure as His nature. He stands before God to receive what is due to His people's sins. The language intimates that Christ the just One, hath suffered for the sins of the unjust. These "spirits" were "disobedient once" — and the tense suggests an act of decisive and definite disobedience — "at the time when the long suffering of God was waiting in the days of Noah." He suffered in His character. The next being to God is man. And the thought of our Lord gone up into heaven, and sitting on the right hand of God, is a thought of great power to set us right in our feelings towards both sorts of angelic beings. Plus, if you pay us your firstborn male child extra, maybe we will provide you with a raw fishhead as a snack.” Rich people are treated different in a lot of different ways. THEY WERE ENDURED BY A JUST PERSON. If any of that had been in His sufferings, it had not furthered but undone all our comfort in Him. We see spirit triumphing over flesh everywhere; not always, but on every side and in all departments, giving us the hope and key to this great fact. The fact that there are spirits in hell to whom the gospel was once preached suggests two very solemn considerations:1. H. Wilson, D. D.)The just for the unjustWm. We never come out of the great transaction of life the same as we went into it. (Dean Vaughan. How shall the awful gulf be bridged which thy sins have opened between thy God and thee? In the first place, we see by the parallel drawn between THE FAITH OF A CHRISTIAN AND THE PRESERVATION OF NOAH IN THE DELUGE, that we must look for a deluge answering to that which then came upon the world. A young Jew held out his hand, as being prepared to give an answer, and said, "It is just as if we had the merit; it is just as if we had been crucified!"III. Let us joy and rejoice that our covenant Head is now in the bosom of the Father, at the fountainhead of love and grace, and that He is there on our behalf. It is very simple. Let us draw nigh to God.4. And Peter is reminding you husbands–treat your wife as wealthy. We see spirit triumphing over flesh everywhere; not always, but on every side and in all departments, giving us the hope and key to this great fact. He was at once the foundation, standard, and revelation, of eternal rectitude.III. Secondly: A rebuke to those who limit the provisions of the gospel. His was just one of those impressible, impetuous temperaments, with great faults and great virtues, which lay a heavy tax upon the patience of friends, and yet inspire, beneath all that, a lively interest. And this is a most important consideration. A prison is a place of gloom.2. For all its vast craving mouth and devouring appetite, crying, Give, give, yet was the grave forced to give Him up again, as the fish to give up the prophet Jonah. Thomas, D. D.)The spirits in prisonEssex Remembrancer.I. In this bold action the first element of strength is, that all suffering is traced to one source. Here then is a marked distinction between His and all merely human suffering. WE HAVE A REFERENCE TO THE OBJECT OF CHRIST'S ACCOMPLISHING THIS OBJECT — "To bring us to God." Consider the fitness of the example. 10. (3) We must keep within com pass, and walk carefully in God's ways.II. )Christ at homeHomilist.I. Let not disobedient men doubt the certainty of future punishments.2. The connection is by no means so obvious as in some other types; but it is net less real.I. (2)It is spiritual. We are away from God.2. The form of the expression resembles that in our Creeds. He suffered in His soul. Thomas, D. D.I. We saw that this greatest feature of Christ's resurrection was based on the fact that no man comes out of a transaction the same as he went into it. 1. I know how the forces of the flesh press on every side; a greater force of the spirit shall be with you through Me. Angels are subject to Him whom they nailed to the Cross, and at whom they wagged their heads. In this we see at once is included every good thing. Arnot.It is questionable whether we would have had skill enough to discover that the two facts mentioned in the text contained essentially the same revelation, if the union had not been expressly pointed out to us in Scripture. Outward appearances may discourage me to the utmost. Let us see if there is anything elsewhere in Scripture that will help us in bearing up under the weight of this remarkable disclosure. We can only appreciate this suggestion by realising what is implied in being away from God. Outward appearances may discourage me to the utmost. If you look at the passage you will see that the apostle guards himself carefully. Fix thine eyes on Him and fear not; in Him thou hast all; through Him thou shalt rise after all thy falls; shalt enter into the kingdom after all thy doubts; for he that hath the Son hath life. Then let them go; be "put to death in the flesh," if you can but "live in the spirit." Take the broadest divisions of the human family — races and nations. He descended into hell." He was wounded, bruised, scourged, crucified. The apostle has been saying that Christ's sufferings were so like the sufferings of the disciples, that they could feel the sustaining power of them. The patience of God, the gentleness of God, the forgiveness of God, the sufferings of God for us — these will stand out in such illustrious light in that day that every one wilt be filled with joy, and gratitude, and triumph, and new pleasure in the consciousness that it was of God that he was saved, and not of himself.(H. The deliverance. Let not those who are alarmed despair. The personal efficacy of Christ's atonement. R. THE RESULTS OF PARDON — that is to say, the consequences of being pardoned through the substitution of another — through the Lord Jesus taking our place. In the first place, it is not "the putting away of the filth of the flesh." He died for me. Remember that this being on the right hand of God relates to the complex person of our Lord; it relates to Him not as God alone, but as God and man. he redeemed me!" In the first place, we see by the parallel drawn between THE FAITH OF A CHRISTIAN AND THE PRESERVATION OF NOAH IN THE DELUGE, that we must look for a deluge answering to that which then came upon the world. I am gone, and you must be gone, This is not your place of resting, but you must prepare yourselves for a time when it shall be said of each one of you, 'He is gone.'" )Angels and authorities and powers being made subject unto HimAll angels subject to ChristJohn Rogers.Both good and bad; the good willingly, the others against their will.I. THAT YOU HAVE CONSECRATED YOURSELF TO CHRIST'S SERVICE. )The saints coming home to God by reconciliation and glorificationJohn Flavel.The scope of the apostle in this place is to fortify Christians for a day of suffering. As that is known, it ought to determine whether it is a work in which we wish to join. He intends us to remove, for He has removed. THAT YOU HAVE CONSECRATED YOURSELF TO CHRIST'S SERVICE. )He went and preached unto the spirits in prisonThe gospel preached to the deadCanon T. S. Evades, D. D.Who is here spoken of? In going into heaven there is also this thought, that our Lord is gone now into the place of perfect happiness and of complete glory. It is this process of gain and loss to which our attention is called in the review of Christ's death and resurrection. Unless you come to know and feel your need of a thing, you will never desire or welcome it. Womanhood is God's own creation, and the feminine characteristics and graces are revelations of God's own thoughts and purposes. "(Plain Sermons by Contributors to "Tracts for the Times. It was "Christ, the just."1. God's long suffering waited for them.Applications:1. Earthly prisons cannot confine the soul.II. A. If persons who care for earthly things would rejoice in such a change as that, and consider their own fortune made, how much more joy to those who care for heavenly things, when we set our hearts to consider that He who laid down His life for us, He is made the great King in heaven and earth, and has all the treasures of grace and glory put forever into His hand. A. In the Old Testament times, this principle of Divine government was exhibited in acts and ordinances of a more material kind. As that is known, it ought to determine whether it is a work in which we wish to join. Chains of iron confined the miserable culprit.4. This plainly implies a state of alienation and estrangement. If persons who care for earthly things would rejoice in such a change as that, and consider their own fortune made, how much more joy to those who care for heavenly things, when we set our hearts to consider that He who laid down His life for us, He is made the great King in heaven and earth, and has all the treasures of grace and glory put forever into His hand. As it is no small honour to Him our Head to have all these under Him, so the meditation hereof cannot but be comfortable to us, both in regard of Him and ourselves.3. Yes, St. Paul has something very like it in his discourse on the communion — where he says that, for dishonouring this holy sacrament, many of the Corinthians not only "are weak and sickly," but even "sleep" — have been, as he goes on to say, "judged of the Lord," not only with "divers diseases," but with "sundry kinds of death" — and goes on to explain to them that, when thus "judged," punished even with death itself, they are "chastened" lest they should be "condemned" — death itself, judicial death, may be but a "chastening" to save from that "condemnation" which yet (the same verse says) is for "the world." WHAT HE WHO IS THE JUST HATH DONE FOR THE UNJUST, HE HATH ONCE SUFFERED FOR THEIR SINS.1. His life was as pure as His nature. (Romans 6:3-13). THEIR HISTORY.1. Our doctrine is not sentiment, and view, and opinion, but fact.2. And the thought of our Lord gone up into heaven, and sitting on the right hand of God, is a thought of great power to set us right in our feelings towards both sorts of angelic beings. And do you not think that the man thus plucked from the jaws of death would be heartily ashamed of his past reproaches, and would nevermore cease to love his deliverer? The authority of His law must be maintained. When one has gone down He has set up another, and waited patiently for that. Here are two things to be remarked, their cause and their kind.1. It, too, is like Noah's. There are many things that he would not do because it would disgrace his profession. Wonderful conception! But then we know that our Lord, as man, is gone into a greater nearness to God than ever; "He is gone into heaven," where is the throne of the great King. Spurgeon. Remember there is a ministry of suffering. "Scarcely for a righteous man will one die," etc. The wife sees the ring on her finger, and she says, "I am married; I am no longer my own. The millions disbelieved. Christ is to His people now the one Ark. The water of baptism could no more save the baptized man, of itself, than the water of the deluge could save the antediluvian sinners who were outside the ark. Preece. Since thus our Lord hath taught us by suffering in His own person and hath thus dignified sufferings, we should certainly rather be ambitious than afraid of them. Then the flesh grows and asserts itself, until at length its hour of weakness comes, and, in the failure of disease or of old age, it loses its power, and sinks once more into the earth. "He that heareth My words, and doeth them not," etc.2. )Our ascended LordC. Her face was quite radiant. "Quickened." By the prevalency of His intercession.(W. They are always in union with Him. H. Such is St. Paul's argument in his Epistle to the Ephesians. )Christ the King of angelsPlain Sermons by Contributors to, Tracts for the Times.We indeed are but little able to enter into the thoughts of apostles when they saw Him in His crucified body, ascending up into heaven. It was "Christ, the just."1. All dripping as he was, you might have seen the grateful servant prostrated at his master's feet, promising the gratitude and service of a lifetime, and asking what he could do to serve one who had done so much for him. It belonged to Him who was the incarnate Son of God; and it must take that same body, and show its own power, and do what the flesh had been unable to do. On a bed, in a corner of the room, lay a dying soldier. "He suffered once for sin," so that to them who lay hold on Him, this holds sure, that sin is never to be suffered for in the way of strict justice again, as not by Him, so not by them who are in Him. 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