Friday, March 21, 2008

"The first fruits of them that slept."

"If I should come to you this morning and ask for the names of the great conquerors of the world, you would say Alexander, Caesar, Philip, Napoleon 1. Ah, my friends, you have forgotten to mention the name of a greater conqueror than all these -- a cruel, ghastly conqueror. He rode on a black horse across Waterloo and Atlanta and Chalons, the bloody hoofs crushing the hearts of nations. It is the conqueror - Death.
He carries a black flag, and he takes no prisoners. He digs a trench across the hemispheres and fills it with the carcasses of nations. Fifty times the world have been depopulated had not God kept making new generations. Fifty times the world would have swung lifeless through the air -- no man on the mountain, no man on the sea, an abandoned ship ploughing through immensity. Again and again has he done his work with all generations. He is a monarch as well as a conqueror; his palace a sepulchre; his fountains the falling tears of a world.

Blessed be God, in the light of this Easter morning, I see the prophecy that his scepter shall be broken and his palace be demolished. The hour is coming when all who are in their graves shall come forth.
Christ is risen!, we shall rise. Jesus --"the first fruits of them that slept."

T. DeWitt Talmage - Painting by William Bouguereau

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