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tions, and its festivities, for sixty or even eighty years? It were but walking on rolling logs in the water; one by one, they would slip from under him. After all, no man is happier in truth, than he is in God's esteem. He is the only rich man, who understands the use of wealth; and of sinful pleasures, repentance only remains. Then how ought all trifling amusements, and all interests of time, in propriety to be forgotten, or but secondary, to the more momentous claims of eternity. Eternity, thou pleasing, dreadful thought !
Let then the culture of the soul be recognized as our prime solicitude. A contemplation so elevated and beneficial, as that of the soul's immortality and value, cannot too often engross our minds. What exercise can be more improving to the human heart, than to be often reflecting on the soul's superior endowments, and immense privileges? Or what method more powerful to excite in us an emulation lifted above groveling, trivial avocations, than to regard ourselves as inheritors of eternity? The man, who realizes the worth of the soul, will not need a stronger argument for the dignity of virtue; nor a more forcible incitement to live worthy of it. For as noble and generous thoughts spring from dignified and virtuous actions; so likewise are virtuous and dignified actions the offspring of noble and generous thoughts. How then should we reverence our souls. How should we be circumspect, not to degrade and injure this celestial inmate, by any mean pursuit, or sensual grossness. How should we endeavour to eject all evil qualities of the heart, and to infuse heavenly habits in their room. What power can any momentary afflictions have, to cast down that person, who considers that he is destined to ages after ages, not merely of contentment and delight, but of rapture and ecstasy hereafter ? Such an one can exclaim under trials and bereavements, All is good that God sends us ; peace with heaven is the best friendship; and where God is, there is nothing wanting. Yes! Experience has recorded, that he lives indeed, who lives not to himself alone; that he can do nothing well, who is at enmity with his Maker; but that he, who resolves to amend, hath God on his side. In whatever profession, or condition, Provi
dence hath cast our lot, we should thank God, and be content with what we have; remembering, that to serve God in our honest occupation is the best kind of praying; and that he, who obeys Him, hath the best master in the world. Although we should love many things beside God, we should love nothing above God. For the sum of all is, to fear and love our Creator and our Saviour, and to do no evil thing; in short, to live, as we mean to die.
With this assurance of immortality, the Christian can exult even in bodily agonies, while on the pinions of faith his soul soars upward with ecstasy, to the sublime object, which it has long been worshipping; and cries, O blissful day, when I shall escape from this crowd of noises, and empty bustle, this world of impurities; and be welcomed into the exalted company of that Saviour, who poured out his blood like water to wash me from my sins, and into the holy community of those beatified spirits, who are the ransomed of the Lord. The christian soul can bid a cheerful farewell to its clayey tenement, with a foretaste of being reunited to it, in a glorious and joyful resurrection. O then, when the disembodied and accepted soul appears before its Judge, the Accusing Spirit, to apply a sublime sentiment, beautifully expressed, the Accusing Spirit, which has flown up to heaven's chancery with its sins, shall blush as he gives them in; and the Recording Angel, as he writes them down, shall drop his tears upon the words, and blot them out forever.
In review of this subject, I close with this solemn selfapplication. If the soul is of such infinite value, and liable to be lost; how awfully responsible is it, to have the charge of souls. How should a minister watch over a people, as one that careth for their souls; and how should a people pray for him to the Father of Spirits, that he may obtain mercy to be faithful, as one that must give an
THE Pale Horse, with his Grim Rider, hath approached this house.
1. We are assembled to bear the remains of a human being to the house appointed for all the living; to take a last farewell, and to bury the dead out of our sight. We are taught by this mournful event, the instability of all earthly things. Change is the only certain thing in this world. Man, that is born of a woman, is of few days, and full of trouble. We spend our years, as a tale that is told. Brief, very brief, is the space between the cradle and the coffin. Short, very short, the time from the swaddling clothes and the nurse's arms, to the shroud, the sepulchre, and the worm. Here lies a senseless body, that was lately animated with a living spirit; that was all activity, and health, and joyousness. Now the eye is quenched, the cheek is cold, the lips are sealed, and the heart is still; the soul has gone to judgment. O why is dust and ashes proud!
2. In small villages, death is so rare, that we seldom think of it; in large cities, it is so common, that we little regard it. But what more solemn a spectacle can there be, than the funeral of a fellow mortal, a fellow inmortal? Dust to dust, earth to earth, ashes to ashes; so passes away the body. Not so the soul. Another spirit is added to gloom or to glory; to heaven or to hell. And
yet with how little concern is beheld the minister and the mourners, the scarf and the crape, the hearse and the grave. But the inhabitants of other worlds are not unconcerned. Angels rejoice over one repenting sinner added to their number. The Judge of Angels has paid his blood to redeem that soul. And Satan gnashes his teeth at losing it. But since the mind naturally shrinks from these thoughts, and endeavours to forget them, it is necessary often to recall them. May it be better for us, to have come to the house of mourning, than to have gone to the house of feasting; for the glory of man passeth away, but the word of the Lord shall not pass away. Thine incorruptible spirit, thou Father of Spirits, is in all things.
3. Ever since the Fall of man, a heavy black pall has been let down by the four corners, and hung over the earth. But the eye of Faith can pierce through the thick dark curtain, and see beyond it a world of happiness for the good, and a world of misery for the evil.
4. Let every one, whose eye rests on this bier, examine what would have been his doom, into which of these worlds he would have entered, if he had been called, at this time, instead of the deceased; and ask for what end he is spared? Were you better than he? This is not the time, nor the place, for praise. It would not gratify the dead; it might injure the living. Let what was good in the departed be cherished and imitated; and what was evil for the best are sinners be lamented and forgotDeath is no respecter of persons. He takes the wise, the brave, the ambitious, the wealthy, the busy, the beautiful; the friend, and the one who is dearer than a friend. They fall side by side, at his touch, like the grass before the mower. Their bodies are buried in peace; their souls are committed to God's infinite mercy. For God made not death, neither hath he pleasure in the destruction of the living. But the souls of the righteous are in the hand of God, and there shall no torment touch them.
5. To the bereaved relatives, whose broken hearts are perhaps almost tempted to repine at this affliction, God saith, What I do, thou knowest not now, but thou
shalt know hereafter. May they piously wait the great explanation. The Lord knows when it is best to call his children home. We know not what would have been his lot, if the deceased had been left longer in this world of trial and temptation. We believe that every one is removed from life, at the very best time for his own future welfare. To the good, to the believer, the grave may be viewed as a refuge, an asylum for the soul, weary with the cares, and anxieties, and sufferings, and sins of this world. They wish to be with God, which is far better. There can they rest from their labours, and their works will follow them. May the bereaved relatives of him, whose lifeless dust is now before us, be enabled to look in their day of visitation unto Him, who can turn their weeds of woe into the white robes of the saints; who can wipe away the tears from their eyes, and bind up their broken hearts. Their friend can never return to them; they must go to him. May they have faith and strength to say, It is the Lord, let him do what seemeth him good; it is well for me, that I have been afflicted; the Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away, blessed be the name of the Lord; and be prepared, when death shall call them, to meet their departed friend in the realms of glory.
6. In this life, we see but through a glass darkly. I said, Death was no respecter of persons. I may say also, that he is no respecter of ages. He very
often takes even little infants. This may appear mysterious; it is indeed one of the dark providences of God; at the same time, it is one of the brightest intimations of another world. Otherwise, they would appear to be born for no purpose; at least, as it respected themselves. But they are taken, like a bud from the desert, to be transplanted, and to bloom in the celestial Eden. Their little souls, like a bird from a cage, fly away and are at rest. They are taken from the evil to come; for a short taste of pain in this world, to enjoy an eternity of happiness. A few days ago, and the little babe was smiling in its mother's arms ; and now it is smiling on the bosom of an angel. For it was for such as these, that Christ died, although they have never heard of Christ in this world. Suffer little children VOL. II. **