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man, which, after God, is created in righteousness and true holiness."
Think not that the transports which you now feel are a sufficient tribute to his adopting love, for it claims your eternal admiration and praise. Cast not away in your future days your wonder on trifles; but mani. fest the superior wisdom to which religion hath led you, by despising all that excites the idle curiosity, or the short-lived admiration of the giddy and the care nal, and contemplating with increasing interest scenes which the songs of heaven call great and marvellous. Beware of pride and vain-glory. To consider what you have been, and what you ought to be, will tend much to promote humility. Advance daily in resemblance to God. Let the ministers of religion be able to bear you this testimony, that you are epistles of Christ, transcripts of his doctrine, character, and law, and to rejoice in you as partakers of a divine nature. To see you the sons of God without rebuke is their earnest wish now, and shall be their joy and crown hereafter.
Grow in love and reverence to your heavenly Father. Listen to the voice of the Redeemer from his cross. « O love the Lord all ye his saints." Shall such a Father have the lowest of our reverence, or the coldest of our love? Love your elder brother more, for you have not yet given him all your heart; and be this moment, and for the future, more entirely his. And remember, that it is by the conformity of his people to his image that Christ is most highly honoured as the first-born among many brethren. See that you love one another with a pure heart fervently. Ye are one in your Father's heart, in the care of the Re. deemer, and in the unity of the Spirit ; and never let pride or envy alienate you from each other. Like
members of one family, take the deepest interest in the welfare of your brethren, behold their sorrows with a brother's pity, and seek their improvement with a brother's solicitude.
Turn away your eyes from beholding vanity. There is not an object in the worldly man's possession which deserves your envy, even though that passion might be indulged with innocence; and with such a goodly heritage as yours, it is most sinful to repine that aught is withheld, and foolish to be influenced by the denial of it, to attach to it a value which it does not possess.
Ye are now to arise, and to pursue your journey through the wilderness; but rejoice that you are going home, and that your Father is with you. You have seen a child travelling by a father's side, and you know how he soothes and animates him by the voice of kindness and hope when he is impatient and languid, how he points his eyes to the lofty spires or green hills of the place to which he is going, and how he aids him in climbing the mountain, or passing through the mire. And “ they that wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not weary, they shall walk and not faint.”
Be of good comfort in the prospect of old age. Then the body of man no more resembles the bloom and strength of youth, than the nakedness of the tree in winter does its luxuriance in the spring ; but the beau. ties of holiness are then as bright as ever. In the old man stooping to the grave, you see the prelude of death and of immortality.
And be of good comfort in the hour of death. It is to your best friends that you are going; and this is the language in which you can speak of your departure, and selfish and impious is the sorrow which would
murmur at your removal, “ I Father's house, and to my Saviour's joy." What you were, conscience will often remind you ; what you now are, it is the work of gratitude to tell ; but what you shall be, faith can only anticipate in part. This is the sum of your happiness, but who can tell all that it contains ? « So shall we be for ever with the Lord.” This is the hope that enraptures your heart, “ As for me I will behold thy face in righteousness, and when I awake I shall be satisfied with thy likeness.” Perhaps some of you are ready to say, “ O Lord, let me behold thy face in mercy, but to see thee in righteousness can be no joyous hope to me;" but you shall see his justice cordially assenting to your happiness, and prepared to allot and to maintain your inheritance in glory. : In the grave corruption shall disfigure you; no trace of what you now are shall be left in the consuming flesh, and in the crumbling bones ; but Christ shall fashion your vile bodies like to his own glorious body, and you shall reign with him in life for ever. Amen.
We are so much accustomed to the influence of sen. sible objects, that some rashly conclude that it is impossible to love one whom we have never seen, and are disposed to class affection to an invisible Saviour among the reveries of enthusiasm. But there are other modes
of exhibiting the worth of an object as striking as its actual presence.
It is not so much the external form of an object which excites regard, as the amiable qualities which it indicates. It is the benignity which softens the features, the sympathy which moistens the eye, and the wisdom which flows from the lips, by which our hearts are touched, and a most vivid impression of those qualities may be produced on those who have never seen their possessors, by the statements of those who have been associated with them.
• When we go into the house of affliction, and are told of one whose liberality has supplied their wants, and whose skilful exertion's have redeemed their lives from destruction, we do not remain cold and indifferent at the recital, because we have not seen the generous vir' sitant. Our hearts swell at once with admiration of his goodness, and join in the blessings which are invoked on him by those who were ready to perish. When we survey the pillars which have been reared to commemorate the brave who have won the liberty, or the memorials of the genius which has adorned the literature of our country, we feel a degree of attachment to such characters as strong as ever was felt by any among whom they lived. The prejudices of party, and the surmises of envy, which so often darken the lustre of living merit, seldom spread a shade over the illustrious dead. And shall it be deemed impossible for us to love the Lord Jesus Christ, of the excellencies of whose character we have such an affecting record in the sacred history, written by men who saw his glory? They thus describe the object which they had in view in these details, “ These things which we have seen and heard declare we unto you,
also fellowship with us," that your hearts may glow with feelings akin to ours.
I may add, that there are testimonies of regard to our interests, which may excite strong affection, though we have never seen the benefactor from whom they proceed. It is not even necessary that he live in the same country, or the same age with us. It is enough that we behold in his bounty, a picture of his heart. We feel it as a circumstance which strengthens our attachment to a distant benefactor, that, surrounded by objects calling for his kindness, he honoured us with the pledges of his regard.
The father who dies while his child is too young to recognize him, and who, before he departs, leaves his counsels for his direction, makes every provision in his power for his comfort, and orders a valuable pledge of his regard, to be given to him when he arrives at maturity, is thought of by that son with affectionate veneration. These counsels strike him as if he heard them from a father's lips, and that pledge affects him as if he received it from a father's hand. And are not we surrounded with the tokens of our Saviour's regard to our interests? The ordinances of religion are stored with his blessings, and the earth is full of his mercy.
I trust I can appeal to you, Christians, and say, * Him having not seen, ye love." His excellence is such as to claim your best affection. History exhibits many estimable characters, fancy hath drawn many striking pictures of eminent worth, and heaven con tains many bright angels and saints, made perfect; but in all things Christ hath the pre-eminence. As a divine Being he possesses all the brightness of the Father's glory, all the wisdom of an infinite under standing, all the might of omnipotence, all the beauty of underived excellence, and all the benignity of everlasting love. As man, how amiable is he in the