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66 I am
not a moment's cessation in the continuous stream of that life. It flows on undivided, uninterrupted by the article of death; and could our eye, follow it, we should find that it has only widened and deepened, to flow on more purely and fully than ever. It was needful that the banks which confined as well as contained its waters here, should give way and be broken, to let its waters pursue a freer and nobler course in the other world.
But what of the body which is left in the grave, when the spirit passes away and enters on a higher life? the Resurrection, and the Life,” said Christ: “he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall be live.” This is more than a revelation of immortality. The great probability of the soul surviving death was argued by the wiser of the heathen, although it is made certain to us only by the authority of Christ; but that our bodies should live again, and be made as immortal as the soul, never entered even the dreams of heathen philosophy. The men of Athens mocked when Paul preached to them “Jesus and the resurrection.” Hark, ye wise men, whoever is among you, the wisest of past generations, did ever your ears hear such strange and unheard of news?” said an African chief when told by a missionary that the dead shall rise again. His wonder was mingled with a dread of the great judgment. “Father," he said to the missionary, “I love you much. Your visit and your presence have
heart wbite as milk. The words of your mouth are sweeter than honey; but the words of a resurrection are too great to be heard. I do not wish to hear again about the dead rising : the dead cannot arise; the dead must not arise !"
The doctrine of the resurrection of the dead is peculiar to the gospel, and one of its glories. And while, like the doctrine of a future state, when associated with the idea of judgment, it may well fill men with awe and dread, our Lord's announcement of it was one of joy and gladness. “I am the Resurrection, and the Life," he said: not the Resurrection alone, nor the Life alone, but both. He saves his people from their sins, pardoning their guilt, purifying their hearts, and finally perfecting their whole nature. Were we to describe the present state as one of death and corruption, there would be little exaggeration in the description. Sin is death, and misery is death. All things corrupt and die; the most luxuriant vegetation, the
strongest persons. There is death in the soul and death in the body. There is moral corruption, and there is physical corruption. The life that now is, vegetable and animal, is fed by the death and corruption of the life that
And the life that now is shall decay and die to feed the life that shall be. But Christ has lifted the veil off the future, and revealed “life and incorruption " as the heritage of his people.
JOHN NEWTON IN HIS OLD AGE. It was with a mixture of delight and surprise that the friends and hearers of this eminent servant of God bebeld him bringing forth such a measure of fruit in extreme old age. Though then almost eighty years old, his sight nearly gone, and incapable, through deafness, of joining in conversation, yet his public ministry was regularly continued, and maintained with a considerable degree of his former animation. His memory indeed was observed to fail, but his judgment in divine things still remained; and though some depression of spirits was observed, which he used to account for from his advanced age, yet his perception, taste, and zeal for the truth which he had long received and taught, were evident. Like Simeon, having seen the salvation of the Lord, he now only waited and prayed to depart in peace.
After Mr. Newton was turned eighty, some of his friends feared he might continue his public ministrations too long They marked not only his infirmities in the pulpit, but felt much on account of the decrease of his strength, and and of his occasional depressions. Conversing with him in January, 1806, on the latter, he observed that he had experienced nothing which in the least affected the principles he had felt and taught; that his depressions were the natural result of fourscore years ; and that, at any age, we can only enjoy that comfort from our principles which God is
pleased to send. “But," replied I, “in the article of public preaching, might it not be best to consider your work as done, and stop before you evidently discover you can speak no longer ?"*" I cannot stop,” said he, raising his voice,
“ What ! shall the old African blasphemer stop while he can speak ?"
In every future visit, I perceived old age making rapid strides. At length his friends found some difficulty in making themselves known to him; his sight, his hearing, and his recollection exceedingly failed; but being mercifully kept from pain, he generally appeared easy and cheerful. Whatever he uttered was perfectly consistent with the principles which he had so long and so honourably maintained. Calling to see him a few days before he died, with one of his most intimate friends, we could not make him recollect either of us; but seeing him afterwards when sitting up in his chair, I found so much intellect remaining, as produced a short and affectionate reply, though he was utterly incapable of conversation.
Mr. Newton declined in this very gradual way, till at length it was painful to ask him a question, or to attempt to rouse faculties almost gone; still his friends were anxious to get a word from him to learn the state of his mind in his latest hours.
About a month before his death, Mr. Smith's niece was sitting by him, to whom he said, “It is a great thing to die; and when heart and flesh fail, to have God for the strength of our heart, and our portion for ever. I know whom I have believed, and he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that great day. Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, shall give me at that day.”
When Mrs. Smith came into the room, he said, “ I have been meditating on a subject : Come and hear, all ye
that fear God, and I will declare what he hath done for my soul.'
At another time he said, “ More light, more love, more liberty. Hereafter I hope, when I shut my eyes on the things of time, I shall open them in a better world. What a thing it is to live under the shadow of the wings of the Almighty! I am going the way of all flesh.” And when one replied, " The Lord is gracious,” he answered, " If it were not so, how could I dare to stand before him ?”
The Wednesday before he died, when asked if his mind was comfortable, he replied, “I am satisfied with the Lord's will.” He seemed sensible to his last hour, but expressed nothing remarkable after these words. He departed December 31st, 1807, in the 83rd year of his age.—Memoir of Rev. John Newton, by Rev. Richard Cecil.
THINGS WORTH KNOWING.
I know-in whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day. * 2 Tim. i. 12.
Ye know-that he was manifested to take away our sins 1 John iii. 5.
We know-that all things work together for good to them that love God. Rom. viii. 28.
We know—that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. 2 Cor. v. 1.
We know—that when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. 1 John iii. 2; v. 15, 18, 19, 20.
PRAYER OF THE AGED.
To thee, O God, I pray;
Oh, cast me not away!
Sustained my childish days ;
And filled my lips with praise.
Or time its love decay ?
Is gone like yesterday.
And bow my faltering knee ;
Have yet a strain for thee.
Thy goodness, tried so long;
• The way of transgressors is hard." ONE wet night Mrs. Brown was hurrying home from one of her long walks, taking home some work for which she had not been paid. Her worn shawl was drawn tightly round her, for she had never been rich enough to buy another since the cruel robbery of nearly a year before. She could not help thinking that it was a little hard that she must wait, and have another such walk before she could receive her payment, when her attention was arrested by one of those objects which she could never pass with