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the persuasion that heaven is our home, and that we shall go there when we die.
" I should like to know that,” perhaps you say: “how may I know it?"
That which unfits men for heaven, we reply, is sin; for it is God's holy heaven. But the Lord Jesus Christ died for us on the cross that our sins might be forgiven; and as soon as we believe in Him we are cleansed from all our guilt. To all who thus believe He gives His Holy Spirit that He may renew their hearts, and fit them for the services and the joys of heaven. Every man who is thus saved becomes an adopted child of God, and an heir of the heavenly inheritance.
Remember, too, what the Lord Jesus Christ said to His disciples when He was about to leave them: “In My Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto Myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.”
The first Christian martyr, Stephen, knew where he was going. “ Behold,” he said, “I see the heavens opened, and the Son of Man standing on the right hand of God.” “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.”
The Apostle Paul knew. “For we know," he says, "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."
So tens of thousands-millions of the Lord's servants have known beyond all doubt where they were going when they were about to die, and it took away all the terrors of death and filled them with unutterable peace and joy. And you, too, if you are conscious that you have been saved by Christ, and that you are trusting Him with your whole heart, may say, when you come to die, “I know that I am going to be with Him for ever.”
“But what,” you perhaps ask, “if I do not believe in the Lord Jesus Christ ?" We are bound to tell you, we reply, in
all faithfulness, that if you live without Him and die without Him you will be "punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power." There is no escape ” if you “neglect so great salvation.” But, thank God! you need not perish. The door of mercy stands wide open for you still, and you may enter to-day.
It is not to be denied that there are some who, like the man whose sad story we have told, persuade themselves that there is no future life—both live and die without fear. In any case, however, that is the utmost that can be said. If they look forward at all, it is into a black dark night, unrelieved by a single ray of hope; and as for triumphant joy, that is altogether impossible. But it sometimes happens, as in the instance we have recorded, that the sceptic's unbelief fails him when he most needs any poor consolation it may have to give him. Conscience is aroused, the mind is filled with dread, and there is "a fearful looking for of judgment." Who, as he contemplates such an end, and contrasts it with the departure of a Christian sustained by the loving presence of Christ, does not say, “Let me die the death of the righteous, and let my last end be like his?"
Is that animal better that hath two or three
on dew or manna, and lives upon what falls every morning from the clouds—the storehouses of heaven? Can a man quench his thirst better out of a river than a full cup, or drink better from the fountain which is finely paved with marble than when it wells over the green turf?- Jeremy Taylor.
Soft are the tones and gentle
That soothe an inward smart, And whispered words of kindness
Lie longest in the heart.
So much of our life's music
Is set in minor keys;
Wake sweetest melodies.
Not in the field of battle
Life's greatest deeds are donc ; Nor 'mid the roar of cannon
The proudest laurels won.
God calls His faithful soldiers
To wage a nobler strife ; And “He that overcometh "
Receives a crown of life.
Then mourn not though thy service
Nor great nor proud appear ; “Not many mighty” labour
Within God's vineyard here.
O Christian ! seek not, ask not,
Earth's pomp and empty show; Better to walk in all things
As Jesus walked below!
Better to toil and suffer,
Led onward by His smile ; And know that heaven is waiting
Beyond earth's "little while.”
Better to bear the burden
Until the day is done,
And thy Beloved One.
Y. E. T.
HEN I was a young girl I had a very kind old aunt
who lived alone, and whom my sisters and I often used to visit. She was called Aunt Priscilla.
Sometimes, indeed, we used to call her, behind her back, “ Aunt Precise,” because we thought her overparticular about little things.
Not that it troubled her much if we had an accident and tore our frocks, or even spilt the ink, as we once did, on her best table-cover, or came in and marked her carpet with dirty boots.
These things she passed over more lightly than they would have been passed over at home. We were always so very sorry for an accident of that kind, and she used to comfort us by saying, “Never mind, my dears, you will be more careful next time.” But there were some things that vexed her very much, in which we saw no harm at all. My sister Fanny was a lively girl, full of fun, and very fond of talking. If she related anything she always made a grand tale of it, and the simplest event would be magnified by her into something wonderful.
One day she was telling Aunt Priscilla of a visit she had paid to one of her schoolfellows. This girl, whose name was Lydia Stone, lived in a better house than ours, and, according to Fanny's description, it was quite a palace. There was a piano in every room, pictures on the walls for which hundreds of pounds had been given, a garden at least three times the size of our own, and the most splendid furniture.
“And Lydia used to send her lady’s-maid every day to dress me for dinner,” said Fanny; “and, oh, aunt, it was such fun seeing a footman behind every chair, watching to take our plates."
“Mr. Stone must have altered his style of living since last year when I dined there," said my aunt, quietly.
Poor Fanny did not know that my aunt visited the Stones,