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for the people of God ? If we had proper views of the heavenly state, and if we have sincerely loved the friends who have before us entered into that state, surely we will not only wish to enjoy heaven, but also to be re-united to their society. The hours which we have spent with our friends on earth, in civil, social intercourse, in the exercises of private devotion, and in the service of God in His house of prayer, have been the seasons of our chiefest pleasure. How much more pleasant shall they be when we are exalted to that state where no imperfection can enter! If the streams have been so refreshing, what must the fountain be ? Body and soul must for a little part, though united by the closest union, and in the most inexplicable mauner; but those virtuous attachments, those heaven. born feelings which we have contracted for the members of Christ's mystical body, shall, we have reason to hope, never be dissolved. If the rich man in hell was anxious that his brethren might be kept from that place of torment,-if, even in that miserable condition, he entertained such affection for them, how delightful will be the company of parents and children, of the nearest and dearest friends, in the mansions of glory! The affections of friends for one another upon earth, are often, deservedly, strong. How strong, then, must the attachment of Christian friends be in heaven, when cemented by the amazing love of their Divine Redeemer. It will then not be bounded by days or years; but will stretch forward even to eternity. We naturally wish to be with those whom we love. When Jacob heard that Joseph was still alive in Egypt, he could not rest until he saw him ; and when our friends have left the land in which we are yet strangers and pilgrims, our affections should be more weaned from it, and we ought to place them upon that blissful abode whether they are gone before us. But these are comparatively trifling considerations. There are motives the strongest possible to cause us to desire to depart. To behold God's face in righteousness, and to be satisfied with His likeness; to enjoy immediate and uninterrupted fellowship with Him; to be for ever with the Lord; to behold the glory of the Lamb for ever and ever; to sit upon His right hand, and enjoy every communication of His favour; to sing the praises of redeeming love amid the angelic hosts through eternal ages,—these are joys such as eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man ever conceived. Recollecting those unspeakable and immortal joys, who would not wish, that he had wings like a dove, that he might fly away and be at rest, in those delightful mansions, where sin, and sorrow, suffering, and death, never enter ?
My brethren, we are all mortal. Every one of us must die; nor do we know how soon. Let us, then, bring this subject home. Let every one of us, at this moment, ask himself, Am I prepared to die? and as the answer to this momentous question will infallibly divide us into two classes,—those who are prepared, and those who are not,-bear with me, my dear friends, while I address, in the first place, those who are ready; and, secondly, those who are not certain, or have reason, strong reason, to fear they are not ready. And let each of us answer, as in the sight of God, to which of the classes he belongs. Let me congratulate thee, then, thou saint of the Most High. Thou knowest in whom thou hast believed, and canst say, Although the fig-tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labour of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls; yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation. Thou canst adopt the language of the apostle, when he saw his end approaching, I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith; henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, shall give me at that day; and not to me only, but unto all them also that love His appearing. Hail! thou highly-favoured of the Lord. Happy art thou among men, whether rich or poor, honoured or despised. The Lord is thy portion; the everlasting arms of Jchovah are underneath thee; and His angels have received a charge to keep thee in all thy ways. Though poor, perhaps, in this world, yet thou art truly rich. God in Christ is thineJesus is thine—the Holy Spirit is thine-angels and saints are thy companions. But why do I attempt to enumerate thy privileges ? An angel's tongue could not declare thy honours, thy riches, and thy pleasures. Honours which shall never fade, riches which shall never be diminished, and pleasures which shall endure for ever. Angels and archangels will be, in some respects, thy inferiors, when thou art exalted to heaven. For them no Saviour was provided. For them no Holy Spirit was purchased. They never felt affliction, temptation, nor dissolution. And cannot every one in this assembly bear witness, that we never enjoy pleasure so much as after pain, nor health so much until after sickness, nor prosperity so much as when contrasted with adversity. The hopeless victims of eternal misery will never know completely what they liave
lost, until they have felt the agony of the worm that never dieth, and of the fire that never shall be quenched. Happy, then, truly happy art thou, O believer ! Hold fast thy integrity. Be faithful unto death and thou shalt rceive a crown of life. No man baving put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God. But is there any thing on this earth that can cause thee to look behind thee. Remeinber Lot's wife.
Do not all the pleasures of this world perish and decay ? Do not even the pleasures of religion here sometimes become tiresome? The spirit may be willing ; but the flesh is weak. Does not the warring of the flesh against the spirit, the risings of inward corruption, sometimes cause thee to say, I would not live alway? I have a desire to depart, and be with Christ, which is far better. Keep thy eye steadily fixed on the eternal reward,-a
,-a reward not of debt, but of grace. Look to Jesus. Look to God, reconciled through Him. Look to that Spirit who is thy conductor and thy comforter; and when thou hast bebeld this Three-One God as wholly thine, say, if any thing beneath these heavens can engross thy desires. Say, if tribulatiou, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword, or death, or life, or angels, or principalities, or powers, or things present, or things to come, or height, or depth, or any other creature, shall be able to separate thee from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus thy Lord ? Think on the society thou shalt enjoy in heaven. Not only all the angels of God-not only all the spirits of just men made perfect—not only all the friends of God with whom thou didst take sweet counsel; but even God himself,— God reconciled in Christ. Nor be uneasy at the loss of those thou didst hold dear. They are taken away from the evils to come. They are gone before thee, and will meet thee at - the gates of the New Jerusalem, and, with songs of joy, will welcoine thee into the everlasting mansions in thy Father's house. Be steadfast then, be immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord. Do daily more for Christ. I need not commend Him to thee. Thou knowest that He is the chiefest among ten thousands, and altogether lovely. Thou knowest his worth—his infinite worth. He saved thee from eternal misery. Nor did He merely save thee from destruction. He has conferred upon thee innumerable blessings; and He will withhold from thee nothing that is truly good. Be therefore true to Him-be zealous to promote His cause. Declare His glory to mankind. Tell them what He has done for thy soul, and endeavour to carry along with thee to heaven as many as thou canst, Numb. x. 29. Thou canst not commend Him too highly. Do not fear that any will ever upbraid thee for overrating His excellence. What shall I say more unto thee? I would gladly be a helper of thy faith and joy. Gladly would I administer to thee such consolation as we can administer to one another; but Jesus is the fountain whence we must all draw. He has a cure for every disease, a balm for every wound, a cordial for every care. Whether we are deprived of acquaintances, or neighbours, or benefactors, or friends, we can never be deprived of Him. He will be with us even unto death. He will guide us through its dark valley, and will increase our joys through eternity. He will lead us unto streams of never-ceasing delight, and for ever wipe away all tears from our eyes. Then shall we join with angels and with archangels, with all the saints of the Most High, and with our dear departed friends, in singing the song of Moses and of the Lamb,— Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing. Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be to Him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever.
Gladly would I here close this address; but I am afraid we are not all on the Lord's side. The greatest stretch of that charity which hopeth all things, and believeth all things, will not warrant the conclusion, that we are all the disciples of Christ,—that we have all felt the power of religion upon our minds, constraining us to live by the faith of the Son of God, who died for sinners, even the very chief. If there is one in this assembly who has not left all and followed Christ, -one who is yet a stranger to the grace of God, far from God, and far from happiness, -allow me to address thee, O sinner, as one who is to beseech thee in Christ's stead to be reconciled to God. Art thou, then, prepared to die, O sinner? Were the sword, the famine, and the pestilence, passing through the land, and hundreds falling on thy right hand and on thy left, so that the living could not bury the dead, what would be thy condition ? Were the earthquake just now shaking so terribly the earth that the house of God in which thou art was tumbling about thee, and overwhelming thee in its ruins—were the sun darkened, the moon falling from her sphere-were the heavens rolling together as a scroll-were the earth beginning to be in flames, and the dead who have lain around thee for hundreds of years, awakening from their slumber at the sound of the trump of the angel, standing with his one foot on the earth, and his other foot on the sea, and were he lifting up his hand to heaven, and swearing by Him who lives for ever and ever, that there shall be time no longer-were the Judge appearing in the clouds, arrayed in awful majesty and terror -and were we all summoned from this Gospel-scene to the judgment.seat,-how would thy heart beat, and thy whole frame be convulsed! Wouldest thou not wish, that thou hadst listened to the voice of instruction, and prepared for that awful scene? Most assuredly thou wouldest. Thou wouldest then give the whole world, were it thine, to be allowed time to prepare for eternity. Say, then, my dear fellow-sinner, wilt thou be made whole? Art thou convinced that thou art a sinner? Dost thou see that thou hast been hitherto sleeping the sleep of death ? Is thy conscience awakened ? Hast thou seen, that of thyself thou art hopeless and helpless? Hast thou seen the extent of the divine law ? and dost thou acknowledge it to be holy, just, and good ? Hast thou felt thy sinfulness and wretchedness, so as to make thee cry out, What shall I do to be saved ?—God be inerciful to me, a sinner. Were these thy feelings, and this thy language, I have a Saviour to offer thee -a great salvation to beg thy acceptance of; and without accepting of which as the free gift of God, thou canst not escape. I have to tell thee, that God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on Him should pot perish, but have everlasting life. God hath made Him to be sin for us who knew no sin, that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him. It is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners. Wilt thou accept of this Saviour, for wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption ? Wilt thou become one of his subjects, one of his friends, one of his brethren? Wilt thou kiss the Son ere He be angry? Thou canst not conquer Him. Why, then, dost thou strive with Him? Let the potsherds strive with the potsherds of the earth; but woe unto him that striveth with his Maker. Wilt thou, then, be reconciled ? Thou hast too long been rebellious—thou hast put Him to a vast expense-thou hast cost Him His blood-thou hast slain the Lord of glory. He hung on a cross for thee for thee He bled and died-and for thee He is risen again. And wilt thou not now be reconciled to Him? He is willing to give thee this day a full and free pardon. He is willing to forgive thy transgression, to cover thy sin, and not even to impute unto thee iniquity; nay, He is willing to impute unto thee righteousness without works. His words are,-1, even I, am He that blotteth out thy transgression for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins. Come now, and let us reason