תמונות בעמוד
PDF
ePub

get and keep it under. It will be hard work, and probably sad work too, if you are called to encounter with death and sin at the same time: but if you mortify your members which are upop the earth, and crucify the flesh, with its affections and lusts, and are now dead indeed unto sin, you need not be afraid of death : that king of terrors will be an easy conquest, and you will soon shout “ Victory, through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

Particulars might be easily multiplied, but I havę exceeded already, and have hardly left room to take proper notice of your other question : viz.

III. What need is there to be in such a hurry about it?

• We are young,'you say: ' at least we are in full health : why may we not enjoy life some years longer, and make ready for death at our leisure?' I'll tell you why;

1. Because ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.

If you could be certain that he would not come till you sent for him; or if it were a thing hardly ever heard of, that a person died young, or died suddenly; then there were something more excusable in your question. But the instance before us is a fresh and striking contutation of such an idle dream; here is a young person in the very prime of life, cut down; and cut down, too, without the parade of a long confinement ;-a few hours, and the solemn scene was closed. And what assurance have any, the youngest and healthiest of ye all, that what happened to her may not happen to you? Is it possible that you can presume so much where you have so little reason? What! take it for

you be

granted that you shall live to be old! Ah, man!“ boast not thyself of to-morrow, for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth."-If I could but read to you your names in the order in which they stand in Death's list, and tell you with certainty, such-anone shall live ten years; such-an-one shall live ten months; and such-an-one, and such-an-one, shall live but so many days longer ; how would alarmed! Business and diversions-yes, even dear diversions-would be thrown by, and you would set yourselves " to work out your salvation with fear and trembling." If sinners enticed, you would readily and resolutely refuse: “ What! waste another day, or night, in rioting and drunkenness, when I have but so many days to live ; and when I have so much to do in that little inch of time?"--So you would think, and so you would act, upon the assurance that you should not live above so many weeks, or months; and, yet, the possibility that you may die this night is received with all the unconcern imaginable. Why, then, I will only add,

2. If the Son of man cometh before you are ready, your souls are lost for ever.

And can you be unconcerned at that too? You remember the fate of those foolish virgins, who went forth to meet the Bridegroom, but took no oil in their vessels with their lamps: While they went to buy, the Bridegroom came; and they that were ready, went in with him to the marriage, and the door was shut: afterwards the others came, and knocked, and cried, “ Lord, Lord, open to us;" but it availed nothing : he answered and said, “ I know you not; depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity." Even so it will fare with you, if

you

saunter and riot away the precious hours of life, and do not begin to prepare for death till you aca tually feel yourselves dying: there remaineth no, thing to you but “a certain fearful looking-for of wrath and fiery indignation.”

Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: “Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with all thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest."

[ocr errors][merged small]
[ocr errors][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

Into thy hand I commit my spirit : thou hast redeemed

me, O Lord God of truth.

What! another spirit disembodied, and added to “ the spirits of the just made perfect ?” Another member of this little society left us, and gone up to “ join the general assembly and church of the firstborn?” Well, “ blessed are the dead that die in the Lord; even so, saith the Spirit, for they rest from their labours, and their works do follow them.” It is a privilege to be envied, rather than an affliction to be mourned over :

“ Oh, could you see the saints above,

In their own glorious forms,
You'd wonder how your souls could love

To dwell with mortal worms."

What a great and happy alteration in their per. sons and circumstances have these few days made ! No cough, no cholic, no asthma, no deafness, no forgetfulness, to complain of now-all life and youthful vigour, See where they stand before the throne of God, crying with a loud voice, “ Unto Him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, and hath made us kings and priests

[ocr errors]

unto God, and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever : Amen."

What meaneth then, this voice of lamentation and bitter mourniag? “Oh! I've lost a dear parent,” cries one; and, “Oh! I've lost a dear friend,” cries another. Lost! how can she be lost, who is so much safer, and happier, than any of us? How can she be lost, when you all know where to fod her? Her body-you know how that was disposed of: there were witnesses enough to the solemn service, when the corpse was let gently down into the grave with a “ We therefore commit her body to the ground: earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust." There it was left; there it is now; and there it will remain, safely locked up, and care. fully watched, till that glorious morning when the earth shall be called upon to give up its dead. And as for her soul, she tells us in the text how she had disposed of that: “ Into thine hands I commit my spirit: thou hast redeemed me, O Lord God of truth.”

These words were' spoken originally by David, with respect to his natural life, which was then threatened, and sought after ; as appears by his prayer in the preceding verse : - Pull me out of the net which they have laid privily for me ; for thou art my strength.” He knew he had to do with enemies that would take every advantage against him, and would stick at nothing to cut him off; he was informed that there was a snare laid to entrap him, though he knew not particularly what it was; but, however, in the midst of all, David encouraged himself in the Lord his God :

166 Thou art my

« הקודםהמשך »