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and has no faith or hope in Christ, may comfort himself when he is in sorrow, because some of the objects of his desire are still preserved to him; one man, when his friends die, that he still has honours and influence; another, when he loses power, that he still has wealth; another, when riches take their wings and flee from him, that he still can rejoice in his youth, his health, or his friends; in every case of distress which happens in the 'world, circumstances may be found that will lighten or relieve it; but if the heart relies only on supports such as these, what will it do when all these also are taken away—when he who rejoiced in his strength is brought low by disease—when he who trusted in riches is reduced to want—when he who built all his hope upon the world's honours, finds the foundation crumbling and falling away from beneath him? Then they will look and they will cry for the objects that have been wont to give them hope, but they will look and cry in vain. How different is the state of him, the principle of whose life is that of the Apostle, "to me to live is Christ and to die is gain!" He is not unfitted for worldly duty, but qualified for it in the highest and best manner, by being led to act on the highest and best principles ;—it is his duty to Christ that he should fulfil diligently and faithfully every office and trust committed to him ;—but he is also prepared for every reverse that can happen to him; though it may seem grievous to him, yet it may prove joyous; it may tend to the honour of his Lord, to whose service he owes his life, and it may work out for himself the peaceable fruits of righteousness;—having respect to the recompense of reward, he would rather suffer affliction with the people of God than enjoy the
pleasures of sin for a season ; in death he fears no evil; when the earthly house of his tabernacle is dissolved, he enters into one eternal in the heavens; when he is absent from the body, he is present with the Lord. —Assured of the importance of such a principle of life, and of the blessedness of such a death, who would not say, " Let me die the death of the righteous, and let my last end be like his!"
3. Then let us, in conclusion, advert to the practical view of this important subject—that the two parts of this compound state of mind or principle of life, are closely and inseparably joined, living unto Christ and looking on death as gain. If we would have death a gain to us, we must live unto Christ.—We have spoken of the two together, for it is impossible to separate them; every one who is in Christ, who lives unto him now, or has the spirit of Christ living in him, shall assuredly have victory over death, and in the world to come everlasting life; and every one who is not in him shall at death be left in his sins, and find death the summons to judgment and to condemnation. To speak of the matter otherwise, would be wholly to overlook the death of Christ; he died to abolish death for those who should believe in him, but he leaves death, with all its terrors, the same for those who will not believe. If we should speak of any of those who truly have believed and lived in Christ, as not happy in death, we should be denying that his death had secured his purpose of bringing salvation to all who believe on him ;—or if we should speak of those who did not believe in him and did not think of him in their life, as yet happy in their death, we should be saying that there is some other way than through him by which men can be saved from their sins. Either of these views is utterly opposed to the tenor and to the language of the Gospel, which assures us, on one hand, that" he is able to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him,"— and on the other, that "there is none other name under heaven given among men whereby we must be saved," and that "he that believeth not is condemned already." When it appears that a Christian life and a peaceful and happy death are inseparable, there is evidently ground for our rejoicing that we can have in our life such testimony as will give us hope in death; and we ought to give good heed that we are not acting on any vain delusion that these may be separated. Then let us see that we are living by faith in him—that we hold our life devoted to his honour and to his work, and seek to have all our thoughts and ways conformed to his example and to his doctrine; it is then that we can hope with confidence, but it is then only, that to die will be gain. Yet there are many who believe the delusion, and flatter themselves with the hope, that though they have not thought of Jesus Christ as a Saviour in their life, in their death he will think of them—or somehow they shall be saved. As all the living know that they shall die, every man desires to find some way of counting death a gain, and of laying a flattering unction to his soul when pained with apprehension of death's terrors. And so we hear many say of themselves too readily, that death will be a happy change and release from suffering, and others say too readily of them when they die, that they have gone to their rest. What gain, what rest will death bring to him who in his life has disbelieved and dishonoured Christ, and never to his latest hour repented him of all the ungodly deeds which he has ungodly committed,—or to him who has despised Christ, making light of his Gospel—never heeding his ordinances, or seeking forgiveness through his blood? Far from bettering his condition, death summons him into the presence of his Judge, puts an end to the time of his trial—the season of merciful visitation to him,—removes the last ray of hope that shall ever be shed on him, and brings him into the place and the agony of the impenitently wicked, —the everlastingly condemned. We judge no man ; to his own master every man must stand or fall; and He with whom all things are possible, may recall a sinner from his ways before his last hour is spent. But when we see that the inevitable termination of an unconverted, un-Christian life, persevered in to the end, is a death not of gain but of utter ruin—not of hope but of agony and eternal woe—ought we not to warn every man to flee from such a death, to cease from such a life, and to turn to the stronghold of salvation? Surely it is a stronghold when it is built upon a rock—when the gates of hell shall not prevailagainst it—when it will afford a covert from every tempest, and a refuge in every time of affliction or dismay. Be persuaded, then, my brethren, to be followers of Paul, even as he was of Christ; count not your life dear to you so that you may finish your course with joy, and the work which you have received of the Lord Jesus; and strive always to realise for yourselves the blessed state of the Apostle, "to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain." Amen.
RECONCILIATION WITH GOD AN EARNEST OF COMPLETE SALVATION.
MINISTER OF BTENTOH.
Rom. v. 10.
"Much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life."
On the coasts of this globe, there are many of what are called high water or bar harbours, where admission at all, or a safe admission, can be gained only at certain periods of the tide, or in particular states of the weather. You can easily conceive a vessel ariiving in the bay of one of these harbours after a long and perilous voyage, and obliged to cast anchor and wait in patience till the