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And, on the other hand, how agonizing will be our reflections, if an awakened conscience then utters her voice, and can give no other testimony than this, "Thy sins, which are many, are not forgiven thee!" Yet it is not always thus, even when the summons is most sudden and unexpected. "The righteous hath hope in his death." Death still is clad in the garb of the king of terrors, but he delivers a message of peace. He is still an enemy, but he is "the last enemy" of the Christian, and one day he will "be destroyed." Even his present hostilities have by our Redeemer been converted into blessings. By the anticipation of these we are the more readily induced to" take to ourselves the whole armour of God." Arming ourselves with the same mind which was in him, who once suffered for us in the flesh, we cease from sin.' We are no longer "subjected to bondage through the fear of death." "God giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ."


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We hear from time to time how thickly the shafts of death fly around us; how one fellowcreature is cut off in his sins, another in the midst of his virtuous and useful designs; one because threescore years and ten have worn out his shortlived frame, another in the vigour of youth; one by the disorders of the body, another by some unlooked for accident. These dealings of Provi

dence, while they answer wise ends with respect to the individuals taken away, are also intended to remind us of our own insecurity. And yet we are marvellously forgetful of so important a consideration. The soldier, indeed, in the field of battle, is heedless of the thousands that fall around him, and of the weapons which may the next moment level him with his dying comrades. But this may be accounted for. It is said that, at the first onset, a pale terror sits on every brow, and that those of the stoutest heart feel a momentary conviction of the awful situation in which they are placed. But the instant that they are engaged, this gives way to an earnestness and exertion, which leaves no time, almost no possibility, for fear and reflection. Reflection, and fear, and even the thought of death is then certain destruction. With us the case is different. We have time for reflection, and it is our security. The busiest has more than time so to "number his days, as to apply his heart unto wisdom." Why then are we as heedless as the soldier, though perhaps really in as great peril? Not because we cannot reflect--not because time has been wantingnot because it increases our danger. None of these suppositions are true in point of fact. The reason is that we are unwilling. We dread the thoughts of death, because we "love the world and the things of the world,"--because the things

unseen have little hold upon our affections-because we are sinners by nature, by practice, and almost by determination-because we "hate to be reformed "--because with the thought of death is associated the fear of "a judgment to come." We tremble when we realize such things to our minds, and we therefore hate the recollection of them, and scarcely dare to encourage it.

It is true that such subjects are solemn, melancholy, and alarming. But are they unprofitable? Is it better to attend to them, or to dismiss them to avoid them-to drown the remembrance of them in vanity and indulgence? Such, indeed, is the way in which the worldling acts. "Let us eat and drink, for to-morrow we die," is his law and gospel. "Let us banish care and sorrow," is his resolution. But what says the wisest of men? "The day of death is better than the day of one's birth. It is better to go to the house of mourning, than to go to the house of feasting; for that is the end of all men, and the living will lay it to heart. Sorrow is better than laughter; for by the sadness of the countenance the heart is made better. The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning." This is at all times more satisfactory, and it has a far greater blessedness in reserve. It is more safe, for it presents fewer temptations. It is more profitable, for it shews us the value of those principles and hopes,

which in the house of feasting we may undervalue or forget. We come away from thence improved in heart, and strengthened in every holy purpose. It lies most directly in the road to heaven; and it displays to us the operation, and directs us to the acquirement of "that consolation wherewith we ourselves may be comforted of God."

But alas! Solomon did not speak as a prophet when he said, "The living will lay it to heart." He knew that too generally they would do far otherwise. At the same time he also knew, and so do we, that if the living are wise, if they are prudent, if they are not content to inherit "shame and everlasting contempt," "they will lay it to heart." We know that all men must die. But we must apply the truth to our own case. The mercies of God's providence, and the wonders of his grace, the compassion and sufficiency of a crucified Redeemer, will be worse than lost upon us, unless our hearts and consciences whisper to us daily-I too must die-I must then be ready-I must prepare to meet the Son of man-I must make him my friend-I must glory in his cross-I must have faith in his blood-I must rely upon his intercession-I must be sanctified by his Spirit -I must live a life of faith, and devotedness, and holy obedience. Nothing less than this is "to lay it to heart." Nothing less than this is "to be of the truth, and to hear the voice of Jesus."

Have you done this? are you disposed to do it? Go on in this way, and "in due season you shall reap, if you faint not." But "be ye always ready; for in such an hour as ye think not, the Son of man cometh." "Have your loins girt, and your lights burning," and then, "through the grave, and gate of death, you will pass to your joyful resurrection, for his merits who died, and was buried, and rose again for us, Jesus Christ our Lord."

a It may probably occur to those who read, as it did to some who heard this Lecture, that some particular circumstance must have suggested the reflections with which this Lecture concludes. On the day before it was delivered, the Author had seen removed from his own house the corpse of a Clergyman, whose useful life had suddenly been terminated in consequence of the injuries which he accidentally received on the preceding Thursday. When the Author left that which had so unexpectedly become "the house of mourning," and sat down to finish this Lecture, the preparation of which had been suspended by that melancholy event, the recollection of the uncertainty of life, and of the blessedness of a state of preparation for death, mixed itself with all his thoughts. The contemplation of our Saviour's death also directed his thoughts into the same channel; and perhaps it was not surprising that he should, under such circumstances, endeavour to communicate to others the lessons which himself had so profitably, and yet so painfully, been receiving. For he had witnessed the last hours of one to whom death had given a sudden summons; yet who received it with a rare and enviable composure, and submitted to the stroke in faith, and hope, and resignation. He had "adorned the doctrine of God our Saviour by his life," and it was sufficient to support him in the hour of death.-Another exemplary Clergyman,

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