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And though, when the wicked are to be restored to life we are not told, we are assured that all the dead shall be raised, and the wicked go into punishment.
Of what consequence to us is it to see that we have our part in this first resurrection, and that we do not miss of attaining to it! and the way we know. Jesus, as he speaks himself, is the resurrection and the life. He first taught and opened to us the way to it; and by following his precepts and example, though we are doomed to die, yet shall we live again, and live for ever. And especially as time and the hour of
preparation for it may be over to us, we know not how soon; certainly cannot be of long dura
Unto God be glory and thanks for all bis goodness to us!
O thou most gracious Author of our be ings! we are dying creatures : thou only livest for ever and ever! We desire to be made thankful to thee for thy unspeakable goodness to us, that, although thou seest it fitting to place
us here for a few days only and then to die, thou intendest us for a happiness beyond the grave,
and hast instructed us that death will not terminate our being, but is the opening and passage to a life that will never end.
Enable us, we pray thee, to make a right use of the short day of our present life, that we may lay in betimes a foundation of true wisdom, and loyal obedience to thee and thy righteous laws, and may finish the work of holiness prescribed to us before the night cometh in which no man can work.
And when temptations and difficulties arise in the discharge of our duty which we owe ta thee and thy truth; and we are purposely placed in the midst of them by thine hand for our good, and for the exercise of our faith and adherence to thee; cause us to remember for our encouragement the conflicts which the apostles of Jesus, and thy faithful servants of old, endured in the cause of thy gospel ; and help us to follow their example in bearing our open testimony to it, that we may, in our time of need, partake of the comforts and supports which they derived from thee. And although it hath pleased thee, O thou
sovereign all-righteous disposer of all things, to make a solemn stop and suspension of our being and powers when we depart out of this world, before we enter upon our eternal state; we desire cheerfully to acquiesce in thy methods of conferring so immense a blessing upon us, especially as we are persuaded that all thy ways towards thy creatures are directed by infinite goodness.
Finally, O heavenly Father, of thy mercy assist us always by patient continuance in well-doing, and faith in thy promises to us by Christ Jesus our Lord, to aspire after and to look forward with joy to that blissful state kept in reserve for us in thy future world, where there will be no more danger or hazard of falling away from thee ; and where thy faithful servants will go on improving in virtue and happiness, and in thy favour for ever!
Now unto thee, O Father, who art the only living, &c.
The Lord bless us, &c.
MARK v. 1-5.
And they came over unto the other side of the sea,
into the country of the Gadarenes. And when be was come out of the ship, immediately there met him out of the tombs, a man with an unclean spirit, who had bis dwelling among the tombs; and no man could bind bim, no not with chains : because that be bad been often bound with chains and fetters, and the chains bad been plucked asunder by him, and the fetters broken to pieces ; so that no man could tame bim. And always, night and day, he was in the mountains and the tombs, skouting, and cutting himself with stones.
It is sometimes proper in christian assemblies to illustrate miraculous facts recorded in the scriptures which appear to be objectionable, and to have some difficulty in them; and it can rarely happen but that much useful in
struction may be drawn from the discussion of any subject in which our Saviour was principally concerned. The
part of the gospel-history which I have prefixed to my discourse to be considered by us, contains the description of a human creature in a most deplorable state, whose extraordinary cure by our Lord was attended with singular and uncommon circumstances. And although the subject has been handled by learned and able writers, particularly of our own country, and in the
may, perhaps, be something left to glean up after them, or it may not fall in the way one to be acquainted with what others have remarked on such a curious point.
The account of it is given by the three former evangelists, who also agree in mentioning the violent storm which happened in passing the lake, from which the ship that carried Christ and his apostles, and other ships in their company, were in great danger.
Luke thus begins his narrative ; (viii. 26, 27.) “And they arrived at the country of the Gadarenes, which is over against Galilee. And there met him a certain man of the city,