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whom you have had the victory; and ere long you shall sing the song of the Lamb with stronger love, and richer experience of his grace. You have been weak, but his grace has been sufficient for you. He has as tender a love for you now in his exaltation, as he had upon the cross; and will be suffer a soul to perish for whom he has paid so dear a price? This is your time of need, and here is a supply for all your wants. As we may come boldly to the throne of grace, so we may boldly pass, by his conduct, into the presence of God in glory; for where he is he has promised we shall be also. O what a joy is it to our departing souls that we have our head and Saviour already in possession of the kingdom which we are passing to! What a support and joy is it to receive this message from our ascending Lord, “Say to my brethren, I ascend to my Father, and your Father ; to my God, and your God !” What a joy is it to read his promise: “ If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am there shall also my servant be.” You have served him, and are following him, and are going to be with him where he is.
· Consolations addressed to a dying Christian.
My friend, you seem now to be almost at your journey's end ! But how many 'sad steps have those to go, whom you leave behind in this sinful world : you have fought a good fight, and kept the faith; and shall never be troubled with an enemy, or temptation, when this contest is over! You ghall never be so much as tempted to unbelief, or pride, or worldly mindedness, or fleshly lusts, or to any defects in the service of your Lord ! But how many temptations do you leave us encompassed with! And how many dangers and enemies to overcome! And, alas, how many falls and wounds may we receive! You are entering into the harbour, and leave us tossed by tempests on the waves.
Flesh will no more entice or cloy your soul! You will no more have'unruly senses to command, nor an unreasonable appetite to govern ; nor wandering thoughts, nor boisterous passions to restrain, Your service of God will no more be mixed and blemished with imperfections! You shall never more have a cold, or hard, or backward heart, or a careless customary duty to lament! Will it not be a joyful day to you, when you shall know God, as much as you desire to know him? And love him as much as you desire to love him? There
shall be delivered from the darkness of this world. How dimly did we see through the lanthorn of the flesh! How little did we know, and how much were we ignorant of; and what pains did our little knowledge cost us! But there, one sight of the face of God, will put an end to this long night, and there you shall understand the works of God, and the frame of the creation; the place, the office, and reason of all the things which here you know not. The moveteries of the gospel which angels pry into, will be there unfolded to you. What wel. come will those blessed angels give you, that here disdained not to minister for yori, and bear you up in all your ways, and interested themselves in your concerns ; rejoicing before God at your conversion! How glad then will they be of your safe arrival at the promised harbour of felicity with themselves ! Wbat joy will you be entertained and welcomed into ;-to the acquaintance of those blessed spirits, and of all the holy spirits that are delivered from this flesh and world ; and to see their order, be numbered with their society, and to be employed in their joyful work. O how much better company is there, than the best below! There is no ignorance, and therefore, no error; no want of love, and no contention; no narrow private interest to contend for; but all made happy in perfect love: no cruel mockings or imprisonments; none destitute, afflicted, or tormented ; no
more sufferings for the sake of righteousness; bat having suffered with Christ, they are now reigning with him ; no wars or rumours of wars, because no lust to war in their members: there we shall have no suffering friend to mourn for; your righteous soul will no longer be grieved with the wicked ; the whole society will shine in light, and flame in love ; and none through weakness or corruption will be a cloy or hindrance to another. Above all this you shall behold the person of your glorified Redeemer! You shall see that body in its glorious change, which was once humbled to a virgin's womb, to a life of poverty, and to the scorn of sinners : the wonderful condescension of his incarnation, and the mystery of his divine nature will there be better understood.
You shall see the blessed God himself ; in that place which he hath prepared to reveal his glory in. You shall see him, whose sight will perfect your understandings; and love him, and feel the fulness of his love. O, my dear friend, bad you and I but a glimpse, with blessed Stephen or Paul, of these unutterable pleasures, how deeply would it affect us ! and how weary should we be of this prison, and how glad to be delivered into the glorious liberty of the sons of God! This is the life that you are going to
live : though death must open the passage into it, its pains will soon be over, and in that world of joy you will forget all the sorrows you have left behind. O what a change will it be to a humbled fearful soul, to find itself in a moment dislodged from a sinful painful flesh, and entered into a world of light and life, and holy love! Alay ! that our present ignorance and fear should make us draw back from such a change! That while all the brethren that died in faith, are triumphing in those joys with Christ, our trembling souls should be so loth to leave this flesh, and to be called to the same felicity! O what an enemy is the remnant of unbelief to our souls, that it can bide such undescribable glory from our eyes, that we should no more desire it, but are willing to stay so long from God! How wonderful is that love and mercy that brings such backward souls to happiness, and draws us to blessedness, whether we will or not ! Come on then, dear friend, and faint not at the last. Fear not to encounter the King of Terrors ! It is the last enemy, and it is a conquered enemy! Lift up your head, and look to your victorious reigning Lord; gird up the loins of your mind, and let faith and patience hold out yet a little while, and all
will be yours.