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much moved, and went up to the chamber over the gate, and wept; and as he went thus he said, O my son Absalom! my son, my son Absaloin ! would God I had died for thee! O Absalom, my son, my son !” (2 Sam, xviii. 33.) He had reason to fear that the youth was very unfit to die, and therefore shuddered to think what was the situation of his dear, dear child, in the other world. Perhaps there is no trouble that pierces deeper into the heart of a tender and pious parent;—and yet, even here the balm of the covenant affords a sovereign remedy : for the salvation is so great, that a personal interest in it more than makes up the loss of their company whom we wished to share it with us. . And this seems to be the circumstance that David particularly fixed upon for his support;
66 He hath made with me an everlasting covenant"--as if he had said, Though I am not without my fears as to some of my family, yet I am safe myself: God hath been graciously pleased to pluck my soul as a brand out of the burning, and bring me within the bonds of this everlasting covenant; and I will bless him eternally for that, though he extend not the same mercy to others, whose souls I could have died to
· There is no doubt but the thoughts of their mis. carrying must be grievous now: we must be divested of all the tender feelings of humanity, if we were not sincerely and deeply affected with it: but in the other world we shall “ know no man after the flesh :" our wills shall be so perfectly conformed to the will of God, that, let him say what he pleases, we shall approve of it, and say, “ Good is the word of the Lord ;” and whoever are shut
out, nothing shall be heard in heaven but the voice of much people, saying, Hallelujah, salvation, blessing, and honour, and power, unto the Lord our God.
Improvement. 1. Let those who are hitherto strangers to this covenant of promise labour after an interest in it.
Hereby you will be provided against the worst that can befal you in this world : it will be a sweet retreat from present trouble, and an infallible secu. rity from eternal destruction. One would imagine you should not need persuasion: your own misery and danger should be motives sufficient to make you“ fly for refuge,” and “ lay hold of the hope set before you.” David hath set you a noble exam. ple: he entered into covenant with God betimes, and dedicated the prime of his life to his service: and this was his plea and his support afterwards, under the infirmities of age, and the disorders and declensions of his family. Why will you not be prevailed upon to go and do likewise? It would look well to make religion your choice and your business, at a time of life when sensible objects are making the strongest opposition : and when the world is spreading all its snares, and holding up its
gay enticements, then to give holiness and heaven the preference in your practical estimation: this is honourable and praiseworthy. And let me tell you, this God expects; and, probably, less than this God will not accept.
" Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them.' (Ecéles, xii..)
: I wish I could impress this thought upon your hearts ; That not all the wealth and pleasure in the world can countervail the want of an interest in this everlasting covenant: you must be unhappy in health, but much more so in sickness : you can have no true enjoyment of life, and at deathOh my
deluded friends, what will you do at death? when all the gay and jovial scenes you are now so enamoured with shall be withdrawn, and you shall be haunted with the ghosts of departed joys, and terrified with the prospect of approaching torments! Then, what would you not give for a part in this blessed, soul-securing covenant !-I can give you little encouragement to hope that you shall be accepted then; but I am authorised to invite you all to a share in covenant blessings now.
God hath given his Son to be a covenant to the people : “ Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth :” “ God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." Those are happy days spoken of by the prophet! (and-happy would our eyes be if they could see, and our ears if they could hear, such things in our day !) “ In those days, and at that time, saith the Lord, the children of Israel shall come, they, and the children of Judah together, going and weeping: they shall go and seek the Lord : they shall ask the way to Zion, with their faces thitherward, saying, Come, and let us join ourselves to the Lord in a perpetual covenant that shall not be forgotten.” (Jer. 1. 4, 5.)
2. Let those, who are interested in the covenant,
perform the duty and take the comfort belonging to it.
A well-ordered covenant demands a well-ordered conversation. Since infinite Wisdom bath modelled his covenant to the utmost advantage, so as to include every thing you can desire-yea, he hath promised to do for you exceeding abundantly above all that you can ask or think-surely you can do no less than serve him in holiness and righteousness all the days of your life. And if you do, then take home the consolations of the covenant, and live upon them, let outward circumstances be ever so discouraging. What if your house be not so with God as it hath been, he hath promised to guide you by his counsel, and afterwards receive you to glory:
wherefore, comfort one another with these words." Let faith supply the place of sense, and show you, that, let family losses be ever so great, in this covenant you have all, and abound. Think of this, believe this, and you will soon dry up your tears. . and sing, with the prophet ; Although the fig-tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vine; the labour of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flocks shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stall : yet will I rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation.” (Hab. iij. 17, 18.)
AT THE FUNERAL OF MISS MARGARET LAKE;
WHO DIED APRIL, 1774, AGED THIRTY.
JEREMIAH xxxi. 15.
Thus saith the Lord, A voice was heard in Ramah,
lamentation, and bitter weeping : Rachel weeping for her children, refused to be comforted for her children, because they were not.
A most deplorable case indeed! No wonder she is so violently affected. Every one that stops to listen to her piteous tale shudders at the recital, and drops a tributary tear. Only think-to lose a child ! -Not a servant, or a distant relation, for whom she had only a common and general regard ; by whose life or death, therefore, she could not be materially affected :—no, it was a child; a part of herself; bone of her bone, flesh of her flesh ; bound to her heart by such ties, that cutting off a right hand, or plucking out a right eye, do but faintiy represent the anguish of the separation.children - If out of a large family one only had been taken, and all the others left, the loss had not been so great: but to have all the others taken, or only one left, this makes a fearful breach !-And to lose them all so fast? Before her tears were well dried up for one child, to have another, and another, and another, still torn from her, in a most amazingly quick succession; so that, within the small compass
To lose so many