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is vanquished, my last struggle is over: I have triumph for temptation ; and have come off more than a conqueror, through him that has loved me.'
But this brings to my mind another reason we have to rejoice in his departure; and that is,
II. The world to which he is gone.
A blessed world indeed !-a goodly land--the promised landma land flowing with milk and honey
a perfect paradise !where grow no briars" nor thorns ; nothing to interrupt our progress, or wound our peace;- where we shall not be subject to those painful sensations of hunger, thirst, and cold; nor need any sustenance from those coarse entertainments which here inferior creatures yield us ;where our countenances shall never gather wrinkles; neither our eyes grow dim with age, nor be drowned in tears ; nor our lips grow cold ; nor our limbs grow stiff ; nor our speech grow faultering ; nor our bodies have in them the least tendency to corruption or decay, but be all spiritual, celestial, and glorious ;-where our life shall not be such a mixture of hope and fear, joy and sorrow, as now it is ; but an uninterrupted succession of joy universal ;-where there
heart rending partings of friend from friend; and the voice of weeping, lamentation, and mourning, is heard no more at all ;-where we shall have no more calls to sympathize with suffering friends, or to mourn over the dying and the dead ;-where mortality, which is the disgrace of all sublunary delights, shall be swallowed up of life ;-where we shall never be liable to weakness, uneasiness, or stupidity, nor to any of those diseases with which we are now oppressed ;--where we shall be free from
all those temptations, which arise from the infirmities of our nature and the imperfection of our state ;-where there shall no more be darkness in our understandings, no perverseness in our wills, no earthliness in our affections, no tumult in our passions ;-where we shall be presented to God ss without spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing;where we shall serve him day and night in his temple, and never rest, and yet be never tired ;-where « the joy of the Lord will be our strength, and the light of his countenance be health to our souls, and marrow to our bones;”—where we shall " sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob,” the patriarchs, prophets, apostles, and martyrs ; and partake with them in the felicities, and join with them in the services, of that glorious kingdom ;--where we shall join “ the general assembly and church of the firstborn,” in their never-ending Hallelujahs ;-where the object of our worship will be ever present, and our minds filled with his glory ;-where we shall associate with “ the spirits of just men made per fect;"--- where we shall converse with angels; and; which is more than all, where we shall see God, bė transformed into his image, and be satisfied with his likeness ;---where there is “ fulness of joy, and pleasures for evermore ;''---Where there is no sariety of the present, no solicitude for the future ;--and, in one word, where Blessedness and Eternity are inseparably united.
re God forgive the imperfections of this descrip tion! for "eye hath not seen, .ear hath not heard, neither hath it entered into the heart of man to conceive, what God hath laid up for them that love him.” “It doth not yet appear what we shall
be;" but this we“ know, that we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is." We know something-yes, Christians, through mercy, in our secret retirements, and in public ordinances, we do know a little of what it is to have God with us : but to be with God, is a felicity which none but those who have been caught up into the third heavens can form any adequate idea of.- If he whose death we are now lamenting (if I must not say, whose triumph we are now celebrating); who hath often from this place entertained you with the “ clusters of Eshcol,” and presented you with the “ earnests and first fruits” of your future inheritance ;—if he were present, and would undertake this subject, how we should all hang upon his lips !Come, happy spirit ! if thou canst bear , so long an absence from the mansions of glory ;. come, and tell us some of the peculiarities of that state and world; come, and tell us some of those things which are to mortal eyes invisible, and by mortal. tongues unutterable —if they are not by mortal minds utterly inconceiveable; come, and tell us what it is to be with God, and how it is that thou art not overwhelmed with the dazzling splendours of his presence ; come, and give some clearer description of the new Jerusalem, and explain to us the “golden streets" and " gates of pearl;" come, and tell us what is meant by that strange expression, “ To him that overcometh, will I grant to sit with me in my throne;" and what unknown blessedness is intended in that mysterious prayer, “ I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent
mė, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me." (John xvii. 23.)
-But it must not be. The laws of that world forbid thee to disclose its secrets. However, we know so much that we wonder not at thy saying, If ye loved me, ye would rejoice, because I said, I go unto the Father.”
But though we may not weep for him, we may surely weep for ourselves. After the loss of such a husband, such a brother, such a pastor, such a friend, would dry eyes become us? We dare not complain: the dominion of God is in all these cases a most silencing consideration, and serves instead of a thousand reasons to satisfy and quiet us. In such awful providences, God as it were appears in majesty, and proclaims his all-sufficiency. Just as in the heavens he sometimes presents a bright star, which surprises the world with its lustre for a little while, and then suddenly disappears : so he often lights up a lamp in his temple here below, and when we have rejoiced in it for a season, he extinguishes it again. He prepares certain instruments, furnishes them with many excellent gifts and graces, calls them out to actual service, and seems to design them for eminent usefulness ; when-lo, he comes, and removes them, and gives the astonished world to know that he can dispense with all, and can either form other hands to do his work, or execute his own designs without the concurrence of any instrument whatever. Such a chosen vessel was the man whose loss we mourn ;-a loss which you are not so sensible of now, as you will be hereafter, when
ye “ shall know that a prophet hath been among you."
Were this a proper place 'and time to expressi
my own resentment of this melancholy providence, I could most sincerely adopt the lamentation of David over Jonathan : “ I am distressed for thee, my brother: very pleasant hast thou been unto
In our lives we were not much divided, either as to time or place : how far we may be so in our deaths, He only knows, in whose hands are our times and our breath.-However, if I indulge my affection for a dead friend, so far as to say what I have known of his doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, charity, patience, and the end of his conversation; I hope I may easily find an excuse. Nor shall my particular regard for him prompt me to say any thing but the “ words of truth and soberness ; what I have sufficient foundation for, from the long intimacy that subsisted between us, and more particularly from those papers he has left behind him, which evidently discover the genuine, growing Christian, under all the pressure of bodily infirmities.
He appears to have been sanctified from the womb, and “ walked with God” almost as soon as he could walk at all. We find him very early in life devoting himself to the glory of God, and desiring nothing so much as to spend and be spent in the service of the Redeemer. He " walked humbly," and for years together he walked so “closely, with God,” that few days passed in which he has not recorded some special transactions between God and his soul. For a considerable time he laboured under great temptations, doubts, and fears; and he frequently and bitterly laments the power of unbelief: but at length, after mentioning a sermon he had heard from these words, " But God camendeth his love towards us, in that while we