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granted that you shall live to beold! Ah, man!“ boast not thyself of to-morrow, for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth.”-If I could but read to you your names in the order in which they stand in Death's list, and tell you with certainty, such-anone shall live ten years; such-an-one shall live ten months; and such-an-one, and such-an-one, shall live but so many days longer ; how would you be alarmed! Business and diversions—yes, even dear diversions-would be thrown by, and you would set yourselves “ to work out your salvation with fear and trembling.” If sinners enticed, you would readily and resolutely refuse: “ What! waste another day, or night, in rioting and drunkenness, when' I have but so many days to live ; and when I have so much todoin that little inch of time!” - So
you would think, and so you would act, upon the assurajice that you should not live above so many weeks, or months ; and, yet, the possibility that you may die this night is received with all the unconcern imaginable. Why, then, I will only add,
2. If the Son of man cometh before you are ready, your souls are lost for ever.
And can you be unconcerned at that too You remember the fate of those foolish virgins, who went forth to meet the Bridegroom, but took to oil in their vessels with their lamps: While they went to buy, the Bridegroom came; and they flat were ready, went in with him to the marriages, and the door was shut: afterwards the others came, and knocked, and cried, “ Lord, Lord, open to us;" but it availed nothing : he answered and said, “ I know you not ; depart from me, ah ye workers of iniquity.” Even so it will fare with you, if you
saunter and riot away the precious hours of life, and do not begin to prepare for death till you actually feel yourselves dying: there remaineth nothing to you but “a certain fearful looking-for of wrath and fiery indignation.”
Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: “ Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with all thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest."
AT THE FUNERAL OF MRS. KENT,
WHỌ DIED MARCH, 1771, AGED SEVENTY,
PSALM XXX1, 5.
Into thy hand I commit my spirit : thou hast redeemed
me, O Lord God of truth.
What! another spirit disembodied, and added to “ the spirits of the just made perfect?” Another member of this little society left us, and gone up to "join the general assembly and church of the firstborn?” Well, “ blessed are the dead that die in the Lord; even so, saith the Spirit, for they rest from their labours, and their works do follow them.” It is a privilege to be envied, rather than an affliction to be mourned over :
“ Oh, could you see the saints above,
In their own glorious forms,
To dwell with mortal worms."
What a great and happy alteration in their pere sons and circumstances have these few days made ! No cough, no cholic, no asthma, no deafness, no forgetfulness, to complain of now—all life and youthful vigour, See where they stand before the throne of God, crying with a loud voice, “ Unto Him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, and hath made us kings and priests
ynto God, and his Father; to him bę glory and dominion for ever and ever : Amen.”
What meaneth, then, this voice of lamentation and bitter mourning ?
- Oh! I've lost a dear .parent,” cries one; and, “Oh! I've lost a dear friend,” cries another. Lost! how can she be lost, who is so much safer, and happier, than any of us? How can she be lost, when you all know where to find her? Her body-you know how that was disposed of: there were witnesses enough to the solemn service, when the corpse was let gently dowị into the grave with a “ We therefore commit her body to the ground: earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust." There it was left; there it is now; and there it will remain, safely locked up, and carefully watched, till that glorious morning when the earth shall be called upon to give up its dead. And as for her soul, she tells us in the text how she had disposed of that: “ Into thine hands I commit my spirit: thou hast redeemed me, O Lord God of truth.”
These words were spoken originally by David, with respect to his natural life, which was then threatened, and sought after; as appears by his prayer in the preceding verse : “Pull me out of the net which they have laid privily for me ; for thou art my strength.” He knew he had to do with enemies that would take every advantage against him, and would stick at nothing to cut him off; he was informed that there was a snare laid to entrap him, though he knew not particularly what it was; but, however, in the midst of all, David encouraged himself in the Lord his God:
6 Thou art my
strength.”. As if he had said, “ Let my enemies be ever so secret in their plots, he that keepeth me neither slumbereth nor sleepeth : the darkness and the light are both alike to thee. Thou knowest what passes in their hearts as well as in their cabi . nets; and therefore I will not fear what man can do unto me.
Into thine hands I commit my spirit. I know my life is in danger, and am at a loss what steps to take for my own preservation. Gracious God, I throw my life and my all upon thee, and humbly implore thy guidance and protection. And I do this with the greater confidence, for thou hast redeemed me. I have had frequent experience of thy power, and grace, and faithfulness; I have been in great danger before now; but when I was brought low, thou didst help me; and I hope thou wilt again, for thy truth endureth for ever.”
And if we were to consider the text only in this view, it holds up to us this very important instruction; viz. That a remembrance of former deliverances should encourage us to trust in God in present or apprehended danger. And from hence I might have taken occasion to recommend an early surrender of your lives to God, with an entire confidence in his care, and a cheerful acquiescence in his disposal. This would cut off a great deal of that distressing anxiety and fear, which now so much hinder the duty and embitter the comforts of life and religion. You would not then be afraid of evil tidings ; your hearts would be fixed, trusting in God. Let your life be long or short, fair or cloudy,
none of these things would move you." These are circumstances which you have wholly referred to the