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future governs all the conduct of life. Why should it 'not govern the concerns of the soul ? It is folly to bound our views by the setting sun : why not extend them beyond the grave ? It is prudent to make provision for old age: why should we neglect to provide for eternity ?-Now of all men the
Christian is the only one who does this : his views . are commensurate with his existence: his plans
are laid for eternity: his to-morrow will never end. Whatever, then, may be his trials and his sorrows in this pilgrimage of weariness, he has continually the satisfaction of reflecting that his eternal good is secure. Now, a conviction of this nature is sufficient to counterbalance all possible human evil, and to beget within the soul a kind of happiness which partakes of the divine. It does thus counterbalance human evil; for it may be seen shedding its solace in the obscurest abode of poverty, and in the darkest cell of the dungeon : it often glows serenely on the cheek of the dying, and has beamed with celestial lustre in the last look of the martyr at the stake.
Again : it is a plain principle of common sense, that great sacrifices ought to be made for the attainment of any valuable distant good. Ask the conqueror how many wearisome days and sleepless nights his crown has cost him. Let the statesman tell us what have been the paths of toil and difficulty which have led him near the throne of majesty. What price has the orator paid for the powers of his eloquence: or the painter for the skill of his
pencil ; or the poet for the magic of his song ? Count the daily cares and projects, and anxieties through which he has passed on whom wealth rolls in like a flood. In fine, ask the thousands whom you see busy around you, what is the meaning of all their bustle and industry, their rising early, and sitting up late, their traversing of sea and land, their relinquishment of ease and comfort, and their incessant and indefatigable toil : they all aim at something future, and they hope to procure it by the sacrifice of a present good.
present good. This is their solace. This, in fact, is the sum of their actual happiness. Walk the rounds of life, and you will scarcely meet one who will not tell you that his present enjoyment consists in the hope of some distant good, and that to obtain this he is not unwilling to make frequent and great sacrifices.
This, my brethren, is the yoke of the world. None who are engaged in the pursuits of the world can lay it aside ; and it is grievous to be borne. He who sustains it toils for what must perish in the very using. He knows that, after a few short days, what has cost him so much labour and anxiety, so 'much self-denial, and so many sacrifices, must inevitably, like himself, be laid in the grave of forgetfulness. Not a century will elapse before his very name may never be mentioned, except by the passing traveller who reads it on his tomb.
But the Christian-for what does he toil? For what does he take upon him the yoke of his Divine Master ? For what does he practice a self-denial,
which, it is not to be denied, is, at first, irksome to the native propensities of his heart, but which the grace
of God renders more and more easy, and even delightful, and which is often actually less than that of the worldling himself? For what does the disciple of Christ bear this yoke ? For an inheritance that is “incorruptible, undefiled, and that fadeth not away;" for an admittance into the mansions of everlasting rest; for an imperishable treasure; for unalloyed pleasures; for an endless state of being, in which he will mingle with the spirits of the just made perfect, in which he will be admitted to the presence of God—to the ineffable manifestations of his glory—to the sublime delights of his worship-to the solution of the mysteries of his providence-and, in fine, to an unceasing progress in knowledge, in holiness, and in happiness. What are the petty cares and anxieties, or even the deepest sorrows of life, when compared with this weight of glory ? Shall the man of this world be deemed wise and prudent, because he relinquishes his present ease and quiet for the acquisition of some temporal good; and shall the christian deserve reproach, because he deems heaven itself
some crosses and sacrifices, as he is passing to it through his short pilgrimage ? Shall the man of this world continually solace himself with the prospect of what he is soon to obtain, and shall this be thought, in the eyes of others, a most sober, and rational, and manly kind of happiness; and shall the Christian not feel a far sweeter solace-shall
not his enjoyment be deemed the most rational and the most noble of all when it is founded on the absolute promise of God, that through the tribulations of this life he shall pass to a state of complete and endless bliss ?
Admitting, then, that he who sets at nought all the restraints of religion-who will not listen to the dictates of conscience-who resists every influence of the Spirit of God upon his soul-who rejects the only Saviour of sinners--who will not bear his yoke, deeming it a hard and unreasonable service;
-admitting that such an one accomplishes all his purposes of ambition or of pleasure, that he enjoys this world to the full, and that his grey hairs go down to the grave with mirth and gladness ;-yet there is an end of his bliss ; for the music of pleasure never breaks the silence of the tomb; the voice of ambition never rouses its slumbering inhabitants ; the charms of wealth can no longer glitter before them. The world is left behind. The body moulders in the earth, and the spirit—the immaterial, the immortal spirit-is gone-Whither ? The unbeliever cannot tell : the philosopher cannot tell. A dark and gloomy cloud hangs over the unknown'ocean of eternity; and it is the dread of launching into this ocean which the man of this world cannot shake from his bosom. He is surrounded with ease and pleasure and riches and honour; but his eye is continually directed to the future ; and this single thought of what may be hereafter often embitters the moment in which he
had anticipated the greatest delight. On the contrary, the disciple of Jesus Christ, supposing him to suffer all the possible evils of life-poverty, disgrace, reproach, sickness, imprisonment, or death, and death in its most horrid forms-counts these trials nothing. He is sure they will soon be ended. The grave will be to him the door of paradise. He knows in whom he has believed. His path is now beset with thorns; his sky is overshadowed with clouds; the tempest is beating upon his head : but now and then his heart is gladdened while his eye catches a few beams of that sunshine which will hereafter continually cheer his course through a day of bright and eternal splendor.
Behold, my brethren, the immense difference between the man of this world and the Christian. Weigh well the comparison which has been made between them: it is a comparison not founded on a mere fiction. It is not a philosophical hypothesis which is yet to be proved. It rests on two obvious principles of common sense, which a man would not dare to reject in the ordinary concerns of life, lest he should be deemed as simple as a child, or as complete a sensualist as the very brutes who graze around him. These principles are, that it is the part of prudence not to be so much engrossed with present objects, as to be regardless of the future ; and that it is our duty to make proportionate, and in some cases therefore great, sacrifices for the attainment of distant good. -In applying these principles I have not done