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228 THE CHRISTIAN'S DEPARTURE. But O! welcome, ye blessed spirits, that come to convey me to my God! Welcome, my Saviour's gracious call to his abode! Welcome, ye bliss. ful scenes of peace, and love, and joy, and praise ! Welcome, heaven! Welcome, everlasting life!
§ 6. At length your last conflict ends — your pulse stops - to beat no more for ever— your last hour comes—and goes—and you have done with the world for ever. Your tongue is silent--your eyes are closed — the silver cord is loosed, and the golden bowl is broken — surrounding friends look not on you, but on your lifeless clay - the soul is gone gone to other scenes - to an unchanging, eternal world. O my young friend! dark and dismal as this hour appears to the eye of sense, if you are found in Jesus it will not be so to you; but when your last painful struggle is over, in a happier world will your departed spi. rit find that the blessed Jesus did not forget the kindness of your youth. Then will your triumphs begin. Others may hear your parting groan, your expiring sigh, while you triumphantly pass into your Redeemer's presence. O blessed change, when mortals weep because a friend is dead, but angels exult because a friend has entered real life! Those who loved you may complain, “Alas! our beloved friend is dead today!" But could we hear the words of angels, we might hear -“ Another heir of glory has now begun to live-another child of sorrow has left all sorrows for eternal joys the sad chamber of sickness for these blessed mansions of heaven-weeping mortal friends, for Jesus and for God; and now is this happy spirit with the Lord of Glory, who, a few hours ago, was a prisoner in a feeble, diseased, and dying body!”
REFLECTION URGED. . 229 a $ 7. Omy youthful reader, if all the other ad
vantages of early piety were to vanish in a moE ment, surely these should be sufficient to lead
you to make. humble religion your lasting, only 3 choice. A few hasty years, at longest, must lay
you in the dust; but O! think of such an en
trance into glory, and of an eternal dwelling Hey there! Think of the joy with which, after a life
of humble religion, your spirit would ascend into
the presence of your Saviour, even before your 11forsaken body was committed to the grave, even Oh before your lifeless limbs were stiffened with the fer cold of death! Think of the congratulations of Det the holy saints and martyrs that fled to heaven
before you, and of their warm welcome on your pels arrival there! Think of the approving smile of 115 !! your Redeemer and your God! that smile which pab would repay in one hour, the labours of ten thoulur der sand years. Think of the delightful words, 12. "Come, thou blessed !” Think of the joy with 11.) which you would behold the God you loved, and s pils the Saviour you trusted! And O! think of that 01 Low great day when the divine Redeemer, before an EIC assembled world, would give you the crown of cil y glory, that fadeth not away! Then you, a shin. a being inhabitant of heaven, would see, without Fol concern, the sun turned into darkness, and the
Aymoon cease to shine; the stars fall from heaven, brds " and the heavens vanish away; and when the last
gloo trumpet shall have proclaimed, that time shall Borto be no more, you might rejoice, that though time 521bad ended, eternity will never end; that though -310 earthly pleasures, proved a dream, heavenly de
Jesu light will endure for ever and ever; and O! you 50 might add, “This eternity, this heaven is mine!» 3? And now, thou God of grace, let not those
230' FUTURE GOOD A MOTIVE FOR EARLY PIETY. wlio read these pages he unmoved by motives so powerful, that they should soften even hearts of stone, but by thy spirit make them successful; for without him even these will be urged in vain. Pity the young, that' may be careless of these solemn truths; lead them to the Saviour. Then shall they find him their friend in life, in death, and at judgment, and for ever; and Thee their God through endless days. For Jesus's sake, thus bless them, O thou compassionate Lord of all.
THE FUTURE HAPPINESS OF THE YOUNG CHRISTIAN,
A MOTIVE FOR EARLY PIETY.
81. HAVING, my young friend, endeavoured to persuade you to embrace early religion, by a view of the scenes through which you must pass on this side the grave, let me now beseech you to contemplate the infinitely important scenes beyond that solemn bound of earthly things.
The word of God reveals an awful judgment; but long before its solemn scenes take place; long before the resurrection day, your soul will pass into an endless world. The scripture doctrine is, that immediately after death the spirit passes to a state of glory or wretchedness. Thus Jesus said to the penitent malefactor, “ To-day shalt thou be with me in Paradise ;" the apostle spoke of being “absent from the body, and present with the Lord;” and Lazarus is represented by the Lord as conducted to heaven; and Dives as
Luke, xxiii. 43. 2 Cor. 7. 8.
ENTRANCE ON HEAVEN.
231 edbo waking in hell, even while his brethren were D eic living upon earth. But the scriptures also teach hem:31 us, that neither the happiness of the blest, nor peny the misery of the lost, will be complete till the parents day of general judgment. Then the body will Sarices rise in a new and immortal form, to partake of in lits the happiness or wretchedness of the soul. Then
200 4 will the doom of each individual be solemnmy day ly and publicly pronounced, and the happiness sink of the saints perfected, and the misery of the un.
godly awfully increased.
$ 2. In the state of intermediate happiness ma. ny now rest from their labours. Some of these once wandered in sheep skins and goat skins, being destitute, afflicted, tormented. Others were sawn asunder, or torn in pieces by wild beasts, or lingered for days in slow fires, or passed through fiercer flames to heaven. Could you ask these, whether what they now enjoy is worth the pains they underwent; “Ah!" they might reply, "ten thousand times more. What we possess, would amply recompense the labours of ten thousand lives, the sufferings of ten thou. sand ages.” If you find an interest in the Lamb of God, you will soon be summoned to join these spirits of the just made perfect; and, when the last conflict is over, with inexpressible delight may you spring upward to eternal rest! How great the change! What new scenes and pros. pects will that hour present! what new joys inspire! what new treasures unfold! what rap. tures overwhelm the soul, just landed on that peaceful shore! “Is this heaven !" may the newly arrived pilgrim exclaim: “how grovel. ling were my highest thoughts to this! Are Luke, xvi. 22. John, v, 29. Tim. iv. 14. Rev. IX. 12 2 Thes, i. 6.
ETERNAL JUDGMENT. these the spirits of the just! these the holy an. lgit gels of light! these my companions for ever! had a O how despicable was all I ever imagined com- taburka pared with this! Are these they whose robes in the were washed in Jesus's blood! Is this their lichame abode for ever, and is this mine! O had I con-kimonds ceived this below, how should I have sighed to alisel leave that dark dungeon, earth! Is this my Saviour, and is this my God! O insufferable, yet transporting glory! How mean, how worthless is the world I left! yet there are millions grovelling in its dust; and, but for heavenly grace, an I might have done so too!” O blessed, incon-ed him ceivably blessed change for the holy soul, that we kino thus passes from the dismal chamber of sickness & te ble to the bright and healthful regions of heaven; en drena from dying pains to boundless bliss; from the converse of sinful mortals to the presence of the skin Den infinitely gracious and glorious God; from a lehen contentious, tumultuous world, to endless peace, and rest, and love!
§ 3. Now, for a few moments, turn your thoughts to the day of general judgment;" day for which all other days were made.” . ? Mworl day, while it covers the wicked with confusion, pl are will realize the voung Christian's fondest hope ftent You must behold all its solemnities. Then one plas th “shall bring every work into judgment, every secret thing, whether it be good, or W i ado it be evil.” “We must all appear before the judg. Ai mult ment seat of Christ, that every one may re the things done in the body, according to that he with Di hath done, whether it be good or bad." " great white throne, and him that sat only and to whose face the earth and the heaven fled away, pimeet :
Eccles. xii. 14. 2 Cor. v. 10, 11.