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finisher of your salvation. Approach his holy table, therefore, with sincere contrition for the past, and firm resolutions for the future. Be well grounded and stedfast in your faith, and let your consciences be free from all malice or ill will towards any of your fellow-creatures, and you may offer yourselves at that table where your Saviour has promised that he will be specially present. Examine, then, your lives, your favourite passions, your secret motives, your feelings towards all your neighbours; search them deeply and throughly, or presume not to approach that table where the searcher of hearts shall meet you, and when his inspired Apostle has warned you,
that they who receive unworthily, eat and drink their own condemnation, or judgment, not discerning the Lord's body. If your self-examination be conducted as it ought, as becomes a sinner supplicating for pardon through the merits of a Saviour's Cross, the grace of God will enable you to feel the depths of your own sinfulness and infirmity, and the high and inestimable value of that Cross. You will discover the plague of your own hearts, the true source of every unhappy, unkind, ungenerous, and unchristian feeling, and you will be led with humility and contrition to that all-power
who has never yet cast off the faithful penitent; and is at this moment perhaps, secretly knocking at your hearts, for the admission of his gracious message of love and mercy.
O resist him not, my brethren, constrain him by fervent prayer, by frequent meditation on his Holy Word, to abide with you. Let not this sun go down on any evil purpose, or uncharitable thought, seek your God where he may be found, and you will surely find himwhether in the public service of the Church, or in the retirement of your homes; in the employments of industry, or in your journeys by the way, think on his law, his love, his promise, and you will find him the companion of your path, your guide in difficulties, your protector in danger, your sovereign comfort in the hour of death and when you receive the symbols of his body and blood, you will feel that your Saviour is present, and has given you the fruit of that tree of life, which he alone can restore to the fallen and disinherited sons of Adam.
Ecclesiastes ix. 10.
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."
If these words require any recommendation to our attention, the character of the person who wrote them, will afford sufficient :-He had tried every department of life; he had been placed in every circumstance of society ; he had exhausted every pursuit of man; and had entered into every research, which could furnish experience of what the present world could present or promise. He was as preeminent in wisdom, and in knowledge, as in station and in opportunity; and at this time also, he was under the inspiration of God, which giveth wisdom and understanding even unto the simple.
But to advert to these recommendations
to our attention is unnecessary. The words themselves speak with a voice of power which we cannot resist, and in a language which we cannot misunderstand; and we feel that, if we overlook their warning, we overlook them at our soul's peril.
They present a very melancholy view of the future destination of man. They depict his last abode as a place, where there is neither device, nor knowledge, nor work: and on this they ground a most important injunction. Let us together, humbly beseech God of his infinite mercy in Christ Jesus, to make it come home to the heart of each of us,
« 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."
We have here brought before us a very melancholy period of our existence; “ the bier, and the shroud, and the mattock, and the spade, the lowly grave, and cold dark damp vault.” No one here present is exempted from this prospect, however variously classed in rank or different in age, whatever may be their variety in usefulness or piety: earth's highest glory ends here: here it concludes its noblest work.