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dress, though written by him who was set to watchi fot you souls, can only be communicated to you by another voice, or by personally reading for yourselves. Yet I hope in this way to preach louder, i. e. more powerfully to your hearts and consciences than ever I did while living with you.
Death is a solemni preacher to the living : though silent, yet it speaks with awful, majesty. The divine sentence is, Dust thou art; and unto dust shalt thou return. The doom was denounced in consequence of sin. I have now paid this common debt; and you, who now behold the solemn spectacle, will soon be called upon to exhibit it likewise : and let it ever be remembered, that there is no discharge in this war; no possibility of escaping the unrelenting, fatal shafts of the King of Terrors. Look on me, and receive instruction : here you may see that you must all, ere long, become cold, lifeless corpses. How infinitely solemn and momentous is the hour of death! It is the close of time, and the commencement of an unchangeable eternity. Of what vast importance is it to be prepared to die! O! my friends, be entreated to hear, cordially receive, and rightly improve, this last act of the friendship and faithfulness of him, who, in divine Providence, has been set a watchman over this part of God's spiritual Jerusalem ; and who has been very deeply and sensibly affected about your eternal interest! When you have been buried in sleep, and especially in the dreadful sleep of spiritual death, I have found a heart frequently to carry you to the throne of grace, by prayer; and have pleaded with God, that, for Christ's sake, he would confer upon you regenerating grace, and bring you into his holy Kingdoin. But now I can only speak to you, as it were, from the deael, by a coadjutor.
Brethren and sisters of the church, remember, the eyes of Heaven and earth are upon you. How holy is your cailing! How solemn your profession! How glorious the cause in which you are engaged! How delighful the service! How infinitely blessed the final issue, if you are faithful! It is only such that will finally be crowned with eternal life. O how precious, important, and beatific is the presence of Jesus in a dving kour! Millions of worlds fade and dwindle into nothing, in comparison with this! Dear brethren, awake to the most lively sense of eternal things. Death is ncar; eternity is at hand. Jesus requires, your everlasting interest demands, that you forget the things wirich are behind, and press forward towards
the mark, for the prize of your high calling. You profess to be the children of light, of a king, yea, of your Father who is in Heaven: live then as such; fall not out by the way; never give place to the enemy of souls, by harbouring a spirit of contention, variance, and strife; but love one another. Love Christ more; pray forvently for quickening grace; help each other on in the heavenly road; you will soon arrive at your journey's end. Jesus stands with open arms to receive all holy, humble, sincere pilgrims. O the joys, the rapturous delights which flow at God's right hand? How little do even saiuts conceive of these infinitely sublime and glorious things while on earth!
While your attention is excited to this posthumous vale. diction, i humbly trust that I, though infinitely unworthy, shall be employed, with the numerous liosts on high, in praising God and the Lamb for the wonders of redeeming love; ascribing all our salvation to the rich, free, sovereign mercy of God in Christ. And do you humbly hope, through the atoning blood of the same Jesus, ere long to join the sweet seraphic songs of Heaven? If so, keep the world under your feet; often meditate 'on the solemn moment of dissolution ; look across the Jordan of deatly by faith ; let your souls mount on high ; view the heavonly Canaan of rest; and, while you descry the glories of the upper world, may your hearts kindle into a flame of pure divine love! Take the Bible for your companion ; strive to the utmost to build up the glorious cause of Christ among men while you live; set your houses in order; king Immanuel will soon send for you home, to the banquct prepared in his Father's house.
If ever you have discovered any thing of the Christian, . and faithful follower of Jesus in me, imitate those virtues, with a much higher degree of ardour and holy resolution; and whatever you have seen contrary to the genuine spirit and temper of the Gospel, avoid and turn from it ; let light and real piety be the only characteristics of your paths. As I shall never speak to you again in the house of God, call to mind my past preaching; in which I endeavoured to state and explain the great doctrines of the Gospel, and to impress upon your minds the glorious truths of salvation by the free grace of God, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus. These are the only doctrines-which give any ground of hope for saints or sinners, Receive them, therefore ; improve them aright; Ee o
and when you reflect upon the earnestness with which I sometimes delivered them, may your hearts burn with ardent devotion; and never forget the advantages which may be derived from suitably remembering and improving the solemn discourses of your deceased pastor.
Respecting temporal death, there is nothing in it very terrible to the pious soul. Jesus has taken away its sting for all sincere believers. Yea, he is able to make it more comfortable than a bed of down. O, what can be more satisfying than to die in the Lord! clasping the divine Immanuel in the arms of faith ; and the soul filled with extatic joy, bidding a final farewell to a world of impurity, sorrows, affictions, and tumults, to go and dwell for ever in the beatific presence of the divine Redeemer! Live, O live wholly to the glory of God, that when you die, you may die in the Lord ! "My heart is full; I should rejoice to expatiate upon these everlasting concerns, but expedience forbids a farther intrusion on the time,
(To be concluded in our next.)
ON SERIOUSNESS. Low shall we describe the nature of true seriousness? 1. It is essentially different from gloom or melancholy; and yet, how often is it so called, or rather miscalled, by the world! Many, especially young persons, are in much danger, by the too current opinion of men in general, that an habitually serious frame of mind is utterly incompatible with happiness, It is, indeed, incompatible with seeking all our felicity in the toys and trifles that surround us, and taking up our rest here; but it is by no means inconsistent with the true and rational enjoyment of the various gifts of God.
True seriousness may be said to consist in an habitual recollection of the importance and nearness of eternal objects, and a sense of our interest in them; a regard to the omnipresence of God, as our constant observer; a suitable impression of our spiritual danger, arising from various causes; a sympathetic feeling for the misery of others; and a prevailing desire to walk before the Lord in all #goodness, and righteousness, and truth." A spirit of berity and trifling stands directly opposed to all these, Persons of this disposition cannot take pleasure in the contemplation -of eternal realities; their hopes, their joys,
their pursuits, their desires, and their fears, are all bounded by time; “God is not in all their thoughts ;” they dread his omnipresence, and deřght in none of his sublime perfections; yet, insensible of their danger, they walk, careless and secure, on the brink of an awful precipice!
How frequently is seriousness inculcated in the Scripture, under the terms watchfulness and sobriety; which latter term has doubtless à more extensive meaning than mere temperance in meat and drink *. What is said respecting mirth, in Scripture, recommends seriousness t ; « The heart of fools is in the house of mirth ;” but “ It is better to go to the house of mourning than to the house of feasting 1.” For what are all the various diversions and amusements, which are everywhere to be inet with, but to counteract seriousness and promote levity! But the end of all such mirth is heaviness.
Let none suppose we are speaking against real joy. « True joy” (said a heathen) " is a very serious thing." · The seriousness we would recommend, will promote and
strengthen it; and all other joy is vain, empty, and des lusive.
** Can joy unbottom'd in reflection stand ?
YOUNG's Night THOUGHTS. A period is swiftly approaching when we must be serious, Sickness and death will come: And shall we live the less comfortably by being prepared for their approach? Let the world deride us as melancholy, we have a joy which no man taketh from us; for if God giveth quietness, who can cause trouble ?
- I have somewhere read of one” (says Mr. Henry) « that had been a great courtier and statesman in Queen Elizabeth's time, I think it was Secretaty Walsingham : that in his advanced years he retired into privacy in the
Theş. v. 6.8. Titus ij. 2.4. Pet. i. 13.-11.7.-1.8. † Prov, xiv. 13, Jam. iv. 9, 10.-Y.'s.
country, whither some of his pleasant companions came to see him, and told him he was melancholy. “ No ;" saïd he, “ I am serious; and it is fit I should be so, for all are serious round about us; and why then should not you and I be serious ? God is serious in observing of us Christ is serious in interceeding for us—the Holy Spirit is serious in striving with us. The truths of God are serious truths ;-his laws, his promises, his threatenings, all serious ;-angels are serious in their adıninistration to us, our spiritual enemies serious in their attempts against us, glorified saints are serious in the embraces of divine love,
poor damned sinners cannot but be serious under the pourings out of divine wrath ; and we ourselves shall be serious shortly."
This subject comes recommended to us by the best examples. The wisest and best of men in all ages have been serious characters. “ Search and see" in the Scriptures, if the holy men, whose lives are there recorded, were not serious.-Yes; and our divine Master himself, was “a man of sorrows;" and grief was his acquaintance, He wept over Lazarus ; and it was said of him," Many have seen him weep, but none ever saw him laugh.” Let such examples influence us, and may it be our prayer,
“ O God, mine inmost soul convert,
" Eternal things impress!
* And wake to righteousness!" | Westminster.
$ I hope to be excused for troubling the reader with an expla. nation of the word fate, cxtracted from the Lock Chapel Collection of Hymns, which many may not have seen; it follows the Hymn from which this verse is selected.
“I am glad of an opportunity to rescue this significant word out of the hands of infidels, who use it, together with luck, fortune, chance, destiny, to promote their favourite scheme of excluding the particu. lar providence of the Wise Disposer of all events from the govern. ment of the affairs of men.
" But the word fate (tatum) signifies, what is spoken; from the Latia word fari, to speak. Fate then eminently relates to what hath been spokeň by the Most High God. So Minutius Felix, that able law. yer and great scholar, in St. Cyprian's time, says, Nihil aliud est fatuin quam quod de unoquoque nostram Deus fatus est;-"Fate is nothing else than what God hath spoken concerning every one of us.” Even the Heathens had this idea of it; for, says Statius, Fasum est grocs