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acquaintance with God and Christ, and the innumerable company of angels, many years ago ; and have often pleased myself with the thoughts of being with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of my Father. Though I am not acquainted with the particulars of my work or blessedness in the other world, I know enough to make me wish to be there ; and if thou wilt introduce me to that glorious soci. ety, thou canst not do me a greater kindness.” “ But,” says death, “I am come to dispatch thee in

I such a hurry, that thou shalt not have time to get ready; or I will throw such a stupor on thy faculties, that thou shalt have no apprehension of my design; so that thou shalt be dead before thou thinkest thyself dying.”

“ With all my heart,” says the watchful Christian. “ If that be all thy malice can do, what thou doest, do quickly; I bless God that I have not the great work to begin. Several years ago I devoted myself to God, and hope and believe that I was graciously accepted. I have, many times since, rejoiced in the recollection and renewal of this dedication ; and I know that the gifts and callings of God are without repentance. I am assured, that whatever changes I may suffer in my passage through the world, or removal out of it, Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, to-day, and for ever; and that he is able to preserve that soul from ruin, which I have humbly committed into his hands.”

Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter. You have been informed of the dreadful consequences of being surprised by death, and of the blessedness of being prepared for this awful event.

You are yourselves dying creatures; and have souls which must be happy or miserable for ever, Take the warning, then, so kindly given by God. Be often thinking of death; be always looking to Jesus : and what I say to you, I say to all, Watch.

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When I lie down, I say, When shall I arise, and the

night be gone? And I am full of tossings to and fro, unto the dawning of the day. My flesh is clothed with worms and clods of dust; my skin is broken, and become loathsome.

When any disease severely attacks us, we are ready to imagine, that our trouble is almost peculiar to ourselves. We think it strange concerning the fiery trial which has befallen us; and seem to suppose, that our disorder is attended with circumstances which have never been experienced. “ Others, (we perhaps secretly say,) who have been sick, have been speedily relieved. But I lie here, fast bound in the cords of affliction, which are not only galling for the present, but leave me no hopes of being ever recovered. All my endeavours to mitigate my pain . have been unsuccessful; and my disorder rages the more, for the methods taken to give me relief; so that for many weeks I have been almost dying daily. No; never was sorrow like my sorrow.” So we may think; but we are deceived. Were there no other proof of it, our text would inform us, that the same complaint has been formerly made; and that others have exceeded us in sufferings, as much as they have excelled us in patience and piety,

Job was a perfect and upright mạn; yet his afflic. tions were so grievous, that he cursed the day of his birth. We have an affecting representation of a part of his sufferings in our text; and they remind us of a truth, confirmed by our own frequent observation, that there are disorders incident to the human frame, which render our beds uneasy to ourselves, and niake our bodies offensive to others.

There are disorders which render our beds uneasy.

“ When I lie down, I say, when shall I arise, and the night be gone? I am full of tossings to and fro to the dawning of the day." Night is the usual time for rest; but pight and day were alike to Job. The time of others' repose was tedious to him ; and that not for a short period only; then he could have easily borne it; but night after night, for a long while together, he was restless and miserable, and scarcely knew what to do, or to wish. In the morning, his cry was, “ Would to God it were

6 even;" and in the evening, with equal impatience, “ Would to God it were morning." Let me, on this occasion, mention a few obvious circumstances, that render the night particularly tedious to those who are sick,

I will remind you, first, of its darkness. Truly light is sweet, and a pleasant thing it is to behold the sun. There is something cheerful and exhilarating in looking at sunshine; though we cannot go abroad to enjoy it. In the day, we are amused with a variety of objects, which divert our thoughts, and prevent our continual poring on our disorders; but in the

night there is nothing of this. If it be not totally dark, the glimmering of the taper affords no agreeable prospects; but rather spreads a gloom 'over the objects around us, and adds affliction to our sorrowful spirits. The hours seem unusually long. We every now and then put aside the curtains, and almost strain our eyes to catch the first appearance of dawn. Disappointed, again, and again, we eagerly inquire, “ Will it never be day?" The Psalmist, we may

? suppose, was no stranger to such feelings, when, speaking of his earnest desire of the return of God's presence and favour, he says,


My soul waiteth for the Lord, more than they that watch for the morning; yea, more than they that watch for the morning."

The solitariness also of the night increases the sick person's afflictions. In the day, the company and conversation of friends help to beguile the time. We talk a little ourselves, as our strength will bear; and then sit still, and listen to others. Sometimes the conversation turns on trifling and insignificant subjects; for, being unable to go abroad, every one is kindly industrious to get something new to afford us entertainment. It is not always, however, with such idle discourses that our visitors attempt to amuse us. They sometimes speak to us of subjects infinitely more important, and to serious minds more entertaining too, than the news of the day, or any common occur

It is highly agreeable, when a friend comes in, and talks of the sovereignty and wisdom of Providence: when he reminds us that affliction springs not up from the dust, and that trouble comes not out of the ground; that the disorder itself, and the time


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