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account of the deeds done in the body; after which “they, that have done good, shall go into everlasting life; and they, that have done evil, into everlasting fire.' There is no subterfuge in these words; they are plain and Scriptural. “ The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all they that forget God.”—“In that day shall the Lord Jesus be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, in flaming fire, taking vengeance on them that know not God, and them that obey not the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.” But we would not unsheath the sword of vengeance, or shroud the ineffably bright mercy of a holy God in those dark clouds, and in that stormy imagery, by which some have represented his essentially glorious attributes; for we believe that while life is, the seed time is also, that while life remains, there is hope. Instead of urging the Divine terrors and the Scriptural denunciations against the wicked, we would rather lure you by promises, by future rewards, by the benefits, which the Gospel produces; we would rather dwell on those passages, which describe the happiness of heaven, the crown, which fadeth not away ; the many mansions reserved for the just; the things prepared, which "eye
hath not seen, nor ear heard;" the glory, honour, immortality, eternal life, that the Gospel gives to those, who embrace it; that calm of mind, that joy of heart, that tranquillity of soul, which no earthly obstacle can oppose; by these we would rather lure you than by vengeance pronounced against the wicked. But by the love of that Saviour, who first loved you, we remind you of the sufferings, the misery, the cup, which he drank, the death, which he underwent, and the victory, which he obtained for you : bring up these things to your notice, we call upon you by that sacred love, by the anticipated fruition of the next life, by all that is heavenly, to prepare for eternity. Though Christ has conquered the grave, still there is the separation of the soul from the body—there is the reunion of these—there is the judgment. And if you would meet again those, whom
have committed to the dust, be zealous and pre
pare to be inhabitants of that place, where we trust they are gone. If there were no other inducement, this alone should influence your conduct. If you would see them again, who have been torn from you, why not evidence in your conduct your
ardent wishes ? Why not “ let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father, which is in heaven?"
But there are other inducements, among which the love, which you should bear towards your Saviour,
your Saviour, is the greatest; “ whatsoever ye do, do all for the glory of God." The grave affords a touching lesson to the obdurate heart; the mouldering embers of mortality,—the inhumation of our friends, yea,
these may leave a lasting impression ;—but what does the love of God ? To the Christian God's love is his hope, his solace for ever. He looks up to the cross of Christ, he beholds one atoning for his sins, and reconciling an offended Father. He looks into his Bible, and reads of the rest prepared for the blessed, of the mansions prepared for the followers of Christ,
which transcend all description,—he offers up his devout prayer unto the Almighty, in answer to which the full and plentiful out-pouring of the Spirit is vouchsafed, by whose means he can do all things, through him that strengthens him. For the glory of God he“ works out his own salvation with fear and trembling ;” and when the spirit is called from its earthly tabernacle, he can in the words of our text valiantly cry out, “O death, where is thy sting ? O grave,
where is thy victory ?” He can meet his Saviour joyful in hope, and he can receive his rewards gained by the merits of Christ; yea, he can enter into heaven as the haven of his soul.
Who of us, my brethren, will shrink back from these glorious rewards ? We speak to you pressingly, urgently; we would not, that one of you should perish; the value of one soul is too great to be lost without an effort to save it. And yet, oh! dreadful truth! it must perish, (nay, not perish, as we understand the term) but it must suffer eternal torments, unless it be converted. Naturally it is polluted—but, be it remembered, that it is redeemed, and redeemed with a price; but only those will receive a rest hereafter, who have believed and embraced the Gospel of Jesus Christ. This is a truth, which we dare not keep from you ; and, having delivered this condition, having in unvarnished and conscientious language exhibited to you the precise situation, in which you stand with respect to eternity, our blood is free from
sin. We have warned the wicked man; we have encouraged him to turn from his evil ways and live; and the Christian we have endeavoured to support in his hour of trial. We appeal to you solemnly, my brethren, whether or not this has not been done over and over again ; and you, who have been more desirous to hear the records of life; you, who have appeared the most eager after your salvation; you, who have attended this house of prayer, whenever its doors have been thrown open for worship; you can the best answer, whether this has not been done. “I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and