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Thus have I briefly alluded to two interesting events, the one immediately preceding, the other immediately succeeding, the final judgment; and both of which, if not strictly, were yet naturally connected with the great theme of the future Resurrection of the Body. It is now time, to come to a brief, but more practical
1. The Resurrection of the Body is not a doctrine of Philosophy ; it is a doctrine of Revelation. We should thank God for that. This great event is to be brought about by that mighty working, whereby he is able to subdue all things unto himself. It is God alone, who can say to these dry bones, Live. It is God in Christ alone, who can say to the grave, Lazarus, come forth. In view of such power, how does poor mortality shrink almost into its original nothingness.
2. In whatever place, or state, the soul may have existed previous to the resurrection ; in whatever sense may be understood the place of departed spirits ; or unto whatever place, or state, it may be destined, after the reassumption of the body, whether in the already existing supreme Heavens, or in the new created Heavens and Earth; is of little consequence, provided it has been, and is to be, in a place, and state of happiness; provided it died in the body, so as to be prepared to hear the last trump of the Archangel; for the trumpet will sound, Come to Judgment ; and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
3. Do you ask, what it is to be prepared to meet this great change ? Let the Saviour himself answer : "The hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, and shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life ; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.' How simple, and yet how full, is this declaration ; how comforting to the Christian, how appalling to the sinner. The Saviour does not say, those that have the most learning, that own the largest estates, that sit in the highest office;
nor does he say, those that worship in any particular church, talk much of their humility, or make long prayers for the destitute. Ah no. He says, they that have done good. Activity in religion is demanded. Practice is to be the evidence of the sincerity of the profession. A correct creed is nothing. Crying, Lord, Lord, is nothing. Doing good is every thing. Faith without works is dead. Hear this, ye that do good, and rejoice ; ye that do good, according to your power, to your families, your relations, your neighbours, your townsmen, your country, and also to your enemies ye, who, if you can do no good, take heed to do no harm; hear this, and be comforted ; for you
shall come forth unto the resurrection of life. And, on the other hand, hear this, ye that do evil, and tremble ; for the Lord from Heaven hath said, you shall come forth unto the resurrection of damnation.
4. Finally, When we consider, that in Heaven are many mansions, that one star will differ from another star in celestial glory, let us all endeavour, by lives of christian purity and activity, to obtain as high a mansion, and as high a degree of glory, as we can. And then, if we know each other at the resurrection, as there is reason to believe we shall, we shall rejoice with joy unspeakable, to meet our dear relatives, and friends, in our spiritual bodies; and go to live with them in a blessed world, full of holy spirits who have never sinned, and holy saints who are redeemed from sin ; where, with Christ for our light, and our life, we shall enjoy perpetual youth, perpetual peace, and perpetual love. It almost draws out the sting of dying, to think of friends meeting again after death, in a world of bliss, no more to part. Let us then strive so to live, that we shall not fear to hear the last trump ; when our bodies shall rise with the rising universe ; and this mortal shall put on immortality.
COUNSEL TO CHILDREN,
Psalm xxxiv, 11. — COME, TE CHILDREN, HEARKEN UNTO
I WILL TEACH YOU THE FEAR OF THE LORD.
In the United States, are supposed to be above three millions of Children. These, in the course of nature, are to become the living agents in the destinies of the country. When grown, they are to step forward into active life, to sway in the senate, and to minister at the altar ; to be learned advocates, and alert physicians ; some to become magistrates, some guardians of the public revenue, some to decide between peace and war; others to be foreign merchants, others domestic planters, and nearly all to be members of parishes, and masters and mistresses of families yet unborn. How important is it then, that the minds of these children be early imbued with christian principles. We are not so anxious, that children should become what the world calls great, as that they should be good children, and become good men, like youthful Abel and Isaac, Joseph and Samuel, David and Josiah, and Timothy; and, above all, harmless and undetiled, like the holy child Jesus.
My young Brothers. When you walk down, and stand by the margin of a clear pool, and drop a pebble into its smooth surface, you behold the little rings of agitated water, circle after circle, spreading and spreading, wider and wider, from the moving centre, over the bosom of the before serene pool. In like manner, will each one of you,
lives are spared, become the centre of a
circle, and such will be your spreading influence over that circle. We wish that to be a good influence. My young Sisters. When
walk out into the fields, in summer, you behold the flowers and the weeds springing around you ; and you observe how far more beautiful and desirable is the fragrant flower, than the noisome weed. In like manner, will each one of you bloom into a lovely flower, or rise into an ungrateful weed, to choke the flowers. We wish you all to become roses of Sharon, and lilies of the valley.
Children learn a beautiful moral lesson from Nature. But lessons of a more direct, and peculiarly religious bias, must be taught from Revelation. The good Shepherd of the flock must not neglect to feed the lambs of the fold. Come then, ye Children, hearken unto me: I will teach you the fear of the Lord.
1. While young, Please your Parents. Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. Honour thy father with thy heart, and forget not the sorrows of thy mother ; how canst thou recompense them the things, that they have done for thee? You know not the debt of gratitude you owe to those, who have watched over your infant years with unabating solicitude ; nor how much they have done for you, when you were not able to do any thing for yourselves. You know not how much care they have bestowed for your comfort ; to clothe, to feed, and to shelter you ; to send you to school ; and to heal you in sickness. Your parents and guardians know, from age and experience, better than you can know, what will promote your good. To point out your duties, you must look to them ; to fulfil these duties, they must look to you. If you are not obedient when young, it is almost certain, you will never be. Your habits of disobedience will become more fixed, and
hearts will grow harder and harder, as you grow older. But it was once said, the eye that mocketh at his father, and despiseth to obey his mother, the ravens of the valley shall pick it out, and the young eagles shall eat it. Disappoint not then the hopes of your parents ; but strive to repay their affec
tion, by a strict compliance with their will. Wound not their feelings by hesitancy, or distrust. If you ever have deceived them, seek to be forgiven, and do not so again. Think of the youthful Jesus, how he went down with his parents, and how long, and how cheerfully, he was subject unto them. And, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. So shall you make glad your parents' souls within them. They will shed tears of pious joy, at finding you the object of their desires. They will wear you next their heart. So shalt thou be as the son of the Most High, and he shall love thee, more than thy mother doth.
2. While young, Love your School. Youth is the time, and the school is a place, for you to imbibe good principles. It is a great privilege to be allowed to go to school. The wisest men went to school, when little boys. And
you should be thankful, that you have better schools in your day, than your parents had in their day. But without your own endeavours, books and teachers will avail nothing. Your teachers can but point out the path, your own feet must walk in it. Unless you will bow your own necks to drink of the life-giving stream, the fountain is opened in vain. You should never esteem it a task, but a pleasure ; not a duty only, but a privilege ; to learn, what will make you better children, and better men and You cannot be young but once.
Good images may now be impressed upon your yielding minds, as the motto of the signet is sealed upon the sealing-wax. Remember, that any useful truth learnt by, and for yourselves, is better than many learnt for you by others. And that the quantity is of less importance, than the quality of what you acquire. Burthen not the memory to the prejudice of the judgment. It is of little use for the tongue to utter, what the head does not comprehend. Ask not yourselves, how much you recollect, but how much you understand; and when you understand, how much you strive to practise it.
When at school, always appear neat in your persons, and your apparel, which is a virtue you owe to yourselves, and others. A bright face can best reflect a bright mind. And not only should you be, at all times, respectful and confiding towards your instructers; but you should also