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yet with how little concern is beheld the minister and the mourners, the scarf and the crape, the hearse and the grave. But the inhabitants of other worlds are not unconcerned. Angels rejoice over one repenting sinner added to their number. The Judge of Angels has paid his blood to redeem that soul. And Satan gnashes his teeth at losing it. But since the mind naturally shrinks from these thoughts, and endeavours to forget them, it is necessary often to recall them.

May it be better for us, to have come to the house of mourning, than to have gone to the house of feasting; for the glory of man passeth away, but the word of the Lord shall not pass away. Thine incorruptible spirit, thou Father of Spirits, is in all things.

3. Ever since the Fall of man, a heavy black pall has been let down by the four corners, and hung over the earth. But the eye of Faith can pierce through the thick dark curtain, and see beyond it a world of happiness for the good, and a world of misery for the evil.

4. Let every one, whose eye rests on this bier, examine what would have been his doom, into which of these worlds he would have entered, if he had been called, at this time, instead of the deceased ; and ask for what end he is spared ? Were you better than he ? This is not the time, nor the place, for praise. It would not gratify the dead; it might injure the living. Let what was good in the departed be cherished and imitated ; and what was evil - for the best are sinners be lamented and forgotten. Death is no respecter of persons. He takes the wise, the brave, the ambitious, the wealthy, the busy, the beautiful ; the friend, and the one who is dearer than a friend. They fall side by side, at his touch, like the grass before the mower.

Their bodies are buried in peace ; their souls are committed to God's infinite mercy. For God made not death, neither hath he pleasure in the destruction of the living. But the souls of the righteous are in the hand of God, and there shall no torment touch them.

5. To the bereaved relatives, whose broken hearts are perhaps almost tempted to repine at this affliction, God saith, What I do, thou knowest not now, but thou

shalt know hereafter. May they piously wait the great explanation. The Lord knows when it is best to call his children home. We know not what would have been his lot, if the deceased had been left longer in this world of trial and temptation. We believe that every one is removed from life, at the very best time for his own future welfare. To the good, to the believer, the grave may be viewed as a refuge, an asylum for the soul, weary with the cares, and anxieties, and sufferings, and sins of this world. They wish to be with God, which is far better. There can they rest from their labours, and their works will follow them. May the bereaved relatives of him, whose lifeless dust is now before us, be enabled to look in their day of visitation unto Him, who can turn their weeds of woe into the white robes of the saints ; who can wipe away the tears from their eyes, and bind

up

their broken hearts. Their friend can never return to them; they must go to him. May they have faith and strength to say, It is the Loril, let him do what seemeth him good; it is well for me, that I have been afflicted ; the Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away, blessed be the name of the Lord ; and be prepared, when death shall call them, to meet their departed friend in the realms of glory.

6. In this life, we see but through a glass darkly. I aid, Death was no respecter of persons.

I so, that he is no respecter of ages.

He even little infants. This may appear mysterious ; it is indeed one of the dark providences of God; at the same time, it is one of the brightest intimations of another world. Otherwise, they would appear to be born for no purpose ; at least, as it respected themselves. But they are taken, like a bud from the desert, to be transplanted, and to bloom in the celestial Eden. Their little souls, like a bird from a cage, fly away and are at rest. They are taken from the evil to come ; for a short taste of pain in this world, to enjoy an eternity of happiness. A few days ago, and the little babe was smiling in its mother's arms; and now it is smiling on the bosom of an angel.

For it was for such as these, that Christ died, although they have never heard of Christ in this world, Suffer little children

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VOL. II.

to come unto me, said the divine Saviour; and they are now gone unto him.

Their angels do now behold the face of their heavenly Father. Sometimes infants are taken away, for a trial of the faith of parents. The idol is removed, that they may set their affections on things above. And if we are as innocent as a little child, it is no matter how soon we may die. But if we continue in sin, it had been better for us, if we had died even before we were born.

7. It is well, that man knoweth not his time. If the wicked knew the bounds of their life, they would presume ; if the timorous knew, they would be unfitted to attend to the duties of time. It is therefore left secret with Him, who holdeth the keys of life and death. It is likewise left for us to be always ready. And why should we be so attached to a world of sin and suffering ? A world, where pain lies hid behind the screen of pleasure, and disappointment behind success; where evils can be increased, and good be taken away; where endeavours end without performance, and performances without satisfaction ; and where knowledge, misimproved, will add to condemnation ? Why should we cleave to a world, in which hopes are deceitful, pleasures cloying, and possessions fugitive ? A world, where one is troubled with the restlessness of the young, another with the peevishness of the old ; where one forgets God in the hurry of business, and another in the whirl of dissipation. A world, in fine, in which 'small offences may raise enemies, and great benefits not always gain friends; where we find ourselves courted by interest, and forsaken by ingratitude ; where we see those we love daily falling into the grave, and ourselves considered as aliens and strangers by the rising generation ?' But, however we may value human friendships, and human acquisitions, they are overrated, because they want durability. They soon leave us. And, what is as unsatisfactory, if they do not leave us, we leave them. While we are enjoying these heartless scenes, time is flying, the sands are running. Our life is passing away as the trace of a cloud. Let each one sit down, and count up all the departed friends he can remember. How few of us are there, who have not lost some relation, or valued friend,

even in the past year. It is nearly incredible, that we can see the almost daily descent into the grave of those we love or fear ; that we can see property changing owners, and houses changing tenants; and yet not wish and seek for a more abiding city. But we are bound down to the world by many cords. And if the trials and afflictions of life, the pains of body and anxieties of mind, and bereavement of friends, cut these cords, one after another, as they are designed to do, and loosen us from the world, we shall have reason to thank God for them, as among his blessings. Even if it be like cutting the heart-strings, it is to cut us loose from the enemy of our souls.

8. However gloomy, or dangerous, or barren, the prospect in our pilgrimage of life, we should not shun to go forward with our eyes open, and to know our state. To him, who putteth off repentance, the time is shorter, the work greater, and the strength less. He has more sins to repent of, stronger habits to be resisted, and less power to withstand them. Habits are formed by repeated acts, and therefore old habits are the strongest. They entwine themselves into all our thoughts and passions, and are quitted with much difficulty. Therefore, we should be very careful and zealous to form and preserve good desires, and religious habits,

We should remember, that the sting of death is sin. We should remember also, that ' death has shut its sting into our Saviour's side; there left it; there lost it. Let us then accept that Saviour, and be ready to follow him into that world, where there is neither death, nor sin. We should be, not only habitually, but actually ready for the coming of our Lord. The summons will soon come, ' Arise, and depart hence, for this is not your rest, for it is polluted.' Are you able to hear it? Death often comes suddenly. How many are arrested by a fever; how many fall in a fit; how many go to bed, and wake not; how many go on a journey, and faint by the way; or go to sea, and return no more. And if death do not come suddenly, if you are left to grow old, and then to linger, and pine, and consume away upon your bed, in your own house, amid physicians and friends, it will come surely. A voice from the grave is daily calling, Return, ye chil

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Watch therefore, for ye know not at what hour your Lord doth come, whether at midnight, or at cock-crowing. The deceased has gone to meet his God; ye living, prepare to meet your God. The grave will soon be ready for you; are you ready for the grave?

9. O! my living friends, ye who are yet the spared monuments of the Lord's sparing mercy, when death comes, how cheap, how little worth, will appear the objects of this world; the farm and the merchandize, the gold and the silver, and the goods laid up for many years. Nothing will then stand by you but religion. No matter to the deceased now, what was his fame, who were his relations, what houses and servants he possessed, nor what was the cause or manner of his death. Ah no! if only he has his name written upon the white stone; if he has entered that house not made with hands, if angels claim him as a brother, if he wears a robe of righteousness, if he enjoys that rest which remaineth for the people of God, all else is lighter than vanity. If our deceased friend has slept in Jesus, if the death of his body has proved the birth of his soul, he now knows more of happiness than the happiest man on earth; and his knowledge will be growing, and his bliss increasing, while the heavens endure, even for ever and for evermore. We rejoice, that there remaineth to the living, and to the dead, the same God. But we tremble when we reflect, that only the pure

in heart can see God. Where then shall the profane, the scoffer, the unclean, the sabbath breaker, the dishonest, the self-righteous, the worldly minded, appear? O where, in the day of searching? Theirs is the hope of the hypocrite. It shall perish. If we are not fit for heaven, we are not fit for death.

10. When the body is committed to the ground, we should not view it as lost. It is not dead, but sleepeth. It shall awake in the morning of the resurrection. The time will come, at the last trump, when the sinews and the flesh shall come upon the dry bones in the valley of the church-yard, even although they be very many, and very dry, and the skin shall cover them, and the breath shall come into them, and they shall live. Then shall our brother arise.

A power stronger than death, and

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