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we lamenting the loss of those who have died the death of the righteous? While we are mourning on the account of their departure, how are their souls rejoicing in heavenly transports, and now participating in joys unspeakable and full of glory. In view then of their unspeakable gain, let us weep for ourselves, and for our children. And may not parents, who have lost a tender infant, resign the soul to the grace and compassion of the Redeemer? Christ took little children in his arms, while on earth, and blessed them; and why may he not receive such into his arms in glory? Certainly the Lord may grant the sanctifying influences of his Holy Spirit, even to infants, and make them meet to be partakers with saints in light.
How comforting that neither abject poverty, malicious enemies, nor grim death, can pluck the soul of a believer from the hands of the divine Redeemer! Did the blessed Jesus frown in view of the ascension of the poor, despised beggar to a mansion of glory? No: as an eternal monument of honour, it will be proclaimed, He was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom.
5th. This subject naturally calls to our mind, how affecting and melancholy it is to witness the death of an impenitent sinner.
There is not only reason for unbelievers to tremble at the prospect of their departure hence; but their surviving friends also may justly have their hearts quake, as they stand around their dying bed. Their distracted countenances, and dreadful exclamations, pierce the stoutest heart, and rend the souls of their relatives. As they view death fast approaching, in agony they break out, Hast thou found me, Oh! mine enemy! Must I be forced away ? dread, cruel messenger! Oh! precious lost time! Oh! deluded, murdered soul! Now, now, I feel the cold, icy hand of death, preying upon my whole body. And ah! see merciless fiends greedy to seize my guilty, despairing spirit. Oh, my friends! Oh, my God! Am I eternally undone? Must I be plunged in wo, with awful expectation of more terrible vengeance being poured upon me, after the judgement! Oh, that God would be gracious, and strike out my existence? Can he not hear my accursed prayers and grant me annihilation ? are all my enjoyments for ever at an end; and is hope gone for ever! I am chilled with death : my blood cold in my veins: my senses racked: my
soul distracted. Adieu, vain world. Farewell my friends! I am already sinking in eternal despair, and overwhelmed in torments without end.
How faint this description of an impenitent, dying sinner! But how affecting, how solemn, and how awful the departure of unbelievers, which will consign their wretched souls to that dreadful world, where reign the mists of the blackness of darkness for ever! Our souls may justly shudder at the thought of beholding a fellow-mortal thus expiring.
6th. How blessed the sight to behold a believer leave this world in peace.
The body dies; but glorious the release of the soul, in its departure from these mortal shores. Believers at death, do indeed experience an affecting change in regard to their bodies; still the soul can triumph in prospect of a blessed immortality. They then enter a new state of existence; are instantly surrounded with new and surprising objects, which excite the most transporting admiration. When a mortal paleness overspreads the dying frame, glory divine beams upon the soul. The departing saint, with death on one hand and his God on the other, in full view, exclaims in ecstasy, Whom have I in heaven but thee? and there is none upon earth that I desire beside thee: My flesh and my heart faileth; but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever. 0 my
dear children! beloved wife and friends! what mean ye weeping for me, and breaking my heart? My divine Redeemer calls; are you not willing to have me fall asleep in Jesus? Hark! Hear the whis. pering angels! See the white shining train! They beckon me away: I must go up to heaven. 0, prospect bright and glorious! The unclouded morning of eternal day, bursts upon my sight. Farewell, my friends. Adieu, cares of the world; sin and sorrow. Come, Lord Jesus! come. Now, all glory to God, and the Lamb that sitteth on the throne. How great the change; how solemn, and transporting the departure of believers, who have full assurance of being ushered into the immediate presence of God, to be placed at his right hand, where is fulness of joy, and rivers of pleasure for evermore. What prospect to mortals can be more consoling! what event more glorious !
7th. This subject admonishes that we make daily preparation for the solemn events, and momentous consequences which await us.
It is not only a solemn thing to die, but death comes often in an unexpected hour. And if we be unprepared at his coming, it would be good for us had we never been born. Our souls and our bodies will both serve to render our existence wretched. Shortly it will be said of each one of us, that we are dead. Shortly our dust will return to the earth as it was; and our spirits shall return to God, who gave them. And are we prepared each one of us to give up his account to God? The amazing end of this interview will be to settle the concerns of the soul for ever, and fix its condition for interminable
On this account, is suspended endless happiness or endless misery. And can we guilty beings render our account with joy, unless we have an advocate with the Father, even Jesus Christ the Righteous ? How affecting must be the situation of the soul at this decisive interview! to stand in the presence of God, the Judge of all, alone; without a friend to help, without an advocate to plead its cause; its all depending, itself to receive its eternal destination!, And now let me ask, Have we that wellgrounded hope, upon which we are willing to hazard the acceptance of our souls for immortality ? Or has our whole course hitherto been directed, shall it through life be directed towards perdition, and not a single step taken towards heaven? Rather, infinitely rather, let us be wise, lay up for ourselves treasures which will remain durable; immortal treasures, when these visible heavens and this earth shall be no more. Let us as miserable, penitent sinners, fly to the Saviour, make the Judge our friend: He is our rewarder: His frown is hell, His smile is heaven. To him let us give all glory for ever
THE RESURRECTION OF THE HUMAN BODY, A WONDERFULLY
1 Corinthians xv. 53.
This corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal
must put on immortality. THE grand theme of this chapter, is the general resurrection of the dead. And the subject is so discussed as to exhibit one of the first specimens of that expansion and sublimity of intellect, for which St. Paul is peculiarly distinguished. Nothing in heathen antiquity can be found among poets, orators, or philosophers, which in loftiness of conception, or extensiveness of views, deserves to be named in comparison with this discourse. From its commencement, and throughout all its progress, the writer gradually ascends higher and higher in his descriptions, until he elevates the mind of his reader to the heavens.
In the beginning of the chapter, the resurrection of the body is asserted and proved. The proof alledged, is the resurrection of Christ. The argument may be advantageously exhibited in the following manner: Christ predicted his own resurrection, and actually rose in the manner predicted. He has thus proved both his power to do every thing, and his veracity in all his declarations. But he has declared that he will raise up at the last day, all that are in their graves. Thus his own resurrection is a complete proof of the general resurrection of mankind. The Apostle pursues the examination of the subject,