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daily closer to that genial warmth, which nurtures every virtue into vital life; complete in vigour now, He brings them open forth to the bright sunshine of eternal day.
Unto these realms of endless peace,
Your anxious hearts O raise ;
“ In glory's hallow'd blaze."
A crystal stream this region laves,
Are mercies ever new;
Fruits of celestial hue.
But though these vary in their kind,
To save from ev'ry crime;
In full immortal prime.*
No imperfection here'll be shown,
By the resplendent lustre
For healing wounded virtue.
This bright refulgence can eclipse
If penitently moan'd;
Rev. xxii. 1, 2.
this blessed survey-this eternal weight of glory, stimulate our most energetic efforts to obtain the prize. Our heavenly father desireth not our misery : He delights to make us happy even on our journey to him. But we must not forget we are but travellers here; our chiefest joy must now consist in contemplation of our future joy; our present pleasures must be brought to savour somewhat of the joys above, if we would become its glad inhabitants.
The care and kindness of heaven is ever employed upon subordinate objects; and if we hope to partake of its felicity, ours must be so also. In our respective spheres, let us now be ever engaged in describing varied circles of benevolence; it is a truly reasonable service that every man, according to his ability, should administer unto his fellows-as intelligent creatures unto their spiritual necessities—as human ones, to their corporeal wants. The Master whom we serve appreciates our intention—not our power; the widow's mite is held by him in its due estimation ; and those who possess not silver or gold, of such as they have let them impart unto others. All may give some small portion of their time: a kind inquiry, word, or look, is cheering to the afflicted ; a cup of cold water given for their Saviour's sake will not lose its reward ; and let it be ever remembered that he who neglects the improvement of even one talent, is doomed to outer darkness—to regions of impalpable gloom. At the decisive day, we must not come emptyhanded—we must bring our sheaves with us : every cottager we have reclaimed-every rustic we have saved, will then form a bright gem in our resplendent crowns, encompass us, like to attendant satellites, in our glorious evolutions round the throne of grace, and form a part throughout eternal ages of our ecstatic bliss-our crown, our glory, and our joy. (1 Thess. ii. 19, 20.) Our reliance for acceptance with God must unquestionably be placed on the perfect righteousness of our adorable Redeemer, on account of the extreme imperfection that attaches to our best performances; but a lazy recumbance on the Redeemer's merits will not secure that blessed sentence which at once proclaims the nature of our future joys, and the terms of our admission to them. “ Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world : for I was an hungered, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink : I was a stranger, and ye took me in : naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungered, and fed thee? thirsty, and gave thee drink? when saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? naked, and clothed thee? or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, inasmuch as ye have done it unto the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me: well done, good and faithful servants, enter thou into the joy of thy Lord.” (Matt. xxv. 34, &c.) And,
“ In that blest hour when seraphs sing
“ Directly reverse to the path of the good, is that of the wicked man ; degraded by his vices, he is constantly declining more and more in a downward course. His path, instead of being as the shining light, is as the dusk of evening ; that darkness of the infernal regions to which his nature is tending increases upon him gradually, till the shadows of night close upon his head, with everlasting and impenetrable gloom."*
On that eventful morn which seals our final doom, many a hard, unfeeling, ostentatious man may plead unto their Lord the merit of their deeds; but their good works, if any they have done—their labours, writings, charities, were all, or chief, performed from proud and selfish motives, not for the love of him; and they have already had their paltry, poor reward. When poised in the just balance this trying hour suspends, their vanity will be found to far out-weigh their virtue, and their pretensions will be wholly unavailing. The conduct of mere nominal professors cannot abide the awful scrutiny of this