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what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for ? But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.” (Rom. viii. 24, 25.) The generality are all for the present good : “ Give me the portion of goods that falleth to me,” is the prevailing cry: let me have enough to clothe me in “purple and fine linen,” and to “ fare sumptuously every day,” and let futurity take care for itself. But when it comes to “Son, remember that thou in thy life-time receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus his evil things; and now he is comforted, and thou art tormented;" then they will wish that they had made a different choice. The true believer considers himself as “ a stranger and a sojourner" here, and is content to wait for his portion till he gets home: and this reconciles him to many hard things in providence and grace, which would otherwise perplex and overwhelm him. If he hath little of the world-yea, and little sensible enjoyment of God—yet still he “rejoices in hope.” David had more gladness in his heart from the glimpse he had of the light of God's countenance, than others had in all their increase of corn and wine. (See Ps. iv. 6, and Ps, xvii. 15.)-When he was speaking of the men of the world, who had their portion in this life, and whose belly God had filled with his hid treasures; he envied them not “I have meat to eat which they know not of." "I shall behold thy face in righteousness :'" that is my portion; and I am content to wait for it. I do not care how little I have of the world: he hath promised me food and raiment; and that is enough for the little while I have to live in this world : “. I shall be satisfied, when I
awake with thy likeness.' This enabled those ancient worthies to “ take joyfully the spoiling of their goods :” they knew they had in heaven" a bet. ter and inore enduring substance.”
But it sometimes happens that Christians have not only little of the world--that they could easily bear-but they have also little of God: I mean, in a way of sensible enjoyment. They “ walk in darkness, and see no light:” and we often hear them complaining, “Why standest thou afar off, 0 Lord ?” “Why hidest thou thyself in time of trouble?” “ Behold, I go forward, but he is not there ; and backward, but I cannot perceive him :'' " () that I knew where I might find him !” “ My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me!"-And yet, even in this case, painful and distressing as it is, the believer rejoices in hope. • Blessed be God,' says he, for the little I have seen ; blessed be God for what I am assured I shall see, when this vail of flesh shall be rent in twain : and that will not be long: time hath made some crevices already, and they are widening apace : I can look through them now; by and by I shall escape through them, and find myself in open daylight.
“ Then shall I see, and hear, and know,
All I desir'd and wish'd below;
In that eternal world of joy."
4. How welcome must death be to the be- liever.
Not merely as it puts a final end to all his sins, sufferings, and sorrows; but as it will introduce
him into a new and nobler world, where he shall have the most glorious objects to behold, and nothing shall intercept or cloud his sight. He shall see heaven, see the saints, see the angels, see Christ, see God; and see them all clearly and distinctly ; see them " face to face !” and never be out of sight of them any more for ever.--"O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?"-Instead of starting and shrinking back, as if we were afraid of Death; we should rather be looking out for him, as the welcome messenger from our heavenly Father to fetch us home; and when any of his well-known harbingers come, and warn us of his approach, we “ should lift up our heads, and rejoice that our redemption draweth nigh.” That saying of our Lord to Peter, hath been the support of many living saints, and the joy of many dying ones; “ What I do thou knowest not now, but thou shalt know hereafter.” (John xiii. 7.) How many things are there, both in providence and grace, which we cannot now account for ; and with what rapturous eagerness and delight shall we sit and hear them all explained; and the history of our own lives related, and a thousand pleasing histories besides! Who doth not wish to die? I mean, who doth not wish to be dead? Who would not gladly get away into the silent, quiet grave; to be out of the hearing of the tumults and alarms of this bustling, quarrelsome world? Who doth not wish to get away from the trifling and ensnaring conversation of mortals, to sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob; to sit down with angels, and with God !-andAnd, what?-_O Christians ! “it doth not yet
appear what we shall be; but we know that when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is."
WHO IS ON THE LORD'S side?
Exodus xxxii. 26.
Then Moses stood in the gate of the camp, and said,
Who is on the Lord's side?
Methinks I hear one of you saying, I am on the Lord's side :' and another · I am ;' and another * I am :' and if I do not mistake, I hear many of you, in a low, faultering voice, whispering, "We desire to be so, if the Lord will accept such worthless servants.' Where is the man that dares say, He is not, he will not be of the Lord's side? Where is the mighty champion that will thus defy the armies of the God of Israel? Vain man ! a sling and a stone may bring thee to the ground: a sentence, a word, directed and enforced by the Spirit of God, may be sharper than any two-edged sword, and pierce “ even to the dividing asunder the joints and marrow," the soul and sin; and discover the very“ thoughts and intents of thy heart.” I
pray God you may feel something of this, while I attempt, from those words of Moses,
I. To show who may be said to be on the Lord's
II. To offer some reasons why we should all be so.
Very evident it is, that all the world is not on the same side. There are two great interests which