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such state a day or an hour longer ; but let us endeavour to provide for our everlasting peace while we yet have time.
Another practical lesson which the subject which we have been considering may suggest to us, is, that if there is any thing that we wish to do, any thing that we ought to do, for the glory of God and the good of our fellow-creatures, we should not put it off, but set about it at once without delay. We may be very sure that we can have no time to lose.
" Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with all thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave whither thou goest4.” Most of us fall too easily into a habit of procrastination, a habit of putting off from day to day the doing of that which we acknowledge ought to be done,-which we intend to do, at some time or other. This habit, however, must be broken through by him, who really feels upon what a very precarious uncertain tenure he holds his present existence, and is sensible how suddenly he may be called to quit it.
Another lesson which we may learn from the shortness and uncertainty of human life, is, that we should be careful not to set our affections too eagerly and too strongly upon the things of this world. With respect to them all we should endeavour to acquire,— I will not say a spirit of indifference,—but, that feeling which is produced by a practical habitual conviction that we may be called upon to part with them at any moment. brethren, that the time is short; it remaineth, that both they that have wives be as though they had none; and they that weep, as though they wept not; and they that rejoice, as though they rejoiced
- This I say,
not; and they that buy, as though they possessed not; and they that use this world, as not abusing it; for the fashion of this world passeth away"."
The fashion of this world passeth away; and therefore even the best things in it must not be suffered to occupy too large a share of our hearts and affections, must not be suffered to prevent us, from seeking our home and our rest, in that world which does not pass away.
Let us endeavour, my friends, to preserve upon our minds this practical conviction of our mortality, that thus habitually feeling “how frail and uncertain our condition is, we may so number our days, as seriously to apply our hearts to that holy and heavenly wisdom, whilst we live here, which may in the end bring us to life everlasting, through the merits of Jesus Christ our Lord.”
O God the Father of our spirits, who hast appointed death to be the end of all men, and that after that shall come the judgment; grant that we may never be unmindful of our latter end. By the help of thy grace so fit and prepare us against the hour of death, that after our departure hence in peace and in thy favour, our souls may be received into thine everlasting kingdom, through Jesus Christ our Lord.
DUTIES OF THE SICK.
EccLEs. vii. 14.
In the day of adversity consider.
As we all know assuredly that at some period or other our mortal life must be terminated by death, so we all, generally speaking, must expect during the course of our lives to be visited by sickness and disease. Indeed when we consider how fearfully and wonderfully we are made, when we reflect on the almost infinite number of parts which make up the structure of our animal bodies, upon the various tubes or channels through which nourishment is conveyed to each part, and