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To keep the mind directly and constantly fixed on our eternal concerns and final hour, is impossible. Were it poflible, it would unfit us for the duties of our ftations and relations. To give attention to these is our indifpenfible duty. Still the things of our peace fhould employ our thoughts, when we lie down and rise up, go forth and come in. Their weight and influence Thould be apparent at all times, in all places and circumstances. In such a state of mind, all his concerns being in fuch a posture, under such regulation, the good man, when notified of approaching death, retires within himself, disentangled from worldly cares, and is entirely devoted to the contemplation of his change; and the invisible, eternal scenes opening upon him.
The pfalmist prayed, Remember how foort my time is. If our time is short, and our work great, no part of our time should hang heavy upon us--we should be busy in our particular and general calling all our life long, from its first dawn to its evening ray: The young have the Saviour's example, calling on them to be about their heavenly Father's business—to attend it while it is day, ever mindful that the night of death cometh, when no man can work. Put the case that they may be losers in the present world by being assiduous in the concerns of another and better; this would, notwithstanding, be the truest wisdom. Things seen and temporal are unworthy to be compared with things unseen and eternal. The sufferings of this transitory state are unworthy to be compared with the far more exceeding eternal weight of glory. The husbandman ploweth all day to fow, and waiteth with long patience for the harveft to reward his toil. The fpiritual harvest, at the end of the world, is far more joyful and bright, than that of the husbandman returning with joy from his fields, bringing his sheaves with full grain. “Be
ye therefore patient, ftablish your hearts: For the
coming of the Lord draweth nigh.” Be intent on the concerns of your high calling. “Be not weary
well-doing : For in due season ye shall reap, if ye 6 faint not. Your spiritual and immortal hopes are far too dear to be postponed and facrificed to the things of this empty and pafling world. Suffer not these things to detain you from
the wiser choice, or to obstruct and entangle you in working out your own falvation. In this chief concern of all orders and ages no pains or circumspection can be too great.
The voice of God's providence constantly unites with that of his word, calling upon us to give the more earneft heed to the present subject. Our intimate friends, our dearest connections, languish and die to quicken us in redeeming time. When earthly ties are broken, when our connections in this world are lefsened, where, but in religion, shall we find succour? This assures us, that the dead do not deep eternally—that they shall rise again--that this mortal shall put on immortality, when earth and time fhall be no more. Why should we be flothful? It highly concerns us to “shew the same “ diligence unto the full assurance of hope unto the “ end," as those “who through faith and patience in“ herit the promises.” With them time is closed. They have received the end of their faith, the salvation of their souls. Why should we not, by patience in well doing, by always abounding in the work of the Lord, look for the blessed hape? Why are any loth to meditate on the end of all men ? why backward to lay to heart instances of mortality from day to day-examples of the frailty of man at his best estate? why flow to believe that the time is at hand? why unwilling to look into eternity? unwilling to examine into their own preparation to exchange worlds ? unwilling to cherish, in the day of health and prosperity, the just sentiments which are excited by the day of adversity, sickness and death?
I would stir up myself and all my hearers to look forward to the end of time. My own time, in the course of nature, must be much shorter than that of far the most who hear me. My daily and great concern is to possess the character of the fleward, whom the Lord when he cometh fhall find watching. May you, my brethren, whether young or old, or in the midst of life, duly appreciate time in this your day. You are hastening to the coming of the day of God. The redemption of time will be your best preparation for that day. Be diligent then that you may be found of him in peace. May God give you all grace duly to estimate and improve life and the price in your hands. AMEN.
REFLECTIONS ON DEATH.
GENESIS iij. 19.
--FOR DUST THOU ART, AND UNTO DUST SHALT THOU RETURN.
OD formed man of the dust of the ground, 6 and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and “ man became a living foul. And God planted a gar“ den eastward in Eden ; and there he put the man “ whom he had formed, to dress it and to keep it.-56 And the Lord God commanded the man ; saying, « Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat : “ But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, 6 thou shalt not eat of it: For in the day that thou “ eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.” Man violated the prohibition, which was the only test of fdelity to his Creator, the only condition of immortality. For that violation, the doom was passed upon him ; Dust thou art, and unto dust halt thou return. The above recited passage is a summary history of his formation, his situation and employment in Eden, the condition on which he held life from the Creator; and the threatened penalty to transgression. It is also a general comment upon the text.
The scriptures uniformly represent death as man's return to the dust, out of which he was taken. Then the duft returns to the earth as it was.
Thou takest away their breath, they die, and return to their duft. Thou turneft man to destruction, and sayest, Return, ye_children of men.