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neglectful and ungodly, in the same measure must the evidence of our union be darkened, and our spirit disturbed. There are exceptions to this rule, arising out of peculiarities in situa. tion, or temptation, or constitution, but generally it will be found to regulate the case. It is as Christ is seen in the completeness of his salvation, and our union with him in the ful. ness of its evidence, that we are likely to die in doubt, or submission, or confidence, or triumph. It is possible that the Christian may go out of the world in any of these states of miņd; but it is needless to say how desirable it is that he should depart in peace, and hope, and joy. According to his faith, so shall it be unto him-whether in fear he shall say, “I wait for light, but behold obscurity; for brightness, but I walk in darkness :' or in submission be able to say, " Father, thy will be done :” or in confidence,“ 1 know whom I have believed, and I am persuaded he is able to keep that which I have committed to him against that day:" or in triumph, and that is neither impossible nor unfrequent, “O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law; but thanks be unto God, which giveth us the victory, through our Lord Jesus Christ.' IV. What are the consequences of death ?
These are many-some of them immediate-others more remote. At present we shall do little more than name them. 1. The body is turned into a lifeless corpse.
that beamed intelligence is closed; the ear that delighted in the sweet sounds of friendship and love, is unstrung; the tongue that uttered words of eloquence and feeling, is sealed in si. lence; the countenance that beamed with life is pallid and upmarked; the animating soul is gone, and nothing is left be. hind but a sordid mass of clay. O! what sin hath wrought!
2. The body is conveyed to the grave. It was the language of nature, when Abraham said, upon the death of his beloved Sarah, "give me possession of a burying-place, that I may bury my dead out of my sight.” How dear soever our friends may be to us, we will commit earth to earth, ashes to ashes, and dust to dust. And though it be the partner of our bosom, yet will we leave them in the grave to say, like Job, “ I have said to corruption, thou art my father : and to the worm, thou art my mother and sister.”
3. The soul enters, immediately upon death, into the presence of God for judgment. Of this assertion the proof is clear and satisfactory in the Scriptures. “The dust returns to the earth as it was, and the spirit unto God who gave it." Eccl. xii. 7. The parable of Dives and Lazarus assumes the present existence and reality of the case described, Luke xvi. 1931. “ We are willing to be absent from the body and present with the Lord,' 2 Cor. v. 8. “ Having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ,” Phil. i. 23. And John, in revelation, beheld and described the redeemed throng, saying, “these are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb,” Rev. vii. 14.
4. The state of the soul will remain unchanged for ever. “These shall go away into everlasting punishment, and the righteous into life eternal.” The punishment and the life are of the same endurance. Both are complete—both unchanging-both eternal. In the one there is the worm that dieth not, and the fire that is not quenched ;" while as for the other, “they shall go no more out, but the Lamb that is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and lead them to living fountains of water, and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.” “ He that is unjust, let him be unjust still; and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still; and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still; and he that is holy, let him be holy still."
Seeing, then, that these things are so, what views must we entertain of many of the pursuits and desires of men ? What shall we think of the epicure, feeding a pampered body to be the food of worms ?. Of the ambitious, climbing up the slippery and dangerous ascent
of human glory, that their fall may be at last the greater ? Of the vain, decking a dying frame, that will soon be an inbabitant of the tomb ? Tbe proud, glorying in their vanity ? Surely pride was not made for man, the creature of a day, and polluted with sin. The prospect of death ought to produce far other feelings, and engage in very different pursuits. It is unbecoming in a mortal, yet immortal being, so to occupy himself. “O! that men were wise, that they understood this, that they would consider their latter end!"
Then let us inquire are we ready to die. The exhortation is sounding in our ears, “ be ye therefore ready also, for in such an hour as ye think not, the Son of Man cometh." He is not a wise man who rests contented without being prepared to die, and without the most clear and satisfactory evidence that he is so prepared. God has provided the preparation, and he has laid down the niarks, in his word, by which we are to try whether that preparation has been made ours. How great, then, the folly, how inexcusable the neglect, and how aggravated the sin, if we rest short of a sure and scriptural persua sion that we are in Christ, and so ready to die. The decisive interview between God and the soul must soon take place let us see that we are prepared for it. “Prepare to meet thy God.''
THE POWER OF RELIGION, Exemplified in the Heart-Exercises of some Eminent Saints of God.
JOHN WICKLIFFE, the Father of the English Reformation, was born A. D. 1324, died A. D. 1384. The following citations from his works will prove the creed of his heart. that followeth Christ, being justified by his righteousness, shall be saved by his offering.” Except a Christian be united to Christ by grace, he hath not Christ the Saviour.”, “If God will give me a teachable heart, a persevering constancy, and charity towards Christ, towards his Church, and towards the members of the Devil, who tear the Church of Christ, so that I may
rebuke them out of pure charity, how. glorious a cause shall I have to die for!”
John Huss, Rector of the University of Prague, in Bohe. mia, was martyred at Constance, A.D. 1415. In a letter, which has been preserved, he addresses his divine Lord in the following terms, anticipating his sufferings : “O most merciful Christ, draw us weak creatures after thee; for except thou draw us, we are not able to follow thee. Give us a strong spirit, that it may be ready, and that it may be willing : and although the flesh be feeble, yet let thy grace go before us, go with us, and follow us; for we can do nothing, and much less enter into the death for thy sake.'
MARTIN LUTHER, the great German Retormer, died in peace, A. D. 1546. The principal doctrine of Luther's theology was, free justification by faith in the obedience and sacrifice of Christ. Perceiving his last moments approaching, he breathed forth an edifying prayer, of which the following is a part:
:-“ My heavenly Father, who art the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, thou God of all consolation, I give thee thanks that thou hast revealed to me the Lord Jesus Christ, in whom I have believed, whom I have professed, whom I have loved, whom I have preached, whom the Bishop of Rome and all the impious crowd persecute and put to an open
shame. I beseech thee, my Lord Jesus Christ, receive my poor soul. 0, my heavenly Father, although I leave this life, although I
am now to lay down this body, yet I assuredly know, that I shall live with thee for ever, and that none shall pluck me out of thy hands.
JOHN CALVIN, the French Reformer, is commended, even by his enemies, as a man on whom God had conferred the most eminent talents,” and as exhibiting in his life a rare example of holiness. He was regarded throughout Europe as the chief of the Reformers, after the death of Luther. He died A. D. 1564, at Geneva. The following is an extract from his will :-“I give thanks to God, that, taking pity on me,
he hath delivered me out of the deep darkness of idolatry, into which I was plunged; and bath brought me into the light of his Gospel, and made me a partaker of the doctrine of sal vation, of which I was most unworthy. And he hath not only greatly and graciously borne with my faults and sins, for which I deserve to be rejected of him, and cast out, but hath treated me with such meekness and mildness, that he hath vouchsafed to use my labours in preaching the truth of his Gospel. And I witness and declare, that I intend to pass the remainder of my life in the same faith and religion which he hath delivered to me by his Gospel; and not to seek any other aid or refuge for salvation than his free adoption, in which alone salvation resteth. And, with my whole heart, I embrace the mercy which be hath used towards me for Jesus Christ's sake; recompensing my faults with the merits of his death and passion; that satisfaction might be made, by this means, for all my sins and crimes, and the remembrance of them be blotted out. I witness also and declare, that I humbly beg of him, that, being washed and cleansed in the blood of that highest Redeemer, shed for the sins of mankind, I may stand at his judgment-seat under the image of my Redeemer.
PATRICK HAMILTON, one of the earliest Reformers in Scotland, was related to the royal family. He was condemned and martyred in the same day, A.D. 1528, lest his interest with the king should procure his pardon. He suffered joyfully, calling on the Lord Jesus to receive his departing spirit. In a judicious tract on the prineipal points of evangelical doctrine, he says, “Since Christ, the Maker of heaven and earth, and all that is therein, behoved to die for us, we are compelled to grant, that we were so far drowned and gunk in sin, that neither our deeds, nor all the treasures that ever God made or might make, could have holpen us of them; therefore, no deeds or works may make us righteous. Now, seeing he hath paid thy debt, thou needest not, neither canst thou pay it, but
wouldst be damned if this blood had not been sbed for thee O, how ready we would be to help others, if we knew his goodness and gentleness towards us ! He is a good and gentle Lord, for be doth all for nought. Let us, I beseech you, therefore, follow his footsteps, whom all the world ought to praise and worship. Amen.'
John Knox, the great Scotch Reformer. He died A. D. 1572. A few days before his death, he sent for all the ministers in the several churches in Edinburgh, to whom he delivered an affectionate exhortation. “That day is now at hand," said be," which I have so often and intensely longed for; in which, having finished my labours, and gone through my various sorrows, I shall be dissolved, and be with Christ. "And do ye, my dearest brethren in the faith and labours of Jesus, persist in the everlasting truths of his Gospel. Look diligently to the flocks, with whose oversight God hath entrusted you, and which he hath redeemed to himself by the blood of his Son." Perceiving his death approaching, he poured forth his soul in prayer as follows:-“ Lord Jesus, sweetest Saviour, into thy hands I commend my spirit
. Look, I beseech thee, with favour upon this Church which thou hast redeemed, and restore peace to this afflicted commonwealth. Raise up pastors after thine own heart, who may take care of thy Church; and grant that we may learn, as well from the blessings as from the chastisements of thy providence, to abhor sin, and to love thee with full purpose of heart.”
ARCHBISHOP CRANMER, martyred A.D. 1556. The following is part of a letter wbich he wrote while in prison, to a pious lady :-"The true Comforter in all distresses is only God, through his Son Jesus Christ; and whosoever hath him hath company enough, if he were in a wilderness all alone; and he that hath twenty thousand in his company, if God be absent, is in a miserable wilderness and desolation. In him is all comfort, and without him is none; therefore, I beseech you, seek your dwelling there, where you may truly and rightly serve God, and dwell in bim, and have him ever dwelling in you. . And the Lord send his Holy Spirit to lead and guide you wheresoever you go, and all that be godly will say, Amen."
ORDINATION.On Tuesday, the 18th inst, the Rev. William Grabam was ordained to the pastoral charge of the congregation of Dundonald. The services of the day were conducted by the
Rev. Jobo M'Aulay, Rev. John Hanna, Rev. John Orr, and Rev. Hugb Woods.