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little while ago when its spreading verdure seemed to promise lasting prosperity ; but the woodman has been here, and for some cause or other, has not only blasted its beauty, but removed it root and branch, so that I can scarcely tell where it grew. Just so the wicked are removed, according to that striking description of the Psalmist, which I noticed a little before, when I saw this tree growing in full verdure in this place : “I - have seen the wicked in great power, and
spreading himself like a green bay tree; yet he passed away; and lo, he was not ;
yea, I sought him, but he could not be “ found.” Psal. xxxvii. 35, 36.
Nor will a reflection on their latter end yield the smallest satisfaction to surviving friends or acquaintances ; nay, aghast, they rather force off their thoughts from contemplating such a subject. O how needful then is this ardent wish to be adopted by all living, which we find recorded in Moses's song, thus : “O that they were wise, that they un“ derstood this, that they would consider O that the wicked in a day of prosperity would thus consider their latter end! that if they go on in their evil course, notwithstanding of all their worldly prosperity and grandeur, their end at last will not only fill their friends and acquaintances with awful reflections, but prove beyond description, dreadful to themselves ; whereas the latter end of the righteous affordeth, not only pleasant contemplations to their surviving friends and neighbours, but satisfaction, eternal satisfaction to themselves, agreeably to the following passage in that beautiful psalm of contrast of the righteous and the wicked : Mark the perfect man, and behold “ the upright; for the end of that man is
their latter end !” Deut. xxxii. 29.
peace.” Psalm xxxvii. 37.
Again we are told, the memory of the wicked shall rot, Prov. x. 7, that is, prove unsavoury 'to their friends and former acquaintances, be as disgustful to their reflections as rotten stinking things are to our nostrils, be quite disregarded, and striven to be forgot; but the memory of the just is blessed.
“ The righteous shall be in everlasting re" membrance,” Prov. x. 7. Psalm, cxii. 6. Their memory,
like a good name, is better “ than precious ointment,” Eccl. vii. 1; it spreadeth a fragrance around where they live, yieldeth a delightful savour after they are dead, and the grateful odours of it invite men into the same pleasant paths of righteousness in which they walked.
Their memory may be said, in some respect, to be like the name of the Lord, even as ointment poured forth, Cant. i. 3.
There are two trees, to which the righteous are compared, that are not inhabitants of our British woods; but seeing my contemplations are on such delightful subjects, they deserve
serious consideration; those are, that of the palm and the cedar : “ righteous shall flourish like the palm-tree, " he shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon," saith the Psalmist, Psalm xcii. 12.
The first of these trees is said to be beautiful, round, and straight. So the lives of the righteous, in so far as they are conformed to the dictates of inspiration, are beautiful, orderly and straight.
This tree also maintains its verdure through all seasons of the year, and on its top wears a tuft of spring leaves some 'feet in length, which never fall off. At the bottom of the leaves grow its fruit, called dates, in clusters.
In like manner, the righteous maintain their verdure of holiness through divine grace in all seasons, whether prosperous or adverse; they still continue in their profession of religion and attachment to Christ; having on their head as an helmet the hope of salvation, Ephes. vi. 7, and 1 Thess. v. 8, while under the leaves of their Christian profession, the fruit of the Spirit, which“ is love, joy,
peace, long-suffering, gentleness, good
ness, faith, meekness, temperance,” groweth in clusters, " in all goodness, and righte
ousness, and truth,” Gal. v. 22, 23, and Eph. v. 9.
It is observed of this tree, that it will grow, though much oppressed and borne down. Thus did the church in Egypt; the more they afflicted her, the more she multiplied and grew, Exodus, i. 12, and so will every true believer ; no oppression from their enemies shall prevent their growth in grace ; and like the cedar, which spreads wide, and grows very high and strong, yields a delightful savour,
is very durable, and in some sort incorruptible ; so the righteous spread wide, not only in their holy profession, but also in charity, and in all manner of good works, and grow high, even to perfection, till they all arrive unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ, Eph. iv. 13; and, like Abraham, are strong in faith, giving glory to God, Rom. iv. 20, they endure to the end, smell like Lebanon, and are born of incorruptible seed, Matt. x. 22, Hos. xiv. 6, and 1 Pet. i. 23. May I thus flourish like the palm-tree, and grow like a cedar in Lebanon.
There lies a lofty pine, which the winds