Page images
PDF
EPUB

mine; while remorse and sorrow, more fierce than the vultures of the desert, prey upon the mind, ushering in the worm which never dieth.

From this learn a lesson, O my soul, to be husbanding the time well, and answering the end of thy creation, that the evening of my life may

be calm and serene, and I may say with the apostle, “I have fought a good fight, “ I have finished my course, I have kept the “ faith ; henceforth there is laid up for me a

crown of righteousness, which the Lord, “ the righteous judge, shall give me at that

day; and not to me only, but unto all them

also that love his appearing.” 2 Tim. iv. 7, 8.

How tasteless now are all the beauties of nature. The flowery meads, and delightfully chequered lawns, which but a little ago appeared in all the gaiety of dress, charming the eye

of the beholder, now shrouded in sable, please no more. Just so shall it be with all the pomp of this world in a dying hour. O that mortals would be wise in time, and chiefly seek after that which would then yield

real satisfaction! Will frothy conversation, vain entertainments, licentious company, the sparkling bowl, or midnight revels, or (what is more plausible) wealth or fame, dignified stations, high sounding titles, or great honours, give that? No, no : these may, and often do," fill the death-bed with thorns; religion alone streweth it with roses." Nothing less than an interest in the merits of Christ will comfort the soul when hovering on the utmost verge of life. ''}; wid;

Though religion be scoffed at by some, disregarded by many, and trifled with by the greater part of mankind, yet there is a reality in it which all must either sweetly or awfully experience. Many complain on a death-bed of not having been religious enough, but never

n too much so. Si

b. There are many fools in the world, but none 'so great as those who leave their salvation-work till a dying hour. In these trying moments, though reason be continued, which is often not the case, tossing sickness and racking pains will leave the mind but little time for serious meditation : besides, how many are snatched away in a moment ?

will not,

Think seriously on this, ye giddy mortals, who are spending the morning and prime of your days in the pursuits of sin and folly. If

ye not, I will here draw Solomon's bow, (but not at a venture) and shoot that scripture arrow, which will stick fast in your conscience one day : “ Rejoice, O

Rejoice, O young man, in thy youth, and let thy heart cheer “ thee in the days of thy youth, and walk in the

ways of thine heart, and in the sight “ of thine eyes; but know thou, that for all “ these things God will bring thee into judg

ment." Eccl. xi. 9.;

[ocr errors]

The traveller who has this evening taken up his lodgings, forgets his toilsome journey in the arms of sleep. What matters it now to him though his way were crooked and rough ? he is now at his journey's end, and rests as sweetly as he whose path was straight and smooth. Just so is it with respect to the Christian when he cometh to die, and take up his lodgings in the grave. What matters

it then to him though his journey through life were strewed with poverty, sickness, crosses,

and trials ?* he is now at his journey's end, and can rest as sweetly in the house appointed for all living, as he who washed his steps in butter, and the rock poured him out rivers of oil.t Job, xxix. 6. The one remembers his pleasures no more, and the other hath forgotten his sorrows.

From this

may I learn calmly to bear the ills of life, and when a few years are past, perhaps months, days, or hours, if I sleep in Jesus, I shall rest as quietly in the tomb as the Christian whose life was almost one continued round of tranquillity.

What ought to make Christians patiently bear their trials, is the salutary consideration that they are all measured out to them by the hand of their heavenly Father, who in consummate wisdom giveth what is best ; nor need they doubt his love : “ He that spared

not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also free¢ ly give us all things?" Rom. viii. 32. If he hath given to us that heavenly pearl of infinite value,' and withholdeth no other spiritual blessings, much less will be withhold from us the good things of this life, (which are but as dung and dross in comparison with those) that he knoweth to be needful for us : But as a wise and tender father gives playthings to some of his children, that he will not allow to others of them, foreseeing they would hurt themselves with such, and whippeth some more than others, according as their stubborn tempers require ; so dealeth our heavenly Father with respect to his children here, in giving them such a proportion of good things and chastisements, as he knoweth maketh most for his honour and glory, and their good.

* Such was the lot of Lazarus. + Such was Abraham.

!

1

Nor should the righteous fret when they see the wicked in prosperity, having more than their hearts can wish. What if these bastards, with Ishmael and the sons of Keturah, be sent off with their portions here; the Lord reserveth the heavenly inheritance for his Isaacs.

« PreviousContinue »