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supported me through life, will uphold me under the pressure of death. If I consider my sins, inany as they are, I am invulnerable ; for I go to a tribunal of mercy, where God is reconciled, and justice is satisfied. If I consider my body, I perceive, I am putting off a mean and corruptible habit, and putting on robes of glory. Fall, fall ye imperfect senses, ye frail organs ; fall, house of clay, into your original dust; ye will be sown in corruption, but raised in incorruption ; sown in dishonour, but raised in glory; sown in weakness, but raised in power. If I consider my soul, it is passing, I see, from slavery to freedom. I shall carry with me that, which thinks and reflects. I shall carry with me the delicacy of taste, the harmony of sounds, the beauty of colours, the fra. grance of odoriferous smells. I shall surmount heaven and earth, nature and all terrestrial things, and my ideas of all their beauties will multiply and expand. If I consider the future economy, to which I go, I have, I own, very inadequate notions of it: but my incapacity is the ground of my expectation. Could I perfectly comprehend it, it would argue its resemblance to some of the present objects of my senses, or its minute proportion of the present operations of my mind. If worldly dignities and grandeurs, if accumulated treasures, if the enjoyments of the most refined voluptuousness, were to represent to me celestial felicity, I should suppose, that, partaking of their nature, they partook of their vanity. But, if nothing here can represent the future state, it is because that state surpasseth every other. My ardour is in. ereased by my imperfect knowledge of it. My
knowledge, and virtue, I know, will be perfected; I know I shall comprehend truth, and obey order; I know I shall be free from all evils, and in possession of all good; I shall be present with God, I know, and with all the happy spirits who surround his throne; and this perfect state, I am sure, will continue for ever and ever.
Such are the all-sufficient supports, wbich revealed religion affords against the fear of death. Such are the meditations of a dying Christian; not of one, whose whole Christianity consists of dry speculations, which have no influence over his practice; but of one who applies his knowledge to relieve the real wants of his life.
DYING THOUGHTS OF THE AUTHOR OF THE
ECCLESIASTICAL POLITY. AFTER this manner spake the author of the Ecclesiastical Polity, immediately before he expired;
I have lived to see, that this world is made up of perturbations; and I have been long preparing to leave it, and gathering comfort for the dreadfol hour of making my account with God, which I now apprehend to be near. And though I have, by his grace, loved him in my youth, and feared him in mine age, and laboured to have a conscience void of offence towards him, and towards all men; yet, if thon, Lord, shouldest be extreme to mark what I have done amiss, who can abide it?' And therefore, where I have failed, Lord, show merey to me, for I plead not my righteousness, but the forgiveness of my unrighteousness, through his merits, who died to purchase pardon for penitent sinners. And since I owe thee a death, Lord, let it not be terrible, and then take thine own time; I submit to it. “Let not mine, O Lord, but thy will be done !'-God hath heard my daily peti. tions ; for I am at peace with all men, and he is at peace with me. From such blessed assurance I feel that inward joy, which this world can neither give, nor take from me. My conscience beareth me this witness, and this witness makes the thoughts of death joyful. I could wish to live, to do the church more service : but cannot hope it: for 'my days are past, as a shadow that returns not.'
His worthy biographer adds
More he would have spoken, but his spirits failed him; and, after a short conflict between nature and death, a quiet sigh put a period to his last breath, and so, he fell asleep-And now he seems to rest like Lazarus in Abraham's bosom.
THE FUNERAL. WERE death a rare and uncommon object, were it only once in the course of a man's life that he beheld one of his fellow creatures carried to the grave, a solemn awe would fill him; he would stop short in the midst of his pleasures; he would even be chilled with secret horrour. Such impressions, however, would prove unsuitable to the nature of our present state. When they became so strong as to render men unfit for the ordinary business of life, they would in a great measure defeat the intention of our being placed in this world. It is better ordered by the wisdom of Providence, that they should be weakened by the frequency of their recurrence; and so tempered by the mixture of other passions, as to allow us to go on freely in acting our parts on earth.
Yet, familiar as death is now become, it ought not to pass over as one of those common incidents which are beheld without concern, and awaken no reflection. There are many things which the funerals of our fellow creatures are calculated to teach; and happy it were for the gay and dissipated if they would listen more frequently to the instruction of so awful a moment.
When we observe the funerals that pass along the streets, or when we walk among the monuments of death, the tirst thing that naturally strikes us is the undistinguishing blow with which that common enemy levels all. We behold a great promiscuous multitude all carried to the same abode; all lodged in the same dark and silent mansions. There mingle persons of every age and character, of every rank and condition in life : the young and the old, the poor and the rich, the gay and the grave, the renowned and the ignoble. A few weeks ago, most of those whom we have seen carried to the grave, walked about as we do now on the earth; enjoyed their friends, beheld the light of the sun, and were forming designs for future days. Perhaps it is not long since they were engaged in scenes of high festivity. For them, perhaps, the cheerful company assembled; and in the midst of the cirele they shone with gay and pleasing vivacity, But now-to them, all is finally closed. To them no more shall the seasons return, or the sun rise; no more shall they hear the voice of mirth, or behold the face of man. They are swept from the universe, as though they had never been. They are carried away as with a flood : the wind bas passed over them, and they are gone.'
While the funeral is attended by a numerous anconcerned company, who are discoursing to one another about the news of the day, or the ordinary affairs of life, let our thoughts rather follow to the house of mourning, and represent to themselves what is going on there. There we should see a disconsolate family, sitting in silent grief, thinking of the sad breach that is made in their little society; and with tears in their eyes looking to the chamber that is now left vacant, and to every memorial that presents itself of their departed friend. By such attention to the woes of others, the selfish hardness of our hearts will be gradually softened, and melted down into humanity.
THE TOMB .
A. tome, it has been justly said, is a monument situated on the confines of both worlds. It at once presents to us the termination of the inquietudes of life, and sets before us the image of eternal rest. “There,' in the elegant expressions of Job, the wicked cease from troubling, and there the weary be at rest. There the prisoners rest together; they hear not the voice of the oppressor. The small and the great are there;