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figuring to himself, or than what is prescribed | sion: it is a conclusion easy, natural, and
to him by an accommodating casuist, you which would spontaneously present itself to
would not see a single Christian afraid of death. the mind, were we not disposed to practise de-
But you know it well, the gospel assures you ception upon ourselves; the grand conclusion
of it, and the dictates of your own conscience to be deduced from these reflections is this: If
confirm the truth, to make application of the we wish to die like Christians, we must live
fruits of Christ's death is a complication of du- like Christians. If we would wish to behold
ties, which require attention, time, labour, in- with firmness the dissolution of this body, we
tenseness of exertion, and must the business must study the proofs which establish the
of a whole life. The greatest part of those truth of the immortality of the soul, so as to
who bear the Christian name, neglect this be able to say with St. Paul, 'I know whom
work while in health; is it any wonder that I have believed, and I am persuaded he is able
they should tremble when overtaken by the to keep that which I have committed unto
hour of death?
him against that day,' 2 Tim. i. 12. Would
we wish to have a security against fear at that
tremendous tribunal, before which we must
appear to receive judgment, we must enter
into the conditions of the covenant of grace,
that we may be able to say with the same
apostle, I am the chief of sinners, a blasphe-
mer, and a persecutor, and injurious; but I
obtained mercy,' 1 Tim. i. 13. Would we be
strengthened to resign, without murmuring,
all the objects around us, and to which we are
so fondly attached, we must learn to disengage
ourselves from them betimes; to place our
heart betimes where our treasure is, Matt. vi.
21, that we may be able to say with the
Psalmist, Whom have I in heaven but thee?
and there is none upon earth that I desire be-
sides thee,' Ps. lxxiii. 25.

If after we have exerted our utmost efforts,
we still find our frail flesh and blood com-
plaining at the prospect of approaching disso-
lution; if the heart still repines at the hard
necessity imposed upon us of dying; let us
strive to recover confidence, not of ly against
this apprehension, but likewise against the
doubts which it might excite against our sal-
vation. This fear of death is, in such a case,
not a crime, but an infirmity. It is indeed a
melancholy proof that we are not yet perfect,
but it is not a blot which obliterates our Chris-
tianity. It is an expression of timidity, not of
mistrust. It is a calamity which prevents our
enjoying all the sweets of a triumphant death,
but not an obstacle to prevent our dying in
safety. Let us be of good courage.
have we to fear? God is an affectionate friend,
who will not desert us in the hour of adversi-
ty. God is not a cruel being, who takes plea-
sure in rendering us miserable. He is a God
whose leading characters are goodness and
mercy. He stands engaged to render us hap-
py. Let us not distrust his promise; it has
been ratified by the most august seal which
suspicion itself could exact, by the blood of the
spotless Lamb, which is sprinkled, not on the
threshold of our doors, but on our inmost
conscience. The exterminating angel will re-
spect that blood, will presume to aim no stroke
at the soul which bears the mark of it.

Call to remembrance the three ways in which Christ has disarmed death. He has spoiled the king of terrors, by demonstrating to us the immortality of the soul, by making atonement for our transgressions, by acquiring for us an eternal felicity.

But what effect will the death of Christ have upon us, as a proof of the doctrine of the immortality of the soul, unless we study those proofs, unless we seriously meditate upon them, unless we endeavour to feel their force, unless we guard against the difficulties which the unhappy age we live in opposes to those great principles ?

What effect can the death of Christ have upon us, as a sacrifice offered up to divine justice for our sins, unless we feel the plentitude of that sacrifice, unless we make application of it to the conscience, unless we present it to God in the exercises of a living faith; above all, unless by the constant study of ourselves, unless by unremitting, by persevering exertion, we place ourselves under the terms, and invest ourselves with the characters of those who have a right to apply to themselves the fruits of this sacrifice?

What effect can the death of Christ produce upon us, considered as the pledge of a blessed eternity, unless the soul be powerfully impressed with that eternity, unless the heart be penetrated with a sense of what it is; if we are at pains to efface the impression which those interesting objects may have made upon us; if hardly moved by those great truths which ought to take entire possession of the mind, we instantly plunge ourselves into the vortex of worldly pursuits, without taking time to avail ourselves of that happy disposition, and, as it were, purposely to withdraw from those gracious emotions which seemed to have laid hold of us? Ah! my brethren, if such be the conduct of the generality of professing Christians, as we are under the necessity of admitting, when, not satisfied with observing their deportment in the house of God, and from a pulpit, we follow them into life, and look through those flimsy veils of piety and devotion which they had assumed for an hour in a worshipping assembly; if such, I say, be the conduct of the generality of professing Christians, their terror at the approach of death exhibits nothing to excite astonish


The grand conclusion to be deduced, my brethren, from all these reflections, is not an abstract conclusion and of difficult comprehen

After all, my dearly beloved brethren, if the most advanced Christians, at the first gumpse of death, and in the first moments of a mortal distemper, are unable to screen themselves from the fear of death; if the flesh murmurs, if nature complains, if faith itself seems to stagger; reason, religion, but especially the aid of God's spirit, granted to the prayers, to

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May all who hear me this day be partak-
ers of these divine consolations! May that
invaluable sacrifice which Jesus Christ offer-

the importunities ascending to heaven from the ly meditations, which formerly occupied the
lips of such a Christian, dissipate all those ter-soul, disclose the grand object of religion, and
rors. The mighty God suffers himself to be the bed of death is transformed into a field of
overcome, when assailed by supplication and victory. Many of your pastors, Christians,
tears. God resists not the sighs of a believ-have been the joyful spectators of such a tri-
er, who from his bed of languishing stretches
out his arms towards him, who entreats him to
sanctify the sufferings which he endures, who
implores his support in the agonies of death,
who cries out from the centre of a soul tran-ed up to his father in our behalf, by cleansing
sported with holy confidence, Into thine hand us from all our guilt, deliver us from all our
I commit my spirit: thou hast redeemed me, fears! May this great High Priest of the
O Lord God of truth,' Ps. xxxi. 5. Receive new covenant bear engraven on his breast all
it, O my God. Remove from me those phan- these mystical Israelites, now that he is en-
toms which disturb my repose Raise me up, tered into the holiest of all! And when these
take me to thyself. Teach my hands to war, foundations of sand, on which this clay taber-
and my fingers to fight. Draw me, I shall run nacle rests, shall crumble away from under
after thee. Kindle my devotion; and let my our feet, may we all be enabled to raise our
inflamed desires serve as a chariot of fire to departing spirits out of the ruins of the world,
transport me to heaven. The clouds, thick- that they may repose in the mansions of im-
ened around me by Him who had the power mortality! Happy, beyond expression, be-
of death,' are scattering; the veil which cov-yond conception happy, to die in such senti-
ered eternity insensibly withdraws; the un ments as these! God of his infinite mercy
derstanding is convinced; the heart melts; the grant it may be our blessed attainment! To
flame of love burns bright; the return of ho-him be honour and glory for ever. Amen.

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