« PreviousContinue »
spring; no, thou art gone, and hast nothing to reckon for ; but trifling as thy death may seem to thy murderer, I will not say but he will have to answer for it, for not a sparrow can fall to the ground without our heavenly Father's notice, Mat. x. 29.
By this barbarous deed, an innocent creature is not only deprived of life, but its mate of a partner, the young of a parent, and the grove of a songster. Strange depravity! that any man can take pleasure merely in the pain and destruction of harmless creatures ! I am very much afraid, among all the instructions which parents give their children, that that of being merciful to the brutal creation is too often neglected; whereas, if this were inculcated by example, admonition, and the rod, it might be the means of preventing boys from exercising a wanton cruelty upon domestic animals, killing birds with stones, and destroying their progeny when they find them in the fields : and might be the means, through grace, of giving them a merciful turn of mind when they arrive at
“ Train up a child in the way he “' should go, and when he is old he will not
riper age :
depart from it,” saith the inspired Solomon, Prov. xxii. 6.
Here is a lofty spreading oak, probably destined to encounter the dangers of the sea, and the fiery storms of war; round which clings the woodbine. Happy shrub! though feeble in thyself and unable to stand in the furious blast, thou hast made choice of a noble support. May I like thee take hold of, and lean upon Christ Jesus by faith, who hath borne the infinitely furious tempest of God's wrath for all them who thus cleave to, and lean upon him; and then, by so doing, though feeble in myself, I shall be able to stand and endure the blasts of persecution, temptation and trial, agreeably to that promise, “ My grace
My grace is sufficient for thee; “ for my strength is made perfect in weak
ness," 2. Cor. xii. 9.
There lie a number of trees of various kinds and growths, which have been lately felled, with their tops, some of them toward the east, others toward the west, some toward the north, and some the south ; as they have fallen so they lie, nor can they alter their situation. Just so is it
with respect to mortal men; in the state they die, there they must continue through all eternity
How much then doth it concern me, and all men living, to see that we die in a state of reconciliation with God, in and through the Mediator Christ Jesus! Many things that we do wrong while we live may
be tified : if we read
may ed; if we hear
be righted; if we pray wrong, that may be righted ; if we communicate wrong, that
may ed; but if we die wrong, that never can be righted; for there is a great gulf fixed, over which there is no passing neither from heayen to hell, nor from hell to heaven, Luke xvi. 26. What is the language of such a passage to us who are still in the land of the living, and in the place of hope, but this, “O that they were wise, that they under
stood this, that they would consider their latter end !" Deut. xxxii. 29.
There I perceive many of the stumps of the trees are begun to sprout forth. This putteth me in mind of what the man of patience beautifully expresseth in these words:
“ For there is hope of a tree, if it be cut
down, that it will sprout again, and that “ the tender branch thereof will not cease : though the root thereof wax old in the earth, and the stock thereof die in the ground: yet through the scent of water “ it will bud, and bring forth boughs like a
plant. But man dieth and wasteth away;
yea, man giveth up the ghost, and where “ is he? As the waters fail from the sea, “ and the flood decayeth and drieth up; so " man lieth down, and riseth not till the hea“ vens be no more; they shall not awake, “ nor be raised out of their sleep,” Job xiv. 7.-.-12.; but at the resurrection they shall, in that awful, miraculous morning, big with events, and full of amazing wonders, when the great archangel winds so loud his trumpet, that it shall resound through all the dark caverns of the tomb, and awaken all the dead with a voice more tremendous than Sinai's loudest thunders, the awful import of which is, “ Arise ye dead, and come to “ judgment !". Then shall every necessary particle of human dust, whether in the land or in the sea, though incorporated with that of the inferior creatures in both, come forth from all the four winds speedily, with every
bone to the destined place of rendezvous; and rear the human frame again immortal : nor shall a bone mistake its bone, but every bone to its own bone shall closely join, and not a bone, nor least particle of dust be misplaced or a-wanting.
Then shall literally take place what the prophet saw in vision concerning the dry bones, Ezek. xxxvii. 1.---8. while the gates of heaven and hell are thrown open, and all the souls come forth and take up their old tenements again for ever.
Righteous souls and bodies, then, like near and dear friends who have long been parted from one another, shall rejoice to meet again: But dreadfully reluctant shall wicked souls and bodies meet, each beyond description irksome to one another, but meet they must to their eternal horror.
This day they often heard of while in time, but either made light of it, or endeavoured to disbelieve it altogether ; but now it is come, come to their everlasting confusion.