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allowable sense, Let us also go, that we may die with them.

You may easily, dear sir, imagine how this loss affects me, and that in a very tender part. An able and judicious, an affectionate and constant friend for upwards of thirty-five years! My two dearest friends on earth, before me in every thing that was good and valuable, have likewise got to heaven before me, and left to poor me the sinning, sighing part, while they are joined to the spirits made perfect in knowledge, holiness, and joy. However well pleased our Lord and the saints are in one another upon the change that death makes, it is not easy to make us pleased too, and cordially wish them joy of their new dignity and elevation. Their sentiments are different. Their affections are raised and ennobled; and, as well as they loved us, they would not come back to us for a thousand worlds. Upon their entrance into heaven, we may reasonably suppose their first wish is, “O that I had been sooner here; and their next wish is for our being with them as soon as may be. The saints are Christ's friends as well as ours; and we must allow him his blessed will (John xvii. 24), to have his friends about him, as well as we have had them so long; and it may be, before Christ has had them so long with him as some of us have had them here below, we will be with them again, and Christ, and they, and we be all together. O, what a happy meeting! They and we freed of all natural and sinful infirmities! There the communion of saints is in perfection, and this blessed society shall never break up or separate. No parting salutation there. The word farewell is no part of the heavenly language.

Now, my dear friend, when our Lord takes away our gracious, eminently useful friends, and public blessings, we must learn to translate our affection and dependence from earth to heaven, from these short-lived and uncertain supports to the living God; and as our eye is directed to and fixed upon him, we shall be composed and comforted, even when Providence has set

us down among the tombs. We are called to mourn, but not as without hope, nor as if Christ's interest was to sink and die with them. No; its stability depends not on any mortal, but upon Him that said, “I am he that liveth and was dead, and behold, I am alive for evermore." Christians die, and ministers die ; but the word of the Lord dieth not, but liveth for ever. It is good news, that though the earthen vessel is broken, the heavenly treasure is not lost and buried in the grave. 0, to be taught of God, to look up to him who has the seven spirits of God, to supply all our wants, to heal the wide breaches that are made from time to time! The weaker the poor instruments are that are left, the excellency of th power will be more of God.

REV. MR. MUIR TO A LADY, ON THE DEATH

OF HER FATHER.

MADAM, Your present trial arises from what is the true commencement of your father's triumph and perfection. Taking the dispensation in this form of light, to grieve and to sin would be the same : for, if we rejoice at the conversion of sinners, why be sorrowful at the glorification of saints ?

Yet I am aware that your loss, abstractly considered, is a source of distress.

It would be impiety to feel no sorrow; and an attempt to reason you out of it would be fruitless and foolish. Far from endeavouring this,' I would rather mingle my tears with yours. However culpable the after-conduct of Job's friends, I have often admired the propriety of their first interview with him. Instead of beginning with arguments of a comforting nature, like men of tender feelings, and who wished to bear their friend's burden, they lifted up their voice and wept, and none spake a word to him, for they saw his

grief was very great. Grief hath a period wherein expressive silence is the truest sympathy.

Yet constitutional differences may render different applications needful for the same disease; and grounds of encouragement simply suggested may have some influence, even in such circumstances. Need I suggest as (where suitably improved) the infallible specific in all such cases, that “the Lord liveth ?" Whatever comforts we enjoy, are they not all derived from and dispensed and continued by him? What though particular effects be removed? The glorious cause remains, and remains as willing to help, ready to uphold, and capable of administering to our needs as ever. It is the Lord who renders comforts comforting to us ; and, if he makes the breasts of the creature in our view run dry, can he not open other sources, even of creature consolation ? Yes, though he should open them in rocks, whence they may be least expected. Or can he not, by such dispensations, wean the soul from creatures, and make the whole desire terminate in himself, in whom is all we can need, all we can wish, all we can enjoy? Having him, we have all ; without him the creation itself (the things in it we most esteem not excepted) would be a poor, a puny, a miserable all. Does he live? What then of the Christian's hope and comfort can die ? What deduction can take place from their happiness and portion ? Nay, madam, the very death of creature comforts is an evidence that the Lord liveth, and a consequence of it. As the tender-hearted parent of his ransomed family, he weighs all their pains and all their pleasures in an even balance, without permitting the one or the other to exceed the precise degrees which to infinite wisdom, sovereign goodness, everlasting love, seem best for each of them. In the execution of his fatherly plan, particular members of his family may feel present anxiety and tribulation : yet the consideration of his hand in it, and that he liveth, should have a sweetly silencing influence, making us, with reason, hold our peace, or (with Eli) say, “It is the Lord, let him do what he pleaseth," I am sensible

these things are sooner said than done: but the Lord liveth, the source of covenant grace, for directing and enabling to such exercise all the weary travellers of hope.

The crowning ingredient in this cup of Christian consolation is the blessed assurance, “and because I live, ye shall live also.” So said our dear Immanuel ; and as sure as he said it, he will perform unto all his servants that word of grace upon which he now causes them to hope. Many circumstances in the Christian's lot wear at present a deathlike aspect, and blessings come under such disguise that the love of a Father, the grace of a Saviour, and the accomplishment of the promise are not discovered in them. But because the Lord liveth, these very circumstances, deathlike as they are, shall contribute towards their spiritual life, and, to each of them singly, issue in life eternal. Then the former things will be done away, and the immediate visions of Jesus shall banish every feeling of pain from any remembrance of former sorrow. Then all the children of the kingdom shall meet, and shall live with their living Lord, no more to part from or to pain one another, to eternity. O life truly divine ! how happy the people! how happy the person who is in such a case! how happy they whose God is the Lord! May your father's God be your God for ever and ever, and your guide even unto death.

FROM A GENTLEMAN TO A FRIEND ON THE

DEATH OF HIS WIFE.

Yours, my dear friend, I received a few posts ago, which brought me again to the house of mourning. There I find it much better for me to be than in the house of mirth ; and that, I am persuaded, is the most proper station for us all. It is now our time to be sorrowful, but our sorrow shall be turned into joy.. Nay, in the midst of our present griefs, we are not overwhelmed with sorrow. You also join the numerous cloud of witnesses, while you sorrow not as those who have no hope ; while you follow your dead within the vail, whither the blessed forerunner has for us entered; while you look beyond your own remaining years or days to the celestial point that ends our mortal story, that begins our immortal, amid the thousands of thousands who hunger no more, neither thirst any: for the Lamb that is in the midst of the throne doth lead them, and feed them by the living fountains of water, and God wipes away all tears from their eyes. O for the lively faith of these words ! May He who

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our weakness without it, and he knows our thorny way, that we must deny ourselves, must take up our cross and follow him. Who is sufficient for these things ? Blessed be his name, our sufficiency is of God. His word, his faithful word, stands full on our side. Whatever discouragements from without, or from within, are against us, that word cannot fail. What then am ), who so often call it in question, and say, Doth his promise fail for evermore? hath he forgotten to be gracious ? Indeed, when he is pleased in any measure to draw aside the vail, I can glory in my weakness, that his power may rest upon me. But when he hides his face

am troubled. In the day of adversity I expect support ; but when I am disappointed, as I think, then my heart fails. Yet I sometimes say this is mine infirmity, there is a need-be of heaviness for a season, through manifold temptations : and I am ashamed of my complaints, when I think of the Captain of our salvation crying out, as in the 22d Psalm, “Who knows the source of these strong cries and tears, from what clouds and depth of hiding they proceeded ?" Such grief he surely was acquainted with ; and should any of his followers think it strange that they are led in the road of sorrow? Should they not rather think it strange, wondrous strange, that a perpetual or everlasting darkness does not cover them? What shall we say of him, what

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