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no confirmation of this doctrine so peculiarly interesting to the mind of man; no real confirmation of this doctrine, independent of the testimony of God and of the sacred Scriptures. Philosophers may reason on the constitution of the human soul, and they may infer its immortality; and it is pleasing to see the inferences of reason so conformable to the testimony of the sacred Scriptures; yet there is no satisfying proof but from the word of God. He who created the soul has ex. pressed what is his will concerning it. By the resurrection of Jesus Christ “life and immortality are brought to light.” There is something striking in that expression,—the bringing of life and immortality to light by the gospel. The fact supposed was revealed under the Old Testament; it was therefore a matter of faith to the Old Testament saints: but what under the Old Testament was matter of faith, under the New Testament is matter of fact; for Jesus Christ has actually risen from the dead, and entered into heaven as “the first begotten, and prince of the kings of the earth.” He is raised from the dead; and therefore when we reason of life and immortality being brought to light under the gospel, we do not say what God Almighty can do, but we say what God Almighty has done ;“Life and immortality are brought to light by the gospel."

Secondly, How indebted are we to the mercy of God in giving us this gospel; this word, to be a light to our feet and a lamp unto our paths; this word, to console and support us amid all the changing scenes of life, that affords prospects so delightful when all the scenes of time shall be withdrawn. Let us remember our obligation to improve it, and not only to improve it to our own advantage, but anxious that others may be made par-. takers of like precious faith with ourselves.

Thirdly, Nothing but a life of faith on the Lord Jesus Christ can render the prospect of death delightful and easy. Remember Paul said—“For me to die is gain,” but it stands in connexion with this language

thing else."

« For me to live is Christ;" and it is only as we are living by faith


the Saviour that we can anticipate death with any degree of satisfaction, with any thing like composure of mind. Christian, perhaps you occasionally know what it is to be held in bondage through the fear of death ; but what is the cause? Is it not because your faith is weak ?-the nearer you keep to Christ, the more comfortable you are; let that basis be removed, and all is uncertain. I remember hearing an anecdote of a celebrated deist, whose mother had been accustomed once to read the Scriptures with pleasure, and derived some comfort from them; but her son persuaded her that they were a cunningly devised fable, and at the hour of death how great was her distress! • My son,” says she, “ has robbed me of my consolation and support by taking away the Bible; but, with all his philosophy, he has not been able to substitute any

Faith in the Lord Jesus is the only certain antidote against death. It is worthy of your observation that many


systems have been tried, and under all systems some have repented, or perhaps have died under the influence of apathy and delusion; but there is no single instance of any one individual dying in the faith of Christ, and saying, in his expiring moments, “ I have trusted the Saviour, and built on this rock, and it has deceived me.” “I know," said Paul, “whom I have believed, and am persuaded he is able to keep that which I have committed to him against that day."

My friends, let me affectionately recommend this Saviour to you; he is worthy of your unbounded confidence, for he never deceived you, nor can he deceive you. He is worthy of your warmest affection, for he combines in his sacred person every moral excellence that can render him worthy of the regard of an intelligent being; and he has laid you under infinite obliga

tions to love him, and to devote yourselves to him. | May we at the last day, yea, may we in the hour of death,

be found among the number of those who, resting on Christ, are enabled to triumph in the prospect of eternity.





Lord, tune our hearts to praise and love,

Our feeble notes inspire,
Till in thy blissful courts above

We join the angelic choir.

1 Thess. iv. 14.- I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them who are asleep, that you sorrow not even as others who have no hope.

The gospel was intended to disperse all gloom from the human heart, and from human life. The religion of Jesus opens to the mourner, not the blackness of darkness and the friendless shades of despair, but the cheerfulness of hope and the joyful prospect of immortality: The gospel of Jesus carries the believer's view beyond the present limited scene of things—draws aside the veil that once intervened between time and eternity, and gives the mourner, in this world, such a glorious, triumphant, boundless view of the regions of immortality, as cannot but make him ashamed of indulging an immoderate sorrow for any earthly creature, how near and dear soever, when he shall so soon meet it in those blest abodes, and part no more. The Thessalonians, to whom St. Paul writes, had lost some of their Christian friends by death. The mourners, it seems, wrote to the apostle, and, which is the first dictate of the heart upon such distressing occasions, when the mind is overwhelmed in grief and sorrow, desired the apostle to suggest some arguments to console them in this afflictive dispensation. What does the blessed apostle write in answer to this? He delivers those words to them, which he repeats to us, and to all future ages, for their and our comfort and consolation in these mournful scenes :- I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them that are asleep, that you sorrow not as others who have no hope ; for, he adds, if we, Christians, believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them, also, WHO SLEEP in Jesus will God bring with him. Your deceased friends, who' have fallen asleep in Jesus, and died in the belief, and principles, and hopes of his religion, are not lost; their sleeping dust, which you drench with your tears, will one day be inspired with new life—be collected to form a spiritual bodyand be presented along with you in the presence of God with exceeding great and mutual joy to each other. Christians who live and die in the full assurance of the evangelical doctrine of a glorious resurrection to eternal life, are not to sorrow as those who have no hope are not to brood over a cheerless, despairing, melancholy prospect. This is both being ungrateful to God and unjust to their religion. The grand doctrine of their religion is a glorious and happy immortality. This is the distinguishing glory of the Christian religion-the great first fundamental truth it was propagated in this world to teach—the grand capital principle with which it was designed to inspire its professors. That Christian, therefore, who does not suffer this great and transporting TRUTH to take the full possession of his soul, and to shed all that powerful influence upon his conduct and heart it was intended to have, is still to learn what it is to be a Christian-hath not yet felt the native power, and force, and efficacy of the gospel's motives, and the gospel's first and primary


The gospel does not offer men, if they obey its rules, riches, and honours, and happiness in this world. Its rewards are all future. Thou shalt be rewarded, says our Lord. How and when rewarded ?-rewarded with a uniform flow of tranquillity and peace, and domestic ease and happiness, in this world ; rewarded with every thing that is vulgarly pronounced the summit of human felicity-long lise, health, and prosperity ? With none of these things in this world as the recompense, reader, of thy obedience; the Christian crown was never designed to be worn in this world—thou shalt be rewarded

at the resurrection of the just. Oh! what a powerful argument is this glorious topic which the Christian religion reveals and enforces, to moderate the greatest sorrows we can be called to suffer in this world, and to calm and compose into tranquillity, and placid resignation to a good God, the most distressed and melancholy bosom! Our deceased children and parents, friends and relations, are not lost to God and to immortality. It was not our friend we committed to the grave-we only consigned some frail and perishing appendages of his nature-our friend could not die-for the immaterial and immortal part was properly our friend—was properly what we loved and delighted in, and hope one day to meet and embrace in a happier world. We Christians close our eyes upon this world; but we close them in hope. Only that which is imperfect, as the apostle speaks, is done away. The soul perishes not at death --doth not suffer one common extinction with our ashes ; it will live to God, to Jesus, and to happiness. The farewell we bid to life is not an eternal and everlasting adieu: we part with a temporary existence only to resume an eternal one. In this momentary state we are only in the infancy of our being, our knowledge, and our happiness. The scheme of Divine Providence towards us rational and immortal creatures is a vastly glorious and immensely grand and extensive one. The date of this most magnificent period commences in this world, but it reaches through a boundless duration. It is but a small, a very inconsiderable point of this most glorious plan which we in this world behold—when millions and millions of centuries and ages shall have rolled away, we shall be better judges of the greatness and grandeur of this incomprehensibly glorious scheme, which the Divine Goodness from eternal ages contrived for the improvement and felicity of us his children. How indecent, then, how incongruous, how ungrateful, is inconsolable grief and disconsolate sorrow on a temporary loss, which we shall shortly regain with such infinite' advantage ! regain! oh, how improved ! oh, how ineffably blessed !

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