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pensers of evangelical instruction may now be reckoned by thousands, how few are left who can sustain a comparison with him, in all the qualities which adorn the gospel, and give the possessor power with God.

If the mere conception of the reunion of good men in a future state infused a momentary rapture into the mind of Tully-if an airy speculation, for there is reason to fear it had little hold on his convictions, could inspire him with such delight, what may we be expected to feel who are assured of such an event by the true sayings of God? How should we rejoice in the prospect, the certainty rather, of spending a blissful eternity with those whom we loved on earth; of seeing them emerge from the ruins of the tomb, and the deeper ruins of the fall, not only uninjured, but refined and perfected, “ with every tear wiped from their eyes," standing before the throne of God and the Lamb, “ in white robes, and palms in their hands, crying with a loud voice, Salvation to God, that sitteth upon the throne, and to the Lamb, for ever and ever. What delight will it afford to renew the sweet counsel we have taken together, to recount the toils of combat, and the labour of the way, and to approach, not the house, but the throne of God, in company, in order to join in the symphonies of heavenly voices, and lose ourselves amid the splendours and fruitions of the beatific vision.

To that state all the pious on earth are tending; and if there is a law from whose operation none are exempt, which irresistibly conveys their bodies to darkness and to dust, there is another, not less certain or less powerful, which conducts their spirits to the abodes of bliss, to the bosom of their Father and their God. The wheels of nature are not made to roll backward ; every thing presses on towards eternity ; from the birth of time an impetuous current has set in, which bears all the sons of men towards that interminable ocean. Meanwhile, heaven is attracting to itself whatever is congenial to its nature, is enriching itself by the spoils of earth, and collecting within its capacious bosom


whatever is pure, permanent, and divine ; leaving nothing for the last fire to consume but the objects and the slaves of concupiscence; while every thing which grace has prepared and beautified shall be gathered and selected from the ruins of the world, to adorn that eternal city, " which hath no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it; for the glory of God doth enlighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof."

Let us obey the voice that calls us thither; let us seek the things that are above, and no longer cleave to a world which must shortly perish, and which we must shortly quit, while we neglect to prepare for that in which we are invited to dwell for ever. Let us follow in the track those holy men, who, together with your beloved and faithful pastor, have taught us by their voice, and encouraged us by their example, " that, laying aside every weight, and the sin that most easily besets us, we may run with patience the race that is set before us.” While every thing within us and around us reminds us of the approach of death, and concurs to teach us that this is not our rest, let us hasten our preparations for another world, and earnestly implore that grace which alone can put an end to that fatal war which our desires have too long waged with our destiny. When these shall move in the same direction, and that which the will of Heaven renders unavoidable shall become our choice, all things will be ours; life will be divested of its vanity, and death of its terrors. • Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought we then to be in all holy conversation and godliness, looking for and hasting to the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens, being on fire, shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat. Nevertheless, we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, in which dwelleth righteousness."


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Luke vii. 13.--And when the Lord saw her, he had compas.

sion on her, and said unto her, Weep not.

DuLy to regulate and limit our sorrows is a high Christian attainment. So long as we are subjected 10 affliction, we shall be exposed to sin, If prosperity has its peculiar snares, so has adversity.

The text exhibits an instance of sorrow which ex cited the compassion of our Saviour, and which he, at the same time, tenderly represses.

The circumstances of the case are strikingly described in the context. Now when he came nigh to the gate of the city, behold, there was a dead man carried out, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow.

Every circumstance was piercing to the heart. It was the death of a son. To bury any child is grievous to an affectionate parent. But a son is expected to continue the name, and support the family. To bury a son, therefore, is usually esteemed peculiarly afflictive. This son was a young man.

Had he died in infancy, before affection was riveted, or expectation raised, the affliction had been less pungent. But death seized him in his flower and prime; at the very age

which rendered him capable of realizing to a fond mother the hopes of many years, and of rewarding her for a thousand cares and labours.

Further; he was the only son of his mother. All her affections, hopes, and comforts centred in this one object. If to part with one child out of many is affictive, what is it to lose all in one ?

To complete the affliction, the bereaved mother was a widow. In this condition, not only devoid of comfort, but exposed to oppression and to contempt, her staff, her solace, her safeguard, was at once removed. She had no husband to say to her, as Elkanah to Hannah “Why is thy heart grieved ? Am not I more to thee than ten sons?" Her grief was not a solitary grief, and the last calamity at once revived and aggravated the former.

Observe the treatment which this weeping widow received from Jesus Christ.

He met her at the gate of the city, not accidentally, but with the express design to work a miracle of mercy for her relief. There he saw her, and he had compassion on her. Surely her griefs were not few, nor small. But greater still, and more multiplied were the compassions they excited in the heart of Jesus.

Christians, your Redeemer is now exalted to heaven, and you see him not. But his eye is ever on you. Nor is he less sensibly touched with the infirmities and griefs of his people than when he tabernacled in flesh.

Observe particularly the counsel given to this disconsolate widow, by him who “comforteth those who mourn.”— Weep not.This is not an absolute prohibition of sorrow nor of tears. Christ does not condemn all expressions of grief for deceased friends as sinful. He would not have his people insensible. But he prohibits the excess and extravagance of their sorrow. He would not have them mourn for the dead like heathen,-—who know not the consoling doctrine of the resurrection.

The resurrection of her son from the dead was the great instrument of comfort to the mourning widow. Well might the Saviour say Weep not,” when he intended so soon to remove the cause of her tears.

The case was peculiar and extraordinary. Mourners may not now expect to receiv back their deceased friends. Such miraculous interpositions, with their occasion, have ceased. The omnipotence and divinity of the Saviour have long since received the most ample confirmation. Yet even now, the surviving friends of those who have died in the Lord have the strongest grounds of consolation.

Our principal relief and comfort in the death of friends is drawn from the general resurrection. Thence the apostle derives it: 1 Thess. iv. 17, 18.—We shall see and enjoy our pious friends again at the coming of the Lord. Surely this is more than if we should now re. ceive them immediately from the dead.

Our Saviour's counsel to this mourner applies then to Christian mourners at large; and it furnishes us this important instruction :—that Christians ought to moderate their sorrow for their deceased relatives, whatever afflictive circumstances may attend their death.

What I propose is,—to exhibit the signs of immoderate sorrow—io dissuade from its indulgence—to refute its pleas—and to point out its remedy.

I. In exhibiting the signs of immoderate sorrow, I will first state how far grief may be indulged. Thus we shall more easily see when it becomes excessive and sinful,

1. The afflicted must be indulged in an awakened and tender sense of God's afflicting hand. "To bear what we do not feel is no virtue. Not to tremble when God smites is most unbecoming. To make light of his corrections is awful stupidity. For this the afflicted are rebuked. Jer. v. 3.—“ Thou hast stricken them, but they have not grieved.” When God smote Job in his person, his children, and estate, he rent his mantle and prostrated himself in the dust. This showed that he was not insensible. But he blessed an afflicting God. This showed that he was not stubborn and unsubmissive.

2. The afflicted must be allowed, within due limitation, to complain both to God and man. It more becomes a Christian ingenuously to open his sorrows, than sullenly to smother them. There is no sin in complaining to God, though there is much in complaining of him. The griefs of the heart are frequently relieved by utterance. This was David's resort,-"I

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