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Thus, O my God', dost thou pour avenging blindness over the eyes of selfish men', and make their own iniquitous passions the executioners of thy righteous retribution. Do you
ask, then', how shall wealth acquire for you remembrance upon earth'? We answer',
We answer', write your history in deeds of mercy', and your memory shall live. So long as there are sick to be visited', or naked to be clothed', or ignorant to be taught, or vicious to be reclaimed', or heathen to be converted', you have it in your power to secure to yourself a namé, which shall shine with still increasing luster', when that of conquerors and heroes shall long since have been forgotten. The righteous shall be held in everlasting remembrance. The pride of learning', neglected by an advancing agé, sinks with its authors into oblivion. The wreath of the victor withers', but the wreath of the philanthropist shall bloom forever. The glory of Napoleon', mightiest of the mighty though he weré, is fast fading away, and year after year is rapidly erasing the lines which he drew upon the destinies of Europe. The glory of Robert Raikes is every year growing brighter', for its record is written in the moral history of man'The oné, like the flaming meteor', glared wildly at Austerlitz'; it sunk' at St. Helenà, and the light which marked its track' is quickly vanishing in dark
The other rose mildly as the morning sun', and it is yet rising. Ages will elapse ere it reaches its meridian. Theré, fixed like the sun of Joshuá, it shall hang high in mid-heaven', until the judgment trumpet shall announce that the warfare is accomplished', and the victory is won', and we shall reign forever and forever.
BENEVOLENT BEINGS HIGHER THAN OURSELVES.
REVELATION informs us, that there are creatures endowed with powers more exalted than our own', creatures who have never sinned, and who draw near to that hallowed, uncreated light' where sits enthroned the King Eternal. Of these employments' we know but little; but we know enough to be assured that they are mainly the works of benevolence. Are they not all ministering spirits', sent forth to minister to those who are heirs of salvation'? Of their visits to our earth', rarely' have we been conscious; for this dull veil of materialism hides them from our sight. But at times this veil has been withdrawn', and then, I pray you, where do we behold them' ?
They are seen watching over the lonely pillow of a sleeping patriarch', protecting in the hour of his devotion a persecuted prophet', visiting in prison the apostle of the Jews', communing in the hour of his peril with the apostle of the Gentiles', and ministering in the desert and in the garden unto Him', who was a man of sorrows' and acquainted with grief. Such are the plāces of their choicest visitation. Is it not seemly for us to follow their example ?
But we learn our duty from more awful examples. The Deity hath revealed himself mainly to us as a God of benevolence. I read in his word much of his wisdom', of his power', of his omnipresence; but I read more of his compassion. These other attributes are but handmaids' to his mercy', for God' is lovè. In the material world, infinite as are the exhibitions of his incomparable skill', that' skill' is ever subservient to the happiness of sensitive being. Throughout the sorrowful history of this apostate world', we have beheld him every where so overruling the vicissitudes of nations', and the movements of society', as to hasten onward the reign of righteousness and peace. The design of the work of redemption is summed up in this one word', —God so loved the world that he sent his only begotten Son', that whosoever believeth in him", might not perish'. We tremblè at his power. We stand in awe of his omniscience. We fall prostrate before his purity'. But tell mè, if there be aught of his doings that fills us with so adoring a veneration', as when we behold the high and lofty Oné, stooping from the high and holy place to feed the hungry', to clothe the naked', to counsel the ignorant', to be the Father to the fatherless', the Judge of the widow', to comfort the cast down', to speak peace to the penitent, and', drawing near to the lowly couch of the humblest of his children', to whisper in the ear of the departing spirit”,—Fear not', I am with theè; be not dismayed', I am thy God'; I will strengthen theé, I will help theé; yeá, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my right
Brethren', let us learn a lesson of mercy of our Father who is in heaven. Be ye followers', imitators of God', as dear children.
But there is another example of equal authority', and of yet more affecting application. You will all anticipate that to which I allude. Deity himself has been an inhabitant of our world. The Word was God, and dwelt among us. hither on an errand of benevolence. He came to seek and to save that which was lost. He who was the brightness of the Father's glory was bruised for our iniquities'; he was wounded for our transgressions'; the chastisement by which our
peace was effected was upon him', and by his stripes' we are healed'. Strange was the errand which brought him hither', and yet more strange the manner in which that errand was accomplished'. For wheré, when on earth', was the Son of God to be found'? Upholding all things by the word of his power', was he seen in the palaces of princes" ? Sharing the councils of eternity', was he found in the cabinets of statesmen“? The high possessor of heaven and earth', did he aspire after the society of the honorable and the rich'? Ah ! disciple of Jesus Christ', thy Master was not little enough for this“ world's greatness. I blush for thee while I speak it. Thy Redeemer was found a houseless philanthropist', traveling on foot from village to villagé, over the most despised province of the Roman empire. His associates were fishermen and publicans', and a few poor women' who ministered to him of their substance. He was to be seen feeding the hungry', giving sight to the blind', and health to the diseased', at the bedside of the sick', comforting the cast down', binding up the broken in heart', and preaching the Gospel to the poor' His history on earth is thus briefly summed up', by the pen of inspiration —He went about doing good. Thus hath God taught us how he himself would livé were he such an one as wē. Brethren', you see this part of my subject is exhausted. I can say no more.
ADVANTAGE OF HAVING CHRIST FOR OUR KING.
Nay, the present moment', and every' moment when present', is fraught with consequences incapable of being estimated by any finite understanding. On timé, Eternity' hangs. As we live here, we shall live hereafter'
. If our time be well employed', and our talents well used', it will be well with us in the end. But if we abuse both heré, it will be ill' with us hereafter'. The present moment is important', chiefly', as it affects those which are future; begins' or strengthens' an evil', or virtuous' habit; depraves' or amends' the soul; hardens' or softens' the heart; and contributes', in this way', to advance us towards heaven', or towards hell". There is no man who is not better' or worse to-day", by means of what he thoughť, designed', or did`, yesterday. The present day', therefore, is not only important in itself, as a season for which we must give an account, but because of the influence which it will have on the events of the morrow. Thus circumstanced', frail', irresolutè,
wandering', wicked', exposed to immense dangers', and yet capable of immense enjoyments'; how infinitely desirable is it', that we should have such a friend as Christ. In his' mind are treasured up all the means of happiness', which we need"; the immense power', knowledge and goodness', the unchangeable truth', faithfulness' and mercy', which', and which only', can provide and secure for us immortal blessings', or preserve us from evils' which know no end. In all places', he is presento; over all things' hē rules with an irresistible dominion'. No being', no event, can be hidden from his' eye. No enemy', however insidious', or however powerful, can escape from his hand. His disposition is written in letters of blood on the cross. He who died', that sinners might livè; he who prayed for his murderers', while imbruing their hands in his blood"; can need', can add', no proofs of his compassion for men'. This glorious Redeemer is', also, the same yesterday', to-day', and forever. Such a friend to man', as he was when he hung on the cross', he will be throughout eternity'; and to every one who sincerely desires an interest in his good will’, he will manifest his friendship in an endless succession of blessings.
While we wander through the wilderness of life amid so many wants', how desirable must it be to find a friend', able and willing to furnish the needed supplies' ? Amid so many enemies and dangers', how desirable must it be to find a friend', able and willing to furnish the necessary protection' ? Amid so many temptations', to watch over us'? amid so many sorrows, to relieve us”? in solitude to be our companion'? in difficulties', our helper'? in despondencé, our support? in diseasé, our physician' ? in death', our hopé, resurrection' and lifé ? In a word, how desirable must it be to find a friend, whó, throughout all the strangé, discouraging state of the present life, will give us peacè, consolation' and joy, and cause all things', even the most untoward and perplexing', to work together for our good' ?
On a dying bed especially', when our flesh and our hearts must fail of coursé; our earthly friends yield us little consolation', and no hopè; and the world itself retire from our view'; how delightful will such a friend bé? Then the soul', uncertain', aloné, hovering over the form which it has so long inhabited', and stretching its wings for its flight into the unknown vast', will sigh' and pant for an arm' on which it may lean', and a bosom' on which it may safely reclinè. But therè, Christ is present with all his tenderness', and all his power. With one hand he holds the anchor of hopé; and with the other' he points the way to heaven.
In the final resurrection', when the universe shall rend asunder, and the elements of this great world shall rush together with immense confusion and ruin', how supporting', how ravishing will it bé, when we awake from our final sleep, and ascend from the dust in which our bodies have been so long buried', to find this glorious Redeemer re-fashioning our vile bodies like unto his glorious body', and re-uniting them to our minds', purified' and immortal? With what emotions shall we arise, and stand', and behold the Judge descend in the glory of his Father', with all his holy Angels' ? With what emotions shall we see the same unchangeable and everlasting friend', placing us on his right hand in glory and honor', which kings will covet in vain', and before which all earthly grandeur shall be forgotten'? With what melody will the voice of the Redeemer burst on our ears', when he proclaims', Come ye
blessed of my Father', inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world' ? How will the soul distend with transport', when', accompanied by the Church of the first-born', and surrounded by Thrones', Principalities, and Powers', it shall begin its flight towards the highest heavens', to meet his Father' and our' Father', his' God and our' God'? What an internal heaven will dawn in the mind', when we shall be presented before the throne of Jehovah', and settled amid our own brethren in our immortal inheritance, and our final home; and behold all our sins washed away', our trials ended', our dangers escaped', our sorrows left behind us', and our reward begun, in that world', where all things are ever new', delightful and divinè.
LESSON C XXI.
The hour is rapidly approaching, my friends', when each one of us shall not only know that he must die', but shall feel that he is dying! I will suppose this hour to arrive under circumstances most favorable for forming a correct and unbiassed estimate of the value of every earthly possession. I will suppose you in a full possession of your reason as you are at this moment. I will suppose all uncertainty respecting the event to be done away', that medical skill has announced the hour of your decease, and that you already feel that' indescribable something, which assures you that the soul is already breaking loose from her tabernacle of clay. I will suppose moreover', that you have some adequate conceptions of the strictness of