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sight of the Lord is the death of his saints." Psalm cxvi. 15. And if precious in the Lord's sight, how otherwise than precious ought it to be in our's? Let the faithful in Christ Jesus run over but the outlines of the cause of this preciousness, and calculate the mighty gain the disembodied spirit of every child of God finds in death; and he will discover motives of thankfulness instead of mourning; that the one for whom he mourns, hath thereby joined the great assembly of the firstborn, whose names are written in heaven, and is for ever before the throne of God, to serve him in his temple night and day.

He is freed at once from all the sorrows, head-aches, and heart-aches of the dying state here below. He is no longer exposed to the indwelling of sin, which unceasingly, while in the body, interrupts all the holy desires of the renewed soul. He is got for ever beyond the reach of the temptations of Satan; and hath nothing more to fear from "the lion's den, and from the mountains of the leopards." Song iv. 8. Happy state of the blessed in heaven! And in relation to the body that sleeps in Jesus, until the glorious morning when the dead in Christ shall rise. And as the covenant rots not in the grave, the ashes of the saints are as secure of the everlasting happiness and glory to which they shall be raised, as the spirits of just men made perfect are in heaven. Hence the Lord proclaimed himself the God of Abraham, and of Isaac, and of Jacob, many ages after their bodies were gathered to their fathers, and had seen corruption. And as the Lord Jesus graciously explained all this, and confirmed it by his own precious words: "God is not the God of the dead, but the God of the living: for all live to him." Exod. iii. 6. with Luke xx. 37, 38. So we find the Holy Ghost, by his servant Paul, taught the church, that both deathr and life were the same in respect to the safety of the Lord's people. "For," saith he, "none of us liveth

to himself; and no man dieth to himself. For whether we live, we live unto the Lord; and whether we die, we die unto the Lord: whether we live therefore, or die, we are the Lord's. For to this end, Christ both died, and rose, and revived; that he might be Lord both of dead and living." Romans xiv. 7, 8, 9.

Such being the blessed effects of visits to Jesus under bereavements by death, it were much to be wished that the Lord's people, in all exercises of this kind, would go to Jesus, and spread all that they feel, and all that they desire, before his presence. If a voice from heaven proclaimed those blessed that die in the Lord, shall not those that are living in the Lord, find the blessedness of it also? And can they do otherwise than die in the Lord, who live in the Lord? There are many of God's dear children, in whom a work of sovereign grace hath passed, and are truly in union with Christ, and communion with God, who have trusted Jesus with their souls, but yet shrink at the prospect of death in trusting Jesus with their bodies? How is this? From whence but a weakness in faith can it proceed?

It is a subject of great regret, that any child of God, (who is conscious of a work of grace having passed on him) should add to the natural and unavoidable anxieties of life, the least concern on a point with which in reality he hath nothing to do. We are as passive, or at least, ought to be as passive in respect to our new birth entrance into glory, as we are in our new birth entrance into grace. And yet, how many precious souls there are, of whose everlasting safety in Christ there can be no question, who nevertheless are much concerned on these points—respecting their death, and the manner of their death, of their entrance into the world of spirits, of their bodies being committed to the grave, and many other circumstances of a like nature, with which they add to the present evil in the apprehension of what is to come. Alas! that a regene

rated child of God should have so little faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Let the ungodly and Christless world think of these things; but let not the redeemed of the Lord. Death to a child of God is but sleep. The Holy Ghost terms it sleeping in Jesus, 1 Thes. iv. 14. And hence one of the old testament saints calls the passage to it but the shadow of death; not the substance, but the shadow. For the body of death was destroyed by Christ at his death; so that nothing remains of it but the mere shade. And the moment of death, for the most part to the Lord's people, is no more than the moment of sleep. For as a man in perfect health of body, when retiring to rest night by night, is unconscious at what instant his sleep begins, so the child of God in perfect health of soul; from union with Christ, when retiring into the arms of Jesus in the sleep of death, is unconscious of the dropping of the body, until his disembodied spirit finds himself in the open vision of the Lord Jesus.

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Some indeed there are to whom the Lord, for wise and gracious purposes, is pleased to give strength in a dying hour, to rehearse to others around the righteous acts of the Lord. And no doubt, such blessed departures have proved refreshing to thousands in different ages of the church. Thus the patriarch Jacob; the Lord strengthened him to sit up in his bed, when dying, while he sung his love song to his children, of "the God which had fed him all his life long; and the angel which redeemed his soul from death." And multitudes like him, have seen themselves as sitting in heavenly places in Christ, when going out of life; and have enjoyed by anticipation, the blessedness of it in their own souls, and related to others around them of the Lord's dealings with them, before" the silver cord hath been loosened and the golden bowl broken,' Eccles. xii. 6. But these prelibations to glory, as they are not essential, so are they not among the promises.


The one all-sufficient, and all-effectual security, is the presence of the Lord Jesus; and this is in the portion of all, and this is enough. "Fear not, I am with thee; I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name, thou art mine." This, like a golden thread, runs through all the promises, and binds together in one the whole charter of grace, Isa. xliii. Rev. i. And here, all the redeemed of the Lord are alike interested, and all alike safe, whether they be babes in Christ, young men or fathers in God. The child of God, when regenerated is brought into all the privileges of the covenant. He is never more one time than another the object of the Father's love, the Son's grace, and the Spirit's fellowship. Hence, whether great or small; of much or little knowledge; at death all are alike received into the arms of the Lord Jesus, and all enter with him into the joy of their Lord.

For my own part I find it profitable to go often to the Lord Jesus on this, as well as every other occasion. Death as well as life, is the inventory of the believer's treasure. "All are your's, (saith the apostle) whether life or death, or things present, or things to come; all are your's, and ye are Christ's, and Christ is God's," 1 Cor. iii. 22, 23. Hence therefore being his, I cheerfully leave all with him; and feel no one concern in any one event, perfectly secured in the assurance of the Lord, that "all things work together for good to them that love God, to them that are called according to his purpose," Rom. viii. 28. So that where I am to die, and when I am to die, and how I am to die; these are not my concerns, but Jesus-die where, and when, and how I may, it must be by his appointment; yea, it is already fixed, and sure I am, I shall die in the Lord." Oh! what a firmness of soul the Lord gives to the Lord's people for this last, as well as every other event of life, when the Holy Ghost hath once granted that covenant promise in its full

exercise in the soul, "Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on thee, because he trusteth in thee," Isa. xxvi. 3.

Precious Lord Jesus! let thy well known voice be everlastingly comforting my heart with thy well known words; "I am the resurrection and the life. He that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live. And whosoever liveth and believeth in me, shall never die." And then, whensoever my Lord shall come, at midnight, or cock-crowing, or in the morning; when I hear thy chariot wheels, and my Lord saith, "behold I come quickly!" Oh! for grace in lively exercise, to cry out, with holy joy, "Even so come, Lord Jesus!"" Amen.

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