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affections. Into Heaven, sinful passions, which here make the human bosom the abode of wretchedness, can never intrude. There will be security from the temptations and hostility of wicked men, and from the enmity and malice of the great spiritual foe. With the Prince of Peace, peace shall ever reign, and from the right hand of God shall flow the river of his pleasures forevermore,
I would not live alway separated from my pious friends, in whose sacred society, and holy friendship, I found such delight and profit, but who have preceded me in their entrance into glory. For in Heaven the pious friendships of this world shall be renewed and perpetuated. Children will be restored to their parents, and parents will again rejoice in the presence and esteem of their children. Ah, how fully will the pious mother be rewarded for all her prayerful watchings, and kind assiduities, and untiring solicitude, when, in the world of light and glory, she shall find that, of the children God has given her, not one is lost, but each one is there, with the crown of life upon his head, the palm of victory in his hand, and in his mouth the new song of salvation !
In Heaven will be enjoyed the society of the pious and holy of all ages-of Adam, the first and great father of the human family ; of Noah, the progenitor of a new world; of Abraham, the founder of the Jewish people, and the father of the faithful of all nations; of Moses, who talked with God, face to face; of David, the sweet singer of Israel ; of a host of prophets and apostles, of whom were we to speak, time would fail us; of Paul, who labored in the cause of his Master, more abundantly than all others, and who now wears a richer crown; of those holy martyrs of the primitive Church; of that multitude of Christian worthies, of whom the world was not worthy; of the heroic reformers from the corruptions of popery, who counted not their lives dear to themselves; of the devoted modern missionaries of the Cross, who bave given an example of apostolic zeal and heroism; of Brainard, the early apostle to the neglected and abused aborigines of this country; and of Martyn and Heber, names which will long be embalmed in the endeared recollection of Christians. And could the Heavens be spread, and our faith be lost in sight, we should see them clothed in robes of light, and hear them, with hearts of love, and tongues of fire, singing hallelujah, hallelujah to the Lamb,
I would not live alway, for in the midst of that holy brotherhood is Jesus CHRIST, their elder brother, the faithful and true witness; that Jesus, the desire and Savior of all nations; and whom I desire to see; my Savior ! to whom, I have so often prayed, and in whom I have so long trusted ; Him who has for years been my invisible teacher and defence, and whom, though not seeing, yet have I loved !
With what profit and pleasure do I read the words of CHRIST, as recorded by his apostles ; much greater would have been my satisfaction to have heard, like his personal followers, his instructive conversation, and to have sat at his sacred feet, like the attentive and commended Mary. What then will be the enraptured delight, and holy ecstacy, conferred by his presence and fellowship in Heaven?
Is there a glorious company of apostles now praising God, and would I live alway, in this state of misery, and be excluded from their society? Is there a noble army of martyrs now surrounding the Father of Spirits, and would I live alway, and be prevented from joining their song of adoration? Is there a goodly fellowship of prophets, arrayed in white, and now praising God, and would I live alway, and exclude myself from their blissful employment ? Are there the redeemed of every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, around the throne of God, enjoying the felicity of his immediate presence, and increasing in knowledge and happiness --and would I live alway in ignorance and wretchedness? And could those redeemed ones answer us from the thrones of their glory, would they say, "We would have lived alway?" Can children desire to remain away from their home,--or pilgrims from their own country,-or travellers from the end of their journey,or citizens from their citizenship, or beirs from their heritage ? No !--I would not live alwayj, since to die is such gain; and in prospect of the glory to be so soon revealed, my heart exclaims, Come quickly, even so come, LORD JESUS!
CHRISTIANS,—you, who are renewed in heart and life, who are made partakers of the Holy Ghost, and who are now led by the Spirit,---ye shall not live alway. Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord shall deliver him out of them all. Ye shall not live alway, groaning in this earthly tabernacle, but
ye shall soon be clothed upon, with your house from Heaven. Look at the sun, as he goes forth in his strength-thus shall ye soon shine forth in glory and immortality. Look at the stars, as at night they beautify the heavens—thus shall ye soon shine forever and ever. Ye shall not alway be the subject of mental weakness and error, for ye shall soon be like the angels. Ye shall not alway be the servants of sin, since ye shall soon enter into rest, and cease from sin. Ye shall not alway be the witnesses, as well as the subjects of human wretchedness, for ye shall arrive at those regions, where there is neither pain, nor crying, nor death. Ye shall not alway be absent from your home, but shall go to Jesus CHRIST, and to his Father, and your Father; to his God, and your God. Instead of the thorny path of this life, your feet shall soon tread the golden streets of the Holy City; and instead of lamentation and complaint, your mouths shall soon be filled with the song of Moses and the Lamb.
My BRETHREN: You cannot live alway; though the impenitent and worldly will say, "We would live alway. Give us enough of this world, and we wish for none better. Give us the riches and honors and pleasures of the world, and we should never wish to die.” But what would you be profited, should you gain the whole world, and lose your own souls? It is appointed unto men to die. What do the vacant seat at the fireside, and the added stone at the burial place, teach, but that death is in every family? It is appointed unto men to die. You may banish the thought from your minds, and yet you must die. You may live in impenitence and opposition to God, and yet you must die. You may live in the neglect of prayer, and the word of God, and make no preparation for the awful reality, and yet you must die. It is appointed unto men to die. But after death the judgment. As death leaves you, so will the judgment find you. There is no repentance, nor faith, nor hope, in the grave to which you are hastening. Death, judgment-eternity--heaven-hell—happiness, ---misery of a soul that can never die,-are tremendous realities. May God write the important lesson they should teach, upon the hearts of us all, and prepare us for our great change, through his infinite mercy in CHRIST JESUS our Lord. Amen.
SERMON BY THE RT. REV. BENJAMIN T. ONDER DONK, D. D.
BY THE RT. REV. BENJAMIN T. ONDERDONK, D. D.
BISHOP OF THE DIOCESE OF NEW YORK.
2 Corinthians, xi. 3.-" I fear lest, by any means, as the serpent beguiled Ere, through
his subilety, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in CHRIST."
The apostle is putting his Corinthian brethren on their guard against the arts of false teachers, who, by extraordinary pretensions to piety and zeal, endeavored to underrate his services, and give currency to the erroneous systems which they would substitute for the pure religion of the gospel. He compares their arts to the “subtlety” of “the serpent," when he " beguiled Eve;" evidently intimating that the effects they would produce may not improperly be compared to the tremendous consequences flowing from that first deception. Filled with alarm at the prospect of the spiritual and eternal evils that must be consequent on departure from the pure religion of Jesus, he conjures them to "bear with” him, if, in the exercise of that zealous concern which these imposters had wickedly termed “ folly,” he manifested “over" them a “godly jealousy," because, through his ministry, they had been brought into covenant relation to the Redeemer; and expresses his lively and aflectionate solicitude, “lest, by any means," through these false teachers, their minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in CHRIST”--the artlessness, humility, and sincerity, so conspicuous in his religion.
Exactly in what the errors of these false teachers consisted, we are not informed. Their system, however, appears to have em
braced extravagant pretensions to piety, the confident denouncing of others as destitute of it, and affectation of peculiar zeal, labor, and industry, in which they did not scruple to build unjust reputation on foundations laid by others. They appear to have been characterised by a spirit of detraction, and a disposition, not only to deny the merits of others, but to accuse them falsely. Serious corruptions of the Christian doctrine appear to have been propagated by them. And indeed, so great was their defection “from the simplicity that is in CARIST,” that the apostle considered all their pretensions like Satan assuming the form of an angel of light.
However peculiar were the circumstances immediately calling forth the apostolical epistles, every part of them is fraught with matter of interesting and edifying reflection, suited to all times, places, and persons. Although the false teachers, who were the immediate cause of the kind anxiety expressed in the text, have, long since, been called to their great account; yet the Church has never been, and surely is not now, without similar enemies. From a vast variety of sources, there is perpetual danger of our being “corrupted from the simplicity that is in CHRIST.”
To guard against this is a duty enforced by all the solicitude that we should feel to enjoy the spiritual and eternal blessings designed by our holy religion. Let us, then, as an incitement to this duty, consider the nature and practical effects of the “simplicity that is in CHRIST."
This virtue may be considered as comprising humility, artlessness, and sincerity.
But its nature will be best understood by a reference to its effects. Let us consider these in their bearing on our duty to God, our DUTY TO OUR FELLOW MEN, and our PERSONAL CHARACTERS.
The simplicity that is in Christ should influence our duty to God, in the sentiments that we entertain of Him, and in the service which we render Him.
Humble dependents upon our Creator ; weak, but in His strength; ignorant, but by His teaching; lost, but by His saving grace ; finite, while He is infinite ; frail, while He is unerring; depraved, while He is perfectly holy; on earth, while He is in