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10 Nor should we wish to have our last end like his, because he may have a confident expectation of happiness in heaven.

The unrighteous, as well as the righteous, may "have hope in his death." There can be no doubt, that many, in their last hours, are deluded by phantoms of the imagination, which they call visions of glory. Often have individuals, when supposed to be past recovering, sung in raptures of the heaven which they saw in prospect. They longed for a release from the body. Yet some of these have unexpectedly regained their health. What became of their piety? of their willingness to die? of their transporting assurances "of an eternal weight of glory?"—their subsequent years were years of sin, and they died without hope and without God. But if they had departed at a previous period, their death would have been proclaimed as a triumph of faith!

In relation to this point, there are WORDS of Christ, which ought to be SPIRIT AND LIFE to each one of us. ፡፡ Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I NEVER KNEW YOU: depart from me, ye that work iniquity." Must not these have died in a confident expectation of "awaking to everlasting life?" And hɔw tremendous their "shame and everlasting contempt !"

The true Christian may have an assurance of faith. Thousands of believers have found the Savior "precious" to their departing spirits. As the shadows of the grave were deepening around them, their eyes have beamed the full glories of the city, which hath the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb for the LIGHT thereof. Such may be the last end of the righteous: or it may be, that from a constitutional infirmity of body or of mind; or from the operation of disease; or from a deep and constant persuasion of personal sinfulness; or from want of confidence in the "exceeding great and precious promises;"-" an heir of God and a joint heir with Christ," may have no other hope than that which fears and trembles.-The good man's sun may go down in clouds, or it may set in glory.

Why, then, may we wish to die the death of the righteous? Having specified and illustrated some of those considerations, which do not afford a sufficient reason for such a wish, I shall now answer the question directly and explicitly. And

1. He is prepared to die.

He has complied with the terms of salvation. He has had godly

sorrow for his sins, and has believed on the Lord Jesus Christ. He has been born again. Thus,

2. He has a title to an inheritance with them that are sanctified. "He that believeth hath everlasting life." "In heaven" he has "a better, an enduring substance." There he will "rest from his labors." There he will sin no more. There he shall have no more "sorrow," for "God shall wipe all tears from his eyes." Yes, Christian friends, faithful is he that promises. You shall be kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation." Though your pilgrimage may be long and dreary, you shall safely "pass over Jordan." You shall go up to "Mount Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon your heads." You shall be companions of those "who have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb." You shall sing anthems of redemption, with the "spirits of just men made perfect;" and your adoring voices shall unite with "the innumerable company of angels," in shouting, ALLELUIA, FOR THE LORD GOD OMNIPOTENT REIGNEth.

3. Consider, that if you do not die the death of the righteous, you are lost forever.

"Except ye repent, ye shall all perish.-He that believeth not, shall be damned. Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. We must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ.— The ungodly shall not stand in the judgment. They that have done good shall come forth to the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil to the resurrection of damnation. These shall go away into everlasting punishment; but the righteous into life eternal." What language can be plainer or more awful? And yet how are these scriptures "wrested!" With what indifference or contempt do multitudes treat "the wrath to come!" Surely "the heart of the sons of men is full of evil, and madness is in their heart while they live, and after that they go to the dead!"

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How infatuated are those who claim a part in the felicities of heaven, in consideration of natural gifts or qualities, or earthly attainments and distinctions! What can be more irrational than an anticipation of joys at God's right hand, while the heart is enmity against God, and is not subject to the law or the gospel? Men may gather in crowds around the biers of the favorites of wealth, beauty, genius, learning, power; they may chant peace to the departed, in their dirges and requiems; they may celebrate talents, qualities, or achievements, in the lofty notes of funeral eulogium; they may pour out their hearts like water, in their wailing lamentations; but all this incense

of panegyric will not give to God a ransom for him who died a despiser of the cross, and an enemy of all righteousness. He must "perish, and that without remedy." "What shall it profit a man, if he gain the whole world, and lose his soul?" O with what emotions will many whom the world has honored, behold the righteous, the humble follower of Jesus, in the kingdom of heaven, and themselves thrust out!

I cannot close, without distinctly reminding you, my hearers, that a wish to die the death of the righteous-however sincere and ardent it may be,―is no evidence of fitness to die such a death.

I cannot doubt, that thousands who hear the gospel, wish to secure the heaven of the gospel. They continue in a course of impenitence, waiting a more "convenient season" to prepare to meet their God. They have more flowers of sin to gather and enjoy, before they can find time to go to the garden of God, and obtain the fruit of the tree of life. Thus they live and thus they die. O how many have been constrained to say--"The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved!"

How was it with Balaam? Were not his wishes expressed in the beautiful language of the text? Yet does not an apostle tell us, that he loved the wages of unrighteousness, and was rebuked for his iniquity? And was not the church of Pergamos obnoxious to severe censure, because there were those among its members, who held "the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balak to cast a stumbling block before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication?" Such was the man who wished to die the death of the righteous and to have his last end like his! And have not many, in every age of the church, cherished the same wish; and notwithstanding all their intentions and hopes to the contrary, died at last the death of the impenitent, unbelieving, and unregenerate?

My friends, you must live the life, if you would die the death, of the Christian. Whatever may be your present hope, be assured, that unless "Christ is in you the hope of glory"—your hope will perish, when God taketh away the soul. If you bring not forth fruit unto repentance, you plainly evince that you are trusting to a refuge, which the hail will sweep away, when God shall lay judgment to the line and righteousness to the plummet.

When the good man can look back upon years spent, in some humble measure, according to the principles of the "faith once delivered to the saints," he may approach his grave with an unfaltering When the prevailing purpose of his soul has been to glorify


God, he may feel "ready to be offered," and with humble confidence may anticipate a "crown of life" in the day of the Lord Jesus. O, has he been valiant for the truth and gloried only in the cross?—Then may he hope to see, in his last moments, as did the dying Payson, "the celestial city full in his view;" to have "its glories beam upon him, its breezes fan him, its odors wafted to him, its sounds strike upon his ears, and its spirit breathed into his heart."

"Sweet is the scene when virtue dies,

When sinks a righteous soul to rest;
How mildly beam the closing eyes,
How gently heaves the expiring breast.

So fades the summer cloud away,

So sinks the gale when storms are o'er,
So gently shuts the eye of day,

So dies a wave along the shore.

Triumphant smiles the victor brow,

Fann'd by some angel's purple wing;
O grave where is thy victory now?
Invidious death where is thy sting?

A holy quiet reigns around,

A calm which nothing can destroy;
Naught can disturb that peace profound,
Which their unfettered souls enjoy.

Farewell, conflicting joys and fears,

Where light and shade alternate dwell;
How bright th' unchanging morn appears!
Farewell, inconstant world, farewell!

Its duty done, as sinks the clay,

Light from its load the spirit flies, While heaven and earth combine to say, 'Sweet is the scene when virtue dies.'"

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LUKE XIX. 41, 42.-And when he was come near, he beheld the city, and wept over it, saying, if thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things that belong to thy peace! but now they are hid from thine eyes.

THE character of Him who wept, and the combination of circumstances that caused his weeping, throw around this scene an affecting tenderness which language is inadequate to describe. Christ had said to his disciples, Behold we go up to Jerusalem, and all things that are written by the prophets concerning the Son of Man, shall be accomplished. For he shall be delivered unto the Gentiles, and shall be mocked and spitefully entreated, and spitted on; and they shall scourge him and put him to death; and the third day he shall rise again. The Saviour had now come near the place of his sorrows and his death; yet he seems to have forgotten the bitter cup he was so soon to drink; and apparently insensible to the hosannas of the'multitude, unhappy Jerusalem engrossed his attention, and awakened his feelings of tenderest compassion. He beheld the city, and wept over it. City once above all cities of the earth beloved of God-city of David-the royal city-city consecrated to God by sacrifices-which hast killed so many prophets, and hast rejected, persecuted, and art about to crucify the Son of God--O that thou, even thou, at least in this thy day, hadst known the things that belong to thy peace! but now they are hid from thine eyes. For the days shall come upon thee, that thine enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and compass thee round, and keep thee in on every side; and shall lay thee even with the ground, and thy children within thee; and they shall not leave in thee one stone upon another; because thou knewest not the time of thy visitation. The historians of that age, and the present condition of Jerusalem, inform us how awfully these predictions were fulfill

VOL. 9. No. 12.

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