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“ pilgrim upon earth: destined for nobler pur“ poses hereafter, thy existence is here short " and uncertain-co-eval with the grass of the “ plain, or the flower of the field : like them, “ thou comest forth from the hands of thy “ Maker pure and undefiled: if no misfortune. “ rises from the vale of misery to blast thy me-, “ ridian splendour, thou bloomest perhaps før “ a few moments; but soon the evening of life "' approaches; the springs of nature decay; and " thou art plucked up by the chill hand of 6 time. i . . .
" Nor is this thy lot alone; but every thing " around thee partakes of the same frail: na"ture: even the most permanent of human en-, “ joyments are but like the sudden flashes of " lightning, which for a moinent plays on the “ eye, and then vanishes for ever. Why then, “ shouldest thou confine thy affections to a pe“ riod thus limited, to objects more fleeting “ than the wind, more unsubstantial than the “ thin vapour? It was not to comprehend this " short span of life that heaven bestowed on " thee the penetrating eye of reason; but to “ take in the unbounded prospect of eternity. s6 For that thou wast born: thither direct thy ! steps, and be happy.”
Be it our care, then, my brethren, ever to keep in mind this important advice of the Prophet. Let us ever remember, that we are no other than travellers through this vale of tears to a happier and better country. This consideration will be at once the best guard to our virtue against the assaults of sin, and the firmest support to our hearts against the calamities of life. Should profit tempt or pleasure entice us to enter the flowery paths of vice and corruption'; it will remind us of the vast disproportion' between the momentary gratification of a depraved appetite, and those unfading pleasures which await the just at the right hand of God. Do we groan beneath the cruel hand of oppression, or sink under the load of poverty? Do we lament the child of our bosom, or pour out our tears for the friend of our heart? Do we labour under the unmerited reproaches of slander, or languish on the bed of sickness and disease? Is there any other difficulty, any other misfortune or calamity which can befal us in our present state; this advice of the Prophet will enable us to support it with courage, by teaching us to turn our eyes from the gloomy prospect of this life towards that peaceful region, where no clouds of affliction are seen, no storms of adversity are heard, where the wicked cease from troubling, and the weary are at rest.
Having then such an asylum in view, let us not be faint in well-doing; but with patient perseverance toil up the steep ascent of virtue. Let us carefully cultivate the seeds of faith in our hearts, and bring forth the fruit of good works in our actions. Thus shall we answer the ends of our creation ; thus shall we be prepared to meet our God with gladness; and to receive from him that transporting eulogium,“ Come, “ ye blessed children, receive the kingdom pre“ pared for you from the foundation of the 56 the world.”
2 Cor. v. 10.
We must all appear before the judgment-seat of
Christ, that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath, done, whether it be good or evil.
AVING in a former discourse explained
the fundamental evidences of a judgment to come, as deducible both from reason and revelation, my present intention is to address myself to three sorts of men.
1st, To those who would seem to doubt of this fundamental doctrine.
2dly, To those who profess to believe it, but do it not fully and sincerely : and,