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figuring to himself, or than what is prescribed to him by an accommodating casuist, you would not see a single Christian afraid of death. But you know it well, the gospel assures you of it, and the dictates of your own conscience confirm the truth, to make application of the fruits of Christ's death is a complication of duties, which require attention, time, labour, intenseness of exertion, and must be the business of a whole life. The greatest part of those who bear the Christian name, neglect this work while in health; is it any wonder that they should tremble when overtaken by the hour of death?
Call to remembrance the three ways in which Christ has disarmed death. He has spoiled the king of terrors, by demonstrating to us the immortality of the soul, by making atonement for our transgressions, by acquiring for us an eternal felicity.
But what effect will the death of Christ have upon us, as a proof of the doctrine of the immortality of the soul, unless we study those proofs, unless we seriously meditate upon them, unless we endeavour to feel their force, ⚫ unless we guard against the difficulties which the unhappy age we live in opposes to those great principles ?
What effect can the death of Christ have upon us, as a sacrifice offered up to divine justice for our sins, unless we feel the plentitude of that sacrifice, unless we make application of it to the conscience, unless we present it to God in the exercises of a living faith; above all, unless by the constant study of ourselves, unless by unremitting, by persevering exertion, we place ourselves under the terms, and invest ourselves with the characters of those who have a right to apply to themselves the fruits of this sacrifice?
sion: it is a conclusion easy, natural, and
If after we have exerted our utmost efforts, we still find our frail flesh and blood complaining at the prospect of approaching dissolution; if the heart still repines at the hard necessity imposed upon us of dying; let us strive to recover confidence, not only against this apprehension, but likewise against the doubts which it might excite against our salvation. This fear of death is, in such a case, What effect can the death of Christ produce not a crime, but an infirmity. It is indeed a upon us, considered as the pledge of a blessed melancholy proof that we are not yet perfect, eternity, unless the soul be powerfully im- but it is not a blot which obliterates our Chrispressed with that eternity, unless the heart be tianity. It is an expression of timidity, not of penetrated with a sense of what it is; if we mistrust. It is a calamity which prevents our are at pains to efface the impression which enjoying all the sweets of a triumphant death, those interesting objects may have made upon but not an obstacle to prevent our dying in us; if hardly moved by those great truths safety. Let us be of good courage. What which ought to take entire possession of the have we to fear? God is an affectionate friend, mind, we instantly plunge ourselves into the who will not desert us in the hour of adversivortex of worldly pursuits, without taking time ty. God is not a cruel being, who takes pleato avail ourselves of that happy disposition, sure in rendering us miserable. He is a God and, as it were, purposely to withdraw from whose leading characters are goodness and those gracious emotions which seemed to have mercy. He stands engaged to render us haplaid hold of us? Ah! my brethren, if such bepy. Let us not distrust his promise; it has the conduct of the generality of professing Christians, as we are under the necessity of admitting, when, not satisfied with observing their deportment in the house of God, and from a pulpit, we follow them into life, and look through those flimsy veils of piety and devotion which they had assumed for an hour in a worshipping assembly; if such, I say, be the conduct of the generality of professing Christians, their terror at the approach of death exhibits nothing to excite astonish
The grand conclusion to be deduced, my brethren, from all these reflections, is not an abstract conclusion and of difficult comprehen
been ratified by the most august seal which suspicion itself could exact, by the blood of the spotless Lamb, which is sprinkled, not on the threshold of our doors, but on our inmost conscience. The exterminating angel will respect that blood, will presume to aim no stroke at the soul which bears the mark of it.
After all, my dearly beloved brethren, if the most advanced Christians, at the first gumpse of death, and in the first moments of a mortal distemper, are unable to screen themselves from the fear of death; if the flesh murmurs, if nature complains, if faith itself seems to stagger; reason, religion, but especially the aid of God's spirit, granted to the prayers, to
the importunities ascending to heaven from the ly meditations, which formerly occupied the lips of such a Christian, dissipate all those ter-soul, disclose the grand object of religion, and rors. The mighty God suffers himself to be the bed of death is transformed into a field of overcome, when assailed by supplication and victory. Many of your pastors, Christians, tears. God resists not the sighs of a believ-have been the joyful spectators of such a trier, who from his bed of languishing stretches umph. out his arms towards him, who entreats him to sanctify the sufferings which he endures, who implores his support in the agonies of death, who cries out from the centre of a soul tran-ed up to his father in our behalf, by cleansing sported with holy confidence, Into thine hand us from all our guilt, deliver us from all our I commit my spirit: thou hast redeemed me, fears! May this great High Priest of the O Lord God of truth,' Ps. xxxi. 5. Receive new covenant bear engraven on his breast all it, O my God. Remove from me those phan- these mystical Israelites, now that he is entoms which disturb my repose Raise me up, tered into the holiest of all! And when these take me to thyself. Teach my hands to war, foundations of sand, on which this clay taberand my fingers to fight. Draw me, I shall run nacle rests, shall crumble away from under after thee. Kindle my devotion; and let my our feet, may we all be enabled to raise our inflamed desires serve as a chariot of fire to departing spirits out of the ruins of the world, transport me to heaven. The clouds, thick- that they may repose in the mansions of imened around me by Him who had the power mortality! Happy, beyond expression, beof death,' are scattering; the veil which cov-yond conception happy, to die in such sentiered eternity insensibly withdraws; the un ments as these! God of his infinite mercy derstanding is convinced; the heart melts; the grant it may be our blessed attainment! To flame of love burns bright; the return of ho-him be honour and glory for ever. Amen.
May all who hear me this day be partakers of these divine consolations! May that invaluable sacrifice which Jesus Christ offer