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amidst smiles of love, and under a gleam of heaven, they shine out their last.
UPON THE VANITY OF ALL HUMAN GLORY.Yonder entrance leads, I suppose, to the vaults ; let me turn aside and take one view of the habitation, and its tenants.
Good heavens! what a solemn scene ! how dismal the gloom! Here is perpetual darkness and night, even at noon-day. How doleful the solitude ! Not one trace of cheerful society; but sorrow and terror seem to have made this their dread abode. Hark! how the hollow dome resounds at every tread. The echoes that long have slept, are awakened, and whisper along the walls.
A beam or two finds its way through the grates, and reflects a feeble glimmer from the nails of the coffins. So many of those sad spectacles, half-concealed in shades, half-seen by the baleful twilight, add a deeper horror to these gloomy mansions.-I pore upon the inscriptions, and am just able to pick out, that these are the remains of the rich and renowned. No vulgar dead are deposited here. The most illustrious, and right honourable, have claimed this for their last retreat. And, indeed, they retain somewhat of a shadowy pre-eminence. They lie ranged in mournful order, and in a sort of silent pomp, under the arches of an ample sepulchre; while meaner corpses, without much ceremony, “go down to the stones of the pit.”
I thank you, ye relics of sounding titles, and magnificent names ; ye have taught me more of the littleness of the world, than all the volumes of my library. Your nobility, arrayed in a winding-sheet; your grandeur, mouldering in an urn; are most indisputable proofs of the nothingness of all created glory.
Let others pay their obsequious court to your wealthy sons, and ignobly fawn, or anxiously sue for preferments; my thoughts shall often resort, in pensive contemplation, to the sepulchres of their sires, and learn from their sleeping dust, to moderate my expectation from mortals; to stand disengaged from every undue attachment to the little interests of time; to get above the delusive amusements of honour, and all the empty shadows of a perishing world.
Never, surely, did providence write this unimportant point, in such legible characters, as in the ashes of My Lord, or on the corpse of His Grace.
A MEDITATION ON THE WEAL OR WE OF ETERNITY.--Now, my dear reader, if all that I have laid before you has failed to make any serious impression upon your mind, I hope the following awfully solemn address upon the Weal and Woe of Eternity, may be the means, in the hand of the Spirit, of arousing you to solemn reflection, before it be too late; and constrain you to flee to man's only hope, -- the hope set before us in the gospel :
« O eternity ! eternity ! how are our boldest, our strongest thoughts lost and overwhelmed in thee! Who can set land-marks to limit thy dimensions, or find plummets to fathom thy depths? Arithmeticians have figures to compute all the progressions of time,-astronomers have instruments to calculate the distances of the planets,—but what numbers can state, what lines can gauge the lengths and breadths of eternity? It is higher than heaven; what canst thou do? Deeper than hell; what canst thou know? The measure thereof is longer than the earth, and broader than the sea.
“ Mysterious, mighty existence! A sum not to be lessened by the largest deductions !-an extent not to be contracted by all possible diminutions ! None can truly say, after the most prodigious waste of ages, "That so much of eternity is gone. For when millions of centuries have elapsed, it is but just commencing; and when millions more have run their ample round, it will be no nearer ending. Yea, when ages,-numerous as the bloom of spring, increased by the herbage of summer, both augmented by the leaves of autumn, and all multiplied by the drops of rain that drown the winter,—when these, and ten thousand times ten thousand more, have all revolved, eternity, -vast, boundless, amazing eternity,—will only be beginning, or (if I may be allowed the expression) beginning to begin.
“What a pleasing, yet awful thought is this! full of delight, and full of dread. Oh may it alarm our fears, quicken our hopes, and animate all our endeavours! Since we are soon to launch into that endless and inconceivable state, let us give all diligence to secure our entrance into bliss. Now let us give all diligence, because there is no alteration in the scenes of futurity. The wheel never turnsall is steadfast and immovable beyond the grave. Whether we are seated on the throne, or stretched on the rack, a seal will be set to our condition by the hand of everlasting mercy, or inflexible justice. The saints always rejoice amidst the smiles of heaven, their harps are perpetually tuned, their triumphs admit of no interruption. The ruin of the wicked is also irremediable. The fatal sentence once passed is never to be repealed. No hope of exchange ing their doleful habitations, but all things bear the same aspect for ever and ever.”
4 Bellevue Terrace, 13th July 1862. I REGARD “ The Christian's Pocket Companion,” compiled by Serjeant B- , as well fitted, from the varied character of its materials, to interest and edify contemplative Christians of all ages, and classes of society.
J. LOGAN AIKMAN, Coll. Min.
St James's U. P. Church.
Edinburgh, 8th August 1852. My Dear Sir, I have to acknowledge the receipt of your little book entitled, “ The Christian's Pocket Companion.” It has been perused by me with great pleasure, and most cordially do I recommend the work, as containing “Multum in parvo,”—much in small compass, fitted to regulate the Christian's walk in life,-to promote real piety in the soul,-and to prepare for meeting the last enemy in peace, by faith in the Son of God. I am yours sincerely,
A. ARTIUR, Bristo Street Chúrch.
Edinburgh, 14th July 1852. “The Christian's Pocket Companion,” by Serjeant B , is a valuable contribution to our religious literature. Its tone is pious, and its contents are