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Woes make the shortest time seem long; and joys make the longest time seem short. Oh, eternity, eternity is that which makes woes, woes indeed ; and joys, joys indeed.
OF DEATH AND JUDGMENT. Death is no more than turning us over from time to eternity; and if it leads us to immortal pleasures, that is recompense enough for the suffering of it.
Death puts an end to the sorrows of the afflicted, and sets the prisoners at liberty ; it dries up the tears of the orphan, and eases the cravings of the hungry ; it puts an end to all our fears, when we have the prospect of à better life beyond it.
Death did not strike Adam, the first sinner, nor Cain, the first hypocrite, but Abel, the first martyr ; therefore, the first man that met death, overcame death, and him that has the power of death, which is the devil.
The greatest comfort of a believer upon his death-bed is faith in Christ, hope in the promise, and an interest in the covenant. • That man alone hath true wisdom, who leaves nothing to be done till a dying hour ; for it is not the season to turn to Christ, when we cannot turn ourselves upon our bed.
We should make death familiar by medita tion, and sweeten it by preparation,
We should think of death as a thing we must meet with; and of life as a thing we must part with,
If we expect death as a friend, let us prepare to entertain it; but if as an enemy, let us prepare to overcome it.
Men of wicked lives cannot expect comfort. able deaths; for a short preparation will not fit us for so long a journey.
How miserable is that man who cannot look backward, but with shame ; nor forward, but with terror! What comfort can his riches afford him in this extremity ? Or, what will all his sensual pleasures, his vain and empty titles, robes, dignities, and crowns avail him, when the Lord riseth up to judgment ?
None will have such a dreadful parting with Christ at the last day, as those who, by profession, went half way, and then walked no more with him.
Many weave the spider's web which will fail them; but if we are weaving for ourselves holy garments, and robes of righteousness, we shall have the benefit of them when our work is rewarded, and every one shall wear as he wove.
Many of the right-hand men of this world will be left-hand men at the day of judgment.
OF HEAVEN AND HELL. If the mercies of God be not as loadstones to draw us to heaven, they will be as millstones to sink us to hell.
As sure as the sorrows of the righteous shall be turned into joy, so sure the joys of the wicked shall be turned into sorrow.
We are never beneath hope while we are above hell ; and we are never above hope while we are beneath heaven.
Heaven is first a temper, and then a place; for « without holiness no man shall see the Lord.”
Heaven is a prepared place for a prepared people.
He who seldom thinks of heaven is not likely to get there ; as the only way to hit the mark, is to keep the eye fixed upon it.
A daily conversation in heaven, is the surest forerunner of our constant abode there.
I think heaven the sweeter because many of my friends are there, and I am willing by death to follow them. But it is still sweeter to think that my God is there, my Saviour is there, and my Comforter is there."
If you mind nothing but the body, you lose body and soul too; if you mind nothing but the earth, you lose earth and heaven too.
It is a great mercy to see a hell deserved, when, at the same time, we see a heaven bestowed.
The reason why so many fall into hell is, because so few think about it.
OF THE GRAVE, &c. When we lay our friends in the grave, we are apt to say, We have left them behind; whereas, if they are gone to heaven, we should rather say, They have left us behind; for they are now at home in their Father's house, while
we are yet pilgrims and strangers on the earth.
Christian grief is not forbidden. Abraham came to mourn for Sarah, and to weep for her. Joseph made a mourning for his father seven days. Jesus wept over the grave of Lazarus. Devout men carried Stephen to the grave, and made great lamentation over him. Therefore, we may be followers of them, if we sorrow not, even as others who have no hope.
The time draws near, when the great man must leave his lands, and all the trees of his forests; nothing will attend him to the grave but a piece of oak for his coffin, and a little cypress for his funeral.
Pompous funerals, and sumptuous monuments, are made more out of a design to gratify the vanity of the living, than to honour the memory of the dead. Greatness may build the tomb, but it is goodness that must make the epitaph.
Great men, who are not animated with the spirit of Christianity, make the ceremony of their funeral the last refuge of their vanity. They endeavour to fix to their memory, that which death is going to take from them; and, gathering the ruins of their glory in some pompous encomiums, and magnificent inscriptions, they make a kind of funeral pomp, to remove from their minds the mortifying image of their sad destiny.
None are greater wasters than those who build costly nonuments for the dead. A man
were much better forgotten than remembered, when he has no more to register his name by, than a splendid marble monument.
When I look upon the tombs of the great, every emotion dies within me; when I read the epitaphs of the beautiful, every inordinate desire goes out; when I meet with the grief of parents upon a tombstone, my heart melts in compassion; and when I see kings lying beside those who deposed them, I consider that great day when we shall make our appearance together; and when every one shall be judged according to their works, and not according to their ranks.