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whosoever liveth and believeth in him shall never die.” It is true they shall be removed from this perishing world, to a more secure and happy dwelling : *“ their earthly house of this tabernacle must be dissolved, that they may take possession of that building of God—that house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens, which is their glorious inheritance, (+like the prophet Elijah) they must drop off their earthly garment in their fight towards heaven; but such a departure ought rather to be called life, than death, it is but a removal to the upper chamber of the Lord's house ; with that kind invitation “ friend go up higher;" and thus while their loss is lamented on earth, they are rejoicing before the throne of God, in the society of angels, I." amongst the spirits of just men made perfect.”
There they see his face,
And never, never sin:
Drink endless pleasures in.
My brethren, this great and glorious salvation may be obtained by every one of us;
the Lord Jesus has been lifted up among us; for we have his blessed Gospel, in the * 2 Cor. v. 1. + 2 Kings, ii. 13. | Heb. xii. 23.
most ample abundance, and he has invited us all to behold him in that universal invitation proclaimed by the mouth of his prophet Isaiah : *“Look unto me and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth.”
If we had all obeyed this merciful invitation, if we were all healed of our sinfulness, by believing in the Lord Jesus Christ, we should indeed be happy beings; for we should be children of God, and heirs of eternal glory. But too many among us display a melancholy evidence, by the sins of their hearts, and lives, that their souls are still afflicted with the deadly disease of their natural corruption. The malice, and envy, the lying, and drunkenness, (and above all) that coldness, and deadness about religion, which is too evident in many of us, are the undeniable symptoms of that loathsome and deplorable state of mind, which is thus described by the Prophet Isaiah. “ The whole head is sick, and the whole heart is faint, from the sole of the foot even unto the head there is no soundness in it; but wounds and bruises, and putrifying sores: they have not been closed, neither bound up, neither mollified with ointment.”_ Oh! my brethren, as you would escape the misery of hell
* Isaiah, xlv. 22.
+ Ibid, i. 6.
, and enjoy the happiness of heaven, continue not a moment longer in such a desperate state : you know not how soon, or how suddenly the hand of death may arrest your progress : none of us can call even the next minute our own, so awfully uncertain is our mortal life. But it is unnecessary in * this place, and on this day, to insist upon this uncertainty. Surely we must all be feelingly convinced, that in the midst of life we are in death. Oh! my brethren, fly, fly for refuge from the wrath to come, while the door of mercy is
« Behold the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world.” Behold him bleeding, and dying on the cross for your sins; see in his sacrifice God's unutterable hatred of sin, and his unbounded love to the sinner. + “ Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved," from the power of sin here, and from its eternal punishment hereafter. But I trust there are some among us, who can testify, by their own experience, that the cross of Christ is the sinner's strongest refuge and firmest hope. My brethren, you # “ have chosen that good part which shall not be taken away from you.” Let nothing shake your trust in the precious blood of your
* One of the congregation, a young man, had died after a few hours illness, the previous week.
+ Acts, xvi. 31. † Luke, x. 42.
Saviour.“ Hold the beginning of
your confidence stedfast unto the end.” *“Run with patience the race that is set before you, still looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of your faith.” And remember that your great business on earth, is to exalt the cross of Christ, by your conversation, your influence, and your lives ; that our Saviour's kingdom may be extended, both in your own hearts, and among your fellow sinners.—“ That all may know him from the least to the greatest of them ;that he may forgive their iniquity, and remember their sin no more, and that his will may be done in earth, as it is done in heaven. Which may the Almighty, of his infinite mercy grant, through the intercession of his Eternal Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen.
* Hebrews, iii. 15. xii. 1-2. + Jeremiah, xxxi. 34.
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