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dying believer, beyond that presence by the Spirit which He mercifully vouchsafes at all times to every individual member of his Church militant, and in a more especial manner at the hour of death. On the contrary, we read that Stephen saw the Lord Jesus (not coming to him) but “ standing at the right hand of God.” St. Paul exclaims, “ The time of my departure is at hand.” In the parable, when the beggar died, he was carried by angels into Abraham's bosom. Solomon tells us, that “the spirit returns to God who gave it ;” and Moses, that the decree goes forth, “ Come again, ye children of men.” Death is a stroke to be submitted to; it is attended with pain and separation, and is followed by all the humiliating circumstances of the grave. Far different is the second Coming of the Divine Redeemer. This is an event to be greatly desired ; it is accompanied with instant deliverance from every sorrow, and immediate re-union with departed friends, and is succeeded by eternal glory.
Why, then, let me ask, do so many Christians fall into this strange, unreasonable, unscriptural error. Dear friends, just apply your conduct to every-day life. Imagine a case :-A. tells B. that he is soon going to live with his friend C. in London ; B. goes his way, and tells D. that C. is coming from London to A. What will be thought of D. when the real case is known ? Will he not be set down as either the wilful or the careless propagator of a falsehood ? Will it avail him to say, that he meant the one thing, when he said the other? or, that he thought it a matter of indifference which party made the move, so long as the two friends met? O, my dear Christian friends, if you wish that your language should agree with common sense and scriptural truth, leave off this mode of speech.
But the hour is near at hand—and we perhaps may live to see the day—when these two events, the return of the Lord, and the departure of the saint, though they will not become synonymous, yet will synchronize. “For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first : then we, which are alive and remain, shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air.” Then will be fulfilled the promise of the Saviour, “ If I go away, I will come again and receive you unto myself.”
O what a meeting will this be! Is it, can it be so nearly the same thing as death, that the one may be mentioned for the other, and the one be fulfilled in the other ? Death ; that enemy from whose approach the soul, even when renewed by Divine
Divine grace, involuntarily shrinks ;—death! that narrow gateway by which the soul, unseen and alone, passes into the invisible world ; —death! that seal which stamps the body the victim of decay. Ah! lower not, degrade not, the glorious Advent; waiting for which, the whole creation groans, by such an association, such an intermingling. The Advent will be no hidden process; for, “ Behold! he cometh with clouds, and every eye shall see him.” The Advent will be no season of solitude, for the innumerable multitude of the Church of the first-born shall meet together; the whole body of the despised“ saints,” once scorned and trampled upon by the world, shall be manifested to the assembled universe as the
sons of God.” Then, instead of the body turning to corruption, that which has long mouldered into dust shall be raised in incorruption, and that which is still warm with life shall undergo a change, and be transformed into the
Saviour's image. “He that liveth (at my coming) and believeth in me, shall never die.”
Christian ! is not this a consummation to be desired ? Let the prospect of it now cheer you in your earthly pilgrimage ; and, should you be called to taste of death, let the hope of the resurrection brighten your passage to the tomb, and enable you to lie down peacefully in the grave, there to wait all the days of your appointed time, till your glorious change shall come-for come it will. “ Thou shalt call, and I will answer :” “The hour is coming, in the which all that are in their graves shall hear his voice, and shall come forth :” “Sown a natural body, raised a spiritual body.” Nor will you have long to wait ; for, “He that testifieth of these things, saith, Surely I come quickly.” Let the response be sincere, loud, and universal—“Even so, come Lord Jesus." Amen.
PREVENTION BETTER THAN CURE. BY Mrs. Ellis. (Fisher.) If books on domestic morality will cure the growing degeneracy of our age, our good friend Mrs. Ellis certainly has determined to do her part in the work. This last production of her prolific pen brings before the reader many truths of most weighty import, deserving the serious consideration of every Christian parent and citizen. Her remarks on the different dangers to be guarded against in the training of boys and girls, have struck us as particularly judicious. From some things, however, in the course of the work, we can not but dissent. A high moral standard seems to us to be too much insisted upon, as something separable from true religion. The following extract will illustrate our meaning.
Owing to the prevalence of this great mistake, education has neglected the most powerful engines either for good or for evil. It has trusted to the spread of religious truth to do all, and unquestionably for this it is sufficient if it could reach all. We know, however, that in comparatively few instances, the truth is listened to, in fewer still it is understood, and in fewer yet received into the heart. What, then, remains for the many, who are not of this happy number? Are they to go forth into society guided by no other rule than
mere inclination, and actuated by any low motive that may gain the ascendence.'
This does not seem to us the teaching we want in these days; we rather need to be reminded of the promise, 'According to your faith be it unto you.' We want more men, who, like the author of 'The Convict Ship,' will not despair of the efficacy of the Gospel on the most hardened. A high moral tone will spread through the whole of society, in proportion as the children of God are multiplied among us. We know the excellent authoress of the work before us will fully agree with us in these sentiments, and may perhaps be induced so to modify her statements, as to avoid the possibility of misapprehension.
FREE THOUGHTS ON PROTESTANT MATTERS. BY THE Rev. T. D. GREGG. (Curry and Oldham, Dublin.) This work of Mr. Gregg answers well to its title. It is a stirring, and, in many respects, a powerful and able series of Essays on Irish Protestantism, the English and Roman Churches, the right mode of controversy with Popery, and the true principles of national policy in religion. The taste of the author might be more refined, and his language more carefully guarded from misconstruction, and kept more free from seeming intemperance. There is also, here and there, something too near akin to personal ostentation, though we believe it is mainly, if not entirely, in appearance, and due rather to an excess of openness and candour, than to real vanity. But these are lesser faults, and amply redeemed by solid excellences. There is, throughout the work, a firm grasp on the great principles of Protestant truth, a clear and full sense of the inestimable importance of a truly religious policy, and an ability and power of thought that deserve high praise,