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They know, both from Scripture and experience, that life is short and uncertain, and they profess to believe it.

But “their inward thought is, that their houses shall continue for ever, and their dwelling-places to all generations.” Psalm xlix. 11.

So it was in the days of David, and so it was with the people who were living a hundred years ago.

They did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded, they married wives, they were given in marriage.” Luke, xvii.

And where are they now?

Gone down together to the dust. Every one of that great multitude has in his turn been called to stand before God.



green herb.”

Some died “ in the flower of their age;" and others came to the grave as a shock of corn cometh in his

Some were taken away “ with pining sickness :" they lay for years "upon the bed of languishing;" “and wearisome nights were appointed unto them. And others were hurried off without warning: they

“cut down like the grass, and withered as the “ One died in his full strength, being wholly at ease and quiet. And another in the bitterness of his soul, never having eaten with pleasure.”

Some “fell asleep,” “in sure and certain hope of a joyful resurrection."

And many—alas, how many !-closed their eyes in this world, to open them in the regions of eternal remorse and despair.

Once they had an opportunity of attending to the things which belonged to their peace; but now they are hid from their eyes.

So you see that whatever their characters and cir

cumstances might be, one event has happened to them all.

They have all passed away from the earth, and their eternal destiny is decided. 6. Till the heavens be no more, they shall not awake, nor be raised out of their sleep.” Job, xiv. 12. For “ he that goeth down to the grave

shall come up no more. He shall return no more to his house, neither shall his place know him any more.” Job, vii. 10, 11.

Also their love, and their hatred, and their envy, is now perished; neither have they any more a portion, for ever, in anything that is done under the

Ecc. ix. 6.


Now, my dear children, I know not the day of your death : but I do know that in a hundred years more, you and I, and almost every one who is now living, will have passed away : and then, where shall we be?

This is the solemn question: and this it is which makes death so awful.

The narrow coffin and the cold grave signify nothing, for the departed spirit knows nothing about them. But where will that spirit be to all eternity ?

Just carry your thoughts forward, and consider where you are likely to be in a hundred years. Whither are you going ?

Do you think it does not signify? Will you leave it to chance ? Will

you still go on in carelessness, and put off the consideration to a more convenient season-a season which, most likely, you will never find ?

Remember, that what must come before long, may come speedily. For anything you know, this night your soul may

be required of you. Even if you have yet some years to live, day will pass away after day; leaving you more sins to repent of, and less time to repent in.

Evil habits will be strengthened, and good feelings weakened ; troubles and cares will multiply upon you; and if you are not ready for death now, what prospect is there that you ever will be ?

()! do not spend this life in dreams,

To be surprised by death;
And sink where mercy never beams,

When you resign your breath!”
You are perhaps thinking, all this time, that

you are as good as most children, and that you would be sure to go to heaven.

But do you know that God requires perfect obedience to all his commandments ?-that he requires you to love him with all your heart, and mind, and soul, and strength, and your neighbour as yourselves ?

Have you done all this? Have you kept all God's commandments ever since you were born ?

No. You have left undone those things which you ought to have done, and you have done those things which you ought not to have done.

You have often been selfish, and idle, and disobedient, and deceitful, and have thought more about pleasing yourselves than about pleasing God.

You think perhaps that you will be better for the future.

But God requires perfect obedience always.

So that even if you were to keep his commandments perfectly from this time, you could never make amends for your past sins.

Suppose I had two good watches, and I were to stop one of them for five minutes, and then set it a-going again. Would it ever overtake the other ?

No, it would always be five minutes behind.
And if

you had done wrong only once in your whole life, you could never make amends for it. went on as regularly as the watch, ever afterwards, you would certainly come short at the last.

If you

But even this is not all. Every child that is born into the world has a wicked heart, a heart which does not love God; and no one who does not love him can ever enter his kingdom of glory.

You must know this from your own feelings, even if the Bible did not teach it.

You have perhaps thought sometimes that you would like to go to heaven; but what kind of a place do you suppose heaven to be ?

We know from God's word that it is a place of perfect happiness; but we know also that it is a place of perfect holiness, and that no sin can be admitted there.

We know that the worship and service of God are the chief employment and delight of its blessed inhabitants.

Now, do you take pleasure in the service of God ? do you like to think about him ?

No. You would rather think about something else. Could

you love him if you were to try ? No. You might fancy that you loved him for a little while, but you would go away directly, and do things which he hates—things which you know would grieve and displease him.

What then can you do? You are not fit for heaven; and if you die in your present condition, you will go "into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels."

There is only one way to be saved from it, and this way is made plain to us in the Bible.

And yet thousands of people never read about it, nor care about it, but go on in their own way.

And then death surprises them, and they “ lie down in sorrow," and awake in hell!

“ And never shall one cooling drop

To quench their burning tongues be given."


Oh, my dear children, pray that you may never come into this place of torment!"

Pray that God will not take you out of this world till you are fit for a better: and that he will teach you his way, for Jesus Christ's sake.

" And am I born to die?

To lay this body down?
And must my trembling spirit fly

Into a world unknown?
A land of deepest shade,

Unpierced by human thought,
The dreary regions of the dead,

Where all things are forgot!
Soon as from earth I go,

What will become of me?
Eternal happiness or woe

Must then my portion be.
Waked by the trumpet's sound,

I from my grave shall rise,
And see the Judge with glory crowned,

And see the flaming skies !
How shall I leave my tomb?

With triumph, or regret ?
A fearful, or a joyous doom,

A curse, or blessing meet?
Will angel-bands convey

brother to the bar,
Or devils drag my soul away,

To meet its sentence there?
O thou, that wouldst not have

One wretched sinner die,
Who diedst thyself my soul to save

From endless misery,
Shew me the way to shun

Thy dreadful wrath severe,
That when thou comest on thy throne,

I may with joy appear!"

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