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at the strait gate ; for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able. When once the master of the house is risen up, and hath shut to the door, and ye begin to stand without, and to knock at the door, saying, Lord, Lord, open unto us; and he shall answer and say unto you, I know ye not whence ye are ; then shall ye begin to say, We have eaten and drank in thy presence, and thou hast taught in our streets. But he shall say, I tell you I know you not, whence ye are ; depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity. There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when ye shall see Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets, in the kingdom of God, and you yourselves thrust out.”
Therefore, finally, reflect upon the consequences of negligence. Is a man blamed for sleeping in harvest ? Does every one reproach him as a fool ? Does he deserve to suffer famine ? You act a part far more absurd and fatal, who neglect this great salvation, and will not embrace in this “ your day the things that belong to your peace before they are hid from your eyes.
." Having made no provision for futurity, for eternity—your ruin is unavoidable. It will also be insupportable. “It shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the day of judgment than for you.” For a strict account will then be required of all your talents and opportunities : and what can you answer? O! the feelings of sinners in hell who have perished under the means of grace !-How will their consciences upbraid and condemn them! 0! the anguish and despair of sinners, when dropping from time into eternity, they exclaim, " The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved!”
Let us conclude, first, by blessing God for the harvest, with which he has again favoured our country. We went forth with anxious hope : we saw “ first the blade, then the ear, and after that the full corn in the ear." We lifted up our eyes, and saw " the fields already white unto harvest, and with tears of joy said, “ Thou hast prepared of thy goodness for the poor.” We only waited “the appointed weeks of harvest”—and, lo, the weather is favourable ; and the precious treasure will soon be secured ! “ And it shall come to pass in that day I will hear, saith the Lord: I will hear the heavens, and they shall hear the earth, and the earth shall hear the corn, and the wine and oil; and they shall hear Jezreel.” However numerous the means and the second causes are which concur to enrich us with plenteousness, God is the original mover, and to him our praise is to be addressed. Without his blessing, the ox would have ploughed and the husbandman would have sowed in vain. How easily could he have shrivelled up the grain by heat, drowned it by showers, destroyed it by insects! By his permission an enemy might have invaded our borders, and war have spoiled the finest of the wheatEverything is full of God; he lives through all life,' and, while seeming to do nothing, is doing all. “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights.". To him let our praise ascend in a perpetual flow of affection and obedience. While we live
upon the divine goodness, shall we never acknowledge it, or acknowledge it in word only ?" Is this our kindness to our Friend? O! that our insensible hearts may be affected, and that “the goodness of God may lead us to repentance !-0! that men would praise the Lord for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men! Bless the Lord, O my soul !”
But let us remember, that "man liveth not by bread alone;" nor is he to live here always. He has a soul within him, and an eternity before him, and he would be worse than a brute were he only concerned to provide for the inferior part of his nature, and the shortest period of his existence. What will these things be to us when we come to die? What are they now? We seel far greater wants now than any of these things are able to supply. We want “all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ."
And, blessed be God, they are attainable. Let us therefore improve this season by making it a religious monitor. As we walk in the fields or reflect while at home on the process of harvest, let us say, “Oh my soul, thou too hast thy season, and everything forbids thee to be slothful. See the children of this world, how wise they are in their generation; and shall they labour so eagerly for the meat that perisheth, and I be all indifference to acquire that meat which endureth unto everlasting life ?-I must work the works of Him that sent me while it is day: the night cometh when no man can work."
THE FUNERAL OF A YOUTH.
Now, when he came nigh to the gate of the city, behold
there was a dead man carried out, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow; and much people of the city was with her. And when the Lord saw her, he had compassion on her, and said unto her, Weep not. And he came and touched the bier : and they that bare him stood still. And he said Young man, I say unto thee, Arise. And he that was dead sat up, and began to speak. And he delivered him to his mother.-Luke vii. 12 15.
As we follow our Saviour in the evangelical history, we verify the words of the apostle when he says of him—He went about doing good. This character marks his diligence, and the cause in which it was employed. His life was one continued career of goodness: he did good to the soul and to the body: he did good by preaching and by miracles.
Everything recorded of him is worthy our attention ; but the narrative before us is beautiful and impressive, in the highest degree. We behold grandeur blended with simplicity, and omnipotence with compassion. The circumstances progressively rise in importance; the mind is at last powerfully attracted to a single point, and all the passions remain in awful suspense till the joyful event relieves us by a flood of tears. The miracle requires a few reinarks, and a few reflections.
The first thing we behold is a funeral procession. This is a scene which we have all witnessed; a scene by no means unusual—but, alas, owing to its frequency and familiarity, it fails to impress. It is, however, an occurrence unspeakably interesting in itself, and it ought to rouse our attention. Were we disposed to learn, how many lessons would á funeral supply !
Place yourselves under a tree in a meadow, along which lies the path-way to the lonely churchyard. You say within yourself, “ Here it comes in slow and silent sadness. See! every one has some importance. Who could bear to die unmourned ? What a loss is the death of some !See those who walk nearest to the corpse—ah! these are the bereaved. The rest are friends and neighbours, and a heedless rabble drawn by the spectacle.—Man goeth to his long home. It is the end of all men, and the living should lay it to heart. Soon the like ceremonies will be performed for me. When carried along here myself, how insensible shall I be to all those things which now agitate and perplex me! Of what importance will it then be whether I have been poor or rich, honourable or despised? But one thing is needful. Oh, may I choose that good part which shall not be taken away from me. Let me die the death of the righteous, and let my last end be like his.
But let us draw near and contemplate this funeral solemnity. It was the funeral of a young man. We are not informed whether he died by disease or accident, slowly or suddenly; but he was carried off in the prime of life. “One dieth in his full strength, being wholly at ease and quiet. His breasts are full of milk, and his bones are moistened with marrow. Another dieth in the bitterness of his soul, and never eateth with pleasure. They shall lie down alike in the dust, and the worms shall cover them.-What is our life?