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fear, and never dreaded danger. If, after they have got to the mansions of the blessed, the redeemed sing, with peculiar pleasure, To Him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in His own blood, to Hiin be glory and dominion for ever and

If this gives unto them greater pleasure than they could have enjoyed, had they never needed à Saviour, and obtained through Him salvation, then, may we not conclude, that the righteous shall rejoice more, and tune their harps higher, than they could have done, had they never, like them, sinned -and like them suffered--and like them been plucked as brands from the burning! If it were at all compatible with the felicity of the redeemed, that they could see the smoke of the torments of those who are in the bottomless pit ascending up for ever and ever, would they no: cling more closely to their Ransomer, and sing, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing ; for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us unto God by thy blood, out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation ? If he who has been almost famished with hunger, and parched with thirst, reckons the smallest morsel of bread and drop of water more sweet than if he had never needed the necessaries of life, then he who sits down to the table that shall never be drawn, and eats of the innumerable varieties of the

fruits of Paradise, and drinks new wine with Christ in his Father's kingdom, shall prize them more highly, and relish thein more exquisitely, than if he had never most keenly hungered for thein, and soinetiines alınost despaired of ever obtaining them.

But we are admitting too much by this mode of reasoning. We do not know, it is true, what the righteous feel ; but we are certain, that they do not feel more than the wicked; and we have good reason to believe, that, to them, the bitterness of death is past. Jesus has, to them, and to them only, unstinged death. Death is, to them, a conquered enemy. He must, like an executioner, do his duty; but he must do it with the least possible pain. The axe inust be sharp, the block must be covered, and he must be expert and exact, according to the warrant of heaven. They may shrink at the prospect of the apparatus of death; but it is true to them, at least, however it might be to him who once uttered it, that it is a sure and swift remedy for every ill. The severity of the very act of death is, perhaps, more in imagination than reality to any of the sons and daughters of men. But be this as it may,--for we cannot settle the point, I assume, and who will disprove it, that it is easy to the righteous. Some of the martyrs for the

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testimony of Jesus, have declared, that they felt no pain in the rery flames. There they sung their

swan-song, shewing, that life and death, and things present, and things to come, were theirs. Let it not be said, that they boasted of what they did not enjoy. No, my friends. No, ye enemies of Jesus. good man, and a good man, too, at the point of death, speak wickedly for God, and talk' deceitfully for Him? His cause stands in need of no such support. It does not ask it-it will not receive it. Cursed be the man that doeth the work of the Lord deceitfully. But admitting, that some, even entering the very gates of death, did testify what they did not feel, and whereof they were not assured, is it to be credited, will it be asserted, that so many abetted the imposition ? Did Enoch, Noah, Job, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Joshua, Eli, Samuel, David, Isaiah, Daniel, and all the prophets, join in the confederacy? Did Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Simeon, Stephen, and Paul, and all the faithful, whose names are recorded in the sacred page, join in the deceit? When they were stoned, were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword; when they wandered about in sheep-skins and goat-skins, being destitute, afflicted, tormented; of whom, says their succinct annalist, the world was not worthy,—they wandered in deserts, and in mountains, and in dens, and caves of the earth,—did any of these, in the midst of their privations, and afflictions, and persecutions, and torments, ever allow a single word to escape, that they repented of what they had done ; that they had followed cunningly devised fables ; and that they were imposing on mankind ? No; they sealed their testimony to the truth with their blood; they persisted in their declarations ; they loved not their lives unto the death, having a good report through faith. But if these testimonies are not sufficient, corroborated by the tens of thousands wlio, like them, suffered for the testimony of Jesus, Go to the death-bed of the sinner and the saint, and mark the difference with your own eyes. See the sinner, unwilling to go, yet unable to stay. Hear him saying, that if he has only such a space to live, he must be damned. See him writhing on the bed of death. Mark the involuntary agitation of his soul and body; and observe the awful, indescribable, inconceivable manner in which his soul leaves the prison of the body, to be consigned, under chains of darkness and despair, to the judg. ment of the great day. Beholding such a sight, the words of my text will come home to your mind with a force before unknown,-Let me die the death of the righteous, and let my last end be like his. Leaving this horrid scene, which you

will never forget, unless your heart be harder than the nether millstone, enter the chamber where the good man waits the coining of his Lord. You may not see bim in a rapture or an ecstacy, for that would be too much for feeble flesh; but you will behold him, in the very lowest scale, patient and resigned, leaving his testimony to the truths of the Gospel. Ask him if he has believed cunningly devised fables. No, he will reply; not cunningly devised fables. These are realities, indeed. I feel their truth-I feel their comfort. Oh! tell my friends—tell my acquaintance-tell inquiring souls--tell poor sinners—what Jesus has done for my soul. Tell them, that now, in the time of need, I find Him my beloved, and my friend; and, as such, I commend Him to them.

You will thus see, that wisdom's ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace. You will see, that summer dews do not fall inore imperceptibly and gently on the ground; that the well-disposed and wearied labourer does not more insensibly sink to rest, or sleep more sweetly, than the good man departs in peace to the mansions of the blest, and sleeps in Jesus.

Thirdly, The death of the righteous is a peaceful death.

The wicked is like the troubled sea, which cannot rest. There is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked. These words certainly imply what, blessed be God, is not left to uncertain deduction, that there is peace to the righteous. The work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness quietness, and assurance for ever.. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give unto you; not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. In the world ye shall have tribulation ; but in me ye shall have peace. Therefore, being justified by faith, we have peace with God, through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom, also, we have received the atonement. The peace of God which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Jesus Christ. It is graven, as with an iron pen and lead, in the rock for ever. It is as manifest as that the sun shines, the wind blows, or the raiu descends, that the righteous have internal peace from the time of their union with its author and finisher. After Jesus has, at the costly price of His blood, purchased it for them, and, by His Spirit, imparted it to them, will He afterwards take it away? Will He, like men, desert His friends in the time of their greatest need, and deprive them of His presence and His peace? Is He not a friend that loveth at all times, and a brother born for adversity? llas He not loved them with an everlasting love? Has He not promised, that He will never leave nor forsake them! Whom He loves once, does He not love unto the end ? Upon whom He has once bestowed every saving blessing, has it ever been heard, that He again took them away? Did He deprive the nine ungrateful lepers of their cure, because they did not return to give glory to God, and thanks unto

their deliverer ? And can it be possible, that, after forgiving His people their iniquities, and healing their diseases, and redeeming their lives from destruction, He will not crown them with loving-kindnesses and tender mercies? He is the Lord, He changeth not. He is the same yesterday, and to-day, and for ever.

As the mountains are round about Jerusalem, so the Lord is round about His people, from henceforth, even for evermore. He will keep them as the apple of His eye. He who does not suffer His people to be afraid for the terror by night, nor for the arrow that flieth by day, nor for the pestilence that walk. eth in darkness, nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday,,He who allows no evil to befall them, neither any plague to come nigh their dwelling, He who will not let the sun smite them by day, nor the moon by night, He who gives His angels charge over them, to keep them in all their ways, to bear them up in their hands, lest they dash their foot against a stone, He who does all this, and more than this, inore than tongue can express, or heart conceive, while they are passing through the waste, howling wilderness of this world, will not, cannot leave them in the end. It is not pos. sible that they can be divested of their peace. It may seem to be obscured as the sun, when a cloud passes over his sur

but it is only to burst forth, as he does, with a brighter lustre. The covenant of their Father's peace cannot be broken. His promise and His oath are pledged for its continuance, that by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, they might have strong consolation who have fled for refuge to lay hold on the hope set before them. The dying wish of good old Simeon, when he held his Saviour in his arms, and blessed God, and said, Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace according to thy word; for mine eyes have seen thy salvation,-is applicable to all the saints. They have their feet shod with the preparation of the Gospel of peace. These shoes they must wear until they enter the portals of the new Jerusalem. When the Prince of Peace arrived in our world, the choir of angels crowned with natal hymn, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men. The kingdom of God, which is within His children, ists in righteousness, and peace, and joy in




the Holy Ghost. He who had this peace ruling in his heart, from his miraculous conversion to his triumphant dissolution, writes thus to the Ephesians,—But now in Christ Jesus, ye who sometimes were far off, are made nigh by the blood of Christ; for He is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us, -having abolished in His flesh the enmity, even the law of commandınents contained in ordinances ; for to make in Himself of twain one new man, so making peace. And that He might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, havo ing slain the enmity thereby; and came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh. For by and through Him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father. Their ever-living Head hath purchased peace for His people by His all-perfect obedience and all-meritorious sacrifice, and has sealed it in their hearts by His Spirit, witnessing with their spirits, that they are His children, and has secured the continuance of it by His constant and all-prevalent intercession; and has commissioned His servants to wish them peace at all times, and by all means ; and therefore they shall most assuredly have peace, (Rom. i. 7; Titus i. 4; 2 John 3.) Mark the perfect inan, and behold the upright; for the end of that man is peace.

Fourthly, The death of the righteous is a hopeful death.

The wicked is driven away in his wickedness; but the righteous hath hope in his death. This hope maketh not ashamed. It is as an anchor of the soul, sure and steadfast, and which entereth into that within the vail, whether the forerunner is for them entered, even Jesus, made an high priest for ever, after the order of Melchisedec. This hope is, to them, an helmet, which constitutes a principle part of the armour of God. So long as they have to fight their way to the promised land, and subdue, and cut off the nations which obstruct their entrance, and resist their taking possession, their hope must not, cannot be lost. It must, therefore, remain with them when they conflict with the last enemy that shall be destroyed. So soon as he is overcome, then they will sing, 0 death, where is thy plague ? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law; but thanks be to God who giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Much is the divine hope celebrated in the Holy Scriptures ; nor can it be too much

praised. We do not mean to exalt it above its due rank among the Christian graces, por do we mean to assert, that it never seems to leave the believer. Hope deferred, even to bim, sometimes makes the heart

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