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SERMON VIII.

Exodus xiv. 13.

The Egyptians whom ye have seen to-day, ye shall see

them again no more for ever.

These words were spoken by Moses to the children of Israel, when they were come to the shore of the Red Sea, and when they saw the Egyptians close pursuing after them behind, and knew not how they should escape them. Moses then told them not to be afraid, but to stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord; for, that all that great host which now looked so terrible with all its horses and its war-chariots, should, in a few hours, be utterly destroyed. They should see it again no more for ever; no more, that is, in its splendour and in its power; for we are told that they did see it again the next morning ; but then in a condition totally different. Israel saw the Egyptians dead upon the sea-shore. The beach was covered with the dead bodies thrown up upon it by the returning water, with the bodies of men and horses, with the wrecks of armour, and clothing, and chariots. In such a state did Israel see the Egyptians ; but they never saw them again in their pride and vigour ;-they went down into the sea, and the waters overwhelmed them; and there was not one of them left.

But the words of the text are capable of another and a more solemn sense, in which they are very often true to all of us. They may be well used to describe that everlasting parting which takes place every hour between thousands and thousands of the children of Adam. Many of us, I may say all of us, are conti

, nually seeing those whom we shall see again no more for ever. The accidents of life often separate two persons at a very early age, who may both live for many years afterwards, but who will never see each other any more. Never any more, throughout all eternity. For, a parting which should only last through this life, has in it, in comparison, nothing solemn or affecting at all. The Disciples, it is true, sorrowed greatly, when Paul told them that they should see his face again no more in this life : but they sorrowed not as men without hope,

l and they might look forward to be one with him for ever in God and in Christ. But, many men

part from their friends or neighbours, or fellowcreatures, every day with an eternal parting. They shall see them no more either in this world, or in the world to come. The children of God when they arise at the last day, shall never see any thing of those who have chosen their portion with the wicked : and even when two wicked men shall arise, they shall either not know each other at all, or if they do, their knowledge will only add to their misery. They will see each other as Israel saw the Egyptians, lost to all their former pride and greatness, dead bodies, and broken wrecks of what they once were,--heirs, the one together with the other, of the same intolerable misery.

I have often thought how greatly it is to be wished, that men would have a more lively sense of their neighbour's eternal prospects, as well as of their own; I mean, that they would think more practically, how that every person of what condition soever with whom they have any thing to do, is, in a very short time, to enter upon his everlasting portion ; and will either be their companion for ever, or, like the Egyptians, they will soon see him no more for ever. I say, it were to be wished, that people would think this practically: for I know that, if we were to ask any one of this congregation what

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was to become of all those assembled here this day with himself, he would answer, that in a few years they would all be in a state of everlasting happiness or misery. We should all, I suppose, give this same answer instantly, if the question were put to us; and yet in our common dealings with one another in the world, how little do we think of it! Can any one ask what difference it would make in our behaviour, if we did think of it? When we talk of such a man's advancement and great prosperity in life as of a matter of great congratulation to him; and when, by so speaking, we confirm ourselves and those who hear us, in the habit of regarding worldly good things as things always good and desirable; do we ever consider, that in a few years all the good that his prosperity can do him, will certainly have passed away; but that he may be suffering then and through all eternity, from the mischiefs which it may have brought on him ? When a man is ill, and a foolish kindness in those about him gives him wine or rich food to keep up his strength, as it is said, we cry out at their blindness, and wonder how they can so little regard their friend's real good. Yet to many men, I may say to most men, great worldly comforts and worldly prosperity are like rich meats to a person in a fever;

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they are really a great mischief to them; and so we should call them, if we thought as much in earnest of the welfare of our neighbours in another world, as we do of their bodily health in this. Again, it is not uncommon to hear parents or relations, when they are in rather narrow circumstances, speak of it as a good thing, if any of their children have a disposition fitted, to use the common expression, to rough it, or to make their own way in the world. It is said, indeed, that the kingdom of Heaven is taken by violence; but the violence, or rather the active and earnest character, which wins Heaven, is not exactly of the same sort with that which win's riches and advancement on earth. The character which is said to be fit to make its own way in the world is bold and active indeed, and so far it is good; but it is generally hard, unscrupulous, and selfish, apt to push itself with little regard for the welfare of others, and with little consideration of the means by which it gains its object. It is impatient of wrong or of affront, understands the ways of the world, and follows them with little hesitation. I have thought, when parents part with a son of this description, when they see him go out into the world, in the hope that he will make his fortune, how very differently would

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