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eternity ! no, not a moment compared with it. Sand after sand would be removed, though at so infinitely slow a rate; world after world would be destroyed; and the angel would finish his task; but finish not eternity. Eternity would be eternity still. One grain of sand would bear some proportion to these numberless worlds; one moment to these countless millions of ages; but all these would bear none to eternity ;-when they were past, it would still be “ beginningrather beginning to begin.” And had we lived through these inconceivably countless years, when we had seen them pass, and even pass a thousand times over, we might still say, “But a moment of eternity is passed.” Beyond ages that we might almost deem an eternity, other eternities would rise in endless succession. Such is the for ever in heaven. Eternity is yours, and it is mine. In a short time, the hand that has written these pages, and the eye that reads them must be turned to dust; but in eternity we must live for ever and ever, the companions of angels or of devils. A PRAYER, IMPLORING A PARTICIPATION IN THE BLESS
Great and gracious God, in thy hand is the breath of every living thing, and the life of all mankind. From thee I have derived that existence which thou hast determined to make as lasting as thy own. But though immortality must be my portion in the future world, yet I know that in this it is appointed unto all men once to die; and I am lastening to that hour, which will more than realize all my hopes or all my fears. Behold me supplicating mercy at thy 242 PRAYER FOR GRACE IN LIFE. footstool; and in, and through thy Son, make me a partaker of that grace, which shall issue in everlasting glory.
How solemn, great God, is the prospect of appearing in thy presence! How shall I endure that awful, that amazing change, which will then take place in my condition! How shall I meet thee! Wilt thou welcome me to thy presence, or bid me depart for ever! O let this doubt be resolved before I die! Blessed, for ever blessed be thy name! that, in thy glorious gospel, thou hast shown how a sinner like me may become just before thee; and I let the grace there displayed prepare me for the solemnities of death and eternity. May I view life as a moment, and esteem it my chief concern, in this world, to glo. rify thee, and reach everlasting rest. May the blessed Jesus blot out my sins in his own blood, and thus prepare me to appear with comfort in thy sight. May my youth, my strength, my health, my heart, my soul, my life, my all, be henceforth consecrated to thee. Number me with thy children, and give to me the disposition of a child; with filial love, with patient submission, with holy delight, may I look up to thee; and may the language of my soul be, Abba, Father. May I enjoy such assurance of acceptance in the beloved, as will enable me to "read my title clear to mansions in the skies." May I know that he has loved ME and given himself for ME. Only bless me, O Lord, with this assurance, and death itself shall be welcome to me! Únite with me, in faith and hope, every friend I fondly love; and may they, too, go to Jesus, bearing his reproach ; and thus prepare us all to join in those triumphant strains - 0 death,
AND SUPPORT IN DEATH.
where is thy sting! O grave, where is thy victory! Thanks be to God, who giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
At length, 0 most merciful Father! the solemn hour will come, and I must die. O in that hour, when my flesh and heart fail, be thou the strength of my heart; may thy rod and thy staff comfort me! O in that hour, when all the tenderness of sorrowing friends will avail me not, be thou more to me than all the world! Disperse, by thy presence, the gloom that shades the grave; and brighten that otherwise dark valley with the sweet dawnings of immortal day! Cheer my departing spirit with the consolations of thy love; and may thine everlasting arms be my support! In the last hours of dissolving nature, enable me to testify the value of thy love, and may those, who witness my dying moments, see me favoured with such blessings as shall make them feel that early piety is real wisdom. Gladly may I take my farewell of earth, and leave friends and kindred without regret, assured of going to dearer, better friends above. Then may He, who suffered for me, be the foundation of all my hope; and leaning my languishing and dying head upon his compassionate arm, may I breathe my last, and sleep in Jesus.
And when, O Lord, I am numbered with the dead, when my last hour is finished, and all the joys or sorrows of life concluded for ever, O then may those ministering angels, that watch thy children's steps, become my convoy to the abodes of bliss! And may my joyful spirit, though bereft of the sweet converse of those it held most dear below, yet find that it shall for ever hold much sweeter converse with angelic friends.
Then may an abundant entrance be administered unto me into the everlasting kingdom of my Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. May he introduce me into thy presence; there, with all thy saints of ancient days, in glorious happiness to wait the still fuller accomplishment of thy promises when time itself shall finish. There, O my God, may I exult in thy presence, even while those I left behind attend this feeble body to its last long home. While they, with affectionate tears, commit “ earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust,” O may I be rejoicing in having reached that land where a sigh was never uttered, nor a tear ever shed. And, merciful Father, if friends or relatives should survive me that know thee not, O may my death be their life! and may they go from my grave to prepare for their own!
And when the period for that state of intermediate glory, which thy word reveals, shall have past, may my sleeping dust arise to the resurrection of life; enraptured may I view the Judge eternal on his great white throne; with gladness may I hear the last trumpet sound, and the last thunders roll; with pleasure see the last lightnings play, and the stormy scenes of time conclude. And O from the kind hand of Jesus, may even I receive that crown of life, which fadeth not away; the crown, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give, at that day, to all that love his appearing.
Then, O my most gracious God, fixed in eternal rest, then, blessed with all the bliss of heaven, may I with all thy ransomed family unite in rendering thee praises for those infinite won. ders of redeeming love, for which eternity itself will never praise thee enough. Then may I and
NO GOOD WITHOUT RELIGION.
millions more unite in that sweet song, “Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing. Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be to him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever." Amen.
NO REAL GOOD POSSESSED BY THOSE WHO ARB
DESTITUTE OF RELIGION.
§ 1. Those considerations from which I have hitherto endeavoured to show the infinite importance of early piety, have been mostly of a pleasing kind; but if you be one on whom all these have been urged in vain, permit me now more briefly to display the value of religion, by presenting to your view some of the dreadful evils to which the want of it will expose you.
Consider the words of the Lord Jesus to an amiable youth, “ One thing thou lackest.” He wanted that one thing, which is of infinitely more importance than every thing united besides. Humble religion is the best of blessings, and the want of it
rse than hunger, poverty, and pain, And all the transitory ills below.” Religion is so truly the one important blessing, that it would, in the end, make up for the want of every thing, while all earthly blessings united can never supply its want. Were the whole world
your own, it could not give you real peace in life; it could not quiet the stings of conscience;