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a remedy for sin ; all who use it have obtained a complete cure. “ He sent His word and healed them.” The Bible, and nothing but the Bible, turns lions into lambs, and makes good citizens for both worlds. Let us hold fast this remedy, for if not true, we are blessed, and if true, we shall be twice blessed.
What is our duty regarding it ?-To “hear” and “be persuaded.” We should hear the testimony of the Scriptures attentively, because it is God that speaks-He speaks on subjects of the highest moment, and subjects essential to our present and future happiness. We should be persuaded of the truth of God's word and its suitableness to our circumstances. 6. This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the chief.” If we refuse to be persuaded, we will get no additional evidence, and if a messenger from the dead is the strongest evidence we can think of, then we have it already. Lazarus was dead and buried four days. He was well known to many of the Jews who saw him dead, and saw him alive again, yet these very Jews, instead of believing the testimony of Jesus, were anxious to put Lazarus to death, and extinguish, if possible, the light of revelation. Jesus himself also rose from the dead-His resurrection rests on the clearest evidence, and if we refuse to believe it, nothing else could persuade us.
THE END OF ALL THINGS.
“ But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober and watch
unto prayer."-1 Pet. iv. 7.
“The end of all things” cannot here mean the end of the world, for nearly two thousand years have rolled away since the announcement was made, and the world is not ended yet. But so far as each individual is concerned, it was true in the days of the apostle, and it is true still, that death is at hand, and that the time, when man's connection with all things on earth shall cease, is near.
Think of the solemn announcement-"The end of all things is at hand.” Death to me is a certain event,
“Death hath passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.” Just as sure as I live, I must die. Just as sure as I began to live, I shall cease to live. The Bible everywhere declares it. “Man giveth up the ghost, and where is he?” “ What man is he that liveth and shall not see death ?” Observation proves it. Where are the friends of my youth, and the friends that I loved ? Death has taken them out of time into eternity. If I were not to make new friends, I would soon be a hermit, and feel lonely in a crowded world.
Death dissolves my connection with all earthly things. It is truly “the end of all things” to me.
THE END OF ALL THINGS.
It ends my enjoyment of the loveliest scenes of earth. Farewell heavens, farewell earth, farewell seasons. It ends my connection with my family ; for, whether able or not, they must fight the battle of life for themselves. It ends my friendships with those whom I love as my own soul. It ends all my opportunities of receiving good or doing good, and fixes my state for eternity. How solemn the thought ! “Where the tree falleth there it shall lie.” Death is near at hand.” “As the Lord liveth, and as thy soul liveth, there is often but a step between me and death.” I know not when the thief shall break into my house and steal. I know not when the lightning shall flash, nor the rains descend, nor the wind blow; neither do I know when the cold hand of death shall grasp me. “Prepare to meet thy God.” “ Set thine house in order, for thou shalt die and not live.” Surely if ever I am to be ready, it ought to be now. If ever I intend to make the Judge my friend, it ought to be now. If ever I intend to set out for heaven, by taking hold of Christ and His righteousness, it ought to be now. The voice I hear from the Scriptures, - from conscience-from the graves of departed friends—from the spirits of the just in heaven, is, Seek religion now.
The duties arising —“Be sober.” Sobriety refers both to mind and conduct. In the prospect of death I am to be serious and thoughtful. Is death an event that ends all my opportunities -fixes my character—and determines my destiny through eternity; and shall I not bring to the serious consideration of it, all the energies of my intellectual and moral nature ? I cannot help being serious, when I see a friend put in his coffin and laid in his grave. I cannot help being serious, when I read an account of a shipwreck, or a railway disaster, or a bloody battle, sending multitudes of my fellow-creatures out of time into eternity in a moment. And shall I not be serious, when I think of my own departure? How awful must be the death of the drunkard ! He leaves this world the reverse of sober, and goes where his thirst shall be quenched no more. I must also “watch." I must watch against sin and the temptations that lead to it; I must watch the signs of the times, and be ready for any emergency; and I must watch the approach of death, lest my insidious enemy take me by surprise. Above all, I must give myself to "prayer.” Danger and distress often make men pray, and many pray in sickness who never prayed in health. As I may not be able to pray when my day of trial comes, I should maintain a prayerful spirit
As the thief on the cross died praying, as Stephen, the proto-martyr, died praying, and as Jesus, my Saviour and example, died praying, prayer shall be my watchword at the gates of death.
THE PRINCIPLE OF ABSTINENCE.
"Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him
it is sin,"-James iv. 17.
THE sum of Christian duty, the measure of responsibility, and the guilt of neglect, here demand our attention.
The sum of Christian duty is “to do good.” Before we can do good, we must have in us the principle of good. This principle is, Love, love to Christ, and love to all men. The love of Jesus kindles this love in our hearts. It is the pole star by which we regulate all our movements in seeking the good of others, and it is the fulfilling of the whole law of God. Our hearts once irradiated by divine love, will make us the friends of missions, the friends of the slave, the friends of education, and the friends of temperance. Abstinence from intoxicating drinks is a good cause, and Christian love should make us adopt and carry out the abstinence principle. In doing so we “do good” to ourselves. Abstinence promotes health, wealth, and religion. The opposite produces loss of respect, loss of happiness, loss of life, and the loss of the soul. Abstinence is always safe, as it never unfits for duty, nor exposes to danger. The heroes of Alma, Balaklava, Inkerman, and