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we hesitate to acknowledge with reverence and delight, that the good hand of God has been upon us 1?" When we consider further, that the being thus made, and thus endowed, is, in fact, the man himself, the individual now exercising his mental faculties, or standing before us; that, in truth, we carry the demonstration of it in our own bosoms, that our hearts respond to the great act of our creation, and that the inward principle rests not inactive or unproductive in its secret recess, how gratefully should we value the intellectual soul, whilst we duly estimate the powers of the material man?

Such was man when he came out of the hands of his creator, and became a living soul. Unhappily here ends the first portion of his history. I need not detail his fall or its fatal consequences. Man became an arch-angel ruined; in many respects he was an arch-angel still, for the principle of Divine life was not extinguished in his bosom. Free to fall, yet capable of restoration, was the state in which he was left, and which remains still the condition of all his posterity.

Here, then, we are called upon to estimate the value of the soul from the price of its redemption. All human calculation is left far behind in the comprehension of this awful subject. They were thy pains and sufferings, Thou blessed Son of the most

1 Ezra viii. 16.

blessed God, which were called upon to discharge the heavy debt. "Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world'!" All is mystery here but it is a mystery resting upon an eternal truth." The Son of God, the brightness of his Father's glory, and the express image of his person "," thought the human soul worthy of his love; for, "even when we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." He accepted manhood for man's sake: in their nature he became a propitiatory sacrifice for their sin. "This is the Lord's doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes'!" But here we must not stop. Still there is danger before us for though we are saved through the kindness and love of God our Saviour, and by the free grace of his bounty; yet if we show less care for our souls than he did, in rescuing them from the power of Satan, and the malignity and punishment of sin, if we reject the offer thus benevolently bestowed, no other means of salvation can ever again be found for us; none can deliver us from the body of this death. ❝ In the trespass that he hath trespassed, and in the sin that he hath sinned, in them shall he die1:" and as the soul never dies, but awaits the judgment of God for things done in the body, who can duly estimate that fearful hour, when soul and body separate in this world to be re-united in the world to come?

1 John i. 29.

2 Heb. i. 3.

3 Rom. v. 8.

4 Ps. cxviii. 23.

5 Ezek. xviii. 24.

Value your soul then, my brothers, as the Lord valued it. Fallen as we are, seeds of renovation afford us comfort. But sow not on barren ground, for there they cannot vegetate. Value yourselves, not merely as you are, though that is something; but as you may be, born again to a happier portion.-For "what a piece of work is man! how noble in reason! in form and moving, how express and admirable! in action, how like an angel! in apprehension, how like a God!" This portrait, though by the hand of a master, wants the finishing of the spirit,-for with what a soul is man supplied! spiritual in nature, immortal in duration ! capable of every feeling which a kind Creator can bestow ! capable of gratitude to a condescending and suffering Saviour! capable of receiving, and enjoying the heavenly inspiration and communicated felicity of the Holy and eternal Comforter!

"O come hither all ye that fear God, and I will tell you what he hath done for my soul !" I will relate the wonders of Divine love, and the blessing of Divine expectation! I will tell you that though eye hath not yet seen all that God hath promised to those that love him, the whole of happiness is not reserved for the enjoyment of a future world; its commencement is here, and resides within an holy breast. The soundness and possession of religious faith is a safe and joyful passport to eternity. The dreary prospect

1 Shakspeare.

2 Ps. lxvi. 16.

of the grave is avoided by the assurance that death is only the transition of the soul from one state of existence to another; a continuation, as it were, of a spiritual life. He that has entered into heaven for us, has not forsaken his faithful followers; "I go to prepare a place for you, that where I am, ye may be also 1." Hear this, my Soul! Ere you take your flight, strengthen yourself with faith-accept the consolation of holy hope,-enlarge every feeling of heavenly charity, then commit thyself to the everlasting arms, and trust to that blessed support which will never, never fail you or forsake you.

XX.-Consolation in death.

CONSOLATION in death, is rather a matter of feeling than of argument. Argument and evidence have passed away; the assurance of an happy result from the experience of departed days and years, alone remain, under a due sense of the divine promises, to give stability to a pious mind, in an hour when personal feeling must necessarily be predominant. The inquiry now is, "Do we dwell in Christ, and Christ in us? Are we one with Christ, and Christ with us?" This is the foundation; and "other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ"."

1 John xiv. 3.

2 Communion Service.

31 Cor. iii. 11.

Reposing on this pillow, let us surrender our whole self, our spirit, soul, and body, to our present situation; and in the words of one of our most sacred services, "give most humble and hearty thanks to God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, for the redemption of the world by the cross and passion of our Saviour Christ, both God and man; who did humble himself even to the death upon the cross for us miserable sinners, who lay in darkness and the shadow of death; that he might make us the children of God, and exalt us to everlasting life '."

The anticipation of an happy death can only be truly estimated by a soul in long training for eternity. Even to the righteous, the road to everlasting life is difficult; to the unrighteous, it is obstructed, it is impassable. An enemy is to be combated at every step; and impediments, both from within and from without, are numerous and fearful; nor can they be overcome, but by the great and glorious economy of the Gospel. "This is the way, walk ye in it; when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left." The different circumstances that press upon the mind at the hour of death that are of a pleasurable kind, are such only as arise from a contemplation of the whole will of God in Christ. Partial judgments are fallible and destructive; they distract, and they deceive. But if we have past through the regimen of a Christ

1 Communion Service.

2 Isaiah xxx. 21.

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