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spring; when I look next at the human mind, and see what powers a few years have unfolded, and discern in it the capacity of everlasting improvement; and especially when I look at Jesus, the conqueror of death, the heir of immortality, who has gone as the forerunner of mankind into the mansions of light and purity, I can and do admit the almost overpowering thought of the everlasting life, growth, felicity of the human soul.
To each of us is this felicity offered ; a good which turns to darkness and worthlessness the splendor and excellence of the most favored lot on earth. I say, it is offered. It cannot be forced on us; from its nature, it must be won. Immortal happiness is nothing more than the unfolding of our own minds, the full, bright exercise of our best powers; and these powers are never to be unfolded here or hereafter, but through our own free exertion. To anticipate a higher existence whilst we neglect our own souls, is a delusion on which reason frowns no less than revelation. Dream not of a heaven into which you may enter,
live here as you may. To such as waste the present state, the future will not, cannot, bring happiness. There is no concord between them and that world of purity. A human being, who has lived without God, and without self-improvement, can no more enjoy Heaven, than a mouldering body, lifted from the tomb, and placed amidst beautiful prospects, can enjoy the light through its decayed eyes, or feel the balmy air which blows away its dust. Immortality is a glorious doctrine; but not given us for speculation or amusement. piness is to be realized only through our own struggles with ourselves, only through our own reaching forward to new virtue and piety. To be joined with Christ in Heaven, we must be joined with him now in spirit, in the conquest of temptation, in charity and well-doing. Immortality should begin here. The seed is now to be sown, which is to expand for ever. weary then in well-doing; for in due time we shall reap, if we faint not."
i Be not
Hear what the pious Psalmist sung; "I am like a broken vessel. But I trusted in Thee, O Lord; I said, Thou art my God. My times are in Thy hand, make Thy face to shine upon Thy servant; save me for Thy mercies' sake.” And again, “I love the Lord, because He hath heard the voice of my supplication. The sorrows of death compassed me; I found trouble and sorrow. Then called I upon the name of the Lord; O Lord, I beseech Thee, deliver my soul. Gracious is the Lord, and righteous : yea, our God is merciful. The Lord preserveth the simple; I was brought low, and He helped me.
Return to Thy rest, O my soul; the Lord hath dealt bountifully with thee. For thou hast delivered my soul from death, mine eyes from tears, and my feet from falling.” And further, “Will the Lord cast me off for ever? and will he be favorable no more? Is His mercy en
tirely gone for ever? Doth His promise fail forevermore? Hath God forgotten to be gracious ? Hath He in anger shut up His tender mercies? And I said, This is my infirmity: but I will remember the years of the right hand of the Most High.” Listen, again, to the prophet Samuel, "It is the Lord, let Him do what seemeth good in His eyes.”
And the apostle Paul says, “There was given unto me a thorn in the flesh to buffet
For this thing, I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me; and He said unto me, my grace is sufficient for thee; for my strength is made perfect in weakness: most gladly, therefore, will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For when I am weak, then am I strong."
Give heed, above all, afflicted one, to the words of Jesus himself " Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing ? and one of them shall not fall on the ground, without your Father. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear ye not there
fore, ye are of more value than many sparrows. Behold the fowls of the air, for they sow not, neither do they reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?” “I am the resurrection and the life; he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live; and whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die.” “Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom.”*
* I bave noted the following, as some of the passages which will be likely to afford comfort and strength :— Exod. xxiii. 25; Deut. xxxi. 8; Joshua i. 9; Psalm xxv. 16 18; xxvii. 1, 5, 7-9, 13, 14 ; xxviii. 7 ; XXX. 5; XXXIV. 18; xli. 3 ; xlii. 5 ; xlvi. 1, 2, 3; lv. 22 ; lxix. 29 ; lxxxvi. 3-7; xci. ; cxvi. 12 - 14 ; cxix. 75, 76 ; cxxx. 2-5; cxxxviii. 7; cxxxix. 23, 24 ; Prov. iii. 12 ; Isaiah xii. 2 ; XXXV. 3, 4, 10 ; xliii. 1-3; Matt. ix. 18, 19, 23-26; Luke vii. 11, 15 ; John xi. 1 - 45 ; xii. 24 – 32 ; xiv. ; xvi. ; xvii. ; xviii. 1-11; Ep. to Romans, ii. 6-11; v. 3, 5, 8; viii. 18, 28; xiv. 7 – 9; 2d Cor. i. 3-5; iv. 8, 18 ; Ephes. iii. 12
Col. iii. 2 ; Heb, x. 36 ; xi. 13, 16 ; xii. 5-11; 1 Pet. i. 3 ; Rev. iii. 19.