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help me, my friends, to admire and praise the Re. deemer, who hath done such astonishing things, such wonders for my soul. Come help me, all ye mighty and glorious angels, who are so well skilled in this heavenly work of praise. Praise Him all ye preachers upon earth. Let every thing that hath breath praise the Lord. Before even a few hours are past I shall stand upon Mount Zion, singing the song of Moses and the Lamb. I shall be surrounded with companies of angels, and the spirits of just men made perfect, and be one among them that shall say "Hallelujah, hallelujah, salvation and honor, and power and glory unto the Lord our God and to the Lamb in the midst of the throne; and again and forever we shall sing hallelujah.” And in this triumphant frame of spirit he expired, anticipating his part in the songs of heaven before he had yet been released from earth.
The other example is that of Toplady, whose beautiful hymns, such as “Rock of ages cleft for me," have a place in the worship of almost every Protestant Church in the world. He was called away in the morning of his strength, in his thirtyeighth year. He had every thing before him that could make life desirable, and yet when he saw his last hour at hand, his faith in the gospel rendered his death bed a scene of exulting gladness. “It is my dying avowal,” he declared, “ that those great and glorious truths which the Lord in rich mercy has given me to believe and enabled me to preach, are far from being dry doctrines, and mere speculations. No, no; they are now brought into practical and heartfelt experience; they are the very joy and support of my soul. The consolations flowing from them carry me far above the things of time and sense.
So far as I know my own heart, I have no desire but to be entirely passive; to live, to die, to be, to do, to suffer whatever is. God's blessed will concerning me; perfectly satisfied that as he ever has, so he ever will do that which is best, and that he gives out in number, weight and measure, whatever will conduce most to his own glory and the good of his people.” Frequently he called himself a dying man, and yet the happiest man in the world, adding, “ Sickness is no affliction, pain no curse, death itself no dissolution; and yet how this soul of mine longs to be gone; like a bird imprisoned in its cage, it longs to take its flight. Had I wings like a dove, then would I fly away to the bosom of God, and be at rest for ever.' Within an hour before he expired he seemed to awake from a gentle slumber, when he exclaimed, “Oh what delights! Who can fathom the joys of the third heaven? What a bright sunshine has been spread around me! I have not words to express it. I know it cannot be long now till my Saviour will come for me, for surely no mortal man can live," bursting, as he said it, into a flood of tears, " after glories which God has manifested to my soul. All is light, light, light. The brightness of his own glory. Oh, come Lord Jesus, come, come quickly," when he closed his eyes and fell asleep, to be awaked with others of like precious faith, on that great day “when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels to be glorified in his saints, and admired in all them that believe."
With the recollection of these examples, so different in their meaning and spirit, yet fresh in our minds, let us pause and reflect on what we have seen. Death is a change through which every one living must pass.
“It is appointed to men once to
die, and after this the judgment;" and when death comes, we see how it is felt to be a test of the man, a test of his principles, a test of his prospects in the world to come. Let it be remembered, as we have before observed, that in the comparison which we have now drawn between the death of the christian and the death of the infidel, we have allowed infidelity to assume the fairest exhibition she can make of herself. We have cited from her ranks no names of little credit or little known; we have looked at her strongest men, strongest in mind, strongest in purpose, and I may add strongest in pride, the pride of being distinguished for consistency and firmness. If she has advocates who possessed a more enduring fortitude and wider fame, we know not where to find them. She would not desire to produce in this connection, and as examples of peace and happiness in death, such names as the famous Girondins of France, who in the days of revolutionary frenzy, and drunk with the blood of a nation, scoffed at both life and death, and strewed their impious atheistic songs over their own graves. Such men come before us as monsters, in forms so misshapen and hideous that they seem
as if conjured up from the abodes of darkness to startle us with the appalling sight of the hardened depravity into which long continued blaspheiny can sometimes sink the guilty offender. An infi. delity that would respect even the instinctive decencies of our nature, would be far from owning such blasphemers as examples that redound to her credit; especially would she be far from placing them on a level with her disciples who are best known for high cultivation and enlarged intelligence.
And now, that we have seen how infidelity leaves the wisest infidel without hope in death, while christianity spreads before the christian a hope full of immortality, we may well ask, is there no argument here to show which of the two we should choose as a religion adapted to the wants of dying men? There can be but the one answer from every one who allows conscience to give it. “Let me die the death of the righteous and let my Jast end be like his,” was the prayer of Balaam as he stood on the plains of Moab, struggling with his own convictions, and tempted from his allegiance to truth by his love of the world. And ever since his day, it has been the repeated supplication, utter