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of old, to encourage him in his journey; 'Fear not to go down to Egypt, I will go down with thee.' So, methinks, the Lord encourageth me. And I know, indeed, that Jesus will go down with me to the chambers of the grave. He hath the keys of hell and the grave. He openeth, and no man shutteth. He shutteth, and no man openeth.' Oh! it is a rapturous consideration to my soul, that in all places, and in all states, my Redeemer is with me. The covenant holds as firm as ever in the grave. And death, which dissolves all other bonds, looseth not the bonds of the everlasting covenant. Our union, my brother,' he proceeded, with our great mystical Head, is as perfect when in the dust of the grave, as when that dust is animated in the body. When Jesus from the bush proclaimed himself the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob;' this blessed distinction of character was carefully marked and preserved, God is not the God of the dead, but of the living, for all live unto him?
Those patriarchs, though mouldered at that time for many years into dust, were still as much living to God, in all the purposes of covenant-connexions, in their dust, as when in an animated body. And hence the Apostle ob
serves, whether we live, we live to the Lord; or whether we die, we die to the Lord whether we live therefore or die, we are the Lord's.'
My friend paused a moment to recover strength, and then proceeded- This body of mine, my dear brother, will very shortly be fit only for worms and corruption. And when in this state, the tenderest hearted friend, the fondest lover, would say of such a carcass, however engaging before it might have been, as Abraham did of Sarah, Bury my dead out of my sight. But as these sensations are not his with whom we have to do; as Jesus never set his affection at first upon his people, for the comeliness of their persons; so neither doth that affection lessen, when their comeliness is turned into corruption '-Neither is their union with his person, even for a moment only, interrupted by death. For as the divine and human nature of the Lord Jesus received not the smallest separation, when he died upon the cross; so of that union between Jesus and the members of his mystical body, there is no dissolution, when their bodies are gathered unto their fathers, and they see corruption. For their souls are received into his bosom; and with respect to their bodies also, they still live to
him. 'Because I live,' saith Jesus, 'ye live also.' Every particle of their dust is the same to their great spiritual Head, when dust, as before that change. For as the union of Jesus with their whole persons, that is, their bodies as well as their souls, is indissoluble; it is evident that the same must continue with the dust of their bodies. And hence when Jesus saith, Fear not to go down into the grave, I will go with thee;' it explains in what a tender and consoling sense we are to understand this. And indeed as in death, so in the resurrection, the certainty of this glorious event ariseth from the same consideration; for if, (saith the Apostle,) the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead, dwell in you; he that raised up Christ from the dead, shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you*.' And thus the resurrection of the just is certified to them, not simply by the power of God, but from the indwelling residence of the same Spirit of God, by which they are first awakened in grace to a new and spiritual life, and then finally quickened to eternal glory, by virtue of their unio to the person of Jesus, from the operations of the Holy Ghost.'
My friend would have proceeded, but his *Rom. viii. 11.
strength did not admit of it. He took occasion, however, at every interval possible, to say somewhat suited to the circumstances of a dying saint. The poor stable-boy was indulged by his master to spend much of his time in the sick chamber; and the many precious sayings which fell from him by way of caution, encouragement, advice, and intreaty, became truly edifying and refreshing both to him and to every attendant around.
It would swell the history of my pilgrimage to a large volume indeed, were the whole of the circumstances which attended my friend's departure to be set down in it. The reader will excuse the omission, I hope, and rest satisfied without any further enumeration of particulars, than just to observe, that he continued to the latest moment in the perfect enjoyment of his senses and the divine consolation. He sunk gradually; and as he fell lower and lower, the words which he uttered evidently proved that his views of the glory about to open upon him were fuller and brighter. I sat by him, with his hand clasped in mine, when he died. The last words on his trembling lips were'Dear Lord !'—
-I buried him without pomp, and without any mourners but the poor stable-boy and my
"self, in a vacant corner of the parochial churchyard.
The youth returned with me to the inn, where we took an affectionate leave of each other. I could only say,-May he who hath,' I trust, begun a good work in you, perform it until the day of Jesus Christ!'
On the morrow, having discharged all expenses incurred at the inn, I left it without regret. The situation of our first parents, so tenderly described by the poet, seemed applicable to my case; and I quoted the passage to my mind as I crossed the court-yard.
'Some nat❜ral tears they dropp'd, but wip'd them soon. The world was all before them, where to choose Their place of rest, and Providence their guide.'
The time was now arrived, when a reverse of situation was to take place in the circumstances of my pilgrimage. Hitherto I had met with little else but 'joy and peace in believing.' Some few natural fears and apprehensions, arising from the remains of unbelief, had now and then, it is true, arisen in my mind; but the Lord had so graciously over-ruled them, that they generally ended in my stronger assurance.
I have been often led since to reflect, with peculiar pleasure, on the wisdom as well as the * Milton.