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his happiness imbittered by the thought that he must leave it all! We build houses and adorn them, but as we walk out to gaze upon them, we feel that we must leave them!
"Must I thus leave thee, Paradise? thus leave
Not all we have can purchase one moment's delay! But death comes nearer yet, and separates the soul from the body. He takes away the body to his dark den. It is his for a time to keep.
But heaven's possessions are sure. Death cannot strip us of our riches, our harp, our crown, our robe! Once ours, they are ours for ever! Our bodies, too, renovated and immortal, are ours for ever!
III. It destroys our earthly pleasures.
The very thought of death brings sadness over the countenance of the lover of pleasure. Hence it is always banished. How sad to think of pleasure's short duration ! What melancholy recklessness in the words, "Let us eat and drink; for to-morrow we die!" But let death come near, with disease and pain, its instruments of destruction, and how soon does pleasure die! Eye, ear, and taste, turn and sicken at the thought! "All is vanity and vexaaway tion of spirit."
But heaven's pleasures are eternal. Disease cannot unfit us for them-time cannot impair them-death cannot destroy them. Who would not enjoy immortal youth, eternal summer, perennial joys?
The exercise of the social affections is one of our greatest sources of pleasure. Hence we form circles of acquaintance, and are happy for a time, till death enters the ring, and it is broken. Where are many of our friends? In the grave! We doat on parents, children,
brothers, sisters; but death claims them. Where is your father, your mother, your child? In the grave! We marry with the certainty that death will soon part us, and too soon does his hour come! How much pleasure doth he destroy-how much misery produce! Here "death reigns," and how many sighs and tears daily attest the universality and cruelty of his reign!
But in heaven there is no death and no separation. There friends meet, to part not again. There the families They of the faithful unite, to be torn asunder no more. are ever with the Lord." Ask the forlorn, but Christian mourner, if the absence of death does not make heaven desirable?
IV. It removes us to an untried and unchanging state of existence.
What is after This renders it so dreadful to sinners. death? they ask-they fear. We like not untried scenes. That state is unchanging, and this renders hell so awful. But if we reach heaven, death can remove us no more, for we shall be at home. There will be no untried state to visit. We shall not be carried where there are changes from joy to sorrow, for.joy is there unchanged for ever.
How consoling these truths to the saint! Especially under the afflictions of life-when parting with friendswhen wrestling with death. Christians, ye know the way to heaven; O, press forward with alacrity and delight! Shall we not meet there, when life's scenes are over, to die no more ?
Unconverted friends, will you go with us? The way is rough, but straight;-thorny, but short. Who would a toilsome and a painful journey heed, to gain such a home?
WE SHALL BE LIKE HIM.-1 John iii, 2.
It is painful to the Christian to witness his own numerous imperfections. However great may be his attainments, he is still sensible of imperfections, and of the vast distance between him and Christ. He may say with Paul, "Not as though I had already attained, [the resurrection state,] either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus." And with David, "I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with thy likeness." It is also painful to behold `the imperfections of our brethren; we believe them Christians, but O! how many defects remain in them! When, we ask, will they all be removed? We rejoice to reflect, that the day is coming when a mighty change shall be wrought in the sons of God! "We shall be like him." This more perfect resemblance is reserved for the second coming of Christ. For our comfort we are permitted to look forward to it.
I confess I am unable to give you a full view of this subject, because I am so ignorant of Christ. True, he appeared on earth, and exhibited traits of character such as the world never saw; and from these I learn that he was kind, good, faithful, compassionate, and holy; but how little do these reveal to me of Him! All these were manifested through the body, and how much it may have diminished their effect, who knoweth? Christ, too, appeared in his humiliation, not in his glory. In the trans
figuration, (Matt. xvii, Luke ix,) for a moment he was glorious. We may view him also as possessing the attributes of God. These he claims, and these he exhibited on earth. We are not, however, at liberty to infer that we shall be like him in this respect, for the attributes of God belong to God alone. They are the properties of the infinite-we are finite; angels have them not. We may infer, however, that all our capacities are infinitely to enlarge in a moment--that we may know more than we ever could know here (1 Cor. xiii, 12)—and that we may increase in holiness eternally. I say increase, for we must first be holy in order to see the Lord. What, then, may we conceive is implied in being like Christ? I answer, an entire freedom from all the effects and marks of sin. Let us carefully and devoutly dwell on this single idea.
We have every reason to believe that sin has very materially affected our bodies. It has destroyed much of their beauty by diseases and the influence of the passions. The Saviour appeared on earth in a body like ours. But he has not this body now as it was on earth, for when he arose from the grave it was spiritual and glorious. It was no longer flesh and blood. 1 Cor. xv, 50. We shall be like the Saviour in this respect. Phil. iii, 21, and 1 Cor. xv, 49-53. All this implies that every mark of sin is to be for ever obliterated. We are to be perfectly beautiful. When we view the ravages of sin, and their completion in the grave, I know this seems surprising and impossible. Go with me to yonder grave-yard as the sun is slowly sinking in the western horizon. Pursue that long path so often watered by the mourner's tears, till you reach “the house appointed for all living." Spring back that heavy bolt, and turn upon its grating hinges that massive iron door. Descend those rough-hewn stones. O! these sepulchral damps tell fearfully of corruption! Slowly and
reverently approach that solitary coffin, which shall not always lack its fellow. Upraise that mouldering lidO! awful sight!-O! ghastly death! But be calm, my soul. Approach again, and take a nearer view. Those bones and out in ho ble relief; the flesh has long since seen corruption. Not a sign of life is there, except those crowds of thievish worms. And yet, but a few short months ago, she was among the fairest of ye all, and bowed as reverently at the altar of our God. O, what change! And can she be changed again? Yes, glorious truth! this corruptible shall put on incorruption, and this mortal shall put on immortality, and we shall be changed! 1 Cor. xv.
Would you know more respecting this interesting subject, learn it from distinct passages of Scripture. We shall sit at God's right hand. Would you know the greatness of this privilege? The psalmist answers, "In thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore." The prophet Daniel says, "They that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever." Would you fully comprehend this exalted language, remember it was written in Chaldea, where astronomy was the noblest science, and the starry firmament the most glorious object upon which the eye of man could gaze. The apostle says, "There is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, shall give me at that day and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing." And what is its nature? It "fadeth not away;" eternity, as it revolveth, but addeth to its glory. The Saviour, after briefly rehearsing the solemn scenes of the judgment, and the awful events which will succeed them, says, "Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father." What significancy is there in this glowing