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The less they defile him, being exceedingly detested, the more will they distress him. The more he longs to obey as angels do, the greater grief will he feel, that " when he would do good evil is present with him." This, this will cause the complaint which persecutors cannot extort, and make even the advanced Christian mournfully exclaim, “Oh wretched man that I am! who shall "deliver me?"

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It would take me too far to speak of his temptations from the powers of darkness, which at times are exceedingly distressing; and make him perceive the important meaning of the apostle's language, "Our merciful and faithful High Priest, "who can be touched with the feeling of our infirmities, suffered being tempted, that he might "be able to succour them that are tempted." In short, he has seasons of disconsolation, conflict, and inward distress; he has fears, and sorrows, and difficulties, which are known to God alone: and, though by faith and prayer he is carried above all, and is often enabled to rejoice in God, yet he cannot but long for a more settled state, an uninterrupted enjoyment; and death, by which his Saviour in the appointed hour will terminate the conflict, must prove his greatest gain. He then "enters "There the wicked cease from troubling, there the weary are at rest." There, says he, in delightful expectation,

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into peace.

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'Sin, my worst enemy before,

'Shall vex my eyes and ears no more;
'My inward foes shall all be slain,

'Nor Satan break my peace again.'


My beloved brethren, we do not know "what we shall be," but we have some knowledge of what we shall not be. When arrived at heaven we shall have no sorrow, fear, or shame. We shall be eternally exempted from all that here makes us weep, and groan, and tremble. We shall have done for ever with sin and temptation: we shall have no bad companions, or uneasy passions. We shall "hunger no more, neither thirst any more, neither "shall the sun light on us, or any heat. For the "Lamb that is in the midst of the throne shall "lead us forth beside the living fountains of water; "and God shall wipe away all tears from our eyes."

3. But the Christian has his comforts as well as his sorrows in this world. He has the ordinary comforts of life; and, while he would not overvalue them, neither would he by any means despise them: nay, a spirit of dependence on his heavenly Father, united with submission and gratitude, and moderation in all things, render even temporal comforts far more pleasant to him than they can be to ungodly men. “A little that the righteous "hath is better than the treasures of many wicked." A consistent conduct also in domestic life, and among relatives and neighbours, seldom fails in time to ensure a man respect and affection in his private circle. The world may hate and revile, but those with whom he spends most of his hours will add to his comfort by kindness and affection. The storm rages without, but there is peace within; he takes sweet counsel with his friends in a secure retreat, and disregards its blustering.

But, though these are sources of considerable comfort in this present world, yet, even in this

respect, to die is the Christian's gain. Good roads, agreeable companions, an easy conveyance, fine weather, a pleasant country, and convenient accommodations, are great advantages in travelling; yet domestic men, whose hearts are at home with their beloved families, do not choose to travel merely for the sake of these accommodations; but take the comfort of them, dispatch their business, press forward with all convenient speed, and rejoice when they arrive at their journey's end.

Thus the Christian's home, his treasure, and his heart are in heaven; above all, his beloved Saviour is there and, though he is very thankful for all his temporal mercies, yet, as far as faith and hope prevail, he considers it far better "to depart hence "and to be with Christ;" and even " to be absent "from the body that he may be present with the "Lord." He loves his relatives and friends with cordial affection: yet he longs for that state in which all these affections will be swallowed up, or rather perfected, in those of a still more exalted kind. He desires to be in that world where " they "neither marry nor are given in marriage, but "are as the angels of God." He leaves those whom he most loves to the care of his heavenly Father; and, when death is about to separate him from them, he rejoices in hope of a re-union ere long in the regions of unchangeable felicity. He is taken from the company of the saints below, who are "the excellent of the earth, in whom is all his "delight:" but he goes to join "the saints in

light," the spirits of just men made perfect, and "an innumerable company of angels;" in "the presence of God, where is fulness of joy, and

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"pleasures at his right hand for evermore:" and so strong is this attraction, that frequently it is observed to overcome and loosen those ties of long-cemented affection, which before seemed indissoluble.

4. The Christian, however, even on earth has blessings superior to all his outward comforts. He has "peace and joy in believing." Sometimes "his soul is satisfied as with marrow and fatness, "while his mouth praises God with joyful lips." His "fellowship is with the Father and with his "Son Jesus Christ;" he experiences the strong consolations of the Holy Spirit," rejoices in hope," and often can also " rejoice in tribulation:" yea, he rejoices in his unseen but beloved Saviour "with joy unspeakable and full of glory." He

delights himself in God;" he "delighteth greatly "in his commandments;" and has earnests and foretastes of heaven in this present world. These are satisfactions which he most values, and which render him happier than other men, notwithstanding all his peculiar conflicts and trials: yet these especially assure him, that " to him to die is

gain." For, my brethren, if such joy spring up in the heart from a transient glimpse, so to speak, of "the light of God's countenance;" what will the beatific vision be, the full discovery of his glory and the enjoyment of his love! The branch of Canaan's grapes carried into the wilderness, where were no vineyards at all, was well suited to render the believing Israelites eager and almost impatient to possess the promised land. Alas! too often through our own unwatchfulness we indeed experience but transiently, and with many inter

ruptions, these holy joys; our strongest comforts are always imperfect and of comparatively short continuance; and a succession of joys and sorrows is all we can here attain to. But, when "absent "from the body and present with the Lord," we shall have unclouded skies, our sun will always shine. "We shall see him," even our God and Saviour," as he is, and be made like him."

What a transition from the languor, pain, and suffering of a death-bed, to joys unspeakable, inconceivable, uninterrupted, and eternal!

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Methinks I hear the enraptured spirit exclaim, 'I thought, and read, and heard much, and I anticipated much of glorious joy while I was on earth, and raised my conceptions and expectations as high as I possibly could: " but the half," the thousandth part, was not told me." Well might the prophets and apostles say, "Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart " of man, the things which God hath prepared for "them that love him." I believed, that to die would be gain: but I never could have conceived the immensity of that gain! "Thanks be to God "for his unspeakable gift!"'

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I am persuaded, my brethren, that few, if any, present are disposed to doubt whether our departed friend, whose decease gave occasion to our present assembling, is now actually possessing this gain, and presenting these praises; and is blessed beyond all our powers of conception. It remains, therefore, that I conclude with some application of the subject to this recent event; the source of much sorrow to many present, but of

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