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not in vain, but that he will crown them with pardon, favour, and happiness eternal.
"I will therefore with an humble confidence lay hold on the promises of God to fincere penitents; I know (with St. Paul') whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed to him against
It is true, I am to be stript by death of all mo worldly enjoyments; but I am not without hopes of meeting with much greater.
I leave my children behind me; but I comfort myself in this, that I took such care of their education, that I hope to meet them in the paradise of God.
All my trials and afflictions are now to end; now they appear as blessings which God made use of to prepare me for this hour.
"I will therefore endeavour to meet my death as a deliverance from fin, from banishment, and from captivity, and as a passage to a much better world.'
After all; he that hath lived the best life will stand in need of mercy at the hour of death. And even the greatest sinner has not sinned beyond the power of grace,
and the efficacy of the blood of Christ, provided he defer not his repentance.
In one word; the sting of death is fin. It is that which makes the very thoughts of death a torment to us.
Therefore a Chriftian life is the only cure for the fear of death, ! 2 Tim. i. 12.
and for that great change it will make in our condition.
And now, good Christians, you see what a dreadful folly it is, to live as if we had nothing to do in this world; or, as if we were to live here for ever.
You see what a change death will make in our condition. No more to be done, too late to repent, to wish, to resolve, to promise, to do any thing.
And be assured of it, that it is no matter how a man spends his life, if he is not preparing for death and for eternity.
In the death of others, we see what we ourselves are, and what we must come to. Could we see the world as we shall judge of it when we come to die, there is nothing in it that would tempt us to hazard our souls for.
You have seen a child extremely fond of his play-things, and impatient to part with them. An hour after he falls fick,
strive to please him with the things he was just now so fond of; he lets them drop out of his hand, and will not so much as look on them.
Why indeed, Christians, this will be the case of every one of us, when we come to die: we shall despise, we shall loath, we shall hate, the very things which now keep us from preparing for our latter end.
When we fee others go before us, we are apt to bless ourselves, that it is not our lot, and that we are yet alive. But, for God's sake, where is the comfort, if we make no good use of the time which God still continues to us.
And let me take good notice of it; That though the death of others does not much affect me now, yet it must come to be my own case; and when it does do fo, it will be of the greatest moment to me whether I am to be happy or miserable for ever.
It is our great comfort, that our time is in God's hands; that nothing can deprive us of life without his leave. So that we may be sure, if we are in the way of salvation when he calls for us, it will be well with us, though we have not done all that we could wish we had done.
This, I say, is our comfort. But then let us not delay one moment to put ourselves into the way of life, lest death should overtake us unawares.
Let us ever remember, that we shall rise out of the grave just as we go into it, either favourites or enemies of God to all eternity.
In one word; let us be persuaded to live like Christians, and then we may every one of us say with St. Paul, to me to die is gain.
And, O God! grant, that what has now been said may contribute something to that blessed end; and that I myself, and all who have heard me, may remember, that our sentence of death is already passed, that therefore we may make the remainder of our lives a worthy preparation for death.
Deliver Deliver every foul of us from the blindness of trusting to a death-bed repentance; and fix this truth in all our hearts, that if WE LIVE WITHOUT CARE, WE SHALL DIE WITHOUT COMFORT.
Now to God the Father, the Son, and Holy Ghost, be ascribed all honour and glory, world without end. Amen.
SERMON SERMON XCV.
PREACHED AT THE FUNERAL OF Mx. EVAN CHRISTJÁN.
THE HAPPINESS OF THOSE WHO DIE IN THE
FAITH AND FAVOUR OF GOD.
Rev. xiv. 13
I HEARD A VOICE FROM HEAVEN, SAYING UNTO ME, WRITE, BLESSED ARE THE DEAD WHICH DIE IN THE LORD, FROM HENCEFORTH: YEA, SAITH THE SPIRIT, THAT THEY MAY REST FROM THEIR LABOURS; AND THEIR WORKS DO FOLLOW THEM.
HAVE made choice of this part of the
office for the burial of the dead, for our present meditations, not without very good reasons, and which you will easily apprehend without much insisting upon them.
For instance: You will conclude, that when I chose these words, I did believe them very suitable, and applicable, in an especial manner, to the person who now lies dead before us; and indeed so I did, otherwise I should have abused a text of sacred scripture to ends very unworthy of a minister of God.
But besides this, I had in my thoughts the present times of sickness and mortality, in which it has pleased God to visit very many families.