« PreviousContinue »
thy spirit carry on to speedy conclusion, the work of grace within his soul; and soon may he reach that ripeness for glory, which will be the signal for his being gathered into the garner of the Lord. And should the Lord appear to delay his coming-should his desires for the speedy arrival of Jesus not be granted, let patience have its perfect work within him ; let his faith still be vigorous. May the lamp still continue to burn with brightness, and his loins be girded ; and after awhile, may his faith be turned to sight and his hope to full fruition.
Almighty God, may those who are desiring death merely to escape bodily suffering, be brought to a different state of mind. Lead them to see that they have more cause to fear than to hope. Give them, by thy Holy Spirit, correct views of themselves and the way of salvation ; that by flying to Christ as their refuge, and building by faith on him, as the only foundation laid in the gospel, they may indulge in a well-grounded hope and earnest desire, to be with the Lord in another and better world.
These favours we humbly ask, in the name of Christ. Amen.
“ While on the verge of life I stand,
And view the scene on either hand,
Earth twine no more about my heart,
Preparation for Death.
In those days was Hezekiah sick unto death. Anil Isaiah the prophet, the son of Amoz, came unto him and said unto him, Thus saith the Lord, Set thine house in order, for thou shalt die and not live, Isa. xxxviii. 1. Let your loins be girded about and your lights burning, and ye yourselves like unto men that wait for their lord, when he will return from the wedding, that when he cometh and knocketh they may open unto him immediately. Blessed are those servants, whom the Lord when he cometh, shall find watching: Verily I say unto you, he shall gird himself, and make them sit down to meat, and will come forth and serve them. And if he shall come in the second watch, or come in the third watch and find them so, blessed are those servants. And this know, that if the good man of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched, and not have suffered his house to be broken through. Be ye therefore ready also, for the Son of man cometh at an hour when
think not. Peter said unto him, Lord, speakest thou this parable unto us, or even unto all ? And the Lord said, Who then is that faithful and wise steward whom his lord shall make ruler over his household, to give them their portion of meat in due season? Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh, shall find so doing; of a truth I say unto you, that he will make him ruler over all that he hath. But, and if that servant say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming; and shall begin to beat the men-servants and maidens, and to eat, drink, and be drunken; the lord of that servant will come in a day when he looketh not for him, and at an hour when he is not aware, and will cut him in sunder, and will appoint him his portion with unbelievers, Luke xii. 35–46. Because I will do this unto thee, prepare to meet thy God, O ael, Amos iv. 12. Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins which took their lamps and went forth to meet the bridegroom: and five of them were wise, and five were foolish. They that were foolish took their lamps and took no oil with them; but the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept. And at midnight there was a cry made, Go ye out to meet him. Then all those virgins arose and trimmed their lamps: and the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil, for our lamps are gone out. But the wise answered, and said, Not so, lest there be not enough for us and you; but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves. And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage, and the door was shut. Afterwards came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open unto us; but he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not. Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh, Mat. xxv. 1-13. Man dieth and wasteth away, yea, he giveth up the ghost, and where is he? Job xiv. 10. And behold, I come quickly, and my reward is with me, to give to every man according as his work shall be. He that is unjust, let him be unjust still; and he that is filthy, let him be filthy still; and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still ; and he that is holy, let him be holy still, Rev. xxii. 11, 12. Seek ye the Lord while he may be found; call ye upon him while he is
near, Isa. lv. 6. Let us therefore fear, lest a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it. Seeing, therefore, that some must enter therein, and they to whom it was first preached entered not in because of unbelief. Let us labour, therefore, to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief, Heb. iv. 1, 6, 11. Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation, 1 Cor. vi. 2. Except a man be born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.
God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life, John iii. 3, 16.
As there is no period so solemn and interestto human beings as when the soul quits the body to enter upon an eternal state, so is there nothing so momentous and important, as a scriptural readiness for the change. The necessity of being prepared to die is adnitted by all; yet but few comparatively, make it a matter of deep solicitude, or apply themselves to the subject with due investigation and practical concern. It is not made sufficiently a serious and personal inquiry. There are other objects of more immediate and pressing interest to men while in the enjoyment of the blessing of health, and they are satisfied