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Neither youth nor age, can protect from his irresistible power.
We have only to cast our eyes around us to behold innumerable proofs of frailty and mortality. Where, O man, are now the companions of thy youth, the friends of thy riper years, and a numerous society with whom, in various ways, thou hast been connected in life ! They have disappeared from the earth, and now exist in the world of spirits. And shall we, alone, of all men, be allowed to escape the attack of this destroyer of men ? Shall he never approach our peaceful habitations? Or shall we elude the shaft directed with vengeance against our unprotected bosoms ? Such expectations are vain. Such hopes shall most assuredly be frustrated. The doom of every one is thus written, “ Dust thou art, and “ shalt to dust return." This truth is not less certain, than the time of our departure is uncertain.
The decree appointing those boundaries, which we cannot pass, is concealed from our knowlege, and known only to the Lord Jehovah. For aught we know, a few pulsations more, and our heart may cease to
• The race
beat. Let but the sun descend, and the morning of the resurrection may be the first those eyes may behold. Let night draw her curtain over the sky, and at an untimely hour the order may be given forth, which shall summon you into eternity.
Even youth, in all its vigour and strength, cannot be certain of that long continuance on earth, which its fond hopes are ready to cherish. “ is not to the swift, nor the battle to the “ strong.” This truth is strikingly verified in the passage we have been illustrating. While the widow of Nain was solacing herself with the prospect of resigning her breath in the arms of a son, tender and only beloved in the sight of his mother, she was spared to survive him who was promising to himself a length of happy years. And this, my brethren, is no unusual spectacle. Day after day we see our fellow creatures, at every variety of age, borne to their long home, and the mourner going about the streets. These are kind and serious warnings given us by God to remind us of our latter end. They teach us, that life
is given us as a season of improvement for immortality; that it is given only for a limited term ; that this term is drawing to its close, and that not a moment of it can be lost with safety.
Let these considerations then, my fellow mortals, incite you to diligence in the work of the Lord. Occupy your talents as those who must render an account, and improve that time which shall extend its consequences into an eternal state. Every fleeting hour is carrying its report to heaven. Do your utmost that this report be favourable. Death, which concludes our probationary state, seals up the character, and transmits as you lived, to the tribunal of God. Repent then, while repentance will avail, and « work the work of him that sent
you while it is day, lest the night of 66 death come in which no one can work.” “ Whatever your hands findeth to do, do “ it with thy might, since there is no
knowledge, wisdom nor device in the grave, to which we are all hastening."
And, thirdly, Let this subject confirm your faith in Christ as the resurrection and the life.
When Jesus was about to retire from the world, he thus addressed his disciples : “ Ye believe in God, believe also in “ me." By his authority, and in his name, I would now exhort you in his words : “ Ye believe in God," as the Supreme Creator and Ruler over all, and the source whence all your happiness flows; but believe also in Christ, The evidence on which you are called on to do so, is various and convincing. Jesus of Nazareth was a man approved of God by miracles, and wonders, and signs. He was mighty, not only in word, but in deed, before all the people. & Go your way,” said he to John's disciples, “ and tell him what “ things you have seen and heard; how “ that the blind see, the lame walk, the
lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the “ dead are raised.” By such miracles of power and mercy he established at once the benevolence of his heart, the divinity of his mission, the truth of his doctrine, and the character of his religion. He proved himself to be the true and promised Messiah, the only Mediator between God and man, the brightness of the Father's glory, and the express image
of his person. And though now he is set down at the right hand of the Majesty on High, he is still mindful of his friends and followers on earth. Through him they obtain the forgiveness of their sins, the sanctification of their natures, and a meetness for heaven. And when the time fixed in the counsels of the Eternal shall arrive, he will descend again from heaven, not as the despised son of Mary, but as a Prince, to gather the fruits of his labours and sufferings; not to die, but to give death the complete overthrow, and to change our vile body, that " it may be fashioned like “ unto his glorious body, according to “ the working whereby he is able even " to subdue all things unto himself.”
We have been contemplating a striking proof of this power. As his call brought back the widow's son to life, so will it hereafter bring to life every child of Adam. The same voice that said, “ Young
man, Arise,” shall with equal effect summon before him all that has before us trode this earthly stage ;-us also, who are now journeying onward to eternity, and them which succeed us in the pilgri