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how many myriads it has engulfed? the air is full charged with " the pestilence that walketh in darkness, and the sickness, that destroyeth in noon-day;" nay, the earth itself overwhelms the busy workman with its ponderous mass, or yawns with ghastly opening to receive whole cities into its tremendous .abyss.

Such being the varied forms, in which premature death seizes its victims; seizes them unawares and unprepared; who shall venture to promise himself, that his continuance in any one stage of life can be reckoned upon with any certainty? who shall presume to expect an answer to his prayer; "Lord! let me know my end, and the number of my days, that I may be certified how long I have to live"?

But, lastly, the closest and the most interesting feature of resemblance, between the traveller, who merely passes from one place to another on this habitable globe, and the whole race of man, who are each plodding on their course of weary existence, is, that there is some fixed home, some settled abode, to which both the traveller upon the surface of the earth, and the being, who is placed in it a while for the purposes of probation, must ultimately look. If "here we have no continuing city;" surely we must "seek one to come." If the traveller be constrained to remain for a time in a dwelling, whose tenure is uncertain, and whose foundations may be weak; he looks with satisfaction to an habitation, which yields him hope of abiding without interruption and without annoyance. So must he, who is placed in this state of mortality, ever-shifting and continually disquieting,

look forward to the close of life, as affording him rest from his past labours; an abiding-place, after he shall have at length escaped the perplexing and perilous "changes and chances of this troublesome world." "Here we have no continuing city; but we seek one to come." Here we have no certainty of remaining for any length of time; we are in the midst of troubles; we are exposed to temptations; we suffer actual distress; we therefore naturally and eagerly look forward to some place, "where the wicked cease from troubling, and the weary may have rest."

Such a state, the actual experience we have of life; its various difficulties and perplexities; the real dangers and temptations, which continually beset us; the seemingly unequal distribution of the blessings of this present world; the occasional triumph, the apparent prosperity of the undeserving; the poverty, the depression, the disappointments of the pious and well-intentioned; such a state of future retribution, all these contingencies, attached to our condition here, point out as probable and represent as desirable. But in thus looking forward our hopes might be too sanguine; our own views of things fallacious; our estimate of the characters of ourselves and others might mislead from self-love in our own case; from partial observation, or envious feelings, in respect to others. Human reason would here be an insufficient guide; for however probable a future state might appear to the eye of reason alone, nothing less than

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an assurance from on high could warrant us to look for a fixed abode hereafter; "an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens."

Large therefore should be the amount of our gratitude, and unceasing the expression of it, to that Almighty Parent, who has vouchsafed to destine His. creatures to immortality; to that Divine Saviour, who has been at once the Instrument and the Messenger of our redemption; and to that Holy Spirit, through whose sanctifying influences we are made capable of inheriting the promised blessings. Yet our gratitude will be weak and our devout expression of it unavailing, if the feelings we rightly entertain have not a corresponding effect upon our. actions. Human life was not destined for inaction; but for continual exertion. He, who would be duly sensible of the blessings vouchsafed by the knowledge of redemption, must not only contemplate, but imitate, the proceedings of that traveller, who feels that he has no continuing city," but seeks, ardently and diligently seeks, "one to come." Pursuing steadily this one great object, he suffers himself to be diverted from the straight course by no allurement of pleasure, no representation of danger. He informs himself accurately of every particular that is requisite to be known, that he may reach with more certainty the great aim of all his undertaking. He goes on with steady pace from stage to stage; takes every necessary precaution that he may neither be delayed in the progress of his journey, nor disappointed at the end. And thus at length he safely arrives at the termination of his weary wandering.


With the good Christian now, as with holy David of old," the word of God is a lantern unto his feet." Cheered by its warmth and guided by its light, he looks forward to a future world for pure and per

manent enjoyment. He is by no means forgetful of the duties, which await his performance in this his state of pilgrimage; for they are the test of his obedience to the Divine commands; the only effectual preparation which he can make for arriving at his heavenly home. "Blessed are they " (is the glorious assurance of the book of Revelation), "Blessed are they, that do His commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city;" that "city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem," where are collected, "an innumerable company of angels;" with "the general assembly and church of the first-born, and God the Judge of all, and the spirits of just men made perfect, and Jesus the Mediator of the new covenant." b

Let us, however, when we look forward to this glorious end of our probation here on earth, not forget that a comparison still holds between the traveller for amusement or business, and the traveller on the high road to eternity.-As the former may fail to reach his destined home by the want of preparations to accomplish his journey duly; so may he, who neglects to employ the time of his pilgrimage in this world wisely and diligently, fail to reach those heavenly mansions, which every son of man should regard as the only desirable end of life.—By omitting to gain proper information on his road, or refusing to comply with the directions which he receives, he may pursue a wrong path, and lose sight of his intended object. Instead of winging an upward flight to the

a Rev. xxii. 14.

b Heb. xii. 22, &c.

mansions of everlasting peace and joy, he will tread the paths of vice and irreligion.-Thus pursuing a career of guilt, he heeds not the precipice that lies before him; but plunges headlong into the bottomless abyss; that gloomy abode, prepared for the thoughtless and the selfish; the violent and the dishonest; the intemperate and unchaste; the hypocrite and blasphemer;-a frightful association! where each shrinks back from his companion in misery; each recoils with horror from his guilty self; and all around is one dismal scene of remorse, lamentation, and woe!

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