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amusement ; and there is a wide difference between the two. Amusement means nothing more than something to gratify the imagination or the taste: but happiness means that which gratifies the heart, under the approbation of the conscience; and nothing but religion can do this. See what religion does; how it removes the principal sources of human disquietude—the burden of guilt, the turbulence of depravity, the bondage of death, the tormenting fear of God. True religion takes away all these. See what it brings in their place: justification, peace with God, a new heart, peace of conscience, peace that passeth understanding, adoption into the family of God, the witness of the Spirit that we are the children of God, consolations that are neither few nor small, and the hope of eternal life. If there be happiness any where it is here: and if the man who possesses religion be not himself happy, it is not because there is not enough in religion to make him so; but because there is some obstruction in him to the full occupancy of his soul to the heavenly gift. Religion will be with you through life, and in death. It will cheer you in solitude, preserve you in difficulties, protect you in danger, comfort you in tribulation, sustain you in the loss of every thing else, go with you into the chamber of sickness, lie down with you on the bed of death, rise with you in the realms of immortality, and be your portion for ever. Here, then, must be the end of life, when it can do all this.

There is one more property that I must mention to shew that religion is the great end of life. Whatever is so, must be in harmony with all the legitimate ends of existence, and rather help them than hinder them. This will apply to religion. Is it lawful for a man to seek health? It will guard him from the pursuits that destroy it. Is it lawful for a man to seek the good things of the present world, or by honest means to accumulate wealth? Religion will cut off those things that destroy prosperity, and those which have a tendency to lessen it. In every view, therefore, that we can take, "godliness is profitable unto all things, having the promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come."

I now advance to the fourth and last proof that Religion is the great end of man; and that is THB BREVITY OP HUMAN LIPE IN

CONNEXION WITH

THE LIPB THAT IS TO COMB.

During the continuance of the antediluvian world man's existence ran on to the length of nine, and almost ten centuries ; but now he steps from the cradle to the coffin; he fleeth like a shadow, and continueth not ; brief and uncertain is his abode in the present world. “ The days of our years are three-score years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be four-score years, yet is their strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away.” “It is appointed to all men once to die;" our days are numbered ; our sands are running out, and, in the case of some of you, but a very few of them may remain in the glass ; you have come here in health, but you may return to die.

But docs man's history end here? No: “ It is appointed unto men once to die, but after death the judgment." There is another and an eternal world; we are born for eternity; there is a principle of immortality in our nature. We may change the place, the mode of existence; but in existence we must for ever and ever remain. We cannot go out of being if we would : 'a man may

destroy his natural life by the various means of self-destruction ; but this is not to terminate his being; he goes into another world, where millions and millions and millions of ages will take nothing from his existence; millions and millions and millions more will follow, but he is still in being; and millions in endless succession are still to come, and still the man is found in existence.

My dear hearers, is this true? Do you believe this? Then how obvious it is at once, without any process of reasoning—the mere statement carries its own proof with it—that that must be the end of life which prepares for happiness beyond the grave, and nothing that can merely comfort or amuse us while here. If we are to live for ever in another world (and we can live only a very short time in this world), then it is obvious as the plainest axiom, that that, whatever it be, which prepares us for our eternal existence, must be the end of our present life, and not the things which have relation merely to this life.

Again let us try each of these various objects that I have brought before you.

Can riches be the end of life—that is, viewing our existence beyond the grave? What have riches to do with another world? We brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out: naked came we into this world, and naked shall we go out of it again. We may amass wealth by success in business, by receiving the patrimony of those who have gone before us : but can we carry it into eternity with us ? and if we could, would it be of any service there? Not a farthing can we take with us; we leave it all behind riches have nothing to do with the future world.

Try we the objects of ambition : what have these to do with another world? Can the hero-can the man who has distinguished himself in literature, or in science, carry his laurel with him into eternity? What use would it be if he could? Would he, or could he, gain respect there from holy beings for what he was on earth merely, as a hero, or a statesman, or a philosopher ? No.

Has pleasure any relation to another world ? I mean what is usually signified by that term-the gratifications of appetite, or sense, or taste, or imagination ? What relation have these to a future world? “ Flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of heaven; neither can corruption inherit incorruption."

Has domestic comfort, connubial love, or the sweet endearments of home, any relation to, or any bearing upon, another world ? Not in themselves, abstractedly considered. In the resurrection we are neither married nor given in marriage: the ties that bind us here, and sweetly bind us, and which are the source of so much pure and innocent enjoyment, dissolve by the touch of death; and beyond that moment we are known no more to each other as husband and wife, parent and child, brothers and sisters ; although it is probable we may recognize each other in a future state. Well, then, all these things have not any connexion, have not any bearing upon our state in the world to come.

Has religion? It is its great design. Religion is the only thing that can prepare us for a future world, the only thing that we carry with us into eter nity-except our sins, if we die with them unpardoned. Nothing else that we possess can have any bearing on our future state.

Suppose that a month hence you were to embark for a foreign land, never more to return to your own country : what would be, what should be evidently the end of all your conduct, all your desires, during that short month that you were to spend on the Britis. soil ? To sow a few vernal seeds in your garden ? To decorate the home you are about to leave? Why, of what use would that be to you in that foreign land to which you are going? If, forgetful of your voyage, forgetful of the land to which that voyage was to conduct you, you spent all your time about the objects which were so soon to cease in their importance to you, would not your friends step in, and remonstrate with you on your folly? Would they not remind you that you saould prepare for your voyage—that you should prepare for the country to which you are going?

Suppose the case of a criminal condemned to die. His prince gives him a respite for a month, to afford him an opportunity of seeking that he might obtain the exercise of the royal clemency. Judagine that this poor creature, instead of employing the only month during which he could gain a protraction of existence, and avert an ignominious death, were to expend all his time in decorating his prison walls, or in some game of chance or skill, or making some improvement in his worldly affairs. O, would not many step in and say, “ Thou fool! dost thou forget that in one short month thou wilt be a felon suspended from the gallows, unless thou art diligent in seeking to the fountain of mercy for life, and to be restored to the immunities and privileges of a citizen, a living man?"

But, my hearers, neither one, nor both these, are a thousandth part guilty of the folly of those who, though they know-or, at least, profess to know-that they are going to eternity, and may go at any future moment of their existence, are wholly taken up in seeking the things that are temporal, regardless of the things which are eternal-wholly taken up about the land that they may leave at any moment, and forgetful of that in which they must live for millions, and millions, and millions of ages. I put it to you, then, Is not religion the great end of life?

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I infer from this subject, first, if this be true, that, however long a man may live, or whatever he may gain, or whatever misfortunes he may avert during that time, if he neglect religion he has lost the great end of existence. He may raise, and apportion, and settle respectably in life, a large family: he may be successful in trade, and amass a large fortune: he may secure the respect of his neighbours for amiable conduct, and a kind, and generous, and benevolent disposition : he may be a patriot to his country—he may, in some respects, be a philanthropist to the world: but if he has neglected “ repentance towards üod, and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ," and the regeneration of the heart by the Holy Spirit-viewing him as immortal, that man has lived and died in vain ; all the time that he has spent is lost. For the true idea of time is, space for repentance, preparation for eternity. The value of time is derived from its connexion with eternity; and he that is not improving his time by preparing for eternity, is squandering away, upon trifles absolutely insignificant, the time which God has given him to secure the salvation of his immortal soul. Not only has he lost his time, but he has lost his labour. He may have been very busy; he may never have been idle ; he may receive the congratulation of neighbours around him that he has been singularly successful; he may be looked upon as a man who has secured the fruit of his labour to the greatest extent: I tell you, that viewing that man in the light of revelation, in con

nexion with eternity, as possessing an immortal soul, lost in sin but recoveral le by faith, he has lived in vain. Not only has he lost his time and his labour, but he has spent his time in ruining himself. He has gone down to the grave rich; he has been the object of admiration and envy to multitudes: but as to his soul, he has neglected his salvation, and ruined himself as an immortal creature. This is not all. Though he is congratulated as a successful man, as a wise man, he has acted as a madman; he has unmanned himself; he has acted below and against his reason; for reason would have taught him that the great end of life is to prepare men for eternity; and whatever a man gains, if he neglects religion he has lost his soul.

I infer, secondly, However early a person may go to the grave-whatever he may leave behind, yet, if he be a partaker of true religion, he has answered the great end of his existence. Oftentimes we see a youth, well-educated, amiable in disposition, of considerable acquirements, of splendid genius, the hope of his friends, the rich blossom of society, just when he is stepping into existence cut off by the stroke of death. "O," say multitudes, "he has lived in vain." No: he lived long enough to be a Christian; he remembered his Creator in the days of his youth; he was a child of God: the end of his existence was answered.

Sometimes we see a lovely female, just placed at the head of a domestic establishment-the grace, the charm, the ornament of her circle, who, in that moment most interesting in female existence, gives life and loses her own. How many are ready to say, She has lived in vain." No : she feared God: she has gone away from much that was attractive; she has left behind much that tied her to life but she has gone to a richer possession beyond the grave: the end of life is answered.

Then here is a third case: A man who set out in life with fair prospects, with every hope that he would rise to prosperity. His industry fails; misfortune after misfortune overtakes him; he sits down amid the wreck of a broken fortune, and pours out the language of his heart in the language of Solomon, “Vanity of vanities! all is vanity:" with a broken constitution he goes to the grave. Has he lived in vain? No: he was a Christian; amidst all he was the child of God; he had an interest in the blessings of salvation: the end of existence was answered.

I take a fourth case. Here is a poor man, unknown to fortune and to fame: he spends his life in utter obscurity; he gets his bread by an occupation so insignificant as perpetually sawing pieces of wood, or smiting upon a piece of iron, or filing some other metal. Thus his life passes; he dies, and is forgotten. Has he lived in vain? No: for he was a child of God; he had religion; he sought "first the kingdom of God and his righteousness." Delightful! How it rescues the poor from insignificance! What dignity it attaches to them! They too can prepare for eternity; they too can have religion: the cottage is as friendly to piety as the mansion-perhaps more so. They lived not in vain; they sought "first the kingdom of God and his righteousness."

I make a third inference. If this be true, then the greater part of mankind, as to the happiness of another world, the greater part of mankind are losing the great end of their existence. There is something in this more painful than language can describe. But is it not true? Look around you-you can teil.

VOL III.

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Do the multitude make religion the supreme end of life? On the contrary, it is the least, the mere Sabbath-day's concern, having no connexion with the character, no connexion with the heart. Generation after generation is rising up and going off the stage of existence, withont, en far as they are concerned, securing the great purpose of life-the saivat.v1 of the soul. What makes this the more melancholy is, that they have the Word of God in their hands, which all the while has been reminding them to "seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness." And that which forms the very climax of this is, that they wake the mistake irretrievably. Not one of all the multitudes that go out of existence in this way will be able to say, “ I have made a mistake ; I will go back and correct it: I will spend life in a different manner."

I conclude with addresses to different classes of characters.

First: young people. Life is before you; you are just setting out; you are laying your plans; selecting your pursuits, fixing upon your objects. For your soul's sake do not leave out religion. Begin life, writing, by the grace of God, upon your heart, the sentiment which has been the subject of the evening's discourse : religion is the end of life. Take the preacher's advice, and see if, wlien the end of life is come—whether early or late-you repent taking that advice.

You who are engaged in the busy concerns of life, thinking highly of wealth, or fame, or the various objects which present themselves to your attention, remember, though careful and troubled about many things, one thing is needful.

Aged people, whose days are almost spent, whose life is dwindled to a very narrow span--with whom it is the eleventh hour, and that eleventh hour half or three quarters gone; aged people, let me ask you for what end you live. Is it for religion? “ ()," says an old grey-headed man, perhaps startled from his slumber to-night, amazed at the idea that three-score years and ten, or nearly four-score years have gone by, without his accomplishing the purpose for which they were given. “O,” says such a man, “I am ruined, I am lost." Not yet, not yet: you may have lived in vain hitherto; but that quarter of an hour of the eleventh and last of thine existence, by the mercy of God, by the rich and sovereign grace of Jehovah, may be in thy case enough in death to secure the end of existence. Thou, thus late in the evening, thou, after this unprofitable day, thou art yet within the reach of mercy. God waits to be gracious; go to-night, with faith and repentance, to the foot of the cross ; and then, in the righteousness of pardoned sin, a renewed heart, the hope of hearen, thou shalt close even thine existence with this delightful idea, “ Life with me has not even yet been lost."

Christians, real Christians, I congratulate you on the blessings you have received. Blessed man! Child of God, heir of immortality, expectant of eternal life and glory, thou hast not lived in vain. God is thy God; Christ is thy Saviour; heaven is thy home. It matters little what awaits thee on earth. Be tranquil. Thou mayest lose thy property, and never recover it; thou mayest die soon; but the end of life is accomplished: by the grace of God thou hast secured the purpose of thine existence; and death come when, how it may, thou mayest meet it as good old Simeon met the intant Saviour, and smilingly exclaim, “ Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace ; for mine eyes have seen thy salvation."

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