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"the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: "for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they com« fort me."

You have to die. But the soul will be immediately disposed of infinitely to your advantage. Death will carry you from the same vain world, the same vexing world, the same defiling world-as Elijah's chariot car. ried him. Death will carry you to the same rest, to the same fulness of joy, to the same glorious company as Elijah's chariot carried him. Absent from the body, you are present with the Lord.

You have to die. But the body will certainly follow. Though you do not take it along with you, but leave it in the grave, it shall not be lost there. He will come and inquire for your dust. It is redeemed."And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of "sin, but the spirit is life because of righteousness; but "if the spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead "dwell in you, hè that raised up Christ from the dead "shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his spirit " that dwelleth in you."

You have to die. But by death you may glorify God more than by such a removal as Elijah's. It af fords opportunity to display the influences of divine grace under suffering, to bear witness to the goodness of the master you serve; to commend the ways of godliness; to convince some, to encourage others. One dying christian has often made many in love with death. While witnessing such a scene, they have been ready to say, "let us go away that we may die with


It matters therefore little how the believer departs from this world to a better.

-But it is always worthy of our observation."Mark the perfect man, and behold the upright, for "the end of that man is peace.'

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And whether he ascends to heaven in a whirlwind, or be removed by a fever or a dropsy, "let me die the "death of the righteous, and let my last end be like his,”



But Adoni-bezek fled: and they pursued after him, and caught him, and cut off his thumbs and his great toes. And Adoni-bezek said, threescore and ten kings having their thumbs and their great toes cut off, gathered their meat under my table: as I have done, so God hath requited me.-Judges i. 6, 7.

DESTRUCTION had long been denounced upon the inhabitants of Canaan, for their sins. At length the measure of their iniquity is full; and the Jews are appointed to be the executioners of the divine vengeance. But Moses dies before they enter on the dreadful task. Joshua succeeds him, and becomes the Scourge of this devoted race. But even he dies before the complete reduction of the promised land. Imme diately after his death, Judah and Simeon assemble their forces, and attack the enemy at Bezek, and gain a dreadful victory. They slew a thousand men, and took Adoni-bezek prisoner. On this bloody tyrant they inflict a punishment, as singular as it was severe" They "cut off his thumbs and his great toes." This drew


from him the words which you have heard. "Adoni-bezek said, threescore and ten kings having. "their thumbs and their great toes cut off, gathered "their meat under my table as I have done, so God hath requited me.

This passage of scripture is a picture. Let me hold it up to view, and call upon you to mark the principal contents of the representation.

And I. I see in it the instability and uncertainty of worldly greatness. Look at this man-and behold in vhat slippery places God sets the mighty and noble. How great was he in the field—where armies fled before him: how great in the palace-where a number of vanquished princes fed under his table-But beold him now-dethroned, insulted, dismembered; nd his present extremity of wretchedness, embittered by the recollection of the prosperity that once crowned is head." And seekest thou great things to thyself? • Seek them not. Boast not thyself of to-morrow; for ' thou knowest not what a day will bring forth."

From the eagerness with which mankind pursue the distinctions of life, we should conclude, not only that they were very valuable in themselves, but that no kind of precariousness attached to them. We should suppose that they were able to ensure durable possession-and God, who in his word always gives language to actions, tells us "their inward thought is that their houses shall continue for ever, and their dwelling pla"ces to all generations: they call their lands after their " own names." But let not the strong be secure; let not the honorable be vain : let not the rich be highminded. Connect certainty with the motion of the wind, or with the waves of the sea-but O, do not trust this treacherous, this changeable world. "Lay not "up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth "and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break "through and steal. Riches make to themselves "wings and fly away. Man being in honor abideth "not; he is like the beasts that perish."-What is all history, but a narrative of the reverses to which all earthly things are liable, however firmly established they once appeared to be; of the revolutions of empires, the destruction of cities; of the mighty put down from their seats, of councellors led away spoiled, of politicians disgraced, generals banished, and monarchs put to death?

II. I see in it judgment overtakes the sinner in this

"but he has found me out; and I live long enough to "be a miserable instance of this awful truth-tha "however long punishment may be delayed, it will a "last be inflicted-as I have done, so God hath requi ❝ted me."

The wonder is not that he was overtaken so soon —but that he was spared so long; and seemed to be al lowed to triumph in his iniquity. The flourishing con dition of sinners for a time, and especially for a long time, unchecked by calamity; is an event which has often perplexed even pious minds. Thus Jeremiah exclaims, righteous art thou, O Lord, when I plead "with thee; yet let me talk with thee of thy judg "ments wherefore doth the way of the wicked pros per? Wherefore are all they happy that deal very "treacherously ?" David also tells us: "but as for "me, my feet were almost gone; my steps had well "nigh slipped; for I was envious at the foolish, when "I saw the prosperity of the wicked."

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But what is more to be lamented is, that hereby the unhappy creature himself is frequently deluded. He is apt to mistake forbearance for connivance; and what God does not immediately punish, he concludes that he entirely neglects: " he hath said in his heart, I shall "not be moved; for I shall never be in adversity. "Because sentence against an evil work is not executed "speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is "fully set in them to do evil." But we should remember the end of providence in such a dispensation. He frequently spares the ungodly for the sake of the godly: the extraction of the tares would injure the wheat. By forbearing the blow, he would give space for repentance: "the long-suffering of our God is sal"vation." He has therefore ends to answer, worthy of himself. But be convinced of this-that he never designed to cherish in you a hope of impunity. His patience is not forgiveness. "Be sure your sins will “find you out. He that being often reproved harden. "eth his neck, shall suddenly be destroyed, and that

" without remedy." He is patient; but he is faithful, and the scripture cannot be broken. He is patient; but patience has its limits, and the year of trial granted to the barren fig tree will expire, and then if unfruitful, it shall be cut down, and cast into the fire. He is patient; but if his patience end not in your conversion, it will be glorified in your destruction. "These things "hast thou done, and I kept silence; thou thoughtest "that I was altogether such a one as thyself; but I "will reprove thee, and set them in order before thine "eyes. Now consider this, ye that forget God, lest I "tear you in pieces, and there be none to deliver."

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IV. I see in it a correspondence between sin and suffering. "What I have inflicted upon others is "now inflicted upon me and in my very punishment I "read my crime as I have done, so God hath requited " me !" Our Saviour has said, "with the same mea"sure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. And Eliphaz tells us, that he had particularly remaked this, even in his days. "Even as I have seen, they that "plough iniquity, and sow wickedness, reap the same." From the nature of their suffering, men may often learn the character of their sin. God sometimes sends our troubles with a label upon them-it seems impossible to mistake their design. We are commanded to hear the rod; it says many things-but it frequently tells us the very sin for which we smart; it thunders or whispers, "this is the duty you have neglected; this is the idol you have adored: hast thou not procured this "unto thyself?”

Between sin and punishment there is sometimes a comparative conformity. This is the case when we suffer things which have some resemblance to our crimes. Thus the Jews for serving strange Gods, were compelled to serve strange masters. Forty days the spies were employed in exploring the land of promise, and forty years the people are condemned to wander in the wilderness for believing them.

Sometimes there is also between them, a direct conformity. This is the case when we suffer in the same

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