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HEAVEN.

[WASSE’S REFORMED DEVOTIONS.] WHY do ye mourn, ye children of light, to whom

belong the promises of bliss ? Who taste already the sweetness of hope, and shall hereafter be satisfied with fulness of joy.

What can molest their happy state, whom the God of glory has chosen for himself?

Whom he has adopted into his own family, and designed for heirs of the kingdom of heaven,

That blessed kingdom where all delights abound, and whence sorrow and tears are banished away.

Where none are sick or grow old, or die ; but all flourish in health, and vigour, and immortal life.

Where we shall no more be subject to cares, or fear, or change; no more be exposed to the possibility of falling.

Where we shall no more be vexed by others, no more disquieted by our own passions;

But a serene tranquillity shall be within us, and around us shall be joys innumerable.

Joy in the enlarged capacities of our immortal souls:

Joy in the happy society of the virtuous and the glorious company of angels :

Joy in the sight of that Saviour whom we love ; joy in blissful union with the most high God.

Behold, the humble shall be highly exalted, and the poor in spirit shall be crowned with majesty.

They who suffer persecution for righteousness' sake, shall be recompensed with blessing; and those that turn many to righteousness shall shine as the stars.

Then shall we bless the true friend that reproved us, and the charitable hand that assisted our passage to happiness :

We shall bless the rich mercies of our God, and sing aloud the victory of his grace ;

We shall know all that is true, and love all that is good; and shall delight in that knowledge and that love for ever.

No ignorance shall darken, no error deceive our minds.

No cares shall perplex, no crosses afflict us.

Millions of years shall pass away; and our glory shall then but seem to begin,

Millions of millions shall pass away, and our glory shall be no nearer to its end.

O sweet reward of a pious life! O happy sequel of a holy death!

For ever to be free from all that can distress, eternally to enjoy whatever can delight.

Faint not then, my soul ! and we surely shall find a prosperous issue of all our sorrows :

Still let us labour, still let us suffer; short are our troubles, and our joys eternal.

INSTRUCTIVE AND CONSOLATORY

REFLECTIONS.

THE GRACIOUS GOVERNMENT OF GOD.

[DR. SOUTHWOOD SMITH ]

WE

E have abundant reason to rest in the delight

ful assurance, that of every event which takes place, all the care is taken which perfect wisdom can dictate, and infinite goodness require; that all its consequences are foreseen and considered ; that its time, its place, its measure, its duration, are all appointed by him who first set in motion the complicated and mighty wheels which bring it round.

Of this sublime truth, which nothing but its great and cheering consequences can lead us to doubt, we may be further assured, by the consideration of the relation which the Creator necessarily bears to his creatures. He is not merely their Creator. By the very act of creation, he unites himself to them by a tie, but feebly represented by that which binds a parent to his child. He is their Father in a much more near and real sense than any human parent is the father of his offspring; and the best feelings of

earthly parents must be exceeded by his, in the degree in which he is more perfect than they. Yet a good father lives but to labour for the welfare of his family. A tender mother, while she presses her child to her bosom, anxiously considers how she may best avail herself of the situation in which she is placed to advance its happiness; wishes she had the command of circumstances, and could prevent the occurrence of every event capable of endangering its virtue and enjoyment.

This power, so vainly desired by human parents, is possessed by the Universal Parent; and is it possible to believe that he will not exert it for the welfare of his offspring ?

No other consideration surely can be necessary to make every intelligent being satisfied with his lot, and resigned to the dispensations which befal him. Many of the events of life, it is true, are deeply afflictive. Often our enjoyments seem given us but to be removed, and even the most secure we hold by an uncertain tenure. The inequalities in health, in the duration of life, in the distribution of property, the prevalence of natural and moral evil in their thousand shapes, sometimes press with such severity upon the mind, as to create, even in the most pious and confiding, a doubt whether a Being of perfect benevolence be indeed seated at the helm of affairs. Our very hearts die within us when sickness and death assail our beloved friends. When the heart on which our image was engraven, and which beat with generous affection for us, is insensible and cold ; when in that dark and narrow bed,

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from which they cannot arise, sleep a father, a wife, a child, a friend, we feel a sorrow which refuses to be comforted. We dwell upon their excellences with a mournful pleasure. We think of the happy hours we have spent in their society, hours never to return, with a feeling which nearly approaches to despair. That they are no more; that they have ceased to think, to feel, to act, at least for us; that that eye which used to gladden at our approach is dark, and can no more beam upon us with tenderness and love; that those lips which have enlightened us with the counsels of wisdom, or soothed our souls with the accents of hallowed and virtuous affection, are silent for ever, no more to solace us in sorrow, no more to excite or to heighten our pleasure: while these thoughts press upon the mind, (and on the loss of our dear and virtuous friends they do incessantly press upon it, sinking it to the dust,) the universe is a blank to us. No longer do we discover any traces of that supreme and unchanging goodness which we had been accustomed to contemplate with delight. But even in these moments of sadness, we must be unjust to ourselves, and to the Author of our mercies, if we are not soon revived by the consciousness of benevolence, to which the severity of anguish may for a while have made us insensible. The privation of our friends, afflictive as it is, is never without benefit to us. It is then we feel that we are born for immortality ; that the world is not our home; that we are travelling to a fairer clime : it is then that we enter into religion, and feel its genuine spirit. The same

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