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THE PILGRIMAGE OF LIFE.
(REFORMED DEVOTIONS, BY THE REV. JOSEPH WASSE.]* RETIRE, O my soul! try thy thoughts ; search
narrowly, and examine their chief scope and direction.
Where dost thou place thy supreme felicity? and whither tend thy most ardent desires ?
Go to the children of this world, the wise, but not for their souls; and learn of them to pursue thine interest.
Do they build in the counties through which they travel? Do they not purchase their estates where they intend to dwell?
* A rare and singularly interesting volume, published in 1719. Mr. Wasse was twenty-seven years Rector of Aynho on the Hill, in Northamptonshire. He was born in 1662 and died in 1738. He is known as the author of several curious literary articles in the Transactions of the Royal Society, and as the critical editor of Sallust. Dr. Bentley used to
“ when he should be himself dead, Mr. Wasse would be the most learned man in England.”
See Whiston's Memoirs, p. 212, and Nichols's Literary Anecdotes, vol. i. p. 263.
And shall they teach and we not be instructed ; but shall we still go on to build our best hopes on so sandy a foundation as this perishable earth !
Where our stay can be of no long continuance ; where we have no security that we shall abide beyond the passing moment?
Rather, having discovered our true end, let us purchase at any rate the blessed inheritance, and show our wisdom in the neglect of every thing
Every thing that diverts us from our holy course, or but retards the speed of our advances.
Teach us, O Lord, to use this transitory life as pilgrims returning to their own home.
What can so nobly enrich an immortal spirit, as to be daily laying up treasure for eternity?
What can so highly delight us, as an unceasing improvement, and a prospect of the continual enlargement of our hope?
Through all the dangers and trials of this frail, this wasting life, our faith shall follow the great, the glorious Redeemer, and nothing shall cool the fervour of our desire to participate in his happiness.
Why should we fear death, whom the triumphant Saviour has disarmed him of his sting ? or why, having such a Fore-runner, should we shrink from the dishonour of the grave?
He has sanctified the tomb into a paradise of rest: he has made the dark vale of death a passage to a better lise: his hand has unlocked the gates of everlasting bliss.