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whole range of science—it is material. not life; and therefore death, in this You take up the mysterious body of man: sense, is the privation of life. But this let it be dissected ; let its anatomy be is a very meagre definition after all. displayed to us, its mysterious structure What is death? It is the separation unfolded—it is only the science of mat- of the immortal spirit from the mortal
part: it is quitting the lodgment; it is What is spirit? Tell me. We have loosening the silver cord; it is opening treatises on the powers of the human the door, and letting the inhabitant go mind; and we are told of perception, of out; it is spirit leaving matter, and going intelligence, of volition, and of the va- to the dust; the spirit is no longer there. rious attributes that distinguish spirit The spirit was there; precious was that from matter. What is spirit? Nobody spirit in your esteem; beloved was that can tell. The spirit! My spirit! Why, spirit by your spirit; you held with that it is the seat of thought; it is the region spirit the most delightful intercourse. But of intelligence; it is the throne in which now lift the napkin from the dead man's all affection is seated; it is the centre face; now gaze on that countenance. It whence issues all that renders man agree is fixed, it is settled: no blood circulates able to man. It is there that the Holy there; no sensations thrill through those Ghost takes up his abode ; it is there he nerves; no soul beams in those eyes: it pours forth his light; it is there he is matter. You might as well talk to a breathes his influence; it is there he ex- marble statue: a marble statue may be erts his power. And, my brethren, it is beautifully chiseled, but it speaks not. the spirit, after all, that constitutes the You might as well expect some return
from the painted picture : the canvass I have told you there is something ex- seems to look and breathe; it is matter. cellent in the material combination even. So with the dead body; the spirit is But what gives to the eye its force, its gone : and then the question is, Where beaming benevolence, its charming intel-is it gone? Gone to God: the spirit is ligence? What renders the eye the returned to God who gave it. avenue to the mind ? What constitutes Oh, how full of thought is this reprethe eye the opening through which a sentation! The spirit is returned to God, thousand delightful sensations pass to to account to God. It is a responsible the mind? What is it that forms the ear spirit: it has to deal with God : God's to listen to the discourses of wisdom--to eye is upon every step of its progress: the tender, and impassioned, and cheer-God's ear is listening to every thought, ing tones of friendship—to the full me- and every word. Oh, my brethren, where lody of music? What renders the heart shall I find language to express the treinstinct with kindness, that qualifies the mendous responsibility of the soul that is hand to impart charity, or give the ex- thinking, and feeling, and purposing, and pression of friendliness? What animates speaking, and acting in reference to that and nerves the feet? What breathes, and judgment? God will call me to account; glows, and lives in this portion of dust ? and the moment the spirit has quitted the It is the spirit; and that spirit shall very body it passes, perhaps, to a previous soon quit the body. Now, this is death. judgment. I am not now going into the
We have been told that philosophy, in question of an individual or general judg. its attempts to define every thing, has ment: certain it is that the destiny of attempted to define death. It is the ne- each spirit is fixed at death, and that this gation of life, or the privation of life. is an anticipation of that eternal destiny. Why, this is no definition. The term Therefore it is I wish you to conceive of “ death” cannot be applied to any thing the solemnity of the spirit passing into which has not had life. You never think the immediate presence of God. The of applying it to a stone, or any thing spirit returns to God; and then of course that is not animated. So far it is clear all hope of mercy terminates ; the probaand distinct; nothing can die that has tion at an end. The present is the
probationary state; and, as a probation- | The olive-branch will never more be held ary state, it is enriched with means of out for the acceptance of the sinner! grace. God is employing here all those The soul will go to receive its doom. means which he hath devised to bring But I pause-but I hesitate. I hoour spirits back. “God so loved the nestly tell you the subject is too affectworld as to give his only begotten Son, ing. There is the death of the soul, as that whosoever believeth on him might well as the death of the body. The death not perish, but have everlasting life." of the body implies the absence of con
The whole economy of redemption is a sciousness: and why? Because the spidisplay of God's love to our fallen spirits. rit contains the consciousness.
ConGod, who hath done all in the way of sciousness cannot reside in the body, and propitiation, is now doing all in the way therefore the death of the body implies of influence; his Spirit strives with men; the absence of consciousness. But the his holy, his benevolent, his wise Spirit, death of the soul does not imply the abmeets the spirit of man in its downward sence of consciousness. It is not anniprogress, meets the spirit of man in its hilation : no—it is a perpetuity of existcourse to the bottomless pit, and strives ence; it is consciousness rendered the with him, and reasons with him, and de- source, the element, of unutterable agony. bates the matter with him. Now is the It is consciousness that fixes the eternal time for conviction; now is the time for destruction of that individual. It is not contrition ; now is the time for earnest the absence of feeling: it is the feeling of heart-examination; now is the time for God's wrath, a feeling of absolute despair, prayer; now the golden sceptre is ex- a feeling of all that is horrible in that contended; the vilest sinner may touch it dition, which is the death of the soul. and be reconciled. The rainbow of mercy That soul will live to bear the wrath of appears; and, however dark the storm, the Lamb, to feel the corrosions of the the rainbow is there. Now is the pre-deathless worm-live to endure all that cious opportunity-I may obtain mercy. mysterious punishment which is reserved This probation-time will make all the for those that will not have Christ to difference between hell and heaven—will reign over them. When you gaze on a make all the difference between an eter- dead body, think on the departed soul. nity without glory, and an eternal pro But, oh, how consolatory is the thought! fundity of damnation. But when the If the spirit has been justified, regenespirit is gone, it is over with it; it goes rated, and sanctified, it will return to the to God just as it quits the body.
eternal fruition of God in heaven-return Do not tell me about any thing in the to be for ever happy. It will be a dissoarticle of death. Remember, the soul is lution from that body of corruption which the seat of sin, and the seat of holiness: has been a clog, a weight, a hinderance. the soul has the character ; it is not the How little we know of the disembodied body—it is not the dissolution of the spirit! How little do we know of the earthly system that can alter the charac- susceptibilities of the spirit that has ter of the soul: the soul carries its own emerged from this world! We have character with it. If it has a darkened often followed in thought the flight of the understanding, a corrupt imagination, a spirit. But we feel that perverted judgment, a rebellious will, and upholy affections, it will go direct to God
“The dead are like the stars by day,
Withdrawn from mortal eye; with all these. Awful! Awful! " He
But, not extinct, they hold their way that is filthy, let him be filthy still : he
In glory through the sky, that is unjust, let him be unjust still.”
Spirits from bondage thus set free It is all over. The sounds of mercy will Vanish amidst immensity." never break on the wailing, and the yell. ing, and the gnashing, of the bottomless They are in glory, they are with Christ; pit
. 'The mercy of the Lamb will be they are separated for ever from all the changed into the wrath of the Lamb ! temptations and trials of this mortal
AIM AT PROFITING ALL
scene. The journeying spirit returns ; | the right to do it, had I the authority to he arrives at home. Yes, after the toil, do it—if I were to summon any one in and peril, and fatigues of his journey, this congregation who durst do it, to rise for here he is a pilgrim-after the toil of and say, before God and this assembly, his journey he enters his Father's house, “I am sure I shall not die to-night”-is he takes his seat at the table; universal there one that would do it? Is there one joy circulates through the happy family: that durst do it? There is not-I am
sure there is not: there is not one of all "Mortals cry, 'A man is dead!
these hundreds, there is not one of all Angels sing, 'A child is born!"
these thousands, that dares say, before Born into the world above,
God, “I shall not die to-night.” Oh, They our happy brother greet,
then, may we be prepared! Oh, preBear him to the throne of love,
pare-(may God speak it home to your Place him at the Saviour's feet."
hearts !)-prepare to meet thy God! Yes, it is the soldier, the hardy vete- - Blessed are the dead that die in the ran, who has endured the fatigues of suc- Lord from henceforth: yea, saith the cessive campaigns, who has worn his Spirit, that they may rest from their laarmour constantly, and used his sword bours; and their works do follow them.” manfully, and kept the shield of his faith steadfastly, and finished his course gloriously. It is the triumphant soldier
I REMEMBER some years ago to have stepping on the neck of his last enemy, heard a young minister, who was settled and shouting as he rises, “O death, in a small obscure town, preach a serwhere is thy sting? O grave, where is mon at an association meeting, which thy victory?" He returns to God; he was richly adorned with the graces of lays by his sword; he takes the victorious finished composition. He was afterpalm, and waves it before the throne ; he wards asked by a senior brother whether takes off his armour, he unbuckles his he preached such sermons at home ; and breastplate, he removes his helmet, he having answered in the affirmative, “ And lays aside his shield : God clothes him how many of your people,” it was said, with a robe of salvation, and he walks do you think can understand you ?" with those who are before the throne.
“ About five or six,” he replied. The Yes, it is the weather-beaten mariner : avowal produced, as might be expected, he has endured many hardships, many among men of piety and experience, a dangers : now at length he has weathered mixed emotion of grief and indignation. every storm; he is now entering the port, Nor can we conceive of a more gross and no more to be dashed on the surface of revolting inconsistency than that of a the troublous ocean, no more to feel the Christian pastor and teacher pleasing surges beat against him. Angels wel- himself, and a few fond admirers, by come him; he lands on the shores of im- picking flowers and weaving pretty garmortality to be for ever with Jesus. It is lands, when the sheep of his flock are the spirit returning to God.
ready to perish for want of being properly Oh, my brethren, why do we trifle watched and fed. What! will a man with eternity? Why will you thus put who has assumed an office of deep and from you everlasting life? « Then"
awful responsibility spend his time, his (“Then !" Oh, there is a mystery in that strength, and his ingenuity in courting the word ! When will it come to me ?) muses, and canvassing for literary ho" Then shall the dust return to the earth nours, when the souls of his charge are as it was." Lord, when? God will not
many of them rushing, unprepared, into tell you when. Very soon, perhaps ; eternity! O shameful prostitution of the perhaps very suddenly. And if I were noblest function - Con. Mag. 1826 to look on this congregation, and had I
THE INFLUENCE OF THE LOVE OF CHRIST.
CHARGE DELIVERED TO THE REV. JOHN REID, OF GLASGOW, ON HIS ORDINATION
AS A MISSIONARY,
BY THE REV. DR. WARDLAW,
MY DEAR YOUNG FRIEND,
died for them, and rose again.” (1 Cor. v. You have this evening been set apart 14, 15.) to the most responsible duty which can 66 THE LOVE of Christ CONSTRAINETH devolve upon you. We trust the divine vs !" Deeply did this ambassador for presence has been with us now; and, in Christ feel this motive! To him to live answer to our united prayers, we hope as Christ; and he had no wish to live his blessed presence will be with you. another hour but as this was the case. You may well say, as did Moses of old, His one desire was that Christ might be “If thy presence go not with me, let me magnified both in his life and in his not go hence.” The work to which you death. have devoted yourself requires the exer What I now wish to impress on your tion of all your mental and intellectual, mind is this : The INDISPENSABLE NECESSIof all your moral and spiritual powers. TY OF Love to CHRIST IN ORDER TO A FAITHIt is one from which an angel might FUL DISCHARGE OF THE DUTIES THAT DEshrink, and yet one, the duties of which VOLVE UPON you. The love of Christ-love may, through the divine agency, all be to the divine Saviour in all the characters performed. You may confidently rest in which the gospel reveals him-love to assured that though impotent in yourself, him for all he is, for all he has done, for you shall yet be mighty through God. all he has promised; this love belongs to
On such a subject the field is so ample, every Christian. This is most plainly and the variety so great, that there is taught in such passages as these, “ He some difficulty in fixing. There is one that loveth father or mother more than topic, however, very appropriate, and me is not worthy of me: he that loveth which will, I trust, be in full harmony bis own life more than me is not worthy with the feelings of your own mind—I of me. • Grace be with all that love mean that which is contained in the words our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity.” “If of the apostle Paul, when assigning a any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ, reason for the zeal and perseverance of let him be anathema maranatha.” The himself and his colleagues in the work of Master whom you serve is pleased with the ministry, he says, “ For the love of no service but that which springs from Christ constraineth us; because we thus love. It is not, however, to this love to judge, that if one died for all, then were Christ, in general, that I would now call all dead; and that he died for all, that your attention, but to that which is pecuthose which live should not henceforth liar to the office of the Christian ministry live unto themselves, but unto him which / which you have now taken upon you. VOL. I.-29
Without love to Christ, all its services | glorious in your eyes, and you will do
word of God: not that these will do