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with all thy heart; and thy neighbor as thyself." In all times of special exposure to sickness and death, this sentiment ought to be engraven on our hearts.

2. All inordinate fear of disease is as a transgression of the law of God. God-disregards the duties which we even with our own health and welfare. to guard against this sin.

3. A heart right with God is the best preparation for every event. If our heart be right with God, it will be at peace with our fellow men-it will be full of faith in Christ, and of comfort in the Holy Spirit-it will be humble, resigned, and happy. This is an asylum for every hour of danger-once fairly in it, no evil can befall us. Those whom the Lord keeps are perfectly safe. "Blessed are all they who put their trust in Him." O let his solemn voice, in these times of death, be heard in our inmost souls! It is an awful warning which his providence is now giving us all. Though it seems to speak in severity, it speaks in love. It bids us remember our latter end-the vanity of all earthly pursuits-the cer tainty of death-and the retributions of the judgment day. It bids the wavering to decide; the backslider to return to God; the impenitent to repent; the Christian to watch; for no man knoweth "what a day may bring forth."

wrong, and therefore to be avoided Such fear distrusts the goodness of owe to others—and is at variance We ought therefore by all means

4. We ought not to murmur against God. Alas! did he deal with us according to our sins, we should all be cut down as cumberers of the ground. Look at the obligations which have been laid upon us in the gospel of Christ, and how wretchedly we have fulfilled them; at the temporal blessings conferred upon us, and how we have abused them; at the patience and compassion which God has so long shown towards us-the years of forbearance and mercy which he has given us to enjoy, and how thoughtlessly we have allowed them to run to waste! Instead of prepar ing to die, we have too often done the very opposite-we have made our selves unfit to live. Let us not murmur, then, if God comes forth in his inscrutable sovereignty and teaches us the great lesson that our life is in his hands, and that he will recall it when it shall please him so to do. Be this the willing sentiment of every heart-" Thy will, O God, be done, on earth as it is in heaven." My life I place at thy disposal; that it may be consecrated for ever in all its powers to thy service grant through Jesus Christ, my Saviour and Redeemer. Amen.



No. 10, Vol. XXVIII.] OCTOBER, 1854.

[Whole No. 334.




THIS WORLD NOT OUR PLACE OF REST. "Arise ye and depart, for this is not your rest, because it is polluted.-MICAH ii. 10.

THE world we live in, is in some respects a beautiful world, and in some respects desirable as a place of residence; and hence so many regard it as their portion-their home; and never seek for a better habitation. But this our planet, though measurably fair, is nevertheless scarred, and though there are comforts here, there are crosses and trials here, and it is not the place designed by our Creator for the place of our rest. And when he sees us thinking that it is, acting as if it was, setting our hearts upon it, devoting ourselves to its pleasures, its honors, and its gains, as though there was nothing more valuable, as though he had not provided something more suitable and satisfying for the immortal spirit; his voice to us in the stirring appeal of the text, is, "Arise ye and depart, for this is not your rest, because it is polluted."

That this world was never intended by our Heavenly Father to be the place of our rest, is apparent from the following considerations.

1. Because our stay here is so short and uncertain.


The apostle asks, "What is your life?" and then, answering his own question, says: "It is a vapor, which appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away." "The moment we begin to live we all begin to die." Three score years and ten, or fourscore years, and these tabernacles of ours, not formed of strong and

lasting materials, such as brass, iron, or stone, but formed of clay, and hence called "earthly houses," whose "foundation is in the dust," sink, fall, dissolve, and moulder away. A wind passes over them and they are gone, housed in the grave! And the time when they will thus go, is as uncertain as the span of their continuance here, is short. " Man knoweth not his time: as the fishes that are taken in an evil net, and as the birds that are caught in the snare, so are the sons of men snared in an evil time, when it falleth suddenly upon them." Navigating the ocean of life, they know not the storm destined to wreck them upon its bosom, nor the nearness of that advancing wave which is to reach them and settle over them for ever. Pope Adrian was deprived of life by a knat; an illustrious Roman counsellor by a hair; Ana creon, the renowned Grecian poet, by the seed of a grape; the Emperor Charles VI. by a mushroom; and thousands more, have found in a flying atom, an insect, or a passing breeze, what has "changed their countenance and sent them away." "In the midst of life we are in death." And is such a world as this, where our stay is so brief and precarious, where all ages and classes are alike liable to the sudden and unsparing stroke of the great destroyer, where they are crushed before the moth-die from morning to evening, and from evening to morning, the banners of death waving in the sunlight and night air-is this the place of our rest? Did our Creator intend it as such? No; these decaying bodies, the urned ashes of our deceased relatives and friends, the buried dust of ages, our globe one vast burying ground, the sepulchre of life to its once busy, bustling millions, say, no!"this is not your rest."

2. Again. This appears from the fact, that there are so many vicissitudes, labors, disappointments, and sorrows here. Not only "have we no continuing city" here, but even while we are here, we are subject to serious evils. Both the rational spirit, and the material frame in which it dwells, are called to suffer. "Man is born unto trouble, as the sparks to fly upward." "Though a man live many years and rejoice in them all, yet let him remember the days of darkness, for they are many. Numerous are the severe and humbling diseases to which flesh is liable, and many are preyed upon by these diseases-lying down on beds of languishing and pain. Numerous are the personal and domestic trials to which humanity is exposed, and many are daily encountering these trials. Here, one finds that he has misplaced his affections, and is suffering the pangs of a wounded heart; there, the bright hopes which one has been cherishing are overcast with clouds. Here, those who have commanded luxuries, who have been in their plenty, utter strangers to scenes of want and destitution, are by a sudden blow reduced to poverty and are wearing the wan look of want; and there, the King of Terrors has entered the sparkling circle, invaded the fireside and

table, snatched from thence a darling one, and survivors, bowed in sorrow, are mourning their loss. Thus, as the inevitable lot of our race on the earth, the law of their being here below, as a necessary part of the circumstances of their existence, there are trials, sore trials. And is such a place a place of pains and tears, misfortunes, disappointments, and bereavements, designed by him who made us, to be the place of our rest? No; "this is not your rest."


3. Again. There is nothing here which is a sufficient portion for the soul. The Father of spirits has given us a spirit which spurns the dust. Though imprisoned in walls of clay, it is not itself of clay, but is immaterial and immortal. Such being its nature, it requires for its adequate portion, a spiritual, durable something, congenial to its own nature. But that something is not found on this planet. Go to pleasure, go to wealth, go to fame, go to all which earth can minister or bestow, which is soothing, refreshing, and sustaining, and you cannot in any of them, or all of them, find what the soul of man needs, to fill and satisfy it. "The height says it is not in me, and the depth says it is not in me." The soul hungers for food, which earth has not provided, and thirsts for drink which earth has not furnished. There flows not in all the vallies and channels of this world, a stream from whence man, by drawing, can quench the illimitable desires of the spirit within him. All things are too contracted, too sensual, too vain, too empty for his complete satisfaction. He cannot find in them rest. The soul-the breath of Goddivine, from the skies-the soaring, towering spirit, can no more feed on ashes and be filled, than could the prodigal be filled "with the husks that the swine did eat." They were not intended for its portion, and are not its portion. It cannot rest in them as such. It pants for something nobler, higher, more substantial, something above earth. "This is not your rest."

4. Again. This world is not our rest, because of the prevalence here of sin, or in the language of the text, "because it is POLLUTED." Polluted by sin. Sin has not only entered it, but scarred it, blasted it; poisoned its sources of happiness, tainted its air, corrupted its society. It is a world unfavorable to spirituality of mind, unfavorable to a devotional temper, unfavorable to growth in grace. It is a world which has forsaken God, and the wickedness which prevails in it-the pride, ambition, envy, jealousy, hatred, and revenge, which are here, are impressive melancholy commentaries on the fact. Not a holy being is to be found on the length and breadth of the globe; the best creature is but imperfectly sanctified, while the majority, the great majority are rebels against their creator; carry about in their hearts debasing passions, and have a supreme relish for the joys of sense and sin. Satan is here; it is peculiarly his province; here he spreads his nets; here he diffuses his pestilential influences, and all he can

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do, and his host of emissaries can do (and their name is legion), is hostile to virtue, hostile to purity of mind, and the repose of the soul. A place so contaminated by sin, deeply, universally, fatally contaminated, a person cannot even pass through without danger-danger of being defiled by its abominations, and cheated by its tempting illusions-danger of being entangled by it in a perilous and criminal bondage. It is surely then no place of rest. "This world is not your rest, for it is polluted” and polluting.

5. We add that this world is not our rest, because we are told that, unless renounced, it will occasion our destruction. The words following the text are, "it shall destroy you, even with a sore destruction." "Arise ye and depart, for this is not your rest, because it is polluted; it shall destroy you, even with a sore destruction." And can that be our rest, our portion, the centre and stay of our hopes, our substantial, satisfying posses sion, our supreme good, which, if we venture to make such, will prove our ruin? Impossible! And yet such is the world. To be conformed to it in sentiment, feeling, and conduct, is to be estranged from the vital principles of the kingdom of Christ. To love it, is to love what is antagonistical to God, and truth, and holiness. To go with its current, is to go with the unbelieving, thoughtless throng, that are posting their way down to hell. To rest in it, is to abide in a doomed city, and be involved in the destruction which is hastening upon it.

We remark, that if there is weight in these considerations—if this world was never intended by our Creator as our rest, then, 1. We should abandon the idea that rest is to be found in it. A divine of the last century, in one of his pastoral communi cations to his people, admonishes them not to look for that in the law, which can only be found in the gospel; not to look for that in themselves, which is only to be found in Christ; not to look for that in the creature, which is only to be found in the Creator; and not to look for that on earth, which is only to be found in heaven. Sound advice; and if we take it and act upon it, as we hope his people did, we shall not look for rest in the present world, where all is vanity and vexation of spirit." And yet it is natural for man to do this. Finding himself in this worldthe only world in which he has ever dwelt-the only world with which he has any practical acquaintance-a world which, though fallen and cursed, yet bears traces of the wisdom, goodness, and power of its Infinite Architect, and in which there are many things that promise felicity-it is natural for him to seek for a portion in it, and concentrate upon it his affections and desires. It is natural for him to do this; and yet he should not do it, be cause his nature is a depraved nature, warped from its first and true direction--because his mind is biased in favor of the sensual


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