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XII.

close, bear, without extreme impatience, the SERMON hardships of its concluding stage. From the inestimable promises of the Gospel, and from the gracious presence of God, the afflictions of old age cannot seclude you. Though your beart should begin to faint, and your flesh to fail, there is One, who can be the strength of your heart, and

your portion for ever. Even to your old age, saith the Lord, I am He; and even to hoary hairs will I carry you. I have made, and I will bear ; éven I will carry, and will deliver you *. Leave thy fatherless children; I will preserve them alive, and let thy widows trust in me te

There is undoubtedly a period, when there ought to be a "satiety of life, as there is of all other things; and when death shall be viewed, as your merciful dismission from a long warfare. To come to the grave in a full age, like as a shock of corn cometh in, in its season 1, is the natural termination of the human

Amidst multiplying infirmities, to prolong life beyond its usual bounds, and to draw out your existence here to

course.

# Isa. xlvi. 4.

+ Jer. xlix. 11.

# Job, v. 26.

Z 2

the

XII.

of a

SERMON the last and foulest dregs, ought not to be the wish of

any
wise man,

Is it desirable, to continue lingering on the borders of the

grave,
after
every

tie which connects you with life is broken ; and to be left a solitary individual, in the midst

new generation, whose faces you hardly know? The shades of

your

departed friends rise

up
before
you,

and warn you, that it is time to depart. Nature and Providence summon you, to be gathered to your fathers. Reason admonishes you, that, as your predecessors made way for you, it is just that

it is just that you should yield your place to those who have arisen to succeed you on this busy stage ; who, for a while, shall fill it with their actions and their sufferings, their virtues and their crimes; and then shall, in their turn, withdraw, and be joined to the forgotten multitudes of former ages.

Could death, indeed, be considered in no other view than as the close of life, it would afford only a melancholy retreat. The total extinction of being, is a thought, which human nature, in its most distressed circumstances, cannot bear without dejec

XII.

tion. But, blessed be God ! far other pro- SERMON fpects revive the spirits of the aged, who have

spent their life in piety and virtue. To them, death is not the extinction, but the renovation of the living principle; its removal from the earthly house of this tabernacle, to the house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. Having fought the good fight ; having finished their course, and kept the faith; there is laid up for them the crown of righteousness. The Saviour of the world hath not only brought immortality to light, but placed it within the reach of their hope and trust. By making atonement for their guilt, he hath prepared their way within the veil ; and secured to them the possession of an inheritance, incorruptible and undefiled, reserved in the heavens. Such are the hopes and prospects which cheer the sorrows of old age, and surmount the fear of death. Faith and piety are the only adequate supports of human nature in all its great emergencies. After they have guided us through the various trials of life, they uphold us, at last, amidst the ruins of this falling frame; and when the silver cord is just ready to be loosed, and the golden bowl

XII.

SERMON to be broken; when the pitcher is broken at

the fountain, and the wheel broken at the cistern; they enable us to say, O Death! where is thy sting? O Grave! where is thy victory?

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And they said one to another, We are verily

guilty concerning our brother, in that we saw the anguish of his soul, when be besought us; and we would not bear : Therefore is this distress come upon us.

And Ruben answered them, saying, Spake I not unto you, saying, Do not sin against the child; and ye would not bear? Therefore behold also bis blood is required.

XIII.

THIS book of Genesis displays a more sermon

singular and interesting scene, than Was ever presented to the world by any other historical record. It carries us back to the beginning of time, and exhibits mankind in their infant and rising state.

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