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suits, that we can ever expect to attain to this satisfaction. If we go on in our sins, we are not to expect a joyful meeting with our friends, and relatives, and dear connections. If we turn away from our sins, and take up religion in earnest, we may. Religion disarms even death: It disarms it of that which is its bitterness, and its sting, the power of dividing those who were dear to one another."

If with such persons, it was pleasant to "take sweet counsel" in virtuous, social intercourse upon earth, how transporting must it be, to have our conversation renewed with them in heaven! Perhaps we were the means, in God's hands, of guiding them on their way to glory; or, perhaps they taught us that knowledge of God and of Jesus Christ, which led to immortal bliss: and, when their days of parental usefulness were passed, we, perhaps, supported their reverend heads in the season of age and sickness, and closed their eyes in peace. Our meeting each other, therefore, in a state of blessedness, and our mutually reflecting on the means

of its attainment, must be ecstacy, greater than, at present, can possibly be conceived. ecstacy, worthy of a gracious God to impart, and of saints and angels to enjoy!


As contemplations, such as those in which we have indulged, are of a nature too congenial with the human heart to weary attention; and as they must excite an interest proportionate to the degree in which they have been entertained by the wise and good in all ages, it has been one main object of this inquiry to bring forward the distinguished witnesses, whose sentiments on the important subject, have been submitted to the consideration of the reader; a subject, which cannot but have a salutary and soothing effect both on our lives, and on our death: inducing us so to

adorn the former with whatsoever is lovely and of good report, as to fit us for a better state of existence; and shedding, over the dark solemnity that will attend the latter, an almost celestial radiance, well calculated, not only to dissipate every appalling gloom, but so to cheer the parting spirit of an expiring mortal, as to make him feel a holy impatience to put on immortality.

We have seen, in the analogies of nature, and the conclusions of reason, numerous and satisfactory grounds for hope, that the whole of man perishes not in death; and we have heard, from an authority far superior to nature and to reason, positive assurances, that what constitutes our daily pleasure on earth, namely, the endearing society of our virtuous fellow-creatures, will be continued to us in heaven, Proofs of this having been afforded, sufficient, it is presumed, to satisfy the most scrupulous mind, our reflections shall be closed by an humble attempt to shew, that, while travelling here, a pilgrim through a valley of tears, man is neither unconneted

with nor unsympathized by a higher order of beings, by whom his conduct and his welfare may be more influenced, than, in all probability, is generally imagined.

That such is really the case the following text of Scripture seems plainly to prove: Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation:"* from which text, without abridging the scriptural doctrine of preventing grace and delivering mercy; or limiting, in idea, the Omnipotence of Jehovah, we are taught to believe. that the blessed spirits, here spoken of, are frequently about our path to shield us. from danger, or to keep us from sin. They are made the means or ministers of grace to us for these salutary ends. They are links, strong, though invisible, in the mysterious chain of Providence, which bind and sustain, in wonderful order, the intelligent parts of God's creation. They are even mentioned, in scripture, as beings whom we may behold and converse, with,

* Heb. I. 14.

and yet be ignorant of their errand and of their nature. St. Paul, to incite us to hospitality and kindness to the wandering and forlorn, says, "Be not forgetful to entertain strangers; for thereby some have entertained angels unawares;" that is, without knowing it. In the patriarchal days, "When God himself, and angels walked with man," this was frequently the case. Witness the instance of ABRAHAM" in the plains of Mamre," and that of Lor, in the city of Sodom: neither of whom supposed their guests to be more than mortal, till after the rites of hospitality had been exercised towards them. Neither did MANOAH, at first, know his heavenly guest; as we learn from the following passage in the book of Judges: "And Manoah said unto him, I pray

thee let us detain thee until we shall have made ready a kid for thee. And the angel of the Lord said unto Manoab, though thou detain me, I will not eat of thy bread; and if thou wilt offer a burnt offering, thou must offer it unto the Lord. For Manoah knew not that he was an angel of the

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