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SERMON I.

NEARNESS OF ETERNITY.

By the Hon. and Rev. G. T. NOEL, A, M.

1 Peter iv. 7.

But the end of all things is at hand ; be ýe therefore sober, and watch unto

prayer.

It is the privilege of a Christian lo contemplate future events without alarm. His main interests are secured; he is " preserved in Christ Jesus,” and “kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation.” Hence, although many may be his previous afflictions, “ the Lord at length delivers him out of them all.” It is therefore to him no matter of disquietude, to throw forward his thoughts into futurity. Death, is in fact, to him the gate of life: “ for me to live is Christ, but to die is gain.” This power of regarding the future without alarm, is a great and substantial blessing. Worldly men are wont to hide the future from their view. Death is to them, (at least while prosperity is their lot,) a subject of disturbing roeditation. Until adversity, or pain, or bereavement may have produced despondency, and death be at the same time ignorantly regarded as the termination of struggle and want; until this state of mind be produced by suffering, ungodly men love to throw the soft hues of delusion over the complexion of life, and to think of death rather as a solitary fact than as the commencement of a new series of facts, in connection with God and Eternity. Such men put away the contemplation of death, and dread to look its results fully in the face. The animal

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courage indeed which they evince as to the simple fact of death, is the result of ignorance rather than thought; wbile the anticipation of its approach is an unwelcome intrusion upon present enjoyments.

And really, this is very intelligible. This world is the object of their affections. Hence to contemplate the loss of that object, is to them a very adequate source of distress. A Christian views the loss of these objects without uneasiness; not because he draws from them less enjoyment, but because God has revealed to hin higher objects, round which his better affections have been wou to cling. He loves to contemplate death, not because he is wea of the present life, or because he can no longer take part in occupations, but because he has become intimately acquais with objects which are far more valuable; objects indeed w cannot be fully enjoyed on this side the grave. He must possess them. Hence, though the previous struggle may be

, s the end to which it leads is unspeakably desirable. W: prospect before him, to be reminded that the “end of al is at hand," this to a Christian is not to throw a chilly sh the present, but rather to shed upon the future, a brightne can fling back its healthful rays even over the sicklin present. It stimulates him to the culture of mental so watchful prayer; and these are in themselves sourc consolation.

A Christian is never so happy as when he remem!
distinctly bis connection with God. The eternal lo
his soul is his best and enduring inheritance: but so
and the communion of prayer is the best medium
with God. Hence he will gladly avail bimself o
which is calculated to quicken the dormant si
hope, and to render eternity an idea more intim
fully familiar with his mind. Such occasions,
afforded by the periods which mark out the d
life. The close of a day, of a week, of a yea
his mind of the near approach of death and e
Christians, I would employ the present hail
of this intimation to us of the nearness of
to you, as did the Apostle to those whom h

I. THE END OF ALL THINGS IS AT HA
II.

And I would suggest, in the secon

nust lose to gain; he

precede to him n under the

an things. ngs of his No; he is ., as Noah eluge. He -olation; but and the ark pledge of its

et in peace, the , and pleasures, ck; but he feels ure, and he smiles

6 The end of all for it; my accounts fraid; my home and lay any thing to the tifies; who is he that her that is risen again, God.” “Lost in myself; man,' in my own esteem; God and glory; and under ileged to say, “ Come, Lord d be God, I thus know the tand. I know I shall not be

6

hristian. It is not the security im of spiritual pride. It is rather , and the grace of God. sider more particularly the practical

The end of all things is at hand." Ich unto prayer." 1 prayer, are indeed at all times the st; but they have a very close and diaortness of time, and the near approach

i is that temperate use of all earthly things,

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