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the Heaven of Heavens, comes down again SERM. to take cognizance of our ways, the trumpet of Heaven shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible-thus much as to our future resurrection from the grave. But let us not be too quick and hasty in our judgment of things: this, it is true, tells us we shall all rise again. We shall all live for ever in another state, when, at the voice of God, we shall arise from the grave; but though the resurrection is to be general, is it to be without distinction! Are the good and the bad, the righteous and unrighteous, upon the same footing in this respect? Will the great God, who is to call them forth from the grave, receive with equal benignity, the pious worshipper, and the impious blasphemer of his holy name? No, we all know better than this; the wicked man knows it himself; he knows it so well, that perhaps he almost rather wishes he might not rise at all; O, how inglorious ! how contrary to his nature as a rational beingt Yet there are such ; and, what is worse, they generally so much wish to believe

them

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SERM. themselves mortal, and not to be called

forth again to judgment, that they try to make others believe, like themselves, that there is no God, that Heaven is a fable, and hell a chimera! but these are ignoble souls. We hope for better things, and, as we are anxious and eager to contend for thc crown of glory, so we are bold to defy all the enemies of our nature, ranged under their three great leaders, the flesh, the world, and the devil. This, however, I say, supposing, we are true Christians, for our profession is to follow Christ; if we do not do so, therefore, we are not only sinful, inasmuch as we disobey his written laws, but we are traitors and rebels against him whom we have acknowledged for our leader. But, to return: the same Gospel that tells us the dead are to rise again, tells us another most awful truth ; namely, that when that hour arrives in which we are all to come forth from our graves,

they that have done good shall rise to the * resurrection of life, but those that have done

evil to the resurrection of damnation ;or, as another Evangelist expresses it,

" these shall

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shall go away into everlasting punishment, SERM. but the righteous into life eternal.We now see the glorious hopes that the Gospel of Christ holds out to those that shall be found in the way of righteousness ;” shall be found, I say, for though we shall not all live (none of us indeed most probably) till the day, of doom, yet such as we die, such we shall be found at the coming of our Lord. It is not much anticipating matters, then, to say, that the hoary head that is in the way of righteousness, is such an earnest of approaching honor and reward, that as far as it can deserve to excite our veneration and respect, to give influence and authority to him that is so distinguished ; to raise him high in the estimation of his fellow-creatures, and to set him above all the sordid pleasures of this life ; it is little

; less than a real crown of glory even here below ; but with regard to the prospects of futurity, perhaps the next day, hour, or very minute, may accomplish the change. To-morrow, perhaps, he who now is before you, tottering under the burden of age, and worn down with the weight of his

years,

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SERM. years,

shall have departed from the vain shadow of this world, and have received

glory of the Lord.But, is it, that the words of my text, and all that has been said upon them, are of concern only to one period of man's life? Have I been preaching all this while only to the aged and infirm ? Is there no moral to be

gathered from these words, applicable to us all in general ? Certainly life is not such a sure holding, as that any of us can depend upon being preserved till the head becomes hoary with age; and yet certainly every one of us has a secret wish to live as long as his fellows. Now, I have before shewn, that all the lusts and vanities of life, have a natural tendency to shorten our days. Those, therefore, that

pass

their lives in such excesses, have no reason to expect the sober moments of old age, in which they shall have time to repent and turn to God, A. man, who is wasting the early part of life in drunkenness and debaucheries, sin and wickedness, has only these two chances before him, either that of being cut off prematurely, in the midst

of

a

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of his errors, or else of living to undergo SERM. the pains and torments of a disordered body, added to the bitter reflections of a wounded conscience. On the contrary, he who applies himself to honest industry, is frugal and temperate, and above all things keeps hiinself in the way of righteousness, is likely to see long life and good days, to preserve his body, if not strong yet at least healthy, and free from pain to the last hour; to sink gradually to the grave, content to quit the transitory scenes of this world, and prepared to meet his Saviour and his God, in the everlasting realms above. But, to conclude, let us not think we are to wait till the head is hoary, before we need put ourselves into the way of righteousness; though we may not attain to old age, we shall certainly attain to another life. In the other world, crowns of glory are awaiting the good, whether this, their mortal life, shall be concluded in youth, in manhood, or in second childhood; but punishment, and grievous pains are prepared for the bad. The aged have this blessing peculiar to them, that they

may,

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