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in the Lord from henceforth ; yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours ; and their works do follow them.”

Alas! how truly may the greater portion of mankind, exclaim with the Prophet Jeremiah, in his Lamentations, “I am the man that hath seen affliction by the rod of his wrath. He hath led me, and brought me into darkness, but not into light. Surely, against me is he turned : he turneth his hand against me all the day. My flesh and

my skin hath he made old; he hath broken

my bones. He hath builded against me, and compassed me with gall and travel. He hath set me in dark places, as they that be dead of old."

Ah! if such were his afflictions, who shall presume

that himself can escape from the allseeing eye of God; who but will humble his spirit to the dust before the Lord his Maker ?

But what are the blessed consolations of Religion let the Prophet tell us, in the same Chapter ; the third of his affecting Lamentations. 66 The Lord will not cast off for ever : But though He cause grief, yet will He have compassion according to the multitude of his

mercies. For He doth not afflict willingly nor grieve the children of men.”

Indeed our departed friends, whose piety has been manifestly shewn in a life adorned with every virtue; experienced in their deepest afflictions such consolation as only the God of mercy could bestow.

Because all communication with men is cut off, it is not so with God; to whom the Soul aspires, even in the realms beyond the grave. And the opening visions of Paradise, are mercifully given to pious, humble, unassuming Christians; and support our dying friends under the most terrible of earthly

sorrows.

Let this well known fact prove that the Soul of man is immortal; and does aspire towards its great Original, even when mortality gains hourly upon a wasted frame; even when human intellect is dim, and overcast. :

How justly does the Prophet set forth his consolation-such must have been the comfort of those Christians who die in peace such will be ever granted to all who faithfully confide in God. “I called upon thy Name, O Lord, out of the low dungeon. Thou hast heard my voice, hide not thine ear

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at my breathing, at my cry. Thou drewest near in the day that I called upon thee; thou saidst, Fear not. O Lord, thou hast pleaded the cause of my Soul ; thou hast redeemed my life.”

For thus does He, who brought forth light from darkness, whisper peace to a deeply wounded spirit; thus does God send down the Holy Ghost the Comforter to sooth the sorrows of his afflicted servants.

O my brethren, let us not repine at the dispensations of the Most High; but bow submissive to His Will. “ For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord.”

Let the Prophet Isaiah tell us the happiness of those who die in the Lord ; of those Souls, who when living in this World, obeyed his Commandments. “ The righteous perisheth, and no man layeth it to heart: and mere ciful men are taken away, none considering that the righteous is taken away from the evil to come.

He shall enter into peace : they shall rest in their beds, each one walking in his uprightness." They have passed the trials of this state with fidelity, and they shall enter into that intermediate state, where the wicked cease from troubling, and the weary are at rest;" the blessed realms of just, departed spirits.

spirits. For, as the Angel flying " in the midst of the heaven, having the everlasting Gospel,” declared ; “ Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.”

Not only did our Saviour on the Cross confirm the Jews in their belief of such a Paradise; but He took, with his own Soul, into that happy abode of the departed, the Soul of the

poor penitent. And St. Paul, in the very remarkable passage, in the twelfth Chapter of his 2nd Epistle to the Corinthians, expressly declares of himself; (“whether in the body I cannot tell, or whether out of the body I cannot

God knoweth :) how that he was caught up into Paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter." Thus, as the learned Parkhurst explains this

passage;

he 66 had a foretaste of the blessed state of faithful souls between death, and the resurrection. For such is the sense of · Paradise' in the New Testament.”

Various are the ways by which, in all

tell :

Ages, God has been pleased to reveal himself to men; for his mercies are as unbounded, as his wisdom, and power, are infinite.

Ezekiel was lifted up by the Spirit, and brought to Jerusalem : Philip was caught away from the Ethiopian by the same Spirit, and carried to Azotus : Enoch was translated ; and Elijah carried in a fiery chariot into Heaven. St. John was rapt in a vision, and saw many wonders of the World to come, and the souls of the departed praying unto God.

Let all these circumstances lead us to embrace the consoling hope, that the cold grave cannot retain, within its narrow bounds, man's immortal spirit. Let then our souls magnify the Lord, and our spirits rejoice in God our Saviour.

“ Behold, I shew you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump; for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible; and we shall be changed.” “ Then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. O Death, where is thy sting? O Grave, where is thy victory ?

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