« НазадПродовжити »
holiness, perfect happiness. This journey leads me to my home, to my father's house, to my everlasting rest.
Then I will not shrink from its approach, nor complain of its accompaniments. It may be linked with much that is painful and unpleasant, but it is the only way home; and therefore, although life has many ties and many joys, I feel an earnest desire to depart and be with Christ, which is far better than being here.
Death is a solemn journey, but it is a safe one to Christ's people; for he will not only receive and welcome them at its close, but he will be with them as they are passing through it. Oh, it will not be lonely with him! And he is a Guide who is well acquainted with the way, for he has trodden it himself, and the marks of his footsteps are visible there still. He went for the purpose of smoothing its difficulties, clearing its dangers, dispersing its terrors : and he fully accomplished his purpose : “ That through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; and deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage." Therefore when I walk through the dark valley, I will fear no evil; for thou, O Jesus, wilt be with me, and thy rod and thy staff shall com
# Heb. ii. 14, 15.
“ The spirit shall return unto God who gave it." Eccles. xii. 7.
“Not to a stranger; not to an unknown, untried master; but to Him who has preserved and watched over it from year to year; to Him who knows its struggles, its anxieties, its throb. bings of hope and fear; to its own God, even the God who gave it;' nay, more, who gave for it his only and well-beloved Son.” Therefore, Christian reader, you need not fear to depart. Does the child dread to return home, to go back to its loving parents ?
Oh, happy moment! when you shall be admitted into your heavenly Father's presence, and shall share in those pleasures which are at his right hand for evermore!
“ Away, thou dying saint, away ;
Thy toils, at length, have reached a close,
LIGHT AT EVENTIDE.
The chequer'd day of life is past,
Its varied joys, its varied cares; The clear blue sky is overcast,
And night a solemn aspect wears; Oh, Thou, whose smile makest all things bright, At evening time let there be light.
Darkness has often marked our way,
And sorrow on our souls has press'd; But thou can'st all our fears allay,
And cheer the closing hour of rest ; Thy love is boundless as thy might: At evening time let there be light.
Oh, shine within our hearts; reveal
Thyself in Christ, the God of love;
The glory of the land above;
Like radiant stars that chase the gloom,
And guide the traveller to repose,
The shadow which death's coming throws;
“Let there be light.” One word from thee
Will every passing shade dispel ; Until thy face unveil'd we see,
And in thy cloudless presence dwell. Soon shall our faith be changed to sight: In heaven there will be perfect light!
THE BANKS OF THE RIVER.
“Now I further saw that betwixt the pilgrims and the gate of the city was a river; but there was no bridge to go over, and the river was very deep. At the sight of this river the pil. grims were much stunned; but the men that went with them said, 'You must go through, or you cannot come at the gate. The pilgrims then began to inquire if there was no other way to the gate ? to which they answered · Yes; but there hath not any, save two, Enoch and Elijah, been permitted to tread that path since the foundation of the world, nor shall until the last trumpet shall sound.' The pilgrims then began to despond in their minds, and looked this way and that, but no way could be found by them, by which they might escape the river."*
Ah, how true and how touching is this description of the emotions which are often excited in the Christian pilgrim's breast, as he stands on the banks of the river! He fears to cross its deep, dark waters; he shrinks from
* Pilgrim's Progress.