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The morning of joy is close at hand; the things which are not seen and eternal are every moment drawing nearer to you; the promised inheritance, incorruptible, undefiled, and neverfading, will soon be actually yours. Meditate on the glory which shall presently be revealed. Consider how perfect in its nature, and how perpetual in its duration, is the happiness which God has provided for you in his everlasting kingdom. An eminent minister who was

. spending an afternoon with some Christian friends, was observed to be unusually silent. On being roused from his reverie by a question which was addressed to him, he said that he had been absorbed in the contemplation of eternal happiness. “Oh, my friends!” he exclaimed, with an energy which arrested the attention of all present, “think what it is to be for ever with the Lord ; for ever, for ever, for ever!

But is the prospect of heaven thus attractive to you? Have you any true sympathy with its joys; any congeniality of spirit with its bright inhabitants? You of course hope when you die, to go to heaven; the most thoughtless and worldly minded characters hope that: not because they aspire after more intimate communion with God and closer conformity to his image, but because they associate the idea of happiness with heaven; and it is the instinctive


go there."

desire of their nature to wish to be happy. But unless we are made meet for the inheritance of the saints in light, the enjoyments of heaven, were we allowed to be there, would be positively distasteful to us. The unjust and the unholy would be unjust and unholy still, and in a world of perfect truth and purity would find no source of satisfaction. A clergyman was conversing with an intelligent woman in his parish, who was ill and dying. After he had

, ceased talking to her, she said with an expression of much distaste, “If heaven be such a place as you describe, I have no wish to

Such an avowal may seem unnatural, but it would be the confession of every unsanctified heart, if men seriously considered the character of celestial happiness. The songs of the redeemed cannot change the heart, nor the glory of the heavenly city, transform the spirit. What fellowship can light have with darkness?

Aged reader, rest not satisfied with any. thing short of a true preparation for everlasting bliss. It is easy to bear the name of Christian. But, without "holiness” no man shall see the Lord.*

Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”+ How shall

you attain this preparation ? simple faith in Christ, by the grace of the

By Holy Spirit. External acts of devotion, almsgiving, self-denial, or large charitable bequests, cannot purchase your passport for heaven. The righteousness of God, which is unto all and upon all them that believe, and the sanctification of the heart which is effected by the power of the Holy Spirit, must be yours before you can enter into everlasting glory. And they may be yours-yours now.

† John iii. 3.

* Heb. xii. 14.

. Put your trust in that Saviour who has declared he will in no wise cast out those who come to him; and seek for the gift of that Holy Spirit which is promised to all who earnestly and perseveringly ask for it; and you shall have everlasting life.

But it is possible that some humble-minded and timid Christian hesitates, from a fear of being presumptuous and self-deceived, to appropriate those joys which are at God's right hand. Gladly would you anticipate the moment of your departure hence, could you be sure that an abundant entrance would be ministered unto you into Christ's kingdom. But although you cling to the Saviour as your only hope of salvation, and are anxiously striving to bring forth the fruits of the Spirit, you cannot rise to that happy confidence which many Christians feel in the prospect of eternity. You cannot echo their peaceful and unwavering declaration, “We know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens."*

You are like the pilgrims on the Delectable Mountains, whose hands shook so that they could not look steadily through the perspective glass at the gate of the celestial city.

Yet, fear not! it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom; the promised possession is secured to you, although you are unable to realize your interest in it. It is both your privilege and your duty to seek earnestly the assurance of hope;" but remember, for your consolation and encouragement, that the weakest believer in Christ is as safe as the most rejoicing Christian. Keep your eye fixed upon your Saviour; strive to follow in his steps: use with constancy and diligence the means of grace which he has provided; and you shall eventually attain to that perfect peace which casteth out fear. At evening time it shall be light."

For happy are those whose hope is clear, whose faith is strong, and who, in the consciousness that the time of their departure is at hand, can look to the past and to the future, and meekly, but confidently affirm with “Paul the aged, “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:

f Zech. xiv. 7.

* 2 Cor. v. 1.

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henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness."

Joyful assurance ! Bright anticipation! Well may such aged believers have an ardent desire to depart, and to be with Christ; well may they long for that rapidly approaching hour when he shall present them faultless before the presence of their God with exceeding joy. The evening of life! Evening is the time

Then the lisping babe folds its little hands, and utters its simple words of supplication and thanksgiving; then the pious family assemble round the domestic altar; then the thoughtful Christian retires into his closet, shuts his door, and prays to his Father who seeth in secret. The comparative . quietude which exists in the world around him, and the repose which spreads itself over the face of nature, seem to soothe the spirit of the wearied believer, and to invite him to calm and hallowed intercourse with his Maker.

And should not life's evening thus tranquillize and elevate his feelings? Private prayer, the delight and duty of all who have been taught of God, is an employment peculiarly appropriate to the aged Christian. Compelled to relinquish the active occupations of former days; unable to read much even of the best of books; and frequently deprived, perhaps, of the long-valued

* 2 Tim. iv. 6.

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