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ministrations of the sanctuary, how thankfully does he retain the inestimable privilege of pouring out his heart in secret before God, and of holding sweet converse with his heavenly Father. “I can very seldom talk or read now,” said a venerable servant of God, whose days were almost numbered; "but," he added, as a happy_smile lighted up his withered features, "I can pray. In my weakest moments, without opening my lips, I can make known my requests unto God, and praise him for his never-changing goodness towards me.”
Let the evening of your life be much devoted to prayer; for at the close, no less than at the commencement of your Christian experience, you are entirely dependent upon Almighty succour. Go therefore with boldness to the throne of grace, that you may still obtain mercy, and find grace to help you in every time of need.* Old age has its especial wants and trials; but, “ Ask, and it shall be given you,"t is the inscription which is ever written over the mercy seat. Implore that strength which you require in order that you may cheerfully bear God's will now; that support which you will need in the hour of death, when heart and flesh shall fail; that consolation and guidance which you desire to have imparted to those whom you must leave behind in a world of grief
+ Matt. vii. 7.
# Heb. iv. 16.
and danger. He, who is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that you can ask or think, will hear and answer your feeble but heart-felt petitions.
The evening of life! Have these words a melancholy sound? They tell, it is true, that the bright sunshine of youth and manhood is past; that the health and the energy which impelled our steps in the path of usefulness and renown have departed, that the night of death will soon gather round us, when we must close our eyes upon all that is loved and lovely here.
But are these facts unwelcome to the Christian ? Nay, are they not rather the incentives of his hope, and his joy? Long a stranger and a pilgrim upon earth, do they not assure him that he is now on the borders of that country which he has so earnestly been seeking? The worldling may mourn over the flowers which have withered in his grasp; but the Christian has a treasure laid up in heaven, and his heart is there also. The orphan spirit may sbrink from the prospect of an unknown eternity; but the child of God cannot but rejoice in the thought of soon going home.
The evening of life! Aged christian; an everlasting morning will soon dawn upon your redeemed and perfected spirit. “Now is your
salvation nearer than when you believed."* Mark with thankfulness the shadows of evening as they deepen around you, for they are the necessary precursors of the coming day. Calmly and trustingly as an infant that slumbers on its mother's bosom, you will soon “sleep in Jesus," to awake in that purer and happier world, which has “no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it; for the glory of God doth lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof."+ "Absent from the body,” you will at once be- present with the Lord;"1 you will
. “behold his face in righteousness;" you will “be satisfied, when you awake, with his likeness."
* Rom. xiii. 11. † Rev. xxi. 23. 12 Cor. v. 8. $ Psa. xvii. 15.
THE AGED CHRISTIAN,
The spring and summer time of life have long since pass'd
away, And golden autumn, with its leaves of sadness and decay, Has come and gone; and winter shrouds each lovely scene
in gloom, And bids me mark across my path the shadows of the tomb. Mine eye is growing dim with age, my step is feeble now, And deeper lines of thought and care are graven on my
brow; But shall I murmur as I trace the rapid flight of hours, Or grasp with trembling eagerness earth's fair yet fading
Oh no! a bright and happy home awaiteth me above,
love. Does the wave-tossed mariner regret when he sees the
haven near Where his shattered bark shall safely rest, nor storm nor
Will the toil-worn labourer sigh because his weary task
must close, And evening's peaceful shades afford him calm and sweet
Or does the child with sorrow mark each swift revolving
mile, Which bears him to his cherished home and loving father's
And shall the Christian grieve because some gentle signs
are given That he is nearer to the bliss, the perfect bliss of heaven? That every moment closer brings that mansion fair and
bright, Prepared for him with tender love in realms of pure delight?
Oh! with such brilliant hopes as these how can my heart
repine, Although I feel my vigour fade, my wonted strength de
cline ? Rather with gladness would I hail these messages of love, Which tell me I shall quickly join the white-robed throng
My pilgrimage will soon be o'er, my arduous race be run, And the bright crown of victory triumphant faith have won. No sorrow clouds the land of rest, hush'd is the thought of
pain : Oh! if for me to live is Christ, to die indeed is gain!