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voluntary action is suspended; and in such sickness and infirmities as prevent settled thought. What an infinite value, the term is a strong one, but not too strong, and I repeat it, what an infinite value belongs to that part of our life in which we can discern between good and evil, in which we may repent and turn to God, and live by faith!

Sometimes an illustration assists us in rightly estimating the importance of a remark. Let us suppose two armies, the collected and well-disciplined powers of rival states, to be brought into a wide plain; they meet in dreadful conflict, and there is the noise of the warriors' arms, and the warriors' cry; there is the sound of the trumpet waxing louder and louder; the shout of victory; the shriek of agony; the trampling of horses; and the garments rolled in blood. Soon, very soon, in a space of time, at most brief, as between the rising and the setting sun, (the awful fight of Waterloo lasted no longer,) and the battle is either won or lost; and, perhaps, the happiness or the misery of millions, during an age, and the state of nations, are affected by the results of the conflict. How brief the struggle! how durable the results! The period of the battle bears no proportion to the importance of its results. And, O, my brethren, should we not look at time in its connection with eternity, in its bearing on our everlasting interests! Time how short! Eternity how long! Time will form the character of our eternity!

The chief, the only true value of time is this, that it is the season of grace, the spring time of eternity. It is immeasurably important to as many as are disciples of the crucified; for it is written, "He that soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully;" and

again, as "one star differeth from another star in glory; so also is the resurrection of the dead;" from which are to be gathered two great truths: 1. That, even among those received to the habitations of the blessed, "who rest from their labours, and whose works follow them," there exists, and there shall exist, a difference of glory and blessedness; some are like stars of the first magnitude, comparatively large and bright; others are like stars of the seventh magnitude, very small, hardly to be seen without a telescope, having a tiny lustre. And, 2. The rewards of heaven are proportioned to the diligence and activity, the holy devotedness and perseverance, with which believers have "run the race set before them" or, to use the figure of the apostle, the harvest has a proportion to the seed-time, and he that soweth plentifully shall also reap plentifully. The hand of the diligent shall make everlastingly rich. And, if it is true that the happiness goes on to increase, and that continually, it will increase in degrees proportioned to the attainment of each; thus, though the stars of the lowest magnitude increase to the lustre of one now of the first, the first will have advanced to a proportionably brighter glory, shining brighter and brighter throughout eternal day. But such reflections are of little value, unless turned to a practical account. Keeping in mind the remarks just made, what a value belongs to every means of grace, to every opportunity of doing and of getting good. If a man had, once in his life, an opportunity of realizing his fortune, he would, through all the subsequent period, regret his folly, if he neglected to improve the occasion. But wealth is an uncertain good, only to be enjoyed for a few brief, troubled years at the longest; and what is life "but a dying lamp in a sickly vapour;" a breath compared with eternity. So important is every means of grace that no period can

arrive in eternity in which the result of a neglected opportunity of doing or of getting good shall cease to be felt; not one in which the benefit of both shall have produced all the felicity that shall follow. If you retain the good of holy exercise, if you maintain, as co-workers with Him, the beginning of your confidence to the end, the benefit shall be an everlasting one: but if you live to fulfil the lusts of the flesh, your regrets can never cease, for the occasion of them in the misery they shall ever produce shall ceaselessly continue.

Consider this matter aright, and you will agree with me in saying that an hour, if rightly improved, may be of more value to you than the acquisition of the whole creation. The seed-time is short, and, if neglected, no harvest shall follow; but the sluggard must beg in winter, unpitied and unrelieved. This consideration sets in a proper light the sin of trifling and gay amusements, for which the men of this world so earnestly plead. Invite a general, in the field of battle, to turn aside and amuse himself with pictures, prospects, and scenes of gayety; with dancing, card-playing, visiting, and attendance on the theatre; and let us suppose there were nothing positively sinful in any one of all these things; would he not reply, the "nation's happiness, the welfare of the state, the lives of thousands, and the comfort of tens of thousands, interested in their preservation, are at issue! the stake is awful, and it were madness in me to think of any thing but my duty!" And it is for us to reply to the enticement of sinners, let them charm ever so wisely, "We cannot consent, for we are doing a great work, so that we cannot come down; why should the work cease, while we leave it, and come down to you?" I beseech you, my brethren, consider, while the duty of working out our salvation is before us, what have we to do with trifles, with gayeties, with

mirth and song? Are these amusements unsuitable for a general in the field of battle, because the lives of men are intrusted to him? they are still more unsuitable for us, for the eternal life of the soul is at stake. The life of the body is valuable; but the soul infinitely exceeds it in value: had it been otherwise, Christ would not have laid down his life to redeem it. Should a general be in earnest, because the happiness or misery of an empire is suspended upon his conduct? Shall not we be in earnest for the salvation of our souls redeemed at so great a price; knowing that the happiness or misery of time is not to be compared to the joy or the wo of eternity?

If a mighty sand-glass stood before us, which should run out just when time with us shall terminate, how should we watch the grains, as they fell one by one: how often compare the quantity that had passed with that which remained to pass; and O, how eager would such a sight make us to prepare for the transit of the last sand! There is a veil over the glass; perhaps the last grain is about to fall! The redemption of the soul is precious, and it ceaseth for ever! How stand matters with you? Conscience, speak!

But to bring the matter to an issue. How dear to us should be "the earthly dwellings of our God." The very dust of Judea was dear to a Hebrew. The stones of our house of prayer have an associated excellence in the eyes of a Christian. The place of a king's nativity is interesting; but the birth-place of a soul has far higher claims to regard; and of this place it shall be said, "This and that man was born there."

The time for occupying this house of prayer ceaseth for ever! We shall soon see the last of our earthly sabbaths: how important the thought to preachers and people!



"Who shall change our vile bodies, and fashion them like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself," Phil. iii, 21.

It was not until life and immortality were brought to light by the gospel that the resurrection of the dead was understood to be among the provisions of mercy entertained by the eternal Mind. This glorious doctrine of revelation is not only one very full of comfort in itself, but it is also of importance, as giving us a deeper and more powerful impression of the immortality of the soul, and consequently of man's responsibility, of the reward promised to his obedience, and the threatening denounced against his disobedience. That the truth of these assertions may appear, it is not necessary to draw out a lengthened proof from the records of heathenism, in order to establish the conclusion that the Gentiles had never imagined such a truth as the resurrection of the dead. The Greeks were the wisest of nations; Athens was, in a sense, the metropolis of Greece; and when Paul "preached to them Jesus and the resurrection" they mistook the very words he used. They said he was a "setter-forth of strange gods," supposing Jesus to be the name of one god and Resurrection to be the name of another. And if such was the folly of the wise, how deplorable must have been the ignorance of all others!

But the ignorance of the Gentiles on the subject of the resurrection did not merely shut them out from

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