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Christian Reading ~ Life's Evening ~ Passages & Poems from the 1800's

Feb 07, 2013 - 2 comments

Grief Counseling






Self help





Life’s Evening by Samuel Burnham Year 1860 : Online @ the following address.

Banks Of The River
The Heavenly Rest
Words In Seasons
The Unchanging Friend

When Wilt Thou Die
Light At Eventide
Our Home


"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 pilgrims 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 pilgim's breast , as he stands on the banks of the river !  He fears to cross its deep , dark water ; he shrinks from the strange , and it may be , the stormy passage to eternity .  Oh , if he could but reach the celestial city without having to cross the stream of death !

It cannot be .   When the summons for his departure arrives , he must enter that cold flood , and meet its terror . None can disregard the call , nor choose any other mode of transit .  " It is appointed unto men once to die . "

Yet why should the Christian be afraid ? Solemn and mysterious s the last change undoubtedly is , even to the child of God , he may rest assured that a wise and loving Saviour will shield him from every danger , and guide him in safety through it .  And if Christ himself is with him then , if his rod and staff support and comfort him , what evil can he fear ?

Aged reader , as you gaze upon the river which rolls between you and the promised land , is your mind filled with gloom and apprehension ?  Is it not because you look only at death ?  you do not at the same time fix the eye of faith upon your Saviour .  You seem to think that , unaided and alone , you will have to struggle through its waves , instead of joyfully remembering his promise ,  " When thou passest through the waters , I will be with thee '  and through the rivers , the shall not overflow thee . "  Oh !  he who lays hold upon this sweet assurance may safely shut his eyes , and leave himself to the entire disposal of infinite love , and faithfulness , and wisdom.

Does nature recoil from the physical suffering of the last mortal conflict ?  It is true , that the pains of death are sometimes so severe as to occasion the deepest distress and anguish ; but in the greater number of instances , how easy and tranquil are the closing moments of life !  How many pass from time to eternity as calm as an infant falling asleep on its mother's bosom !  But should it be otherwise ; should your dying hour be one of extreme suffering , is not the manner as well as the time of your departure hence appointed by your heavenly Father ?  and will he suffer you to be tried above that which you are able to bear ?  He knows your frame ; he remembers that you are dust , and feels the tenderest parental compassion for those who fear him ' and therefore you may be assured that the trials which his love ordains , whether in life or in death , are necessary trials , and that he will give you support under them .  And if your strength is proportioned to your burden , is it not the same in effect s if that burdened were removed ?  Listen to the testimony of an eminent minister of Christ , whose sufferings were intense , but whose spirit was filled with rejoicing in the midst of them .  " I have suffered twenty times , yes - to speak within bounds - twenty times as much as I could in being burnt at the stake ; but my joy in God so abounded as to render my sufferings not only tolerable but welcome .  The sufferings of the present time are not worth to be compared with the glory that shall be revealed . God is my all .  While he is present with me , no event can in the least diminish my happiness ;  and were the whole world at my feet trying to minister to my comfort , they could not add one drop to the cup .  Death comes every night , and stands at my bedside , in the form of terrible convulsions , until every bones is almost dislocated with pain ; and yet while the body is thus tortured , the soul is perfectly happy and peaceful , more happy than i can possibly express to you . "

How easily might we multiply proofs like these --  proofs of God so sustaining and elevating the soul of the believer above the pressure of physical suffering , as that it was comparatively unheeded and unfelt .  And can he not do the same , reader , for you ?  Is not his grace sufficient for you as well as for others ?  Oh, trust yourself to him ; repose with confidence upon his promises '; and believe that in a dying hour , your succour shall be equal to your need . Do not test our preparedness for that hour by the strength and comfort which you now possess , but by the solemn engagement which Christ has made never to leave nor forsake you .  He is with you now , to help you to glorify him by your life ;  when death comes he will be with you then ,  and help you to glorify him by your death.  Dying grace will not be vouchsafed until a dying hour ; you do not want it now , but it will be abundantly vouchsafed then .  Wait for it in faith .  " Death is somewhat dreary , " said bishop Cowper to his weeping friends , " and the streams of that Jordan which is between us and our Canaan run furiously ; but they stand still when the ark comes . "

But perhaps your anxiety respecting death is occasioned by the though of the separation which must be take place between your soul and the body .  You dread entrance upon an unknown and untried state of existence .  It is not what you know , but what you do not know of the future ,  which causes your distress .  If any one could return from the unseen world , and tell you exactly  what he experienced in the moment of his departure from earth , and clearly describe to you the sensations which he felt when he found himself absent from the body , your mind , you think would be relieved of much of its disquietude .  But it is the uncertainty , the blank , the mystery lying before , in the awful distance , at which you tremble .  Like a child in the dark , because you cannot see , you are afraid .  The imaginary objects which fill you with awe and trepidation would disappear if there were light enough to reaveal to you this true state of things .  Why then , you ask , is that light withheld ?  Could not God have unfolded to us in his word the nature of our future existence , and the mode of our introduction to it ?  He must have foreseen the suspense and the agitations which would arise through our ignorance , and yet he has not sought to allay our fears by a clearer and fuller revelation of things to come .  Why is this ?  The fact of God's silence upon this point is a sufficient reply .  We may be sure , since he is Love , that the knowledge which he as reserved is neither requisite nor desirable for us .  It is probable that , in our present state of existence , we could not comprehend more than he has already told us about another world ; or the full blaze of light which we desire , had it been granted , might have proved injurious to us .  We are as yet only in the infancy of our being , and do not know what is best for us ; but our Maker knows , and he has acted accordingly .  “ He has said enough to awaken curiosity – to enkindle desire – to inspire hope – to encourage confidence and expectation ; and we must wait for the rest .  God calls us to honour him by our faith , by our belief , at all times  and under all circumstances , in his wisdom and goodness .  

“It is as though we were allowed to give to the universe a proof of the firmness of our dependence upon him , such as no heavenly spirits can give ,  to show that we are not afraid to trust him , even when he bids us die . “  Oh , shall we not willingly prove how unshaken is our reliance on his love , by resigning ourselves in the hour of death , without one fear , to his care ?   The way before us is dark  and mysterious , but we will cheerfully follow where his leads us .   And how gently ,  how tenderly will he lead us !   The act of dying which we so greatly fear , may be gentle and painless slumber – a quiet falling asleep in Christ ;  and the light of eternity will dawn upon us like the tranquil beams of the morning , which now gladden our waking eyes .

“ Hast thou ne’er looked on a little child
When he first awakens from rest ,
And smiles to think how his dreams beguiled
While he slept on a parent’s breast ?
So calm and so sweet shall the waking be
In the radiant dawn of eternity . “

There is , it is true , something strange and inexplicable in the idea of our existence without a body ; we are apt to fancy that a disembodied spirit must at first feel as it were unclothed , and unprotected  .  But it is a mistake to suppose that the soul owes its defence from external harms and hardships to the body , in the same manner as the body does to the clothes it wears .  The very contrary is true.  It is here exposed to many more harms and hardships by means of its union with the mortal body ‘ and ,  consequently , its disunion from that will be its freedom from them .  The operations and conceptions of the liberated sould will be inconceivably more perfect , free , and unbiased than the are now while subject to so many impediments and interruptions from its connexion with animal nature .   This is evident from the fact , that even now we find our soul in the best frame for thinking when it is least affected by the body .  How rapid , how strong , how clear then will the flow of its thoughts , when they meet with nothing from without to obstruct them !

The dread of death , however , may arise from other causes .  It may result from apprehensions as to our eternal happiness .  We fear , sometimes , whether our names are written the the Lamb’s book of life ; whether we have any warrant to look forward to a participation in everlasting joys ; and therefore we cannot bear the thought of meeting our Judge face to face , and would fain retard the moment when our everlasting destiny must be fixed .  Were we sure that there was a mansion prepared for us , and a crown of glory laid up for us in heaven ; oh , we should not mind passing through the river of death , even though its waters were deep and tempest-tossed .   But how can we be sure ?

What saith the Scripture ?  “ There is now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus . “  “ He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life . “  “ I am the living bread which came down from the heaven ; if any man eat of this bread , he shall liver for ever . “  “ My sheep hear my voice , and I know them and they follow me : and I give unto them eternal life ; and they shall never perish . “  “ I will come again , and receive you unto myself ; that where I am , there you may be also . “

But precious as these assertions are , they do not exactly relieve our distress .  Our fear is not whether true believers are everlasting saved ,  but whether we are among their number .  We hope we are ,  but it is so easy to deceive ourselves ; we may be mistaken ; and how terrible to wake in eternity , and find ourselves excluded from the bliss of the redeemed ,  beyond the possibility of change ; for , what we are then , we must be for ever .

Our dread , then , of death , or rather of the consequences of death , may be traced to the weakness of our faith , or to imperfect views of the gospel of Jesus Christ .  It cannot , therefore be removed until our faith becomes stronger , and our views clearer .  We must study the word which God has given us , and ask for the teaching of his Spirit , that we may be enabled to understand to apply to ourselves the heart-cheering truth , “ Christ is all , and in all ; “ “ Ye are complete in him . “  We must strive to lay aside the reasonings , the prejudices , and the unbelief of our own hearts , and receive with simplicity and thankfulness the full and free promises of our Saviour .  As we become better acquainted with that loving Saviour , and understand more perfect the design of his all-sufficient atonement , our anxious forebodings about the future will gradually pass away , as the gloom of midnight fades before the rising sun , and the God of hope will fill us with all joy and peace in believing .

It will tend to mitigate the alarm which we regard the solemn change of death , if we look at it in its true character , as a continuation of the present , rather than as the commencement of a new state of existence .  Heaven and hell are not so much the reward – (using the word in its scriptural sense) – of our past life , as necessary sequence of it .   It will be what we are , not where we are , which will constitute our felicity or our woe ; and therefore if we are conscious now that we love the Saviour and trust in him , and follow after holiness ; or even that we heartily desire and strive to do this ; it is not plain that we have within us the germ of true happiness – a heart that is touched with the love of Christ , and longs for conformity to his likeness ?   With this principle implanted in our hearts , how could we be for ever miserable ?  It is impossible !  not only because God will never falsify his own word , nor condemn those who put their trust in his Son ; but because the elements of lasting peace and joy are already ours .  “ He that believeth on the Son hath – not  shall have – everlasting life . “  Meditate on this declaration , dear reader , and take the consolation which it is calculated to impart to all who are placing their reliance upon the atonement of Christ .

But in the contemplation of a dying hour , a tender and affectionate spirit is sometimes deeply affected at the prospect of parting with beloved relatives and friends .  There are some ,  perhaps , to whom we are a solace and a support , who have always been accustomed to lean upon us in their weary march of life , and to look to us for counsel and sympathy ; how will they do without us ? how can we leave them to struggle on , alone , and sorrowful ?  Or there are others , for whose salvations we are deeply concerned , and over whose wanderings we often shed bitter tears ; how shall we bear to take our farewell – it may be our last farewell – of them ?  How keen will the anguish of our dying hour , as we reflect that they are still unchanged , unsaved , and that we dare not cherish the hope of meeting them again !

Oh how painful are the separations of the grave !  How hard it is to sever , if only for a few years , the ties which bind us so closely to the dear ones around us !  Man Christians , aged Christians too – for old age does not quench the ardency of the affections – can respond to the touching desire of youthful discipline of the Saviour ,  “ Oh , mamma !  I wish we could all die and go to heaven together . “

Yet why should you dwell only on the dark side of the picture ?  it may never be presented to you .  Your heavenly Father , in his compassion for your weakness , may spare you the sorrow which you anticipate . You may pass away from this life as in a quiet slumber :

“ Nor bear a single pang at parting ;
Nor see the tear of sorrow starting ;
Nor hear the quivering lips that blessed you ;
Nor feel the hands of love that press you .

Or , if not ; if full conscious in your last moments that you are parting from those whom you love , God will so strengthen and animate your dying spirit as that you shall be enabled with calmness , nay with cheerfulness , to resign the objects of your affection to his merciful guidance and protection .  You will feel that he who has watched over you so many years in the wilderness , and brought you safely through every danger , can surely do as much for those whom you are leaving behind ; that He who has taught you to pray so earnestly and so perseveringly for their spiritual welfare , will not suffer your prayers to remain unanswered , although he calls you home before you have witnessed their fulfillment .  And you will also realize your happy and speedy re-union with your dear friends in another world .  Death will not long divide you ; the remainder of their appointed time on earth will pass rapidly away as a tale that is told , and then you will meet them again – meet to part no more !

“ With the prospect of meeting for ever ,
With the bright gates of heaven in view ,
From the dearest on earth we may sever ,
And smile a delighted adieu . “

Aged believer , you are standing now on the banks of the river ; fear not , only believe .  Remember than one of the reasons why Jesus Christ manifested himself in human nature was for the express purpose of dispelling that gloom which naturally overspreads the mind as we look upon the dark waters of death .   “Forasmuch as the children are partakers of flesh and blood , he also himself likewise took part of the same ; 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 . “   Then seek deliverance from that fear , and expect deliverance .  Christ suffered not in vain ; all the purposed of his death have been fully accomplished ; and he would have his people even now to participate in his triumph ; and without waiting for the actual encounter to join in the ascription of the apostle , “ Thanks be to God , which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ . “ Then

“ Shudder not to pass the stream ,
Venture all thy care on him ,
Him whose dying love and power
Still’d its tossing , hushed its roar ,
Not one object of his care
Ever suffered shipwreck there ;
See the haven full in view ;
Love Divine shall bear thee through . “

It is granted to you to possess that strong faith , that calm assurance , which elevates the mind above the fear of death ?  Can you say with gladness ,  “ The time of my departure is at hand ; I have fought a good fight , I have finished my course , I have kept the faith ; henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness , which the Lord , the righteous Judge , shall give me at that day ?  Thank your Saviour for this glorius hope – this hope which is as an anchor of the soul , sure and steadfast – for he is its author and its bestower .  It is because he has abolished death , and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel , that you are now enabled to look forward with the composure to your conflict with the last foe , and triumphantly to ask  “ O death , where is thy sting ?  O grave , where is thy victory ? “  Well may you rejoice , for your life is his with Christ in God , and you are safe for ever .   Safe amidst the infirmities and perils of old age ; safe in the swelling waters of Jordan ; safe when you stand before the solemn judgment seat ; yes , safe throughout eternity .  Nothing in earth or hell can separate you from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus ; or pluck you from the grasp of your ever-living Saviour .  He upholds and comforts you now in the evening of life ; and   “ by and by , leaning upon his arm , you shall come down to the river .  Not a ripple shall be on its bosom ; its clear waters shining in heaven’s own light shall allure to the crossing .   His feet shall but touch the stream , and , lo , a way for the ransomed to pass over . “   “ Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord : “   “ Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints . “

But our remarks about the river of death have been addressed to true Christians ; are you , reader , one of their number ?   If not , you have no right to appropriate to yourself the consolations which are designed only for them .  There is no sight more painful that of an aged individual on the borders of the grave , on the threshold of eternity , unrenewed , unsanctified , and yet undismayed by the terrors of the future , and confident of the joys of heaven .  May God preserve us from so fearful a delusion !   “ Be not deceived ;  God is not mocked : for whatsoever a man soweth , that shall he also reap . “  A life of carelessness – of worldliness – of self-righteousness , cannot prepare us for a life of glory .  “ Except a man be born again , he cannot see the kingdom of God . “  “He that believeth not the Son shall not see life ; but the wrath of God abideth on him .  “ Without holiness no man shall see the Lord .”  A change of heart , faith in Christ , the fruits of holiness , are the precursors of the believer’s assurance of eternal felicity ; what do ou know of them in your own experience ?  Examine yourself , whether you are in the faith ; or whether you have only a name to live while you are dead .  The absence of alarm , or even the possession of joy , as you draw near to death and eternity , is not , in itself , an indication of safety .  It may be but the deadly calm before an awful tempest ; a fatal slumber on the edge of a frightful precipice .  IGNORANCE trembled not when he came to the river-side , and prepared to cross it ; he got over it with less difficult than Christian , for one VAIN HOPE helped him with is boat ; but when he reached the other side , the King commanded his servants to bind him hand and foot , and to cast him into outer darkness .

Yet while this should warn the presumptuous and the self-confident , it should not discourage the awakened sinner , who feels that life is receding beneath his tread , and that his feet have as yet found no sure resting-place .  The language of the gospel is language of peace to all who really desire salvations from the peril and the dominion of sin .  “ Come unto me , “  says the Saviour , whom it proclaims ,  “ all ye that labour and are heavy-laden , and I will give you rest . “   It is never too late to turn to him ; to seek forgiveness at his cross .  God’s promises of salvation are made without exception of time ; for whenever a sinner repents of his sins , he has promised to put away his wickedness out of rememberance .  The are made without exception of sins ; for ,   “ The blood of Jesus Christ cleanseth us from all sin ; “   and ,   “ All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven without exception of persons ; for ,  “ Whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved ; “   “ Whosoever will let him take the water of life freely ; “   “ Him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out . “

Aged reader !   ‘ behold the Lamb of God , which taketh away the sin of the world . “   Look unto him and be saved .  How else will you pass through the swellings of Jordan ?   how else will you stand at the judgment seat of Christ ?


SOON will  “ the day break , and the shadows flee away . “   Soon will the darkness of earth be exchanged for the radiance of heaven .   There is no night there .   “ Thy sun shall no more go down ; neither shall thy moon withdraw itself ; for the Lord shall be thy everlasting light , and the days of thy mourning shall be ended . “

How welcome to the aged Christian is the thought of heaven !   As the toil-worn labourer hails with gladness the hours of rest ; as the wave-tossed mariner discerns with thankfulness the haven of safety ;  as the weary exile approaches the feelings of rapture his native country ; so does the believer rejoice in the immediate prospect of eternal glory .   He loves to think of that moment when he shall be absent from the body and present with the Lord ;  when the cares , and the conflicts , and the corruptions which surround him here , will be exchanged for the peace and purity which pervade the everlasting abode of the redeemed .   Varied are the attractions which draw his thoughts and affections thither .   Deliverance from trouble ; freedom from sin ; increase of knowledge ; separation from the ungodly ; intercourse with the holy ; communion with his Saviour ; these and other delineations of the heavenly state make him ready , eager to depart from the present life , and to enter upon that new and noble existence .

“ My chief conception of heaven , “  said Robert hall , who was an almost constant sufferer from acute bodily pain , “ is rest . “   And many sons and daughters of affliction can respond to his remark .   The have so much to do and to suffer ; the see so much misery and discord around them ; their spiritual foes are so powerful and perservering , that the sigh of the psalmist is often heard from their lips ,  “ Oh that I had wings like a dove ~ for then would I fly away , and be at rest . “   Rest ~ Where ?  In heaven : there the weary are at rest .

They rest from toil .   From physical exertion , and from mental labour .   The hand no longer has to procure bread for the sustenance of life , and to provide things honest in the sight of all men ; the head no longer has to plan for avoiding difficulties and distress , and to strive after a temporary relief from some of the cares of daily life .   “ They shall hunger no more , of daily life .   “They rest from their labours ; and their works do follow them , :  All fatigue and anxiety are for ever ended .

They rest from pain .   The inhabitant of that heavenly city shall not say , I am sick ;   and “there shall be no more pain : for the former things are passed away . “   “ I shall soon be at home now , “   said and aged Chrisitian woman , who had been for many years afflicted with a painful disease ,  “ and then all suffering will be over .  I hope I am not impatient ; I am willing to bear whatever God sends , and as long as he sends it ; I know he is love .   But it is very sweet sometimes , when my poor body is racked with pain and I cannot get a minute’s relief , to think that I am every day nearer heaven , and to feel that the sufferings of this present time are not worth to be compared with the glory that shall be revealed .  What a change it will be !

They rest from sorrow .  “ God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes ; and there shall be no more death , neither sorrow , nor crying . “   Yes ; God himself shall wipe away their tears .   The days of their mourning will be for ever ended , and sorrow and sighing shall flee away .   Want , disappointment , care , unkindness , injustice , bereavement , and every other source of earthly distress , are unknown in heaven .   The waves of grief cannot pass the confines of eternity .   The clouds of sadness cannot float in the clear atmosphere of heaven .   The voice of lamentation and weeping can never mingle with the songs of the redeemed .

They rest from spiritual conflict .  Life is a period of warfare and trial .   The foes of the Christian are many , and they are mighty .   His own unsubdued passions ; the world with its temptations on the one hand and its reproaches on the other ; and the great adversary of mankind going about as a roaring lion , seeking whom he may devour , are continually arrayed against him ; and he must be always upon is guard , always read for the encounter .   Not does he , except in occasional moments of discomfiture and depression , shrink from the battle-field .   It is his earnest desire to fight the good fight of faith , and to endure hardness as a good soldier of Jesus Christ .   To ask for victory and rest from a mere love of selfish ease , in inconsistent with his principles and feelings .   God has called him to the contest , and when he sees fit will call him to his reward ; till then he is willing to wait and toil and struggle on .   His prayer is that when his Lord comes he ma find him watching .   This is a right spirit .   We ought not to grow weary in well-doing .  We ought not wish for our crown before our conflict is ended .  But at the same time we may look forward to our rest with hope and gladness .   In the midst of our conflict with evil we may soothe and refresh our sprits with the thought of final victory .   As we press forward in our heaven-ward journey , encompassed by difficulties and beset with dangers , we may rejoice in the consideration that ,
“ We nightly fix our moving tent ,
A day’s march nearer home ! “
Yes : our warfare will soon be over – our rest attained .

And how cheering is the reflection that holiness as well as rest is linked with our anticipations of heaven ~   Nothing that defileth can enter there .  The church above is “ a glorious church , not having spot , or wrinkle , or any such thing ;  but holy and without blemish . “      The Christian , it is true , is already sanctified by the indwelling of the Holy Ghost .   Sin has no longer dominion over him ; for the grace of God , which bringeth salvation , teaches him to den ungodliness and worldly lusts , and to live soberly , righteously , and godly in this present world .   His heard is purified by faith .   He has put on he new man , which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness .   He has been adopted into God’s family ;  renewed in his  image ; and made a partaker in his holiness .   But as yet how imperfect is the resemblance which he bears ~ how feeble are the attainments which he has made ~   While he delights in the law of God after the inward man , he sees another law in his members warring against the law of his mind , and bringing him into captivity o the law of sin , so that in the anguish of his spirit he exclaims with the apostle ,   “ O wretched man that I am ~   who shall deliver me from the body of this death ? “   Day by day he presses toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus , but he is often sore let and hindered in running the race that is set before him ; sometimes he stumbles and falls ; and sometimes he wanders into some by-path which leads him into distress and danger ; and although he never gives up ; although each revival of the sin which so easily besets him ~ each temptation to which , through unwatchfulness and self-dependence , he yield , only prompts him to more powerful and vigorous effort for the future ; can we wonder if he anticipates with eagerness and delight the moment when he shall be freed from the defilement and imperfection of his present condition , and be perfectly conformed to the image of his Saviour ?   Oh to have his will entirely absorbed in God’s will ; to have every thought in unison with his mind ; to have self for ever lost sight of in the radiance of his glory ; to be holy , and unblamable , and unreprovable in his presence ~   How delightful is this prospect ~  how all sustaining is this hope !   And as years increase , as life declines , his desires after perfected holiness grows stronger and stronger ; until it overcomes his fear of death , and weakness the fondest ties which link him to earth .   He is ready to leave all around him , and to press through all before him , in order that he may be separated from sin and completely assimilated to the likeness of Christ.  “ We shall be like Him ! “ is the thought ~ the glorious thought ~ which makes heaven so precious in his estimation .   He longs more for purity than he does for rest .    He wants to be holy , sinless , perfected .

His desire will soon be granted , his hope realized .   “ Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness ; for they shall be filled . “   Filled ?  Satisfied ?  Yes .  When ?  In part now , in completeness herafter .  In heaven they hunger no more , neither thirst any more ; they are restored to the image of their God , and are faultless before his throne .

And then how delightful to the thoughtful and inquiring Christian ~ and every Christian ought to sustain this character ~ in the assurance that in a future stage our knowledge will be greatly increased .  In this world how limited are our highest acquirements !   We are like children playing on he sea-shore , and diverting ourselves , now and then finding a smoother pebble , or a prettier shell than ordinary , whilst the great ocean of truth lies all undiscovered before us .   But what we know not now , we shall know herafter .   Now we see through a glass darkly ; now we know but in part : but hen we shall see face to face , and know even as we are known .   Many deeply interesting and important questions which are unanswered now , will be solved then .   Many difficulties which perplex us now , will be explained then .   How numerous are the mysteries in Providence , both in connexion with our own history , and with the history of others , which will then be unraveled !   How varied are the mysteries in religion which will then be clear to us as the light of noon-day !   And our knowledge will be ever increasing .   The first glance into eternity will not reveal to us all that it has to unfold .   We shall be always learning something new ; continually making fresh discoveries of the wisdom and the power and goodness of God .   And this without weariness , without effort , without disappointment .

Associated with the perfected development , and probable augmentation of our intellectual powers , is the noble and uninterrupted service in which we shall be engaged above .   Alas !   how feeble and how poor are our best attempts now for the fulfillment of God’s will , and the promotion of his glory !   How little , comparatively , have we done ; how little can we do to make him known and loved among our fellow – men !   Frequently we do mourn over our weakness and apparent uselessness , and feel that we are indeed unprofitable servants .   But in heaven our service will be vigorous , perpetual , untiring .   There the weary will be at rest , not because the cease to labour , but because labour brings no fatigue ; and they that  “ have entered into rest , “   will find this to be their rest , that  “ they rest not day and night . “

Each glorified servant will doubtless be occupied in the manner which is most accordant with his individual bias and qualification .   As the cherubim and seraphim are supposed to have their separate and appropriate offices , though all stand round the throne , so we may expect that holy engagements will be distributed in amazing diversity among the white-robed saints .   But this will be the delight , that each one occupies his own , his proper , his favourite employment ~ that for which his being is made ; nor nerve strained ; no part burdened ; no power taxed ; but all easy , enjoyable , delicious to the very part he would have chosen ; the part he loves ; the part he can do best , assigned to him for ever and ever .   And in this , his own proper province , each will exercise his whole perfected being .   Whatever he loves , he will understand , and whatever he understands , he will love ; and both his mind and his will will take effect through the instrumentality of a body which is in complete unison with his spirit ; never cumbering it , never darkening it , but instant and capable to do everything which the thought desires or the heart suggests ; so that it will be a perfectly intelligent affection , performing without diminution , and without delay , all it things and all it feels .  Then shall we understand , in that entire concurrence of all the properties which make the creature , what is the meaning of that service of which Christ spoke , when he said ,  “God is a Spirit ; and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth . “

And as we think of all the high functions and happy services of those in glory , shall we not remember those loved ones among their number who were once co-workers with us her ; and rejoice in the thought that we shall , ere long , share in their holy occupations , and participate in their fadeless joys ?   The communion of saints on earth is sweet , but what will it be in heaven ?   Here there is much mar and interrupt it ; there it will be perfect and perpetual .  We shall be associated with  “ the glorious company of the apostles , the goodly fellowship of the prophets , and the noble army of martyrs ; “  we shall sit down with Abraham , Isaac , and Jacob , in the kingdom of God .   We shall share in the high and holy converse of those esteemed by us on earth for the beautiful graces and gifts which adorned their character , and become intimately acquainted with others , long endeared to us by their labours and their worth , but who , through time , or varied circumstances , were personally unknown to us .  And there will be no discord , no prejudices , no rivalry , to disturb the harmony of our intercourse .   We shall dwell together as the children of one Father ; as the breathren of one family ; as the loved and loving inhabitants of one eternal home.

But dearer , far dearer , than the thought of this complete and tender sympathy with all the redeemed in glory , is the prospect of that perfect and constant communion with our Saviour which his promises now unfold to our view .   “ Father , I will come again , and receive you unto myself ; that where I am ; there ye may be also .    “ Father , I will that they also , whom thou hast given me , be with me where I am ; that the may behold my glory , which thou hast given me . “   Well might one of Christ’s tried and honoured servants , in the simple meditations which she penned as she waited for her summons to pass over the river ,  write ,   “ To be where thou art , to see thee as thou art ; and to be made like unto thee ; the last sinful motion for ever past ; no more opposition ; no more weariness , listlessness , dryness , or deadness ; but conformed to my blessed Saviour , every way capacitated to serve him , to enjoy him , ~ this is heaven . “   And well might her glowing words animate the faith and hope of that devoted missionary of the cross , who was called , when at the foot of Mount Lebanon , to encounter the last enemy .   His friends having proposed to pray with him , he replied ,  “ Yes ; but first I wish you to read some passages from ‘ Mrs. Graham’s Provision for Passing over Jordan ; ‘ “   and on hearing the words ,  “ To be where thou art , to see thee as thou art , to me made like unto thee ; “  ~ he anticipated the conclusion , and said , with an expressive emphasis ,   “That is heaven ! “

Yes ;  to be with Christ , to see him as he is , that indeed is heaven .   In our converse with him now by faith , we rejoice with joy that is unspeakable and full of glory ; what then will be our emotions when that glory is realized , and his presence is attained ?

“ Not all things else are half so dear
As converse with the Saviour here ;
What must it be in heaven ?
‘ Tis heaven on earth to hear him say ,
As now I journey day by day ,
Poor sinner , cast thy fears away :
Thy sins are forgiven.

“ But how will his celestial voice
Make m enraptured heart rejoice
When I in glory hear hear him !
While I before the heavenly gate
For everlasting entrance wait ,
And Jesus on his throne of state
Invites me to come near him . ‘

Reader , is this happy , this heart-cheering anticipation of yours ?   What proof can you give of your title to the mansions in the skies ?  Is  “ Christ in you , the hope of glory ? “   Have you  “ the earnest of the Spirit ? “   Are you  “ made meet to be partaker of the inheritance of the saints in light ? “

Then ,  “ rejoice in hope of glory of God . “   Your warfare will soon be accomplished , your labours ended , your rest begun .   Now is your salvation nearer than when you believed .   A little while , and you shall tread the golden streets of the holy cit ; you shall eat of the tree of life which is in the midst of the paradise of God , and drink of the pure crystal river which proceeds out of the throne of God  and of the Lamb .  A crown of glory shall be yours , and the waving palm of victor ; you shall hear the voice of harpers harping with their harps , and you shall join in their ever new and triumphant song ,   “ Worth is the Lamb that was slain to receive power , and riches , and wisdom and strength , and honour , and glor , and blessing . “   “ In thy presence is fullness of joy ; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore , “

Wherefore , beloved , seeing that ye look for such things , be diligent that ye ma be found of him in peace .   “ Walk worthy of God , who hath called you until his kingdom and glory . “   Remember , that  “ without holiness no man shall see the Lord . “   And the well-grounded hope of future blessedness necessarily  leads to present sanctification .   “ Every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself , even as He is pure . “   The       “ exceeding great and precious promises are given to us , not only that we may be gladdened and comforted by them , but also that we may be made partakers of the Divine nature , and escape  “ the corruption that is in the world through lust . “   “ When Christ , who is our life , shall appear , then shall ye also appear with him in glory .   Mortify , therefore , your members which are upon the earth . “

Weary and sorrowful pilgrim , the sufferings of the present time are not worth to be compared with the glory that shall be revealed .  Let the radiance of coming joys illumine the clouds of present grief ; let the melod of heaven-breathed songs soothe the agitation of your troubled spirit .   Oh , your  “ light affliction is but for a moment , “ and it                “ worketh for you a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory ; while you look not at the things which are seen , but at the things which are not seen ; for the things which are seen are temporal ; but the things which are not seen are eternal . “

Aged Christian , the time of your departure is at hand .   The sunset of life and the night of death usher in the dawn of immortality .   The earthly house of your tabernacle is about to be dissolved ; but you have a building of God , a house not made with hands , erternal in the heavens .   “ Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ , which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead , to an inheritance incorruptible , and undefiled , and that fadeth not away , reserved in heaven for you , who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation read to be revealed in the last time : wherein ye greatly rejoice , “

Listen  to the words of your ascended and glorified Saviour :  “ Surely I come quickly ! “   What is your earnest and heartfelt response ?   “ Amen .   Even so , come , Lord Jesus !”


“ Cast me not off in time of old age ; forsake me not when my strength faileth . “ Ps. 1xxi. 9 .

Aged believer !  you feel your dependence upon God for support and succour .  If he should forsake you ; if he should cast you off , you would indeed be helpless and hopeless.   But you rejoice in the assurance that this can never be realized.  You know that he will never leave you to bear up alone the pressure of your trials and infirmities ; that he will never relax the grasp which enfolds you in his love .   And therefore your prayer is rather the expression of confidence , than the apprehension of fear .   You ask for that which he has promised , which you are certain he will grant ~ the continuance of his gracious aid .  In youthful days , it ma be , in healthful hours , your found that without him you are weak and unprotected ; and now in time of old age , when your strength faileth , you are more deeply conscious of your need of his help .   Well , ask , and you shall receive ; cast your burden , cast yourself upon him , and he will sustain you .   Fear not , for he is with you ; be not dismayed , for he is your God ; he will strengthen you ; yea , he will help you ; yea , he will uphold you with the right hand of his righteousness . “   These things will he do unto you , and will never forsake you .
“ Why should I doubt His love at last ,
With anxious thoughts perplext ?
Who saved me in the troubles past
Will save me in the next .
Will save ~ till at my latest hour ,
With more than conquest blest ,
I soar beyond tempatation’s power ,
And enter into rest. . “
“ Thou hast taught me from my youth : and hitherto have I declared th wondrous works .  Now also when I am old and grey-headed ,  God , forsake me not .”        Ps. Lxxi. 17 , 18 .

“ Thou has taught me from my youth . “   How encouraging it is to look back to our earl life , and recognize the goodness of God in it’s varied events !   He was our Guide , our Instructor , our Father .   He restrained us from evil ; counseled us in difficulty ; directed us in uncertainty ; preserved us through danger .   All the knowledge which we have gained of his character , of his will , of ourselves , of futurity , he has communicated to us .   And how gradual , how wise , how gentle are his teachings !   How patiently has he borne with our ignorance and forgetfulness ; how tenderly has he imparted his most difficult lessons .   And though we have been dull and wayward scholars ; though we have not profited as we might have done by his Divine instructions ; yet we know , if we are disciples of Christ , that we have so learned of him as to find rest unto our souls .   We have learned to rely upon his strength , to depend upon his faithfulness , to trust in his righteousness .

“ And hitherto have I declared thy wondrous works . “   Grateful for his favours towards us , we have striven to live to his praise , and show forth his glory .   It has been our aim to communicate to others the knowledge which we have received .  We have spoken of his goodness to those around us .  We have not been ashamed of his gospel , nor indifferent to his honour .

“ Now also when I am old and grey-headed , O God , forsake me not . “   “ Those who have been taught of God from their youth , and have made it the business of their lives to serve and honour him , may be sure that he will not leave them when they are old and grey-headed : he is not a Master that is wont to cast off old servants .

“ In early years Thou wast my Guide ,
And of m youth the Friend ;
And as my days began with thee ,
With thee my days shall end , “

“ And even to your old age I am he ; and even to hoar hairs will I carry you.”
Isa. Xlvi. 4.

Ah , Christian , here is ground for your confidence in God .   You have his promise that he will be with you in your old age , to support you under it infirmities , and therefore you are cheerful and tranquil .   Listen to the testimony of an aged pilgrim .   “ What a comfort it is , as we get old and feeble ,  and friends drop off one after another , to remember that our God does not change !   He says to us ,  “ I am he ; the same that I ever was ;   “ I am he ;  “   the Lored who preserved you and guided you from your infancy ;  “ I am he : “ all that I have promised to be to you ; all that you can possibly need .  “ And even to hoar hairs will I carry you . “    What tender and expressive language !   How can we help trusting in such a mighty and loving Friend ?   Whether we look at the present or the future , there is no room for fear .   Those who can walk , have his rod and staff to help and comfort them ; and those who cannot walk , find that his everlasting arms beneath them , and that they are borne safely onwards .   We are like children , who , when they are weak and tired , are carried in a father’s arms , and lifted over difficulty and danger . “

“ Fear not , I am with thee ; oh be not dismayed !
I , I am God , and will still give thee aid ;
I’ll strengthen thee , help thee , and cause thee to stand ,
Upheld by my righteous , omnipotent hand .

E’en down to old age all my people shall prove
My sovereign , eternal unchangeable love ;
And when hoary hairs shall their temples adorn ,
In the arms of my mercy they still shall be borne . “

“ The hoary head is a crown of glory , if it be found in the way of righteousness . “   Prov. Xvi. 31.

Old age is honourable , and commands respect .   “ Thou shalt rise up before the hoary head , and honour the face of the old man . “   But we cannot expect to receive true and lasting deference from others , unless our character is calculated to win their esteem .  Superiority in age should be combined with superiority and excellence .   Multitude of years should teach wisdom .   “ The hoar head is a crown of glory , if “~mark that~ “ if it be found in the way of righteousness . “   If it be found in the way of wickedness , its honour is forfeited , its crown profaned and laid in the dust .   How is it with you , reader ?   Are you sanctified through faith in Christ ?  are you  “ walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless ? “   Oh , how lovely and dignified is old age when marked by piety and consistency !

“ When piety adorns declining years ,
The hoary head of glorious crown appears ;
A dignity no earthly rank bestows ,
Marks the believer then ; and sweet repose
Is stamped upon his features ; all who gaze ,
Revere his person , and his virtues praise . “

“ Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul , both sure and steadfast , and which entereth into that within the veil . “   Heb. Vi. 19.

A vessel was driving ashore .  Her anchors were gone , and she refused to obey the helm .   A few moments more , and she would strike .   If an should be saved , the must be tossed by the waves on the beach .   In the midst of the general consternation , there was one person quite calm .  He had done all that a man could do to prepare for the worst , when the wreck was inevitable ; and now that death was apparently near , he was quietly awaiting the event .  A friend of his asked the reason of his calmness in the midst of danger so imminent ~
“ Do you not know that the anchor is gone , and we are drifting upon the coast ? “
“ Certainly I do ; but I have an anchor to the soul . “   On this was his trust .  It entered into that within the veil .   It was the ground of his confidence in the storm , and enabled him to ride securely in the view of instant and awful death .

Have you this anchor , reader ?  Is this hope of the gospel yours ?  Amidst the storms and trials of life , and in the prospect of danger and death , are you calm and trustful , assured that you will soon be admitted into the heaven of everlasting peace ?

Or are you destitute of this hope ?   Without it , how can you be happy ?   Without it , what will you do in the swellings of Jordan ?   It may be yours ; yours even now , if you will seek it , if you will accept it .   The gift of God is eternal life .  Confidence in him ~ faith in Christ ~ will link your tempest-tossed , troubled , and perishing spirit with perpetual repose and security ~ with the unseen glories in heaven .

“ How still, amidst commotion ,
The bark at anchor cast ;
Around her heavens the ocean ,
The anchor holds her fast .
So hope , an anchor of the soul ,
How steadfast , to the saint is given ;
Though waves of trouble round him roll ,
His hope is fixed in heaven . “

“ They shall still bring forth fruit in old age . “  Ps. Xcii. 14.

The palm tree ~ to which God’s people are in this psalm compared , is remarkable for its lengthened and increasing fruitfulness .  The best dates are said to be gathered when it has reached a hundred years .  How beautiful an emblem of the aged believer , growing in grace and maturing in holiness to the close of his earthly existence !   Each day , each year , added to his life , adds to the loveliness and perfection of his Christian virtues .   His character has a mellowness and sweetness which it lacked in earlier seasons .   He is ripening for heaven .   In knowledge , in wisdom , in love , in humility , in gentleness , in forbearance , in peace , in usefulness , in happiness , he is steadily and constantly advancing .   He is filled with the Spirit , and therefore brings forth the fruits of the Spirit .

Is this portraiture of an aged Christian , yours , reader ?   Alas , it does not belong to all who profess to call themselves by the Saviour’s name.  Nay , it may be feared , that there are some , really and manifestly his , to whom it bears but little resemblance .  They have long been  “ planted “  in the house of the Lord , but the do not appear to  “ flourish “ in the courts of our God ; and as years augment ,  they seem to imagine that the infirmities of age are excuses for their little fruitfulness .   But they certainly never gathered such an idea from God’s word ; nor rightly studied and pleaded his promises to themselves .  Follow not their example .  Rest not satisfied with past attainments .   Strive to glorify God more than you have ever yet done .  Let your last das be your best days ; your latest fruit , the richest .  “ And this I pray , that your loved may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment ; and ye may approve things that are excellent ; that ye ma be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ ; being filled with the fruits of righteousness , which are by Jesus Christ , unto the glor and praise of God . “

“ How beautiful to see
The clustered fruit upon the bending tree !
Yet lovelier still the graces which adorn
The soul that’s heaven-born .
And age does not diminish , but increase
The precious fruits of love , and joy , and peace ,
And gentleness , and patience ; at life’s close ,
Each Christian virtue more luxuriant grows . “

“ My times are in thy hand . “ Ps. Xxxi. 15.

Then I am sure that they will be wisely ordered .  Thou hast all power in heaven and in earth ; thou art acquainted with the end from the beginning ; everything is subject to thy control , and the future , to thee , is as the present ; therefore there can be no mistake in thy purposes ; no imperfection in thy plans .
“My times are in thy hand . “   Then I will not be anxious nor distressed about the future .  Varied may be the times which I have yet to experience ~ times of sorrow or joy ; of poverty or plenty ; of sickness or health ; of life or death ; but I can calmly leave them to thy disposal .  I cannot foresee the events which thy providence appoints , but I can wait and trust .   The period and the manner of my departure hence are unknown to me , but I am free from all solicitude on these points , because thou hast arranged them for the best .

“ My times are in thy hand ; the night , the day ,
The moon’s pale glimmering , and the sunny ray
Are thine ; and thine the midnight of the grave ;
Oh , be thou there to strengthen and to save ,
The light’s death’s valley with thy beam of love ,
And smile a welcome to thy throne above . “

“ Bless the Lord ,  O my soul : and all that is within me , bless his holy name: Bless the Lord , O my soul, and forget not all his benefits . “  Ps. Ciii 1. 2.

How animating is the sight of an aged Christian who is rejoicing in hope of the glory of God ; and furnishing , by daily conduct , a bright example to others of cheerfulness and gratitude !   His life is a psalm of thanksgiving ; his happy look and thankful spirit fill his home with sunshine .  It is impossible to be long in his society , without feeling gladdened and invigorated by it . You can scarcely tell why , but you feel less disposed to complain , and more inclined to rejoice , than you did before .   Your own path seems to grow more hopeful and promising ; you are reminded of mercies which you had hitherto forgotten ; and the troubles which you thought so heavy , insensibly grow lighter .  The fact is , that for a time at least , you have caught his spirit , and imbibed his tone of mind .

A lovely instance of real and sustained cheerfulness , was the late justly celebrated William Wilberforce .    “ A stranger might have noticed that he was more uniformly cheerful than most men of his time of life .   Closer observation showed a vein of Christian feeling , mingling with , and purifying , the natural flow of a most happy temper ; whilst those who lived most continually with him , could trace distinctly in his tempered sorrows, and sustained and almost childlike gladness of heart , the continual presence of that peace which the world can neither give nor take away .   The pages of his later journal are full of bursts of joy and thankfulness ; and with his children and chosen friends , his full heart swelled out ever in the same blessed strains ; he seems too happy not to express his happiness ; his song was ever of the loving-kindness of the Lord . “   Everything became with him a cause for thanksgiving .   When some of the infirmities of years began to press upon him ,   “ What thanks do I owe to God , “  was his reflection~”  that my declining strength appears likely not to be attended with painful disease , but rather to lessen gradually , and by moderate degrees !   How good a friend God is to me !   When I have any complaint , it is always so mitigated and softened , as to give me scarcely any pain .  “ Bless the Lord , O my soul . “   What thanks do I owe to my gracious and kind heavenly Father ! “   And so , when one of his friends passed through a painful operation ,  “ Seldom,” he says ,   “ have I felt anything so deeply .  How thankful should I be to be spared such trials , my strength not being equal to them !   I humbly commit myself unto Him , who surely has given me reason to say   “ Goodness and merc have followed me all my days . “

Aged Christian , do you sympathize with these feelings ? do you share this thankfulness ?  do you manifest this gladness ?   “ The fruit of the Spirit is love , joy , and peace . “    Every allowance must be made for natural temperament .   Some persons are naturally sanguine and cheerful ; others are naturally gloomy and desponding .   But , in either case , the promises of the gospel ,  if simply believed and heartily appropriated , cannot fail go gladden the heart , and influence the conduct .   And it is no less our duty than our privilege , to  “ rejoice in the Lord always ; “ to   “ show forth his loving-kindness in the morning , and his faithfulness every night ; “  to  “ be thankful unto him , and bless his name : “    We must cultivate this joyous and grateful frame of mind  ; we must strive , be meditation ,  practice , and prayer , to acquire or to strengthen it ; for we ought no more to dishonour God by our unhappiness and unthankfulness , than by our unholiness .

The weakness and in the infirmities of old age sometimes tend to depress our spirits and dim our hopes .  Therefore let us be upon our guard ; and instead of giving way to discontent and despondency , let us count up our mercies , and look more steadfastly on the bright side of things ; and as often as we do this , sadness will be chased from our brow , and the self-exploration to praise will burst from our lips ,   “ Bless the Lord , O my soul : and all that is within me , bless his holy name .  Bless the Lord , O my soul , and forget not his benefits . “
“ Fareweill to sadness ,
Let every tear depart ;
Wake all to gladness ,
Wake, O m heart !
Shall worldly triflers raise the song
O’er pleasures the must lose ere long ?
And shall not those rejoice and sing
Who love the heavenly King ?
Let saints on earth unite their voice
With saints that round the throne rejoice ;
And here begin the song that through
Eternal years is new .
Psa. Xcii. 2: c. 4.
“ Though our outward man perish , yet the inward man is renewed day by day.”  2 Cor. Iv. 16.

“ We must of necessity , “ says a celebrated wrier ,  “ become better or worse as we advance in years .  Unless we endeavour to spiritualize ourselves, and supplicate in this endeavour for that grace which is never withheld when it is sincerely and earnestly sought , age bodylizes us more and more , and the older we grow the more are we embruted and debased ; ~ so manifestl is the text verified which warns us that ,   “ Unto every one which hath shall be given ; and from him that hath not , even that he hath shall be taken away . “   In some , the soul seems gradually to be absorbed and extinguished in its crust of clay ; in others , as if it purified and sublimed the vehicle to which it was united .  Nothing therefore is more beautiful than a wise and religious old age ; nothing so pitiable as the latter stages of mortal existence , when the world , and the flesh , and that false philosophy which is of the devil , have secured the victor for the grave . “

Aged Christian , thank God for the strengthening and invigorating grace which he imparts to you .  Your earthly frame is weak and enfeebled ; it has lost its vigour and elasticity ; it is harassed with pain and infirmity ; it must soon die .  But while your body decays , your soul thrives   If the one is preparing for the grave, the other is ripening for glory .  Your faith grows firmer ; your hope stronger ; your lover deeper ; your views clearer .

The soul’s poor cottage , batter’d and decay’d ,
Lets in new light through chinks which time hath made .

“ For our light affliction , which is but for a moment , worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory . “  2 Cor. Iv. 17.
“ In visiting , “  writes a clergyman ,  “ a poor man who has been bed-ridden these twenty-five years , I was preparing to pity him , but he called on me to rejoice .  “Are you not wearied out with the length of your afflictions ? “   “ Wearied , sir ! “ said he ;  “ no , nature will soon faint , but God sustains me .   I could lie here for another twenty-five years , if it pleased God .  I have found this bed to be the very gate of heaven .  Length of my affliction , sir !   oh , let me not call it long : it is short , very short , and will soon be over .  These light afflictions , which are but a moment , work for me a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory .   Is not God all love ?   He cannot then be unkind .  I s he not all-wise ?  He cannot them do wrong .  Are not his promises yea and amen in Christ Jesus ?  He cannot then break his word .  None who have trusted him have repented of it .  Oh , sir , I dare not complain , My affliction is a mercy . “

Troubled  and afflicted Christian , remember , the troubles of earth will enhance the joys of heaven .  And , compared with that weight of glory which is prepared for you above , are not your sorrow light ?  measured by the eternity of the happiness you anticipate , is not their duration that of a moment ?   Murmur not at the present ; think of the future .  How striking the contrast !  how glorious the change !

“ The gloom of the night adds a charm to the morn ;
Stern winter and spring-time endears ;
And the darker the cloud on which it is drawn ,
The brighter the rainbow appears ;
So trials and sorrows the Christian prepare
For the rest that remaineth above ;
On earth tribulation awaits him , but there
The smile of unchangeable love . “

“ Him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out .” John vi. 37.

During his last hours , a highly distinguished writer called for his chaplain, and said,   “ Though I have endeavoured to avoid sin , and please God to the utmost of my power , yet I am still afraid to die . “
“ My lord, “  said the chaplain , “ you have forgotten that Jesus Christ is a Saviour.”
“ True , “  was the answer , “ but how shall I know that he is a Saviour for me? “
“ It is written , my lord , “ Him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out . “
“ Yes, it is ! “ was the quick reply , and I am surprised that though I have read that scripture a thousand times over , I never felt its virtue till this moment ; and now I die happy . “
Reader , are you coming to the Saviour ?  Then this promise is yours.

“ Jesus , the sinner’s friend , to thee ,
Lost and undone , for aid I flee ;
Ah , wherefore did I ever doubt ?
Thou wilt in no wise cast me out . “

“ When a

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by Nighthawk61, Feb 07, 2013
CON'T from , Words In Season, above from the book Life's Evening, (1800's)

Willing or unwilling , when the summons for me arrives , I shall have to set off .

It is an unknown journey .  I have never taken It before .  I have no practical acquaintance with the road , the mode of transit , the dangers or the discomforts  which await me .  And there is no one who can clearly explain to me .  Those of my friends who have travelled that way , have never come back to relate their experience .

It is a solitary journey .  I must accomplish it alone .  The most loved of my present companions cannot accompany me .  They may think of me , feel for me , pray for me , but the cannot be with me .  We must separate ; they to remain behind , I to go forward .

It is a momentous journey .  for at its termination I enter upon my everlasting destiny .  It will convey me either to the mansions of happiness , or to the abodes of misery .  The narrow boundary between the present and the future state once crossed , there will be no possibility of change .  

“ He that is unjust , let him be unjust still ; and he that is righteous , let him be righteous still . “ Rev. xxii. 11.
It is a final journey .   I shall go the way whence I shall  not return .  M pilgrimage will be for ever ended .  No more parting , no more change , no more toil , no more fatigue .  It will be my last journey .

And if I am a Christian , how welcome is this fact !   I shall have done for ever with sin and sorrow .   Eternal felicity will be mine .  Perfect 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 it accompaniments .  It may be linked with much that is painful and unpleasant , but It is the only way home  ; and therefore , although my 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 the 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 traveled 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 full 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 . “    Heb ii. 14. 15.

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 comfort me .

“ 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 watch over it from year to year ; to Him who knows its struggles , its anxieties , its throbbings 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 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 ;
Fly to the mansions of the blest ;
Thy God no more requires thy stay ,
He calls thee to eternal rest .

Thy toils , at length , have reached a close ,
No more remains for thee to do ;
Away , away to thy repose ,
Beyond the reach of sin and woe .

Away to yonder realms of light ,
Where multitudes redeemed with blood
Enjoy the beatific sight ,
And dwell for ever with their God .

(partial passage only)

But it is unnecessary to multiply proofs , either from the early or subsequent history of the church , of the unvarying character of that regard which the ascended Redeemer cherishes for all those who through grace have accepted his gracious overtures of friendship .  We need only to appeal to yourselves , dear readers , as witnesses to the cheering fact , that love of Christ ~ that love which passeth knowledge ~ is unaffected by the withdrawal of his personal presence among us .  His continued intercessions on our behalf , his rich impartation to us of all needful grace , and his preparation of a place for us in his Father’s house , are sure evidences of his perpetual and affectionate rememberance .

Again , one of the causes which renders human friendship so variable , is alternation in worldly circumstances .  When competency is exchanged for poverty ; when , in the expressive language of the Scripture , we are   “made low,”  what a changes passes over the little world in which we dwell !   That friendship is indeed true and valuable which will stand such a testing-time ; for while many gather round us in prosperity , few cleave to us in adversity .

“ The friends who in our sunshine live ,
When winter comes are flown . “

It is a bitter trial to find ourselves neglected and forsaken , when we are most in need of support and comfort ; but it is a sanctified trial if it teaches us that it is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man ; if it endears to us that heavenly Friend , who , though he was rick , yet for our sakes became poor , that we through his poverty might be made rich .  Lowly indeed was his lot on earth ; he had not where to lay his head ; and his chosen friends and associates were from the humblest ranks of society .  It was to   “ the poor “  that he especially proclaimed the blessings of his gospel ; and the sarcastic designation of his opponents which styled him  “ a friend of publicans and sinners , “   was , in reality, beautiful expressive of his true character .

By his own position in the world ; by his mingling chiefly with those who were poor and despised of men ; and by the low and obscure situations in which the majority of his disciples have served him , poverty has been elevated and dignified .   Not many noble not man mighty , does the Saviour call ; but he chooses the poor in this world , and makes them heirs of that glorious kingdom which he has promised to them that love him .

The wealthy and the fashionable may grow cold and distant , when penury and distress enter our home ; but Christ makes our season of affliction only the means of drawing us more closely to himself .  Our loss of property of income , instead of raising a barrier between him and us , links us more firmly together .  He soothes our spirit : sympathizes with our grief ; and promises that he will never forsake us .

Or , it is possible that the natural infirmities of age , and a long-declining state of health , may gradually narrow the circle of our friends .  Deafness , or blindness , or sickness , makes our society less attractive than formerly .  It is wearisome , perhaps , to sit by us , day after day , and strive to interest us ; and therefore some who were once warm and even sincere in their professions of attachment to us , grow tired of the society of an aged invalid , and their visits become few and far between .   We feel sometimes , when contrasting the present with the past , that we are forsaken and alone in the world , that we are a burden to ourselves and to others .  Old age brings with it a sensitiveness on this point , which occasions much mental disquietude , and frequently produces a fretful and repining spirit .

Let us endeavour , in moments of lonliness and depression , to tranquillize and divert our thoughts by dwelling upon the steadfastness of Christ toward us .   He does not cast us off in the time of old age , nor forsake us when our strength fails ; he is not weary of listening to the oft-repeated narrative of our wants and ailments , nor reluctant to cheer the solitude of life’s evening ; but he beautifully fulfils to us his own promise ,   “ Even to hoar hairs will I carry you . “   As we walk with trembling steps through the valley of the shadow of death ; as we miss from our side the friend on whose arm we might have leaned for support and protection ; the Saviour bids us fear no evil , because he is with us ; his rod and his staff will comfort us ; and his presence shall perpetually abide with us .   Our weakness and our infirmity may tend to loosen some of our earthly ties , but cannot diminish his kind sympathy with us .   Friends may fail us , but he will never leave us.

And even should our friends prove faithful ; should they retain in old age the affection which they manifested towards us in youth , yet how suddenly and irrevocably may they be parted from us by death .   “ Our days on the earth are as a shadow , and there is none abiding . “   The dearest ones , around whom our affections are so entwined , may soon be summoned into the presence of their Maker , and leave us to tread the remainder of our lengthened journey .   We may have to see the grave opened for those , whose hands we imagined would tenderly close our eyes at the last .  Stay !   have we not already seen this!   Have not the separations of the tomb been painfully realized in our past history ?   The green hillock ~ the marble tablet ~ are they not cherished memorials of the departed , who still live in our hearts , and are enshrined in our recollections ?   More eloquent than the preacher’s words , more powerful than the written admonition , are the vacant seats in our house-holds ~ yes , and at our firesides .  Ah !  the stern precept ,   “ Cease e from man , whose breath is in his nostrils ; for wherin is he to be accounted of ? “   has received frequent and practical illustration in the events of by-gone days .   The tolling bell has mournfully reminded us that change and decay are stamped upon all the things of the earth;  the cypress tree has darkly shadowed forth the solemn truth , that  ,  “ In the midst of life we are in death . “   Well , be it so ;  we will not murmur that God gathers the ripest fruit and the choicest flowers from our gardens , since he gives us himself as our portion. We will not forget , as we sorrow over the dead , that  “ the Lord liveth !  “   While thinking of the friends whom the last enemy has snatched from our grasp , we will gratefully remember that Saviour from whom neither death nor the grave can part us .   Around our desolated hearths and in our solitary eventide , his voice is heard sweetly saying unto us ,  “ Fear not ; for I am with thee ! “

Yes, Lord , thou art withus , our firm , our changeless , our undying Friend !   “ Thou art the same , and thy years shall have no end . “   Death cannot divide thee from thy people , for that vanquished foe hath no power over its almighty Conqueror : and it cannot separate them from their Saviour , for its touch will only usher them into his immediate and visible presence .

“ There is no death ; what seem so , in transition . “

Oh , we are  “ persuaded , that neither death , nor life , nor angels , nor principalities , nor powers , nor things present , nor things to come , nor height , nor depth , nor any other creature  , shall be able to separate us from the love of God , which is in Christ Jesus our Lord . “

Then let us comfort one another with this thought .  Let the recollection of our indissoluble union with  “ Christ , and of his eternal and unchanging affection for us , solace and refresh our spirits .   “ Having loved his own which were in the world , he loved them unto the end . “   Yes , neither external circumstances , nor the decay of nature , nor even continual infirmity and sinfulness , can alienate the heart of the Saviour from those whom he has chosen , and called ,  and blessed .   Heaven and earth may pass away , but his word ~ that word which assures of the freeness and perpetuity of his love ~ abideth for ever .

Aged Christian !   dwell much on the character and conduct of this mighty and faithful Friend ;  “ Casting all your care upon him ; for he careth for you . “   As life declines , let  his preciousness increase ; as the associations of earth gradually lessen , cling more closely and confidingly to him .  Think of him , as preparing a place for you in the heavenly mansions ; and as coming to receive you unto himself , that where he is , there you may be also .   And , if  , while now you see him not , you can rejoice in him with joy that is unspeakable and full of glory ; what will be the rapture of your emancipated spirit , when you are admitted to full and uninterrupted communion with him !   If now , while you only behold him through a glass darkly , he is , in your apprehension , the fairest among ten thousand and the altogether lovely ; how will your admiration be increased , when you behold him face to face !    If now , while you know him but in part , your acquaintance with him is the source of purest and inexpressible pleasure , who shall estimate the happiness and the delight which shall result from your knowing even as you are known ?



Nor in the solemn night ,
When dim and shadowy all things appear ;
When thoughts are tinged with mournfulness and fear ,
And nature’s fairest scenes are veiled from sight ;
For darkness only throws a deeper gloom
Around the opening tomb .

But let this gladsome day
Smile upon my departure ; let the bright
And glorious sunshine image forth that light
Which soon shall beam with pure and fadeless ray
Upon my ransomed spirit ; let no cloud
Life’s closing scene enshroud .

Not in the hour of health ,
Without one kind adieu or parting token,
When suddenly the chain of life is broken,
And our last messenger comes as by stealth ;~
From quick transition to eternity,
Good Lord , deliver me.

Calm be my last fareweill
To all the joys, and cares and griefs of earth ;
On themes of precious and immortal worth
In peaceful contemplation let me dwell ;
As gradually fades the light of day ,
So let me pass away.

Not in a distant land ,
Or on the bosom of the lonel sea,
Where stranger forms would coldl bend o’er me ;
Far, far from the loved and homed-linked band ;
Without one friend my dying hours to bless ,
And soothe my weariness.

But gather round my bed
The loved ones who have gladdened life’s past hours;
Let cherished objects, fondly-tended flowers,
And well-known faces, comfort round me spread ;
And gentle words of counsel and of love
Point me to hopes above.

Saviour ~ thou wilt not chide
These simple wshes twined around the grave ;
And yet ‘tis better that on death’s cold wave
My trembling vessel thou shouldnst launch and guide ;
How, when, and where thou wilt : what should I fear
With thee, my pilot near ?

Through all life’s troublous wa
Thous hast sustained me. Thou wilt keep me still.
Veiled is the future ; yet I fear no ill ;
But ready stand thy summons to obey.
It matters little what the path ma be,
So that it leads to thee.


THE chequer’d day of life is past ,
It’s varied joys , its varied cares ;
The clear blue sky is overcast ,
And night 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 our fears alla ,
And cheer the closing hours 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 ;
Nor let one earthly cloud conceal
The glory of the land above ;
Our faith increase ~ our hope excite :
At evening time let there be light .

Like radiant stars that chase the gloom ,
And guide the traveler to repose ,
So let thy promises illume
The shadow which death’s coming throws ,
And ere our spirit takes her flight ,
At evening time let here be light .

“ 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 !


LIFE’S sun a longer shadow throws ,
And all things whisper In repose ;
Our toilsome journey soon will close ,
And we shall reach our home !

Here we no resting-place have found ;
Unnumbered dangers lurk around ,
Temptations, snares, and griefs abound~
Earth cannot be out home.

On let us press with cheerful haste ,
Nor precious moments idly waste ;
For , oh !  we long those joys to taste ,
Which are reserved at home .

Only a narrow steam doth flow
Between this dreary waste of woe ,
And that fair land which richly grow
The lovely flowers of home .

In perfect waters softly glide ,
And Christ through them our steps will guide ,
And land us on the other side
Where we shall be at home.

Some cherished friends have gone before,
There conflicts and their toils are o’er;
And we shall meet to part no more,
When we have gained our home.

Their songs of welcome sweet and clear
Will soon be falling on our ear,
For we are drawing near
Unto our happy home.

No clouds or sorrow gather there ;
Hushed is the latest thought of care ;
Perpetual joys those loved ones share
Within our Father’s home.

Life’s sun a longer shadow throws ,
And all things whisper in repose ;
Our toilsome journey soon will close,
And we shall reach out home

4705307 tn?1447970322
by timothy141, Aug 16, 2013
This is  awesome, thank you. I too believe in God, and know all things happen for the the good of those who love God. I don't understand now but will one day be able to ask so many questions of our father.

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