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brightest joys will here find their end. In the next world, woe or bliss, whichever be our portion, must be our portion for ever. All else is therefore, comparatively, as nothing worth. Hence, whatever can prepare the mind for death, and thereby fortify us against the terrors of it, either for ourselves or others, becomes a blessing. On each of these grounds it is impossible not to acknowledge how much we owe to the sublime service appointed by our Church, "for the Burial of the Dead." The mind of the mourner can hardly have a more salutary exercise than in reading and pondering well the service itself. Not only is it admirably calculated to supply strength and consolation to those who mourn the loss of departed relative or friend; but it teaches survivors how best to prepare for their own call to another state of being. The doctrines therein brought to our view; the glorious promises throughout displayed; the high and heavenly tone of thought and feeling which every line tends to excite and sustain; the heavenly-mindedness to which it leads the soul, having its conversation more in heaven than on earth-these characteristics of the service, though at all times they render it instructive matter of study and meditation, are never so justly prized, never so powerfully impress our hearts, as when the tears of affliction have softened them, and the grave has proved that all of this world is vanity.
And is the loved one dead? shall I no more hear the voice which was wont to welcome me? no more meet the eye of affection which so kindly smiled upon me? Is all still and silent as the grave itself? Is the hand, which used once so readily to greet me, cold and motionless?-Lo! the voice of the Being who
Himself first created us, and who hereafter will create us anew, declares of those we mourn, that " though they were dead, yet shall they live!" and that "whosoever believeth in Him shall never die." Perhaps we weep still; some natural tears will flow; but faith bids us now sorrow not as men without hope. The dead shall live. Nay the believer never dieth. This word tells of that Paradise of Rest for the righteous and the penitent, to which the crucified Son of God led the soul of his fellow-sufferer who had ceased to do evil and learned to do well; where the spirit, when freed from its mortality and springing to a new state of existence, joins the spirits of the just made perfect, and there awaits the trumpet call, which shall summon into new life the mouldering dust of ages, when each spirit shall claim its kindred body for consummation of misery or bliss for ever.
Yet is not this all. The word of the Most High giveth even more glorious and animating assurances of the blessings of redemption beyond that period.
"I know that my Redeemer liveth
It is much to know that after the death of the body our spirits will still live and repose in the enjoyment of a home, where the wicked cease from troubling and the weary are at rest. It is more to know, that in God's good time-though of that day and that hour knoweth neither man nor angel-the body shall be reanimated by the power of our Redeemer, who, himself ever living, "shall stand at the latter day upon the earth," and shall bid the graves give up their dead, and the prisonhouse its captives. Then, "though worms shall destroy this frail mortal body," "yet in my flesh,” formed
anew and made like unto Christ's glorious body, shall I live again, and so "shall see the Lord; even as the Spirit himself hath written-"I shall see God face to face and know him as he is 1.
"We brought nothing .... name of the Lord.
Still further to withdraw us from a hopeless grief in meditating upon our loss in the death of friends, and to render the mournful scene a matter of salutary reflection, in showing the vanity of all things and the wisdom of not setting our heart on any worldly possession, not even upon the dear relatives and friends whose society brightened and cheered our path of life -the third of the introductory sentences reminds us, that "as we brought nothing into this world, neither may we carry any thing out." Such is the condition of human existence. What a stirring though indirect monition is it to survivors that they guard against too much care for things of this world. Behold the end of all man's toil. Riches are to the dead valueless. Greatness-alas! what profiteth it now the corrupting body, that thousands once waited on its owner's will? Wisdom's self can devise no way of escaping the common doom, for worms shall destroy the body of the wise as of the ignorant, of the great as of the lowly, of the wealthy as of the indigent. Yet even in this view of our state, the Holy Scriptures reconcile and even comfort us. All is ordered by our God. It is "the Lord who hath taken away; "the Lord who gave." We do but return to Him what is his own. Therefore there is no murmuring on our lips; no repining in our hearts; no sorrowing as men without hope. The mourner gathers strength and consolation;
1 Cor. xiii. 12.
there is healing to his wounded heart; and his spirit is at length so reassured in faith, so raised above this transitory state by the glorious prospect these Scriptures open of another and a better, that amid his bereavement and his sorrow, he is resigned. The event is of God. Whilst he acknowledges, therefore, that death is our crowning lesson, teaching sternly the vanity of those human wishes which would tempt us to build our all upon the sand-upon the riches, or power, the glory, or even the wisdom of a frail and perishing world-faith sufficiently assures him that all is ordered well; and his meditations find utterance in the firm and expressive language of the patriarch-"Blessed be the name of the Lord!"
THE instructive truths which thus fall upon the ears of those, who, a sad train, follow the remains of the departed, need no stronger confirmation than the scene in which they are engaged. Nor can it be, but that their hearts must fill with deep and salutary reflections upon their own mortality, and the wisdom of preparing for the close of that life, of which they see before them sure proof of the shortness and uncertainty. The soul bestirs itself in its proper work-" Why any 'longer should I yield to worldly fears, which so soon come to nought? Why cherish worldly hopes, 'which thus fade away? Why be careful for that 'which cannot endure, and covet what no man can 'take with him when he dieth?'-Thoughts like these find fit expression in the Psalm now appointed to be read Has life hitherto been passed by me care
'lessly, heedlessly? Have I acted and spoken as though 'my words and actions were not to be accounted 'for'? Henceforth, I will guard not my actions only, but my words. "I will take heed to my ways, that 'I offend not" even "in my tongue." When God ' afflicts, no murmur shall escape my lips; and when 'man oppresses, no word of anger shall fall from me. When sorrows from without or within compass me, I 'will meditate upon the shortness of life, at the close ' of which afflictions cease; and my prayer shall be to Thee, O "Lord, to let me know the number of my 'days, that I may be certified how short a time I have 'to live." Upon that shall be my musings; for man ' at the best is vanity. When I shall be borne hither, ' as he whom I mourn, then will it be seen, how often I have in life disquieted myself in vain. But “ now, Lord! my hope is even in Thee." Wont of old to 'put my trust in the world, I now shame to re'member the past, and from my very heart implore Thee to "deliver me from all mine offences, and 'make me not to be a rebuke unto the foolish❞—for 'such I shall be, and justly, if, called by thy name
and professing thy service, I yet love the world and 'trust therein. Nay, O heavenly Father! I am 'dumb before Thee! "It is the Lord! let Him do 'what seemeth Him good." The dead consume away O! may my soul be 'resigned to thy holy will. May I feel that "I am
in their beauty at thy bidding.
a stranger with thee and a sojourner as all my 'fathers were; this life my shelter for a season; 'heaven, my home. And that I may at last reach that
1 Matt. xii. 36.