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There shall be weeping, and gnashing of teeth, when ye Mall see Abraham, and Ifaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets, in the kingdom of God, and you yourselves' thrust out. Luke, xiii. 28.
HERE is an argument for a holy life, perhaps not much attended to, but drawn from the most acute feelings of the human heart. If you lead a bad life, you may not only have your own pofitive misery to bear, but the additional distress of seeing yourself for ever excluded from those you most valued, who are entering into a state. of happiness. Here is a punishment arising, as perhaps most of our future punishments do, immediately from our vices, Envy is a vile passion, and here probably it becomes a source of endless punishment. This seems to be the meaning of our Saviour's observation. What an exaggerated punishment must it be, (if there were no other punishment provided,) for parents to be shut out from children-children from parents; wives
from husbbands-husbands from wires; bro. thers, fisters, and friends all thus separated, and under such affli&ting circumstances to those who are shut out in misery. It is a punishment probably only on the guilty; for it is not likely that the righteous should be disturbed by affections for those who had lost God's favour : their earthly friendships, not resting on the stable foundation of religion, but on pleasing manners, good sense, or worldly accomplishments of different kinds, fade naturally away, when these are lost. No. thing surely, but such virtues as are the offspring of religion, can be the foundation of a heavenly friendship.--How strong a motive should this be to those who have an affection for pious persons, to qualify themselves in such a manner as will enable them to meet their friends in a happy futurity?