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as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name, which is above every name; that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow ; of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth ; and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”—So that, though all(1) have sinned and come short of the glory
(1) It may be safely asserted that all truly serious and religiously minded people are nearly of one opinion concerning the great doctrines of the gospel. They live in the comfort and die in the faith of them. The Calvinist and Arminian here are of one mind. When Wesley came to die, his language was,
" I the chief of sinners am,
But Jesus died for me.' “ There is no way into the holiest, but by the blood of Jesus."
" I'll praise my Maker with my breath,” &c. Toplady also was supported with divine consolations during his lass sickness. A few days before his death he said to a friend, " It is impossible to describe how good God is to me. This af. ternoon I have enjoyed such a season, such sweet communion with God, and such delightful manifestations of his presence with, and love to my soul, that it is impossible for words, or any language to express them. I have had peace and joy unutterable. The comforts and manifestations of God's love are so abundant, as to render my state and condition the most desirable in the world. I would not exchange my condition with any one upon earth."
The same friend calling upon him a day or two before his death, he said, with hands clasped, and his eyes lifted up and starting with tears of the most evident joy ; "I cannot tell you the comforts I feel in my soul. They are past expression. The consolations of God to such an unworthy wretch are so abundant, that he leaves me nothing to pray for, but a continuance of them, I enjoy a heaven already in my soul. My prayers are all converted into praise.
“ Oh how this soul of mine longs to be gone! Like a bird imprisoned in a cage, it longs to take its flight. O that I had wings like a dove, then would I fee away to the realms of bliss, and be at rest for ever! O that some guardian angel might be commissioned; for I long to be absent from this body, and to be with my Lord for ever.
of God, we are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus; whom God
“ O what a day of sun-shine has this been to me! I have not words to express it. It is unutterable. O, my friends, how good is God! Almost without interruption his presence has been with
"O what delights! Who can fathom the joys of the third heaven? The sky is clear; there is no cloud ; come, Lord Jesus, come quickly."
Musculus's Soliloquy before death, is in the highest spirit of the gospel of Christ.
“Nil superest vitæ ; frigus præcordia captat:
Christus : Ad Hunc igitur læta alacrisque migra." Zuinger, when he lay upon his death-bed, took his leave of the world in the following fine copy of verses, which is a liberal paraphrase of the 122 psalm.
“() lux candida, lux mihi
Vitæ porta beatæ.
Lætus limina templi.
Augustam populo urbem :
Laudent voce perenni:
Cuncta in sæcla beati.
hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; to declare his righteousness, that he might be just, and the justifier of him who believeth in Jesus: Christ being the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.”—These things being laid together, and duly considered, may we not exclaim with the same devout and admiring apostle? “ Without controversy, great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory."
Such are the doctrines of Christ, of which the apostle declares he was not ashamed, and of which no Christian ought or need to be ashamed, because they
power of God unto salvation unto every one that believeth” in his name. And we may say of them what Paul says upon another occasion? “ Though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel
Mater nobilis urbium!
Cedunt omnia recte.
Larga munera fundit.
Spesque, Fidesque, valete." How different is the spirit of these dying scenes from those of our modern philosophers, who usually depart like unto Adrian, or in a manner much inferior:
“ Animula vagula, blandula
unto you, than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.” Harsh as these words may seem, they were written in all the plenitude of apostolical authority, and apply to every case where the essential doctrines of the Sacred Writings are concerned. What those doctrines are, it may not be expedient to say; the Scriptures are in
every one's hands, and no man need continue in ignorance of what the Lord God requires of him.
And then, as to the precepts of the Redeemer's religion, they are such as have been admired in all ages, and such as no man need feel himself ashamed to own. The substance of them is : “ Whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them:" A precept so held in admiration by one of the Roman emperors, that he had it inscribed in various public places to be seen and read of all men. This excellent laconic sentence is more expanded by our Lord himself in another place: “ Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind. And thy neighbour as thyself.” And still more by Paul: “ The grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men; teaching us, that denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in this present world, looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God, and our Saviour Jesus Christ; who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.” May I not then exhort you in the words of the same apostle, To
present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service ? and not to be conformed to this world; but to be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye
may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God:” Endeavour to be uniformly and conscientiously, inwardly and outwardly, religious. Lay aside all other thoughts and concerns, and let the pardon of your sins, the justification of your persons, the purification of your natures, and the salvation of your souls, be the grand business and aim of your life. Every thing within you, and every thing without you, will oppose this great regenerating process of religion. Remember, however, this is your main concern in the world. One thing alone is truly needful. Secure this, and every thing beside is safe.
“ This done, the poorest can no wants endure ;
And this not done the richest must be poor.” “ Labour not for the meat that perisheth, but that meat which endureth unto everlasting life.-Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness, and all necessary things shall be added unto you.” If you are ever so rich, great, wise, learned, honourable; if you are not at the same time substantially and experimentally religious, you are a miserable man. Do you want proof of this? Look inward, and look forward to the close of life; or turn back, and impartially consider the experience of the several persons, whose declarations we have recorded. Compare them, weigh them, discriminate their characters; reject what is base and unworthy your attention, take alarm at the warnings of the dying penitents, and resolve, by the grace of God, to have a name and place among his people. Let others despise and neglect the Sacred Writings, as the humour shall lead, do you be much in the perusal of them. Let them dwell in you richly. They will make you happy in your own soul, and wise unto salvation. Search them, dig in them, scrutinize them, let your daily delight be in them. It is the engrafted word, and the word of God's grace alone, which is able to build us up in faith and love,