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vice ended, your crown awarded. In your places will soon stand those upon whom the frosts of age are now only beginning to fall, and afterwards those who are yet amid the years of their fullest vigor and strength. Let these not think of life's later years as a burden, nor shrink at the thought of their approach. Let them rather look forward to the period when they shall be “old and gray-headed”-if they shall be permitted to behold it as one which grace is adequate to make the most cheerful and happy of their lives. Let the desire to rejoice in the highest blessedness of the Christian's old age be among the motives that shall induce the highest devotion during the years by which it is preceded!

A word to such of the young and middle-aged as are numbered with the unconverted, will conclude this discourse.

Few of your number, in comparison with the whole, will ever know what it is to be bowed down under the burden of years. This your observation of the ravages of death compels you to admit; and yet each of you doubtless indulges the hope, if not the expectation, that he shall be spared to old age. If this hope is be realized in the case of any, they are one day to know the self-reproaches, the joylessness and hopelessness of the aged transgressor, or rejoice in the blessedness of the aged disciple. Which ? Spend your life in sin, and your old age shall be all a burden and a curse. Consecrate the freshness of youth (if it be still yours) and the strength of manhood to God, and your declining years shall constitute a rich inheritance of joy, and be a fitting prelude to the pleasures that are at God's right hand for evermore.

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PASTOR OF THE SEC. PRES. CHURCH, ELIZABETHTOWN, N. J. I

THE BELIEVER'S PEACE. * Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is, siayed on Thee, because be trusteth in Thee." -_IsAtau 26 : 3.

Life is in all cases a pilgrimage, and to the best of men it brings its seasons of sorrow, as well as of joy. From causes too numerous to mention, fear sometime prevails over hope ; and the soul, instead of enjoying those consolations, which are neither few nor small, is cast down and disquieted. Such are the checkquered scenes through which believers pass, that they often become discouraged because of the way.

These vicissitudes, though trying to the feelings, are, nevertheless, proof of real spirituality. A stone, every one knows, is the same in its properties and aspects all the year round, but not so the tree, at the foot of which it lies. Here we see per. petual changes, frequent revival and decay. If leafless branches and a naked top appear in the months of storm and frost, We expect to'find buds, and blossoms, and fruit in the season of warmth and showers. The reason is : in the one case no principle of life exists, while in the other there is all along a real, abiding, energetic vitality. And this, let me say, marks the difference between a genuine, honest-hearted Christian, and the man' that merely has a name to live, but is dead. Wheroever the root of the matter is found, there will be a lamenting after the Lord, if there is no actual rejoicing in him.

These lights and shadows of the divine lite add to the interest with which we contemplate a truly pious character. It is useful to follow such an one in days of darkness, as well as those of light; and the tears on his cheeks are no less instructive than the smiles which irradiate his countenance. If his path to a better world is rough and thorny, this only the more clearly evinces the riches of those resources that grace is able to supply.

But though sorrow may be evidence of spirituality as well as joy, we love to see men happy'in God; and what is more,

able and the gay? The frivolities of fashion have no longer any charm for him. His moments of gaiety, and with them the gay associates and friends of his earlier days, have long since ceased to belong to the present. He has been doomed to see the companions of his youth and early manhood one by one fall by the hand of death, until at last he stands as it were the sole representative of a past generation As he looks on every side in vian for a single fountain of happiness still open to him, he must feel the appropriateness and force of the language of Solomon, as applied to the forms of good which he has chosen and pursued in life: “ Vanity of vanities, all is vanity.”

The aged disciple of the meek and lowly Jesus has not thus survived his life's chief good. That which was years ago chosen as the chief portion of his soul is still the light and joy of his being. Though his hold on earthly pleasures was long ago relinquished, those connected with the smiles of a Saviour's countenance and the experience of a Saviour's love are his in the fullest measure. of whatever else he may be deprived, these he is assured shall be as enduring as "the eternal years of God.” Rejoicing in the experience of such exalted pleasures, even amid the infirmities of age his cup of happiness must be full. There is no burden which a present Redeemer does not enable him cheerfully to bear; no sorrow which faith in him does not render light; and no cloud which the light of his countenance does not dispel. Who, then, would not desire the old age of the Christian ?

I remark, finally, the aged disciple is happy in the near prospect of realizing his life's brightest hopes.

In this respect also his experience is very different from that of the aged transgressor. He who has pursued the pathway of sin until he stands with the white locks, wrinkled features, and bowed form of an old man on the brink of the grave, has survived the death of all his hopes. If there be any such thing as a true personification of wretchedness on earth, we have it in him. Every fountain of happiness from which he has been wont to drink in his past life, is dried up; and he goes to a future which holds out to him not one promise of good. There is known on earth no such utter poverty and want, as that whose pinching hand has seized his condemned and sin-seared soul. sinner, with all the hopes of his life buried in the past, goes down to the tomb enveloped in a cloud of darkness whose gloomy folds shall never be lifted.

Turn your thoughts now to the aged follower of the Lamb. The present, instead of being the darkest and saddest period in his history, is the brightest and happiest! The hopes with which at a moment far back in the past, he began his Christian life; the hopes for which, at every step in that life, he has rendered to God the tribute of his grateful praise ; the hopes which have

The aged

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afforded light in so many dark hours, and whence has been
derived strength in the midst of so many spiritual conflicts; these
ever precious, ever glorious hopes are now about to be realized.
The good to which he has been looking forward during his entire
Christian race is almost reached—the prize almost won. His
work as a Christian soldier has been long prosecuted ; and now
that he is about to lay down his armor, now that the good fight
of faith is well nigh fought, he rejoices in the prospect of speedily
wearing the crown of victory. He has long pursued his journey
on earth, a stranger and a pilgrim here, seeking a better country;
and now that his destination is almost reached, now that the
shores of the heavenly Canaan are almost in sight, now that the
glory of the New Jerusalem almost gleams on his vision, he
rejoices in the prospect of soon entering into the rest of his eter-
nal home. He is weary with his long journeying, but happy in
the thought that the next tottering step may introduce him to a
house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. Verily the
old age of the Christian, marked by infirmity and weakness
though it be, is a bright and happy period in his history. “When
I am old and gray-headed, O God, forsake me not!"

Aged disciples of Jesus ! you have reason for the profoundest
gratitude that yours is the old age of the Christian.
think of what you are, and what you enjoy, in comparison with
what you would have been, and what you would have suffered,
but for the grace that directed your steps in former years into
the path of life, you may well adopt the words of the Psalmist
as the language of your hearts: "Bless the Lord, O my soul ;
and all that is within me, bless his boly name."

Much of
worldly comfort that once was yours has passed beyond your
reach; but there are still open to you rich and abundant sources
of blessedness. From a past, through which the grace and mercy
of God have led you; a past, whose days have been spent in
the enjoyment of his love, and in self-consecration to his ser-
vice ; & past, bright with the displays and experiences of his
grace, and rich in lessons of wisdom and truth, there come joys
such as the heart of the aged transgressor may never feel. The
present, notwithstanding the evident failing of life's vital ener-
gies, and the consequent loss of capacity for your wonted
earthly pleasures, is rendered happy by an inward and spiritual
light reflected from a Saviour's smiling countenance. The good
which has been the choice and pursuit of your life-time, is with
you now in increased and increasing measures. The future, how
glorious ! and its glory, how near! Pilgrims, weary and worn,
ye are almost home! A few more of those tottering steps, a few
more of those exhausted breathings, and your feet shall have
passed the threshold of that heavenly mansion which a Saviour's
love has prepared.

Aged disciples ! soon you will all be gone, your term of ser

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able and the gay? The frivolities of fashion have no longer any charm for him. His moments of gaiety, and with them the gay associates and friends of his earlier days, have long since ceased to belong to the present. He has been doomed to see the companions of his youth and early manhood one by one fall by the hand of death, until at last he stands as it were the sole representative of a past generation. As he looks on every side in vian for a single fountain of happiness still open to him, he must feel the appropriateness and force of the language of Solomon, as applied to the forms of good which he has chosen and pursued in life : “ Vanity of vanities, all is vanity.”

The aged disciple of the meek and lowly Jesus has not thus survived his life's chief good. That which was years ago chosen as the chief portion of his soul is still the light and joy of his being. Though his hold on earthly pleasures was long ago relinquished, those connected with the smiles of a Saviour's countenance and the experience of a Saviour's love are his in the fullest measure. of whatever else he may be deprived, these he is assured shall be as enduring as "the eternal years of God.” Rejoicing in the experience of such exalted pleasures, even amid the infirmities of age his cup of happiness must be full. There is no burden which a present Redeemer does not enable him cheerfully to bear; no sorrow which faith in him does not render light; and no cloud which the light of his countenance does not dispel. Who, then, would not desire the old age of the Christian ?

I remark, finally, the aged disciple is happy in the near prospect of realizing his life's brightest hopes.

In this respect also his experience is very different from that of the aged transgressor. He who has pursued the pathway of sin until he stands with the white locks, wrinkled features, and bowed form of an old man on the brink of the grave, has survived the death of all his hopes. If there be any such thing as a true personification of wretchedness on earth, we have it in him. Every fountain of happiness from which he has been wont to drink in his past life, is dried up; and he goes to a future which holds out to bim not one promise of good. There is known on earth no such utter poverty and want, as that whose pinching hand has seized his condemned and sin-seared soul. The aged sinner, with all the hopes of his life buried in the past, goes down to the tomb enveloped in a cloud of darkness whose gloomy folds shall never be listed.

Turn your thoughts now to the aged follower of the Lamb. The present, instead of being the darkest and saddest period in his bistory, is the brightest and happiest! The hopes with which at a moment far back in the past, he began his Christian life; the hopes for which, at every step in that life, he has rendered to God the tribute of his grateful praise; the hopes which have

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