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your amiable and beloved babe has become an angel? His condition is indeed happy. God has conferred upon him the crown of victory before he has been engaged in the perilous warfare; has bestowed upon him the joys of heaven before he had experienced the miseries of life; has shielded him from the influence of temptations before he could feel their power. I well recollect the expressive smiles of the dear boy, as he lay on the breast of his mother, and listened to her tender addresses: he is now in a securer place. He reposes on the bosom of that Saviour who "gathereth the lambs in his arms and carrieth them in his bosom." He is admitted to his heavenly converse, and "followeth him whithersoever he goeth." O! though we are still tossed about on this tempestuous ocean, yet it is joyous to reflect, that one whom we thus loved has safely arrived at the haven of eternal rest. And what an unspeakable honour has God thus conferred upon you, in making you the instruments of bringing into existence-a being, who was born for immortal glory? A being, who is now partaking, and ever will partake of those pleasures, which are worthy to be the gift of a God, worthy to be the purchase of the blood of his Son! I recollect how carefully you have inscribed on your register the birth-day of your child. I read those plans, which you formed for the regulation of his future conduct. He has had a more careful and wise director. His heavenly Father, who loved him still more tenderly than you did, and who could not err in the choice of means to promote his
greatest good, had from eternity inscribed on the book of life both the day of his birth and of his death. The plans of God, all-wise and all-merciful, have been accomplished; and if yours have been frustrated, they have been frustrated in love.
I know that such bereavements are painful; that the heart is tortured in relinquishing all its fond hopes, in committing to the dust, a dear child, who, we trusted, would survive to close our eyes, and receive our last breath. But I know also that grace can regulate these feelings of nature. I say, regulate them, for their extirpation is not required by Christianity. Our Master, who wept at the tomb of his friend, permits us to weep over the graves of our connexions; and to indulge every sorrow that is consistent with an entire submission to his holy will. Let your graces then, my dear friends, be exercised. Let faith draw aside that veil, which conceals from our view the glories of heaven: you will then behold your child praising God without interruption and without sin; receiving in his soul the perpetual communications of divine love, and looking with pity upon the unsatisfactory enjoyments of earth. Oh! what cruelty would it be to wish for a moment, that he should again be struggling with the miseries, the temptations, and the sins of earth. Let hope anticipate the day when you also shall be released from this prison of clay, and admitted to the kingdom of your God. Oh! what delight will you then feel in again pressing your child to your bosom, with a certain
knowledge that he shall never more be separated from you. Then you may triumphantly sing, "This my son was dead and is alive again: he was lost and is found."-I doubt not that all these consolations have been fully experienced by you, and have enabled you, like the father of the faithful, to offer up to God a beloved son with submission and Christian patience."
SERIOUS THOUGHTS EXCITED
Arise, ye dead, and come to judgment. O my brethren! With these ears we shall hear these momentous sounds. With these eyes we shall see nature in convulsion, the universe in flames, the Judge descending, with ten thousand times ten thousand angels, the throne erected, and all the countless millions of the human race, from Adam to his last born son, assembled before it. Behold, he cometh with clouds, and every eye shall see him, and they also that pierced him; and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Yes; we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; and for purposes of the highest conceivable moment. In that vast assembly, there will be no infidels, no scep tics, no triflers, not a wandering eye, nor an unpenetrated heart. All will come before their Judge, either to be welcomed to the ever, lasting joys of heaven, as his friends, or to be banished, as his enemies, to regions of endless wo and despair. Now, my hearers, can there be a wise man among us, who, knowing that he has an immortal soul to save, will not endeavour to realize the scene, to bring it home, to enter into his own heart, and anticipate, as it were, the solemn business of the judgment day? The inquiry up on which our final state will turn, is simple; and, if we are faithful, not difficult of resolution. How stand our hearts affected to the Judge? Have we gratefully embraced him as the Saviour? Have we, as condemned, selfdespairing sinners, fled to his blood and merits, as our only hope? Have we been sitting at his feet for instruction? Have we welcomed his sceptre and his
(Concluded, from page 86.)
4. THE darkness in which we have recently seen the sun involved, should remind us of the great day of final judgment. For at the ushering in of that awful scene, the sun will be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood. It is confessedly a solemn and tremendous, though sublime spectacle, to see the glorious orb of day suddenly, though but for a moment, wrapped in obscurity; and this, almost amid the splendour of its meridian career. What then will it be, to see its last ray extinguished? What will it be, to see this splendid luminary blotted out from the face of heaven forever? What will it be, to see the heavens themselves passing away with a great noise, the elements melting with fervent heat, and the earth, with all it contains, partaking in the general conflagration and ruin? Yet even these scenes will scarcely be tremendous, compared with the alarm of the last trumpet,
the all awakening call;
laws? He we, with cordial affection, embraced his interest as our interest, his friends as our friends, and his service as the grand business of our lives? In a word, are we habitually preparing to meet him? Do we love his appearing, and, in some bright and happy moments, long for it? Do we count neither the delights of time, nor life itself dear to us, so that we may finish our course with joy, and meet our beloved Redeemer in peace? These, these are the questions on which hangs our whole eternity.
Upon the result of these it will depend, whether in the great day of decision, we shall lift up our heads with joy, or be overwhelmed with speechless confusion and agony. How then can we be sufficiently faithful and in earnest, in pressing them home now, to our consciences, and our hearts ?
5. Let the late memorable eclipse of the natural sun, lead us to reflect on the wretchedness of those, who will be finally rejected by the Judge, and thus suffer an eternal eclipse of that Sun of Righteousness, whose beams alone convey true life and happiness to the immortal soul. During the late darkness, though short, what an unwelcome change did we realize! What a face of gloom and horror was upon every object around us! What a solemn. pause in the customary employments and joys of life! How did nature herself seem to languish and mourn! Had the sun never more emerged from its obscurity, how certainly should we have bidden adieu to the principal comforts and delights of this world! Nature would
have been one universal blank— one barren waste; and life would have lost its power to charm. Similar to this, but indescribably more wretched, is the condition of that man, who dies in his sins, and destitute of the favour of God. The moment his soul quits the body, the last beam of comfort, the last ray of hope, vanishes forever. Alas! he has lost his God! irrecoverably, eternally lost him; and with whatever indifference he may have treated this idea before, he will then find, to his everlasting sorrow, that it is a loss indeed; a loss for which thousands of worlds could make him no compensation. Farewel God, the eternal sunshine of the soul. He will then find that his immortality is a curse; that protracted existence is but protracted misery. Ah! who can bless him whom God refuses to bless? What ray of joy can find its way to that soul, which Jehovah has abandoned? It has been conjectured by some, that there are comets, which have wandered so far from the sun, as to get quite beyond the sphere of its enlightening and attractive influence. To these irregular and devious bodies, the apostle Jude may perhaps have allusion, when he describes certain sinners under the appellation of wandering stars. And what is their doom? To such, says he, is reserved the blackness of darkness forever. These expressions are superior to all comment. THE BLACKNESS OF DARKNESS FOREVER ! Nothing would so strikingly portray the terable anguish, the unallayed despair, the never ceasing wo, of that man who lives and dies
without the grace of heaven. O that this faithful and salutary warning, while it vibrates in the ears, might effectually reach the heart, of every sinner in this assembly! O that all such might be persuaded, while yet there is hope, to flee from that wrath, and that ruin which they cannot bear!
Finally. Amid all the solemn appearances in nature, and all the gloomy aspects of providence, how serene, how courageous, how happy, may the Christian be. No doubt, some of the children of God have, in contemplating the late phenomenon, been thrown into a degree of distress and consterna tion. This may have been owing to a particular natural temperature of mind or body, to want of information, to surprise, or to sinful distrust and fear. Such, however, may still be congratulated, that they will soon find themselves in that blest region, where an unclouded, uneclipsed sun shall shine, and all darkness, doubt and distress shall flee away forever. Other pious persons have, I doubt not, contemplated the late spectacle with a tranquil and sublime pleasure; realizing in it an unusual and striking display of the power and majesty of the God whom they dove; the Almighty Friend in whom they trust. This courage
becomes them. It has a foundation. Let them cherish it more and more. Let the wicked fear where no fear is; or rather, let them tremble with just and awful apprehensions of impending wrath and destruction. But let the children of Zion be joyful in their King. He rules the world. He controls the elements. He commands the sun, and it rises not; and he seals up the stars. He turns the shadow of death into the morning,and makes the day dark with night. And he will render all the operations and changes, all the gloomy and portentous appearances of the natural and moral worlds subservient to his own glory, and to the felicity of his chosen. Should convulsions shake the world; should the earth be removed, and the moun tains be carried into the midst of the sea, still GoD will be their REFUGE, and their very present help. Should nature faint and die; should these visible heavens expire in flames, still may they, according to divine promise, look for new heavens, and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness, O then, Christians, comfort yourselves, and comfort one another with these words. Beloved, seeing ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of Him, your adored Redeemer and Judge, in peace, without spot, and blameless. AMEN.
EXTRACTS FROM BISHOP CLAGGETT'S PASTORAL LETTER.
The whole of this letter seems well adapted to the design of its venerable
author. It contains serious and seasonable truths, clothed in an easy and perspicuous style, and discovers a pious becoming seal in the cause of evangelical truth. The following extrass
may be read with profit by all denominations of Christians.
"To the ministers, vestries, and congregations of the Protestant Episcopal church in the state of Maryland.
"Dear Brethren, "The convention of this year having requested me to address to you a pastoral letter, I should have endeavoured to comply with their request without delay, had the state of my health permitted. But since the last convention, Providence has thought fit to render my returns of sickness more frequent and severe than usual. Yet while the Almighty is pleased to continue to me the enjoyment of reason, I would employ it, as far as I can, in the service of our common Lord; and the nearer I approach the completion of the hopes, which Christianity gives, the more ardent ought to be my desire of promoting the temporal and eternal welfare of those whom I leave behind.
"To you then, my brethren of the clergy, I must first express the earnest wish of my heart, that, as I have been instrumental in clothing many of you with the sacred character of labourers in the vineyard of Christ, I may, while I live, have the unspeakable joy of witness ing the fruit of the united la bours of us all, in the increase of rational and vital religion; and that in that kingdom where all painful obedience shall be at an end, we may be able to join our mutual congratulations and praises to the Giver of all good, with those souls whom the Redeemer shall have snatched from
the evils of the world, and whom we shall have had the happiness to lead, through dangers and temptations, to the possession of the promised reward.
"First of all then, my dear brethren, let me remind you of the solemn vows, which you made at your ordination, in the presence of God, of angels, and of men, to preach the gospel of Jesus. If your fervent desire is to increase the kingdom of righteousness, of peace and joy; to win souls to Christ; thereby diminishing the evils of our fallen state, and multiplying its joys,-if, with the eye of faith fixed on him, who trod the same path before you, whose gracious Spirit is with you, whose heavenly words have been left on record for your instruction and comfort, you long to receive that best and most significant of all applauses, "Well done, good and faithful servants,”—if, like the apostles, and many of your fellow-labourers in every age of the church, your full determination is to testify the gospel of the grace of God; to finish your course with joy, having many seals of your ministry in the day of the Lord; the difficulties and discouragements, which oc- . cur in your Christian vocation; the reproach, which, by the thoughtless and profane, is sometimes cast upon the ministers of religion; the privation of many pleasures, as they are unwisely called, which to the votaries of the world seem the only desirable blessings-all these will be accounted by you as nothing, while you eagerly press onward, for the prize of inestimable value. I cannot, therefore, too earnestly beseech you to lay the