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quietly expires, and enters in a moment on the fair fields of bliss, to enjoy the recompence of reward.
3. But what brought Moses to such a happy and glorious death? A long life of laborious piety. He had served God with great fidelity; so that, after his death,
God says, 66 Moses my servant is dead." Moses had true
faith, and he lived as that faith required. Contemplate his life, and all is diligence and correctness: contemplate his death, and all is dignity, splendour, and happiness. But,
II. Let us now apply this subject to ourselves.
1. We must die. We know it and own it. A few more years, and our place on earth will know us no more. The sun will shine by day and the moon by night; the seasons will adorn the world; the rivers will roll in their channels, and the tides will agitate the ocean: but we shall be silent in the grave, deaf to the storm of winter and to the music of the spring. We must sicken, fade, and die.
2. We see what it is to die happily. It is to converse with God in our last moments; it is to view the everlasting Canaan before us. What can friends or riches do for us in a dying hour? If we have only the frail arm of man for our support, we die miserably. The true Christian is happy in death. Does he breathe out his soul in a gloomy garret, on a sordid couch, no pitying eye, no befriending hand, near him? Still he is happy. The presence of God, the faith of Christ, the supporting influence of the Spirit, the hope of glory, cheer his soul, and render him blessed.
3. Here we learn what leads to a happy death. It is not a few notions of religion, a warm imagination, a noisy and plausible profession; but it is true practical piety; it is faith, holiness, and obedience. If we are truly pious in life, we shall be safe in death, even should a cloud settle on our last hours. Of exclamations and raptures, we read nothing in the deaths of Moses and the Patriarchs: perhaps they mean, in num
berless instances, far less than is commonly supposed: but be this as it may, if we live in the Lord, we shall die in the Lord, and our end will be peace.
But we must leave the subject.
1. Careless Christians! seriously think of death. The hour will arrive when body and soul shall be separated; when the one shall return to the dust, and when the other shall appear before God. O solemn thought! To mix with dust! To stand before God! To enter on an unchangeable eternity! Indulge the thought, and repent, and turn to God, and look unto Jesus, and pray for the Holy Spirit, and enter on the way of life and blessedness. Why will you perish for ever!
2. True Christians! seriously think of death. Happy your case, for you know what salvation means; what repentance, faith, and holiness mean; you are experimentally acquainted with these things. Be thankful and rejoice. Yet much is wanting; more knowledge, faith, love, hope, holiness, spirituality, and deadness to the world. Let the thought of death stir you up to activity, that when your Lord cometh you may be found ready.
O blessed Lord God, let mortality and immortality be the frequent subjects of my meditation. Give me grace that I may so believe and live, that I may die the death of the righteous. Give me repentance and pardon, and so strengthen and uphold and guide me by thy good Spirit, that I may bless and praise thee for ever and ever. Grant this, O merciful Father, for the sake of our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.