Imatges de pÓgina
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him no hopes of its weighing down the scales, when balanced with his multiplied crimes. His very prayers , and the confessions and communions he has made, fly now in his face kad upbraid him with his wretched negligence, and sacrilegious abuse of these great means of salvation. The sight of all things about him, his wife, his children, his friends, his worldly goods, which he has loved more than God, serve for nothing now but to increase ivis anguish. And what is his greatest misery is, that the acronies of his sickness give him little or no leisure or ability to apply himself seriously to the greatest and most difficult of all concerns , which is , a pepe fect conversion to God after a long habit of sin. O ! how truly inay the sinner now repeat those words of the Psalinist; The sorrows of death kavic encomp.:ssed mc and the perils of hell bave found me Psalm cxiv. O! what unspeakable anguish must it be to see hiiseli just embarking upon eternity , an infinite and endless duration, an inunense ocean, to whose further shore the poor, sailor cail never reach : and

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to have so much reason to fear, it will be to him an eternity of wo.

Consider , fourthly, my soul, what thy sentiments will be at the hour of thy death, with relation to the service of God, and to virtue and devotion : how lovely will the way of virtue then appear to thee! How wilt thou then wish to have followed that char. ming path! O! what a satisfaction is it to a dying man to have lived well! What a comfort to see himiself now at the end of all his labours and dangers; to find himself at the gates of eternal rest, of everlasting peace, after a long and doubtful war! He may now securely come down from his watch-tower, and repoze himself for ever in the kingdoni of his Father, 01 what a pleasure, What a joy to look forward into that blessed eternity !! how precious in the sight of God is the death of his soints , Ps. cxv. Ah! Let my soul dic the death of the just, and let my end be like to theirs Numb xxiji. Christians , if we would die the death of the just, we must live the life of the just! The only seck rity for a.good death, is a good life. D vi

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Consider , fifthly, or rather 'cona clude from the foregoing considerations on death, to make it the whole business of yonr life to prepare for death. Upon dying well depends nothing less than a happy eternity. If we die ill, we are lost, and lost for ever. As then , we came into the world for nothing else, but to provide for eternity, so we may truly say, we came inio the world for nothing else, but to learn to die well. This is the great lesson which we must all study. Alas! if we missi it, when we are called to a trial, an

endless duration of wo nust be the i necessary consequence. Ah! how hard

is it to learn to perform that well, which can be done but once.

On the particular Judgment afrar Death

Onsider, forst, that the soul is

no sooner parted from the body, but she is immediately presented before the judge , in order to give an account of her whole life', of all that she has thought, said, or done, during her abode in the body, and to receive senztence accordingly. For that the eter

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nal doom of every soul is decided by a particular judgment immediately after death , we learn from the gospel in the example of Dives and Lazarus : and the sentence that is passed here will be ratified in the general judgment at the last day. Christians, how stand your accounts with God? What could you be able to say for yourselves , if this night you should be cited to the bar'? It snay be perhaps your case. Remember that your Lord will come when you least expect him; take care then to bé always ready.

Consider , secondly, how exact, how rigorous this judgment will be, where eve: the least idle word cannot escape the scrutiny of the judge. O! what treasures of iniquity will here coine to light , when the 'veil shall be removed, which hides at present the greatest part of our sins - from the eyes of the world, and even from our own : and the whole history of our lives shall at once be exposed to our view. Good God! who can be able to bear this dreadful sight? Here shall the poor soul be brought to a strict examination of a'd that she has done or left undone, in

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the whole time of her pilgrimage in this inortal body: how she has corres ponded with the divine inspirations ; what use she has inade of God's graces; what profit she has reaped from the sacraments which she has received, from the word of God which she has heard or read; what advantage she has made of those favourable circumstantes in which God Almighty has placed trer ; how she has employed the talents with which he has entrusted her : even ber best works shall be nicely sisted : her prayers, her fasts , her almas-decos; the intention with which she has undertaken thein; the manner in which she has performed them:all these shalt be weighed, not in the deceitful badance of the judgment of men, bue in the scales of the sanctuary. Ah! how mauy, of our actions will then be found so want weight, according to that of Dan, V. Thec kast beeve weighed in the balance, and art found of too little weight. I enter not into judgment with the servant , O Lord ; for no main libeing shall be justified in thy sight. Psalin cxlii. Consider, thirdly, the qualities of

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