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fun of my life is about to /et, and, utterly unprepared, I am going to appear before God. Oh! that I had but my precious days to go over again! Eternal God, if thy mercy be infinite, exert it now to save such a self-ruined wretch as I am /"
But will riches better stand the test of that day's trial? Alas! they who have put their confidence in fine gold, will find that it profits not in the day of wrath. When death lifts his arm, and swift at lightening, disease and pain enter the heart, vain is the hoarded treasure. See that generally esteemed happy man who trusted in riches, stretched upon the bed of languishing; his body is panting for breath; his throat is parched; his heart flutters; his eyes grow dim; and life's silver cord is loosing: What joy now can riches bring? Surround his dying bed with bags of gold, will they alleviate the pains of the body, purchase a moment's respite from death, or silence
the agonizing remonstrances of conscience? Alas 1 a golden God is but a dumb idol, neither able to kill nor make alive.
Then, when earth, and only earth, hath been the pursuit, what wretchedness to be torn from all that was counted happiness; to leave this dear world
behind them forever, to go Ah!
Whither? Not to treasures laid up for them in heaven; not to the place where they have made themselves friends of the mammon of unrighteousness; but where that rich man went who lift up his eyes in torment, because, though rich in this world, he was not rich towards God.
Now, this is the boasted happiness of numbers. This is the unutterable pleasure of dying worth so many thousand pounds.
"Guilt's blunder, and the loudest laugh of hell."
Nor Nor will Honor and Fame render our departure at all more comfortable.
Send forth your imagination to view the last scene of the greatest and proudest man who ever awed and governed the world. See a poor, infirm, miserable, short-lived creature, that passes away like a shadow, and is • hastening off the stage where the theatrical titles and distinctions, and the whole mask of pride which he has worn for a day, will fall off and leave him naked as a neglected slave. Behold the empty vapour disappearing! One of the arrows of mortality this moment sticks fast within him: See, it forces out his life, and freezes his blood and spirits.
Approach his bed of hate, —draw aside the curtain,—regard a moment with silence.
Are these cold hands and pale lips all that are left of him who was canon
ized by his own pride, or made a god of by his flatterers?
0 God/ What is man? Even a thing of nought.
Alas! That a being whose existence on earth is but for a moment, and whose future mansion is heaven ; a being whose immortal foul carries its hopes far beyond time, and extends them even to eternity, should set his mind on objects which time destroys! What is this but to mistake the changeable colours of the dew-drop for the lustre of the ruby, or the radiance of the diamond?
"Lay not up for yourselves treasures on earth" fays the divine Teacher. Long tossed by tumultuous passions, enraptured and alarmed with hopes and fears, we at last find earth's boasted treasures to be vain; its riches, honors, and pleasures utterly insufficient to make us happy. Full seldom are they obtained by the anxious candidate, and seldomer still without much pain and labour; and after all, made tasteless by disease or age, or embittered by vexation, they are held but a few feverish years, and then forgotten forever in the grave.
"Lay not up for yourselves treasures on eartht where moth and rust do corrupt, and where thieves break through andsteal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in hewven ; for where the treasure is, there will
the heart be also." What treasures?
Why love,—Love to God and to our neighbour.
These are the true treasures; the treasures of the heart. No pleasures are comparable to those that affect the heart; and there are none that affect it with such exquisite delight, as loving and being beloved by a worthy object. Ask the young Theodofius, and he will tell you, that the most delicious feelings his heart ever experienced, were those of virtuous love ; and that he never