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life might be spared, he would detain him in this vale of tears, he said, “ Brother, thou art welcome to my very soul. Pray retire to thy study for me, and give me leave to be gone.” Having been asked how he did, he answered, “ Alas! I have lost every thing. My understanding leaves me—my memory fails me—my utterance fails me; but I thank God my charity holds out still. I find that rather grow, than fail.” Referring to the object which lay so near his heart, the propagation of the Gospel among the Indians, he said, · The Lord revive and prosper his work, and
grant that it may live when I am dead. It is a work in which I have been much and long engaged. But what was the word I spoke last? I recall that word. My doings !-alas! they have been poor, and small, and lean doings; and I will be the man who will cast the first stone at them all.” Among the last expressions that were heard to drop from his lips were those emphatic words, “ Welcome Joy!” Thus, after a long, useful, and honourable course, full of days and rich in faith, the holy and indefatigable Eliot entered into his rest in the eighty-sixth year of his age. Take a different scene.
Hear the venerable Polycarp, standing before his accusers. The proconsul said to him,
Blaspheme and defy Christ, and I will let thee go." Polycarp answered, “ Fourscore and six years have I served him, neither hath he ever offended me in any thing; and how can I revile my King, which hath thus kept me?” When he was condemned to be burnt, the executioners were about to nail him to the stake; “ Nay,” said he,“ suffer me to remain as I am. He that gave me patience to endure this fire, will give me also an immoveable mind to persevere within this fiery pile without your fastening my body.'
When the executioner had tied his hands, Polycarp lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, “O Father of thy well-beloved and blessed Son Jesus Christ, through whom we have known thee; O God of the angels and powers, and every living creature, and of all just men who live in thy presence; I thank thee that thou hast graciously vouchsafed, this day, and this hour, to allot me a portion anong the number of martyrs, among the people of Christ, unto the resurrection of everlasting life, both of body and soul, in the incorruption of the Holy Ghost, among whom I shall be received in thy sight this day.”
Can any one doubt that “ the hoary head is a crown of glory, if it be found in the way of righteousness ?” Survey the deaths of these four hoary-headed men,-Voltaire and Paine, Eliot and Polycarp,-and say which are the sentiments worthy to be embraced; those which the former two, when living, propagated, but cursed in their dying hours; or those which the latter published with inexpressible joy during a long and useful existence, and triumphed in believiny, in the very article of death? I know your answer. The God of all grace preserve you from an infidel's life and death, and enable you to live a Christian's life. “ Let die the death of the righteous, and let my last end be like his.”
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THE FLIGHT OF TIME.
We are accustomed almost from our childhood, to mark the commencement of each succeeding year—to observe as a sort of festival, each new year's day to wish each other happiness, and then to let time slip on as before, unperceived, till another year revolves, and another new year's day comes, to remind us that time is flying-life advancing—and death and eternity drawing near.
These annual periods are to us like milestones to the traveller, which mark his progress, but with this distinctive difference, that they cannot tell us how far we have yet to go, before we shall reach our journey's end.
An impartial spectator beholding the mass of mankind at these periods, would be apt to conclude, that to each of them, this flight of time" was a subject of unfeigned pleasurethat these signs of festivity and of joy, indicated an assured hope and expectation of a state of being so transcendently happy, as to call for the liveliest expressions of delight that they were hastening so rapidly towards its consummation. But how stands the fact ?-comparatively few can be found, who have any certain hope, that when with regard to them, “time shall be no longer," the change then to be made, shall be for the better. The hopes and desires of the great mass of mankind, all centre in this world ; and although placing the affections on the things of this life, to the exclusion of God from the thoughts, is declared to be incompatible with the enjoyment of a better state hereafter-yet are they willing to run the risk—to hazard eternity for time!
And is it fitting that “the flight of time” should be marked, so generally as it is, by revelry and drunkenness? Is it fitting that immortal beings, hastening to eternity, should strive to banish every solemn thought with mirth, or drown reflection in the cup of intoxication and of riot? Is it fitting that creatures, who owe all to the munificence of their Creator, should thus prostitute the very blessings he has given, to his dishonour ?
In the days that were before the flood, men were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage,” even until the day that the flood came and swept them all away-and still, men are eating, and drinking, and making merry, whilst death is mowing down hundreds around them—whilst every new year's day as it passes, shows them another and another blank in the circle of their friends, proclaiming in solemn and impressive language, “ Be thou also ready!"
Have you then, reader, ever realised to yourself the period of your own departure ? Have you seriously considered, that ere many years are gone, a new year's day will come, when your family circle may meet, as in times past, to exchange their congratulations and good wishes, but your place shall be empty- the place that once knew you, shall know you no more, and the circle of friends who were wont to rejoice with you, shall never behold you again ? Have you ever, in imagination, beheld yourself stretched on a bed of sicknessyour now active limbs a prey to disease-your healthful body shrivelled and decayed—the colour fed from your cheek, and on your countenance the hue of death :—your languid eye, your parched lip, your feeble broken voice, and your scarcely beating pulse-life ebbing-relatives talking in whispers and dissolved in tears-all proclaiming that the hour is come when you must die! A deathlike silence around you—no joyful smiles-no cheerful countenances-no sounds of mirth or indications of revelry there—but every eye fixed on your wasted frame-every ear listening in breathless silence to your expiring moans, every moment expecting the spirit to take its flight, and leave its tabernacle of clay! Have you in imagination heard the last agonizing cry which bursts from the bosom of a father or a mother,—of a husband, a wife, of child, when the struggle is over, and the soul has gone to give in its final account?— And with such a scene portrayed before you, can you thoughtlessly rejoice in “the flight of time ?"
You have often, it may be, followed the remains of another, to deposit them in the tomb, perhaps yourself the chiet mourner there. The preparations for committing the remains of an endeared relative or friend to the dust, have gone like