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sions, inhabited by cherubim and seraphim, the innumerable company of angels, and the spirits of just men made perfect. Heaven is the world without sin, curse, death, or sorrow. Heaven is the state of perfect knowledge, holiness, love, and happiness. And it is everlasting. Our Lord calls it, eternal life. The apostle describes it as a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. What a home! This for man! Can it be? Is it å splendid vision only? No. It is a glorious reality. It is this, which Christ died to obtain for his people. It is this, which the Scriptures were written to reveal. It is this, to which the hope of the pious in every age has aspired; and the prospect of which has cheered them amidst all the sorrows of life. “Two more stiles," said the martyr, as he walked across the fields to the place of execution, “ and I shall be at home, at my Father's house.” “I am going home,” is the common and joyful exclamation of many dying Christians. And what a home! The home, of saints, of martyrs, of angels, of Christ, of God!
What is the preparation for such a home? Religion: nothing but religion. This home is a holy
Heaven is in fact the home of religion itself: for here it is only in a wayfaring, pilgrimage state. Religion is a heavenly visitant upon earth, travelling back to her native skies, and will never be at rest till she finds herself in the presence of God her Divine Parent. Nothing, therefore, but religion, can prepare a soul for heaven. You may
have a good knowledge of the arts; you may have a competent, or even profound acquaintance with learning and science; you may have talents of a public order, that fit you for action and for influence among your fellow men; but what have these things to do with preparation for heaven ? What reference have they to the eternal state ? Nothing but holiness will prepare us for a holy heaven. Would a knowledge of trade, agriculo ture, or science, prepare any one, without the knowledge and manners of a courtier, to dwell at court? How much less in heaven! No, it is sincere, experimental piety alone, that can prepare us to enter into the presence of God. The heavenly character must be acquired on earth, or it can never be acquired at all. Begin then at once. It is a preparation for eternity, and who can como mence such a work too early? You may have but little time allotted for this transcendently momentous affair, “ Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest.” Live for eternity; live for heaven: and the only way to do this, is to live by faith. Once in heaven, you will never leave it. There will be no going out for ever. You will quit your Father's house no more. The celestial family will never break up. Once at home there, you will be at home for ever.
But neglect religion, and you can never be admitted to the regions of immortality. Your pa
rents may be there, but you will be excluded and shut up in outer darkness. I can imagine you in the day of judgment, pressing to lay hold upon the hand of your father, but he turns from you as from an object of disgust, exclaiming, “Your father no longer.” You then direct an imploring eye to the mother that bore you, and laying hold on her robe piteously exclaim, “My mother, do you not know me ?" Gathering up her garment of light, she shakes you off, with the dreadful disownment, “I know not the enemies of my Lord.” They pass to the right hand of the Judge, while you, by a power you cannot resist, are sent to the left—and what remains ? You will present from that day, the melancholy spectacle of an outcast from heaven, a homeless immortal, a vagrant in the universe, a wretched wanderer through eternity.
SEVERAL CLASSES OF YOUNG MEN SPECIALLY AD
DRESSED-THE TRAVELLER BY
SEA OR LAND
THE ORPHAN-THE PRODIGAL-THE PIOUS YOUTH.
I SELECT as the first whom I particularize, those who have left or are soon to leave their native country, whether for a permanent residence abroad, or only for a season. Numerous and very different are the causes which lead to this temporary or lasting expatriation. In some cases, it is a mere curiosity to see the world ; in others a restless, dissatisfied, and indolent disposition ; in others a still worse cause; while in some it is a step to which they are called by the plans of Providence, and which circumstances render, if not absolutely necessary, yet every way proper. Whatever may lead to it, however, it is always a course of danger, and sometimes of sorrow. That young man who can step from his native shores into the vessel which is to bear him to a distant part of the earth; who can see the land of his nativity recede from his view, till its spires, hills, and cliffs are lost amidst the mighty waste of waters; who can utter his adieu to the friends, and scenes of his childhood which he very probably may never revisit; who can forget the perils of the sea, and the danger of tropical climates, which he is abort
to encounter,--and all this without some degree of heart-sickness, or at least, evident sadnessmust have a heart too cold and too hard to be at present the residence of piety and virtue, and affords little hope for the future. Insensibility under such circumstances marks a callous mind; while sadness and even sorrow are an honour, and not a weakness, to the youth who rather weeps than utters his last adieu.
If it be a bad cause that takes you to sea, you will have time for reflection upon the voyage. Use it well. As you pace the deck at night, keeping your watch, with the moon and the stars speaking silently to you of God, think of your course, meditate upon your conduct; give conscience leave and time to speak, and listen to its voice. Imagine you see a mother's form lighting on the deck, pointing to heaven, and saying as she smiles through her tears, “ Repent, my son, re. pent, and come back to us reclaimed: we wait to receive you to our arms, and to our hearts." Hear that gentle voice coming to your ears when nothing else is heard but the whistling of the wind, the dashing of the waves, and the creaking of the masts and rigging. Many a youth in those solemn moments has considered his evil ways, and turned from them to God. Cut off from many temptations and companions which beset him on shore, he has had wisdom given him to be sorry for the course he ran, has resolved to forsake it, and has returned home when the voyage was