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kind thought, and mourn that we have done no more to impart happiness to the cold sleeper whom we are to see no more.

I said that this was a beautiful and benignant law of our nature, and though attended like other laws wben violated, with pain, the design is as apparent as it is beautiful. It has two objects as a part of the divino moral administration. One is to lead us to repentance for our errors and faults, that we may obtain pardon of our God before it be too late. True, the sleeper there cannot now utter the word of forgiveness. Those lips are for ever sealed in death-and how much would we give now could we ask that friend to forgive us! How much would we rejoice could we have the assurance from those lips that the faults that now come thronging on our memory were forgiven and forgotten, and that they did not add a pang to his last sorrows. But if we cannot now confess the fault in the ear of that friend ; if we cannot now hope that those lips will open to declare us forgiven, we may confess the fault to God, and may be assured that he will blot the remembrance of it from his book. Around cach grave of a friend, therefore, he summons up groups of our past offences that we may be humbled and penitent, and may not go unpardoned to eternity. The other design of this benignant law is, to keep us trom offending hereafter; to teach us to manifest kindness in the remaining relations of life. True, we cannot again injure, or offend, or pain the sleeper there. Whatever may be his condition now, he is where our unkindness or neglect will not reach or affect him. But we have other relations in life, perhaps equally tender and equally important. There are other hearts that may be made to bleed by ingratitude, or coldness, or neglect, or mercy, and we may be assured that what has happened in the case of the friend that we have now lost, will happen also in theirs. The design of the law is, to teach us to indulge no thought, to speak no word. to evince no feeling which we would regret when they too are removed. And what a restraint would this be on our temper, our words, our whole deportment !

In each bereavement there is a peculiar group of these painful thoughts that come thronging to the recollection. They are those which are revived by that bereavement, but would be unaffected by any other. How many such things there are laid away in the chambers of the soul, now slumbering there like torpid adders, perhaps hereafter to be quickened into life to be our tormenters! The occasion requires me only to allude to that class of emotions which is thus summoned to our recollection on the death of a mother. And who is there of us that can see a mother die without many such painful and disquieting thoughts-greatly, embittering the natural grief of parting ? Even while we were conscious of having had for her strong and tender love; even when in the main we desired to respect her and to make her happy ; even when we know that our general character has been approved by her, and that in life thus far we have not disappointed her fond anticipations, yet how many times in childhood have we been disobedient, how often have we spoken disrespectfully, how often have we disregarded her wishes, how often have we ut

tered sentiments peevishly that we knew differed from hers; how often have we failed in rendering that prompt and ready obedience which was due to her as a mother, and to her kindness to us ; how many times by our perverseness, our self-will, our pride, our obstinacy, have we discouraged her in her efforts to do us good; how often have we done that which would weary out the patience of any one put a parent and God. Could we hear her speak again, how many things are there which we would wish to confess, and which we would desire her to forgive !

There are lessons flowing from this subject adapted to those who are more particularly interested from having recently been called to this trial -lessons requiring us to submit to God; to be grateful for the example, and counsels, and toils in our behalf of those who have been removed ; to imitate them as they imitated their Saviour, and to be prepared to follow them to the world of glory. But on these I will not dwell. There are two thoughts, however, which, in conclusion, I will suggest, addressed to two classes of my hearers.

1. The first relates to those who have had pious mothers, who are now romoved to heaven, but whose prayers and counsels they have disregarded. I refer to those who have thus far withhold their hearts from that Saviour whom their mother loved, and with whom she now dwells ; who have embraced sentiments such as they know she would not approve; who have made choice of companions such as sho lived to warn thom against, or who indulge in scenes of revelry and sin such as if she woro living you know would break her heart. Go, young man, and walk in the stillness of the evening among the graves. Beneath your feet, in the sacred slumbers of a Christian death, lies a much-loved mnother. How calm her slumbers ! How sweet the spot ! How lovely a mother's grave. How the memory delights to go back to the nursery ; the fire-side ; the sick bed ; the anxious care of a mother! How it loves to recall hor gentlo look; her eye of love ; her kiss at night. At that grave, thought088 young man, think of thy revels ; thy neglect of God; thy forgetfulnoss of the prayer that she taught thee ; thy friendship now for those against whom she warned thee! She sleeps now in death; but from that grave is it fancy that we hear a voice :-'My beloved son! Is this the life that I taught thee to lead ? Are these the pleasures which I taught theo to pursue ? Did I bear thee, and toil for thee, and wear out my life, that I might train thes for sin, and death and hell ?'

The other thought relates to those who now have a Christian motherand who yet disregard her living counsels and prayers. I have adverted to a law of our being, beautiful in its nature, but painful in its inflictions. The day is coming when that mother will die. You may see her die; or far away, you may hear of her death, and may return and visit her grave. Be thou sure that every unkind look, every disobedient action, overy harsh word, will come back and visit thy soul. Be sure you will remomber everything that ever gave pain to heart, and remember it with unavailing regret when too late to recall it, or to ask forgireness. Bo suro if you are unkind and disobedient ; if you are an infidel or a scoffer ; if

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you slight her counsels and neglect the God and Saviour to whom sho would conduct you, there are laid up in tho chambers of your soul, the sources of bitter repentance bereafter-and that you cannot find forgivoness of her whose heart you broke, though you seek it carefully with tean. And be sure that the sweetest of all consolations when she djes, will be found in such love of her Saviour that you will appreciate what is meant when it is said she has gone to Heaven ; and in evidence in your own heart that you will be prepared when the summons comos, to rejoin ber in the realms of bliss.

SERMON CCCXCVII.

BY REV. J. B. WATERBURY, D. D.

HUDSON, NEW YORK.

DEATH AND IMMORTALITY.

" Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was; and the spirit shall

return unto God who gave it.”—Eccles. xiii. 7.

This text contemplates the human body at the point of dissolution. It closes an allegorical description of the gradual decay of our physical powers, until that important crisis is reached, when the soul is separated from the body; the latter descending to the grave, and the former taking its flight to the judgment.

Solomon exhorts us not to postpone the duties of religion, and preparation for death, until those evil days—i. e. the period of old age and infirmity-come on, in which we shall say, we have no pleasure in them. He then describes the indications of old age creeping on and shading every prospect which was once so bright and attractive to the youthful eye. Even the sun, moon and stars will be less brilliant. A film will gather over the eye premonitory of the darkness of death. The keepers of the house—the strong and active limbs—shall tremble. The teeth shall fail—the back shall bend, and the ear no longer discriminate between the voice of a bird and the daughters of music. The old man shall be full of fears. “He shall be afraid of that which is high, and fears shall be in the way." His head shall blossom white as the almond tree; and the weight of a grasshopper shall prove a burden. Even desire shall fail. Extinguished in the soul are the very impulses to labour and activity, Other minds must now contrive for him, and other hands must supply him. What now remains but for the silver cord to be loosed, and the wheels of nature to break at the fountain! Then all is over. “The dust returns to the earth as it was, and the spirit unto God who gave it."

I. The first point suggested by the text, on which for a few moments, we may profitably dwell, is, that the soul is here recognised as an existence distinct from the body.

Solomon asserts that the body is dust i. e, a material substance. It is the same essentially as the ground on which we tread. The stroke of death identifies it with dust. Scarcely could it be believed, prior to this event, that our bodies are but clay tenements. Whilst the soul animates them, they seem in every respect dissimilar to the senseless clod. How unlike in its texture and color, is the flesh to its kindred dust. The eye, that inlet of beauty and knowledge, from which the light of mind streams and flashes, and the soft silken lock that trembles to the slightest breath, are but finely organized dust. Penetrate the tomb where beauty reposes, and not a trace will you discover of the once admired form. All that can be found are the rotten fragments of its coffin, or the cold black mold it has enriched. Indisputable evidence this, that the body is but organ ize matter, and is the same essentially as the ground on which we tread. Nature, in this instance, gives her testimony to the truth of revelation. The sacred writer, speaking of the re union of dust with dust, affirms that it was so originally. The allusion is to that act of creative power by which primeval man came into existence. “ The Lord God,” says Moses "formed him,” that is his body, " of the dust of the ground.” What thus sprung from dust is destined, by a retributive act of divine jnstice, to return to dust.

But whilst the body is wanifestly but organized matter, and must be resolved into its kindred element, the Suul on the contrary, is a separato existence, immaterial and indestructible.

This is evident from the scriptural account of its creation. The tenor of the narrative, in relation to the formation of the body, is, that the Almighty completed its mechanism ere yet it had the power of life or mo'y tion. “He then breathed into its nostrils the broath of life, and man became a living soul.” What language could speak more plainly the separate existence and diverse nature of the soul and the body! The one is a thing of material workmanship. It is constructed entirely out of the dust. The other is not fabricated but inspired. It was born, If I may 80 speak, out of the breath of God.

It is a living soul; essentially vital, i. e. indestructible. It has neither extension, solidity, nor parts. The causes which operate to dissolve the body can bave no such effect, so far as we can see, over the soul. Atten, tively consider the account given by Moses. It will convince you that in its origin, its nature, and its destiny, the soul is an existence distinct from, and altogether unlike the body. That which came from the breath of

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