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BUT while the experience of some, in their last moments, developes the native tendency of Christianity to raise the human mind above the fear of death, and fill it with unutterable joy in prospect of an immediate participation of the glory of heaven, it ought not to be considered as a standard to ordinary Christians. It shews us, beyond the force of the most luminous reasoning, what is attainable in religion; but it does not warrant us to say, that such an order of feeling is essential to salvation. "Thousands die in the Lord, who are not indulged with the privilege of dying in triumph." They depart in peace, but their peace is not the overflowing excitation of enraptured feeling, but the calm unruffled serenity of a mind which feels itself prepared for the great change. The serene and tranquil death of a believer, is

no less a visible attestation of the excellence of his faith in Christ, than his rapturous and triumphant: and may be considered by some, a more natural frame of mind on such a solemn occasion, if not a more enviable. For while it is admitted, that the glories of the unseen world, possess an intrinsic value which justifies the most eager and intense longing after their participation; it cannot be denied, but that the remaining imperfections of the soul have a tendency to induce a certain degree of fear, which must, in proportion to its strength, repress and deaden them; and if, under these opposing influences, the mind can be kept calm in the immediate prospect of the final decision, it is as much as some will feel disposed to anticipate. And when we consider that in the commencement, and progress, and termination of the work of grace in the human heart, the Divine Spirit is pleased to conduct his immediate operations in accordance with the natural character of the mind--piercing with deeper convictions of guilt, and animating with stronger consolations of hope, those of quick and powerful passions, than those of dull, and morbid ;-subjecting those of a volatile, and inconstant mental temperature, to more sudden transitions, from the most enraptured bliss to the most profound and cheerless gloom, while the sedate, and decided, have an even flow of spiritual enjoyment, it will not excite our surprise to find that by far the largest proportion of true believ

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ers, depart out of life, in a state of tranquillity, which is as remote from the transport of joy, as it is from the bondage of fear. In those who are far advanced in life, and some who are under the dominion of a nervous affection, the energy of the animal passions is abated; and though their belief in Christ, and their dependence on the efficacy of his death, is as implicit and as firm, as at any former period of their life, yet being physically incapable of any strong excitation, the utmost they can enjoy according to the more fixed laws of the divine administration, is that peace which passeth all understanding. "But when we mention peace, we mean not the stupid security of a mind that refuses to reflect; we mean a tranquillity which rests on an unshaken basis, which no anticipations however remote, no power of reflecting however piercing or profound, no evolutions which time may disclose or eternity conceal, are capable of impairing: a peace which is founded on the oath, and promise of him who cannot lie, which springing from the consciousness of an ineffable alliance which the Father of Spirits, makes us to share in his fulness, to become a partner with him in his eternity: a repose pure and serene as the unruffled wave, which reflects the heavens from its bosom, while it is accompained with a feeling of exultation and triumph, natural to such as are conscious that ere

long, having overcome, they shall possess all things."

In the death of Scott, we see less of the rapture of faith, than in that of Simpson: and the veteran Fuller, who had exhausted the energy of his great mind in his master's service, threw out fewer expressions of impassioned feeling, than Dredge, who died in the vigour of his days: and though this may excite some degree of astonishment when we consider that they all possessed like precious faith, yet, if we annalize the predominant qualities of their minds, and duly consider the influence which physical causes were allowed to exercise over them, we shall have a practical illustration of the foregoing reasoning; and may derive no small degree of consolation against those fears which sometimes spring up to overcast our prospects, when we cannot shout victory, before the conquest is obtained. In their experience, we see the current of divine consolation, ebbing and flowing, with the varying strength of their animal passions, while in each, it is that pure water of life of which they who drink shall live for ever. In them we see the same principle, working the same moral effects, though in a different degree of excitation; and supporting them under the same prospect of an entrance into the eternal world, though not with an equal degree of buoyancy; and while they mutually ascribed their salvation to the free and sovereign grace of God, yet

we see that, that grace, varies in the degrees of its blissful manifestations in accordance with the natural character, and physical state of the mind. Then let no one who is looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life, be depressed, because he has not the rapture of faith; nor think that the style of his entrance into the kingdom, will be less honourable or less safe, because it is with the gentle drifting of the tide, rather than with crowded sails, under a full gale of consolation and joy.

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