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apon each of our heads a crown of pure gold. Joseph could not preserve bis brethren from death ; they all died one after another, and he also in his turn, gave up the ghost: but Jesus Christ being raised from the dead, dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him, Rom. vi. 9. He is not only alive for evermore, but will likewise cause us all to become immortal. Whereas, then Jacob desired to live, that he might go down into Egypt to see bis son Joseph, we should ardently desire to die, that we may ascend up into heaven, there to behold our Lord Jesus Christ, who is both our Father and Redeemer. When Jacob embraced again this wonderful and beloved son, he cried out, in the transport of his joy, Now let me die, since I have seen thy face, because thou art yet alive : on the contrary, when we shall embrace Christ in his glory, and shall behold the light of bis countenance, we shall say unto him, in a different manner, My Lord, and my God, since I now see thee alive, and reigning in heaven, I shall also live and reign with thee for ever and ever. Amen.
PRAYER AND MEDITATION,
For a Believing Soul, which arns itself against the
Fears of Death, by meditating on the glorious ascension of Jesus Christ into heaven, and his silling down at the right hand of God.
O HOLY and Divine Saviour! to strengthen myself against the fears of death, I have already looked upon thy noble conflicts, and glorious victory; that my joy may be perfect and accomplished, grant me the grace, that I may also behold thy magnificent triumph. As thou hast fought for me, and made me partaker of the fruit of thy victories, grant that I may also share in the honour of thy triumph. As thou hast suffered for ing offences, and art arisen again for my justification, so · thou hast ascended up into heaven to prepare a place for me.
Thou art willing I should be admitted into thy divine palace, that I sliould be where thou art, and that I should behold thy glory, which thou hast enjoyed, with God the Father, before the foundation of the world. O sweet and inerciful Lord! what reasop have I to fear going to heaven, since thou art seated there in the highest glory and happiness, and stretchest out thy arms to receive me ? May I not rather expect to be glorified in thy kingdom, since thou bestowest upon all them that serve thee, immortal crowns and sceptres ? 0 Almighty God and Saviour! thy throne is surroooded with infinite majesty and splendour; nevertheless I will come boldly unto it, forasmuch as it is a throne of love and mercy, unto which every penitent sinner may draw
Round about this glorious throne, I see a rainbow, in sight like unto an emerald, which assures me, that thy covenant is everlasting. Though thy glory and majesty are increased, yet thy love for me, and thy tender compassions, are not diminished. Thou art the same yesterday, and to-day, and for ever. Thou hast vouchsafed for my salvation, to lie in a manger, and to be nailed to a cross. Thou hast laid down thy life for my ransom, and hast she i thy precious blood to wash and cleanse me from my sins, and to mark me out the way tu thine heavenly sanctuary. In the midst of all that glorious light wherewith thou art clothed, thou art not ashamed to acknowledge me thy brother, (thy sister,) and for a member of thy inystical body. It is for my sake that thou appearest before thy heavenly Father, and that thou offerest up prayers and supplications unto him. O adorable Lord! It is in thy power to give me the things which thou hast merited by thy sufferings, and which thou requestest for me by thy prayers and intercession ; for all power is given upto thee, in heaven and in earth. O Sovereign Monarch of the world hast not! thou made us this great and precious promise,-1, if I
be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me? .John xii. 32; and is it not for us that thou hast prayed in this transporting manner, Father I will that they also whom thou hast given me, be with me, where I am, that they may behold my glory which thou hast givedume ? John xvii. 24. Since, therefore, thou hast been lifted up from this miserable earth, to reign and triumph in heaven, draw my soul unto thee, 0 nierciful Redeemer! and deliver it from this vale of tears and misery. Cause it to hear at the time of its departure these words of joy and eternal comfort, Verily I say unto thee, to-day shalt thou be with me in Paradise, Luke xxiii. 43 Lord Jesus draw me with the cords of thy love and mercy, and I will run after thee. And seeing I must of necessity pass through death to come unto thee, the Prince of life and immortality, grant me thy grace, that I may look upon it in the same manner as the prophet Elijah did upon the fiery chariot that took him up into heaven; or as Jacob did upon the waggons that carried him into Egypt, where his son was governor over the land. This holy patriarch, in a transport of joy, cried out, Let me see my son Joseph, and then let me die! but, ravishing with a joy unspeakable and full of glory, I will cry out in a different manner, Let me die, that I may behold my true Joseph, the soul of my soul, the light of
my life, the author of all my glory and happiness! O sweet Jesus! grant that I may freely and willingly leave this wretched and infirm dwelling, to enter into thy celestial palace, and to behold the divine splendour of thine infinite Majesty. O King of kings, and Lord of lords! when shall I hear that eternal wisdom that flows from thy lips? When shall I see thee seated upon the throne of thy glory, where thousand thousands minister unto thee, and ten thousand times ten thousand sland before thee? When shall I enter into the glorious company of the blessed saints, that sing forth thy praises, and cast at thy feet their precious crowns? O victorious Monarch! who art now in thy kingdom, crowned with perfect glory and happiness, forget not thy servant, be not unmindful of thy son, (or daughter,) who is poor and despised, overwhelmed with sorrow, and in the anguish of death. Let not the songs of the holy angels, and the praises of all the glorified spirits, hinder thee from listening to my sighs and groaus. O Almighty and merciful Lord ! look upon me with an eye of love, and reach out unto me thy helping hand. Send to
Send to my assistance thine angels of light, to protect me from the angels of darkness, that endeavour to destroy me, and to drag me headlong into hell. Let those glorious spirits that fly at thy command, deliver me out of the paws of death and bear me upon their wings to thy bosom. I see the heavens opened, and the Son of Man standing on the right hand of God. Lord Jesus, receive my spirit Amen.
The seventh Consolation against the Fears of Death is,
our strict and inseparable union with Jesus Christ through the Holy Spirit, and the first fruits of our blessed immortality.
OUR Lord Jesus Christ not only lives and triumphs in heaven, but it is from him our life, our glory, and our blessed immortality proceed : For as the Father bath life in himself, so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself; and as the Father raiseth up the dead, and quickeneth them, even so the Son quickeneth whom he will, John v. 21, 26; so that we may not only say unto him with St. Peter, Thou hast the words of eternal life, John vi. 68, but also, with the royal prophet, With thee is the fountain of life; in thy light shall we see light, Psal. xxxvi. 9. Therefore, all those that are united to, and incorporated with this Prince of Life, partake of the fulness of the Holy Spirit, which is to him-ward, whereby they become happy and immortal. Now, by the goodness and mercy of God, we are not only made partakers of Christ's death and passion, but we are also united to and incorporated with him; we not only have the great and precious promises of a glorious immortality, which he hath purchased for us, but we receive the first fruit, the foretaste of it.
The high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, revives the spirit of the humble, Isa. lvii. 15, and dwells in our hearts by faith, Eph. iii. 17. He sheds into our soul his holy and quickening Spirit, For because we are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying Abba, Father, Gal. iv. 6. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his, Rom. viii. 9. By the means of this Spirit, he dwells in us, and we in him ; we become members of his body, and can boast, that we are of his flesh, and of his bones, Eph. v. 30.
All things, the most strictly united by nature or art, are made use of to represent to us this admirable union which we enjoy with Christ, by the means of his Spirit, that quickeneth us, John vi. 63. Hence are derived these expressions of the holy apostles, We have put on the Lord Jesus Christ, Rom. xiii. 14. Gal. iii. 27. To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God and precious, we also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, 1 Pet. ii. 4,5. For the same reason our Saviour tells us, that he is the true vine, and that we are the branches, Jobn Xv; and St. Paul assures us, that if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection, Rom. vi. 5.