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and the animal is foon complete in all its faculties and powers. Man ripens more flowly, because he ripens for immortality. Thofe enjoyments and purfuits of man alfo, which do not belong to him as an immortal being, come foon to their period. Amusement, when continued long, becomes a fatigue. In pleasure there is a point, beyond which, if it be carried, it is pleasure no more, it turns into pain. The pursuits of greatnefs too, are very limited, and the race of honor is foon run. After many a weary step, the votary of ambition finds that he has been running in a circle, and that he is come to the selffame point from which he fet out. Mind, mind alone, contains in itself the principle of progreffion and improvement without end. There is no ultimate power in the progress of man: there is no termination to the career of an immortal fpirit. The dominions of earthly greatness are circumfcribed within narrow limits, and the hero has often wished for new countries to conquer: but the empire of the mind. has no limit nor boundary; and we can never arrive at that period, where we may fay, Hitherto can we go, but no further. Never have we learned fo much, but we may learn more. Suppofe life never fo long, if the powers remain, new paths to fcience may be ftruck out, fresh acceffions of knowledge may be made. And we know from experience, that the largest measure of knowledge proves no burden to the mind, nor weakens its powers; but that, on the contrary, the capacity enlarges with the acquifition, and that men, the more they have learned, the more apt they are to learn; the lefs is their labour, and the easier their progress.


Improvements in goodness keep pace with im provements in wifdom. Repeated acts of obedience grow into habit; the penitent is confirmed in righteoufnefs, and he that is holy becomes holier ftill. From the fulnefs which is in God, he adds grace to grace. The day of fmall things fhineth more and more; and that day is fucceeded by no night. The pilgrims, who at firft fet out feeble and faint, grow vigorous as they advance, going forward from frength to strength; afcending from one degree of goodness to another, they approach the everlasting hills, and, coming within the fphere of heaven, they inhale the fpirit of their native region, they feel the attractions of the uncreated beauty, they receive a foretaste of the fruits of life, and, with hearts already full of heaven, and with tongues already tuned to the fongs above, they put on the brightnefs of angels, and enter into the manfions of paradise.


In the third place, The value of the foul will further appear, if we confider that it is immortal. human things foon come to an end. Temporal poffeflions and earthly greatnefs have a fhort date. The world itself is for ever changing; the fashion thereof paffes away, and he who knows it in one age, in the next would not know it again. How fhort lived are the enjoyments of this mortal state! Although the flowers of tranfient joy, more, hardy than the gourd of Jonab, may outlive the heat of the morning, and glow amid the blaze of noon, yet when the blaft of evening comes, they are nipt and wither away. Ambition too has its day, and often a fhort one. Its votaries feem to be raised, but the more fenfibly to feel their fall. The fame whirlwind that fnatches

them up from the crowd, brings them down at even with tenfold fury. Not to mention these more violent revolutions, its natural period foon comes. He who runs the race of human glory, is loft in the very duft that is raised around him. And fuch is the fudden end of all terreftrial enjoyments, when, after the study and the labour of years, we have with much pains and care gathered together the requifites and materials of a happy life, and say to ourselves, "Soul, "take thine eafe, thou haft goods laid up for many

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years," the warning voice is heard, "Thou fool, "this night thy foul fhall be required of thee." So tranfient is the date, fo fhort the day of power, and pleasure, and greatnefs! But wifdom never dies; but virtue is immortal. We have a higher life than that which beats in the pulfe, and when the duft returns to the duft as it was, the spirit returns to God who gave it. It is indeed an awful, though a pleafing thought that we have an eternity before us. When the fun fhall be extinguished in eternal darknefs, when the heavens fhall be rolled together like a fcroll, when the earth with all its works fhall be dif folved, the foul fhall furvive the general wreck, and exult in the enjoyment of youth immortal! To think of an infinity of years of exiflence enduring beyond all the numbers which we can add together, beyond all the millions of ages which figures can comprehend, and that, when all this vaft fum of duration is expended, our existence is but just beginning, is, indeed, beyond imagination to grafp. Never to come to an end, never to be nearer an end, is indeed amazing, overwhelming, and incomprehenfible to the mind. But fuch is thine inheritance, O man!

"Because I live," faith the Lord," ye shall live al"fo." Our duration fhall be coeval with His years who fits upon the throne for ever; the Ancient of days, who is, and was, and is to come.

In the last place, To fhow you the value of the foul ftill more, after death its ftate is unalterable. This is our state of probation, and now is the time to fix the character for eternity. This is the fpring-time of everlasting life; according as we now fow, hereafter we shall reap; on our prefent conduct, depends our happiness or misery for ever. There is neither repentance nor apoftafy beyond the grave. The righteous can never fall away, and to the wicked there remaineth no more facrifice for fin. From the judgment-feat of the Immutable, the voice is heard, "He that is righteous, let him be righteous ftill ; " and he that is unjust, let him be unjust still."

But even here, too, appears that goodness of God which is over all his works. For while we know not of any addition to the torments of the wicked, the happiness of the righteous fhall be for ever on the increase. That capacity of improvement which we formerly afcribed to the foul, is a capacity of improvement without end. The progrefs which begins here, is carried on hereafter. Heaven is indeed the refidence of the spirits of juft men made perfect; but it is not to be imagined, that they are all at once advanced to a perfection which they shall not to eternity exceed. They will indeed find their state happy, when they are taken from this world; they will all be presented without fpot or blemish in the presence of God, with exceeding joy; but ftill there is room left for their improvement in perfection and happi

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ness. It cannot indeed, be otherwife. For the more we know of the Divine perfections and works, our veneration and love of God will increase the more. Now, it is impoffible that we can ever know fo much of God and his works, but that we may know more. As our knowledge of God, therefore, and our views of the Divine glory will be enlarged without end, our love and admiration of him will also increase for ever. And in proportion to our love, our affimilation to the Divine nature, and our joy in the Lord, will be. What a prospect, O christian, does this open up to thy mind! Here thou art at liberty to expatiate at large! Here is a noble field for thy contemplation! There is a time appointed when thou fhalt occupy that station which is now occupied by the highest angel in heaven. Not that we fhall overtake the angels in their courfe, or, in the career of immortality, prefs upon natures of a fuperior order; but that we shall make advances in moral perfections, and improve in the beauties of immortality. God fhall behold his great family for ever brightening in holinefs; for ever drawing nearer and nearer in likeness to himself. The river of their pleasures increases as it rolls. The fulness of their joy grows more and more full. Throughout all the ages of eternity, there is still a heaven which is to come; ftill a glory which is to be revealed.

If the foul then be of fuch infinite value, how inexpreffibly great muft the loss of it be! Over the manfions of utter darknefs, the Scriptures draw a veil which does not authorife our conjectures. What is comprehended under thefe awful emblems, the worm that never dies, the fire that is not quench

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