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their human love. A shadow on earth's sunlight is essential ; else we might forget the banishment from Eden. The shadow of death in a home is the darkest of all earthly shadows. No agony like Eve's, Jacob's, David's, Mary's, when the joy of the heart, the light of the life, lay dead. But behind it, within it, let us say, if we fear not to enter the cloud, is the glory; the fullest effulgence of the Divine glory that shines out in this lower world: " Said I not unto thee that if thou wouldst believe thou shouldst see the glory of God?And those who have watched by the death-bed of a noble Christian sufferer, who have seen how the powers of the world to come have possessed and sustained him, how his dying eye was ranging beyond the bounds of the world of sense, and was lit by a gleam that was caught from some sphere beyond our sight, and then watched the light fade from the eye, and the face settle into the awful but beautiful serenity of death, till it put on the aspect as of a warrior taking his rest on the breast; of victory, have known a moment of joy which has hardly fallen short of transport, have seen a vision which we can name, by no other name but glory, and have gone down to their common world again, like Moses, with the lustre still lighting their countenance, and with a sacred power to stir the depths in the hearts of their fellow-men. Those who know most of the higher aspects of death know most of the higher aspects of life. To them the common ground becomes sacred, for saints in heaven have trodden it; the common duties become holy, for they mingle the thoughts and energies of two worlds. If God has made a breach in your home circle, understand the loving reason,

2—that He may make the one into two bands, retaining their oneness, and so marry the two spheres. The little home that has sheltered you in its sunny nook has expanded. There is one home now everywhere—those who “bone of your bone and flesh of your flesh" are roaming


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through the celestial spaces. How often, as you gaze longingly on those far stars, do they cross the line of your sight! How lovingly will they one day welcome you to its strangeness, and

, guide your steps through its unaccustomed paths. The joy of bringing you into their home will be one of their purest pleasures; they wait, they share the expectant attitude of the universe; God has prepared some better thing for them; they without you will not be made perfect.

The mother who has seen the awful pallor steal over the brow of her nursling knows then, and never till then, the sacredness of those who are left to her. She understands then that she has to train them for two worlds-no, one!—that godly life which is life eternal, and in which the two worlds

Nor will the aged pilgrim who has sent all his dearest on before him tremble when he stands on the brink of the river. His heart is wellnigh bursting with joy at the thought, “ One gasp, one plunge, I shall fold them to my heart once more.' Rachel came back to Jacob as he drew near the dark, rolling river. “There I buried Rachel,” were among the last words on his dying lips. His eyes were dim with


and the forms around him were fading; but I think I see them lighting with a strange lustre, flashing with a glorious joy, as he saw her across the river, and said to his heart—his lips moved, but none caught that inward word—“there I shall find her again, my living Rachel, and fold again her transfigured form to my heart of hearts."

But who assures it? How shall I know them ? What forms do they wear? The dear familiar forms, or strange ones? The Lord's resurrection is the answer. The fact of His resurrection is the assurance of their resurrection, of ours; the familiar converse of the risen Lord with His human friends is the assurance of the familiar intercourse of those who have known and loved on earth, in the higher world. There are

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those who talk drearily about a disembodied state, a sleep of the soul in serene unconsciousness until the morning of the resurrection. A soul never sleeps, and there is not in this universe a disembodied man. Man is an embodied spirit, a disembodied man is no man-a shadow, a ghost; and if the Lord aimed definitely at anything during the wondrous forty days which He spent in His risen form about the pathways of this world, He aimed at imparting the assurance that those who have passed through the veil are anything but bloodless, bodiless ghosts. If that wondrous history of the communion of the risen man with His friends has any definite meaning, it must mean that all that is deepest and richest in human relations lives on through death, that love reweaves its bands more tightly round those whom it clasps on the eternal shore. Precisely as we know the fact of immortality, we know the recognition of friends and kindred in the sphere of the immortals. Whole narratives of Scripture are instinct with it; deny it, doubt it, and believe, if you can, that God delights to mock our deepest longings, to frustrate our dearest hopes, and blot the most precious chapters out of the Word of God. But what forms do they wear? Perhaps not so unlike these, with all that mars purged out of them; not so unlike what we have seen in our loved ones, when the fret and the waste of life have passed, and their faces have caught a solemn and holy beauty, an ideal expression-all the possibilities of the nature expressed—through the transfiguring touch of death. That God has some fit tabernacle ready for the spirit, a meet organ of its intercourse with its fellows and the great universe, is plain from the necessities of things and the triumphant language of Saint Paul: “ For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven : if so be that being clothed we shall not be found naked. For we that are in this tabernacle do groan, being burdened: not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of life." (2 Cor. v, 1-4.) They wear the form, they wear it now, which fits them to mingle in the great congress of the first-born in the New Jerusalem ; though nothing even there as yet is final. The final form of the glorified spirit, the glorious body of the resurrection, still waits the developments of that last great day of God, the day when the great work of redemption shall have been completed the day of the full and final manifestation of His sons.

And then shall they be before the throne of God continually, and shall serve Him day and night in His temple.One band once more, met again, and met for ever. Hearts long sundered knit again in immortal fellowship; the struggles of earth are its most sacred memories, the “ far off interest of tears," won at last, its most precious possessions, while its consecrating priest is Death.

And who are the reunited ? " What are these which are arrayed in white robes, and whence came they?” Whence that shining and jubilant company who are singing the song of Moses and the Lamb ? They are clothed in white triumphal garments; they are crowned like kings, and they wear the palm. They are the conquerors in life's battles. They came through great tribulation, they overcame by the blood of the Lamb. “ He that overcometh shall inherit all things." him that overcometh will I give to sit down on my throne.And who is he that overcometh the world but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God ?Have you sent some dear ones on before you, who have passed up by a shining track, whom you have watched to the very gate of heaven? Ask them by what faith they conquered, by what strength they rose, by what right they reign; and follow, if you would not make two bands for ever- - the breach of the faithful and the faithless through eternity-follow the steps of their faith to victory. Search for the rock they stood on, bow to the Saviour they served, take to you the weapons they wielded, fight in the field in which they won their victory, and meet them, when the Aght is over, triumphant, and make the two bands one, complete, not one wanting, through eternity.

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