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crown of righteousness and of glory, incorruptible, eternal, and that fadeth not away, shall be given by “the Lord, the righteous Judge,” not to him the martyred Apostle only, but “unto all them also, who love the Lord's appearing;”1 and who testify such their affection by “ denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, and living soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world.” 2
THE CHRISTIAN'S AIM. Aim at the highest prize : if there thou fail,
Thou'lt haply reach to one not far below.
Strive first the goal to compass : if too slow Thy speed, the attempt may ne'ertheless avail The next best post to conquer. Let not quail
Eye, heart, or limb: but still right onward go:
The Judge shall heed thee, and a crown bestow,
Of old victorious ; to entwine his brow
Isthmian or proud Olympian. Happier thou
Secure to seize an amaranthine bough.
I HAVE thus completed the proposed inquiry concerning the different degrees of happiness which will probably be assigned to different individuals in a future state ; and withal the general inquiry concerning the happinsss of the blessed. And I would now conclude the subject, by leaving on the mind of the reader, in summary application of the whole, the INFERENCE with which St. Paul concludes his sublime argument to the Corinthians upon the resurrection of the dead. “ Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.”
1 2 Tim. iv. 6–8.
? Titus ii. 12.
“Be ye stedfast, unmoveable,” in contemplating, in longing after, and in pursuing “ the things which God hath prepared for them that love him : especially, “ be ye sted fast, unmoveable,” in setting before your eyes, as objects of your never-ceasing desire, the highest glories in the Redeemer's kingdom.
“ Be ye stedfast, unmoveable,” in endeavoring, by the grace of his Holy Spirit, to become qualified for partaking in those glories, by becoming conformed to the Redeemer's image.
“Be ye stedfast, unmoveable,” in endeavoring to acquire that love of God and of your brethren in Christ Jesus, and that affection for things above, which are indispensable in those, for whom a participation of such g'ories is prepared of the Father.
Thus, “ be ye always abounding in the work of the Lord; forasmuch as ye know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord;" but that it will be abundantly recompensed in that day, when the Son of man shall come in his glory to dispense “ the kingdom prepared for the blessed of his Father from the foundation of the world :"1 when “every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labor;"2 when “ the righteous shall shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father;"s and “they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever."
“ Ambition is the vice of nuble souls !”
If 'tis a vice, then let those souls beware,
Thrice noble tho' they be, and passing fair In the world's eye, and high upon the scrolls, Her favor'd minions where the world enrolls,
Lest it conduct to shame! Be thine the care,
Soldier of Christ, that nobler strife to dare,
To win thy bright unfading diadem
In heaven from glory's source the purest beam,
Reflects the image of the Good SUPREME.
1 Matt. xxv. 34. * Matt. xiii. 43.
1 Cor. xiii. 8. • Dan. xu. 3.
The following Collects, selected from our Book of Common Prayer, are recommended to the notice of the Reader, as applicable to the subjects of the foregoing Inquiry.
FOR THE BLESSED HOPE OF EVERLASTING LIFE THROUGH
(Collect for the Second Sunday in Advent.) “ BLESSED Lord, who hast caused all Holy Scriptures to be written for our learning; grant that I (we) may in such wise hear them, read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest them, that by patience, and comfort of thy holy Word, I (we) may embrace, and ever hold fast the blessed hope of everlasting life, which thou hast given me (us) in our Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen."
FOR GRACE IN THIS MORTAL LIFE, IN ORDER TO THE LIFE
(Collect for the First Sunday in Advent.) “ ALMIGHTY God, give me (us) grace that I (we) may cast away the works of darkness, and put upon me (us) the armor of light, now in the time of this mortal life, in which thy Son Jesus Christ came to visit us in great humility ; that in the last day, when he shall come again in his glorious majesty, to judge both the quick and dead, I (we) may rise to the life immortal, through him who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost, now and ever. Amen."
(Collect for the Fourth Sunday after Trinity.) “O God, the protector of all that trust in thee, without whom nothing is strong, nothing is holy; increase and multiply upon me (us) thy mercy; that thou being my (our) ruler and guide, I (we) may so pass through things temporal, that I (we) finally lose not the things eternal : Grant this, O heavenly Father, for Jesus Christ's sake our Lord, Amen."
PRAYER FOR GOD'S GRACE AND DEFENCE IN THIS MORTAL LIFE.
(Collect from the Post Communion.) “ Assist me (us) mercifully, O Lord, in these my (our) supplications and prayers, and dispose the way of thy servant (servants) towards the attainment of everlasting salvation ; that, among all the changes and chances of this mortal life, he (they) may ever be defended by thy most gracious and ready help, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen."