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suffering and prepares it for unmingled blessedness. But not to proceed any farther in showing that the children of God are emphatically an afflicted people by thus tracing the analogy between them and his ancient chosen tribes; we may see the truth of the remark, by a single glance at that illustrious crowd of witnesses, which the apostle has so skilfully grouped together in the eleventh chapter of his Epistle to the Hebrews.What was it but their deep and varied AFFLICTION,

that so strikingly developed the power of their faith? They were all suffering believers. But they did not suffer long. They all died in faith. The same is true of all the long train of departed saints that have finished their course on earth. Were one great monument to be erected to perpetuate their memory through the little remaining interval of this world's history, it might with great truth be inscribed on its perishable structure—nay it is inscribed on the imperishable table of heaven's eternal record- These all died in faith. Before they died, to the eye of their faith, even centuries of the severest temporal affliction seemed light and momentary. And how does such a period of suffering appear to them now? Not even a drop, compared with the flowing ocean of their eternal pleasures. Mortal life is the utmost bound of the believer's affliction. There is no suffering for them beyond the last throb of mortal pangs. But let no one conclude, that because the children of God are an afflicted, they are therefore, a wretched people in the present life. It is very far otherwise. Their afflictions do not make them wretched. They are often joyful in tribulation. They have seasons of peace worth more than an eternity of tumultuous sinful pleas

Faith yields present benefits. It brings home to the soul some elements of future blessedness. The godly inheret all that is good below the skies, while their afflictions are purifying and ripening them for what eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, nor heart conceived of bliss and glory on high. There is present gain in godliness,

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which those who seem willing to lose its future rewards, would do well seriously to consider.

II. Another consideration suited to show the wisdom of the choice which Moses made, is that the affliction of the people of God ends in eternal happiness.God in the fixed and unalterable arrangement of his administrations, has set the one over against the other. It seems too, as though in addition to the establishment of this immutable connexion of present and coming destinies, God had impressed on the minds of men something resembling an instinctive recognition of the existence of such a connexion. The person

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expresses an opinion, that a life of afflicted piety here does not terminate in an endless life of glory and blessedness hereafter, does it in the face of his own irrepressible consciousness of the contrary. Every dictate of his reason and every feeling of his heart, concur in the truth, that the suffering saint shall not suffer beyond the season of probation. But were it otherwise, it would leave unaltered the revealed truth of God. Not to refer to those numerous passages which declare that the righteous at death enter into life eternal, there are not wanting those which represent such as are here afflicted in connexion with their faith and devotedness to God, exchanging, when they die, a world of sorrow and pain for one of unmingled and unending joy and blessedness

. To them that are afflicted, is appointed rest with Christ. They who suffer with him, shall reign with him. These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple. And he that sitteth on the throne shalt dwell

them. And they shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more, neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat. For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne, shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters; and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes,

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Passages of this character intimate with abundant clearness, that the affliction of the pious in the present life is succeeded in the future by an eternal weight of glory. Not that their affliction is the purchase or procuring cause of their glorification. Tributary as are

their sufferings to their purification, they have no agency curing the divine acceptance. Their robes of righteousness are the purchase of the Redeemer's agonies alone. It is in his blood alone that they are washed and made white. But yet it is no forbidden privilege of theirs, to look to the end of their faithto anticipate the termination of all conflicts, labors, toils, and sufferings—to have respect unto the recompense of reward-and to contemplate together the light and brief affliction of the life that now is, and the most exceedingly great and eternal weight of glory that is to be theirs when the present life is over. Indeed, it is impossible, and if it were not impossible, it would be impious for THE PEOPLE OF GOD to hold back their minds from such contemplations. Their faith is confidence in respect to things hoped for, and convincing evidence of things not seen.

So that they must cease to have faith, before they can withdraw their minds from these views. They must cast away their confidence which the apostle assures us, hath great recompense of reward, before they can forbear to contemplate these two classes of objects together. They must lose their resemblance of that train of illustrious

personages, whose spiritual portraits the apostle has clustered together in the context, before they can cease to compare the present affliction with the future rewards of piety Had not Moses instituted this comparison, there must have been much rashness and but little wisdom in his choice. But he did weigh these things together. He saw that to espouse the cause of THE PEOPLE OF God, was to encounter the afflictions and reproaches of Christ, and that these trials would land him on those peaceful shores where the wicked cease from troubling, and the weary are at rest. This all believers see. And

with their views, how easily is the choice made ? To them what folly and madness must seem to besiege the minds of those, who, by hesitating, actually choose, rather than endure the self-denial and peculiar privations, the afflictions and reproaches of good men for a few short years, to lose a heaven of everlasting pleasures.

III. The wisdom of the choice which was made by Moses, will further appear, if we consider that the PLEASURES OF sin are only FOR A SEASON.

It is not here denied that sin has pleasures. Undeserving as they are of the name, there are enjoyments in a state of alienation from God-in the ways of transgression. Meager and tasteless as they are, they constitute the only pleasures which multitudes ever know. In their purest form—in their highest perfection—in their largest, richest flow, they are base, they are grovelling, they do nothing towards filling up the panting emptiness of the soul's capacity for satisfying good. Glance your thoughts over the various courses of this world in which its votaries are in the pursuit of pleasure. Follow the train that are searching after it in the paths that lead to worldly wealth ; they reach the object, in which they expected to find satisfying pleasure, but it is not there. Watch that graver crowd, who are searching after it in the more promising paths of literature, science, and the arts ; they eagerly explore them, and gather up the treasures which lie scattered with an unsparing prodigality, at almost every step ; but these abundant gifts as successively seized by the fond grasp of the earnest adventurers, return only the silent, but painfully significant assurance, that satisfying pleasure is not in them. The same discovery would be made, were you to follow the multitudes, that are chasing after it in any of the various ways of fancy and fashion, ambition and avarice, luxury and excess. No satisfying pleasures are to be found in the paths of sin. But even the poor pleasures which do sometimes spring up along these paths, wither and die at every touch. They are of a forced and unnatu

ral, and sickly growth, dying as soon as they shoot forth. If they had power to satisfy the soul, yet short-lived and evanescent as a dream, they would be comparatively worthless. Were it true, that they yield satisfaction and experience no cessation until the current of life loses itself in the ocean of eternity ; yet so momentary and transient, gilding only the twilight of our being, and vanishing just as the soul begins its career amidst the light of eternity, what are they worth ? What are pleasures worth that die on the verge of immortality? Nor is this the whole that requires to be taken into the account in our estimate of THE PLEASURES OF SIN. They are not only unsatisfactory while they endure, and endure only through the brief interval of mortal life, but exclude those pleasures that satisfy and live forever. If they were only harmless—if we could throw them aside as negative quantities in our measure of human blessedness, they would still be unworthy the pursuit of a creature formed for the fruition of undying pleasures. But how more than worthless, how positively destructive of the best good of man, are they, since they cannot mingle, they cannot co-exist with holy pleasures—the only pleasures that never can expire or cease to bless the human soul. With this view of sinful pleasures, however reputable and generally sought, does not Israel's heroic leader appear to have acted the part of true wisdom, by CHOOSING RATHER TO SUFFER AFFLICTION WITH THE PEOPLE OF GOD, RATHER THAN TO ENJOY THE PLEASURES OF SIN FOR A SEASON? But,

IV. That he made a wise choice appears from the consideration, that the PLEASURES OF SIN end in eternal sorrows. As they operate to exclude spiritual and lasting satisfaction from the mind during life, they must leave it wholly unfit for heaven. Though sinful pleasures be the more refined and elevated, pursued and enjoyed by men, they do nothing towards the formation of those habits, and the enlargement and sanctifi

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