OSSESS YOUR souls in quietness, beloved friends. When we are engaged in prayer, or in any other form of worship, interruptions may occur, especially in large assemblies. We cannot expect all nature to be hushed because we are bowing the knee. Permit not your minds to be easily distracted, or you will often have your devotion destroyed. Rather let us learn a lesson from a painful incident. I seemed to hear a voice in that pitiful cry of our friend, and it bade me have pity upon the many whose life is one long agony. Let that doleful moan awaken sympathy for thousands in the hospital and out of it who are grievously tormented. We are in good health, and are sitting in the midst of a happy company of our fellow Christians; let us be grateful that we have not been struck down to be carried out; amid the distress of anxious friends. Sympathy and gratitude are two choice emotions, and if both of these are aroused by the interruption we shall have gained more by it, than we can possibly have lost.
I lay me down to rest,
As in the embraces of my God,
Or of my Savior's breast."
Could we now, dear friends, at; this moment resign our breath, and without further preparation crater upon the. eternal world? Breathing out the prayer, "Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit," could we now ascend from earth, made meet for the inheritance above? It should be so. Everything about us should be in such order that if our Lord should come while we are in the field we should not wish to go into the house, but could depart at once. I agree with the great scholar Bengel that death should not become a spiritual parade, but should be regarded as the natural close of our ordinary life; the final note of the psalm of which each day has been a stanza. We ought so to live that to die would be no more remarkable than for a man in the middle of business to hear a knock at the street door, and quietly to step away from his engagements. There should be no hurrying for a clergyman to administer sacraments, or for a lawyer to write a hasty will, or for an estranged relative to make peace; but all should be arranged and ordered as if we kept our accounts closely balanced, expecting an immediate audit. This would make noble living, and do more for God's glory than the most. triumphant death scene. A friend remarked to George Whitefield that should he survive him he would wish. to witness his death-bed, and hear his noble testimony for Christ. The good man replied, "I do not think it at, all likely that I shall bear any remarkable witness in death, for I have borne so many testimonies to my Lord and Master during my life." This is far better than looking forward to the chill evening' or actual sunset of life as the time of bearing witness. Let us set about that holy work immediately, lest swift death arrest us on the spot and seal our lips in silence. Be faithful every day that you may be faithful to the end. Let not your lite be like a tangled mass of yarn, but keep it ever in due order on the distaff, so that whenever the fatal knife shall cut the thread it may end just where an enlightened judgment would have wished. Practice the excellent habit of Mr. Whitefield to whom I before referred, for he could not bear to go to bed and leave even a pair of gloves out of place. He felt that his Master might come at any moment, and he wished to be ready even to the minutes; derails.
Now that disturbing incident is over, and we shall settle down again, all the more ready to unite in prayer and praise.