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their envy, is now perished; neither have they any more a portion, for ever, in any thing that is done under the sun. O, that they were wise! that they understood this! that they would consider their latter end!
Is there not an appointed time to man upon earth? Are not his days, also, like the days of an hireling? What is my strength, that I should hope? and what is mine end, that I should prolong my life? Is my strength the strength of stones? or is my flesh brass? My breath is corrupt; my days are extinct; the graves are ready for me; my days are past; my purposes are broken off, even the thoughts of my heart. The grave is mine house; I have made my bed in the darkness. I have said to corruption, Thou art my father; to the worm, Thou art my mother, and my sister.
Boast not thyself, therefore, of to-morrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth. For we are but of yesterday, and know nothing; because our days upon earth are a shadow. Man also knoweth not his time. Go to, now, ye that say, Today, or to-morrow, we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy, and sell, and get gain; whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow; for what is your life? It is even a vapor, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away. Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was; and the spirit shall return unto God who gave
it. The hour cometh, when we must all stand before the judgment seat of Christ; for God hath appointed a day, in the which He will judge the world in righteousness; for the Lord Jesus shall judge both the quick and the dead. Unto Him must we give account. Behold, He cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see Him; and they also who pierced Him, and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of Him. As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow unto me, and every mouth shall confess to God. Behold, the Lord cometh to execute judgment
And I saw a great white throne, and Him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away, and there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the book of life; and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works; and whosoever was not found written in the book of life, was cast into the lake of fire.
My brethren, be not deceived. God is not mocked; neither is He a man, that He should lie. Has He said, and shall He not do it? Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap; for he that soweth to his flesh, shall of the flesh reap corruption. For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment, of how much sorer punishment shall they be thought worthy, who have trodden under foot the Son of God, and have counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith He was sanctified, an unholy thing, and have done despite to the Spirit of grace? How shall they escape, who neglect the great salvation ?
For the time will come, that judgment must begin at the house of God; and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God? And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear? For yourselves know perfectly, that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. For when they shall say, Peace, and safety, then sudden destruction cometh upon them, and they shall not escape. In that day, when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ, according to this gospel, thinkest thou, O man, whosoever thou art, that thou shalt escape the judgment of God? Or despisest thou the riches of His goodness, and forbearance, and long-suffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance? For there is no respect of persons with God.
Prepare, then, O man, whosoever thou art, to meet thy God. Be ye ready; for in such an hour as ye think not, the Son of man cometh. This night thy soul may be required of thee.
An ORDER FOR THE BURIAL OF A CHILD, OR YOUNG PERSON.
CHRISTIAN BRETHREN, the scripture teacheth us that affliction cometh not forth from the dust, but that unto God the Lord belong the issues of life and death. He taketh away their breath; men die, and return to the dust. The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord. Is there not an appointed time to man upon earth? Are not his days also like the days of an hireling? There is a time to be born, and a time to die. Our days are determined, even the number of our months. God has appointed our bounds, that we cannot pass. For none of us liveth unto himself, and no man dieth unto himself.
All flesh is grass, and all the goodliness thereof as the flower of the grass; the grass withers, and the flowers fade, because the spirit of the Lord bloweth upon it. Man that is born of a woman is of few days, and full of trouble; he cometh forth like a flower, and is cut down; he fleeth also as a shadow, and continueth not. He is like the grass that groweth up; in the morning it flourisheth; in the evening it is cut down, and withereth. His breath is corrupt; his days are extinct; the graves are ready for him. His days on the earth are as a shadow, and there is none abiding. As for man, as a flower of the field, so he flourisheth; for the wind passeth over it, and it is gone; and the place thereof shall know it no more.
Son of man, behold, I take away the desire of thine eyes with a stroke; yet neither shalt thou mourn nor weep; neither shall thy tears run down; neither shalt thou sorrow even as others who have no hope. Brethren, I would not have you ignorant concerning those who are asleep. For, if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus, will God bring with him.
*[Suffer little children to come unto me, says our blessed Lord and Saviour, and forbid them not; for of such is the kingdom of heaven. Verily, I say unto you, except you be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter the kingdom of heaven. Even so, it is not the will of your Father who is in heaven, that one of these little ones should perish. He shall gather the lambs in His arms, and carry them in His bosom. Take heed that you despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, that in heaven their angels do always behold the face of their Father. For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call. Take also David for an example of suffering affliction, and of patience. David therefore besought God for the child; and David fasted, and went in, and lay all night upon the earth. And the elders of his house arose and went to him, to raise him up from the earth; but he would not, neither did he eat bread with them. And it came to pass, on the seventh day, that the child died. And the servants of David feared to tell him that the child was dead; for they said, Behold, while the child was yet alive, we spake unto him, and he would not hearken unto our voice: how will he then vex himself, if we tell him that the child is dead? But when David saw that his servants whispered, David perceived that the child was dead. Therefore David said unto his servants, Is the child dead? And they said, He is dead. Then David arose from the earth, and washed, and anointed himself, and changed his apparel, and came unto the house of the Lord, and worshipped. Then he came unto his own house; and when he required they set bread before him, and he did eat. And he said, While the child was yet alive, I fasted and wept; for I said, who can tell whether God will be gracious to me, that the child may live? But now he is dead, wherefore should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me.
*Omit, when used for a youth beyond the years of childhood.
And so, also, when the Shunamite woman had received a son from the Lord, and he died. So she went, and came unto the man of God, to Mount Carmel. And it came to pass, when the man of God saw her afar off, that he said to Gehazi his servant, Behold, yonder is that Shunamite. Run, now, I pray thee, to meet her, and say unto her, Is it well with thee? is it well with thy husband? is it well with thy child? And she answered, It is well.
This child hath died, and you all mourn for it, and bury it; but weep not as David wept for Absalom. Let there not be heard in your dwelling lamentation and bitter weeping ; Rachel weeping for her children, and refusing to be comforted, because they are not Wo to him who striveth with his Maker. What! shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil? Surely it is meet to be said unto God, I have borne chastisement. Submit yourselves, therefore, to God. Be dumb, and open not your mouth; neither murmur ye, as some of them also murmured, and were destroyed. With Eli rather say, It is the Lord; let Him do what seemeth Him good.]
I will ransom them from the power of the grave, saith the Lord. I will redeem them from death. Death shall have no more dominion over them. Awake, and sing, ye that dwell in dust; for thy dew is as the dew of herbs. And the earth shall cast out her dead. When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall these also appear with him in glory. He will swallow up death in victory.
FUNERAL SERVICE FOR AN AGED CHRISTIAN Woman.
37. Mark the perfect man, and behold the upright: for the end of that man is peace.
11. For by me thy days shall be multiplied, and the years of thy life shall be increased.
16. With long life will I satisfy him, and show him my salvation.
15. And thou shalt go to thy fathers in peace; thou shalt be buried in a good old age.
26. Thou shalt come to thy grave in a full age, like as a shock of corn cometh in in his season.
And Sarah was a hundred and seven and twenty years old: these were the years of the life of Sarah.
2. And Sarah died and Abraham came to mourn for Sarah, and to weep for her.
19. And after this, Abraham buried Sarah his wife in the cave of the field of Machpelah before Mamre:
36. And there was one Anna, a prophetess, she was of a great age,
37. And she was a widow of about fourscore and four years, which departed not from the temple, but served God with fasting and prayers night and day.
2. And I heard a voice from heaven, as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of a great thunder : and I heard the voice of harpers harping with their harps:
3. And they sung as it were a new song before the throne: and no man could learn that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth.
2. And I saw as it were a sea of glass mingled with fire, and them that had gotten the victory stand on the sea of glass, having the harps of God.
3. And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb. These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.