While we seek to fill up life in a way that will best secure the ends of our existence here, our whole plan and course of action should be such as will not hinder but serve our preparation for a future world.
Life is great if properly viewed in any aspect; it is mainly great when viewed in connection with the world to come.
When life has been well spent; when there is a conscience without reproach; when there is faith in the Saviour; when there is a well-founded hope of heaven, there can be nothing that should disquiet us.
As no one can adventure nearer the throne of God by virtue of his rank, his wealth, or his talent, so no one is kept farther from that throne by his low condition, or by his poverty of wealth, of learning, or of intellect. The prince and the sage are not more welcome to heaven than the poor and ignorant.
There is no piety in the world which is not the result of cultivation, and which cannot be increased by the degree of care and attention bestowed upon it.
It has become a settled principle that nothing which is good and true can be destroyed by persecution, but that the effect ultimately is to establish more firmly, and to spread more widely, that which it was designed to overthrow. It has long since passed into a proverb that "the blood of the martyrs is the seed of the church."
One of the best maxims in determining our course in life is, to select, at the outset, that in which virtue and principle will be least likely to be put to a test, and in which, from the nature of the calling, a man may bring around him such associations and influences as will be an auxiliary in keeping him in the path of virtue.
God calls you alike by Scripture, by your reason, by your conscience, by the events of His providence, by heavenly influences to consecrate all you have to His service and the good of man; Heaven appeals to you, and the world appeals to you, not to live in vain.
Life, if we would mark it, is made up of thousands of suggestions from some unseen quarter, prompting us to duty; starting some thought of what is wise and right and just and good; inclining us to thoughtfulness, to meditation, to prayer; making the soul dissatisfied with its present course, and drawing it along in the path of duty, benevolence, and peace.
Are angels my attendants? Then I should walk worthy of ray companionship. Am I so soon to go and dwell with angels? Then I should be pure. Are these feet so soon to tread the courts of heaven? Is this tongue so soon to unite with heavenly beings in praising God? Are these eyes so soon to look on the throne of eternal glory, and on the ascended Redeemer? Then these feet and eyes and lips should be pure and holy; and I should be dead to the world, and live for heaven.
Yes, it is a truth that for a good man, honored, beloved, useful, with all around him that God ever gives to His children here; nay, with all that God could give him of earth, it would be " gain " to die. Heaven is a better, a happier, a more desirable world than this is or can be.
It is, in a great measure, by raising up and endowing great minds that God secures the advance of human affairs, and the accomplishment of His own plans on earth.
Such was God's original love for man, that He was willing to stoop to any sacrifice to save him; and the gift of a Saviour was the mere expression of that love.
Our earthly possessions will indeed perish in the final wreck of all things; but let the ship perish, let all we have sink in the deep, if we may come "safe to land." From these storms and billows these dangerous seas these tempestuous voyages may we all be brought at last, safe to heaven.
It is not the profession of religion which creates the obligation for the performance of duty; for that existed before any such profession was made. The profession of religion only recognises the obligation.