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well; but if not, he is not to be despised nor rejected. We would use all our efforts to obtain education and office, and we render to them the honour that is due, but we must not presume to limit God by them. The Scripture-reader is not an officer of the Church, yet he is an agent whose services are not to be refused. It does not appear that Aquila and Priscilla were ordained to office, yet they took upon them to be the teachers of the eloquent Apollos, and the Holy Ghost has commended them for doing so. Let us not refuse the aid of any whom God raises and calls. And who can survey the history of our departed friend, as now briefly sketched, and not admit that God raised him up for the work he has accomplished? The fruits of his labours are the proofs of his call. We hesitate not to apply to him the language of the Prophet Isaiah, in the subordinate sense in which they can be applied to any human instrument," he hath made my mouth like a sharp sword; in the shadow of his hand hath he hid me, and made me a polished shaft; in his quiver hath he hid me." But, able and efficient as he was, he is gone. The grave has closed upon him, and we are left to cry, as we bewail his loss, "help, Lord; for the godly man ceaseth; for the faithful fail from among the children of men."

III. The last reason we shall notice for the exclamation in the text, is founded on the important duties devolved upon us by the death of our friend, and which God alone can enable us rightly to perform. The event itself will be acknowledged by all to be an important one; the duties arising out of it correspond to its importance; and just as these are important, we need the grace of God rightly to discharge them. It is impossible to consider them all, and we can dwell only on a few of the more prominent and obvious.

The first which naturally occurs to us is submission to the Divine will. Nor is this an easy duty. It is commonly more easy to do the will of God than to bear it. And, in the present instance, when we consider the field of labour in its extreme necessity, and the character of the labourer who has been removed from its cultivation, it is hard for flesh and blood to say, "thy will be done." Yet there is support for the Christian. There are views furnished by the Gospel which induce submission. And we are permitted to dwell on them, that our minds may be fortified by them. We are reminded that the blow was inflicted by the hand of God. It must, therefore, be right. He is too wise to err, and too good to injure. "Clouds and darkness are round about him, yet righteousness and judgment are the habitation of his throne." It is, therefore, our duty, in the spirit of submission, to say, with Eli, "it is the Lord, let him do what seemeth him good." We are reminded that this event has occurred in the providence of the Mediator, whose administration cannot be erroneous.

The great principle that pervades it, applies to every case, "all things work together for good, to them that love God, to them that are the called according to his purpose." The death of his saints is precious in his sight, and he does not permit it lightly to happen. His design is gracious and wise, and he will overrule it. We are reminded, that however afflictive to others, death has come as a messenger of peace and mercy to our brother. “The righteous are taken away from the evil to come." We know not what might have befallen him. He was highly esteemed and much flattered, and none can say whether he might not have been permitted, for a season, to dishonour his profession. As it is, he is gone down to the grave without a stain on his Christian character. We are reminded that the time is coming, when God's ways shall be declared and fully justified before all. In the book of the Revelations, where the judgments of his hand are described, and their happy consequences shewn, all who witness them are represented to lift up the song of Moses and the Lamb, saying: "Great and marvellous are thy works, Lord God Almighty, just and true are thy ways, thou King of Saints; who would not fear thee, and glorify thy name." This will be the cry of the whole intelligent universe, when God declares the end from the beginning. And we may, therefore, bow in submission to his will, assured, that though his path be in the sea, and his footsteps in the waters, and his ways not known, yet he guideth his flock, like a shepherd, with unerring wisdom, and untiring care.

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Another duty to which we are called by the death of our friend, is self-examination. The inquiry should be made by all," shew me wherefore thou contendest with me." And in the case before us, there are many questions which it would be well to address to conscience, and profitable carefully to resolve. Were our views and feelings right toward our brother? Were we proud of him? Did we repose any confidence in him instead of God? Remember the command,"Little children, keep yourselves from idols." And when we do not obey it, God is sometimes pleased, in mercy, to take the idol away. Have we discharged the duty we owe to the Mission of which he was an agent and an ornament? What attention have we given to its direction, its funds, all its interests? At this moment it is languishing for want of support; and were it not for the strenuous and steadfast exertions of a few special friends, it must cease its operations. May not our neglect be the reason of the Lord's controversy with us? Is the Mission itself such as it ought to be? It has already been said, that it is rendered necessary by the state of society and of the Church, that it is justified by this necessity, and that God has set his own seal to the labours of its agents. Still it is our belief, that the Mission is rendered necessary only by the sin

of the Church. All that the Mission is doing, the Church ought to have done. It ought to have provided places of worship, and teachers for the poor. And this very duty God, I believe, is now enforcing by his judgments. He is calling upon the Church to rouse itself from its lethargy, and consider that the field before it is the world. Its duty will never be done, till the sound of the Gospel is brought to every ear, and its overtures of mercy pressed on every heart. And greatly has the wisdom of the Church's Head been honoured in this appointment. It is the only permanent provision for the evangelization of the world. Voluntary and promiscuous societies may be useful for a season, and they may quicken the efforts of the Church, but they are liable to continual interruption and disorganization. Let the Church do its own duty. Let it never rest, till its authorized and scriptural machinery is brought to bear upon the entire population. This is the duty solemnly devolved upon it by its Great King and Head, but which it has most inexcusably neglected. And 1 submit, for earnest and faithful examination, how far the event which we this day deplore may not have been permitted, for the purpose of teaching the Church this lesson.

"Let

Finally, We are tanght the duty of being ready to die. Surely we ought to hear the voice of warning, so loudly sounding in our ears," Be ye, therefore, ready also, for in such an hour as ye think not, the Son of man cometh." your loins be girded about, and your lamps burning, and yourselves like unto men that wait for their lord." There is an habitual readiness for death,-in union with Christ by a living faith: there is an actual readiness,-in the diligent and faithful discharge of every personal and relative duty. Rest not without evidence that you are the children of God, and that you are walking worthy of this high vocation. Ó, that we were enabled habitually to say, we look not at the things which are seen and temporal, but at those things which are not seen, and are eternal." "Our conversation is in heaven, from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body." "Beloved, now we are sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be. But we know, that when he shall appear, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is."

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These are solemn duties, strongly enforced by the hand of God that has been laid upon us; but duties to which the grace of God alone can render us equal. Let us, then, call upon him, with the Psalmist in the text, "help, Lord; for the godly man ceaseth; and the faithful fail from among the children of men."

You do offer this prayer. But is it in so, your conduct will correspond to it. What, then, let me

sincerity? If it be

ask, are you doing for the poor and neglected of your people? Suppose we learned, that in some distant land there was a place with thousands of professing Christians, having splendid Churches, and eloquent preachers, and numberless facilities of doing good; and that in the midst of these there were thousands besides, who had no sanctuary, no pastor, no Sabbath; what would we think were the duties of these Christians? Suppose we were farther informed, that they did comparatively nothing for these destitute sinners; what opinion would we form of their Christianity?`` We would argue that they might bear the name, but we would be slow to allow they had the spirit of Christ, Then may I not say to any here, "thou art the man?" Assuredly "your brother's blood crieth from the ground;" are there any to say, "am I my brother's keeper?" What are you doing to aid the agents of the Town Mission? You think, oh! were our departed friend among us again, we would not treat him as we did. We would give him our countenance, and afford him facilities as we never did before. These are the tears of Esau. There are some of his fellow-labourers among you. Consider them. Let them have your sympathies, and prayers, and assistance. What you do to any of them, will be considered as done, not to him merely, but to his and their Master. Above all, are you really prizing that Gospel, which our brother lost his life,- -or rather found it,-in recommending? The blood of Jesus Christ cleanseth us from all sin; has it been applied to your conscience, and removed your depravity and guilt? I beseech you," seek the Lord while he may be found, call upon him while he is near, let the wicked forsake his ways, and the unrighteous man his thoughts, and let him return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him, and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon." "Now is the accepted time, now is the day of salvation." This is the season of prayer, and preaching, and ordinances, Embrace your opportunities. Use your privileges. And be not driven, at last, to adopt the text as the cry of unavailing regret,-" help, Lord; for the godly man ceaseth; for the faithful fail from among the children of men." May the Lord enable us to offer it now as a prayer of faith, and not hereafter as a bitter lamentation. Amen.

LINES

ON THE DEATH OF

MR. WILLIAM COCHRANE,

ONE OF THE AGENTS OF THE BELFAST TOWN MISSION.

"He had the book of the Law of the Lord with him, and went about and taught the people." 2 Chron. xvii. 9.

"Did not he weep for him that was in trouble? Was not his soul grieved for the poor ?" Job xxx. 25.

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