Isaiah 38:1
In those days Hezekiah became mortally ill. The prophet Isaiah son of Amoz came to him and said, "This is what the LORD says: 'Put your house in order, for you are about to die; you will not recover.'"
Sermons
A Sick Man's GlassR. Hachet, D. D.Isaiah 38:1
A True Life the Best Preparation for DeathSunday School ChronicleIsaiah 38:1
Contemplating the Time of DeathH. E. Manning, D. D.Isaiah 38:1
DeathJ. Badcock, LL. B.Isaiah 38:1
Death Sometimes Sudden and UnexpectedJ. Badcock, LL. B.Isaiah 38:1
Death, the Ringing of the Curfew BellT. De Witt Talmage, D. D.Isaiah 38:1
Every Disease is a Little DeathT. Adams.Isaiah 38:1
Facing DeathH. O. Mackey.Isaiah 38:1
Hezekiah WarnedJ. Parker, D. D.Isaiah 38:1
Hezekiah WarnedJ. Parker, D. D.Isaiah 38:1
Hezekiah's DiseaseSir Risdon Bennett, M. D. , LL. D.Isaiah 38:1
Hezekiah's SicknessT. Seeker, LL. D.Isaiah 38:1
Hezekiah's Sickness and RecoverySir E. Strachey, Bart.Isaiah 38:1
Hezekiah's Sickness and RecoveryW. Reading, M. A.Isaiah 38:1
Hezekiah's Sickness: the Historical FrameworkF. Delitzsch, D. D.Isaiah 38:1
Hezekiah's SincerityJ. A. Alexander.Isaiah 38:1
Human MortalityJ. W. Colenso, D. D.Isaiah 38:1
Looking Over the BrinkSunday School ChronicleIsaiah 38:1
New Year's ThoughtsT. J. Judkin.Isaiah 38:1
Preparation for DeathIsaiah 38:1
Preparation for the End of TimeHomilistIsaiah 38:1
Preparing for the EndHomiletic ReviewIsaiah 38:1
Set Thine House in OrderC. Schwartz.Isaiah 38:1
Supreme Attention to Spiritual ConcernsW. Graham.Isaiah 38:1
The Biography of DeathHomiletic ReviewIsaiah 38:1
The Duties of the SickT. Seeker, LL. D.Isaiah 38:1
The Habitual Thought of Death not PainfulE. Garbett, M. A.Isaiah 38:1
The Human Body, Beautiful Yet FrailJ. Badcock, LL. B.Isaiah 38:1
The Parallel PassageJ. A. Alexander.Isaiah 38:1
The Strain of Notice to DieR. Tuck Isaiah 38:1
What was Hezekiah's Disease?Sir Risdon Bennett, M. D. , LL. D.Isaiah 38:1
A Vision of DeathW. Clarkson Isaiah 38:1-3
Sickness and Recovery of HezekiahE. Johnson Isaiah 38:1-8
All pathos ultimately turns upon contrast, and the greatest of all contrasts is that between death and life. All who have passed through a dangerous illness, and have been brought nigh unto the gates of death, will feel touched by this narrative, which hints meanings that lie below the surface.

I. THE WARNING. The king falls into deadly sickness; and the prophet's voice assures him that his days are numbered. "Thou shalt die, and not live." The king, under the weight of his grief, turns his face to the wall. So Ahab, under the influence of another consuming passion (1 Kings 21:4). It is a sign of sorrow that admits not of society. How seldom do men receive such a warning with calmness! How true is it -

"Oh our life's sweetness!
That we the pain of death would hourly die
Rather than die at once"! What are pains and aches, and the torments of the gout and the stone, which lie pulling at our earthly tabernacle, but so many ministers and under-agents of death? What are catarrhs and ulcers, coughs and dropsies, but so many mementoes of a hastening dissolution, so many foretastes of the grave? Add to these the consuming cares and troubles of the mind; the toil and labour and racking intention of the brain, which as really, though not as sensibly, impair and exhaust the vitals as the most visible bodily diseases can do, and let death into the body, though by another door. But there is an instinct within us which refuses to listen to these argumentations. Some noted lines of the Roman noble Maecenas have come down to us, in which he depicts himself as shaken with palsy, attacked from head to foot with disease, still Vita dum superest, bone est. Such experiences put to rout the fallacies of the pessimist, and convince us of the love we bear to life.

"Whatever crazy sorrow saith,
No soul that breathes with human breath
Hath ever truly longed for death.
Tis life whereof our nerves are scant;
For life, and not for death, we pant;
More life and fuller that we want." The experience of such a deadly sickness may be the needed lesson to teach us the worth of our days, to stir us up to the useful employment of them.

II. THE PRAYER. We must bear in mind that in antiquity generally death is viewed as the effect of Divine visitation, especially sudden and untimely death. The belief was that the days of the good would be prolonged, the years of the wicked would be shortened (Proverbs 10:27); that men of deceit and blood would not live out half their days (Psalm 11:23). Hezekiah, conscious of his integrity and faithfulness, appeals to the justice of God. His heart had been "perfect" with Jehovah, in the sense in which David's had been, and Solomon's had not been (1 Kings 11:4). He had not divided his affections with the gods of idolaters. He had been a reformer - he had done what was good in the eyes of Jehovah. After the manner of Oriental lamentation, he loudly weeps (cf. Judges 20:23; 1 Samuel 13:16). There is a childlike simplicity in the scene. What are we all but children in the great hours of life's trials? But we see here that calm conscience which is the result of a pious life, and which gives confidence in prayer. "Conscience is the great repository and magazine of all those pleasures that can afford any solid refreshment to the soul;" and of that solace which is needed in the moments of weakness. "When this is calm and serene and absolving, then properly a man enjoys all things, and, what is more, himself; for that he must do before he can enjoy anything else. It is only a pious life, led by the rules of religion, that can authorize a man's conscience to speak comfortably to him; it is this that must word the sentence before the conscience can pronounce it, and then it will do it with majesty and authority; it will not whisper, but proclaim, a jubilee to the mind; it will not drop, but pour in, oil upon the wounded heart. The pleasure of conscience is not only greater than all other pleasures, but may also serve instead of them. They only please and affect the mind in transitu, in the pitiful narrow compass of actual fruition; whereas that of conscience entertains and feeds it a long time after with durable, lasting reflections" (South).

III. THE DEATH-WARRANT CANCELLED. "And it came to pass, afore Isaiah was gone out into the middle court, that the word of the Lord came to him, saying, Turn again" (2 Kings 20:4). The doom of death is recalled; a respite of fifteen years granted. Deliverance is promised from the Assyrian, and Jehovah will throw his protecting shield over the city; and a physical phenomenon is to occur as a sign or guarantee of the fulfilment. Prophecy, then, is conditional; Divine judgments are conditional. "It does not always follow," says Jerome, "that because the prophet predicts, that which he has predicted shall come to pass. For he predicted, not that it should come to pass, but that it might not come to pass." Here repentance or prayer may "avail much." We should hesitate, therefore, to speak of absolute decrees, and of irreversible judgments, in connection with human life. Always there is an "if" or an "unless" to break the fall of the severest sentence; and, in fact, the dealings of the merciful God with men are more lenient than they can ever be represented in words. How often has the opinion of the physician doomed the invalid, who has nevertheless recovered! And the like disappointment of expectations occurs in spiritual things. All combine to remind us of the cheering saying, "While there is life, there is hope!" So long as we entrust ourselves in the hands of a gracious God, we need never despair. - J.







In those days was Hezekiah sick unto death.
It cannot surprise us now to be carried back to the time when Jerusalem was still under the despotic sceptre of Assyria, since the purpose of the concluding piece (Isaiah 37:36-38) was merely in anticipation to complete the picture of the last Assyrian troubles, by relating their termination as foretold by Isaiah (Isaiah 31:8).

(F. Delitzsch, D. D.)

(2 Kings 20:1-11) varies more from that before us than in the preceding chapter. So far as they are parallel, the narrative in Kings is more minute and circumstantial, and at the same time more exactly chronological in its arrangement. On the other hand, the Psalm is wholly wanting in that passage. All these circumstances favour the conclusion that the text before us is the first draft, and the other a repetition by the hand of the same writer.

(J. A. Alexander.)

This sickness and recovery of Hezekiah from the gates of death, was an event of such national importance as made it properly find a place here, as well as in the historical books. For the throne of David, as far as we know, was without an heir at this moment; and Hezekiah's death might have been followed by some such interregnum, anarchy, and seizure of the crown by a soldier, as hastened the downfall of the kingdom of Ephraim. Such a failure in the succession, in times of national depression and disorganisation, would be pregnant with evil even in England now; and we must remember that in Judea then, as in all Eastern and patriarchal governments still, the personal character of the hereditary sovereign was of an importance to the people which it has to a great degree, though not utterly, lost in every country of Europe except Russia, Let us contrast the character and acts of Hezekiah with those of his immediate predecessor and successor, and we shall see of what moment it was that the interval by which his reign separated theirs should be prolonged fifteen years; and especially when the country needed a hand disciplined by experience and guided by faith to recover it from the moral and material disorganisation into which (as we know from Isaiah's discourses) it had fallen during the Assyrian supremacy. And thus this crisis in the personal life of Hezekiah — the fact cannot be denied, though here, as in so many like cases, our philosophy cannot trace out the connection of cause and effect — became the type and symbol of the like crisis in the life of the nation: it, too, was sick unto death, and was granted a new period of life by God after it was past the help of man.

(Sir E. Strachey, Bart.)

When the prophet first came to him he addressed him in words clearly indicating the gravity of the disease. "Thus saith the Lord, Set thine house in order," &c. We cannot, therefore, think that it was an ordinary simple boil with which the king was affected. Nor have we any ground for supposing, as some have suggested, that the disease was bubo-plague, which does not occur as an isolated case, and we have no evidence to lead us to think that any epidemic of such a disease prevailed. But it might have been, and probably was, a carbuncle, which is often a most severe and painful thing, endangering and often terminating the life of the sufferer. For this a poultice of figs would be an appropriate local remedy, as in the present day are cataplasms of various kinds. But doubtless the recovery of the king was through Divine interposition, by which the danger to life was averted, and of which Isaiah's prescription was but a symbol. The answer to his prayer, accompanied by the promise that on the third day he should go up to the house of the Lord, is sufficient evidence that the cure of a disease by which he had been brought to death's door, was not brought about by natural means.

(Sir Risdon Bennett, M. D. , LL. D.)

My friend, Dr. Lauder Brunton, tells me that he has been led to view the disease as "tonsillitis," from the similarity of the symptoms described by Isaiah with those of some cases of quinsy (tonsillitis). "In many cases," says Dr. Brunton, "that I have seen, the pains in the bones have been so severe as to attract the attention of the patient, to the exclusion of all mention of sore throat. If Hezekiah suffered from tonsillitis, his comparison of a lion breaking his bones is a very apt one, and the swelling, of the tonsils would also explain the alteration in his speech, which made him 'chatter like a crane or a swallow.' The dried figs would be almost the only poultice that could be applied to the boil in his fauces, and the rapid maturation of the inflamed boil in the throat affected by the poultice would explain the rapid recovery."

(Sir Risdon Bennett, M. D. , LL. D.)

I have heard it said that every disease is a little death; therefore God sends us many little deaths to instruct our preparation for the great death. The oftener a man dies, the better he may know how to die well.

(T. Adams.)

I. THE MESSAGE sent to Hezekiah while he was sick.

1. The time.

2. The person to whom it was sent.

3. The person by whom it was sent.

4. The. message itself. "Set thine house in order."

5. The reason why the king is advised so to do. Thou shalt die, and not live.

II. THE BEHAVIOUR OF HEZEKIAH when he had heard the message.

1. He turned his face to the wall.

2. He prayed.

3. He wept sore.

(R. Hachet, D. D.)

1. These words present to our view a person

(1)of the highest rank

(2)in the prime of life

(3)and the full tide of prosperity, seized with a mortal disease: a case which ought strongly to remind the securest of us all, how uncertain our condition is here on earth.

2. By the goodness of God, a prophet was sent to him, to admonish him of the preparation that his state required: and the same goodness hath provided that you shall all be frequently admonished of the same thing, by the ministers of His Word.

3. The admonition given him was the means of prolonging his days in peace and comfort: and those given you, if received in a right manner, may, both naturally and providentially, contribute to procure you longer and happier lives in this world; and will certainly lead you to a life of eternal happiness in the next.

(T. Seeker, LL. D.)

The text mentions the obligations of sick persons —

I. RESPECTING THEIR FELLOW-CREATURES. "Set thine house in order." This direction may well be enlarged to comprehend —

1. Due regulation of all affairs in which the sick are interested.(1) The principal point at which men should aim in settling their temporal affairs is justice; and one of the most evident branches of justice is paying debts.(2) Besides those who are commonly called creditors, there is another sort — I mean those to whom we have done injuries, and owe restitution.(3) But as we have all, more or less, need to ask pardon, another of our duties evidently is to grant it in our turn: when others have used us ill, not to "recompense" or wish them "evil for evil." The expedient to which, it is said, some have had recourse, of forgiving if they die, and being revenged if they live, is as foolish a contrivance to deceive themselves, and to mock God, as the human heart can frame.(4) The next thing, after providing for the payment of our debts, and which, like that, should be done in health, but much rather in sickness than not at all, is disposing of the remainder of our substance. The principal rule is, that we ought not to be governed in it by fanciful fondnesses, much less by blamable resentments.

2. Proper advice to all persons with whom the sick are connected.

II. RESPECTING MORE IMMEDIATELY GOD AND THEIR OWN SOULS. "Then Hezekiah prayed unto the Lord." His prayer, indeed, if the whole of it be recorded in Scripture, was only that he might recover; a request which for the public good he had urgent reasons to make in the first place. And that being instantly granted, he had no need to apply further to God, in relation to his sickness, otherwise than by thanksgiving, which he did. But they who have more extensive wants at that time are both authorised and bound to enlarge in proportion the subject of their addresses to the throne of grace; and therefore I shall endeavour to comprehend under this head all the religious duties of the sick.

1. The first principle of all regard to God is faith. There are indeed very good persons who, m illnesses, are tempted to partial, or even total unbelief. And if any seeming reasons for it be suggested to their minds, they ought to inquire after, and oppose to them reasonable answers.

2. Self-examination.

3. Such repentance as our case requires.

4. The sick ought to be very constant in every other exercise of private piety. For as they are cut off from active life, they have more leisure for religious contemplation. And as they want all the improvement and comfort which they can have, so they will receive the most of both by frequent lifting up of their hearts to "the God of patience and consolation."

(T. Seeker, LL. D.)

I. THIS SICKNESS WAS VERY GRIEVOUS, upon several accounts.

1. For the nature of the disease, which is supposed to have been pestilential.

2. The pain of his distemper was aggravated with the sentence which the prophet passed upon him in the name of God. The hope of recovery, which contributes very much to the cure of any distemper, was taken away from him.

3. Hezekiah's sickness and sentence of death were embittered with this consideration, that he was going to be cut off in the strength of his age. This shortening of life was always esteemed as one of the calamities of our mortal condition; especially in so high and happy a station as that of a king. David prayed against it, saying, "O my God, take me not away in the midst of my age."

4. That which made Hezekiah more lath to leave the world at this time was, that he had no child to succeed him in his throne.

II. HIS REQUEST he enforces with the following arguments.

1. He begs God to remember how he had walked before Him in truth and with a perfect heart.

2. Whereas other kings had been too apt to consult their ease and carnal interests in the practice of religion, Hezekiah had a true and thorough zeal for the glory of God in all that he did.

III. He urged it with importunate cries and tears, WHICH PREVAILED WITH GOD TO HEAR HIM AND GRANT HIS REQUEST.

(W. Reading, M. A.)

(with Luke 10:42): — Let us reflect —

I. ON "THE ONE THING NEEDFUL," i.e., living religion.

II. ON THE CONSEQUENT DUTY OF "SETTING OUR HOUSE IN ORDER, knowing that we shall die, and not live."

(W. Graham.)

This verse (ver. 3) is not an angry expostulation, nor an ostentatious self-praise, but an appeal to the only satisfactory evidence of his sincerity.

(J. A. Alexander.)

Set thine house in order.
I. We have here set before us THE FACT OF OUR MORTALITY. "Thou shalt die, and not live." How apt we are to think of other people's death, but not of our own. We are ready to say, "O! it was no wonder that little, weak infant died — it was no wonder that worn-out, aged man or woman died — it was no wonder that sickly person died." And when we hear of sudden deaths, by some strange disease or accident, we have a secret feeling that the same thing is not likely to happen to ourselves. There was something peculiar in their condition or circumstances, which made them more open than ourselves to that awful visitation. Yet why all this foolish hiding of the truth? Until we are able boldly and peacefully to face this truth, there is no real comfort for us in this world. When our Almighty Father in heaven sends to us such a message as this, "Thou shalt die, and not live," it is not to vex and to distress us, but only to awaken in us those thoughts which are needful for us in our present state of being.

II. HOW WE ARE TO "SET OUR HOUSE IN ORDER," so as to be able to meet with calmness both the actual coming of death and the thought of its coming. With the best of men, the near approach of that last dread hour is a time of deep solemnity.

1. The first point in this work is to see that our hope for eternity is placed upon a right foundation; and none other can be found but that which God Himself has laid for us to build on — namely, His own free mercies in His dear Son, Jesus Christ.

2. If we would "set our house" truly "in order," we must remember that there is a work to be wrought in us, as well as for us. "Without holiness no man shall see the Lord!"

(J. W. Colenso, D. D.)

Homilist.
I. THE INJUNCTION URGED. "Set thine house in order." We refer —

1. To temporal affairs. This is evident from the more literal translation: "Give charge concerning thine house."

2. To spiritual matters.

II. THE REASON. "For thou shalt die, and not live."

1. Death is certain for all.

2. The time is uncertain; therefore, it is every one's duty to be prepared.

3. The time may be very near.

4. The best of men need special preparation.Hezekiah was not a bad man, but he had a special message. So God often scuds a time of sickness as a special warning. How much better and happier will every man be if he has set his house in order!

(Homilist.)

The first Sunday in the new year is surely, with every minister of Christ who watcheth with the eye and love of a true shepherd over his flock, a time for —

1. General rebuke.

2. Remonstrance.

3. Godly encouragement.

I. THE AUTHORITY OF THE COMMISSION. It came directly from God at the mouth of His prophet; and whatever comes from God must be characterised by God's attributes, must bear the impress of His wisdom, must be pregnant with the purposes of His love.

II. THE SUDDENNESS OF THE COMMISSION. How it must have startled the king on his bed!

III. THE SUBSTANCE OF THE COMMISSION. "Set thine house in order" — this is the direction; "for thou shalt die, and not live" — this is the doom. Thou art the man upon whom the mark is set, this carries the reflections home. When shall I die? How shall I die? Shall I die a hard or a peaceful death? Shall I die as an impenitent and despairing sinner, or as a pardoned, a redeemed, a rejoicing saint?

(T. J. Judkin.)

Our being ready for death will make it come never the sooner, but much the easier; and those that are fit to die are most fit to live.

( M. Henry.)

Perhaps the most awful moment of our lives is when we first feel in danger of death. All our past life then seems to be a cloud of words and shadows, altogether external to the realities of the soul. Not only childhood and youth, happiness and sorrow, eager hopes and disturbing fears, but even our communion with God, our faith in things unseen, our self-knowledge, and our repentance, seem alike to be but visions of the memory. All has become stern, hard, and appalling. It is as if it were the beginning of a new existence; as if we had passed under a colder sky, and into a world where every object has a sharpness of outline almost too severe for sight to bear. Let us see what we ought to do when God warns us.

I. WE MUST ASK OURSELVES THIS QUESTION, Is there any one sin, great or small, of the flesh or of the spirit, that we. willingly and knowingly commit? This is, in fact, the crisis of our whole spiritual life. By consent in one sin, a man is guilty of the whole principle of rebellion. A holy man is not a man who never sins, but who never sins willingly. A sinner is not a man who never does anything good, but who willingly does what he knows to be evil. The whole difference lies within the sphere and compass of the will.

II. WE MUST NEXT SEARCH AND SEE WHETHER THERE IS AN ANYTHING IN WHICH OUR HEART IN ITS SECRET AFFECTIONS IS AT VARIANCE WITH THE MIND OF GOD; for if so, then so far our whole being is at variance with His.

III. A third test by which to test ourselves is THE POSITIVE CAPACITY OF OUR SPIRITUAL BEING FOR THE BLISS OF HEAVEN. When St. Paul bids us to follow after "holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord," he surely meant something more than a negative quality. Doubtless he meant by "holiness" to express the active aspirations of a spiritual nature, thirsting for the presence of God.

IV. There are TWO SHORT COUNSELS which it may be well to add.

1. That we strive always to live so as to be akin to the state of just men made perfect.

2. That we often rehearse in life the last preparation we should make in death.

(H. E. Manning, D. D.)

1. He was warned.

2. He was religiously warned. Isaiah was charged with the intelligence.

3. He was considerately warned. He was not to die on the morrow, he was to have time to set his house in order. Sometimes we feel as if we would rather not have that time, and yet there is a merciful dispensation in the arrangement which gives a man an opportunity of calmly approaching the end.

(J. Parker, D. D.)

What does this injunction signify?

I. THAT WE ARE TO GIVE ACCOUNT OF OUR STEWARDSHIP.

II. THAT WE ARE TO BE DILIGENT IN OUR DAILY WORK

III. WE MUST LEARN TO LEAVE .OUR POSSESSIONS, AND HOLD OURSELVES READY TO DEPOT.

(C. Schwartz.)

The time will of necessity come when to every man that lives these words will be spoken: God Himself will speak them in the manifest dealings of his providence, making this known to us in some way which our own hearts will instinctively interpret. Why should we be afraid to think of death!

1. Do you reply that there is in man a natural love of life? No doubt there is. But what, then, is that true life which lies beyond, and to which the act of departure, which we call death, is but the entrance?

2. Or, do you say that we are naturally repelled from mortality, and that we shrink from thinking of the lifeless and decaying flesh? I admit it, and there is a necessary and wholesome lesson in the bitterness of it, for how should we know what sin was without some little conception of what death was? But I plead that this is but for a time, till the body shall rise again in glory. The horror is to those who live and watch the dead.

3. Or, do you say that you fear death because it will stop for ever all the schemes and activities of life? Do you think that the state into which we shall enter will be a passive calm? Every hint and word in Scripture appears to me to point to something very different.

4. Or, do you say that you shrink from the idea of never seeing again the blue skies and the sweet flowers, and losing all the sights and sounds that make this world beautiful? Again, I think that you are wrong. Certainly all the imagery of the Bible suggests a different conclusion.

5. Or, do you say that you dread death because you cannot bear to think of parting from those you love, and losing that sweet intercourse, and that happy interchange of mutual affection, which spring from love? Well, all separation is painful; but in itself, and of necessity, this separation need only be for a time — a brief parting, with an eternal reunion beyond it, when, free from the little hindrances that mar a perfect love on earth, we shall renew a pure affection, consecrated for ever by the seen presence of God.

6. Do you say that you dread to think of death because you are not certain of your state before God? Ah! here we reach the deepest secret of all, the true source of the uneasiness with which men think of their mortality. "The sting of death is sin," &c. The Eternal Father is ready to forgive; the Eternal Son sufficient to atone; the Eternal Spirit almighty to convert and sanctify; all ready; nay, all pleading, inviting, expostulating, entreating.

7. Do you say that you dread to think of death because the thought saddens and darkens life? Surely this is no longer true, if, accepted in Christ Jesus, we have peace with God.

(E. Garbett, M. A.)

Homiletic Review.
I. Preparation for death is an immediate duty, because YOU CANNOT TELL WHAT A DAY MAY BRING FORTH.

II. IT OUGHT TO BE A CALM, DELIBERATE, AND INTELLIGENT PREPARATION. Not with panic, or haste, or gloom.

III. THERE IS A GOD TO MEET, whose eyes will inspect the house.

IV. THERE ARE IMPORTANT MATTERS TO BE ADJUSTED ARISING FROM OUR HUMAN RELATIONS.

(Homiletic Review.)

Thou shalt die.
I. DEATH.

1. In its causes. The primary cause of death was sin. But the immediate and acting cause of mortality is the frailty of our bodies.

2. In its nature. What is it to die! It is not to terminate our existence. We are well assured that nothing in being can cease to be, either of itself or by the influence of other finite beings, but only by an exercise of the almighty power of the Creator. To die is to undergo a solution of our present mode of existence, in which the immaterial soul is severed from the material body, and exists thenceforth for a time alone; whilst the body, bereft of life, loses the qualities necessary to preserve its substance, and becomes disorganised, and resolved into its primitive elements. How near is this world to the next! God's wisdom and goodness have appointed a bed of sickness to be the general precursor of death. By this He repeats solemnly, and enforces, His thousand other warnings to us, and, in our seclusion from the engagements and pleasures of time, gives us a further opportunity of becoming familiar with the things of eternity, and making our peace with Him. But His wisdom discovers in what ways our deceitful hearts will teach us to abuse His mercy, and He provides against the evil. Had we always the warning and opportunity of sickness, we might neglect God till it was given to us; and God has, perhaps, therefore, appointed that death should sometimes come unwarned.

3. In its consequences. I will not view them as they affect the body: let us leave it, lifeless and cold, in the narrow coffin and the quiet grave, awaiting the trumpet of the archangel. The effects of death on the soul include, doubtless, the enlargement of its capacities, as well as its entrance on eternal joy or misery.

II. ITS PERSONALITY. "Thou." The young. Those in the prime of life. Those of mature years, &c.

III. ITS CERTAINTY. "Thou shalt die."

1. What has become of all our race — Adam, Noah, &c.?

2. Where are the multitudes that have peopled your town in past days? All who have lived before us have died, and all now living are dying.

(J. Badcock, LL. B.)

I have known the bride to expire on her bridal day, the shopkeeper when serving his customers, the player on the stage, the clergyman in his pulpit, the lowly Christian on his knees in prayer, the swearer uttering his curse, the thief with his plunder at his side.

(J. Badcock, LL. B.)

The beautiful frame of man it is impossible to consider unaffected by its frailty. A distinguished philosopher, on rising from the study of the human frame, was so impressed with this. and With the complicated nature of its machinery, and the numberless parts that must all duly discharge their functions to continue existence, from moment to moment, that he trembled and feared to move, lest, by disordering some one of them, he should fall on the floor a corpse.

(J. Badcock, LL. B.)

Homiletic Review.
was the title of a sermon preached by a famous London minister. For death has had a parentage, birth, history, a career of conquest and victory, a coronation and kingdom, a ghastly dining-hall and retinue of hired servants, and, finally, a record of disaster, defeat, and death! The last enemy to be destroyed is Death.

(Homiletic Review.)

Is there any peculiar significance in the announcement? There ought not to be. All life is a warning that we are going to die.

(J. Parker, D. D.)

When the physician told General Grant that his disease was fatal, and might quickly do its dire work, for a little while he seemed to lose, not courage, but hope. It was like a man gazing into his open grave. He was in no way dismayed, but the sight was still appalling. The conqueror looking at his inevitable conqueror: the stern soldier to whom armies had surrendered, watching the approach of that enemy to whom even he must yield.

(H. O. Mackey.)

Sunday School Chronicle.
A godly minister who was fond of visiting his sick and dying people on Saturday afternoons, was asked by a brother minister, who met him on this errand one day, why he did this, instead of staying at home and preparing his sermons. He replied, "I like to take a look over the brink." Sometimes it is a blessing to a man to be brought suddenly to the brink in his own life, to look over it seriously and prayerfully, and then to take back into life the lessons he has learned there.

(Sunday School Chronicle.)

William the Conqueror established the ringing of curfew bells. The meaning of that curfew bell, sounded at eventime, was, that all the fires should be put out or covered with ashes, all the lights should be extinguished, and the people should go to bed. Soon for us the curfew will sound. The fires of our life will be banked up in ashes, and we shall go into the sleep, the cool sleep, I hope the blessed sleep. But there is no gloom in that if we are ready. The safest thing that a Christian can do is to die.

(T. De Witt Talmage, D. D.)

Sunday School Chronicle.
An old slave, when told by his doctor that he was near death, said: "Bless you, doctor, don't let that bother you; that's what I've been living for."

(Sunday School Chronicle.)

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