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Beyond the calming and the fretting, Beyond remembering and forgetting, I shall be soon.

Love, rest, and home!

Sweet home!

Lord, tarry not, but come!

Beyond the parting and the meeting I shall be soon;

Beyond the farewell and the greeting, Beyond the pulse's fever beating,

I shall be soon.

Love, rest, and home!

Sweet home!

Lord, tarry not, but come!

Beyond the frost-chain and the fever I shall be soon;

Beyond the rock-waste and the river, Beyond the ever and the never,

I shall be soon.

Love, rest, and home,

Sweet home!

Lord, tarry not, but come!

Peculiar Duties of the Aged.

ARCHIBALD ALEXANDER, D. D.

I HAVE no doubt that you have remarked with surprise that the impression of the reality and importance of eternal things is not increased by the nearness of your approach to the end of your course. Time glides insensibly away, and it is with us in this respect as in relation to the globe on which we reside. While other things appear to be in motion, our feeling is that we are stationary. The mere circumstance of being old seems to affect no one with a more lively concern about the salvation of the soul. None appear to be more blind and stupid in regard to religious matters than many who are tottering on the brink of the grave. This, indeed, is so commonly the fact with those who have grown old without religion that very little hope is entertained of the conversion of the aged who have from their

youth enjoyed the means of grace.

And it is also a

fact that real Christians are not rendered more deeply

sensible of the awful importance of eternal things by becoming old and infirm. The truth is, that nothing but an increase of faith by the operation of the Holy Spirit will be effectual to prepare us for that change which we know is rapidly approaching. Counsels and exhortations, however, are not to be neglected, as God is pleased to work by means. I have, therefore, undertaken to address to you such considerations as occur to me.

Having already spoken of the infirmities and sins which are apt to cleave to us in advanced years, I propose in this letter to inquire what are the peculiar duties incumbent on the aged. What would the Lord have us to do? Undoubtedly we are not privileged to fold our hands and sit down in idleness, as if our work was ended. Indeed, it would be no privilege to be exempt from all occupation. Such a life to the aged or the young must be a life of misery; for man never was made to be idle, and his happiness is intimately connected with activity. We may be no longer qualified for those labours which require much bodily strength; we may indeed be so debilitated or crippled by disease that we can scarcely move our crazy frame, and some among us may be vexed with excruciating pain; yet still we have a work to perform for God and for our generation.

If we cannot use our hands and feet so as to be useful in the labours which we were wont to perform, yet we may employ our tongues to speak the praises of our God and Saviour. We may drop a word of counsel to those around us; and especially the aged owe a duty to the young, to whom they may have access and who are related to them. Every aged Christian must have acquired much knowledge from experience, which he should be ready to communicate as far as it is practicable. Why is it, my dear friends, that we suffer so many opportunities of usefulness to pass without improvement? Why are we so often silent when the suggestions of our own conscience urge us to speak something for God? How is it that we consume hours in unprofitable talk, and seldom attempt to say anything which can profit the hearers? We may plead inability-we may excuse ourselves because we are unlearned and not able to speak eloquently and correctly-but let us be honest; is not the true reason because our own hearts are so little affected with these things? We cannot consent to play the hypocrite by uttering sentiments which we do not feel; and we have often been disgusted with the attempts of others, who in a cold and constrained manner have introduced religious conversation. It is easy to see where the fault lies; it is in the state

of our own hearts. Let us never rest, then, until we find ourselves in a better state of mind. Let us get our hearts habitually under, the influence of divine things, and then conversation on this subject will be as easy as on any other. "Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh." There are companies and occasions when to obtrude remarks on religion would be unseasonable and imprudent, for we must not cast our pearls before swine; but in most cases an aged person may give utterance to seasonable and solemn truths without offence; and very often a word spoken in season has been the means of saving a soul; and the advice and exhortation of parents and pious friends are remembered and prove salutary after their heads are laid low under the clods of the valley.

I have often heard aged persons, incapable any longer of active service, express surprise that their unprofitable lives were so long protracted, while the young and laborious servants of God were cut off in the midst of their years. The dispensations of God are indeed inscrutable "his ways are past finding out"-and we are too little acquainted with his counsels to sit in judgment on them. But I would say to those who think that they can be of no further use in the world, that they do not form a just estimate of

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