His icy hand!
(David Harsha, "Come to the Savior")
"Generations come and generations go . . . " Ecclesiastes 1:4
We are all standing on the shores of time, and before us stretches the unfathomable ocean of eternity.
To this vast abyss the millions of earth's inhabitants are fast hastening. Every day that closes, every hour that passes, every moment that flies, is bringing us nearer to it. On its mighty surface every human being must soon embark.
The grave is the home appointed for all living.
Everything passes away.
A great and mighty river, for ages and centuries, has been rolling on, and sweeping away all that ever lived, to the vast abyss of eternity.
From that unknown country none return.
On that devouring ocean, which has swallowed up everything, no vestige appears of the things that were.
Death is the messenger that conducts us into the invisible world; and this messenger may be very near us.
One step more, and his icy hand may be laid upon us . . .
to remove us from our dearest friends on earth,
to dissolve all the attachments of life,
to hide from us all earthly scenes, and
to open to our view the solemn realities of an eternal world.
Standing on the Rock of Ages, the believer can look down into the 'gloomy mansion of the grave' with composure and even with triumph.
How blessed then to have the arms of Jesus, the Conqueror of death, upholding our shrinking souls, shielding us from all alarm, sweetening our passage through the dark valley, and conducting us safely through every tempest, and through every billow, into the promised rest above!
To the Christian, death is an unspeakable advantage, as it is the passage from the wilderness of this world, to the heavenly Canaan.
Death is the entrance to our Father's house, in which are the 'many mansions' of glory.
Death delivers him from all the evils incident to humanity.
Death terminates his period of discipline, toil, trial, and conflict.
Death brings him into a state of perfect holiness and happiness before the throne of God in the highest heavens.
Death is numbered among the treasures of a Christian.
Death is his great gain. The last day of his life is to him the opening of immortality.
As soon as death terminates the believer's existence on earth, he enters upon the inheritance of all those exceeding great and precious promises which the Word of God holds forth to him.
He passes at once from the darkness of earth to the light and glory of the celestial world.
He puts off the mortal body, for the home of God, that house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.
He exchanges this valley of tears and death, for a world from whose blissful mansions all sorrow flees away, and where there shall be no more death.
"For we know that when this earthly tent we live in is taken down; when we die and leave these bodies; we will have a home in heaven, an eternal body made for us by God himself and not by human hands." 2 Cor. 5:1
He departs to be with Christ; and oh, what sincere follower of the adorable Redeemer, who is now enthroned amid heaven's ineffable glories, would not rather be absent from the body, to be present with Him!
In the hour of death Christ will be your refuge.
His everlasting arms will be underneath you.
His rod and staff will comfort you.
He will be with you until the last; and you shall awake amid the unutterable splendors of heaven, to be forever with the Savior in mansions of light and felicity.
It is the glory of the Christian religion thus to raise the soul above the fear of death. With him all is calm and serene; for his sins are forgiven. He has peace within; joy beams in his countenance. His soul is delighted with joyful prospects beyond the grave. He is filled with strong consolation.
The sweet thought of going to his heavenly home now occupies his mind, elevating his views, and cheering his spirit. He thinks of the glories of his final rest; its fullness of joy; its blessed inhabitants; its delightful employments; its never ending pleasures. He feels, that while earth is passing from his view, the portals of those blessed mansions of light are opening for his entrance, and he knows, that in yonder home of the redeemed he will die no more.
My heavenly home is bright and fair;
Nor pain, nor death can enter there.
Its glittering towers the sun outshine,
That heavenly mansion shall be mine!
My Father's house is built on high,
Far, far above the starry sky,
When from this earthly prison free,
That heavenly mansion mine shall be!
While here a stranger far from home,
Affliction's waves may round me foam;
And though like Lazarus, sick and poor,
My heavenly mansion is secure!
Let others seek a home below,
Which flames devour, or waves o'erflow,
Be mine the happier lot to own,
A heavenly mansion near the throne!
Then fail this earth, let stars decline,
And sun and moon refuse to shine;
All nature sink and cease to be,
This heavenly mansion stands for me!