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Ready to Be Offered.

Ready to Be Offered.

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Published by glennpease
BY WILLIAM B. 0. PEABODY, D. D.


I AM NOW READY TO BE OFFERED, AND THE TIME OF MY DEPARTURE is at hand. — 2 Timothy iv. 6.
BY WILLIAM B. 0. PEABODY, D. D.


I AM NOW READY TO BE OFFERED, AND THE TIME OF MY DEPARTURE is at hand. — 2 Timothy iv. 6.

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Published by: glennpease on Jul 26, 2014
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READY TO BE OFFERED. BY WILLIAM B. 0. PEABODY, D. D. I AM OW READY TO BE OFFERED, AD THE TIME OF MY DEPARTURE is at hand. — 2 Timothy iv. 6. I know not where you will find in man's history a nobler scene than this. It is a servant of God standing near the eternal world ; and where the timid and the brave alike turn pale, he gazes, with clear, calm, I might say with triumphant eye, into that eternity where most men are afraid to look. In the midst of long imprisonment, deserted by his friends, entirely in the power of his foes, evidently having nothing human to support him, he feels neither de- spondency nor dismay. He rejoices, — that word is not too strong, — he rejoices in the hope set before him. That same hope, which to thousands in the Christian world is nothing, having less power than the poorest earthly hope to make them glad, is every thing to him, having power to make even the deep dungeon bright. He is " troubled on every side, yet not distressed ; perplexed, but not in despair ; perse- * Preached at the funeral of William Bliss, Esq., who died March 8, 1838. 156 READY TO BE OFFERED.
 
cuted, but not forsaken ; cast down, but not de- stroyed." See how he employs himself in that awful hour : not with his own feelings, not with his own hopes and fears ; for he was dead to the world , and the world was dead to him. His hopes are for others : his fears are for others ; he ardently desires that others may share the faith which has given such firm- ness to him. And therefore does he charge his friend, in the presence of the living God, — before Jesus Christ, who is to judge the living and the dead, — to press home the truths of the Gospel to every heart : to suffer no consciences to sleep, if it is possible to wake them ; to prevent them from going unprepared, unconcerned, to the place where every one shall re- ceive according to his deeds. For himself, he says that he has fought a good fight ; he has finished his course without losing the faith ; and now he is ready to be offered, when, as he fully believes, the time for the sacrifice has come. Here is a mystery, — that a human being, frail and helpless as human beings are, should maintain such perfect serenity at such an hour, should be so forgetful of himself and so anxious for others ! And how will you explain it ? Is it a delusion ? o ; for delusions sink and vanish before the stern reality of death. Is it enthusiasm ? o ; he is collected and firm as ever ; he understands his own feelings : he has weighed his words. The reason that he stands firm when others tremble is, that a strength not his own supports him ; he leans on the Rock of READY TO BE OFFERED.
 
157 Ages ; he has light from on high to cheer and guide him in the dark valley of the shadow of death. Let us endeavour to understand this state of mind. It is one that all are concerned to know. For an hour not far from any one of us is to determine how we shall go to the grave ; — whether we shall have this holy confidence, which nothing but a trust in Jesus Christ inspires ; or whether we shall approach the close of life, insensible, unsustained, having no resource but to shut our eyes to all that is before us, and to keep our hearts fixed fast on this world, till the dream is broken, and we find ourselves in that world where we can sleep no longer. Undoubtedly, the chief reason of this holy and happy confidence was, that he was living no longer to this world; he was living "the life of God." He had begun a new life from the time when he saw the vision of his Master looking down upon him in sorrow, not in anger, and asking what he had done to deserve such persecution. From that moment his views were changed ; his feelings were changed ; his whole heart was changed. o longer burning with ambition, no longer dazzled by this world's glories, his spiritual nature was awakened ; he saw himself in a new light : he abhorred himself, and repented in dust and ashes. He saw that in those days when his countrymen cheered him as the defender of their Law, he had been governed, not by conscience, but by self-deceiving passion, - — passion which led him to trample on the rights of others, and to bring deep stains of blood upon his soul. He felt that he was 14

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