« AnteriorContinua »
in obedience to the divine commands. In vain, then, do any pretend to love the gospel, which proclaims peace; while they reject the precept, which requires obedience.
Is such the life of the righteous? Do you, then, live this life? How is it between God and your souls? With all the solemnity which a corpse and a grave can inspire, and in the name of that Sublime Being who will soon rend this vault and raise its dead, ascend the tribunal and judge the world, I again ask, How is it between God and your souls? Remember, my friends, it is a question of the last importance; nor can you forget, that the occasion of our being now assembled, and the place where we now stand, give it a peculiar emphasis, and loudly demand an answer from you. Let reflection operate: let conscience speak.—How is it with you, my younger friends? You cannot forget who it is that says, Remember thy Creator in the days of thy youth. Some of you, I am persuaded, know the Lord, and are the subjects of divine grace. Such of you, I cannot forbear to congratulate. Ye are wise, ye are safe, ye are happy; and I sincerely rejoice in your felicity. But give me leave, at the mouth of this tomb, to exhort and charge you to be watchful. Flee youthful lusts. Be much in prayer. Endeavour to live near to God, and walk as on the brink of the grave.-I am afraid, however, there are many among you, that have but little concern about your souls. Perhaps, some of you may be promising yourselves long life and many happy days in the world; and think it quite soon enough for such as you to be concerned about a future state. 0, the inexpressible folly and madness of such!
Remember, and be confounded, ye poor unthinking mortals! remember the age of the dear deceased, which stands marked on the coffin ! She also was a young person, just entered on her twenty-first year; in the very prime of life and vigour of her days. O then, let the young and the gay, the giddy and the thoughtless, grow serious here! Let the enemies of God and the servants of sin tremble to think, that they also, ere long, must die-must appear before God in judgment. May the Great Arbiter of life and death awaken your sleepy souls, and save you from eternal ruin !
In this assembly, no doubt, there are some in a more advanced stage of life, whose time is almost engrossed by the cares and business of this mortal state-Such who have spent forty, or fifty, or sixty years in the world; but have been so immersed in its pleasures, or cares, that they have seldom thought about cultivating a correspondence with heaven; and have lived, strangers to the important contents of the Bible---strangers to the devout exercises of the closet strangers to their own hearts and strangers to the character of God. An awful case yours! Hear, then, 0 ye children of this world! hear and consider that solemn interrogatory, which proceeds from the mouth of the compassionate Jesus: What will it profit a man, if he gain the whole world and lose his soul?
What, now, shall I say to you that appear as mourners, on the solemn occasion ? Ye are, I perceive, several of you, servants in the family of my deceased sister. Ye have seen an amiable branch of that family, in which you reside, cut down by the relentless hand of death. Ye have had a strik
ing evidence, that neither youth, nor beauty, nor pleasing worldly prospects, can screen from the attacks of pale, putrid, 'mortal disease; or deliver out of the hands of our last enemy. What'shall I say? Ye have heard, from the lips of a dying saint, what a glorious support the gospel affords a bes liever, in the most trying hour; and what a prospect it opens to the real Christian, of a blissful immortality. Yes, ye have seen, that the grace of God and the gospel of Christ, inspire with courage and elevate with joy, when all that the world can afford is not able to yield the least support; even when life itself is expiring. What think you now of religion? What think you now of dying? Remember, this event has a voice to you: and what is its import? Why it cries, yea, it cries in your ears, Be ye also ready.
To conclude: As our departed sister was the only daughter, the dear and only child, of her surviving parents; does not this event inform us all, By what a precarious tenure we hold our dearest earthly comforts? Most certainly. The language of a Sovereign God, in such dispensations, is, “ Be ready to give up your dearest enjoyments, whenever I shall call for them. Be still, and know that I am Jehovah, and will be obeyed.”—But though it be a cutting stroke, to part with an only child, in the very prime of life; yet if, as in the case before us, the surviving parents have reason to conclude, that their child is gone to glory, it is a noble alleviation of the great affliction. The thought of that boundless bliss cheers the mourning heart, and chides the flowing tear, of the christian parent. And though the bodies of the saints are reduced to deep dis
honour, when laid in the dreary sepulchre; yet that disgrace is but temporary. For the time is coming, when all the dishonours they have suffered in the grave shall be wiped away for ever.-Rest, tlien, ye dear remains of the amiable deceased; rest undis, turbed, till the morning of the resurrection! Then ye shall be raised, re-animated, and formed like the glorious body of the ascended Redeemer ;-bright, as the wings of angels, and incorruptible as the everlasting inheritance.