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husband plead the inestimable importance of his beloved partner's continuance to the welfare of his yet untrained and infant offspring!. In vain does the tender and delicate female sue for the stay
of her only earthly protector and provider! The tyrant is deaf to the most importunate cries of distress, and after effecting his dreadful purpose, proceeds to make new conquests in other directions. Those of us who minister in holy things, are frequently called to visit the house of mourning: we often witness the heart-rending scenes which the entrance of the last enemy' produces in families, where, but a few days before, all was peace, and joy, and confidence ! Let all who surround this open tomb, stand prepared for these trying circumstances. He that has snatched away our departed friend from the fond embrace of a numerous and singularly happy family, is perhaps on his way to our own circle; and, in spite of our prayers and our entreaties, will make an inroad on our social happiness. May the principles and the hopes which consoled the mind of him whose removal we are endeavouring to improve, also animate and comfort our souls in the day of trial !
But death is not only important as it is the hour of review and of separation ; it is a time of painful and solemn anticipation. Every step we take toward the grave, brings us nearer to another world—to a boundless eternity! Death opens the gate which leads into a new state of existence, from which none of our departed friends have re
turned to make any communication. It is a state of which reason and philosophy can give us no adequate idea. The brightest luminaries of ancient Greece and Rome, even when science shed abroad the fulness of its glory, were totally unacquainted with its nature, or even with its truth. The future world is visible only to the eye of faith, which is the substance of things hoped for,' and the evidence of things not seen.' The Redeemer who came down from heaven has not only drawn aside the vail which separated that world from ou view, but he is the forerunner:' he has entered within the vail for us' with his own blood, and is gone to prepare mansions for his people. But for these scriptural and interesting truths, how could sinful dying worms endure the anticipation of the grand and all-important objects which are about to burst upon their sight in another world! There we shall stand in the presence of a holy God, who is of purer eyes than to behold iniquity. There we are to give an account of all the deeds done in the body, whether they be good or evil.' There we shall hear the righteous and irrevocable sentence of an infinitely wise and just God, and that sentence '
must be, either, 'Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you
from the foundation of the world;'-—or, · Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels!
Let us now turn to the bright side of this instructive and solemn subject. The gospel sheds a lustre even over the grave. We have deposited the mortal remains of our excellent friend in the dark and lonely tomb, but he shall not always remain there—' He shall rise again.' Listen, my fellow Christians, to the consolatory words of Jesus Christ: “Fear not; I am the first and the last: I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death. Attend, also, to the language of the beloved disciple: 'I heard a voice from heaven, saying, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord, from henceforth; yea, saith the Spirit, for they rest from their labours, and their works do follow them.' Such was the honourable, the peaceful, the blessed end, of that eminent saint whose death we now deplore.
Take courage, Christians, in the prospect of your
dissolution. The time, the place, the manner of it, are all under the direction of your heavenly Father. He has given you many 'great and precious promises;' and in that hour when 'heart and flesh fail,' he will be your light, your strength, and your salvation. He can smooth the rugged path, he can silence every fear. He can enable you to sing with holy triumph, “O death, where is thy sting ? O grave, where is thy victory?'
Let us recollect what death is to the believer it is a departure to be with Jesus. By death, the believer is freed from the prison of the body, and brought into the perfect and glorious liberty of the sons of God. In death, the Christian traveller
finishes his toilsome journey, and arrives at home in his Father's house. In death, the Christian labourer closes his anxieties and cares, and sits down to enjoy the rest which remains for the people of God. In death, the Christian warrior ends his conflict, and obtains that crown of righteousness' of which the great apostle of the Gentiles spake with such confidence and triumph, in the near prospect of his own martyrdom.
But it is time that I should direct your attention to the lamented individual whose death we are this day aiming to improve. In doing this, I find it difficult to satisfy myself. He was in all respects so eminent a character, that the rendering it only common justice must look like flattery to those who were not acquainted with his intellectual powers and moral worth: and yet not to speak of him as he really was, would be unjust both to him and to you; and in me, who knew him so well, and esteemed him so highly, it would be unpardonable. So averse was he himself to praise, that I am certain, if he were permitted to hear the plain truth, which I feel myself bound to declare, it would raise in his intelligent and benign countenance that modest blush, which many
you, who did know him, have often witnessed, on the slightest expression of commendation.* If he could not prevent the statement, he would at least qualify it, by saying, • Who made me to differ? and what have I that I have not received?' And again-By the grace
* Reference is here made to the annual vote of thanks which was given him by the London Missionary Society, for his unremitting attention to its concerns in the capacity of Treasurer.
of God I am what I am.'
The Father of lights, from whom cometh every good and perfect gift,' had endowed our departed friend with a mind of such large dimensions and fine materials, that even his boyish days yielded blossoms which afforded promise of a mature and plentiful barvest: nor was that hope disappointed, though his education, both as to its length and character, was very far from being what such a mind as his justly merited.* He came to London when between fourteen and fifteen years of age, and resided for some years with a near relative, whose kindness he recollected with gratitude to the end of his days. We have often to lament the numerous snares and dangers which on every side beset youths from the country when they enter the metropolis, where every thing, instead of strengthening and increasing good principles and religious habits, tends rather to feed the lust of the flesh and the pride of life. He was, however, mercifully preserved from those evils into which many have plunged, to their irretrievable ruin: and it was pleasing to me to ob
* Those who were acquainted with the cultivated state of his mind, are alone able to conceive to what an eminence he would have attained in all the higher branches of literature, had his advantages been equal to those which have fallen to the lot of many others.