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hold, and the most affecting of all others, in a moral view, and to a good mind.
Would you then not be separated from those you regard and love, for ever,-Be virtuous and upright yourselves, and strive to bring them off from the ways of sin and evil: otherwise, in parting from them here, you may take a final leave, and see them no more.
The inference which the apostle would have the christians, to whom he writes, to draw from this discovery that he makes to them of the world after death, is, that this assured hope of being united again with virtuous friends and dear relations hereafter, naturally tends to moderate our grief for the loss of them.
They are but gone a little while before us. We shall soon follow after : so that the interruption of our pleasing intercourse with them will not be of any long perceivable duration.
And knowing the hand whence all things come, and by which all events are directed, we should consider the taking away from us of those we loved and valued, as wisely and mercifully intended, to call us to a just seriousness and sobriety of thought which men seldom arrive at when carried away by a constant full tide of worldly enjoyments ; to
teach the little value of the transitory things of this world, on which our hearts are often too much bent; and to know the high price and worth of virtue, and of the attainment of the divine favour, which have been too little in our thoughts.
When worthy and good men are cut off, however painful it may be to us, and fill us with deep concern, we should be reconciled to their removal, as far as it respects themselves, on the best grounds; persuaded that he who brought them into being knoweth best when to take them away; and remembering that this is but the very entrance, the first stage of our existence, and that it is of little consequence whether our part prescribed be long or short, so that we have filled it well, and so as to appear again on our next scene of action with advantage, and with the approbation of our Maker.
In this happy and honourable rank, my brethren, I esteem, and would here, in the close of my discourse, call to your minds a most valuable person, and deserving member of this our religious society, lately cut off by the unsparing hand of death*. Eulogies of the dead from the pulpit have * Mr. Browne, an eminent druggist in the City. 2 L 2
been suspected of favour and partiality, and of misleading instead of serving the interests of piety and virtue by ill-placed commendations, however sometimes well intended. And though it be oftentimes a pardonable infirmity,I would be far from giving into the general practice. But there may be occasions at certain times, which will justify the holding forth and marking an estimable character to others.
It is a painful duty, and I am sorry to be so often called to exhort survivors to be steady to their principles, from the example and the loss of those our first friends, who have been removed by death from this our society. He that has been recently taken away
deserves long to be had in remembrance. He was among the very first of my encouragers to begin a worship upon the avowed ground of the divine unity, that Jehovah the Father alone was the sole object of prayer and thanksgiving to christians; and his liberal firm mind contributed in every possible way, living and dying, to promote it.
He had indeed, in his engagements of all kinds, an incorruptible integrity; and that modest unassuming manner, that made his numerous benevolent actions and real cha
racter little known but to those most intimately acquainted with him. Contented to do good and kind actions, he looked not for the praise of men; desirous only to ensure the testimony of a good conscience, and the favour of that Being who alone knoweth the heart.
Our wisdom will be, whose day of trial is not over, by this and every other excitement and instance of mortality, to be upon our guard, to act our parts well and faithfully, and to make haste to improve the few uncertain hours that remain of our existence here; that when called out of it we may lie down in peace, and fall asleep in a due preparation and proper dispositions for our eternal state.
Unto God be thanks and glory for ever!
O thou kind Parent of the universe! the supreme, all-perfect excellence! God, by thyself alone, who art from everlasting to everlasting!
Bowed down at thy footstool, with profoundest reverence, we desire to express our thanks before thee, for calling us out of nothing into being, and for the invaluable, un
speakable blessings and privileges bestowed with it.
And although it hath seemed fitting to thee to cut short its thread, and to put a full stop to it for a time, after a few days passed here, to teach us our just dependence upon thee, and for many other known and unknown reasons of thy wise providence and goodness;
Yet, with joy and gratitude more than we can express, we acknowledge the immensity of thy benignity and kindness in thine assured promise by Christ our Lord, of restoring to us our living powers, and designing us for an eternal existence in increasing happiness and virtue, in that world which thy goodness hath in reserve for all thy faithful approved servants, So that when millions of millions of
ages shall be past over by us, millions of millions of ages will be to come, in which thine inexhaustible love and bounty will be displayed to thy creatures of the human race; a blessing and boon the more worthy of thee, the more it surpasseth all thought and comprehension.
Suffer nothing, we pray thee, O Lord our God! to divert us one moment longer, if any have still delayed, from striving with all our power and endeavours to have a place with