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from them all. His immortal spirit having left the earthly tabernacle, is present with the Lord; beholds his glory, and is ravished with his beauty. And the revelation of God assures us, that the time is coming, when his body, though sown in dishonour, shall be raised in glory; at which grand period he shall enjoy, in his whole person, consummate felicity. To him, therefore, the king of terrors is converted into a messenger of peace: he comes with an angel's face, and a deliverer's hand. Well, then, might an infallible writer say to his christian friends, when speaking in the congratulatory strain, Death
And such, my brethren, I am fully persuaded, is the sepulchre we now surround. For it contains the corpse of one who gave the most satisfactory evidence, that he was well acquainted with the depravity of his nature, and the evil of sin; that he had fled for refuge to Jesus Christ, and found him all-sufficient. Yes, our deceased friend gave abundant evidence that he experienced the renewing energy of the Holy Spirit, and placed his confidence in atoning blood; that he sincerely loved his Lord; and longed for a complete conformity to him; that he thought no character too low for himself, as a perishing sinner; nor any too high for that grace, by which he expected salvation.—But I will not enlarge on this topic; lest any of you should think that I aim to dignify earth and ashes. I said earth and ashes : for what else are the best of Christians before the eternal God? In his presence, angels are worms, and saints are dust. I would rather direct your attention to that sovereign grace which delights in saving the wretched, and exalting the worthless—that favour which is better than life; which was, to the deceased, a solid foundation of hope, and source of exuberant joy. Say, ye that were frequently near his bed, in the time of his long, languishing, painful illness; did not grace appear, did it not shine, with peculiar lustre, in the supports he received, and the consolation he possessed, from day to day? Did he ever give the least intimation that his patience and fortitude, his hopes and his joys, arose from any other quarter? Did he not consider himself as the chief of sinners, even when he exulted in expectation of an eternal crown? Did it not appear to you that God was with him; that he had a large foretaste of celestial bliss; and that the last months of his life were by far the happiest he had ever known, notwithstanding the extremity of his pains, and his increasing languors? Ye will not, therefore, question the pro, priety of applying to him the following lines:
“ His God sustained him in his final hour;
But shall ye, who beheld his afflictions, and were witnesses of his divine supports, be satisfied with saying, “Thus he was afflicted and thus he rejoiced - thus he lived, and thus he died. Far be it! Providence has placed this example of suffering patience and triumphant faith before your eyes, to be an additional evidence of the reality and boundless worth of true religion; to be a voucher for the honour of saving grace, and the infinite excellence of wisdom's ways. Are not you all desirous of being happy? Do you not long to possess that peace which the world cannot give, and which neither
sickness' por pain can destroy or impair-that divine peace which rises into exultation at the approach of death, and kindles into transport at a grave ? Such peace there is; such peace Jesus affords, and it has been enjoyed by thousands; among whom the deceased is to be numbered. And be it known to you, if ever you possess the blessing, you must receive it as a gift of sovereign mercy, not as the reward of your own merit; you must have it in the knowledge of Jesus Christ, and through faith in his blood, in communion with God, and obedience to his commands. Seek for it then; and the Lord grant you the ineffable favour!
As we have sufficient ground to conclude, that our dear departed brother is now at rest, in the bosom of Jesus, his surviving relatives have abundant reason to mingle gratitude and praise to God, with their tender effusions of sorrow and tears.
Yes, my christian friends, you have reason to be exceedingly thankful to that Almighty Being, who dealt so graciously with the deceased; who made his dying bed the seat of spiritual instruction, of heavenly peace, and holy triumph. Of this you are not ignorant. Be careful, then, to improve the solemn, I may add, the glorious event, to the honour of distinguishing grace, and your own spiritual advantage !-Are any of you ignorant of God, and in a state of unbelief? May this dispensation of providence be the happy means of enlightening your minds, of alarming your consciences, and of exciting you to flee from the wrath to come!-Are you acquainted with God, and happy in a sense of his favour; do you believe in Jesus, and make a profession of his gospel? May the affecting stroke, which you now feel, promote in you genuine humility and constant watchfulness; a lively faith in our divine Lord, and an advancement in real holiness! And, having finished your course, may you calmly fall asleep in Jesus, as this our brother did, whose departure you now lament! Amen.