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sent; and that, after the longest life spent in the vanities here on earth, he was to lie down in the dust, like the beasts that perish, and that the trump of God would never rouse his sleeping ashes to a future judgment? No! and I am well persuaded that I do not at present, address a man of this belief. On the contrary, I rather trust, that there is not a person who now hears me, that does not believe he was sent into this world for nobler purposes, than merely to vegetate, to rot, and to die.-Wherefore, then, let us all strive to fill the sphere assigned us, with dignity and diligence. If the supreme Wisdom has called us to the inferior stations of bodily labour, we are therewith to be content. It is honourable and subservient to virtue; for not the meanest calling but hath a blessing promised of God; and not the most exalted, but hath its cares, its toils, and temptations. Again, if, by the indulgence of heaven, we are released from the necessity of bodily labour, yet not less is the sphere of duty, nor less the joy attending the faithful discharge of it. There are liberal and ingenuous employments suited to the highest parts and estate— Go, order your affairs aright. Train up your children in the fear of God. Be an example of righteousness to your houshold and to society. Husband your time and your fortune for the public good. Minister out of your abundance to the necessities of others. Be hospitable; be kind; be solicitous for the advancement of justice and virtue; in all which, you may be serious without gloom; cheerful without levity; and active without dissipation. For our religion enjoins no duty but what is for our own welfare; and denies
country; to support its constitution, and defend our religious and civil liberties; to seek for health and wealth in honest labour and virtue; to attend to the right education of our children; to encourage and promote those arts and sciences, which tend to rear up good men and good citizens, to disseminate human happiness, and to distinguish the civilized Man from the barbarous Savage, firmly resolving to adorn our station, in all the relations of life, whether as good magistrates, good fathers, good husbands, good brothers, faithful friends, and, in a word, as honest men and useful citizens.
Are you ready to swear to this? Yea, I trust, you have sworn already; and that we may now lift up our voice, in songs of gratitude to God, for our full deliverance from the late calamity, and that, our Prayers, Praises, and Thanksgivings, will be as a sweet incense, holy and acceptable before Him!
"Wherefore, O Lord God, who hath thus "wounded us for our transgressions, by thy late
heavy Visitation, but now in the midst of Judgment, "remembering Mercy, hast redeemed our souls from "the jaws of Death, we offer unto thy fatherly good
ness ourselves, our souls and bodies, which thou "hast thus delivered, to be a living sacrifice unto "Thee; always praising and magnifying Thy mer"cies in the midst of the Church, through Jesus "Christ, our Lord." Amen.
FIRST PREACHED DECEMBER 22, 1793.
1 THESS. Chap. IV. Ver. 13—18.
But I would not have you ignorant, Brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no Hope. For if we believe that JESUS died and rose again; even so, them also, which sleep in JESUS, will GOD bring with Him, &c.
IN my two foregoing Sermons, (No. IV, V.). from this luminous text; the General Heads, under which it was proposed to manage the sublime subject in a series of discourses, were stated to be Four*.
The first Head, viz. the main Causes of the Fear of Death, was pretty fully discussed, in the two former Sermons. We were there led, in our meditations, to the tombs of our departed Friends.-We shed some natural drops to their memory—we weighed, in part, the terrors and the utmost strength of Death-we dared to enter his dark Mansionsnay we entered so far, that we must not now start back, nor cast so much as one "longing lingering look behind," to the Sodom of this World; but, setting * See page 56, antex.
one foot on the Grave, strive to stretch the other forward to the very Porch of Heaven; not intimidated to look upwards to the Precincts of everlasting day, notwithstanding the awful Scenes through which we must pass, and what we must expect to behold and to hear on our way-" The world on fire beneath our feet-the Voice of the Archangel and the Trump of God sounding on high, to rouse the Dead from their long, long iron-slumbers-the shaking of the dry bones, coming together, bone to his bone, from the four quarters of the world, from the Earth and from the Sea, at the Summons of the Almighty! But let us not be intimidated, I say! Our text has brought comfort to our view; and, therefore, we will take up our subject again, where our last Sermon, (No. V.) from this text, left us, namely, examining the Four great Causes of the Fear of Death, referred to above, viz:
First, Want of Faith in Christ Jesus, and a more intimate Union of our Souls with Him, through the Grace of his Holy Spirit.
Secondly, An overweening attachment to what we call the Good Things of this world.
Thirdly, Want of consideration and of due reflection, on the Shortness of our time, and the uncertain Tenure, and perishable Nature, of all our enjoyments here.
Fourthly, Doubts, real or imaginary, instilled or cherished, by means of a vain and superficial Philosophy, "wise above what is written," concerning a future state of existence; and whether the change of our condition, from this world to another, will be for the better or the worse?
• See page 67, antea.
An examination of the second of these causes was begun in Sermon V; and ascribed chiefly to a false Estimate of what we call our good things, and a vehement desire to hold uninterrupted Possession of them. They are enumerated, as attached to the various stages of life, as follows*, viz.
"Youth and Beauty; Health and Strength; "Riches and Honours; Power and Greatness; Wis"dom and Knowledge; disinterested Virtue; public
Spirit, and the like." These chiefly entangle men, who consider themselves somewhat above the common ranks; and who have to share also with the poorest mortal that is born of woman, in that natural Reluctance, those insuperable recoilings of grief, springing from the intimate Union of Soul and Body, on the approach of Death; and the prospect that two such loving partners must soon sustain and undergo a Divorce from each other, by the fierce Mandate of a relentless and unappeasable tyrant.
We proceed now, as was proposed in the conclusion of the last Sermon (which was addressed to the Devotees of Pleasure of all ranks, especially among the young and gay) to estimate the Bliss of those of higher ranks and ages; hoping the Young also; if they look for rank and age, will still continue among the number of our patient Hearers. For the sake of those who wish for the Arguments of Experience, Wisdom and true Philosophy, I can use none of more Weight, nor more venerable for their Antiquity, than those of Solomon; who was account
* See page 70, antea.