Billeder på siden

to that which we derive from acting our part with dignity; stedfast in the practice, as well as profession, of our holy religion; zealous for the happiness of our country and mankind, and always delighting in acts of love and goodness. The regard which is paid to such characters as these, will grow with their growing years; and when they come at last to take leave of this world, whether at an earlier or later period of years, as they have lived the life of the righteous, their latter end will be like his.

And as, by the lives of such righteous men*, we are taught how to live and to overcome the world; sọ by their death we may be instructed how to die, or to subdue death! For, whence comes the fear of death, but (as hath been observed before) "because we seek to have our portion in this world, and cannot brook to let go our hold;" never considering that Christ hath slain Death on his cross, and hath " brought life "and immortality to light by his Gospel."-And, therefore, however abject and little man may appear, viewed as he is in this world, with all the evils of life -the dross and dregs of his mortality-about him; yet, considered in respect to another world, and as a candidate for eternity, he appears illustriously great, even amidst his sins and sufferings, when he may be thought least, in common apprehension.

It is a grand description which is given of the Angel in the book of Revelation, who came down from

As some pages have been transferred from the first edition of this Sermon [See the note, page 40;] some additions have also been made to supply their place, beginning page 42; on the use of funeral solemnities, and the commemoration of the virtues, and if need be, even the vices, of the dead, for the benefit of the living.

[blocks in formation]

Heaven to proclaim destruction to time" He had in "his hand a little book open: and he set his right "foot upon the sea, and his left foot on the earth, "and cried with a loud voice, as when a lion roareth: “and when he had cried, seven thunders uttered their "voices. And when the seven thunders had uttered "their voices, I was about to write; and I heard a "voice from Heaven saying unto me, Seal up those "things which the seven thunders uttered and write "them not. And the angel, which I saw stand upon "the sea and upon the earth, lifted up his hand to "Heaven, and sware by him that liveth forever and

[ocr errors]

ever, who created Heaven, and the things that "therein are, and the earth, and the things that "therein are, and the sea, and the things which are "therein, that there should be time no longer," But far greater is the true Christian in the act of death -He sets one foot in the grave, and the other in the very porch of Heaven; being enabled, through Christ, to proclaim destruction to death and the grave-" O "death, I will be thy plagues; O grave, I will be thy destruction-O death, where is now thy sting! “O grave, where is now thy victory!"

[ocr errors]

Then, too, can he add, without fear, "Farewel, my body, my mortal part! Why shouldst thou my soul, be loth to part with thine old companion, to leave thy clay cottage, and to be without a body? -Behold, thy Maker, and the spiritual and heavenly inhabitants, have no gross bodies such as thine! Hast thou ever seen a prisoner, when his jail doors were broke open, and himself manumitted and set loose at liberty?-and have you then heard him complain to

take leave of his prison-house, and refuse to forego his fetters? Or, hast thou seen a wave-worn mariner, who has long been tossed and troubled on his stormy voyage, when arrived in sight of his native port, refuse to strike sail and enter in; chusing rather to launch back again into the perilous main ?—— -Why then, my soul shouldst thou be thus fear-stricken and discomforted, at parting from this mortal bride, thy body? It is but for a time, and such a time as the body shall feel no need of thee, nor thou of her; and thou shalt again receive her back, more goodly and beautiful, purified and perfected by absence; like unto that chrystal, which, after the revolution of some ages, is said to be turned into the purest diamond?

Now, unto Him who, by his apostle, hath assured us that after "our earthly house of this tabernacle "shall be dissolved" and moulder into dust, we have "a building of God, an house not made with hands, "eternal in the heavens,"-unto Him be glory and dominion and praise forever! Amen.


THE following Sermons from 2d Thessalonians, chap. IV. were delivered in Christ-Church and St. Peters, Philadelphia; and begun December 1st, 1793, being the Sunday the Churches were first opened, after the great VISITATION, by the epidemical sickness, commonly called the YELLOW FEVER.







13. But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.

14. For if we believe that Jesus died, and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. 15. For this we say unto you, by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive, and remain unto the coming of the Lord, shall not prevent them which are asleep.

16. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the Archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first.

17. Then we which are alive and remain, shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.

18. Wherefore comfort one another with these words.

YES, brethren and sisters! ye bereaved mourners for parents, husbands, wives, children and dearest relatives-say a solemn AMEN-and "com"fort one another with these words"-For if there be consolation in this world-amidst this suffering scene of MAN-here it is complete-and revealed to us, by a divinely illuminated apostle of Christ-leading our meditations forward through all the future

« ForrigeFortsæt »