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SERM. II. preffion wears off, and the Idea of him is disjoined from that of the Place, which must know him no more. How much more then ought fome of us here to be affected, who have lately been deprived of a very worthy and esteemable Acquaintance, right in his Principles, regular in his Practice, and easy and affable in his Conversation?
Frank, open and ingenuous by Nature, cautious and prudent by his Knowledge of the World, ever ready to oblige; he lived without a formed Defign of difpleafing any Body, and yet without the vain chimerical Hopes of pleafing every Body.
He was a very proper Perfon to have Recourfe to upon any intricate Emergency. For he at once preferved the cool Judgment of a difinterested Perfon, and yet entered as heartily and thoroughly into the Affair, as if he had been perfonally interested in it fruitful of Expedients, with the good Senfe to fix upon that which was beft, and most to the Purpose.
He had fo established a Character for Punctuality, Fairness and Honefty, in his Bufinefs, that People loved to have to do with a Man of his unfufpected Veracity; above thofe indirect Arts, which a great
Soul defpifes, and a good one detefts; the SERM.II. little temporary Expedients of Men, who want to serve a prefent Exigency, and procure some short lived Advantages; but have not Senfe enough to confider the remote Confequences of an Action, and to think of the Prophet's Question, What will ye do in the End thereof? For certain it is, that Knavery cannot long be concealed, nor Honesty counterfeited: and the Lip of Truth is established for ever, but a lying ·Tongue is but for a Moment. There was a Dignity in his Afpect, Weight in his Words, and an Opennefs and Simplicity in his Actions, which engaged Men's Esteem for him, and made them repose a firm Confidence in him. It feemed to be his Opinion, that in complicated Cafes our fecond Thoughts were better than our firft; and that we ought to deliberate long, before we proceed to Action: But that in plain Cafes our first Sentiments, the Sentiments of genuine, untainted Nature, were better than our fecond; and that to deliberate, was only to endeavour to find out fome fpecious Refinements and artful Gloffes, by which we might, with much ado, reconcile those Practices to our Confcience, to which it was
SERM. II. at first View ftrongly abhorrent. He never therefore deviated from the plain HighRoad of Honesty into those crooked and intricate By-Paths, in which, where one has shortened his Way to Riches, hundreds have loft and bewildered themselves.
That he was an affectionate Husband to one of the best and tendereft of Wives, and a kind indulgent Mafter to his Servants, are confeffed Parts of his Character; and yet these are the fureft Tefts of an habitual Good-Nature, and a prevailing Sweetness of Difpofition.
Being bred a Scholar, he had a Capacity and Knowledge, but not a Mind and Spirit, above his Profeffion: For he as diligently applied himself to it, as if he had been by Nature and Education only fitted for that Sphere. Before his Retirement from Bufinefs and the World, he had an enlarged Conversation in it: But though he often kept Company with Men of loose Principles, he never departed from his own, which he had early imbibed, and thoroughly digested. For Men of this Stamp feldom make any lafting Impreffions upon Perfons of ftrong Senfe, and a thoroughlygood Difpofition: The utmoft they can do
is to stagger weak Men, and to make thofe SERM. II. that are already in fome Degree bad, much worse. He was a constant Frequenter of the Church, during his Health; and, when his Illness confined him to his House, a conftant Communicant at the three great Seafons, and received the Sacrament with that awful Compofure of Behaviour, which bespoke a Mind recollected and attentive, and affected all about him with a correfpondent Seriousness.
His Faults and Frailties were fuch as all Men are liable to: But his Perfections were the Attainments of few in Comparison ; particularly the great Patience with which he bore the fevere Trials which God laid upon him. He seemed to enjoy himself and his Friends under fuch afflictive Circumftances, as would have made moft others a Burthen to themselves, and uneafy to every one that came near them; and was a fignal Example that the greatest Advantage one Man can have above another in this Life, arifes from the Temper and Difpofition of the Mind; that Temper, which foftens every Care, and improves every Bleffing. For he feemed to have had more true Peace of Mind under a lafting
SERM. II. Complication of Diftempers, than others are poffeft of in the Fulness of Health and Vigour who want they know not what, and are uneafy they know not why: And if at any Time his Spirits were depreft by long-continued Pain, Converfation with an intimate Friend would break the Gloom that hung upon him, and brighten up his Soul. Indeed his Malady grew upon him to that Degree, that it was almoft cruel to wish him a longer Continuance among us : All that his Friends could defire, was an eafy Paffage out of this World into a better, where there is no Pain or Sorrow. His Soul is now enlarged from that corruptible Body to which it was united; and released from those Miseries, which, by Virtue of that Union, it underwent. How foon we, who in the Midft of Life are in Death, may follow him, God only knows: Each Day brings us nearer to Eternity; and it should be our main Endeavour, that each may bring us nearer to a blessed Eternity.
But, while we are in the Body, we must more or less struggle with Difficulties, and combat with Temptations. While we live, we must persevere, without flackening our Industry, to fight this good Fight: When