« PoprzedniaDalej »
quent instructor say to his august pupil, as he said at the funeral of a Princess cut off in the flower of her years,-0 Prince, we see bow the divine power, justly irritated against our pride, reduces it to nothing, that he may for ever equal all ranks as he forms us all of the same dust! Can we build upon these ruins i Can we lean, however splendid “ the remains, on this inevitable wreck of human things :"
Sermon by George Clayton, preached at Walworth.
ISAIAH, chap. xl. y. 6. “The voice said, Cry. And he said, What shall I cry? All flesh is grass,
and all the goodliness thereof is as tht flower of the field.” WE should learn from this subject to soften our resentments. Dr. Johnson has remarked, in some part of his writings," that our lives are made up of injuries and reparations." It is, indeed, scarcely possible to live, without either giving offence, or being offended. Affronts are frequently imagined where they were never intended, and injury is sometimes incidentally inflicted, without design or premeditation. Hence it comes to pass, that scope is given for the exercise of those great principles of christian forbearance and charitable forgiveness, without which, the peace of society can never be preserved. Life is tou short, and death too certain, to admit of cherished animosities. Who could desire to go down to the grave with feelings of resentment towards any, whom he is to meet speedily at the tribunal of God? It has on some occasions been seen, and, to the eye of the Christian observer, it is a gratifying spectacle, that an event of mortality draws together divided minds; bushes the din of controversy, produces an oblivion of party feeling, and amalgamates in one general sentiment of grief, men of opposite principles and hostile dispositions. We seem, at this moment of national sorrow, to have been touched at the very heart, and have been led by common consent to gather round the grave of the illustrious
dead, there to pour forth our tears, and there to bury our resentments. Britain has ofered to surrounding countries, a sight rarely beheld. A great nation dissolved in the sorrows of an unfeigned condolence, voluntarily paying a tribute of loyalty and affection to their departed Princess, and bound to each other, by the ties, not of political concord and of civil interest, so much as by the bonds of a generous and all-pervading sympathy.
Sermon by Joseph Ivimey, preached at the Baptist Meeting,
ECCLESIASTES, chap. viii. v. 8. “ There is no man hath power over the spirit to retain the spirit; neither
hath he power in the day of death: and there is no discharge in that war."
WE cannot, nor should we, divest our minds from those considerations which the love of our country inspires, and which the admiration of its distinguished personages excites. when a person, one of our country, eminent for literary research, or legislative influence, or heroic fame, or active benevolence, expires: we imperceptibly feel the pang of sensibility, and almost insensibly drop the tear of sympathy. Thus we felt, when a Porson, a Pitt, a Fox, a Nelson, a Sharp, a Fuller, or a Reynolds, was taken away by death. The love of country led us to exclaim, as having lost a member of the great natioual family “ alas, my brother !" And can we help feeling, when a Princess, eminent for exalted rank, for conjugal affection, and for benevolent actionsa Princess, the presumptive heir to the British throne, is snatched prematurely from us; especially when, a few hours before, she hears that her child, whom she had “ borne in sorrow," who she had probably expected would have held the sceptre of empire in the most distinguished kingdom of the world, was taken from her? Here is a circumstance which comes close home to the loyal Briton's heart! The tree, root
and branch, flower and fruit, torn up, and withered by the same storm? When the daughter of a judge of Israel died in such circumstances, it is said, “ About the time of her death, the women that stood by her said unto her, Fear not, for thou hast borne a son: but she answered not, neither regarded,” excepting that “she named the child ÍCHABOD, saying, The glory is departed from Israel.” (1 Sam. iv. 20, 22.) A very similar scene was witnessed at Claremont, when the Princess, in answer to those who informed her that her son was dead, only said, “ The will of the Lord be done.” We will not call the departed infant ICH ABOD; saying, the glory is departed from the land, or from the royal family; but certainly it is one of those afflictive events which royalty has not often known, and that the kingdom has not often experienced.
Sermon by the Rev. Aler. Fletcher, preached in Albion
DANIEL, chap. iv, v. 35. “ And he doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and among
che inhabitants of the earth : and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou ?"
THESE expressions in our text fell from the lips of a great monarch. They are part of his pious reflections, after the Most High delivered him from an alarming disorder, which expelled him from his palace and his throne. In the zenith of his glory, while he was giving vent to the pride of his heart, his reason was taken from him. He fled from the abodes of men; he sought to the haunts of wild beasts ; le did eat grass like oxen; his body was wet with the dew of heaven. Seven revolving years were the witnesses of his degradation. We have an interesting account of the pious acts which were performed by his returning reason.-Though we have lost a public blessing, which shall never be restored, though the object of a nation's affection shall never return from the grave,
to sway the sceptre of these realms, yet, let us follow the example of the king of Babylon; and, in our reflections, let us lift up our eyes to heaven ; " let us adore the Most High, and let us praise and honour Hiin, who liveth for ever and ever; whose dominion is an everlasting dominion, and whose kingdom is from generation to generation. Before Him all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing. He doeth his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth: : pone can stay his band, nor say unto him, What doest thou?"
Sermon by John Kentish, preached at the New Meeting-House,
JEREMIAH, chap. XV. v. 9. “ Her sun is gone down while it was yet day." THERE are two classes of persons who form and diffuse false views of the characters of individuals of royal and noble birth. Some, the parasites and sycophants of greatness, blazon their idol's imaginary virtues, and adorn it with colours not its own. Others, and perhaps a more numerous body, from circumstances and motives which I need not point out, appear to take a malignant pleasure in exaggerating the infirmities, the follies, and the vices, of men of the highest rank. But our much-lamented Princess, so recently the joy and fond hope of the nation, was happily exempted, in a considerable degree, as well by ber pre-eminent merits as by her wise plans of life, from the eulogies of such dangerous panegyrists, and from the accusations of such unworthy detractors. What we know of her temper, conduct, attainments, principles and views, is most richly to her credit. A good understanding, assisted by the efficacy of religion, appears to have corrected, in the best manner," the occasional impetuosities of youthful feeling, and to have converted it into a frank, generous, affectionate spirit, which felt for the happiness of all surrounding crea
tures, and found its amplest gratification in the sanctuary of home. The few, but interesting events of her life, so short, so ardently desired, testify her excellences, both intellectual and moral. Our joy on her honourable and happy union, gives additional poignancy to our present distress, and heightens our sympathy with the excellent survivor. That was the uniun of hearts; an union which nothing but death could interrupt. It was the result of feelings dear to Britons, and a pledge (had Divine Providence ordained its continuance) of the happiness of our country. Averse from ostentation, the royal and amiable personage, whose demise we mourn, sought her pleasure in a situation favourable at once to the exercise of the domestic virtues, and to the enjoyment of the luxury of doing good. Neither exemplifying nor sanctioning “ 'vices gilded by the rich and gay,” she preferred the shade of retirement to the glare of courts, and, by the conscientious discharge of private duties, was preparing herself for holding hereafter, if such had been the will of Heaven, the reins of government.
Sermon by J. W. Cunningham, A. M., preached at the Church
of Harrow on the Hill.
2 SAMUEL, chap. xiv. v. 14. “ We must needs die, and are as water spilt on the ground, which can
pot be gathered up again: neither doth God respect any person; yet doth he devise means that his banished be vot expelled from him."
MOST men talk wisely on the instability of the world. We are not weak enough to deny that which the history of every day compels us to admit. But our lives too often contradict our sentiments. Philosophers in opinion, we are, as to this point, children in conduct; and worship the very relics of that image of the world which we have previously stamped to dust, and trod under foot. Every event, then, which is calculated to carry home this opinion from the head to the heart, and to give it effect in our daily conduct, is of the highest import