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Sermon by Robert Hall, M. A., preached at Harvey-Lane,
JEREMIAH, chap. xv. v. 9. “ Slie hath given up the ghost: Her sun hath gone down while it was
LET them turn their eyes then, for a moment, to this illustrious Princess; who while she lived, concentred in herself whatever distinguishes the higher orders of society, and may now be considered as addressing them from the tomb.
Born to inherit the most illustrious monarchy in the world, and united at an early period to the object of her choice, whose virtues amply justified her preference, she enjoyed (what is not always the privilege of that rank) the highest connubial felicity, and had the prospect of combining all the tranquil enjoyments of private life, with the splendour of a royal station. Placed on the summit of society, to her every eye was turned, in her every hope was centred, and nothing was wanting to complete her felicity, except perpetuity. To a grandeur of mind suited to her illustrious birth, and lofty destination, she joined an exquisite taste for the beauties of nature, and the charms of retirement: where far from the gaze of the multitude, and the frivolous agitations of fashionable life, she employed her hours in visiting, with her illustrious consort, the cottages of the poor, in improving her virtues, in perfecting her reason, and acquiring the knowledge best adapted to qualify her for the possession of power, and the cares of empire. One thing only was wanting to render our satisfaction complete, in the prospect of the accession of such a Princess : it was that she might become the living mother of children.
The long wished-for moment at length arrived, but alas ! the event, anticipated with such eagerness, will form the most melancholy page in our history.
It is no reflection on this amiable Princess to suppose, that
in her early dawn, with the “ dew of her youth;" so fresh upon ber, she anticipated a long series of years, and expected to be led through successive scenes of enchantment, rising above each other in fascination and beauty. It is natural to suppose she identified herself with this great nation which she was born to govern; and that while she contemplated its pre-eminent lustre in arts and in arms, its commerce encircling the globe, its colonies diffused through both hemispheres, and the beneficial effects of its institutions extending to the whole earth ; she considered them as so many component parts of her grandeur. Her heart, we may well conceive, would often be ruffled with emotions of trembling ecstasy, when she reflected that it was her province to live entirely for others, to composé the felicity of a great people, to move in a sphere which would afford scope for the exercise of philanthropy the most enlarged, of wisdom the most enlightened, and that while others are doomed to pass through the world in obscurity, she was to supply the materials of history, and to impart that impulse to society, which was to decide the destiny of future generations. Fired with the ambition of equalling, or surpassing, the most distinguished of her predecessors, she probably did not despair of reviving the remembrance of the brightest parts of their story, and of once more attaching the epoch uf British glory to the annals of a female reign. It is needless to add, that the nation went with her, and probably outstripped her in these delightful anticipations. We fondly hoped, that a life so inestimable would be protracted to a distant period, and that after diffusing the blessings of a just and enlightened administration, and being surrounded by a numerous progeny, she would gradually, in a good old age, sink under the horizon, amidst the embraces of her family, and the benedictions of her country. But alas! these delightful visions are fled, and what do we behold in their room, but the funereal pall and shroud, a palace in mourning, a nation in tears, and the shadow of death settled ofer both like a cloud! O the unspeakable vanity of hunan hopes ! the incurable blindness of man to futurity! ever doomed
to grasp at shadows, to seize with avidity what turns to dust and ashes in his hand, “to sow the wind and reap the whirl wind.""
Sermon by the Rev. Martin Richard Whish, M. A.
Mical, chap. vi. v. 9. « The Lord's voice crieth unto the city, and the map of wisdom shall
see thy name; hear ye the rod, and who hath appointed it.” “ WHEN thy judgments are in the earth,” says the prophet Isaiah, “ the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness ;” as these are only of a temporary nature, they are infinitely less in importance to that final and everlasting recompence of reward that will be awarded on the solemn day of retribution, when God shall judge the secrets of all hearts by Christ's gospel, and “ render to every man according to his deeds : to them, who by patient continuance in well-doing, seek for glory, and honour, and immortality, eternal life; but unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath, tribulation and anguish upon every soul of man that doeth evil; but glory, honour and peace to every man that worketh good.” But however these judgments, which are only temporary, are calculated to impress our minds with high notions of the majesty of God, who is, “ of purer eyes than to behuld evil, and cannot look on iniquity,” and to lead us unto God to repentance and self-abasement; yet such is the depravity and blindness, and insensibility of the human beart, till renewed effectually by divine grace, that even these lose their intended effect, unless it pleases God to touch our hearts by his grace, which otherwise, instead of being softened and made pliant to his sovereign will, “ who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will,” would become hardened and inaccessible to the visits of his grace, and thus frustrate the merciful ends and intent of all these trying visitations of providence, by which he is pleased at different times to visit the earth.
It is with a
view of improving a late solemn and peculiarly painful providence, from regard to the important consequences in which it involves us as a nation, and respecting the bigh and eminently distinguished personage, the loss of whom cannot be sufficiently appreciated, or, to “speak after the manner of men," (for with God all things are possible), easily repaired, that I have selected the words before us; and, in this view, I shall endeavour to suggest such topics for our private reflections, as may lead us to consider seriously, wherefore the Lord contendeth with us as a nation ; that as “the Lord's voice by this solemn providence crieth unto the city, the man of wisdom may see his name, and hear the rod, and who hath appointed it;” and may God give us his grace, that we may patiently learn the lessons to be taught by it, so that He may have all the glory, and we the profit and blessing of all that He is pleased to inflict upon us.
Sermon by the Rev. Thomas Lewis, preached at Orange-Street
Chapel, Leicester Square.
GENESIS, chap. xviii. v. 25. .
-“ Shall not the Judge of all the Earth do right?" HOWEVER the arrangements of the Divine Providence may seem contradictory to the declarations of his word, he is assuredly doing right. There is, in truth, no contradiction here—that is impossible ; it only appears so to us who see but a very small part of the scheme of Divine Providence. All his arrangements perfectly correspond with what he has declared in his word, and are all combining together-working together, though we do not clearly see the operation, to promote his own glory and his people's good. When the venerable patriarch exclaimed, “ All these things are against me," he was not aware that they were actually working together for his benefit. He saw not the ultimate purposes of God, and could not judge of the adaptation of the means employed to the issue
intended. Concerning us, Brethren, it inay often be said, as it was concerning the disciples, “ These things understood they not at the first.” O, no ! there are many links in the chain of Providence which we do not perceive. Our spiritual eye-sight is too dim. Many operations and arrangements, which we do not understand, and which, while we are rashly concluding them to be inimical to us, and contrary to the promises upon which the Lord hath caused us to hope, are all perfectly consistent with his most holy, wise, and gracious purposes, and in unison with the testimonies of his word. “ As the different virtues of different drugs concur to make up the medicine ; as the different strings and instruments of music produce harmony; and as the different colours, the dark shades, as well as the light, contribute to the beauty of the picture, so the different operations of Divine Providence, however gloomy and afflictive, are all accomplishing his purposes of love and mercy towards our ruined world, and promoting the real interests of his church and people.”
Whatever apparent severity there may be in his dispensations, the Judge of all the earth will do right. What numerous examples are upon record of the truth of this ! Notwithstanding the cruelty of Joseph's Brethren, and the many difficulties that he met with : though he was cast into a pittaken up and sold to the Ishmaelites-carried down into Egypt, and there imprisoned, he declares God sent him before to preserve life, and so it was. They meant it for evil; but God ordered it for good. Notwithstanding the difficulties Israel met with in the wilderness, the enemies they had to encounter, the want of provisions, and the many judgments to which they exposed themselves, we are told, it was the “ right way, that they might go to a city of habitation.” And notwithstanding Job was stripped of all his possessions and children in one day, and reduced to the deepest distress, plundered by his enemies, censured by his friends, and assailed by Satan, he found, and he gratefully acknowledged, that, amidst all the severity of the discipline employed with him, " the Judge of all the earth"