« PoprzedniaDalej »
that, as a nation, we have suffered, appears. irreparable to our affliction, our hearts inelt within us, and our hopes have failed. Still ought not our pious trust to yield to the unholy voice of murmur against the ordinances of the Most High. She, whom he has determined should not live to wear an earthly crown, has been removed from Earth to Heaven, that she may receive a crown of life. She, whom He has taken away from worldly dignity and splendor, has been borne by angels from her bed of sorrows to the bosom of her Redeemer, that she may repose in the eternal glories of His presence. She, who is now the theme of our praise joins in the Choral Hosannahs of the Saints that fill the pavilions of His majesty and greatness. She, who lives in our mournful recollection, lives for ever in the joy of her Lord.
We grieve for her mortal suffering ; we deplore the cutting off of her days in the very beginning of her journey of life, when the promise of it held out the happiest expectations to her Royal Father, her truly estimable Prince, a delighted people, and an admiring world. Here, I admit, is abundant cause for lamentation, that asserts a claim upon our rational sympathies which religion itself does not forbid. The tears we shed are a grateful tribute of recollection which we owe to her endeared memory. Let the sacred burthen discharge itselfit is not incompatible with our Christian character-it finds its sanction in that tender evidence of affectionate condolence with which our blessed Redeemer wept over the grave of the departed Lazarus.-- By His divine example we are tauglit, that Piety does not 'resist, but regulates our sorrows; and guides them in their course with the confidence and hope of Faith. Our mind, indeed, may be disquieted by the afflictive providences which God in His wisdom thinks fit we should endure ; but as the smooth stream that is perturbed by some sudden storm or rushing flood, even in its own current, finds a passage for its swollen waters, so do our burthened thoughts discharge themselves by that flow of tears which He who formed the heart of man has mercifully devised for its relief,
in order that its purer sensibilities might not be counteracted, but modified to His divine will. It is He, also, the same God who, when the water-foods of affliction have gone even bier our soul, calms the boisterous waves with the command of His power.-Peace, be still and with his paternal hand rescues us from the depths of despondency. When, therefore in those inflictions which human foresight camot scan, He visits Mis creatures with dismay and fear, he heareth the voice of our weeping ; and although we walk in the midst of trouble, he will revive us, and his right hand shall save us.
We are not, therefore, called upon to suppress the natural effusions of our sorrow, but to temper them with the essertial principles of religious dependence upon the faithfulness of our God; so that we may receive the chastening of His will without impatience, which vainly increases its burthen by its fretful struggles against His dispensations. Submissive sorrow admits the invariable purpose of His mercy, and so bleads our sufferings with the providence of His power; but impatience calls in question His right to dispose of the work of His hands, and sets at nought His sovereign authority It mistrusts His goodness, and by its spirit of marmar renders ineffectual those gracious designs of good, which the moment of our impotent -irritation we do not perceire, but which He is constantly engaged in perfecting according to the counsels of His righteous judgment.
The illustrious individual whose death we now deplore, mas the presumptive Heir to the Throne of these Realms; but the grandeur of worldly expectancy had not lifted her heart abuve the humble conscionsness of her Christian obligations. It is becoming in us all to honor and revere the exalted station of those who are placed on such an eminence of personal dignity, but it is also fitting for those who are raised above their fellow-creatures, to establish their honorable greatness the bearts of men, by that excellency of virtuoas superiority which en nobles their claim upon our consideration; and which was the consciousness of her soul, and the rule of her life.
Her education was such as became her splendid expectations, and enabled her to prepare herself for the full accomplishment of those high duties, to which she would have been called.-By the principles which she thus imbibed, her mind was strengthened in all its capacity of natural talent-and held forth the promise of a felicitous reign, whenever it might have pleased God that she should have succeeded to the government of an affectionate people.
By the influence of these principles, she guarded herself against all the impulses of that self-will, which, when obedia ence follows command, is too apt to implicate the judgment in error, and to surrender the more correct senuments of the heart to the unrestrained control of the passions.
Her Marriage was that of her own choice—the object of her affections was wortby of the heart that pledged them to his happiness; and the Union was hailed by millions as contributing to her Country's joy~ The short interval
which this happiness was suspended, marked her the affectionate partner of him, who now in more than widowed sadness deplores her loss; and proved her as capable as willing to adorn the conjugal character with the loveliest influence of the hallowed vow, that sealed and ratified the hope of Britain.. what a promise was here, for the performance of all the maternal obligations, had the decree of God's inscrutable Will matured the early blossom into a fruitful accomplishment of this hope! She was in the flower of her agebut only lived to expand the beauty of this promise upon our view, and then was called away to mingle its fragrance with the incense of the Saints in Heaven !
A few hours more, and the sepulchre will close in upon. that mortal form in which her virtues were embodied when, in the language of the Prophet, she will have entered the chanbers of Death, and the doors be shut upon her, and she shall lie hidden for a little moment.-Yet every tear we shed will be the herald of some excellency which she possessed,--for that form was clad in all the graces of womau-kind.-The dispostion of her heart was ingenuous, undisguised, charitable,
the Tribute shall reap a conscious satisfaction, as the sacred the other part of the consecrated sentiment induce us to check 10 compassionate, beneficent, conciliating, and kind.--Her mind was noble, unprejudiced, intelligent, and just.--Her comprehension prompt, her judgment penetrating, and sound ; je? unmixed with self-sufficiency, and chastened by a wise consi deration of public opinion. She not only understood her Religion, but practised it-She forgot not her God-She forgot not her duty-She forgot not herself. And thus her example was impressive, and secured the respect and regard of al who contemplated it.---And is it such a. Princess we base lost ?-Is it such a hope that we have seen frustrated ? Is it such a blessing of which we have been deprived !--- No terms of adulatory language can give force to our conviction of the moral and social truth of her character. The lip of fattery seeks not its reward in the dust of the tomb --The faithful pen of the historian shall place her Character in his brightest page of Britain's Hope, while he records her loss in the saddest memorial of Britain's Grief; and in the justice of recompense of his melancholy task.
For us, we have not only to weep her early removal from the earthly sphere of that virtuous influence which the enticementi of power
and the vanities of folly could not vitiate, but to em late the example which dignified her illustrious rank, and afforded a preceptive dictate of salutary admonition to the hum blest witness of her worth.-As she was esteemed, honoured and loved by us all, so let us seize the impression which ebit worth bas produced, and make it the reference of our respela tive convictions of its instructive usefulness.
As inhabitants of the Country whose name she adorned, lei us bear in mind that righteousness eraltetla a nation ; and des
the self-sufficiency of our inconsideration--sin is the reproach and nust sooner or later lead to the punishment of any people.
As individuals, let us prepare ourselves by the cultivation of all the virtues of private life to follow her to that better Couttry, where, through the perfecting righteousness of her Saviousi she reigns with Him in blessedness and jov!
Religion, my Brethren, cultivated in all its sublime truths, both in public and private life, can alone supply us with fortitude equal to sustain the visitations of our God, and to convert the afflictive correction which they are designed to produce, to the eventual benefit of our Country and ourselves.
éled bror n/r understate
her And thus har ect and content
Sermon preachel by William Chaplin, at Bishops Stortford,
een frustrat deprived !
to our con
I Puter, chap. i. v. 24. “ All the Glory of Man is as the Flower of Grass." I have no desire to pay adulation to the memory of the departed, or to give representations not strictly warranted by facts. But it does appear to me that
present occasion we may say, (if ever the language might be used in reference to huinan affairs) Our glory hath faded away like the flower of grass. Let us collect together and combine the different circumstances which contribute to render this a day of mourning, and to prostrate our feelings and our hopes under the mygterious stroke of a righteous Providence.
It is a female whose loss we mourn: one of the sex which is said to be the weaker of the two, but I doubt not is the best, and in many respects the glory of our species.-_But we mourn to-day the loss of an interesting and accomplished female. One who is said to have been naturally gifted with high faculties ; and whose means of cultivation were selected with judgment, and improved by herself with diligent and unwearied application. Our hemisphere then has lost an intellect, ardent, refined, and enlightened in an eminent degree ; and this united to a heart reported to have been alike generous and amiable and kind.-Such, my brethren, were the endowments which have been suddenly eclipsed! And we have indeed reason to bewail the loss; for Providence had, as we thought, bestowed them not upon herself only, but upon her country, and for the benefit of mankind.
This interesting and accomplished female we further recollect, was in full expectation of speedily possessing all the de