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Sermon by the Rev. Charles Il'ebb Le Bas, A. M., preached in
the Chapel of the East India College.
1 TIMOTHY, chap. ii. v. 1, 2, 3. “ I exhort that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and
giving of thanks be made for all men; for Kings, and for all that are ia authority; that we may live a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty: for this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour.”
THERE is one way, especially, in which the qualities of those who govern, must, even in the most guarded forms of monarchy, exert a direct and mighty influence on the character and the fate of nations committed to their charge,—their personal example is either a bitter curse, or an unspeakable blessing to their people. History will have been studied to little purpose, if it fails to teach us this. No one surely can rise from contemplating the crimes, the follies, and the miseries, which give their depth of tragic interest to the records of human kind, without this indelible conviction,—that of all the choicest blessings which the loving-kindness of Heaven can bestow on any people, none should be more gratefully received than that of a sovereign, who openly and firinly takes his stand on the side of morality and religion; who proclaims, like Joshua : “ as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.”
If these things be so;—if the example of the great is either a treacherous meteor which lures to the regions of death, or a burning and a shining light, which puts to shame the works of darkness; if this be so, surely we have a warrant to grieve with a more than ordinary measure of sorrow, for the untimely doom that has snatched from us that illustrious Female, who had gathered round her all the genuine feelings of British loyalty. I will not attempt to compute the sum of this lamentable loss; I will not enumerate all the reasons we have to mourn for this heavy dispensation ; nor recount all her titles to the regret
which attends her to the tomb. The theme is upon every tongue ;--every heart is full of it. And in the midst of our exceeding and bitter anguish, it is consoling to witness the truth of judgment as well as feeling, with which the estimate of the loss has been made. It is to the honor of our countrymen that they have set so just a value on those qualities which have been taken from us : that they perceive so truly, and, I hope it may be added, so pivusly, the force with which, under a gracious Providence, those qualities might have influenced the character, the honor, and the fortunes of this people. Some of our most delightful anticipations arose from the sincerity with which she seemed to rest her happiness on the charities and duties of domestic life ; " that only bliss of Paradise, that has survived the fall.” This circumstance alone was sufficient to make our hearts beat high with expectation. It taught us to hope, that had she lived to fulfil her high destinies, vice would have shrunk abashed from her presence; that heartless and dissolute folly would not have been able to live under the rebuke of her eye; that she would have done much to make profligacy as unfashionable as it is worthless and degrading; and would have forbidden it to rear its head in the precincts of that throne, which is the natural sanctuary of all those laws, divine and human, which bind society together. Virtue, in whatever rank it is found, is always a commanding spectacle; it extorts the unwilling homage of wickedness itself: but it is imfinitely more commanding when seen in exalted station. It appears there, environed with snares; surrounded by all the gaudy bribes, all the glowing seductions, which can debauch the fancy, and pervert the principles,-yet calmly superior to all these glittering plagues; and seeking its enjoyment in those pleasures which secure the approbation of conscience, and the benediction of Heaven. From this vantage ground its power is great indeed. It has a " grace in vineible,"-a severe and awful beauty, which all the remorseless energies of evil are unable to confront,
Sermon by Richard Boyle Bernard, A. M., preached in the
Parish Church of G- .
Ayos, chap. viii. v. 8. “ Slaald not the land tremble for this, and every one mourn that dwelleth
therein?'' DEATH, even in its mildest form, is afflicting to humanity; and did we not believe that our blessed Saviour is to be our Judge, and that he will act as mediator with the Father, for those whom he redeemed with his most precious blood, we might justlv tremble at the prospect of apoearing in the presence of a Being, in whose sight no man living shall be justified, and who considers not the stars as pure.
There is, in truth, nothing more afflicting to humanity, than to behold a valuable member' in any rank in society cut off, when to our eyes, he seems to be running a most useful and beneficial course. But we are reminded in the sacred volume, that we now distinguish but a small part of the scheme of Providence, and “can understand but a portion of his ways, at whose reproof the pillars of heaven tremble and are astonished.” (Job, chap. xxvi.)
Our holy religion furnishes us with abundant reasons why we should not sorrow as those who have no hope for our departed friends. We are assured, that “ the souls of the righteous are in the hands of God, and that there shall no torment touch them: that it is only to the unwise that they seem to die, and that their departure is taken for misery; and that though they be punished in the sight of men, yet is their hope full of immortality.”
Thus, whilst, as men, we may be permitted to join in bewailing the severe loss which this nation has sustained by the melancholy instance of mortality which we deplore, we must, as Christians, remember, “that those who are beloved of the Lord are often taken away from amongst a wicked generation, lest wickedness should alter their under
standings, or deceit beguile their souls. For, honourable age is not that which standeth in length of time, nor that is measured by a number of years; for, some being made perfect in a short time (by an unspotted life) fulfilled a long time, and having 'pleased the Lord, he hasted to take them away from among the wicked.”
Sermon by the Rev. John Corrie, preached at the Old Meeting
Psalm, ciii. v. 15, 16. "As for No..., his days are as grass; as a flower of the field, so he flourists.
eth; for the wind passeth over it and it is gone, and the place thereof sball know it no more."
DEATH is, in almost all circumstances, an awful and distressing object. The severe sufferings which frequently precede it; the entire change it produces in our situation; the expectation that it will place us in the more immediate presence of the holiness and majesty of God; joined with that consciousness of imperfection and of error, which the very
best of men must feel-generally mingle some paiuful apprehensions with the purest christian resignation, and render a manly and becomig death, not a scene of mis-placed exultation, but of calm and dignified composure. It has been remarked, indeed, by a great writer, that“ There is no passion in the mind of
man, but it mates and masters the fear of death; that revenge triumphs in it; that love slights it; that grief flies to it.” Nor is this surprising ; since it is the nature of yiolent passion entirely to ocupy the thoughts and to exclude every object but itself. In the absence of any high excitement of the feelings, and where life is estimated at all its worth, and is surrounded with all its charms, we have likewise numerous and animating examples of a cool and noble sense of honour and of duty rising superior to the dread of death. Yet if we admire such conduct as an indication of firmness and dignity of mind, we acknowledge death to be an object which may justly inspire
the that there the una sken för att 1 of men, i
terror. When the victory is glorious, the enemy must have been formidable. But they are not merely selfish terrors that hang round this last enemy of man. It separates us from those whose happiness is dearer to us than our own from those who may be looking up to us for instruction, for counsel, for protection, for support. To be insensible of what they must suffer, would not be firmness and dignity of mind, but rather a brutal callousness of heart; and where there is no cause of personal alarm, who would wish to witness, without anguish, the last moments of a dying friend; or to press his chill hand and gaze on his fixed immovable features, without experiencing the most solemn emotions ?
The feeling, however, will always be modified by the particular circumstances of the case. When death closes a life of virtuous exertion, guided by just sentiments of religion, and supported by a belief in the infinite mercies of God; by a conviction that his providence extends through all his works, and that the living and the dead are alike the objects of his merciful regard, we view it as the harbinger of a blessed immortality. Age, too, which blunts the keenness of every feeling; which gradually loosens all our connexions with society, in whose active pursuits it can no longer take a part; which places us among those whose schemes and prospects, whose habits of thought and action, have little sympathy with ours, and makes us, in some degree, the inhabitants of another world, before we are removed from this--to age, when sinking under its infirmities, the grave seems to afford a secure and quiet harbour froia the restless storms of life. From the same pitiless and pelting stornis, long before time has deadened the capacity for action or enjoyment, the grave may be a blessed place of refuge for merit withered and blighted by neglect; for persecuted virtue ; for the anguish of hopeless bodily disease ; and for those sons and daughters of misfortune, to whom the world affords no prospect but that of houseless and friendless indigence. “In the grave, the wicked cease from troubling, and the weary are at rest.” In these, and in many other