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attended by a cheerful company, hastening to the house of God, to confirm by holy vows in his presence, an union which affection had before rendered indissoluble; and they solemnly promise, what their fond hearts assure them needed not to be required of them as a duty, to dwell together in mutual love and kindness, through all the changing circumstances of life, till—till what, or when ?-till death shall part them.* Alas, then, can ever these be severed from each other? Can such bonds be torn asunder? Yes, it is more than possible, it is even necessary, and now behold how the scene is altered! See the once cheerful company, now a dismal train, their gay decorations exchanged for mournful crape, tears flowing down the cheeks so lately dimpled with smiles, following with slow and melancholy pace the chief mourner of that unhappy group, who is in the way to resign his beloved partner near the very spot where he called God to witness his vows of unalterable attachment, and to renounce for ever the society of her, whose very existence seemed to be so mingled and interwoven with his own that he scarcely thought it possible for death
• The remains of the lamented Author were deposited in Cockington church, April 23, 1830, and rest in the family vault, under the same stone on which he stood on the day of his mar. riage, March 10, 1823.
so cruelly to discriminate, as to avoid destroying both by one single blow. See again, (what in truth presents the very image of the vicissitudes of human life) a stately vessel, to which have been entrusted the wealth of the merchant, and a still more valuable cargo, the fondest hopes of many a parent, and wife, and child, and friend left behind; see her, when on some fair day she leaves the port, and with expanded wings seems to skim along the surface of the waters, as if she were a being conscious of life and happiness, how all the spectators admire the pleasing sight! how miraculously she seems to walk upon the waters, how she appears to defy all dangers, and to challenge the winds and the billows to do her harm! Yet how many have launched out with as fair a prospect, and with as bold a confidence, which in a few days have been swallowed up by the treacherous ocean, or shattered against a rock, or consumed by the rapidly-devouring fire, while of those, who trusted to them for safety, multitudes have thus brought to a close the great voyage of life itself, and will never more be seen, till that day when the sea shall be commanded to give up her dead. *
I need not further enlarge upon this picture of lights and shadows, this patchwork of checquered
• Suggested by the loss of the Kent, East Indiaman, by fire.
colours, this union of contrarieties, which is called human life; you perceive with your own eyes of what dissimilar parts it is composed. You see sickness and health, hunger and plenty, afflietion and joy, hand in hand; Dives at his feast while Lazarus lies at his gate ; a Solomon upon his throne, arrayed in all his glory, a Job upon a dunghill; here a palace, there a prison ; here a theatre, there an hospital; a dismal hearse by the side of a painted chariot; at one door, every delicacy provided to tempt the luxurious; at the next, medicines dispensed for the relief of the diseased ;-nay, in the very same place, and side by side, ball-room ornaments and funeral furniture displayed ;-and in every little district, peopled with a multitude of living souls, a spot set apart to receive their bodies when dead. In short, look throughout the world, and you will perceive every where happiness and misery, life and death, like rival powers, contending for dominion over the human race.
My brethren, had we no better light than that of our own unassisted reason to guide us, this extraordinary state of things, this irregular chaos of suffering and enjoyment, this promiscuous jumble, as
as it appears, of good and evil, would be inexplicable; we should be lost in the wildest conjectures as to the cause and purpose of it.
From this comfortless state of uncertainty, in which all the heathen world were involved, the gospel has delivered us, and furnished us with a clear and easy explanation of that which was formerly so great a mystery of providence.
“ Blessed are the eyes, which see the things that ye
see.” For now what is the world to a christian? A mere temporary dwelling place, soon to be exchanged for a more permanent home, and whose comforts and inconveniences are alike unimportant in themselves, and of consequence only as they impede or favour his progress towards that settled abode of happiness, which is the object of all his hopes and endeavours.
And what are good and evil to a christian? Are they measured by riches and poverty, by health and sickness, by earthly joys and earthly afflictions? Far from it:-his rule is this; Every circumstance and condition of life is good, if he is therewith content, and submits with humble resignation to the wise disposal of God, who knoweth what is best for him, and will so contrive that all things, however seemingly evil, “shall work together for good to them who love him.” By this rule, it is good for him to be afflicted, if he thereby learn the statutes of God; -it is good for him to be chastened, if he is thereby made a partaker of God's holiness ;-it is
good for him to be scourged, if he looks upon the rod as that of a tender father, who chastens the son whom he loveth ;--it is good for him to labour and be heavy laden, if it makes him fly to his Saviour for his promised rest ;- it is good for him to be in tribulation, if “ tribulation worketh patience, and patience experience, and experience hope;"—it is good for him that the outward man perish, if the inward man is renewed day by day ;-it is good for him that for a season, if need be, he should be in heaviness through manifold temptations, if he has a just hope that the trial of his faith will be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ; it is good for him to sow in tears, with the prospect of reaping in joy ;--it is good for him to have tribulation in the world, because he is cheered by the reflection that he, in whom he trusts, hath overcome the world, and he too overcometh the world, because he believeth that Jesus is the Son of God ;-it is good for him that the sufferings of Christ abound in him, because so his consolation abounds by Christ;—it is good for him to endure that light affliction which is but for a moment, because it worketh for bim a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory. And if in all these trials, human nature sometimes breaks forth, and he is inclined to be op