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there may be points of solemn application, and mournful interest, connected with its close ; and such, assuredly, were to be found in his.
Still, although I cannot pretend to develope, in all its features, the character of one, with whom my acquaintance was so lately formed, and so soon dissolved; and sensible as I feel that unadvised flattery would be profaneness here-thus much I can affirm, that when I saw him lowered to his last abode, and heard the fervent prayer ascending, that we, who were assembled there, "might rest in Christ, as our hope is this our brother doth," — that hope was truly felt ; no act or word of his, that I had witnessed, was remembered then, which could give rise to the shuddering apprehension, that God might withhold his mercy from the departed soul, Foibles he might have had; but a merciful God may not mark them so severely as his fellow-men. Of faults he may have been guilty too, for none are free, but I observed them not; and if I had, I would leave them to be reported by those who are holier than myself; I would only warn them, when they undertake the task, to let the truth, and nothing but the truth, be told--that it is a cowardly, as well as unchristian act, to bear false witness against the dead !
To me it is more gratifying to remember now,
that his conduct in the intercourse of life, was always friendly, and hospitable, and kind--that no vicious or profane expression, denoting a corrupted heart, ever in my presence passed his lips--and moreover, if others think and speak as charitably of him, as he ever did of all his neighbours, that his memory, like his ashes, will rest in peace. By those, who knew him well, I am assured that all the duties of life, to which he was called, were meritoriously discharged ; that he was a dutiful son, a faithful guardian, a sincere and constant friend. And why, if " charity thinketh no evil, and rejoiceth not in iniquity," should that good word be doubted, which cannot be disproved? Why should we not rejoice in hope, now his account is closed, that when the books are opened, no dark and deep offence may be written there against his name; no sin unto death reeorded, for which the Saviour cannot intercede, for which the blood of the spotless Lamb may have flowed in vain!
And there is one, not far from these sacred walls, who is weeping now in the solitude and stillness of the house of deathwho, if the agony of grief can speak and be believed, would convince even the coldest heart, that sorrow such as hers could only spring from the bitter recollection, how
faithfully she was loved, how tenderly she was cherished, in sickness and in health, by the husband she has lost. It were vain to deny, for the feeling was expressed by all, that men were surprised at this—it was evident to all observers that his years exceeded, far exceeded, hers; and when his sickness was found to be unto death, and at last the blow was struck, we could not express our wonder at the madness of her grief. What then, my brethren, is the lesson, which we may derive from that scene of utter wretchedness, which, as most of you are well aware, I have neither assumed nor heightened, to produce a transient effect ?-It is this—often has its truth been proved, never perhaps more forcibly than now—that if woman be honoured and cherished as she ought to be, as the best and earliest gift of God to man-and her love returned, and her weakness allowed for, and her faults forgiven that neither infirmity nor age will make her forget the faith which she pledged to man at the altar of her God—that she will watch, with almost superhuman strength and patience, the feverish and broken slumbers of his dying bed—and, when all is over, and she is left in the world alone, that language cannot express, nor thought conceive, the sense of utter desolation, which comes over the soul of the widowed wife!
Let us pray for her, and for all who are, like her, afflicted, and distressed, and desolate-May the Father of the fatherless, and Defender of the widow, in his own good time, “abate their anguish, assuage their pain, and wipe away their tears," as shall seem to Him most expedient for them!—And oh ! above all, may He cause them to know and feel, that there is no medicine for the broken heart, no balm for the wounded spirit, save only in the blessed gospel of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.