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that if we fail now, while the day of grace lasts, to ponder these things, the time may come when the light may no longer beam upon us as a nation, but “ darkness may cover the land, and gross darkness the people.” Ought it not to fill us with apprehension lest the warning words of our Saviour should ever bear reference to the fate of this great and favoured land ?—“O that thou hadst known even in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace, but now they are hid from thine eyes.”
A consideration of such awful reflections ought surely to arouse every well-wisher of his country's welfare to a due sense of their supreme importance. On every class of the community rests a deep and solemn obligation of applying them to the great ends of repentance and humiliation.
Let the nobles and the rulers of the land consult the best and most lasting interests of their country, by preparing the way for the return of an ungrateful and disobedient people to the mercy of a just and righteous God !-Let them “blow the trumpet in Zion, sanctify a fast, call a solemn assembly: gather the people, sanctify the congregation, assemble the elders, gather the children and those that suck the breast : let the priests, the ministers of the Lord, weep between the porch and the altar, and let them say, Spare thy people, O Lord, and give not thine heritage to reproach that the heathen should rule over them : wherefore should they say among the people, where is their God ?”
Let all orders of men in the state bow with reverence before the throne of grace, and propitiate the mercy of God by repentance and humiliation; let them fall low on their knees before his footstool, and supplicate a continuance of the Divine favour and protection to themselves and their country; and let them testify by renewed vows of gratitude and obedience their deep sense of the blessings they have experienced, and their unworthiness of future tokens of his providential regard.
And let this period, which is externally one of national mourning and affliction, be not confined to the garb of sorrow and the heraldic pomp of woe, but let it become a season of national humiliation and penitential sorrow and contrition. Let our churches, which are now arrayed with the pious emblems of a nation's grief, be thronged with devout and prostrate worshippers! And let the recollection of the great and illustrious individual to whose memory we consecrate these tributes of our respect, become the means of rousing us to serious reflection on the past, and lively apprehension for the future.
To his family, to his country, and to the world he is no more !—The head which was once busied with vast projects of grandeur and glory, now rests pillowed in the tomb !—The heart which once swelled high with warm and fervent wishes for his country's welfare, now lies cold in the dust !—The eye which once beamed with delight on the gorgeous array of Britain's proudest and noblest sons, is closed in the
darkness of night!—The hand whose very touch was the source of delight and harbinger of greatness, lies paralyzed in the grasp of death!
Here let us pause.—We do not say that he was faultless; we do not say that he was free from those vices and errors which more particularly attach themselves to rank and greatness; we seek not to extenuate his faults; but cold must be the heart and imprudent the tongue that could seek to loosen those sacred ties which will unite his memory with the affectionate regard of his country, for the noble, generous, and disinterested qualities by which he was distinguished.
This is no place for the language of panegyric, nor would I insult the memory of the dead by making a parade of virtues which are at best but a “reasonable service."' He is gone where neither the voice of praise or censure will ever reach to disturb his repose !—May his ashes rest in peace in the sepulchral tomb of his illustrious house !—May the proudest monument to his memory be that which is consecrated in the hearts of a devoted and affectionate people! And at the last great day, when he shall be summoned from the slumbers of the grave, may a merciful God, for the sake and through the merits of his Saviour, look with an eye of compassion on his errors, and reward him with a crown of immortal bliss in the realms of light and life!
But let it be our part to derive wisdom from his tomb, and to draw understanding from his dust. Be it our part to apply the consideration of the melancholy event to the great ends of spiritual benefit and improvement.
Let the recollection of all that we have experienced at the hand of God under the government of our departed sovereign, become the means of producing in us a serious consideration on the danger we incur, by neglecting that return of gratitude and obedience which will assuredly be required at our hands by the Sovereign Judge of quick and dead.
And with this solemn reflection, let it become the means of rousing us to the contemplation so earnestly desired in the text-a devout consideration of " our latter end." Let it excite us to the recollection that we too must one day lie down in the dust, and become tenants of the grave. There, in that “ house appointed for all living,” where mingle with their kindred earth the noble and the ignoble dust, the voice of warning never enters, the sound of penitence is never heard. The dreary mansion of the tomb excludes alike all reflection on the past, all contemplation of the future. As we lie down in the dust so must we arise to judgment.
Under this awful impression-may serious reflection on all the mercies and blessings which, both as individuals and as a nation, we have experienced at the hand of God under the government of our departed sovereign, lead us to consider the awful responsibility we incur by our neglect to testify in return gratitude and obedience to the Supreme Disposer of events, and may this consideration excite us to repent
ance and humiliation for the past, and to a devout and serious preparation for our “ latter end.”
And while I make it my earnest prayer to Almighty God, that he would mercifully vouchsafe to all classes of the community the gracious assistance of his Holy Spirit, to enable them to acquire the wisdom and understanding to consider these things, more especially do I entreat that his blessed influence may rest upon the congregation assembled within these walls; that the reflections which we have now made may be so impressed upon their hearts as to become to them subjects for devout and lasting meditation.
More particularly, my brethren, do I pray that your minds may be impressed with the reflections which have been this day suggested, and above all, with the grand conclusion to which they have been directed—the consideration of your “ latter end.”
To this point tend all the warnings and exhortations of Scripture--all the entreaties of the ministers of Christ; and to this great end have my humble endeavours during the time that I have gone in and out amongst you been, I trust, mainly applied. More particularly then do I earnestly pray, now that the time of my labours amongst you is drawn to a close, that this consideration, by the gracious assistance of God's Holy Spirit, may be made by you a subject of lasting and devout meditation.
My brethren, this perhaps is the last time that it will be my lot to address you from this place. And when I consider this, can I be insensible of the awful