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of the certainty of our dissolution, should be a powerful motive to a life of godliness, that thus we may be duly prepared for a happy death. How astonishing we are not more universally prepared for what is thus so inevitable. We read, that the days of our life are threescore years and ten, (but how many die before that age,) and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labour and sorrow: for it is soon cut off, and we fly away.” Man's attention, alas! is greatly attracted, and his eyes are dazzled, by the glory of worldly dignity and possessions: these osten inflate the pride of the human heart, and are the spring of the most ambitious hopes and projects. But they are of no account in the estimation of the Almighty; they can neither avert his judgment, nor procure his blessings. The only distinctions available with God, are, Repentance, Faith, and Holiness; the anxious solicitude of all present should be, “How shall man be just with God?" How shall we, whose sins expose us to his righteous displeasure, obtain an interest in his favor and friendship? There is but one way of acceptance with God for the prince and the peasant: one way of salvation for the rich and the poor. They who are interested in the Lord Jesus Christ, clothed with his righteousness, and renewed by his Spirit : these enjoy the favor of God, and shall be for ever happy with him, whatever their earthly condition may be. But while destitute of an interest in this grace, and an experience of the blessedness it affords, though possessed of all the riches, and all the honors, of the present world, they shall be wretched here, and sink into everlasting perdition hereafter.
My BRETHREN,-What a stain does this subject pat on all worldly glory! Glittering as it is in the eyes of mortals, highly valued, and eagerly sought after, by the carnal multitude, what is it? A vapour-an empty bubble. Death may destroy every towering hope, and, in a moment, plunge the most mighty monarch into a state of the greatest meanness. That alone is worthy of the choice, that alone is worthy of the pursuit, of an immortal soul, which can defy the ravages of death, and survive the corruption of the grave. Such are the spiritual honors, such the heavenly kingdom, which are revealed in the Gospel-secured by its promises, and only to be attained by an experience of the saving grace of Christ. Honors, these, which shall be the everlasting portion of all believers in Jesus, whether they breathe their last in a palace, or in a cottage; whether their character here, be that of the most powerful monarch, or the most obscure peasant. To be unaffected with the removal of persons of worth, in private stations, is justly esteemed a mark of a thoughtless, degenerate temper. But the death of a faithful and beloved King, calls in the loudest manner for our attention, and should be the cause of universal concern. Ob! let us in imagination go, and, standing by the bier of our departed Sovereign, learn a lesson of the power of God over us, the extreme uncertainty of
life, with the absolute certainty of our own mortality. What can the riches of the world, the honors of a crown, the extent of dominions, afford to him, whose remains now lie senseless in the coffin, adorned with the tokens of deserved regard and affection, and about to be committed to the cold damp vault? Or what can they avail to the immortal spirit, which, we hope, has winged its flight to the regions of peace and felicity, to join its regal kindred before the throne in heaven. The consolations of Religion (I am informed) were afforded to his Majesty, throughout his long illness, by his early friend, the Bishop of Chichester; and, we trust, they were not given in vain. The king was aware of the near approach of his end, and prepared for it with the fortitude and humility of a Christian, relying solely upon the merits and mercies of an all-gracious Redeemer. As Archbishop Laud justly observes—“Man has no ground of his hope, but mercy. If he look upon God, and consider Him in justice: if he look upon himself, and weigh his soul by merit, it is impossible for a man to hope, or in hope, not to miscarry. The King's hope keeps the foot of the hill.
The best hope begins lowest-not at merit, but at mercy. But, then, mark how it soars !
it soars! For the same hope, that bears the soul of man company upon earth, mounts till it comes to the Most High in heaven.”
I may here add, from a communication made to me, that the Right Reverend Prelate, who attended our late King, has given a strong testimony of the prepared state of our lamented Sovereign's mind, for the awful change He has undergone. During the latter years of our late Monarch, we may truly say, that he has been decidedly and deservedly popular, (notwithstanding he has been prevented from appearing much in public, from the uncertain state of his health) and his death will be sincerely and generally deplored. He was a Prince of a truly noble spirit; a friend of peace; and he filled the throne with much dignity, honesty of heart, and tenderness for the rights and comforts of his People. The King had royal virtues; but we do not affirun that he was faultless-faults much to be lamented. But we now feel disposed to forget them, remembering whatever faults he had, with the same leniency of memory and censure, as each of us hopes they are now remembered by the great God himself: who, let us also hope, has forgiven them all for the sake of Christ, the Saviour. “Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?”
The remains of our deceased Sovereign, will be removed this night to the vault of the Kings of England, and I am persuaded, amidst the sincere lamentations of attached and affectionate subjects. He now is gathered to his fathers, and his people, with one consent, upite “to do him honor at his death." “ Behold, He taketh away, who can hinder Him? Who will say unto Him, What doest thou?"
My BRETHREN,-What, then, is the inference ? What is our duty ? Remember, you are also mortal. The great design proposed in the present solemn service would be lost, if it should fail to impress you with this truth. Know, then, you must die. Death, after ravaging kingdoms, and desolating countries, is yet in the march to conquest, and how soon be may seize upon you, none can tell. Rise, rise, my BRETHREN, from the vanities of life. Heirs of immortality, as you are, lay hold of those objects that will preserve a duration with your endless existence. Soon your life will appear as a dream, and every thing in the world will be viewed light as the dust upon the scale, compared with an interest in the redemption of Jesus, and the favor of Almighty God. May the Holy Ghost remove all your unbelief, and lead you to an experience of the riches of his grace, in the forgiveness of your sins, the justification of your persons, and the eternal salvation of your souls; that thus when the spirit can no longer be retained within your frail bodies, it may find its way to the realms of everlasting bliss ! Let all, then, of every age and station, from this time forth, use the utmost diligence in preparing for eternity. And here, I would respectfully recognize the different useful Societies before me; and to them, as well as to each of us, I would say, the true, the only preparation for death, is an interest in, Christ; without which, dying, we for ever die. Seek, then, by prayer and supplication, to obtain a pardon sealed upon your consciences, written in "a Saviour's blood”—rest not until you have scriptural testimony, that you are “born