Page images

ed to those who have suffered mar- ledge of what takes place at the tyrdom, who have died for, that separation of soul and body? is, on account of the Lord; who Away then with the comfortless have borne witness to the Gospel, notion, that the soul sleeps, and is and have sealed their testimony uncouscious in its separate state ! with their blood. But, though the “ This night shalt thou be with me faithful martyrs are unquestionably in paradise,” was Christ's declaraincluded in this beatitude, there is tion to the penitent thief on the certainly no ground, either of Scrip- cross. “ We are willing to be abture or of reason, for asserting that sent from the body, and present it includes not ordinary Christians. with the Lord,” saith St. Paul. I would rather say, and I am borne

“ I have a desire,” saith the same out in the assertion by various pas- Apostle, “ to depart, and be with sages of holy writ, that the dead in Christ.” These, surely, are the the Lord are all true and faithful expressions of one who was confiChristians departed this life; all dent, that death is the immediate who have persevered, through their gate of glory. And be it rememlives, in righteousness and holiness; bered, they are the expressions of all who, through the grace of God, an inspired Apostle. Well, thereand by sincere repentance or con- fore, may we affirm, as our church version, have been brought into has done in the solemn service of the state of servants and sons of this day, that“ the spirits of them God; all who, in the pilgrimage of who depart hence in the Lord, do this mortal life, have died unto the live with Almighty God: that with world, and had their life in Christ, Almighty God are the souls of the to Cbrist, and for Christ; all those, faithful, after they are delivered in a word, who are described in from the burthen of the flesh, in the very chapter from whence the joy and felicity.” In this hope, my text is taken; who have had the name brethren, may we live; in this hope of the Father inscribed on their may we die! And, in order that foreheads; who have followed the we may die the death of the righteLamb, whithersoever he went; who ous, let us strive and

pray contihave kept the Commandments of nually, that we may live the life God, and the faith of Jesus. These of the righteous; for this, be asare they who, whether they live, sured, and this alone, through the live unto the Lord; or whether they grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, die, die unto the Lord; and of will bring a man to peace at the whom it is declared by the Apo- last. stle, that whether they live or whe- The manifold blessedness of the ther they die, they are the Lord's. dead which die in the Lord, it is These are they, in each of whom not for the lips of man to speak, it Christ's saying is fulfilled: “ Be is not for the heart of man to conthou faithful unto death, and I will ceive. But two great and comgive thee a crown of life.”

prehensive characters of this blessThese, the text proceeds to say, edness are briefly sketched in the are blessed from henceforth; that text; the one expressing an exis, from the moment of their disso- emption from all pain; the other, lution. No interval, no obstacle, implying an enjoyment of blessings is interposed between the death and and rewards. In the first place, the happiness of the faithful Chris- he dead which die in the Lord do tian. And it came to pass, that rest from their labours; in the next the beggar died, and was carried place, their works do follow them. by the angels into Abraham's bo- The labours here intended, are som.” This is our Lord's own ac- assuredly not those which the count of the matter; and who can Apostle terms labours of love. In doubt our Lord's perfect know the future state, such employments

will, indeed, cease to be labo- kingdom of God. The meaning is rious; they will be the natural, sufficiently clear: and the best easy, unforced movements of the

commentary on it is afforded by disembodied spirit. But the energy, those parts of our Lord's discourses, the zeal, the activity, the holy oc. in which he enlarges, as it was his cupations of good men after death, delight to do, on the rewards and will be increased in proportion to blessedness of the righteous. “ He their enlarged sphere of intelligence that receiveth a prophet, in the and action. The truth is, the ori- name of a prophet, shall receive a ginal word in this passage properly prophet's reward; be that receiveth means the sufferings, the toils, the a righteous man, in the name of a sorrows, and the trials of this mor- righteous man,

shall receive a tal life. From all these, the dead righteous man's reward; and whoare happily exempt. From want, soever shall give to one of these little from hunger, from thirst, from

pe- ones a cup of cold water only, in ril, from nakedness, from sickness, the name of a disciple, verily I say from the sword, from the provok- unto you, he shall in no wise lose ing of the wicked, from the mis- his reward.”- " When the Son of conceptions of the good, from the man shall come in his glory, and strife of tongues, from the opposi- all the holy angels with him, then tion of sinners, from all inward shall be sit upon the throne of his struggles of conscience, from the glory; and the King shall say to allurements of the world, from the them on his right hand, Come, ye temptations of the flesh, from the blessed of my Father, inherit the yet more subtle, and, to the ad- kingdom prepared for you from the vanced Christian, more prevalent foundation of the world: for I was temptations of the spirit; from all an hungered, and ye gave me these, the dead who die in the meat; I was thirsty, and ye gave Lord are at once and everlastingly me drink; I was a stranger, and delivered. They shall hunger no ye took me in ; naked, and ye more, neither thirst any more; nei- clothed me: I was sick and


vither shall the sun light on them, sited me; I was in prison, and ye nor any heat; and there shall be came unto me. Then shall the no more death, neither sorrow nor righteous answer him, saying, Lord, crying, neither shall there be any when saw we thee an hungered and more pain; for the former things fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee are passed away; and the Lamb drink? When

we thee which is in the midst of the throne stranger, and took thee in? or shall feed them, and shall lead naked, and clothed thee? and them unto living fountains of wa- when saw we thee sick, or in priters; and the Lord God shall wipe son, and came unto thee? And away all tears from their


the King shall answer and say unto But the happiness of good men them, Verily I say unto you, inasafter death, is not the mere absence much as ye have done it unto one of pain and sorrow; it is the enjoy- of the least of these my brethren, ye ment of blessings and rewards: for have done it unto me." These are their works do follow them. The the works which, to use the lanphrase in the original is here pecu- guage of our church,“

are the fruit liarly expressive-their works fol- of faith; and which, though they low with them; they are in their cannot put away our sins, and encompany; their good deeds, their dure the severity of God's judga acts of benevolence, kindness, bro- ment, yet are pleasing and accepttherly love, and charity, are so able to God in Christ, and do many companions or attendants, spring out necessarily of a true and escorting them on their way to the lively faith; insumuch, that by them

[ocr errors]



a lively faith may be as evidently long and deservedly dear to the inknown, as a tree discerned by its habitants of this city; and whose fruit." These are the works which name, it is not too much to say, time cannot abolish, and which will be handed down with blessings eternity alone can properly reward. to their children's children. But if there be any works which, at For myself, though I have not the hour of death, and in the day known him long, I have known of judgment, shall beam forth with him well; and I can say with truth, pre-eminent lustre-they are the that to know him was to love him. labours of those faithful ministers In the official and friendly interof Christ who have kept the faith course which I enjoyed with this

- who have fought a good fight – good man, he never came into my who have finished their course; room, that I was not cheered by ever in humble dependance upon his look and set at ease by his that grace, without which we can manner. There was a cheerfulness, do nothing; and trusting not in a simplicity, an openness about their own righteousness, or to any him, which flowed from unaffected thing which they have done or can goodness; which came from the do; endeavouring to extend the li- heart, and which spoke to the mits of Christ's kingdom; to con- heart, unconsciously and without vert sinners from the error of their effort on the one side and the other. ways; to strengthen the feeble- Frank and manly, he avowed his minded; to comfort the weak- opinions as he held them; and he hearted; to turn men from darkness safely did so, for they needed no to light, and from the power of disguise. Satan unto God. With what holy But his social qualities, if, in the rapture must such servants and fol- first instance, they flowed from a lowers of our Redeemer look happy nature, were enhanced and around them at their entrance into elevated by that spirit of religion the realms of light! How must they uuder the influence of which he harejoice to receive, at that blessed bitually lived. If the love of kindmoment, the first fruits of their la- ness was on his lips, it was because bours, entering into the joys of the love of God and man was in their Lord, and inheriting the king- his heart; and, out of the abunddom prepared for them from the ance of his heart, he spoke precisefoundation of the world! Here all ly what he felt. He never used a human language fails; and here we harsh expression, because he never shall leave the blessed, till that day allowed himself to entertain a harsh of final retribution, when, before feeling; and, as it was his delight an assembled universe, and amidst to do good to all within his sphere angels and archangels and all the of action, so it was his wish to company of heaven, “ they that speak well of all within his sphere be wise shall shine as the bright- of observation, putting the best alness of the firmament; and they lowable construction

every who turn many to righteousness, as

doubtful fact. Nor have I known the stars for ever and ever."

any person who more largely exerAnd now, my brethren, it is cised that charity, which is not proper that I should turn to the so- easily, provoked; which thinketh lemn and melancholy occasion no evil; which rejoiceth not in the which, at this time, has drawn us exposure of iniquity, but rejoiceth together into this the house of God. in the discovery of truth. We are assembled to pay the last As a private Christian, his detribute of affection and respect, to light was in the law of the Lord; the mortal remains of the Rev. and in that law did he meditate day WILLIAM DEANE HOARE; a man and night. Of that devout exami



nation of Holy Scripture, which he had none to help him; the blessing constantly recommended to others, of him that was ready to perish he was himself an eminent ex- came upon him, and he caused the ample; and, while he frequently widow's heart to sing for joy: he entered into his closet, and shut his was eyes to the blind, and feet to door, and prayed to his father in the lame; he was a father to the secret, he was in the constant ha- poor, and the cause which he knew bit of family devotion; and he and not he searched out.” This day his house were edifying in the ser- his works have followed him. At vice of the Lord.

this moment, in this sacred place, As a Christian pastor, he was the sighs, and the tears, and the zealous, devoted, indefatigable, in- deep though silent lamentations, of stant in season and out of season. those who prayed for him while Through evil report and good re- living, are united to embalm and port, he performed the work which consecrate his loved remains. Yes, his divine Master had given him ye fatherless and widows, whom to do : caring for the souls who he visited in your affliction; ye looked up to him for their spiritual children, whom he clothed, and food; taking oversight of his fock, fed, and taught, and trained up in and labouring for their good; the nurture and admonition of the preaching faithfully the Gospel of Lord; ye hungry and thirsty, whose our Saviour Jesus Christ; and ne- souls fainted within you, whom he ver ceasing to enforce the necessity gathered from the streets and pesof that practical and inward holi- tilential lanes of this over-peopled ness, without which no man shall city; ye mothers, whom he chesee the Lord. During six and twen- rished in the hours of your sore afty years, he was the pastor, in this fliction, whom he sustained, and city, of a large and seemingly watched over, and prayed for, attentive congregation; many of while ye were enduring the great whom doubtless have reason to pain and peril of child-birth-well bless God for his successful la- ye may weep, for when will ye

find bours, and all of whom are deeply such another benefactor? I do not accountable for the instructions re- tell you to restrain your tears; they ceived in the course of his ministry. are natural, they are allowable,

But when I turn to his deeds of they can plead the greatest of all munificence, and exertions in the authorities— for JESUS WEPT! But cause of charity, I am truly at a I

you, weep not for him loss for words. For, what chari- that is gone;



yourtable institution is there in this city, selves and for your children. He is that was not indebted principally to gone to peace; he is gone to blesshim for its existence, or at least for edness! And were it possible, its prosperity? The fatherless, the were it placed within our choice, widow, the poor, the lame, the we could not be so selfish as to reblind, and those who were about call him from the bosom of his God to bring forth children in sorrow to this miserable mortal life. all were the pensioners of his boun- No, my brethren; we have a ty, all were the objects of his ten- good hope, nay, we have a blessed

It is usual with those assurance, that he died in the Lord. who are eminent in works of mercy, His whole life and conversation to select some one or two chari. bore witness to the faith that was table institutions as objects of their in him; and though, by one of peculiar attention; but his large God's inscrutable dispensations, he and liberal heart embraced them was snatched away without a 'moALL. He delivered the poor that ment's warning, he wanted not a cried, the fatherless, and him that special preparation. In the midst

say unto

der care.

of life, he had meditated on death. My brethren, I am unwilling to He was wise, he considered these prolong this discourse. It is my things; and therefore, though his hope and my belief, that the sos death was sudden, he was not un- lemnity of this occasion, and the prepared. A little week ago, and, to interest which you all take in it, all human appearance, he had many will speak to your hearts and minds years of health, activity, and use- with more practical force, than any fulness before him. Yet the very words of mine could do. May it last morning that he assembled his please Almighty God, that the imfamily in prayer, the devotions pression made by this event, may be which he offered up to God were lasting as it is profound! One conehiefly drawn from the office for the sideration I would recommend to burial of the dead; and, on the your serious thoughtfulness, not evening of the same day, in ad- only in this place, but in your clodressing his beloved congregation, sets and upon your beds. Are you he concluded with these remark- prepared to meet your God, as our able words, that “ possibly, before departed brother was prepared ? the setting of another sun, the sum- - In the midst of life we are in mons to the great tribunal might is- death; watch, therefore, and pray: sue to himself.” And so it was. for the Son of Man cometh as a Before the setting of another sun, thief in the night:” we know not the the summons had gone forth; and, hour; and as we are found at the after some hours of insensibility, hour of our death, so must we stand his spirit returned unto God who at the day of judgment.

gave it.


ETERNAL God! whose power extends

O’er earth below and worlds on high ;
Before whose throne the seraph bends,

At whose command the angels fly.
Yet thou wilt condescend to view

Thy children now assembled here;
Who come to bring thee honour due,

And seek thy face in humble fear.
We worship thee, we bless thy name,

O Father, Lord of heav'n above!
The goodness of thy Son proclaim,

And all thy Spirit's grace and love.
O let our souls before thee live,

And now embrace the word of truth;
Our follies and our sins forgive,

And kindly guard our days of youth.
Unite our hearts to thee alone,

And let us walk in ways of peace;
Our prayers receive before thy throne,

Our heads support, our strength increase.
O Lord, on these thy servants shower

The richest gifts of heav'nly joy;
Who make us know this happy hour,
And in thy works our souls employ.

J. B. C.

[merged small][ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »