Page images
PDF
EPUB

ly depend, as at some former periods, on the services or influence of any individual; and seems not likely to be so easily shaken, as it might have sometimes heretofore been, by the restless spirit of internal faction ; or by the dark intrigues, or open violence of foreign, jealous, and unfriendly nations !

Let us then, at once, honor the memory of our departed illustrious General and President; and praise the divine and most bountiful Author of all the various blessings of a civil and a sacred nature, which through his distinguished agency, we have experienced, and now enjoy, as an independent, a free, a great, and an happy nation !

2. Let us learn “ to cease from man, whose breath is in his nostrils,"--and to repose an humble, stedfast trust and hope, in the ever-living, all-sufficient, and unchangeable God, for that guidance, protection, and various aid, which as a people, we continually need, in order to our safety and welfare.

« Lord, what is man, and wherein is he to be accounted of?” -“ All flesh is grass, and the glory of man, as the flower of the grass ; the grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away, In the morning it flourisheth and groweth up ; in the evening it is cut down and withereth!”_What is man in honor ? He is a shadow that passeth rapidly away. What is man in his best estate ? He is, in respect of all the worldly advantages which he may possess, and of all the benefits which his fellow-mortals may expect from him, altogether vanity!

“Let us not then put our trust in princes,"—in those who among their fellow-men are clothed with supreme authority and power, or bear the character of the great

1

and the good nor in the son of man," of whatever qualifications, or in whatever station, “ for in him there is no" effectual or certain " help.” “ Their breath goeth forth-they return to their earth; in that very day all their thoughts," either for their own aggrandizement, or security, or for promoting the public good, “ perish” in the gloom of “the grave, where they have no more a portion in any thing that is done under the sun."-But let us remember, " that bappy is the man, and happy the people--and that happy alone are they, who have the God of Jacob for their help, and whose hope is in the Lord their God, who made Heaven and earth, the sea, and all that therein is ;-who keepeth truth forever-who executeth judga ment for the oppressed who loveth the righteous ; but the way of the wicked he turneth opside downwho putteth down one and sitteth up another—who straighteneth the nations and enlargeth them at his pleasure ; and who, in the exercise of his sovereign, Almighty, most wise, righteous, and beneficent dominion, reigneth for ever, even unto all generations."

Our lately universally esteemed, and now universally lamented WASHINGTon, in the possession of all his excellencies and honors, was but a mortal mana Thanks be to God for the great qualifications by wbich he was distinguished for his important public services--and for the long continuance of his eminently valuable and useful life !And now, blessed be God, that the hopes of our country are not buried in the same tomb with his venerable dust ; but that to Himself, who is “the possessor of all that is in the heaven and in the earthybose is the greatness, and the power, and

[ocr errors]

up as

the glory, and the victory, and the majesty, who reigns over all, and who is the same, yesterday, to day, and for ever”-ve may

still look

our light and our salvation," “ for leaders and commanders of the people,” for the preservation of our independence and liberties, government and laws, order and peace, and the perpetuity and advancement of our national, as well as personal safety, prosperity, and happiness !

3. While we mourn for the loss which our pation bas sustained, by the death of such an able defender, and distinguished benefactor-let us be excited to pray for our country, and especially for those, who occupy the principal places of authority, trust, and power, in its government.

“ To offer up supplications, prayers, and intercese sions for all men,” and especially for those, whose interest and welfare, are most nearly connected with our own, and upon whose counsels and measures, our safety and happiness, under God, most immediately depend—is at all times an important christian duty. For our fellowmen, in every nation of the earth, in every branch of the great family of mankind, we should constantly pray ; that they may enjoy the advantages of wise and good governments and laws--and the blessings of the gospel of the great Redeemer of fallen men, in its unclouded light, uncorrupted purity, and saving power ; --"that the people who delight in war may be scattered that the wickedness of the wicked may come to an end--that the just may be established,”—and that the cause of truth and righteousness, and of genuine liberty, civil and religious, involving all the great interests of communities and individuals, , may prevail and tri. umph, universally, through the world,

[ocr errors]

For our country, especially, we should continually pray-that the great Governor of nations, our guardian God, and the God of salvation, may be pleased to for. give our multiplied follies and offences, by which we are daily forfeiting his mercies, and provoking his judg. ments ;="to turn away every token of his anger from us, and remember us with the favor which he bears to his chosen and peculiar people”- to secure to us the full and uninterrupted possession of our personal and national rights and privileges ; in the enjoyment of order, harmony, and tranquillity at home, and of peace and honor abroadto prosper all ranks and classes of the inhabitants of our land, in their sereral stations, and lawful, worldly pursuits-and “to visit us with” the infinitely more precious blessings of “his spiritual and everlasting salvation.”

“For all in authority over us,” and intrusted with the care of our national interests, in public stations, we ought more particularly to pray, that they may be o wise and able men, such as fear God, men of truth, bating covetousness,” and zealous, active, resolute, and stedfast in their concern for, and pursuit of the public good. Considering how multiplied, arduous, and

perplexing, are the cares of government-how peculiarly strong and pressing are the temptations, with which men, in exalted stations of trust and power, are continually surrounded ; and how many, and great, are the evils or benefits, which may result to the community from their ill or good conduct, in the important places which they occupy--in the elevated spheres wherein they move--we should, from a tender sympathy for them, and a prudent regard to our own interests, pray continually for our rulers~" that the Lord may give them a wise and understanding heart, to discern be

tween good and evil, and to go out and in before a great people," with discretion and fidelity, with unsullied honor and good success.

And thus are we, by a special, solemn voice of Divine Providence, called to pray for our country, at the present juncture, while mourning the recent death, of our late illustrious General and President ; and to pray, more particularly, for his worthy and venerable successor in the presidency of the Union; that he may be divinely assisted, in sustaining the increased weight of anxious care, which is devolved upon him, by the loss of so early, able, and experienced an associate, in the great cause of America-and-that he may steadily and firmly, proceed to tread in the same steps of wisdom, virtue, and honor, by which the great and excellent Washington conducted his country, to the present dignified and enviable rank, which it holds among the nations of the earth.

Finally ;

4. Let the consideration of this very affecting instance of mortality, which has filled the heart of our nation with sorrow and mourning, be improved to awaken and engage us all, to a faithful and diligent dis. charge of the duties of our respective stations ; and to a seasonable preparation, and constant watchfulness for the order of God, which shall dismiss us from all our employments here, to a state of righteous and everlasting retribution in a future world.

To act, as if we thought that we were bound by no obligations, to extend our views or regards beyond ourselves ; but bad a right to employ our time and powers, merely to serve our own selfish purposes, would be very disgraceful to our character as men and citizens. Much

« PreviousContinue »