Page images
PDF
EPUB

more reproachful then, must such conduct appear to
be, in those who bear the name of Christians--when it
is viewed in the light of the gospel-when it is consid-
ered as in direct contradiction to those benevolent and
refined principles of the religion of the blessed Jesus,
which require us to love our neighbour as ourselves"
56 to rejoice with then that rejoice-o weep with them
that weep”_" to bear one another's borthens"__"and
as we have ability and opportunity, to do good to all
around us.”

Let us, therefore, reflect and consider what the Lord our God and Saviour requires of us, in our several stations and endeavour to occupy, with the talents which he has committed to us, in that manner, by which his great name' may be most glorified, and the best interests of our fellow-men, together with our own, most effectually advanced.

FATHERS, Let not the residue of your strength be wholly spent in that ease and inactivity, which, to de clining years, usually appear most inviting.-- If you are yet living to yourselves, and for this world ; surely it is high time that you begin to live to the Lord, and for eternity:

If, in the course of a life of christian faith, piety and virtue, you are serving and honoring the adorable Author of your being and redemption, and pursuing the great euds of your rational existence," Be not weary in well doing, but hold on your way, and hold out to the end, and still go from strength to strength, till you enter into that everlasting rest, which remaineth for the people of God.” And remember, that it particularly becomes you, to teach the rising generation their duties to God, to their neighbour, and themselves

[ocr errors]

-to admonish them of the vicissitudes, the temptations, the dangers, to which they may be exposed in the untried journey of life ; and to recommend the counsels of matured wisdom, and long experience, by the engaging influence of the good example, which you will exhibit, while you continue to walk with steady steps, and cheerful hopes, in “ the path of the just; which is as the shining light" of the morning, “ shining more and more unto the perfect day."

Young men, Let not the flower of your age; the vigour of your faculties, be dishonored and wasted in the indulgence of unmanly sloth--of unprofitable, dissipating amusements-or of sordid, criminal, and destructive pleasures : But study to furnish your minds with useful knowledge, to acquire and strengthen the dispositions and habits of purity and temperance,

of regularity and diligence, of generosity and economy. “ Remember your Creator and Redeemer in the days of your youth :” Choose and pursue “ the ways of wisdom, which are the only ways of pleasantness, and peace :" Fulfil the obligations of every relation, which you sustain, with respectful attention and affection ; with strict fidelity and becoming cheerfulness; and let your breasts glow with a laudable, ardent ambition, to act a worthy part, and become the ornaments and blessings of society, in your day.

Let it be the concern of every one of us, in short, that we may feel the power, and manifest the influence of those sacred, heavenly principles of the gospel, which will bear down every selfish, contracted disposition of our degenerate nature, and elevate and enlarge our hearts, in the most benevolent desires, and prompt us to correspondent, worthy efforts, to be as useful as pos.

sible, in our 'respective spheres--to contribute something to the welfare of the civil community, with which we are connected, and to the extension of the bounds, and the advancement of the glory of the Redeemer's king. dom of grace in the world.

And by the great example of the distinguished friend and benefactor of his country, whose loss we now deplore ; let us all be taught and animated to cherish that public spirit, which shone so conspicuously in him ; and which will determine us to maintain for ourselves, and to transmit to the generations, that shall come after us, the national independence, and the precious liberties involved in it, for which he so nobly foughtand which he guarded with so vigilant an eye, and faithful a hand,--and to exert our influence, as far as it may extend, for preserving and supporting religion and morality, order and peace, in our land,--for promoting the prosperity of church and state, and for aiding our fellow-citizens, and fellow christians, and our brethren of mankind, generally, whom we may be able to serve, in respect to their common and sacred, their temporal and eternal concerns.

The father of his country no longer lives, to unite, animate, and guide its citizens, and its armies in its defence to watch for its welfare-to plan and labour for its prosperity and its glory. How far its safety, or its interests may be affected by his lamented death, we yet know not. But when we reflect upon the existing circumstances of our nation, deprived, as it now is, of the presence, the talents, the counsels, the cares, the example, the influence of its most revered and honored citizen, its most strenuous defender, and most vigilant and faithful guardian ,--we must surely be aware, that

it now demands from all, whose interests are embarked in its cause, a more solicitous attention to its necessi. ties-and a redoubled zeal in every patriotic effort, by which it may be defended and benefitted. And let those, who may be ready to apprehend, that they can do little or nothing for the public good, be reminded, that they can, at least, pray for it; and that “ the Lord is a God hearing prayer ;” and “having already done great things for us,” may be ready to do still greater things for us," but will yet be inquired of by us, that he may do them for us."

Recollecting also, that our opportunities in this world for serving God, and our generation, according to the will of God, and for securing the salvation and everlasting happiness of our own souls, are very short and precarious_let us be admonished to undertake and “ to do with our might, whatever our hand findeth to do."

Every instance of mortality, which we witness, or of which we hear, is adapted, impressively, to enforce the word of God, by which we are warned, “ that the time is short.” But from the tomb of the great WashINGTON, for whom his country now mourns, through all its borders---the voice of death speaks to us with more than ordinary solemnity and emphasis" Be ye also ready-for in such an hour as ye think not, the Son of Man cometh." 6 In such an hour as we think not," or may be least aware of his approach, the Son of Man, “ who hath the keys of death, and of the invisible world,” may come, by his dread summons, to call us from time to eternity; from a temporary state of service and trial, to an everlasting state of righteousness and unchangeable retribution.

281307

How soon did the humane and amiable hero, yield to the violence of unrelenting disease! How quickly did the mighty and renowned conqueror fall, with all his mortal honors blooming upon him in that war in which there is no discharge !"

And must not we as certainly die? And may we not, in like manner, die with as little previous warning of our impending dissolution; or by a stroke from the last enemy, still more sudden and unexpected ? 0 let us hasten then, in our preparation for the closing scene of life-for that all important change of worlds to which we are approaching, as fast as the rapid flight of time can bear us forward !

Let us look well to ourselves, and see that our souls are committed in the exercise of that unfeigned faith, “ which is the gift of God, and the work of his holy spirit,” into the hands of that Divine, Almighty, and most gracious Redeemer, “whose is the only name under Heaven, given among men, by which any can be saved ;” and on whose atonement, righteousness, and intercession, the most illustrious saviours of their country, equally with the meanest and most abject of the children of men, must entirely depend, for the forgiveness of their sins ; for reconciliation and peace with God; and for the attainment of that everlasting life, which God has promised to believers, and which is to be found only in his Son. Let us, also, be active and diligent, “stedfast and immoveable, and more and more abounding, in all the work and service of the Lord,” to which we are called, as the followers of the great Captain of our salvation ; and let it be our most serious concern, and care, that we may be found ever watching for the coming of our Lord; and waiting with

« PreviousContinue »