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in his attendance in the House of God's Worship, and at the blessed Sacrament; of which he was an earnest Partaker last Christmas Day, although then labouring under many infirmities of Body, and expressing his full persuasion to Me, that it would be the last Christmas Sacrament he should ever receive
And now bidding Farewel--a long Farewelto the Deceased, let us, who are yet numbered among the Living, make some earnest inquiry—“How we may best be preparing ourselves to go to our Fathers in Peace, whether summoned from this World in our earlier Years; or, peradventure, spared to a good old Age?"
Although old Age, by many, be not considered as such a Blessing, that weought to pray for it to God; yet still, in Scripture, it is reckoned among the Blessings which God bestows upon particular Persons, for the special purposes of his Providence-as upon Job, Isaac, David, Jehoiada, who (like Abram) are said to have died of “a good old Age, or full of Days, Riches and Honours, while, to others, it is reckoned a blessing that their days were shortened ;-as those of good“ king Josiah, who was timely taken away, that he might not live to see the Evil that was to come.” Moreover, Length of Days, is ordinarily called a blessing; inasmuch as it is promised in the fifth Commandment, as a reward of their Righteousness, that the days of those who obey their Parents, should be Long in the Land; and Samuel, by the command of God, pronounced it as a Curse upon
Eli_“ That there should not be an old man in all his family.”
But the truth is, that our gray bairs are only a Crown of Glory in this way of Righteousness; and, in the same way, the hairs of youth itself, are full of Honour and Glory. And since none of us have the promise of Abram, that we shall live to a good Old Age, let us be striving in time to live such a Life, as through the Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, will prepare us to die in Peace, at whatever age we may be called.
To live thus is a Duty incumbent upon all; and upon the Young as much as the Old. For suppose you are yet in the bloom of Youth, or at least are not past the middle stage of Life, and Time hath not yet showered his snows upon your heads;-yet still you are to consider, that your days are as fleeting and uncertain as those of gray Hairs.
I will, therefore, offer a short Address to those of every Age and Description, on this important subject. And first, to those of younger years, and upon whose heads, Time hath not yet showered his snows.
Consider that even your days are as fleeting and uncertain as those of riper Age. If you survey yonder graves, you will see them of every size, and opening their mouths for every Age and description of Men, from Childhood up to ripest years. Be ye therefore, always ready. No Meditation more seri- . ous, no Lecture in Philosophy niore instructive, no Precept of Religion more serviceable than the call to consider the shortness and uncertainty of Life,-the vanity of all things in it,—the Misery and Frailty of fallen unregenerate man! This you may read, as the inscription of every Grave-stone you survey; you may see it in the fall of every Leaf; bear it in the toll of every funereal Bell; and feel it in the Beat of every Pulse; calling upon you to be prepared in time to remember your Creator in the Days of your Youth, before the evil days come; before the corruptions of the world take hold of you, and rooted Habits of Vice and Folly may have endangered your Happiness and Salvation.
Think how glorious it is to give to God, the first and best of your days, when the heart yet remains a noble sacrifice, worthy of being offered to Him! How honourable and praise-worthy it is, to exert yourselves in the early part of Life in the attainment of Learning and Wisdom, and all those necessary Arts and Accomplishments, which will enable you to come forth on the Theatre of action, with Virtue and Dignity; striving to distinguish yourselves, in the sight of God and your Country, by every action that is glorious and Praise-worthy-having the Precepts of Religion, and the happiness of mankind, as the Rule and Scope of all your conduct! !
If you act thus, your Death will be honourable, even at the earliest period of Life; and if you live to old Age, such a Course of Righteousness, and the joyous Reflections which it will produce, will be your Crown of Glory!
And now, in the second place, as to us, whose gray hairs are giving us Warning, that our Race is nearly run; certainly much need not be said on this occasion. Our long Experience in the world will,
doubtless, lead us to improve this, and every such like Occasion of committing the Bodies of our Friends to the Dust, towards securing the one thing needful.
The irregularities of youth, are the chief cause of an infirm and painful old Age—and at that period, they will speak to its; “ whether we will hear, or whether we will forbear.”
Having at that stage of life, nothing in this world, to support us against the consciousness of former Guilt, our only comfort will be in our flying to Christ; in the stedfast Faith,—“ That he purchased for us, a Redemption, not merely from temporal, but everlasting Evils; that, through Him, our God was not now*, such a God as under the Law, scarcely to be propitiated with Thousands of Rams; or ten thousand Rivers of Oil; but a reconciled God, drawn in the most amiable and adorable Light! That we are not left under the Sentence of our first Parents, to cry out, “ O wretched men that we are, who shall deli. ver us from this Body of Death?” But, that we can ook up to our blessed Redeemer, who hath opened to us anew and living Way-away in which we may be first justified in the Sight of God, then pardoned of our Sins; then sanctified, assisted, and invigorated, in the Discharge of our Duty.
This plan is matter of wonder and Joy, even to the holy Angels; as thereby the efficacy and Dignity of Grace are maintained, and yet the Will of Man left free; that, by it, also, our own Righteousness is abased, and the Righteousness of God exalted; that by it, Repentance and Acceptance must precede Pardon, or any Works that can be accounted to us as Righteousness; and that Grace must accompany these Works too, in order to procure us Favour and Allowance for their numerous imperfections.
* Some thoughts in this Sermon necessarily occurred in the former, from the Text-"ibe Hoary Head is a Crown of Glory,” E c.
There is no other way of being saved but this. We have no new Instructors or Teachers to look for from Heaven; no new Lights or Assistance to wait for; nor are we to dream of any other Covenant, any other Mediator, or any other Saviour to come into the world. Jesus Christ, on the Cross, pronounced the Work of Redemption finished; and that to Him was put in Subjection the World that now is, as well as that which is to come; that He it was who had got the Victory over Death and the Grave; that to Him were committed the Keys of Hell and. of Paradise; that He was become the sole Head of all Spiritual Things; and that there could be no Church on Earth, but under His absolute Subjection, and no entrance into the Church of God above, but through His adorable Name!
But our hopes in Christ must be carried farther than this World. For, says St. Paul, “ if in this Life, we (whose Consciences are thus wounded with a sense of Sin) have no Hopes in Christ, we are of all men most miserable."
In these words, the Apostle seems chiefly to have had in View, the Case of some Corinthians; who, though they embraced the Doctrines of Christ, and acknowledged their divine Authority, and glorious Tendency to reform the Lives, and better the state