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Father !” Thus sinking under the gradual decays of nature, he gently fell asleep in Jesus, the 14th instant, in the 74th year of his age.
Such was the happy and joyful exit of this great and good man, who having fought a good fight, finished his course, and kept the faith, is now possessed of a crown of righteousness that fadeth not away.-It remains that I address myself in a few words to this audience in general, and to you my friends of this church, and the sorrowful family of the deceased in particular.
Death is the common lot of all mankind. It is the awful and just consequence of sin: and is to every individual the gate either to endless happiness or misery. Wherever it happens therefore, there is a loud call to all concerned to consider their ways, to examine their hearts, and to enquire what ground they have to hope they shall escape the tremendous consequences of it to the impenitent and unbelieving. But there is something peculiarly awakening in such providences as these, I mean the decease of so excellent and venerable a person as him, upon whose character and death I have been now addressing you. Surely, Sirs, there is a reality in religion: and those great truths, which the Seriptures, reveal, which are the sources of comfort and holiness to Christians in their way through life, and afford the only effectual support to their hearts in the hour of death; these grand truths, I say, do deserve our most serious attention. How stands it then with us? Are we sensible of our guilt, impotence, and misery? Do we cordially believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, who alone can deliver us from the second death ? And are our hearts by a divine influence formed into the love of God and true holiness? These are questions of the most interesting nature.
Let me beseech you not to trifle with them. And O! may God, of his infinite mercy, by this event so fix your attention to them, as that
may be ready to meet the summons whenever it shall come!
As to you my friends of this church, I am sensible your loss is very great, you feel it, you are deeply affected with it. But remember, though your friend, your minister, your
ther is taken from you, Jesus Christ, the great Shepherd and Bishop of souls, is the same yesterday, to-day, and for ever. Put your trust in him. Offer your fervent and united prayers to him to repair this breach, by sending you a Pastor after his own heart, who shall feed you with knowledge and understanding. Remember him who had the rule over you, his instructions and counsels, his example and prayers. Be united among yourselves. Let fervent charity prevail in your breasts towards each other. And, while you steadily adhere to Christ and his gospel, let there be a noble emulation among you, which shall outvie the other in love and good works. And so may the peace of God dwell in your hearts by faith, and the comforts of the Holy Spirit abound there !
And now, to the sorrowful and affectionate relatives of the venerable deceased what shall I say? I sympathize with you my friends in all the grief you feel on this sad and tender occasion. You have lost an affectionate and indulgent parent. And
your loss is the greater, as it hath been your distinguished felicity, in the course of providence, to spend your lives in so intimate a connection with him under the same roof. But let not your sorrow exceed. Be thankful to God that his life was so long spared to you. Think of the bliss and glory he now possesses in the heavenly world. And, while you often call to mind the excellent counsels he hath given you, and are walking in the path he trod, comfort yourselves with the joyful and transporting prospect of meeting him again, ere long, in the realms of light and glory above.