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called to mourn the loss of a Father. Yet remember that you have still a Father, in heaven; the God and Father of all living. Therefore, as your earthly parent is taken from you, you must look up to God, he will be your Father. While you call to mind your earthly parent, remember the councils, which doubtless he hath given you from time to time, and endeavor to walk thereby. Although you are young, remember too, that you may die. It is but a lit. tle while, since your little brother was taken from you, and now your father will soon be buried out of your sight. Be not terrified at these things, but receive instruction thereby. Place not too high a value on the things of time and sense ; but seek the kingdom of heav. en, and its righteousness, and all other needful blessings shall be added unto you.
A word or two to the Brethren of the deceased.
Dear Brethren, YOU are this day called to mourn the loss of a worthy Brother, thus teaching you the frailty and mortality of human nature, and the uncertainty of all earthly enjoyments. May each of you be suitably affected thereby, and may it be a profitable lesson unto you. And may you learn from it, to be also ready, at all times, to close with death, and bid a final farewell to all things of time and sense. May God sanctify this stroke of his providence to you, to the bereaved Consort, to the children, & all the connexions of the deceased, to your spiritual and everlasting good.
I shall close with a few words to this respectable audience.
My Brethren and Friends, WE have before us a solemn monitor, teach. ing us our own dissolution.
How oft do we see one falling on the right hand, another on the left-children taken from their parents, and parents from their childrenwives from their husbands, and husbands from. their wires ; and some in a most sudden and unexpected manner. * We still survive, witnessing to ourselves and others, that we are monuments of God's mercy.
We have this day coine to pay the last respects to the remains of one of our fellow mortals.
The allwise Jehovah hath seen fit to remove from this house, a kind and tender husband, affectionate father, a loving brother, a useful citizen, and a happy member of society, most loving and beloved.
This ought to admonish us, who are heads of families, to discharge our duties as parents, not knowing how soon we may be taken from our children.
Let the youth be quickened to their duty, to walk in the paths of virtue and piety.
Let us, one and all, while we feel to drop a tear of sympathy, and mourn with those that - mourn, endeavor to so live, and so conduct, as we shall wish we had done when we come to die. That we may finally sweetly fall asleep in Jesus Christ, and be received into those realms of celestial glory, where no sin nor sorrow can ever enter.
is refers to Mr. Seth Walker, who was drowned in a well.
A MEDITATION on the IMMORTALITY OF
Inter silvas academi quærere verum.
Hor. Ep. 2. I. 2. v. 45. To search for truth in academic groves. THE course of my last speculation led me intsensibly into a subject upon which I always meditate with great delight, I mean the immortal-, ity of the soul. I was yesterday walking alone in one of my friend's woods, and lost myself in it very agreeably, as I was running over in my mind the several arguments that establish this great point, which is the basis of morality, and the source of all the pleasing hopes and secret joys that can arise in the heart of a reasonable creature. I considered those several proofs.
Fisrt, From the nature of the soul itself, and particularly its immateriality; which though not absolutely necessary to the eternity of its duration, has, I think, been evinced to almost a demonstration.
Secondly, From its passions and sentiments, as particularly from its love of existence, its horror of annihilation, and its hopes of immortality, with a secret satisfaction which it finds in the practice of virtue,and that uneasiness which follows it upon the commission of vice.
Thirdly, From the nature of the Supreme Being, whose justice, goodness, wisdom and veracity are all concerned in this point.
But among these and other excellent argli. ments for the immortality of the soul, there is one drawn from the perpetual progress-of the soul to its perfection, without a possibility of ev. er arriving at it; which is a hint that I do not remember to have seen opened and improved by others who have written on this subject, tho' it seems to me to carry a great weight with it. How can it enter into the thoughts of man, that the soul, which is capable of such immense perfections, and receiving new improvements to af eternity, shall fall away into nothing; almost as soon as it is created ? Are such abilities made for no purpose ? a brute arrives at a point of perfection that he can never pass : in a few years he has all the endowments he is capable of; and were he to live ten thousand more, would be the same thing he is at present. Were a human soul thus at a stand in her accomplish. ments, were her faculties to be full blown, and incapable of farther enlargements, I could ima. gine it might fall away insensibly, and drop at once into a state of annihilation. But can we believe a thinking being, that is in a perpetual progress of improvements, and travelling on from perfection to perfection, after having just looked abroad into the works of its Creator, and made a few discoveries of his infinite goodness, wisdoin and power, must perish at her first set: ting out, and in the very beginning of her en: quiries ?
A man, considered in his present state, seems only sent into the world to propagate his kind.
He provides himsef with a successor, and immediately quits his post to make room for him.
Hor. Ep. 2. I. 2. v. 175.
He does not seem born to enjoy life, but to deliver it down to others. This is not surprising to consider in animals, which are formed for our use, and can finish their business in a short life. The silk worm, after having spun her task, lays her eggs and dies. But a man can never have taken in his full measure of knowledge, has not time to subdue his passions, establish his soul in virtue, and come up to the perfection of his nature, before he is hurried off the stage. Would an infinitely wise being make such glorious creatures for so mean a purpose ? Can he delight in the production of such'abor. tive intelligences, such short-lived reasonable beings? Would he give us talents that are not to be exerted ? capacities that are never to be gratified ? How can we find that wisdom which shines through all his works, in the formation of man, without looking on this world as only a nursery for the next, and believing that the several generations of rational creatures, which rise up and disappear in such quick successions, are only to receive their first rudiments of ex. istence here, and afterwards to be transplanted into a more friendly climate, where they may spread and flourish to all eternity.