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higher than nature, shall raise him up. I am the Resurrection and the Life, saith the Redeemer; he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live. As the dying body before exclaimed, O death, where is thy sting? it will then cry, O grave, where is thy vietory? But to enter the realms of glory, before the body has a mortal resurrection, the soul must have a spiritual resurrection. The soul, which has been long dead in trespasses and sins, must be quickened by the Spirit of God, and rise to newness of life. And unless we rise to newness of life in this world, it were happy for us if we might never rise at all, in the world to come. For there is also a resurrection unto damnation.
11. O how many, on a dying bed, have repented of beginning religion too late; none ever repented of beginning it too early. Let us then be up and doing, while the day of probation lingereth. Let us not write our good resolutions upon the sand, which the returning tide of worldly cares, and carnal pleasures, will wash out into forgetfulness. What will avail resolutions without performances, and self-reproach without reformation. He that washeth himself, after the touching of a dead body, if he touch it again, what availeth his washing? So is it with a man that fasteth for his sins, and goeth again, and doeth the same: who will hear his prayer? and what doth his humbling profit him? We must not only see the evil of sin, and sincerely hate it; not only see the beauty of holiness, and ardently desire it; but we must possess that lively faith, which will produce good works. We must bring forth the fruits of the Spirit, love, peace, humility, charity, and forbearance. We must love the day, the worship, and the ordinances of God. We must delight to seek out, and to do, the will of God. We must study and follow the precepts of the Gospel. We must, after all is done, feel ourselves to be but unprofitable servants, and cast ourselves upon God's mercy, through his crucified Son. This must we, each of us, do speedily and earnestly and unceasingly, if we would hereafter enter that high and holy and happy place, where there is no more sin, nor pain, nor parting, nor graveyards,
12. My friends, the celebration of a funeral is not a barren, unavailing solemnity. It is designed for the consolation of sorrow, and for the strengthening of piety. The beholding of a dead body, whether of friend or foe; the bare beholding of a dispirited corpse, is the loudest sermon that could be preached by man or angel. If you are not moved by one gone to the dead, you would not be moved though one rose from the dead. Let those then, who came here weeping and mourning, begin to weep and mourn also for themselves, if not prepared to follow. And let those, if any can be, who came unconcerned, and merely to view the funeral obsequies, reflect that before long, others, we hope not equally indifferent, will be assembled to view the sad spectacle of their obsequies. Man goeth to his long home, and the mourners go about the streets. Therefore, be ye also ready, for in such an hour as ye think not, the Son of man cometh. Blessed are the dead, who die in the Lord; for though the righteous be punished in the sight of men, yet is their hope full of immortality; and having been a little chastised, they shall be greatly rewarded; for God has proved them, and found them worthy for himself. The Lord looketh on the heart, and judges righteous judgment. He hears the prayer, which perhaps the voice never uttered; he records the purpose, which perhaps perished for want of opportunity of action. O thou, who livest while mortals die! to know thee is perfect righteousness; yea, to know thy power is the root of immortality. Under all our bereavements, wilt thou be our friend, our father, our guide, our life, our health, our rest, our chief joy. Give us a new nature, and new affections. Above all, so teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto religious wisdom.
13. Does any one flatter himself that he can love God, and yet live in sin? How presumptuous! love of God and the love of the world are like the two scales of a balance; as the one rises, the other falls.' Do not comfort yourselves, that you may live in sin here, and live in holiness hereafter. Doth not a parent punish his child, and a master his servant, for disobedience?' and shall not a just God punish his children, his servants, for sin?
Be not deceived. God is not mocked. If ye live to Him, ye shall see life; if ye live to the flesh, ye shall see death. There are but two roads to choose; the broad one, and the narrow one. The one is thronged with the giddy multitude; the other is blessed with here and there a traveller. O close your ears against the beckoning flatteries of the one; and let your eye-lids look straight before you in the other. Resolve, this day, in presence of the living and the dead, to break off your sins by repentance, and to live lives of new obedience. Shun sin, as you would shun the bite of an adder; for, however sweet in the beginning, in the end it will sting like a serpent. Religion has no sting, neither in the beginning, nor end. All her ways are pleasantness, and all her paths are peace. Watch and pray therefore, lest ye enter into temptation. In all your trials and doubts, look unto Jesus. He is the penitent sinner's friend. His grace is sufficient for you. His strength shall be perfected in your weakness. He hath opened a fountain, which shall wash you from all uncleanness.
14. And now, as ye are about to let down the dead into the dark and lonely tomb, there to lie and moulder into his original dust, until his atoms shall be remodelled and reanimated at the Judgment Day; ye have little time to weep for him, but begin to weep for yourselves, if you are not prepared to follow him. If the cold clay-clods dropping upon the coffin do not wake you, scarcely would the trump of the archangel arouse you. If the witnessing of this scene does not make you better, it will leave you
If you yet continue in sin, you are digging graves of eternal death for yourselves. Then return, reform, and live. It is religion alone, which can lighten the soul in passing through the dark valley of the shadow of death; which can bear up your feet, as they wade over the bitter waters of Jordan; and can guide you up the banks into the living Canaan. Then, be no more careful and troubled about many things, but seek earnestly the One Thing needful. Fly from the wrath to come, as did righteous Lot to the welcome Zoar. Flee to Jesus, as did the man-slayer to the City of Refuge. Look to Him, as did the bitten Israelite to the typical Serpent. Call, as
did sinking Peter, Lord, save, or I perish. Do not go home, and straightway forget what manner of persons you
The day of life is short; the day of grace may be shorter. In the church-yard, we see the head and foot stones of almost every length. We see the forgotten grave sunken in over the mouldered body; and we see the just opened grave yawning for its prey. We see the fresh turf laid over the full measure of a man; and we see the little sods, scarcely a few spans long. O then, be ever mindful of the time, when you shall lie down in the dust. As you draw further and further from the earth, strive to draw nearer and nearer to Heaven. The pale horse with his grim rider hath already overtaken our deceased friend. He will soon overtake you. Therefore, .Be Ye ALSO READY. And thou, the priest, who warnest; and thou, the sexton, who buriest; BE YE ALSO
For the sublime, the beautiful, the pathetic, and the instructive, the History of Joseph in the Old Testament, and the Parable of the Prodigal Son in the New, have no parallel, either in sacred or profane history. This Parable represents God as a common Father to the whole family of Adam. It also represents the children of men as of different characters, although all related to this common Father.
This Parable was designed for the Jews, the elder brother, who were unwilling that the Saviour should receive the poor and outcast Heathen, the younger brother ; though both originally of one primitive father, and God the Father of all. But I shall not now consider it in a national, as it was at first intended, but in a private, domestic application. All our Lord's parables are very original, and useful; but this picture, above all the others, is the most tender and touching, even to tears. I will endeavour to give such a paraphrase of the story, as will explain, but not injure its brief and beautiful simplicity. You have heard it a hundred times, but, no matter, it will bear hearing a hundred times more. wish to hear it again myself. I will first relate the Nárrative ; and then draw and apply the great and consolatory Moral.
I am sure, I
A certain man had two sons. The one was a solid, grave youth, reserved and austere, sober himself, but not at all good humoured, and not easily drawn from his early