greatly does it become us to accustom ourselves to contemplate in the order and the stability of Nature, the image of that unfailing goodness and wisdom upon which we may ever repose with assurance amidst this seeming chaos of the destinies of men !-Yet here, too, in the second place, some happier lights open upon us even amidst thé dimness of our tears. Does the course of virtue and of usefulness perish ? It is not lost to the world, for it is felt, and noted, and observed, and in the moment of its apparent extinction, it is forming the line upon which kindred spirits will move; it is the guiding star which is the more anxiously watched, that it is lost in the cloud and the tempest : the radiance which is obscured to the outward eye, is beaming upon the secrecy of many a friendly, and many a youthful heart; the truths which have been taught—the knowledge which has been imparted—the virtues which have been exemplified, are working in the warm bosoms which have imbibed, and have marked them :--the sudden fall of the great and of the good gives an impression to all that they have said or done even to hearts which before would not have felt it, and a thousand bosoms reflect and multiply those lights which else might have advanced in their path single and alone !

Is it over the failure of human hopes that we mourn, and grieve that those who have left us have not reached the station or honours which they might have won ? There is no honour, my. brethren, which life can bestow comparable to the genuine tears which follow the virtuous to the tomb! There is no applause so pure or heartfelt as the sighs which are there breathed over them! And in that memorable hour, so recently passed, when age and rank, and science, and genius, were bending with one feeling of mute affliction over the Youthful Form upon which the grave was about to close, -who, in that hour, to the hearts of the young who clustered around with a noble enthusiasm to catch the last glimpse of their Preceptor and Friend, who then appeared to their ingenuous minds, the human Being whom they would most long to emulate, or whose career they would be most anxious to run ? It was not to the illustrious and honoured among the living within their view, that their eyes, and their ambition, were then turned ; it was to Him upon whom the gates of death were closing, whose name, and whose virtues, were now stamped with an eternal seal, whose short but splendid course was finished, and whose pure honours were immoveably established, and

graven on the rock for ever!! How do all those deep and virtuous aspirations coalesce with that “ faith in God," which our Saviour teaches, which the order and beauty of Nature so graciously insinuate, and to which even the grave in which the brightest hopes of man seem to perish, can bring its proofs and confirmations!

III. This, however, is not all. There is a third most important design, which may be powerfully effected by the sudden extinction of earthly hope, and the melancholy departure of youth, and talents, and virtue. It is, in such moments, that we are most strongly impressed with the profound truths of Immortality. Is there any one of us, indeed, who, in hours like these, can give way to the suggestions of a degrading philosophy, and coldly surmise, that those spirits which, a few days ago, we saw before us generous, active, and hopeful, are now for ever extinguished ?- no,—there is something in human nature that revolts at the debasing supposition, and our meditations insensibly revolve on the new and untried condition into which they are gone ; and we ponder on the probabilities of their unseen presence with us; and we make many wild yet eager excursions into that state of being over which the veil of nature is impenetrably drawn. Happy if, in those hours of thought and of feeling, we quit our own uncertain conjectures, and throw our anchor on the only firm ground of hope and assurance which God has vouchsafed to us ; if we listen, in humility, to the only Voice which was once heard to call with authority among the tombs, “ Lazarus come forth ?”— and which can still say, to the heart of the mourner, I am the resurrection, and the life;"—if we fix our eyes on the only Form of Man which has visibly burst the barriers of the grave, and has arisen into immortality and glory;—and if we deeply and thankfully feel, that it belongs only to the compassion of Him who died for men, to restore them to a renewed life, and to the many mansions of his Father's love! These are the meditations to which we awaken amidst the gloom of death, and the chaos of mortal existence. They are the meditations in which all that is great, and excellent, and hopeful in our nature must ultimately rest !—They call us, O SAVIOUR, to Thee,-to thee, who wert once bruised for our iniquities, and who now delightest to gather all our imperfect virtues under the holy covert of thy wings! Whatever is incomplete or remote in the voice of nature, Thy voice of divine sympathy has brought home to our hearts,-thou “ shewest us the Father,” --thou teachest us to “ have faith in God,”thou alone hast plucked out “ the sting of death,” and art the everlasting conqueror of sin and of the grave !

O pour upon us, in these melancholy hours, the light of that Faith! and while our tears flow over the precious dust of the virtuous dead, O may we fall down before Thee and bathe thy feet with those tears !—So shall we stand assured on the eternal rock of thy Gospel ;—so shall dawn upon us that better life, which thou alone hast brought to light ;-and looking upon thy precepts, and thy path, and thy Cross, so shall our “ hearts burn within us,” even in this « valley of the shadow of death,” with all the high hopes, and the glo

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