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tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb !"
These are by far the highest and the most salutary conceptions which can be awakened in the human soul :-fly from them, as we may, into the common levities of the world, they are also the most congenial to our nature; there is, in truth, a seriousness, and a sublimity in the depth of every heart of man, unconscious as it may often be of their existence; and the gayest and lightest spirit cannot, but, at times, be irresistibly drawn, to those seemingly melancholy contemplations, which yet it feels to involve all the most glorious truths of its being !
Was there a spirit, my brethren, so light and careless, upon which the thoughtfulnes of meditation did not fall amid that national agitation and affliction, over which a Year has scarcely yet past, when the hopes of our Country were so suddenly and fatally crushed, and when SHE left us, on whom our hearts had only been too fondly fixed ? We can now look back upon that heavy deprivation through the mildness of a more tempered sorrow; we would not again recall to the worthlessness of an
earthly crown, Her whom we can now more calmly imagine to ourselves in a state of Heavenly Exaltation; and we can at last gratefully receive the instruction of which her early doom was so profuse. It spoke more especially to the youthful and the gay ;-amid the highest prospects of time, it at once brought eternity to their view,- and She, whose young example opened to them all the beauty of the most generous and joyful virtue, left them to mourn, that the tumult of their hopes and their joys might be corrected by the pensive spirit of Christian forecast!
The event over which we now mourn, could not, indeed, occasion any emotion so vehement and overwhelming. It was long suspended over us, and we felt at last as if the Royal Sufferer were mercifully relieved from a state of hopeless lingering. Here, too, no fond and eager expectations were interrupted,—yet it was an event not the less to be solemnly marked and revolved. It was the termination of a life, not of expected, but of experienced goodness; it is the death of ONE to whom our mothers and our wives have long looked as to the Model of correct manners upon the Throne, and whose quiet and domestic course has, for more than half a Century, fostered the purity of English virtue. Her departure is full of instruction to those of us, particularly, who are more advanced in life. In Her, one of the links is broken that seemed to bind us to existence; Her name was among the sacred memorials of our earliest years, and now, at last, for the first time, we cease to remember it in our prayers. We, too, must soon prepare to follow her, and to repose in that dust in which she has taught us calmly to lie down amid the blessed hopes of the Gospel !
One other Royal Head, indeed, will, in all human likelihood, be laid in the grave before us. The venerable Father of his people must, in no long time, leave them, and the last evil days of his pilgrimage can now be but few. If before that final moment, when the spirit shall return to Him who gave it, it pleases that gracious Being to restore to him one hour of recollection—he will, like the Patriarch of old, call around him his numerous offspring-he will bless them, and he will bless his people ; and when he has fervently prayed that the God of our Fathers may ever be with us to help us, with what joy and consolation will he cling to the tomb, in which half of his heart already lies; " there they buried Abraham, and Sarah, his wife; here they buried Isaac, and Rebeka, his wife; and there I buried Leah !"
Whenever that hour may come, He will go down to the grave followed by the blessings of a grateful people; they will ever honour Him and his House--and they now pray that the God whom he has faithfully served, and taught them to serve, may bestow upon him all peace and consolation here, and hereafter restore to him among the treasures of Heaven, those whom on earth He has loved, and has lost!
7 ๆ 2, 3
ON THE DEATH OF KING GEORGE THE
JOB, xlii. 17. So Job died, being old, and
full of days.
THESE are the last words of the history of the Patriarch Job, and there are no other words in which the close of the longest and the most prosperous life can at last be described. They call us to the contemplation of that doom which is common to us all, and which, if it does not overtake us at any earlier period, will certainly reach us when we are “ old, and full of days.” In the present moments, alas! the words of
* Preached February 20, 1820, being the Sunday after His late Majesty's funeral, and very shortly after that of His Royal Highness the Duke of Kent.