Billeder på siden
PDF
ePub

say, I have fought a poor fight, I have run a poor race; but Christ fought for me-Christ ran with meand through Christ I hope to win.” “But

' you have no fear, no doubts, about your going to be with Christ ?" "Oh no! not a doubt; I am as sure of that as if I were already in my Savior's arms." It was her final conversation with children of the dust. The next day, when her flesh and her heart had so far failed that she was incapable of uttering a sentence, she still proved her God to be the strength of her heart; and knew him to be her portion forever.--I said to her, It is peace. She opened her eyes, smiled, closed them again, bowed her dying head, and breathed out, Peace. It was her last word on on this side heaven. The attending spirits caught it from her lips; and brought to her the next day permission to sleep in Jesus.

From this review allow me, brethren, to urge the value of privale exertions in promoting general good.

In pursuing his gratifications, man is apt to look upon himself as a being of great importance: In fulfilling his duties, to account himself » as nothing. Both are extravagances which it will be his wisdom and happiness to correct. He is neither supreme in worth, nor useless in action. Let him not say, “I am but one: my voice will be drowned in the universal din: my

weight is lighter than a feather in the public scale. It is better for me to mind my own affairs, and leave these higher attempts to more competent hands." This is the language, not of reason and modesty, but of sloth, of selfishness, and of pride. The amount of it is, “I cannot do every thing, therefore I will do nothing" —But you can do much. Act well your part according to your faculties, your station, and your means. The result will be honorable to yourself, delightful to your friends, and beneficial to the world. I advise not to gigantic aims, to enormous enterprise. The world has seen but one Newton and one Howard. Nothing is required of you but to make the most of the opportunities within your reach. Recall the example of Mrs. GRAHAM. Here was a woman-a widow--a stranger in a strange land--without fortune-with no friends but such as her letters of introduction and her worth should acquire--and with a family of daughters dependent upon her for their subsistence. Surely if any one has a clear title of immunity from the obligation to carry her cares beyond the domestic circle, it is this widow; it is this stranger. Yet within a few years this stranger, this widow, with no means but her excellent sense, her benevolent heart, and her persevering will to do good, awakens the charities of a populous city, and gives to them an impulse, a direc

.

[ocr errors]

tion, and an efficacy, unknown before! What might not be done by men; by men of talent, of standing, of wealth, of leisure? How speedily, under their well-directed beneficencé, might a whole country change its physical, intellectual, and moral aspect; and assume, comparatively speaking, the face of another Eden--a second garden of God? Why then do they not diffuse, thus extensively, the seeds of knowledge, of vírtue, and of bliss ? I ask not for their pretenses; they are as old as the lust of lucre; and are refuted by the example which we have been contemplating—I ask for the true reason, for the inspiring principle, of their conduct. It is this— let them look to it when God shall call them to account for the abuse of their time, their talents, their station, their unrighteous mammon. It is this: They believe not the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive. They labor under no want but one -they want the heart! The bountiful God add this to the other gifts which he has bestowed upon

them! I turn to the other sex. That venerable mother in Israel, who has exchanged the service of God on earth for his service in heaven, has left a legacy to her sisters she has left the example of her faith and patience; she has left her prayers; she has left the monument of her Christian deeds: and by these Vol. I.

40

she being dead yet speaketh. Matrons ! has she left her mantle also ? Are there none among you to hear her voice from the tomb, Go and do thou likewise? None whom affluence permits, endowments qualify, and piety prompts, to aim at her distinction by treading in her steps ? Maidens? Are there none among you, who would wish to array yourselves hereafter in the honors of this virtuous woman Your hearts have dismissed their wonted warmth and generosity, if they do not throb as the reverend vision rises before you-Then prepare yourselves now, by seeking and serving the God of her youth, You cannot be too early adorned with the robes of righteousness and the garments of salvation in which she was wedded, in her morning of life, to Jesus the King of glory. That same grace which threw its radiance around her shall make you also to shine in the beauty of holiness; and the fragrance of those virtues which it shall create, develop, and ennoble, will be as the smell of a field which the Lord hath blessed.

Yea, let me press upon all who hear me this evening, the transcendent excellence of Christian character, and the victorious power of Christian hope. The former bears the image of God; the latter is as imperishable as his throne. We fasten our eyes with more real respect, and more heart-felt approbation upon the moral

majesty displayed in walking as Christ also walked, than upon all the pomps of the monarch, or decorations of the military hero. More touching to the sense, and more grateful to high heaven, is the soft melancholy with which we look after our departed friend, and the tear which embalms her memory, than the thundering plaudits which rend the air with the name of a conqueror. She has obtained a triumph over that foe who shall break the arm of valor, and strike off the crown of kings. The fashion of this world passeth away. Old Time approaches toward his last hour. The proudest memorials of human grandeur shall be food for the conflagration to be kindled when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven in flaming fire. Then shall he be glorified in his saints, and admired in all them that believe. There are those, perhaps in the present assembly, who repute godliness fanaticism; and the sobriety of Christian peace, the gloom of a joyless spirit; but who cannot forbear sighing out, with the prophet of mammon, Let me die the death of the righteous, and let my last end be like his. If they proceed no further, their wish will not be granted. None shall die the death of the righteous, unless by a rare dispensation of mercy, who do not live his life. They only are fit to be with God, who love God and keep his commandments. In that

« ForrigeFortsæt »