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gross the heart.
protecting presence; when, too, men are placed in circumstances wherein they formerly experienced, and now much need the wise counsel and effectual help of their friends ; on such occasions their thoughts are full of them, and their tongue is the pen of a ready writer in uttering lamentations, and in offering liberal tributes of praise. By and by, however, we find them greatly changed; business and pleasure occupy the mind and en
We then have as much reason to blame their forgetfulness as formerly we regretted the danger of their being overwhelmed by sorrow. That such charges may not be brought against us, that the endeared remembrance of the righteous with all its hapру effects
may be preserved, we ought to review their history and dwell on their worth on particular occasions. The following seasons are highly natural and proper for this purpose. We ought to remember the righteous with affection, and talk of them with honour, when similar characters claim our regard; when we know or hear of the same loss sustained by others as we experienced by the death of our dear friends; when circumstances similar to those which distinguished The great
their worth occur ; when the celebrating of their praise promises to have happy effects on those around us ; when by doing justice to their character, we silence aspersions and confound the malicious and the wicked. On such occasions as these it will be highly useful to meditate on the worth, and to publish the honours of the righteous.
2. We effectually cherish the memory of good men, by introducing them and their worth into our acts of devotion. advantages derived from the company and advice, the assistance and example of good men, are not the only blessings we are in danger of overlooking and not duly prizing because they are not connected with the thoughts of God and the exercises of piety. If we reflected more on our dependence on God, and his goodness in bestowing and preserving our enjoyments, we would value them more highly. By carrying them in our minds when we appear before God, and by blessing God for them, their worth is enhanced, our gratitude is heightened and perfected. And have we not to remark, in particular, that the devout sentiments we feel and express to the giver of every good and perfect gift, for blessing us
with the knowledge and the friendship of the righteous, will revive and heighten our value for them ; for those excellent
persons whose highest and dearest object it was to bring us by good advice, good example, good educa. tion, and numberless endearing good offices, to the knowledge of the Father and of the Son, whom to know is life eternal.
3. We ought to preserve an honourable remembrance of the righteous by imitating that worth and excellence which we admire and commend. It is in this manner only that our praise is proved to be sincere. It is thus we profit most by their excellencies. It is thus we will most effectually preserve their endeared remembrance and perpetuate the power of their example. Let us then be imitators of them, as they were of Christ. Let us beware lest, in commending them, we be not found condemning ourselves.
There are marks of respect and of grateful remembrance, which in certain circumstances may be decent and proper, and useful, but which may be given and perhaps have often been given by custom, by ostentation, by selfishness and not by affection. Sincere regard cannot be expressed by every one in pompous monuments and the parade of mourning. Imitation of worth is in the power of all, and close imitation is the highest testimony of the most unfeigned affection and respect. .
Be then, my brethren, what the righteous were. Have they fallen who stood in the first ranks, supporting manfully and successfully the cause of religion, fighting the battles of the Lord, of order, of truth, of worth, of happiness! Fill ye up the breach ; repair ye the loss ; complete ye the ranks; raise
their weapons ; shew their skill; maintain their advantages ; quit ye like men, and be strong.
4. Last of all, it will have the happiest effect on your preserving the endeared memory of the righteous, to meditate on the honours conferred on them and awaiting them from heaven in this world, and in that which is to come.
Whoever is truly righteous is highly honoured of God, whether the world believe it and perceive it or not. They bear his image; they enjoy his favour; they belong to his family; they are united to all the great and the good, and the venerable in heaven and on earth. Has not the Lord, the Judge of all, often distinguished his righteous servants, and caused men to take knowledge of the objects of his favour and approbation ? He has raised them on high ; he has enrolled their names in the lists of glory. See in what striking instances, on how many memorable occasions, providence has marked them for the care and charge of heaven.
See his light shining on their tabernacle; see his interpositions in their behalf, in rescuing them from impending ruin, in bestowing unexpected blessings, in overruling and controlling what is formidable and hostile and from which no way of escape seemed possible, in bringing good out of evil, and causing the malice and machinations of enemies to produce more good than the wisdom and exertions of friends. In such dispensations we are made to say, verily, there is a God that rules the world, that loves and honours the righteous.
“ Him that honoureth me, saith the Lord, • I will honour.” History, experience, and observation bear witness to the faithfulness of God in every age. Through life favour has distinguished the righteous, the light of God's countenance has been lifted
them. Sometimes also in a conspicious manner the