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chastening effects upon this great people, and thus prepare the way for some advancement towards the day when men shall be Christian in more than name and faith, and peace and brotherly love shall reign among the nations. And while we yield our warmest, deepest sympathy to the noble lady who in terrible loneliness bears the heaviest bereavement—the profoundest sorrow that the heart can know, let our fervent united prayers ascend, that she and her afflicted children may be the recipients of genuine heavenly consolation from Him who relieveth the fatherless and the widow; and that she may so bear, and so apply the heavy sorrow that is upon her, that in due time her mourning shall be turned into joy, and that she may have days of inward heavenly gladness, according to the days wherein she has been afflicted! And to Jesus Christ be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen!
BY, THE REV. E. D. RENDELL, PRESTON. “Know ye not that there is a prince and a great man fallen this day in Israel?” 2 SAMUEL üi. 38.
After a brief historical sketch of the circumstances which had induced King David to address those words to his people, the preacher observed that they had been mainly chosen because they were expressive of a painful event which had recently plunged an illustrious house into deep distress, and thrown the whole country into a state of unfeigned sorrow. You are aware, said he, that we are now speaking of the lamentable decease of the Consort of our beloved Queen
a prince and a great man," and for the preservation of whose life, there is scarcely to be found an individual in the whole kingdom who would not have made great sacrifices, and exerted himself to the utmost. But the hopes and affections of the people; the earnest and agonising desires of his family; the
prayers and entreaties of the church; the science and skill of the physicians, were all unavailing. It has pleased Providence to remove him from this scene of his existence, and transfer him to another; and doubtless that Providence intends by this painful dispensation to promote some wise purpose in the future, which it is not for us to know at present. He has been taken away in the vigour of his manhood, when there appeared to be a period of long life before him, and a career of important uses which depended largely upon his intelligent patronage and exertion for their success. But title and station, dignity and honour, learning and intelligence, worth and usefulness, are no hindrances to the operation of that law which tells us that “it is appointed unto men once to die, and after that the judgment.” No rank can ward off that fate; no wealth can purchase immunity from these results. “Man being in
. honour, abideth not.” The wise men die, likewise the fool. Death is the natural consequence of our residence in this world. The prince and the beggar, the great and the ignorant, before its approach are all alike. Distinctions are not known to death, they belong to judgment; and all judgment will be just, and determined by the character of the individuals who are its subjects,m-character as formed not by worldly distinctions, but by spiritual life.
Death is predicable only of the natural body; and when this takes
place, the soul, which is the real man, passes into the spiritual world, where he continues to live, not as a vapour, or a phantom, or a fleeting shadow, but as a real man, possessing all the forms and faculties of humanity ; retaining the ability of thinking, willing, and acting; in short, he continues a man in all things, and in every particular, with the mere exception that he is not encompassed with his material body. The real man who has once begun to live can never die. The mortal covering through which he communicates with the world and its concerns is that which dies; but the immortal man is that which lives for
His death, whensoever it takes place, and whether it be in the cottage or the palace, is always felt to be a great calamity. It reminds us all that this is not our abiding place, and the wise regard it as an admonition to prepare themselves for an end which sooner or later must of necessity overtake them.
The preacher next proceeded to describe the purposes of death, and to show that sin was the originator of all those circumstances by wbich it is rendered a painful dispensation. The natural death was only a continuation of spiritual life, from the natural to the spiritual world, and this transmission from the one world to the other was that which properly constituted the Resurrection. God is not the God of the dead but of the living. Lazarus and the rich man are described as living immediately after their natural death; and Moses and Elias, who had long been dead as to their bodies, were seen alive at the transfiguration as perfect men. They were in spiritual bodies proper to their spiritual abodes. There is a natural and there is a spiritual body. Natural death does not interrupt our spiritual life; it simply lays aside our mortal covering, and permits us to take up a more open and sensible existence in the spiritual world, and there it is where our characters undergo a judgment according to the deeds done in the body. The Scriptures plainly tell that our works do follow us—those works of thought, affection, and spirit, which have formed our real character, and which have led us to do either good or evil. These are the qualities by which our eternal destiny will be determined. They who have done good will come forth to the resurrection of life; and they who have done evil, to the resurrection of damnation." We must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that every one may receive the things done in the body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.” As no man can escape death, so no man can elude judgment; but every man has it in his power to live well, and so to prepare an account concerning which the Judge may say—“Well done, thou good and faithful servant, enter thou into the joy of thy Lord.” The Divine Judge is no respecter of persons. The prince and the peasant will be rewarded according to the good which they have loved and done. They will not be asked to what kingdom they belonged, from what family they had descended, with what sect they had worshipped, what dignities they had sustained, or what alliances they had formed; but they will be examined and judged as to the state of their love of goodness; thus, as to the love of God, and their love of men, and how far those heavenly loves are incorporated into their spiritual
life, and have fitted them for the performance of corresponding goodness in the heavenly kingdom.
After dwelling upon these points, the preacher said it was hoped and believed that the Prince whom Divine Providence had removed from among us, possessed that amiable character in his spiritual life which would obtain for him a favourable reception in his Heavenly Father's house. All that had transpired through public channels, concerning his public and private life, contributed to shew him to us in a most favourable light as a Christian man, and to excite the liveliest assurance that he will in the other life enjoy a condition suited to his spiritual character and genius, and where he will still be capable of performing uses both large and dignified. He was a prince by the accident of birth; in this there was no virtue. His merits lay in the wise use which he made of his position; it was by this that he became a great man. As a prince, he could trace his ancestry to a Saxon chief of the name of Willekind, who defied the power of Charlemagne for thirty years. From him sprang the race of which Albert was the youngest son. He descended through that Elector of Saxony who defended Luther, Frederick the Wise, John the Constant, and John Frederick the Magnanimous. His mother died when he was a mere boy; and when his father was making arrangements for a second marriage, he sent him to England as a visitor to his aunt, the Duchess of Kent: it was then, when he was about eleven years of age, that he was first introduced to his cousin, the Princess Victoria. He then shared her lesson, and became a fellow-student with her who, after becoming the Queen of this country, also became his wife, and who is now, with a sensitive and highly-cultivated nature, experiencing the pangs and sorrows of a distressing widowhood. He became the husband of her Majesty on the 10th of February, 1810, when he was about 21 years of age. Their tastes were alike refined and elegant; their issue has been nine children; and now he has, by an inscrutable Providence, been taken away at the early age of 43, full of manhood, buoyant with life, ripe for usefulness, great in reputation, and eminently rich in character for a variety of manly qualities. As a father, he has been earnest and discriminate for the welfare of his children ; as a husband, devoted and affectionate ; as a prince, dignified and prudent; and as a politician, always careful not to intrude his opinion upon any party in the State. He was a lover of learning, the encourager of science, the patron of arts; and he has, by his countenance and exertions in favour of these excellencies, done more for their advancement in this country than any single man in any
other period of our history. He was a classical scholar and a poet, no inconsiderable artist, and an accomplished musician. He has had conferred
upon him honorary titles by this and several other countries of Europe. He has been president of several learned societies, Chancellor of the University of Cambridge, the inaugurator of the Exhibition of 1851; and he has always taken the warmest interest in all social questions, and devoted himself most earnestly to a great variety of pursuits in science, agriculture, horticulture, model farming, and other things which were adapted to promote the welfare of the country.
And it is to his exertions that the nation is indebted for the promised exhibition of the coming year.
With all these facts before us, it is then most true that "a prince and great man has fallen this day in Israel.” He has been eminently respected by the country which has adopted him, and his loss cannot but be deeply lamented by every one who is a lover of worth and prudence, of use and manliness; for we are assured that he fulfilled all the duties of a gentleman and a citizen in such a manner as to set an example to all around and beneath him, and to make the most illustrious house in the country among the most happy and the most exemplary in every relation of life. Well, then, may that house and this country deplore the bereavement of such a man—a man of untiring philanthropy, graceful in his conduct, great in his aims, and liberal in all he did. It is difficult to suppose that such a man could be influenced by any other than high and honourable motives, and therefore it is equally difficult to suppose that he will not be introduced into a reward and happiness fully commensurate with his great love of usefulness. His religion was that of the Establishment; but we who know that a man's religion is not in his theoretical opinions and his speculations of faith, but in his living sentiments and practical usefulness, look to these as exhibitions of the real character of his religion, and these, so far as they have been formed from pure and spiritual motives, will be the grounds on which his condition in futurity will be determined. It is what a man loves and does for love, and not what a man believes and omits to do, which forms the man, and which will obtain for him his position in the other life.
He who has gone from us with a character sufficiently for good to inspire us with the utmost confidence as to his condition hereafter, has left behind him a nation to lament his loss; a sorrowing family, a distressed widow, the Queen of the nation : she now feels what thousands of widows have felt before her; her lofty station, her splendid surroundings, her great responsibilities, cannot take away the poignancy of her sufferings ;-she is human-she is a woman; and for true relief under her severe affliction she will have to give herself up to the holy resignation which the Lord will be sure to impart to all who sincerely and earnestly desire it. She is surrounded by millions who love her, and deeply sympathise with her in her affliction, and every one of them would do something to alleviate her distress if they knew the way and had the power. May the Lord sustain her through the trial of this bereavement, and soon show her something of the silver lining of the cloud which now overhangs the country! And may we all be patient, and dutifully wait for the coming of some higher dispensation !
BY THE REV. R. STORRY, HEYWOOD. “Some trust in chariots and some in horses; but we will remember thệ name: of the Lord our God.”—PSALM XX. 7.
The present world is often the scene of affliction and sorrows. Pain and suffering, disease and death, visit alike the palace and the cottage, the prince and the peasant. In our deepest afflictions there are two. sources of comfort suggested to the mind. In one the soul turns upon itself, and seeks support and comfort in its own mental acquisitions; in the other, we call to mind our dependence on God, and seek for consolation and hope in a sense of His unfailing goodness and constant care. The preacher sought to show by an exposition of his text that the former was denoted by trusting in chariots and horses, as the second was by remembering the name of the Lord our God. Self-dependence does not mean that we are are not to employ all our mental powers in efforts to meet the difficulties of our position, but that we are to consider them as dependent endowments,—to use them in the Lord's fear, and to exalt Him in them and because of them. This is what we are not naturally inclined to do. We are more apt to look proudly to ourselves, and to glorify ourselves because of our powers. It is this exclusive attention to self which is so disastrous in its moral consequences that it is said of those who rely on it—"They are brought down and fallen.” How widely different are the consequences of looking to the Lord ! The remembrance of the Lord is reassuring to the soul. Our hearts may fail us, but He is the strength of our hearts. In dependence on Him we feel assured that we shall not be utterly forsaken nor finally cast down. Every earthly experience, also, has relation to our future state. Our joys and sorrows, our anxieties and cares, our dangers and escapes, are all connected with eternal consequences. The nature of these consequences is entirely dependent on the use we make of our trials. If we make them an occasion of pride, resentment, and self-exaltation, they involve us in darkness and woe. If we submit with patience and loving trust to the Lord, and seek in dependence on Him to do His will, we shall find the thickest clouds of our earthly trials to be dispersed by the radiant shining of the Sun of Righteousness, and the darkest night of our earthly affliction to be succeeded by a morning of peace
The argument of the text receives illustration from the circumstances in which we are so suddenly placed. If ever there was a case where self-dependence might seem to be justified, it was the case of the Prince Consort. Occupying the highest earthly station, endowed with bodily health, and surrounded by the highest earthly means for its preservation, he might not unreasonably have calculated on length of days. Yet we see him suddenly removed in the prime of life, notwithstanding the most anxious solicitude and tenderest care, combined with the highest appliances of human wisdom and skill. His departure too is at a time when, to all human appearance, his influence was most needed. We lose by his departure a wise counsellor, when wisdom, prudence, and moderation were wanted; a Prince attached to peace, when we are threatened with war; a leader in the van of social progress, of the advancement of art, refinement, and civilisation, whose work was yet unfinished ; and we lose for a sovereign, whose reign has been one of progress, of benignity and justice, and whose virtues not less than her wisdom have endeared her to the hearts of her people, the mainstay on which she has depended ; and her domestic life, hitherto joyous and happy, becomes solitary and sad Surely, in such a case, [Enl. Series.—No. 98, vol. ix.]