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the liveliest sensations of happiness. They des scended upon the audience, not indeed like a transporting flood, but like a shower of dew, gently insinuating itself into the heart, insensibly dissipating its gloom, and gradually drawing forth the graces of faith, hope, love, and joy: while the countenance was brightened almost into a smile, tears of pleasure would rise, and glisten, and fall from the admiring eye.
What a practical confutation did his life afford of the slander so generally cast upon the religion of Jesus, that it fills the mind with gloom and misery No leaving futurity out of the question, the whole world of unbelievers might be challenged to produce a character from among them who possessed half his enjoyments.
Fourthly, From his example we are furnished with the greatest encouragement, while pursuing the path of duty, to place our trust in God.-The situation in which he left his family, we have seen already, was not owing to an indifference to their interest, or an improvident disposition, or the want of opportunity to have provided for them; but to a steady and determined obedience to do what he accounted the will of God. He felt deeply for them, and we all felt with him, and longed to be able to assure him before his departure, that they would be amply provided for but owing to circumstances which have already been mentioned, this was more than we could do. This was a point in which he was called to die in faith and indeed so he did. He appears to have had no idea of that flood of kindness, which, immediately after his decease, flowed from the religious public but he believed in God, and cheerfully left all with him. Oh that I could speak,' said he to Mrs. Pearce a little before his death, I would tell a world to trust a faithful God. Sweet affliction; now it
worketh glory, glory! And when she told him the workings of her mind, he answered, 'Oh trust the Lord! If he lift up the light of his countenance upon you, as he has done upon me this day, all your mountains will become mole-hills. feel your situation; I feel your sorrows: but he who takes care of sparrows, will care for you and my dear children.'
The liberal contributious which have since been made, though they do not warrant minis ters in general to expect the same, and much less to neglect providing for their own families on such a presumption; yet they must need be considered as a singular encouragement, when we are satisfied that we are in the path of duty, to be inordinately carefu! for nothing, but in every thing, by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, to let our requests be made known to God.'
Finally, In him we see that the way to true excellence is not to affect eccentricity, nor to aspire after the performance of a few splendid actions; but to fill up our lives with a sober, modest, sincere, affectionate, assiduous, and uniform conduct.
Real greatness attaches to character; and character arises from a course of action. Solid reputation as a merchant arises not from a man's having made his fortune by a few successful adventures; but from a course of wise economy, and honourable industry, which gradually accumulating, advances by pence to shillings, and by shillings to pounds. The most excellent philosophers are not those who have dealt chiefly in splendid speculations, and looked down upon the ordinary concerns of men as things bene th their notice; but those who have felt their interests united with the interests of mankind, and bent their principal attention to things of real and public utility. It is much the same in religion,
We do not esteem a man for one, or two, or three good deeds, any farther than as these deeds are indications of the real state of his mind. We do not estimate the character of Christ himself so much from his having given sight to the blind, or restored Lazarus from the grave, as from his going about continually doing good.
These single attempts at great things are frequently the efforts of a vain mind, which pants for fame, and has not patience to wait for it, nor discernment to know the way in which it is obtained. One pursues the shade, and it flies from him; while another turns his back upon it, and it follows him. The one aims at once to climb the rock, but falis ere he reaches the summit, the other walking round it, in pursuit of another object, gradually and insensibly ascends till he reaches it: seeking the approbation of his God, he finds with it that of his fellow Christians,
THE promised Presence of Chuck with his People a Source of Consuetion vnder the most painful beretmen.e. ta.
DELIVERED AT THE
Baptist Meeting-House, Cannon-Street, Birmingham,
LORD'S DAY EVEN IN G, OCT. 20, 1799:
Occasioned by the Death of
The Rev. SAMUEL PEARCE, A. M.
OF THE CHURCH ASSEMBLING THERE; Who died October 10, in the 34th Year of his Age•
BY JOHN RYLAND, d. d.
To which is prefixed,
DELIVERED AT THE GRAVE, OCT. 16, 1799,
By the Rev. J. BREWER.
PRINTED BY W. TUTTLE.