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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 Chance with his People a Source of Consouction under the most painful bereaveme, ts.
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. м.
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.
SUBSTANCE OF AN ORATION,
DELIVERED AT THE GRAVE
The Rev. SAMUEL PEARCE.
WE are called together to-day upon a most Our business solemn and affecting occasion. here is, to convey the precious remains of a dear departed brother to his long home, to the house appointed for all living. The subject of our present contemplation is of no ordinary kind; it is that which ought to come home to every man's bosom, because it is that in which we are all interested. It is not like many other subjects, which, while some are materially affected by them, to others they are articles of total indifferency but death speaks in an imperious tone, and demands the attention of all.
DEATH! solemn sound! the bare annunciation of which, should arrest the mind of every individual in this numerous assembly. Where is the man that liveth and shall not see death? When Xerxes viewed his incalculable army, it is said, he wept, from the consideration that in a few years, not one of that prodigious host would be living. Whether the Persian really wept or not, I am not sure; but when I consider, that in a few, comparatively a very few years, not one of all whom I am now addressing but must be laid as low as the breathless corpse of our dear departed
brother, I feel my mind deeply affected. And, O that I could but awaken a due concern in every bosom about this truly momentous subject!
Thus stands the irrevocable decree of the immu table God-IT IS APPOINTED UNTO ALL MEN ONCE TO DIE. The wise and unwise, the patrician and plebian, the monarch and the beggar, must submit alike to the strong arm of this universal conquer. or, the king of terrors. A consideration like this should sink deep into every man's heart; but alas! man is a strange being, loth to learn what most intimately belongs to him. The most awful things lose their effect by their frequency; and hence it is, that the death of a fellow-creature is, in general, no more regarded than "the fall of an autumnal leaf in the pathless desert." Wretched apathy! Fatal insensibility!
Let us for a moment meditate upon the effects subsequent to the triumph of the last enemy. What melancholy ravages does he make, even in this world! He causes the fairest flower to wither, often in the morning; he stains the pride of all sublunary glory; and casts the noblest work of God into the dust. When he takes to himself his great power, none can stay his hand. Fixed in his purpose, and irresistible in the execution of the same, he stalks, untouched by the pangs of agonizing nature; the distress of helpless infancy; the poignant grief of paternal affection; or the bitterest sorrows of connubial love. Relentlessly he breaks in upon domestic happiness; frustrates the most benevolent designs; and costs a dark shade upon the brightest prospects. In fine, cruelty marks his footsteps; and desolation and anguish are his common attendants.
If we look beyond the scene which presents itself to our view in this life; and, by the aid of revelation, endeavour to substantiate the serious realities of death, beyond "that bourne from