« VorigeDoorgaan »
'The Good Fruit of the Uncorrupt Tree.
is not a matter of less moment than the suppression of sin declared in all revelation to be so offensive to the Almighty and Eternal mind? My brethren, this is a most awful consideration; and if it fill your hearts as it is calculated to do; it must beget the conviction that, while God wills the salvation of the sinner, he wills as paramount thereto, the renunciation of sin; and that the purpose of Christ's appearance and suffering in our nature cannot be fulfilled in that soul, which is not converted to righteousness.
Honour to departed Excellence an incitement to Virtue,
Preached after the Death of his late Majesty.
Proverbs 10. 7.
The memory of the just is blessed : but the name of the wicked shall rot.
To honour the memory of the worthy and
illustrious, who have gone to the abodes of immortality; of those, whose lives adorned their times, and benefited their contemporaries, is a custom that has prevailed from the remotest antiquity. It is a custom no less congenial with the best feelings of the human heart, than it is propitious to the interests of virtue. Even in the worst of men there is a respect for goodness, inducing an acquiescence
Honour to departed Excellence an incitement to Virtue.
in the honours paid to excellence, which can no more be the object of envy, nor an obstacle to the selfish views of avarice, pleasure, or ambition.
The sentiment thus established in the usage and reflections of men is sanctioned also by the Divine oracles. The Royal Psalmist saith, , the righteous shall be had in everlasting remembrance; and the Royal Preacher, in my text, declares that the memory of the just is blessed ; or “ the memory of the just is with encomiums or praises.” To this position inteņded to give ardour to virtue, he has added an antithesis for the discouragement of vice, but the name of the wicked shall rot. The present 'occasion requires me to consider only the forner of the two propositions; and this I'shall do, by shewing
First-That men have universally a desire to leave a happy memory behind them.
Secondly-That, to pay to the memory of -the dead the honours merited by their lives, is a debt of gratitude to them, while to those, who survive them, it is a lesson of virtue. Lastly-I shall apply these truths to the
Hononr to departed Excellence an incitement to Virtue,
occasion, for which we are assembled here in the habits of mourning,
First, then, there is in man a desire to have his name respected in this world, when he shall have ceased to be an inhabitant of it.
We are all pleased with a good report while we live; and seek it as much for the satisfaction of possessing it, as for any accession that it may bring to our earthly interests. The desire to be esteemed and loved is natural to the human heart, and, I believe, inseparable from it, except in extraordinary instances of depravity. It is an affection truly social, and in its beginning innocent, but liable to become vicious, especially when it rises into a lust after pre-eminence, or distinction; for then it generally incites to illicit, and immoral modes of gratifying it: too rare is the hesitation to deviate from rectitude, if thereby applause can be gained, or the condition exalted.
But whatever be the course, by which men would conciliate regard, or rise to fame; the passion is seldom, if ever, limited to the duràtion of the present existence; they look to a s 4