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people, and strike an awe upon surrounding kingdoms. That was the time of David's glory and triumph. There was a time when a single man had meditated and well nigh accomplished a design of destroying the whole body of the Jews. That was the time to display the power and virtue of Mordecai. To add no more, there was a time, when a small nation, of about an hundred and twenty thousand men, were to gain the empire of the world. This amazing scene was reserved for Cyrus; and gave him an opportunity of displaying all his virtues and talents, and of transmitting the fame of both to the latest posterity. The hand of God is always concerned, not only in giving great men their talents, but also in giving them proper opportunities of exerting them in the service of their Maker and of their fellow men. Nor is this all. For,
5. It is God who succeeds their exertions for the benefit of the world. In this respect, he claims a supreme control over the conduct of the greatest kings, statesmen, and warriors. He claims to be the Lord of lords and King of kings; and assumes the prerogative of giving the kingdoms of men to whomsoever he will. Abraham could not have founded a nation, unless God had been with him, and prospered him wherever he went. Joseph could not have preserved the Egyptians and his father's family from perishing by famine, had not God been with him, and succeeded his great and benevolent exertions. It was God who taught David's hands to war, and his fingers to fight; and who gave him his victories over the enemies of the church. But the divine agency appears the most conspicuous in the astonishing successes of Cyrus. To an eye of reason, it must appear next to impossible, that he should ever march an army to the walls of Babylon; and absolutely impossible that he should ever enter that city, which was the metropolis of the world, and which both nature and art had combined to render impregnable. But his enterprising spirit formed the great design, and God rendered his mighty efforts successful. This signal success God granted to Cyrus, on purpose to display his real divinity, and absolute sovereignty over the kingdoms and nations of the earth. Such an entire superintendency over the movements of Cyrus, God expressly claims in the prediction of his victorious arms. “Thus saith the Lord to his anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I have holden, to subdue nations before him; and I will loose the loins of kings, to open before him the two-leaved gates, and the gates shall not be shut. I will go before thee, and make the crooked places straight: I will break in picces the gates of brass, and cut in sunder the bars of iron. I am the Lord, and there is none else, there is no god beside me: I girded thee, though thou hast not known me.” It always equally depends upon God, whether great men, with all their shining talents, and superior abilities, shall succeed in any of their great and important enterprises, So that in all cases, God may justly claim the prerogative of making them the instruments of executing his own wise and benevolent designs.
The thoughts, which have been suggested upon this subject, are not, we trust, altogether foreign to the great occasion, which has called us into the house of God, at this time. We are professedly convened to pay public respect to the memory of that Great Man, who has lately fallen in our Israel. And certainly we have just ground to lament the decease of Washington the Great. This character of right belongs to him. Great men have always been very rare in our world. Not one in a century, not one in a million
of mankind, has ever appeared. Though there have been
. many shining characters, in the various learned professions; yet none of these, however acute their genius, or however extensive their learning and information, have deserved to be called great. A profession always cramps the genius, circumscribes the sphere of action, and stamps a littleness upon any human character. A great man is above learning, and every learned profes sion. He must be an independent Citizen, and have a full scope for the display of all his mental powers. He must be either a Statesman, or Warrior. In this capacity, he may found, or rule, or save a nation; and thereby establish a character, more durable than marble, and as lasting as the page of history. In our Washington both the Statesman and the Warrior were united. In the former character, he held an elevated rank; but in the latter, he shone without a rival, and even eclipsed the greatest captains of antiquity. God gave him a graceful figure, and a noble, commanding aspect. He put him in possession of a large, independent landed interest, which placed him in the first rank of citizens, inspired him with the love of liberty, created an aversion to tyranny, and effectually guarded him against the corrupting influence of places and pensions. Entirely free from the subtilties of law, the intrigues of a court, and the schemes of ambition, he lived greatly independent. In this most eligible situation, he stood prepared to hear and to obey the calls of his country. Possessed of a strong and capacious mind, which was able to devise and keep its own counsels, he was fitted to stand at the head of an army and at the head of a nation, and to maintain a controlling influence in both the cabinet and the field. Such an influence, it appears from the papers that have been published, he actually did maintain, during the whole course of the Ameri
He first formed his army, by diffusing a military spirit, and establishing military order and subordination through the whole. Ile next concerted his plans of operation, and provided the means of carrying them into effect. And in order to this, he found it necessary to superintend the grand council of the nation, and often to direct their most important measures, For a number of years, Washington was the soul of America, and, by his superior wisdom and weight of character, he absolutely governed this teen professedly united, but actually disunited States.
In this momentous situation, while he carried in his hand the fate of more than three millions of people, he displayed the astonishing resources of his mighty mind. At one and the same time he attended to a multiplicity of great and interesting objects. While he directed the movements of all the American forces, stationed at
very different and very distant posts, he kept a watchful eye over the motions of the British army, and all the manæuvres of their most skilful and famous generals. In the midst of all these weighty, and seemingly overwhelming cares and concerns, he stood alone, giving advice to all, and receiving assistance from none.
, There was not a man in the world, capable of looking further, or directing better, than himself. And here let us reflect with admiration and astonishment, that he never failed in a single instance, of executing his most complicated and important designs. He concerted the plan of dislodging the enemy from Boston, and he executed his purpose. He formed the scheme of surprizing and capturing the Hessians at Trenton, and he actually took them, by surprise. He conceived, concealed, and carried into execution the complicated and deep design, of conquering the whole British army, at Yorktown. By such masterly strokes of gen
eralship, he stands the rival of a Cyrus and a Hannibal, in those very qualities, which they have rendered their names immortal.
This great man, we are now to remember, God raised up in mercy to America. God gave him his great abilities, together with an opportunity and a disposition, to display them in his country's service. It was God who gave him the universal love, the entire confidence, and unanimous suffrages of his fellow citi
God placed him at the head of our armies, and at the helm of our government. God girded his loins, directed his counsels, and succeeded his mighty efforts, through the cares of the cabinet, and the dangers of the field. Let the man be absorbed in his Maker. Let Washington the Great be loved, and admired, but never adored. Our first regards are due to Him, who made him the instrument of his own glory, and the founder of our national independence, and the principal promoter of our national peace, prosperity, and rising greatness.
As the goodness of God has been displayed, in the Life, so his awful and amiable Sovereignty has been displayed, in the Death of the Father of our country. His life was 'an host. His sword was the hope of America, and the terrour of all her enemies. But the mighty man is fallen, in a day of darkness and of doubtful expectation. This great and afflictive eyent has spread a gloom over America, and penetrated every grateful patriotic heart in the nation. It has thrown the Court, the Camp, and the Navy into tears. It has pierced the bosom of our illustrious President, the surviving support and glory of his country. It has, in a word, produced a more general, a more deep, and a more sincerc mourning, than was ever, perhaps, produced by the the death of any other man in the world. Jesus wept,