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ings to his Almighty Maker, for all the Benefits and Mercies bestowed on him. I behold him, like some ancient Patriarch, in the midst of his loving and beloved Family) at once their Prophet, their Priest and their King---as their Prophet, counselling them with all the Experience of Years, and Inspiration of Wisdom; as their Priest, offering up their Prayers and pleading for their Failings, at the Throne of Grace; and as their King, ruling them with Affection, and swaying them by the powerful Example of his own goodness!
At one Time, methinks I behold him tenderly interested in all their Domestic Concerns, and temporal Happiness; at another Time I see him retired from hurry and noise, resting his venerable Limbs under some friendly Shade; composing his Soul to the Exercises of private Devotion; reviewing in the Field of calmer Reason and Religion, all the Trans. actions of his former more busy and active Years; bewailing the Faults he hath committed, and taking Sanctuary from their Sting in the Bosom of his Saviour, and his God! And although rejoicing in the Remembrance of his Moments that were well spent, yet not even resting on his best Works for Salvation; but seeking it through the Merits of Jesus Christ; striving to humble and purify himself more and more, even as his Master Christ, was humble and pure!
Methinks I behold him, at other times, comforting the Afflicted, relieving where he can relieve; or, where that is not in his power, dropping at least the Sympathetic Tear, and wishing that the means of his Bounty, were as enlarged as his Heart to give. I hear
him likewise giving ready Counsel to all that ask; I behold him saving, or striving to save, some thoughtless Youth from the Snares of the world, pouring his Balm into the wounded Character and Conscience, composing the Strifes and Contentions of jarring Neighbours, and ever exerting himself to make a whole World happy; concealing and bearing with Patience, his own infirmities and promoting Reli-' gion, Justice, Peace and Joy, to the farthest extent in his power.
None ever can approach such a Man but with Reverence! His gray Hairs are indeed a crown of Glory! They strike even the giddy and profligate with Awe; and all are ready to cry out, in Scripture Language--
“O how comely a thing is Judgment for gray “ Hairs, and for ancient men to know Council! O “ how comely is the wisdom of old Men, and Under“ standing and Council to Men of Honour. Much " experience is the Crown of the Aged, and the fear “ of God is their Glory!” and who is there here present that will not add to the prayer...“ Lord God “ grant that when gray Hairs cover this Head of " mine, I may live the life of such a man, and that “ my latter end may be honourable like his!”
Should a man who has acted such a dignified part as this, come at last to bear the greatest marks of decay, and even outlive all the active powers both of Body and Mind; yet still he will continue to be respected by all! Like some grand Structure, tottering and crumbling beneath the Hand of Time, he will appear beautiful and majestic, although in Ruins; and
be still looked upon with Reverence and Awe! even by the Giddy and the Dissolute.
Notwithstanding, therefore, the common complaint, that old Age is a Thing not desirable; yet if it be such an old Age as we have been describing, and which is in part copied from the Life of the good Man, whose breathless Clay lies before us, it hath Satisfactions more substantial than all the giddy and fantastic Joys of former years. The Autumn, and even the very Winter of such a Life, yield a calm Sunshine of comfort, which the splendid Spring and Summer of Life, cannot yield to many who think themselves the most happy!
Now,* unto Him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the Power that worketh in us; unto Him be Glory in the Church by Christ Jesus, throughout all Ages, World without End. Amen.
PREACHED AT THE FUNERAL'
COLONEL JOSEPH NICHOLSON,
GENESIS, Chap. XV. Ver. 15.
And thou shalt go to thy Fathers in Peace; thou shalt be buried
in a good old Age.
W E read here, Brethren, part of a Patriarchal Blessing the Promise of God to Abram-a Blessing or Promise wished for by Many, obtained by Few, and revealed to Fewer still—but, without Promise, it hath been a Blessing propitiously bestowed upon our Friend and Fellow-Citizen; to whose venerable Ashes we are here assembled to pay the last Honours of funeral Interment!
The words of our Text were delivered to Abram, in a Vision of the Night, by the Almighty, and intended for his Comfort, at a Time when (finding old Age far advanced upon him) he laboured under great Sorrow and Affliction, “because he went Childless, and had no Heir to inherit either his Name or Estáte, but that one, not of his own Bowels, was to inherit the Whole.” • While the venerable Abram laboured under this great Distress of mind, “ the word of the Lord w came unto Him, in a Vision, saying, fear not “ Abram-I am thy Shield and exceeding great Re“ ward- And Abram answered;" Lord God! what wilt Thou give me, “ [or of what Service will all thy Kindness be to me? Although Thou shoullest be my Shield and Defence against all mine Enemies, and shouldest reward me with the longest Life, and largest Possessions, yet none of these Things can give me substantial Comfort]” seeing I go childless, and to me Thou hast given no Seed; and my Steward, this Eleazer of Damascus, (though a stranger to my Blood, yet) is the only Person who deserves most to be my Heir.
But the Lord answered unto Abram for his comfort" This Man shall not be thine Heir; but one that shall come forth out of thine own Bowels, shall be thine Heir; and to shew Him further what a Multitude should spring from Him,” the Lord (continuing to him the Vision of the Night) “ brought him forth abroad, and bid him look toward HeavenTry to tell yonder Stars, if thou art able; for so [in Number} shall thy Seed be.”
And now Abram, notwithstanding his former Despondency, believed in the Lord, respecting his future Seed; and also took the highest Comfort, through Faith, in the further Promise given him in our Text; namely—That after he had been blessed with a numerous Posterity>" He should go to his