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We well know that good may be evil spoo ken of; we well know that some men are exceedingly eager to grasp at, and to circulate unfavourable reports of religious characters. They lessen the worth of the righteous, they impute improper motives to their best actions, and take delight in bringing them to their own level. Piety and punctuality in celebrating the institutions of religion have often been branded as hypocrisy; alms-giving, and attention to the necessities and comforts of the poor are called ostentation ; liberality, in its most generous deeds and exertions, has been represented as the most interested selfishness; regular manners are styled want of spirit and

penuriousness. If, my friends, the righteous are so misrepresented and traduced, if especially they have enabled us to be vouchers and witnesses for their worth by their friendship and good offices, are we not called upon to do them justice ? Let us assert the purity of their principles, the genuineness, the regularity and fervour of their devotions, their pure and active charity, and that, in short, their behaviour was such as becomes the gospel of the grace

of God which denies ungodliness


and worldly lusts, and teaches men to live soberly, righteously, and godly in this life.

4. We ought to cherish the remembrance of good men, from a regard to the honour and interest of religion. We ought to speak of their worth and exhibit their characters, that thereby men may be induced to admire and receive that blessed system, the excellence and power and truth of which were demonstrated in their attainments, worth and happi

We are required to employ every method of affecting and impressing the minds of men, and of leading them to think seriously of their souls, of their duty and of eternity. Thus our Lord urges his followers to manifest superiour goodness, in order to promote the interest of religion, let your light so shine before men, that others seeing your good works

may glorify your father in heaven. But it


be that we are afraid to propose ourselves as models of excellence for the imitation of others, and of those especially whose best interest we have most at heart. To them, too, our real character may not be sufficiently known; they may remain under the influence of misrepresentation, prejudice and suspicion respecting us.

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If these things be so, or if we only think our example labours under such disadvantages, we are bound the more to avail ourselves of the known worth and reputation of the righteous for arresting the attention, exciting the esteem, and gaining the hearts of our friends. From time to time, and as occasion offers, let us thus address those who are dear to us. “ See what “ this righteous man was, what objects he

pur“sued, what worth he manifested, he preferred “ the service of God, he sought the honour that " cometh from the most high. He was respeco ted and honoured in life.

His memory is “ dear to his surviving friends. He resisted “ the prevailing vices and temptations of the

age, and of his condition of life. He wit“ nessed for God, and adorned the doctrine of “God his Saviour.” By representations of this kind, and the reflections and expostulations they naturally suggest, much good may be done; our object may be secured : our friends may

be rendered attentive, they may even be affected and changed, they may arise and follow the righteous; they may walk as they also walked.

5. In a word, we ought to cherish the remembrance of good men, from a regard to

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the glory of God. Honouring the righteous is to the glory of God and the promoting of the interest of the gospel, because in their character, their attainments, and their happiness, the glory of God is displayed, the image of God is exhibited, and the happiness of the saints is demonstrated. Piety delights in beholding the glory of the Lord in all his works and ways; in the heavens and in the earth, in the sea and in the dry land. There are manifestations of his glory, however, more especially attracting and affecting. What is seen of God in the history and character of the saints is of this nature. We see the divine wisdom, power, goodness, sovereignty and faithfulness, in raising them up; in the dispensations of his providence towards them; in the influence of his grace ; in their being sanctified, established and settled; in their being kept through faith unto salvation, we find the saints ascribe their salvation in all its parts to the blessing of God. “ In me, says the

Apostle, Jesus Christ shewed all long-suffer“ *ing. By the grace of God I am what I am."

I Christians, in finding the persecutor and blasphemer preaching the faith which he once strove to destroy, glorified God in him. In

the progress and perfection of the Christian life, and in the history of the saints, the presence, power and faithfulness of God are manifested according to their varying conditions and exigencies. Is it not our duty to preserve such manifestations of God that the affections and graces of piety may be awakened and cherished? This we do by holding the righteous in honoured remembrance. Happy are they who by paying due honour to the righteous, and making their light to shine before men, induce them to glorify their heavenly father.

III. We are now, in the last place, to inquire how we shall most properly and effectually perpetuate the remembrance of the righteous who have no more share in any thing that is done under the sun. And,

1. The first and essential rule for holding the righteous in an endeared remembrance is carefully to review their character and worth from time to time. I can easily suppose occasions on which it is not at all necessary to desire men to dwell on the history and worth of their valuable deceased friends. Are they taken from them at a time when they did not look for so fatal an event, but on the contrary were reckoning on the continuance of their

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