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heaven. In the eighteenth century, America was to shake off the yoke and become free and independent ; and already had God prepared the instrument by which this was to be accomplished. Was Moses formed to rescue ancient Israel from bondage ? So was Washington, to rescue this western and modern Israel of the Lord.
The glory of furnishing protectors belongs to God; and wlio does not see his wisdom and goodness in raising such a character at such a crisis ? His equal had not existed for ages, and probably will not for ages to come. like the celebrated leader of Israel, he was great in the sight of all his people and all their enemies. Great with respect to the energies of his mind, the resources of his genius, and great with respect to that divine efficacy which stamped victory on his arms, and crowned his exertions with success.
He was providentially fitted for the part he was called to act, and providentially introduced upon the theatre of action.
“ His education was such as favored the production of a sound mind and a vigorous body."*
The early habits of his youth prepared him to endure the toils and fatigues of after life.
The part he acted when the unfortunate Braddock fell, brought his character into view, made him known to his country, and was justly considered as a presage of his future greatness. Thus God prepared his ser
vant, and at length when matured by age, and furnish: ed with experience, a vast scene opened before him, where all his talents might be displayed, and all his energies exerted.
Already was America invaded. The roar of Bri . tish cannon was heard from our harbors, and a martial band was parading on our shores. Every thing was in jeopardy. A secret sigh now escaped from the patriot's bosom.* The sage worn out with toils and bending upon his staff shook his hoary locks and said, “ my sons your cause is good, I wish you success, but I fear your undisciplined valour will be overcome in the unequal contest.”
The hearts of many fainted within them, and many said, “ Who is able to go up and fight against this people ? for they be mightier than we.” At this eventful period the guardians of our liberty looked round with trembling hopes, to find a man who was able to bear his country's shield and who might be trusted to wield her sword. Every eye fixed on Washington. The exploits of his youth now rose in grateful recollection, Their choice was unanimous, and the event proved that it was decided by Heaven. He obeyed the mandate of his country, submitted himself to her disposal, and looking up to God for guidance and protection, went forth and stood in the very front of her dangers. Awful was his responsibility-immense
* See Ramsay's account of the doubts entertained in 1775, by many of the truest friends of America; concerning the war with Britain.
his duty; in the discharge of which, no one, sírico the leader who went before Israel through the wilderness, ever had greater difficulties to encounter, or met them with greater magnanimity.
For every event he was prepared. In battle he was terrible ; skilful in retreat. In prosperity he was humble ; in adversity unshaken. Not like Saul who slew himself on mount Gilboa. When he was unsuccessful he submitted to the decree of Heaven, and still trusted in the God of battles.
He knew how to brook disappointment. He could bear with the murmurings and jealousy of the ignorant. Opposition only increased his firmness, danger strengthened his fortitude, and amid all the perils and disasters of the revolution his steady eye never once lost sight of its object--his country's welfare. At length Heaven interposed, lent him the aids of a foreign army, and led him to victory and glory.
Such an instrument of good to mankind, bears on itself the divine impression.
In the achievements of Washington if nothing was miraculous, every thing was providential. The winds and the sea contributed to his victories,* and the lingering night covered his retreat.t
In the midst of danger, and in the face of death, his life was protracted to a good old age, “and yet
eye was not dim, nor his natural force abated." He led
When Cornwallis, was captured.
+ From Long Island.
his brethren not only to the borders, but entered with them into the land of peace; and having once saved his country from ruin by his sword, he again saved it by his counsels and influence.
These were the objects for which this illustrious personage was raised up. And when these objects were accomplished, God laid this instrument in all its majesty aside, to teach the world, that though he had made use of it he needed it not.
Washington is no more. This day reminds us of our loss and mingles anguish with its jor. Ah much loved patriot, while we reap the fruit of thy agony and toil, we remember thy name and thy virtues. Thy name is embalmed in our bosoms, and thy virtues are recorded on the living tablets of our hearts.
Look to the sepulchre where he lies and weep. Weep ye hoary veterans who once marched under his banner, and fought by his side. Weep ye mothers, , for he shielded your babes by his valour, he watched your dwellings while you slept. Weep, Americans, for Washington the father of your country, the defender of your liberties, is no more.
Let succeeding generations sigh o'er his ashes, and the infants of posterity, lisping his virtues, drop tears of gratitude round his tomb.
In the view of these things, while you contemplate the former sufferings, the present glory and happiness of your country, and the means by which it has been ex. alted to that happiness and glory, can you hesitate to
apply to American Israel the sentiment of my text. Who is the author of these mercies? and whence hath this salvation come? Who preserved your fathers from the tomahawk of the savage, and yourselves from the vengeance of Britain ? Who raised up Washington to fight your battles and preside over your councils ? Who hath driven out the heathen before you, and set your feet in a broad place? Who hath established your independence on a sure foundation, and given you peace from all your enemies round about? Who hath done all this, yea more than this, who hath shed upon you the light of celestial day, and disclosed to your view the realities of the world to come ?
Manifestly the Lord God of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel.
This is God's kindness to his people. Your fathers leaned on God's promises, and walked in the sunshine of his word. And now while they rest from their labors, we their children are reaping the fruits of their piety and receiving the answer to their
Do you enquire how you may still prosper, and in what way your inheritance may be rendered per, manent and secure ? I answer, “ Believe in the Lord your God, so shall ye be established; believe in his prophets so shall ye prosper.” Is God the author of your independence ? Has he established you in this land of plenty and of peace? Then have you nothing to seek but his favor, nothing to dread but his dis