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whose unstrung arm can no longer yield you protection, whose dull cold ear cannot listen to your soothing strains, whose breast, once kindled with the purest fire and beating with the best affections, is now mingled with the clods of the valley. “ How vain are all things 66 here below !” How uncertain and transitory our dearest possessions, and our purest joys! How careful should we be to place our affections on the “ Friend that sticketh closer than

a brother,” and who will not, like earthly friends, die and leave us.

Hither let the men of the world also repair, and derive instruction from this scene. What desolation do you here behold ! What profound silence reigns among the inhabitants of the tomb ! But this silence is instructive ; it is eloquent. Hear you not a voice issuing from yonder grave and saying, number your days, and apply your hearts unto wisdom. Listen

ye

votaries of ambition ! to what is addressed to you by one of the occupants of that church-yard ! “I have enjoyed before you that place of preferment which you " now seek. I have been surrounded with “ that splendour which now dazzles your sight. “I made a figure in the world.

My titles,

my wealth, my dignity, my credit, were " spoken of with admiration and applause, “ But where did all terminate? In the grave.

And where shall it terminate also with regard to you ? In the grave !"

Listen, ye covetous ! to what another of these dead seems to utter : “ I was tormented “ with the same insatiable desire of heaping “ up wealth that now occupies your breast. I “ became fat on the substance of the widow “ and the orphan. I got to myself large pos“ sessions. But of all these what did I bring “ with me into this dark abode ? Nothing but a winding-sheet and a coffin. And what "more will

you carry away of the treasures “ which you may amass ?”

Listen, ye sons of pleasure ! to the voice from the tomb : “ I, too, lived voluptuously. “I withheld not my heart from any joy. 66 Pleasure I tried in all its forms.

But now - the voice of musick is low : My pomp is “ brought down to the grave, and the noise “ of my viols : The worm is spread under me, and the worms cover nie.

What

you are, I have been; and what I now am, you “ will soon be.”

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May the salutary impressions which have this day been made upon our minds, abide with us, and influence our conduct during the whole of our remaining abode on earth! Amen!

326

SERMON XIV.

Preached in the Presbyterian church at Charles

ton, on St. John the Evangelist's day, before the Grand Lodge of Ancient York-Masons.

1

John, CHAP. 15, VER. 12.

“ This is my commandment, that ye love one another, as I

have loved you."

THE royal law of love, which forms the basis of the christian character, comprehends two great branches, love to God, and love to man. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets, The obligation of the former is so evident and powerful, that we immediately conclude him to be altogether destitute of understanding and feeling, whose heart is not warmed with gratitude, and does not glow with love to the almighty Creator and generous Benefactor of mankind. His mind resembles the barren desert where no fair flower has ever opened its blossoms to the sun's enlivening rays. This, therefore, is the first and great commandment of our nature. But the second is like unto it, and is of no less indispensable obligation ; being not only deducible from the love of God, but also impressed upon our minds by an inward feeling which teaches us to look with an eye of benevolence on the whole creation of God, but especially on those whom he has beautified with his image, and made partakers of the same nature with ourselves.

But though the love of our neighbour is part of the system of nature, and has entered into every

code of laws which has been published to the world, it shines forth with resplendent lustre in the gospel alone. It is there revealed with so much greater clearness than it had been in former times; it is there accompanied with such new and powerful motives, that it is · justly styled a new commandment, as if it had been unknown before, or were peculiar to the religion of Jesus. I have found no passage of sacred writ wherein the precept is more clearly expressed than in the words of the text: and there is none which ought to make a deeper impression on the mind, if we duly consider the affecting situation in which it was deliver

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