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the Sabbath, so surely will the labours of faith be followed by that Sabbatism (that State of Rest signified by the Sabbath) which remaineth for the people of God. And as you see that all men have not a share in the Sabbath here, but either neglect the use, or despise the blessings of it; so it will be hereafter. Many are following their own vain pleasures on the Lord's day; many are absent from the church; and some sotting away their time in public houses; many are drudging at the accounts of their worldly occupations, rather preferring incessant labour for themselves, and the poor unfortunate beasts that serve them, than partaking thankfully of that holy relaxation which God hath given them in great goodness, for the ease of their bodies, and the edification of their minds. Such poor mistaken souls were found among the Israelites, who were led out of Egypt by Moses: they had no taste for that Rest which was before them, but thought scorn of the pleasant land, and lusted after the ways of Egypt; where they had been in bondage, under that idle people, who kept them constantly to hard labour. Yet thither did those besotted people wish to go again, rather than follow God into a land of liberty. So they fell short in the wilderness, and never saw the blessings of Canaan. Their example is followed by thousands of perverse people, who are enemies to themselves, and lust after their own misery: leading a life of more labour and sorrow than God ever imposed upon any of his servants, and finding no rest in death. Their example is proposed to us, that we may not follow it. Let us therefore labour to enter into that rest, that we may not fall after the same example of unbelief: then shall we rest from our labours, and our works will - follow us.
Your minds will now be naturally asking the question, how far the things which have been spoken are applicable to the present occasion? You will expect I should make that application: and I should be unkind to you, and unjust to the departed, if I were to avoid it.
To speak of those who are gone, is often dangerous; because, perhaps, we cannot speak well, and humanity and decency forbid us to speak ill. To say the truth, I verily believe, it is partly owing to the decay of Christian piety, and the increasing corruption of the times, that funeral sermons are gone so much out of fashion: because so few are now found who are fit for them. However, we are under no difficulties of that kind it. the instance now before us: had I thought so, I should by no means have made it my own choice, as I have done, to appear in the pulpit on this occasion.
taken all praise for flatspoken it: but we may How many useful, hum
Of our dear sister here departed, nothing can be said but what is good, and may edify the hearers. Such indeed was her own meekness and lowliness of mind, that she would have tery; and I dare not have speak now without offence. ble, exemplary characters there are in private life, who are never spoken of in public, to the end that their virtues may be applauded and imitated: who pass off the stage of life unknown and unnoticed; like the flowers which blow in a pathless wilderness, and fall to the ground in secret!
Nothing was more distinguishable in her character, than that persevering quietness and mildness of spirit, which seemed never to have been moved to speak evil of any one. What a peaceable, and what a happy world would this be, if all were of that mind!
It is very remarkable, that one of the last good offices of her life, was an affectionate attempt to restore the disturbed mind of a neighbour to the comforts of peace and reconciliation. By which we may judge, that, among her other good gifts, she would have bequeathed to us all, if it had been in her power, that blessed spirit of peace which regulated and adorned her own life. If she could have done this, I hope there are none here present who would not have been ready to receive it and cultivate it; because it would make them happy, as it did her, and bring them nearer to that kingdom of peace, to which she is translated.
Her patience, under a long and afflicting state of infirmity, was wonderful to those who were witnesses of it and you all know, how she resisted it, and struggled with it, that she might appear in this place, and join with the congregation in the praise and worship of God; never giving it up, 'till within a very short time of her death.
Of her charity to the poor, I may tell you, but I need not tell them, they have felt it, and will continue to feel it; for her hand is stretched out to them still.
Her zeal to the Church of England will always be acknowledged, from the provision she has made for the better accommodation of a minister to serve the church in this place: which, though not wanted at present, may be of much future benefit, and prevent this church and parish from being neglected hereafter, as they have been in time past. If they who have robbed, destroyed, and profaned churches, have been visited by the just judgment of God, whereof we have notorious instances in the history of this country, they who contribute to their support, may justly ex
pect to be blessed in themselves, and in those who succeed to their possessions. The church therefore, which owes so much to her, ought at least to pay the present debt of respect and gratitude to her memory; and it would scarcely have been decent in me to have omitted it. This is all we have in our power: what is more substantial, must be left to that great God, whose honour and worship she was so studious to promote.
It is not the least of her praise, that she disposed all her affairs with the utmost prudence and impartiality. You may think this a matter beneath our notice: but prudence is the mother of many and great virtues; and it was such in her; indeed it seems to have been the leading part of her character.
We may then, I trust, say with assurance, that she is of the number of those, who die in the Lord, and whose works do follow them.
What she is now, we must all be; and God only knows how soon the strongest and the boldest amongst us may become such. But if we wish to be what she shall be hereafter; if we would die with her expectations, we must follow the example of her meekness, and patience, and charity. If we would die the death of the righteous, we must lead the life of the righteous; there is no other way: Be ye then followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises,
AND THEY CAME OVER UNTO THE OTHER SIDE OF THE SEA, INTO THE COUNTRY OF THE GADARENES.
AND WHEN HE WAS COME OUT OF THE SHIP, IMMEDIATELY THERE MET HIM OUT OF THE TOMBS
A MAN WITH AN UNCLEAN SPIRIT. MARK V. 1, 2.
THE miracles of our Saviour are commonly understood, as acts of divine power, which were intended to shew, that he was the Son of God and the King of Israel. All his miracles were undoubtedly so many testimonies that he was sent from God: but they were much more than this; for they were all of such a kind, and attended with such circumstances, as gave us an insight into the spiritual state of man, and the great work of his salvation.
In this miraculous account of the man with the unclean spirit in the country of the Gadarenes, we behold, on the one side, a work of the Devil, and on the other, a contrary work of Jesus Christ, who came to destroy the works of the Devil. From the example of this poor wretch, in his state of possession, we see plainly what it is to be under the power of Satan. Such as this man was, such would he make of every man that is born into the world, if he were permitted of God so to do; he would make him restless, and shameless, and senseless, and furious. This poor Gadarene fled from the society of men, and had his dwelling in nakedness among the tombs and mountains; places which suited with the melancholy state