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the general tenor of his life, how holily, how justly, and how unblamably he behaved himself among you; and is all of no account? Is the harvest past, and the summer ended, and are you not saved? Alas! if this should be the case with any of you in this congregation, (and it is well if it is not,) you may never have such opportunities again; and if you should perish at last, the loss of your souls will be greater, and attended with more aggravating ciroumstances, than that of many others. Those of Bethsaida and Chorazin, who rejected or neglected the gospel, were in a worse situation than even the inhabitants of Sodom and Gomorrah. When the books come to be opened at the great day, they will contain a long and dark list of slighted opportunities, abused mercies, despised counsels, and forgotten warnings 1
Dear friends, call to remembrance the labours of your minister, and pray to the Lord that none of these things may come upon you. If any of you have been deaf to the various calls of God during his life, yet hear this one which is addressed to you by bis death! If the seed, which this dear servant of God has been sowing for nearly forty years among you, should yet spring up; if to a future and happy pastor of this church, it should be said, in the language of Christ to his apostles, Another has laboured, and you have entered into his labours; it would afford us no small pleasure, pleasure that would serve to counterbalance the painful providence with which at this time we are afflicted.
TO THE MEMORY OF MY DEAR AND VENERABLE FRIEND, THE REV. ROBERT HALL,
Who died in the 63d year of his age, on March 13, 1791.
Asd is my much-respected friend no more?
Is all that stock of true substantial worth
(If he were there, it seem'd that all were there;
If he were missing, none could fill his place.)
That store of excellence, in short, to which
(As to a ship well fraught) one might repair,
And be enrich'd with treasures new and old ?—
Is All, as by a kind of fatal wreck,
Destroy'd, and sunk at once to rise no more?
Shall I discern tby cheering face no more?
And must thy glad'ning voice no more be heard?
And when I visit thy much-loved abode,
Shall I not find thee there as heretofore?
Nor sit, nor walk, as erst with pleasure wont.
Nor mingle souls beneath the friendly bower?
No . . . this is past . . . nor ought seems left for me,
Except to walk, and sigh upon thy stone!
With heavy loads of complicated grief;
And grief more complicate, though less intense,
I'm told thou didst in earlier days endure;
But tribulation patience in thee wrought,
And such a stock of rich experience this,
That few like thee could reach the mourner's case.
Or ease the burdens of the lab'ring heart.
We saw thee ripen in thy later years,
O thou great Arbiter of life and death!
* Communion with God, the subject of the Circular Letter for 1789, which was Mr. Hall's last printed performance.
And lived for years to come, and bless'd us still:
Dear relatives and friends, his special charge!
What did I say? the ship was wreck'd and lost?
Nor is all lost to those who yet survive:
Though he is gone, his mantle's left behind
Kind memory may recall his words, and deeds,
* It has been observed that Mr. Hall's last public sermon, in hia own connexion, was preached at Olney Association, June 2, 1790, from Acts xx. 24.-*.Yeither count I my life dear,—that I may Jinish my course with joy, &c.
Vol. VIH. 61
And his communications yet are seen;
SKETCH OF A SERMON TO YOUNG PEOPLE.
Psalm xc. 14.
O satisfy us early with thy mercy, that we may rejoice and he glad all our
The season is returned, my dear young people, in which you expect I should address you on your eternal interests. I hope what I have heretofore said to you, not only on these occasions, but in the ordinary course of my labours, has not been altogether in vain. Some of you, I hope, have already set your faces Zionward. Happy should I be to see many more follow their example!
The words which I have read to you express the desire of Moses, the man of God, in behalf of Israel, and especially of the
* Mr Hall wrote many of the Circular Letters to the churches of the Northamptonshire and Leicestershire Association, most of which have been noticed already, os well as his Help to Zion's Travellers. He also printed A Charge to Mr. Morelon, delivered at his ordination at Kettering, 1771 ; and a Funeral Serinon for Mrs. Evans, of Foeton, 1775.