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tainments and happiness, the glory of God is displayed, the image of God is exhibited, the happiness of the saints is demonstrated. It is our duty assuredly to glorify God, and to do good to men. We do both in preserving the name of the righteous with honour.
Piety delights in beholding the glory of the Lord in all his works and ways; in the heavens, in the earth, in the sea and 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 order. We fee the divine wisdom, goodness, power, sovereignty, faithfulness, in raising them up; in the dispensations of his providence towards them, in the influence of his grace; in their being sanctified, established, 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-suffering: By the grace of God I am
what I am:" Christians, in finding the persecutor and blasphemer preaching the faith which he once destroyed, glorified God in him. In the progress and perfection of the spiritual life, and in the history of the saints; the presence, the power, the faithfulness of God, are manifested, according to their varying condition and exigencies. Is it not our duty to preserve such displays of God, that the affections and graces of piety may be awakened and cherished? This we do by holding the righteous in reputation.
It is our duty to venerate the image of God: we must therefore respect and honour those who are his workmanship, who are renewed after his likeness in righteousness and true holiness; who are his children, heirs of God, and joint heirs with Jesus Christ. The charms and attractions of the most perfect form, what are they compared to those of the beauty of holiness? Where is proportion and grace, and dignity, equal to theirs who are the children of the Highest? To depart from these natural and scriptural allusions to sensible objects; the righteous resemble God, (and therefore their memory should be preserved and honoured,) in every moral perfection. God is glorious in holiness: Jesus, the image of the invisible God,
F was was holy, harmless, undefiled: the righteous strive to be perfect, as their father in heaven is perfect; to be holy as God is holy, to have the same mind in them that was also in Christ. They resemble God in his goodness: they are imitators of God as dear children, and walk in love; after his example who went about doing good, and gave himself for us, a sacrifice of a sweet smelling savour unto God. Like their blessed Lord, they delight in the service of God; they delight greatly in the way of his commandments. In regarding the righteous with pleasure and approbation, as thus resembling God, we will be constrained and determined to preserve their memory with honour.
God is glorified when men are saved. How exalted is the object, considered in every point of light! philanthropy rejoices in the happiness of our fellow creatures: piety exults in the adorations and joyful worship of the redeemed; in life, through the churches, over the world, to ages of ages. Happy are they who in any way contribute to the revenue of praise to Him that sitteth on the throne, and to the Lamb; who, in
other other words, are instrumental to the conviction, conversion, and salvation of the souls of men: 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!
After pondering such considerations for holding the righteous in endeared remembrance; do you inquire how it will be best cherished, expressed and preserved?
This is the last division of discourse. What are the methods by which we shall most effectually contribute to the worthy memory of the righteous? I answer, For this purpose, in the first place, Carefully review their worth and character from time to time: Secondly, Give thanks to God for their worth and excellence, and the blessings through them conferred upon you: Thirdly, Imitate the righteous: I add, in the last place, It will have the happiest effects on your esteem for them, and its influence on yourselves to contemplate the honours of the righteous in this world, and in the eternal world.
F 2 The
The first and essential rule for holding the righteous in an endeared remembrance, is,
Carefully review their character and worth, from time to time.
I Can easily figure some occasions in which it is little necessary to desire men to dwell on the history and worth of their valuable friends. Are they taken from them at a time they did not look for, and were reckoning on the continuance of their friendship? when, too, men are placed in the circumstances wherein they formerly experienced, and much need the wise counsel and effectual help of their friends: on occasions of this nature, their thoughts are full of them, and their tongue is the pen of a ready writer, in uttering lamentations, and in offering liberal tributes of praise. By and by, however, we find them greatly changed; business and pleasure occupy the mind, and engross the heart, and we as much regret their forgetfulness, as we complained of their being in danger formerly of being swallowed up of sorrow; and that, in celebrating the worth of.the absent objects of their affection,