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up (for most of you have been trained up from your childhood under his ministry), with what authority, and with what judgment, prudence and steadiness, he has conducted you, as well as meekness and gentleness. You know his manner of going in and out among you, how exemplary his walk and conversation has been, with what gravity, judgment and savor of holiness, he has walked before you, as a man of God.
You have enjoyed great advantages for your souls' gocd, under his ministry: that you had such a minister was your privilege and your honor; he has been an ornament to the town of Hatfield; and his presence and conversation amongst you has been both profitable and pleasant; for though it was such as did peculiarly command awe and respect, yet it was at the same time, HUMBLE and CONDESCENDING : it tended both to instruct and entertain those that he conversed with : as a wise man, and endued with knowledge, he showed out of good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom.
But now it bath pleased a holy God to take him away from you : you will see his face and hear his voice no more, in the land of the living : you will no more have the comfort and benefits of his presence with you, and ihe exercise of his ministry among you.
Therefore now go to Jesus, the Supreme Head of the church, and Bishop of souls. Your pastor is dead, and will not live again till the last day : but Christ, the chief Shepherd, though he was dead, is now alive! And behold he lives for evermore. He ever lives to provide for his church, and to guide and feed his flock. Go to that Jesus whom your deceased pastor preached, and to whom he earnestly invited you while he lived, and give thanks for the many blessings you enjoyed in him. Remember how you have received and heard, and hold fast that no man take your crown ;* and go and humble yourselves also before him, that you made no better improvement of the ministry of your pastor while he lived; and beg of him a sanctified improvement of bis awful hand in taking him away, and that he would help you to remember his warnings and counsels that you too much slighted whilst you had them, lest those warnings and counsels cry against you, and rise up in judgment against you another day ; lest you see your pastor, that so affectionately and earnestly, and so often, and for so long a time continued to exhort you, and earnestly prayed for you, while he lived, rising up in judgment, and bearing testimony against you, declaring how constantly and laboriously he entreated and called upon you, and how obstinately some of you slighted his counsels ; and lest you see him sitting with Christ to judge and condemn you, and adoring his awful justice on your aggravated punishment.
All you that have an interest in Jesus, now go to him on this occasion, and tell him of your bereavement, and beg of him that he would not depart from you ; but that he would make up his loss in his own immediate presence. Go to him for your surviving pastor, that he would be with him, and furnish bim more and more for, and assist him in, that great work, that is now wholly devolved upon him, and make him also a burning and shining light amongst you; and that you may have of the presence and blessing of Jesus with you and him.
And now, since I am called to speak in the name of Christ on this solenn occasion, I would apply myself to the near relations of the deceased, who are especially to be looked upon, as the bereaved.
God in his holy providence has taken from you one that has been a great blessing, comfort and honor to you, and deservedly very dear to you, and honor
• Particularly, remember bis late affectionate farewell at the enble of the Lord, not expecting such another opportuniiy with you. Exhorting you to follow peace and holiness, and to edify one another.
ed of you.
The doctrine we are upon directs you what to do in your present circumstances, viz., to go to Jesus, to go and spread your affliction before an all-sufficient Redeemer.
And particularly I would apply myself to the honored relict, who stood in the nearest relation of any to the deceased, whom God by this awsul providence has made a sorrowful widow. Suffer me, honored madam, in your great affliction, to exhibit to you a compassionate Redeemer. God has now taken from you that servant of his, that was the nearest and best friend you had in this world, that was your wise and prudent guide, your affectionate and pleasant companion, who was so great a blessing while he lived, to you and your family, and under Christ, was so much the confort and support of your life. You see, madam, where your resort must be : your earthly friends can condole your loss, but cannot make it up to you; we must all conless ourselves to be but miserable conforters: but you may go and tell Jesus, and there you may bave both support and reparation : his love and his presence is far beyond that of the nearest and most affectionate earthly friend. Now you are bereaved of your earthly consort, you may go to a spiritual husband, and seek his compassion and his company : he is the fountain of all that wisdom and prudence, that piety, that tender affection and faithful care, that you enjoyed in your departed consort; in him is an infinite fountain of all these things, and of all good; in him you may have light in your darkness, comfort in your sorrow, and fulness of joy and glory in another world, in an everlasting union with your dear, deceased relative, in the glorious presence of the same Redeemer, in whose presence is fulness of joy, and at whose right hand are pleasures for evermore.
This doctrine also directs the bereaved, afflicted children, that are with hearts full of grief, now mourning over a dear departed father, where to go and what to do. You will no longer have your father's wisdɔm to guide you, his tender love to comfort and delight you, and bis affectionate care to guard you and assist you, and his pious and judicious counsels to direct you, and his holy examples set before you, and his fervent, bumble, believing prayers with you and for you.
But in the blessed Jesus, your father's Lord and Redeemer, you may have much more, than all those things: your father's virtues, that made him so great a blessing to you, were but the image of what is in Christ.
Therefore go to himn in your mourning: go and tell Jesus; tell a compassionate Saviour what has befallen you. Heretofore you have had an earthly father to go to, whose heart was full of tenderness to you; but the heart of his Redeemer is inuch more lender; his wisdom and his love is infinitely beyond that of any earthly parent. Go to bim, and then you will surely find comfort. Go to hiin and you will find that, though you are bereaved, yet you are not left in any want, you will find that all your wants are supplied, and all your loss made up, and much more than so.
But here I would particularly, in humility, address myself to my honored fathers, the sons of the deceased, ihat are improved in the same great work of the gospel ministry, or in other public business for the service of their generation. Honored sirs, though it might be more proper for me to come to you for instruction and counsel, than to take it upon me to exhort you, yet as I am one that ought to have a fellow-feeling of your affliction, and to look on myself as a sharer in it, and as you have desired me to speak in the name of Christ, on this occasion, suffer me to mention to you that source of comfort, that infinite fountain of good, one of the larger streaids of which, has failed by the death of an earthly father, even the blessed Jesus. You will doubtless acknowledge it as an instance of his great goodness to you, that you have been the sons of such
a father ; being sensible that your reputation and serviceableness in your generation, have been, under Christ, very much owing to the great advantages you have been under, by his instructions, counsels and education. And is it not fit that children that have learned of such a faithful servant of Christ, and been brought up at his feet, now he is dead, should do as John the Baptist's disciples did, go and tell Jesus? From whom you may receive comfort under your bereavement, and from whom you may receive more of that Spirit that dwelt in him, and greater degrees of those virtues he derived from Christ, to cause you to shine brighter, and to make you still greater blessings in your generation. Now death has veiled and hid from sight, a Star that shone with reflected light, our text and doctrine leads you to the Sun, that hath light in himself, and shines with infinite, unfailing brightness. And while you go to Jesus, honored sirs, on this occasion for yourselves, I humbly desire your requests to him for us the surviving ministers of this county, that he would be with us, now he has taken from us himn that was as a father amongst us.
I nextly would address myself to the surviving pastor of this church. We may well look upon you, Reverened Sir, as one in an especial inanner concerned in this awful providence, and that has a large share in the bereavement. You doubtless are sensible what reason you have to bless God for the advantage you have had, in serving in the gospel of Christ, so long as you have done, with the venerable person deceased, as a son with a father, enjoying the benefit of his instructions, counsels and example. And particularly, you will often recollect the affectionate and fatherly counsels he gave you, to diligence and faithfulness in your Lord's work, with encouragement of his protection and assistance to carry you through all difficulties, the last evening of his life. And now, dear sir, God has taken hin from you, as he took Elijah from Elisha, and as he took John the Baptist, the New Testament Elijah, from his disciples : therefore now you are directed what to do, viz., go and tell Jesus ; as those disciples did. You have now a great work devolved upon you; you have him no more, who, while he lived, was as a father to you, to guide and assist you, and take the burthen of your great work from you. Therefore you have nowhere else to go, but to your great Lord and Master, that has sent you to labor in that part of his vineyard, where his aged, and now departed servant was employed, to seek strength and wisdorn, and divine influence and assistance from him, and a double portion of that Spirit, that dwelt in your predecessor.
And lastly, the text I am upon may be of direction to us the surviving ministers of this county, what to do on this sorrowful occasion. God has now taken our father and master from our head: he has removed him that has heretofore under Christ been very much our strength, that we have been wont to resort to in difficult cases for instruction and direction, and that used to be amongst us from time to time, in our associations, and that we were wont to behold as the head and ornainent of those conventions.* Where else can we now go but to Jesus, the ever living Head of the whole church, and Lord of the whole harvest, the fountain of light, our great Lord and Master that sends all gospel ministers, and on whom they universally depend? Let this awful providence bring us to look to Christ, to seek more of his presence with us; and that he would preside as Head in our associations : let it bring us to a more
• Very worthy of our notice was that his farewell message sent us by one of our beloved brethren (the Rev. Mr. Williams of Springfield) after he returned from such a meeting, where he also preached.. I do not expect,” said he, * to be with you another Association Meeting : but I give you this advice, Love your Master, love your work and love one another.” How very expressive of his own spint! Like John the beloved disciple.
immediate and entire dependence upon him, for instruction and direction, in all our difficulties.
Let us on this occasion consider what God has done in this country of late years: it was not many years ago that the country was filled with aged ministers, that were our fathers; but our fathers, where are they?-What a great alteration is made in a little time, in the churches in this part of the land * How frequent of late have been the warnings of this kind that God has given us to prepare to give up our account! Let us go to Jesus, and seek grace of him that we may be faithful while we live, and that he would assist us in our great work, that when we also are called hence, we may give up our account with joy and not with grief, and that hereafter we may meet those our fathers, that have gone before us in the faithful labors of the gospel, and that we may shine forth with them, as the brightness of the firmament, and as the stars forever and ever.
+ The Rer. Mr. Stoddard, Mr. Taylor Mr. Williams of Deerfield, Mr. Brewer, and lately have died, Mr. Bull of Westfield and Mr Devotion of Suffield,
TRUE SAINTS, WHEN ABSENT FROM THE BODY, ARE PRESENT WITH THE LORD
2 CORINTHIANS V. 3. --We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be
present with the Lord.
The apostle in this place is giving a reason why he went on with so much boldness and immovable steadfastness, through such labors, sufferings, and dangers of his life, in the service of his Lord; for which his enemies, the false teachers among the Corinthians, sometiines reproached him as being beside himself, and driven on by a kind of madness. In the latter part of the preceding chapter, the apostle informs the Christian Corinthians, that the reason why he did thus, was, that he firmly believed the promises that Christ had made to his faithful servants of a glorious future eternal reward, and knew that these present afflictions were light, and but for a moment, in comparison of that far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory. The same discourse is continued in this chapter; wherein the apostle further insists on the reason he had given of his constancy in suffering, and exposing himself to death in the work of the ministry, even the more happy state he expected after death. And this is the subject of the text; wherein may be observed,
1. The great future privilege, which the apostle hoped for; that of being present with Christ. The words, in the original, properly signify dwelling with Christ, as in the same country or city, or making a home with Christ.
2. When the apostle looked for this privilege, viz., when he should be absent from the body. Not to wait for it till the resurrection, when soul and body should be united again. He signifies the same thing in his epistle to the Philippians, chap. i. 22, 23: “But if I live in the flesh, this is the fruit of my labor. Yet what I shall choose, I wot not. For I am in a strait between two; having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ.”'
3. The value the apostle set on this privilege. It was such, that for the sake of it, he chose to be absent from the body. He was willing rather, or (as the word properly signifies) it were more pleasing to him, to part with the present life, and all its enjoyments, and be possessed of this great benefit, than to continue here.
4. The present benefit, which the apostle had by his faith and hope of this future privilege, and of his great value for it, viz., that hence he received courage, assurance, and constancy of mind, agreeable to the proper import of the word that is rendered, we are confident. The apostle is now giving a reason of that fortitude and inmovable stability of mind, with which he went through those extreme labors, hardships and dangers, which he mentions in this discourse; 50 that, in the midst of all, he did not faint, was not discouraged, but had constant light, and inward support, strength, and comfort in the midst of all : agreeable to the 10th verse of the foregoing chapter, “ For which cause, we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day."
• Preached on the day of the funera! of the Rev. Mr. David Brainerd, Missionary ic the Indians, from the Horlo alle Soci ty in Scotland for the propagation of Christian Knowledge, and Pastor of: Church of Christian India is in New Jersey; who died at Northampton, in New England, October 4 1747, in the 30th year of his age, and was interr.d on the 12th following