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For, behold, the Lord, the Lord of Hosts, doth take away from Jerusalem and from Judan the Counsellor, and the eloquent Orator." — Isaiah, iii. 1, 3.
When you are called, my dear hearers, to guard against a worldly mind, does it imply you are to take no notice of what is passing in the world? that you are hlind, deaf, and insensible to mortal affairs? Is this possible, unless, as the Apostle savs, " we would go out of the world?" for while we are in it, objects strike our eyes and our ears, and our hearts too. And is it possible, is it desirable, would it be religious, to have a heart of stone? Does not religion take away such a heart, and give in its place a heart of flesh — tender, warm, lovely, generous, full of noble sensibilities? The Christian is notbuilt on the ruins of the man, the brother, the neighbour, the patriot, the pliilanthropist. o, my dear hearers, we have never so tender, so generous, or so extensive sensibilities, as when the grace of God makes us new creatures. This only is implied in the charge to guard against a worldly mind : where others see worldly revolutions you should see divine dispensations : your citizensihip being on high, you should see Him who is invisible, riding on the storm and managing the whirlwind, and making all things work together for the good of his Church. Therefore God reproaches some with their insensibility, when it is said, " When the hand is lifted up they will not see: but they shall see and be ashamed at the envy of the people;" and while the great and the mighty fall, and "the Lord of Hosts doth take away from Jerusalem and Judah the stay and the staff," let us behold the works of God, and learn heavenly wisdom. First, then, my dear hearers, learn from the late mournful event in our country — the death of a great statesman at the head of the government — learn THE Weight of Government in a fallen World. For when the mightiest minds that our country has produced — a Fox, a Pitt, a Liverpool, a Canning, one after another taking the weight of government upon them, and dropping under its weight into the arms of death ; can we avoid thinking of the mighty mass of care that lias pressed them down? Would it not be affectation and obstinacy to say, It is mere sequence and not consequence, it has no relation to cause and effect ? Were you to see a vast load laid on the shoulders of many strong men successively, and were you to see them drop one after another, till at last the load was lying on the ground waiting for some one to take it up, would you not say, How heavy it must be ? And what else do we now see, but the great weight of government lying on the ground for some miglity mind, some • Funeral Sermon for the Right Honourable George Canmng.
298 Tiin DK.vTn of statesmen. Herculean shoulders strong enough to bear it? Let us remember that in ordinary times, when we expect that success is the natural order of tilings, we know not how many heads have arlied that ours might he at ease, and how many breasts have been agitateil that ours miglit ha calm. We wake in the morning, having passed a quiet niglit ; and you may say it is natural for the night to he quiet: but we forget that the watchmen watched that we might sh'cp. Wlieii troublous times come then we are taught tliis wisdoui, fur we then discover that quietness, and calm, and ease, are not so natural in a fallen world as we imagine. On the contrary, man having fallen from God, he has perverted tlie moral order of the universe; and wlien he is deranging his relation toward his Creator, can we expect any thing but derangement with liis fellow-creatures? When the great tables of the law were broken at the foot of Blount Sinai, it was not only that table which said, " Thou shalt love the Lord thy God," but also, " Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thvself," that was dashed in pieces. Were a band of robbers to conspire together to set the government at defiance, however harmoniously they miglit seem to move, every wise man wouM say, Wait a little, and they will quarrel among themselves, and a wise government will soon crush them all. And when we have fallen from our great C'reator, can you wonder that it is a mighty task to manage fallen creatures? For tiie very selfishness which reigns in all parties, the governed and tiie governing, would be avoided, were they wisely loving tlieir neighbours as themselves. Lines drawn from the circumference to one common centre, will not cross or disturb each other; but now that every one has a mighty self of liis own, now that self is his god, and his all, all is thrown into confusion in the government. 'I'hey that are in power can hardly be supposed to be pure in their motives ; they are men, and are we pure? Among the governed there are unreasonable expectations excited: they look for from man wiiat (iod alone can do ; and they lay to their charge the hailness of t!ie seasons ; and t)ecause the weather is too wet, or too dry, they will pour on the governors blame for the variations in the verv elements. And when we behold this discord, we may conceive how liard it must be to bear the weight of the toil, and to nuiuage such a mass. And tliere is another cause of difficulty in the management of tlie state, which must never be lost sight of; for since the rise of popery, subsequent to tiie professed conversion of Constantine, the governors of the world have not been content with governing it alone, but they nuist govern the Church also, the soul as well as the hodv. Religion must be taken on their shoulders; though I know not the shoulders but of Oiu', and he more than mortal man, that is able to bear the vast weight of the eternal interests of the souls of men. Hence the cares of government have doubled, and trebled, and multiplied beyond calculation, and who can wonder that the weight of this mass should crush tiie Atlas that attempts to carry two worlds ? Secondly, we are taught tliis evening, by the event we attempt to imi)!()ve, not
only the weight of the burden, but the Weakness of the Shoulders op MORTAL Men. However mighty his shoulders may be, he must be a bold man that Mould venture to take up a burden that has crushed so many : and yet there are many tliat will venture on it ; for there are those who delight in danger, who sport with diiru-ulties, and who delight in doing wiiat no one else can do. And it is well for society that there are men of moral courage ; not merely the ])hysical and animal courage of the bull-dog, which will rush fearlessly into danger;
THE DEATH OF STATESME . 299 nor the daring courage of tlie soldier, that would seek glory in the midst o' desc.ation and blood; but those that love to meet with moral difficulties, and to contend with the contradictions of n)en, and sway the passions of the multitude. But if all preferred the comfort and quiet of domestic life, how could the aflfairs of government go on? Yet there are some burdens, the weight of which will crush any mind: for the sons of Anak are not omnipotent. In ordinary times, these men serve to shew our littleness ; but there are times coming which will teach us how little we all are ; and how feeble the mightiest, when he meets with his match, and more than liis match. When great difficulties come on the most extraordinary minds our age has produced, they will find that the spring of the mind may be strained too far, and the most buoyant spirits sink down languishing; for the mind acts upon the body ; the liver begins to feel the effect of continual thought; the night yields no rest, the sweet balm of sleep is never thrown into the veins ; and rising in the morning still more fatigued, the day shows new difficulties ; till the spirits fail, and the men drop. Thus, if we learned before how great the man was, afterwards we hear the voice that says, " Man is but vanity and dust, in all his power and pride." " Put not your trust in princes, nor in the son of man, in whom there is no help. His breath goes forth, he returneth to his earth ; in that very day his tlioughts perish." And how knows any man how near he is to this point, when he shall be overwhelmed with his own duties, distracted with his own cares, become a prey to the very thing in which he delighted? o man knows but that he is at this moment on the very verge of the grave. Therefore, let no man glory in man. " Let not the mighty man glory in his might, nor the wise man in his wisdom, nor the rich man in his riches, but let him glory in this, saith the Lord; that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the Lord which exercise lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness in the world: for in these things 1 delight, sath the Lord." Let it be your bliss to say, " In the Lord I have both righteousness and strength : in all my weakness and guilt I am in the hands of an omnipotent friend, who will sustain me, and make me more than conqueror." Thirdly, let us learn by the lamentable event we attempt to improve, the
Uncertainty op all Human Affairs. We have heard of this before, say some, that is^ one of the common-places of old time, on which any one can declaim. You have heard it before — Have you believed it? Have you felt it, and have you lived under its influence ? What, all dumb now ? Then you must hear it again, for you have it yet to learn. " Go to now, ye that say, to-day or to-morrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get again : whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away." We need to be taught this with a strong and iron hand ; for this warm piece of moving clay that is bustling about the earth, ready to drop to pieces every moment, and to be scattered to the winds, is so swoln with vanity that it would fain fancy it is made of adamant. Therefore God supplies us with strong lessons, at certain seasons, to teach us the contrary. When the French Emperor, apoleon, had gained the battle of Jena, he received some blasphemous congratulations, ascribing omnipotence and omniscience to him, and he received them as though they were his due: I said in my heart, that man is doomed to a downfall, he hath provoked to jealousy the
300 THE DEATl' ''P 8TATESMEX. liord of Hosts, and lie will teach him how different earthly thrones arc from eternal crowns. But little did he expect a humiliation so public and so mortifying ; little did he expect a downfall such as he after experienced ; to be flun"on a distant land, an island alone in the wide sea, and there to pine awav with a secret diseasci , ' " His fate was destined to a foreign strand, A petty fortress and a humble land : He left a name at which the world grew pale, To point a moral, and adorn a tale." But we are supplied with another lesson, in one who weathered the storms of political life to grasp the helm of the state. Often he thought of the uncertainty of arriving at the object of his ambition, but seldom thought of the uncertainty of remaining there, or if he did, it was by the recollection how many there were struggling to displace him. Little did he think of another foe that was lurking in secret, aiming a blow that Mas death. For Death lurked behind, just waiting to let him be seated, to let him be warm in his seat, to allow him to be secure in his post, to gather his friends around him, to commence his arrangements, to have the whole prospect in view, then, springing like a tiger, tore him down from his seat, and consigned him from his seat of glory to the bed of death. There lies the nation's pride and glory; there lies the mighty counsellor, the eloquent orator, whose thoughts were lightning, and his words thunder. There he lies prostrate in the dust. o more brilliant
conceptions glance across his fertile brain, no cares of government now swell his mighty mind; but Death, that ruthless conqueror, is trampling him in the dust, and the very worm feeds on his cheek fearlessly. But ah ! our thoughts are also full of mighty cares, busy with the pursuits of pleasure or commerce, building up a mighty fortune, rearing a house that shall last to all generations, which the wind will blow down perhaps the next breath. Remember, thou hast only to change the name of Canning to thine own, and the tale is told of thee, and " thou art the man :" thou art the next moment, perhaps, a tale for mortals to learn wisdom by. Oh, then, my deai hearers, let us proceed to the next lesson, and learn, Fourthly, our absolute Dependance on the Supreme Governor. When we behold the profound counsellor, and the mighty orator, and are entranced with their talents and execution, we grow idolatrous, and think these men are more than mortal, and that society could not go on without them ; little tiiinking that he who made them as they are, to be employed as he pleases, and to l)e laid aside when he pleases, can raise others equally fitted as they are. When Moses was called in Horeb, to become a sort of king to the children of Israel, and when lie slirunk from the task, saying, " O my Lord, I am not eloquent, neither heretofore, nor since thou hast spoken unto thy servant ; but I am slow of speech, and of a slow tongue," the Lord said unto him, " Who hath made man's mouth? or who maketh the dumb, or deaf, or the seeing, or the blind ? have not I the Lord?" And he that raised up mighty men, and formed their gigantic minds, has he exhausted Iiis resources, has he no residue of spirit, or power, or talent left, that he can form men equal to tiiem that have been before? \V]\cn you see the ripened corn, the beauteous harvest, waving in the field, you will never say. When this is cut, when shall we sec another'
THK DEATH OF STATESME '. 301 and when tliis is consumed, where shall any more grow? You will surely perceive that he that promised these shall not fail, will not fail in his promises. In the Church we are accustomed to such reflections, when the accurati expositor, the mighty preacher, the watchful pastor, are taken away. If for the moment we say, help, Lord, for the godly man ceaseth, and the faithful fail from the midst of us ; we reeoUect ourselves, and remember " the Lord liveth, and blessed be our rock, exalted be the God of our salvation :" the government rests on the shoulders of Jesus ; he hath promised that the gates of hell shall not prevail against the Church, he has founded it on a rock. Is not this equally true of the Church and of the world? Jesus is King of saints, the Lord of all the princes and kings of the earth, King of kings, and Lord of lords, of low men, of wise, and of the unwise. The holy and the profane are under his government, and he doth what he will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth. Let us, then, remember, that the great Governor of
the world shall manage his aifairs well, and that he will raise up others to accomplish his purposes, in the stead of those whom he pleases to take away. And let us not be driven from this reflection, as if it were hard fate and dire necessity, that we must come to cast ourselves on his power and faithfulness. It shall be our joy to see him presiding over the nations, and we shall sing with joyfulness, " Hallelujah, for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth." Fifth, another lesson which we should learn from the late event is. The SACRED Duty op Prayer for Kings and all in Authority over us. For thus saith the Apostle ; " Put them in mind to be subject to principalities and powers, to obey magistrates, to be ready to every good work." So also says Paul to Timothy; " I exhort, therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; for kings, and for all that are in authority.'' You see how wide the duty extends — not merely to " kings," but, " to all in authority under them," deputed by them to administer the afikirs of nations: for no man, though a king, can do every thing himself; and in our government, constituted as it is, i^is manifest, great importance is attached to the king's ministers : for the responsibility is taken from the king, and laid on his constitutional cidvisers; that, on the one hand, they might have the greatest motive for giving wise counsels ; and on the other, that the nation may be preserved from the violent convulsions that would be one result from calling kings to account. Therefore, it is manifestly proper, that prayer should be offered for the king, that he may choose wise counsellors. But can he choose them where there are none to be chosen ? If death crush one mighty mind after another, what shall the king do? He cannot choose wise men out of a number of fools, or mighty men out of feeble. We must be left with that sad lot with which God threatens his people; " I will give children to be their princes, and babes shall rule over them : they shall be left with the refuse, because death has left none else." Therefore we should make our supplications that councils may be assisted; that the cares of government* niav not overwhelm and destroy — that there may be a reasonable spirit prevalent in the public ; so that it may be rendered less oppressive. For it is a very alarming thing if the country cannot be governed but at the risk of the lives of ttiose who are at the head of affairs. Seek, then, of Him by whom kings reign, and princes decree justice, that he teach our counsellors wisdom, and guide our senators in judgment. I ask this of you, therefore, my dear hearers, who are
302 THE DEATH OF STATERMEV. men of prayer ; you, hIio are the salt of the earth, to keep it from corruption you, who are the pillars of the world, to bear it up from ruin ; you, who have power with God, the mighty oninipotcnts of faith; you, who when God draws out his sword to slay a guilty nation, may interpose, and he will say, "See, I have pardoned them, according to your word : and they shall not die." Go you, therefore, to the mercy-seat, and pour oitl your soul before your God,
and entreat bim to shed blessings on your country, from the king on the throne, down to his meanest subject. Sixthly, I ask this of you, in the next place, that you should, in your Supplications, ESPECIALLY REMEMBER ZiO , THE ChURCH OF THE LiVI G God. The Church has been compared to a building, and the world to a scaffold placed around it, in order to .assist in rearing the edifice. ow, admitting this imagery, what do we learn from recent events? That the affairs of the world interest the Church, and that, if the scaffolding be shaken and deranged, the carrying on of the building may be retarded; and that if one of the poles fall, who can tell what damage may be done to the edifice, or what obstruction may be thrown in the way of carrying forward that glorious work ? You say, it must prosper, it is founded on a rock, it is erected according to the Divine plan, and heaven has decreed that they shall bring out the top-stone with shouting. I grant it ; but take this also into account — that the means by which this shall be accomplished ai'e ordained also ; that a vast apparatus is provided to produce this happy result ; and that the throbbing of anxious hearts, and the ferveat prayers of the people of God, pleading night and day with him for Zion, are to be brought into the reckoning, and must be employed to accomplish the end. Give the Lord, therefore, no rest, till he establish Jerusalem, and make her a praise in the earth: and when political events arise which affect the Church of the living God, then do you arise, and plead with God in the critical moment, that it maybe well with Zion. For, think how our country has been affected by political events. The death of Henry the Eighth opened the way for a Reformation of that malignant species of religion which he adopted ; in which he hung men for being reformed too much, or burnt them for being reformed too little. This passed away at his death, and his son, Edward the Sixth, introduced a greater Reformation. His death overthrew all again; and the bloody Mary succeeded with her reign of persecution. Her death made way for Elizabeth, by whom the work of Reformation was again carried on. And when James the Second was preparing despotism and bigotry for our country, then the glorious William interposed, and the happy Revolution brouglit civil and religious freedom too. And civil freedom is necessary for religious liberty. Find me a country where religion is at liberty and there is no civil freedom. If, therefore, we enjoy the advantages of religious freedom by means of God's overruling civil events ; let us remember Zion, and pour our solicitudes into the bosom of our God. Elis death was the best part of his life, though he died under a cloud, and his death was the execution of divine threatening upon him for honouring his sons more than God. Yet, at last, he shewed that the calamity that had befallen him had cured him of that sin ; for when the news of the death of his sons was brought, he bore this with a calm and equal mind ; but when it was told him that the ark of God was t<aken, " he fell back from his seat, and being an old man, and heavy, his neck brake, and he died." But, let me die the death of the
HE DEATH OK STATESME . 303 rigliteous ; though he die under a cloud, the sun will shine brightly on the otiier side. Let me, then, bear Zion on my heart ; let my heart be solicitous for tlie Church, whatever events shake and convulse tlie world : and be assured that M'hatever consequences may now arise from the death of the late minister of state, the Lord God will take care for the interests of his Churcli, and that no weapon formed against her will prosper. And now let me entreat you, my dear hearers, to listen to the last lesson which the recent political event teaches — to prepare for our own Death. "Prepare to meet thy God," is the language of this event. Death is so important that we should make the most of it. We ought to take care that we do not live for ourselves, and we should not die for ourselves. We live to teach others how to live, and we die to teach others that tliey must die. We ought to live always learninothis great art, which is tiie last we shall have to practise on this stage of being — the art of dying. We can die but once ; and if we die badly we cannot come back again, and say we will do it better next time. It is done once and for ever. Therefore we must learn to do it well, or be for ever miserable. For this reason God furnishes us with lessons and teachers. These are our own friends and kindred. They die, as it vi'ere, within our own doors : we cannot escape from the scene — it is under our own roof; and we are obliged to stand by their beds. The lessons we there learn, so take possession of our whole souls, that we say we shall never forget it. But that was fallacious : nothing promises us more, and performs less, than the death of others. Some, perhaps, have often been taught this lesson ; and who will deny that he has almost forgotten it, because it is a long time since he lost a friend. All the mighty impressions he thought would be eternal, seem to have vanished and gone. Therefore we have to be instructed again. But it is merciful in our God, that he is not always teaching us by the death of our nearest relatives ; life would be too bitter if it were so. It is true we often wear mourning — some of my audience remind me of this; but others remind me that we do not always wear it : God mercifully spares us a little breathing time from these calamities. But if the escutcheon does not always hang over our doors, we are always in want of instruction. Therefore God provides a public teacher, to read a lesson to a nation, and not merely to a family. AVhen those die who are in power, it is losing a sort of relative; and the king calls his counsellors, his " trusty and M'ell-beloved cousins." We feel a sort of relationship to tiiuse who govern well. This political relation has fallen, and the whole nation has now to learn heavenly wisdom. All classes of people have been interested in this most afflicting event : the mighty and brilliant extinguished, and gone out in perpetual night. Come, then, and let us lay our hand on our lieart, and say, " I see that Thou wilt bring me also to death, and to the house appointed for all living." Let nie ask you. Are you prepared to die? You say, Why, no ; really I have
been so busy, I have had no time ; I liave been so occupied with my own personal duties, and the cares of my family, the concerns of business, and more public callings, that I have not had time to think of it. But are you aware that death will find time to think of you, if you do not find time to think of liim ? All your cares will not delay liiin one moment, but, perhaps, accelerate his march ; the very anxieties of your mind may consume your spirit, and perhaps destroy your body. Then what madness it is, to neglect the immortal soul ! It is a heartwithering sight, and our soul sickens when we think of a fine brilliant spirit,
304 THE DEA'lli OF STATESME . a man full of important duties, anxious to do them well ; a man at the head of a fine family : and when we think, with admiration, of his talents and genius, and see him so occupied as, seemingly, having no thought for heaven. Are vou aware what you are doing with that spirit of yours, binding it with thick clay, and seeking to plunge it in everlasting night? Remember, he that is cruel to his own house, is like the ostrich, which leaveth her eggs in the sand, and forgetteth that the foot of the traveller may crush them. But he that is cruel to his own soul — where shall we find language to describe him? All nature has no imagery horrible enough to describe the murderer of his own soul — a creature formed for immortality, in holiness and righteousness, after the image of Him that created him, fallen, depraved, and guilty. But a hand is stretched down from the skies to help him : Almighty mercy has interposed ; a Saviour has appeared among us, who came to seek and to save that which is lost : he has lived for us, he has bled for us, he has died for us, he has risen for us, he has ascended for us, and he ever lives to make intercession for us. He says, " Come to me, all ye that are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest ;" but calls in vain. He says, " Why will ye die ? As I live, saith the Lord, I will not the death of a sinner. Turn ye — why will ye die ?" And shall he plead in vain? " Behold, now is the accepted time ; behold, to-day is the day of salvation." Death is at thy heels — flee for thy life, and bear that trembling, guilty spirit to the bosom of Jesus Christ. Commit it to his hand ; he will receive the deposit ; he will blot out your transgressions ; he will justify you freely through his righteousness; he will transform you into his image; he will mould you by his mighty hand, and make you meet to live in inmiortal glory. Let Christians who have known the grace of Christ, learn the benefit of that calm and equal mind, that casts its care on Him that careth for us ; that we may be preserved from the cares and solicitudes that destroy men. Therefore, " Be careful for nothing ; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known unto God." 1. 68 FREE BOOKS http://www.scribd.com/doc/21800308/Free-Christian-Books
2. ALL WRITI GS http://www.scribd.com/glennpease/documents?page=970
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