Imágenes de página

the righteous to an endeared and honoured name: next, the perpetuity of their fame. In the third place, let me exhort you to cherish and preferve the memory of the righteous. I fhall conclude by fuggefting advices and directions, on keeping them in everlafting remembrance.

I. THE righteous are entitled to a respectful and affectionate remembrance.

RIGHTEOUS is an epithet that frequently occurs in facred Scripture. It denotes worth or excellence of character. To righteousness is afcribed whatever belongs to religion or holinefs. Righteoufnefs, obedience, religion, often exprefs the fame thing. He that is

righteous," and, "fhall be in everlasting "remembrance," is defcribed in this Pfalm, as "fearing God, delighting greatly in his "commandments, upright, gracious, full of compaffion and good." The righteous is indeed compared and contrafted fometimes with thofe who are diftinguifhed by goodness. To the juftice of Simeon, the Evangelift adds devotion. In the well known illustration of the grace of God in the falvation of men, the

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors][merged small]

the apoftle obferves, Scarcely for a righ“teous man will one die, yet peradventure for a good man fome would even dare to "die." But, in general, and excepting comparifons and diftinctions of this kind, by righteousness is meant whatever belongs to a perfect character.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

IN examining the claims of the righteous to an affectionate and refpectful remembrance, an immenfe field opens before us.. We may travel long and delightfully in it, without obferving all its beauties, and without experiencing all the fatisfactions and improvement they inspire and impart. We are left at liberty to select our path, and the objects of our admiration and delight. In difcourfing on the character of the righteous, and the endeared and lafting remembrance it commands, and fecures; we might direct you to the state and workings of the heart; to his amiable and worthy affections and difpofitions; to his intellectual powers and their improvement and exercife; to his temper and conduct; to his attainments and habits; to his pursuits and pleasures. All these, if properly delineated, if duly regarded, infure esteem:

B 2

efteem: they are juftly entitled to praise; whether the righteous, in them, are confidered in relation to God or man, to foul or body, to time or eternity. Nothing that is truly juft, benevolent or pious, is unattracting or unamiable: whatever is dutiful is also lovely, and is deferving of good report.

THE fuperficial may pronounce justice is severity; kindness is weakness; and piety itself is melancholy and morofeness. The wicked dread the rigour of justice; the selfish condemn the profufion of liberality; the irreligious talk, and perhaps think, contemptuoufly of the godly; and use the expreffion as a term of reproach. The good word, or good opinion, of wicked men is of little value. We are not much affected with the flanderous opinions and afperfions of the giddy, the immoral, and irreligious. We prize the deference and affection of the wife and good. Men of difcernment and real worth, hold the righteous, in every part of their character, in reputation. The good name given by them, will be repeated and preserved, and tranfmitted, with high honour, to childrens children.


THAT felection of memorable and eminent qualities and excellence, that occurs to my thoughts at prefent, is, at once, I hope, natural and useful.

ALL the truly righteous are entitled to high estimation, but they especially command and enfure a cordial and lafting remembrance, who are placed by Providence in circumstances favourable for displaying real excellence; who are extenfively known; in whom unite the more diftinguishing virtues and graces of a worthy character. Such honour have not all the faints, indifcriminately.

IN fuch favourable circumstances, are, in the first place, They who are at the head of large families their worth is extensively known: the union and happy blendings and effects of diftinguishing and amiable qualities, are often beheld in them with high delight, and greatly adorn and endear the worthy husband, and father, and mafter, who has long fuftained thefe characters.

"HUSBANDS love your wives," fays the Scripture. Nor is this more the command


of God and the dictate of infpiration, than the suggestion, and the imperious call of propriety, and generofity and fenfibility. The careless and indifferent in this relation, not to fay the harsh and undutiful, cannot be esteemed or vindicated, whatever other claims may be fet up, or fuppofed, to command the refpect and homage of the world. Where there is a defect of affection to the friend of one's bofom, the companion for life, the partner of his fortunes, the common parent of his children, there is a want of the beft fentiments of the heart, and the worthieft qualities of human nature. Female delicacy, and affection, and fenfibility, command and fecure tender affection, and unfhaken confidence; and, therefore, the pureft and most permanent enjoyment. "Live joyfully with the "wife whom thou loveft," fays the wife man; nor limits the period but with death; "for "that is thy portion in this life," adds he, "and in thy labour which thou takest under "the fun." She is endeared to a difcerning and worthy man, by many confiderations. He best knows her good qualities: her happiness is greatly, I had almost faid wholly, in his power: her interefts are interwoven with

« AnteriorContinuar »