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Whosoever loveth father or mother, brother or sister, more than Christ, is not worthy of him. But whosoever shall leave father and mother, brother and sister, house and land, for the sake of the gospel, shall in no wise lose his reward. If any man deny Christ before men, him will he also deny before his father who is in heaven. But they who preserve themselves unspotted from the world, who steadfastly and faithfully bear testimony to the truth in the midst of a crooked and
perverse generation, shall be openly acknowledged in the presence of his father and his holy angels, and graciously welcomed into the joy of their Lord.
On the duty of holding the righteous in remem.
brance, and the important advantages derived from the recollection of their virtues.
Psalm 112, VERSE 6.
“The righteous shall be in everlasting remembrance.”
RIGHTEOUSNESS, in the language of scripture, denotes general worth or excellence of character : To it is ascribed whatever belongs to religion or holiness. He that is righteous and shall be had in everlasting remembrance is described in this Psalm as fearing God, delighting greatly in his commandments, upright, gracious, full of compassion and charity. Sometimes, indeed, the sense of the expression is limited, and the righteous are compared and contrasted with those who are distinguished by goodness. Thus, in the well known illustration of the grace of God in the salvation
of men, the Apostle observes," “ scarcely for " a righteous man will one die, yet peradven“ ture for a good man some would even daré “ to die.” But, in general, and excepting comparisons and distinctions of this kind, by righteousness is meant whatever belongs to a perfect character.
Persons of this character shall be in everl'asting remembrance. This expression must also be understood in a sense limited by the temporary duration of all human affections and pursuits. The time of our sojourning
* here is but short, and the survivor, in whose memory the good man lives, shall himself soon pass away and be forgotten. A few illustrious characters, whose lot enabled them to perform great exploits, and to act a distinguished part on the theatre of the world, may live for ever in the page of history, and receive the praises and the blessings of all future generations of men. Buť with regard to the great bulk of mankind, even the pious, the upright, and the good, their love and their hatred and their envý soon perish, and, in a little time, the place which once knew them shall know them no more. The Psalmist, therefore, means that the memory of the righteous shall
not speedily be effaced from the hearts of those who knew and valued their integrity and worth, but shall be often and long recalled with sentiments of honour, gratitude, and affection.
In illustration of this subject, I propose to inquire,
1. By whom the memory of the just is blessed, and held in respectful and grateful remembrance.
2. Why we ought to hold the righteous in everlasting remembrance, and
3. How we shall most properly and effectually perpetuate the remembrance of the righteous.
I. We are to inquire by whom the memory. of the just is blessed, and long held in respectful and grateful remembrance-and
1, Good men are held in everlasting remembrance by their own family: for by them the benign influence of their good qualities was most sensibly felt. In them the memory of their virtues was mingled with the warm sentiments of natural affection. To them the loss of their love, their services, their example, is the severest deprivation. The affectionate partner of their lives, who, for a long course
of years has been in the habit of imparting mutual assistance and consolation, whose interests were necessarily interwoven with theirs, whose happiness was greatly, I had almost said wholly, in their power, who best knew their good qualities, who witnessed that piety and charity which modesty concealed from the publick eye; on them doubtless is made the most lasting impression of the virtue and affection of the partner who is gone down to the dust; to their memory the venerable image is often present; in their ears the lisping accents of their common offspring are eloquent; the features of the deceased perpetuated in the children who survive, recall and renew that respect and gratitude and affection which the living failed not to command, and suffer not the memorial to perish from their breast.
To the children also of worthy and affectionate parents, who are now no more, the remembrance of their character can never cease to be interesting. To them they impute with pleasure and gratitude the various virtues they may possess; to them they refer the success in life which they may have enjoyed ; to their latest hour they reflect with melan