An Anniversary Discourse

Occasioned
by the Death of Four Children of Daniel Sayre, Esq., who were

Consumed by
Fire on the Night of the 28th of
January, 1808.

Preached at Cairo,
January 18, 1809

by David Porter,
Pastor of a Church of Christ in
Catskill, (N.Y.)

“For in such an Hour as we Think
not the Son of Man Cometh”

QUIS _TALIA FANDO.  ----------TEMPERET A LACRYMIS !

VIRC.

CATSKILL:
PRINTED BY NATHAN ELLIOT.
………..
1809.


Transcribed by Vickie Powers


THE dwelling house of Daniel Sayre, together with the children hereafter named was consumed by fire, on the night of January 28, 1808.

__

MARIA SAYRE, Born July, 30th 1793.
ANN SAYRE, Born January 5th, 1797.
EUNICE SAYRE, Born November 12, 1800.
SAMUEL H. SAYRE, Born November 30th, 1802.

AN
Anniversary Discourse, &c.

EXODUS 12. 40.

IT IS A NIGHT MUCH TO BE OBSERVED UNTO THE LORD.

ONE year has now revolved, since that fatal night rendered solemn and ever memorable by an event the most heart-piercing and overwhelming our eyes ever till then beheld.  Doleful beyond any other was that night, and much to be observed, for an unusual and awful providence of God. On that night, of which this is the anniversary, did the Lord reveal himself in flaming fire, and terrible majesty, and shewed that he can both kill and save alive, and that none can stay his hand.

At the request of our beloved and respected friend, on whom, with his dear consort and family, centered principally, the burden of that direful night, are we this day assembled; -- with them are we to lift ourselves to God, with them to recognize and stand in awe of his unsearchable judgments, with them to condole, and with them to praise and adore God in his strange work. 

And is there any one present who has not yet learned the detail of that gloomy night; if such there be, painful as it is, I will reherse the story; and afterward show for what reasons it was a night much to be observed; and then how to be observed unto the Lord. And what of that night ! what marked it, and made it memorable and to be sacredly observed ! (It is the intention and wish of Judge Sayre that the day preceding the night of the 28th of January, be sacredly observed by himself and family to the end of life.) Was it the death of a first born cut down by the sickly ray ‘ere it had opened its eyes on the light of life ?  Or was it the fond mother called to part with her encircling offspring, clasping them in her fond embrace and bedewed by their tears? Or was it a kind and indulgent father, sinking under the fatal epidemic and at length closing his eyes, leaving a disconsolate widow, and helpless orphans to mourn their loss?  Or was it an event which ordinarily finishes the human course, and parts asunder the most endearing connections of this life?  No, had it been such like, we had not been here this day.  The tear before now had been wiped away, and mingled with the flood of common calamity.  It was an event indescribably more piercing, which chilled our very blood and extorted from us the involuntary groan. 

The evening, to our friends, in that pew; not yet undressed from deep and solemn mourning, was calm, overspread with no terrific gloom, admonitory o f nothing to dread.  The father being now abroad and the mother and eldest daughter indisposed, the children whose fate I am about to mention, discovered, during the evening, their kindness and industry; as far as possible in acts of filial love. What their hands could do for the comfort of their mother and sister, they went about cheerfully to do. They were expecting, in the course of the evening some friends from abroad, and were careful to have every thing in its place, the better to enjoy their society and make them happy.  At the usual season they retired to rest; the father (now returned) & mother, at a later hour. And now, as we may suppose, these children having offered up their prayers to God on their pillows, which they had been early taught never to omit, compose themselves to balmy sleep, little thinking never more to awake, till in the eternal world.

At this moment all was hush, no frightful dream discomposed or crossed their gentle slumbers.  Four lovely children, all blooming in health, entwined round the hearts of fond parents and endeared by whatever could enhance the tenderest affection.

Awful to relate and yet more dreadful to behold and witness ! --- the survivors awoke, and found themselves amid encircling flames.  The father starting with horror and inexpressibly anxious for his dear children, whom he viewed in iminent peril, rushed with the utmost ardor for their relief amidst the suffocating heat. Thrice did he repeat the desperate encounter, and as oft was he compelled to retreat, till suddenly struck as with a voice from God,  “ it is my work ; “ he retires dumb before his maker. And now let imagination paint what language is too feeble to express! What a spectacle is now before their eyes! Their house & effects in flames! And four children are fuel to the relentless element! And how sudden the transision, one moment all safe! The next presented with death in the most awful shape! A few minutes ago these children alive and in the fond embrace of their parents, but now in ashes  --- How overwhelming the scene of that night  You who were on the spot will never forget it. You who the morning  ensuing gathered  up the few remains, and laid them in the coffin, and brought them to this house, and from hence carried them to the silent tomb, will never erase the keen impression --- the deep emotion will you recollect even to your dying day. ------From this, the stranger may have a faint conception of the horrors of that dreadful night.

I shall now show for what reasons it was a night much to be observed, And,

1)                           It was a night much to be observed because God proved himself to be an
absolute sovereign in the dispensations of his providence. When we say God is an absolute sovereign in the disposal of his creatures, we do not mean to communicate that he acts without reason and goodness. God’s sovereignty is the perfection of moral excellence. He always acts for his own glory and for the highest felicity of the moral universe. In this he often conceals from his creatures his designs.  He assures us that he will do right, without permitting us to know at present the good embraced by the purposes of his infinite mind.  To creatures of so limited capacity as we, events connected with the good of the great whole, may be shrouded in mystery.  To us they are dark because we do no comprehend the infinitely wise plan to which they are essential.  The wicked unbelieving heart rises against divine sovereignty and studies hard to make the scriptures speak another language.  But God stops the sinner in the threshold of controversy and proves himself a sovereign by facts from which there is no appeal. And can we trace the event we are commemorating to any other cause ?  It was his will.  He did what seemed to him good. These children were his property, & by him to be used according to the purposes of his holy counsel.  What we term second causes are under his control.  The elements are his, at his word they rage, at his word they are calm.  So soon as we admit the existence of God, so soon we are obliged to acknowledge, if we would maintain any degree of consistency, his agency and government to be universal and particular in every event that ever has or will take place in the universe.  To ascribe events to chance of accident, as certain secret causes distinct from divine purpose and plan, is Atheism, and amounts to the denial of God’s existence. So certain as that there is a God, so certain it is that the events of that night were ordered by the counsel of his infinitely holy mind. It was a work wholly his own of which he gives us no further account, than an assurance that justice and judgment are the habitation of his throne, and that whatever he does in perfectly right.

2)                          It is a night much to be observed, because it teaches a lesson very difficult, and yet necessary to be learned, that God has an entire right to those objects, which to us are the dearest. Sinners never raise their affections to God. They love the creature more than the creator who who is blessed forever. And even Christians are extremely liable to let their affections fall from God to the blessings he has placed around them.  When Christians get to this spot, they need correction.  They would ruin themselves shortly, if God did not in fatherly kindness check and reclaim them. God does not afflict his children for the pleasure he takes in their pain, but for their profit, that they may be partakers of his holiness. Saints in the flesh, are imperfect, at best, and their imperfection is in no one thing more conspicuous, than in their
too strong attachment to earthly objects. God is jealous of his honor and removes these objects, to bring them back to him.  God shows his people when he takes from them their children, that they are his, that they were lent blessings, and to be returned at the moment he should call for them. This we little realize. Accordingly we doat on our children and are slow to believe what God has said.  To bring us to feeling God must act as well as speak. And in that dreadful night God did convincingly assert, that whatever we hold most dear, is his, and not ours.

3)                       It was a night much to be observed because in it was shown the utter uncertainty of human life.  What children could be thought more secure from danger, than those one hour before they were consumed in the flames.  No one would have singled them out for such an end. The event assures us we have not a moment, we can call our own.  All our calculations for tomorrow are liable to defeat, for we know not what a day may bring forth.

4)                          It was a night much to be observed as it teaches the utter folly of continuing longer in impenitence and unbelief.   Look on that event, how sudden and alarming; not a point of time allowed for preparation, not a warning held out and then make the application.  Can we now in justice to ourselves and the God who made us, live a moment longer in unbelief? Men are infatuated, yea, distracted, to cast off fear and restrain prayer in their present circumstances. By impenitence and unbelief, men do all they can to ruin themselves forever. We may for any thing we know be the next instant in eternity. And shall we trifle with our judge and make light of redeeming grace, by despising the only possibility of being saved.  “Except ye repent ye shall all likewise perish.”

5)                           It was a night much to be observed, as it was calculated to wean us from the world. We need to be weaned from things below, because we must soon leave them.  And if ever the world was made to appear empty, was it not in the event of that night?  Every expectation of man is liable to be instantly blasted.  Your property may flee away as the chaff.  Your children for whom you are careful and labor with solicitude, may never see the next rising sun, yourselves may be the first to fall by the stroke of death. The present anniversary presses on our minds this solemn truth. It teaches us to possess as though we possessed not, to use the world, as not abusing it, knowing that the fashion thereof passeth away.

6)                           It was a night much to be observed, as it teaches us there is no safety only in God. God in Christ is an unfailing source of good to the believer, and there is no other. If we have no inheritance in Jesus we are poor in the midst of abundance. This world must perish with the using.  Soon we are to be cut off from all things sublunary. And where shall we find a resting place, when disinherited of earthly good, if not in God?  If you depend for happiness on your children, remember they are tender plants, exposed ten thousand ways to be cut down and to leave you like a tree stripped of it verdure.  The world & the creatures therein are too brittle a straw on which to depend.  If God had provided none other than creature enjoyments for his people they had been verily wretched and he ashamed to be called their God. Our minds are too great to be satisfied with earthly things. The soul must come to the fountain of blessedness for its felicities or it will famish and die. Jesus is all in all to those who rest themselves on him by faith and is infinitely more than sufficient to compensate the loss of all below.  He proffers himself to us, as an all-sufficient stay, to exceed our highest expectations in the blessings of his love.  And amid such a scene of constant vicisitude as the world exhibits, when we find the twigs we lay hold on are so often, one after another slipping out of our hands, shall we not come under the shadow of that mighty rock –Christ Jesus, and rest satisfied with everlasting good.  How unwise to look at the creature for what the creator can only bestow?  The reason why so many are wretched at the loss of earthly objects, is, -- they misplace their affections – their delight is not in God. But if we make choice of God for the portion of our souls, then, though we may be wounded sore by the stroke of his rod, which breaks the cords of earthly delights, yet we are not left wretched, because our richest inheritance is yet untouched.

7)                      It is a night much to be observed because it teaches us to be faithful to the souls our children while we have opportunity. And is there any thing to be done by parents for the spiritual benefit of their children?  Surely by the grace of God much may be done. The encouragements to parential fidelity held out in the scriptures, are as great as we can any how desire. But then the time is short, in which all we do, must be done.  To day if you will hear his voice in this matter harden not your hearts.

To-morrow may be too late. O parent improve each opportunity with your children, to teach them the way of the Lord, as though it were your last. Our children may be in eternity before we may ever speak to them again.

People frequently are remiss in teaching their children the ways of God, when young, thinking that another time may be more favorable; that when they shall be older the work may be done with greater facility.  But stop and inquire, who has promisd you another time?  Has God? if not, then you have no security of such opportunity. If your children have capacity capable of knowing any thing of God and the redeemer, you have not a moment to lose in the all important work. Does not the event we are this day commemorating hold out an example too impressive to be resisted?  Let the scene of that night awaken your earnest solicitude for the spiritual good of your children, lest they perish through your neglect. For these reasons it is a night much to be observed. I shall now show how that night ought to be observed unto the Lord.

1.      It ought to be observed in humble submission to God’s will. God does nothing in which we are not bound to acquiesce. However heavily his hand may lie on us, however deep in affliction he may lay us, a murmur is unbecoming and an impeachment of his goodness.  “Be still and know that I am God” is his sovereign mandate to direct us in every trial  God does not forbid us to feel the strokes of his chastising hand, but he enjoins us not to complain. Complaint is rebellion against the righteous governor of the world.  It was a sore trial to Abraham that the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, with so many inhabitants must be consumed by fire.  He besought the Lord in dust and ashes to stay his vengeance; but it was with submission to his will. Christ has left an example of unparralled submission to God’s will. “The cup which my father hath given, shall I not drink it ?”  The apostles followed his example.  Thousands of martyrs have done the same.  They are willing to suffer the loss of all things and sacrifice their lives at God’s call.  It was not because distress was less abhorrent to them than to us, nor because life was less desirable; but the love of God overbalanced every private interest, and rendered their submission cheerful and entire.  Submission to God’s will is the reigning grace of the christian.  In this centers all the religion of the heart.  In this the saint differs from the sinner.  The unsanctified, from necessity are obliged to yield to events crossing to their inclinations, whereas had they power, they would have their own way, at the expense of God’s honor. Their submission to adversity is always with reluctance, arising from their inability to accomplish their own ends, and from no regard to God. The Christian, because he dwells in God and God in him, is suited with God’s disposal, and would not take the reins into his own hands even though he had power.  This submission is unconditional and giveth peace which passeth knowledge.  On every trying scene we have been called to experience, we should reflect with submission.  Lord thou hast striken me sore, but thou hast done right.  “Though he slay me yet will I trust in him.”  On this mournful anniversary humble submission is most becoming.  Though none by searching can find out God, yet all may rest assured of the perfections of his ways.  The infinite goodness of God is a sufficient reason why we should prefer his government before any other.  That fatal night instead of disaffecting us with God’s will, if we have a submissive temper will bring us nearer to his seat, with strong desire to see more of his glory.  Jesus knowing the weakness of his people, and the difficulty of their exercising submission in trying circumstances, speaks these gracious and comforting words.  “What I do though knowest not now; but thou shalt know hereafter.”  If we wait on God with submission, he will in due season clear up every dark dispensation of his providence to our fullest satisfaction.  The Christian is just beginning to know God.  As yet he has seen but little.  Many things at present are dark to him, which presently will be full of light.  What now staggers his faith, at times, will in a period not far distant, be seen so connected with the great whole of God’s works, that its omission would have ruined the system.  Events abstractedly the most awful, and overwhelming, which had melted our hearts as wax, and laid us prostrate, will be found essential to heavenly blessedness.  Erase the direful event, which has this day convened us, from the plan of the almighty and you leave a chasm which mars his glory forever.  It is our imperfection which makes us uneasy with God’s providence.  We have every reason to be satisfied with God’s dealing, both of mercy & judgment.  The reasons for submission could not possibly be greater.  “ Be still and know that I am God” expresses what is more incumbent on us in scenes however trying.  To the saints at Rome amid their fiery trial of persecution, to perfect their submission the apostle uses this soothing language. “Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us and we gave them reverance; and shall we not much rather be in subjection to the father of spirits and live? wherefore lift up the hands which hang down and the feeble knees, and make straight paths for your feet, lest that which lame be turned out of the way, but let it rather be healed. “The Apostle Peter’s words are exceedingly appropriate, on a similar occasion. Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial, which is to try you, as though some strange thing had happened unto you.  But rejoice inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings, that when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad with exceeding joy.  Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God, commit the keeping of their souls to him as unto a faithful creator,” The world of the glorified is a world of submission. Submission makes heaven below.  With this temper we can pray; without it we cannot; “Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” O let this anniversary be observed in humble submission.
2.  That night ought to be observed with adoration and praise.  It was a night of astonishing deliverance as well as of awful desolation.  At the moment of iminent peril, the survivors were snatched by the hand of God as brands from the burning.  He saved by his mighty arm when there was but a step between them and death.  And what tribute of praise and adoration can possibly equal the benignity of the interposition.  Let therefore our emotions on this occasion be mingled with exalting praise to the God of all grace and goodness.
3.  That night ought to be observed to God in deep self-loathing and confessing of sin.  It was a night of awful chastizement and correction-if not of vindictive justice.  A little, and but a little was then shewn of that God might in righteousness inflict on his people.  The sin of the best saint on earth, is great, beyond all conception.  In the sight of infinite purity compared with which angelic excellence loses its comeliness, what are christians, who are altogether corrupt, excepting the faint pulse of spiritual life just beginning to move.
The recollection of that night is wonderfully calculated to sink us in the depth of self abasement, self loathing and godly sorrow.
4.  The night ought to be observed, by our drawing nigh with the whole heart unto God, and in humble dependence taking our place at his foot; it ought to be observed by hungering and thursting for more secret communion with the Lord, by prayer, by abstraction from the world, and by adoration and being in awe of his glorious and wonderful majesty.
5.  In observing that night, we may have an overwhelming sight of divine forbearance.  If God then came out in righteousness, what would be the fate of this ungodly world, if without further long suffering, he should inflict the evils due to sin?  If in such a furnace God places his children, whom he loves with an everlasting love, from what destruction are the wicked withheld thro’ his forbearance!  This forbearance is all the fruit of redemption by Christ.  This wonderful respite was procured by Jesus’ blood on Calvary.  But remember, O sinners, and lay to thine heart, it is but a respite.  In unbelief you have no pardon; He that that belieth not is condemned already and the wrath of God abideth on him. I shall now conclude with three addresses.  1. To Mr. and Mrs. Sayre.  2.  To their children and 3. To this whole assembly. God has graciously preserved you and brought you to this solemn anniversary, and I trust in no year of your life you have had so favorable an opportunity to know respecting your personal adoption.  The cup you have been called to drink, while it has been mingled with the most bitter ingredients, is, equal to almost any, calculated to shew you respecting your spiritual standing with the all-seeing and the heart-searching God. You have had time since you have been under the chastizing hand of your heavenly father to prove whether he be the glorious object of your praise and trust.  Have your sore trials brought you nearer to the mercy seat, given you more earnest longings after God, and sweeter communion with him, than you had before experienced?  Has it made the closet a more delightful stay, God’s presence more real, and given you a keener relish for spiritual entertainments?  Have you seen more of the redeemer’s glory, and been made to feel that you could not live without him, more than before you could have well imagined?  Has it made our spiritual minded, turned the current of our affections from earthly to heavenly things and lifted you above the world?  Has the awful rebuke of that night been sanctified to the furtherance of your joy, by giving you increasing evidence of your adoption?  Has the last year been a year of fresh annointing from above to your souls, so that you have observed an unusually steady and delightful intercourse with heaven?  And how has it been with you in regard to social duty? Have you been devoted to each others eternal concerns,  Have the souls of your children (Half the number were spared)  God has been pleased to spare you, lain very near your hearts?  Have they been renewedly and unreservedly dedicated to God? Are they the subjects of your daily prayer?  Is your concern for their bodies almost lost in your unspeakably greater concern for their souls?  In short do you find yourselves in a measure refined by passing through the awful furnace?  The scene must have had some effect, and I trust your hearts do this moment secretly respond to these solemn queries.  O Lord it is good that thou hast afflicted us.  We needed thy correction, thou hast done right.  Instead of quite fainting under they sore rebuke, we do this day witness for thee, that thou hast been our help in time of trouble.  When the springs of earthly enjoyements have dried up, we have found ourselves happy in thee, our strength and our redeemer.  Toward thee are all our hopes, to thee will we cleave forever.


The children will suffer me to say a few words to them on this solemn and affecting occasion. 

Dear Children.  You remember that dreadful night when three of your sisters and little brother were consumed in the flames.  You recollect how deeply your hearts were penetrated with grief—that you felt more than you could well endure.  And do you not also remember what solemn promises you made with yourselves, that you would seek and serve the Lord forever.  And may I ask, have you kept those resolutions? Under what strong obligations were you to keep them?  When God removed by a most awful stroke those whom you held in the tenderest endearment, he was pleased in wonderful mercy to spare you alive.  This goodness deserves your fidelity to those solemn promises, which you then thought you should never violate.  I hope, and am extremely unwilling to hope in vain, that the impressions have remained until this time, and that you meet this anniversary with full purpose of heart to consecrate your souls and bodies afresh unto God which is your reasonable service.

Permit me to remind you, that the trial you have experienced, was of such nature—was so loud and moving a call to you, as most certainly to produce an effect in your minds nearly connected with your eternal interests.  The calls of God in his word and providence to his creatures, are none of them to return void.  The event we are commemorating, you may rationally expect, among others, will be a means of your awakening and embracing the saviour, or of hardening you and rendering your situation more deplorable.      

Children, believe and know, that God, in that awful visitation, did verily, by his spirit, strive with you.  He gave you an uncommon sense of the vanity and uncertainity of life.  You were fully persuaded of the necessity of making your peace with God without delay.—But be not unmindful of the treachery of the heart.  Resolutions made in your own strength, will avail you little, they are weak and will break like tow before the scorching flames.  Let therefore your resolutions to seek God and live to his praise, be made in the strength of Christ.

You will suffer me on this occasion, to be familiar and deal plainly with you, as one that must give an account; does the past year, the most solemn period you ever experienced, testify this day, between you and God, that you have found in Jesus, all that you can desire to make you truly happy.  The year past has been filled up with the most moving inducements to bring you to close with the redeemer as freely offered to you in the gospel.  God in a peculiar sense came nigh to you, he addressed you most impressively on the subject that concerns you more than all others.

And did you hear his voice and give him reverence?  Have you had that repentance for sin which is unto life, that faith which worketh by love, and the hope which is sure and stedfast?  If this be the improvement you have made of that awful visitation, you, are truly rich, yea, richer than all the nobles of earth: but if not you are poor, and wretched and miserable and blind and naked.

If on this anniversary, any of you find yourselves destitute of an interest in Christ, be intreated to flee to him for refuge and secure the one thing needful before it be forever too late.  Reflect, children a moment, deeply and seriously on what God has done for you.  What sufferings did Jesus endure that you might have the offer of life?  How gracious has God been in sparing your lives while others are dead! How faithful to place before you the necessity of being holy and prepared to die.  He has spoken to you by his mercies and his judgments, by the sweet and melting invitations of his word, and by the thunder of his terror.  If you can resist so much to bring you unto God, it must be because you hate instruction and desire none of his reproof.  But I hope better things of you, and things which accompany salvation, though I thus speak.  I can with satisfaction imagine, that your hearts are replying in secret and humble sincerity ;  “we will remember our creator in the days of our youth.  He who has spared us from the threatning storm shall have our hearts and praises forever.  As we have been given up to God in covenant by our parents; so we surrender ourselves to him with all cheerfulness to be entirely his to the praise of his glorious grace.  O Lord keep us from evil, guide us by thy counsel and afterward receive us to glory.”

If such be your improvement of God’s dealings towards you, you will not regret, but eternally bless God for all the sore trials he calls you to endure.  With all the solemn scenes of death, judgment and eternity before you, make the judge your friend.

The congregation will suffer me to call to their recollection the impressive truths the occasion is calculated to inspire.  You are reminded, this day, by the scene most of you witnessed one year ago, with the keenest sensations, of the fluctuation and utter uncertainty of every thing below.  Those of you, who are parents, will feel that it is a season calculated to impress you with a deep conviction of the indescribable importance of fidelity to the eternal concerns of your children.. Your children were lent to you by him who retains to himself an uncontrolable right to take them from you, at any time, and in such a manner as he pleases.  The fact I trust, none will dare deny.  You have seen too much to doubt on this point.  And is your own life and that of your children in God’s hand, and of which he has not given you a moments security, of what importance it is that you work “while it is day!  The night cometh when no man can work. “  Respecting your own adoption it is impossible for you to be too solicitious.  Each day aught to be spent as though it might be your last.  Death may come when least expected.  The cord of life may be cut at any moment.  When you lie down on your pillow, let it be with humble prayer, that if you should not see another day, that God would take you to himself. -- When you go out in the morning, let every interest be committed unto God who has the disposal of soul and body for time and eternity.  With a due sense of the mutability of this transitory world, rest your souls on Christ by faith with cheerful and humble dependence on the merit of his death.  Having made your calling and election sure, the salvation of your children will lie with peculiar weight on your minds.  Their lives are not less precarious than your own.

Be not unmindful of your highly responsible situation as parents.  God has given you a blessed vineyard in which to labor.  He has graciously connected your duty, not only with your own happiness, but with that of your children.  Your faithfulness to them will meet his blessing.  But consider the necessity of being seasonable in the instruction of your dear offspring.  Let them early know the truth as it is in Christ.  Giving them now and then a moral lesson is not enough.  They are by nature sinners.  Urge on them the necessity of a change of heart.  Adapt your instructions to their capacities.  Be awed by no discouragements.  The seed may lie long buried, and afterwards shoot up and bear fruit abundantly.  And should you be of eternal benefit to your offspring, they will forever bless God for your kindness.  Should they survive you, they will remember you with gratitude.  They will tell it to their children and they to a fourth generation.  If God in his providence should see fit to take your children away by death suddenly, how must it pain you, if you had neglected to teach them the way of life.  O think, ponder on these things, and let it never be said, no not at the great day, that your children perished thro’ your neglect.

The children of this village, and especially those present on this occasion, are intreated to remember their creator in the days of their youth.  You are young, but then you are not too young to die.  You are made not to live always here, you are to live in eternity.  Christ has died to save sinners.  You are sinners, and if ever saved, must come to him.  [D] o not think that you have time to lose in the neglect of the great salvation.  Be assured you have no time to lose.  Christ is worth of your present love.  He requires your hearts.  Remember your course may be short.  Millions younger than you are in eternity.  You may fall by some sudden stroke.  Resolve to seek God early.  O devote this morning of your life to God and it shall be well with you forever.

Let this whole assembly be solemn not only in view of what is past, but of what is to come.  You have witnessed, solemn scenes already, but as yet you stand only on the confines of solemnity.  You are to be spectators of the conflagration when the world & all that is therein shall be burnt up.  Escape to the Lord Jesus, lest you be consumed.

THE END.



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