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us to submit to thy holy will; believing that thou wilt deal justly and mercifully with the creatures thou hast made. But our present duty relates not to the soul of our departed friend; for we are met to dispose of the lifeless body in as decent and solemn a manner as we can. And as it is necessary to bury our dead out of our sight, we do now commit the remains of our late companion to the bosom of the mighty deep Chere the remains should be lowered into the sea] in the full persuasion, that by thy power it shall be raised again, in the resurrection, at the last day; when the dead shall come forth from their graves, and when the sea shall also give up her dead, that all may be judged according to the deeds done in the body.
And now, most merciful God, enable us to take warning from this solemn dispensation of thy providence, that we may all be led to meditate on the uncertainty of life, and the nearness of death; and to make due preparation for that great and inevitable change. We beseech thee, O Lord, not to call any of us away in an unprepared state. So teach us to number our days that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom. O make us wise to consider our latter end; so that when called to die, we may have hope in our death. Grant, O Lord, thy blessing to the surviving relatives of our deceased friend. Comfort them under their sore bereavement, and enable them to make a wise use of this dispensation of thy providence for their soul's benefit. These petitions we humbly offer in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, to whom, with the Father, and the Holy Spirit, be praise and glory. Amen.
FUNERAL SERVICE. NO, I.
FOR THE ARMY.
Man's days are as grass, as a flower of the field so he flourisheth; the wind passeth over it, and it is gone, and the place thereof knoweth it no more.a
When he dieth, he shall carry nothing away, his glory shall not descend after him; as he came, naked shall he return, and shall take nothing of his labour which he may carry away in his hand.”
Make me to know mine end, and the measure of my days, what it is, that I may know how frail I am.
I know that thou wilt bring me to death, to the house appointed for all living.a
There is no discharge in that war. There is an appointed time for man upon earth, his days are as the days of an hireling: his days are determined, the number of his months is with thee: thou hast appointed his bounds that he cannot pass. Thou changest his countenance, and sendest him away.e
All the days of my appointed time will I wait, till my change come: then shall I go the way of all the earth. Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for thou art with me, thy rod and thy staff, they comfort me. My flesh and my heart faileth, but thou art the strength of my heart,
a Ps. ciii. 15, 16; xlix. 17. d Job xxx. 23.
b Eccl. v. 15. c Ps. xxxix. 4.
and my portion for ever. For I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him, till that day.a
Though a man die, yet shall he live again. I am the Resurrection and the Life. He that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live. I know that my Redeemer liveth; and though worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God.”
It is sown in corruption, it is raised in incorruption: it is sown in dishonour, it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power: it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. Then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin: the strength of sin is the law: but thanks be to God, who giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. For now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the first fruits of them that slept.
The righteous hath hope in his death. Let me die the death of the righteous, and let my last end be like his. Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints. The day of their death is better than that of their birth. For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle be dissolved, we have a building of God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.
Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord: yea saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours, and
a Job xiv. 14. 1 Kings ii. 2. Ps. xxiii. 4; Ixxiii. 26. 2 Tim. i. 12. b Job xiv. 14. John xi. 25. Job xix. 25, 26. c 1 Cor. xv. 42, 43, 44, 54, 55, 56, 57, 20. a Prov. xiv. 32. Num. xxiii. 10. Ps. cxvi. 152 Eccl. vii. 1. 2 Cor. v. 1.
their works do follow them. I shall be satisfied, 0 Lord, when I awake in thy likeness. Then shall he say to them upon his right hand, Come ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.a
In thy presence is fulness of joy, at thy right hand are pleasures for evermore. There the wicked cease from troubling and the weary are at rest, and they shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more, neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat. The Lamb that is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters. There shall be no more death, neither sorrow nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain, for the former things are passed away. I would not live alway. To depart and be with Christ is far better. For us to live is Christ, but to die is again.b
The hour is coming, when they that are in their graves shall hear his voice, and shall come forth, they that have done good, to the resurrection of life, and they that have done evil, to the resurrection of damnation.
O that men were wise, that they knew this, that they would consider their latter end !
ALMIGHTY GOD, our heavenly Father, thou doest thy pleasure in heaven and in earth, and none can
a Rev. xiv. 13. Ps. xvii. 15. Matt. xxv. 34. b Ps. xvi. 11. Job iii. 17. Rev. vii. 16; xxi. 4. Job vii. 16. Phil. i. 28. c John v. 28, 29.
d Deut. xxxii. 29.
stay thy hand, or say unto thee, What doest thou? But all that thou doest is wisest and best. Blessed, therefore, be thy name, as well when thou givest, as when thou takest away. Yet, O Lord, when thou removest one from the midst of us, be pleased in mercy to turn this event to the good of our souls. Awaken our drowsy minds, and alarm our dead consciences. Bring us to the knowledge of our sins, and to the knowledge of Jesus Christ, who taketh away sin. Thou art pleased, 0 Lord, to spare us, while others are taken to their long home. What are we better than others, that the things which belong to our peace should not be for ever hidden from our eyes? Let us not be as the brutes, that have no understanding, unmindful of our mortality. Called to a service in which there is often but a step between us and death, let us by thy grace, prepare to meet our God. O sanctify to this end, the present dispensation. Heal the wounds which it has made, and comfort those whom it has bereaved. Pardon our sins through the blood of Jesus Christ, and put upon us his righteousness. And when we come to die, whether it be by lingering decay, or by sudden violence, receive us to thy glory, as sinners saved by grace, only for the sake of our adorable Redeemer, Jesus Christ. Amen.