Thine, O Lord, is the power and the glory; and in thine hand it is to make great. DAVID.




The Patrons of the following Discourse will candid­ly receive it, with the affectionate desire of the Author that they may assiduously imitate the conspicuous virtues of the illustrious WASHINGTON deceased, to whose memory it is respectfully inscribed.



1 SAMUEL, xxv. 1.And Samuel died, and all the Israelites were gathered to­gether, and lamented him, and buried him in his house at Ramah.

DAVID, by divine direction, addressing him­self to the nobles and judges of the earth, denominates them gods—"I said, Ye are gods, and all of you children of the Most High." Though he thus dignifies them with the appellation of "gods, and children of the Most High," yet to them he adds the solemn and humiliating declaration—"Ye shall die like men." Though "it is ap­pointed to all men," princes and judges, as well as their subjects, "once to die," yet it is suita­ble that the death of men, sustaining different characters, should be noticed with different emotions and tokens of respect. Though our feelings often forbid us to speak evil of the dead, yet we always perceive that society sustains a greater loss in the death of a virtuous, desirable and useful man, than in the death of one who [Page 4] was pernicious and forbidding. If we ascend to the great personages who fill the most important offices, and whose conduct has great influence on the public mind, our feelings will know a differ­ence between the death of a Moses, a Joshua or a Samuel, and the death of an Ahab, an Hazael or a Jeroboam. Those remarks suppose we wisely estimate the character and worth of men.

The death of that public character, whose in­fluence has been employed in the promotion of public happiness, will be lamented; while the death of him, whose influence has been pestife­rous, and destructive of public tranquillity, will not excite grateful testimonials of respect and sorrow. These remarks, it is conceived, find support as we turn the pages of inspiration.

Solomon says, "The memory of the just is bles­sed; but the name of the wicked shall rot." Respecting Jehoiakim, king of Judah, of whom it is said "his heart was but for covetousness, and to shed innocent blood, and for oppression, and for violence—thus saith the Lord concerning Jehoiakim—The people shall not lament for him, saying, Ah! my brother—they shall not lament for him, saying, Ah! Lord, or ah! his glory; but he shall be buried with the burial of an ass, drawn and cast forth beyond the gates of the city." Because [Page 5] of his wickedness, his death shall not be noticed with tokens of respect and lamentation; as said of the wicked, "his name shall rot." But "the memory of the just is blessed—the righteous shall be in everlasting remembrance." If, therefore, the memory of the just and great is blessed—if all Israel lamented the death of Samuel, and others, because of their singular integrity, and extensive usefulness to their tribes—then shall not all our interested countrymen deeply lament the recent and sudden decease of the venerable and beloved man, who was the "chariot of" our American "Israel, and the horsemen thereof?" Shall not we, my breth­ren, as a part of this great community, mingle our tears with our bereaved fellow citizens, and join our hearts to the general voice—"Ah! Lord, and ah! his glory?" The death of one so eminently useful deserves to be noticed with national lamentation.

The important services he has rendered his country, are a good reason why "his name should be blessed, and held in everlasting remembrance."

On this occasion I have chosen, for the guide of our meditation, the passage which informs us of the death of Samuel, and the lamentation which it ex­cited through all the tribes of Israel. "Samuel died, and all the Israelites were gathered together, and lamented him."

[Page 6] In pursuing this subject, I shall attempt to show why it was proper for all Israel to lament the death of Samuel; and, as we proceed, I shall apply these reasons for lamentation to ourselves, and to the people of the United States, who are now, by the holy providence of God, bereaved of the ILLUS­TRIOUS CHIEF of our armies.

The first reason we assign for this general mourn­ing for Samuel is, on account of the purity of his morals, and the unblamable propriety of his conduct on all occasions. He was not only amiable in his moral character, and highly respectable on this account, but his memory was especially dear be­cause of the happy influence of his virtuous exam­ple on the general manners of society. Being th [...] an instrument of public good by his commendable example, his life was precious—his death calami­tous, and hence to be lamented by a grateful peo­ple. These reasons for lamenting the death of Samuel apply to the case now in view. The me­mory of the great character whose death is announ­ced, deserves to be dear to us on account of the amiableness of his morals, and the unvarying pro­priety of his conduct in all the important stations in which he has been called to act. Who has ever dared to reproach him as a man of cor­rupted morals, or indecent demeanour? Who, [Page 7] that has been honoured as a companion in his most social hours, that could ever charge him with rude hilarity, with rustic and boisterous mirth, and with immoral and degrading conversation? The universal testimony of his most intimate acquain­tance supports the most refined gracefulness of his manners, and the singular dignity of his appear­ance, even in the social circle, and when least under the criticism of the public eye.

Though he was long familiarized to the field of war, and a daily witness of the too fashionable vi­ces of his martial brethren, yet he never degraded himself by an imitation of their follies. His uni­form example was a constant lesson of solemn re­proof. The common vices of the camp, such as intemperance and profanity, were known to be so extremely ungrateful to his moral taste, that those most easily beset with these sins felt his pre­sence as a most powerful restraint. We have not only the pleasure to speak thus explicitly in favour of the purity and dignity of the moral character of the Man whom all the people delighted to honour, but we have farther reason to rejoice, in the belief that he ever acted upon moral principle.

When Commander of our armies, and when President of our nation, he often publicly declared his full belief in the universal and righteous provi­dence [Page 8] of God. This his belief was ever expressed in terms indicative of an humble sense of depen­dence. His acknowledgments of favours were also expressive of the temper of a grateful heart.

The benign influence of religion on the order and happiness of society, was a subject which en­gaged his devout contemplation, and on which he hath expressed himself in the most pleasing terms. In his Farewell Address, which we now read with solemn thoughtfulness, he observes, that "religion and morality are indispensable supports to political prosperity—that these are the great pillars of hu­man happiness—that they have an intimate con­nexion with private and public felicity—and that if a sense of religious obligation desert the oaths which are the instruments of investigation in courts of justice, there can be no security left for proper­ty, reputation and life." These sentiments har­monize with divine truth—that "godliness is pro­fitable to all things;" and show, that a deep sense of its worth had a fixed residence in his heart. For these reasons, his death calls for our sincere lamentation. "His memory is bles­sed," and his name deserves to be held in our "lasting remembrance." The advantages deriva­ble to society, from his moral instructions and example, are innumerable, and inestimably great. [Page 9] This remark will appear just, if we recur to the pernicious influence on society of a bad example in men who have filled eminent stations; of which the world has witnessed many instances, and had fatal experience.

Look through the history of the Jews, and when did a vile and immoral character preside over the nation, and the ill effects of his example were not felt through all their tribes?

Immoral kings were a mean of leading many of their subjects to idolatry and vice. It is said of Jeroboam, that he not only sinned himself, but "he made Israel to sin." We might name many other kings, of Judah and Israel, whose evil example was destructive of the morals of society; and also many instances of the kind in more mo­dern times. The common discernment of the world has remarked, that a vicious prince will ren­der vice fashionable in his court; and a vicious court will disseminate vice through the various parts of the state or nation. That the national court impart something of their own cast of mind, and give currency to certain modes of conduct, amongst the people, may appear from the two following instances:—When Oliver Cromwell assumed the government of England, and had the address to create a court after his own image, a [Page 10] great part of the people appeared to partake of his fervent spirit, and of his impetuous and un­governable temper. Wh [...] Charles the Second, who soon succeeded Cromwell, was restored to the throne, he soon made it evident that he was de­voted to riotous pleasures, and to degrading indo­lence. His indecent and vicious morals had a ruinous influence on the court, which soon be­came the very nursery of vice. The theatres also, which were established for the cultivation of good morals, and for the excitement of com­mendable emulation and refinement, were prosti­tuted to the exhibition of scenes of impurity. Thus a vicious king corrupted the morals both of the court and the stage, from which sources immorality had an alarming prevalence through the nation. His reign gave countenance to men of deistical sentiments, some of whom were eminent for their abilities, and came forth with all possible freedom in support of their cause, being encoura­ged, in their attacks on divine revelation, by the demoralizing opinions and practices of their prince and his favourites at court.

Again: That irreligious rulers give currency to vice among their subjects, has received recent con­firmation. We have lived to pass the degenerat­ed period, when the legislature of the great and dread­ful [Page 11] republic gave their cheerful assent to such pro­fane sentiments as these—"That death is an eter­nal sleep—that reason dethrones both the kings of the earth, and the kings of heaven—that man, when free, wants no other divinity than himself—and that every republic, but a republic of atheists, is a chimera." Under the influence of such opinions, they have proscribed the holy Sabbath, and all the institutions of the gospel. The natural effects of this licentiousness of the national court have been already realized. All the vile passions which agi­tate the human mind have received encouragements Vice, in all its most extravagant forms, has tri­umphed over social order and religion. "The wick­ed walk on every side taken the vilest men are exalted."

In connexion with the above observations, as to the pernicious influence of immorality in princes, and men of eminence in society, we remark, that had our illustrious and departed PATRIOT, when Commander of our armies, or President of our na­tional court, exhibited an example of vicious mo­rals▪ and disregard to the institutions of religion—had be been devoted to pleasure; and a supporter of dissipation, she unhappy and [...]nous effects would have been felt through every part of our nation. But his example being the reverse of this, i. e. most amiable, dignified, and worthy of uni­versal [Page 12] imitation, the advantages hence resulting have been inestimably great. In this view of his character, his death we lament; "his memory is blessed," and his name will live in the grateful and lasting remembrance of his countrymen.

In this connexion we may see our obligations to unite in thankful praise to Him by whom princes and judges rule," in that he hath again raised to the Pre­sidency of our nation one who is explicitly attached to the religion of the gospel, and whose virtuous example is also a pointed condemnation of immo­rality and vice.

2. Samuel lived in the time of a great revolution in Israel—while an important change took place in their government. In their revolution Samuel was an eminent character. His wisdom and integrity shone conspicuously. He was held in high esti­mation by the people, as one faithful to the trust reposed in him, and as an unshaken friend to their true interest and happiness. Though, in the fer­vency and extravagance of party spirit, some dared to oppose the measures which he recommended—though some spake evil of his dignity, and insinuat­ed that he was a man of corrupt designs—yet, when he was dead, they became convinced that he was wise in counsel, and that his intentions were good. All the people remembered his advice, his virtues [Page 13] and his usefulness, and hence lamented him as a fa­ther in Israel, and a friend thereof.

Our deceased PATRIOT and friend lived, like Samuel, in a time of great revolution. He has been looked to, in a time of universal alarm, danger and anxiety, as a most conspicuous and useful man; and his important services have exceeded in value the supporting anticipations of his warmest friends. Were we to attempt a particular delineation of his virtues, and a representation of his usefulness, in the time of our revolution, the subject would beg­gar all description. Our greatest efforts must close in the language of the queen of Sheba when she came to survey the glory of Solomon—"The one half of the greatness of thy wisdom is not told, for thou exceedest the fame that I have heard of thee." Let us therefore come down to humble expressions, and content ourselves with saying, that his emi­nent usefulness is acknowledged by all classes of our citizens, and that nothing can be added in his praise, which could excite an higher sense of his worth than is now engraven on the hearts of his countrymen. If all Israel had reason to lament the death of Samuel, all our united tribes are cal­led to mourn the departure of our beloved CHIEF, in the grateful remembrance of his services.

[Page 14] If some, in the time of public tumult, party spirit and prejudice in Israel, dared to reproach the conduct of Samuel, whose whole life was as irre­proachable as that of any man with whom the world has been honoured; then, though some have presumed to blame the administration of him for whom we now mourn, we are not to consider this as a singular instance of vile passion in man, nor as evidence against the venerable accused, that he was defective as to wisdom, or depraved in his designs. Those who have wicked­ly represented his intentions as vile and pernicious, will probably learn their error and guilt with re­gret; and perhaps some will come to this sense when it is too late, there being no more space for repentance.

3. Under the direction of Samuel, the Israelites had great success against their enemies. It is said, "The hand of the Lord was against the enemies of Israel all the days of Samuel." He was a faith­ful servant of the public. His wisdom and exer­tions were a mean of the preservation of his country, when threatened with ruin by invading foes. He was an eminent instrument, in the hand of Providence, of their success against those who violated their rights. The people had a grateful remembrance of his invaluable services, and hence [Page 15] indulged undissembled lamentation at his death.

The world has been astonished at the success of the American arms, under the wise arrangements of our highly-favoured Commander, who is now no more. His faithfulness in the cause of his country is confessed by all who have come to the knowledge of his history. We honour him, as having been a conspicuous instrument, in the hand of kind Providence, of our salvation, when op­pressive enemies sought our ruin. He has not borne the sword in vain, but with great and hap­py success, against foreign enemies, the enemies of the wilderness, and the still more unreasonable enemies of our happiness who have arisen among ourselves. His inestimable labours have endear­ed and will perpetuate his name.

The evident benevolence which excited him to submit to the toils of war, and to burden himself with the high responsibility attached to his civil administrations, show him to have been an enemy to vile oppression, and an immutable friend to the interest and happiness of his country. As Sa­muel's whole life rendered it evident that he was not seeking to enrich himself with the property of his people, no less noble has been the conduct of our renowned Philanthropist, whose services are now ended. That to increase his property was not his [Page 16] object, in all the cares, toils, dangers and suffer­ings in which he engaged, and which he supported with wisdom, fortitude and perseverance, for the good of his country, it is evident, in that he would accept no compensation. It is true, he was able to support himself upon his own property; but is it common that men are willing to labour for nothing because they are affluent? Do we often find it the case that men of fortune are unwilling to add to their stock, by receiving a full reward for their services? Let captious prejudice say what it will, we are bound, by the laws of charity, to call this refusal of compensation benevolence. It looks like "love which seeketh not her own," and is to be considered in this light. This refusal of com­pensation is still one of the least of the evidences of his disinterested love to his country. He made a much greater sacrifice than this, in relinquishing the charms of retirement, and in subjecting himself to the toils and hazards of the public offices to which he has been called. If, therefore, we are capable of gratitude, we shall exercise it in a view of these benevolent services. If we love that which is great and good, we shall admire this no­bleness of soul. If worth of character can excite our esteem, and the death of such, our grief, we shall weep on the tomb of our GREAT and HO­NOURABLE FRIEND.

[Page 17] 4. Samuel was a great Civilian, and was known as a judge in Israel, throughout all their tribes. "He went in circuit from year to year to Bethel, and Gilgal, and Mizpeh, and judged Israel in all those places." He was acknowledged as wise and impartial, and was highly respected by the people. It is said, "All the people greatly feared him." Being so generally known, so eminently just and useful, and so highly respected, his death came near to every heart—it was afflictive, and excited general lamentation. The people recognized him as a righteous judge and father in Israel, and they lamented his decease, as for a father dead.

Our great Civilian, and our Leader in arms, who now sleeps in death, was known through all our tribes. All classes of men seemed to be acquainted with him, and suffered no other to rival him in their affections. His wisdom and his integrity were indisputable, both in the cabinet and in the field of war. His usefulness was eminent, both as a law­giver to our country, and a defender of our rights. We felt interested in his honour and happiness—we were profited by his services—we delighted in showing him respect, and we had no fear of excit­ing envy in any who were less noticed. Hence, how can it be otherwise than that his death should solemnly affect us? How natural is it to lament [Page 18] over him in the language of the king of Israel over the departing prophet—"O my father! my fa­ther!"

5. There followed the revolution in Israel, or the change of their government, a great and threat­ening division amongst the people. Their political ideas were extremely confused, and their passions were all in arms. The people were divided into two great and powerful parties: Saul was at the head of one, and David was the leader of the other. Samuel, in this season of alarm and distress, gave an example of moderation, wisdom, and fortitude, which deserves the admiration of the world. He reproved the malevolence, the envy and the mer­cenary intentions of those who deserved such re­buke, with all the solemnity and faithfulness of an angel from heaven. He put himself forward, as a terror to evil doers, with all the majesty of an arm­ed host. Who, therefore, can sufficiently admire the wisdom of his counsels, and form a just esti­mate of the worth of his services? It is fully pro­bable, that he was the mean, in the hand of Provi­dence, of saving the tribes of Israel from incalcu­lable loss of blood and treasure. Like an angel of peace, his wisdom and mediation saved them from distresses and woes indescribable. How deep and real, therefore, must have been the lamenta­tion at his death!

[Page 19] These remarks on Samuel apply with equal truth to "America's Favourite Son," whose memory will ever be dear to us all. He has lived to see envy, party spirit and prejudice rise up amongst ourselves, after a very important revolution in our favour. He has seen the passion and unsubmissive spirit of party arise with weapons of war to oppose the administration of government. He has seen the order and tranquillity of the nation most alarmingly threatened, by those who have loved strangers rather than those of their own house. His wisdom, stability, and perseverance in con­stitutional righteousness, in these seasons of tumult and danger, have been blessed: they have been a mean of restoring order where confusion began to spread its miseries. He hath displayed himself as became one whom kind Pro­vidence had raised up to be a minister of God for good to the people, and to bear the sword of jus­tice and order not in vain—to rebuke the madness of disobedience, and to protect the friends of order and civil happiness. In the sense in which Samuel was a Saviour of Israel, our PATRIOT and GUAR­DIAN, who has now ceased from his labours, was the Saviour of his country. As Samuel's wisdom, counsels and virtue were a mean of preserving dis­ordered Israel from total confusion, and universal [Page 20] wretchedness, so his discernment and efforts have probably been a mean, in the hand of Providence, of our preservation from seditions, tumults and blood. His name shall live in the hearts of his countrymen. He shall be held in remembrance of those yet to be born. Fathers shall speak of his important services, with gratitude and admiration, "to their sons and to their sons' sons." His me­mory is and will be "blessed."

6. The Israelites lamented for Samuel, because they felt their need of his future counsels and la­bours. The civil commotions in Israel continued at the time of his death. Saul and David each had their parties and adherents. It was a day of great darkness and terror. They were threatened by their powerful enemies, the Philistines. This with the riotous and party spirit of their own na­tion, excited great alarm and anxiety. Not only their enemies from abroad, but the violence of par­ty among themselves, threatened the ruin of the state. Saul continued to pursue David, with envy, malevolence and murder in his heart. David and his men were hunted in the woods of Palestine—they were oppressed, and chased in their minds—they were valiant in battle—there was reason why the people should tremble in fear of the fatal issue of these circumstances. The people felt [Page 21] their need of the wisdom, experience, fortitude and prudence of Samuel, to moderate, direct and tranquilize the public mind, which had now be­come restless and passionate.

We feel our need of the continued services of our wise and experienced Leader in counsel and arms, who is now silent in death, having finished his course. His prayer was, "that man might no longer be the enemy of man;" but this his benevolent sup­plication is not yet answered. The world is in trouble—a martial spirit has pervaded the na­tions—those with which we have intercourse are paraded in arms. We have enemies abroad—we have the discontented and mutinous at home—the storm gathers around us, and threatens to burst its thunders on our heads.

We are in danger of being drawn into the vortex of war, and its miseries. While we pray that the God of armies, and the God of mercy, would save us from these woes, we have to lament the loss of one who has been honoured as an instrument of our country's salvation, in perilous times; whose aid and experience we still need; whose wisdom and valour had acquired universal confidence, and whose very name inspired the sons of America with fortitude and hope.

[Page 22] 7. The Israelites mourned for Samuel in the re­membrance of his warnings and exhortations a­gainst political jealousies, and sedition. In a time of disaffection toward their government, and when many were indulging complaint, Samuel received direction from the Lord to "protest solemnly un­to the people, and to show them the manner of the king," or the unhappiness of that government, un­der which they sought to place themselves. "Ne­vertheless, [...]he people refused to obey the voice of Samuel" in this respect; though he was faithful in his admonitions, and showed himself a friend to their best interests. Our celebrated Civilian, deceas­ed, has solemnly admonished his fellow citizens against seditious principles, and a riotous opposition to the established government. The following sentiments are his: "The very idea of the power and the right of the people to establish govern­ment, presupposes the duty of every individual to obey the established government. All obstructions to the execution of the laws, all combinations and associations, under whatever plausible character, with the real design to direct, controul, counteract or awe the regular deliberation and action of the constituted authorities, are destructive of this fun­damental principle, and of fatal tendency." This admonition is fitted to suppress licentious politics, [Page 23] and to direct public opinion in the way of sobriety, order, and civil happiness. And such is the state of man, that popular opinion is in constant need of such direction, because its frailties greatly expose it to a wrong bias; and, when this is the case, it can easily subvert the best mode of government, and trample on those laws which promise safety to the public. Under such warnings of our enlight­ened Instructor, who, "though dead, yet speak­eth," let us watch against a seditious spirit, and those irritating jealousies which sap the foundation of public tranquillity, and which tend to involve in irreparable disorders and sufferings.

8. All the Israelites lamented the death of Samu­el. Let us put emphasis on the word all, and consi­der the reason why all Israel were afflicted by this e­vent. Samuel was a public benefactor: he had wrought in the service of his country, and spent his life for its good. All had derived advantages from his wisdom, and from his faithfulness to their interests and happiness. Universal testimonials of respect and mourning at his death were a tribute due to his memory, and suitably expressive of the public sense of his worth. We are called to mourn, with all our brethren of the United States, the decease of our most worthy and honourable Friend, as for a pub­lic benefactor. From his youth he devoted [Page 24] himself to the service of his country, and has spent an invaluable life in the promotion of public hap­piness. He has sustained the most arduous offices, and filled them with singular dignity, not with an ultimate view to acquire the applause of men, but to procure lasting advantages for his people. His benevolent purposes have met with surprising suc­cess. We have all derived benefits from his wis­dom, his labours and sufferings. His life was a blessing to every individual in United America, and we all owe him a weighty and pleasing debt of gra­titude. His unremitting exertions at the head of our armies, and in the chair of state, have been a distinguished mean of the establishment and preser­vation of our rights and liberties, civil and reli­gious, which we hold as valuable beyond all com­putation.

The arms of death have now embraced this our great and honourable Friend—who has submitted to numberless perils and toils for our good—who has traversed the bloody camp to protect us, and give us liberty—who has left the sweets of retirement, and placed himself at the helm of government, to save us from wreck and torture—who has showed himself the friend of God, the friend of man, the friend of his country, the supporter of that religion which is necessary to our present and ultimate hap­piness [Page 25] —and who has exhibited a public example of all those virtues which dignify the character of man, and render social intercourse desirable. Let our nation therefore be clad in sackcloth, for "the mighty man is fallen"—the beauty and delight of our Israel is no more. "Ye daughters" of Ame­rica, "weep over him who hath clothed you with scarlet, and with other delights, and who hath put ornaments of gold on your apparel."

9. Public mourning for Samuel, and mourning on such an occasion as now invites our grief, is suitable, because it is but a just acknowledgment of the virtues and worth of those whose death is thus lamented. It is an evidence of public grati­tude for what they have done for the good of their country, and for the benefit of the world. Beside, public testimonials of respect for the memory of those deceased, who have been eminently virtuous and useful, has a favourable influence on the living. It operates as an encouragement to the living to imitate the example of the honourable dead. A man first in the command of an army, or one high in the seats of civil administration, must feel a de­pression and discouragement, on finding the servi­ces of the virtuous and faithful in office rewarded with public ungratefulness and complaint. The cares, toils and responsibility of such offices, when [Page 26] filled with wisdom and dignity, ought to be sup­ported with the candour, affection and grati­tude of the public mind. When it is made evident that public gratitude is excited toward those who have served their country with wisdom and fideli­ty, in the most important offices—when the labours and anxieties of such offices are rewarded with the affections and confidence of the people, who arise at their decease, and pronounce their memory bles­sed—then encouragement and support are given, both to the warrior and civilian, amidst all the ha­zards and weariness of office.

Hence let the affectionate respect which appears through our country, for the memory of her de­parted Guardian and Friend, be considered as proper and important, not only as it is a tribute due to his worth, but on account of its favourable influ­ence on the living. Let those who now, or may hereafter, fill the important offices which he hath borne, be encouraged to seek for the wisdom which directed him, and to imitate all his virtues. And may they and all the people pray, in imitation of the prophet Elisha, that a double portion of WASHINGTON's spirit may rest on his suc­cessors in office. While we remember his most important services, and retain an high affection for his name—while we look up to his worth as be­yond [Page 27] our estimation, and indulge in impressive accents of sorrow at his death—it becomes us to acknowledge the righteousness of that providence which has laid him in his tomb. "Shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil?"

Our Heavenly Benefactor is to be praised in that he hath raised one to the head of our national con­cerns, in whom all those virtues remarkably cen­tred which qualified him for office, and rendered him so universally and peculiarly acceptable to the people. In this view of divine goodness, and the favour granted us, we may adopt the sentiments which were entertained in the contemplation of Solomon's wisdom and excellence, and which were expressed in these words—"Blessed be the Lord thy God, who delighted in thee, to set thee on his throne, to be king for the Lord thy God; because thy God loved Israel to establish them forever, therefore made he thee king over them, to do judgment and justice."

We close with observing, that the death which we now lament gives us a solemn lesson on human frailty. The "prophets lived not forever." "Samuel died, and all Israel lamented him, and buried him in his own sepulchre at Ramah." WASHINGTON, our friend and benefactor, is [Page 28] dead, and laid in his own tomb at Mount Vernon. He, who has stood protected while thousands have fallen around him, has now past the vale of death, after a short indisposition. He, who was raised to the summit of human glory, dies like other men. He, who has made legions of invading foes to sub­mit, must himself submit to the irresistible power of the king of terrors. He, whose person was ad­mired, and whom multitudes sought to behold, is now hidden from the eyes of mortals, and left to moulder back to dust. He, who gave laws to millions, must himself submit to the de­crees of his Maker. Thus "the world is passing away"—the glory of kingdoms is fading. "The wise and reverend head" must lie on a level with others. In the judgment of the Great Day, there will be no distinction, but that which arises from different tempers of heart: Though the death of the righteous cause grief, yet to them it is gain. While their memory is blessed on earth, their spirits as­cend to the perfect and endless enjoyment of God. Glory and praise to the riches of that grace which brings the departed saint to the triumphant song—"O Death, where is thy sting? O Grave, where is thy victory?"

To serve God with faithfulness in the different spheres of action in which his providence hath [Page 29] placed us, is the great business of life—the way to a happy death, and to an eternal rest with Christ, in his kingdom of unfading glory.

May we be thus wise, and blessed of God, through Jesus Christ. AMEN.


"THE ancestors of General Washington came from England in the year 1657. He is in the third descent after their migration. He was born the 11th of February (old style) 1732, at the parish of Washington, in Westmoreland Country, Virginia. His education was principally conducted by a pri­vate tutor. Before he attained his twentieth year, he was raised to the inspection of a military district in Virginia, with the rank of Major. In 1753, when he was little more than twenty-one years of age, he was appointed an agent to treat with the French, who had made encroachments on the territories of the then British colonies at the westward. He was entrusted with plenary power for the manage­ment of this important business, and pursued the duties of his mission with singular industry, wis­dom and address; but had not the happiness to prevent a war between England and France. The next year, 1754, he was appointed Lieutenant Co­lonel in the Virginia regiment. The chief colonel dying the same year, without joining the regiment, the command and rank of Colonel devolved on him. He formed a plan to establish posts for the defence of the frontiers, at the confluence of the [Page 30] Allegany and Monongahela rivers. Pursuing this object, with only 400 effective men, he was met with an army of the enemy, computed at 1500, and after a gallant and well-managed defence, in which more than one third of his men were kil­led and wounded, he was obliged to capitulate. He, however, secured the important condition of retiring with the honours of war; but his men were brutally plundered by the Indians.

"In 1755 the British government sent Gen. Brad­dock with an army to repel these invaders. Wash­ington was received as Aid-de Camp to Gen. Braddock, with the rank of Colonel." President Davies, in a sermon preached to Capt. Overton's company of volunteers, who were raised in Vir­ginia for this expedition, bore this honourable and prophetic testimony in favour of the since Com­mander of the American armies:—Said he, "I point out to the public that heroic youth, Col. Washington, whom I cannot but hope Providence has hitherto preserved in so signal a manner for some important service to his country."

In this year was the memorable battle and defeat of Braddock, at the Monongahela. Gen. Braddock was killed, and all his officers, who were obliged to be on horseback, were killed or wounded, excepting Col. Washington; who dis­played great fortitude and military skill in saving the wreck of this mutilated army. Soon after this, on account of his singular merit, he was ho­noured with the command of all the troops raised and to be raised in Virginia. He continued to display his military talents in the defence of the frontiers. In 1758 he commanded a van brigade in the capture of fort Du Quesne.

The success of this campaign having secured tranquillity to the middle colonies, and his health being extremely impaired, in 1759 he resigned his appointment.

[Page 31] He gradually recovered his health—married Mrs. Custis, a respectable young widow—settled on his estate at Mount Vernon, and gave his at­tention to agriculture. After he left the army in '59 he was constantly a member of the Virginia Assembly, a magistrate of his county, and a judge of the court," until the year 1774, when he was elected a delegate to the first Continental Con­gress. In 1775 he was appointed Commander in Chief of the continental army. From this time he submitted to more than "Herculean labours" in watching the movements of an insidious and powerful foe, and in bringing his variable and un­disciplined army to the most promising point of resistance.

Under the most depressive circumstances—in want of a regular force competent to the exigen­ces of the day—in want of food, clothing and pay for his suffering companions in the field—his mag­nanimity and trust in Providence supported his hope. The sufferings of his army, in the want of a generous and promised subsistence, excited re­peated mutinies among the soldiery, and awakened the most threatening discontents among many of his officers. These seasons of most imminent dan­ger aroused his powers of oratory, in which there was unparalleled persuasion, which sustained our cause, and saved our country.

The magnitude of the cause which he was en­gaged to support, and the unequalled trust he had taken on himself, must have lain with inexpressible we [...] [...]n his mind. He sustained this mighty burden, until the ever-memorable victory at York-town, which afforded him a partial relief. This event (the capture of lord Cornwallis and the British army under his command, which took place in October, 1781) laid a foundation for peace be­tween the United States and Great Britain. Peace was realized in 1783. In 1787 General Wash­ington was elected President of the General Con­vention [Page 32] which formed the constitution of the United States. The first Congress, under the new constitution, convened March, 1787, and on the 30th of April GEORGE WASHINGTON was de­clared President of the United States. He was re­elected to the Presidency in 1793. In '97 he re­tired▪ from public service, having declined being considered as a candidate for the future suffrages of his fellow citizens. In '98 he was appointed General and Commander in Chief of the Armies of the United States, of which he accepted; in this, giving the most impressive evidence of his benevo­lence to his country, and that the greatness of his mind was above the punctilios of rank.—He died December 14th, 1799, Aet. 68.


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