Benjamin Blydenburg Wisner.

A sermon occasioned by the death of Mrs. Miriam Phillips, consort of His Honor William Phillips, delivered on the 18th of May, being the Sabbath after the funeral online

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Online LibraryBenjamin Blydenburg WisnerA sermon occasioned by the death of Mrs. Miriam Phillips, consort of His Honor William Phillips, delivered on the 18th of May, being the Sabbath after the funeral → online text (page 2 of 2)
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tention, she felt the increased obligation imposed
on her by her situation in life to " let her light shine
before men," and to employ her influence and her
substance in doing good. Her charities are known


to have been great : but their amount will not be
known till the clay of final account. Many are
the sons and daughters of affliction that have been
comforted and relieved by her bounties, who are
still ignorant of the hand that bestowed them.

But her benevolence was too pure to spend
itself in merely contributing pecuniary aid for the
relief of the wretched. She was a ready visitor
to the sick and the unfortunate ; and well did she
know how to pour into the wounded spirit the oil
of consolation, and direct the eye of faith to the
merciful hand that was administering the correction.
The humble poor she delighted to visit, and relieve,
and bless.

She rejoiced in the rising prospects of Zion ;
and was particularly and deeply interested in the
present attention to religion in this and some other
congregations in the city. She dwelt much, when
conversing on this subject, on the importance of


time, that their prayers might not be hindered, and
that the world might see that there was indeed a
revival of the work of God.

In short, it was her ardent desire and her
constant aim to " adorn the doctrine of God her
Saviour in all things :" — " to have always a con-
science void of offence toward God and toward


men." She deeply felt and often inculcated the
importance of a holy life. "We must live
RELIGION," she would frequently say, " or we can
have no evidence that our faith is genuine, nor
leave behind us any satisfactory proof that we
have died in the Lord."

Such was her life. Who then can question ? —
none, I am confident, who knew her will doubt —
that in the eye of heaven, she was numbered
among "the perfect and upright;" and that her
end was ^' peace."

The disease, with which she was afflicted, was
of such a nature that it produced a constant heavi-
ness and stupor : so that very little escaped her,
during her illness, respecting her views and feelings
in relation to her approaching change. There is
evidence, however, that she supposed death to be
near, and that she anticipated its arrival with pious
resignation and hope. In the morning of the day
on which she died, she said, with difficulty, to one
of the family who had just come in and asked her
if she knew her — " It is a great thing to die." It
was replied — " Yes ; but you have chosen Jesus
for your portion, and he will sustain." Her
countenance indicated her assent to this remark ;
while, with great difficulty, she uttered the word
" ROCK :" meaning, no doubt " He is my rock,"


— an allusion she frequently employed in religious
conversation with much feeling. This was the
last word she uttered. And what could she have
said more satisfactory ? Her life proved that she
had built upon the rock Christ Jesus ; and, we are
permitted 1o know, that at the approach of death,
she felt that her foundation could not be moved.

From the time just alluded to, she rapidly
failed ; till, at half past three o'clock on Wednesday
the 7th inst. her spirit was released from its earthly
tabernacle, and entered upon the rest and peace that
remain for the people of God.

Her mqurning family have sustained a great —
an irreparable loss. But their loss has been her
unspeakable gain. It may, — if rightly improved,
it will — prove their gain. Better consolation in
the death of a friend could not be enjoyed. Our
confidence is that she lived the life, and therefore
died the death of the perfect and upright, and is
now enjoying her eternal reward. May you, my
bereaved and afflicted friends, be sustained and
comforted in your trial by the promises and grace of
that covenant in which she trusted, and found to be
" ordered in all things and sure." May her affec-
tionate and faithful counsels be engraven on your
hearts : her bright and steady example copied out,
in all the harmony and beauty of its proportions.


in your lives : that, like her's, your memory may
be blessed, and your reward eternal in the heavens !

This Church has lost one of its brighest orna-
ments, — this religious society one of its firmest and
most devoted friends. " A mother in our Israel
has fallen; or rather, I should say, has risen;
borne, not in a chariot of fire, but on seraph's
wings, to the mansions prepared for her in the
skies. But where, O ! where, is her falling man-
tle ? God, of his mercy, grant that it may fall and
rest upon each of us !''* — that this mournful provi-
dence may excite us to follow the example of our
departed friend, as far as she followed Christ, and
to live, as we trust she lived, to the glory of God.

To every person in this assembly God has
addressed a solemn warning. Who is there here
that does not wish to die as we believe Mrs.
Phillips died ? You must then live as she lived.
You must repent of your sins and believe in Christ
with that faith which works by love, purifies the
heart, and overcomes the world. And He, in whose
hand your breath is, tells you, in language not to
be misunderstood, that if you ever intend to make
preparation for death, you must make it jsow. With-
in one week four have been summoned from this
Congregation to the eternal world : two with a

* Sermon on the death of Mrs. Waters, by Rev. Joshua Huntington.


warning of but three days, and two without a
moment's warning. Fellow-sinner, why were not
you of this number ? Had you been, what would
now be your condition ? Is it not possible that
the angel of death is commissioned to bear the
next summons to you ? Are you then prepared to
die ? What if " the trump of God" were now to
sound, " the elements to melt with fervent heat,
and the dead, small and great, to stand before
God !" — What if these dread realities were this
moment to burst upon you ! What, O ye who
are yet in your sins, would be the sentence yoii
would receive from the lips of the Judge ? What
could it be but — "Depart into everlasting fire?"
And how soon, how very soon, may all this be
reality to you ? Disease or accident, in any of
their thousand forms, may, in a moment, arrest
your thoughtless career ; and your destiny is fixed
forever, you have entered upon the retributions of
eternity! My dear hearers, be not deceived. It
is true that " now is your accepted time and your
day of salvation," — the only opportunity, of which
you can be sure, for obtaining the salvation of those
precious and immortal souls. See to it then that
you be prepared immediately to meet your God.
" To-DAY, if ye will hear his voice, harden not your


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Online LibraryBenjamin Blydenburg WisnerA sermon occasioned by the death of Mrs. Miriam Phillips, consort of His Honor William Phillips, delivered on the 18th of May, being the Sabbath after the funeral → online text (page 2 of 2)