Thomas Prince.

Be followers of them, who through faith and patience inherit the promises : a sermon occasion'd by the decease of Mrs. Hannah Fayerweather, of Boston, on January 27th, 1755, aetatis 53, and delivered at the South Church, the Lord's-day after online

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Online LibraryThomas PrinceBe followers of them, who through faith and patience inherit the promises : a sermon occasion'd by the decease of Mrs. Hannah Fayerweather, of Boston, on January 27th, 1755, aetatis 53, and delivered at the South Church, the Lord's-day after → online text (page 1 of 3)
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Mr. Prince's


On the SDeatf) of

Mrs. Fayerweather.



Be Followers of Them, who through Faith and
Patience inherit the Tromifes.


Occasion' d by the HDttt&tt of

Mrs. Hannah Fayerweather,

On January zyth, 1755. JEtatis 53 •

And deliver'd at the South Church, the Lord's-Day after.

By Thomas Prince, M. A.

And a Paftor of faid Church.
Luk. i. 45. And blejfed is Jhe that believed !

B O S T O N 1

Printed by Edes & Gill, in TTingftreet, for D. HENCHMAN,
in CornhilL 1755.


Funeral SERMON.

H E B. vi. 12.

That ye be Followers of Them, who thro' Faith
and ^Patience inherit the *Promifes.

HE Apoftle, in the midft of the foregoing
Chapter, entering into a noble Difcourfe about
the eternal High Prieflhood of Christ, after the
Order of Mekhifedeck ; he fuddenly digrefl'es, at
the nth Verfe, to prepare the Minds of the
Chrijiian Hebrews, for the Entertainment of fo fublime a
Subject. And this he does,

i. By reproving them for their faulty Dullnefs and Unpro-
ficiency in their Chriftian Courfe 5 in the four laft Verfes.

2. By exciting them to afpire to Perfettion and perfevere in
their Proficiency ; in this Chapter following. (1.) To an
afpiring Progrefs in the Chriftian Life, to the End of the
10th Verfe ; (2.) To a careful P erf ever ence therein, to the
Clofe of the Chapter.

And thefe Excitations he r prefTes with a moft grateful
and excellent Variety of Argument. As,

$. From their own good and promising Beginnings, v. 11.

And ive defire that every one of you do Jhew the fame Diligence^
to the full A/fur once of Hope to the End.


2 A Funeral SERMON.

Do Jhew ; i. e. continue to fhew ; (f) the fame Diligence;
■i. e. the fame which ye began to mow at your tirft Believing ;
to the full Afjurance of Hope \ i. e. till your Hope grows and
arrives to a full Aflurance ; or to the Completion, Fulnefs,
and Confummation of Hope ; (pf) to the End ; i.e. not
only to the End of your Lives, (a) but therewith alfo to
the End of your Hope ; when both your Diligence, your
Hope, and your full A durance will happily iflue in the eternal
Enjoyment of the Things hoped for, anured of, and la-
boured after.

2. If e prefTes to this Chriftian Progrefs and Perfeverance,
from the lively Examples of thofe eminent Saints who had
gone before them, v. 12. That ye be not Jlothful, but Followers
of them who through Faith and Patience inherit the Promifes.
And here are thefe two Things,

1. On the one Hand, a previous and important Caution
againft being negligent, in our Chriftian Courfe. That ye be
not jlothful. The Term is rendered— Dull— in the nth
Verfe of the foregoing Chapter ; and alfo fignifies both
liftlefs, fiuggijh, ? emifs and /lack. \\ In Refpect to our perceptive
Powers, it fignilieth Dullnefs ; in Refpect to our aSfive, it
fignifieth Slothfulnefs and Negligence, (g)

"The Word is here plainly oppofed to the Diligence urged
in the Verfe foregoing ; which is a Term importing both
a diligent Endeavour ,with zForwardnefs and Earnejlnefs therein :
as being needful for the overcoming every Difficulty, and
obtaining the defirable Good endeavoured after, (g)

The Meaning therefore is— That ye neither ceafe to go on
in your Chriftian Courfe ; (m) nor allow yourfelves to he
dull, fluggifo, Jlack, r -emifs or negligent therein. 4: Or as if the
Apoftle had laid-— As we defire you to go on and fhow the
fame Diligence you began to fhow, but to which you
have full a natural Averfion ; fo we defire you likewife
would be very careful to guard and ftrive againft that remifs
and Jluggijh Temper, to which you have alfo a natural
and ftrong Propenfion ; and which, indulged, will fadly
hinder your advancing to a full Aflurance of Hope, and
your further Progrefs in Chriftian Knowledge, Grace,
Obedience and Comfort.

2. We have then on the other Hand, in the Reft of the
Verfe, a moving Excitation, to follow them who through Faith
and Paiience inherit the Promifes, As

(f) fell, (pf) Pol. Synopf. [i) Dutch Annot. |l Gouge, Leigh
Pol. Synopf. & Fell, (g) Gouge. {?.?} llcmchlus, in Pol. Synopf-
% Erafmusy Grotim & Fell.

A Funeral SERMON. 3

As a farther Motive to this diligent and fteady Prog^efs,
the Apoftie here fets before them, the fair Examples of fuch
as have run well, and happily attain'd the End, viz. the
Pofteffion of the promifed Inheritance, (g)

And here are (1) The lively Examples reprefented^-—
Them who through Faith and Patience inherit the Promifes. By
them, the Apoftie may mean, not only the antient Patriarchs
(ebg) and Prophets, yea theSaints or all preceedingAges they
had read and heard of ; (dt) but even of that Age alfo, and
more efpecially thofe whom thefe Chriftian Hebrews had
been orally acquainted with, and whofe lively Examples they
had before their Eyes. (2) The fpecial Duty excited to,viz.
to be Follozvers \_Mimetai\ or Imitators of them.

And in introducing his Excitation, we may obferve the
Contraft between the forementioned Vice of Negligence he
had been juft dehorting from, and the following Duty he is
going to excite them to ; implied in the Uranfitive Particle
- -2?#/— as if the Apoftie had faid— - InOppofition to fuch
a remifs and negligent Temper and Carriage in the Chriftian
Life,we beg you to keepinView andimitate thofe exemplary
Saints who have gone to Heaven before you. They who have
obtained the Prize did fet you no fuch negligent Example ;
they led no fuch carelefs Lives, but quite the contrary :
they in their Places and Times were diligent in the Chriftian
Courfe ; and fo muft you, if you ever mean to come and
join them in the fame Inheritance.

But the farther Explication of the Text, I leave to be
attempted under this general Doctrine. That in order to
make a Progrefs and to perfevere in the Chriftian Life, we
mould be careful Followers of thofe, who through Faith and
Patience inherit the Promifes.

And to illuftrate this, there are thefe four Heads to be

'■ I. To take a general View of the Promifes they had in their
Eye, and whereby they were animated.

II. Thofe eminent Graces of Faith and Patience, in the
Exercife whereof they brightly (hone, they fet a lovely
Example,and through which they perfevered to the promifed

HI,, The blefled Iftue of their Faith and Patience in their
Inheriting the Promifes.


(s) Gouge, {ebg) Erqfmut, Bsza, Gretius. \dt) Deodate,

4 A Funeral SERMON.

IV. And laftly, The great Duty we are here excited to,
viz. to be Followers of them, if we would ever arrive at the
fame Inheritance.

I. To take a general View of the Promifes they had in
their Eye, and whereby they were animated.

Thefe indeed are the laft Things mentioned here ; but
they were firft in View, and are here intended as the
principal Objects of their active Faith, and the principal
Motives of their perfevering Patience. They had Promifes
of glorious and eternal Things in View, which they believ'd
and realiz'd ; which they kept their Eyes upon continually,
and which infpir'd them with a perfevering Patience under
2II their Trials.

By thefe Promifes are meant in general, the Promifes of
God revealed and given in the infpired Scriptures, to true
Believers. They are no where elfe to be found, and they
arecomprehenfiveof thefe two Things in general ; (1) All
the Good cc\tnprized in them ; (2) The divine Word of Secu-
rity, which God has given Believers of its being bellowed
on them.

And thefe Promifes contain both earthly, fpiritual and eter-
nal Bleffings. For our Apoftle aflures us, 1 Tim. iv. 8.
Godiinefs is profitable unto all Things ; having the Promife of the
Life that now is, and of that which is to co?ne. i. e. Real Godii-
nefs in Union with theSubjecl of it : or whoever is truly godly,
as every true Believer m Christ Jesus is, hath the Promife
both of the Continuance of the prefent Life, with all the
imperfect Good therein, as far as the Love and Wifdom of
God fee fitteft for them ; as alfo of theLife to come,mc\uding
all the perfect and eternal BlefTednefs thereof. And all the
Promifes are made over to them in the ever la/ling Covenant
of Grace, well ordered in all Things and fure, comprehending
all their Salvation, and all their Defire. 2 Sam. xxiii. 5.

Of thefePromifes we read in 2Pet. I. beginning ; Thzt,fTo
them who have obtained precious Faith, through the Righteoufnefs
of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ, are given exceeding
great and precious Premifes ; that by thefe they might be Partakers
of the divine Nature, having efcaped the Corruption that is in the
World through Lu/l.

By this we fee that thefe great and precious Promifes are
given to thofe who have obtained precious Faith, through the
Righteoufnefs of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ : And
that their principal End is, that by their Influence, thofe who


A Funeral SER M N. 5

have precious Faith might he Partakers of the divine Nature ;
i. e. may grow more and more like the Nature even of God
himfelf, in his moral Excellencies, Views, Defigns, Actions
and BlefTednefs ; even in fome Degree in the prefent Life,
and in as perfect a Degree as poiiibie, in the future : Hav-
ing efcaped the Corruption in this earthly World through Lajl \
i. e. having by the Influence of thefe Promifes efcaped this
Corruption more and more, as they went on in their Chrift-
ian Courfe ; and in the Hour of Death efcaped it intirely
and for ever.

And thofe Promifes may well be called exceeding great and
precious, for thefe five Reafons ; (i) Becaufe of the exceeding
great and precious Things contained in them ; (2) Becaufe
they were purchafed by the exceeding great Price, and pre-
cious Blood, of the Son of God ; (3) Becaufe of the 2;reat,
precious, abfolute Security of their being accomplifhed ; (4)
Becaufe they are juftly exceeding great and precious, in the
Efteem and Eye of every true Believer; (5) andiaftly, Becaufe
of the exceeding great and precious Influence t£iey have on
thefe who are entitled to them, or by Faith embrace, im-
prove, and live upon them.

But What exceeding great and precious Promifes are thefe ?

To this I anfwer-— They are almoft innumerable in the
Holy Scriptures : But they may all be ranked under fuch
general Heads as the Apoftle Paul has given, in 2 Cor. vL
and the three laft Verfes - - As God has faid ; I will dwell
in them and walk in them, and I will be their God, and they
fnall he my People — And I will receive you, and he a Father to
you, and y Jhall be my Sons and Daughters, faith the Lord Al-
mighty. Thefe the Apoftle ftiles by the Name of Promifes y
and (hows the excellent Ufe and Influence of them in
the following Verfe : Having therefore thefe Promifes, dearly
Beloved, let us cleanfe ourf elves from all Filthinefs both of Flefh and
Spirit, perfecting Holinefs in the Fear of God.

I might mention a great Variety of other Promifes : But
they are all comprized in Thefe : For to have the infinite
and all-fufficient God for our God and Father, and for him
to receive us, and dwell in us for ever, is plainly comprehenfive
of all the Good that our largeft Hearts can wifh, or our mod
capacious Natures can receive : and they comprehend both
all the imperfect Good of the prefent World, and all the
perfeclGood of the other. But as the other is immenfely
more great and excellent than the prefent ; fo is the View
and Purport of thefe comprehenfive Promifes : they mofl

B eminently

6 A Funeral SERMON.

eminently look to the other : they reach unto, and thro' the
Valley of the Shadow of Death, yea beyond it infinitely ;
and extend their Profpect to eternal Ages. And that they
chiefly look, to the World to come, moft clearly appears from
the Parallel Defcription of their glorious Fulfilment in
Rev. xxi, and xxii.

There, in that other World, the Perfection of their Natures
and Capacities ; their perfect Likenefs to the bleiled God ;
their cleareft Knowledge of their perfect and eternal Jufti-
rication, Adoption, Conformity toHim,and Intereft in Him ;
with thejrioft intimate, endlefs, fatisfying Manifestations,
Vifions and Enjoyments of Him, as He appears in Christ,
are by many Promifes enfured to true Believers.

Included in thefe Promifes, is the Promije of Life which is
In ChR-IST Jesus, 2 Tim. i. 1. The Crown of Life, which the
Lord hath promifed to them that love him, Jam. i. 12. And this
is the Promife that he hath promifed us, even eternal Life, 1 Joh.
ii. 25. The Kingdorn which he hath promifed to them that love him,
Jam. ii. 5. A Promife of entering into his R.e/1, Heb. iv. i. The
Promife of eternal 'Inheritance, Heb. ix. 15 : and many others.

They who rightly love the bleffed God, and who believe
aright in Christ, are the very fame Perfons. For they
who rightly love Him, love Him as He appears in Christ
perfectly and eternally reconcilable and amiable to them :
and on the very fame Account it is, that in Christ they
view Him with intire Approbation and Complacency, believe
in Christ to receive and reconcile them, and embrace Him
as their bleffed Reconciler. And one great Reafon why
the Promifes belonging to them, fometimes defcribe them
by their Love, and fometimes by their Faith, is becaufe thefe
Graces, when they look to God in Christ, in their very
Nature, Motives, and Operations, ever mix together.

I fay, that all thefe and every other Promife which Refpects
the future and heavenly World, as well as this, are compre-
hended in this one -, of God's being our God and Father, and
dwelling with and in us for ever ; who is the only and eternal
Fountain of all that's good : and every other Promife is
only of fome particular Stream of Good deriving from Him.

This moft great and perfect Good is the comprehenfive
Good of all the Promifes. In ail the Promifes the glorious
GoD,efpecially as revealed in Christ, is All in All. And
the Promifes of this, efpecially as enjoyed in Perfection in
the heavenly World, are firftly in the Heart and Eye of the
true Believer. They are the ftrongeft Motives of his Life


A Funeral SERMON. 7

and Actions : they enliven, draw forth, and raife his Faith :
and they produce and maintain his Patience, till He comes
to their full Accomplifhment.

If you afk mz,—TVhence thefe Promifes derive to true Belie-
vers ? I muft lead back your Views to the paft Eternity :
For fo does our Apoftle in Titus i. 2, In Hope of eternal Life ;
which God that cannot Lie, promifed before the World began.
And to whom ihould He then firftly make this moft great
and comprehenfive Promife, but to the Mediator, as the
appointed Head of a glorious Offspring^ Agreable to this,
the Apoftle tells us, in Heb. viii. 6, He is the Mediator of a
better Covenant which was ejlablifned upon better Promifes : and
in 2 Cor. i. 20, For, all the Promifes of God in Him [i. e. in
Jesus Christ, the Son of God, as He is defcrib'd in the
Verfe foregoing] are yea, and in Him Amen, unto the Glory of

Now, by our being regenerated by the Spirit of Christ,

we become his Mediatorial-Offspring : and by Faith in Him i

we are actually united to Him as our Mediatorial Head r and

become his Children, as He calls them, Heb. ii. 13, 14. And

as He fays to his divine Father, Job. xvii. 10, All Mine are

TJnne, andTJnne are Mine ; they become the Children of God

by Adoption alfo. Job. i. 12, As many as received Him, t§

them gave He Powor to become [i. e. the Right and Priviledge

of being] the Sons ofGoD,even to them that believe on his Name.

SoGal. iii.26, Te are all theChildren of Gob by Faith /^Christ

Jesus. And hence the Apoftle infers, Rom. viii. 17, And if

Children, thenHeirs, Heirs of 'God, and joint Heirs with Christ,

Gal. iv. 28, We are the Children of the Promife. Gal.iii. 29, Heirs

according to Promife. ij,77?e Heirs of Promife. Gal. iii.

22, That the Promife by Faith in Jesus Christ might be given.

to them that believe. Eph.iii.6, That the fientilesfbould be Fellow -

Heirs and Partakers of bis Promife in Christ. James ii. 5,

Rich in [having] Faith and Heirs of the Kingdom which He bath

promifed. And Heb. 9. 15, That they which are called might

receive the Promife of eternal Inheritance.

And thefe are the Promifes which true Believers chiefly
have in their Eye 5 and live, rejoice, and triumph in the
haftening View of their fure Fulfilment,
But we mull now go on to confider,
II. Thofe eminent Graces of Faith and Patience, in the
Exercife whereof they brightly Ihone, they fet a lovely Ex-
ample, and through which they obtain'd the promifed

B 2 Both

8 A Funeral SERMON.

Both their exemplary Lives aniGraces feem to be dimmed
up in thefe, viz. their Faith and Patience ; their Faith as the
Caufe, and their Patience as the Confequence ; Faith as the
vital Principle, and Patience as the perfevering Fruit, in a
Life of Rjghteoufnefs, Beneficence and Holinefs. And in
thofe two Graces with their genuine Influence, may be well
comprized all the exemplary Virtues of the Chridian Life.

And here we may give fome brief Account ; (i) of their
Faith; (2) then Patience ; as alfo the Influent* of thefe toge-
ther, to bring them on to inherit the Promifes.

1. Of their Faith.

Now this is that divine Grace, wrought in their Hearts
by the Spirit of God, in their thorough Conviction and Re-
generation , whereby they clearly faw and believed the in-
vifible God and his inspired JVord : they faw and believed
the wonderous Things contained in his Law and Gofpel :
they faw and believed his Being and revealed Perfections :
they had high and realizing Apprehenfions of Him : they
faw and believ'd the vift Extent and Excellence of his
Com?nands and Pi ohibitions : they believ'd his Threatnings, and
had awful Views of his dedroying Difpleafure and Judg-
ments denounced in them : they believ'd his Promifes^ and
had enlarged, lively Views of the tranfeendent and eternal
Good enfured by them : they believ'd his univerfal and
perfect creating^ upholding, and riding the World ; faw his
wonderous Influence in theWorks of Nature and Providence :
And thereby they realized his univerfal and perpetual Pre-.
fence t his all-feeing Eye, and his future Judgment.

By Faith, they faw the Emptinefs of Creatures, the Va-
nity of earthly Things, the incomparable Glories and
Amiablenefs of God, especially as appearing in the Face
of Christ ; with his only all-fuitablenefs and all-fufnci-
ency, fully and for ever to fave and make them happy, in
giving them a perfeclConformity toHim,Communion with
Him,Vifion andEnjoyment of Him. By Faith they faw the
furpafling Beauty of Holinefs, the exceeding Vilenefs of
Sin, the Heinoufnefs and Multitude of theif own Sins, and
the Sins of others, the mod odious Fountain of all Iniquity
and Contrariety to God within them, their guilty, curfed,
wretched, periihing Condition : and by Faith they clearly
and gladly faw the excellent and bleded Way of Salvation
by Jesus Christ.

By Faith, they looked into the eternal Worlds they were
hadening to and are fince entered in. They looked down


A Funeral SERMON. 9

and faw the DiftrefTes of the damned Spirits, until the ex-
pected R efurreclion of their vile Bodies ; their riling then
in Sin, in Shame, and. in uniufferable Horror ; the open
Difcovcry of all their Wickednefs in the View of theWorld;
their extreme Confufion before their Judge, and that vaft
AfTembly ; their dreadfuICondemnation ; their being driven
down to Hell, with mod vile and cruel Devils, and their
fufTering there with them the Vengeance of eternal Fire.

And by Faith they alio looked up and view'd the Par adife
above ; the Spirits of the Juft made perfect? the blefled
AngeJs, and Christ the glorified Mediator there \ the
perfect Entertainments, Satisfactions and Delights of all the
Saints and Angels in that fmirlefs, lightiome and joyous
World, until Christ defcends with them, and the Bodies
of Believers rife in Glory like Him, and mount to meet
Him. And then, by Faith they view their admired Head
in his furpafling Glories, owning every true Believer,
affembJing them in one vaft Company, placing fhem at his
Right Hand in the Air above, acquiting them before the
World ; and then, with moft endearingLcoks and ravith-
ing Complacency, bleiling them, and carrying them to
Heaven with Him ; there to view the amazing Wifdom of
all his Works, the amazing Revelations of his Kindnefs to
them, and the Fulnefs of his Excellence, and the Excel-
lence of God in 'him for ever.

In fuch Views as thefe, theirFaith was converfant : They
more or lefs beheld them every Day. Thefe were the great
and principal Objects of their believing Contemplations.
They had a clear, ftrong,lively,realizingView of thefe invi-
fible Things ; were perfuaded of their Truth andCertainty :
And by believing them, were bro't to believe in the invisi-
ble God as reveal'd inCHETST ; to believe in his Word and
Promifes ; to embrace him in them ; to believe in his A31-
fufficiency, Faithfulnefs and fixed Refolution to fulfil them 3
to believe in Christ to reconcile them to his Divine Fa-
ther ; to believe in the Father to be reconciled to them
by Christ ; to believe in the Divine Spirit, to poffefs,
dwell in, and reign over them for ever, to enlighten and
fanctify ; to ftrengthen, excite and comfort them ; to guide
and fit them for all this Glory, and then to be received
into it.

In fhort ; their Faith was theSubfance of Things hoped for, the
Evidence of Things not fe en \ Heb.xi. 1. i.e. itwasthatvitalGrace
which viewed Things hoped for as fubflantial or real, and


io A Funeral SERMON.

unfeen Things as evident. And like Abraham, the Father
of all Believers, they believed in God who quickneth the Dead,
and calleth thofe Things which he not, as though they were : Even
againft all Embarrafsments of Hope, they ftill believed in Hope ;
yea they werejlrong in Faith, giving Glory to God ; being fully
perfuaded, that what he had promijed he zuas able alfo to perform.
Rom. iv. 16 - 21. And like his pious Confort Sarah, who
alfo believed in God and his Promife, Becaufe jhe judged him
Faithful who had promifed. Heb. xi. 11.

Thus of their Faith. Now—

2. We come to their Patience.

The Word [Makrothumias] literally rendered, is Longa-
nimity, or Long-bearing Mindednefs. (t.f) It is in true Believ-
ers, who are the truly fanctified, that peculiar Grace, or
gracious,powerful Principle wrought in their Hearts by the
Holy Spirit, in the work of Regeneration alfo ; whereby
they were inclined, and by the continued Influence of the
f*me Spirit, enabled, both fubmiffively, patiently and a
long While, even as long as they lived, to bare the Affticti-
ons they almoft always met with in their Chriflian Courfe;
and alfo patiently waited for the Fulfilment of the Promifes>
till they happily obtain'd it. (d)

It was by the Power and Action of their Faith, that their
Patience was inExercife : It was by Faith their Patience rofe,
and grew, and held, and perfevered.

In Proportion to our Faith in God as reveal'd in Christ,
and Things eternal and invifible ; fo will be our Patience.
When our Faith is weak, our Patience will be feeble : when
our Faith grows ftrong, our Patience will more powerfully
endure Affliction : If our Faith holds out, our Patience will
perfevere ; and this both in bearing heavy Burthens, refitt-
ing ftrong Temptations, overcoming Oppofitions, and doing
difficult Duties. While Faith is in a vigorous Exercife, no
Afflictions are too hard to bear, no Commands of God are
grievous to us ; no Temptations too powerful for us : And
thofe Believers who were eminent for Faith, were Jikewife
eminent for Meeknefs, Patience and Self-Denial.

So we read of Mofes, that illuftrious Pattern of all thefe
Graces ; Heb. xi. 24 - -27, By Faith Mofes, when he was come
to Tears, refufed to be called the Son of Pharoab's Daughter ; chu-
fing rather to Juffer Affliclion with the People of G od, than to enjoy
the Pleafures of Sin for a Seafon ; ejleerning the Reproach of


ft). Tremellius. (f) Fell. (d) Dutch Annot.

A Funeral SER MO N. 1 i

Christ greater Riches than the Treafures in Egypt,' For he had
Refpecl to the Recompence of the Reward : [i. e. not of Defert
in himfelf, but of the bounteous Grace of God] By Faith h$
forfook Egypt , not fearing the Wrath of the King : For he endured^
as feeing Him mho is invisible.

Thofe who believe ip-Christ, expect to follow him thro'
tribulation, as he has foretold them, Job, xvi. 33 ; and that
through much Tribulation they muft enter into the Kingdom of
God, as hisApoftles have warned them, Ails xiv. 22. They

1 3

Online LibraryThomas PrinceBe followers of them, who through faith and patience inherit the promises : a sermon occasion'd by the decease of Mrs. Hannah Fayerweather, of Boston, on January 27th, 1755, aetatis 53, and delivered at the South Church, the Lord's-day after → online text (page 1 of 3)