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Royal House, which every one has, indeed, felt as if it had been in his own home.
And where in these hours is the mourner in our land whom His words cannot find ?-or what is the character of that sorrow which they may not correct or soothe? Is it the Citizen who desponds over the brighted prospects of his Country and of the Throne ? “ Behold the fowls of the air (he says) for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns, yet your Heavenly Father feedeth them; are ye not much better than they ? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow, they toil not, neither do they spin ; and yet I say unto you, Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you. Take, therefore, no thought for the morrow, for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself; sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof."
Do our hearts bleed for the afflicted Parent, or the desolate Husband ? His voice, which preached the gospel to the poor, can find likewise those who mourn in the palaces of Kings. He, and he alone, can enter into “ the ruler's
house,” and sit down by the royal mourners, and weep along with them, and speak kindly to them, and remind them of the far more glorious mansions in his Father's house, and at last say to them, with a voice of gentlę authority, and to the disconsolate nation sorrowing around them, “ Why make ye all this ado and weep, the damsel is not dead but sleepeth!”
Or, finally, do we shudder at the sufferings of innocent nature ?-at the disappointed hopes and the expiring agonies of virtuous love? He then points to his Cross, and before that spectacle of sorrow, like unto no other, we at once hide our heads in the dust, and draw in the breath of our murmurs, and feel, amid the bitterness of our tears, that there is not a drop in the cup of human woe which the Son of God himself has not drank, before us, to the dregs!
Therefore it is, my brethren, that he tells us, in every hour of our being, to believe in Him, because he only can make the loving kindness of our God visible to our eyes, and sensible to our hearts; and therefore it is that he now more especially says to all the mourners of our land, “ Let not your heart be troubled, ye believe in God, believe also in me !"
Higher sources of consolation, too, are His : the glories of his Resurrection followed, as you know, in quick succession the humiliation of his Cross, and I would now willingly lead your thoughts to these; but, in the present moments, I confess myself unequal to so triumphant a theme. One black image alone is ever pressing upon my soul; this is the day of darkness and of death; and when the shades of night descend to deepen the gloom, the Sepulchre of our Kings will close upon HER, the promise of whose early virtues was to us as the dawn of a brighter day, and on that lost Child of a Nation's hopes, whose purity was destined never to be polluted by breathing the air of a sinful world.
How little did we foresee this calamity, my brethren, or, in the carelessness of our thoughts, so much as imagine its possibility! If we had, God knows, the universal cry and prayer of our nation would have been, that whatever else in his righteous anger he might doom us to suffer, at least this cup might be permitted to pass from us! We have drank it in all its bitter
Not an ingredient has been omitted that could add to the distaste of the draught. And what now remains for us but to lay down our heads at the foot of the Cross, and to utter the prayer of deep resignation, “ not our will, O God, but thine be done!"
Yet never let us doubt that there are consolations even here, which religion can find, and that there are improvements to be made from this, as from every dispensation of Providence. Irreparable to all human appearance as our loss has been, and aggravated by every circumstance of sorrow, still, God be praised, the beloved object of our tears has neither lived nor died in vain. She will not now be our Queen, indeed, nor the Mother of our Kings ; yet, rapid as her transit over this dark world has been, she will never cease to be enthroned in our hearts as the nursing Mother of our National Virtues. To Her, the Daughters of our Land will still look as to the patron Saint of pure manners and of generous love; and that short but beautiful picture of virtuous and domestic happiness, displayed in their simple and beneficent lives, by Her and that noble-minded Stranger, whom every Briton must embrace as a countryman and a brother in his heart will ever be remembered as a model alike for princes and for people.
Which of us did not pray, my brethren, that their precious example might long be preserved to us? or did not call down blessings upon their heads ?-It was more especially my grateful office, (the proudest honour that can ever gild my name !) to offer my supplications to the Throne of Grace, for the continuance of their united bliss and prosperity ;-and I may have fondly indulged the hope, that I might one day be permitted to approach with some humble testimony of gratitude, the gracious Mistress who deigned to distinguish me. But She, around whom all that system of love, and happiness, and hope, revolved, is, by an irreversible decree, for ever gone! My melancholy tribute can only now be offered at her tomb. And my sad duty has, too soon, alas! been limited to pray, as I do from the bottom of my soul, that the Spirit of Divine consolation may speedily descend on the Widowed Heart which she has left behind her breaking in solitary anguish!