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LAMENTED AND AFFECTING DEATH
RIGHT HON. LADY MARY FITZGERALD,
PREACHED AT ASTON SANDFORD, BUCKS,
rmcioui In mi Sight Of Thi Lord Is The Death or mi Hints.
PSAL. CXVi. IS.
1 AM PKHSUAUKU THAT NEITHER DEATH,, NOR LIFE,—NOR ANT CREATURE, SHALL BE ABLE TO SEPARATE US PROM THE f.OTE OP COD, WHICH IS IN CHRIST JI»I OUR LORD. ROM. viii. 38, 39.
At the time when this sermon was first published, the distressing circumstances attending the death of the noble and venerable person, to whom it relates, were so well known as to render any preliminary statement of thetn unnecessary: but the reader who is unacquainted with them would do well to turn to the last paragraph but one of the sermon, before he proceeds to the perusal of the whole, that he may not feel the dissatisfaction arising from continual allusions to that of which he is not sufficiently informed.—J. S.
That truly honourable and excellent Lady concerning whose affecting death this sermon is published, was constantly, when in town, and when her health would permit, an attendant on my ministry for above seventeen years.
I was also honoured with what might also be considered as an intimacy with her; as nothing prevented the cordial reception which I met with whenever I called, and the conversation which passed was most open and unreserved. She was very useful in strengthening my hands in my ministry, when concurring circumstances tended greatly to weaken and discourage me : and she has always been ready to aid and concur with me in every plan for attempting usefulness, not only while I was in town but since I came to this place.
I have also to acknowledge many obligations in temporal things, which it would neither be proper wholly to conceal, nor yet to enlarge upon.
It will then scarcely need an apology, that thus circumstanced I should publish a sermon on the affecting occasion ; were it only considered as a testimony of gratitude and high estimation: yet as I know that neither commendations given her by men on earth, nor the contrary, (if any can be found capable of the contrary,) can at all affect her confirmed felicity; I might perhaps have declined to do it, had I not thought that a sermon on such a character, removed hence in so remarkable a manner, might give an opportunity of attempting with some hope of success, to promote the best interests of survivors, both in the circle of her friends and acquaintance, and among others also: and I earnestly pray our gracious God to accompany the perusal of it with his special blessing.
REVELATION VII. 14—17.
These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple; and he that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them. They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat. For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto the living fountains of waters; and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.
It is with peculiar feelings, my brethren, that I enter on the present service. Much as I esteemed, and greatly as I loved, that truly honourable and highly respected friend, whose death gives occasion for the present sermon, I could not greatly desire, any more than expect, the continuance of her life, at nearly the age of ninety, and bowed down with many infirmities. For some time, indeed, I have almost daily expected to hear of her departure;