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S E RM ON,
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Extract from Votes of the Corporation of Harvard
THE holy providence of God having on Sep.27. the twenty fifth instant removed by death the
Rev. PRESIDENT WILLARD;
Voted, that PROFESSOR WEBBER be requested to deliver an Eulogy at the Funeral on Saturday the 29th; and the Rev. Dr. LATHROP to introduce, and the Rev. Mr. Holmes to conclude the Solemnity with prayer.
Voted, that the Rev. Dr. LATHROP be requested to furnish a copy of his Prayer, and Pro. FESSOR WEBBER a copy of his Eulogy, delivered at the Funeral of the late PRESIDENT WILLARD; and the Rev. MR. HOLMES a copy of his Sermon, delivered in the afternoon of the next Lord's Day; and that the same be published at the expense of the University
PR A YER
Rev. JOHN LATHROP D. D.
ALMIGHTY GOD, we bow before thy throne, and worship Thee, as the Sovereign of the world.
Thou dost thy pleasure among the armies in Heaven and the inhabitants of the earth, and none may say unto Thee, what dost Thou?
Thou turnest man to destruction, and sayest, return, ye children of men. For a thousand years in thy sight are as yesterday, when it is past, and as a watch in the night.
Man was made in thy image, and after thy likeness ; but man, being in honor, abode not. Man transgressed thy holy law; he forfeited thy favor, and exposed, not only himself, but a numerous, unborn posterity, to death and misery. By the offence of one judgment hath come upon all men to condemnation.
Almighty God, we bow to that sentence, which dooms to the grave. Dust we are, and to dust we must return.
This sentence hath been executed from generation to generation. Death hath reigned from Adam to our day. No age, no station in life is secure ; the young and the old, the rich and the poor, the good and the evil, the bond and the free are all equally exa
posed to the stroke of death. Without distinction, and without order, all must lie down together in the grave, and the dust will cover them.
What then is man, that Thou art mindful of him ? And the son of man, that Thou visitest him? Behold, Thou hast made his days, as an handbreadth, and his age is, as nothing, before Thee. Verily every man, at his best estate, is altogether vanity. He cometh forth, as a flower, and is cut down ; he fleeth also, as a shad. ow, and continueth not. We are consumed by thine anger, and by thy wrath are we troubled. O God, so teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.
By the frequent instances of mortality among our connexions, our friends, and our neighbors, we are reminded of our own frail condition, and of the necessity of being prepared for our approaching dissolution. Frequently are we called to the house of mourning, where the dead are ; and the living will lay it to heart.
In the course of thy righteous and holy providence Thou hast again made this house of prayer a house of sorrow. We lately sorrowed with the University in this place, and with the bereaved family of thy servant, who had holden distinguished rank in the government and instruction of it.* Before our grief was removed, thou wast pleased to repeat thy afflictive stroke in the death of a faithful friend, who for many years attended to the interests of this literary institution, and was a minister of our holy religion.t
* Rev. Dr. Tappan, Hollis Professor of Divinity, who died 29 August 1803.
4 Rev. Dr. HOWARD, who died 13 August 1804. He was ordained Minister of the west church in Boston 1767 ; and was elected a Member of the Corporation of Harvard College in 1780.
And now, O God, thou hast laid thy hand yet more heavily upon us. Thou hast seen fit to take from the University thy servant, who presided over it ; whose heart was engaged, and whose labors were constantly employed for its prosperity and happiness.
We mourn before thee, O God, under this painful dispensation of thy providence. When thou woundest, who can heal ? To whom then shall we look, but unto Thee ? Attend unto us, we beseech Thee, and hear us. Regard the condition of those, who are broken with affliction, and cry unto Thee for succour.
Look graciously on thy handmaid, we humbly pray Thee, whom Thou hast now made a widow ; and on the children of thy servant, from whom Thou hast taken the most kind and tender father.
Thy handmaid, in the bitterness of her grief, is ready to say, there is no sorrow, like unto my sorrow. Speak comfortably to her, we beseech Thee, and say unto her, fear not; I am thy God; I will never for, sake thee. In the multitude of her thoughts within her let thy comforts revive her soul. May she find that Thou art her portion and her refuge in the time of trouble. When lover and friend is removed from her, and the husband of her youth can no more comfort her; grant her the supporting influences of thy presence and grace. May her faith in thy promises, and her hope of happiness in the future world, be her security against anxious fears and disquieting apprehensions. May she consider that, although her beloved husband is no more to be seen among the living, her Redeemer liveth, and reigneth in glory; and that at the last day he will restore to us our pious friends, to part no more!