be sufficiently maintained,* and the whole judiciously arranged;
it is obvious that a funeral service thus constructed,
must be preferable to one of any other composition. But where the fund is inexhaustible, and appropriate sentences
innumerable, it is difficult to be satisfied that the best are chosen, or that the collection in its extent is exactly
what it ought to be.
As a substitute for a funeral sermon, this is not too large; as a store of devout meditations, it is not sufficiently
copious; as a form to be read, on ordinary occasions, it is certainly too extensive. It was however judged advisable to
allow the officiating minister ample scope for reading, and not restrict him to the perpetual repetition of the same
words; which, had the form been more abridged, would have been impractical. He may therefore, if circumstances suggest
the propriety of a short service, read only one section, or even a part of one; in which case, seven forms are before
him, from which he can select, at different times, which ever he pleases. Or should he wish to introduce something
from each section, he can readily mark
In an attempt of this kind, a change of the person, in the citation of some passages; and the addition of a few
connecting words, which are not in the text, are indispensible. But these are so readily discovered, that it was judged
unnecessary to mar the page marking them with italicks.
a few of those paragraphs under each, which he considers the most pointed and
interesting, and reduce his form to any size he may judge expedient; and by sometimes adopting different sentences, he
may, at his discretion, render the service various, instructive, and acceptable.*
The work is now humbly presented to the Churches. If my respected brethren in the ministry condescend to favour it with their
approbation, and use it, either as a FORM, or as a DIRECTORY, it will serve to introduce religious exercises at funerals,
where they have hitherto neglected; or assist in the performance, where they prevail.
"Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the
everlasting covenant, make his ministers and people perfect in every good work to do his will, working in them that which is
well pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever."
As there are ample materials in the meditations, it is presumed every minister who wishes a form, will rather select
for himself, than be restricted to words arranged by another. It has however been judged advisable to annex a specimen,
comprising a few sentences from each section; which can be adopted or altered, as circumstances or choice may suggest.