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Art. XXVI.

A Discourse, delivered December 29,
1799, the Lord's-Day immediately
following the melancholy Tidings of
the Loss sustained by the Nation, in
the Death of its most eminent Citi-
George Washington. By

David Osgood, D. D. Pastor of
the Church in Medford.
8vo. pp.
19. Boston. S. Hall. 1800.

THIS is a plain, serious, and
sensible discourse. Among
the numerous publications which
have been made on the same sub-
ject, it does not rank very high.
Still, however, we do not think it
falls below mediocrity. Dr. Os-
good's mode of depicting General
Washington's character, though not
very discriminating or new, has
little of that affectation and extra-
vagance which we have too often
seen displayed. On the whole, he
treats the character, and the dispen-
sation of Providence, on which his
discourse is founded, in a manner
becoming a minister of religion,
who, while he gives due praise to
the creature, ascribes all the glory
ultimately to the Creator.

In Mr. O. 's style there is nothing
remarkable. It is, in general, per-
spicuous and forcible. A few sen-
tences are perplexed, tedious and
feeble; but the greater part of the

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discourse is not chargeable with
these faults in an unusual degree.

The following is a specimen of
Mr. O. 's manner of writing:

“Characters like these, my bre-
thren, will bear the closest scrutiny.
The more minutely you examine
them, the more rigidly you try them
by the test of reason, truth and recti-
tude, the more you will be con-
strained, in your hearts, to admire,
reverence, esteem, and love them.
The lustre of their most splendid
actions, instead of being lessened,
is heightened and increased by tak-
ing into view the excellence of their

“Some such characters, my
hearers, through the different ages,
and among the different nations of
the world, have exalted and adorn-
ed human nature, and shed a be-
nign influence on human affairs.
So seldom, indeed, has been their
appearance, that they have been
mere phenomena in the earth.
With such a phenomenon, how-
ever, in its most full and perfect
state, it has pleased the Almighty
to bless, honour, and distinguish
the inhabitants of this new world,
above all modern nations. Nay, I
do not remember to have read in
any volume of profane history,
whether ancient or modern, nor
even in the fictions of romance, of
a single character so exempt from
every spot of vice, every shade of
weakness or indiscretion; so com-
plete in the abilities of a General,
in the talents of a Statesman, in
the virtues of a Citizen, and, in

all other respects, equal to Him,
who, at the call of his country,
headed our armies through the long
series of trying scenes, which at-
tended our revolution; whose in-
fluence saved our all from being
lost by division; held together, or,
at least, was the most important tie
in preventing the disjunction and
dissolution of the first slender and
ill-cemented union of these States;
who presided on the great occasion,
when, by an ameliorated national
compact, they were consolidated;
when the admirable machine of our
present general government was
constructed; who put this machine in
motion, and, through the course of
eight years, so guided its operations
as to enable his fellow-citizens
fully to enjoy all its signal advanta-
ges; and after having retired, with
the utmost dignity and honour,
from the cares of state, to spend
the short remains of life in prepara-
tion for its closing scene; foreign
violence and intrigue, combined
with the turbulent, malignant spi-
rit of domestic faction, rearing
their gorgon form, and menacing
the fair fabric which his labours
had been so instrumental in raising,
his patriotic ardour grew indignant;
stepping back from his beloved re-
treat, he again brandished his sword;
and, with all the majesty of heaven-
inspired virtue, frowned on the re-
bel-rout of “demons let loose.” At
this awful juncture, Divine Provi-
dence removed him from a world
no longer worthy of such good-

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