A Treatise of DEATH; The last ENEMY to be Destroyed.

Shewing wherein its Enmity con­sisteth, and how it is destroyed.

Part of it was preached at the Funerals of Elizabeth the late Wife of Mr. Jo­seph Baker, Pastor of the Church at Saint Andrews in Worcester.

By Rich. Baxter.

With some few passages of the life of the said Mrs. Baker, observed.

Psal 15.4.

In whose eyes a vile person is contemned: but he honoureth them that fear the Lord.]

1 Cor. 15▪55, 56, 57.

O death, where is thy sting! O grave, where is thy victo­ry? The sting of Death is sin; and the strength of sin is the Law. But thanks be to God which giveth us the victory, through our Lord J [...]sus Christ.]

Lond [...]n Printed by R.W. for Nev Simmons Book-sel [...]er in Kederminster, and are to be sold by him there, and by Tho. Johnson at the Golden Key in Pauls Church-yard. 1660. at 1 [...]. bound.

To the Worshipfull the Major, Aldermen and She­riff of the City of Wor­cester, with the rest of the Inhabitants, especially those of the Parishes of An­drews and Hellens.

Worshipfull, and the rest Beloved,

THE chief part of this following Dis­course, being prea­ched among you, and that upon an occasion which you are ob­liged [Page 2] to consider, (Isa. 57.1.) being called to publish it, I thought it meet to direct it first to your hands, and to take this opportunity, plainly and seriously to exhort you in some matte [...]s that your pre­sent and everlasting peace is much concerned in.

Credible fame reporteth you to be a people not all of one mind, or temper in the matters of God: but that 1. Some of you are Godly, Sober and Peaceable: 2. Some well-meaning and zealous, but addicted to divisions: 3. Some Papists: 4. Some Hiders, se­duced by your late deceased neighbour Clement Writer, (to whom the Quakers do ap­proach in many opinions.) [Page 3] 5. And too many prophane and obstinate persons, that are heartily and seriously of no Religion, but take occasi­on from the divisions of the rest, to despise or neglect the Ordinances of God, and joyn themselves to no Assemblies.

1. To the first sort (having least need of my exhortation,) I say no more, but, As you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him: rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abound­ing therein with thanskgiving: and beware lest any man spoil you by deceit, &c.] Col. 2.6, 7, 8. Walk as a chosen g [...] ­neration, a royal Priest-hood, a holy Nation, a peculiar [Page 4] People, to shew forth the praises of him that hath cal­led you out of darkness into his marvellous light; having your conversation honest among the ungodly, that whereas they are apt to speak against you as evil doers, they may by your good works which they shall behold, glo­rifie God in the day of visita­tion: For so is the will of God, that with well doing you may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men, 1 Pet. 2.9, 11, 12, 15. Your labour and pati­ence is known to the Lord; and how ye cannot bear them which are evil, but have tried them which say they speak from the Lord, and are Apostles, and are not, and [Page 5] have found them lyars; even the woman Jezabel, that is suffered to teach and seduce the people, calling her self a Prophetess, who shall be cast into a bed of tribulation, and all that commit adultery with her, except they repent; and her children shall be killed with death; and all the Churches shall know that Christ is he which searcheth the reins and hearts; and will give to every one according to their work. As for your selves, we put upon you no other burden, but that which you have already, Hold fast till the Lord come, Rev. 2. Be watchfull, that ye fall not from your first Love: and if any have declined and grown [Page 6] remiss, remember how you have received and heard, and hold fast, and repent, and strengthen the things that re­main, which are ready to die, lest your Candlestick should be removed, Rev. 3.2, 3, &c.] And beware lest ye also being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness; but grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Je­sus Christ, 2 Pet. 3.17, 18. And I beseech you brethren, do all things without mur­murings and disputings, that ye may be blameless, and harmless, the Sons of God without rebuke, and in the midst of a crooked and perverse Na­tion, among whom you (and [Page 7] your brethren) shine as lights in the world, Phil. 2.14, 15. And if in weldoing yo [...] suf­fer, think it not strange, but rejoyce that ye are partakers of the sufferings of Christ, that when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad al­so with exceeding joy: If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, ye are happy, for the Spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you, being glo­rified on your part, while he is evill spoken of on theirs, 1 Pet. 4.12, 13, 14.

2. To the second sort (in­clinable to divisions) let me tender the Counsell of the holy Ghost, Jam. 3.1. My brethren, be not many Masters (or Teachers) knowing that [Page 8] ye shall receive the greater condemnation. The wisdom that is from above, is first pure, and then peaceable, gen­tle and easie to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and with­out hypocrisie: And the fruit of Righteousness is sown in peace, of them that make peace. Who then is the wise and knowing man amongst you? Let him shew out of a good conversation, his works with meekness of wisdom: But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glo­ry not; and lye not against the truth: This wisdom descend­eth not from above, but is earthly, sensuall, devilish: For where envying and strife is, [Page 9] there is confusion, and every evil work.] Look on those Assemblies, where the people professing the fear of God, are of one heart and mind, and walk together in Love and holy Order, and people give due honour and obedience to their faithfull Guides; and compare them with the Con­gregations where professors are self-conceited, unruly, proud, and addicted to osten­tation of themselves, and to divisions; and see which is likest to the Primitive pattern, and in which it is that the power of godliness prospereth best, and the beauty of Religi­on most appears, and Christi­ans walk as Christians indeed. If pride had not brought the [Page 10] heavy judgement of infatuati­on or insensibility on many, the too clear discoveries of the fruits of divisions in the numerous and sad experiences of this age, would have caus­ed them to be abhorred as odious and destructive, by those that now think they do but transcend their lower brethren in holiness and zeal. [I beseech you therefore bre­thren, by the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly joyned together in the same mind, and in the same judgement, 1 Cor. 1.10.] The God of patience and consolation grant you to be [Page 11] like minded one towards ano­ther, according to Christ Je­sus; that ye may with one mind and one mouth glo­rifie God,] Rom. 15.5, 6. And I beseech you brethren, to know them which labour among you, and are over you in the Lord, and admonish you: And esteem them very highly in love for their works sake, and be at peace among your selves, 1. Thes. 5.12, 13. And mark those that cause di­visions and offences, contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned, and avoid them, Rom. 16.17. And if there be any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fel­lowship of the spirit, if any bowels and mercies, fulfill ye [Page 12] our joy, that ye may be like minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind: Let nothing be done through strife or vain glory, but in lowliness of mind, let each esteem other better then themselves. Look not eve­ry man on his own things, (his own gifts and graces) but every man also on the things (the graces and gifts) of others; Let this mind be in you which was in Christ Jesus; who being in the form of God, thought it not robbe­ry to be equall with God; but made himself of no reputation (or, emptied himself of all worldly glory: as Isa. 53.2, 3, 4. as if he had had no form or comeliness, and no beauty to [Page 13] the eye for which we should desire him: but was despised and rejected of men, and not esteemed,) Phil. 2.1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. It is not (as you ima­gine) your extraordinary Knowledge, Zeal and Holi­ness, that inclineth you to di­visions; and to censuring of your brethren; but it is Pride, and Ignorance, and want of Love: and if you grow to any ripeness in Knowledge, Humi­lity, Self-denyall and Charity, you will bewail your dividing inclinations and courses, and reckon them among the grea­ter and grievous of your sins, and cry out against them as much as your more charitable and experienced brethren do.

3. To the third sort, (the [Page 14] Papist) I shall say nothing here, because I cannot expect they should read it and con­sider it: and because we are so far disagreed in our Princi­ples that we cannot treat with them on those rationall terms as we may do with the rest of the inhabitants of the world, whether Christians, Infidels or Heathens. As long as they build their faith and sal­vation on the supposition that the eyes, and taste, and feeling of all the sound men in the world, are deceived in judg­ing of Bread and Wine; and as long as they deny the certain experience of true believers (telling us that we are void of Charity and unjustified, be­cause we are not of their [Page 15] Church,) and as long as they fly from the judgement and Tradition of the ancient and the present Church (un­less their small part may be taken for the whole, or the major Vote,) and as long as they reject our appeal to the holy Scriptures, I know not well what we can say to them, which we can expect they should regard, any more then musick is regarded by the deaf, or light by the blind, or ar­gument by the distracted. If they had the moderation and charity impartially to per­use our writings, I durst con­fidently promise the recovery of multitudes of them, by the three writings which I have already published, and [Page 16] the more that others have said against them.

4. And for the fourth sort, (the Hiders, and the Quakers) I have said enough to them already (in my Book against Infidelity, and those against Popery and Quakers:) but in vain to those that have sinned unto death.

5. It is the fifth sort there­fore that I shall chiefly address my speech to; who, I fear, are not the smallest part. It is an astonishing consideration to men that are awake, to observe the unreasonableness and stu­pidity of the ignorant, care­less, sensual part of men; How little they Love or Fear the God, whom their tongues confess; How little they va­lue, [Page 17] or mind, or seek the ever­lasting glory, which they take on them to believe; How lit­tle they fear and shun those flames which must feed for ever on the impenitent and unholy; How little they care or labour for their immortall souls, as if they were of the Religion of their beasts: How bitterly many of them hate the holy wayes com­manded by the Lord: while yet they pretend to be them­selves his Servants, and to take the Scriptures to be his word: How sottishly and con­temptuously they neglect and slight the Holiness without which there is no salvation; Heb. 12.14. How eagerly they desire and seek the plea­sing [Page 18] of their flesh, and the matters of this transi­tory life, while they call them vanity and vexation; How madly they will fall out with their own salvation, and from the errors and sins of hy­pocrites or others, will pick quarrels against the Doctrine, and Ordinances, and wayes of God; as if other mens faults should be exceeded by you, while you pretend to loath them. If it be a sin to crack our faith by some particular error, what is it to dash it all to pieces? If it be odious in your eyes, to deny some parti­cular Ordinance of God, what is it to neglect or prophane them all? If it be their sin that quarrel in the way to [Page 19] heaven, and walk not in com­pany as love requireth them; what is it in you to run to­wards hell, and turn your backs on the holy Laws and wayes of God? If it be so la­mentable to the Nation and themselves, that so many have faln into schism and dis­order; what is it then that so many are ungodly, sensual and worldly, and have no true Re­ligion at all, in sincerity, life and power? Ungodliness is all Heresie transcendently in the lump, and that in practice. A man that is so foolish as to plead that Arsenick is better then bread, may yet live him­self if he do not take it: but so cannot he that eateth it in­stead of bread. Hereticks [Page 20] only in speculation may be saved: but practicall hereticks cannot. You think it haynous to deny with the mouth that there is a God, who made us, and is our only Lord and Hap­piness (and so it is.) And is it not haynous then to deny him with the heart and life; and to deny him the love and obedience that is properly due to God? It is odious Idolatry to bow to a creature as to God; and is it not odious to love, and honour, and obey a creature before him, and to seek it more eagerly, and mind it more seriously then God? If it be damnable Infidelity to deny Christ to be the Re­deemer, it is not much less to turn away from him, and [Page 21] make light of him and refuse his grace, while you seem to honour him. If it be damna­ble blasphemy to deny the Holy Ghost; what is it to resist and refuse him when he would [...]anctifie you, and perhaps to make a scorn of holiness? If [...]t be Heresie to deny the holy Catholick Church, and the Communion of Saints; what is it to hate the Holy mem­bers of the Church, and to avoid, if not deride, the Com­munion of Saints? Be not deceived, God is not mocked: A mock-Religion, and the name of Christianity will ne­ver save you. Do you know how near you are to judge­ment, and will you fearlesly thus heap up wrath, and lay [Page 22] in fewell for the everlasting flames? Do you know how speedily you shall wish in the bitterness of your souls, that you had heard, and prayed, and laboured as for your lives, and redeemed your time, and obey­ed your Teachers; and yet will you now stand loytering, and quarrelling, and jeasting, and dallying in the matters of salvation? [...]nd will you live as if you had nothing but the world to mind, when you are even ready to step into the endless world? O Sirs, do you know what you are do­ing? You are abusing the liv­ing God, and wronging the Lord Jesus, and trampling up­on that mercy which would comfort you in your extremi­ty, [Page 23] a drop of which you would then be glad of: You are grieving your poor Friends, and Teachers, and preparing for your endless grief. A [...]as, what should a faithfull Mini­ster do, for the saving of your souls? He seeth you befooled in your security, and care­lesly passing on towards Hell, and cannot help it: He sees you posting to your misery, where you will be out of the reach of all our exhortations, and where mercy will not fol­low you to be accepted or re­jected: and though he see you almost past remedy he cannot help you. He knoweth not when he speaks to you, whe­ther ever he shall speak unto you more, and whether ever you shall have another call [Page 24] and offer; and therefore he would fain speak effectually if he could; but it is not in his power. He knows that the matter sticks all at your own wills, and that if he could but procure your own consent, to the most rea­sonable and necessary business in the world, the work were done, and you might scape the everlasting flames: And yet this is it that he cannot procure! O wonderfull, that any man should be damned; yea that many men, and most men should be damned, when they might be saved if they would, and will not! Yea that no saying will serve to pro­cure their consent, and make them willing! That we must look on our poor miserable [Page 25] neighbours in Hell, and say, they might have been saved once, but would not! they had time, and leave to turn to God, and to be holy and happy as well as others, but we could never prevail with them to consent, and know the day of their visitation! O what should we do for the saving of careless, senseless souls? Must we let them go? Is there no remedy? Shall Ministers study to meet with their necessities, and tell them with all possible plainness and compassion, of the evil that is a little before them, and teach them how they may escape it? Why, this they do from day to day, and some will not hear them, but are [Page 26] tipling, or idling or making a jeast of the Preacher at home, and others are hearing with prejudice and contempt, and most are hardned into a senseless deadness, and all seems to them but as an empty sound: and they are so used to hear of Heaven and Hell, that they make as light of them as it there were no such States! Alas, that while millions are weeping & wailing in utter desperation, for the neglecting of their day of grace, and turning away from him that called them, our poor hearers at the same time should wil­fully follow them, when they are told from God what others suffer! Alas, that you should be sleepy and dead under those [Page 27] means, that should waken you to prevent eternall death! and that ever you should make merry so near damnation, and be sporting your selves with the same kind of sins that others at the same hour are tormented for? And is such madness as this remediless, in people that seem as wise as others for worldly things! Alas, for any thing that we can do, experience tells us that with the most it is remediless! Could we remedy it, our poor people should not wilfully run from Christ, and lie in the flames of Hell for ever. Could our perswasions and entreaties help it, they should not for ever be shut out of Heaven, when its offered to them as [Page 28] well as others. We bewail it from our hearts before the Lord, that we can entreat them no more earnestly, and beg not of them as for our lives to look before them, and hearken to the voice of grace that they may be saved. And a thou­sand times in secret we call our selves hard-hearted, un­mercifull, and unfaithfull, (in too great a measure) that speak no more importunately for the saving of mens souls, when we know not whether we shall ever speak to them any more. Is this all that we can say or do in so terrible a case, and in a matter of such weight as mens salvation! The Lord forgive our great insensibility, and awaken us, that we [Page 29] may be fit to waken others; But yet for all this, with grief we must complain, that our people feel not when we feel, and that they are senseless or asleep when we speak to them as seriously as we can, and that tears and moans do not prevail; but they go home and live as stupidly in an un­converted sta [...]e, as if all were well with them, and they w [...]re not the m [...]n we speak to.

O tha [...] you knew wha [...] [...] fearfull judgement it is, to be forsaken of God because you would have none of him, and to be given up to your hearts lust [...], [...]o walk in your o [...] Counsells, be [...] [...]s [...] you wo [...]ld not hearken to his voice, Ps [...]l. 81.11, 12, 13. and to have [Page 30] God say, Let those wretches be ignorant, and careless, and fleshly, and worldly, and fil­thy still, Rev. 22.11. O that you knew (but not by expe­rience) what a heavy plague it is to be so forsaken, as to have eyes that see not, or seeing do not perceive, and to have ears that hear not, or to hear and not understand, and so to be unconverted and un­healed, Mark 4.12. and to be hardened and condemned by the word, and patience, and mercies that do soften and save others, and should have saved you! Take heed lest Christ say, [I have lent them my messengers long enough in vain; From henceforth never fruit grow on them? because [Page 31] they would not be converted, they shall not.] Take heed lest he take you away from means, and quickly put an end to your opportunities. You see how fast men pass away, but little do you know how many are lamenting that they made no better use of time, and helps, and mercies while they had them. O hear while you may hear, for it will not be long: Read while you may read, and pray while you may pray, and turn while you may turn, and go to your Christian friends an [...] Teachers, and en­quire of them, what you must do to be saved, before enqui­ [...]ing be too late. Spend the Lords Day, and what other time you can redeem, in holy [Page 32] preparations for your endless Rest, while you have such a happy day to spend. O sleep no longer in your sins, while God stands over you, lest be­fore you a [...]e aware you awake in Hell. Patience and mercy have their appointed time, and will not alway wait and be despised. O let not your Teachers be forced to say, [We would have taught them publikely and privately, but they would not: We would have Catechized the ignorant, and exhorted the negligent, but some of them would not come near us, and others of them gave us but the hearing, and went away such as they came.] If once by forefeit­ing the Gospell the Teachers [Page 33] whom you slight be taken from you, you may then sin on, and take your course, till time, and help and hope are past.

The Providence that called me to this work, was so [...]e warning to you. Though it was not the calling away your Teacher, it was a removing of his Helper, a pattern of meekness, and godliness, and charity, and he is left the more disconsolate in the pro­secution of his work. God hath made him faithfull to your souls, and carefull for your happiness. He walks before you in humility and self-denyall, and patience, and peaceableness, and in an up­right inoffensive life: He is [Page 34] willing to teach you publike­ly and privately, in season and out of season: He manageth the work of God with pru­dence and moderation, and yet with Zeal, carefully avoid­ing both ungodliness and schism, or the countenancing of either of them: Were he not of eminent wisdom and integrity, his name would not be so unspotted in a place where Dividers, and Disputers, Papists, and Quakers, and so many bitter enemies of godli­ness, do watch for matter of accusation and reproach against the faithfull Ministers of Christ. As you love the safety and happiness of your City, and of your souls, un­dervalue not such mercies, nor [Page 35] think it enough to put them off with your commendati­ons and good word: It is not that which they live, and preach, and labour for; but for the Conversion, Edifica­tion and salvation of your souls. Let them have this, or they have nothing, if you should give them all you have. The enemies of the Gospel have no wiser Cavill against the painfull Labourers of th [...] Lord, then to call them [...]e­lings, and blame them for look­ing after Tythes, and great matters in the world. B [...]t as among all the faithfull Mini­sters of this Countrey through the great mer [...]y of God th [...]se adversaries are now almost ashamed to open their mouths [Page 36] with an accusation of Cove­tousness? So this your Reve­rend, faithfull Teacher, hath stopt the mouth of all such ca­lumnie, as to him. When I in­vited him from a place of less work, and a competent main­tenance, to accept of less then half that maintenance, with a far greater burden of work among you, he never stuck at it, as thinking he might be more servic [...]able to God, and win that which is better then the rich [...]s of this world. And if now you will frustrate his expectations, and disappoint his labours and hopes of your salvation, it will be easier for Sodom in the day of judgement then for you. Alas how sad is it to see a faithfull Minister [Page 37] longing and labouring for mens salvation, and many of them neglecting him, and others picking groundless quarrels, and the proud unru­ly selfish part, rebelling and turning their backs upo [...] their Teachers, when ever they will not humour them in their own wayes, or when they deal but faithfully with their souls! Some (even of those that speak against disobedience, conven­ticles and schism,) turn away in disdain, if their Children may not be needlesly baptized in private houses, and if that solemn Ordinance may not be celebrated in a Parlour Con­venticle. How many refuse to come to the Minister in private to be Instructed or Catechised, [Page 38] or to confer with him about their necessary preparation for death and judgement! Is not this the case of many among you? Must not your Tea­cher say, He sent to you, and was willing to have done his part, and you refused? Little will you now believe how heavy this will lie upon you one day, and how dear you shall pay for the causless grie­ving and disappointment of your guides. It is not your surliness and passions that will then serve turn to answer God. Nor shall it save you to say, that Ministers were of so many minds and wayes, that you knew not which of them to regard: For it was but one way, that God in the [Page 39] holy Scripture did prescribe you: and all faithfull Mini­sters were agreed in the things which you reject, and in which you practically differ from them all. What? are we not all agreed, that God is to be preferred before the world? and that you must first seek the Kingdom of God and his Righteousness? and that no man can be saved except he be converted and born again? and that he that hath not the Spirit of Christ is none of his? Mat. 6.33. John 3.3, 5. Mat. 18.3. Rom. 8.9. and that you & your housholds should serve the Lord, Josh. 24.15. Are we not all agreed that the Law of the Lord must be your delight, and that you must meditate [Page 40] disable Death to terrifie and dis­courage us; and raiseth us above our Natural fears, and sheweth us (though but in a glass) the exceed­ing eternal weight of glory which churlish Death shall help us to. So that when the eye of the unb [...]liever looketh no further then the grave, believing souls can enter into Hea­ven, and see their glorified Lord, and thence fetch Love, and Hope, and Joy, notwithstanding the ter­rors of interposing death. The eye of Faith foreseeth the salvation ready to be revealed in the last time, and causeth us therein greatly to re­joyce, though now for a season (if need be) we are in heaviness through manifold temptations. And so vi­c [...]orious is this Faith against all the storms that do assault us, that the tryal of it, though with fire, doth but discover that it is much more precious then Gold that perisheth, and it shall be found unto praise and ho­nour, [Page 41] and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ; whom having never seen in the flesh we Love, and though now we see him not, yet believing we rejoyce with unspeakable glorious joy, 1 Pet. 1.5, 6, 7, 8, 9. and shall shortly receive the end of our Faith, the sal­vation of our souls. Thus Faith, though it destroy not Death it self, destroyeth the malignity and enmi­ [...]y of death: while it seeth the things that are beyond it, and the time when death shall be destroyed, and the Life where death shall be no more. Faith is like Davids three mighty men, that brake through the host of the Philistines, to fetch him the waters of Bethlehem, for which he longed, 2 Sam. 23.15, 16. When the thirsty soul saith, O that one would give me drink of the waters of Salvation! Faith breaks through death which stand­eth in the way, and fetcheth these living waters [...]o the soul. We may [Page 42] ever, Psal. 15.4. and have contemned the ungodly as vile persons, though they had been of your side. The Ca­tholick Church is One, and containeth all that heartily and practically believe in God the Father, Son and Holy Ghost, the Creator, Redeemer, and Sanctifier, and live a ho­ly heavenly life. Leave off your siding, and keep this bles­sed simple Unity, and you will then be wiser then in a passion to cast your selves into Hell, because some fall out in the way to Heaven.

Nor will it serve your turn at the bar of God, to talk of the miscarriages or scandalls of some, that took on them to be godly, no more then to [Page 43] run out of the Ark for the sake of Cham, or out of Christs family for the sake of Judas. What ever men are, God is just, and will do you no wrong; and you are called to believe in God, and to serve him, and not to believe in men. Nothing but wickedness could so far blind men, as to make them think they may cast off their love and service to the Lord, because some others have dis­honoured him: Or that they may cast away their souls by carelesness, because some others have wounded their souls by particular sins. Do you dislike the sins of the Professors af Godliness? So much the better: We desire you not to agree with them in [Page 44] sinning: Joyn with them in a Holy life, and imitate them so far as they obey the Lord; and go as far beyond them in avoiding the sins that you are offended at, as you can; and this is it that we desire. Sup­pose they were Covetous, or Lyars, or Schismaticall: Imi­tate them in holy duties, and fly as far from Covetousness, Lying and Schism, as you will.

You have had Learned and Godly Bishops of this City: Search the writings of those of them that have left any of their labours to posterity, and see whether they speak not for the same substantials of faith and godliness, which are now preacht to you, by those [Page 45] that you set so light by. Bi­shop Latimer, Parrey, Babing­ton, &c. while they were Bi­shops; and Rob. Abbot, Hall, &c. [...]efore they were Bishops, all Excellent, Learned, Godly [...]en, have here been Preachers [...]o your Ancestors: Read their [...]ooks, and you will find that [...]hey call men to that strictness [...]nd holiness of life, which you cannot abide. Read your Bi­ [...]hop Babington on the Com­mandments, and see there how zealously he condemneth the Prophaners of the Lords day, and those that make it a day of idleness or sports. And what if one man think that one Bishop should have hundreds of Churches under his sole jurisdiction, and ano­ther [Page 46] man think that every full Parish Church should have a Bishop of their own, and that one Parish will find him work enough, be he what he will be, (which is the difference now among us,) is this so heinous a disagreement, as should frighten you from a holy life which all agree for?

To conclude, remember this is the day of your salvati­on: Ministers are your Hel­pers: Christ and Holiness are your way: Scripture is your Rule: the Godly must be your company, and the Communi­on of Saints must be your de­sire: If now any scandals, di­visions, displeasures, or any seducements of secret or open adversaries of the truth, or [Page 47] temptations of Satan, the world, or flesh whatsoever, shall prevail with you to lose your day, to refuse your mer­cies, and to neglect Christ and your immortal souls, you are conquered and undone, and your enemy hath his will; and the more confidently and fear­lesly you brave it out, the more is your misery; for the harder are your hearts, and the harder is your cure; and the sure [...] and sorer will be your damna­tion. I have purposely avoided the enticing words of world­ly wisdom, and a stile that tends to claw your ears, and gain applause with aery wits, and have chosen these familiar words, and dealt thus plainly and freely with you, because [Page 48] the greatness of the cause per­swaded me, I could not be too serious. Whether many of you will read it, or how those that read it will take it, and what success it shall have upon them, I cannot tell: but I know that I intended it for your good, and that whe­ther you will hear, or whe­ther you will forbear, the Ministers of Christ must not forbear to do their duty, nor be rebellious them­selves: but our Labours shall be acceptable with our Lord, and you shall know, that his Ministers were among you, Ezek. 2.3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8. [Yet a little while is the Light with you: Walk while ye have the Light, lest darkness come [Page 49] upon you; for he that walketh in darkness, knoweth not whi­ther he goeth.] John 12.35. O take this warning from Christ, and from

An earnest desirer of your everlasting Peace, Rich. Baxter.

The Contents.

  • THE Introduction, p. 1
  • What is meant by [an Enemy,] and how death is an Enemy to Nature, p. 6, 7
  • How Death is an Enemy to Grace, and to our salvation: discovered in ten particulars, p. 15
  • How Christ conquereth this Enemy, p. 35
  • Four Antidotes given us against the Enmity of Death, at our Con­version, p. 39.
  • [Page]How Death is made a destruction of it self, p. 56
  • The full destruction at the Resur­rection, p. 60
  • The first Use, to resolve the doubt, Whether Death be a punis [...]ment to believers, p. 63
  • Use 2. To shew us the malignity of sin, and how we should esteem and use it. p. 66
  • Use 3. To teach us that man hath now a need of Grace for difficul­ties which were not before him in his state of innocency, p. 72
  • Use 4. To inform us of the Reasons of the sufferings and death of Christ, p. 77
  • Use 5. To rectifie the mistakes of some true believers, that think they have no saving grace, be­cause the fears of death deter them from desiring to be with Christ, p. 83
  • [...]se 6. To teach us to study and mag­nifi [...] our Redeemers conquering [Page] grace, that overcometh death, and makes it our advantage, p. 96
  • Use 7. To direct us how to prepare for Death, and overcome the en­ [...]ity, and fear of it, p. 110
  • Direct. 1. Make sure that conver­sion be sound, p. 115
  • Direct. 2. Live by faith, on Christ the Conquerour, p. 116
  • Direct 3. Live also by faith on the Heavenly Glory, p. 120
  • Direct. 4. Labour to encrease and exercise Divine Love, p. 124
  • Direct. 5. Keep conscience clear: or if it be wounded, prese [...]tly seek the cure, p. 127
  • Direct. 6. Redeem and improve your pretious time, p. 130
  • Direct. 7. Crucifie the flesh, and die to the world, p. 132
  • Direct. 8. A conformity to God in the hatred of sin, and love of holiness: and especially in the point of ju­stice, p. 134
  • Direct. 9. The due consideration of [Page] the restlesness, and troubles of this life, and of the manifold [...]vils that end at death, p. 13
  • Direct. 10. Resign your wills en­tirely to the will of God, and ac­quiesce in it, as your safety, feli­city and Rest. p. 159
  • Use 8. Great comfort to believers, that they have no enemy b [...]t what they are sure shall be conquered at last. p. 165
  • Object. But what comfort is all this to me that know not whether I have part in Christ or no? An­swered, to satisfie the doubts, and further the assurance of the tr [...]u­bled Christian, p. 173
  • Use 9. What a mercy the Resurrecti­on of Christ was to the world, and how we should use it to strengthen our faith, p. 199
  • The Lords day honourable, p. 201
  • Use 10. How earnestly we should pray for the second coming of Christ, though Death be terrible p. 207
  • [Page]SOME imitable passages of the Life of Elizabeth, late Wife of Mr. Joseph Baker, whose Funerals occasioned this discourse, p. 225

ERRATA.

1 Cor. 15.26.

The last enemy that shall be de­stroyed is Death.

DEATH is the occa­sion of this dayes meeting: and Death must be the Subject of our present me­ditations. I must speak of that which will shortly silence me; and you must hear of that which spee­dily will stop your eares: and we must spend this hour on that which waits to cut our thred, and take down our glass, and end our time, and tell us we have spent our last▪ But as it hath now done good by [Page 2] doing hurt; so are we co consider, of the accidental benefits, as well as of the natural evil, from which the heavenly wisdom doth extract them. Death hath now bereaved a Body of its Soul; but thereby it hath sent that Soul to Christ; where it hath now experience how good it is to be absent from the bo­dy and present with the Lord, 2 Cor. 5.8. It hath separated a faithful wife from a beloved hus­band: but it hath sent her to a husband dearlyer beloved; and taught her now by experience to say, that to be with Christ is best of all, Phil 1.23. It hath depri­ved a sorrowful husband of a wife, and deprived us all of a faithful friend: but it hath thereby brought us to the house of mourning, which is better for us then the house of feasting, (a Paradox to the flesh, but an undoubted truth:) for h [...]re we may see the end of all men, [Page 3] and we that are yet living may lay it to our hearts, Eccl. 7.2, 3. Yea it hath brough us to the house of God, and occasioned this serious address unto his Holiness, that we may be instructed by his Word, as we are warned by his works, and that we may be wise to under­stand, and to consider our latter end, Deut. 32.29.

Its like you'l think that to tell men of the evil or enmity of Death, is as needless a [...]iscourse as any could be chosen: For who is there that is not naturally too sensible of this? and who doth not dread the name, or at least the face of Death? But there is ac­cidentally a greater evil in it, then that which nature teacheth men to fear: And while it is the King of terrors to the world, the most are ignorant of the great [...]st hurt that it doth them, or can do them; or at least it is but little thought [Page 4] on; which hath made me think it a needfull work, to tell you yet of much more evil, in that which you abhor as the greatest evil: But so as withall to magnifie our Redee­mer, that overshooteth death in its own bow; and causeth it, when it hits the mark, to miss it: and that causeth health by loathsome medicines; and by the dung of our bodily corruption manureth his Church to the greater feli­city.

Such excellent skil of our wise Physician, we find exprest and ex­ercised in this Chapter: where an unhappy error against the Resur­rection, hath happily occasioned an excellent discou [...]se on that weighty Subject, which may sta­blish many a thousand souls, and serve to shame and destroy such heresies, [...]ill the Resurrection come, and prove it self. The great Ar­gument which the Apostle most in­sisteth [Page 5] on, to prove the Resurrecti­on, is Christs own Resurrection: where he entereth into a compari­son between Christ and Adam; shewing that as Adam first brought death upon himself, and then up­on his posterity; so Christ (that was made a quickening spirit) did first Rise himself as the first-fruits, and th [...]n at his coming will raise his own: And as in Adam all die, so in Christ shall all be made alive. And this Christ will do, as our vi­ctorious King, and the Captain of our salvation, who when he hath subdued every enemy, will then deliver up the Kingdom to the Fa­ther: And the last enemy which he will subdue, is Death, and there­fore our Resurrection is his final conquest.

The terms of the Text have no difficulty in them. The D [...]ctrin [...] which they express, must be thus unfolded. 1. I must shew you [Page 6] that Death is an Enemy, and what is meant by this Expression, and wherein its Enemy doth consist. 2. I shall shew you that it is an Enemy to be d [...]stroyed, though l [...]st, and how and by what degrees it is destroyed. And then we shall make application of it to your further In­struction and Edification.

1. That you may know what is meant by an En [...]my here, you must observe, that man being fallen into sin and misery, and Christ having undertaken the work of our Redemption, the Scripture oft speaketh of our mise­ry and recovery Metaphorically in military terms: And so Satan is said to take us captive, and we to be his slaves, and Christ to be the Captain of our Salvation, and to redeem us from our bondage: And thus our sin and misery, and all that hindereth the blessed Ends of his undertaking, are called Ene­mies. [Page 7] Death therefore is called an Enemy to be destr [...]yed, that is, a penal evil to be removed by the Re­deemer in order to our recovery and the glory of his grace. 1. It is an Evil. 2. A punishment pro­cured by our sin, and executed by Gods Justice. 3. It is an evil that hindereth our felicity. These three things are included in the Enmity.

That Death is an Enemy to Na­ture, is a thing that all understand: but all consider not how it is an Enemy to our Souls, to the exer­cise of grace, and consequently to the attainment of glory. I shall therefore having first spoken brief­ly of the former, insist a little lon­ger upon the latter.

1. How great an Enemy Death is unto Nature doth easily appear, in that 1. It is the Dissolution of the Man: It maketh a Man to become No man; by separating the Soul from the Body, and dis­solving [Page 8] the Body into its principles. It puls down in a moment a curious frame, that Nature was long buil­ding, and tenderly cherishing and preserving. The mother long nou­risheth it in her bowels, and pain­fully brings it forth, and care­fully brings it up; what labour doth it cost our Parents, and our selves to make provision for this Life? And death in a moment cuts it off. How carefull are we to keep in these lamps, and to main­tain the oyl? and Death extin­guisheth th [...]m at a blast. How noble a creature doth it destroy? To day our parts are all in order, and busie about their several tasks; our Hearts are moving, our Lungs are breathing, our Stomacks are digesting, our Blood and Spirits by assimilation making more: and to morrow death takes off the poise, and all stands still; or draws the pins, and all the frame doth [Page 9] fall to pieces. We shall breath no more; nor speak, nor think, nor walk no more: Our pulse will beat no more: Our eyes shall s [...]e the light no more: Our ears shall hear the voice of man, delightful sounds and melodie, no more: we shall taste no more our meat or drink: Our appetite is gone: Our strength is gone: Our natural warmth is turned into an earthly cold: Our comelyness and beauty is turned into a ghastly loathsome deformi­ty: Our white and red doth soon turn into horrid blackness: Our tender flesh hath lost its feeling; and is become a s [...]nseless lump, that feeleth not whith [...]r it is carryed, nor how it is use [...]: that must be hidden in the earth, lest it annoy the living: that quickly turns to loathsome putrefaction; and after that to common earth. Were all the once-comely bodies that now are rotting in one Church-yard, [Page 10] uncovered, and here presented to your view, the sight would tell you more effectually then my words do, what an enemy Death is to our Nature. When corrup­tion hath finished its work, you see the earth that once was flesh: you see the bones; you see the skuls; you see the holes where once were brains and eyes and mouth: This change Death makes: And that universally and unavoidably. The Prince cannot resist it by his Majesty: for he hath sin'd against the highest Majesty: The strong cannot resist it by their strength: For it is the Messenger of the All­mighty. The commanders must obey it: The Conquerours must be conquered by it. The Rich cannot bribe it. The Learned Ora­tor cannot perswade it to pass him by. The skilful Physician cannot save himself from the mortal stroak. Neither fields nor gardens, [Page 11] earth or sea affordeth any medi­cine to prevent it. All have sin­ned, and all must die: Dust we are, and to dust we must return, Gen 3.19. And thus should we remain, if the Lord of life should not revive us.

2. And it is not only to the Body, but to the Soul also that Death is naturally an Enemy. The Soul hath naturally a Love and Inclination to its Body: and therefore it fear­eth a separation before, and desi­reth a Restauration afterward. Abstracting Joy and Torment, Heaven and Hell, in our conside­ration, the state of Separation as such, is a natural evil: even to the humane Soul of Christ it was so, while his Body remained in the grave: which separated state is the Hades, that our English calleth Hell, that Christ is said to have gone into. And though (the Soul of Christ, and) the souls of those [Page 12] that die in him, do pass into a far more happy state, then they had in flesh, yet that is accidentally, from Rewarding Justice, and the Bounty of the Lord, and not at all from Death as Death: the sepa­ration as such is still an evil. And therefore the Soul is still desirous of the Bodies Resurrection; and knoweth that its felicity will then be greater, when the re-union, and glorification hath perfected the whole man. So that Death as Death is unwelcome to the soul it self, though Death as accidental­ly gainfull may be desired.

3. And to the unpardoned un­renewed soul, Death is the pas­sage to everlasting misery, and in this regard is far more terrible, then in all that hitherto hath been spoken. O could the guilty soul be sure that there is no Justice to take hold on it after death, and no more pain and sorrow to be [Page 13] felt, but that man dyeth as a beast, that hath no more to feel or lose, then Death would seem a tolerable evil. But its the Living death, the dying life, the endless woe, to which death leads the guilty soul, that makes it to be unspeakably terrible. The utter darkness, the unquenchable fire, the worm that dyeth not, the everlasting flames of the wrath of God, these are the chief horror and sting of death, to the ungodly. O were it but to be turned into Trees, or Stones, or earth, or nothing, it were nothing in comparison of this. But I pass by this, because it is not (directly) intended in my Text.

4. The Saints themselves being sanctified but in part, are but im­perfectly assured of their Salvation; And therefore in that measure as they remain in doubt, or unassured, Death may be a double terror to them. They believe the threaten­ings, [Page 14] and know more then unbe­lievers do, what an unsufferable loss it is to be deprived of the cele­lestial glory! and what an unspeak­able misery it is, to bear the end­less wrath of God. And therefore so far as they have such fears, it must needs make death a terror to them.

5. But if there were nothing but Death it self to be our Enemy, the foreknowledge of it would increase the misery. A Beast that knoweth not that he must die, is not tor­mented with the fears of death (though nature hath possessed them with a self-preserving fear, for the avoiding of an invading e­vil.) But man foreknoweth, that he must die: He hath still occasion to anticipate his terrors: that which will be, and certainly and shortly will be, is in a manner as if it were already. And therefore fore-know­ledge makes us as if we were alway [Page 15] dying: We see our Graves, our weeping Friends, our fore-descri­bed corruption and dismal state, and so our life is a continual Death. And thus Death is an ene­my to Nature.

2. But this is not all, nor the greatest enmity that Death hath to the godly. It is a lamentable hinderance to the work of Grace, as I shall shew you next in ten par­ticulars.

I. The fears of Death do much abate our Desires after God, as he is to be enjoyed by the separated soul. Though every believing holy soul, do love God above all, and take heaven for his home, and there­fore sincerely longeth after it; yet when we know that Death stands in the way, and that there is no coming thither, but through this dreadfull narrow passage, this stop­peth and lamentably dulleth our desires: And so the Natural en­mity, [Page 16] turneth to a Spiritual sorer enmity. For let a man be never so much a Saint, he will be still a Man; and therefore as Death will still be death, so nature will still be na­ture: And therefore death as death will be abhorred. And we are such timerous Sluggards, that we are easily discouraged by this Lyon in the way. The ugly Porter affright­eth us from those grateful thoughts of the New Jerusalem, the City of God, the heavenly inheritance, which otherwise the blessed object would produce. Our sanctified af­fections would be mounting up­wards, and holy Love would be working towards its blessed ob­ject: but Death standing in the way, suppresseth our desires, and turns us back, and frighteneth us from our Fathers presence. We look up to Christ and the Holy Ci­ty, as to a precious Pearl in the bottom of the Sea, or as to a dear [Page 17] and faithfull Friend, that is beyond some dreadfull gulf: Fain we would enjoy him, but we dare not ven­ture; we fear this dismal enemy in the way. He that can recover his health by a pleasant medicine, doth take it without any great reluctan­cy: But if a leg or an arm must be cut off, or a stone cut out by a painful dangerous Incision, what a striving doth it cause between the contrary passions? the love of life, and the love of ease; the fear of death, and the fear of suffer­ing?

Could we but come to Heaven as easily as innocent Adam might have done if he had conquered, what wings would it add to our de­sires? Might we be translated as Henoch, or conveyed thither in the Chariot of Elias, what Saint is there that would not long to see the face and glory of the Lord? Were it but to go to the top of a [Page 18] Mountain, and there see Christ with Moses and Elias, in a glimpse of Glory, as did the three Dis­ciples, who would not make haste, and say, It is good for us to be here, Matth. 17.1, 4. But to travell so chearfully with Abraham to the Mount of M [...]riah, to sacrifice an only Son, or with a Martyr to the flames, is a harder task. This is the principal enmity of death; it deter­reth our desires and thoughts from heaven: and maketh it a far har­der matter to us, to long after God, then otherwise it would be: Yea it causeth us to fly from him, even when we truly love him: And where Faith and Love do work so strongly as to overcome these fears, yet do they meet with them as an enemy, and must fight before they overcome.

2. And as this Enemy dulleth our Desires, so doth it consequent­ly cool our Love, as to the exercise, [Page 19] and it hindereth our hope, & much abateth the complacency and Joy, that we should have in the belie­ving thoughts of Heaven: when we should be rejoycing in hope of the glory of God (Rom. 5.2.) the face of death appearing to our thoughts, is naturally an enemy to our joy! When we think of the grave, and of dissolution and cor­ruption, and of our long abode in the places of darkness, of our con­temned dust and scattered bones, this damps our joyfull thoughts of heaven, if supernatural grace do not make us Conquerors.

But if we might pass from earth to heaven, as from one room to another, what haste should we make in our desires? How joy­fully should we think and speak of Heaven? Then we might live in the joy of the Holy Ghost, and easily delight our selves in God, and Comfort would be our daily food.

[Page 20]3. Moreover, as our Natural Enemy doth thus occasion the a­batement of Desire, and Love, and Joy, so also of our Thankfulness for the Glory that is promised us. God would have more praise from us, if we had more pleasing joyfull thoughts of our inheritance. We should magnifie him from day to day, when we remember how we shall magnifie him for ever. Our hearts would be turned into thank­fulness, and our tongues would be extolling our dear Redeemer, & sounding forth his praise whom we must praise for ever, if dreadful Death did not draw a veil, to hide the heavenly glory from us.

4. And thus the dismall face of Death, doth hinder the heavenli­ness of our Conversation. Our Thoughts will be diverted, when our complacency and desire is aba­ted: Our minds will be willinger to grow strange to Heaven, when [Page 21] Death still mingleth terror in our meditations: Whereas if we could have come to God in the way that was first appointed us, and could be cloathed with glory, without being stript of our present cloathing, by this terrible hand, how familiarly should we then converse above? How readily would our Thoughts run out to Christ? meditation of that Glory would not be then so hard a work: Our hearts would not be so backward to it, as now they are.

5. Faith is much hindered, and Infidelity much advantaged by Death: Look either to the state of soul or body, and you will easily perceive the truth of this. The state of a Soul incorporated, we know, by long experience: what kind of apprehensions, volitions, and affections belong to a soul while it acteth in the Body, we feel or understand: But what manner of knowledg, will or Love, what Joy, [Page 2] what sorrow, belong to souls that are separated from the Bodies, it is not possible for us now distinctly and formally to conceive. And when men find themselves at a loss about the manner, they are tempted to doubt of the thing it self. The swarms of irreligious Infidels, that have denied the Immortality and separated existence of the soul, are too full a proof of this: And good men have been haunted with this horrible temptation. Had there been no death, we had not been liable to this dangerous assault. The opinion of the sleeping of the soul, till the Resurrection, is but a step to flat Infidelity; and both of them hence receive their Life, because a soul in flesh, when it cannot con­ceive to its satisfaction, of the be­ing, state, or action of a separa­ted soul, is the easier drawn to question or deny it.

And in regard of the Body the [Page 23] difficulty and tryal is as great: That a corps resolved into dust; and per­haps first devoured by some other body, and turned into its substance, should be reunited to its soul, and so become a glorified body, is a point not easie for unsanctified na­ture to believe. When Paul prea­ched of the Resurrection, to the learned Athenians, some mocked, and others turn'd off that Dis­course, Acts 17.32. It is no ea­sier to believe the Resurrection of the Body, then the Immortality or separated Existence of the Soul. Most of the world, even Heathens and Infidels do confess the later, but few of them comparatively be­lieve the former. And if sin had not let in Death upon our Nature, this perillous difficulty had been prevented: Then we should not have bin puzzled with the thoughts of either a corrupted Body, or a se­parated Soul.

[Page 24]6. And consequently by all this already mentioned, our Endeavors meet with a great impediment. If Death weaken Faith, Desire, and Hope, it must needs dull our En­deavors. The deterred, discoura­ged soul moves slowly in the way of life: Whereas if Death were not in our way, how chearfully should we run towards Heaven? Our thoughts of it would be still sweet, and these would be a power­full Spring to action? When the Will goes with full Sails, the com­manded faculty will the more easi­ly follow. We should long so ear­nestly to be in Heaven, if Death were not in the way, that nothing could easily stop us in our course? How earnestly should we pray? How seriously should we meditate and conser of Heaven? and part with any thing to attain it? But that wh [...]ch dulls our Desires of the End, must needs be an Enemy [Page 25] to holy Diligence, and dull us in the use of means.

7. This Enemy also doth dange­rously tempt us to fall in love with present things, and to take up the miserable Portion of the worldling: when it hath weaken­ed faith, and cooled our desires to the life to come, we shall be tempted to think that its best take such pleasure as may here be had, and feed on that where a sensual mind hath less discouragement. Whereas, if Death did not stand in the way, and darken Heaven to us, and turn back our desires, how easily should we get above thes [...] trifles, and perceive the vanity of all below, and how unworthy they are to be once regarded!

8. Moreover it is much long of this last Enemy, that God is so dis­honoured by the Fears and droop­ings of believers. They are but imperfectly yet freed from this [Page 26] bondage: and accordingly they walk. Whereas if the King of ter­rors were removed, we should have less of Fear, and more of Love, as living more in the sight and sense of Love: And then we should glorifie the God of Love, and appear to the world as men of another world, and shew them the faith and hope of Saints, in the heavenly chearfulness of our lives; and no more dishonour the Lord and our profession, by our un­comfortable despondencies as we do.

9. Moreover it is much long of this last Enemy that many true Christians cannot perceive their own sincerity, but are overwhelmd with doubts and troublesome fears, lest they have not the faith and hope of Saints, and lest the Love of God abide not in them, and lest their hearts are more on earth then Heaven. When they find [Page 27] themselves afraid of dying, and to have dark amazing thoughts about eternity, and to think with less trouble and fear of earth then of the life to come, this makes them think that they are yet but world­lings, and have not placed their happiness with God: when per­haps it is but the fear of death that causeth these unjust: conclusions. Christian, I shall tell thee more anon, that God may be truly lo­ved and desired by thee, and Hea­ven may be much more valued then Earth, and yet the natural fears of death that standeth in thy way may much perplex thee, & make thee think that thou art averse from God, when indeed thou art but averse from Death, because yet this Enemy is not overcome.

10. Lastly, this Enemy is not the smallest cause of many of our particular sins, and of the aposta­cie of many hypocrit [...]s. Indeeed it [Page 28] is one of the strongest of our tem­ptations. Before man sinned, none could take away his life but God, and God would not have done it for any thing but sin. So that man had no temptation from the malice of enemies, or the pride of Con­querours, or the fury of the pas­sionate, or the power of Tyrants to be afraid of death, and to use any unlawfull means to scape it. An avoidable d [...]ath from the hand of God, he was obliged mode­rately to fear; that is, to be afraid of sinning lest he die (else God would not have threatened him, if he would not have had him make use of a preventing fear.) But now we have an unavoidable death to fear, and also an untimely death from the hand of man by Gods permission: And the fear of these is a powerfull temptation. Other­wise Abraham would not have distrustfully equivocated as he [Page 29] did to save his life, Gen. 20.11. and Isaac after him do the same, when he sojourned in the same place, Gen. 26.7. If the fear of Death were not a strong tempta­tion, Peter would not have thrice denyed Christ, and that after so late a warning and engagement: nor would all his Disciples have forsaken him and fled, Matth. 26.56. Nor would Martyrs have a special reward, nor would Christ have been put to call upon his Di­sciples, that they Fear not them that can kill the body, Luke 12.4. and to declare to men the necessity of self-deniall in this point of Life, and that none can be his Disciple, that loves his Life before him, Matth. 16.39. Luke 14.26. He is a Christian indeed that so Lo­veth God, that he will not sin to save his Life. But what is it that an hypocrite will not do to escape Death? He will equivocate and [Page 30] forswear himself with the Jesuite and Familist: He will forsake not only his dearest friend, but Christ also and his Conscience. What a multitude of the most haynous sins are daily committed through the fears of death? Thousands where the Inquisition ruleth are kept in Popery by it: And thou­sands are kept in Mahometanism by it: Thousands are drawn by it to betray their Countries; to de­ny the truth; to betray the Church and cause of Christ; and finally to betray their souls unto perdition: some of them presume to deny Christ wilfully, because that Peter had pardon that denyed him through surprize, and through in­firmity: But they will not Repent with Peter, and die for him after their repentance. He that hath the power of an Hypocrites life, may prescribe him what he shall b [...]lieve and do; may write him [Page 31] down the Rule of his Religion, and tell him what changes he shall make, what oaths he shall take, what party he shall side with, and command h [...]m so many sins a day, as you make your horse go so ma­ny miles. Satan, no doubt, had much experience of the power of this temptation, when he boasted so confidently of it against: Job (2.4.) Skin for skin, and all that a man hath he will give for his life: And its true, no doubt, of those that love nothing better then their lives. Satan thought that the fear of Death would make a man do any thing; And of too many he may boldly make this boast [Let me but have power of their Lives, and I will make them say any thing, and swear any thing, and be for any cause or party, and do any thing against God or man.] When less [...]r matters can do so much, as com­mon sad experience sheweth us, [Page 32] no wonder if the fear of death can do it.

In brief, you may see by what is said, that Death is become an Ene­my to our Souls, by being first the Enemy of our Natures: The In­terest of our Bodies works much on our Souls, much more the In­terest of the whole man. The principle of self-love was planted in Nature in order to self-preser­vation, and the government of the world: Nature doth necessarily abhor its own destruction. And therefore this destruction standing in the way, is become an exceed­ing great hindrance to our affe­ctions, which tak [...]s them off from the life to come.

1. It is a very great hindrance to the Conversion of those that are yet carnal, imprisoned in their unbelief. It is hard to win their hearts to such a state of Hap­ [...]in [...]ss, that cannot be obtain­ed [Page 33] but by yielding unto death?

2. And to the truly godly it is naturally an impediment, and a great temptation in the points be­fore expressed: And though it prevail not against them, it exceed­ingly hindereth them. And thus I have shewed you, that Death is an Enemy, further then, I doubt, the most consider of.

If the unbeliever shall here tell me, that Death is not the fruit of sin, but natural to man, though he had never sinned, and there­fore that I lay all this on God: I answer him, that Mortality, as it signifyeth a posse mori, a natural capacity of dying, was naturall to us in our innocency: or else Death could not be threatened as a penalty: And if I grant as much of a naturall disposition in the Bo­dy to a dissolution, if not pre­vented by a Glorifying change, it will no whit advantage their impi­ous [Page 34] cause. But withall man was then so far Immortall, as that he had a posse non mori, a naturall ca­pacity of not dying; and the mo­rietur vel non morietur, the actuall event of Life or Death, was laid by the Lord of Life and Death, upon his obedience or disobedi­ence. And man having sinned, Justice must be done, and so we came under a non posse non mori, an impossibility of escaping death (ordinarily,) because of the pe­remptory sentence of our Judge: But the day of our deliverance is at hand, when we shall attain a non posse mori, a certain consum­mate Immortality, when the last Enemy Death shall be destroyed: And how that is done I shall next enquire.

SECT. II.

YOU have seen the ugly face of Death; you are next to see a little of the Love of our great Redeemer. You have heard what sin hath done: you are next to hear what Grace hath done, and what it will do. You have seen the strength of the Enemy: you are now to take notice of the vi­ctory of the Redeemer, and see how he conquereth all this strength.

1. The Beginning of the con­quest is in this world: 2. The per­fection will not be till the day of Resurrection, when this Last Ene­my shall be destroyed.

1. Meritoriously Death is con­quered by Death. The Death of sinners, by the Mediators Death. Not that he intended in his Meri­torious [Page 36] work, to save us from the stroke of death by a prevention; but to deliver us from it after by a Resurrection. For since by man came death, by man also came the Resurre­ction from the dead, I Cor. 15.21. Forasmuch as the children were par­takers of flesh and blood, he also him­s [...]lf likewise took part with them; that he might destroy him through death, that had the power of death, that is the Devil; and deliver them who through fear of death were all their life time subject unto bondage, Heb. 2.14, 15. Satan as Gods Ex­ecutioner, and as the prosperous tempter, is said to have had the power of death: The fears of this dreadfull Executioner are a con­tinuall bondage, which we are lya­ble to through all our lives, till we perceive the deliverance Which the Death of the Lord of Life hath purchased us. 1. By Death Christ hath satisfied the Justice that was [Page 37] armed by sin against us. 2. By Death he hath shewed us, that Death is a tolerable Evil, and to be yielded to in hope of following life.

2. Actually he conquered Death by his Resurrection. This was the day of Grace's triumph: This day he shewed to Heaven, to Hell, and to Earth, that Death was conquer­able; yea that his personal Death was actually overcome. The blessed souls beheld it to their Joy, behold­ing in the Resurrection of their Head, a virtual resurrection of their own Bodies. The Devils saw it, and therefore saw that they had no hopes of holding the Bodies of the Saints in the power of the grave. The damned souls were acquainted with it, and therefore knew that their sinfull bodies must be restored to bear their part in suffering. The Believing Saints on earth perceive it, and therefore see that their bonds are broken, [Page 38] and that to the righteous there is hope in death; and that our Head being actually risen, assureth us that we shall also Rise. For if we believe that Jesus dyed and Rose again; even so them also which steep in Jesus, will God bring with him, 1 Thes. 4.14. And as Christ being raised from the dead, dyeth no more, death hath no more dominion over him: So shall we Rise and die no more. This was the begin­ning of the Churches Triumph. This is the day that the Lord hath made (even the day which the Church on Earth must celebrate, with joy and praise, till the day of our Resurrection) We will be glad and rejoyce therein, Psam 118.24. The Resurrection of our Lord hath 1. Assured us of the consummati­on of his satisfaction. 2. Of the truth of all his Word, and so of his promises of our Resurrection. 3. That Death is actually conquer­ed, [Page 39] and a Resurrection possible. 4. That believers shall certainly Rise, when their Head and Savi­our is Risen, to prepare them an everlasting Kingdom, and to assure them, that thus he will Raise them at the last. A bare promise would not have been so strong a help to faith, as the actual Rising of Christ, as a pledge of the performance: But now Christ is Risen and become the first fruits of them that sleep. 1. Cor. 15.20. For because he Li­veth, we shall live also, John 14.19.

3. The next degree of destructi­on to this Enemy, was by the gift of his Justifying and Sanctifying grace. Four special benefits were then bestowed on us, which are Antidotes against the Enmity of Death. 1. One is, the gift of Sa­ving Faith, by which we look be­yond the grave, as far as to eterni­ty. And this doth most powerful­ly [Page 40] disable Death to terrifie and dis­courage us; and raiseth us above our Natural fears, and sheweth us (though but in a glass) the exceed­ing eternal weight of glory which churlish Death shall help us to. So that when the eye of the unb [...]liever looketh no further then the grave, believing souls can enter into Hea­ven, and see their glorified Lord, and thence fetch Love, and Hope, and Joy, notwithstanding the ter­rors of interposing death. The eye of Faith foreseeth the salvation ready to be revealed in the last time, and causeth us therein greatly to re­joyce, though now for a season (if need be) we are in heaviness through manifold temptations. And so vi­c [...]orious is this Faith against all the storms that do assault us, that the tryal of it, though with fire, doth but discover that it is much more precious then Gold that perisheth, and it shall be found unto praise and ho­our, [Page 41] and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ; whom having never seen in the flesh we Love, and though now we see him not, yet believing we rejoyce with unspeakable glorious joy, 1 Pet. 1.5, 6, 7, 8, 9. and shall shortly receive the end of our Faith, the sal­vation of our souls. Thus Faith, though it destroy not. Death it self, destroyeth the malignity and enmi­ty of death: while it seeth the things that are beyond it, and the time when death shall be destroyed, and the Life where death shall be no more. Faith is like Davids three mighty men, that brake through the host of the Philistines, to fetch him the waters of Bethlehem, for which he longed, 2 Sam. 23.15, 16. When the thirsty soul saith, 0 that one would give me drink of the waters of Salvation! Faith breaks through death which stand­eth in the way, and fetcheth these living waters to the soul. We may [Page 42] say of death, as it is said of the world, 1. John 5.4, 5. Whatsoe­ver is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our Faith: who is he that overcometh, but he that believeth? &c. For great­er is he that is in us, then he that is in the world: 1 John 4.4. The be­lieving Soul foreseeing the day when Death shall be swallowed up in Victory, may sing beforehand the triumphing song, O Death, where is thy sting? O grave where is thy Victory? 1 Cor. 15.54, 55. For this cause we faint not; though our outward man perish, our inward man is renewed day by day: For our light affliction (though it reach to death) which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding eternall weight of glory; while we look not at the things that are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are tem­porall [Page 43] (and therefore not worthy to be looked at) but the things that are not seen are eternal, and there­fore more prevalent with a belie­ving Soul, then either the enticing pleasures of sin for a season, or the light and short afflictions, or the death that standeth in our way, 2 Cor. 5.16, 17, 18. Heb. 11.24, 25, 26.

2. A second Antidote against the Enmity of Death, that is gi­ven us at the time of our Conver­sion, is, The Pardon of our sins, and Justification of our persons, by the blood and merits of Jesus Christ. When once we are forgiven, we are out of the reach of the greatest terror, being saved from the se­cond death; Though we must feel the killing stroke, we are deliver­ed from the damning stroke. Yea more then so, it shall save us by d [...]stroying us: It shall let us into the glorious presence of our Lord, [Page 44] by taking us from the presence of our mortal friends: It shall help us into Eternity, by cutting off our Time. For in the hour that we were justified, and made the Adopted s [...]ns of God, we were also made the Heirs of Heaven, even Coheirs with Christ, and shall be glorified with him, when we have suffered with him, Rom. 8.17. As Death was promoting the Life of the world, when it was killing the Lord of Life himself: So is it ha­stening the deliverance of believers, when it seems to be undoing them. No wonder if Death be that mans terror, that must be conveyed by it into Hell, or that imagineth that he shall perish as the beast: But to him that knows it will be his passage into Rest, and that An­gels shall convey his Soul to Christ, what an Antidote is there ready for his faith to use against the en­mity and excess of fears? Hence [Page 45] faith proceedeth in its triumph, 1 Cor. 15.56, 57. The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the Law: But thanks be to God that giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Let him inordinately fear death, that is loth to be with Christ, or that is yet the heir of death eternall: Let him fear that is yet in the bondage of his sin, and in the power of the prince of darkness, and is not by Justification delivered from the curse: But joy and holy triumph are more seemly for the Justi­fied.

3. A third Antidote against the Enmity of death, is the Holiness of the soul: By this the Power of sin is mortified; and therefore the fears of death cannot actuate and use it, as in others they may do: By this the Interest of the flesh is cast aside as nothing, and the flesh it self is crucified with Christ: and [Page 46] therefore the destruction of the flesh will seem the more tolera­ble, and the fears of it will be a less temptation to the Soul. By this we are already crucified to the world, and the world to us: and therefore we can more easily leave the world: We now live by ano­ther Life then we did before; be­ing dead in our selves, our life is hid with Christ in God; and being crucified with Christ, we now so Live, as that it is not we, but Christ Liveth in us: the life which we Live in the flesh is by the faith of the Son of God that hath loved us, Gal. 2.20. The things that made this life too dear to us, are now as it were annihilated to us; and when we see they are Nothing, they can do nothing with us. Sanctification also maketh us so weary of sin, as being our hated enemy, that we are the more willing to die, that it may die that causeth us to die. [Page 47] And especially, the Holy Ghost, which we then receive, is in us a Divine and heavenly Nature, and so inclineth us to God and Hea­ven. This Nature principally con­sisteth in the superlative Love of God. And Love carryeth out the soul to the beloved. As the Nature of a prisoner in a dungeon carry­eth him to desire Liberty and light; so the Nature of a holy Soul in flesh, inclineth it to desire to be with Christ. As Love maketh hus­band and wife, and dearest friends to think the time long while they are asunder; so doth the Love of the Soul to God. How fain would the holy loving Soul behold the pleased face of God, and be glori­fied in the beholding of his glory, and live under the fullest influen­ces of his Love! This is our con­quest over the Enmity of death. As strong as Death is, Love is stronger, Eccles. 8.6, 7. Love is [Page 48] strong as death — the coales thereof are coales of fire, a most vehement flame (which will not by the terri­ble face of death be hindered from ascending up to God.) Many wa­ters cannot quench Love, neither can the floods drown it: if a man would give all the substance of his house for Love (that is, to bribe it and divert it from its object) it would utterly be contemned. If the Love of David could carry Jonathan to hazzard his life and deny a King­dom for him, and the Love of Da­vid to Absalom made him wish that he had dyed for him, and the Love of friends, (yea lustfull love) hath carryed many to cast away their lives; no wonder if the Love of God in his Saints prevail against the fear of death. The power of holy Love made Moses say, Else let my name be blotted out of the book of life. And it made Paul say, that he could wish that he were [Page 49] accursed from Christ, for his bre­thren and kindred according to the flesh.] Rom. 9.3. And doubtless he felt the fire burning in his breast, when he broke out into that triumphant challenge, Rom. 8.35, 36. to the end [Who shall separate us from the love of God? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? (As it is writ­ten, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are counted as Sheep to the slaughter.) Nay in all this we are more then Conquerours through him that loved us: For I am perswaded that neither death, nor life, nor Angels, nor Principalities, nor Powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other Creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God; which is in Chr [...]st Jesus our Lord.] You see here what it is that conquereth the enmity of [Page 50] death, in our sanctification; even that powerfull love of God that is then given us, which will go to him through the most cruel death.

4. A fourth Antidote that is given us by Christ, against the Enmity of Death, is the Holy Ghost, as he is the Comforter of the Saints. He made it his work to corroborate and confirm them: As sin hath woven calamities into our lives, and filled us with troubles, and griefs, and fears; so Christ doth send his spirit to undo these works of Satan, and to be a Comforter as well as a Sanctifier to his members. As the Sanctifying Spirit striveth against the enticing sinfull flesh, so the Comforting Spirit striveth against the troubling flesh; as also against the persecuting, as well as the tempting world, and the vexing as well as the tempting Devil. And greater is he that is in us, then he [Page 51] that is in the world, 1 John 4.4. The Spirit of Christ overcomes the disquieting as well as the tempting Spirit: But with some difference; because our comforts are not in this life so necessary to us as our Holi­ness: Joy being part of our Re­ward, is not to be expected cer­tainly or constantly, in any high degree, till we come to the state of our Reward: And therefore though the Holy Ghost will carry on the work of Sanctification, uni­versally, constantly and certainly in the Elect; yet in many of them his Comforting work is more ob­scure, and interrupted: And yet he is a Conquerour here. For his works must be judged of in refe­rence to their ends: And our com­fort on earth is given us for our encouragement in holy wayes, that we be not stopt or diverted by the fear of enemies; and also to help on ou [...] love to God, and to quick­en [Page 52] us in thanks, and praise, and draw up our hearts to the life to come, and make us more service­able to others: And such a mea­sure of comfort, we shall have as conduceth to these ends, and is sui­table to our present state, and the employment God hath for us in the world, if we do not wilfully grieve our Comforter, and quench our joyes.

So that when Death and the Grave appear before, and our flesh is terrified with the sight of these Anakims, and saith, [We are not able to overcome them] and so brings up an evil report upon the promi­sed Land, and casts us sometime in­to murmuring, lamentation and weakning-discouragements, yet doth the Holy Ghost cause Faith and Hope (as Caleb and Joshua) to still the soul, (Numb. 13.) and causeth us to contemn these Gyants, and say [Let us go up and [Page 53] possess it, for we are well able to overcome it.] Ver. 30. The Com­forting Spirit sheweth us his death that conquered death, (Heb. 2.14, 15.) even the Cross on which he triumphed openly, when he seemed to be conquered, Col. 2.15. He sheweth us the glorious Resur­rection of our Head, and his pro­mise of our own Resurrection: He sheweth us our glorified Lord, to whom we may boldly and con­fidently commend our departing souls, Acts 7.59. And he sheweth us the Angels that are ready to be their Convoy: And he mak­eth all these Considerations effe­ctual, and inwardly exciteth our Love and heavenly desires, and giveth us a triumphing Courage and Consolation: So that Death doth not encounter us alone, and in our own strength, but finds us armed and led on by the Lord of life, who helps us by a sling and [Page 54] stone to conquer this Goliah. If a draught of Wine, or some spi­ritfull reviving liquor can take off fears and make men bold; what then may the Spirit of Christ do by his powerfull encouragements and comforts on the soul? Did we but see Christ or an Angel stand­ing by our sick-beds, and saying [Fear not: I will convey thy soul to God: this day shalt thou be with me in Paradise.] What an unspeak­able comfort would this be to a dying man? Why, the Spirit is Christs Agent here on earth: and what the Spirit speaks, Christ speaks: And therefore we may take its comforting words, as spo­ken to us by Christ himself; who spoke the like to the penitent Thief, to shew believers the virtue of his Cross, and what they also may ex­pect from him in their extremity. And our Phisitian is most wise, and keeps his Cordials for a fainting [Page 55] time: The Spirit useth to sustain and comfort us most, in our great­est necessities. We need not com­forts against death, so much in the time of prosperity and health, as when Death draws near. In health we have ordinarily more need of quickning then of comforting: and more need to be awakened from security to a due preparation for death, then to be freed from the terrible fore-thoughts of it: though inordinate fears of Death be hurt­full to us, security and deadness hurt us more. And therefore the spirit worketh according to our necessities: And when Death is neerest, and like to be most dread­full, he usually giveth the liveliest sense of the Joyes beyond it, to abate the enmity, and encourage the departing soul. And if the comfort be but small, it is precious, because it is most pure, as being then mixed with no carnal joyes; [Page 56] and because it is most seasonable in so great a strait. If we have no more but meer support, it will be yet a pretious mercy. And thus I have done with the third degree of the destruction of Deaths Enmi­ty, by these four Antidotes, which we receive at our Conversion, and the Consequents thereof.

4. The fourth degree of this Enemies destruction is, by it self, or rather by Christ at the time, and by the means of death, which contrary to its nature, shall ad­vantage our felicity. When Death hath done its worst, it hath half killed it self in killing us: It hath then dismissed our imprisoned souls, and ended even our fears of death, and our fears of all the evils of this life. It hath ended our cares, and griefs, and groans. It hath finished our work, and end­ed all our weariness and trouble. And more then this, it ends our [Page 57] sinning, and so destroyeth that which caused it, and that which the inordinate fears of it self, had caused in us. It is the time when sin shall gasp its last, and so far our Physitian will perfect the cure; and our greatest enemy shall follow us no further. It is the door by which the soul must pass to Christ in Paradise.

If any Papist shall hence plead that therefore all men must be per­fect without sin before death, or else go to Purgatory to be clean­sed, because as we die, so Christ will find us: or if they ask, How death can perfect us? I answer them: It is Christ our Physitian that finisheth the cure, and Death is the time in which he doth it. And if he undertake then to do it, it concerns not us to be too in­quisitive, how he doth it. What if the patient understand not how blood letting cureth the infe­cted [Page 58] blood that is left behind? must he therefore plead against his Physitian, and say, It will not be done, because he knoweth not how its done? We feel that here we have our sinfull imperfections: we have for all that a promise that we shall be with Christ, when death hath made its separation; and we are assured that no sin doth enter there. And is not this enough for us to know?

But yet I see not why the diffi­culty of the Objection should trouble us at all. Death doth re­move us from this sinfull flesh, and admits the soul into the sight of God. And in the very instant of its remove, it must needs be perfected, even by that remove, and by the first appearance of his blessed face. If you bring a can­dle into a dark room, the access of the light expelleth the darkness, at the same instant: And you can­not [Page 59] say that they consist together one moment of time. So cold is expelled by the approach of heat. And thus when death hath opened the door, and let us into the immor­tal light, neither before nor after, but in that instant all the darkness & sinful imperfections of our souls are dissipated. Throw an empty Bottle into the Sea, and the empti­ness ceaseth by the filling of the wa­ter; neither before nor after, but in that instant.

If this should not satisfie any, let it satisfie them, that the Holy Ghost in the instant of death can perfect his work.

So that we need not assert a per­fection on earth, (which on their grounds, must be the case of all that will escape Hell and Purgato­ry;) nor yet any Purgatory tor­ments after death, for the deli­verance of the soul from the re­licts of sin; seeing at the instant [Page 60] of death, by the the spirit, or by the deposition of the flesh, or by the sight of God, or by the sight of our glorified Redeemer, or by all, this work will be easily and infallibly accomplished.

5. The last degree and perfect conquest will be at the Resurre­ction. And this is the victory that is mentioned in my Text. All that is fore-mentioned doth abate the enmity, and conquer death in some degree: But the enmity, and the enemy it self is conquered at the Resurrection, and not till then. And therefore Death is the last enemy to be destroyed. The Body lieth under the penal effects of sin, till the Resurrection. And it is penal to the soul to be in a state of separation from the Body, though it be a state of glory that its in with Christ: For it is de­prived of the fulness of glory, which it shall attain at the Resur­rection, [Page 61] when the whole man shall be perfected and glorified toge­ther. Then it is that the Media­tors work will be accomplished; and all things shall be restored; All that are in the graves shall hear the voice of the Son of God and shall come forth, John 5.28. For this is the Fathers will that sent him, that of all that he hath given him; he should lose nothing, but should raise it up at the last day; John 6.39, 40. We have hope towards God, that there shall be a Resurrection of the dead, both of the just and un­just, Acts 24.15. As by man came death, so by man came also the Re­surrection from the dead, I Cor. 15.21. Then shall there be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying, nor pain, Rev. 21.4. No more dis­eases, or fears of death, or grave, or of corruption. No terrible ene­my shall stand betwixt us and our Lord, to frighten our hearts from [Page 62] looking towards him. O what a birth-day will that be! when Graves shall bring forth so many millions of sons for Glory! How joyfully will the soul & body meet, that were separated so long? Then sin hath done its worst and can do no more! Then Christ hath done all, and hath no more to do, as our Redeemer, but to justifie us in judgement, and give us pos­session of the joy that he is pre­paring. And then he will deli­ver up the Kingdom to the Fa­ther.

If you expect now that I should give you Reasons why Death is the last Enemy to be destroyed, though much might be said from the nature of the matter, the Wis­dom and Will of God shall be to me instead of all other Reasons, being the fountain and the sum of all. He knows best the Order that is agreeable to his Works and Ends, [Page 63] to his honour, and to our good: and therefore to his Wisdom we submit, in the patient expectance of the accomplishment of his pro­mises.

SECT. III.

Ʋse 1.

I Now come to shew you the Usefulness of this Doctrine for the further Informa­tion of our understandings, the well ordering of our hearts, and the reforming of our lives. And first, you may hence be easily re­solved, Whether Death be truly penal to the godly? which some have been pleased to make [...] Controver­sie of late: though I am past doubt; but the hearts of those men do apprehend it as a punish­ment, whose tongues and pens do plead for the contrary. Dust thou [Page 64] art, and to dust shalt thou return, was part of the sentence past on Adam and all his posterity; which then proved it a punishment, and it was not remitted to Adam, that at the same time had the promise of a Redeemer, nor is it remitted to any of us all. Were it not for sin, God would not inflict it; who hath sworn that he takes no plea­sure in the death of sinners; And that he afflicts not willingly, nor grieves the sons of men. But my text it self decides the Contro­versie: Sin and punishment are the evils that Christ removeth; And if death were no punishment (as it is no sin,) how could it be an Enemy, and the last enemy to be de­stroyed by the Redeemer? when we feel the Enmity before describ­ed against our souls, and also know its Enmity to our bodies, we can­not think that God would do all this, were it not for sin: esp [...]cial­ly [Page 65] when we read, that death passeth upon all, for that all have sinned, Rom. 5.11, 12. and that death is the wages of sin, Rom. 6.23. Though Christ do us good by it, that proveth it not to be no pu­nishment: For castigatory punish­ments are purposely to do good to the chastised. Indeed we may say, O Death, where is thy sting? because that the mortal evil to the Soul is taken out; and because we foresee the Resurrection by faith, when we shall have the vi­ctory by Christ. But thence to conclude that Death hath no sting now to a believer, is not only be­sides, but against the text; which telling us that the sting of death is sin, and that the strength of sin is the Law, doth inform us, that Death could not kill us, and be Death to us, if sin gave it not a sting to do it with: as sin could not oblige us to this punishment, [Page 66] if the threatening of the Law were not its strength. But Christ hath begun the conquest, and will fi­nish it.

SECT. IV.

Ʋse 2.

FROM all this Enmity in Death, we may see what it is that sin hath done: and consequently how vile and odious it is, and how we should esteem and use it. Sin hath not only forfeited our Happiness, but laid those impediments in the way of our recovery, which will find us work, and cause our danger and sorrow while we live. And Death is not the least of these impedi­ments. O foolish man, that still will love such a mortal Enemy! If another would rob them but of a groat, or defame them, or de­prive [Page 67] them of any accommodation, how easily can they hate them, and how hardly are they reconci­led to them? But sin depriveth them of their lives, and separates the soul and body asunder, and forfeiteth their everlasting happi­ness, and sets death betwixt them and the Glory that is purchased by Christ, and yet they love it, and will not leave it. Though God have made them, and do sustain them, and provide for them, and all their hope and help is in him, they are not so easily drawn to love him; And yet they can love the sin that would undo them. Though Christ would deliver them, and bring them to everlasting blessed­ness, and hath assumed flesh, and laid down his life, to testifie his Love to them, yet are they not ea­sily brought to love him; but the sin that made them enemies to God, and hath brought them so [Page 68] near to everlasting misery, this they can love, that deserves no love. A Minister or other friend that would draw them from their sin to God, and help to save them, they quarrell against, as if he were their enemy: but their foolish companions, that can laugh and jest with them at the door of Hell, and clap them on the back, and drive away the care of their salva­tion, and harden them against the fear of God, these are the only acceptable men to them. O Chri­stians, leave this folly to the world, and do you judge of sin by its sad effects. You feel (if you have any feeling in you) in some mea­sure, what it hath done against your Souls! the weakness of your faith and love; the distance of your hearts from God; your doubts and troubles tell you that it is not your friend: You must shortly know what it will do to [Page 69] your bodies. As it keeps them in pain, and weariness, and weakness, so it will ere long deliver them up to the jaws of death; which will spare them no more then the beasts that perish. Had it not been for sin, we should have had no cause to fear a dissolution; nor have had any use for a coffin or a winding-sheet, nor been beholden to a grave, to hide our carkesses from the sight and smell of the living. But as Henoch and Elias were translated when they had walked with God, even so should we: as those shall that are alive and remain at the coming of Christ, shall be caught up together in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air; and so shall they ever be with the Lord, 1 Thes. 4.17.

Use sin therefore as it will use you. Spare it not, for it will not spare you. It is your murderer, and the murderer of the world: [Page 70] Use it therefore as a murderer should be used. Kill it before it kills you; and then though it kill your bodies, it shall not be able to kill your souls; and though it bring you to the grave, as it did your Head, it shall not be able to keep you there. If the thoughts of death, and the grave, and rot­tenness be not pleasant to you, let not the thoughts of sin be pleasant. Hearken to every temptation to sin, as you would hearken to a temptation to self-murder: And as you would do if the Devill brought you a knife, and tempted you to cut your throat with it; so do when he offereth you the bait of sin. You love not Death: Love not the cause of Death. Be asha­med to stand weeping over a buri­ed friend, and never to weep over a sinning or ungodly friend, nor once to give them a compassionate earnest exhortation, to save their [Page 71] Souls. Is it nothing to be dead in sins and trespasses? Ephes. 2.1, 5. Col. 2.13. Yea, it is a worse Death then this, that is, the wages of sin, and the fruit which it brings forth, Rom. 6.21, 23. & 7.5. Surely God would never thus use mens bodies, and forsake them soul and body for ever, if sin were not a most odious thing; what a poyson is this that kils so many millions, and damneth so many millions, and cannot be cured but by the blood of Christ! that killed our Physitian that never casted it, be­cause he came so near to us! [...] O unbelieving stupid so [...]ls, that smart and sin, and groan and sin, and weep and lament our bodily suf­ferings, and yet sin still! that fear a grave and fear not sin! that have heard, and seen, and felt so much of the sad effects, and yet sin still, Psalm 78.32. Alas that murder­ers should be so common, and that [Page 72] we should be no wiser, when we have paid so dear a price for wis­dom!

SECT. V.

Ʋse 3.

FROM the Enmity of Death we may further learn, that Man hath now a need of Grace for such exceeding dif­ficulties, which were not before him in his state of innocency. Though Adam was able to have obeyed perfectly, without sin, and had Grace sufficient to have upheld him, and conquered temptations, if he had done his part, which by that Grace he might have done; yet whether that Grace was suffici­ent to the works that we are called to, is a doubt that many have been much troubled with. It is certain that he was able to have done any [Page 73] thing that was suitable to his pre­sent state, if it were commanded him: And it is certain tha [...] much that is now our duty, would have been unsuitable to his state. But whether it belonged to his perfe­ction, to be able and fit for such duties (that were then unsuitable to him) or supposition they had been suitable and duties, this is the dif­ficulty: which some make use of to prove that such works cannot now be required of us, without suitable help, because we lost no such grace in Adam. But this need not trouble us: For 1. Though Adam was put on no such difficul­ty in particular, as to encounter death: yet the perfect obedience to the whole Law, required a great degree of internall Habituall holiness: and to determine the case, whether our particular dif­ficulties, or his sinless perfect ob [...] ­dience, required greater s [...]rength [Page 74] and help, is a matter of more dif­ficulty then use. For 2. It is but about the Degrees of Holiness in him and us, and not about the Kind, that the difficulty lieth. For it is the same End that he was created for and disposed to by Na­ture, and that we are redeem­ed for and disposed to supernatu­rally.

But yet it is worthy our obser­vation, what a difficulty sin hath cast before us in the way of life, which Adam was unacquainted with▪ that so we may see the na­ture of our works, and the excel­lency of the Redeemers grace. Adam was but to seek the conti­nuance of his life, and a transla­tion to Glory, without the ter­rors of interposing death: He was never called to prepare to die; nor to think of the state of a se­parated Soul; nor to mind, and love, and seek a glory to which [Page 75] there is no (ordinary) passage but by death. This is the difficulty that sin hath caused, against which we have need of the special assist­ance, of the example, and doctrine, and promise, and Spirit of the Re­deemer. Adam was never put to study how to get over this dread­full gulf. The threatning of death was to raise such a fear in him as was necessary to prevent it: But those fears did rather hold him closer to the way of life, then stand between him and life to his discouragement. But we have a death to fear that must be suffered, that cannot be avoided. The strange condition of a separated soul (so unlike to its state while resident in the body) doth require in us, a special Faith to appre­hend it, and a special revelation to discover it. To desire, and love, and long for, and labour after such a time as this, when one part [Page 76] of us must lie rotting in the grave, and the separated Soul must be with Christ alone till the Resurre­ction, and to believe and hope for that Resurrection, and to deny our selves, and forsake all the world, and lay down our lives when Christ requireth it, by the power of this faith and hope, this is a work that innocent Adam never knew: This is the high employment of a Chri­stian. To have our hearts and conversations in Heaven, (Matth. 6.21 Phil. 3.20.) when Death must first dissolve us, before we can possess it, here is the noble work of faith.

SECT. VI.

Ʋse 4.

MOreover this En­mity of Death may help us to understand the rea­ [...]on of the sufferings and Death of Christ. That he gave his life a Ransome for us, and a Sacrifice for sin, and so to make satisfacti­on to the offended Majesty, is a truth that every Christian doth believe. But there was another reason of his death, that all of us do not duely consider of, and improve to the promoting of our Sanctification as we ought. Death is so great an Enemy, as you have heard, and so powerfull to deter our hearts from God, and dull our desires to the heavenly felicity, that Christ was fain to go before us, to embolden the [Page 78] hearts of believers to follow him: He suffered Death (with the rest of his afflictions) to shew us that it is a tolerable evil: Had he not gone before and overcome it, it would have detained us its Cap­tives: Had he not me [...]ited and purchased us a blessed Resurre­ction, and opened heaven to all bel [...]evers, and by Death overcome him that had the power of death (as Gods executioner) [...]hat is, the De­vil, we should all our life time have been still subjected unto bondage by the fears of Death, Heb. 2.14. But when we see that Christ hath led the way, as the victorious Captain of our Salvation, and that he is made perfect by sufferings (in his advancement unto glory) and that for the sufferings of death (which by the grace of God he tast­ed for every man) he is crowned with glory ad honour, Heb. 2.9, 10. this puts a holy valour into the [Page 79] soul, and causeth us cheerfully to follow him. Had we gone first, and the task of conquering Dea [...]h been ours, we had been overcome. But he that hath led us on, hath hew'd down the enemy before him, and first prepared us the way, and then called us to follow him, & to pass the way that he hath first made safe, and also shewed us by his example that it is now made passable. For it was one in our Nature, that calleth us his Bre­thren, that took not the nature of Angels, but of the seed of Abra­h [...]m, that is one with us, as the Sanctifier and the sanctified are, and to whom as children we are given, Who hath passed through Death and the Grave before us, and therefore we may the boldlier follow him, Heb. 2.11, 12, 13.16. Being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedi­ent [Page 80] unto death, even the death of the Cross, and therefore God h [...]th highly exalted him, and given him a name above every name, Phil. 2. 8, 9. Hereby [...]e hath shewed us that Death is not so dreadfull a thing, but that voluntary obedi­ence may and must submit unto it. As Abrahams faith and obedience was tryed, in the offering up his Son to death, at Gods command: so the children of Abraham and the heirs of the promise, must follow him in offering up themselves, if God require it, and in submit­ting to our natural death (for that he doth require of all.) Examples work more then bare precepts: and the Experiments of others, do take more with us then meer directions. It satisfi­eth a s [...]ck man more to read a Book of Medicinal Observations, where he meets with many that were in [Page 81] his own case, and finds what cured them, then to read the Praxis of medicinall receipts alone. It en­courageth the patient much, when the Physitian tells him, [I have cured many of your disease, by such a medicine, nay I was cured thus of the same my s [...]lf.] So doth it embolden a believer to lay down his Life, when he hath not only a promise of a better life, but seeth that the promiser went that way to Heaven before him. O therefore let us learn and use this choice remedy, against the immo­derate fear of Death! Let Faith take a view of him that was dead and is alive, that was buried and is risen, that was humbled and is now exalted! Think with your selves, when you must think of dying, that you are but following your Conquering Lord, and going the way that he hath gone before you, and suffering what he under­went [Page 82] and conquered: And there­fore though you walk through the valley of the shaddow of death, resolve that you will fear no evil, Psal. 23.4. And if he call you after him, follow him with a Chri­stian boldness; As Peter cast him­self into the Sea, and walkt on the waters, when he saw Christ walk there, and had his command; so let us venture on the jawes of death, while we trace his steps, and hear his encouraging com­mands and promises, John 21.7. Mat. 14.28, 29.

SECT. VII.

Ʋse 5.

MOreover from this Doctrine we may be informed, of the mistakes of ma­ny Christians, that think they have no saving grace, because they are afraid of dying, and because these fears deterr their soul [...] from de­siring to be with Christ: And hence they may perceive that there is another cause of these di­stempers, even the Enmity of Death that standeth in the way. You think that if you had any Love to Christ, you should more desire to be with him; and that if your treasure were in heaven, your hearts wou [...]d be more there; and that if you truly took it for your felicity, you could not be so unwilling to be removed to it; [Page 84] for no man is unwilling to be happy, or to attain his end. But stay a little, and better consider of your Case. Is it Christ that your heart is thus averse to, or is it only Death that standeth in the way? You are not, I hope, un­willing to see the face of God, nor unwilling to be translated from earth to heaven, but unwilling to die. It is not because you love the creature better then the Creator, but because you are afraid of Death. You may love God, and long to be perfected in holiness, and to see his Glory, and to have the most near Communion with him, and yet at the same time you may fear this Enemy that stand­eth in your way: I mean not on­ly the Pain of death, but principal­ly the dissolution of our natures, and the separation of the soul from the body, and its abode in a separated state, and the bodies [Page 85] abode in dust and darkness. Grace it self is not given us to re­concile us to corruption, and make death as death to seem desirable, but to cause us patiently to bear the evil, because of the good that is beyond it. It is not our duty to love death as death. Had it not been naturally an evil to be dread­ed and avoided, God would not have made it the matter of his threatning; nor would it have been a fit means to restrain men from transgression. To threaten a man with a benefit as such, is a contradiction. Enquire there­fore into your hearts, whether there be not a belief of heaven, a love to God, a desire to enjoy and please him, even while you draw back and seem to be averse? and whether it be not only loth­ness to die, and not a lothness to be with Christ?

For the fuller discovery of this, [Page 86] (because I find that our comfort much dependeth on it) I shall try you by these following Questi­ons.

Quest. 1. What is it that is un­grateful to you in your meditations of your change? Is it God and hea­ven, or is it Death? If it be only Death, it seems it is not the want of Love to God, and heaven, that causeth your aversness: If it be God himself that is ungratefull to your thoughts, is it because you desire not his nearer presence, or communion with him in the state of glory? or is it only because you fear lest you have no interest in his Love, and shall not attain the blessedness which you desire? If it be the first, I must confess it proves a graceless soul, and sig­nifieth the want of Love to God. But if it be the latter only, it may stand with grace: For Desire is a true signification of Love, [Page 87] though there be doubts and fears lest we shall miss the attainment of those desires.

Quest. 2. Would you not gladly hear the news of your removal, if you might be changed without Death; and translated to heaven as Henoch and Elias were, and as Christ at his Ascension? Had you not far ra­ther be thus changed then abide on earth? If so, then it seems it is not God and Heaven that you are against, but death. Nay if you could reach Heaven by travelling a thousand miles, would you not gladly take t [...]e journey as soon as you had got assurance of your title to it, and done the work of God on earth? If it were but as Peter, James and John, to go with Christ into an exceeding high Mountain, and there to see him in glory, (Mat. 17.12.) would you not gadly do it? It seems then that thou desirest to see the Lord, [Page 88] and thy love is to him, though thou be afraid of death.

Quest. 3. Consider of the Na­ture of the Heavenly felicity, and try whether thou love it in the several parts. One part is our personal perfection; that our souls shall be free from ignorance, and error, and sin, and sorrow, and enlarged for the perfect Love of God; and our bodies at the Re­surrection, made like the glori­ous body of our Lord, Phil. 3.21. and wouldst thou not be thus per­fected in soul and body? Another part is, that we shall live with the heavenly society of Angels and glorified Saints: And wouldst thou not have such company; rather then the company of sinners, and enemies, and imperfect Saints on earth? Another part is, that we shall see our glorified Head, and be with him where he is, that we may behold his glory. And doth [Page 89] not thy heart desire this? But the perfection of our Happiness is, that we shall see the face of the glo­ry of God, which is the light of that world, as truly as the Sun is the light of this: and that we shall be filled up with the feeling of his Love, and abound with Love to him again, and perfectly delighted in this Communion of Love, and express it in the Praises of the Lord, and thus make up the New Jerusalem, where God will place his glorious presence, and in which he will for evermore take pleasure. And is there any thing in this that thy soul is against, and which thou dost not value above this wor [...]d? If thou find that all the parts are sweet, and the Description of Heaven is most gratefull to thee, and that this is the state that thou wouldst be in, it seems then it is not Hea­ven but Death that thou art averse [Page 90] from, and that maketh thee so loth to hear the tydings of thy change.

Quest. 4. Couldst thou not joy­fully see the coming of Christ, if it were this day (if thou have done thy work, and art assured of his love?) The Apostle hath told us by the word of the Lord, that the Lord himself shall des [...]end from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the Archangel, and with the Trump of God; and the dead in Christ, shall rise first: and then they which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air; and so shall we ever be with the Lord,] 1 Thes. 4. 15, 16, 17. And this is the doctrine that comfort­eth believers, verse 18. Would it not rejoyce your hearts, if you were sure to live, to see the com­ing of the Lord, and to see his glo­rious appearing and retinue? If [Page 91] you were not to die, but to be caught up thus to meet the Lord, and to be changed immediately in­to an immortal, incorruptible, glorious state, would you be averse to this? would it not be the great­est joy that you could desire? For my own part, I must confess to you, that death as death ap­peareth to me as an enemy, and my nature doth abhor and fear it: But the thoughts of the Com­ing of the Lord are most swe [...]t and joyfull to me, so that if I were but sure that I should live to see it, and that the Trumpet should sound, and the dead should rise, and the Lord appear before the pe­riod of my age, it would be the joyfullest tidings to me in the world. O that I might see his Kingdom come! It is the Chara­cter of his Saints to love his appear­ing, 2 Tim. 4.8. and to look for the blessed hope, and the glorious [Page 92] appearing of the great God, and our Saviour Jesus Christ, Tit. 2.13. The Spirit and the Bride say Come: Come Lord Jesus, Come quickly.] is the voice of faith, and hope, and love, Rev. 22.17, 20. But I find not that his servants are thus Characterized, by their desires to die. It is therefore the presence of their Lord that they desire: But it is Death that they abhor: And therefore (though they can submit to death)it is the coming of Christ that they Love and long for; and it is interposing death that caus­eth them to draw back. Let not Christians be discouraged by mi­stakes, and think that they love not God and glory, because they love not this enemy in the way; nor think that they are graceless or unbelieving worldlings, be­cause they are afraid of death as death.

But perhaps you will say, that [Page 93] if grace prevail not against the fears of death, then fear is predomi­nant, and we are not sincer [...]. To which I answer, that you must di­stinguish between such a prevail­ing as maintaineth our sincerity, and such a prevailing as also pro­cureth our fortitude and joy. If grace prevail not to keep us up­right in a holy life, renouncing the world, and crucifying the flesh, and devoting our selves entirely to God, though the fear of death would draw us from it, then it is a sign that we are not sincere. But if grace do this much, and yet prevail not against all fears and unwillingness to die, but leave us under uncomfortable hideous thoughts of death, this proves us not to be unsound. For the soul may savingly love God, that is afraid of death: And he may tru­ly love the End, that fears this dark and di [...]mall way, Yet must [Page 94] there be so much to prove our uprightness, as that in our delibe­rate choice, we will rather vo­luntarily pass through death (ei­ther naturall or violent) then lose the happiness beyond it: Though we love not death, yet we love God and heaven so well, that we will submit to it: And though we fear it and abhor it, yet not so much as we fear and abhor the loss of heaven. Let not poor Christians therefore wrong them­selves, and deny the graces of the Spirit, as if they had more mind of earth then heaven, and of things temporal then of things eternal, because they are afraid to die. All suffering is grievous, and not joyous to our nature, Paul him­self desired not to be unclothed, but clothed upon with our house which is from heaven, that mor­tality might be swallowed up of life, 2 Cor. 5.2, 4. it [...]eing better [Page 95] to be absent from the body, and present with the Lord. Even Christ himself had a will that desired that the Cup might have passed from him, if it had been agreeable to his Fathers will, and the ends of his undertaken Office, Mathew 26.41, 42. Raise therefore no unjust conclusions from these na­tural fears, nor from the imper­fection of our conquest: but praise him that relieveth us, and abateth the enmity of death, and furnish­eth us with his Antidotes, and will destroy this enemy at last.

SECT. VIII.

Ʋse 6.

FRom the Enmity of Death we may fur­ther learn to study and magnifie the victorious grace of our Re­deemer: which overcometh the enemy, and turneth our hurt into our benefit, and maketh death a door of life. Though death be the enemy that seemeth to con­quer us, and to destroy and ut­terly undo us, yet being conquer­ed it self by Christ, it is used by him to our great advantage, and sanctified to be a very great help to our salvation. The suffering of Christ himself was in the hour of his enemies, and the power of darkness, Luke 22.53. which seemed to have prevailed against him; when yet it was but a de­stroying [Page 97] of death by death, and the purchasing of life and salvati­on for the world. So also in our death, though sin and Satan seem to conquer, it is they that are con­quered, and not we, who are su­pervictors through him that hath loved us, Rom. 8.37. They de­stroy themselves when they seem to have destroyed us. As the Serpent bruised but the heel of Christ, who bruised his head; so doth he bruise but our heel, who in that conflict, and by the means of his own execution, through the strength of Christ, do bruise his head, Gen. 3.15. And this is upshot of all his enmity, against the womans holy seed. Though Death was unsuitable to innocent man, and is still a natural enemy to us all, yet unto sinners it is an evil that is suitable and fit to destroy the greater evil that did cause it, and to prevent the everlasting evil. [Page 98] The fore-knowledge of our cer­tain death, is a very great help to keep us humble, and disgrace all the seducing pleasures of the flesh, and all the profits and honours of the world, and so to enervate all temptations. It is a singular help to quicken a stupid careless sinner, and to waken men to prepare for the life to come, and to excite them to seek first the Kingdom of God, and to give all diligence to make their calling and election sure; & to consider, seeing all these things must be dissolved, what manner of persons they ought to be, in all holy conversation & godliness, looking for, and haste­ning to the coming of the day of God, 2 Pet. 3.11, 12. When we drop asleep, the remembrance of death may quickly awake us; when we grow slack, it is our spur to put us on, to mend our pace. Who is so mad as wilfully to sin with [Page 99] Death in his eye? or who so dead as with death in h [...]s eye, to refuse to live a godly life, if he have any spiritual light and feeling? Expe­rience te [...]leth us, that when health and folly cause us to promise our selves long life, and think that death is a great way off, it lamen­tably cools our zeal, and stren­theneth our temptations, and duls our souls to holy operations: and the approach of death pu [...]s life in­to all our apprehensions and affe­ctions. It is a wonderfull hard thing to maintain our lively ap­prehensions, and str [...]ng affections, and tenderness of conscience, and self-denyal, and easie contempt of earthly things, when we put far from us the day of death. We see what a stir men make for the profits and honours of this world, and how fast they hold their fleshly pleasures, while they are in health, and how contemptuously they [Page 100] speak of all, and bitterly com­plain of the vanity and vexation, when they come to die. And if our lives and the world be brought hereby into such disorders, when men live so short a time on earth, what monsters of ambition, and covetousness, and luxury would men be, if they lived as long as before the flood, even to eight hundred, or nine hundred years of age? Doubtless long life was so great a temptation then to man, (in his corrupted state) that it is no wonder if his wickedness was great upon [...]he earth, and if it prepared for that great destructi­on of the universal deluge. Should men live now but to the age of three hundred, or four hundred years, I fear it would so tempt them to overvalue the world, and so embolden them to delay repentance, that one would be as Wolf to another, and the [Page 101] weak but be a prey to the strong, and wickedness would overwhelm the world, despising the reins, and bearing down Religious and civil opposition. But when we stand over the grave, and see our friends laid in the dust, how mortified do we seem? how do we even shake the head at the folly of ambiti­ous and covetous worldlings, and are ashamed to think of fleshly lusts! So far are men from own­ing their vanities, when that si­lent teacher standeth by. It is Death that helps to humble the proud, and abate the arrogan [...]y and obstinacy of the wicked, and make them regard the messengers of Christ, that b [...]fore despised them and their message. It is death that allayeth the ebullition of distracting thoughts and passi­ons, and helpeth to bring men to themselves, and fixeth giddy discomposed minds, and helps to [Page 102] settle the light and the unsettled; and to restrain the worst. As we are beholden to the Gallows for our purses and our lives; so are we to the grave and hell, for much of the order that is in the world, and our peace and freedom procured thereby. But it is a greater good that it procureth to believers.

If you ask, How is all this to be ascribed to Christ? I answer, ma­ny wayes: 1. It is he that hath now the Keyes or power of death and hell, even he that liveth and was dead, and that liveth for evermore, Rev. 1.18. and there­fore is to be feared by the world. 2. It is he that hath by his Blood & Covenant brought us the Hope of everlasting life; which is it that gives the efficacy to death. With­out this men would be but despe­rate, and think that it is better have a little pleasure then none at all, and so would give up [Page 103] themselves to sin, and desperately gratifie their flesh by all the wick­edness they could devise. 3. And it is Christ that teacheth men the right use of death, by his holy doctrine, having brought life and immortality to light by his Go­spel. 4. And it is Christ that send­eth forth the holy Spirit, which only doth so illuminate the mind, and quicken and dispose the heart, that Death may be savingly im­proved. The poyson is our own: but it is his skill and love that hath made a Soveraign antidote of it. And let our bodies die, so our sin may die. If the foresight of Death destroy our sin, and further our sanctification, and the hour of death doth end our fears and enter us into the state of glory, though we will love death as death never the better for this, much less the sin that caused it; yet must we admire the love of our Redeemer.

[Page 104]And it is not only the Peril but also the Terrors of Death that we are in part delivered from. Though Christ himself was in a bloody sweat, in his agony before his death, and cryed out on the Cross, My God, why hast thou forsaken me; because he bore the sins of the world; yet death is welcome to many of his followers, that drink of his cup, and are baptized with his baptism: For they taste not of these dregs which he drunk up, and they are strengthened by his supporting grace. He that doth comfort them against sin and Hell, doth also comfort them against Death. So great is the glory that he hath promised them, and so great is his comforting, confirming grace, that dreadfull [...]eath is not great enough to pre­vail against them. As it was too weak to conquer Christ, so is it too weak to conquer his Spirit [Page 105] in his peoples souls. Without Christ we could not live, and we durst not die: but through him we can do and suffer all things, and can boldly pass through this dark and shady vale of death; yea we can desire to depart and to be with Christ as best f [...]r us: for to Live is Christ, and to die is gain, Phil. 1.21, 23. For we know that if our earthly house of this Taber­nacle were dissolved; we h [...]ve a building of God, an house not made with h [...]nds, eternal in the hea­vens. And therefore sometimes we can earnestly groan, d [...]siring to be clothed up [...]n with our house which is from heaven. And we are alwayes confident, knowing that whilest we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord: we are confident, I say, and wil­ling rather to be absent from the body and present with the Lord: and therefore labour, that whether [Page 106] present or absent, we may be accepted of him: For we walk by faith and not by sight: and it is God that hath wrought us for the self same thing, who also hath given us the earnest of the Spirit, 2 Cor. 5.1. to 10. Though we long not to die, yet we long to see the face of God. And though we lay down our bod [...]s with natural unwillingness, yet we lay down our sin and sorrows with gladness and spiritual delight. And though our hearts are rea­dy to faint, as Peters when he walked to Christ upon the waters, yet Christ puts forth his hand of love, and soon recovereth us from our fear and danger.

Melancholly and impatience may make men weary of their lives, and rush upon death with a false conceit that it will end their sor­rows: But this is not to conquer death, but to be conquered by a lesser evil: and it is not an effect [Page 107] of fortitude, but of an imbecillity & impotency of mind. And if a Bru­tus, a Cato, or a Seneca be his own Executioner, th [...] do but choose a lesser evil, (in their conceits) even a death which they account­ed honourable, before a more ig­nominious death, or a life of shame, and scorn, and misery. But the true believer is raised above the fears of death, by the love of God, and the hopes of Glory; and Death (though ungratefull in it self) is welcome to him, as the way to his felicity.

Le [...] Tyrants and Souldiers take it for their glory, that they can take away mens liver, (that is, they have the power of a Serpent, or of Rats-bane) as if it were their honour to be their Coun­treys pestilence: and a Ruler and a Dose of poyson, were things of equal strength and use: But it is [Page 108] the Glory of Christ to enable h [...]s Disciples to conquer Death, & bear the fury of the most cruel perse­cutors. The Martyrs have been more joyfull in their sufferings, then the Judges that condemned them in their Pomp and glory. When we are pressed above strength, and despair of life, and have the sentence of death in our selves; we are then taught to trust in the living God that raiseth the dead, 2 Cor. 1.8, 9, 10. The Saints by faith have been tortured, not ac­cepting deliverance, that they might obtain a better resurrection: they have had tryall of cruel mockings & scourgings, yea moreover of bonds and imprisonment; they were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword, Heb. 11.35, 36, 37. Thanks be to God which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ, 1 Cor. 15.57. They overcome by [Page 109] the blood of the Lamb — and love not their lives unto the death, Rev. 12.11. They fear not them that kill the body, and after th [...]t have no more that they can do, Luke 12.4. They trust upon his promise that ha [...]h said, [I will ransome them from the power of the grave; I will redeem them from death. O death, I will be thy plagues! O grave, I will be thy destruction, Hos. 13.14. Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his Saints, Psal, 116.15. Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord, from henceforth, yea saith the spirit, that they may rest from their labours, and their works do follow them, Rev. 14.13.

SECT. IX.

Ʋse 7.

MOreover from the Enmity of Death, we may be directed which way to bend our cares; and seeing where our difficulty most lieth, we may see which way our most diligent prepa­rations must be turned. Death cannot be prevented: but the malignant influence of it on our souls may be much abated. If you let it work without an Antidote, it will make you live like unbelieving worldlings: It will deter your hearts from heaven, and dull your love to God himself, and make your meditations of him, and of your Everlasting Rest, to be sel­dom and ungratefull to you; And it will make you say, Its good to be here; and have sweeter thoughts [Page 111] of this present life, then of your inheritance. It will rob you of much of your heavenly delights, and fill you with slavish fears of death, and subject you unto bon­dage all your lives, and make you die with agony and horror, so that your lives and deaths will be dishonourable to your holy faith, and to your Lord. If it were meerly our own suffering by fears and horrors; or meerly our loss of spiritual delights, the matter were (great, but) not so great: But it is more then this. For when our joyes are overwhelmed with the fears of death, and turn­ed into sorrows, our love to God will be abated, and we shall deny him the thanks and cheer­full praises, which should be much of the employment of our lives: and we shall be much discomposed and unfitted for his service, and shall much dishonour him in the [Page 112] world, and shall strengthen our temptations to the overvaluing of earthly things. Think it not there­fore a small or an indifferent mat­ter, to fortifie your souls against these malignant fears of death. Make this your daily care and work; your peace, your safety; your innocency, and usefulness, and the honour of God, do much lie on it. And it is a work of such exceeding difficulty, that it re­quireth the best of your skill and diligence; and when all is done, it must be the illuminating quick­ning beams of grace, and the shining face of the Eternal Love, that must do the work; though yet your diligence is necessary, to attend the spirit, and use the means, in subserviency to grace, and in expectation of these cele­stiall rayes.

And above all take heed lest you should think, that carnal [Page 113] mirth, or meer security, and casting away the thoughts of death will serve to overcome these fears; or that it is enough that you re­solve against them. For it is your safety that must be lookt to, as well as your present ease and peace: and fear must be so overcome, as that a greater misery may not fol­low: Presumption and security will be of very short continuance. To die without fear, and pass in­to endless desperation, which fear should have wakened you to pre­vent, is no desirable kind of dying. And besides, resolving against the Terrors of death, will not prevent them. When Death draws neer, it will amaze you, in despight of all your resolutions, if you are not furnished with a better An­tidote. The more jocund you have been in carnal mirth, and the more you have presumptu­ously slighted death, its likely [Page 114] your horror will be the greater when it comes. And therefore see that you make a wise and safe preparation; and that you groundedly and methodically cure these fears, and not securely cast them away. Though I have given you to this end, some Di­rections in other writings (in the Saints Rest, and in the Treatise of Self-denyal, and that of Crucify­ing the world,) yet I shall add here these following helps, which faith­fully observed and practised, will much promote your victory over death, which conquereth all the strength of flesh, and glory of this world.

DIRECTION I.

IF you would overcome the danger and the fears of Death, Make sure of your Conversion, that it is sound; and see that you be absolutely devoted unto God, without reserves. Should you be deceived in your foundations, your life, and hopes, and joyes would all be delusory things. Till sin be mortified, and your souls reconciled to God in Christ, you are still in danger of worse then death: and it is but the senslesness of your dead condition, that keep­eth you from the terrors of dam­nation. But if you are sure that you are quick [...]ed by renewing grace, and possessed by the san­ctifying spirit, and made partakers of the Divine nature, you have [Page 116] then the earnest of your inheri­tance, Eph. 1.14. 2 Cor. 1.22. & 5.5. and the fire is kindled in your breast, that in despight of Death, will mount you up to God.

DIRECTION II.

TO Conquer the Enmity of Death, you must live by faith in Jesus Christ: as men that are emptied of themselves, and ran­somed from his hands that had the power of death, and as men that are redeemed from the curse, and are now made heirs of the grace of life, being made his mem­bers who is [...]he Lord of life, even the second Adam, who is a quick­ning spirit. The serious believing study of his design and office, (to destroy sin and death, and to bring [Page 117] many sons to glory,) and also of his voluntary suffering, and his obe­dience to the death of the Cross, may raise us above the fears of death. When we live by faith as branches of this blessed Vine, & are righteous with his righteousness, justified by his blood and merits, & sanctified by his Word and Spirit, and find that we are united to him, we may then be sure that death cannot conquer us, & nothing can take us out of his hands: For our life being hid with Christ in God, we know that we shall live, because he liveth, Col. 3.3. John 14.19. and that when Christ who is our life appeareth, we shall also ap­pear with him in glory, Col. 3.4. And that he will change our vile bo­dies, and make them like to his glo­rious body, by his mighty power, by which he is able to subdue all things to himself, Phil. 3.20, 21. In our own stren [...]th we dare not stand [Page 118] the charge of death, and with it the charge of the Law, and of our Consciences: How dreadfully should we then be foiled and non-plust, if we must be found in no other righteousness, but what we have received from the first Adam, and have wrought by the strength received from him! But being ga­thered under the wings of Christ, as the chickens under the wings of the hen (Mat. 23.37.) and being found then in him, having the righteousness which is through the faith of Christ, the righteous­ness which is of God by faith, we may boldly answer to all that can be charged on us to our terrour! If we know him and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, and are made con­formall [...] to his death, (Phil. 3.9, 10.) if [...]e are dead with him to the world, and risen with him to a holy life; if we have believing­ly [Page 119] traced him in his sufferings and conquest, and perceive by faith how we participate in his victories, we shall then be able to grapple with the hands of death; and though we know the grave must be for a while the prison of our flesh we can by faith foresee the opening of our prison doors, and the loosing of our bonds, and the day of our last and full Redemp­tion. It strengtheneth us exceed­ingly to look unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him, endured the Cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.] When we consider what he endured against himself, we shall not be weary: nor faint in our minds, Heb. 12.2, 3.

DIRECTION III.

LIve also by faith on the Hea­venly Gl [...]ry. As one eye of faith must be on an humbled cru­cified Christ, so must the other be on heaven, on a glorified Christ, and on the glory and everlasting Love of God, which we shall there en [...]oy. This is it that con­quereth the fears of death, when we believe that we shall pass through it into everlasting life. If a man for health will take the most ungratefull potion, (the bitter­ness being short, and the benefit long;) and if he will suffer the Surgeon to let out his blood, and in case of necessity to out off a member; how light should we make of death, that have the as­sured hopes of glory to encourage [Page 121] us! what door so streight that we would not pass through if we could, to our dearest friend! What way so [...]owl that we would not travail, to our beloved home? And shall death seem intolerable to us, that letteth in our souls to Christ? Well might Paul say [To die is gain,] Phil. 1.21. When we gain deliverance from all those sins that did here beset us, and all those sorrows that sin had bred: We gain the accomplishment of our desires, and the end of our faith, the salvati [...]n of our souls: We gain the Crown that fadeth not away; a place before the Throne of Christ, in the Temple of God, in the City of God, the New Jeru­salem; to eat of the hidden Man­na, and of the Tree of life which is in the midst of the Paradise of God, Rev. 2. & 3. We gain the place prepared for us by Christ, in his Fathers house, John 14.1, 2. [Page 122] For we shall be with him where he is, that we may behold his glory, John 17.24. We shall gain the sight of the glory of God, and the feeling of his most precious love, and the fulness of joy that is in his presence, and the ever­lasting pleasures at his right hand, Psal. 16.11. And shall we think much to die for such a gain? we will put off our cloaths, and wel­come sleep, which is the Image of death, that our bodies may have rest, and refuse not thus to die every night, that we may rise more refreshed for our employments in the morning. And shall we stick at the uncloathing of our souls, in order to their everlasting Rest? Set but the eye of faith to the Prospective of the promise, and take a serious frequent view of the promised Land, and this if any thing will make death more welcome, then Physick to the sick, [Page 123] then uncloathing to a beggar, that puts on new or better cloaths. Shall a poor man cheerfully ply his labour all day in hope of a little wages at night; and shall not a believer cheerfully yie [...]d to death, in hope of everlasting glo­ry? so far as heaven is foundly be [...]ieved, and our conversations, and hearts are there, the fears of Death will be asswaged, and nothing else will well asswage them.

DIRECTION. IV.

MOreover, if you will con­quer the enmity of death, do all that you can to encrease and exercise the love of God in you. For love will so incline you to the bles­sed object of it, that Death will not be able to keep down the flame. Were God set as a seal upon our hearts, we should find that Love is as strong as death, and the coals thereof are coals of fire, [...]nd the flame is vehement: many waters cannot quench it, nor can the fl [...]ods drown it, Cant. 8.6, 7. If carnal Love have made the amorous to choose death that they might passionately express it, especially when they have heard of the death of their beloved; and if naturall fortitude and love to [Page 125] their Countrey, have made many valient men, though Heathens, to contemn death, and readily lay down their lives; and if the love of fame and vain glory in a sur­viving name, have caused many to die through pride: how much more will the powerfull love of God, put on the soul to leave this flesh, and pass through death, that we may see his face, and ful­ly enjoy the object of our love? So much as you love God, so much will you be above the ter­rors of the grave, and pass through death for the enjoyment of your beloved. Perf [...]ct Love casteth out fear: and h [...] [...]h [...]t fear­eth is not made perfect in l [...]ve: in death and judgement, we shall have boldness, if our love be per­fect, 1 John 4.17, 18. This make­eth the Martyrs cheerfully lay down their lives for Christ; and love is glad of so precious an [Page 126] opportunity for its exercise and manifestation. Love is a restless working thing, that will give you no rest, till your desires are at­tained, and you be with God. Nothing is so valiant as Love! It rejoyceth when it meeteth with difficulties which it may encoun­ter for the sake of our beloved! It contemneth dangers: It glori­eth in sufferings: Though it be humble, and layeth by all thoughts of merit, yet it rejoyceth in suf­ferings for Christ, and glorieth in the Cross, and in the partici­pation of his sufferings, and in the honourable wounds and scars▪ which we receive for him that died for us.

DIRECTION. V.

TO overcome the terrors and enmity of death, it is neces­sary that we keep the Conscience clear from the guilt of wilfull sin, and of impenitency. If it may be, see that you wound it not; If you have wounded it, presently seek a cure: and live not in a wound­ed state. The face of death will waken conscience, and cause it to speak much lowder then it did in health and in prosperity: And then sin will seem another thing, and wrath more terrible then it did in your security. Conscience will do much to make your burden light or heavy. If Conscience groundedly speak peace, and all be sound and well at home, death will be less terrible, the heart be­ing [Page 128] fortified against its enmity. But to have a pained body, and a pained soul, a dying body, and a scorched Conscience that is afraid of everlasting death, this is a terrible case indeed. Speedily therefore get rid of sin, and get your Consciences throughly clean­sed, by sound repentance and the blood of Christ: For so much sin as you bring to your death-bed, so much bitterness will there be in death. Away then with that sin that Conscience tells you of, and touch the forbidden fruit [...] more, and kindle not the spar [...]s of Hell in your souls, to make the sting of death more venemous. As it will quiet a believing soul through Chr [...]st, when he can say with Hezekiah, Isa, 38.3. Re­member now O Lord I beseech thee, how I have walked before thee in truth, and with a perfect heart, and have done that which [Page 129] is good in thy sight:] and it will be our rejoycing if we have the testimony of our Consciences, that in simplicity and godly sincerity we have had our conversation in the world, 2 Cor. 1.12. So will it be most terrible to die in the fears of unpardoned sin, and to have Conscience scourging us with the remembrance of our folly, when God is afflicting us, and we have need of a well composed mind, to bear the troubles of our fl [...]sh. A little from without is grievous, when any thing is amiss within: Get home therefore to Christ without delay, and cease not till you have peace in him, that death may find your consciences whole.

DIRECTION VI.

REdeeming time, is another means to prevent the hurt­full fears of death. When we fore­know that it will shortly end our time, let us make the best of time while we have it. And then when we find that our work is done, and that we did not loyter nor lose the time that God vouchsafed us, the end of it will be less grie­vous to us. A man that studieth his duty, and spareth for no cost or pains, and is as loath to lose an hours time, as a covetous man is to lose an hundred pound, will look back on his life, and look before him to his death, with greater peace and less per­plexity, then another man. But the thoughts of death must needs [Page 131] be terrible, to a man that hath trifled away his life, and been an unthrift of his time. To think when you must die, that now you are at your last day or hour, and withall to think, how many hours you vainly lost, and that you knew not the worth of time till it was gone, will make death more bitter then now you can imagine. What else is Death but the ending of our Time? and what can be more necessary to a comfor­table end, then faithfully to use it while we have it?

DIRECTION VII.

ANother help against the En­mity of Death, is the Cru­cifying of the flesh, with its affe­ctions and lusts: and the conquest of the world by the life of faith, and crucifying it by the Cross of Christ; and dying daily by the patient suffering of the Cross our selves. When we are loose from all things under the Sun, and there is nothing that entangleth our affections on earth, a great part of the difficulty is then re­moved. But death will tear the heart that is glued to any thing in this world. Possess therefore as if you possessed not, and rejoyce as if you rejoyced not, and use the world as not abusing it: for the fashion of this world doth pass [Page 133] away, I Cor. 7.29, 30, 31. It is much for the sake of our flesh that must perish, that death doth seem so bitter to us: If therefore we can throughly sudue the flesh, and live above its pleasure and desires, we shall the more esily bear its dissolution. Shut up your senses then a little more, and let your hearts grow stranger to this world; and if you have known any per­sons, relations, accomodations after the flesh, from henceforth know them so no more. How terrible is death to an earthly-minded man that had neglected his soul for a treasure here, which must then be dissipated in a moment? How easie is death to a heavenly-mind, that is throughly weaned from this world, and taketh it but for his pilgrimage or passage unto life, and hath made it the business of his dayes, to lay up for him­self a treasure in heaven? He that [Page 134] hath unfeignedly made heaven his end in the course of his life, will most readily pass to it on the hardest terms: For every man is willing to attain his end.

DIRECTION VIII.

IT will much help us against the Enmity of death, to be du­ly conformed to the Image of God, in the hatred of sin, and love of ho­liness, and in special in the point of Justice. When we hate sin throughly, and find it so incor­porated into our flesh, that they must live and die together, it will make death the more easie to us▪ because it will be the death of sin, even of that sin which we most hate, and that God hateth, and that hath cost us so dear as it hath done. When we are in love with [Page 135] holiness, and know that we shall never be perfect in it, till after death; it will make death the more welcome, as the passage to our desired life. When the Justice, even the castigatory and vindictive Justice of God, is more amiable in our eyes, and we are not blind­ed by self-love, to judge of God and of his wayes, according to the interest of our flesh, we shall then consent to his dissolving stroke, and see that the bitterness of death proceedeth from that which is good in God, though from that which is evil in our selves. Doubt­less as Justice is one of the bles­sed Attributes of God, so should it be amiable to man, there being nothing in God but what is love­ly. It is the prevalency of self-love that makes men so insensible of the excellency of Divine Ju­stice, while they speak so respect­fully of his mercy. So far as men [Page 136] are carnall and selfish, they cannot love that by which they smart, or of which they are in danger. But the soul that is got above it self, and is united unto God in Christ, and hath that Image of God, which containeth the impress and effect of all his Attributes, hath such an habit of impartial justice in himself, and such a hatred of sin, and such a desire that the ho­nour of God should be vindicate­ed and maintained, and such an ap­probation of the Justice of God, that he can the more easily consent or submit to the dissolving stroke of death: He hateth his own sin, and loatheth himself for all his abominations, and is possessed with that Justice that provoketh him to self-revenge in an ordinate sort, and therefore doth love and ho­nour that Justice that inflicteth on him the penalty of death; (Especially since Mercy hath made [Page 137] it a usefull Castigation.) As some penitent malefactors have been so sensible of their crimes, that they have not deprecated death, but consented to it as a needfull work of Justice, (as its written of the penitent Murderer lately hanged at London.) So Holiness doth con­tain such a hatred of our own sins, and such impartial Justice on Gods behalf; that it will cause us to subscribe to the righteous­ness of his sentence, and the more quietly to yield to the stroke of death.

DIRECTION IX.

IT will somewhat abate the fears of Death, to consider the Restlesness and troubles of this life, and the manifold evills that end at death. And because this Consideration is little available with men in prosperity, it pleaseth God to exercise us with adversi­ty, that when we find there is no hope of Rest on earth, we may look after it where it is, and ven­ture on death by the impulse of necessity. Here we are continu­ally burdened with our selves, an­noyed by our corruptions, and pained by the diseases of our souls, or endangered most when pained least. And would we be thus still? We live in the continual smart of the fruit of our own folly, and [Page 139] the hurts that we catch by our careless or inconsiderate walking, like children that often fall and cry; and would we still live such a life as this? The weakness of our faith, the darkness of our minds, the distance and strangeness of our souls to God, are a continuall lan­guishing and trouble to our hearts. How grievous is it to us that we can love him no more, nor be more assured of his love to us? that we find continually so much of the creature, and so little of God upon our hearts? that car­nal affections are so easily kindled in us, and the Love of God will scarce be kept in any life, by the richest mercies, the most powerfull means, and by our greatest di­ligence? O what a death is it to our hearts, that so many odious temptations should have such free access, such ready entertainment, such small resistance, and so great [Page 140] success? that such horrid thoughts of unbelief should look into our minds, and stay so long, and be so familiar with us? that the blessed mysteries of the Gospel, and the state of separated souls, and the happiness of the life to come, are known so slightly, and believ [...]d so weakly and imperfectly, and meet with so many carnall questi­onings and doubts? that when we should be solacing our souls in the fore-thoughts of heaven, we look toward it with such strangeness and amazement, as if we staggered at the promise of God through unbelief; and there is so much Atheism in our Affe­ctions, God being almost as no God to them sometime, and Hea­ven almost as no Heaven to them, that it shews there is too much in our understandings. O what a death is it to our minds, that when we should live in the Love [Page 141] of Infinite Goodness, we find such a remnant of carnal enmity, and God hath such resistance, and so narrow, so sh [...], so cold, so unkind entertainment in those hearts that were made to love him, and that should know and own no love but his? What a bondage is it, that our souls are so entangled with the creatures? and so detained from the love of God? and that we draggle on this earth, and can reach no higher, and the delightfull Communion with God, and a Conversation in Heaven, are things that we have so small experience of? Alas, that we that are made for God, and should live to him, and be still upon his work, and know no other, should be so byased by t [...]e flesh, and captivated by self-love, and lost at home, that our affections and in­tentions do hardly get above our selves, but there we are too prone [Page 142] to terminate them all; and lose our God, even in a seeming Re­ligiousness, while we will be Gods to our selves! How grievous is it, that such wonders and glorious appearances of God, as are con­tained in the incarnation, life and death of Christ, and in all the parts of the work of our Redemp­tion, should no more affect us then they do, nor take up our souls in more thankfull admiration, nor ravish us into higher joyes! Alas, that Heaven commands our souls no more from earth! that such an infinite glory is so near us, and we enjoy so little of it, and have no more savour of it upon our souls! That in the hands of God, and before his face we do no more regard him! That the great and wonderfull matters of our faith, do so little affect us, that we are tempted thereby to question the sincerity of our faith, if not the [Page 143] reality of the things believed: and that so little of these great and wondrous things appeareth in our lives, that we tempt the world, to think our faith is but a fancy. Is not all this grievous to an honest heart? and should we not be so far weary of such a life as this, as to be willing to de­part and be with Christ?

If it would so much rejoyce a gracious soul, to have a stronger faith, a more lively hope, a more tender conscience, a more humble self-abhorring heart, to be more fervent in prayer, more resolute against temptations, and more suc­cessfully to fight against them; with what desire and joy then should we look towards Heaven, where we shall be above our strongest faith and hope, and have no more need of the healing graces, or the healing Ordinances, nor be put upon self-afflicting work, nor [Page 144] troubled with the temptations, nor terrified by the face of any enemy.

Now if we will vigorously ap­pear for God, against a sinfull ge­neration, how many will appear against us? how bitterly will they reproach us? how falsly will they slander us, and say all manner of evil against us? and it is well if we scape the violence of their hands! and what should be our joy in all these sufferings, but that Great is our reward in heaven, Mat. 11, 12.

Alas, how we are continually here annoyed, by the presence, and the motions, and the succ [...]ss of sin in our selves and others! It dwelleth in us night and day; we cannot get it stay behind, no not when we address our selves to God, not in our publike wor­ship, or our secret prayers: not for the space of one Lords Day, [Page 145] or one Sermon, or one Sacrament, in ordinary or extraordinary duty. O what a blessed day and duty would it be, in which we could leave our sin behind us, and converse with God in spotless in­nocency, and worship and adore him without the darkness, and strangeness and unbelief, and dul­ness, and doubtings, and distracti­ons, that are now our daily, mise­ries? Can we have grace and not be weary of these corruptions? Can we have life, and not be pain­ed with these diseases? And can we live in daily pain and weariness, and not be willing of release? Is there a gracious soul, that groan­eth not under the burden of these miseries? yea, in every prayer, what do we else but confess them, and lament them, and groan for help, and for deliverance? And yet shall we fear our day of free­dom, and be loth that death [Page 146] should bring us news, that our prayers are heard, and our groans have reached up to heaven and that the bonds of flesh and sin shall be dissolved, and we shall have need to watch, and strive, and fear, and complain, and sigh, and weep no more? Shall the face of death discourage us from desiring such a bessed day? When we have so full assurance, that at last this enemy also shall be destroyed? The Lord heal and pardon the Hypocrisie of our complaints, to­gether with the unbelief and co­wardliness of our souls! Do we speak so much, and hear so much, and seem to do so much against sin, and yet had we rather keep it still, then be stript of it, toge­ther with the rags of our mortali­ty? and yet had we rather dwell with sin, in tempting, troubling, corruptible flesh, then lay them by, and dwell with Christ? O Lord [Page 147] how lamentably have we lost our wisdom, and drowned our minds in flesh and folly, by forsaking thee our light and life! How come our reasonable souls to be so be­witched, as after all our convicti­ons, complaints and prayers, to be still more willing of our sick­ness then of the remedy, and more afraid of this bitter Cup, then of the poyson that lodgeth in our bowels, which it would ex­pell! and that after all the labour we have us [...]d, we had yet rather dwell with our greatest enemy, then by a less to be transmitted to our dearest friend! and had ra­ther continue in a troublesome, weary, restless life, then by the sleep of death to pass to Rest.

And this sin in others also is our trouble, though not so much as in our selves. It maketh those our bitter enemies, whose good we most desire and endeavour, and [Page 148] causeth the unthankfull world to requite us with malicious usage, for telling them the ungratefull truth, and seeking their salvati­on. it makes our friends to be but half-friends; and some of them too like our enemies. It puts a sting into the sweetest friendship, and mixeth smart with all our pleasures; It worketh us grief from precious mercies; and abateth the comfort of our near Relations; So that our smart by the pricks, is often greater then our pleasure in the sweetness of the Rose. No friend is so smoothed, and squared to the temper and in­terest of another, but that some in equality and unevenness doth remain, which makes the closure to be less near and stedfast. Even family relations, are usually so im­perfectly jointed and cemented, that when the winds of tryal are any thing high, they shake the [Page 149] frame; and though they are but low, they find an entrance, and cause such a coldness of affecti­ons, as is contrary to the nature and duty of the relations. Either a contrariety of opinions, or of natural temperature and humours, or else of the dispositions of the mind; Sometime cross interests, and sometime passions and cross words, do cause such discontents and sowrness, such frowns or jea­lousies, or distances, that our near­est friends are but as sackloth on our skins, and as a shoo too strait for us, or as a garment that is unmeet, which pinch and trou­ble us in their use, and those that should be to us as the Apple of our eyes, are as the dust or smoak to them, that vex or blind them. And the more we Love them, the more it greiveth us to be crossed in our love. There is scarce any friend so wise, so good, so suitable to us, or [Page 150] so near, that we can alwayes please. And the displeasure of a friend is as gravell in our shoos, or as Net­tles in our bed, oft-times more grievous then the malice of an ene­my. There is no such doing as this in heaven: because there is no such guest as sin. We shall love each other far more then we do here; and yet that Love shall ne­ver be inordinate , nor in the least divert our love from God, but every Saint and Angel in the Society, shall be loved with most chaste and pure affections, in a perfect subordination to the love of God; and so as that God him­self in them, shall be the chiefest object of that love. It is there that our friends being freed from all their imperfections, do neither tempt us to a carnal Love, nor have any thing in them to discou­rage the love that is spirituall and pure. We have here our passio­nate [Page 151] friends, our self-conceited friends, our unkind, unthankfull selfish friends; our mutable and unfaithfull friends; our contenti­ous friends that are like to ene­mies: and who have used us more hardly then our friends? But when we come to God, we shall have friends that are like God, that are wholly good, and are participa­tively turned into Love; and have­ing left behind them all that was unclean and noysome, and trou­blesome to themselves, they have also cast off all that could be trou­blesome to us. Our love will be there without suspicions, without interruptions, unkindnesses and discontents, without disappoint­ments, frustrations and dissatisfa­ctions: For God himself will fully satisfie us; and we shall love his goodness and glory in his Saints, as well as immediately in himself. Our friends are now lost at the [Page 152] turning of a straw: the change of their interest, their company, their opinions, the slanders of back-biters, and mis-representati­ons of malicious men, can cool their Love, and kill their friend­ship. But Heaven is a place of constant Love: The Love of Saints, as all things else, is there eternal: And yet it decline [...]h not with age. It is a world of Love that we are hasting to: It is a life of love that we must there live, and a work of love, and perfect love that we must be there employed in for ever. If here we have a pure, a dear, a faithful friend, that is without false-heartedness and de­ceit, that loveth us as his own soul, how quickly is he snatcht away by death? and leaves us melt­ed into tears, and mourning over his earthly relicts, and looking upward with grieved hearts, as the Disciples did after [Page 153] their ascending Lord, Acts 1. 9, 10, 11. We are left almost as lifeless by such friends, as the body is left by the departed soul: We have nothing but grief to tell us that we live, and that our souls are not departed with them: we are left in greater lamentati­on, then if we had never known a faithfull friend. And alas, how quickly are they gone, when once God sees them ripe for heaven? when Droans and Dullards live much longer. If we see a Saint thats clear of judgement, and low in humility, and naked-heart­ed in sincerity, and that abounds in love to God and man, thats faithfull and constant to their friend, and is above the pride and vanities of this world, and doth converse by a life of faith above, and is usefull and exemplary in their generation; alas how soon are they snacht away! and we are [Page 154] left in our temptations, repining and murmuring at God, as Jonah, when his gourd was withered, as if the Lord had destinated this world to be the dwelling of un­faithfull, worthless men, and en­vied us the presence of one emi­nent Saint, one faithfull friend, and one that (as Moses when he had talkt with God) hath a face that shineth with the reflected raies of the heavenly glory: when inde [...]d it is because this world is unworthy of them, (Heb. 11.38.) not knowing their worth, nor how to use them, nor how to make use of them for their good: and be­cause when they are ripe and mel­low for eternity, it is fit that God be served before us, and that Hea­ven have the best, and that be left on earth that is earthly: Must Heaven be deprived of its inhabi­tants? Must a Saint that is ripe be kept from Christ, and so long [Page 155] kept from his inheritance, from the company of Angels, and the face of God, and all lest we should be displeased, and grudge at God for glorifying those, whom he de­stinated to glory before the foun­dations of the world; and whom he purchased and prepared for Glory? Must there a place be emp­ty, and a voice be wanting in the Heavenly Chore, lest we should miss our friends on earth? Are we not hasting after them at the heels, and do we not hope to live with them for ever? and shall we grudge that they are gone a day, or week, or year before us? O foolish unbelieving souls! We mourn for them that are past mourning: and lament for our friends that are gone to Rest, when we are left our selves in a vexati­ous, restless, howling wilderness! as if it were better to be here! we mourn and weep for the souls that [Page 156] are triumphing in their Masters joy! And yet we say, we believe, and hope, and labour, and wait for the same felicity [...] Shall the happiness of our friends be our sorrow and lamentation? O did we but see these blessed souls, and where they are, and what they are enjoying, and what they are doing, we should be ashamed to mourn thus for their change! Do you think they would wish them­selves again on earth? or would they take it kindly of you, if you could bring them down again into this world, though it were to reign in wealth and honour? O how would they disdain or abhorr the motion, unless the commanding will of God did make it a part of their obedience! And shall we grieve that they are not here, when to be here, would be their grief?

But thus our lives are filled with [Page 157] griefs. Thus smiles and frowns, desires and denyals, hopes and frustrations, endeavours and dis­appointments, do make a quoti­dian ague of our lives. The per­sons and the things we love, do contribute to our sorrows, as well as those we hate. If our friends are bad, or prove unkind, they gall and grieve us while they live: If they excell in holiness, fidelity and suitableness, the dart that kills them, deeply woundeth us; and the sweeter they were to us in their lives, the bitterer to us is their death▪ We cannot keep a mercy, but sin is ready to take it from us, or else to marr it, and turn it into Vinegar and Gall. And doth not Death (accidentally) befriend us, that puts an end to all these troubles, and lands us safe on the Celestiall shore, and puts us into the bosome of perpetual Rest, where all is calm, and the [Page 158] storms and billows that tost us here, shall fear or trouble us no more? And thus Death shall make us some recompence at last, for the wrong it did us; and the mortal blow shall hurt us less then did the dreadfull apparition of it in our fore-thoughts. Let not our fears then exceed the cause; Though we fear the pangs & throws of travel, let us withall remember, that we shall presently rejoyce, and all the holy Angels with us, that a soul is born into the world of glory: And Death shall gain us much more then it deprived us of.

DIRECTION X.

THE last Direction that I shall give you, to conquer the en­mity of Death, is this: Give up your wills entirely to the will of God, as knowing that his will is your be­ginning and your end, your safety, your felicity and rest, in which you should gladly acquiesce. When you think of Death, remember who it is that sends it; It is our Fa­thers messenger, and is sent but to execute his will. And can there be any thing in the will of God, that his servants should in­ordinately fear? Doubtless his Will is much safer and better for us then our own. And if in gene­rall it were offered to our choice, Whether all particulars of our lives should be disposed of by [Page 160] Gods will or by ours, common reason might teach us to desire, to be rather in Gods hands then our own. The fulfilling of his will, is the care and business of our lives: and therefore it should be a support and satisfaction to us at our death, that it is but the ful­filling of his will. His Justice and punishing will is good, though selfishness maketh it ungratefull to the offender. But his children that are dear to him, and taste no evil but that which worketh for their good, have no cause to quarrell at his will: Whatsoever our surest dearest friends would have us take, or do, or suffer, we are ready to submit to, as being confident they will do nothing for our hurt, (if they do but know what is for our good.) And shall we not more boldly trust the will of God then of our dearest friend? He knows what he hath to do with [Page 161] us, and how he will dispose of us, and whether he will bring us; and his interest in us is more then ours in our selves; and shall we then distrust him, as if we had to do with an enemy, or one that were evil, and not with love and infinite goodness? It is the will of God that must be the ever­lasting Rest, the Heaven, the plea­sure of our souls: And shall we now so fear it, and fly from it, as if it were our ruine? Look which way you will through all the world, your souls will never find repose, nor satisfying quiet­ness and content but in the will of God. Let us therefore commit our souls to him, as to a faithfull Cre­ator; and desire unfeignedly the fulfilling of his will, and believe that there is no ground of confi­dence more firm. Abraham may boldly trust his Son, his only Son, [Page 162] on the will of God: And Christ himself when he was to drink the bitter Cup, submitteth his own naturall love of life to his Fathers will, saying, Not my will, but thine be done. It is a most unworthy abuse of God, that we could be quiet and rejoyce, if our own wills, or our dearest friends might dispose of our lives, and yet are distress [...]d when they are at the dispose of the will God.

But perhaps you will say, It is the error of my own will that hath procured my Death: if it had been meerly the fruit of the will of God, It could be easily satisfied. Answ. Wo to us, if we had not ground of comfort against the errors of our own wills. When our destructi­on is of our selves, our help is of God. So much as is of our selves in it is evil: but so much as is of God is good. I do not say that [Page 163] you should rest in your own wills, nor in your own wayes, but in the will and wayes of God. The rod is good, though the fault that makes it necessary, be bad. The Chastising will is good, though the sinning will be evil: And it is good that is intended to us, and shall be performed in the event.

Object. But how can we rest in the angry afflicting will of God, when it is this that we must be hum­bled under: and it is the will of God that is the condemnation of the wicked. Answ. The effect being from a twofold cause (the sinning will of man, and the punishing will of God) is accordingly good as from the latter, and so far should be loved and consented to by all; and evil as from the for­mer, and so may be abhorred: But to the Saints there is yet greater Consolation: Though affliction is their grief, as it signi­fieth [Page 164] Gods displeasure, and caus­eth the smart or destruction of the flesh; yet it is their mercy, as as it proceedeth from the Love of God, and prepareth them for the greatest mercies. And there­fore seeing God never bringeth evil on them that Love him, but what is preparatory to a [...] far greater good, we may well take comfort in our Death, that it is our Fathers will it should be so.

Ʋse 8.

IF Death shall be conquered as the last enemy, from hence Christians may receive exceeding consolation, as knowing that they have no enemy to their hap­piness, but such as shall be con­quered by Christ; sooner or later he will overcome them all. Let faith therefore foresee the con­quest in the conflict; and let us not with too much despondency hang down our heads before any enemy that we know shall be trod­den down at last. We have bur­densome corruptions, that exer­cise our graces, and grieve the spirit, and wrong our Lord; but all these shall be overcome. Though we have heard, and read, [Page 166] and prayed, and meditated, and yet our sins remain alive, they shall be conquered at last. Our Love, and Joy, and Praise shall be everlasting; but our ignorance, and unbelief, and pride, and pas­sion shall not be everlasting: Our Holiness shall be perfected and have no end: but our sin shall be abolished, have an end. Our friends shall abide with us for ever, and the holy love and communion of Saints shall be per­fected in heaven: But our ene­mies shall not abide with us for ever, nor malice follow us to our, Rest. The wicked have no com­forts but what will have an end; and the fore-thought of that is suf­ficient to imbitter even the present sweetness. And the godly have no sorrows but such as are of short continuance: And me thinks the fore-sight of their end, should sweeten the present bitter Cup, [Page 167] and make our sorrows next to none: We sit weeping now in the midst of manifold afflictions: But we foresee the day when we shall weep no more, but all tears shall be wiped from our eyes, by the tende [...] hand of our mercifull Redeemer. We are now afraid of love it self, even of our dear and blessed Father, lest he should hate us, or be angry with us fo [...] ever. But heaven will banish all these fears, when the perfect frui­tion of the eternal love hath per­fected our Love. Our doubtings and perplexities of mind are ma­ny and grievous, but they will be but short. When we have full possession, we shall be past our doubts. Our work is now to pour out. our grieved souls into the bosome of some faithfull friend; or ease our troubled minds by complaining of our miseries to our faithfull Pastors, that from [Page 168] them we may, have some words of direction and consolation: But O how different a work is it that we shall have in heaven? where no more complainings shall be heard from our mouths, for no more sorrow shall possess our hearts; and we shall have no need of men to comfort us; but shall have comfort as naturally from the face of God, as we have light and heat in the summer from the Sun. When we all make one celestial Chore, to sing the praises of the King of Saints, how unlike will that me­lody be to the broken musick of sighs, and groans, and lamentati­ons, which we now take to be al­most our best! We are now glad when we can find but words, and groans, and tears, to lament our sin and misery: But then our joy shall know no sorrow, nor our voice any sad and mournfall tune. And may we not bear a while the [Page 169] sorrows that shall have so good an end? We shall shortly have laid by the hard, unprofitable, barren hearts, that are now our conti­nuall burden and disease. Love not your corruptions, Christians; but yet be patient under the una­voidable relicts that offend you; remembring that your conflict will end in conquest, and your faith, and watchfulness, and pati­ence will be put to it but a little while. Who would not enter willingly into the fight, when he may before hand be assured, that the field shall be cleared of every enemy? All this must be ascribed to our dear Redeemer. Had not he wrought the conquest, the ene­mies that vex us would have de­stroyed us, and the Serpent that now doth but bruise our heel, would have bruised our head: and the sorrows that are wholesome, sanctified and short, would have [Page 170] been mortall, venemous and end­less.

What suffering then can be so great, in which a believer should not rejoyce, when he is before hand promised a gracious end? What though at the present it be not joyous, but grievous (in it self?) We should bear it with patience, when we know that at last it shall bring forth the peace­able fruits of righteousness to all them that are exercised thereby, Heb. 12.11. If we should be al­wayes abused, and alwayes un­thankfully and unkindly dealt with, or alwayes under the scorns, or slanders, or persecutions of unreasonable men, or alwayes un­der our poverty, and toilsome labours, o [...] alwayes under our pains and pining sicknesses, we might then indeed dismiss our comforts: But when we know that it will be but a little while, and [Page 171] that all will end in Rest and Joy, and that our sorrows are but pre­paring for those Joyes, even Rea­son it self is taught by Faith, to bid us rejoyce in all our tribulati­ons, and to lift up the hands that hang down, and the feeble knees, Heb. 12.12. We make nothing to endure a sudden prick, that by blood-letting we may prevent a long disease. The short pain of pulling out a tooth, is ordinarily endured, to prevent a longer. A woman doth bear the pains of her travail, because it is short, and tends to the bringing of a child into the world. Who would not submit to any labour or toyl for a day, that he might win a life of plenty and delight by it? Who would not be spit upon, and made the scorn of the world for a day, if he might have his will for it as long as he liveth on earth? And should we not then [Page 172] cheerfully submit to our momen­tany afflictions, and the troubles of a few dayes, (which are light, and mixt with a world of mer­cies,) when we know that they are working for us, a far more exceeding eternall weight of glo­ry? 2 Cor. 4.17. Our clamorous and malicious enemies, our quar­lelsome brethren, our peevish friends, our burdensome corrup­tions and imperfections will short­ly trouble us no more. As our life is short, and but a dream and shadow, and therefore the plea­sures of this world are no better; so our troubles also will be no lon­ger, and are but sad dreams, and dark shadows, that quickly pass away: Our Lord that hath begun and gone on so far, will finish his victories, and the last enemy shall shortly be destroyed.

And if the fearful doubting soul shall say, I know this is com­fort [Page 173] to them that are in Christ; but what is it to me, that know not whether I have any part in him? I answer, 1. The foundati­on of God still standeth sure: the Lord knoweth his own, even when some of them know not that they are his own. He knoweth his mark upon his sheep, when they know it not themselves. God doubteth not of his interest in thee, though thou doubt of thy interest in him: And thou art faster in the arms of his Love, then by the arms of thy own faith: as the child is surer in the Mo­thers arms, then by its holding of the Mother. And moreover your doubts and fears are part of the evil that shall be removed, and your bitterest sorrows that hence proceed, shall with the rest of the enemies be destroyed.

2. But yet take heed that you unthankfully plead not against the [Page 174] mercies which you have received, and be not friends to those doubts and fears which are your enemies, and that you take not part with the enemy of your comforts. Why dost thou doubt (poor hum­bled soul) of thy interest in Christ, that must make the conquest? An­swer me but these few Questions from thy heart.

1. Did Christ ever shew himself unkind to thee? or unwilling to receive thee, and have mercy on thee? Did he ever give thee cause to think so poorly of his Love and grace, as thy doubts do intimate thou dost? Hast thou not found him kind when thou wast unkind, and that he thought on thee when thou didst not think on him? and will he now forget thee, and end in wrath that begun in Love? He desired thee when thou didst not desire him, and give thee all thy desires after him: and will he now [Page 175] cross and deny the desires which he hath caused? He was found of thee, (or rather found thee) when thou soughtest not after him: and can be reject thee now thou criest and callest for his grace? O think not hardly of his wonderous grace, till he give thee cause. Let thy sweet experi­ences be remembred, to the shame of thy causeless doubts and fears; and let him that hath loved thee to the death, be thought on as he is, and not as the unbelieving flesh would misrepresent him.

Quest. 2. If thou say that it is not his unkindness, but thy own that feeds thy doubts; I further ask thee, Is he not kind to the unkind? especially when they la­ment their own unkindness? Thou art not so unkind to him as thou wast in thy unconverted state: and yet he then exprest his Love in thy conversion: He then [Page 176] sought thee when thou wentest astray, and brought thee carefully home into his Fold; and there he hath kept thee ever since: And is he less kind, now when thou art re­turned home? Dost thou not know that all his children have their frowardness, and are guilty of their unkindnesses to him? And yet he doth not therefore disown them, and turn them out of his family; but is tender of them in their fro­ward weakness, because they are his own? How dealt he with the peevish prophet Jonah, that was [exceedingly displeased and very angry,] that God spared Nineve, lest it should be a dishonour to his Prophesie; in so much that he wisht that he might die and not live: and after repined at the wi­thering of his gourd, and the scorching of the Sun that beat upon him? The Lord doth gent­ly question with him [Dost thou [Page 177] well to be angry?] and after hence convince him that the mercy which he valued to himself, he should not envy to so many, Jonah 4. How dealt he with the Disciples, that fell asleep, when they should have watcht with Christ in the night of his great agony? He doth not tell them, [You are none of mine, because you could not watch with me one hour;] but tenderly excuseth that which they durst not excuse themselves, [The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak,] When he was on the Cross, though they all forsook him and fled, he was then so far from forsak­ing them, that he was manifesting to admiration that exceeding love, that never would forsake them; and knowest thou not poor com­plaining soul, that the kindness of Christ overcometh all the unkind­ness of his children? and that his blood and grace is sufficient to save thee, from greater sins then those [Page 178] that trouble thee? If thou hadst no sin, what use hadst thou of a Saviour? Will thy Physitian there­fore cast thee off, because thou art sick?

Quest. 3. Yea hath not Christ already subdued so many of thy enemies, as may assure thee he will subdue the rest? and begun that life in thee, which may assure thee of eternal life? Once thou wast a despiser of God and his holy wayes: but now it is far otherwise with thee? Hath he not broken the heart of thy pride and worldliness, and sensuality and made thee a new creature? and is not this a pledge that he will do the rest? Tell me plainly, hadst thou rather keep thy sin, or leave it? Hadst thou rather have liberty to commit it, or be delivered from it? Dost thou not hate it, and set thy self against it as thy enemy? Art thou not delivered from the [Page 179] reign and tyranny of it, which thou wast once under? And will not he perfect the conquest which he hath begun? He that hath thus far deli­vered thee from sin, thy greatest enemy, will deliver thee from all the sad effects of it. The blessed work of the Spirit in thy Conversion, did deliver thee from the bondage of the Devil, from the power of darkness, and translated thee into the Kingdom of Jesus Christ; Then didst thou enter the holy warfare, under his banners that was never overcome, in the victorious Army that shall shortly begin their ever­lasting triumph. The sin which thou hatest and longest to be de­livered from, and art willing to use Gods means against it, is the conquered enemy, which may assure thee of a full and finall con­quest, supposing that thy hatred is against all known sin, & that there is none so sweet or profitable in thy [Page 180] account. which thou hadst not far rather leave then keep.

Quest. 4. Moreover art thou not truly willing to yield to all the terms of grace? Thou hast heard of the yoak and burden of Christ, and of the conditions of the Go­spel, on which peace is offered to the sinfull world: and what Christ requireth of such as will be his Disciples. What saith thy heart now to those terms? Do they seem so hard and grievous to thee, that thou wilt venture thy soul in thy state of sin, rather then ac­cept of them? If this were so, thou hadst yet no part in Christ indeed. But if there be nothing that Christ requireth of thee, that is not desirable in thy eyes: or which thou dost not stick at, so far as to turn away from him, and for­sake him, and refuse his Covenant and grace rather then submit to such conditions, thou art then in [Page 181] Covenant with him, and the bles­sings of the Covenant belong to thee. Canst thou think that Christ hath purchased, and offered, and promised that which he will not give? Hath he sent forth his Mi­nisters, and commanded them to make the motion in his name, and to invite and and compell men to come in, and to beseech them to be reconciled to God, and that yet he is unwilling to accept thee when thou dost consent? If Christ had been unwilling, he had not so dearly made the way, nor be­gun as a suitor to thy soul, nor so diligently sought thee as he hath done. If the blessings of the Co­venant are thine, then Heaven is thine, which is the chiefest bles­sing: And if they be not thine, it is not because Christ is unwilling, but because thou art unwilling of his blessings on his terms: Nothing can deprive thee of them but thy re­fusal: [Page 182] Know therefore assuredly, whether thou dost consent thy self to the terms of Christ, and whether thou art truly willing that he be thy Saviour; and if thy conscience bear thee faithfull witness, that it is so, dishonour not Christ then so far as to que­stion, whether he be willing, who hath done so much to put it out of doubt. The stop is at thy will, & not at his. If thou know that thou art willing, thou maist know that Christ & his benefits are thine. And if thou be not willing, what makes thee wish, and groan, and pray, and labour in the use of means? Is it not for Christ and his benefits that thy heart thus worketh, and thou dost all this? Fear not then if thy own hand be to the Covenant, it is most certain that the hand of Christ is at it.

Quest. 5. Moreover, I would ask thee, Whether thou see not a [Page 183] beauty in Holiness, which is the Image of Christ, and whether thy soul do not desire it even in perfe­ction? So that thou hadst rather, if thou hadst thy choice, be more Holy, then more rich or honoura­ble inm the world! If so, be assu­red that it is not without Holi­ness, that thou choosest and pre­ferrest Holiness? Hadst thou not rather have more faith, and hope, and love to God, and patience and contentment, and communion with Christ, then have more of the fa­vour and applause of many, or of the riches or pleasures of this world? If so, I would know of thee, whether this be not from the spirit of Christ within thee? and be not his Image it self upon thee? and the motions of the new and heavenly nature, which is begot­ten in thee by the Holy Ghost? Undoubtedly it is. And the spi­rit of Christ thus dwelling in thee, is the earnest of thy inheritance. [Page 184] Dost thou find the spirit of Christ thus working in thee, causing thee to love Holiness, and hate all sin, and yet canst thou doubt of thy part in Christ?

Quest. 6. Moreover canst thou not truly say, that Christs friends, so far as thou knowest them, are thy friends, and that which is against him, thou takest as against thy self? If so, undoubtedly, thy enemies also are to him as his ene­mies, and he will lay them at thy feet. Thy troubles are as his trou­bles, and in all thy afflictions he is as carefull of thy good, as if he himself were thereby afflicted. Fear not those enemies that Christ takes as his own. It is he that is engaged to overcome them.

And now when Conscience it self beareth witness, that thus it is with thy soul, and that thou wouldst fain be what God would have thee be, and desirest nothing more then to be more like him, [Page 185] and nearer to him, and desirest no kind of life so much, as that in which thou maist be most service­able to him: Consider what a wrong it is then to Christ, and to the honour of his Covenant and grace, & to thy poor dejected soul, that thou shouldst lie questioning his love and thy part in him, and looking about for matter of accu­sation or causeless suspicion against his spirit working in thee? and that thou shouldst cast away the joy of the Lord which is thy strength, and gratifie the enemy of thy peace? When sickness is up­on thee, and death draws nigh, thou shouldst then with joy lift up thy head, because thy warfare is almost accomplished, and thy Savi­our ready to deliver thee the Crown. Is this a time to fear and mourn, when thou art entring into endless joy? Is it a time of lamentation, when thou art al­most [Page 186] most at thy journeyes end, and ready to see thy Saviours face, and to take thy place in the Heavenl [...] Jerusalem, amongst those millions of holy souls that are gone before thee? Is it seemly for thee to la­ment thus at the door, when they are feasted with such unconcei­vable joys within? Dost thou know what thy Brethren are now enjoy­ing, & what the Heavenly Host are doing? how full they are of God, and how they are ravished with his Light and Love? and canst thou think it seemly to be so unlike them, that art passing to them? I know there is such difference be­tween imperfection and perfecti­on, and between earth and hea­ven, that it justifieth our mode­rate sorrows, and commandeth us to take up infinitely short of their delights, till we are with them. But yet let there not be too great a disproportion between the mem­bers [Page 187] of Jesus Christ. We have the same Lord: and the same spirit; and all that is theirs in possession is in right and title ours. They are our elder brethren, and being at age, have possession of the in­heritance: but we that are yet in the lap of the Church on earth, our mother, and in the arms of our Fathers grace, are of the same family, and have the same nature in our low degree. They were once on earth as low as we: and we shall be shortly in heaven, as high as they: Am I now in flesh, in fears, in griefs? so was David, and Paul, and all the Saints, awhile ago: yea and Christ himself. Am I beset with sin, and compassed with infirmities, and racked by my own distempered passion? so were the many Saints now glori­fied, but the other day. Elias was a man subject (saith James,) to like passions as we are, Jam. 5.17. Am I [Page 188] maliced by dissenting adversaries? Do they privily lay snares for me, and watch my halting, and seek advantage against my name, and liberty and life? so did they by Da­vid, and many other now with Christ? But now these enemies are overcome. Art thou under pains, and consuming sicknesses? are thine eyes held waking, and doth trouble and sorrow waste thy spi­rit? doth they flesh in thy heart fail thee, and thy friends prove silly comforters to thee? So was it with those thousands that are now in Heaven, where the night of calamities is past, and the just have dominion in the morning, and glory hath banished all their griefs, and joyes have made them forget their sorrows, unless as the remembrance of them doth pro­mote those joyes. Are thy friends lamenting thee, and grieved to see the signs of thy approaching death? [Page 189] do they weep when they see thy pale face, and consumed body, and when they hear the sighs and groans? Why thus it was once with the millions that are now tri­umphing with their Lord? They lay in sickness, and underwent the pains, and were lamented by their friends, as thou art now. Even Christ himself was once in his ago­ny, and some shakt the head at him, and other pittied him, who should rather have wept for them­selves, then for him: This is but the passage from the womb of mortality, into the life of immor­tality, which all the Saints have past before thee, that are now with Christ. Dost thou fear the dreadfull: face of death? Must thy tender flesh be turned t [...] rot­ness and dust? and must thou lie in darkness till the Resurrection, and thy body remain as the Com­mon earth? And is not this the [Page 190] case of all those millions, whose souls now see face of Christ? Did they not lie as thou dost, and die as thou must, and pass by death to the life which they have now attained? O then commit thy soul to Christ, and be quiet and com­forted in his care and love. Trust him as the Mid-wife of thy depart­ing soul, who will bring it safe in­to the light and life, which thou art yet such a stranger to. But it is not strange to him, though it be strange to thee.

What was it that rejoyced thee all thy life, in thy prayers, and sufferings, and labours? was it not the hopes of heaven? And was Heaven the spring and motive of thy obedience, and the comfort of thy life? and yet wilt thou pass into it with heaviness? and shall thy approaches to it be thy sor­rows? Didst thou pray for that which thou wouldst not have? [Page 191] Hast thou laboured for it, and de­nyed thy self the pleasures of the world for it? and now art thou afraid to enter in? Fear not poor soul! Thy Lord is there; Thy hus­band, and thy head, and life is there. Thou hast more there, a thousand fold more then thou hast here. Here thou must leave poor mourning friends, that lan­guish in their own infirmities, and troubled thee as well as comforted thee, while thou wast with them, and that are hasting after thee, and will shortly overtake thee. But there thou shalt find the souls of all the blessed Saints, that have lived since the Creation till this age: that are all uncloathed of the rags of their mortality, and have laid by their frailties with their flesh, and are made up of holiness, and prepared for joy, and will be suitable companions for thee in thy joyes. Wy shouldst [Page 192] thou be afraid to go the way that all the Saints have gone before thee? Where there is one on earth, how many are there in Heaven? And one of them is worth many of us. Art thou better then Noah, and Abraham, and David? then Peter & Paul and all the Saints? Or dost thou not love their names, and wouldst thou not be with them? Art thou loath to leave thy friends on earth? And hast thou not far better and more in heaven? Why then art thou not as loth to stay from them? Suppose that I, and such as I, were the friends that thou art loth to leave: What if we had dyed long before thee? If it be our company that thou lovest, thou shouldst then be willing to die, that thou maist be with us. And if so, why then shouldst thou not be more willing to die, and be with Christ and all his holy ones, that are so much more excellent [Page 193] then we? Wouldst thou have our company? Remove then willing­ly to that place, where thou shalt have it to everlasting: and be not so loth to go from hence, where neither thou nor we can stay. Hadst thou rather travail with us, then dwell with us? and ra­ther here suffer with us then reign in heaven with Christ and us?

O what a brutish thing is flesh? What an unreasonable thing is un­belief? Shall we believe, and fly from the end of our belief? Shall we hope, and be loth to enjoy our hopes? Shall we desire and pray, and be afraid of attaining our de­sires, and lest our prayers should be heard? Shall we spend our lives in labour and travail, and be af­fraid of coming to our journeys end? Do you love l [...]fe, or do you not? If not, why are you afraid of death? If you do, why then [Page 194] are you loth to pass into ever­lasting life? You know there is no hope of immortality on earth: Hence you must pass whether you will or not, as all your fathers have done before you, It is there­fore in heaven or nowhere, that endless life is to be had. If you can live here for ever, do. Hope for it, if any have done so before you Go to some man of a thou­sand years old, and ask him how he made shift to draw out his life so long: But if you know that man walketh here in a vain shew, and that his life is as a shadow, a dream, a post, and that all these things shall be d [...]ssolved, and the fashion of them passeth away, is it not more reasonable that we should set our hearts on the place where there is hopes of our conti­nuance, then where there is none [...] and where we must live for ever, [Page 195] then where we must be but for so short a time?

Alas, poor darkned, troubled soul! Is the presence of Christ less desirable in thy eyes, then the presence of such sinfull worms as we, whom thou art loth to part with? Is it more grievous to thee to be absent from us, then from thy Lord; from earth then from heaven; from sinners, then from blessed Saints: from trouble and frailty, then from glory? Hast thou any thing here that thou shalt want in Heaven, Alas, that we should thus draw back from Happiness, and follow Christ so heavily and sadly into life! But all this is long of the enemies that now molest our peace: Indwel­ling sin, and a flattering world, and a brutish flesh, and interpo­sing death, are our discourag­ments that drive us back. But all these enemies shall shortly be overcome.

[Page 196]Fear not death then, let it do its worst. It can give thee but one deadly gripe that shall kill it self, and prove thy life: as the Wasp that leaves its sting behind, and can sting no more. It shall but snuff the Candle of thy life, and make it shine brighter when it seems to be put out. It is but an undressing, and a gentle Sleep. That which thou couldst not here attain, by all our preaching, and all thy prayers, and cares, and pains, thou shalt speedily attain by the help of death. It is but the messenger of thy gracious Lord, and calleth thee to him, to the place that he hath prepared.

Hearken not now to the great deceiver, that would draw thee to unbelief, and cause thee to stagger at the promises of God, when thou hast followed him so far, and they are near to the full performance. Believe it as sure as thou believest [Page 197] that the Sun doth shine upon thee, that God cannot lie; he is no de­ceiver: it was his meer love and bounty that caused him to make the promises, when he had no need for himself to make them: and shall he be then unfaithfull, and not fulfill the promises which he hath freely made? Believe it, faith is no delusion: It may be fol­ly to trust man; but it is worse then folly not to trust God. Believe it, Heaven is not a shadow, nor the life of faith and holiness a dream. These sensible things have least re­ality: These grosser substances, are most drossy, delusory and base. God is a Spirit, who is the prime being, and the cause of all created beings. And the Angels amd other celestiall inhabitants, that are nearest to him, are fur­thest from corporeity; and are spirits likest unto God. The fur­ther any thing is from spirituali­ty, [Page 198] the further from that excel­lency and perfection, which the creatures nearest God partake of. The earth is baser then the air and fire: The drossy flesh is baser then the soul. And this lumpish, dirty visible world, is incompa­rably below that Spiritual world, which we believe and wait for: And though thy conceptions of spirits and the spiritual world, are low, and dark, and much unsa­tisfying; remember still that thy head is there; and it belongeth to him to know what thou shalt be, till thou art fit to know it, which will not be till thou art fit to enjoy it. Be satisfied that thy Father is in Heaven, and that thy Lord is there, and that the Spirit that hath been so long at work within thee, preparing thee for it, dwelleth there: And let it suffice thee that Christ knoweth what he will do with thee, and how he wilt [Page 199] employ thee to all eternity. And thou shalt very shortly see his face, and in his light thou shalt b [...]hold that light that shall fully satisfie thee, and shame all thy present doubts and fears, and if there were shame in heaven, would shame thee for them.

Ʋse 9.

FROM the Enmity of Death, and the necessity of a Con­quest, we may see what a wonder­full mercy the Resurrection of Christ himself was to the Church, and what use we should make of it for the strengthening of our faith. It was not only impossible to man to conquer death by his own strength, and therefore it must be conquered by Christ; but [Page 200] it was also beyond our power to believe it, that ever the dead should rise to life, if Christ had not risen as the first fruits, and convinced man, by eye-sight, or certain testimony, that the thing is possible and already done. But now what a pillar is here for faith? What a word of Hope and Joy is this, that [Christ is risen?] With this we will answer a thousand Cavils of the tempter, and stop the mouth of the enemies of our faith, and profligate our infidelity. As unlikely as it seems to flesh and blood, shall we ever doubt whether we shall rise again, when the Lord came down in flesh among us, that he might die and rise again himself, to shew us as to our faces that we shall rise? This is the very Gospel which we preach, and by which we must be saved; that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and [Page 201] was buryed, and that he rose again the third day according to the Scri­ptures; and that he was seem of Cephas, then of the twelve, and after that he was seen of above five hundred Brethren at once, of wh [...]m the greater part remained alive, when Paul wrote this, who was the last that saw him, 1 Cor. 15.1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. Read over this Chapter again and again, where our Resurection is proved by the Resurrection of Christ.

No wonder therefore that the Chruch in all ages ever since the very day of Christs Resurrection, hath kept the first day of the week as a holy festivall, in re­membrance of it: Wherein though they commemorated the whole work of our Redemption, yet was it from the Resurrection as the most glorious part, that the spirit of Christ did choose the day, This hath been the joyfull day to [Page 202] the Church this 1625. years, or thereabouts: in which the anci­cient Christians would assemble themselves together, saluting one another with this joyfull word, [The Lord is risen.] And this is the day that the Lord hath bles­sed, with the new birth and re­surrection of millions of souls. So that it is most probable that all the six dayes of the week have not begot half so many souls for heaven, as this blessed day of the Lords Resurrection hath done. Let Infidels then despise it, that believe not Christs Resurrection; but let it still be the Churches joy­full day. This was the Lords doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes: This is the day which the Lord hath made: we will be glad and rejoyc [...] there in, Psal. 118.23, 24. In it, Let us sing unto the Lord; let us make a joyfull noise to the Rock of our salvation. Let us come before [Page 203] his pres [...]nce with thanksgiving, and make a joyfull noise to him with Psalms, Psal. 95.1, 2. Every day let us remember the Lords Re­surrection: but on this day let the joyfull commemoration of it be our work.

We may see by the witness of the Apostles, and their frequent preaching the Resurrection of Christ, as if it were the sum of all the Gospell, that this is a point that faith must especially build and feed upon, and that we must make the matter of our most frequent meditations▪ O what vigor it addeth to our faith, when we are encountred by the sight of death, and of a grave, to remember seri­ously that [Christ is risen.] Did he take flesh purpose [...]y that he might die and rise, and shew us how he will raise his members? and will he after all this break his pro­mise, and leave us in the dust for [Page 204] ever? it cannot be. Hath he conquered death for himself alone, and not for us? Hath he taken our Nature into Heaven, to be there alone and will he not have all his members with him? Re­member then Christian, when thou lookest on thy grave, that Christ was buried, and hath made the grave a bed of rest, that shall give up her trust, when his Trumpet sounds: And that his Resurrecti­on is the pledge of ours. Keep therefore thy rising and glorified Lord continually in the eye. If Christ were not risen, our preach­ing were vain, and your faith were vain, and all men were mise­rable, but we most miserable, that suffer so much for a life which we had no ground to hope for, 1 Cor. 15.14, 17, 19. But now we have an Argument that infidelity it self is ashamed to encounter with; that hath been the means of the [Page 205] conversion of the Nations unto Christ; by which we may put even death it self to a defiance; as knowing it is now a conquered thing. If it could have held Christ captive, it might also have held us. But he being Risen, we shall surely rise. Write it therefore Christians upon your hearts; men­tion it more in your conference for the encouragement of your faith; Write it on the grave­stones of your friends, that [CHRIST IS RISEN,] and that [BECAUSE HE LIV­ETH WE SHALL LIVE ALSO,] and that [OUR LIFE IS HID WITH CHRIST IN GOD] though we are dead; and when he shall appear who is our Life, we shall also appear with him in glory,] John 14.19. Col. 3.3, 4. Though we must be sown in cor­ruption, in weakness, and disho­nour, we shall be raised in incor­ruption, [Page 206] strength, and honour, 1 Cor. 15.42, 43. While our souls behold the Lord in glory, we may bear with the winter that befalls our flesh, till the spring of Resur­rection come. [Knowing that he that raised up the Lord Jesus, shall also raise us up by Jesus.— For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inner man is renewed day by day, —while we look not at the things whic are seen, but at the things which are not seen: For the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eter­nall, 2 Cor 4.14, 15, 16, 17, 18.] As we are risen with Christ to new­ness of life, so well shall rise with him to glory.

Ʋse 10.

LAstly, if Death be the last enemy to be destroyed at the Resurrection, we may learn hence, how earnestly believers should long and pray for the second com­ing of Christ, when this full and finall conquest shall be made. Death shall do much for us; but the Resurrection shall do more. Death sends the separated soul to Christ: but at his coming, both soul and body shall be glorified. There is somewhat in death that is penal, even to believers: but in the coming of Christ, and their Resurrection, there is nothing but glorifying grace. Death is the effect of sin, and of the first sentence passed upon sinners: but [Page 208] the Resurrection of the just is the finall destruction of the effects of sin. And therefore though the fears of Death may perplex us, me thinks we should long for the coming of Christ, there being nothing in that, but what tends to the deliverance and glory of the Saints. Whether he will come before the general Resurrection, and reign on earth a thousand years, which some expect, I shall not presume to pass my determi­nation. But sure I am, it is the work of faith, and Character of his people to love his appearance, 2 Tim. 4.8 and to wait for the Son of God from Heaven, whom be raised from the dead, even Jesus who delivered us from the wrath to come, 1 Thes. 1.10. and to wait for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, 1 Cor. 1.7. and t [...] wait for the adoption, the redemption of our bodies, with inward gr [...]anings, [Page 209] Rom. 8.23. O therefore let us pray more earnestly for the coming of our Lord! and that [the Lord would direct our hearts into the love of God, and into the patient waiting for Christ,] 2 Thes. 3.5. O bles­sed day, when the glorious appear­ing of our Lord shall put away all his servants shame, and shall communicate Glory to his mem­bers, even to the bodies that had lain so long in dust, that to the eye of flesh there seemed to be no hope! Though the Maje­sty and glory will cause our Re­verence, yet it will not be our terror, to the diminution of our joy. It is his enemies that would not have him rule over them, whom he cometh to destroy, Luke 19.27. [Behold the Lord cometh with ten thousand of his Saints, to execute judgement upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them, of all their ungodly deeds, which [Page 210] they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him, as Henoch the seventh from Noah prophesied, Jud. 14.15. But the precious faith of the Saints, shall be found, to praise, and honour, and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ, 1 Pet. 1.7. When the chief Shepherd shall appear, we shall re­ceive a crown of glory that fadeth [...]ot away, 1. Pet. 5.4. He that was once [...]ffered to bear the sins of ma­ny, (and n [...]w appeareth for us in the presence of God) shall unto them that look for him appear the second time, without sin, to salvation.] Heb. 9.24, 28. And when Christ who is our life shall appear, then shall we also appear with him in glory, Col. 3.4. The Lord shall then come to be glorified in his Saints, and admired in all them that believe in that day, 2 Thes. 1.10. This is the day that all be­lievers [Page 211] should long, and hope, and wait for, as being the accomplish­ment of all the work of their re­demption, and all the desires and endeavours of their souls. It is the hope of this day that ani­mateth the holy diligence of our lives, and makes us turn from the carelesness and sensuality of the world: [For the grace of God that bringeth salvation, hath ap­peared unto all men; teaching us, that denying ungodliness and world­ly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in this pre­sent world: looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of our great God, and our Saviour Jesus Christ,] Tit. 2.11, 12, 13. The heavens and the earth that are now, are kept in store by the word of God, reserved unto fire, against the day of judgement, and perditi­on of ungodly men. And though the Lord seem to delay, he is not [Page 212] slack of his promise (as some men count slackness:) for a day is with him as a thousand years, and a thousand years but a [...] a day. But the day of the Lord will come as a Thief in the night, in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt wth fervent heat: the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burnt up. Seeing then all these things shall be diss [...]lved, what manner of persons ought we to be in all holy conversation and godli­ness; looking for, and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, where­in the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements melt with fervent heat! But we accord­ing to his promise, look for new heavens; and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness,] 2 Pet. 3.7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13.

Beza marvelleth at Tertullia [...] for saying that the Christians in [Page 213] their holy assemblies prayed pro mora finis (Apologet. c. 39.) And so he might well enough, if it were not that to Christians the Glo­ry of God is dearer then their own felicity, and the salvation of mil­lions more precious then the meer hastening of their own; and the glory of the Church more desira­ble then our personall glory; and the hallowing of Gods name were not to be prayed for before the coming of his Kingdom; and the Kingdom of grace must not neces­sarily go before the Kingdom of glory. But as much as we long for the coming of our Lord, we are content to wait till the Elect be gathered; and can pray that he will delay it, till the Universal Body be made up, and all are called that shall be glorified. But to our selves, that are brought out of Aegypt into the Wilder­ness, how desirable is the pro­mised [Page 214] Land? When we think on our own interest, we cry [Come Lord Jesus, Come quickly:] The sooner the better. Then shall our eyes behold him, in whom we have believed: Not as he was beheld on earth in his despised state; but as the glorious King of Saints, accompanied with the Ce­lestial Host, coming in flaming fire to render vengeance to the rebelli­ous, and Rest and Joy to believing souls, that waited for this day of his appearance. Then faith and patience shall give up their work▪ and sight, and fruition, and perfect love, shall everlastingly succeed them. The rage of persecutors shall no more affright us: the folly of the multitude shall no more annoy us: the falseness of our seeming selfish friends shall no more betray us: the pride of self-conceited men shall no more distu [...]b us: the turbulency of men [Page 215] distracted by ambition shall cast us no more into confusions. The Kingdom that we shall possess shall not be lyable to mutations, nor be tossed with pride and fa­ction as are these below. There is no monethly (or annual) change of Governours and Laws, as is in Lunatick Common-wealths: but there will be the same Lord and King, and the same Laws and Go­vernment, and the same Subjects and obedience, without any muti­nies, rebellions, or discontents, to all eternity. The Church of which we shall then be members, shall not be divided into parties, and factions, nor the members look strangely at each other, because of difference of opinions, or di­stance of affections, as now we find it, to our daily grief, in the mili­tant Church. We shall then need no tedious debates to reconcile us: Unity will be then quickly and [Page 216] easily procured. There will be no falling out in the presence of our Lord. There will be none of that darkness, uncharitableness, selfishness, or passion left, that now causeth our dissentions. When we have perfect Light, and per­fect Love, the perfect Peace will be easily attained, which here we labour for in vain. Now there is no peace in Church or State, in Cities or Countreys, in families, or scarce in our own souls. But when the glorious King of peace hath put all his enemies under his feet, what then is left to make di­sturbance? Our enemies can in­jure us no more, for it is then their portion to suffer for all their for­mer injuries to Christ and us: Our friends will not injure us (as here they do;) because their cor­ruption and weakness is put off, and the relicts of sin, that caused the trouble, are left behind. O [Page 217] that is the sight that saith pre­pareth for, that is the day, the bles­sed day, that all our dayes are spent in seeking, and waiting, and praying for; then shall the glory of holiness appear, and the wis­dom of the Saints be justified by all, that now is justified by her childre [...]! Then it shall be known, Whether faith or unbelief, whe­ther a heavenly or earthly mind and life, was the wiser and more ju­stifiable course: then shall all the world discern between the righte­ous and the wicked, between them that serve God, and them that serve him not, Mal. 3.18. Then sin (that is now so obstinately defend­ed, and justified by such foolish cu [...]ning) shall never more find a tongue to plead for it, or a Pa­tron to defend it more. Then where is the man that will stand forth and break a jest at godliness, or make a scorn of the holy dili­gence [Page 218] of believers? How pale then will those faces look, that here were wont to jear at piety▪ What terror will seize upon those hearts, that here were wont to make themselves sport at the weaknesses of the upright ser­vants of the Lord? That is t [...] day that shall rectifie all judge­ments, and cure the errors and contemptuous thoughts of an holy life, which no perswasions now can cure; that is the day that shall set all straight, that now seems crooked; and shall satis­fie us to the full, that God was just, even when he prospered his enemies, and afflicted the souls that loved him▪ and walkt in their in­tegrity before him. We shall then see that which shall fully satisfie us of the reason and equity of all our sufferings, which here we underwent; we shall marvail no more that God lets us weep, and [Page 219] groan, and pray, and turns away his face, and seems not to regard us. We shall then find that all our groans were heard, & all our tears and prayers did succeed, which we suspect [...]d had been lost. We shall then find that a duty performed in sincerity, through all our lives, was never lost; no nor a holy thought; nor a Cup of cold water that from holy love we gave to a Disciple. We shall then see that our murmurings, and discon­tents, and jealous unbelieving thoughts of God, which sickness, or poverty, or crosses did occasi­on, were all injurious to the Lord, and the fruit of infirmity; and that when we questioned his Love on such accounts, we knew not what we said. We shall then see that Death, and grave, and Devils, were all but matter for the glori­fying of grace, and for the tri­umph of our Lord and us.

[Page 220]Up then my soul, and shake off thy unbelief and dulness; Look up, and long, and meet thy Lord. The more thou art afraid of death, the more desire that blessed day, when mortality shall be swallowed up of life, and the name of death shall be terrible no more. Though death be thy enemy, there is no­thing but friendly in the coming of thy Lord. Though death dis­solve thy nature, the Resurrection shall restore it, and make thee full reparation with advantage.

How glad would I have been to have seen Christ, but with the Wise Men in the Manger! or to have seen him disputing with the Doctors in his Child-hood in the Temple, or to have seen him do his Miracles, or heard him Preach; much more to have seen him as the three Disciples, in his transfigura­tion; or to have seen him after his resurrection, and when he [Page 221] ascended up to heaven. But how far is all this below the sight that we shall have of him when he comes in glory! when the bright­ness of his shining face shall make us think the Sun was darkness: and the glory of his attendance shall make us think what a sordid thing, and childish foolery was all the glory of this world! The face of Love shall be then unvail­ed, and ravish us into the highest Love and Joy, that our natures are capable of. Then doubt, and fear, and grieve if thou canst! What then wilt thou think of all these disquieting distrustfull thoughts that now so wrong thy Lord and thee? If going into the Sanctuary, and fore-seeing the end, can cure our brutish misapprehensions of Gods providences, (Psal. 73.17.) how perfectly will they be cured, when we see the glorious face o [...] Christ, and behold the New Jerusalem in [Page 222] its glory, and when we are num­bred with the Saints that judge the world? We shall never more be tempted then, to condemn the ge­neration of the just, nor to think it vain to serve the Lord, nor to envy the prosperity of the wicked, nor to stagg [...]r at the promise through unbelief; nor to think that our sickness, death and grave, were any signs of unkindness or unmercifulness in God. We shall then be convinced that sight and flesh were unfit to censure the wayes of God, or to be our guides.

Hasten O Lord, this blessed day! Stay not till Faith have left the earth; and infidelity, and impiety, and tyranny have conquered the rest of thine inheritanc [...]! Stay not till selfish uncharitable pride hath vanquished love and self-denyal, and planted its Colonies of Here­sie, confusion and cruelty in thy [Page 223] dominions: and Earth and Hell be turned into one. Stay not till the eyes of thy servants fail, and their hearts and hopes do faint and languish with look [...]ng and waiting for thy salvation. But if yet the day be not at hand, O keep up Faith, and Hope, and Love, till the Sun of perfect Love arise, and Time hath prepared us for Eternity, and Grace for Glory.

FINIS.

Some imitable pas­sages of the life of Elizabeth, late Wife of Mr. Jo­seph Baker.

THough I spoke so little as was next to n [...]thing, of our de [...]r deceased friend, it was not because I w [...]nted ma [...]ter, or thought it unmeet: But I use it but seldom, lest I raise expectations of the like, where I cannot conscio­nably [Page 226] perform it. But he that hath promised to honour those that serve and honour him, (John 12.26. 1 Sam. 2.30.) and will come at l [...]st to be glorified in his Saints, and admired in all them that do be­lieve, (2 Thes. 1.10) I know, will take it as a great and acceptable act of service, to proclaim the ho­nour of his grace, and to give his servants their due on earth, whose souls are glorified with Christ in heaven; though Serpentine enmity will repine and play the envious ac­cuser.

It is not the history of the Life of this precious servant of the Lord which I intend to give you: (for I was not m [...]ny years acquainted with her:) but only some passages, which either upon my certain know­ledge, or her own Diurnall of her course, or the most credible rest imo­ny of her most intimate judicious godly friends, I may boldly publish [Page 227] as true, and imitable in this un­toward distempered generation.

She was born Novemb. 1634. in Southwark neer London: the only child of Mr. John Godeschalk, alias, Godscall. Her Father dying in her Child-hood, she was left an Orphane to the Chamber of London. Her Mother after married Mr. Isa­ac Barton, with whom she had the benefit of Religious Education. But between sixteen and seventeen years of age, by the serious reading of the Book called The Saints Ever­lasting Rest, she was more through­ly awakened, and brought to set her heart o [...] God, and to seek sal­vation with her chiefest care: From that time forward she was a more const [...]nt, diligent, serious hearer of the ablest Minist [...]rs in London▪ rising early, and going far to hear them on the Week-dayes, waiting on God for his confirming grace in the use of those Ordinanees, which [Page 228] empty unexperienced hypocrites are easily tempted to despise: The Ser­mons which she constantly wrote, she diligently repeated at home for the benefit of others; and every week read over some of those that she had heard long before, that the fruit of them might be retained and renewed: it being not novelty that she minded.

In the year 1654. being near one and twenty years of age, after seeking God, and waiting for his re­solving satisfying directions, she consented to be joyned in marriage to Mr. Joseph Baker, by the appro­bation of her nearest friends: God having taken away her Mother the year before. With him she approved her self indeed such a Wife as Paul (no Papist) describeth as meet for a Bishop or Pastor of the Church, 1 Tim. 3.11. [Even so must their Wives be grave, not slanderers, sober, faithfull in all things.] Some [Page 229] instances I shall give, for the imi­tation of others.

1. She was very Exemplary in self-denyal and humility: And having said this much, what abun­dance have I comprehended? O what a beauty doth self-denyal and hu­mility put on souls! Nay what a treasure of everlasting consequence, do these two words express? I shall give you a few of the discoveries. 1. It appeared in her accompanying in London with the holiest, how mean soever, avoiding them that were proud, and vain, and carnal: She desired most to be acquainted with those that she perceived were best acquainted with God, negle­cting the pomp and vain glory of the world.

2. When she was called to a mar­ried state, though her portion and other advantages invited persons of greater estates in the world, she chose rather to marry a Minister [Page 230] of known integrity, that might be a near, and constant guide, and stay and comfort to her, in the matters which she valued more then riches. And she missed not of her expecta­tions, for the few years that she lived with him. Even in this age whe [...] the Serpent is hissing in every corner at faithfull Ministers, and they are contemned both by Prophane and Hereticall Malignants, she preferred a mean life with such [...] one, for her spirituall safety and solace, before the Grandeur of the world.

3. When some inhabitants of the City of Worcester were earnest with me to help them to an able Mini­ster, Mr. Baker then living in Kent had about an hundred pound per annum: and when at my motion he was readily willing to take a great charge in Worcester, upon a pro­mise from two men to make the maintenance fifty pounds a year [Page 231] by a voluntary Contribution, of the continuance of which he had no security; his Wife was a promoter, and no discourager of his self-de­nyall, and never tempte [...] him to l [...]k after greater things. And af­terward, when I was afraid lest the smalness and uncertainty of the means, together with his discou­r [...]gements from some of his people, might have occasioned his remove; and have heard of richer places men­tioned to him, as he still answ [...]red that he had enough, and minded not removing without necessity; so was she ever of the same mind, and still seconded and confirmed him in such resolutions, even to follow Gods work while they had a competen­cy of their own, and to mind no more.

4. Her very speech and behavi­our did so manifest meek [...]ess, and humility, that in a little converse with her it might e [...]sily be discerned.

[Page 232] 5. She thought nothing too mean for her, that bel [...]nged to her in her family and r [...]lation, no employment, food, &c. saying often, that [What God had made her duty, was not too low a work for her.] And in­deed, when we kn [...]w [...]nce that it is a work that God sets us upon, it signifieth much forgetfulness of him and our selves, if we think it too base, or think our s [...]lves too good to stoop to it.

6. No neighbour did seem too mean or poor for her familiar con­verse, if they were but willing.

7. She had a true esteem, and cheerfull love for the mean [...]st of her husbands Relations, and much rejoyced in her comfort in his kin­dred, recording it among her experi­enced mercies.

2. She was very constant and di­ligent in doing her part of family duties: teaching all the inferiours of her family, [...]nd labouring to sea­son [Page 233] them wi [...]h principles of holiness, and admonishing them of their sin and danger: never failing on the L [...]rds day at night to hear them read the Scriptures, and recite their Catechisms, when publike duty, and all other family duty was ended: and in her Husbands absence pray­ing with them. How much the imitation of such examples would conduce to the sanctifying of families, is easie to be appre­hended?

3. In secret duty she was very constant, and lived much in those two great soul-advancing works, Meditation and Prayer: in which she would not admit of interrupti­ons. This inward holy diligence was it that maintained spirituall life within, which is the spring [...]f outward acceptable works. When communion with God, and daily la­bour upon our own hearts is laid a [...]ide, or negligently and remisly [Page 234] followed, grace languisheth first within, and then unfruitfulness, if not disorders and scandalls appear without.

4. Her Love to the Lord Jesus was evidenced by her great affecti­on to his Ordinances, and wayes, and ser [...]ants: A very hearty Love she manifested to those on whom the Image of God did appear, even the poorest and meanest, as well as the rich or eminent in the world: Nor did a difference in lesser mat­ters, or any tolerable mistakes, alienate her affections from them.

5. She was a Christian of much plainness, simplicity and single­ness of heart: far from a subtile crafty dissembling frame, and also from loquacity or ostentation. And the world was very low in her eyes, to which she was long crucified, [...]nd on which she looked as a lifeles [...] thing: Sensuality and pampering the flesh, she much loathed: Whe [...] [Page 235] she was invited to feasts, she w [...]uld oft complain, that they occasioned a difficulty in maintaining a sense of the presence of God, whose com­pany in all her company she prefer­red.

6. She was a very carefull esteem­er and redeemer of her time: At home in her family, the works of her generall and particular calling took her up: When necessary business and greater duties gave way, she was seldom without a Book in her hand, or some edifying disc [...]urse in her mouth, if there were opportunity. And abroad she was very weary of barren company that spent the time in common chatt and dry discourses.

7. She used good company pra­ctically and profitably, making use of what she heard for her own spi­rituall advantage. When I under­stood out of her Diary, that she wrote down some of my familiar discourses, with serious application [Page 236] to her self, it struck exceeding deep to my heart, how much I have sinned all my dayes, (since I under­took the person of a Minister of Christ) by the slightness and un­profitableness of my discourse; and how exceeding carefull Ministers should be of th [...]ir words, and how deliberately, wisely and seriously they should speak ab [...]ut the things of God, and how diligently they should take all fit opportunities to that end, when we know not how silent [...]ear­ers are affected with what we say: For ought we know there may be some that will write down what we say in their Books, or hearts, or both: And God an conscience write down all.

8. In her course of Reading she was still laying in for use and pra­ctice. Her course was, when she read the Scriptures, to gather out passages, and sort and refer them to their several uses, as some [Page 237] that were fit subjects for her Me­ditations: Some for encouragement to prayer, and other duties: Pro­mises suited to various conditions and wants: as her papers shew.

And for other Books, she would meddle with none but the sound and practicall, and had no itch after the empty Books, which make ostentation of Novelty, and which Opinionists are now so taken with; not did she like writing or preaching in envy and strife. And of good Books, she chose to read but few, and those ve­ry often over, that all might be well digested. Which is a course (for pr [...]vate Christians) that tends to avoid luxuriancy, and make them sincere, and solid, and esta­blished.

9 She had the great blessing of a tender conscience. She did not slight­ly pass over small sins without pe­nitent observation. Her Diary records her trouble, when causelesly [Page 238] she had neglected any Ordinance; [...]r was hindered by rain or small occasions: or if she had overslept her self, and lost a morning-exercise in London, or came to late, [...]r if she were distracted in secret duty: And if she mist of a Fast through misinformation & disappointments, and f [...]und not her heart duly s [...]n­sible of the loss, that also she re­corded. So did she her stirrings of anger, and her very angry look [...]; res [...]lving to take more heed against them. Though all ought not to spend so much time in writing down their failings, yet all should watch, and renew repentance.

10. She was very solicitous for the souls of her friends: As for instance, h [...]r Brothers in Law; over whom she exercised a mother­ly care, instructing them, and watch­ing [...]ver them, and telling them of misc [...]rria [...]es, [...]nd counselling them: Causing them to keep a constant [Page 239] course of reading the holy Scrip­tures, and meditating on it (as far as she could:) Causing them to learn many Chapters without Book: and to read other good Books in season: E [...]rnestly praying for them in parti­cular: Much desiring one or both should be Ministers: And when her Father-in-law appointed the eldest to go to France, she was much trou­bled for fear of his miscarriage among strangers, especially those of the Romish Way.

11. She was a serious Mourner for the sins of the time and place she lived in.

12. In summ, for strict, close, watchfull, holy walking with God, [...]ven her Hu [...]band professeth that she was a p [...]ttern to him. As I hi [...] ­ted before, she kept a daily account in writing, (which is now to be see [...] from the beginning of the year 1654.) especially of these particu­lars.

[Page 240] 1. Of the frame of her heart in every dayes duty, in Meditation, Prayer, Hearing, Reading, &c. whether lively, or dull, &c.

2. Of those sins which she h [...]d especially to repent of, and watch against.

3. Of h [...]r Resolutions and Pro­mises, and how she kept them.

4. Of all special Providences to her self, Husband, Brothers, and others, and the improvement of them. As at the death of her Son, who died with great sighs and groans, she recorded her sense of the speci­all nec [...]ssity of holy armour, and great preparation for that encounter when her turn should come to be so removed to the everlasting habitati­on.

5. Of her returns of prayer, what answers, and grant of them she found.

6. Of the state of her soul upon examination: how she found it, and [Page 241] what was the issue of each examina­tion; and in this it seems she was very exact and punctual. In which though many times fears and doubtings did arise, yet hath she frequent records of the discovery of evidences, and com­fortable assurance of sincerity. Some­time when she hath heard Sermons in London, that helped her in her search: and sometime when she [...]ad been reading writings that tended that way, she recordeth what evidences she found, and in what de­gree the discovery was: If imperfect, resolving to take it up and follow the search further: And if she had much joy, she received it with jea­lousie and expectation of some hum­bling consequent. When any grace languished, she presently turned to some apt remedy. A [...] for instance, its one of her Notes, Novemb. 1658. [I found thoughts of Eternity slight and strange, and ordinary imployments very desirable: at [Page 242] which I read Mr. Bs. Crucifixion, and was awakened to Mortificati­on and Humiliation, &c.]

The last time that she had oppor­tunity for this work, was two or t [...]ree dayes before her delivery in Child-bearing; where she finally recorded the apprehensions she had both of her bodily and spiritual State, in these words, [Drawing near the time of my delivery, I am faln into such weakness, that my life is in great hazzard. I find some fears of death, but not very great, hoping (through grace) I die in the Lord.] I only mention these hints, to shew the Method she used in her daily Accounts. To those Christians that have full leisure this course is good: But I urge i [...] not all, upon those that have so great dutie [...] to t [...]ke up that time▪ that they cannot spare so muc [...] to record their ordinary passages; Such must remember what others [Page 243] record, and daily renew re [...]entance for their daily failings, and record only the extraordinary, observable, and more remarkable and memora­ble passages of their lives, lest they lose time from works of greater moment. But this exc [...]llent work of Watchfulness must be performed by all.

And I think it was a considera­ble expression of her true wisdom, and care of her immortal soul, that when any extraordinary neces­sity required it, and she found such doubts as of her self she was not [...]ble to deal with, she would go to some able experienced Minister, to open her case, and seek assistance (as she did more then on [...]e to my dear and ancient friend, Mr. Cross, who in a full age is since gone af­ter her to Christ.) And therefore chose a Minister in Marriage, that he might be a ready assistant in such [Page 244] cases of necessity, as well as a con­tinual help.

At last came that death to sum­mon her soul away to Christ, for which she had so seriously been preparing, and which she oft called a dark entry to her Fathers Palace. After the death of her children, when she seemed to be some what repaired after her last delivery, a violent Convulsion suddenly surprized her, which in a few dayes brought her to her end. Her understanding by the fits being at last debilitated, she finding it somewhat hard to speak sensibly, excused it, and said, [I shall ere long speak another language,] Which were the last words which she spake with a tongue of flesh, and lying speechless eighteen hours after, she departed, August 17. 1659. Blessed are the dead that die in the Lord, from henceforth, yea saith the spirit, that they may rest from [Page 245] their labours and their works do follow them.

Our turn is coming: Shortly we shall also lay by flesh: this is our day of preparation: There is no preparing time but this. Did men but know the difference between the death of the holy and the un­holy, which doth not appear to flesh­ly eyes, how speedily would they turn? how seriously would they meditate? how fervently would they pray? how carefully would they live? how constantly, pain­fully and resolvedly w [...]uld they labour? Did they well consider the difference between dying prepa­red and unprepared, and of what difficulty and yet everlasting conse­quence it is to die well; O then what manner of persons would men be, in all manner of holy conver­sation and godliness? and all their lives would then be a continued preparation for death; as all their [Page 246] life is a hasting towards it.

And now I shall only desire you, for the right understanding of all that I have here said, and to pre­vent the cavils of blinded malice, to observe these three or four p [...]rti­culars.

1. That though I knew so much [...]f her as easily maketh me believe the rest, upon so sure a testimony, and saw her Diary; yet the most of this History of her life, is the collection and observation of such faithfull witness, as had much bet­ter opportunity then I, to know th [...] secrets of her soul and life.

2. That it is no wonder if many that knew her, perceived not all this by her, that is here expressed: For that knowledge of our outward carriage at a distance, will not tell our Neighbours what we do in our Closets, where God hath com­manded us to shut our door upon us, that our Father which seeth in [Page 247] secret, may reward us openly. And many of the most humble and sin­cere servants of the Lord are so afraid of hypocrisie, and hate osten­tation, that their Justification and Glory is only to be expected from the searcher of hearts, (and a few of their more intimate acquain­tance:) Though this was not the case before us; the example descri­bed being more conspicuous.

3. That I overpass the large expressions of her charity, which you may hear from the poor and her inti­mate acquaintance, as I have done; that I may not grate upon the mo­desty of her surviving friends, who must participate in the commenda­tions.

4. That it is the benefit of the living that is my principall end; Scripture it self is written much in History, that we may have mat­ter of imitation before our eyes.

5. If any say that here is no [Page 248] m [...]ntion of her faults, I answer, Though I had acquaintance with her, I knew them not, nor ever heard from any other so m [...]ch as might enable me to accuse her, if I were her enemy. Yet I doubt not but she was imperfect, and had faults, though unknown to me: The ex­ample of holi [...]ess I have briefly proposed: They that would see ex­amples of iniquity, may look abroad in the world, and find enough: I need not be the accuser of the Saints to furnish them. And I think if they enquire here of any thing [...]e­table, they will be hard put to it to find eno [...]gh to cover the acc [...]sers shame.

6. It is the honour of Christ and grace in his members, more the [...] the honour of his servant that I seek.

7. And I would not speak that in commendation of the living, which I do of the dead, who are out of [Page 249] the reach of all temptations, of be­ing lifted up with pride thereby: Ʋnless it be such whose reputati­on the interest of Christ and the Go­spel commandeth me to vindicate.

8. Lastly, I am so far from lif­ting up one above the rest of the members of Christ, by these com­mendations, and from abasing others whose names I mention not, that I intend the honour of all in One, and think that in the substance I describe all Saints, in describing one. I am not about a Popish work, of making a wonder of a Saint, as of a Phaenix or some rare unusual thing. Saints with them must b [...] Canonized, and their names put in the Calendar: and yet their blind malice tells the world, that there are no such things as Saints among us. But I rejoyce in the many that I have communion with, and the ma­ny that have lately stept before me into Heaven, and are safe there out [Page 250] of the reach of malice, and of sin, and all the enemies of their peace; and have left me mourning and yet rejoycing, fearing and yet hoping, and with some desires, looking after them here behind: And the faster Christ calls away his chosen ones, whose graces were amiable in mine eyes, the more willing he maketh me to follow them, and to leave this world of darkness, confusion, wick­edness, danger, vanity and vexation, and to meet these precious souls in Life, where we shall rejoyce that we are past this howling wilderness, and shall for ever be with the Lord.

FINIS.
Baxters Treatise of DEATH.

A Catalogue of Books writ­ten and published by the same Author.
These next following are to be sold by Nevil Simmons Bookseller in Kederminster.

1 True Christiantiy, or Christs Absolute domini­on, and mans necessary self-resignation and Subjection, in two Assize Sermons preacht at Worcester, in 12o.

2 A Sermon of Judgement preach­ed at Pauls, before the Honorable Lord Major and Aldermen of the City of London, Decem. 17. 1654. and now enlarged, in 12o.

3 Making light of Christ and Sal­vation [Page] too oft the Issue of Gospel Invitations, manifest in a Sermon preached at Lawrence Jury, in London, in 8o.

4 The Agreement of divers Mini­sters of Christ in the County of Worcester for Catechizing or per­sonal Instructing all in their several Parishes that will Consent there­unto; containing 1. The Articles of our Agreement. 2. An Exhor­tation to the people to submit to this necessary work. 3. The Pro­fession of Faith and Catechism, in 8o.

5 Guildas Salvianus, The Reform­ed Pastor, shewing the nature of the Pastoral work, especially in private instruction and Cate­chizing, in 8o.

6 Certain Disputations of Right to Sacraments, and the True Na­ture of Visible Christianity, in 4o.

7 Of Justification: four Dispu­tations clearing and amicably de­fending [Page] the Truth, against the un­necessary Oppositions of divers Learned and Reverend Bre­thren, in 4o.

8 A Treatise of Conversion, preach­ed and now published for the use of those that are strangers to a true Conversion, especially the grosly Ignorant and Ungodly, in 4o.

9 One sheet for the Ministry against the Malignants of all sorts.

10 A Winding-sheet for Popery.

11 One sheet against the Quakers.

12 A second sheet for the Mini­stry, Justifying our Calling against Quakers, Seekers, and Papists, and all that deny us to be t [...]e Mi­nisters of Christ.

13 D [...]rections to Justices of Peace, especially in Corporations, to the discharge of their duty to God; written at the request of a Magi­strate, and Published for the use of others [...]hat need it. An open street.

14 The Crucifying of the world, [Page] by the Cross of Christ: With a Preface to the Nobles, Gentlemen, and all the Rich, directing them how they may be Richer, in 4o.

15 A Call to the Unconverted to Turn and Live, and accept of mer­cy, while mercy may be had, as ever they would find mercy in the day of their extremity: From the Living God: To be read in Fa­milies where any are unconvert­ed, in 12o.

16 Of Saving Faith: That it is not only gradually, but specifically di­stinct from all Common Faith.

The Agreement of Richard Bax­ter with that very Learned con­senting Adversary, that hath maintained his Assertion by a pre­tended Confutation in the end of Serjeant Shepherds Book of Since­rity and Hypocrisie: With the Rea­sons of his Dissent in some pas­sages that came in on the by, in 4o.

17 Directions and Perswasions to a [Page] sound conversion. For Prevention of that Deceit and Damnation of Souls, and of those Scandals, He­resies, and desperate Aposta­sies, that are the Consequents of a Counterfeit or Superficial Change, in 8o.

18 The Grotian Religion Discover­ed, At the invitation of Mr. Tho­mas Pierce in his Vindication: With a Preface, vindicating the Synod of Dort from the calum­nies of the new Tilenus; and Da­vid, Peter, &c. and the Puritans, and Sequestrations, &c. from the censures of Mr. Pierce, in 8o.

Confirmation and Restaurati­on, the necessary means of Re­formation, and Reconcil [...]ation; for the Healing of the Corrup­tions and Divisions of the Chur­ches; Submissively, but earnestly tendered t [...] the Consideration of the Sover [...]ign Powers, Magi­strates, Ministers, and People, that [Page] they may awake, and be up and doing in the Execution of so much as appeareth to be necessa­ry, as they are true to Christ, his Church and Gospel, and to their own and others Souls, and to the Peace and Welfare of [...]he Nations; and as they will answer the neglect to Christ, at their Peril, in 8o.

19 Five Disputations of Church-Government, in 4o.

20 A Key for Ca [...]holicks, To open the Jugling of the Jesuites, and satisfie all that are but truly wil­ling to understand, whether the Cause of the Roman or Reformed Churches be of God; and to leave the Reader utterly unexcusable that after this will be a Papist.

The first Part, Containing some Arguments by which the meanest may see the Vanity of Popery; and 40. Detections of their Fraud; with Directions, and Materials sufficient for the Confutation of [Page] their Voluminous Deceits: parti­cularly refelling B [...]verius, Rich­lieu, H. T. Manual, some Ma­nuscripts, &c. with some Propo­sals for a (hopeless) Peace.

The Second Part sheweth (espe­cially against the French, and Gro­tians) that the Catholick Church is not United in any meerly Hu­mane Head, either Pope or Coun­cil, in 4o.

21 A Treatise of Self-denia [...], in 4o.

These Books following are to be sold by Thomas Under­hill, at the Bible and An­chor in Pauls Church-yard, and by Francis Tyton, at the three Daggers in Fleet­street.

22 THe Saints Everlasting Rest: Or, A Treatise of the bl [...]ssed State of the Saints in their enjoyment of God in Glory, in 4o.

23 His Apology, against the Ex­ceptions of Mr. Blake.

And the digression of Mr. Ken­dall.

Animadversions on a late dis­sertation of Ludiomaeus Colvinus, [Page] alias, Ludovicus Molina [...]us.

An admonition to Mr. Eyres: with Mr. Crand [...]ns Anatomy, in 4o.

24 The unreasonableness of Infide­lity, in four parts.

  • 1. The Spirits intrinsick witness to the truth of Christianity, with a determination of this question, Whether the miracles of Christ and his Apostles do oblige those to be­lieve, who never saw them?
  • 2. The Spirits internal Witness of the truth of Christianity.
  • 3. A Treatise of the sin against the Holy Ghost.
  • 4. The Arrogancy of Reason against divine Revelation, repres­sed, in 8o.

25 The Worcestershire Petition to the Parliament, for the Ministry of England, defended, &c. in 4o.

26 His Holy Common-wealth, Or Political Aphorisms, opening the true Principles of Government, &c. in 8o.

[Page]27 The right Method for a setled Peace of Conscience and Spiri­tual comfort, in thirty two Dire­ctions, in 8o.

28 His Confession of Faith, Especi­ally concerning the Interest of Re­pentance and si [...]cere Obedience to Christ, in our Justification and Salvation, in 4o.

29 Christian Concord; or the Agreement of the Associated Pa­stors and Churches of Worcester­shire, with his Explication and de­sence of it, and his Exhortation to Unity, in 4o.

30 His humble advice: Or the heads of those things which were offered to many Honourable members of Parliament, in 4o.

31 The Quakers Catechism, or the Quakers questioned, Their questi­ons answered, and both published for the sake of those of them that have not sinned unto death; And of those ungrounded Novices [Page] that are most in danger of their seduction, in 4o.

32 An account of his present Thoughts concerning the Contro­versies about the perseverance of the Saints, in 4o.

33 His Letter to Mr. Drury for Pacification, in 4o.

34 Plain Scripture proof of Infant Church-membership and Baptism: being the Arguments prepared for (and partly managed in) the publike dispute with Mr.Tombes at Bewdly, Jan. 1. 1649, &c. in 4o.

35 The Sa [...]e Religion; or three Disputations for the Reformed Catholick Religion, against Po­pery: Proving that Popery is against the Holy Scriptures, the Unity of the Catholick Church, the consent of the ancient Do­ctors, the plainest Reason and common judgement of sense it self, in 8o.

36 Catholick Unity: Or, the on­ly [Page] way to bring us all to be of one Religion; To be read by such as are offended at the differences in Religion, and are willing to do their part to heal them, in 12o.

37 The true Catholick, and Catho­lick Church described: And the vanity of the Papists, and all other Schismaticks that confine the Ca­tholick Church to their Sect, dis­covered and shamed: With an Apologetical Postcript against the factious Principles and Writings of Mr. T. Malpas, Mr. T. Pierce, Philo-Tilenus, and such others, in 12o.

Besides his Aphorisms of Justifi­tation (suspended.)

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