[Page] A Mourning-Ring, In Memory of your Departed Friend, Containing.

  • The House of Weeping.
  • The Sick Man's Passing-Bell.
  • Death-Bed-Thoughts.
  • The Fatal Moment.
  • The Treatment of the Dead, in order to their Burial.
  • The Funeral Solemnity.
  • A Conference between the Mourners.
  • The History of those that have died sud­dainly, &c.
  • Observations on the Bills of Mortality.
  • A walk among the Tombs.
  • The Pilgrim's Guide from his Cradle to his Grave.
  • The Author's Tears, or Meditations on his own Sickness, Death and Funeral. &c.

The Second Edition.

Recommended as proper to be given at Funerals

London, Printed for Iohn Dunton, at the Raven, in the Poultrey, 1692.


Courteous Reader,

I Remember a while ago, there was a Question proposed to the Athenian Society; Whether Books are not more proper to be given at Fune­rals, than Bisquets, Gloves, Rings, &c. The Answer they returned was: That un­doubtedly a Book would be a far more convenient, more durable, and more valuable a Present, than what are gene­rally given, as much exceeding them, as the Soul does the Body; and besides, will much better, and more profitably preserve the Memory of a Deceased Friend; if good, teaching him how to follow him; if bad, to avoid his Exam­ple, [Page] that they may escape his End; and the Truths contained therein, we should think, would make a more lasting Im­pression, even than a Sermon it self, much more than a Dull Deaths-head; for having always before our Eyes, the Idea of those for whom 'twas given; they'll still (as it were) Preach from the Dead unto us. Thus far you have the Opinion of the Athenian Society, in this Matter. And certainly nothing can more conduce to our eternal Well-fare, and to put us in mind of Mortality, than Books of this kind; and to the end they may be more Profitable and Useful to Christians, it were to be wished that this Mourning-Ring, which is so Entituled, that it might be given at Funerals, instead of Gloves, Bisquets, Wine. And those that think it proper, may Print in a Sheet of Paper, the most Material Pas­sages, in the Life of their Dead Friend, and bind it up with those Mourning-Ring▪ they give away at his Funeral; and for the more effectually perpetuating the Memory of the Party Deceased. There is room left in the Title of this Book, for inserting his Name and Place of Burial. And indeed, all serious practical Books are proper for this Design, and if Bound in Black, with a Cypher [Page] of Mortality, (as this Mourning-Ring, should be when given at Funerals) will be very decent and proper for such a So­lemn Occasion; to make the serious Im­pressions of our Frailty more strong, was I suppose the first Original of Funeral Ser­mons, and for this purpose they are still Printed, that the consideration of the Dead may further the Holyness and Salvation of the Living. And doubtless, Reading and Meditati­on would be much more decent at such Solem­nities, than Eating and Drinking, and put­ting on Gay Attire. Books of this Subject would make the People mind the present in­stance of Mortality, and affect them with devout Meditations thereon. How sad is it to consider the unsuitable Carriage, of a great many Persons at Funerals; those oppor­tunities are usually spent in idle Chat, in Eating and Drinking, and that sometimes to Excess, so that the House of Weeping is turned into a House of Mirth and Feast­ing. Many have put in Practice this useful Design of giving Books at the Interment of Friends, which if it were more general, the good Effect thereof would be soon discerned. in the Lives of Christians; for it may be fit­ly be said of a Book, given at Funerals, as Divine Herbert says of a Verse, viz. [Page] A Book may find him who a Sermon flies, And turn a Gift into a Sacrifice.

When Christians attend at Funerals, and sit over Graves, and are amused with the doleful Passing-Bell, and look upon Skulls, and dead Bones, and Ghastly Spectacles, up­en the dropping Eyes and despondent Looks of Mourners, they have, if ever, some suitable self-humbling Apprehensions of their own Mortality, which wou'd abide with 'em by a frequent perusal of such a Treatise as this which, puts them in mind of their departed Friends, and serves as King Philip's Boy, who saluted him every Morning with a Re­member Sir you are a Man.

There are no Ingredients in the Shop of Nature that are a sufficient Cordial to forti­fie the Heart against this King of Terrors or his Harbingers: The Velvet slipper cannot fence the Foot from the Gout, nor the Gold Ring the Finger from a Fellon; the richest Diadem cannot quit the Head-ach, nor the pur­ple Robe prevent a Fever; Beauty, Strength, Riches, Honour, Friends, nor any, nor all [Page] can repeal that sentence, Dust thou art▪ and to Dust thou shalt return. Every Fit of an Ague, and every Distemper of this frail Constitution being as a light Skirmish before the main Battle of Death, wherein weak Man being vanquished, is led Captive to his long home: And when once the Lines of Mortality are drawn upon the Face of the fairest Mortal, he becomes a ghastly Spectacle (how lovely soever before) and the conclusion is, Bury my Dead out of my sight. This inevitable necessity, howe­ver it be confesled and acknowledged of all; yet lamentable experience teacheth that in the Christian World most Men so live as though they should never die.

Now, That we may be fitted to encoun­ter with this last Enemy (besides the mani­fold helps which God hath reached to us in his Word, in the Passages of his Providence, in the frequent Examples of Mortality before us continually, and in our own sensible Approaches to the Gates of Death: I say, besides these and infi­nite more,) this Mourning-Ring, by Gods blessing, and our endeavours, may prove no small furtherance in our Pilgrimage. The [Page] whole Work being the most Compre­hensive history of Death, and Fune­ral Monuments, yet extant; each Ser­mon and Meditation therein is as a several Legacy, bequeathed by those upon the Occa­sion of whose Deaths they were written, as by so many Testators, who themselves have made a real Experiment of Mortality, and left these for our Instruction that survive ve them. It is true, the dayly Examples of Mortality are so many real Lectures that by a kind of Dumb Oratory, perswade us to expect our End, but as they are Transcient, so our Thoughts of them Vanish. Therefore, it can be no small Advantage to have al­ways before us, this Mourning Ring, which will abundantly furnish us with Me­ditations in this kind, and be still constantly putting of us in Mind of our Departed Friend.

It was a Custom in former times for Great Men to make them Sepulchres in their Gardens, to mind them of Death, in the midst of the Pleasures of this Life. This pre­sent Work may not unfitly be termed a Garden, wherein whosoever takes a dayly walk, will find that Titles of Honour are written in Dust, [Page] and that Princes and Great Men must Die; that their very Monuments are Mortal, and will in time be found as Archemedes his Tomb (by Cicero) in vepretis, over­grown with Thorns and Briars: And that even Poor Men too, (who have no Comet, Prodigy, or Earthquake to Toll the Knell of their Departure.) But who do as it were steal into their silent Graves with no greater noise than can be made by a Branch of Rosemary, Sprig of Lawrel, or a Black Ribband, have Precious and Immortal Souls to save as well as they with the Methods and Courses both should take to get Saving Grace, and the Knowledge of Christ, which will prove a Possession for them to Eter­nity:

In a word, be thy Estate and Condition what it will be, here thou maist have both Directions to guide thee, and Comforts to support thee in thy Journey on Earth, till thou arrive at thy Heavenly Countrey.

The Author of this Mourning-Ring, spent a great part of his Time in Holy and Devout Contemplations upon the things of another Life as this Excellent Piece of his sufficiently shews.

[Page] Missenden gave him Breath,
And Cambridge Education;
His Studies are of Death,
Of Heaven his Meditation.

His great Care was so to fit and prepare himself for a Happy Death whilst in the World, that after this Life ended he might enjoy Eternal Happiness in that which is to come. Let us then imitate so great a pat­tern of Piety; that so when we come to Die, we may have nothing to do but to Die, and willingly to resign up our Souls into the Hands of Almighty God.

And now being refreshed with these Fragrant Leaves, what shall I say? Bles­sed Author, art thou yet Alive? Breathe longer in this Fruitful Air, and extract more out of this so Rich a Stock. A Scribe so well Instructed cannot have spent all, but must have new or old to bring out of his Treasury. Do not hide, but improve thy Talent; be not only a good and wise, but a faithful Steward, and yield us more of thy pleasant Fruits. Thou hast begun well, who, what shall hinder thee? Thy [Page] present (were there no succeeding) Reward is Spur enough to future Work. Religion is Recreation, and Heaven is the way to Heaven: Good Men are there on this side the Grave. Thy longing Soul was still peeping into it, and sending thy Thoughts as Spies, to view this Promised Land. But art thou at Rest from thy Labours? This (among others) thy Work follows thee, and hath here erected thy lasting Mo­nument. Where-ever thou wer't Buried, Obscurity shall not swallow thee. Eve­ry good Heart that knew thee is thy Tomb, and every Tongue writes thee an Epitaph. Good Men speak well of thee, but above all, God delights in thee. Thy Thoughts were still fluttering upwards, richly fraught with Divine Meditations, and ever aspiring, till unlading themselves in the Bosom of thy Beloved. We are hugely thankful that a few dropt from thee for the Comfort and Example of fainting weeping Mortals below. Thou lived'st in deed, whilst others live only in shew; and hast changed thy Place, but not thy Company.

[Page] But my Paper is short, and my time shorter, I must therefore conclude, for the Book is wholly Printed, and stops only until I have told thee that I am

Thy Friend and Servant till Death, &c.

In Praise of the Author of the Mourning-Ring, with the Explanation of the Frontis­piece Annext to his Book.

WIth sighs and groans, and plunged Eyes attend
The doleful Map of every Mortals End.
Enter the Sable House of Weeping, see
The lively Scene of Humane Misery.
Our Reverend Author could not stop a stream
Of tears, when treating on so sad a Theme:
Survey these pious Lines, and there you'l find
The lively Pourtraict of the Authors Mind.
In tears he preacht, with tears he seem'd to write,
And may be term'd the Christian Heraclite:
He wrote, he spoke 'em: thus whoever says,
Needs not another word to speak their praise.
Since all must follow him, or soon, or late,
His pattern let us strive to imitate.
Our Entrance and our Exit seem to meet,
Our Swadling Bands almost our Winding-sheet.
[Page] Poor Man from Mother Earth does just arise,
Then looks abroad, returns again, and dies.
Some forty years perhaps with much ado
He has prolong'd his tedious Life unto,
Then under Griefs and Cares he sinks away,
His Carkass mouldring into native Clay.
See where his Friends surround the Sacred Urn,
Where all his fond Relations fondly Mourn:
And when the Solemn Bell does sadly call,
The drooping Pomp attends his Funeral,
How he from Fortunes store can only have
A narrow Coffin, and a scanty Grave.
Happy, thrice happy they who had the Grace
To fix their Treasures in a better place:
Who, e're from hence they did their Lodgings move,
Were careful to lay in a Stock above:
Those Death may wound, but never can destroy,
Their House of Weeping proves an House of Joy.
W. S.

Another on the Frontispiece.

SEest thou, frail Man, the Emblem of thy State?
Th' exact Idea of thy hasting Fate?
The Figure's drawn to th' Life, yea ev'ry part
Is grac'd and deckt with more than Zeuxian Art:
The first Scene shows when Man's laid out for dead,
When th' sprightly Soul from the Body's gone and fled:
His mournful Friends no longer can endure
The lifeless Corps, therefore they do immure
And shut it close up in a Sable Hearse,
As totally unfit for all Commerce:
O're which they showre such store of tears that they
Mourning, exhaust their Moisture and decay.
With sorrow-wounded Hearts they sob and cry
Themselves to death, they take their turns to die
Because one's death from th' other draws such grief,
As kills the Soul in spight of all relief:
[Page] Next is he brought on Shoulders of his friends
Along the Streets, where dismally attends
A Croud of Mourners to the Church, where they
Are twice fore-told, and warn'd they are but Clay:
First by the words of th' Preacher, and then next
The Corps tho' tacitly) repeats the Text:
But lo the End's more dismal than the rest,
Which brings the final Consummatum est:
Earth now is laid to Earth, and Dust to Dust,
Earth ope's its Mouth, the Coffin stop it must.
This is the Lot of all, none can it flee:
Earth's not quite full, there's room yet left for thee.
Sic raptim Scripsit H. C.


In the cold House of Mother Earth must lye
Our Mortal Bodies, Holy Souls will fly
Home to their God, their King, their Native Lands,
Not th' weeping House, but th' House not made with hands.
Death then, thou King of Terrors, do thy worst,
Unto Christs chosen Ones his only Trust,
Now, now, thou raging Hector, 'tis too late,
To turn them out this House, this blessed state
Of Bliss: Therefore, thou Tyrant, I reply,
Now dolor's exil'd, and a Weeping Eye.
S. S.


  • THE Introduction to the House of Weep­ing, from p. 1. to p. 15.
  • The house of weeping, p. 15.
The Subjects Treated on under this General Head, are, viz.
  • Jesus wept, John 11. 35. Sermon 1. p. 15.
  • Death parts the dearest Friends, p. 30.
  • The last sigh, p. 36.
  • [Page] Man giveth up the Ghost, and where is he? p. 44.
  • He's carried by Angels into Abraham's Bo­som, p. 49.
  • The Winding-sheet, p. 77.
  • Tears for a Dead Husband, p. 99.
  • The Dying Knell, p. 111.
  • Put on Mourning Apparel, p. 117.
  • But now he is dead, wherefore should I fast? p. 126.
  • Bury my Dead out of my sight, p. 146.
  • The Funeral Procession, p. 150.
  • The Worms shall feed sweetly on him, p. 172.
  • Prepare to follow, p. 174.
  • Look upon every day as your last, p. 205.
  • The Swan-like Note of a Dying Christian, 216.
  • The Eye that hath seen him shall see him no more, p. 231.
  • The Good Mans Epitaph, p. 235.
  • Hopes of a Joyful Resurrection, p. 244.
  • The Yearly Mourner, p. 253.
  • Weep not, she is not dead but sleepeth, p. 255.
  • Good-night, p. 262.
  • Death-Bed Thoughts, p. 81.
  • The Fatal Moment, p. 281.
  • The Treatment of the Dead in or­der to their Burial, p. 284.
  • The Funeral Solemnity, p. 291.

[Page] An Account of the Death and last Sayings of the most Eminent Persons from the Crucifixion of our Blessed Saviour down to this present time: To which will be added (in the second part of the Mourning-Ring) all the Remarkable Deaths omitted in the First Part.

THE CONTENTS OF THE Second Part OF THE Mounrnig-Ring.

Which said Book, is now going to the Press, to supply what was wanting in the First Part, and to compleat this Funeral Gift.

  • ADvice to those that are Diseased either in Body or Mind.
  • The solemn Wishes of a Person giving up the Ghost.
  • [Page] The Death watch.
  • The Sick-man's Passing-Bell.
  • A Conference between the Mourners.
  • The History of those that have died sud­denly, &c.
  • Observations on the weekly Bills of Mortali [...]y.
  • The Author's Tears, or Meditations on his own Sickness, Death and Funeral.
  • The Danger of a Death-bed Repentance.
  • A walk among the Tombs; or, a Discourse of Funeral Monuments, of the several Cu­stoms of Burials from Adam to this time of Epitaphs, and other Funeral Honours.
  • The Pilgrim's Guide from his Cradle to his Grave.
  • A Discourse of the Four last Things, composed chiefly of the Authors own Ex­periences during his late Illness.

This Second Part will be Published in a few Weeks.


IN Page 216. Of the House of Weeping, for Dying Christian, read The Swan-like Note of a Dying Christian.

THE Introduction TO THE HOUSE OF Weeping.

Upon first hearing of the Death of a Neigh­bour, or of a House-weeping for the loss of a Friend, think with thy self, and say,

HOW, is my Neighbour Dead? Then sure­ly the Bell rings out, and tells me in him, that I am Dead also. The Soul of my Neighbour is gone out; and as a Man who had a Lease of 1000 years after the expiration of a short one, or an Inheritance after the Life of a Man, in a Consumption, he is now entred into the possession of his better Estate.

[Page 2] Time was his Race, but newly was begun,
Whose Glass is run.
He in the troubled Sea was heretofore,
Though now on Shore:
And 'tis not long before it will be said
Of me, as 'tis of him, alas! he's Dead.

His Soul is gone; whither? Who saw it come in, or who saw it go o [...]t? No body; yet every body is sure, he had one, and hath none.

If I will ask, not a few Men, but almost whole Bodies, whole Churches, What becomes of the Souls of the Righteous, at the departing thereof from the Body? I shall be told by some, That they attend an expiation, a purification in a place of torment; by some, that they attend the fruiti­on of the sight of God, in a place of rest; but yet, but of expectation; by some, That they pass to an immediate possession of the presence of God. Saint Augustine studied the nature of the Soul, as much as any thing, but the salvation of the Soul; and he sent an express Messenger to Saint Hierome, to consult of some things concerning the Soul: But he satisfies himself with this: Let the de­parture of my Soul to Salvation, be evident to my Faith, and I care the less, how dark the entrance of my Soul into my Body be to my Reason. It is the going out, more than the coming in, that con­cerns us. The Soul of my Neighbour, this Bell tells me, is gone out; Whither? Who shall tell me that? I know not who it is; much less what he was: The condition of the Man, and the course of his Life, which should tell me whither he is gone, I know not. I was not there in his sick­ness, nor at his death; I saw not his way, nor his and, nor can ask them who did, thereby to [Page 3] conclude or argue, whither he is gone. But yet I have one nearer me than all these, mine own Charity; I ask that, and that tells me, he is gone to everlasting rest: I owe him a good opinion, it is but thankful Charity in me, because I re­ceived benefit and instruction from him when his Bell tolled: But for his Body, How poor a wretched thing is that? We cannot express it so fast, as it grows worse and worse. That Bo­dy, which scarce three minutes since was such a House, as that that Soul, which made but one step from thence to Heaven, was scarce through­ly content, to leave that for Heaven. That Bo­dy which had all the parts built up, [...]nd knit by a lovely Soul, now is but a Statue of Clay; and now these Limbs melted off, as if that Clay were but Snow; and now, the whole House is but a handful of Sand, so much Dust, and but a peck of Rubbidge, so much Bone. If he, who as this Bell tells me, is gone now, were some Excellent Artificer, who comes to him for a Cloak, or for a Garment now? or for Counsel, if he were a Lawyer? if a Magistrate, for Ju­stice.

O my God, thou dost certainly allow, that we should do Offices of Piety to the dead, and that we should draw instructions to Piety, from the dead. Is not this, O my God, a holy kind of rai­sing up seed to my dead brother, If I, by the me­ditation of his death, produce a better life in my self? It is the blessing upon Reuben; Let Reu­ben live, and not dye, and let not his men be few: Deut. 33. 6. Let him propagate many. And it is a malediction, That that dyeth,, let it dye, Zechar. 11. 9. Let it do no good in dying, for Trees without fruit, thou by thy Apostle callest, Twice dead, Jud. 12. It is a second death, if none live [Page 4] the better, by me, after my death, by the man­ner of my death. Therefore may I justly think that thou madest that a way to convey to the Egyptians, a fear of thee, and a fear of death, that there was not a house, where there was not one dead, Ex. 12. 30. For thereupon the Egyptians said, We are all dead men: The death of others, should cate­chise us to death, Thy Son Christ Jesus is the first­begotten of the dead, Apoc. 1. 5. He rises first, the eldest Brother, and he is my Master in this science of death: But yet for me, I am a younger brother too, to this man, who dyed now, and to every man whom I see, or hear to die before me, and all they are ushers to me in this School of death. I take therefore that which thy servant Davids Wife said to him, to be said to me; If thou save not thy life to night, to morrow thou shalt be slain, 1 Sam. 16. 11. If the death of this man work not upon me now, I shall die worse, than if thou hadst not afforded me this help: For thou hast sent him in this Bell to me, as thou didst send to the Angel of Sardis, with Commission to strengthen the things that remain, and that are ready to die, Apoc. 3. 2. That in this weakness of body, I might re­ceive spiritual strength by these occasions. If I mistake thy Voice herein, if I over-run thy pace, and prevent thy Hand, and imagin Death more instant upon me than thou hast bid him be, yet the Voice belongs to me? I am dead, I was born dead, and from the first laying of these mud-walls in my conception, they have moldred away, and the whole Course of Life is but an active death. Whe­ther this voice instruct me, that I am a dead Man now, or remember me, that I have been a dead Man all this while, I humbly thank thee, O Lord, for speaking in this Voice to my Soul.

When Invited to the House of Weep­ing, Reflect and say,

DUty obliging me to perform the last Of­fice of Love to my Friend; I will surely follow his Corps to the Grave, that in such a Spectacle (as in a Glass) I may behold my own Mortality; for tho I always carry about me the Symptoms of Mortality, and the marks of Death; yet have I hitherto lived as if I should never die. In small Villages where Instances of Mortality are very rare, there the inward thoughts of their Hearts seem to be, that they and their Houses shall continue for ever, and their dwelling pla­ces to all Generations. In Populous Towns and Cities, there the commonness takes away the sense of Mortality: And oh how sad is it to be­hold the unsuitable Carriage of the generality of Christians at Funerals, those opportunities are usually spent in unprofitable Chat, in Mirth, in Eating and Drinking, and that sometimes to Excess, and thus the House of Mourning is turned into the House of Mirth and Feasting. But Lord, grant that this may not be my practice, when I come to the House of Mourning, where my Friend now lyes dead: Let my Eyes affect my Heart, that I may seriously mind the present instance of Mortality, and be affected with such Meditati­ons as these.

Lord, this Tragedy that is now acting on my de­ceased friend, must ere long (God knows how soon) be acted on me, my Breath is ready to perish, the Earth is gaping for me; yet a little while and I shall be carried down into the Chambers of Death. Lord, teach me so to number my days, that I may apply my Heart unto true Wisdom.

As thou art walking along to the House o [...] Weeping, seriously meditate on Ruth 1. Ver. 17.

WHere thou dyest, will I dye, and there I will be buried; the Lord do so to me, and more also, if ought but Death part thee and me.

Where thou dyest will I dye.

Here Ruth supposeth two things, 1. That she and her Mother in Law should both dye; It is ap­pointed once to dye. 2dly. That Naomi as the eldest should die first: For according to the Ordina­ry custom of Nature, it is the most probable and likely, that those that are most stricken in years, should first depart this life. Yet I know not whether the Rule or Exceptions be more ge­neral; and therefore let both Young and Old prepare for Death, the first may die soon, but the second cannot live long.

And there will I be buried.

Where she supposed two things more; first, That those that survived her, would do her that favour to bury her, which is a common courtesie not to be denyed to any: It was an Epitaph written upon the Grave of a Begger, Nudus eram vivus, mortuus ecce tegor. 2dly. She supposeth they would bury her, according to her instructions, near to her Mother Naomi.


As it is good to enjoy the company of the God­ly while they are living, so it is not amiss, if it will stand with convenience to be buried with them af­ter death: The old prophets bones escaped a bur­ning by being buried with the other Prophets, and the Man who was tumbled into the grave of Elisha, [Page 7] was revived by the virtue of his Bones. And we read in the Acts and Monuments, That the body of Peter Martyr's wife was was buried in a dunghil, but afterwards being taken up in the Reign of Q. Elizabeth, it was honourably buried in Oxford, in the grave of one Frideswick, a Popish-she-Saint; to this end, that if Popery, which God forbid, should over-spread our Kingdom again, and if the Papists should go about to untomb Peter Martyrs Wifes Bones, they should be puzzled to distinguish betwixt the Womans body and the Reliques of that their Saint, so good it is sometimes to be bu­ried with those whom some do account pious; though perchance in very deed they be not so.

The Lord do so to me and more also.

To ascertain Naomi of the seriousness of her in­tentions herein, Ruth backs what formerly she had said, with an Oath, lined with an execration.

If ought but Death.

See here the large extent of a Saints love, it lasts till Death, and no wonder, for it is not founded up­on Honour, Beauty, wealth, or any other finister respect in the party beloved, which is subject to Age or Mutability, but only on the Grace and Pi­ety in him; which Foundation, because it always lasteth, the love which is built upon it, is also per­petual.

Part thee and me.

Death is that which parteth one Friend from another; Then the dear Father must part with his dutiful Child, then the dutiful Child must for­get his Dear Father, then the kind Husband must leave his constant Wife, then the constant Wife most lose her kind Husband, then the care­ful Master must be sundred from his industrious Servant, then the industrious Servant must be [Page 8] sundred from his careful Master. Yet this may be some comfort to those, whose Friends death hath taken away; that as our Disciples, Yet a little while, and you shall not see me; and yet a little while, and you shall see me again: So yet a little while, and we shall not see our Friends; and yet a little while, and we shall see them again in the King­dom of Heaven, for not mittuntur, sed [...], we do not forego them, but they go before us.

When thou art enter'd into the House of Weeping, fall down on thy knees, and say,

OH Lord our God, in thee, and by thee we live, move, and have our Being: As thou didst at the first breath into Man the Breath of Life, and he became a living Soul; so when thou shalt be pleased to command that Breath again out of Mans Body, then will he presently become a dead Carkass; and so short is the Life of Man, that many times he doth but cry and Die; yea, sometimes his Mo­thers Womb doth prove his Tomb, so that he doth not once cry to tell the World that he did once Live.

Neither is the Thread of Mans Life at any time spun so strong, but at one word of thy Mouth it is soon snapt in two: Seeing there­fore we do but Live to Die, we beseech thee (Oh blessed God) let us Die to Live; let us live well, that so we may die well; let Death ne­ver surprize us unlooked for, or unprepared; nor let it ever seize upon us in an unconvert­ed unregenerate State.

Good Lord, let us not so live as to be ashamed to live any longer, or to be afraid to [Page 9] look grim Death in the Face, when it comes to separate our Souls from our Bodies, and to summon them to make their appearance before the great Judge of the Quick and Dead. Let us with thy Servant Job Wait all our appointed time, untill our Change doth come: Seeing it will be our greatest Wisdom to wait for Death, which always waits for us, and to expect that at all times, which will come at some time. and may come at any time.

Let us Pray, and Preach, and Hear, and so spend our time, as those who know and con­sider that all they do, they do it for Eterni­nity, and we shall never have but one Cast for E­ternity: Heaven and Glory is here to be won or lost for ever.

Blessed God, thou hast taught us in thy Word, that it is better to go to the House of Weeping, than to the House of Feasting; for that is the end of all men, (and thou hast said, That the Living will lay it to heart:) Oh Lord, we are this day come to the House of Mourn­ing and Weeping, and we have seen the end of one, yea, of many of our Friends and Acquain­tance, within a short space of time (and in the Death of our Friends, we may read our own Death) and yet shall not we who are le [...]t be­hind them in the Land of the Living, lay these awakening instances of Mortality to heart? shall we hear and see daily our nearest and dearest Re­lations giving up the Ghost, and departing out of this into another World; and yet shall we once think that we shall ever live to enjoy the Plea­sures of this present evil World? But seeing, Lord, this World is a dying World, and all its glory is a dying Glory; let our Minds and Hearts therefore be set upon the Glory of Hea­ven, [Page 10] which is a never fading Glory: Oh! did we believe and consider how much better a Believers future Estate will be, than his pre­sent State is, then should we think that Time is too long before we do, and that Eternity will be too short when we shall enjoy our gra­cious Redeemer upon his Throne of Glory: Let us ever live as those that have one Foot in the Grave already. Thousands and Millions, yea in­numerable Millions of Thousands are gone to their Graves before us, and do we think, that we that are but enlivened Dust, animated Sha­dows, dying Lumps of Clay, can keep our Bo­dies from being a Feast for Worms, or our Souls from seeking new Lodgings in another World? Oh! let us therefore every day be looking into our Graves, and familiarize Death unto our Thoughts, before it comes; let us consider how many signal Admonitions thou dost daily give us of our approaching end; Is not every Distemper and Sickness of Body as it were a little Death, and a fair Warning to put us in mind of our last Change? The Grey Hairs which are here and there upon our Heads, the deep wrinkles which are engraven upon our Foreheads, the loss of Teeth, the Dimness of Sight, our Deafness in Hearing, our Palsie-hands, our feeble trembling Limbs, and the frequent Sight of seeing Friends laid out in their Winding Sheets for Dead, and carried to their Houses of Clay, the silent Grave, are Circumstances and Symptoms serving to remind us, that the time draws near wherein we must die, and that our de­parture is at hand: Let us therefore live as dying Men, and let us die as Living Christians; let us set our House and our Heart in order, re­membring [Page 11] the Text, It is appointed for all Men once to Die, but after this the Judgment.

The Mourners being all come, first sing the fol­lowing Psalms, and after that, Read part of 1 Cor. Chap. 15. to bring your minds into a serious frame.

Psalm 39.

I Said, I will look to my ways, for fear I should go wrong:
I will take heed all times that I offend not with my Tongue.
verse 2 As with a bit I will keep fast my mouth with force and might,
Not once to whisper all the while the wicked are in sight.
verse 3 I held my Tongue, and spake no word, but kept me close and still:
Yea, from good talk I did refrain, but sore against my will.
verse 4 My Heart waxt hot, within my breast, with musing thought and doubt;
Which did increase and stir the fire: at last these Words burst out;
verse 5 Lord, number out my Life and days, which yet I have not past;
So that I may be certify'd how long my Life shall last.
verse 6 Lord, thou hast pointed out my Life in length much like a Span:
Mine age is nothing unto thee, so vain is every Man.
verse 7 Man walketh like a shade, and doth in vain himself annoy,
In getting goods, and cannot tell who shall the same enjoy.
[Page 12] verse 8 Now, Lord, sith things this wise do frame, what help do I desire?
Of truth my help doth hang on thee, I nothing else require.
The Second Part.
verse 9 From all the sins that I have done, Lord quit me out of hand:
And make me not a scorn to Fools that nothing understand.
verse 10 I was as dumb, and to complain no trouble might me move.
Because I knew it was thy work, my patience for to prove.
verse 11 Lord, take from me thy scourge and plague, I can them not withstand:
I faint and pine away for fear of thy most heavy hand.
verse 12 When thou for sin dost Man Rebuke, he waxeth wo and wan,
As doth a Cloth that Moths have fret, so vain a thing is Man.
verse 13 Lord, hear my suit, and give good heed, regard my Tears that fall:
I sojourn like a stranger here, as did my Fathers all.
verse 14 O spare a little, give me space, my strength for to restore:
Before I go away from hence, and shall be seen no more.

Psalm 90. Ver. 3, 4, 5, 6, 10, 11.

THou grindest Man through grief and Pain, to dust, or clay, and then,
And then thou say'st again Return, again, ye sons of Men.
[Page 13] verse 4 The lasting of a thousand years, what is it in thy sight?
As yesterday it doth appear, or as a watch by night.
verse 5 So soon as thou dost scatter them, then is their Life and Trade
All as a sleep, and like the grass, whose beauty soon doth fade.
verse 6 Which in the Morning shines full bright, but fadeth by and by:
And is cut down ere it be night, all withered, dead, and dry.
verse 10 Our time is threescore years and ten, that we do live on mold:
If one see fourscore, surely then we count him wondrous old.
verse 11 Yet of this time the strength and chief,
the which we count upon,
Is nothing else but painful grief,
and we as blasts are gone.

1 Cor. 15. Ver. 19, 20, 21, 22, 26, 50, 51, 52, 53, 54, 55.

IF in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all Men most miserable. But now is Christ ri­sen from the dead, and become the first-fruits of them that slept. For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. The last enemy that shall be destroyed, is death. Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption. Behold, I shew you a mystery; We [Page 14] shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump (for the trumpet shall sound) and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incor­ruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in Victory? O death where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy Victory?


Sermon I.

John 11. 35.‘Jesus Wept.’

WE may learn from the Example of Our blessed Saviour how we are to behave our selves; what we are to do in the Sickness and Death of Friends.

In this World we are all Bennonies, the Sons of Sorrow: The way to Heaven is by Weeping Cross: The Kalender tells us, we come not to Ascen­tion Day, till the Passion Week be past.

It is the great work of a Preacher to con­sider the state of the people to whom he preaches, so to prepare his work before hand, as that he may hit the mark, The Preacher sought out acceptable words; now generally those words are most acceptable to, and best received by [Page 16] the hearers that are suited to their present con­dition. I considering therefore the secret hand of God upon this Congregation, in taking away an eminent Servant of Christ, thought it incum­bent upon me to speak something at this time that might be suitable to the present dispensation of of God towards you, and in meditations this Scripture was cast in.

Jesus Wept.

The occasion of this text is known unto you; in the beginning of this Chapter you read that La­zarus was sick, and the news thereof immediatly sent to Jesus; who notwithstanding he dearly loved him, yet (as the sequel of the story acquaints you) he doth not presently go up to Bethany to visit sick Lazarus. but maketh a stay for several days; the reason wherof is at hand, viz. That a sentence of death might pass upon beloved Laza­rus, and he be laid in the grave, and a stone rouled upon him; and all this in order to the manifestation of the glory and power of Christ in his resurrection.

After Lazarus had been in the grave four days, Christ he comes up to Bethany, and the sisters of Lazarus, viz, Martha and Mary, they come out to meet Jesus; first Martha she cometh, ver. 20. and she saith, Lord If thou hadst been here, my brother had not died, ver. 21. After this comes Mary, vers. 32 and she falls down at Christs feet, saying, Lord If thou hadst been here, my brother, had not died. When Jesus therefore saw her weeping, and the Jews also weeping which came with her, he groaned in the Spirit. and was troubled, and said, Where have ye laid him? They say unto him, Lord, come and see.

Jesus wept.

There is very much wrapt up in the bowels of this little Text: Here we may take notice [Page 17] of the humanity of Christ; it appears by Christs weeping that he is perfect man, as well as per­fect God: That Christ wept, is to be referred, not to his Divinity, but to his Humanity; and so we shall find that Christ was subject as to this, so to all natural infirmities; as hunger, thirst weariness, &c. which may comfort the Saints that groan under natural, as well as sinful in­firmities; and that from the reason why Christ was made in all things like unto his brethren; namely, That he might be a merciful High-priest, Hebr. 2. 17, 18. And though Christ be now in glory, yet he is touched with the feeling of the in­firmities of his people here on earth, Hebr. 4. 15. so touched, as that he cannot but have com­passion on them under all their pressures and grievances whatsoever.

Do'st thou then groan under natural weaknesses and infirmities? Go boldly to the Throne of grace, and Christ will enable thee to bear up under these weaknesses, until mortality shall have put on immortality.

The Subject Matter of this Chapter is La­zarus redivivus; it is a Relation of the miracu­lous raising up of Lazarus from the Dead.

From vers. 1, 3. we may observe thus much, that a Believers interest in the distinguishing love of Christ, doth not exempt him from outward Troubles or bodily Distempers: He whom thou lovest is sick.

From vers. 4. We may observe thus much, that the darkest Dispensations of Providence, they oftentimes usher in the brightest manifesta­tions of God to the Soul, or Gods Glory is most manifested in the Creatures Weakness.

[Page 18] From Vers. 6. We may take notice, it was ever in Christ's intention to manifest his Love and Goodness to Lazarus, and yet he comes not near him for the present, but rather goes away and leaves him upon his sick Bed, and suffers him at last to give up the Ghost.

From Vers. 14. We may observe, that Christ his absence or the suspension of divine Grace and Love, they are in infinite Wisdom ordered for the further advancing of Soul Comfort. Had not Lazarus been sick, had he not been dead and buryed, the Wisdom, Power and Goodness of Christ had never been so eminently discovered as it was towards him.

Martha and Mary cry out, v. 21, 32. Lord, if thou hadst been here our Brother had not died; It is true, Christ might have recovered Lazarus upon his sick-bed; but to fetch him out of the Grave after he had lain stinking four days, was a higher demonstration of his Love, Wisdom, and Power. There is not the like ground that Christ should shew forth his miraculous Power, in raising up our dead Friends from the Grave, as was then; yet this special and useful conclu­sion may by way of Analogy, be deduced from this instance; namely,

That such Comforts and Mercies as are fetch­ed out of the Grave, as have had a sentence of Death pass'd upon them, they are ever sweetest, and tend most to Gods Glory. Isaac had never been so precious to his Father Abra­ham, had he not been so miraculously restored from dying, as he was once.

But we shall hasten to see what is the cause of Christ his weeping, and what the cause was, you may see, ver. 32, 33, 34, 35, 36. when Christ saw Mary come weeping towards him, having her [Page 19] heart running over with Grief, for the depar­ture of her Brother, Christ groaned in Spirit, and was troubled; when they told him where dead Lazarus lay, he wept (as my Text expres­seth.)

Jesus Wept.

Oh Men and Angels, stand and wonder to all E­ternity! When you read these two words, Je­sus wept. What, doth Mary's weeping set Je­sus Christ a weeping? Doth Mary and Mar­tha shed Tears for the Death of Lazarus, and doth Christ his Heart even bleed within him to see them troubled and mourning upon the same account; so the word in the Greek seems to import, [...], he troubled him­self; his own heart stirred up his Affections to be troubled. Doth Christ weep upon the con­sideration of Lazarus Death? Then hence we may learn, that a moderate sorrowing for Friends departed is lawful, tho excessive Sorrow is ve­ry unsuitable to a Gospel Frame of Spirit. Solo­mon tells us, There is a time for Weeping, and Paul tells us, We should weep as though we wept not.

But to come to the thing I chiefly intend, and that is the occasion of Christs weeping, which was the death of Lazarus, a good man: whence I shall observe and prosecute this Doctrine:

That it is a Christ-like temper of mind, to be deeply affected with, and to weep over the death of such as are truly pious.

Here's Lazarus a good man in his grave, and Christ he weeps over him: you have a weeping Christ over a dead Lazarus.

When old Jacob an eminent person was bu­ried, it's said Gen. 50. 10. That they mourned with a great and sore lamentation, and that for 7 days [Page 20] together. And so when Moses died, and was buried by a secret hand, it's said the Children of Israel mourned for him 30 days, Deut. 34. 8.

My dearly beloved, you have lost a Moses, one that was valiant for God in former times, when the people of God in England were coming out of Egypt, and he hath been an eminent lea­der to the saints in their wilderness state, and God did often take him to the top of Pisgah, and gave him there glorious visions, and that not onely of heavenly Canaan, but also of that glorious land of rest and righteousness that the Saints shall injoy in this world. Now that such a Moses should be taken off in the Wilderness, while the people of God are yet short of this good Land, is matter of great humiliation.

Likewise you find the same spirit in those Christians, Acts 20. that Paul (the great A­postle of the Gentiles) did there take his fare­wel of, saying, ver. 25. And now behold, I know that ye all, among whom I have gone preach­ing the Kingdom of God, shall see my face no more. It's said, 37, 38 verses, And they all wept sore, and fell on Pauls neck, and kissed him: Sorrowing most of all for the words which he spake [that they should see his face no more.]

Now by all this it appears, that it is both the duty and property of a Christian (such an one as hath been baptized into the spirit of Jesus) to be deeply affected with, and weep over, the death of such as are truly pious, especially when they are eminent for use and service to Christ, and his people.

We shall now give you the reasons why it is so, and cannot be otherwise, but that gracious [Page 21] persons must needs weep over the death of good men.

First, Because every stroke in this kind, puts a serious heart in mind of its own mortality, tells us that we are dying creatures, and that's a very serious consideration to every awakened soul. The living, the living will lay it to heart, saith Solomon, Eccl. 7. 2. Alas my Brethren 'tis a serious thing to dye. And the stroke of death upon others, tells us that die we must, and how soon we know not: This Evening sun may see us dead, it went out Early this morning to score us out this lodging of a Tomb. And oh happy, thrice happy is that person that can die well. Now such strokes as these put a se­rious soul in mind of dying. There's none present knows who may go to the grave next. That's the First; but then,

2. It Springs from that Sympathy that is both in nature, and grace: first in nature, when God takes away a husband, a Father, a Child, &c. this cuts deep, and affects much. Abraham he mourns over beloved Sarah; David over Absolon, though a rebellious son. To be stupid, and not to mind the hand of God when he smites our near and dear relations, doth declare, that we do not onely want grace, but natural affection; And then in Grace there is also a great sympa­thy: if God smites one member of the Church, the rest are affected with it: If a Paul, a Mi­nister of Christ, a pastor, a spiritual Father, comes to take his farewell of his people, and tell them that they shall never see his face more; Oh what weeping, and mourning, and lamenting is there at his departure.

[Page 22] 3. The perishing of good men is a just cause of weeping, and that because they are a great blessing to the nations, cities, families, &c. where they are cast. It fares either the better, or the worse with such places for their sake. When God destroyed the old world, the family of Noah was saved for Noahs sake, Gen. 7.

Profane wretches are ready to wish the people of God all out of the world; but alas! what would then these wretches do? they are beholding to the saints for their very beings, and for the continuance of all their mercies.

When God hath but once gathered in his e­lect, and done his work in Zion, he will soon pull the world about these mens ears: If the righteous be taken away, he is taken away from the evill to come, (Isa 57. 1.) Wo to Sodom, if Lot depart; and so I may say, Wo to Eng­land, if the righteous should be taken away; Wo to Graffham whenever thou ceasest to be a refuge to the saints, whenever thy gates shall be shut against the ministers and people of the Lord Jesus.

The Children of Israel, though they slight­ed and despised the Prophets, would in time of distress come to them for Prayer, 1 Sam. 7. 8, 9. and 12, 19. Yea, Pharaoh, as proud, and as high as he was, yet when the Plague was upon him, Moses he must be sent for, and be entreated to pray for him, and his people.

And thus much for the Reasons of the Doct­rine, shewing why the People of God must needs be affected with, and Weep over the Death of Religious Persons.

We shall now proceed to Application.

And first it affords matter of information; as First, if it be a Christ-like Frame to Weep [Page 23] over the Death of such as are truly pious, it informs us, how unlike to Christ such are, who though they plead for Christian Burial, yet do attend Funeral Solemnities with a vain, wicked, ungodly Spirit, and Carriage, making the house of Weeping a House of Laughter, and filling them­selves with Wine (wherein is excess) until they become more like beasts than men, which is a practice too common at Funerals.

You may soon judge how fit such persons are to attend upon a Funeral Sermon; but in­deed I am apt to think, Funeral Sermons have generally been rather for Ostentation, and Vain Glory, than for Profit.

Hereby is likewise condemned that heathenish practice of Ringing of Bells, so soon as ever Fu­neral Solemnities are performed.

How unsuitable is it, that so soon as ever the Husband, or Wife, or a godly Friend is laid in the Earth, to set the Bells a Ringing, which im­ports matter of joy rather than of sorrow?

2. If it be a Christ-like-Frame of Spirit, to weep over the Deaths of good men,. it informs us how unlike to Christ that Spirit is, whereby men do censure, and reproach good men when taken away by Death.

And I do the rather mention this, because some have taken the boldness to judge and cen­sure this Eminent Servant of Christ now in Glo­ry, and to speak very unworthily concerning him, since his Death.

How unlike to Christ is this Spirit? Thou that shouldst be judging and condemning thy self for Non-improvement of so great a mercy, art judging this Eminent servant of Christ now dead. The Liturgy of the Church of England will teach thee better; for let persons be never so vile [Page 24] in their lives, yet when they come to be laid in the Grave, then they are dear Brethren and Sisters.

Therefore away with this Spirit, to Hell with it; for from thence it came. Let it suffice, That this glorified Saint suffered much in this kind while he was living: I am apt to think the Heats and Passions, and rash Censures of Professors, hath made him oft go home with a sad Heart, and cost him many a Tear in pri­vate: Suffer him to be quiet in his Grave; let this his suffering suffice, let not his name suffer now he is dead; suffer him to be quiet in his Grave; leave his judgment to the Lord, and let it be your Work to improve those many Sermons that he hath in the fear of his God preach'd unto you.

2. Who made thee Lord over thy Brothers Conscience? Must all professors be condemned by thee, be­cause they cannot see with thy eyes, and tread in thy steps? By what authority doest thou im­pose thy particular light and perswasion upon thy brother; & that so, as almost to un-saint him? This imposing spirit is an Antichristian spirit evermore.

The next use may be of Exhortation. Is it so, that it is a Christ-like Frame of Spirit to be deeply affected with, and to weep over the death of such as are truly pious? Then it concerns us seriously to consider the Providences of God this way, and that more generally and more par­ticularly. First, more generally, God hath late­ly made sad breaches upon many of the Fami­lies of his precious Servants; many a flourishing Family hath mouldred away in a little time: And God hath lately taken away many very famous Instruments, both Ministers and others; so that we have cause to cry out with the Psalmist, [Page 25] Psal. 12 1. Help Lord, for the Godly Man ceaseth; for the faithful fail from among the Children of Men.

But Secondly, and more particularly, I would beg you of this Congregation to consider the present stroke of God upon you, in taking a­way your worthy Pastor; his Death justly calls for weeping and Tears; if you consider,

First, That he was one that had love for all Saints: he had room in his heart for every soul that he did judge to be received into the heart of Christ: he held communion with the Saints, not upon the account of this or that form, or name, but upon the account of union with the Lord Jesus: he loved no man upon the account of opinion, but upon the account of union with Christ, and this he hath declared many a time in this Congregation. There was hardly a mem­ber that he did in the name of Christ and the Church give the right hand of fellowship unto, but he did acquaint them with this his princi­ple; told them that Union with Christ was the ground of Communion among the Saints; and the reason of their admission was not their being of this or that opinion, but for that they were judged persons interested in Christ, and such who (by virtue of Christs purchase) were heirs of that glory above that must receive all Saints (not as Church of England men, Presbyterians, Indepen­dants, or Anabaptists, &c. but as Saints, into its e­verlasting habitations.

Secondly, His Death justly calls for your Weep­ing and Tears, for that you have lost a Pastor, who had great light in the Covenant of Grace, he preacht that Doctrine with the greatest alacrity, and raisedness of spirit imaginable. In the handling of other subjects he was more streight­ned [Page 26] and discomposed; but when he came to speak of the unsearchable riches of the Grace of Christ, he was as an Angel of God, lifted up above him­self: he had a flood of words, and yet seemed to want words to express what he did know, and what he did enjoy of divine grace and fa­vour. This being true must needs be great.

To lose a pure Gospel Preacher is a great loss: Eternity depends upon a right understanding of the great Doctrine of Justification by Christ. Eternity depends not upon being baptized once or twice, upon this or the other Form; we may be guilty of mistakes about the circumstances of worship, and yet be happy; but if we mistake about the great mat­ter of our Justification by Christ, we are lost for ever.

Thirdly, His Death justly calls for Weeping, for as much as we have all lost the Conversation of one who was an Experimental Christian, one that had much communion with God, and much expe­rience of his goodness, as you have heard him often express: Many a Preacher dishes out largely to others, of that which he tastes but little himself. I am apt to think, many a faithful Minister of Christ lives but low, in comparison to what this blessed Saint enjoyed. By this his Experience, he was enabled to speak a word in due season to the weary Soul.

He walked close with God in his Family; he was not a Saint abroad, and a Devil at home; but made it appear that he was really good, by this, that he was relatively good, good in his Re­lations; a good Husband, a good Father, &c.

He sate loose from this World; he made not gain his godliness; he did not design to make Mer­chandize of Christ and the Gospel.

His discourse was mostly heavenly, and Spiritu­al: [Page 27] If other discourse was in hand, he was but dull Company, he had little to say: but if the Conference were Heavenly, he was as upon the Wing, as a fish in the Water, and a Bird in the Air, &c. He would often say, with pious Dod, come, enough of the World, now let us talk of Heaven.

If it be here objected, that he was in his younger years of a vain and slight conversati­on; I answer,

First, Divine Love rideth in greatest triumph, when it hath the greatest sinners following it as it's Captives.

Secondly, Some in the Church of Corinth that did heartily close with Christ, were before their Con­version very Vile and Wicked, see 1 Cor. 6. 9, 10, 11. Such were some of you, but ye are wash­ed, &c. But,

Thirdly, This blessed Saint would to his dying day, acknowledge his former vanity, to his own shame, and the lifting up of the Riches of free grace; and mind what the Apostle saith, 1 John 1. 9. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to for­give our sins, and to cleanse us from all un­righteousness.

I shall now close up all with a word or two by way of Caution; and that

First, Though this stroke of God be just matter of weeping and sorrow, yet you must take heed of a murmuring Spirit: You have cause to be displeased with your selves, and your sins, but not with God, because God takes away nothing but what he first gave. The Person and gifts of this Saint, were given unto you by the Lord; he hath taken nothing but his own. Learn there­fore to say with Job Chap. 1. 21. The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.

[Page 28] Secondly, Though you are to weep under this stroke, yet take heed of mourning as those with­out hope; without hope, I say, 1. With respect to him; his happiness is unquestionable: Your loss is his gain. He is taken up into glory, and hath there communion with God. He is now where God is served, adored and glorified with one heart, and with one consent.

Secondly, Weep not without Hope with respect to your selves, as if God were not able to make up this loss. I remember a Relation of a Lady, from whom it pleased God to take an only Son, that some­time after a Friend coming to visit her, and bemoan­ing this her sad loss, she breaks forth into these ex­pressions, [I profess (saith she) God can never make me amends for the taking away of that Son] A dreadful speech it was; take heed (my friends) of this Spirit. It's true, your loss is great, but God is able to supply it; and that either,

First, By causing the Spirit of Elijah to fall upon Elisha, by anointing and raising up of some other to head and feed you in the room of this his Servant. Or 2dly. He can feed you himself with­out a Minister: God can fill up the room of Ministry and Ordinances. Indeed let God be absent, and there's nothing can fill up his Room: It's not Husband, Wife, Children, Estate, Liberty, Pastors, Ordinances, &c. can supply the want of God: But now let God be present, and that is above, and more than all.

Lastly, Such strokes should teach us all to provide for death. God takes away our Leaders, and we must follow them: Those that would not follow the Counsel and advice of this pious Di­vine, while living, must follow him to the Grave now dead; to the Grave we must all go, and [Page 29] the Lord knows how soon: Of what import therefore is it, that we all manage matters so while we live, as that when we come to die we may die in peace, and in full assurance of E­ternal Life? Our present Time, is but a dressing Room for Eternity; let us therefore perform every thing with this Proviso, That I may die well. I am so to buy, sell, and converse with Creatures, that I may die well. I am so to hear, pray, read, receive the Sacrament, have Communion with the Saints, as that I may die well, die in peace; all is to be done in order to dying well.

Such, Death may wound, but never can destroy,
Their House of weeping proves an House of joy.

Death parts the dearest Friends.

WHen a man goes to his Long Home, all the pleasure in his Society is dead with him; nothing remains of it, but the remembrance, which serves only to aggravate, and heighten the Grief of the Surviver. 'Twas a true saying of one—Aura secunda bonus socius: A good companion is as a prosperous Gale, carrying a Man pleasantly, and with comfort, through the Tempestuous Sea of this World. And again—Bonum sodalitium op­timum solatium. Good Company is the best solace: Indeed, suitable Society is the comfort of Life, the improvement of Parts, the joy of the Intellect, the only distinguishing Priviledge that gives the Preference to Men above Beasts. Take away this, and what happiness is it to be a Man, or what is humane Life any thing to be accounted of. But when Man is dead, there can be no more delight in him, or comfort received by Society with him. There is no converse in the shades below, no in­terlocution in those gloomy Regions. The Grave is a silent Ho [...]se, where the Eyes of all the Inha­bitants are closed in the Dust, and their Mouths filled with cold Clay. And therefore this should cause Mourning in the Streets, when we see a man going to his Long Home, especially if he was a Friend or Relation, because we shall never have the opportunity of enjoying any pleasant hours with him more. We must then bid farewel to all discoursing upon any Subject, to all advising a­bout [Page 31] any difficulties, to all profiting by any Pole­mick Notions started and improved in an amica­ble way. In a word, we must bid an eternal Adieu to any pleasure or satisfaction we received in com­muning with him, for we shall enjoy no more of it for ever. Oh! surely this cannot but cut deep in a generous Soul; this cannot but greatly wound a spirit, whose thoughts are drained from the dross of Plebeian Conversation, that has any esteem at all for the advantages of a rational Life. Upon this account it was, that the old Prophet in Bethel, lamented over the man of God which came from Judab, who was slain by a Lion, as he rode upon an Ass in the High-way. He bitterly bewailed, and mourned for his Death, crying out,—Alas my Brother! As if he had said, I have been ex­treamly refreshed by thy company, in hearing the Word of the Lord from thy mouth, concerning the destruction of the Priests that burn Incense upon the Altar, and the pulling down the House of Jeroboam. Oh! How have I been strengthned in my Courage, confirmed in my Faith, and the more re­solved in the Ways of God, by this thy Prophecy. But now thou art gone, I shall never have any more of this profitable and spiritual Discourse with thee. This made him weep over his torn Carcass, and bitter­ly lament his untimely Fall, and to give a solemn Charge to his Sons, that when he was dead, they should bury him in the Sepulchre wherein this man of God was buryed, and lay his Bones close by the Bones of this Prophet.

When Death parts us from a Friend, we shall never see him more: he vanishes (as it were) out of our sight, and we are never more to behold him, or cast our Eyes upon him. He is both actively and passively in an invisible State. So Job mournfully speaks of himself, chap. 7. ver. 7, 8. Oh! remem­ber [Page 32] that my life is wind, my eyes shall no more see good. The Eye of him that hath seen me, shall see me no more; thy Eyes are upon me, and I am not. What more cut­ting Expression, what more sadning Inculcation, what more provoking Incitation to Mourning, can there be, than the Sense of this; that we shall behold the Face of our beloved Friend (after his departure from us) no more! Were Man to Return, though after never so many Years absence from his home, or continuance in the Grave: Were he to visit his habitation again, and become the objective delight of his poor Mourning Friends and Relations, it might be some alleviation to their Grief, when he takes his journey to his Long home. But Oh! What a prick to the heart, what a stab to the Soul, what a deadning to the Spirits, what an inundation of Sorrow (like the opening of Pandora's Box) is this lamenta­ble Thought to an ingenuous Man, that he must never, never, never more behold the Face of this or that Relation in this Region of Mor­tality; nor have any converse with him on this side the Bank of Eternity! What Husband can think so of his Wife, and not melt? what Wife can have such a thought of her Husband, and not faint? what Parent can consider this, with respect to his Child, and not mourn? what Child can reflect upon the impossibility of ever seeing his Father or Mother more, and not be overwhelmed with grief? In a word, What Friend or Relation can ponder on such an eternal Farewel, as is then given, and not be dis­solved into Tears. It is the opinion of Divines, That the chiefest of Saints happiness, consists in Vi­sion, or in the use of the visive faculty, which will then be enlarged and made glorious to perfection; for they shall see the Face of God [Page 33] in Righteousness, and be satisfied with his likeness; they shall be for ever with open Face, beholding (as in a Glass) the Glory of the Lord, and be changed into the same Image, from Glory to Glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord. Sure I am, the Saints greatest comfort in this World, consists in Vision, or beholding God's Image in his People; and that not only the work of his Power in their comly Features, but the work of his Grace in the divine Characters of Wisdom, engraven in their Souls and immediatly reflect­ed upon in all their Actions. Therefore it can­not but cause Mourning, when such delightful Objects are removed out of sight, and never more to be beheld.

And so much the more still, if consider the great change and alteration Death makes in the place of the Deceased; the great Vacuum there is, when Man is removed, and carried away to his Long home: Concerning which, Job ex­cellently speaks, chap. 7. v. 9, 10, 11. As the cloud is consumed, and vanisheth away: so he that goeth down to the Grave, shall come up no more. He shall return no more to his house, neither shall his place know him any more. Therefore I will not re­frain my Mouth, I Will speak in the anguish of my Spirit I will complain in the bitterness of my Soul. Oh! It is very sad to consider what a great change one stroke of Death may make. A Wife Husbandless, poor Children Fatherless, Servants Masterless, and many Friends Comfortless: And so great is the alteration in the Family, that the whole House resents it; and seems si­lently to Mourn for it. There is (as it were) a Face of sadness in every place he was wont to be conversant in: Look in his Parlour, where he used to sit with his Wife, and Children [Page 34] about him, and there is nothing but a profound silence; his voice is not to be heard: Look at his Table, where he used to sit with chearfulness, eating his Bread with joy among his Relations, and the dull demeanor, and sorrowful posture of all the assessors, do plainly, yet dolefully speak, Behold, he is not here: Look in his Shop, where he used to be about his occasions; and the disorder and confusion there proclaims aloud his being gone, and not to be heard of: In a word, Look in every place where he us'd to be, and you will find one mourning circumstance or other, a legible Historian of his departure, and being no more among them. So that, if you seek him, you will not find him; if you ask for him, you will hear no news. Now sure­ly, methinks, the very miss of a Man in his Family, the want of him in his place, the great change immediately following his Depar­ture in his Relations and in all his affairs and Concerns, should be cause enough to enforce a Mourning from his Survivors, if there were no other consideration, and cause 'em to prepare for their own Deaths. For,

How many have we known that were of as healthful and vigorous a Constitution as we are, that by a Surfeit, or an acute Feaver, have in a few days been snatch'd away? How many that were travelling on the same Road with us a while ago, are now at their long Home, lying in the Grave; and should not we by their early depar­ture, learn to die? It would not be tedious to us in this sense, to live in Golgotha, or to dwell among the Tombs, when we have in them seen the End of all Men, Eccles. 7. 2. We should not any more love the World, nor its Enjoyments and Plea­sures, seeing they will vanish in the twinkling of an [Page 35] Eye; and after all the poor satisfaction they have given us, fall into the dead Sea. The Passing-Bells of others loudly tell us, that Man in his best Estate is altogether Vanity, Psal. 39. 5. And what they have undergone, will in a few days or hours more, be our own Lot. Though they are gone before, we must tread in their steps, and go the same way. When that hour is come, all our Friends and Acquaintance cannot hold us; for we that now hear, and move, and speak, shall fly away into a vast Expanse, and not behold Man with the Inhabitants of this World any more, Isa. 38. 11. As we have seen the pale Looks, and have heard the last Voice of others, so shall we our selves in the like manner be made Spectacles of Mortality to those that remain after us. We, and all our Com­panions, must take along Farewel of each other, and not meet again till the day of the general Re­surrection. And is it too soon to remember our Creator, when we have seen many as Young as we are, breathe their last? And we that now mourn for others, know not how soon our Friends may do the same for us, and celebrate our Fu­nerals. When God took away many others, that we knew he might at the same time, or before, have taken away you or me; and why do we survive their Death, but that we may set our House in Order? The time is coming, when Riches and Honour, Health and Beauty, Credit and Re­putation among men, will be of no value, nor will Gold and Silver, the Idols of this, be currant in the next World. We should not therefore be like those young people that are only serious in the House of Mourning, or when they see their Friends carried to the Grave, but in the next vain Compa­ny suffer the Impressions of their Mortality to wear off again. We must be always sober in our [Page 36] Conversation, as not knowing when we our selves shall be gone; only this we may know, that as the Years we have already lived are soon past, so will those that are to come with the same swist motion pass away. The long­est Life here on Earth is but as a moment, if compar'd with the future Eternity: 'Tis as a flash of Lightning to the whole Element of Fire, just seen, and then vanish'd.

The Last Sigh.

MY dearest Children, ye whom I love in the tender and yerning Bowels of Affection; draw near, and attend to the words of your dy­ing Mother, who am now sighing out my last breath: A weak Woman ye see I am; but yet sinful I am, which peradventure ye see not. O weep not, my pretty ones: do not pierce and break my troubled heart with your sad laments. I must die, my little ones, and go to a better place, whither ye I hope shall one day follow me. We came not together into the World; nor shall we go together out of it. In vain do ye shed those Tears of Sorrow: for al­though Nature teacheth you to bewail my depar­ture, yet Grace will teach you to moderate your Mourning. My Heart even bleeds to leave you be­hind me, fearing lest ye will forget the Command­ments of your God. I should be sorry to have just cause to say unto you as Moses did to the Le­vites; yet I will put you in mind of his words. Behold (said he) while I am yet alive with you this [Page 37] day, ye have been rebellious against the Lord; and how much more after my death? Deut. 31. 27. I know that after my death ye will utterly corrupt your selves, and turn aside from the way which I commanded you; and evil will befall you in the latter days, because ye will do evil in the sight of the Lord, to provoke him to anger through the work of your hands, vers. 29. But I am persuaded better things of you, and things that accompany salvation, though I thus speak, Heb. 6. 9. O my dear ones, hearken unto the words which I shall say: They must be my Legacy unto you: Hear me with pa­tience; and treasure up in your memories the last Speech of your Fainting, your dying Mother.

How dear ye cost me before ye had life, and what Pangs and Torments I suffered for you before ye were heard or seen in the World, ye cannot imagine, nor I express. Yet all was forgotten for joy that ye w [...]re born, Joh. 16. 21. and hoping that ye would add unto the Q [...]ire of Saints. To this purpose, I have laboured and taken care for the nourishment both of your Souls and Bodies; and for your sustentation (so much as in me lay) from the Breast to this instant. O what sad and perplexed thoughts have I had for you in the day times; and how many hours have I borrowed from my sleep in the nights, to think what would be­come of you, if ye should not be obedient to the Commandments of my God! To the same God they are best known. O how often upon my knees have I prayed for your happiness; and wept, and mourned, when ye have done what ye ought not! To him is it best known to whom I now am going. Sometimes when ye have offended, I was enforced to correct you: but each stripe which ye received did cut me into the heart. In many things ye failed, because ye were young: and in many [Page 38] things I failed too, because I am a weak and a sinful Woman. If at any time ye thought that I did not my Duty, take heed that hereafter ye remem­ber it not to my dishonour. Ponder in your minds that curse which wretched Ham the Father of Canaan received from Noah, when he saw his Na­kedness, and told his Brethren. Cursed (said Noah) be Canaan: a servant of servants shall he be to his Brethren, Gen. 9. 25. But because Shem and Japhet, took a Garment, and laid it upon their Shoulders, and went backward, and covered the na­kedness of their Father, and their faces were back­ward, and they saw not their Fathers nakedness, vers. 23. Therefore he said, Blessed be the Lord God of Shem, and Canaan shall be his servant, vers. 26. God shall enlarge Japhet, and he shall dwell in the Tents of Shem, and Canaan shall be his Servant, v. 27. Consider with your selves that I am your mother. Whatsoever imperfections ye have discovered in me, do in some kind reflect even upon your selves: for as your Bodies were mine, so my Credit and good Name you must account to be yours. But I cannot think that ye will need more Advice for this, which even Nature it self should teach you to practise.

My time is but short; my Speech beginneth to fail me. I will not trouble you with much, although something more I must say unto you, which I hope ye will remember when I shall sleep in the Dust. Your first and chiefest Duty must always be for the service of your God. If ye will daily observe the benefits which he sendeth you, ye cannot chuse but thank him daily for his Blessings. Let it be your care to ground your actions upon his written Law. Undertake nothing which is not warrant­ed by his Word: and go forward in nothing by unlawful means, or to a bad intent. Begin all in [Page 39] him, and continue in him, and end in him; and he himself will be your Reward. If ye always pre­serve Religion in your hearts, ye will always have quietness and content in your minds. First make him your God, and then distrust not his Provi­dence; no, nor his love and compassion while ye remain his Children. In whatsoever vocations ye shall lead your lives, be sure that ye be conscio­nably industrious and laborious in them; and then leave the event and the blessing to his good plea­sure. I would fain have you be his Children much more than ye are mine: for ye have nothing from me but your sin and corruption; but from him you must expect both grace and glory. If there­fore ye strive to bless and magnifie your God, ye may be sure that your God will both bless and glo­rifie you his Children. Remember that the blessing of the Lord maketh rich; and he addeth no Sorrow with it, Prov. 10. 22. Take heed therefore to your selves, and let him be in all your thoughts; for even for them ye must account at his great Tribu­nal. Take heed unto your Words, that they give none offence either to God or Man. There is a sort of people who bless with their mouths, but they curse in their inward parts, Psal. 62. 4. I would not have you be of the number of them: for as they love cursing, so it shall happen unto them: they delight not in blessing, therefore shall it be far from them, Psal 109. 17. As they cloath them­selves with cursing like as with a Garment, so it shall come into their Bowels like Water, and like Oyl into their Bones, vers. 18. Take heed also unto your Actions, that there be not wickedness in the intent, nor sin in the prosecution of them: for howsoever they shall appear in the Eye of the World, they will be strictly and justly examined by the righteous judge. First be ye sure that ye [Page 40] bless your God, and then ye may expect a blessing from him. When ye have eaten and are full, then ye shall bless the Lord your God, Deut. 8. 10. Remember the Congregation of Israel, how they blessed the Lord God of their Fathers, and bowed down their heads, and worshiped the Lord, 1 Chr. 29. 20. Remember how the Levites encouraged the People unto it, and said unto them, Stand up, and bless the Lord your God for ever and ever, and blessed be thy glorious Name, which is exalted above all blessing, and praise, Neh. 9. 5. Remember how the Psalmist moved them unto it when he cryed, O bless our God ye people, and make the voice of his praise to be heard, Psal. 66. 8. Be thankful unto him, and bless his Name, Psalm 100. 4. Remember how David resolved, saying, I will bless the Lord, which hath given me coun­sel, Psal. 16. 7. Remember how he decreed, say­ing, I will bless thee while I live, I will lift up my hands in thy Name, Psal. 63. 4. Remember how he encouraged his Soul to this Duty, saying, Bless the Lord O my Soul, and all that is within me bless his holy Name, Psal. 103. 1. Bless the Lord O my Soul, and forget not all his benefits, vers. 2. Who forgiveth all thine iniquities, who healeth all thy disease, vers. 3. Remember how he practi­sed it when he blessed the Lord before all the Congregation, and said, Blessed be thou Lord God of Israel, our Father for ever and ever, 1 Chr. 29. 10. Thine, O Lord, is the greatness, and the Power, and the Glory, and the Victory, and the Majesty; for all that is in the Heaven, and in the Earth is thine: Thine is the Kingdom, O Lord, a [...]d thou art exalted as head above all, vers. 11. Both Riches and Ho­nour come from thee, and thou reignest over all; and in thine hand is power and might; and in thine hand it is to make great, and to give strength un­to all, vers. 12. Now therefore our God we thank [Page 41] thee, and praise thy glorious Name, vers. 13. And remember how Ezra blessed the Lord, the great God; and all the people answered, Amen, Amen, with listing up their hands; and they bowed their heads, and worshiped the Lord, with their Faces to the ground, Neh. 8. 6. Thus if ye bless him, if ye love him, if ye honour him, if ye obey him, he will so bless you, that ye shall delight in his Service, and be filled with his Goodness. Carry in your minds those words of the Psalmist, Blessed is every one that feareth the Lord, that walketh in his ways: For thou shalt eat the labour of thine hands: happy shalt thou be, and it shall be well with thee, Psal. 128. 1, 2. Bles­sed is the Man that trusteth in the Lord, and whose hope the Lord is, Jer. 17. 7. Remember how after the Death of Abraham, God blessed his Son Isaac, Gen. 25. 11. So he may you, and so he will you, when I, your poor feeble Mother, am stretch­ed forth, and returned to the Earth; if ye will hear his voice, and observe his statutes. If so you will do, then the Lord your God will bless you in all the works of your hands, which ye shall do, Deut. 14. 29. He who created man in his own Image both Male and Female, and blessed them, Gen. 1. 27, 28. Even the same Lord will bless you, if ye be Righteous, Psal. 5. 12. And with favour he will compass you as with a Shield, Psalm 115. 13. He will bless them that fear him, both small and great, 2 Tim. 4. 6.

And now my Children, I have not much more to say to you; for the time of my departure is at hand. If you do heartily love your God I know that ye will affectionately love each o­ther: Ye will be observant to your Guardians, and Instructors: Ye will be courteous unto all. Be not dismayed at any Cross or Affliction; at any loss or poverty which may fall upon you: [Page 42] Mat. 6. 33. but seek ye first the Kingdom of God, and his Righteousness; and then all other things shall be added unto you. Deut. 28. 8. Then the Lord shall com­mand the blessing upon you, both in your store-Hou­ses, and in all that ye set your hands unto. Exod. 23. 25. He shall bless your Bread and your Water and take away sickness from tl [...] midst of you. Deut. 28. 3. Blessed shall ye be in the City, and blessed shall ye be in the field. vers. 4. Blessed shall be the fruits of your bodies, and the fruits of your grounds, and the fruits of your Cattel, and the in­crease of your kine, and the flocks of your sheep: vers. 5. Blessed shall be your basket and your store. vers. 6. Blessed shall ye be when ye come in, and blessed shall ye be when ye go fort [...]. c. 7. 13. The Lord will love you, and will bless you, and mul­tiply you: He will also bless the fruit of the Womb unto you, and the fruit of your Land, and your Corn, and your Wine, and your Oyl, and the increase of your kine, and the flo [...]ks of your sheep in the places where ye shall live. c. 28. 12. He will open unto you his good treasure; the Heaven to give the rain unto your land in his season, and to bless all the work of your hands: and ye shall lend unto many, and ye shall not borrow. Gen. 49. 25. He shall help you, and bless you with the blessings of heaven above; blessings of the deep that lyeth under, and blessings of the breasts, and of the Womb. And that he may thus bless you, the same Lord direct your hearts, and preserve yoù in his Blessing.

All that I can do now, is to pray for you; and my weakness will hardly permit me to do that: Yet so long as I can speak I trust I shall pray, and in my petitions remember both my self and you. While I am yet alive, it is my du­ty to pray for you, and it is your duty also to pray for me. The Lord grant that we may all [Page 43] do what he requireth at your hands. Do not ye grieve too much, that I am so near my rest: For it is the Decree of my God, and the long­ing expectation of my wearied self. The Lord give you patience to endure this Affliction: and the Lord give me patience and perseverance unto the end. 1 King. 2. 2, 3. Now I go the way of all the Earth: Keep ye the charge of the Lord your God, to walk in his ways; to keep his statutes, and his Commandments and his judgments, and his testimonies, as it is written in the S [...]riptures, that ye may prosper [...]n all that ye do, and whitherso­ever ye turn your hands. Deut. 33. 7. The Lord give you the blessing of Judah, and hear your voices; and let your hands be sufficient for you; and let him be an helper to you from your Enemies. And the Lord give you the blessing of Benjamin: vers. 12. The Lord cover you all the day long, and dwell between your shoulders. And the Lord give you the bles­sing of Joseph: v. 13. Blessed of the Lord be your Land for the precious things of Heaven; for the dew, and for the deep that coucheth beneath; v. 14. and for the precious Fruits brought forth by the Sun; v. 16. and for the precious things put forth by the Moon; and for the precious things of the Earth, and [...] there­of; and for the good will of him that dwelt in [...] bush. v. 27. The eternal God be your Refuge, and under­neath you the everlasting Arms. 2 Sam. 7 [...]6. 29. And now, O Lord God, let it please thee to bless the House of thy Servant, and with thy blessing let the Family of thy Servant be blessed for ever. Deut. 26. 15. [...]ook down from thine holy Habitation from Heaven, and b [...]ss them. Psal. 67. 1. O my God, be merciful unto them, and bless them, and cause thy face to shine upon them.

And now (with I [...]ob) I have made an end of commanding you; and ready I am to gather up my Feet into the Bed, and to yield up the Ghost, and [Page 44] to be gathered unto my Fathers, Gen. 49. 33. Only come ye near, my dear ones, that I may kiss you, and that my cold and clammy hands may be laid upon your heads, that I may once more bless you and die.

Fare well my pretty ones; farewell the chil­dren of my dear affection. I must leave you; and I hope I shall leave my God with you, who will be unto you a Father of mercies, and a God of all consolation, 2 Cor. 13. 11. Once more fare­well. Love as brethren; and the God of love and peace be with you, 1 Pet. 3. 8. The Lord Jesus Christ be with your Spirits. Grace be with you all, Amen, 2 Tim. 4. 23.

Man giveth up the Ghost; and where is he?

AMong the many serious and weighty Questi­ons, which a sober considering Person may propound unto himself; that is of none of the least concernment, which is mentioned by the Holy Man Job, Chap. 14. verse 10. Yea, Man giveth up the Ghost and where is he? We may take the words asunder, and consider them apart. Yea, and as much as to say, it is a Truth past all doubt, there is no nay to be said to it; it is sealed with Yea, and Amen; for it shall certainly come to pass, at some time or other, that Man must give up the Ghost; and as much as to say, his Soul shall be separated from his Body; Those two loving twins being at the point of Death to go several ways, they must part at last. And for as much as it is evident to sense, that the body returns to the dust, what way the Soul ta­keth, [Page 45] is the great Question; as followeth, Man giveth up the Ghost; and where is he? Or what be­cometh of his Soul, when it hath once taken its leave of the body? This Question may more easily, than comfortably be answered by most, thus, every separated Soul goes either to Hea­ven or Hell. But, alas! those two places are not more distant, than different in their Natures. Heaven is a place of eternal happiness, Hell is a place of everlasting Misery. And therefore, O my Soul, it is both good and necessary, that thou shouldst think before hand, what will be the place of thy future abode. The Body which is the Souls present habitation; it is not (as Job speaketh,) a body of Brass, but a body of Clay; and therefore when the stroke of death shall knock that earthen Vessel in pieces, where then Oh my [...]oul [...]il be thy next lodging? Either thou must lye down in everlasting burnings, or else rest upon the Mountain of My [...]rh, and the Hill of Frankin [...]nse, with sweet Jesus. Man when he hath, (a an hireling) accomplished his day, ought seriously to consider of the ap­proaching Night. And seeing it may be said, (as of Ephraim thou hast here and there a gray hair upon thy head, and the shadows of the Even­ing are lengthened out; it is neither safe nor prudent, Oh my Soul, to be serious about tri [...]es, or to trifle about serious things. Before the great and terrible day of account, therefore, Oh my Soul, do thou call thy self to account, and ask these questions of thy self, Canst thou think of going to Hell with comfort? Or can the thoughts of Heaven be any otherwise com­fortable, than as thou believest it to be thy Heaven? Canst thou rejoice, when thou thinkest how many shall put on Crowns of Glory, and [Page 46] yet thy self have no part, or lot in that mat­ter? Art thou deeply convinced, Oh Man, what a glittering and a glorious Divine Ray, doth quicken, actuate, and ennoble that Lump of A­toms, which thy Body is composed of? And when that Body of thine shall be crumbled in­to Ashes, by one touch of the Almighty, hast thou forethought what shall become of that im­mortal In-mate, which for a little season hath been cloystered up in thy clay Breast? And dost thou soundly believe, that there is a future state of Infinite joy, and eternal Sorrow? And hast thou throughly pondered the certain un­certainty of all temporal Enjoyments? And art thou heartily perswaded, that Heaven is only worth the looking after? What sayest thou to these things, Oh my Soul? Let the matter be urged home, is everlasting damnation by all means possible, to be prevented? Or may Hell be supposed to be a tolerable Habitation? Or can a poor guilty Worm endure with ease, the burden of infinite Wrath? Or is endless glory no whit desirable? Or will it not repent thee, Oh my Soul, hereafter, when it is too late, if thou now neglect so great Salvation, as is free­ly offered to thee in Christ Jesus? Dost thou know, Oh Man, that thou must shortly give up the Ghost? And yet hast thou not had one se­rious deep thought, what place of entertain­ment thy naked Soul shall find in another world, when it is stript of its present fleshly case and cloathing? Oh press thy Soul hard with these thoughts, how it is like to go with thee, when thou first steppest into Eternity? What sayest thou. Oh my Soul, are the things of time only or chiefly to be minded? And are the precious things of Eternity utterly to be forgotten, or [Page 47] disregarded? Hath the infinitely wise and gra­cious God, only given thee opportunities and abilities to desire, and hasten thy eternal ruin? And hast thou no time, capacity, understand­ing, or will, to work out thy Salvation, with fear and trembling? Canst thou once suppose, thou shalt ever be an Inhabitant upon the Earth? Or is the Earth, with the sensual delights there­of, which thou must certainly forego, more va­luable than Heaven, with its fulness of joy, and pleasures for evermore? Or if thy judgment be clear in this case, why doest thou no more think upon, love, and long to be dissolved, and to be cloathed upon with that house, which comes down from Heaven? Will the enjoying of sinful pleasures, or empty lying vanities, for a few minutes, recompence the loss of Heaven it self? Can any thing be counted an advan­tage, when the Soul loseth God, and it self, in the getting of it? Or can any thing be had upon Earth, that will hold ever? Awake, Oh my drowsie Soul, and let thy Conscience and Conversation, no longer contradict one the other. If thou judgest Heaven to be Heaven indeed, and one moments Communion with God, more worth than ten thousand Worlds; then let thy Conversation be new in Heaven, that thy Con­science may not hereafter witness against thee. Or tell me plainly, Oh my Soul, Dost thou pretend that thou art really willing to go to Heaven, and yet art unwilling for the pre­sent, through thy weakness of Faith, to leave this Earth, with all the sensible comforts of it? Or doth thy natural timorousness, or unpreparedness, put a check to the vehemency of thy Desires? Or, what is it, that thou so much stickest at? Is there a Lion in the way? Wouldst thou not be detain­ed, [Page 48] one day, one minute, or moment longer from drinking thy fill at the Fountain of Living Wa­ters, and yet art afraid to pass over that narrow darksome Bridge of Death which leadeth there­unto? Indeed, Death is the King of Fears; but yet a Serpent without a Sting, may safely be put into thy Bosom. Thou art then willing to be with thy glorious Redeemer upon the Throne, on­ly the sad Thoughts of giving up thy tender Flesh to be meat for the Worms, that something startles thee. But weigh the matter well; canst thou be for ever happy, and not be with Christ? Or canst thou be whereChrist is, and not die? Well then, welcom death, tho' not for thine own sake, yet for his sake whose Messenger thou art, and who hath sent thee to fetch me home to himself; with whom I shall be, as soon as ever I am but parted from thee. Then I shall with joy look back upon thee, O sad Mes­senger, and triumph over thee, saying, Oh Death, where is thy [...]ing? Oh Grave, where is thy Victo­ry? But thanks be unto God, who hath given me the Victory, through our Lord Jesus Christ. Oh Death, though thy looks be terrible, and thy last gripe painful, yet is thy Message comfor­table; and I was more afraid than hurt: For I see, though thou leadest me through a dark Entry, yet it is my Fathers House. And as soon as I had passed from thee, or ever I was a­ware, my Soul made me like to the Chariots of Aminadib. So come, Lord Jesus, come quickly.

He's carry'd by Angels into A­braham's Bosom. Sermon II.

Luke XVI. 32.‘And it came to pass that the Beggar died, and was carryed by the Angels into Abraham's Bosom.’

The whole Parable runs thus:

THere was a certain Rich Man, which was cloa [...] ­ed in purple and sine Linnen, and fared sumptu­ously every day. And there was a certain Beggar nam­ed Lazarus, which was laid at his Gate full of sores, and desiring to be sed with the crumbs which fell from the Rich Man's Table; moreover, the Dogs came and licked his Sores. And it came to pass that the Beggar died, and was carried by the Angels into Abraham's Bosom: The Rich Man also died, and was buryed. And in Hell he lift up his Eyes being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his Bosom, &c.

[Page 50] Dearly Beloved, In my Discourse upon these words, I will not be over tedious, but with as much brevi­ty as I can I will unfold some of the weighty Truths contained therein. And the Lord grant that they may be of general use to all persons that shall either read or hear them.

These words have Relation unto the precedent Verses in this Chapter, wherein our Saviour Christ, from the thirteenth to the seventeenth verse, reproveth the Covetousness of the Pha­risees, by shewing unto them, that no man can serve two Masters, that is, God and Riches. All these things heard the Pharisees, which were covetous, and they mocked him: Whereupon he aptly and fitly taketh occasion to relate this Parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus.

Hearken therefore now, and I will speak of a great Rich Man, that flourished here on Earth (as a learned Divine observes,) In all pomp and abundance, that shined in courtly purple Robes, that was cloathed in Byssus and fine Silk, and fared deliciously, that was lodged softly, that lived plea­santly. But understand what became of this Rich Man; his years being expired, and his days numb­red, and his time determined, he was invited to the fatal Banquet of black ugly Death, that mak­eth all men subject to the rigour of his Law; his Body was honourably buried, in respect of his much Wealth: but what became of his Soul? That was carried from his Body to dwell with the Devils; from his purple Robes to burning Flames, from his soft Silk and white Byssus to cruel pains in black Abyssus, from his Palace here on Earth, to the Palace of Devils in Hell; from Paradise to a Dungeon, from Pleasures to Pains, from Joy to Tor­ment, [Page 51] and that by hellish means, damned Spirits, into the infernal Laks of bottomless Barathrum, where is wo, wo, wo! And where is weeping and wailing, and gnashing of Teeth, Mat. 25. The wicked shall be turned into Hell, and all the peo­ple that forget God, Psalm 6.

Hearken also of a certain poor Beggar clothed in rags, with miseries pained, pained with griefs, grieved with sores, sorely tormented, unmercifully condemned, ly­ing at this Rich Mans Gate, desiring to be refreshed but with the Crumbs that fell from the rich Man's table, the dogs had more pity than this rich man, on this distressed creature, for they came to visit him, they came to com­fort him, they came and licked his sores.

Well, his time being also determined, he went the way of all flesh, and death was the finisher of all his mise­ries and griefs; Vita assumpsit mortem, ut mors vi­tam acciperet; He died once, to live for ever. And what became of his soul? it was carried from his bo­dy to his Master, from a House of Clay, to a house not made with hands, from a wilderness to a Paradise, from an earthly prison, to a heavenly Palace, from the richmans gate, to the City of the great God, from pains to pleasures, from miseries to joys, from Adams corruption, to Abrahams bosom. It was carried by Angels into the Quires of Angels, to have his being and moving in the very mov­ing Heavens with God himself. Where is life, food and abundance, and glory, and Health and peace, and eternity, and all good things: all above all that either can be wished or desired: And this is the subject that I shall now speak of. And here let it please you to con­sider the argument of this Scripture, which is twofold:

First, Our Saviour Christ hereby adviseth all rich men to be merciful to their poor Brethren in this Life, lest they find no mercy in the life to come.

[Page 52] Secondly, He doth comfort all poor men, that although they are afflicted in this life with great miseries and calamities, yet they shall be comfort­ed in the life to come, and rest in Abraham's bosom.

And here observe what one formerly Notes, viz. That if Jesus Christ had said only thus much, There was a certain Rich man that fared sumptuously daily, and a certain Beggar laid at his Gate full of sores: The wicked would have straightway inferr'd that the rich man was the happy man, for at the first view it seems to be so; But take all together and you'l quickly see that there is no man in a worse condition than this miserable wretch.

(2.) That if a man would judge of persons according to outward appearance, he shall very often take his mark amiss. Here is a man to outward appearance, appears the only blessed man; better by half than the Beggar, in as much as he is rich, the Beggar poor: he is well clothed, but peradventure the Beggar is naked; he hath good food, but the Beggar would be glad of Dogs meat (and he desired to be fed with the Crumbs of the Rich Man's Table,) the Rich man fares well every day, but the Beggar must be glad of a bit when and where he can get it. O! who would not be in the Rich man's state? A wealthy man, sorts of new Suits, dainty Dishes every day: enough to make one, who minds nothing but his belly and his back, and his lusts, to say, O that I were in that mans condition! Oh that I had about me, as that man hath! then I should live a life indeed; then should I have hearts ease good store; then should I live pleasantly, and might say to my Soul, Soul, be of good chear, eat, drink, and be merry, Luke 12. 19. thou hast every thing plenty, [Page 53] and art in a most blessed condition. But if the whole Parable be well considered, you will see Luke 26. 15. that that which is had in high estimation with men, is an abomination to God. And again, John 16. 20, 21, 22. that condition that is the saddest condition, according to out­ward appearance is oft-times the most excellent; for the Beggar had ten thousand times the best of it, though to outward appearance his state was the saddest.

Methinks, to see how the tearing Gallants of the World will go strutting up and down the Streets: Sometimes it strikes me with amaze­ment; surely they look upon themselves to be the only happy men, but it is because they judge according to outward appearance; they look upon themselves to be the only blessed men, when the Lord knows the generality are left out of that blessed condition; Not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble are called, 1 Cor. 1. 26. Ah! did they that do now so brag that no body dare scarce look on them; but believe this, it would make them hang down their heads and cry, Oh! give me a Lazarus's portion.

But I'll proceed to the division of my Text and in this Scripture observe these following parts, (formerly taken notice of) viz.

The parts of the Text are four.

1. The life of the rich man, in these words, There was a certain rich man, cloathed in purple and fine linnen, and fared sumptuously every day.

2. The life of the Beggar, in these words: Also there was a certain Beggar, named Lazarus, which was laid at his Gate full of sores, &c.

[Page 54] 3. The death of the Beggar, in these words; And it was so that the Beggar died and was carried, &c.

4. The death of the rich man; The rich man also died and was buried.

In the first part, I note these three circum­stances.

1. What this Rich Man was, and whether there were any such man or no.

2. What his Apparel was; not mean or or­dinary, but Purple and fine Linnen.

3. That his Diet was not base, nor homely, but delicious, and not once, nor twice, but e­very day.

In the Life of the Beggar, I find four Circum­stances.

1. Where he lived: in no Palace or House, but at the Rich mans Gate.

2. How he lived: neither in Health nor Wealth, but miserable, full of Sores.

3. That he desired in this life, not Lordships, or Houses, or Land, or Gold, or Silver, but Crumbs to save his Life.

4. Who shewed the Beggar kindness in his Life? Not the Rich man, but the Rich mans Dogs, The Dogs came also and licked his Sores.

In the death of the Beggar, I note these three Circumstances.

1. What became of his Body being dead? No men­tion hereof is made in Holy Scriptures; it may be it was Buried with little or no respect, because he was a poor man, or else cast into some Ditch, by reason of his Sores.

2. What became of his Soul? It went not out to Purgatory (for there is no such place) but it was carried into Abraham's Bosom.

3. By whom? By Angels. It was carried by An­gels into Abraham's Bosom.

[Page 55] In the Death of the Rich man, I note these two Circumstances.

1. What became of his Body being dead? It was Honourably Buried because of his great Sub­stance.

2. What became of his Soul? It went to Hell. He being in torments, lift up his Eyes, and saw Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his Bosom.

Of these successively.

And first, in the life of the Rich man, we noted what this Rich Man was, whether there was in­deed any such man or no: Wherefore here may a Question arise, whether this be a Parable or Hi­story: The Writers hereof do not agree.

Marlorat saith, Quanquam quibusquam haec simplex Parabola esse videtur, tamen quia his Lazari nomen expri­mitur, rem gestam narrari probabile; Some are of that mind, that this is a Parable, yet because (saith he) Christ twice expresseth the name of Lazarus, it argueth, that he spake of a thing that was so done indeed.

Likewise saith Franciscus Lambertus, Credendum ma­gis esse historiam & exemplum verum quàm Parabo­lam; It must be believed that this is rather a Hi­story, and a true Example than a Parable.

But Theophilactus is of a contrary opinion, who saith, Parabola haec est & non vera historia; This is a Parable and no History.

Erasmus also saith, that it is but a Parable, whereby Rich Men may learn to be merciful to their poor Brethren, that they may speak for them in the day of Vengeance and Wrath.

Many Writers there are also, that rather aim­ing at the Arguments and Observations herein, have not set down their Judgments, whether it [Page 56] be a Parable or History: Therefore it might seem Wisdom in me to suspend my judgment also herein, especially, since Marlorat saith, Parum refert, ut tam sit Parabola, an Historia, modo sum­mam doctrinam teneant lectores. It greatly skil­leth not whether it be a Parable or History, so that we duly consider the Doctrine herein.

But because it is requisite that I also shew my Opinion, I will return my Verdict, according to my Evidence: And therefore in naked truth I find and hold that it is a Parable: And my Rea­sons are these two: First, because our Saviour in the beginning of this Chapter, doth relate a Parable of the Rich Man that had a Steward, &c. therefore he continueth in this Chapter to open his mouth in Parables, according to the Prophet, I will open my mouth in Parables, and shew dark sentences of old time. Secondly, because the Rich Man cryed out of Hell unto Abraham, and Abraham answered the Rich man; which needs must be understood Parabolically: For the Damned in Hell cannot see nor hear the Saints that are in Heaven, neither by reason of the distance of place, and also because of many Sphears and Orbs that are betwixt Heaven and Hell, neither shall they see nor know what is done there. And again, Abraham's throat is dry, and cleaveth to the Roof of his Mouth: Therefore he cannot speak so loud as to be heard out of Heaven into Hell. Therefore it is but a Parable.

Secondly, let us consider what his Apparel was, Purple and fine white, as some will have: But we read, [...], which word [...], although some take it for fine Flax, yet let it here be understood of Silk. There was a very great difference be­twixt the Apparel of John the Baptist, and this [Page 57] Man; John's Rayment was Camels Hair, with a Lea­thern Girdle about his Loins, which did Argue Repentance and Mortification in him; but this Rich Mans Apparel was Purple and fine Silk; whose outward Apparel did argue the Pride at his Heart: The outward Habit for the most part resembles the inward Habit and condition of the Mind. Pride, as saith one, is grounded in the Heart of Man, a Vice most loathsom to God, hateful to Men, and hurtful to the Soul.

But let us consider the third Circumstance in the Life of the Rich Man, to wit, what his Dyet was, Deliciously every day: And here we see what the Children of this World delight in, namely, in fulness of Meat, who neglecting the serving of God, have given themselves to serve Bacchus and Venus. Hence one noteth, A gluttonous Person eateth more for Pleasure than Necessity: So did the Rich Man, so did our first Parents, it was not through need or necessity, that they did eat of the forbidden Tree, but through Wantonness, Pleasure, and Idleness. Gluttony is a flattering Devil, and a pleasant sin, and a sweet Poyson, which whoso useth, hath not the use of himself, which who so hath not, hath no sin, for he is all sin it self. Besides, it hath an especial effect, for it doth, as Gregory saith, generate Lust.

To be short, it was Gluttony that caused our Parents to transgress. It was Gluttony that caused Lot to commit Incest. It was Gluttony that made Esau to sell his Birth-right. It was Gluttony and Drunkenness that caused Nabal's Death. It was Gluttony that lost Belshasars Kingdom.

Be not thou desirous of dainty meats, saith Solomon, For he that loveth Banqueting, shall be Poor, and he that delighteth in Wine, shall not be Rich.

But let us a while leave this Rich Man, and consider the second, that which is the Life of the Beggar.

[Page 58] There was also a certain Beggar, named Lazarus, &c.

And here observe these things: 1. That the Saints of God are a poor contemptible People. There was a certain Beggar: If you understand the word Beggar, to hold forth outward Pover­ty, or scarcity in outward things, such are Saints of the Lord, for they are for the most part a poor, despised, contemptible People; but if you Allegorize and Interpret it thus, they are such as beg earnestly for Heavenly food; this is also the spirit of the Children of God, and it may be, and is a truth in this sense, though not so Naturally gathered from this Scripture. 2. That he was laid at his Gate full of Sores: These words hold forth the Distempers of Believers, saying, he was full of Sores; which may signifie the many Troubles, Temptations, Persecutions and afflic­tions in Body and Spirit, which they meet withal while they are in the World; And also the En­tertainments they find at the hands of those un­godly ones, who Live upon the Earth. Where­as it is said, he was laid at his Gate full of Sores. Mark, he was laid at his Gate; not in his House, that was thought too good for him, but he was laid at his Gate full of Sores: From whence Observe, that the Ungodly World do not desire to entertain and receive the poor Saints of God into their Houses; If they must needs be somewhere near unto them, yet they shall not come into their Houses: Shut them out of Doors! if they will needs be near us, let them be at the Gate. And he was laid at the Gate full of Sores. 2. Ob­serve, that the World are not at all touched with the afflictions of God's Children, for all they are full of Sores, a despised, afflicted, tempted, persecuted people, the World doth not pity; no, but rather [Page 59] labour to aggravate their Trouble by shutting them out of Doors, sink or swim, what cares the World? they are resolved to disown them, they will give them no Entertaiment; if the lying in the streets will do them any good, if hard Usage will do them any good, if to be disowned, shut out of Doors, rejected of the World will do them any good, they shall have enough of that, but otherwise, no Refresh­ment, no Comfort from the World: And he was laid at his Gate full of Sores.

Poor Lazarus! What, lying at a Gate. and full of Sores too? Would not this Rich Man afford thee some out-house to lie in, to shroud thee from Storms and Tempests? no: would not his ser­vants pity thee? no: would not his Children speak for thee? no: Would not his Wife in­treat her Husband for thee? no: Hadst thou ever done them any wrong; no: But, Lazarus, it may be thou art stout, and often-times Beggars will be chusers; thou perhaps wouldest have some great Alms, or Copy-hold, some Farm of this Rich Man? no: Or thou wouldest have some delicate Meat? no. Many Dishes? no: Or thou wouldest sit at the Table with his Sons and Servants? no, no: What is it then that thou dost desire? Nothing but Crumbs to refresh my Soul; nothing but Crumbs to save my Life: Nothing but Crumbs, Crumbs, that fall from the Rich Man's Table: I know that he fared Plen­tifully, and that he may well spare them.

What shall I say of the hardness of this screwing Rich Mans Heart? Let me speak for Lazarus unto the Rich Man; yet I shall but asinam comere, (as one well observes) get nothing of this hard Fellow. I have a Message unto thee, O thou Rich Man, from the great God of Heaven, and he doth desire thee that thou respect the Beggar that lyeth at thy Gate pained with sores, pained with grief, and even [Page 60] arved through Hunger: And I beseech thee in Gods stead, that thou have pity on this Beggar, as God shall have pity, mercy, and Compassion on thee, and look what thou layest out, it shall be paid thee again. But he answered I warant you he is some Runnagate Rogue, and so long as he can be mantained by such easie means, he will never take any other Trade upon him: Nay, but good Sir, let please you only to behold this Poor Creature; which suppose it were granted: and he coming to the Gate where this wrerched Object lay, seeing him bewrayed with sores, be­tattered with Rags, and the Dogs licking him, stopping his Nose, with a squeamish Face, and disdainful look, began to say unto him: I see thou art some lewd Fellow, that such Miseries hap­pen unto thee, and such Plagues come upon thee; it is not for thy goodness, or Righteousness, that these Afflicti­ons light on thee. But he reply'd, O good Master, some Comfort, good Master, some Relief; good Master, some Crumbs to save my Life, I shall die else, and starve at your Gate; good Master, I beseech you for Gods sake, I beseech you for Christs sake, take some Pity, some Compassi­on, some Mercy on me. But he with an Angry look, dis­daining Lazarus, said: Away hence thou Idle Rogue, not a penny, not a Morsel, not a crumb of Bread; and so stopping his Nose from the scent, and his Ears from the Cry of Lazarus, returned unto his stately Palace: And this Poor mans Throat being dry with Crying, his Heart fainting for want of Com­fort, his tongue cleaving to the roof of his mouth, being worn out with Fastings and miseries, starved at the Rich Mans Gate. Now, must I speak for dead Lazarus against this Rich Man. Nam si hi tacuissent, nonne lapides clamabunt; if I should hold my peace, the very stones would cry. O thou Rich Mi­ser, and more than cruel wretch, Lazarus is dead, [Page 61] he is dead at thy Gate, and his Blood shall be upon thee, thou shewedst no Mercy unto him, no Mercy shall be shewed to thee, thou stoppedst thy Ears unto his cry, thou shalt cry and not be heard. It is inhumane Wicked­ness to have no Compassion on distressed Lazarus, but most of all, to let him starve at thy Gate for want of Food. What did be desire of thee but only Crumbs to save his Life? Is it not a small thing, I pray thee, that thou having abundance of Meat, shouldst see him starve for Bread? That thou flourishing in Purple and Silk, would see Lazarus lye in Rags? That thou seeing even thy Dogs have pity on him, thou wouldst have no pity upon him thy self? What Eyes hadst thou that wouldest not see his Sores? What Ears hadst thou, that wouldest not hear his cry? What Hands hadst thou that would not be stretched out to give, What Heart hadst thou that would not melt in thy Body? What Soul hadst thou, that would not pity his silly Soul, this wretched Body, poor Lazarus? If the stones could speak, they would cry, sie upon thee: If thy Dogs could speak, they would condemn thee of unmercifulness: If dead Lazarus were here, his Sores would bleed afresh before thy face, and cry in thine Ears, that thou art guilty, guilty of his Blood, and that thy sin is more than can be pardoned.

Why should not I tell thee the Portion that is prepared for thee? This shall be thy Portion to drink: Let thy days be few, and let another take thine Office: Let thy Children be Fatherless, and thy Wife a Widow: Let thy Children be Vagabonds and beg their bread, let them seek it also out of desolate places; let the Ex [...]ortioner consume all that thou hast and let the stranger spoil thy Labour: Let there be no Man to pity thee, nor to have compassion on thy Fa­therless Children: Let thy Memorial be clean forgot­ten, and in the next Generation let thy Name be clean put out: Let him be an accursed Example to all the World: Let him be cursed in the City, and cursed in the Field; let him be cursed when he goeth out, and [Page 62] when he cometh in; let him be cursed when he lyeth down, and when he riseth up: Let all Creatures, and the Creator himself forsake him, Angels reject him, Heavens frown at him, Earth open thy Mouth, Hell receive him, Spirits tear him, Devils torment him, let no mercy be shewed unto him that shewed no mer­cy; Thus shall the miseries of Lazarus be re­venged by the just plagues that shall justly fall upon the Rich man's head.

Secondly, In the Life of Lazarus I noted how he lived, to wit, miserably and full of Sores, and yet this rich Man would not pity him. Christ could not of his mercy but cure the Leper, when he saw him full of Sores and Leprosie; and Elisha could not but out of Humanity teach Naaman the Assy [...]ian to wash himself in Jordan, that he might be whole, but this rich Man would not help the poor Beggar, neither by his counsel, Purse, Table, or Crumbs, but let him alone to pining Misery at his Gate.

Here we note in the person of Lazarus, the great miseries and Afflictions that the Church of God doth endure in this World.

Great are the troubles of the Righteous, saith David; not small or few, but great and many, Psalm 34. Again, He will throughly purge his floor, not slight­ly, nor by halves; thorowly, Mat. 3. And he will search Jerusalem with Candle-light, lest he should over-slip any wickedness therein.

And further to prove this, we have many ex­amples in the Scripture, but that well known out of Job, may not be omitted, whose mise­ries were more than many, and intolerable: As first, he being a just man, and one that feared God, to be thus plagued: For when one Messenger was relating tragical News to him, there came another on the neck of him, like the waves [Page 63] on the Sea. While he was yet speaking, there came another; While the other was yet speaking, there came another; yet this good Man had not so much as an hours respite to breath, or to receive comfort and consolation by any means: His goods were lost, his Body plagued, his Servants slain, his Sons were dead, and no Creature left alive to comfort him, but only a froward Wise to grieve and vex his heart. Miseria est copia tribulati­onis, & inopia consolationis, quando multifariè quis pa­titur: & a nemine relevatur; Misery is then a Sea of tribulation, and scarce a drop of consolation, when a Man is oppressed many ways, and relieved by no means.

Thirdly, In the Life of the Beggar we noted what he desired in this life, Crumbs, desired to be refreshed with the Crumbs that fell from the rich man's Table.

By these words our Lord Jesus doth shew us the frame of a Christians heart, and also the heart and carriage of worldly men towards the Saints of the Lord. The Christian's heart is held forth by this, that any thing will content him while he is on this side Glory; And he desired to be fed with the Crumbs, the Dogs meat, any thing; I say a Chri­stian will be content with any thing, if he have but to keep life and soul together (as we use to say) he is content, he is satisfied; he hath learned, if he hath learned to be a Christian, to be content with any thing? as Paul saith, I have learned in whatsoevir state I am, therewith to be content. He learns in all conditions to study to love God, to walk with God, to give up himself to God; and if the Crumbs that fall from the Rich mans Table will but satisfie nature, and give him bodily strength, that thereby he may be the more able to walk in the way of God, he is contented, and he desired to be fed with the Crumbs that fell [Page 64] from the Rich man's Table. But mark he had them not; you do not find that he had so much as a Crumb or scrap allowed unto him. No, then the Dogs will be beguiled, that must be pre­served for the Dogs. From whence observe, that the ungodly world do love their Dogs better than the Children of God; you'll say that is strange: It is so indeed, yet it is true, as will be clearly manifested; as for instance, how many pounds do some men spend a year on their Dogs, when in the mean while, the poor Saints of God may starve for hunger? they will build Houses for their Dogs, when the Saints must be glad to wander, and lodge in Dens and Caves of the Earth, Heb. 11. 38. and if they be in any of their Houses, for the hire thereof, they will warn them out, or Eject them, or pull down the House over their heads, rather than not rid themselves of such Tenants. Again, some men cannot go half a mile from home, but they must have Dogs at their heels, but they can very willingly go half a score miles without the society of a Christian. Nay, if when they are busie with their Dogs, they should chance to meet a Christian, they would willingly shift him if they could: they will go on the other side the Hedge or the way, rather than they will have any society with him; and if at any time a Child of God should come into a House where there are but two or three ungodly wretches, they do commonly wish either themselves or the Saints out of doors; and why so? because they cannot down with the society of a Christian: though if there come in at the same time a Dog, or a Drunken swearing wretch, which is worse than a Dog, they will make him welcom, he shall sit down with them, and partake of their Dainties. And now tell me, you that love your sins and your pleasures, had you not [Page 65] rather keep company with a Drunkard, a Swear­er, a Strumpet, a Thief, nay a Dog, than with an honest-hearted Christian? If you say no, what means your four carriage to the People of God? Why do you look on them as if you would eat them up? yet at the very same time, if you can but meet with your Dog, or a drunken com­panion, you can fawn upon them, take acquain­tance with them, if it be two or three times in a Week: But if the Saints of God meet together, pray together, and labour to Edify one another, you will stay till Doomsday before you will look into the House where they are. Ah [...] Friends, when all comes to all, you will be found to love Drunkards, Strumpets, Dogs, any thing; nay to serve the Devil, rather than to have loving and friendly Society with the Saints of God.

The Dogs came and licked his sores. The Rich Man's Dogs by licking Lazarus, taught their Master to have mercy on him, but he would not, there­fore he had worse than a doggish Nature, and cruel Heart. But here first we note God's Provi­dence toward his Children, he will have them com­forted and fed, though by dumb and only sensible Creatures; so the Dogs here came and licked Lazarus's sores. So Elias was fed by Ravens to save his life, 1 Kings 19. 4. And thou shalt drink of the River: and I have commanded the Ravens to feed thee there.

But again, Secondly, In that, Dogs came and licked Lazarus's Sores, when the Rich Man him­self forsook him, we observe that sensible dumb Creatures of the Earth (are in their kinds) better▪ than many men. Therefore it is that God com­plaineth by the mouth of the Prophet; The Ox knoweth his owner, and the Ass his Masters Crib, but my People will not know me, saith the Lord. [Page 66] So the Dogs here knew Lazarus to be pained, but the Rich man would not vouchsafe to know him: Therefore his own Dogs condemned him of merciless Cruelty.

Here Beloved, you may see not only the af­flicted state of the Saints of God in this World, but also, that even Dogs themselves, according to their kind, are more favourable to the Saints than the sinful World; though the ungodly will have no mercy on the Saints, yet it is ordered so that these Creatures, Dogs, Lions, &c. will. Though the Rich Man would not entertain him into his House, yet his Dogs will come and do him the best good they can, even to lick his running Sores. It was thus with Daniel, when the World was against him, and would have thrown him to the Lions to be devoured: the Lions shut their mouths at him; so that there was not that hurt befel to him as was desired by the Adversaries, Dan. 6.

But now let us consider the Third Part, which is the Death of the Beggar.

It was so that the Beggar died. Here is the a­dage fulfilled, Mors optima rapit, deterrima relin­quit. Now must I speak of Tragical matters, of Funerals and Obsequies, of Dissolution and Death.

This Beggar died, that represents the Godly; and the Rich Man died, that represents the Un­godly: From whence Observe, neither Godly nor Ungodly must live always without a change either by Death or Judgment: The good man died, and the bad man died; that Scripture doth also back this Truth, that good and bad must die, marvellous well, where it is said, And it is appoint­ed to men once to die, and after that the Judg­ment, Heb. 9. 27.

Now, when it is said, the Beggar died, and the Rich man died, part of the meaning is, they ceas­ed [Page 67] to be any more in this World I say, part­ly the meaning is so, but not altogether, though it be altogether the meaning, when some of the Creatures die, yet it is but in part the meaning, when it is said, that Men, Women, or Children die; for there is to them something else to be said more than a barely going out of the World; for if when unregenerate Men and Wo­men die, there were an end of them, not only in this World, but also in the World to come, they would be more happy than now; for when un­godly men and women die, there is that to come after Death, that will be very terrible to them, namely, to be carryed by the Angels of Darkness from their Death beds to Hell, there to be reser­ved to the Judgment of the great day, when both Body and Soul shall meet and be united together again, and made capable to undergo the uttermost vengeance of the Almighty to all Eter­nity. Ah, Beloved, if this great Truth, that men must die, and depart this World, and either enter into Joy, or else into Prison, to be reserved to the Day of Judgment, were believed, we should not have so many Wantons walk up and down the streets as there do; at least, it would put a mighty check to their filthy Carriages, so that they would not, could not walk so basely and sinfully as they do. Belshazzar, notwithstanding he was so far from the fear of God as he was, yet when he did but see that God was but offended, and threatned him for his Wickedness, it made him hang down his head, and knock his knees together, Dan. 5. 5, 6. If you read the Verses before, you will find, he was careless, and satisfying his Lusts in Drinking, and playing the Wanton with his Concubines: But so soon as he did perceive the Finger of an hand writing, Then (saith the Scripture) the King's [Page 68] countenance was changed, and his thoughts troubled him, so that the joynts of his Loins were loosed, and his knees smote one against another. And when Paul told Felix of Righteousness, Temperance, and Judgment to come, it made him tremble. Further, this is a certain truth, that not only the Wicked, but the Godly also must have a time to depart this Life. And the Beggar died; the Saints of the Lord they must be deprived of this Life also, they must yield up the Ghost in­to the hands of the Lord their God; they must also be separated from their Wives, Children, Hus­bands, Friends, Goods, and all that they have in the World, for God hath decreed it: It is appointed, namely, by the Lord, for Men once to die, and we must appear before the Judgment Seat of Christ, as it is, 2 Cor. 5. 10, 11.

But again, in the Death of the Beggar: First we noted what became of his Soul, It was carried by Angels into Abrahams Bosom. Whereby we learn the Immortality of the Soul. Pythagoras was the first among the Grecians, that taught the Soul was Immortal. The Philosophers also, and Heathen Poets do prove the Immortality of the Soul.

Cedit enim retro de terra quod fuit ante
In terram, sed quod missum est ex aetheris oris
Id rursum coeli fulgentia templa receptant.

The part of Man that was made of Earth, went to Earth, and that part as came from Heaven, went to Heaven again.

But leaving these, we prove by Scripture the Immortality of the Soul, Man was made a living Soul. Therefore the Soul is Immortal. And here in the Text, Lazarus being dead, his Soul was carried into Abraham's Bosom.

[Page 69] Here therefore is the damnable Opinion of the Atheists overthrown: For if they deny God, they must also deny that they have Souls, and so conse­quently that they are not men. But St. John teach­eth them, that all things were made by the Word of God, and without it nothing was made; there­fore if they are made, they are made by the Word of God, and of a reasonable Soul, which do ac­knowledge and believe in the Creator. Anima est primum principium vitae per se subsistens, incorporea ac incorruptibilis: The Soul is the first beginning of Life, subsisting of it self, incorporeal and incor­ruptible. St. Austin, Anima est spiritus, est substantia incorporea, corporis sui vita sensibilis, invisibilis, ra­tionalis, immortalis. The Soul of man is a spiritu­al, or incorporeal substance, sensible, invisible, reason­able, immortal: For as he also saith, Solum homo habet animam rationalem: Only Man with an Immor­tal Soul. Lazarus Soul was carried into Abraham's Bosom, which is a quiet Haven, which the faith­ful have gotten by the troublesom Navigation of this Life, that is, the Kingdom of Heaven.

Here therefore we note that the Souls of the Elect being separated from their Bodies, are pre­sently in Joys, and are carried into Abraham's Bo­som; so called, because it belongeth only to the Faithful. Well then, Lazarus Soul went to Hea­ven; and Christ said to the Thief on the Cross, This day shalt thou be with me in Paradise. Not to morrow or next Year, but this day. There­fore the Souls of the Elect being separated from their Bodies, are in Joy and Rest. As also on the other side, the soul of the Rich man and the Dam­ned, after they be separated from their Bodies, are in Hell Torments.

And thus much concerning the place whi­ther Lazarus soul was carried, being dead; name­ly, into Abraham's Bosom.

[Page 70] Lastly, We noted by whom, by Angels: It was carried by Angels into Abraham's Bosom.

And here an Objection ariseth, viz. If this be so, that the Godly die as well as the Wicked, and if the Saints must appear before the Judg­ment-seat, as well as the sinners, then what Advantage have the Godly more than the Un­godly, and how can the Saints be in a better condition than the Wicked.

Answ. Read the [...]. Verse over again, and you shall find a [...] difference between them, as much as is between Heaven and Hell, e­verlasting Joy, and everlasting Torment; for you find, when the Beggar died, which represents the Godl [...], he was carried by the Angels into Abra­ham's Bosom, or into everlasting Joy, Psal. 1. But the Ungodly are not so, but are hurried by the Devils into the Bottomless Pit, drawn away in their Wickedness, Prov. 14. 32. for he saith, And in Hell he lift up his Eyes; when the Un­godly do die, their misery beginneth, for then appear the Devils like so many Lions, waiting every moment till the soul depart from the Body; sometimes they are very visible to the dying Party, but sometimes more invisible: But always this is certain, they never miss of the soul, if it do die out of the Lord Jesus Christ, but do hale it away to their Prison, as I said before, there to be tormented and reserved until the great and dreadful day of Judgment, at which day they must, Body and Soul, receive a final Sentence from the Righteous Judge, and from that time be shut out from the Presence of God into everlasting woe and distress. But the Godly, when the time of their departure is at hand, then are also the Angels of the Lord at hand; yea, they are ready waiting on the [Page 71] Soul, to conduct it safely into Abraham's Bosom. I do not say, but the Devils oft-times are very bu­s [...]e doubtless, and attending the Saints in their Sickness; yes, and no question, but they would willingly deprive the soul of Glory. But here is the comfort, as the Devils come from Hell to devour the soul (if it be possible, at it's de­parture) so the Angels of the Lord come from Heaven, to watch over and conduct the soul (in spight of the Devil) safe into Abraham's bo­som.

David had the comfort of this, and speaks it forth for the comfort of his Brethren, Psal. 34. 7. saying, The Angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them. Mark, the Angel of the Lord encampeth round about his Children, to deliver them: From what? From their Enemies, of which the Devil is not the least: This is an excellent comfort at any time, to have the holy Angels of God to attend a Poor Man or Woman, but especially it is comfortable in the time of distress, at the time of Death, when the Devils beset the Soul with all the Power that Hell can afford them, but now it may be, that the glorious Angels of God do not appear at the first, to the view of the Soul; nay, rather Hell stands before it, and the Devils ready, as if they would carry it thither, but this is the comfort, the Angels do always appear at the last, and will not fail the soul, but will carry it safe into Abraham's bosom. Ah! Friends, consider, here is an ungod­ly man upon his Death-bed, and he hath none to speak for him, none to speak comfort unto him, but it is not so with the Children of God, for they have the spirit to comfort them. Here is the ungodly, and they have no Christ to pray [Page 72] for their safe Conduct to Glory, but the Saints have an Intercessor, John 17. 9. Here is the World, when they die, they have none of the An­gels of God to attend upon them, but the Saints have their Company. In a word, the unconvert­ed person when he dieth, he sinks into the bet­tomless Pit; but the Saints when they die, do as­cend with and by the Angels into Abraham's Bosom, or into unspeakable Glory, Luke 23. 34.

And so let us consider the fourth and last part, which is the Death of the Rich Man.

The Rich Man died also, &c. Here we may a­gain see, that Death is the way of all flesh. Death shaketh Cedar and Shrub, Death calleth away the Rich man from his pleasure, and Laza­rus from his Pain, and all must obey when Death calleth. It is not the Majesty of a Prince nor Ho­liness of a Priest, strength of Body, feature of Face, Wisdom, Beauty, Riches, Honour, nor any such secular regard can plead against Death, or priviledge a man from the Grave, Statutum est omnibus semel mori: The Decree is out, all must die once; all must taste of this distasteful cup of death. Let us know then that the Pale Horse, and he that sitteth thereon, whose name is Death, comes run­ning on towards us, fall that is within us, and without us, are Remembrancers of Death. The Sun rising in the East, and setting in the West, sheweth our rising and alling, our coming in and going out of this World. All cry unto us we must away, we must away, we must hence, as Christ said, My Kingdom is not of this World. Death is a separation of the Soul from the Body; the Husband separated from the Wife of his youth; the Father separated from his Children whom he dearly loved; the Children from their Pa­rents, the Master from his Servant, and the Ser­vant [Page 73] from his Master, thus Parents and Friends' and all must part.

The first circumstance of the Rich man is, to know what became of his Body? It was honoura­bly buried. But here we see that honourable Bu­rial doth not profit the damned soul. Tares are sown as well as Wheat in all times; if the one grow up for the fire, the other for the barn; Gather the Tares in bundles, and burn them, but gather the Wheat into my barn, Matth. 1. 30.

But let us lastly consider what became of his Soul.

And being in Hell Torments, &c. But because none can so well relate miseries, and none can de­scribe the torments of Hell so well as he that hath felt the same, let the Rich man himself speak, and let us hear him what he saith, he being in Hell tor­ments, he thus beginneth: O wretch that I am, why did I suffer Lazarus to starve at my Gate? for which I am shut in the Gates of Hell. Why did I not give Lazarus a [...]rumb of Bread? for which I cannot have here now one drop of Water to cool my tongue. Why did I shew Lazarus no mercy on Earth? for which no mercy is shewed to me in Hell. What shall I do? for I a [...] tormented in this flame, I will cry unto Abraham, Abraham have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, to cool my tongue. I am tormented here; Abraham, I am torn in pieces here; Abraham, I am plagued and continually pained here; Abraham, here my purple Rayment is flames of fire, my light is darkness, my day night, my com­panions are Devils! O how they hale me! O how they pull me! O how they vex and torment me! Here my feet are scorched, my hands are seared, my heart is wounded, my eyes are blinded, my ears are dulled, my senses conf [...]unded, my tongue is hot, it is [Page 74] very hot: send Lazarus there [...]ore, Abraham, with a drop of Water to comfort me; one drop, good Abra­ham, one drop of Water.

But Abraham answered him: Thou damned wretch, once thou didst disdain Lazarus, once thou didst re [...]se Lazarus, once thou didst scorn Lazarus, now Lazarus shall disdain, refuse, and scorn thee: once thou stoppedst thine ears from the cry of Lazarus, now he stops his ears from thy cry: once thou turnedst away thy face from Lazarus; now he turneth away his face from thee: once thou deniedst crumbs to Lazarus, now he denieth water to thee, not a spoonful, not a drop of water.

Oh Abraham, but now if I had my goods, I would give Lazarus all for a drop of Water: Now if I had a million of Gold, I would give it all for a drop of wa­ter: now if I had a world of wealth, I would give it all to Lazarus; therefore, good Abraham, one drop. But he answered, No not a drop.

Not a drop? Then cursed be the day wherein I was born, and cursed be the night wherein I was co [...]ceived▪ cursed be my Father that begot me, and cursed be my Mother that bare me; cursed be the place that kept me; cursed be the delicate Robes that cloathed m [...], cursed be the delicate Meat that fed me; let me be most acc [...]r­sed of all creatures both in Heaven and Earth. And so leave we him cursing, who indeed was most accur­sed; and learn that the souls of the damned be­ing separated from their bodies, are in Hell Torments.

But to conclude all in one word, and to apply all that hath been spoken to this present time and place, let us all in our vocations and places follow the advice of a late Eminent Pen, viz. to learn to have mercy on Lazarus, that is, on our poor Brethren, that we may find mercy, and that mercy may rejoyce in Judgment: and you that are Magistrates of this City, think upon [Page 75] Lazarus that lyeth in your Streets, that pineth at your gates, that starveth in your Prisons for want of Crumbs: Heark, how they cry Bread, bread, a loaf of bread for Jesus sake. Who would not hear them? who would not pity them? who would not comfort them? Also see that you chuse good and merciful Officers in your Spittles and Hospitals, that may feed Lazarus, and not fill their own Purses and Bellies, as the rich man did. And you that sit in the seat of Judgment, and are Gods here on earth, let the matter be rightly judged between the rich man and poor Lazarus; let equi­ty be in your right hand, and justice in your left; consider that Lazarus is poor, and that he is not a­ble to wage Law against the rich man, yet defend him and let him have right. Defend the Father­less and Widdow. See that such as be in need and necessity have their right: then shall the righteous God of Heaven bless you, and bless the Land for your sake; then shall we be with Lazarus in the blessed place of rest, whilst wretched Dives is tormented in Hell flames, (even in that burn­ing prison where angry and enraged Devils shall be his Tormentors to Eternity) where he will be for ever crying and groaning out in this kind of doleful manner following, viz.

Oh! cursed, cursed, most accursed Soul,
Where am I now? what Friends are those that howl?
They seize upon me, they torment me sore,
I Shreik with anguish, they in fury roar.
In Earths deep center; dark and dreadful Cell,
Where only angry damned Spirits dwell
In grossest darkness, yet my sight so clear,
Most hideous Visious to the same appear.
[Page 76] In Hell, indeed, where I endure that curse
Which shall not cease, but be hereafter worse
In fire infernal; out of measure hot,
Which ever burns, and yet consumeth not.
I rave, I curse, and I accuse my fate,
As if such torments were unjust, too great;
But Conscience nips me with, not so: I try
To kill that wor [...], but oh! it will not die.
Most wretched I, besides the Woes I have,
Methinks I hear my bones within my G [...]ave,
(As troubled with some fatal Trumpets sound)
Begin to shake and shiver in the ground.
Alas, alas, what shall of me become
When wretched, go, ye cu [...]sed, is my doom.
How shall my Soul and Body both [...],
Then curse the hour they were again united.
How shall the Devils then with fury driven
Sieze me for Hell, when, entenc'd out of Heaven;
And on me with much insultation rage,
As if my torments might their own asswage.
Then with [...]e bideous howling heard of Hell,
I shall be thrown down to that dreadful Cell,
Where we in flames, which never fail, shall burn;
From whence we never, never shall return.

The Winding-Sheet.

NOw where am I? If I look behind me, I see Death hastning after me, nay, that Death is at my Back: If I look forward, I see Heaven and Hell before me, my selfstanding on the ve­ry brink of Time, and my next step (for ought I know) may be into Eternity of joy or sorrow, where I did but now by Faith see o­thers were, there I my self must quickly really be, there I shall rejoyce with them. If I look a little before me, I may see my self cast down upon a Bed of sickness; my Friends weeping, and fearing I shall die; the Physicians are puzled, and at a loss, giving me over for the Grave, and my self gasping for Life, and breathing out my last. If I look but a little before me, I can as it were hear my Friends saying, He is dead, he is dead, he is gone, he is departed, and then (as it were) I might see them haling me out of my Bed, and wrapping me in My Winding Sheet, and nailing me up in my Coffin. I might see my Grave a digging, and men hired to carry me on their shoulders from my house to my Long Home, Relations and Neighbours fol­lowing after to see me lodged in the Dust, to lye and rot among the Dead.

But before all this can be done to my Body, my Soul hath taken it's flight into Eternity, where it is without change or alteration, for ever to be with God or Devils. Oh that I could then work it on my heart, that I must [Page 78] quickly be either in Heaven or Hell, that I have a long Race to run by a short breath, (if I en­ter Heaven,) a great way to go in a few hours.

The Sun who goes so many miles in a minute, the stars of the firmament, which go so very many more, go not so fast, as my body to the Earth. In the same instant that I feel the first attempt of the dis­ease, I feel the victory; In the twinkling of an eye, I can scarce see; instantly the tast is insipid and fatuous; instantly the appetite is dull and de­sireless: instantly the knees are sinking and strengthless; and in an instant, sleep, which is the Picture, the copy of Death, is taken away, that the original, Death it self may succeed, and that so I might have death to the life

To return from the dead, is impossible; all my life then I will prepare for death.

They call death Charons boat, I am sure it wafts the Soul from a material to an immateri­al World.

I have but one step to Eternity: it is from life to death, I will be preparing this body of mine, to win the garland of a blessed Immortality.

O the serious thoughts while I live! How I must die, these do so make me run, that I may obtain a Crown of glory.

The sound of the Passing Bell assures me there is some to day likely to die; it is so nigh Night, it is high time then to work out my Salvation; lest the Night of death put in, and none can work.

I have a task set will take up all my time, viz. to die well; while I live then, I will learn to die; lest being found unprepared, it be said, Thou fool, this night thy Soul shall be required of thee.

[Page 79] Maximilian the Emperor made his Coffin al­ways to be carried along with him, to this end, that his high Dignity might not make him forget his Mortality.

What was long since decreed in Heaven, God hath sent Warrants to execute on Earth, semel mori, for us once to die.

Kings Xerxes standing on a Mountain, and having many hundred thousand of his Souldiers standing in the plain, fell a weeping, to think upon it, how in a few years, and all those gal­lant valiant men must die.

Adam, he lived 930 years, and he died.

Enoch, he lived 965 years, and he died.

Methusalem lived 967 years, and he died.

O the longest day hath its night and in the end man must die!

The Princes of the Nations pass sentence of death upon others: Well, it is not long, but their turn will come, Semel mori once to die.

Many of us live where our parents lived, and live of the same lands which they lived of: It is not long, and our Children shall do as much for us; For we must go hence, and be seen no more.

Some ride Post, some Hackney pace, at seri­us, citius, sooner, later, all arrive at the Com­mon Inn, the grave, and die.

Some have the Palsie, some the Apoplexy, some a Feaver, some an Ague, some a Con­sumption, some none of them: yet the sick, the sound, they all meet in the end, at the same Rendezvouz, at the House of Death.

The Scholar thinks to delude Death with hi [...]s Fallacies. The Lawyer puts in his Demur, [Page 80] the Prince his plea is State affairs: at [...]quo pulsat pede, Death knocks at all doors alike; and when he comes, they all go hence, from their houses to their graves.

Joseph the Jew, in his best health made his Stone Coffin be cut out in his Garden, to put him in mind of his Ego abeo, I go hence.

The Persians they buried their dead in their houses, to put the whole houshold in mind of the same lot, Semel mori, once to die.

Simonides, when commanded to give the most wholsom rule to live well, willed the Lacede­monian Prince ever to bear in mind, Se tempore brevi moriturum: ere long and he must die.

I have read of a sort of people that used dead mens bones for money, and the more they have, they are counted the more rich: Herein consists my richest treasure, to bear that about me will make me all my life remember my end.

Great Sultan Saladan, Lord of many Nations and Languages, commanded upon his death-bed, that one shall carry upon a Spears point through all his Camp, the Flag of Death, and to pro­claim, for all his wealth, Saladan hath nought left, but this winding-sheet, An ensured Ensign of Death triumphing over all the Sons of Adam.

I uncloath my self every night, I put off all, but what may put me in mind of my winding-sheet.

Anaxagoras having word brought him, his onely son was dead; his answer was, Scio me genuisse mortalem, I know he was born to die.

Philip of Macedon gave a Boy a pension every morning to say to him Philippe, memento te ho­minem esse, Philip remember thou art a man, and there­fore must die.

[Page 81] We read of Philostrates, how he lived seven years in his Tomb, that he might be acquainted with it, against the time he came to be put in­to it: Oh, an Apprentiship of years, is time little enough to make us perfect in the Mystery of Mor­tality.

Divine Meditations arising from the Contemplation of these sad and serious Sentences.

1. Med. IS it not high time to make fit to die, consi­dering thy Winding Sheet lies ready for thee, and the Bell tolls thee away. Say with thy self, My want is great, my time is almost run: If I make not market to day, I am not sure to do it to morrow. O the uncertainty of Life shall be the Alarum-Bell to give me now notice, to work out my Salvation with fear and tremb­ling.

O, I am never so nigh my God, as when I think of my end. FRIEND, let Death be in thy thoughts, and God will be in thy heart.

2. Med. Meditate, since man must die, Lord, what danger in dying unprepared! this is Maxima miseria, A misery of miseries; and St. Augustine gives the reason. For that look how a man goeth to that prison the Grave, so he goeth to the Judgment-hall to be tryed.

But oh Death, thou Common Butcherer of hu­man Nature! after thy great stroak be struck, I am not dead, but asleep. Blessed be thou my God, who hast made my grave my bed, in which, after I have taken some silent rest, the noise of the Arch­angel with his Trumpet, shall awake and raise me, from a Death for sin, to a life of glory. Death is the way we must all walk to Life:

[Page 82] Some ancient Fathers, and some late Writers (says the Lord Manchester) have fixed upon the Love of God; Some, upon the Passion of Christ; Some, upon the Joys of Heaven; Some, upon Con­tempt of the World; several others, upon divers o­ther subjects: All opening, that some one is to be chosen. For whoso will live to himself, must be at leisure for God. And a wise Vivere sibi. Vacare Deo. man saith, Wisdom is to be written in time of leisure: Whoever is lessen'd by work, he cannot tend it.

I being in my accustomed retiredness, disengaged from publick affairs (which was but seldom) found it useful, fruitful and delightful, To bestow my thoughts upon my latter end.

There be four last things, say the Fathers, Heaven, Hell, Death, and Judgment.

All subjects large enough.

But considering I had passed so much Employ­ment, so many Offices, so long Practice in several professions, I now thought it time to seize on Death, before it seiz'd on me. Lord, teach me to number my days, that I may apply my Heart to Wisdom.

After long meditation, this I found, that when Meditation had begotten Devotion, then it ap­plyed it self to Contemplation; which required a settlement upon some Divine Object.

And what more heavenly than the thought of Immortality? What so necessary as the thought of Death? Herein therefore I complyed with my own desires, and did so as it were weave my own wind­ingsheet by making choice of Death for the Subject of my Contemplation.

We should not diffuse our thoughts into variety [Page 83] of Considerations, but recollect them into one by Contemplation. Herewith a man's soul being once affected, hardly shall be obtain leave of his thoughts to return again to employments.

And lest I, busied about many things, should re­main unknown unto my self; for the old word is a true one, Nil prosunt lecta nec intellecta; nisi teip­sum legas, & intelli­gas. Neither things read, or understood, profit him at all, who does not both read and know himself. I there applyed my self [Ad meum novissimum, to my last thing,] what man liveth, and shall not see death? And if, after death, The Righteous shall scarcely be saved, we may well be fearful, and had need be careful that we be not taken unprepared.

When I was a young Man, (saith Seneca) my care was to live well, I then practised the art of well living. When age came upon me, I then studied the Artem bene vivendi. Artem bene moriendi. art of dying well; how to die well.

It is true, The journey of Life appears not to bu­sie men until the end. Yet when I was most bu­sie of all, I delighted my self with this comfort, that a time would come, wherein I might live to my self, hoping to have sweet leisure to enjoy my self at last.

And this I am now come to, by disposing, not by changing my self.

Lord let me be found in this posture, when I come to die.

In the courses of my Life I have had inter­changes: The World it self stands upon vicissi­tudes: God hath interwoven my life with adversity and prosperity. When I first took me to a Gown, I put on this thought; I desire a Fortune [Page 84] like my Gown, not long, but fit; fit for my condition; Fortunam ut tegam appeto, non longam, sed Concinnam. finding by others, that a contented kind of obscurity keeps a Man free from Envy. Although any kind of Superiority be a mark of envy; yet, Not to be so high, as to provoke an ill eye, nor so low as to be trodden on, was the height of my Ambition. But I must confess, I have since had a greater portion of the World's favour, than I looked for: Nevertheless, I never gave trust to fortune, although she seemed to be at peace with me.

To check repining at those above me, I al­ways looked at those below me; nor did any preferments so delight me, or abuse me, as to make me neglect preparing for my dying day.

And now, I thank God, I can say, O Lord, my heart is ready. This I have considered, that Life flows away by Hours and days, as it were by drops.

Careful Martha was full, busie about many things: but was well advised by Christ, There was only one thing necessary.

One thing have I desired of the Lord, that I may dwell in his House for ever; This was David's u­num, his one thing, and, God willing, shall be mine.

Amidst these thoughts, I had these things in contemplation.

  • 1. What Death was, and the kinds of Death.
  • 2. Secondly, What fears or joys death brings.
  • 3. Thirdly, When Death is to be prepared for, and How.
  • 4. Fourthly, Death approaching, what our last thoughts should be.

Of these things I thus believed.

That Death was but a fall, which came by a Fall. Our first-framed Father Adam falling, in him we all fell. It was not the Man, but mankind.

Body and Soul parting.

BUt, Oh how bitter, at that time will be the parting of Soul and Body! We see old ac­quaintance cannot part without tears. What shall such intimate familiar friends do, as the Soul and Body are, which have lived together from the Womb with so much delight?

In that hour, every man will make Balaam's suit, O that I might die the death of the Righ­teous! We all desire to shut up our last scene of Life with, In manus tuas, Domine; Into thy hands, O Lord, I commend my Spirit.

At this Hour, What would a man give to secure his Soul? Quid dabis pro animâ tuâ tunc, qui nunc pro nihi [...]o das illam? What wilt thou give then for thy Soul to save it, who dost so prodigally throw it away now for nothing? This thou canst not leave behind thee, that will tell thee whether thou goest, and what thou shalt look for: Tunc, quasi loquentia, tua Opera dicent; Tu nos egisti: Tua opera sumus; T [...] non deseremus, sed tecum i [...]imus ad Judicium: Then shall thy doings, even speaking aloud, say unto thee, Thou hast done us, we are thy works, we will not leave thee, but will go with thee to judgment.

In that day shall come into mens minds (by the Divine Power) in the twinkling of an Eye, all their past good or evil Works.

[Page 86] Memory, the Magazine of the Soul, will then recount all that thou hast done, said, or thought, all thy life long: For there needs no other Art of memory for sin, but misery.

Man is a great flatterer of himself, but Con­science is always just, and will never chide thee wrongfully; it always takes part with God against a man's self: It is a domestick Magistrate, that will tell what you do at home: It is well term­ed the pulse of the Soul; therefore if you would know the true state of vour Body or Soul, feel how this beats, that will tell you: Yet take heed you make not an Idol of your Conscience; nei­ther think, as some do, that it is a crime to make a Conscience of our Actions.

At point of death, if a man will take his aim by the best men that ever lived or died; that of David, Ezekias, yea, and of Christ himself, (as he was man) is able to amaze any man; when as our Saviour Christ, not many hours before he suffered, said, My soul is troubled, and what shall I say; and at the very point of Death, said, Father, if it be thy will, let this Cup pass from me. When David said, Save, Lord, for thy mercies sake: For in Death there is no remembrance of thee. And Ezekias wept sore, when he was bid, Put thy house in order, for thou must die: If the Patriarchs, if the Prophets, if the Apostles, if the Martyrs, if Christ himself was thus troubled at the hour of Death; Wretched man that I am, what shall I do? We were all to seek, but that Christ bids us, Be of good chear, for I have overcome Death.

Caesar Borgias being sick to death, said, When I lived, I provided for every thing but death; now I must die, and am unprovided to die.

Previous preparation becomes a wise man. [Page 87] But we are all deceived with this Error, [...] we think none but old men approa [...]h to death: neither experience nor age can work upon us; so death, that it may more easily s [...]rprise us, shrowds it self under the very name of life.

He that s [...]es the Basilisk before he be seen of it, avoids the poyson: See Death before it comes, you shall not feel it when it comes.

We pray daily; Lord, Give us this day our daily Bread; whilst it is called to day: We should remember, Life is but a day, 'tis b [...]t a day, not an age. Wherefore, saith Solomon, Talk not of to morrow, for thou knowest not what to mor­row will bring forth.

A man, saith Luther, lives forty years before he knows himself to be a fool; and by that time he sees his folly, his Life is finished. So men die before they begin to live.

To die well, is too busie a work to be done well on a sudden. Deferring, as well as pre­suming, makes many men implicite Atheists.

It was a sweet Speech, and might well have become an Elder Body, which a young inno­cent Child of my own, used in extremity of sickness, Mother, what shall I do? I shall die before I know what death is. I beseech you tell me what is Death, and how I should die.

Now of the way to die well.

HE that would end his days well, must spend them well: 'Tis no great matter to live, all do as much; but few die well.

But Death fa [...]s sad and heavy upon such, Are little known at home, abroad too much.

Man is ready to die before he lives; but therefore he liveth a time in the world, that he may die betime to the world. His Years come to an end as a Tale that is [...]old. His days deceive him, for they pass as a shadow, by moon­shine; then appearing longest, when they draw nearest to an end. Job saith, My days are swister than a Post, they flee away and see no good.

The art of dying well is better learnt by Practice, than by Precept.

Unto dying well, three Things are most re­quisite:

First, To be often meditating upon Death;

Secondly, To be dying daily.

Thirdly, To die by little and little.

The first step of dying well.

OFten meditation of Death brings a man to die in ease; for it alleviates pains, expels fear, eases cares, cures sins, corrects death it self. The very Thought of Eternity will make easie and pleasant all things we suf­fer in a miserable Life.

How can we be said not to die, when we live among the dead? We live with so many deaths about us, as we cannot but often think of dy­ing.

Every Humour in us engenders Diseases e­nough to kill us, so that our Bodies are but living Graves; and we die not because we are, [Page 89] sick, but because we live. And when we re­cover from sickness, we escape not sickness, but the disease: All this life is but a death of an hour.

Familiarity with Death, a soveraign Cordial against Death.

THerefore be acquainted with Death betimes; for through acquaintance, death will lose his horror; like unto an ill Face, though it be as formidable as a monster, yet often viewing will make it familiar, and free it from distaste: walk every day, with Joseph, a turn or two in thy Garden with death, and thou shalt be well acquainted with the face of death; but shalt ne­ver feel the sting of death: Death is black, but comely. Philostrates lived seven years in his Tomb, that he might be acquainted with it, a­gainst his bones came to lye in it. Some Phi­losophers have been so wrapt in this contemplati­on of Death, and Immortality, that they dis­course so familiarly and pleasingly of it, as if a fair death were to be preferred before a plea­sant life.

This is well for Nature's part; and Moralists think this enough for their part to conceive so: But Christians must go farther; and search deep­er: They must try where the power of death lyes. They shall find that the power of every man's death lyes in his own sin; That death ne­ver hurts a man but with his own weapons: It always turns upon us, some sin it finds in us. The sting of Death is sin: Pluck out the sting, death cannot hurt us. The way to die well, is to die often. Let a man often and seriously [Page 90] think of dying, then let him sin if he can, said Picus Mirandula. In Sardis there grew an Herb cal­led Appium Sardis, that would make a Man lie laugh­ing when he was deadly sick: Such is the operati­on of sin. Beware therefore of this [Risus Sardoni­cus] laughter of Sardis.

We count it a fearful thing for a man to be author of his own death; but a sinful life slays the soul. and so while we live, we kill or lose our better life. The Commandment that says, Thou shalt not kill, es­pecially forbids the murthering of our own Souls. And herein is our happiness; though we live in sin, yet we die without sin. Therefore to me Death is welcome; not as an end of troubles, but of sin. Into thy hands I commend my Spirit, for thou hast re­deemed me, O Lord God of Truth.

The Second Step, To be dying daily.

THE second step to dying-well, is, to die daily. Methinks, O my Soul, it is but yesterday since we met, and now we are upon parting; neither shall we, I hope, be unwilling to take our leaves: for, what advantage can it be to us to hold out longer together. Are we not assured that if our earthly house of this Tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the Heavens? Why therefore, O my Soul, shouldst thou be loth to part upon fair terms? Thou, O my Soul, to the possession of that happy Mansion, which thy dear Saviour hath, from all Eternity, prepared for thee in his Father's house: and thou, O my body, to that quiet re­pository of the grave; till ye both shall happily meet in the blessed Resurrection of the Just.

I die, that I may not die. I die daily, saith Saint Paul. So many days as thou livest, reckon so many lives; for he that disposeth all his days as one life, can neither wish nor fear to morrow.

[Page 91] The old saying is a good saying; Do that every day, which thou wouldst do the same day that thou diest. 'Tis an excellent thing to make all we can of life, before Death.

To die by little and little, the third step.

THE third step to dying well is, to die by little and little.

Naturally we are every day dying by degrees: the faculties of our minds, the strength of our bodies, our common senses are every day decaying, by little and little: every sin is more than a disease, and a wicked life makes a continual death. Impie vivere est diu mori; To live wickedly, is to be long a dying: Therefore saith the good Man, We are killed all the day long.

He that useth this course every day. To die by little and little, to him (let Death come when it will) it can neither be terrible nor sudden.

If we keep a Courser to run a Race, we lead him daily over the place, to acquaint him by degrees with all things in the way, that when he comes upon his speed, he do not start or turn aside for any thing he sees. So let us inure our souls; and then we shall run with boldness the race that is set be­fore us, looking to Jesus, the Author and finisher of our salvation.

To die by little and little, is first to mortifie our lesser sins, and not to say with Lot, Is it not a little one?

There be also a sort of little deaths, sickness of body, loss of Friends, and the like: Use these in their kind, and you may make them kindly helps to dying well.

Every change is a certain imitation of Death. Let [Page 92] a man go out as he came into the World; which was, first by a life of Vegetation, then of Sen [...]e, afterwards of Reason.

To die daily, is this: daily to attend upon, and exercise that great duty of Mortification, according to our solemn Vow and Covenant made to God at our Baptis [...]: which Vow and Covenant, we renew, at our first coming to the holy and blessed Sacrament of the Lord's Supper. Alas, how few do consider, or understand this great duty of Mortification, and fewer practise it. And yet this, above all others, is the Grace which fit­teth and prepareth us for Death; this Grace putteth us into the possession of Life Spirit [...]al; and by perseverance in it, into life Eternal, Rom. 8. 13. But if ye live after the flesh; that is, after the appetites, lusts, affections of the flesh, ye shall die. But I bless God, I have nothing to do with the World, nor the World with me. Rich­es, Pleasures, honours transport me not, affect me not; nor am I dejected and afflicted with poverty, common pains, sicknesses, disgrace or scorn. Christ liveth in me, and I in him; there­fore, I humbly thank the power of his grace. I can die as willingly as I can go out of one Room into another.

For the manner of dying.

AMongst Men it is a matter of chief mark, the manner of a man's death. The chief good of Man, is his good departure out of this life.

Before you die, set your house in order: He that hath not a house, yet hath a soul; no soul can want affairs to set in order, for this final dissolution.

The chief grace of the Theatre, is the last [Page 93] Scene. It is the Evening that Crowns the day; and we think it no good sign of a fair Morrow, when the Sun sets in a Cloud: The end Crowns every Work.

Most men wish a short Death, because death is always accompanied with pain. We die groaning. To lie but an hour under Death is tedious, but to be dying a whole day, we think beyond the strength of humane patience: He that desires to be dissolved, and be with Christ, dies not only pa­tiently, but delightfully. Happy is he, that after due preparation, dies ere he be aware; so like­wise is he happy that, by long sickness, sees death afar off; for the one dies like Elias, the other like Elisha: both blessedly.

The best posture to be found in when Death comes, is in the exercise of our calling: Press, saith St. Paul, towards the mark for the prize of the high calling, Phil. 3.

A good Man, by his good will, would die praying, and do as the Pilgrim doth, go on his way singing, and so adds the pains of singing to that of going; Who yet by this surplus of pain, unwearies himself of pain.

But some wretches think God rather curious, than they faulty, if a few sighs, with a [Lord have mercy upon us,] be not enough at the last gasp.

But commonly good Men are best at last, e­ven when they are dying. It was a Speech worthy the commendation, and frequent re­membrance of so divine a Bishop as Augustine, which is reported of an aged Father, in his time; who, when his Friends comforted him on his sick bed, and told him, they hoped he should recover; answered, If I shall not die at all, well; but if ever, why not now? Surely it is folly, [Page 94] what we must do, to do unwillingly. I will ne­ver think my Soul in a good case, so long as I am loth to think of dying.

There is no Spectacle in the World so profita­ble, or more terrible, than to behold a dying man; to stand by, and see a man dismanned. Curiously didst thou make me in the lowest part of the Earth, saith David: but to see those Elements which compounded, made the Body: To see them di­vided, and the man dissolved, is a ruful sight.

Every dying man carries Heaven and Earth wrapped up in his bosom, and at this time each part returns homeward.

Certainly, death hath great dependency on the course of man's life, and life it self is as frail as the Body which it animates. Augustus Caesar accounted that to be the best death which is quick and unexpected, and which beats not at our doors by any painful sickness. So often as he heard of a man that had a quick passage, with little sense of pain, he wished for himself that Eu­thana [...]ie: While he lived he used to set himself be­tween his two friends, Groans and Tears. When he died he called for his Looking-glass command­ed to have his Hair and Beard kembed, his reviled cheeks smoothed up. Then asking his Friends, if he acted his part well, when they answered, Yes; why then, says he, do you not all clap your hands for me?

Despair in dying, may as well arise from weak­ness of Nature, as from trouble of Mind: But by neither of these can he be prejudiced, that hath lived well.

Raving, and other strange Passions, are many times rather the effect of the Disease, than coming from the mind. For upon Death's ap­proaches, choler [...]uming to the Brain, will cause [Page 95] distempers in the most patient Soul. In these cases, the fairest and truest judgment to be made is, that sins of sickness occasioned by vio­lence of Disease in a patient man, are but sins of infirmity▪ and not to be taken as ill signs or presages; A Son of so many Tears cannot but be saved. I will not despair in respect of that man's impatient dying, whom the Worm of Conscience had not devoured living.

Seldom any enter into Glory with ease; yet the Jews say of Moses, His soul was sucked out of his mouth with a kiss.

David in this case, the better to make his way, prayed and cried, Lord, spare me a little. O spare me, that I may recover my strength, before I go hence and be no more.

Indeed to Ezekias some Years of Days were lent: But we are not worthy of that favour; we must not expect that God will bring back the shadow of degrees, [...]hen [...] it is gone down in the Dial of A [...]az; we must time it as we may, and be content to live and die at uncertainties.

Therefore, as a sick man [...] to the Clock, so let us wa [...]h Death. For sudden com­ing of Death, finding a weak soul unprepared, makes it desperate, and leaves it miserable.

Death approaching, what our last Thoughts should be.

SEneca saith, the last day judgeth all the prece­dent. The last is the best; dying words are weightiest, and make deepest imressions. Our last thoughts are readiest to spend themselves upon somewhat that we loved best while we lived.

[Page 96] The soul it self, when it is entring into glory, breaths Divine things.

At this time a good man's tongue is in his breast, not in his mouth; his words are then so pithy and so pectoral, that he cries, O Lord Jesus, take thine own into thy own custody!

Anatomists say, there are strings in a man's tongue, which go to his heart; when these break, Man speaks his heart. Oh that they were wise! (said Moses) and would understand, and fore-see their latter end. When he was dying Christs last words in the Bible are, Surely I come quickly; Our answer is, Amen: Even so come Lord Jesus, &c.

I have but small acquaintance with the future State, but this I'm sure there will be no change that will be so surprizing to me as that By Death. It is a thing of which I know but little, and no [...]e of the millions of Souls that have past into the in­visible World, have come again to tell me how it is.

It must be done (my Soul) but 'tis a strange,
A dismal and Mysterious change, Norris.
When thou shalt leave this Tenement of Clay;
And to an unknown somewhere wing away;
When Time shall be Eternity, and thou▪ (not how▪
Shalt be thou know'st not what, and live thou know'st
Amazing State! no wonder that we dread
To think of Death, or view the Dead,
Thou'rt all wrapt up in the Clouds, as if to thee
Our very knowledge had Antipathy.
Death could not a more sad retinue find,
Sickness and pain before, and darkness a [...] behind.
Some courteous Ghost tell this great Secrecy,
What 'tis you are, and we must be.
You warn us of approaching Death, and why
May we not know from you what 'tis to dye?
But you having shot the Gulph, delight to see
Succeeding Souls plunge in with like uncertainty.
When Life's close knot by writ from Destiny,
Disease shall cut, or age unty;
When after some delays, so me dying strife,
The Soul stands shivering on the ridge of Life;
With what a dreadful Curiosity
Does she launch out into the Sea of vast Eternity.
So when the spacious Globe was delug'd o're,
And lower holds could save no more,
On th' utmost Bough th' astonish'd Sinners stood,
And view'd th' Advances of th' encroaching Flood.
O're topp'd at length by th' Elements encrease,
With horror they resig [...]'d to the untry'd Abyss.

It is very desirable to know in what condition our Souls will be when they leave the Body, and what is the Nat [...]re of that abode into which we must go, but which we never saw into; and through what Regions we must then take our flight, and after what manner this will be done. 'Tis certain my Soul will then preserve the faculties that are natural to it, viz. to understand, to will, to remem­ber, as 'tis represented to us under the Parable of Dives and Lazarus: But alas! we little know how the People of the disembodied Societies act, and will, and understand, and communicate their [Page 98] thoughts to one another, and therefore I long to know it. What conception can I have of a sepa­rated Soul (says a late Writer) but that 'tis all Thought?

I firmly think when a mans body is taken from him hy Death, he is turned into all Thought and Spirit. How great will be his Thought when it is without any hinderance from these material Organs that now obstruct its Operations? In that Eternity (as one ex­presses it) the whole power of the Soul runs together one and the same way. In Eternity the Soul is united in its Motions, which way one facul­ty goes all go, and the Thoughts are all concentred as in one whole Thought Beverley's great Soul of Man. p. 292. of Joy or Torment.

These things have occasioned great variety of Thoughts in me, and my Soul when it looks towards the other World and thinks it self near, it can no more cease to be inquisitive about it, than it can cease to be a Soul.

Tears FOR A Dead Husband▪

WHen Mary came where Jesus was, and saw him, she fell down at his feet, saying unto him, Lord if thou hadst been here, my Brother had not died, Jo. 11. 32. She wept indeed, yet it was but for [...] Brother; and the Jews also wept, vers. 33. yet it was but for a common Friend: But what was all that to the death of a Husband? O my Husband, my Husband! That very name of Husband me­thinks would flatter me with comfort, as if I might imagin that he could hear me. But oh, he is dead, he is dead: He cannot hear me he can­not behold me; he cannot answer me: His Ears are locked up, his Eyes are closed, his mouth is sealed, his Soul is gone. O what shall I do for my head, my guide, my heart, my Husband? Were my Saviour upon Earth again, I could send one to him as Mary did, who should say, Lord, behold, he whom thou lovest is dead. Dead, say I [...] O dead, dead; he is gone; he is departed, and can never be recalled. But why? Why can he not be called back again? Did not my Jesus cause Lazarus to arise when he had been four days dead? ver. 39. Yes, he did: But what then? I neither love my Saviour so well as Mary did, nor [Page 100] (I fear) doth he love me so well as he did Ma­ry: or if both were so, yet since Miracles are ceased, I cannot so much as hope that he will call back the Spirit of my Lord, my Husband. Oh could he be wooed by the Tears of a sinful Woman, never did any mourn so much as I would. But nothing will perswade: I seek but the distur­bance of him whom I mourn for, if I desire to call him from his eternal rest.

When Sarah died in Kirjath-Arba, Abraham stood up from before his deceased Wife, and spake unto the Sons of Heth, saying, I am a stranger, and a So­journer with you: Give me a Possession, and a bury­ing place with you, that I may bury my dead out of my sight, Gen. 23. 3, 4. Though he so tender­ly affected her whilst she was living, yet he would not look too long on her when she was dead. It is a duty as full of humanity to interr with decen­cy the Bodies of the dead, as it is of Religion to love the Persons when they are alive. Yet vain is man in this affection, if he fixeth his love only on the beauty of the body. This flesh which is so tender, this skin which I strive to preserve both smooth and white, must one day be a banquet for the loathed Worms. No greater priviledge be­longeth to me than did to my Husband; for the time will come when I shall follow him to the Earth. Had I loved only his outward form, my love should now either be quite forgotten, or else I should fondly desire to deny it interment: But it was his body enlivened with a rich and excel­lent Soul, which drew mine affection, and com­manded my desires. Had that Soul and body con­tinued their Society, I had been freed from my laments: but they have bid farewell till the ge­neral Resurrection, and hence am I enforced to utter my complaints. I weep for my loss be­cause [Page 101] we are divorced: But oh what conflicts then can I imagin that he had, when he was not only to part from his indeared Wife; but likewise his Soul was to leave this chillowed Earth! Oh for him, for him, for my loss of him do I pay the tribute of these watering Eyes. Yet these tears must not flow in too great abundance, lest by them I should seem to envy his happiness. Even when his body shall be layed to sleep in the grave, if I mourn too much, it will be justly suspected that too much I loved the worst of my Husband. His Soul, which was his best, is now in perfection, and may not be lamented: his Body which is the worst and grosser part of him, is now to be committed to the Earth whence it came. Thither it must go, to that place I must commend it; otherwise my former love may be turned into loathing: and that which I esteemed when it was alive, I shall be forced to abhor, if I keep it from the Grave. O it grieveth me each minute that I think of my dearest; it troubleth and perplexeth me with disturbed thoughts, when I consider how frequently I loved him, yet cannot enliven him. But these are only the fond concep­tions of an erring phantasie; and tell me that I loved him more than I should, or else now I would not grieve so much as I do. If my love to God be so great as I pretend, I shall thankfully acknowledg his Love to the departed. O let it never be said that my Love was Idolatry, in affecting him, too much, who is but dust and ashes.

But why sit I musing in these pensive thoughts when I should rather prepare for the burial of the dead? Have I taken a course for the place of his Rest, where his cold body may be laid to sleep? This is a duty which every age hath been careful to perform. It was a greater argument of Jehoja­kim's [Page 102] fury against Uriah the Prophet, that he cast his dead body into the graves of the common People, than that he slew him with the Sword, Jer. 26. 23. It hath also been a testimony of God's revenge, when he suffered not the dead to have a decent interment. If a Man beget an hundred Children (saith the Preach­er) and live many years, so that the days of his years be many; and his Soul be not filled with good, and al­so that he have no burial, I say that an untimely birth is better than he, Eccles. 6. 3. When the Man of God had disobeyed his command, the old Pro­phet told him, saying, Thy Carcass shall not come into the Sepulcher of thy Fathers, 1 King. 13. 22. This Curse was accounted as full of dread, as a­ny that was sent upon the Sons of Men.

But on the contrary Abijah the Prophet telleth the Wife of Jeroboam concerning her sick son Abijah, saying, Arise, get thee to thine house; and when thy feet enter into the city, the Child shall die: But all Israel shall mourn for him, and bury him; for he only of Jeroboam shall come to the Grave, because in him there is found some good thing towards the Lord God of Israel in the house of Jeroboam, 1 Kings 14. 12, 13. A­gain, when Huldah the Prophetess did foretell the destruction of Jerusalem, but a respite thereof in the time of Josiah, she told him, saying, Behold, saith the Lord, I will gather thee to thy Fathers; and thou shalt be gathered into thy Grave in peace, 2 Kings 22. 20. Thus hath it often discovered the wrath of the Almighty, when the carkasses of the dead have been denyed their funerals: and on the con­trary, it hath sometimes manifested his love, when they have peaceably been brought to their longest home. Burial is the last of duties which we owe unto our friends, to which both religion, and nature, and civility do prompt us forward. When Isaac, being old and full of days, did give up [Page 103] the Ghost, and died, and was gathered unto his people; his two sons Esau and Jacob buried him, Gen. 35. 29. When John the Baptist was beheaded in the prison his disciples came and took up the body, and buried it, Mat. 14. 12. The disciple that was wil­ling to follow my Redeemer, yet accounted it his duty to attend on the funeral of his deceased Fa­ther, and therefore desired, saying, Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my Father, cap. 8. 21.

Even the glutton in the Gospel had so much fa­vour as to be brought to his Grave: so saith the text; The rich man also died, and was buried, Lu. 16. 22.

It is then the duty of the living to provide even for the dead, that they may be buried in peace.

But is it a matter of any moment in what place we lay the bodies of our deceased friends? Is it not all one, whether in the fields, or whether in our Golgotha's? No doubtless, for even the laws of our land are so justly severe against Idolaters, that we suffer not the convicted to be buried in our ground which is dedicated to this use. Neither may they be permitted to mix with our dead, who have desperately become the murderers of them­selves: but they lye in the roads, where a stake is set up, to give notice to passengers that they unnaturally hastened their own departure. Is it a matter of some moment to us who are living, that we lay our deceased friends in a place conve­nient: for although it extendeth not to their knowledge, yet it redoundeth to their honour.

But is it not all one in what part of the ground I bury my Husband, so I lay his body in a place that is set apart for that purpose? Surely no; al­though it is equal to him, yet is it not to me. Al­though at the resurrection we shall meet again, at what distance soever our Graves shall be made; [Page 104] yet there is some reason we should be buried so near as we may, that as our bodies were injoyned a mutual society in the time of life so they might also sleep together in the silent dust. It is but just that one grave should receive the bodies of us, for whom one bed was designed upon earth; that as in our lives we were made one flesh, so after our deaths we should make one lump. When Barzillai was offered a favour from King David, and wooed to spend his time at the Court, he besought the King, saying, Let thy servant, I pray thee, turn back again, that I may die in mine own city, and be buried by the grave of my Father, and of my Mother, 2 Sam. 19. 37. Friends have ever desired to lye by friends, that those especially who were knit together in blood & affection, might be joyned together in their earth and ashes. In the Cave of Machpelah which Abraham bought of Ephron for four hundred shekels of silver, was buried both himself, and Sarah his wife, Gen. 23. 16. There lay Isaac, and Rebekah his wife, cap. 49. 31. and there lay Leah, and Jacob her husband, chap. 50. 13. Though Saphira died by the judgment of God for the lye she had told: yet when she fell dead at Peter's feet, and yielded up the Ghost, the young men came in, and carried her forth, and buried her by her Husband, Act. 5. 10. It is therefore convenient that I choose a place for burial of my Husband, where (if so it may be) I my self may be layed. Convenient it is, but not absolutely necessary; for the souls shall not enjoy the less felicity for the remoter distance, and separation of the bodies: nei­ther shall the bodies either be sensible of the disjunction; or shall it retard their meeting at the general day. Although the bones of Jacob were carried into the land of Canaan, and buried in the c [...]ve of the field of Machpelah which Abraham bought, according as he had made his son Joseph swear to [Page 105] him before his death, Gen. 50. 13. 5. yet he had for­merly buried his beloved Rachel in the way to Ephrah, which is Bethlehem, and there Jacob set a pillar up­on her Grave, which was called the pillar of Rachel's grave, cap. 35. 19, 20.

Thus do I sit and muse about the burial of him whom so dearly I loved. Yet methinks I could most readily preserve him from the dust, if either it were in my power, or might bring me content. But go he must, and I must follow him. This nar­row room of his coffin must be put in trust with his mouldring earth: and he who in his life time was entertained with variety of spacious chambers, must now securely sleep in the chamber of a Grave. O how it grieveth me to see this effect of sin! Had not Adam fallen, my husband had not died. But oh, he's dead; and since nor tears, nor sigh's, nor groans, nor cries have power to recall him, it is there­fore my duty, and it shall be my care to ex­press my love to him in the rites of his fune­ral. Friends shall carry him; neighbours shall attend on him; and my tears shall embalm him. The preacher shall be instructed in the vertue which adorned him, that so he may commend them to others for their due imitation. The hearers shall greedily attend to the prai­ses of the dead; and not only acknowledg their truth, but contentedly wish like him to live, and like him to die.

Now, O now another storm approacheth in mine eyes: for the company beginneth to ap­proach my doors; and my neighbours and my friends are hastening to my house. But when they come let them not think to comfort me, lest they add to my grief while they vain­ly strive to conquer my Passion. I cannot allow [Page 106] an intermission or forbearance of Tears, lest I should appear unnatural. If I do not weep, I I did not love. O methinks I could willingly weep my self into a Statue, that I might become his monument. It is the height of injustice to forbid my Tears, since the delight of mine Eyes is now to be carryed to the place of Oblivion. Methinks every thing seemeth to call for a Tear, which is the object of a Sense. Those Bells which so mournfully accord in their Tunes, in­vite my Neighbours to come to the Funeral; yet not to appear with empty Eyes, unless they come to learn how to weep. These Herbs, these Strew­ings, which lately were fresh and at ease in their Beds, are willing to lye even under the feet of these that will mourn: And because they have no Eyes themselves to weep us a Tear, they lye to receive what shall drop from the mourners. These Sprigs of Rosemary do call to my remem­brance with what joy and delight they pleased me at my Nuptials: But (lest I should forget the greater happiness of the marriage with the [...]amb) even this Herb which served at our Wed­ding does attend at the Funeral. O methinks these Spriggs have sad Rhetorick sitting on their leaves; for those drops of Water which hang up­on them, were once the Blood of the fragrant Flowers, and now are the Tears of the drooping Plants. So ready were these Spriggs to come when I desired them, that they slipped from their stems to attend these obsequies. These exotick Perfumes which delight the sense, are willing to be burned, rather than the living shall be offended with the dead. These sable Garments strike Terror into the Eye, and com­mand the spectator to lend us a Sigh. And what other Lecture is read here, or taught, [Page 107] but God's decree of Man's Mortality? The chief Speaker and Orator is he who hath now forgot­ten to speak; for the locking up of his Senses, the silence of his Tongue, and the coldness of his pale and frozen Body, have more force to prove the shortness of our Lives, than the most Eloquent Strains of the best Rhetorician. These Bells assure me, that my Life is but a sound, a noise, an air: These Perfumes tell me, That it is but a Vapour: These Herbs do teach me, that Flesh is as Grass, 1 Pet. 1. 24. And these Tears, these early Tears, which so suddenly arise, when my Heart doth call, teach me Mortality in their hasty falling. And who can choose but weep for the shortness of our Lives? Who can forbear a Tear at the Funeral of a Friend? It was a curse inflicted upou the wicked Jews, that they neither should be buried, nor yet la­mented. They shall die of grievous deaths (saith the Prophet) they shall not be lamented; neither shall they be buried: but they shall be as dung upon the face of the earth; and their carkasses shall be meat for the fowls of heaven, and for the beasts of the earth, Jer. 16. 4.

Grace must, and most willingly shall have the chief predominance; but let Nature have like­wise its qualifyed Drops, so they grow not immoderate. Though my loss be the greatest to whom he was a Husband, yet others may weep too, to whom he was a Friend: When Joseph went to bury his Father, then all the ser­vants of Pharaoh went with him, and the Elders of his house, and all the Elders of the Land of Egypt: And all the house of Joseph, and his Bre­thren, and his Fathers House: And they came to the Threshing-Floor of Arad, and there they mour­ned with a great and v [...]y sore lamentation: and [Page 108] he made a mourning for his Father seven days, Gen. 50. 7, 8, 10. When Lazarus was buried, and the Jews saw Mary rise up hastily, and go out, they little imagined that she went to meet the Lord of Life: but they followed her, saying, She goeth unto the Grave to weep there, Jo. 11. 31. When her Brother Lazarus was dead, she wept, and her sister wept, and her friends the Jews wept: And when Christ did see them all thus weeping, he was so far from blaming them, that he wept himself, ver. 35. When Josiah was slain, his servants took him out of the Chariot wherein he was wounded, and put him in the second Chariot which he had, and they brought him to Jerusalem: And he died, and was buried in one of the Se­pulchres of his Fathers: and all Judah and Jeru­salem mourned for Josiah, 2 Chron. 35. 24. When Samuel was dead, all Israel lamented him, and buried him in Ramah, in his own City, 1 Sam. 28. 3. When the old Prophet took up the Car­kass of the Man of God, who had been slain by a Lion, he laid it upon the Ass, and brought it back; and came to the City to mourn, and to bu­ry him: And he laid his Carkass in his own grave, and they mourned over him, saying, Alas my Bro­ther, 1 Kings 13. 29, 30. The Children of Israel wept for Moses in the Plain of Moab thirty days, Deut. 34. 8. Though Samuel took his leave, and departed from Saul, and came no more to see him until the day of his death; nevertheless Samuel mourned for Saul, 1 Sam. 15. 35. Though Jeph­thah's Daughter had been dead and buried long before, yet it was a custom in Israel, that the Daughters of Israel went yearly to lament the Daughter of Jephthah the Gileadite, four days in a year, Jud. 11. 39, 40. When Stephen was sto­ned, devo [...] Men carried hi [...] to his burial, and [Page 109] made great lamentation over him, Acts 8. 2. When Hezekiah slept with his Fathers, he was buried in the chiefest of the Sepulchres of the Sons of David; and all Judah, and the Inhabitants of Jerusalem did him honour at his Death, 2 Chr. 32. 33. When Mary Magdalen stood weeping at the feet of my Saviour, and did wash his Feet with Tears, and wiped them with the hairs of her head, and brought an Alabaster Box of Ointment, and anointed him with the Ointment, Luke 7. 37, 38. He was so far from disliking it in her, that he checked his Disciples who had indignation at the Act, and therefore said, To what purpose is this waste? Yea, he reproved them, and said unto them, Why trouble ye the Woman? For she hath wrought a good work upon me: For in that she hath pour­ed this Ointment on my Body, she did it for my Burial, Mat. 26. 8, 10, 12. She hath done what she could; she is come aforehand to anoint my Bo­dy to the burying, Mar. 14. 8. Here, I find, was Ointment to embalm him; and here were also Tears at his Funeral: And yet so far was Christ from blaming her for her Tears, that he not only decreed the publishing of this Act through the World where the Gospel should be preach­ed, and that for a Memorial of her, Mat. 26. 13. but he likewise upbraided Simon with the tears of the sinner, and said unto him, I entred into thine house, and thou gavest me no water for my feet; but she hath washed my feet with Tears, and wiped them with the hairs of her head, &c. Wherefore her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much, Luke 7. 44, 47. Weep then I may upon this sad occasion; yea, and weep may my Friends too. Tears are as proper at a Funeral, as Smiles at a Wedding. We have two Marriages; the first whereof is to [Page 110] living Dust; the last to the cold and silent Earth. At the former we rejoyce, for it was an institution of God before Man had sinned, Gen. 2. 24. At the latter we weep, for it is the effect of sin. We cloath our selves in de­lightful Colours, when we celebrate the for­mer: But our Blacks at the latter are our Wedding Garments. The Rosemary is served about at each: The Gloves and the Favours attend at each: The Wine, and the other accustomed Entertainments are given at each: We go to the Church for the consummation of each: On­ly here is the difference, that at the one we rejoice, but at the other we mourn. Every Guest that is willing to comply with the pre­sent occasion, must as well be sad at this, as be merry at the other. Weep we may, and weep we must; especially my self who have lost my self. But yet let me take heed that I offend not in my Tears, lest that which is my Duty be turned into a Crime. I must es­pecially take heed that I err not in the cause of these Laments: for if I grieve at the hap­piness of him that is departed, I discover an Envy rather than Affection. If I grieve for the loss which my self sustaineth, I must take heed that I wrong not my confidence in God. I may not offend in the number of my Tears; for if I weep too much, I may forfeit my hope; or at least I may occasion those that behold me to think that I doubt of the salvation of the Dead. Weep I may, and weep I must: but for fear lest I offend in these my Tears, in my earnest Prayers I will beg that they may be sanctified. To my God will I go for his Direction and Assistance: And in this storm of my Tears, I will shelter my self un­der his Protection.

The Dying Knell—, Or, Tears for the Death of a beloved Brother, and may likewise serve at the Decease of any other faithful Friend.

A Friend (saith King Solomon) loveth at all times, and a Brother is born for adversity, Prov. 17. 17. Friendship which is begotten by the outward form, or any other sinister and by­respect, liveth no longer than that ground of affection: but nature is stronger than our election can be; and Religion obligeth far more than both. O how great then is my loss of my dearest Brother, in whom both excellency of Feature, nearness of blood, and a gracious conversation conspired to­gether to render him matchless! To me he was a Friend but now to the Grave: and what loss can be greater than the loss of a Friend? To me he was a Brother, but now to the Worms: And what loss can be more deplorable than the loss of a Brother? But to me he was yet more: he was a Friend in his Love and courtesies, a Brother by his blood, yea and an instructer, a teacher of Re­ligion and goodness: And yet nor love, nor blood, nor Religion could preserve him mine. O what Sorrows do accompany all things transitory! His love could not die, but his body could: And so I am deprived of the Society of my Brother, be­cause my Brother was subject to Corruption. But is this the adversity for which he was born, ac­cording to King Solomon? Did the Wise Man intend that a Brother is born to bring Adversity? Or rather to comfort us in the time of Adver­sity? Had he been a cause of my least distur­bance [Page 112] while he was living, he would have eased my grief by grieving himself. He would have comforted me in the time of trouble, had he lived to see my grievous mourning. But now alas I am left to lament alone; and so much the more for the want of his comfort. I now must grieve for him who was my joy: and my laments and my griefs increase the higher, be­cause for his sake they arise who cannot allay them. Had we lived in hatred, his death per­adventure might have been my Comfort. Had we loved but slightly, a tear or two I might have thought enough to pay at his Funeral. But our Love was firm, it was strong, yea strong as death; and who then can blame me if my sorrows in some measure keep pace with my love? O what tie can be so great as that of af­fection? What love so great as of a Brother and Sister? And yet so vain is Man, so frail are Mortals, that either our affection or our persons must have a divorce. Had my deceased Brother forgotten the tie and bond of nature, and in his life, had he turned his love into hatred; yet his fault ought not to have lessened my Love, to which both Nature and Religion did strongly oblige me. Had he loved me but coldly and faintly, as divers do; yet I ought to have warmed his affec­tion with the fervency of mine. But oh, he dearly loved, he cordially affected me: and yet his love and his affection could not prolong his life.

Had my Brother and I been Idolaters toge­ther, I might have believed that that sin had slain my Brother. But as our Love was constant, so our Religion was undefiled: yea the strength of our Love was founded on the purity of our Religion; and yet he hath payed his debt to Nature. The Lord did threaten to set the E­gyptians [Page 113] against the Egyptians, and that they should fight every one against his Brother, Is. 19. 2. Those Egyptians were heathens, and Enemies to the Church; but my Brother and I were uni­ted both in the Profession and the Love of Chri­stianity: and yet through our sins I fear that even we destroy each other. My sins are partly punished in his death: and his death hath given me so deep a wound, that peradventure I shall not long sur­vive him. Our love was so entire, that methink's I could willingly sleep with him in his Grave: for while I live, my breast is but his walking monu­ment. Such love as ours did not always possess the hearts of some as nearly allyed? which maketh me sigh to think that ever there were any which had layen successively in the self same womb, and yet did not joyn in the unity of affection.

Methinks the complaint of the Church may be part of an Elegy upon my deceased brother; for with her I may cry out, and that justly too; The good man is perished out of the earth. But neither can I say that he was a Jew in supplanting; or an enemy to the Church, lying in wait for blood. What secret Devil did guide both the tongue and the hand of Joab, when under the colour of friend­ship he asked Amasa, Art thou in health, my brother? And took him by the beard with the right hand to kiss him, 2. Sam. 20. 9. and yet even at that time smote him with his sword in the fifth ribb, and shed out his bowels to the ground that he died? v. 10. What cursed fiend did guide the tongue of that wicked miscreant whom the Psalmist chargeth thus, and saith, Thou si [...]test and speaketh against thy brother; thou slanderest thine own mothers son, Psal. 50. 20. Had my brother either supplanted me, or hunted me with a net, or sought to slay me, or slandered me with his tongue, then I might peradventure have saved [Page 114] this great expence of my Tears. But he was al­ways so good a Brother, that I could never justly charge him with the least discourtesie. O no, we took sweet Counsel together, and walked unto the House of God in company, Psal. 55. 14. I may say of him as Nehemiah spake of Hanani the Ruler of the Pallace, He was a faithful man, and feared God a­bove many, Neh. 7. 2. His blood was near to me; but his Soul was nearer. His person I loved, as I was prompted to it by Nature: But his inner man I more zealously affected, to which I was allured by his gracious endowments, yet nei­ther his Counsel, nor his society, nor his fidelity, nor his Religion could preserve him from the sen­tence of a temporal death. O what would I not do to call him back again? What would I not give to have him restored to life again? But all that I can either do or give, cannot perswade his Soul to return back to its Prison.

Well then, seeing that I cannot fetch him from the Grave, I will yet send up my sighs towards the place where he is blessed. This I may do without any check either of reason, or religion. It was a curse which God did inflict upon Jehojakim for his sins, That they should not lament for him, saying, Ah my Brother, Jer. 22. 17, 18. But on the contrary, when Deborah (though she was but Rebekah's Nurse) was buried beneath Bethel under an Oak, the name of it was called Allon-Bachuth, the Oak of weeping, Gen. 35. 8. When the enemies of David were visited by sickness, he behaved himself as though they had been his Friends, or his Brethren: Yea he bowed down heavily, as one that mo [...]rneth for his Mother, Ps. 35. 14. But he who now is dead was not my enemy, but my friend, yea and no common friend, but a Brother: yea, and not a Brother in the flesh so much as in affection, even [Page 115] as dear as a Mother. Why then should I not sor­row for the loss of such a Brother? I will grieve, I will lament when I remember the Love, and the co [...]tesies which he shewed unto me; and I will speak in the language of the Church to Christ, and say, O thou that wert my Brother, that sucked the breasts of my Mother, when I should find thee without, I would kiss thee; yet I should not be despised, Cant. 8. 1. I will lament him as David did Saul and Jonathan, and say, the Beauty of Israel is dead, 2 Sam. 1 19. he was lovely and pleasant in his life, ver. 23. I am distressed for thee, my Brother; very pleasant hast thou been unto me; thy love to me was wonderful, passing the love of Women, v. 26.

But what advantage to the dead are the tears of the living? Can my sighs inspire life into his bosom? Can a draught of my tears fetch him back again to life? O no: 'tis this, 'tis this there­fore that doth heighten and increase my sorrows, even that my tears cannot recover him whom I lament. But cease, sond woman, cease thy sobbs and cryes of discontent. By the extremity of thy passion thou mayest hasten to his Grave: yet if thou murderest thy self with excessive sorrow, thy soul may be deprived of the society of his. 'Tis true indeed; 'tis most true. Little can I expect to come to heaven, if I violently force my self from the earth. Why then do I take on, as if I either suspected his happiness, or doubted of following him? What comfort can it bring to his body of earth, to have it cabined in the Grave with his dispersing ashes? The dust of both of us may mix in the vault, and yet no joy arise to our sensless ashes. If his earth was that which drew mine af­fection, I see my fondness in the corruption of that Earth: but if his gracious soul was the object of my love, I must strive to come where that survi­veth. [Page 116] To heaven he's gone, and to heaven I'll hasten: and because I will go the surest way, I will walk in those paths which faith and patience shall direct me in. I will no more disturb the peace of my mind, since that cannot help me to the company of him. Weep indeed I do; I am en­forced unto it: 'tis the law of nature; 'tis an act of necessity; I cannot avoid it. Yet, though I weep, I will labour for content: and since my God (as I undoubtedly believe) hath been pleased to crown my brother with glory; I will beseech him to comfort me here with his grace. I will not immoderately weep, lest I injure my self: I will not weep without hope, lest I offend my Ma­ker: but that I may weep as I should, and hope as I ought, and live as I am required, I will humble my self at the feet of him to whom my brother is gone.

Put on Mourning Apparel. Sermon III.

ECCLES. 7. 2.‘It is better to go to the House of Mourning, then to the House of feasting: for that is the end of all Men, and the living will lay it to his heart.’

IT is evident, that in this Verse that I have now read to you, the Wise man speaks of such a mourning, as is occasioned by the Death of friends. And he saith of that Mourning, that it is better than to be in the House of Feasting.

That he speaks of such a mourning, appears by that which followeth: First, he saith that this is the end of all men, he speaks therefore of such a mourning, as is upon the end of men, up­on the departure of men out of this World: And Secondly, he saith, the living will lay it to his heart: He speaks of such an end of Men, as is op­posite to the life of Men.

In a word, By the House of mourning, he mean­eth a house wherein some one is dead, which gi­veth occasion to the parties that dwell there, of sorrow and mourning for their departed friend. It is better to go to such a house.

By the House of feasting, he meaneth not only such a house wherein there is feasting, but also all manner of abundance: As commonly Men shew their wealth in Feasting.

By the end of all men, he meaneth such an end [Page 118] of a man as that he ceaseth to be as he was up­on earth, and ceaseth to do as he did upon Earth.

By laying to heart, he meaneth such a serious considering, and pondering, and discussing of every thing, as they may bring it to some use, may draw some Fruit, and benefit out of it to themselves.

So that the sum and substance of the words is thus much; It is a better thing for a Man to be conversant about the thoughts of death, and to take hold of all occasions that may bring the se­rious consideration thereof into his heart, than to de­light himself in those worldly pleasures, and sensual delights, wherein for the most part men spend their lives.

The words consist of a Proposition; And a proof or confirmation of that Proposition.

The Proposition. It is better to go to the House of Mourning, than to go to the house of Feasting.

The Confirmation or proof of it, is double: First, Because this is the end of all Men: Second­ly, Because the living will lay it to his heart.

In the former, he calleth the House wherein any one dies, the House of Mourning. It is better to go to the House of Mourning.

Where you see; That the Death of Men with whom we live, is a just occasion of Mourning to some.

The holy Ghost would not have described the House wherein a man dies in this manner, if there were not some equity and justice in mourning upon such an occasion. For he speaks not here (as I conceive) only with reference, and respect to the common Custom of natural and worldly Men; but with respect to the natu­ral disposition and affection, that is in the heart [Page 119] of man, and the equity of the thing. There should be visible signs of Mourning, and there is in it a just occasion, when men are taken away by death.

When Sarah died, the text saith, that Abra­ham came to Mourn for Sarah, and to weep for her, Gen. 23. 2. And Esau, when he speaks of the death of his Father Isaac, he calleth the time of his death, the time of Mourning, the days of Mourn­ing for my Father are at hand, Gen. 27. 41. So Joseph when his Father was dead, it is said that he mourn­ed for his Father seven days, Gen. 50. 10. When Samuel was dead, all the Israelites were gathered together, and lamented him, 2 Sam. 25. 1. When Josiah was dead, there was such a great lamen­tation for him, that it became a pattern of excessive mourning; In that day there shall be a great mourn­ing in Jerusalem, as the mourning of Hadadrimmon in the Valley of Megiddon, zach. 12. 10. Our Sa­viour Christ when he looked upon Lazarus, he wept, because he was dead. And those Ephesians, this was it that broke their hearts, they sorrow­ed most of all for the words which St. Paul Spake, that they should see his face no more, Acts 20. 38.

We come now to the proof of the point, why going to the House of Mourning, taking these occa­sions to affect our hearts, is better than to go to the House of Feasting, than to take occasions of de­lighting our selves in outward things. What's the reason? It is double.

First, This is the end of all men.

What is the end of all men? The House of Mourn­ing. That which he meaneth by the House of Mourning here, is th [...] [...]ch he calleth the end of all men, that which putte [...]h an end to all men, and to their actions upon earth, and that is Death.

[Page 120] So that the main point, that in this place the wise man intendeth, is but thus much, I will deliver it in the very words of the Text, we need not vary from them at all.

Death is the end of all Men.

But here it will be objected; We find some men that did not die. It is said of Enoch, that he was translated, that he should not see death, Heb. 11. 5. And of Elijah, that he went up by a whirl-wind into heaven in a chariot of fire, 2 King. 2. 11. These men did not die.

To this, I answer briefly, Particular and ex­traordinary examples, do not frustrate general rules: God may sometimes dispense with some particular men, and yet the rule remain firm. I say it may be so.

But secondly we answer, They had that that was in stead of Death to them, some change, though they did not die after the manner of other men. So at the end of the world, it is said, that those that are alive shall be caught up and changed, in the twinkling of an eye; there shall be a sudden, and almost undiscernable, unperceivable change, which shall be to them in stead of death.

But it will be objected further; There is a promise made in Joh. 11. That those that believe shall never die.

To this I answer with that common distinction; There is a twofold death, which the Scripture cal­leth, the first and the second death: The first death, is the death of the body, that ariseth from a dis­junction, and separation of the body from the soul; And there is a second death, that ariseth from the dis-junction, and separation of the soul from God. The first death is no death pro­perly, the second Death is that which is truly Death: And so they shall not die. A man may have a body separated from the soul, and yet not [Page 121] his soul separated from God, nor himself from Christ. Who shall separate us from the love of God in Christ? Neither life, nor death, nor principalities, nor powers, &c. Rom. 8 38.

This point also is of use to us, in the death of o­thers.

First, to moderate the mourning of Christians for the Death of others. Why? It is the end of all men, it is that that is the common condition of all men, it should not be too grievous, nor too doleful to any man. We would not have our friends to be in another condition in their birth than others, we would not have them have more fingers, or more members than a man, and would we have them have more days? Let this serve as a brief touch upon that.

Secondly, it teacheth us to make good use of our fellowship while we are together. Not only we may die, but those that are useful to us may die also, let us make good use of one ano­ther, while we live therefore.

It did sinite the heart of those Ephesians, that they should see the face of Paul no more; specially above the rest it grieved them, that they should see him no more; how would it have grieved them, think you, if they had always hardned them­selves against his ministry before?

Think with your selves seriously, here is such a Minister, such a Christian friend, that husband and wife, that parent and child, a time of parting will come; let us make it easie now, by making good use of one another while we live, that when friends are took away, we may have cause to thank God, that we have had com­munion, and comfort of their fellowship and society, the benefit of their graces, the fruit of their lives: and not sorrow for the want of them by death.

Death separates a Man from his Friends.

For alas! Death doth not only part a mans body and soul, a mans self and his wealth, but it part­eth a man from his friends, from all his worldly ac­quaintance, from all those that he took delight in upon earth: Death makes a separation between husband and wife: see it in Abraham and Sarah, though Abraham loved Sarah dearly, yet Death parted them, Let me have a place to bury my Dead out of my sight, Gen. 23. It parteth Father and Child, how unwilling soever they be: see it in David and Absolom, Oh Absolom, my son, would God I had died for thee: and Rachel mourned for her Children, and would not be comforted, because they were not. It part­eth the Minister and the people: see it in the case of the people of Israels lamenting the death of Samu­el; & in the case of the Ephesians, at the parting of S. Paul, sorrowing especially when they heard they should see his face no more. It parteth those friends who were so united together in love, as if they had but one soul in two bodies; see it in the separation that was made by death, between David and Jona­than, that were so knit together in their love, that he bewaileth him, Woe is me for my brother Jona­than, 2 Sam. 1. 9.

This is necessary consideration for us that live, that we may learn to know how to carry our selves towards our worldly friends, and how to mode­rate our selves in our enjoyment of these worldly comforts. Look upon every worldly thing as a mortal, as a dying comsort. Look upon Children and friends, as dying comforts. Look upon your [Page 123] estates, as that that hath wings, and will be gone. Look upon your bodies, that now you make so much of, as a thing that must be parted from the soul by death, and that ere long.

See what advice the Apostle giveth, 1 Cor. 7. 19. the time is short (saith he) therefore let those that marry, be as if they married not: and they that rejoyce, as though they rejoyced not: and they that buy, as though they possessed not: and they that use this world as not abusing it, for the fashion of this world passeth away.

When thou accompaniest another to the grave, dost thou conclude thus with thy self the very next time that any death is spoken of, it may be mine? or, as Saint Peter speaks to Saphira after the death of Ananias, The feet of those that have buried thy hus­band are at the door, and shall carry thee out also.

Again this Doctrine serves to reprove, that sin­ful laying to heart of the death of others, that is too frequent and common in the world.

That is, first, when men with too much fond­ness, and with too great excess and distemper of affection, look upon their dead friends, as if God could never repair the loss, nor make a­mends for that he hath done in taking of them away. Rachel mourneth, and will not be comforted. David mourneth, and will scarce be comforted, Oh Absolom, my son, my son, would God I had died for thee. What is all this but to look on friends, rather as Gods than men, as if all sufficiency were included in them only? Men look on their friends, as Micah did upon his Idol, when they had bereaved him of it, they took away all his comfort and quiet; You have taken away my Gods (saith he) and what have I more, Judg. 8. 24.

This now is an ill taking to heart the death of friends, to mourn as men without l [...]pe.

[Page 124] Secondly, there is taking to heart, and con­sidering of the death of men, but it is an un­righteous considering, and unrighteous judging of the death of others. If men see one die, it may be a violent death, then they conclude, certainly there is some appearent token of Gods judgment on such a one. If they see a­nother die, with some extremity of torment, and vehement pains, certainly there is some apparent evidence of Gods wrath upon this man. If they see another in some great and violent tentation, strugling against many tenta­tions, they conclude presently, certainly such are in a worser case than others. I may say to all these, as Christ said once to those that told him of the eighteen men upon whom the To­wer in Siloe fell, think you that they were sin­ners above all men that dwelt in Hierusalem? Luke 13. 4. Or rather, as Solomon saith, All things come alike unto all, there is one event to the righteous, and to the wicked, Eccles. 9. 2. Learn to judge righteous judgment, to judge wisely of the death of others, take heed of condemning the generation of the just.

But rather, in the last place, Make this use of the death of every one. Doth such a man die by an ordinary sickness, having his under­standing, and memory continued to the end? Doth such a man die in inward peace and comfort, with clear and evident apprehensions of Gods love, so that he can with Simeon say, Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace? Luke 2. 29. What use shouldest thou that livest make of this now? Certainly, let the sweetness of their death, make thee in love with the good­ness [Page 125] of their lives. That is the only way to a happy death, to a comfortable end indeed, the leading of a fruitful and profitable life.

The main business that a man hath to do, is to make sure of himself in this life. It was the question that Saint Austin made to those that told him of a violent death that seized up­on one. But how did he live? (saith he.) He made no matter how he went out, but how he carried himself in the world. And truly this is the great Question, that every man should put to his soul. I must out of the world, how have I lived when I was in the world? had GOD any glory by me? had men any good by me? have I furthered my account a­gainst the day reckoning, that I may give it up with joy.

But now he is Dead, wherefore should I Fast? Sermon IV.

2 SAM. xii. 23.‘But now he is dead, wherefore should I fast? can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me.’

HEre you have a large Description of that incomparable Love which our princely Prophet David, that good King of Israel, did bear towards his Son, who was no sooner vi­sited with sickness, but that his most loving, tender and indulgent Father made earnest sup­plication and Prayer unto Almighty God, the only Physician both of Soul and Body, to restore him to his wonted Health again; which when he saw how that it could not be gained, like one in a trance presently fell down upon the ground, where he (so long as his inno­cent Child could move) did lye both night and day; ever fasting, weeping, and crying [Page 127] out most lamentably, as it is evident, ver. 16. saying, O who, who shall deliver this poor Soul from the cruel jaws of all-devouring Death? Where­fore, so soon as the Elders did behold him, being moved to pity, they came like good loving Neighbours unto him, with wet-shot Eyes, and desired him by all means possible to rise up from the ground, and not to take it so much to heart: But for all that, they could not prevail, he would not leave his low and la­mentable Lodging, so long as his poor sick Child was alive: Niobe-like, he wept still, and would not be comforted. He had (as St. Bernard makes mention) a Week of Sorrows: When he saw his sweet Child, that poor Infant, still panting and striving for Death, unto which he was so soon sentenced, he could not refrain from Tears, and leave off sorrowing, as you may see by this his mournful Elegy: But as soon as the Child was dead, when it had paid that debt which we must all, and we know not how soon, being only certain in uncertainty; then he could rise from the ground, change his Cloaths, wash his Hands, and break his long Fast: Where­upon his Servants, as soon as it did arrive un­to their knowledge, ver. 21. began to expostu­late, and say unto him, What thing is this that thou dost? Thou didst fast and weep for the sick Child, so long as it was alive; but now it being dead, thou canst leave off all doleful Lamentations, and rise and eat: 'Tis true, (saith he) I could not do so before, seeing it did strive so for death; but now I can, and this is my reason: For now he is dead.

In these words, as they distribute themselves you have these three following Circumstances, regardable.

[Page 128] First, A serious Consideration; But now he is dead.

Secondly, An acknowledgment of his own Im­becillity and weakness, Can I bring him back a­gain? And then,

Thirdly, and lastly, His Confidence; I shall go to him, &c.

But now he is dead, &c.

Now of these in their order severally: And First of that serious Consideration which King David took, when that his sweet Child was dead, which every one ought to do, and that was, Why shall I fast any longer? Why shall I weep, and cry thus mournfully both day and night, seeing he is dead and gone? No, I will not do it; for if I should, it would not bring him again, it would not revive, but still add more grief unto my fable thoughts, which are too grievous and sorrowful for me a forlorn creature to endure.

But now for the better adavancement of your knowledge, and the better managing of my discourse, you may with me consider these four following particulars, which (as it is most requisite and necessary) are to be treated of severally.

First, The person fasting and mourning.

Secondly, The person mourned for.

Thirdly, The manner of his Mourning: And then,

Fourthly and lastly, The Reason which he gives why he doth not continue (after the death of his dear Child) any longer in that doleful condition.

Now the very first in this Tragical Chorus is King David, that sweet Singer of Israel, who was so loving and tender-hearted, that he [Page 129] could not forbear to sympathize, condole, and to have a natural compassion on all, as his own words give warrant, Psal. 35. 13. For, saith he there, As soon as I perceived that my neighbours grew sick, I could not refrain my self from mourn­ing, but cloathed my self with Sackcloath, and hum­bled my soul with fasting; which are the Ensigns of Sorrow, or as some say, the Weapons of Repentance. To mourn for the Sick, is both natural, commendable, and profitable; and therefore, says the Poet.

Est quaedam flere Voluptas:

That there is much pleasure in Mourning: it still disburdens the heart, by opening its sluces, and dischargeth Conchas in canales, Ci­sterns into Conduit-pipes, which run like Ri­vers of water, Psal. 119. 136. And therefore, says holy David, Mine eyes gush out with rivers of water: It was an usual custom in this good King, to fast, pray, and mourn continually for all persons under affliction, whether of Mind, Body, or estate: And therefore, think you, was it possible that his merciful eyes should not be eclipsed with tears, when he took his Fare­well of his sweet Babe, which his eyes could never behold again, until that he himself did pass into the low Chambers of death? Seven days (like Job in his troubles) he turned and tossed himself upon the ground, still crying out most mournfully, as one utterly undone for his Son, expecting always that God al­mighty would be favourable and gracious unto him, and grant his Son a longer life: but when he saw that he would not be treated to prolong his days upon earth, resolved fully [Page 130] with himself to leave off his sorrowing, and to say with patient Job, The Lord giveth, and the Lord hath taken away, blessed be the Name of the Lord, Job 1. 21. The Lord gave me my Child, and now hath he taken him away from me a­gain, therefore why should I any longer fast and mourn? why should I weep and sigh thus bitterly; yea and why should I, even I feeble Creature (whose Life is but a vapour, a very moment) lay it thus to heart, and take on thus sadly? Can I bring him back again? No, I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me. Job I say, in all his cruel troubles, could not be more patient, than this princely Prophet was here. This his serious consideration doth not only bespeak him to be religious, wise and patient; but also to be most holy. Job, although a very patient man, never could nor would do thus; but cursed even the day wherein he was born, Job 3. 3. saying. Let the day perish wherein I was born, and the night wherein it was said, There is a Man-child conceived. Yet further, if that you do but look upon this princely Pro­phet and good King, in his Obsequies for his Son Absolom, you will find him no otherwise affected, than he was for this poor Infant, as it is made manifest, 2 Sam. 18. 33. Oh! Absolom, Absolom (faith he there by way of Epizeuxis when that the sad tidings concerning the death of his well-beloved son had arrived un­to his kdowledg) I would to God that I had given up the Ghost, and died for thee; yea even for thee, my Son, Absalom, my Son, Absalom; Oh! Absalom, my Son, my Son! As soon as he per­ceived Cushi to draw near unto him, ver. 32. then, yea even then he had an Earthquake in his Soul, his faculties were all set on fire, and [Page 131] when that the sad sorrowful news was told him of his dearly beloved Sons death, then in a rage he put all out of the Room where he was, and fell upon his knees with wet-shod Eyes, still wringing his hands, and wishing heartily that God had been pleased to take him instead of his son Absalom, that precious Jewel of his. I say that Abraham the Father of the Faithful, could not have taken it out worse; he could not have been more sorrow­ful, if that his dear Son Isaac had been of­fered; nor our old Grandsire Adam, the Father of the Living, for his slain Son Abel, than holy David that good King of Israel did here for these two Sons of his; but especially for Ab­salom. 'Tis true, so long as the sweet Babe was alive, still striving and strugling in his sight daily and hourly for Death, which (like that Serpent Regulus) by no Charms can be charmed; he took on most grievously: but when he had yielded up the Ghost, when Death, Gods special Bailiff, had arrested him with a Habeas Corpus, then he could leave off sorrowing, and resolve fully with himself to fast no longer. So long as it was alive (saith he in the former Verse) I had hopes that God would hear my Prayer, be gracious unto me, and prolong his days here with me in this habi­table Orb, but now it hath pleased almighty God to take unto himself my dear Child out of this miserable world, wherefore should I fast? wherefore should I take on thus sadly, being all is in vain? No, I will not do it, I will not be guilty of such a great Offence: for now he is dead, wherefore should, &c. Daniel that holy Prophet was of such a tender disposition, that he wept and mourned full three weeks together, [Page 132] not suffering himself to eat any pleasant thing, Dan. 10. 2. Esau wept for the loss of his Bles­sing; and Joash for Elisha being ready to die. Job wept and mourn'd for such as were in sor­row, trouble or any other adversity, and for his own afflictions; and so did Isaiah, with the good Prophet Jeremiah for the misery of the Israelites to come, Jer. 13. Naomi wept and mourn'd most dolefully departing from her Coun­try, and so did Nehemiah for Jerusalem's misery. Elisha did mourn and weep bitterly seeing the evil which Hazael should do to the Israelites Children; and so did the Women for their harmless Children slain by Herod, Luk. 23. 28. Insomuch that their cry penetrating the clouds, and knocking at Heavens gate, did enter into the ears of the Lord of Hosts.

And to preceed: Abraham mourned and wept bitterly for his Wife being deceased: Abigail for Uriah her loving husband: David for Saul, Abner and Jonathan; the Egyptians for Jacob seven days; Jacob for Joseph supposing him dead; Joseph for Jacob being dead; Jeremiah for Josiah with great Lementation, and the Israelites for Moses and Aaron thirty days. But holy David here (in my Text) took a better course; who (as soon as his child was departed) left off sorrowing, saying, Now he is dead, where­fore should I mourn? &c. St. Paul in his Epistle to the Romans, bids us weep with them that weep, Rom. 12. 15. And for the dead, 1 Thess. 4. 13. but not as others sorrow, which have no hope. We must not weep and mourn immoderately, lest with Samuel we be reproved, when he lamented overmuch for Saul: but moderately, as St. Paul that blessed Apostle did for Epaphroditus, Phil. 2. 27. They mourn moderately, do nothing [Page 133] contrary to the Word of God: For Almighty God, by whom Death is inflicted, would have the nature thereof to be such, that it should bring Tears and sorrow, not only unto them which die; but unto those also of whom they that die are beloved. Who (but a man of a sto­ny heart, in the mourning Troop accompany­ing his loving Neighbours deceased Son unto his Grave, dying in the Spring of his Youth, even at that Age when he was most able to comfort his dearest Friends, even her that brought him into the World, or in the Winter of her Widowhood, when she did most want him) could refrain from mourning and weep­ing? Children are walking Images of their tender Parents, even Flesh of their Flesh, and Bone of their Bone, the Wealth of the poor man, and the Honour of the Rich; it must then be one step unto Weeping Cross, when any Parents lose their Children.

St. Ambrose in his book concerning Naboth, ch. 5. makes mention of a Tragical Accident: How that in his time there was a poor man, in extream necessity, constrained to sell one of his Sons in perpetual Bondage, that he might hereby save the rest from a present Famine; who calling all his dear Children unto him, and beholding them as Olive Branches round about his Table, could not resolve which he might best spare; his eldest Son was the strength of his Youth, even he that called him first Fa­ther, and therefore not willing to part with him; his youngest Boy was the Nest-chick, the dearly beloved of his mother, and therefore not willing to part with him; a third most re­sembled his Progenitors, having his Fathers Bill, and his mothers eye, therefore not willing by [Page 134] any means to part with him; one was more loving than the rest, and another more Dili­gent; so that the good Father in conclusion a­mong so many, could not afford to part with any. Nay, it is almost Death to some, to part with any of their Children, but for a Year or two, although that they go but a little way, and may return when they will: Therefore could David be thought blame-worthy, to mourn for his Child, whom he could not see till he went to him; but now he is dead, &c.

And this brings me now unto the second thing considerable in my Text, which is the Person whom David that good King, wept and mourned for thus dolefully, and that was for his Son, an innocent Babe, who was no sooner born into this miserable World, but visited with a mortal Disease, and so cut off for the Life of Urias in his Infancy. The Life of his Son Am­mon was not satisfaction sufficient, nor of his dearly beloved Son Absalom, nor yet the Life of his Son Adonijah, but also this poor harmless Creature, must suffer together with them; now he is dead: It is enacted by Almighty God, in the high Court of Parliament in the Kingdom of Heaven, unto all men, that they shall once Die; and therefore says, David, Psalm 89. 48. What man is he that liveth, and shall not see death? Shall he deliver his Soul from the Hand of the Grave?

There are two sorts of Deaths; Corporal, which is either natural or violent; or Eternal Death, which is called a Spiritual Death, or the second Death.

The first (being only a Separation of the Soul from the Body, with all the evils that attend thereon) this sweet Child suffered. Death is like [Page 135] an Archer, making man his Butt, who when he shooteth, pierceth in this manner following: In shooting over us, he wounds our Ancestors; behind us, our Servants; on our right hand, our Wives and Children; on our left hand our Friends; and in the midst our selves; so that as St. Paul says, Heb. 9. 27. No one can escape him: So that you may see as Job saith, man's time is appointed, his months determined, and his days (which are but few upon Earth) num­bered; yea, and (as our Saviour Christ says) his very last hour is limited: He was made of the mould of the Earth, and therefore thi­ther shall he return; and as all have one en­trance into Life, the like going out shall they have to death: Naked came we into this most misera­ble World, and naked shall we return again. If Adam had not eaten of the forbidden Fruit, we had never known what Sin had been, and so by consequence Death; which is a thing that now cannot by any means be avoided, before that we knew what sin was, we had strong Houses: But ever since, God let's us dwell in thatch'd Cottages, and clay Walls; every Disease like a storm is ready to totter us down. In old time, men us'd to live long; but now many are thrust out of house and harbour, at less than an hours warning; yea, and even in their infancy, at their first coming into the world; as this poor innocent Child was; and not only for their own faults, for their own transgressi­ons, but for their Parents. In the Third of Gen. you may find mans Exodus, and that is, thou shalt die. Ever since Old Adam, our great, great, great Grandfather, neglected his Duty to­wards God, Death the lodge of all mens lives, comes with insensible degrees upon the sons of [Page 136] men; it's impartial hand is always destroying; no Wisdom can appease, no Policy can prevent, nor any earthly Riches redeem us from the Grave; semel aut bis morimur omnes, some once, some twice, we must all die; we have an old Statute for it, that this earthly Tabernacle must suffer corruption, and therefore the Poet sings sweetly;

Post hominem vermis, post vermen foetor, & horror;
Sic in non hominem vertitur omnis homo.

As man came from the Earth, so thither shall he return, and become a habitation and food for Worms. If any had been exempted from the fatal and general sentence of Death, then (without all question) our most blessed Savi­our, and Redeemer Jesus Christ had been; who (for our Sins, and for our insufferable Iniquities) suffer'd the sharpest death imaginable, even to die upon the Cross; who was equal to the Father touching his God-head: Now, seeing that this ever blessed Virgins Son, Lion of the Tribe of Judah, and harmless Lamb of God, did suffer an ignominious Death, to redeem us from Eternal Death; let not us be unwilling for our own good, to lay down our lives, and to part (without sorrow and grief) with our dearest Friend, or Relation; but rather let us take up a full resolution, when any of our Friends, al­though never so near and dear unto us, be de­parted, and say with David, now he is dead, now he ceaseth to breath, and now he hath taken a farewell of the Elements, wherefore should I fast? Can I bring him back again? Good Christians can with patience embrace this Life, yet in their best meditations they do com­monly [Page 137] wish for Death; they honour all that contemns it, but cannot endure, or heartily love any that is afraid of it; this makes many na­turally love a Souldier, and honour those tat­tered, and contemptible Regiments, that will die at the command of a Sergeant. For a Pagan there may be some motives to be in love with Life, for a Christian to be amazed at Death; I see not how he can escape this dilem­ma that is too sensible of this Life or careless of the Life to come. If a Wife put forth her Child to Nurse, and the Nurse having kept it long enough, she taketh it home again; can the Nurse or any other have any cause to complain? so the cause stands between God, and our Souls, If God (having inspired into these mortal Bodies of ours, that which is immortal) come, and take it to himself, lest it should come to harm; can any one have any reason to Complain? As seed▪ unless sown in the Ground, cannot bring forth, so we until that Death come, and we be laid in the Ground cannot expect our con­summation and bliss with Gods Saints in his Kingdom of Glory. Death freeth the godly from the Tyranny of Satan, from Sin, from the World, from the Flesh, and from eternal Damnation, placing them with Christ for e­vermore in Heaven, the Center of all good wishes, where instead of Earthly Bodies, they shall be cloathed with unspeakable Glory; and all this holy David was not Ignorant of, which made him (as soon as his dearly beloved Son had taken his Farewell of this inferior Orb) say, Wherefore should I fast? seeing my Child, yea, my precious Jewel, has changed his Life out of a miserable world, into a Kingdom where pleasures ineffable are to be had for [Page 138] evermore; but now, &c. And this brings me now unto the Third thing considered in my Text, which is the manner of his mourning, and that was how he spun away his time in weeping, fasting, and praying for his dear child so long as he was alive; he did not as Priamus did for his Son Hector, Fast, Weep, and Pray after his Death, or as many do now adays, only in outward shew, altering their Garments. No, his was far otherwise, it was real, true, and hearty sorrow, not countenanced in the least with a heavy look or with a solemn sigh blown from deceitful lungs. No, his was a Weeping, Watching, Mourning, and Fasting Grief; he was seques­tered from all Worldly contentment, imprison­ing his Body from all the pleasures of this mortal Life, ever making his bed to swim, and watering his couch with tears. He mourned as one for his only Son, eating ashes like Bread, and mingling his Drink with weeping; still weeping, wailing, and crying as one that had parted with his dear Mother, Psalm 35. 14. or as a virgin girded with sack-cloath for the husband of her youth, Joel 11. 8. Nature (being we are Members of one Body, thinking the mishap of other men to be our own, through the mutual compassion of Christ's Body) makes us desirous to live together so long as is possible; therefore was it possible for David to refrain from tears, when he took his farewel of one Child, part of his own Body? No, he could not forbear crying, until he began to consider with himself that he was dead, and that the Death of the Saints is precious in the sight of the Lord, and the day thereof better to them, than the day of their birth▪ being then [Page 139] (and not before, as Saint John Says, Revel. 14. 13.) they rest from their labour; then, yea then, and not before, he could rise, change his cloaths, wash his hands, and break his fast. Now such (I say) if they will mourn, ought to be your manner, that is, so long as your friends are vi­sited with Sickness, they ought to sympathize, condole, and have a fellow-feeling of their Maladies, ever providing to your power, all good means for their Health, and Recovery, and for good looking to them, in the time of their weakness; yea, you must pray for them, and use all lawful and good means possible for their ease, and succour; so long as it shall please God, to continue them with you in that sorrowful condition; but then, as soon as it shall please Almighty God to call any of your Relations from you (although never so near, and dear unto you; yea, although he be the staff of your Life, and your only Joy, and Comfort) you ought to refrain from tea [...]s, and immoderate mourning; cheering up your selves, and resolving fully in your mind as holy David did here, lest that you displease the Creator, and Preser­ver both of our Souls and Bodies, saying, Now he is dead, &c. for there is a time to Mourn, and a time to Rejoice, I took on (saith he) most sadly in the former verse, so long as he was alive, because I thought still that God would restore him to his Health again, and grant him a longer time to stay with me his loving Father, but now, seeing that it cannot be obtained, I'll [...] my self no more, for now he is dead, dead, dead; now he is dead and gone, now he is past calling back again, wherefore, or to what end should I fast, can I bring him back again? And thus much concerning [Page 140] the manner of David's Mourning for his Son; wherefore that which shall have the next place in my discourse, is concerning the reason this Princely Prophet, and good King gave, why he would not continue any longer in his sor­rowful condition, and that is, Can I bring him back again? can I revive him? can I put life into him? No, it is beyond my Skill, to add one Moment to any mans life, I can neither call him back, nor go to him my self, now he is dead, and gone, all the world cannot save him alive, I must follow him, but he shall not return to me. Here you may see an acknowledgment of his own imbecillity, & weakness in recovering his dead Child, can I bring him back again? It hath been experienced, and found possible for a man, from the ashes of a Plant, to revive the Plant, and from its cinder to recall it to its stalk, and leaves again, but to call those that are ascended up to Heaven, or descended into the world of Damned Souls, is far beyond the power of Man; Abraham being full of faith as it is Evident, Heb. 11. 19. having commanded that his son Isaac should be offered, thought that God would raise him up again from the dead: therefore, why did not David hope the same, the reason, as Peter observes, upon this place in my Text, is diverse. Abraham had the promise concerning his Son Isaac, he knew that God would do whatsoever he desired, rather than his promise should not be fulfilled, therefore he came with a willing mind unto that offering: but David had not such promises concerning this his dearly beloved Son, but rather a threatning, seeing he was ready to die, or just newly dead; wherefore being not encouraged in the least (his own Conscience telling him, how it was Im­possible, [Page 141] unless God the efficient cause of our Life, by whom we live, move, and have our being, would restore him to Life again) fully [...]esolved with himself to leave off sorrowing, and to pre­pare himself to go to him, seeing he was not to return; But now, &c. and this brings me unto the last thing considered, and that was his confidence how he should follow, &c. Here you may see how that David did not doubt in the least, but that his sweet Babe was ascended up to Heaven, which is far beyond thought, and glorious beyond report, and that he himself should follow quickly after; some are of opinion, and will not stick to maintain their damnable doctrine with devilish Arguments, that Infants dying unbaptiz'd are not capable of salvation; which is as false as God is true, else, what be­came of those Children of Bethlehem and in the coasts thereof, from two years old, and under, among whom questionless some were uncircum­sized or not baptized, when Murthered by bloody Herod, who would not suffer the King of Heaven, and Earth, and the whole World, to Reign in Jury, certainly their condition is very good, for al­though he had power to hurt their innocent Bodies, yet he had not power to hurt their poor harmless Souls, being hid with Christ Jesus, that sinless Babe, in God. Our Saviour seems to have a special love for Children above all other, which made him say in his holy Gos­pel, suffer the little Children to come unto me, and forbid them not, for of such is the Kingdom of Hea­ven, Matth. 10. 14. Now David knowing no less, might well believe that his Child was received into Heaven. O blessed Babe, which came to the wished Haven without any Tem­pest; enjoying the comforts of another Life, [Page 142] before thou knew the cruel miseries of this Life, having thy head crowned with happiness, before thou wert covered with hair; thy dear Father (although a King) could never have pleasur'd thee in this vail of misery, as thou art now in the Kingdom of Heaven, where Like­wise now the Father is. But now he is dead, so that you may see David's shall go, came at last to is gone. The life, and spirit of all our actions is the Resurrection, and stable ap­prehension; that our ashes shall enjoy the fruit of our pious Endeavours; without this all Religion is a fallacy: how shall the dead arise? is no question of a true Christians Faith. Job was ever confident that our estranged, and di­vided Ashes should unite again, that our sepa­rated dust after so many pilgrimages, and trans­formations into the parts of Minerals, Plants, Animals, Elements, should at the voice of God return into their Primitive shapes, and joyn a­gain to make up their primary, and predesti­nate forms; as it is evident by his own words; for, saith he, I know that my Redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth; and tho [...]gh after my skin worms destroy this Body, yet in my flesh shall I see God; whom I shall see for my self, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another, Job 19, 25, 26, 27. [...]hat is made to be Immortal, nature cannot, nor will the voice of God [...]stroy. As at the Creation of the World, all that distinct species that we behold, lay involved in one Mass, till the fruitful voice of God separated this united multitude into its several species? so at the last day, when those corrupted relicks shall be scattered in the wilder­ness of forms, and seem to have forgot their proper habits, God by a powerful voice, shall [Page 143] command them back into their proper shapes, and call them out by their single, and indivi­duals; then shall appear the fertility of Adam, and the Magick of that sperm that hath dilated into so Many millions, seeing our Souls are Immor­tal, nature cannot, nor will Almighty God de­stroy; wherefore David that Princely Prophet and good King knowing this, and being fully perswaded, that his Child was gone to Hea­ven, and that he should follow; left off his Doleful mourning, rised from his law, and lamentable lodging, chang'd his cloaths, washed his hands, went to prayer and brake his long fast, ever cheering up himself, knowing that he should quickly follow, as you may see here by his own words read unto you, But now he is dead wherefore should I fast, can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he shall not re­turn to me.


GOod Lo [...], [...] [...] so [...] [...]re is no returning from [...] [...]? [...] assist us by thy divine Grace to improve every [...] [...] Time, before we go down [...] the [...], a [...]d [...]e seen no more. Is it true tha [...] our Dear and Pi [...]s Relations that are dead and go [...] wi [...] never return to us again? Then let us prepare to follo [...] them to an happy Eternity; Good Lord, now seeing all this is rea [...]y­true, let us live as men and women th [...]t have already one foo [...] in the Grave, Oh let the death of others shew the [...] of our own Bodies and the many Grey-hairs that are here and there upon [Page 144] our head put us in mind of our winding-sheet, and of the day of judgment, which is approaching very swiftly towards every one of us: Let the daily instances of our dying Relations take such a living Impression upon our hearts as may deaden them towards all objects on this side Heaven. Good Lord, let us all be all for Heaven, let all our thoughts be Heavenly thoughts, let all our speeches be Heavenly speeches, and let all our Actions be Heavenly Actions, and let all thine ordinances prove Heavenly ordinances to us, ever drawing up our Hearts from Earth to Hea­ven, seeing we must quickly return to Dust; Good Lord, 'it is a vain Imagination for any Man to think that he can be happy without God, who is the Author of all happiness; or to think that finite and sensual objects can satisfie infinite and spirtual desires? or to think that Temporal uncertainties are more valuable, and more desirable than an interest in Jesus Christ and Eternal Glory. What Joy? what inexpressible Joy will a good Conscience afford us, when we come to be arrested by the cold hands of Death, when we come to make our beds in the si­lent Grave. We must needs confess it is contrary to Reason, and much more inconsistent with Grace, that we should prefer Earth before Heaven; Yea, there is as little Reason for it, that we should en­deavour to grasp so much of the Creature into our hand [...], when as one Death-Gripe will soon cause us to let go our fastest hold of Created Injoyments. Oh! therefore why should we go about to build a nest for our selves among the Stars, when we have seen so many of our dearest A [...]quaintance and nearest Relations carried to the Grave before us; and there made a Feast for the Worms to feed upon: Good Lord, therefore do thou make us to know our End, and the measure of our Days, what it is, that so we may be throughly convinced, how frail we are; let us [Page 145] remember that we have no continuing City here, and therefore it will be necessary for us to seek one that is to come. Let us not spend our flying Daies in meer Impertinences, but let us look after that Eternal In­heritance which will never fade away. O! let us all improve our Time and Talents for God, that when our Bodies return to the Grave, from whence there is no coming back, our Souls may go to God that gave them.

Bury my Dead out of my sight. SERMON V.

GEN. xxiij. 4.‘Give me a possession of a Burying place with you, that I may bury my Dead out of my sight.’

THis is the conclusion of all Flesh; they were never so dear before, but they come to be as loathsom and intollera­ble now. When once the Lines and Picture of Death is drawn over the Fabrick of Man or Woman's Body, (as it is said here of Sarah) all their Glory ceaseth, all their good Respect va­nisheth away, their best Friends would be fainest rid of them: even Sarah that was so goodly and amiable in Abraham's sight, must now out of his sight, he must bury his dead out of his sight.

But Abraham, as the Father of faithful men, and a Pattern to all loving Husbands in all Ages ensuing, doth not this till such time as the dead Sarah grow­eth noysom to all that look upon her. As long as he could by his Mourning and Lamentation pro­secute her without offence to his Eyes, and dan­ger to his Health, he did it: but now the time is [Page 147] come, when Earth must be put to Earth, and Dust must return to Dust. There is no place for the fairest Beauty above Ground, when once God hath taken Life and Breath from it; it must go to its own Elements, and to the Rock and Pit from whence it was hewen, thither it must return.

After he had performed this, perhaps he mourn­ed three or four Days for his Wife; he knew this Mourning must have an end, he knew that he must commit her to the Ground. Therefore when he had thus moderated himself, as first to shew by his Sorrow that he was a loving Husband, and then to shew in the ceasing of his Sorrow that he was a wise man, and a faithful Christian, He cometh to desire a possession of burial.

Give me. What? A possession of burial.

First, A possession. He would have it so conveyed, as no man might make claim of it, but that it should be for him and his for ever. Therefore it was, as it were, a Church-yard that he begged, such a one as was capable, and had sufficient scope and room for his whole Posterity in the time to come▪

Give me a possession, a burying-place.

Here is the end why he would have this Possession. A strange kind of Possession.

Behold Abraham; see how he beginneth to pos­sess the World, by no Land, Pasture, or carable Lordship: The first thing is a Grave. So every Chri­stian must make his Resolution. The first Hou­shold-stuff that ever Seleucus bought in Babylon was a Sepulchre-stone, a Stone to lay upon him when he was dead; that he kept in his Garden.

[Page 148] Give me a Burying Place to Bury my Dead.

Behold, he calleth here Sarah, his Dead, he cal­leth her not Wife, though it is said after in the Text, that Abraham buried Sarah his Wife; yet that is in repesct of the time of her life, when they lived together, and in respect of the former Society, and Converse they had, but now he speaks to the point, she is no more his Wife, but his Dead.

My Dead.

Yet notwithstanding, though she was not Abra­ham's Wife, yet she was Abraham's Dead. This must teach a Man after he is freed by remaining for the Dead. A Man is bound to lament and sor­row for his Dead, as Abraham did here, to love the Memory of the Dead, to speak well of the Dead, when occasion serveth, to commend them for their Vertues, to use the Friends of the Dead (as far as is in their power) with all Courtesie, to be good to the Children of the Dead, to be good to all that come of that Issue for their sakes. Let me bury my Dead.

Lastly, it followeth, why he would bury his Dead Out of my sight.

A strange thing, Out of my sight. The best Friend in the World cannot endure the sight of a dead Body, it is a gastly sight, especially when it com­eth to that dissolution, that the parts begin to have an evil savour and smell, as all have when they are Dead; then to keep themselves in Life and Health, it is necessary to avoid them, to bury their Dead out of their sight.

[Page 149] And what so sweet a sight once to blessed Abraham, as Sarah? What so sweet a spectacle to the World, as Sarah? The great Kings of the World, set her as a Parragon, and she came no where but her Beauty enamoured them; she was a sweet prospect in all Eyes, every Man gaz'd on her with great content, to see the Beauty of God, as in so many lines marked out in the face of Sarah. Yet now she is odious, every Eye that looked upon her be­fore, now winks and cannot endure to look upon her, she must be taken out of sight.

Oh bethink your selves of this, you that take pride in this frail Flesh, that prank up your selves, to make you Graceful in every Eye; you that stu­dy to please the Beholders; you that are the great Minions of the World; you that when Age begin­neth to purle your Faces, begin to redeem your selves with Paintings; think of this. Mother Sa­rah the beautifullest Woman in the World, is loath­some to her Husband, her sweetest Friend, when once she is dead.

The Funeral Procession. SERMON VI.

ECCLES. 12. 5.‘Man goeth to his long home, and the Mour­ners go about the streets.’

ALthough I might in the Kings (King So­lomon's) name command, yet I will ra­ther in the Preachers (his other style) humbly entreat your religious Attention to the last Scene, and Catastrophe of Man's Life, consisting of two Acts, and those very short.

  • 1. The Dead's Pass, he goeth, &c.
  • 2. The Mourners March, they go ab [...]ut, &c.

Little Children newly born, take in their first Breath with a sigh, and come crying into the World, assoon as they open their Eyes they shed Tears, to help fill up the Vale of Tears, into which they were then brought, and shall be after a short time carried out with a stream of them, running from the Eyes of all their Friends. And if the Prologue and Epilogue be no better, what shall we judge of the Scenes and Acts of the Life of Man, they yield so deep springs of Tears, and such store of Arguments against our abode in this World, [Page 151] that many reading them in the Books of Hegesi [...]s the Platonick, presently brake the Pri­son of their Body, and leaped out of Ci [...]. prim [...], tus [...]. the World into the Grave; others con­cluded with Silenus, Optimum non nasci, proximum quam primum mori, that it was simply best never to be born, the next to it to die out of hand, and give the World our salve▪ and take our vale at once.

The dead go directly to their long home, the li­ving fetch a compass and round about: the [...]ermini of which their motions shall be the bounds of my Discourse at this present.

Old Men are a kind of Antipodes to young Men; it is evening with them, when it is morning with these; it is Autumn in their Bodies, when it is Spring in these: The Spring of the year to decre­pit old men, is as the Fall: Summer is Winter to them, and Winter death; it is no pleasure to them to see the Almond-tree flourish, which is the Prognosticatour▪ of the Spring, or the Grashopper leap and sing, the Preludium of Summer; for they now mind not the Almond-tree, but the Cipress; nor think of the Grashopper, but of the Worm, be­cause they are far on in their way to their long home, and the mourners are Cupressu [...] funeria. already in the streets, marshalling as it were their Troops, and setting all in equipage for their Funeral, no dilectable ob­jects affect their dull and dying Senses, but are ra­ther grievous unto them; desire faileth because Man goeth to his long home, that is, it doth in the best, and should in all; for what a preposterous thing were it, for a Man that hath one foot already in the Grave, and is drawing the other after, to de­sire to cut a cross C [...]per, and dance the Mor [...]ice? or for him that is near his eternal Mansion-house, [Page 152] to hanker by the way, and feast and revel it in an Inne.

By long home, according to the Chaldee Para­phrase, is here meant the Grave, or the place where our Bodies, or (to speak more properly our Remains are bestowed and abide till the time of the Resstitution of all things, the place where all meet who lived together, the rendevouze of all our deceased Friends, Allies and Kindred, even as far as Adam: this home may be called a long home, in comparison of our short homes, from which we remove daily, these Houses we change at pleasure, that we cannot: there our Flessi, or our Bones, or at least our Ashes or Dust shall be kept in some place of the Earth or Sea, till the Heavens shall be no more. Job 14. 12. I answer.

By Mourners are here meant all that attend the Corps to the Funeral, whether they mourn in truth, or for fashion: and they are said here to go about the Streets, either for the reason alledged by Bona­venture, quia predolore quiescere nequiunt, because they cannot rest for Hearts Grief and Sorrow, or they go about the Streets to call company to the Funeral; or because they fetch their compass, that they might make a more solemn Procession to the Church or Sepulchre. Among the Romans, the Friends of the deceased hired certain Women whom they called [...], to lament over their dead: for the most part among the Jews this sad task was put upon Widows, for they took it upon themselves, as the words of the Prophet imply, and there were no VVidows to make lamentation, and of the Evangelist also: Acts 9. 39. and the Widows stood by weeping for Dorcas; and indeed Widows are very proper for this imployment: When a Pot of water is full to the Brim, a little motion makes it run over. Widows, that are Widows indeed, and [Page 153] have lost in their Husbands all the Joy and Com­fort of their Life, have their Eyes brim full of Tears, and therefore most easily they over­flow.

There are but Three things appertaining to Man here.

  • 1. Life.
  • 2. Death.
  • 3. Burial.

And see they are all Three in the Text.

  • 1. Man goeth, there is his Life.
  • 2. To his lo [...]g home, there is his Death.
  • 3. And the Mourners go about the Streets, there is his Burial described by Pariphrasis.

And so I am upon the first Stage.

The Doctrine.

Man's Life is a Voyage, his Death the term o [...] period of this Voyage, his Grave his home, and Mourners his Attendance. The Hour-Glass is run­ning, whether the Preacher proceeds, or makes a pawse, and the Ship is sayling whither it is bound, when we sleep in our Cabbine; so whether we wake or sleep, move or rest, be busie or idle, mind it, or mind it not, we walk on toward our long home.

We are expiring and dying, from the running of the first Sand in the Hour-glass of our life, to the last, from the moment we receive Breath, to the moment that we breath out our last gasp.

Thus the Man in my Text goeth, or rather run­neth still in his natural Course, that is, every▪ Man.

[Page 154] I need not direct any Man in his Natural Course from Life to Death, every Man knows it, and whe­ther he knowes it or no, he shall accomplish it, the Spiritual Course is more considerable, which is i [...]i­nerarium ad Deum, a Journal to Eternity, a Progress from Earth to Heaven; this Progress a Man begins at his Regeneration, and in part endeth in his Dis­solution by Death, but wholly and fully after his Resurrection; the way here is Christ; the viati­cum the blessed Sacraments; the light the Scrip­tures; the guides the Ministers of the Word; the Thieves that lie in wait to rob us of our Spiritual Treasure the Divels; our convoy the Angels; our stages several vertues and degrees of Perfection, the City to which we bend our course, Jerusalem that is above, wherein are many Mansions, or eter­nal houses,

I am now come, though long first, to Man's long home, which cannot be described in a short time, and therefore I leap into my last stage, which as you may remember was:

The Application of the Text to this sad Occasion.

I must now use in the Application of my Text, a method direct contrary to that which I followed in my Explication; for therein first I shewed you how the natural Man goeth to his long, and the Spiritual to his eternal home; and after how, and why, and what sort of Mourners went about the Streets lamenting the deceased; but now I am to speak of the Mourners, who have already finished their circular motion, and then of the direct mo­tion of the Man, the man of quality, the man of worth, the Man of estate and credit, who is alrea­dy arrived at his long Lete, and now entring into his long home.

[Page 155] Touching the Mourners I cannot but take no­tice of their number and quality; the number is great we see, yet we see not all who yet are the truest Mourners, pouring out their Souls to God with tears in their private Closets.

Illa dolet vere, quae sine teste dolet.

Her portion of sorrow like Benjamins, is five times more than any others, whose loss of a Hus­band, and such a Husband is invaluable. Secondly the quality of the Mourners is not slightly to be passed by, debeter iis religiosa mora; for, not only great store of [...]he Gentry and Commons, but some also of the Nobility, the chief Officers of the Crown, and Peers of the Realm; [...]ot Religion on­ly and Learning, but Honour and Justice also hath put on Blacks for him, thereby testifying to all men their joint-respect to him, and miss of him.

Let them who have lived in credit die in honour; let them who in their life time did many good Of­fices to the dead, after they are dead receive the like Offices from the living. Out of which num­ber, envy it self cannor exempt our deceased Bro­ther. Of whose natural parts perfected by Art and Learning, and his moral much improved by Grace. I shall say nothing by way of Amplifica­tion, but this, that nothing can be said of them by way of Amplification. All Rhetorical Exagge­ration will prove a diminution of them. In sum, he was a most provident Housholder, loving Hus­band, indulgent Father, kind Landlord, and libe­ral Patron.

The Night before he changed this Life for a bet­ter, after an humble Confession of his Sins ingene­ral, and a particular Profession of the Articles of his Belief, in which he had lived, and now was [Page 156] [...] to die, he added, I renounce all Popish [...] [...] all Man [...] Merits, trusting only upon [...] [...] [...] [...] [...] [...] [...] of my Savi­our; and [...] [...] [...] any other, shall find when he is [...]ying, if not before, that he lea [...] ­eth upon broken Reeds Here after the Benedi­ction of h [...]s Wife and Children, being required by me to ease his mind, and declare if any thing lay heavy upon his Conscience; he answered, nothing he thanked God. He besought all to pray for him, and himself prayed most fervently, that God would enable him patiently to abide his good will and pleasure, and to go through this last and greatest work of saith and Patience; and the Pangs of Death soon after coming upon him, he fixed his Eyes on Heaven from whence came his help, and to the last gasp, lifted up his hand, as it were, to lay hold on that Crown of Righteousness, which Christ reach­eth out to all his Children, who hold out the good sight of Faith to the end.

Earth to Earth, and Dust to Dust. SERMON VII.

GEN. iij. 19.‘Dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou re­turn.’

THE Remembrance of Death among o­ther Remembrances, is as Bread amongst other [...]; howbeit it is more ne­cessary for the poor thirsty Soul, than Bread for the hungry Body; for a Man may live many Days without Bread, but the Soul cannot do so without the remembrance of Death: which like that Serpent Regulus, by no Charms can be charm­ed. And it is the general Opinion of the best and most Holy Writers, That the most perfect Life is a codtinual Meditation of Death. When our bles­sed Saviour said, If any man will follow me, let him deny himself, and take up his Cross daily. Commanded not that we should bear-upon our Backs that heavy burthen of the Wooden-Cross, but that we should always set Death before our Eyes, making that of the ever blessed Apostle St. Paul, to be our Impress, I die daily. In the Second Book of Kings, it is reckoned, that the good King Josias did cleanse the People from their Altars, Groves, and high Pla­ces, where innumerable Idolatries daily encreased: And to amend this ill, he placed there in their stead, Bones, Skulls and Ashes of dead Men. Whose Judgment herein▪ was very discreet; for from Man's forgetting of his Beginning and his End, arise his Idolatries; and so reviving by those Bones the remembrance of what they were before, and what [Page 158] they shall be hereafter, he did make them amend that mischief. Very many, nay, numberless are those Men which adore the Nobleness of their Li­nage; and out of a desire that they have, to make good their Descent and beginning, they multiply Coats one upon another, hang up Esc [...]cheons, Blazon forth th [...]ir Arms, tell you very large Hi­stories of their [...] a [...]d G [...]nealogies, and ma­ny times most of [...]em meer Lyes and Fables. The good Prophe [...] [...] id represent these unto us, in those T [...] five young Men which were Besotted and Ravished in beholding the labouring Sun, that glorious Creature, and vast Eye of all the World, whose gentle Heat broodeth upon the Waters, and hatched in Six Days all the World; which by way of Exposition, signifieth the ado­ring of the Glory of their Birth. But leaving these to themselves, as silly Fools who glory in the Gold that glisters, God Almighty comes here unto old Adam with a Memorandum of Death, and teacheth him another Lesson, saying, Dust thou art, a [...]d unto dust thou shalt return. The end ever hol [...]s a cor­respondence with its beginning; Naked came I out of my Mother's Womb, and naked shall I return. The Rivers come from the Sea, and thither again they return, and so doth the labouring Sun from the East, and thither it retires again. That Image of Gold, Silver, Brass and Iron, that had its Feet of Earth, must in the end turn to dust. Barak having asked, Where are the Princes of the Nations? makes an­swer himself, and saith, The earth hath swallowed them up all? Now to comment upon this same place, we may make the like question, and give the very self-same Answer, Nonne omnia Pulvis nonne Fabula? nonne in paucis ossibus memoria eorum conservatur? The very greatest and famousest of us all, have been, are, and shall be but dust; and there is no Memo­rial [Page 159] to be left of us, but a few rotten and stinking Bones. But to proceed, because in Preaching, Plainness is ever counted the best Eloquence. In these words, (as they offer up themselves unto our consideration) you may with me, (as they natu­rally arise from the express words in m [...] Text) ob­serve these two regardable Circum [...]tances.

First, How these Morral Bodies of ou [...]s are said to be Dust.

And then secondly, How they shall return to Mother-Earth from whe [...]ce they came. Now of these two in their due order severally.

And first of the First, and that is, How we are said to be Dust. Now as for the Walls of Flesh, wherein the Soul doth seem to be immur'd before the Restauration, it is nothing but an Elemental Com [...]osition, and a Fabrick th [...]t may fall to Ashes: All Flesh is Grass, is not only Metaphorically but Literally true; for all those Creatures we behold, are but the Herbs of the Field, digested into Flesh in them, or more remotely Carnified in our selves. Nay further, we are what we all abhor. Anthropo­phagi & Cannibales, Devourers, not only of Men, but of our selves, and that not in Allegory, but a positive Truth; for all this huge Mass of Flesh which we behold, came in at our Mouths; yea, this Frame which we look upon, hath been upon our Trenchers: In brief, we have devoured our selves. Man is such a frail, sorry and base Crea­ture, that the good Prophet Jeremy calls him to his own Face thrice Earth at one Breath, saying, O Earth, Earth, Earth, hear the Word of the Lord, Jer: 22. 29. Man is Earth by Procreation, Sustentation, and by Corruption.

First, He is Earth by Procreation; for the first Man is called Adam, that is, red Earth; Of the dust of the Earth made he Man. Gen. 2. 7. The Patriarch [Page 160] Abraham, acknowledging the baseness of his begin­ning, said unto the Lord, I am but dust and ashes, Gen. 18. 27. Now Almighty God (the C [...]eator of all things) made this Earth (of which he made Man) of nothing, according to the Text, God cre­ated the Heaven and the Earth. He made not this Heaven and Earth of another Heaven and Earth, but he Created both as having nothing, but nothing whereby and wherewith to build this goodly Frame, and so consequently proud Man in respect of his Ma [...]rials, is brought unto nothing: And therefore our Princely P [...]ophet David says, Psalm 144. 4. That Man is like a thing of nought. Yea; and to confirm this the better, St. Paul that ever blessed Apostle in his Epistle to the Galatians, says, If any Man seem to himself that he is something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself in his imagination, Gal. 6. 3. Adam begat Cain and Abel, Gen. 4. Cain signifieth Possession, Abel Mourning or Vanity; to teach us that Possessions are but Vanity and vexa­tion of Spirit; yea, Vanity of Vanities, all vanity, Eccles. 1. 2. And as Adam begat Sons like to him­self, so his Sons also Sons like to themselves, of a loathsom Excrement, carried in those Members of the Body which are least honourable, brought forth into the World with intollerable Pain, so vile and so soul, that I shall spare to speak, wanting Epithites whereby to express my self; only give me leave to Cry out with our Princely Prophet David, saying, What is Man (O God) that thou art mindful of him, and the Son of Man that thou visitest him; or with St. Paul, O Man, what art thou who pleadest against God? As if he should have said, (as Cyprian said once to Demetrius) Consider how base thou art in respect of God, even as Clay in the hand of the Potter; and then I think thou wilt not enter into dispute with thy Creator. That any [Page 161] Man is miserable, let it suffice him that he is a Man, that is, Infelicitatis tabula, nec non Calamitatis fabula, a Map of Miseries, and as it were the Table of Troy: whomsoever thou seest to be miserable, thou maiest without all doubt conclude he is a Man; and there­fore the first Voice uttered by the new-born Babe, is Crying, hereby Prophecying, that he is come into a World full of Care and Grief, Crying, and taking it grievously to heart because he is a Man, Blushing because he is Naked, Weeping and wail­ing because he is born into a most wicked and mi­serable World, and murmuring because indued but with a dull Genius, and made up of so base matter, which every Disease like a Storm is ready to totter down. God Almighty Created Adam of the basest matter, even of very Dirt, but this Dirt being Moulded by God's own Hand, and Inspiring it with so much Wisdom, Counsel and Prudence, it may be called Cura Divini Ingenii, the Curious­ness of God's Wit: But Man growing proud here­upon, and hoping to be a God himself, God doom­ed him to Death, and wrapped him again in h [...]s dirty Swadling Clouts, with this Inscription, Pu [...] ­vis es, & in pulverem reverteris, Dust thou art, and unto Dust thou shalt return. Adam did not with­out some Mystery cloath himself with green Leaves; for he gave therein as it were a sign and token of his vain and foolish hopes. But as the Mother when the Bee hath stung her Childs Finger, runs with all haste to get a little Dirt, and claps it to her little One, which doth asswage the Swelling, and give it ease: So those busie Bees of Hell daily stinging us, and striking into our Breasts the Poyson of their Pride and Arrogancy, Almighty God with a Memorandum of Death, with a Dust thou art, and unto dust thou shalt return, abates this Pride, and tells us of that swelling Arrogancy of ours. In Eze­kiel, [Page 162] the King of Tyre said, I am a God, but he was answered, that he was but a man, that is, base, vile and miserable: So holy David said, Let the Na­tions know that they are but men; that is, base and vile: and St. Paul said, Are ye not men? 1 Cor. 3. When we see a man swallowed up sometimes in the misery of the Body, and sometimes of the Soul, we say in the conclusion, he is a Man. Now if instead of the Gold of the Angels, there was found Rust, and that so fine Cloath as that was not without its Moths, and that incorrupted Wood without its Worm; what will become of those that are but Dust, who dwell in Houses of Clay? Verily they must (as fearful of their own harm) repeat this Lesson, Dust thou art, and unto dust thou shalt return One asking the question, Why God (having Created the Soul for Heaven) did knit it with so straight a Knot to a Body of Earth, so frail, and so lumpish? Whose answer was, That the Angels being overthrown by their Pride, He was willing to repair and to help this Presumption in Man, a Creature in his superiour part as it were Angelical, but having a heavy and miserable Body; which might serve as a Stay unto him, that if the nimbleness of his Understanding should puff him up, yet that Earth which Clogged his Body should humble and keep him down. Those that entred Triumphantly into Rome, had a thousand occasions given them to incite them to Pride, Arrogancy and Vanity: As their great number of Captives, their Troops of Horse, their Chariots drawn with Ele­phants or Lions, and their Ladies looking upon them from their Windows, and the like: But the Senate considering the great danger of the Tri­umpher, ordered one to sit by his Side, to whisper this still in his Ear Remember thy self to be a Man. The Princes of the Earth have many Motives to [Page 163] make them forget themselves, not regarding the Complaints of the Poor and Needy; yet as the Wise Man saith, Wisdom 7. 5. No King had ever any other beginning of Birth, they are as other Men, the Off-spring of the Earth, and the Children of Men, and to them it is also said, Dust thou art, &c. But to proceed,

As Man is Dust and Earth by Procreation, so like­wise he is Dust and Earth by Sustentation, and that in two respects; In regard of Aliment and Indu­ment, Meat and Apparel: It is truly said, That of which we consist, we are nourished with; Ele­ments are Aliments, where we begin, we do re­ceive; all Meats for our Bodies in Health, and all Medicines for the same, being Sick, are Earth and Earthy, even Dust and Ashes as we our selves are; we feed on the Things of the Earth, and walk and sleep thereon: As for Apparel and Ornaments, we borrow Wooll of the Sheep, Hair of the Camel, Silk of the Worm, Furies of the Beasts, and Fea­thers of the Fowls of the Air; like unto Aesop's Crow, having some Plume from every Bird, some­thing from every Creature. Flowers are richly decked, Plants with an infinite variety of coloured Leaves adorned, and other Animals as well Vege­tative as Sensitive, comely covered; only Man, that unhappy and base Creature, is born to nothing but Beggery and Misery: So that we may justly ex­claim and cry out with the good Prophet David, saying, What is Man, &c. Nay, what are we? If that the good Prophet Jeremy, who was Sanctifi­ed in his Mothers Womb, did bewail his Condi­tion, what may we do who are Born in Sin, and Conceived in Iniquity, being Formed of most base and unclean Matter? God Created Stars and Planets out of Fire, Birds out of Air, Fish out of Water, but Man with other Animals out of the [Page 164] Slime of the Earth; therefore remember and con­sider, O Mrn! what thou art, and thou shalt find thy self much worse than any other Creature what­soever besides, even Dust and Ashes. Now from this Principle I will infer three or four Conclusi­ons of very great Fruit and Consequence.

The First is this, If thou art Dust and Ashes, wherefore art thou proud, thou Dust and Ashes? Of thy Beginning? No; of thy End? No; Of what then? If thou shouldest see thy self Seated between the Horns of the Moon, think on the baseness of thy beginning, and thou shalt then see clearly that Pride was not born for Man, nor An­ger and Pettishness appointed for Woman's Con­dition; Pride cannot sute with Dirt, nor Curst­ness with Woman's Softness. Lord cleanse me from my secret sins, and spare thy Servant from those that are strangers: By Aliens you may understand those of Pride, for it is a Stranger as it were, and an­other kind of thing, differing much from Man's base and vile Condition. There is not any Sin more alien and strange to Man's Condition than Pride, or that doth carry with it less excuse. Those Fools that are Painted forth, going about to build a Tower that should overtop the Clouds, and reach to Heaven. Gen. 11. 4. did in their very first word say, Come let us make us Bricks; Bewraying their Foolishness: What? go about upon Earth to rear a Foundation that should emulate Heaven, which is far beyond Thought, and glorious beyond Re­port! God Almighty said unto Ezekiel, Take thou a Tile, and pourtray upon it the City of Jerusalem, the Walls, the Ditches, the Towers, the Temple, and a great Army of Men, Ezek. 4. 1. Strange, yet true we see it is, that the Strength of Cities, the Power of Armies, is contained in a poor brittle Tile-stone. The good Prophet▪ Isaiah threatned those of Moab [Page 165] with Whips and Scourges, Isa. 16. because they insulted, and proudly triumphed upon the Walls and Towers of his City: Speak Punishment unto those that rejoyce in Walls that are made of Brick. What, can earthen Walls raise up such Pride in Men? Samuel being to Anoint Saul, God gave him for a Sign that he would have him Prince over his People. That he should find two Men as soon as he was gone from [...] near unto Rachels Sepulchre: God migh [...] have given unto him some other Sign, but he chose [...] [...] to give him, to quell the Pride and Haugh [...]ess of this new Ho­nour; as if he should admonish and put you in mind, that the Ashes of so fair a Creature as Ra­chel, should read a Lecture unto you, what you must be. And this is the reason why the Church, though she might use other Metaphors to express the Misery and shortness of Mans Life, as is often made mention of in the Ornament of Grace, as by a Leaf, a Flower, and a Shadow; yet it makes more particular choice of Dust and Ashes, because the other are Metaphorical, these Literal. for no­thing more properly appertaineth unto Man than Dust, and therefore the Scripture termeth Death, a Mans returning again unto the Earth from whence he came. The Flower, the Leaf and the Fruit, have some good in them, though of short conti­nuance; as Colour, Odour, Beauty, Vertue and Shade, and albeit not good in themselves, yet they are the Image and Representation of Good; but Dust and Ashes speak no other good. Amongst the Elements, the Earth is the least noble, and the most weak, the Fire, the Water and the Air, have in them Spirit and Actitude; but the base Element Earth, as it were a Prisoner laden with Weightiness. A certain Poet styles the Earth Bruta, not only for that it hath an unpleasant [Page 166] Countenance, as Deserts, Quick-sands, Dens, and Caves; but also for that it is an Inne of Serpents, Tygers, Panthers, and the like, so that it is good neither to the Taste, to the Smell, to the Feeling, nor to the Hearing, nor yet to the Seeing. Thou being therefore Earth, why art thou Proud, thou Dust and Ashes? And thus far of the First.

Now the Second Thing regardable, is, If thou art Ashes, why [...]uch a deal of Care in Pampering thy Body, which the hu [...]gry Worms are to de­vour to morrow? Consider those rotting and stinking Carkasses of your Relations, that lye here under the Ground, and the very thought thereof will moderate your desire of being over-dainty and curious in cherishing your own. Isaac on the Night of his Nuptials, placed his Wifes Bed in the Chamber where his Mother died. Tobias spent all the Night with his Spouse in Prayer, being mindful of the harm which the Devil had done to her former Husbands; as being advised from Hea­ven, that he should temper with the remembrance of Death, the Delights and Pleasures of this short Life of ours. The Camomile, the worse you treat it, and the more you tread upon it, the better it thrives; other Plants require Pruning and tend­ing to make them fruitful; but this Herb hath a quite contrary condition, that with ill usage it grows the better. It is the pamper'd Flesh that brings forth Thistles and Thorns, but the Flesh that is trodden down and humbled, that yields store of Fruit: And this is likewise concerning the Second.

Now the Third thing to be considered, is, If thou art Dust, and to Morrow must become Dust and Ashes, why such a deal of coveting of Honours and Riches, which on a sudden may take them­selves Wings and flye away. Esau sold his Birth­right [Page 167] for a Mess of Pottage, but he excused his so doing, for that he saw his Death was so near at hand: Behold I am ready to die what will this Birth-right profit me? But to be brief, as Man in respect of his beginning and proceeding, is Earth, even so he is Dust and Ashes in r [...]spect of his end­ing, which is the last thing now to be handled; for the Lord himself denounced (as it is evident in the words of my Text,) Out of it wast thou taken, for dust thou'art and unto dust thou shalt return. When that Death (mounted upon his pale Horse like a Serieant sent from above, upon Action of Debt, at the Suit of Nature) comes with a Habeas Corpus, to pull down these Clay Walls, wherein our Im­mortal Souls are kept close Prisoners, within the narrow compass of these mortal Bodies of ours; then shall our Dust return unto the Dust as it was; then, yea even then, we shall be Terra à Terrendo, because then every one shall tread on us. A living Dog is better than a dead Lion; every Thersites will Insult over Hector, and every Scrub run upon Achilles. Every Child is ready to mangle the strong Oak when it is down, and he that durst not look Caesar in the Face, is now bold to pull him by the Beard. Our Bodies are not only Houses of Clay, Job 4. 19. but as they be earthly, so Taber­nacles, 2 Cor. 5. 1. Set up this Day, and happily taken down the next: And therefore the Years of Man are termed Days in holy Scripture, as the Daies of Noah, the Daies of Lot, and the Daies of E­lias, because they lived but a few Days; as the Pa­triarch Abraham, Few and evil have been the Daies of my Pilgrimage, Gen, 47. 9. Although time may be di­vided into past, prrsent and future, yet there is no time belonging essentially to our Life, but even the very Now, because the time past is certainly gone, and the future time uncertainly to come; and [Page 168] therefore our blessed Lord and Saviour Christ en­joyned us to pray, Give us this day our daily bread, Matth. 6. 11. Not this Age, Month or Week, but only this Day, because we may not care for to Mo [...]row; and therefore says wise Solomon, Boast not thy self of to morrow, Prov. 27. 1. For thou know­est not what a day may bring forth. All flesh is grass, saith Isaiah; Grass withered or green. Oh Fool! this Night thy poor Soul may be fetched from thee, and so thou shalt have no need of daily Bread to Morrow. Josiah was a vertuous Governour, [...] Kings [...]3. and yet he had but his time. In the the daies of [...] the Son of Ammon, Jer. 1. 2. Noah was a very upright honest Man in his time, Gen. 6. 9. and yet he had but his time. In the days of Noah, 1 Pet 3. 20. Herod was a most mighty Man, and yet he had but his time. In the daies of Herod King of Judah, Luke 1. 5. If we be as strong as Sampson, and as mighty as Alexander, this Tyrant Death in time will take us all away; Moses upon Mount Abarim, Aaron upon Ho [...], and Methuselam after 99 years, were all cut down and brought to dust again, as they were. Although the good Prophet Daniel Prophesied of one who should have a time, and a time, and a half time, yet as it appeareth in the Revelation of St. John, all is but a time, and that a short time too. For although Antichrist exalt himself above all that is called God, yet he shall one day perish as a Man; he came from Earth, and (notwithstanding his double Honour, and triple Crown) he must (being Dust) return to the Earth as he was, and see Corruption. Where­fore I say unto you, as the good Prophet Jeremiah did unto them of old, O Earth! Earth! Earth! hear the Word of the Lord. Remember what thou was, what thou art, and what thou shalt be, when thou leavest this sad World behind thee. Thou [Page 169] wast in thy beginning a most miserable Wretch, yea a filthy stinking Worm, Conceived and Born in Sin; thou art now a Sackful of Dirt, and here­after thou shalt be nothing but a Bait and Banquet for Worms. In thy Beginning thou wast nothing, and now nothing worth; and if thou repent not of thy damnable Sins, thou art in danger he [...]eafter to be worse than nothing; conceived in Original Sin, now full of Actual Sin, and if that thou still continue in thy Wickedness, thou mayest one Day feel the Eternal Smart of Sin: Begot in Un­cleanness, Living in Unhappiness, and Dying in Anguish and Uncomfortableness. Remember I pray you from whence you came, and Blush; where you are, and Lament; and whither you must in spite of your Teeth, and Tremble. Brag not of any thing in you, or on you; neither what you have been, are, or may be: for in respect of your base, weak and frail Flesh, you are a Clod of Earth, are so still, and in the end shall become no­thing else but a Coffin of Earth under ground. Thy Grave shall be thy House, and thou shalt make thy Bed in the Dark. Thou shalt say to Corruption, thou art my Father, and to the Worm, thou art my Mother and Sister. Our Flesh dissolveth into Filthiness, Filthiness into Worms, and Worms into dust; so our Flesh which is Dust, thar is nothing, returns into nothing, that is Dust at last.

And thus I have shewed you at large, how we are said to be Dust, and likewise how we shall at last return thither again.

Wherefore now (to be brief) to put a Period to all, Remember what you are, and Meditate Daily and Hourly upon what you shall be, lest that Death (like a Thief) steal upon you, as it doth upon many now-a-days: For Meditation is like Gunpowder, which in a Mans hand is Dust and [Page 170] Earth, but if you put Fire thereunto, it will over­throw Towers, Walls, and whole Cities. A light Remembrance, and a short Meditation of what you are, is like that Dust which the wind scattereth away; but a quick lively Memory, and enflamed Considerations of your own wretched Estates, will blow up the Towers of your Pride, cast down the Walls of your Rebellious Nature, and ruine those Cities of Clay wherein you live. As the Phoenix Fannowing a Fire with her Wings, is renewed again by her own Ashes; so shall you become new kind of Creatures, by remembring what you have been, are, and what you shall be; that you are but Dust, and shall return unto Dust again. Moses casting Ashes into the Air, made the I [...]chanters and their Inchantments to vanish. The Ashes scat­tered by David, put the King out of doubt, and made it appear unto him, that that was no God which he adored: Job came forth from his Ashes in better Estate than he was before: And as Joseph came out of Prison from his torn and fattered Rags, and had richer Robes put upon him, so you from out of these your Ashes, shall be stript of the Old Man, and put on the New. The forgetfulness of other things may be good sometimes, but of your selves, what you are, and shall be, never. This will require a continual Remembrance, therefore this cannot be to often inculcated, Dust thou art, and unto Dust thou shalt return.


GOod Lord, we confess that Man is but a Worm of Yesterday, his Production was out of the Dust, and must thither return in his ultimate Resolution: for (as we have heard) Dust we are, and unto Dust we shall re­turn. Let us therefore alwaies be in a readiness for our last Change, seeing we know not how soon the silent Grave may involve us under its Wings, where we shall lie in Obscurity, till the last Trumpet shall sound, at the Morning Day of the Resurrection, Arise ye Dead, &c. Good Lord, though now we appear [...] living Ob­jects of thy Favou [...], yet we know not how soon the Scene may be altered; for this very Day we now breath in, may be the last we shall ever count: and so many waies may the Thread of our frail Lives be snapt asunder, that we cannot promise our selves an Hours time upon Earth; a little Stone from the House-top, as we pass in the Streets, a slip of our Foot, or the slumbling of our Horse, a sudden mischance (among a Million that may befal us) which we know not of, may reduce us to our first Original, and leave us a pale Carkass to be Sacrificed to the gaping Grave. Oh let us often therefore consider where will be our Eternal abode, when the black Attire of our Funeral is over, and all our Weeping Friends gone to their several Houses and Homes. Let us often think how meanly-and poorly Clad we shall enter into our Coffins, with only one poor Shrowd and oth [...]r Dresses fitted to cover us; and wha [...] [Page 172] will become of our rich Attire, our haughty Deckings, our over-curious Trimmings, in the Grave, whither we are all agoing? And when we are Arrested by the cold Hands of Death, how Pale and Wan to all shall we seem? Even ready to nauseate our Spectators: Good Lord, let such Thoughts as these keep us humble, and keep down all proud aspiring Thoughts, that shall at any time arise in our corrupted Hearts: For 'tis true, Dust we are, and unto Dust we shall return.

Job xxiv. 20. The Worms shall feed sweetly on him.

THat is, the Grave shall be no securer to him than to others, there the Worms shall feed upon all men, and they shall feed sweetly on him, or it shall be a kind of sweetness and pleasure to him to have the Worms feeding on him, which is no more then what Job said upon the same Argu­ment, (Chap. 21. 23.) The Clods of the Valley shall be sweet to him.

In these words you have Job describing the state of a Dead man laid in the Grave, he tells you the Worms shall feed sweetly on him. After Job had but spoke of Man's Conception in the Womb, he next tells you of his Corruption by the Worm, so sud­dainly doth a man step out of the Cradle into the Coffin, that sometimes there is no space between them both.

The Worms shall feed sweetly on him.

Those that have formerly fed upon their Sweet­meats, the time hasteneth when the Worm shall feed sweetly on them: As all Wooden Vessels are liable to be Worm-eaten, though they be never so euriously wrought, so will the neatest Body, the finest Face, be shortly a Worm-eaten Face.

The Design of the Expression and of the Con­text being to convince us of the certainty of our Deaths, and the uncertainty of our Lives: I shall conclude this Subject with telling you,

That no person can seem so brave and youthful at the present, but for [...]ught any thing he knows he may the next Hour be a Banquet for the Worms to feed upon.

Prepare to follow. SERMON VIII.

ISAIAH 8. 38.‘Set thy House in order, for thou shalt dye and not live.’
Dearly Beloved,

IAm now about to speak of that which will shortly render me unable to speak; and you are now about to hear of that which will also shortly make you uncapable of hearing any more, and that is Death. It will be but a lit­tle while before Death will cause both the Speaker to be Dumb, and the Hearer to be Deaf. Oh that I might therefore this day, speak with that serious­ness unto you, as considering the time draws on a­pace, when I shall be Silenced by Death, and ne­ver more have an opportunity to speak one word unto you. And Oh! that you might Hear this day with that diligence and reverence, as consi­dering that after you are once Nailed down in your Cossins, and Covered with the Dust, you will never hear one Sermon more, or one Exhortation, or one word more, till you hear these words pronounced by the great Judge of the Quick and Dead, Surgite Mortui, & venite ad Judicium; Arise ye Dead, and [Page 175] come ye unto Judgment. What is said in my Text, as it is likely you have often heard it with your Ears, so now you may see it accomplished, It is appointed unto all Men once to die. Death hath long since come into our Nation, and hath summoned many to make their appearance in another World, yea, you know that Death hath already entred in­to our Streets, and hath not been afraid to step o­ver our Threshold, and to seize upon those that have been standing round about us; yea, it hath come into our very Bed-chambers,, and hath suddenly snatched away those that have been lying in our ve­ry Bosoms: So that we have had warning enough of the near approaches of Death unto our selves, and without doubt some of us have had the Sen­tence of Death within our selves, (as the Apostle speaketh;) and therefore it is high time for you and I seriously to consider what is said in my Text, Set thy House in order, &c.

Something we shall briefly speak now in order to the explanation of the words, that so you may once more hear (before you feel) the meaning of them; It is appointed or enacted by the Court of Heaven; Statutum est, it is a Statute or Law (more firm and certain than the Laws of the Medes and Persians) which is never to be repealed or abro­gated. We are not therefore telling you what may, but of what must inevitably come to pass. It is appointed unto Men, that is as much as to say, unto all Men, once to die. It is an indefinite Ex­pression, and so is to be understood of all the same kind, without some special exception from this general Rule. And indeed such an exception there is to be found in the Scripture; for▪ saith the Apo­stle, We shall not all Die, but some shall be Changed, in a Moment, in the twinkling of an Eye; there shall be some at the end of the World, who shall not [Page 176] pass under Death, but yet they must pass under a Change, which is thought will be equivalent unto Death. But for the present time, and according to the common Method and Course of Providence, no Man or Woman hath any ground to expect that they shall escape the stroke of Death; for it is ap­pointed unto Men, that is, unto all Men, once to Die: Death will no more spare him that wears a Crown upon his Head, than him that carries a Spade in his Hand, as the Poet Elegantly expresses it.

Pallida Mors aequo pulsat pede
Pauperum tabernas, Regumque Turres, &c.

And the Scripture speaking of Kings, useth this Expression, I have said ye are Gods, but ye shall die like Men.

But what is the meaning of the Phrase to Die? I can assure you if you know not yet, it will not be long e're you will know the meaning of it: The Philosopher describes Death thus, Est privatio Vitae, ob Animae separ ationem a Corpore: As Spiritual Death is the Separation of God from the Soul, so Tempo­ral Death is the Separation of the Soul from the Bo­dy; When those two (the Soul and Body) which have like Twins, dweltlovingly together under the same Roof, must be parted asunder, and enjoy no more sweet and intimate Communion one with a­nother, till the time of re-unition at the General Resurrection. This is that which must once be done, every one must here take their turn.

And though this happeneth to some at one time, and to others at another time, yet first or last, it will happen to all. The Greek word (Thanatos) which signifies Death, is taken from a word which signifies extendere, and indeed Death stretcheth out it self so far, that no Man can live out of the reach [Page 177] of it. As surely as thou wast once Born, so surely shalt thou once Die.

Let me but ask you this one plain Question, and your own Conscience shall be the Judge in the Case: Couldest thou still remain a Drunkard or a Swearer, if thou didst but once seriously consider that thou must once Die? Or couldst thou so eagerly set thy Heart upon the empty, lying and dying Vanities of this World, didst thou bu [...] once seriously consider that thou must once, (and it may be before to Morrow) be taken out of this World? Or couldst thou neglect the means of Grace or Delight in Prophaneness, didst thou but seriously consider that thou must once die, and it may be before ever thou enjoyest another Praying or Preaching oppor­tunity? To die is much, and as this must be once done, so there is more to be done than this, for af­ter this cometh Judgment. Whether the particular or general Day of Judgment is here to be understood, needs no debate, seeing both will certainly follow after Death.

As for the certainty of Death, you need not look into your Bibles for a proof of that; I shall only desire you to open your Weeping Eyes, and let them but a little while be fastened upon the Dead Corps that now is before you, and if afterwards you can question this Truth, I shall say no more to you at present, but that it will not be long e're others may say of thee, as the Apostle Peter did to Saphi­ra, Acts 5. verse 5, 6, 7, compared with the 9 and 10. Verses. And Ananias fell down and gave up the Ghost; and the young Men arose, wound him up, and carried him out and buried him: And his Wife not knowing what was done, came in; and Peter said un­to her, How is it that ye have agreed to tempt the Spi­rit of the Lord? Behold the Feet of them which have buried thy Husband are at the door, and shall carry thee out: Then fell she down straightway, and yielded up [Page 178] the Ghost; and the young Men came in and found her dead, and carrying her forth, buried her by her Hus­band.

The same Bier, and it may be the same Persons which have carried thy Neighbour, thy Husband, thy Wife, thy Brother or Sister already to the Grave, behold they stand ready to do so much for thee: And let every one consider with himself, that he may be the very next in the Town or Family, for whom the Bier may be fetched to carry him unto his long home. And then as for the certainty of Judgment, though every one hath a sufficient Proof in his own Conscience of the truth of this, yet for as much as some have seared Consciences, and therefore would put off the Evil Day, and say with those, 2 Pet. 3. 3, 4. And there will come in the last days Scoffers, walking after their own Lusts, saying, Where is the Promise of his Coming? since all things continue as they were from the beginning, &c. You may therefore Consult these plain Scripture Proofs, Eccles. 11. 9. compared with Rom. 14. 11, 12. For we shall all stand before the Judgment-Seat of Christ, yet that is not all, but as it follow­eth, So then every one of us shall give account of him­self to God. 2 Cor. 5. 10. For we must all appear before the Judgment-Seat of Christ, that every one may receive the things done in the Body, according to that he hath doae, whether it be good or bad.

ISAIAH xxxviii.‘Set thy House in Order, for thou shalt Die, and not Live.’

MANS Body (before that dismal Conquest we all deplore) as well as the Poor Soul was conditionally Immortal, and so to this very day had ever continued, if it had not been for the dam­nable Sin of Disobedience committed by Adam and Eve our First Parents; But this was no sooner Gained than Lost, and the time of Mans Life ever since hath been as a Point, the Substance of it ever flowing, the Sense obscure, and the Whole Com­position of the Body tending to Corruption: If that you should live three hundred years, or as many thousand of years; yet with all remember this, that at the last you shall be compelled by Death, Gods all-resting Bailiff to lay down these rotten, ruinous, and clay-decaying Tabernacles of yours, for Dust you are, and unto Dust you shall return, and peradventure you shall not have a good warn­ing before hand, as the good King Hezekiah had here, but be thrust out of House and Harbour, in less than an hours warning; For Death, which will put a period to every Mans days, 2 Tim. 4. 7. is like a Sergeant sent from above upon Action of Debt at the Suit of Nature mounted upon his Pale Horse will come on unawares, rap at your Doors, Alight, Arrest you all, and carry you bound Hand and Foot into a Land as dark as Darkness it self, from whence you shall be summoned at the last dreadful Audit to the Bar of Justice in the high Court of Heaven, when your Bill shall be brought in, how that you [Page 182] have ever Rebelled, and most notoriously trans­gressed against the Lord of Hosts, both in Thought, Word, and Deed, and have ever spun away our time as tho' that Death which is the end of all flesh would never follow, wherefore to the intent that Hezekiah, that good King might be made more certain of his fatal Destiny, occasioned by our first Parents, and have the less account to make at the great and terrible day of Doom (when Christ Je­sus the Worlds Saviour shall descend from Heaven, which is the center of all good wishes, with his Heavenly Host of blessed Angels riding in Pomp, and great Majesty upon the Wings of the Wind, with the loud sounding Trumpet of God, and the all tearing Voice of the Arch-Angel to judge both the quick and Dead) God sent unto him the good Prophet Isaiah to incounter with him, and to put him in mind of his mortal Song. The whole verse runs thus, In those days was King Hezekiah sick unto Death, and Isaiah the Prophet, the Son of Amoz came unto him, and said unto him, thus saith the Lord. Set thy House in order, for thou shalt die and not live. These words, as they distribute themselves, do consist of [...] Principal and Essential Parts.

First of an Admonition, or earnest Exhortation, Set thy House in Order.

And then secondly of a sound and undeniable Reason, which is threefold Affirmative and Ne­gative.

First Affirmative, for thou shalt Die, and the Ne­gative, and not Live. Set thy House, &c. Now of these in their due order severally, and first of the Admonition, or earnest Exhortation, Set thy House in Order, in which you have these three things re­gardable.

First the Reason warning, which was Almighty [...]od by the mouth of the Prophet Isaiah, as is made [Page 183] manifest in express termes in the former part of the Verse: And Isaiah the Prophet, the Son of Amoz, came unto him, and said unto him, thus saith the Lord.

Secondly, the Person warned, or exhorted, which was none other but even good King Heze­kiah, and by him all other.

And then thirdly and lastly the matter of the Exhortation, and that was to Set thy House in Order. Now of these which shall have the first place in my Discourse shall be of the Person exhorting, and that was God. Adam who had attained unto the state of Perfection in his Life and Conversation, relying wholly upon Natures first intentions never so much as once dream'd of Death, which is a Se­paration of Soul and Body, or any Alteration, until Almighty God, unto whom all hearts are open, no se­crets hid, seeing his corrupt and base nature, came unto him, and told him plainly, and roundly to his face, how that he was but Dust and Ashes, and thi­ther should return again, Gen. 3. 19. Thus Almigh­ty God by the mouth of Moses the Faithful was ever warning the Israelites (being ever a most stiff-nec­ked, and rebellious Generation) of their Morta­lity. Deut. 32. 21. saving, They have moved me to Jealousie with that which is not God, they have provo­ked me to Anger with their Vanities; And I will move them to Jealousie with those which are not a People, I will provoke them to Anger with a foolish Nation; for a fire is kindled in my anger, and shall burn unto the lowest Hell, and shall consume the Earth with her en­crease, and set on fire the Foundation of the Mountains; I will heap mischief upon them, I will spend my Ar­rows upon them; they shall be burnt with hunger, and devour'd with burning heat; and with bitter Destru­ction; I will also send the Teeth of Beasts upon them, with the poyson of Serpents of the Dust, and to raise [Page 182] this Blister the higher, the Sword without, and Ter­rour within, shall destroy both the Young Man, and the Virgin, the suckling also, with the M [...]n of Gray Hairs, vers. 25. Thus Almighty God did threaten them, if that they would not set their House in Order, and repent, that he would bring them to the Dust a­gain, wherefore Moses being a true Mirror of pity, out of his most tender Love, and boundless Affecti­on towards them all in general, lest that Almighty God, should send forth his sharp piercing Arrows, and give them mortal Wounds in his heavy Wrath, and cruel Anger, cries out most bitterly, by way of Exclamation, saying, O that they were wise, then would they understand this, and consider their latter end. Thus the Father of Spirits, and Lives, ha­ving out of a Chaos, or nothing, created all, and fashioned Man after his own Image, seeing his cor­rupt and base Nature too inclinable unto all sorts of Wickedness, by a sudden Metamorphosis, transforms him into what he was again, just like the Cat in the Fable, which when she would not change her manners, having all her members made after the form of a Woman, according to hearts desire, was turned into a Cat again. Thus f [...] concerning the first particular Circumstance, the Son warning even Almighty God by the mouth of Isaiah the Prophet: wherefore now to breviate my Discourse in fewer Words, lest that I should be too prolix in the pro­secution, I shall proceed unto the second thing, sub­servient to this Explication, and that is the person warned, or here to set his House in Order, which was none other, but even Hezekiah that good King of Judah, who brake down the brazen Serpent, 2 Kings 18. 4. Who did receive presents from the King of Babel. 2 Kings 20. 12. Who restored all things that his Predecessors had taken out of the Temple, and established pure Religion among his People. 2. Chron. 29. 2.

[Page 183] And lastly who ordained Priests, and Levites to serve in the Temple, and also who appointed for their maintenance, 2 Chron. 31. 2. This, yea, even then was he unto whom Almighty God (who hath no delight in the Death of a Sinner, but rather that he may turn from his Wickedness, and Live,) sent the good Prophet Isaiah, saying, set thy House in Order, for thou shalt die, and not live. Hereupon I might insist longer, but that I shall demonstrate unto you as occasion is offered, and now proceed unto the third particular Circumstance regardable in my Text, the matter of this Exhortation, and that was to set his House in order, which is the scope of my Sermon, and the main thing. Set thy, &c. Now by this word House, you may understand, even every Humane Body, which although at its first Creation, was a most solid, sound, and incorruptible Sub­stance; yet, by the entrance in of sin became ca­pable of all sorts of Maladies; 'tis true, before that we knew what a damnable thing sin was, we had strong Houses, but ever since God Almighty lets us dwell in Paper thatched Cottages, and clay Walls, every Disease like a tempestuous storm totters us, and is ever and anon ready to overwhelm us. Now this ruinous House, and all decaying Taber­nacle, which by the corruption of sin is become as a Pest-house, fetide, filthy, and unclean, before it can be set in order, must be swept clean and throughly rinced of all sins infective dregs.

First it must be throughly purged from the guilt of blood, which leaves such a stain behind it, that the whole Land could not be cleansed but by the blood of the shedder; for even so did holy David, who although he was a renowned, and glorious King, and holy Prophet of God, a Man justified even of his Enemies, thou a [...]t more Righteous than I; esteemed of his Subjects, thou art worthy of [Page 186] ten thousand of us, a Man more learned than his Teachers: Yea, a Man even after Gods own Heart; yet no way respecting the name, or applause of Men, but is content to shame himself for evermore, to record his Sins to his own shame, so that he may procure Gods Glory, and the good of his Church, set thy House in order, and not shroud in his head, nor run into a Bush as Adam did, but writing his fault even in his Brow, and pointing at it even with his finger, casteth his Crown down at the Lambs feet with the 24 Elders; with the poor Pub­lican falls groveling to the Earth, thumps his breast, strikes upon his thigh, wrings his hands, and ever pours out his poor soul before the Lord of Hosts, and thus humbling himself unto the Dust of Death, at length from the bottom of his heart, with grief, shame, and fear, cries out most bitterly, and be­takes himself unto a Psalm of mercy, saying, De­liver me from blood-guiltiress, O God, thou art the God of my health, and my tongue shall sing of thy Righte­ousness, make my House clean by cleansing me from the guilt of blood, and then shall I set f [...]rth thy praise. Ever get your Houses throughly purged from that Sin, which is an high offence against Almighty God, who hath given it in command, saying, Thou shalt not kill, and if not another, much less thy self, for thou must love thy Neighbour as thy self, first thy self, and then thy Neighbour as thy self, the near­er, the dearer. I kill, and give life again, saith the Lord of Hosts; we are not masters of our own lives, but only stewards, and therefore may not spend them, or end them, when, and how we please, but even as God Almighty, who bestowed them, lest that we come, and defile our Bodies, which ought ever to be kept clean, and set in or­der. As murderers are enemies against God, whose image they deface against their Neighbours, who [Page 187] are all members with them of one Common-weal, and politick Body, so are the most cruel Enemies against themselves, because by natural instinct eve­ry Creature labours to preserve it self, the Fire st [...]i­veth with the Water, the Water fighteth with the Fire, the most filly Worm doth contend with the most strong Man to preserve it self, and therefore we are not to butcher our Neighbours, or our selves, but to expect Gods pleasure, and leisure to let us depart in peace, seeing that we must all die, and not live. That bloody Tyrant Nero had his hands so stained with the guilt of innocent blood, that when God saw that he would not repent, and set his House in order, caused him to die both a sudden and a shameful Death, and thus God dealt with many more, whom I shall leave to your considera­tion, wherefore that you may not taste of the same sauce, while it is said, to day, set your House in order, get them throughly cleansed from all guilt, and especially from the guilt of Blood, and then, when you die you shall receive incorruptible Crowns, you shall be like Kings and Princes, all Co-heirs in the Kingdom of Heaven, which for excellency is far beyond thought, and glorious beyond report.

Secondly, As the Body, before it can be set in Order, must be throughly cleansed from the guilt of blood; so must it likewise be purged throughout, and scoured well of all the Pollutions, and Cor­ruptive Dregs, which Adultery leaves behind it, they are not a few, it is a Quotidian Fever to the Corps, a Canker to the Mind, a Corrosive to the Conscience, and a mortal Bone to all the Body. It is an efficient cause of more cruel Maladies in the Body than any thing beside.

First, it sets the Body on fire, which ever after consumes away by an incurable Consumption.

[Page 186] Secondly, it brings the Body into a Dropsie, which by no skilful Physitian with all his cunning Medicines, and drawing Issues can be once cured; till that Tyrant, and all-devouring Death come with its sharp stinging Arrows, and execute its of­fice. Concupiscence is like a fire, and our Bodies unto seething pots which cannot be cooled, but either by taking away the fuel, by keeping it in continual motion, by casting in of cold water, or lastly, by taking it altogether from the fire. There­fore let every man in the fear of God, use these means prescribed for the cooling of intemperate Lust boiling in his flesh.

First, I say, let him take away the fuel, let him refrain himself from eating, and drinking too much, lest at last Lust command like a Tyrant; for saturity is the father of wantonness, and uncleanness, the Daughter of surfeiting, sine Cerere & Libero friget Venus, without Nectar and Ambrosia Concupiscence cannot long continue, for Lady Venus dwells still at the sign of the Ivy-bush: where there is clean­ness of Teeth, usually there is no filthiness of Body, but if that we stuff our Corps as full as they can hold, making our mouths as Tunnels, our throats as Wine-pipes, and our bellies as barrels, we must expect nothing but Lust ever to Tyranize over us.

Secondly, let every one keep his Body in conti­nual Action, for Concupiscence is begot of an idle Brain, and hatch'd in a lazy Body.

Quaeritur Aegistus quare sit factus Adulter?
In promptu Causa est, desidiosus erat.

Egistus complaining why he should be made an Adulterer, was quickly answered, because he was idle. The Crab-fish being more subtle than many [Page 187] other Fishes against the coming of the Flood, when that the Oyster never fails to open, flings into her a little Stone, that she cannot shut her self again, and so the Oyster is devoured by the Crab; our Adversary the Devil is like unto the Crab; and we just like the Oyster, if that he find us idle and gaping, he takes his opportunity to confound us. Idleness is the Devils Pillow, saith Origen, and there­fore like a pestiferous and dangerous Plague is to be shun of all: Cupid shoots still in a slug, and therefore hits none, but such as are sluggish.

Thirdly, Let every Man stir to cool his Body by washing of himself throughly with his Tears, as Da­vid did, who watered his Couch with his Tears, and whose Eyes became a Fountain of Tears. David and his people lifted up their Voices, and wept so long that they could weep no longer.

Fourthly, As the Pot is cooled by taking it alto­gether from the Fire; so indeed may the Lust of the Body, by shuning opportunities and occasions of Sin, for Liberty makes Thieves. Daniel, al­though but a young Man, was so indued with the Continency, that he did not only all he could to suppress Lust in himself, but also reproved the Las­civious Elders, Joseph a young Man resisted the Temptations of his own Mistress, and likewise St. John the Blessed Evangelist, although very young, almost a Boy, did what as in him lay to bridle his Nature, and to keep his House in order: Now see­ing that filthy Lust doth not only dishonour, but al­so pollutes our Vessels, our Clay Bodies, let us take Saint Paul's advice, which is to abstain from its eve­ry kind, for although it doth seem a Paradise to the Desire, yet it is a Purgatory to the Purse, a Plague to the Body, and a Hell to the Soul; and that which may stir up the Wanton the most, a Sin against his own Body; Dost thou then love thy [Page 190] Flesh? Abstain from Adultery, for it is rottenness to thy Bones; Dost thou thy Soul? Abstain then from it. Lord, for it is very unhonest; Or dost thou love thy Credit? Be sure then likewise that thou abstain from it, for it is very dishourable. This heat is an Infernal Fire, whose Fuel is Fulness of Bread. and abundance of Idleness; Evil Com­munications are the Sparks, Infamy the Smoak, Pollution the Ashes; and the End Hell, where­fore seeing this, get your selves throughly cleansed from this Infectious Disease, and suffer not Sin to raign in your Mortal Bodies, but with all haste, set your House in order, for you shall die. As the Bo­dy before it can be set in order, must first be purg'd of all Blood-guiltiness, and then of all those Distem­pers occasioned by Adultery, so must it likewise be Scoured from top to toe of all Pride and Arrogan­cy which are the other proper Sins of Satan; they that are proud, and vain-glorious, must of necessity be ever Factious; seeing that bravery ever stands upon comparisons; and likewise very violent, ever to make good their own vaunts; they are seldom or never at love with their Neighbours, it's true, one Tradesman will love another, and one Drun­kard, according to Horace, will take Delight in the Company of another, sitting Hour after Hour, drinking of Soul-sick Healths; but for one proud Man to associate with another, and to love him as himself, is a thing seldom or never seen; just like the Foolish Jea cloath'd with the Peacock's Fea­thers, he ever thinks himself Chief among all, though according to Natures Ordination a meer Ignoramus; he is ever casting beyond the Moon, till that he bring himself to destruction, which may well be so according to that of Solomon, Pride go­eth before destruction, and a haughty mind before a fall, Prov. 16. 18. The good Prophet Isaiah had [Page 191] such an invettered hatred against the Sin of Pride, that he pronounced a woe against Ephrin the very Crown of all Arrogancy; saying, Woe unto the Crown of Pride, Isa. 28. 1. for it shall bring a Man very low, when humility shall raise him full high, as you may see by the words of the ever blessed Vir­gin Mary, who saith, Luke the 1. 52. that the Lord hath put down the Mighty from their Seat, and hath exalted the Humble and Meek. This Sin corrupts the whole World, therefore that you may get your selves free from all its Infections, fly it as you would the Plague or Pestilence, and with all haste set your House in Order, for you shall die, and not live. 4. The next Malady that you must get your selves Cured of before that your Houses can be set in or­der, is Envy, Hatred, and Malice, a Sin which hath been of too long standing: It was very com­mon in Hesiod's time, and not only among the Pot­ters and Singers; but also among the very Va­grants, whereupon he took occasion to say, One Potter (saith he) there envies another, one Sin­ger hates another, and one Beggar pronounceth a woe against another? A Man that hath no Virtue in himself ever is envying Virtue in another, and not in those that are far distant, but even in those that are full near, and dear unto him;—feriunt sum­mos Fulmina montes; as high Hills are most exposed to Thunder, and as the fairest Flowers are the soonest nipt by the venemous Cantharides; even so the most Eminent Gifts and Graces in Men, are the greatest griefs of the Malicious and Envious Misers, this Sin is a repining grief for other Mens Happiness; it is an evil Eye which wisheth good to no Man, but to it self; although the Squint-Eye, Male content and Envious Wretch doth thus ever Travel with Mischief, and bring forth ungod­liness, still disquiering of himself like the raging [Page 190] Sea, and stiring up strife all the day long; yet let him remember that this course of Life must be alter'd, that he must get his Body throughly drench'd from all Envy, Hatred, and Malice (the greatest Antagonist against Love, which ought to be embraced for all) and Get his House set in order, for he shall die and not live.

Fifthly, The Body must first be purged from the Corruptions of Blood-guiltiness. Secondly, from the cruel Maladies occasioned by Adultery. Third­ly, of all putrifactions brought in by Pride and Ar­rogancy, and fourthly, the infections procured by Envy, Hatred, and Malice; so likewise it must be ever kept free from all Covetous, and greedy de­sires, the root of all ill, and the very Metropolis of all Villany. Judas was not sooner made Buyer, but that he shut himself into his Purse, and be­came a Slave to a few pieces of Silver his own Pri­soners, so that indeed at last it was more easie for a Camel to enter into the Eye of a Needle, than for him being conjured into the Circle of his Purse to get out again. This Sin is so sweet that it leadeth almost all Men unto Destruction, whom it once possesseth; What was it but only Covetousness that brought Dives to the Pit of Hell, where being ever tormented with its Scorching Flames is still dying, yet never dead, always crying out, O Im­mortal Death, O deadly Life, what shall I term thee, for if that thou be Life, wherefore dost thou kill? and if Death, how dost thou still endure; for in Life there is some ease and comfort, and in Death an end; but in thee there is neither ease, nor end. O my dear and well beloved Friends, consider this; and get your selves Cured of this Malady, which of it self is able to bring a Man un­to the Pit of Hell, fly it as a secret Enemy in your [...]own Bos, myea, and both in Body and Mind to. [Page 191] As our outward form, so much more our inward form should make us loath and detest this abomina­ble Sin of Covetousness, which turns topsy turvy all Humane Society, and sets more at odds, than na­ked truth brings to Unity, Peace, and Concord.

Pronaque cum spectant animalia [...]caetera terram
Os homini sublime dedit, caelumque tueri
Jussit, & erectos ad Sydera tollere vultus.

In the first Creation of things, when God made all Creatures Irrational, looking down to the Ground, then made he Man, a Rational Creature after his own Likeness, with a Countenance tending to Hea­ven, and all to put him in mind, although he was made de terra & ex terra, of the Earth and out of the Earth, never like the Worldling to mind the things of the Earth; but to keep his Body still clean swept, not suffering the least Dust, or filthy Rust to be in his Mortal Corps. But further, as the Body must be made clean, and purged of all those stink­ing Dregs, which those forementioned crying Sins have left in it; even so it must be ever kept clean from those Distempers which Drunkenness and Glut­tony procure. This most beastly Sin of Drunken­ness began presently after the Flood, and hath al­most drowned the whole World with another De­luge.

The Tuscans were so much addicted to this, that they were never well; but in drinking, and quaf­fing of Soul-sick healths, and so were the people of Germany, whereupon was said,

Germani possunt cunctos tolerare labores,
O utinam possunt tam bene ferre sitim.

[Page 194] O I wish, saith the Poet, seeing that the People of Germany can endure any thing, that they could but refrain themselves from Drinking too much. Likewise it was said of one Borosus, that he was Born bibere, non vivere, to guzzle their time away and not live; and thus it may be said by too many now-a-days, who unless instead of it apply their Hearts and Minds to Sobriety and Temperance, shall not only procure to themselves loss of Estate, sickness of Body, but also to the poor harmless Soul Everlasting woe, and misery; O consider this, you that rise early in the Morning, and conti­nue till Night in drinking of strong Healths; yea you that cannot afford your self natural Rest, but like the Hog betake your self to any sad Lodging for a while, and so return to your drunken trade a­gain, still drinking other Mens Healths till that you drink your own away; never calling to Mind;

Una Salus sanis nullam potare Salutem,
Non est in poto vera Salute Salus.

That the Health of the sound is to drink no Health, but to his own. He, that is a common Drunkard, can but of necessity break all the Com­mandments of God. For first instead of giving that honour due unto Almighty God his Creator, he makes a God of the Creatures loving it with all his Heart and Mind; ever having more Gods than one. Secondly, he is ever ready to Blaspheme, and to back all his words with execrable Oaths. Thirdly, he is ever ready to commit Murder, as Alexander the Greatest did, who when he was Drunk slew his Friend Clitus. Fourthly, the Drunkard is ever ready to break the Seventh Commandment by rea­son of his large Commons and lewd Companions. [Page 195] Fifthly, the Drunkard breaketh the Eighth Com­mandment as well as the rest; for although, like a cunning Fox he may refrain to take up at home, yet if it be to be had abroad, he is sure to have it; but indeed, that which is the worst of all is that he robs God of his due, which is of his poor Soul, which he hath purchased with his most pre­cious Blood; and so brings both his Body and Soul to utter ruin and destruction. (O thou that spins away thy time, like a Swine in drinking, and eat­ing;) ever have this in remembrance, and set thy House in order, for thou shalt die and not live. There are many more rusty, and filthy dregs of Sin, which as well as those must be scoured out of the Body before that it can be set in order, as of Lying, Swear­ing, Cursing, and such like; but those I shall leave to your consideration, hoping that you will not suffer the least of them to have any place in your Mortal Bodies.

And so proceed a little further concerning the very matter of our discourse, the thing that we are all warned unto, which is to set our Houses in order, for we must die, and not live. Set thy House, &c. As it is the Custom among the Nobles and Peers of this Realm, when that they know of the Kings com­ing to give them a visit, to have all about them in order and decency; so indeed ought every one of us to set our Houses in order, to keep our Bodies, which are the Temples of the Holy Ghost ever clean and decent, and still furnished with all sorts of Heavenly Graces to entertain such a Glorious Prince, who hath writ on his Thigh King of Kings, and Lord of Lords. It will not be long ere he come, for St. James said, In his time behold the Judge standeth before the door, and likewise, it was St. John's the Baptist Text, saying, Repent for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand, he may come to day, or [Page 196] he may come to morrow, therefore make your selves ever ready, and set your House in order, for you shall die, and not live. First, you must furnish your selves with love, which is the complement of the Law, and an earnest desire of interchangeable affection be­tween Christ and the Soul. Secondly, you must furnish your selves with Charity, which of all Vir­tues is still Chief, for St. Paul the Bishop of the Gentiles, comparing it with Faith and Hope, tells you that it is the Chief, for it ever Edifieth, still suffereth, never envieth, yea, and still continueth, 1 Cor. 13. 8. Thirdly, you must get your selves fur­nished with patience, that with all alacrity and chearfulness of Heart, you may endure all things for Christs sake. Fourthly, you must get your selves furnished with Humility, Virtue, which when the Lord of Heaven beholds it in you, which caused him to sink into your Hearts. Fifthly, you must get your selves furnished with Hope of Everlasting Faith and Salvation. And then sixthly and lastly with Faith, which is an evidence of things not seen, thus you must get your selves set in order, &c.

And thus far of the matter of this Admonition, and earnest Exhortation. Now I should come to the Reason, which is twofold, affirmative, and ne­gative; Affirmative, thou shalt die; and Negative, and not live. Set thy House in order, for thou shalt die, and not live.

Now of these severally, and first of the reason af­firmative, thou shalt die. Now there are three kinds of Death. First, the Death of the Body, which is a natural Death. Secondly, the Death of the Soul, which is a Spiritual Death. And then thirdly and lastly, the Death both of Body and Soul, which is Eternal Death. But that which good King Hezekiah was warned of, was but only the Death of the Body, which according to the [Page 197] Statute Law Decreed in that High Court of Parlia­ment of Heaven, all Men shall once taste of, no Man can escape it, for so saith St. Paul, it is ap­pointed unto all Men that they shall once die, to all once, to many twsce, for there is a second Death, and that is truly a Death, because it is Mors Vitae, the Death of Life; the other rather a Life, because it is Mors Mortis, the Death of the Death, after which there shall be no more Death. Now as Job saith, Mans time is appointed, his Month determined, and his day numbered, yea; and (as Christ Jesus the Worlds Saviour saith) his very last hour is limited; he was made of the Mould of the Earth, he shall return again to the Earth: And as all have one Entrance into Life, the like going out shall they have to Death: Nothing we brought in, nothing we shall carry out. Naked come I out of my Mothers Womb, and naked shall I return. A Change then shall come which of the wicked is to be feared, of the godly to be desired, and of all people to be daily and hourly expected. Remem­ber them that have been before you, and that shall come after you, that this is the Judgment of the Lord over all Flesh to taste of Death. All Men shall once die, for as much as all have sinned, and been disobedient unto the Laws of God. This Death of the Body is not a dying, but a departing, a trans­migration, and Exodus of our Earthly Pilgrimage, unto our Heavenly Home; yea, a passage from the Valley of Death unto the Land of the Living: Al­though our Souls and Bodies are separated for a while, yet shall they meet again in the receptacle of Blessed Saints and Angels with much joy, and re­ceive an incorruptible Crown. The Body is a Pri­son to the Soul, and Death a Goal-delivery, that frees the poor harmless Soul of those Grievances, which formerly it did endure. Length of days is [Page 198] nothing unto us, but much grief, and Age the du­ance of long Imprisonment; wherefore if that you would but seriously consider this, you might find Death to be rather a Friend than an Enemy, and by consequence rather to be desited than shun'd as Simeon did, as it is evident, Luke 2. 29. saying, Now, Lord, lettest thou thy Servant depart in peace, according to thy Word, which by some is used thus; Now, Lord, I hope that thou wilt suffer me to de­part in peace, and keep my poor Immortal Soul no longer within the small circumference of this Mortal Body. The Thief upon the Cross laid down his Life most joyfully, because he saw Christ, and did stedfastly believe, that he should pass from a place of pain and misery, unto a Paradise of Plea­sure, and so did St. Stephen, Acts 7. 56. The Roy­al Preacher King Solomon, lest that his Son should be deprived of such Happiness, doth by an Empha­tical Irony disswade his Son from those youthful Lusts, and sensual Pleasures, whereunto he feared that he should naturally be addicted, and that by the consideration of that dreadful account, he was to give unto God at the great and terrible day of the Lord; desiring him most earnestly not to let his House stand out of order, but ever to remember his Creator in the days of his youth, for old Age will come, saith he, and then thou shalt not be so fit by reason of much weakness and infirmities. Or else, Death may seize upon thee, For Dust shall return unto the Earth as it was, and the Spirit shall return unto God who gave it, Eccles. 12. 7. In a mo­ment, yea, at the twinkling of an Eye, when once this Tyrant Death comes, it will sweep us all away. It is the Custom among us here to let Leases, one, two, or three Lives, but God lets none for more than one, and this once expired, there is no hopes of getting the Lease renewed, he suffers Man some­times [Page 199] to dwell in his Tenement threescore Years, and ten, Psal. 90. 10. Sometimes to fourscore, but secures none far from home, and that for se­veral Reasons. First, to bridle our curiosity left that we should search after things too high, for quae supranos, nihil ad nos, those things that are a­bove us, are nothing to us. Secondly, to try out patience whether that we will put our whole trust, and confidence in him, although we know not the time of our departure and dissolution; and then thirdly, to keep us in continual watchfulness, for if that we should know, when Death would come with a Habeas Corpus to remove us, it would make many more careless than they are, though indeed the best of us are careless enough. Here Men do know the date of their Leases, and the expiration of the Years, but Man is meerly a Tenant at will, & is put out of Possession at less than an Hours warn­ing. Wherefore now, while it is said to day, set your Houses in order, seeing that you must die, and not live. It is not sufficient at the last Hour of Death to say, Lord have mercy on me, or, Lord into thy hands I com­mend my Soul. But even in all our Life-time, yea, and especially in our youth, we must strive ever to set our Houses in order, for we shall die and not live. Samson was very strong, Solomon very wise, and Methusalem lived many years, yet at last they with many more were brought to Mother Earth. If it seem pleasant unto you at the present to let your rotten and ruinous Houses stand out of order, yet with all remember, what the Prophet saith, The day of Destruction is at hand, and the times of perdi­tion make haste to come on. Art thou a young Man in the April of thine Age, and hast thou thy Breasts full of Milk, and doth thy Bones run full of Mar­row, as Job speaks, and thereupon dost promise to thy self length of days, yet thou must know, also, [Page 200] that a man, even at the highest pitch of health, when he hath that same Fencer-like kind of strength, is nearest danger in the Judgment of the best Physicians, remember with all that observation of Seneca, Young Men (saith he) have Death behind them, Old Men have Death before them, and all men have Death not far from them; we may in a manner complain already that the great God of Battle threatens an utter ruin to all the World, the Earth hath trembled, the Lights of Heaven have been often darkned, Rebellions have been raised, Treasons have not long since been practised, Plagues of late have been dispers­ed, Winds have blustered, Waters have raged; and what wants there now, but those two Arrows of God, even Sword and Fire from Heaven for us to be consumed. Is it now think you a time to buy, to sell, to eat, to drink, and to live securely in sin, as they did in the days of Noah, and think of nothing else; is it now a time to say unto Almighty God, as the Nigard doth unto his Neighbour, come again to me to morrow, as that drousie Sluggard doth, Prov. 6. 10. Yet a little sleep, a little slum­ber, a little foulding of the hands to sleep. The fool­ish Virgins supposed that the Bridegroom would not have come like an Owl or a Batt in the night, there is time enough, said they, what needs all this haste; but poor Fools, they were excluded. Oh! I cannot forbear, my very Heart even bleeds within me to think of it, yea, all the faculties of my Soul and Body are strucken with horrour and amazement, while I declare unto you, how that many Thousands now are doubtless in Hell, who purposed in time to have set their Houses in order, but being prevented by Death, are for ever con­demned. O here I could heartily wish (with Jeremy) that I had in the Wilderness a Cottage, Yea, [Page 201] I could (wish with Job) that I were a Brother to the Dragons, and a Companion to the Ostriches, whilst I think of that wish I am now uttering; nay, I could willingly desire (with the Princely Pro­phet David) that my Heart were full of Water, and that mine Eyes were a Fountain of tears, that I might weep Day and Night, for the too too com­mon Sins of this our Age in every kind. Now you are in your preparations for Eternity, and therefore had need to be very watchful over your selves, to see that you set your Houses in order, for you shall die, and not live. And this brings me now unto the very last thing observable in my Text, and that is of the reason Negative, and shalt not live, set thy House, &c: Chrysostom prying into the base Nature of Man, and finding him ever out of order, teacheth him a seven-fold consideration of himself.

First, What he is by nature, what he is in him­self? Dust and Ashes, Gen. 18. 2.

Secondly, What is within him? much sin.

Thirdly, What is before him? a burning Lake, which is spoken of Isai. 30. 33.

Fourthly, What is above him? an offended Ju­stice, Deut. 32. 16.

Fifthly, What is against him? Satan, and Sin; two notorious, and deadly Enemies.

Sixthly, What is before him? transitory trifle; and worldly vanities.

And then seventhly and lastly, He desires man seriously to consider, what is behind him? infal­lible Death, for semel aut bis morimur omnes; Some once, some twice, we must all die, and not live, You cannot, like Enoch, Heb. 11. 5. be translated, but must suffer Death as well as other Men, being common to all. Whatsoever thou dost affect, whatsoever thou dost project, so do, and so pro­ject [Page 202] all at once, who for any thing thou knowest, may at this very present depart out of this Life. Hy­pocrates, although he could not cure till Death came upon him. Heraclitus, who writ many natural Tracts concerning the last, and general consolation, of the World, could not find out a Remedy, or a Medicine for his Distemper, but died out of hand. Thus you may see, how that God spares none, but sends one thing or other to bring us to our long home. And thus far concerning the Death of the Body shall suffice, which was the Death good King Hezekiah was forewarned of: Wherefore now I shall but only speak a word or two of the Soul, and likewise of the Death of the Soul, and Body, and so conclude.

First, as there is a Natural Death, viz. the Death of the Body, so likewise there is a Spiritual Death, viz. of the Soul, when it is deprived of those Gra­ces, which formerly God did bestow upon it; for as the Soul is the light, and life of the Body, even so Almighty God is the light, and life of the Soul. When he takes his holy Spirit from us, then we walk in the shadow of Death, this Death is an ill Fruit of Sin; therefore let us set our Houses in order.

But secondly, As there is a natural Death, and a spiritual Death, so likewise there is an eternal Death, called in the Ornament of Grace the se­cond Death. This Death, as well as the Death of the poor Soul is lamented by God. Esay 59. 2. As I live (saith the Lord) I desire not the Death of a Sinner, but rather that he may turn from his Wick­edness and live. I might now likewise add a fourth Death, and that is a civil Death, an undoing of our Credit, and honest Reputation, which many Men die, but this I shall leave to your consideration, and so conclude. O my dearly beloved Friends, [Page 203] consider what you are all by nature? What is within you? What is above you? What is be­low you? What is against you? What is before you? What is behind you? and that is, infallible Death; For here is not one here amongst you, be he never so strong, never so healthly, but that within the Revolution of a few years shall be brought in spight of his teeth unto the Grave. Wherefore let your Houses be d [...]ly perfumed by a Morning and Evening Sacrifice of Prayer. Praise unto Almighty God, both which were ap­pointed under the Law, Exod. 29. 38. 39. And this shadowed what was to be performed under the Gospel. God renews his Mercies to you eve­ry Morning, and protects you from manifold dan­gers every Night, whereunto you are subject; and you be so ungrateful as to banish all his be­nefits out of your Memories who is every Moment so mindful of you.

As therefore, beloved, you tender the Salvation of your poor Souls, look home, and mourn for your Original sin, steep your Eyes in Tears, write Letters of [...]scomfort upon the Ground as you go; let the streams of your fighs, and the sweet In­cense of your Prayers rise up like Mountains be­fore the Lord of Hosts, and bedewing your Cheeks with tears; make your humble Confession unto God Almighty, not of sin alone, but of all your sins, of what nature. degree, or height soever they be, and by your unfeigned Confession so accuse your selves, that you may not hereafter be accus­ed of the Devil, and so judge your selves, that you be not judged of the Lord. In a word, that you may escape all those torments, which by rea­son of sin are incident both to Body and Soul, seeing the night is far s [...]ent, and the day is at hand, while you have time, set you Houses in order, for you shall die, and not live.


GOod Lord, let us be always setting our Houses in order, that we may be really willing, and truly fit to die when Death shall seize us: Let us be always a preparing for our last Change, for it is the liv­ing only who are in a capacity to praise Thee. The Grave, into which we are all going, is a place of si­lence, where there is no praying to Thee, nor praising of Thee; neither are any that go-down thither capa­ble of securing their eternal well-fare; in the Grave there is no Preaching, nor hearing; there we shall be altogether insensible of the actings of God, and be al­together uncapable of acting any thing for God: Oh! that we therefore, who are within a few steps of our long and last home, might seriously consider, what a vain thing it is to dream that we shall ever enjoy our worldly Relatives, or that we shall ever possess our worldly accommodations. What need have we then to be setting our Houses in order; for 'tis certain, we shall once die, and how soon we know not. Oh then! let your Thoughts, Words and Actions, be such as may best become dying persons, seeing all that would dye comfortable must set their Houses in order be­ [...]re they depart.

Look on every day as your last. SERMON IX.

JAM. 4. 14.‘What is your Life? It is even a Vapour that appeareth for a little time, and ufterward vanisheth away.’

THere is nothing that doth evidently set before Mens Eyes the Deceits of the World, and the vanity of things pre­sent, as doth the due consideration of the uncertainty, shortness and frailty of Man's Life; for all humane Pride, and the whole glory and pomp of the World (having Man's Life for a stay and foundation) can certainly no longer endure the same Life abideth; so that Riches, Dignities, Honours, and such like, howbeit, a Man may enjoy them for a small space on Earth, yet do they never continue longer with him, than unto the Grave.

The consideration whereof, together with this present occasion offered, have caused me amongst all other places of Holy Scripture to make choice of these words which I have now read unto you; [Page 206] in which (as in a most bright shining Glass) we may behold both the frail Constitution of Man's Nature, as also the short continuance of his Life here on Earth, it being but a Vapour, and What is your Life?

This whole Chapter containeth four Dehorta­tions; the first is from Lust, unto the fifth Verse; the second from Pride, to the Tenth; the third from speaking evil of our Neighbour, to the Thir­teenth; the last from Presumption of words, to the end of the Chapter; to disswade from which sin, he useth two arguments especially; the first is drawn Ab incertitudine rerum, from the uncertain­ty of things, and that's contained in the words im­mediately going before my Text, the second is drawn á Vanitate Vitae, from the vanity of Man's Life, and that's set down in the words of my Text. Which words contain two general parts, a Question and an Answer; What is your Life? There's the Question; the Answer followeth in the next, It is even a Vapour, &c.

First of the Question, What is your Life? Where­in observe, that Life is twofold; for there is a Created Life, and there is an Increated Life; the la [...]ter is only to be found in God, the former is a quality in the Creature, whereby it liveth, and moveth, and acteth it self.

Now Created Life is twofold, Spiritual and Na­tural: Again, Spiritual Life is twofold; sometimes it is taken for the Life of Grace, which God's Chil­dren only do enjoy in the Spiritual Kingdom of Christ in this World; which by way of excellen­cy, is called the Life of God; not so much for that it is from God, as also all other kinds of Life are, as because God liveth in them that are his, and approveth this Life in them: And it is called (for the same respect) the Life of Christ, because [Page 207] Christ liveth in his through a super-natural Faith and Spirit; and they live unto God, and conform their Life unto his Will: And it is called a new Life, a Christian Life, and a renewing of the Mind, Will and Affections. This Life is opposed to Death in Sin, and to the old Man. Sometimes it is ta­ken for the Life of Glory, whereby the Soul (be­ing jopned again to her Body) shall lead a Life, which the Apostle calleth Spiritual; not in respect of the Substance, but of the qualities, 1 Cor. 15. 44. whereby the Faithful shall live for ever, and it is laid up in Christ, and the end of the World shall be disclosed, and which is opposed to the se­cond Death, and it is called Eternal Life. Thus much of the Spiritual Life.

Now the Natural Life also is twofold; for either it may be taken generally for the Life of all Crea­tures, whereby they live, move, and have their being; or more particularly for the Life of Man, which natural Life in Man is the act and vigour of the Soul, arising from the conjunction of the Body with the Soul; this Life is given by God, continued by Meats and Drinks, and other neces­sary helps, and ended by Death; this is the Life properly meant in this place.

It is even a Vapour, &c. A Vapour (according to the Philisophers) is a thin fume extracted out of the Earth, by the Sun in the night time, but in the morning (or afore) it is scattered with the Wind, or dispelled with the Sun; or else, if the Sun do not appear in his Brightness, it falleth away of it self to the Earth from whence it came, or was drawn by the heat of the Sun. Such as is the nature of a Vapour, even such is the Life of Man; for he is extracted out of the Earth by the Sun of Righteousness, and he either perisheth before he seeth the Sun, or else in the Morning of his Youth, [Page 208] or if he escape the mid and noontide of his growth, yet at the last he falleth away by Age to the Earth from whence he was taken. The Text thus ex­plained, we may observe these Points of Doctrine for our Instruction.

The first is the Frailty of our Constitution, in these words, It is even a Vapour.

Secondly, the Shortness of our continuance, Which appeareth for a little time.

Thirdly, The vanity or nullity of our Life after Death, in these words, And afterward vanisheth a­way.

First, Of the Frailty of our Constitution; the Apostle doth not compare the Life of Man to Silver or Gold, or Iron, or Brass: which are durable Sub­stances; or some Body that is Corpus perfecte mix­tum, that is, perfectly mixed or compounded of the four Elements; but to a Vapour that is Corpus im­perfecte mixtum, that is, such a Body that is imper­fectly mixed; and that for two Reasons: First, be­cause it hath not perfectum Miscibilium numerum, that is, all the Elements in it; then also because it hath not perfectum Mixtionis modum, the true man­ner of a mixt Body, and therefore it vanisheth a­way into Air; either per attenuationem, by rare­faction and attenuation (as the Philosopher speak­eth) aut per condensationem, when it returneth to the Earth from whence it came▪ And well might this our Apostle compare the Life of Man to such an Imperfect Body as a Vapour is: For first, if we consider our Birth, we are brought forth in the danger of our selves and them that bear us. Our Feet are not our own, neither are they able to car­ry the bulk and trunk of our Body; our Tongues are not our own, our Hands are not our own; but we lye bound and wrapped for many Months toge­ther; we Live, and yet we seem not to breathe; [Page 209] in our Youth we are liable to many Diseases: If it be true that the Physicians say, our Eyes are sub­ject to an hundred Perils, how much more is the whole Body? Some cry, My Head, My Head, as the Shunamites Child; some are troubled with lame Legs, as Mephibosheth, some with Gouty Feet, as Asa; some are pained in the Belly, as Jeremy. This is that miserable Frailty which the Prophet Isaiah signifieth in these words; Almighty God said unto his Prophet, Cry; and the Prophet answered, What shall I cry? God said unto him, All Flesh is Grass, and all the glory thereof like the Flower of the Field, the Grass withereth, the Flower fadeth away, but the Word of the Lord continueth for ever: Upon these words St. Ambrose saith thus; Truely it is even so, for the glory of Man flourisheth in the Flesh like unto Grass; which although it seem to be great, it is in very deed but little; it buddeth like a Flower, and fadeth like Grass, so that it hath no more but a certain flourishing in appear­ance, and no firmness and stability in the Fruit. For what firmness can there be in the matter of Flesh? Or what good things (of any long conti­nuance) are to be found in so weak a Subject? To day thou maist see a young Man, in the flourishing time of his Age, with great Strength, Lusty, and jetting up and down in the Streets in great Bravery, with a jolly lofty Countenance; and if it so fall out, that this very next Night he be taken with some Disease, thou shalt see him the next day with a Face so far altered and changed, that whereas be­fore he seemed very amiable and beautiful, he shall now seem ill-favoured, miserable and loathsom to behold; nay, Mans Fading away is such, and so sudden oftentimes, that there can be no reason given of his Death; for many have gone to Bed well in the Even, that in the Morning have bee [Page 210] found dead in their Beds; and many suddenly have dropped down in the Highways and Streets, as they have walked about their Affairs: And this is no wonder, if we consider the Substance of Mans Body, which being a Building compact of green Clay, is easily overthrown with a small puff of Wind. This being then the frailty of our Con­stitution, the consideration thereof should be used, to put away and abandon our natural Pride, and make us humble our selves under the Hand of God. An Example hereof we have in Abraham, who said, Gen. 18. 27. Behold, I have begun to speak to my Lord, who am but Dust and Ashes. Mark here how the consideration of his frail condition, made him to abase and cast down himself in the sight of God: In like manner, if we could but consider how Frail we are, it would straightway pull down our Peacocks Feathers, and make us with Job, to abhor our selves in Dust and Ashes.

Secondly, The next Point I am to treat of, is the shortness of our continuance, intimated i [...] these words, Which appeareth for a little time, &c. Man that is Born of a Woman (saith Job) is of sho [...]t con­tinuance and full of Miseries; he sh [...]teth forth as a Flower, and is cut down; he vanisheth also as a Sha­dow, and continueth not, Job 14. [...], 2. In which words, in that Job compared Man to a Shadow and a Flower, he notably setteth forth the short continuance of Mans Life; a Shadow we see, if the Sun be never so little overclouded, it vanisheth away; and a Flower, we know, is a comely and beautiful thing, yet for all that, there is nothing found more fading and vanishing; even so Man du­ [...]ing the time of his Childhood and flourishing Youth, seemeth to be of a wonderful Comeliness, but his Beauty is of small Price, because it is more brittle than Glass, seeing that Man carrieth always [Page 211] the Cause of Death in his Veins and Bowels. We see at this day, what a great matter it is for one to live Threescore and Ten, or Fourscore years, and this is commonly the ordinary Race of Mans Life; insomuch as when they live so long, they account themselves not to be evil dealt withal, as the Pro­phet signifieth when he saith, The days of Man are at the uttermost but Threescore and Ten Years; and if the Strongest do reach to Fourscore, what followeth is but labour and grief. Now if we should deduct those years which Infancy and Child­hood spendeth, if also we should take away that time which passeth away when we sleep, it would be a small number of Years that would remain; which remnant if we should compare with the Life to come, it would seem but as a drop of Water compared with the whole Sea; so short is his Fa­ding Life in regard of that which lasteth always. Neither is our Life so short only, but as it is short, so is it uncertain, how long it shall continue; for though there is nothing more certain than Death, yet is there nothing more uncertain than the hour of Death; and therefore a certain Philosopher compared the Lives of Men to Bubbles that are made in Water pits, when it raineth, of the which some do vanish away suddenly, even at their very rising; others do endure a little longer, and out of hand are decayed; others do▪ continue some­what more, and others less: So that although they do all endure but some little time, yet (in that little) there is great variety. This being then the shortness and uncertainty of our Lives, it should teach us so much the rather to embrace our Savi­ours Counsel in the Thirteenth of St. Mark's Gos­pel, Watch, because ye know not the day nor the hour: The which is as much as if he had more plainly said, Because ye know not that Hour, watch every [Page 212] hour; and because ye know not that day, watch every day; and because ye know not the Month and the Year, watch therefore every Month and Year. And to make this matter more plain by a Similitude: If thou shouldest be invited to a Feast, and being set at the Table, seest before thee many and sundry sorts of Meats, a Friend of thine secret­ly admonisheth thee, that among so many dainty Dishes, there is one Poysoned; what in this Case wouldst thou do? which of them darest thou touch or taste of? wouldst thou not suspect them all; I think (though thou wert extremely hungry) thou wouldst refrain from all, for fear of that one where the Poyson is. It is made manifest unto thee al­ready, that in one of thy seventy Years. thy Death lieth hidden from thee, and thou art utterly Igno­rant which year that shall be, how then can it be, but that thou must suspect them all, and fear them all? O that we understood the shortness of our Life! how great Profit and Commodity should we then re­ceive by the Meditation thereof!

Thirdly and lastly, the vanity and nullity of our Life after Death, intimated in these words, And afterward vanisheth away: The whole Course of Mans Life is but a flying Shadow, a little spot of time between two Eternities, which will quickly disappear; the same Earth which we now so neg­ligently tread upon, may suddainly receive us into her cold Imbraces. Well may Life then be said to be vanishing away, Though now we are in perfect Health, yet before to morrow some dear Friend or other may passionately follow our Hearse to the Grave. Our time past is like a Bird fled from the Hand of the owner out of sight, and our present time is vanishing away, and on Earth we have no abiding.

[Page 213] But here consider, if Life be so vanishing and uncertain a thing, then

1. This reproveth those that Squander away their precious time, as if their abode on Earth would be too long to prepare for Eternity, if they did not mispend it half; but it is time for us to cry out, The time past is more than enough to have wrought the Will of the Flesh, 1. Pet. 4. 3. or as it is Rom. 13, 14. 'Tis high time to awake out of Sleep.

2. If Life be thus vanishing. then be not over solicitous as to future Events, but willingly submit to a Divine Providence; be not so much concerned for to Morrow, do not cumber your selves with too much Provision for a short Voyage.

3. If Life be thus short and vanishing, then do much work in a little time; shall we loose any of that time which is so fleeting and so uncertain. And thus I have briefly shown you the frailty of the Life of Man, and the profitable use we might make of this Consideration, That our Life is but a Vapour which appeareth for a little time, and af­terward Vanisheth away.

4. If Life be so short and uncertain, then look upon every day as your last; so did the Apostle Paul, who said, I die daily; as there is nothing more cer­tain than Death, so there is nothing more uncer­tain than the time of Death. We are all Tenants at Will, and therefore the great Landlord of Hea­ven and Earth may turn us out of our Clay Houses when he pleaseth. It was a worthy Custom of a Roman Emperor that would have his Man come every morning to his Bed-side, and pronounce these Words.

Remember thou art a dying Man; certainly such are justly to be reproved, who look upon Death as at a great distance from them. It is a common say­ing [Page 214] of some, that they thought no more of such a thing, than of their dying day; surely it argues a ve­ry wicked frame of Heart to be so forgetful of Death, when 'tis that we are to expect every minute, and know not but each day that comes may be our last.


GOOD Lord, what is the Life of Man? is it not like unto a Vapour, which appeareth for a lit­tle time, and then vanisheth away? Is it not like unto a Bubble, which quickly swelleth to a considerable big­ness, and as quickly sinketh again? Is it not like unto the Grass which groweth up and flourisheth in the Morn­ing, but is cut down before the Evening come?

Oh Lord, though Life be sweet, yet common experi­ence shews that it is short; and as our Life is sho [...]t in it self, (though we should live to the very outside of the strength of Naeture) so will it seem much shorter, if it be compared with Eternity it self: And yet as short and as uncertain as our Life is, we have a long work to dispatch before we go away from hence, and be seen no more; we have a great way to go by a set­ting Sun; a great Race to run by a short Breath; and if Life be but as a Vapour, how little reason have we then [Page 215] to squander away precious time? Yea, how great rea­son have we to redeem the time that is past, and to improve every [...]nch of the present time: Let us remem­ber that we have no continuing City here, and therefore it will be necessary for us to seek one that is to come: Good Lord, therefore do thou make us to know our end, and the measure of our days, what it is, that so we may be throughly convinced how frail we are.

Dying Christian. SERMON X.
Being the last Sermon this Author Preacht at Grafham, in Hunting­donshire.

Beloved Brethren,

THE Lord hath set it home upon my Heart, ever since I came amongst you, earnestly to desire and to pray for the Salvation of your Souls; it hath been no small Encouragement to me to lay forth my weak endeavours in the Ministry, when I consider that he which converteth a Sinner from the Errour of his way, shall save a Soul from Death, and hide a multitude of Sin, James 5. 20. To save a Soul from Death, is so glorious an Imployment, that herein I cannot chuse but rejoice with the Apostle, when I see the word of the Kingdom working effe­ctually in any Soul.

I bless God every day without ceasing, that he hath given me a full proof of my Ministry in the Hearts and Consciences of some, even in this place, since I came among you, so that I may say with [Page 217] Paul, 1 Cor. 9. 2. and they indeed are and shall be unto me, and I unto them a Crown of rejoi­cing at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and on their behalf I pray, that their Faith may grow exceedingly, and that their Love unto Jesus Christ, and unto all Saints. may every day more and more abound, and I commend them unto God, who is able to keep them from falling, and to present them faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding Joy.

As for others, I am jealous over them with a Godly Jealousie (as the Apostle speaketh) con­tinually praying, that they may not be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ, but that they may hold fast the mystery of Faith in a pure Con­science.

Some indeed there are, that cause me secretly to groan in my Spirit and my Heart. I even bleed over them, and I do pity them in the Bowels of Jesus Christ, fearing least they should (like the five foolish Virgins) fall asleep, and hereafter endeavour to enter into Glory when the Door is shut. But now, dearly beloved, being come to Preach my last Ser­mon amongst you, I request you all both good and bad to attend with double diligence, to what shall be spoken unto you from that sweet portion of Scrip­ture which you find recorded.

PHILIPIANS I. XXIII.‘For I am in a straight between two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ which is far better.’

IN these Words are these two Parts, First, a De­claration of St. Pauls desire, For I am in a streight between two, having a desire to depart; Se­condly, an Inclination of the ground of it, which was this, because he might be with Christ; the word signifies solvere Anchoram, to loosen the Anchor, or to cut the Cable, that the Ship may sail after. While St. Pauls Spirit was tied up by the Flesh, he desired it should be loosened by Death, that it might Sail after into Glory. Spiritual Desires, they are always quickest and strongest, whensoever they are nearest the perfect enjoyment of their desired Object, Christ. As the motion of every natural Bo­dy is quickest and strongest, the nearer it comes to the Center; so the nearer fulness of Glory, the more fervent the Soul is in its desires after Christ. Sirs, my Text is usually the dying Expression of a li­ving Saint; for when a believer draws near to his End, he sings most sweetly, like the Swan, and earnestly cries out, Make haste my beloved, he ha­ving a desire to depart, to be with Christ, evermore: upon a dying Bed, a Christians Pulse beats strong­est Heaven-ward. We groan, as being in a great straight, knowing, to depart is far better, much more better; as if he should have said, Oh! there is no comparison between the enjoyment of God in the [Page 219] State of Grace, and the enjoyment of God in a State of Glory.

And here methinks, I hear the dying Christian joyfully breathing out his earnest and longing de­sires, for a Dissolution, in the very words of a late Grave and Serious Poet, who in an Heavenly Rap­ture, and sweet Extasie of Spirit, spake in the fol­lowing manner, viz.

VVhy lingrest thou bright Lamp of Heaven? why
Do thy Steeds tread so slowly on? must I
Be forc'd to live when I desire to die?
Lash thou those Lazie Jades, drive with full speed,
And end my slow-paced days, that I may feed
VVith Joy on Him, for whom my heart doth bleed.
Post blessed Jesus, come Lord flee away.
And turn this Night into the brightest Day,
By thine approach, come Lord, and do not stay.
Take thou Doves-Wings, or give Doves Wings to me,
That I may leave this World, and come to thee,
And even in thy glorious presence be.
I like not this vile VVorld, it is meer dross,
Thou only art pure Gold, then sure 'tis loss
To be without a Throne t' enjoy a Cross.
VVhat, though I must pass through the Gates of Death,
It is to come to thee that gav'st me Breath,
And thou art better (Lord) than Dung-hill-Earth.
VVhen shall I come? Lord tell me, tell me when?
VVhat, must I tarry Threescore years and Ten,
My Thirsty Soul cannot hold out 'till then.
[Page 220] Come dearest Saviour, come, unlock this Cage
Of sinful Flesh, lovingly stop the Rage
Of my Desires, end thou my Pilgrimage.
Give me a Place on High, to Sit and Sing
Anthems of Praise to thee mine only King,
Whose ratling Sounds may make the Heavens Ring.

But here I know the timerous Soul will object a­gainst this truth, and say, Oh, how can the Chri­stian so earnestly-desire to be with Christ in the fulness of Glory? were it indeed but a short step into Glory, or were the way strewed with Roses and Flowers, and with all thè Spices of the Mer­chant, it might be so, but there is a Lion in the way (as Solomon speaks in another case) there is Death the King of Fears, that stands frowning up­on the Soul at the last cast when the Soul is upon its very Entrance into Christ, his prepared Mansi­ons of eternal Glory; and therefore it were more desirable, to dwell safely upon the Earth in a sen­sible Heaven made up of the greatest worldly pro­fits, and the most delightful creature Comfort, ra­ther than to venture over the terrible mountain of Death (the very Epitomy of all Discouragements) into the doubtful possession of those invissible Depths of spiritual Glory, which the Scripture tells us, is only attainable after this Life.

I answer, that by nature of this Objection, you may presently know the name of the Objector. It comes from off a carnal heart, and fully speaks the temper an Epicurean Will, that is, against leaving its carnal interest in the Earth, for uncertain interest in Heaven. But Death, though it be an interve­ning Cloud, which seems to darken or cast a mist upon the Lustre, and Comfort of a believers spiri­tual injoyment in God; yet it doth but seem to do so, and indeed it doth not at all extinguish the earnest desires of a serious lively Christian after [Page 221] Christ in the fulness of Glory, and that especially when the believing Soul looks upon Death under these Considerations.

First, that to die is no worse a thing than to tread in the very steps of Jesus Christ, we might indeed have been afraid to die if Jesus Christ had not first stept into the cold grave before us, but if we will shew our selves true Soldiers unto Christ our Captain, we must not fear to venture, where he hath broken the way before us; Now Christ hath died that he might by his Death procure the Death of Death, and that he might free Believers from the fear of Death, the sting being taken out of it.

Secondly, Death is only ordained to refine, and not to ruine Nature, Death ends our sins and mi­series, and not our life, as it may be made out un­to you by this following Illustration, those Trees, which seem dead in the Winter, yet they revive in the Spring, because the Body and the Arms of the Tree, they are joyned to the Root, where the Sap lies all the Winter, and by means of this con­junction the Root it conveys life unto all the parts of the Tree. And the Bodies of Believers they have the Winter to, when as they are turned into the Dust, but their Life it is hid with Christ, at last they are revived and raised up into Glory.

Now here you may observe the great difference of Tempters, according to the various Complexi­ons of Mens Spirits; the Atheist he dares not die for fear of being put out of his being, and the profane Person he dares not die for fear of exchanging his present bad being for a worse, but the Believer he earnestly desires to die, that besides this present temporal being he might enjoy a future eternal well-being.

Indeed to a wicked Man, the best had been, not to have been, and this next best, were to live long; it was ill with him, that ever he was born, and wors, that he must die.

[Page 222] A Carnal Mans continual cry is this, Dum Spiro, Spero, I love to live, for my present hope is my only help; for indeed, such an one hath only help in this Life; [...]but a Christians common Expression is this, Dum Exspiro Spero, Expiration is my Ex­pectation, for such an one hath hope in the Life to come, when a wicked Man dies, he thinks he shall live worse, but a Christian when he dies he knows he shall live better, he cries with the holy Apostle, for one to live is Christ, and to die is gain. Job. 19. 25. I know that my Redeemer liveth, and he shall stand at the latter day upon the Earth, and though after my Skin Worms destroy this Body, yet in my flesh shall I see God.

Thirdly, Death was never intended to be as a pri­vation of good, but as a priviledge for good to the Believer, and it is attended with these several Pri­viledges.

First, Corporal and Temporal Death, it serves to set out the Beauty and Excellency of eternal Life. It is Gods usual method to set out one contrary by another, Contraria juxta se posita magis elu [...]escunt. In War God commends Peace to us. In Adversity, Prosperity, in Sickness, Health, and in Death, he commends eternal Life to us.

As the Limner lays the Foundation of a curious Picture in a Dark Ground-work, so God doth often­times lay the foundation of our sweetest Mercies in the greatest miseries; and this he doth that his Mercies may appear more lovely in our eyes; and thus he sets off the joys of Heaven by the troubles we meet with on the Earth. It is said of Zeno that he was wont to eat bitter things, that he might the better taste sweet, and he would say, sweet things were nothing worth, if they were not so commend­ed to us. And so bitter Death, it is but an En­gine devised by infinite Wisdom, and for to [Page 223] set out the Unspeakable sweetness of Everlasting Joys.

God could as easily have received all his redee­med ones into the immediate imbraces of Divine Love and Glory, without letting them know what it was to be tempted, to be afflicted or to die, but only for the better sweetning and endearing fulness of Glory to them.

Secondly, Deaths mortal Wound, it is but pre­paratory to an immortal weight of Glory. Death it is the midnight of all troubles and sorrows, which is in Travel with a morning of everlasting Joy, and Comfort. Death it is the Saturday or last day of our Weekly labours, which ushers in a Sabbath of eternal rest. Rev. 14. 13. And I heard a Voice from Heaven, saying unto me. Write, Blessed are the Dead which die in the Lord, for they rest from their Labours, and their VVorks follow after them.

Here the Believer hath labour without rest, but in Heaven he shall have rest without Labour. Death tends indeed to a Believers perfect everlasting reign and rest.

The Believers Afflictions upon Earth, they are fore-runners of Deliverances; they are as throws to the Birth of future Comforts. The Whale which swallowed up Jonah, God appointed as the means of bringing himself to the Shore. And so the trou­ble which we often times think may swallow us up, it brings us to our harbour Death, it lands us safely upon Glory. One excellency sets out the state of a dying Christian in these Words. Per Augusta ad Augusta, per Spinas ad rosas, per Procellas ad Por­tum, per Mortem ad Vitam migramus.

Lastly, Death it is as a Bridge that all Saints must walk over to the everlasting Hill of endless Peace, to the perfection of Grace, to the participation o [...] Glory, to the full possession of Christ.

[Page 224] 1. Death it leads us to the perfection of Grace, the believer would live that he might be more per­fect, but when he dies he is perfect indeed, a dying life, that is, a dying to sin, it frees us from a living Death, well doing fits us for dying. Holiness frames us for Happiness.

2. Death it leads us to a participation of Glory, the consummation of Grace is the inceation of Glo­ry, Grace that puts the Soul into a capacity of en­joying glimps of God as in a Glass darkly, but glory brings the Soul, ad visionem beatificam, into an immediate converse with God face to face, 1 Cor. 13. 12. For now we see through a Glass darkly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I shall know even as I am known.

3. Death it leads us into a full possession of Christ, Luke 23, 43. This day shalt thou be with met in Para­dise, so saith Paul, Then shall we be ever with the Lord, comfort, comfort ye one another with these words, to be always with Christ will be very com­fortable indeed. Death that deprives us of com­merce with men, yet it delivers us up into an im­mediate communion with God and Christ, and the blessed Angels; Saints in Heaven shall be as the An­gels, nay, saith John, now are we the Sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be, we know that when he shall appear, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. Death speaks the sad disjunction of the Soul from the Body, and the sure and sweet Conjunction of the Soul with Christ, and therefore saith Paul, and every Chri­stian, when he is in a right temper, I have a desire to depart, and to be with Christ, which is best of all.

And thus I have endeavoured to lay open before you those Soul supporting, and Soul encouraging Arguments, the consideration of which, makes the [Page 225] believing Soul so willingly, and so boldly, to look Death in the Face, to invade Death in its own Quarters, which is indeed but as a Passage or Bridg, whereby the Soul is carried over unto the Mountains of Mirrh, and unto the Hill of Frankincense, where it shall lie down with Christ on his Green Bed of Love, which is perfumed all over with the fulness of in­created Glory.

And thus having shewed you many Arguments, the Consideration of which doth much facilitate a Believers passage through Death into Glory. I shall in the next place, for a further Illustration of this truth, present unto you the admirable carriage and department of some famous Christians, since Christ his time, as in Relation to their contempt of Death, and earnest desiring to be with Christ in Glory; and in this Relation, I shall begin with Ignatius, who li­ved while Christ was upon the Earth, and so pro­ceed to several other remarkable Instances in suc­cessive Generations.

Ignatius, when he was sent by Trajan the Empe­rour to Rome, there to be devoured of Lyons for his free reproving of Idolatry; instead of fearing Death, he thus couragiously expressed himself. I wish, says he, that I could see those wild Beasts that must tear me in pi [...]ces, I would speak them fair to di­spatch me quickly, and if that would not do, I would incite them to it.

Hierom of Prague, the renowned Bohemian Mar­tyr, he uttered these words, with much chearful­ness, at his very giving up the Ghost, Hanc ani­mam in flammis affero, Christe, tibi, freely do I burn for the sake of Christ.

Oecolampadius lying upon his Death Bed, and a certain Friend coming to him, Oecolampadius asked him what news, unto whom his Friend answered, I know none, but says he, I can tell you some good [Page 226] news, nam ego subito cum Christo regnabor, I shall sud­dainly be with Christ upon his Throne.

Melanchton, a little before his Death, he would often say, capio ex hac vita migrare propter duas cau­sas; primum, ut frurar desiderato conspectu filii Dei, deinde ut liberer ab immunibus Theologerum odiis; I de­sire to die to injoy a sight of Jesus Christ, &c.

But what need I tell you of the resolute and un­daunted Carriage of Christians in former ages, we need look no further than upon the carriage of Chri­stians in latter Ages.

Casper Obevian, the famous Lawyer, lying upon his Death Bed, he would often say, O Lord let not my journey be long deferred ere I be with thee. I desire to be dissolved, and to be with Christ, he had rather de­part this Life, and take but one Feast in Glory, than take many fees and still live in this miserable World.

Strigelius, the learned Suetzer, falling sick, he would often say, Seperare se finem vitae suae ad esse, He hoped this Sinful Life was now at an end, that he might injoy God perfectly.

Grinaus, the learned Helvetian, died with these words in his mouth, O praeclarum illum diem, cum ad illud animarum concilium Caelumque profiscar: Oh fairest day! when I shall make a journey to Heaven? that convocation of Souls; should I but relate the dying Speeches of Mr. Rollock, the learned and de­vout Scotch-man, they would melt any Heart that shall hear them, he breathed out these words with his Life.

I Bless God, says he, I have all perfect Sences, but my Heart is in Heaven: And Lord Jesus why shouldst thou not have it; it hath been my Care all my Life time to devout it unto thee, I pray thee therefore take it that it may live with thee for ever, Come Lord Jesus put an end to this sinful miserable life, haste Lord, tarry not, come Lord Jesus and give me that life, for which [Page 227] thou hast redeemed me. Nay further, that I might. Christians, leave your Spirits in this sweet temper of contemning Death, and desiring to be with Christ in Glory, where I should much rejoice and indeed earnestly pray that I might meet you all. I shall yet mind you of some remarkable instances in this kind, even in our own Nation.

Mr. Cooper, that famous Champion for the Truth, when he was brought to be burnt at the Stake in Queen Mary's days, and there having a box set be­fore him with a pardon in it, as soon as he percei­ved so much, he cried out, If you love my Soul away with it, if you love my Soul away with it.

Dr. Taylor, when he was brought to Hadly in Suf­folk to suffer Martyrdom for his Profession of Christ, the History says, he was as merry in his going from London, as though he had been a going to some Ban­quet or Bridal. And when he was brought unto the place of Execution, he kissed the Stake utter­ing these Words. Now I am even at home, Lord Je­sus receive my Soul into thy Hands.

Before Mr. Bradford was Martyr'd, his dear Wife came running into his Chamber, and said Mr. Brad­ford, I bring you heavy news, for to morrow you must be burned, your Chain it is now a buying, but when Mr. Bradford had heard these Words, he lif­ted up his Eyes to Heaven, and said. I thank God for it. I have looked for this a long time, this news comes not to me suddainly but as a thing that I waited for every day and hour, the Lord make me worthy of it.

And when he was brought into Smithfield to be burnt, where there was another young Man to suf­fer with him, he turned himself to the young Man, and said, Be of good Comfort Brother, for we shall have a merry Supper with the Lord Jesus Christ this Night.

[Page 228] Bishop Jewell lying upon his Death-bed, he would often say, Now Lord let thy Servant depart in Peace, break off all delays, Let me this day quickly see the Lord Jesus, And observe further, one stan­ding by him, and praying with Tears that the Lord would be pleased to restore this Godly Bishop unto his former Health, he over-hearing of him seemed to be very much offended, and replied thus, I have not lived so, that I am ashamed to live any longer, neither do I fear to Die, because I have a merciful Father.

And now truly Friends, out of the tender Affe­ction which I bear unto all your Souls, I could heartily wish, that this might be the dying Lan­guage of you all, that you might every one be able to say from a good and clear Conscience, at last, I have not lived not so that I am ashamed to live longer, neither do I fear to die, because I have a mer­ciful Father.

And further, I do protest in the presence of God, with Saint Paul, in the 4th, to the Phillip. at the first Verse, That it is my greatest joy and richest Crown, if that ever since I came among you, I have spoken any thing leading to mutual Love and Peace. And if all my pains and endeavours among you in much weakness have taken any effect upon any of your Spirits, to win you unto a love of Christ, that so you may be holy here, and happy hereafter, I shall sincerely rejoice.

But I shall say no more at this time, but only con­clude with the words of Saint Paul, Phill. 4. I pray mark the words, for they will be the last I shall speak among you.

Verse 1. My Brethren, dearly beloved and longed for, my joy and crown, so stand fast in the Lord, my dearly beloved.

[Page 229] Verse 4. Rejoice in the Lord alway, and again I s [...] Rejoice.

Verse 5. Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand.

Verse 6. Be careful for nothing: but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known unto God.

Verse 7. And the peace of God which passeth all un­derstanding shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

Verse 8. Finally, Brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoe­ver things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatso­ever things are of good report; if there be any Virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

Verse 9. Those things which ye have both learned and received, and heard and seen in me, do; so I have received them from Christ; those things do and follow. And the God of Peace, shall be with you.


GOOD Lord, let our Souls be filled with breathings and pantings after Grace and Glory, Let us be e­ver willing (with St. Paul) to depart and to be with Christ. Let us dayly look and long to be in Heaven, where we shall sit down in the same Throne with our bles­sed and glorious Redeemer, where there will be no more sinning nor sighing, nor more weeping for dead and dying Friends. Let us long, long to be there, where time will be no more, but all will be swallowed up in an endless Eternity of joy and delight. Lord, let us often ponder upon the blessed state above, for certainly, one deep and serious consideration of the never fading Glory of the other world is enough to wing our hearts with earnest desires (as we have heard it did thy Holy Saints and Martyrs) to depart and leave this vain world to be with Christ. And good Lord, let us, when we leave a weeping House) and the many instances of our dear­est Friends going so often to the Grave before us, shew that we must quickly follow) be received into that Celestial Mantion above, which will prove an eter­nal House of Joy.

The Eye that hath seen him shall see him no more. SERMON XI.

Upon ACTS 20. 38.‘Sorrowing most of all for the words which he spake, That they should see his Face no more.’

IN the latter part of this Chapter you have the Declaration of two things; First, You have de­clared the Carriage of the Apostle Paul, that was, he Preach'd while he was at the Church of Ephesus. Secondly, You have declared the Character of the Church of Ephesus, when they were parting with this Blessed Preacher, in the words that I have read, and the verse before, or the two last verses, and it was full of Love, and manifested in three things:

1. They fell upon his Neck and kissed him, that's the close of the 37. verse.

2. They accompanied him unto the Ship, when he was to launch into the Ocean: They went with him as far as they could, as some of them it may be will to the very edge of Eternity.

3. They shew'd to him their Love, by their [...]ping, [Page 232] and Sorrowing at parting: They cannot part with dry Eyes.

They sorrowed most of all, especially for this, that they should see his Face no more. It was not so much that Paul was to go from them, but that they should see his Face no more.

From this practice of this Church, I would lay down this Doctrine, ‘That it is the property and practice of the Saints and People of God, to be sorrowful and affected at the final parting with their Pastors and Teachers;’ This was that that most of all cut their Hearts, That they should see his Face no more.

That Patriarch Jacob, that wrestled and pre­vailed when he came to die, as you read in Gen 49. and the last verse, That he pull'd up his Feet into the Bed, and he's goone: Now see what a Mourning there was for him in Gen. 50. 1. Joseph fell upon his Fathers Face and kissed him, and verse 3. And the Egyptians mourned for him threescore and ten days; here was a mourning for Jacob, and verse 10. They came to the Threshing floor of Atad, which is beyond Jordan, and there they Mourned with a great and very sore Lamentation: And made a Mourning for his Fa­ther seven daies.

The young Prophet in the 1 Kings 13. who without doubt in the main was Faithful to God, though seduced out of his way, and out of his Life by an old Prophet, whereby a Lion was appointed by God to destroy him, but see now how the old Prophet was affected with it as soon as he hears it, causeth the Ass to be Sadled, and goes and brings the Carcase home to the City to Mourn, and to Bu­ry him, and laid him in his own Grave, in the 30. vers [...], and brings all to Mourn over him, and char­ges his Sons that when he was dead, that they Bury him in the same Sepulchre where the Man of God [Page 233] was, and lay his Bones besides his Bones.

I shall now instance in the New Testament, it was so with them of Ephesus when they parted with Paul, They should see his Face no more. He had been such a Preacher that they could not part with him without Tears, or with dry Eyes.

Devout Men also carried Stephen to his Burial, and made great Lamentation over him.

When Christ was carrying to be put to Death, there followed him a great multitude of People, and Women which also bewailed and lamented him, There was great lamentation: Oh they could not part with Jesus Christ without lamenting, That they should see his Face no more. But it will be here ob­iected in the next verse, that Jesus Christ in Luke 23. 28. turn'd to those Women that wailed and wept, and said, Daughters of Jerusalem, weep not for me, but for your selves. That therefore there ought not to be weeping or lamenting for the de­parture of any Eminent Saint, seeing he forbids it for himself; it argues indeed we should not weep for them, but for the want of them, which is ours.

Why should those that are Hearers be deeply af­fected at the final departure of Holy Ministers. I answer, This arises from the love that is between them: There is a mutual Love between a Faithful Preacher and a Sincere Hearer.

Where there is Love, there is Mourning in the absence of it.

It's said that Israel loved Joseph more than all his Children, and therefore when News came to Ja­cob that Joseph was not: Oh! saith Jacob, ver. 35. I will go down into the Grave unto my Son mourning. So David lamented for Absolon, Ob Absolon my Son, my Son Absolon; and David lamented exceedingly for Jonathan in that 1 Kings. I am distressed for [Page 234] thee my Brother Jonathan; if you love your Prea­chers so as its said of them that could pull out their Eyes for them while living, you will even weep out your Eyes for them now dead.

I could tell you of a thing that I have lookt up­on as a Piece of Prophesie, it was Printed and Writ Ten Years before the Fire of London, and it was this.

London look to it, what Heaven's a doing,
Thy Flames are coming when thy Lots are going.

When I consider who is gone, and who are go­ing, I dread. What became of Prague when Jerom was dead? What became of Germany when Luther was dead? And what will become of England when such as these are dead.

Let me call upon this Congregation this Even­ing, that we would be in the Ephesians Practice, they Mourned when Paul was going, and they should see his Face no more. Your Preacher is gone, And you shall see his Face no more. I would I could raise you to their height of Mourning.

He begat you in Christ Jesus, though none of his own, but Christs, and you may get one to suc­ceed him, but not to exceed him, but I desire that Man to tell me where.

The Good Mans Epitaph. SERMON XII.

REV. 14. 13.‘And I heard a Voice from Heaven, say­ing unto me, Write, Blessed are the Dead which die in the Lord, from henceforth; so saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their Labours, and their Works do follow them.’

THE Scripture will afford us many Texts for Funerals. Methinks there is none more fit, nor more ordinarily Preached on than two: And they are both of them Voices from Heaven.

One was to Isaiah the Prophet. He was com­manded to cry. The Voice said, Cry. And he said, What shall I cry? All Flesh is Grass, and all the goodliness thereof, is as the Flower of the Field.

You will say, That is a fit Text indeed; so is this here; A Voice from Heaven too. But St. John is not commanded to cry it, as Isaiah was; he is commanded to write it.

[Page 236] That that is written is for the more assurance. It seemeth good to me (saith St. Luke in his Preface to his Gospel) Most excellent Theophilus, To write to thee of those things in order, that thou mightest know the certainty.

Philosophers (who saw no further than the Clouds of Humane Reason) could say, A wise Mans Life should be a continual Meditation of Death.

Joseph of Arimathea had his Sepulchre in his Gar­den, and Jesus Christ at the Publicans Feast, falls into a serious discourse of his Passion, and Ascensi­on, to teach us that in times and places of greatest Pleasure, we should put our selves upon Theams of Mortality. Heathens indeed had their Burying­places without their Cities, but Christians in and about their Churches, as signifie that in our Devoti­ons, we should think upon our dissolutions, which was one reason why Alphonsus King of Arragon used to confess, that dead Men were his best Friends; they gave him sound and seasonable Counsel, to re­member Mortality here, and provide for Eternity hereafter.

To this end, St. John in his Book of the Reve­lation, is sometimes advising us to make Prepara­tion for Death.

And sometimes encouraging us against the ap­proaches of Death, by describing the glorious Re­ward of the Saints departed, as in this Text, Blessed are the dead, &c.

From whence we may observe that they that die in a state of Grace, live in a state of Glory. This Observation I take to be the Scope and Quintessence of the Text, and therefore shall make it the pro­per Subject of my present Discourse.

First by way of Explication, to shew what it is to die in the Lord. That implies two things espe­cially. 1. To die in the Lord is to die for the [Page 237] Confession of the Faith. 2. To die in the Professi­on of the Faith of the Lord Jesus Christ.

3. And lastly, To die in the Lord, is to die in the peace of a good Conscience. A Conscientious Man dies Blessedly, howsoever, or whensoever, or wheresoever he dies; therefore when St. Paul had received the Summons of Death, he fled to the Ca­stle of his good Conscience; there he sat like Noah in his Cabbin, in an Ark pitch'd within and with­out. I am ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand; and here is my Comfort, I shall go to my Grave with a Conscience as clean as my Winding-sheet; it follows, I have fought a good Fight, finished my Course, kept the Faith, henceforth is laid up for me a Crown of Righteousness.

This Truth is confirmed by a double Reason, They Rest from their Labours, and their Works follow them. Their Blessedness consists in two things. 1. In a cessation from all Sin and Misery, They Rest, &c. 2. In a possession of all Glory and Felicity, Their Works follow them.

First, They Rest, &c. The Kingdom of Heaven is often in Scripture termed a Rest, a place of Rest.

The World indeed is a troubled Sea, but Hea­ven is the Haven of Rest; the World is an Egypt, a place of Burden and Bondage, but Heaven is a Canaan, that resembled by the Bosom of Abraham, a place of sweet Refreshment, and Soul-satisfying Rest.

The Saints departed Rest from the Labours of their

  • Corruptions.
  • Afflictions.
  • Temptations.

[Page 238] And lastly, They Rest from the Labour of their particular Calling and Vocation, which is toilsome and troublesome, ever since God past this Doom upon Man for his offence in Paradise, In the Sweat of thy Brows shalt thou eat Bread. Indeed, Man in the state of Innocency; was not excused from La­bour: Paradise, which was Adams Store-house, was his Work-house too; God put him into the Garden, not to sleep in those sweet Bowers, not to spend his time idly in those pleasant Walks, but to dress and keep it (ut operaretur) that he might work and labour in it, only here is the difference, Labour then was a Recreation to the Mind, and now it is an Affliction to the Body.

The second Reason is laid down in the last words of the Text, Their Works follow them, therefore they are Blessed: Their Happiness is not only privative, consisting in a freedom from Sin and Misery, but positive also, in a possession of all Peace and Glory, in a consummation of Grace, in a perfect Fruition of God, and a Blessed Communion with the Lord Jesus Christ.

Their Works follow them, not their Works in kind, but their Works in Issue and Effect, the Fruits and Reward of their Works, the Blessings of God which lye in the Promises to Works of Piety and Charity, These follow them to Heaven: Indeed Faith leads the way, that must be our Harbinger to take up our Lodging in the New Jerusalem, that like the Star in the East, leads us to Bethlehem, where Christ is, but then good Works follow after, they are our Attendants to the Court and Kingdom of Glory.

The Use, If the Saints departed rest from their Labours, here is then comfort in the general a­gainst all Crosses and Calamities in the World, and in particular against the fear of our own Death, or the Death of Friends.

[Page 239] Blessed are the Dead, they rest, &c. Death (like Lot's Angels) plucks us out of the Sodom of Sin and Misery, and placeth us in Z [...]ar, a City of Rest and Tranquility: Like Peter's Angel, it shakes off the Chain of Mortality, and opens the Iron-gate, the Gate of Pearl into the New Jerusalem; like Lazarus his Angel, it conducts the Soul from Earth to Abra­ham's Bosom, from this Vail of Tears to the King­dom of Glory. Moreover, as Death helps us to our Rest, so it is our Rest: Why should we fear it?

The Scripture terms it but a taking away of the Soul to Peace, a sweet Sleep of the Body. Our friend Lazarus sleepeth, and the Patriarchs are fallen asleep, St. Stephen fell asleep: Our Burying-places are but Dormitories, Sleeping-places. The Righte­ous is taken away from the Evil to come; and he shall enter into Peace, they shall rest in their Beds. Such a Blessed Rest have the Righteous in Death; as our Saviour wept, because his Friend Lazarus was to be deprived of it; it is both the Observation of an Ancient Father, and the Resolution of an Ancient Council, concerning Christs weeping over Lazarus, John 11. 35. Doluit Lazarum, non dormientem, sed resurgentem. Christ did not weep because Lazarus was dead, and taken out of the World, but because he was to return from the Grave into a Trouble­some World after he was gone to his Rest.

It may be for the same Reason, the Thracians of old used to lament at the Birth of their Children, but rejoice at their Funeral.

The time will come that we must part with our Isaac's, our Benjamin's, nearest Friends, and dear­est Comforts. Then remember my Text; if they die in the Lord, take no care for them, they are Blessed, they are at their Rest.

[Page 240] But some will say, Shall we meet with our Friends again departed in the Faith? Yes, with­out peradventure, if we walk in ways of Obedience to the end▪

It was David's Comfort upon the death of his Child. While the Child was living he fasted and wept, and lay upon the Ground; but when it was dead, he arose and anointed himself, aad eat Bread. His Reason is very strong and convincing.

1. An impossibility of Recovery, He shall not come to me.

2. An assured Hope of meeting again in Heaven, But I shall go to him. He shall not come to me, that would be for his loss, to part with his Rest in Hea­ven, for a restless condition on Earth; but I shall go to him, I have not lost him for ever, we shall meet again as comfortably as Jacob and Joseph met in E­gypt; meet again in Heaven and never part. Now you know it never troubles us to see the Sun set, because we know it will rise again in the Morning; it never troubles us to part with a Friend when he goes to Bed, because we hope to see him again in the Morning. Beloved, the Death of a Friend is but like the setting of the Sun, or the uncloathing of a Man when he goes to Bed, there will be a glo­rious appearing in the Morning of the Resurrecti­on, and therefore St. Paul condemns immoderate sorrow for the dead, I would not have you sorrow as those that have no hope. Nature will be sorrowful, but let Grace moderate the sorrow, and keep it within the bounds of hope; and the ground of hope is set down, If ye believe that Jesus died, and is risen again, even so also them that sleep in Jesus, will God bring with him.

'Tis true, the Scripture mention some that shall not die, as they that shall be found alive at the Coming of Christ to Judgment. St. Paul tells us in [Page 241] plain terms, we shall not all sleep, but we shall be changed. The meaning is, they shall not so sleep, as to continue in the state of the dead, but be changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an Eye; yet such a change, as they shall have a dissolution, and in the same moment, a redintegration, a real Death, and a real Resurrection, though no sleeping in the Grave of Corruption.

You see one Generation passing, and another Generation coming, one Friend and Neighbour drops into the Grave after another, and when your turn shall be you know not. This you may be as­sured of, Death will come certainly, and it may be speedily, it may be suddenly. What Man is he that liveth, and shall not see Death? Psal. 89. 48.

Now I beseech you embrace and improve these few directions, in order to a Pious Life, and a Peaceable Death.

First, if you would live to the Lord, and die in the Lord, labour for exemplary purity of Life: Not every one that saith, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the Kingdom, but he that doth the Will of the Fa­ther.

Secondly, If you would live to the Lord, and die in the Lord, give the World a Bill of Divorcement, otherwise it will clip your Wings, and clog your Souls, and hinder your pursuit of Heaven; there is nothing in all the World that is worthy of your Affections, nothing but what is transitory, and un­satisfactory, and therefore look on it and pass a­way.

Gregory Nazianzen, speaks of a Land which had abundance of Curious Flowers in it, but no Corn for Bread to satisfie the Peoples Hunger; the World is very like that Land, here are many Flow­ers, which may please our Sences and our Phan­tasies, but here is no Corn for Bread, no substan­tial satisfying Comforts.

[Page 242] As Death should be the Subject of your Medita­t [...]on, so Heaven the Center of your Affections. Richar [...] the First, sometimes King of England, gave charge that his Bowels should be Buried at Charron, but his Heart at Roan, the Faithful City, the City of his Love. Truely the World deserves but our waste parts, we may Bury our Bowels in the Earth, but our Hearts should be laid up in Hea­ven, the Royal City, the New Jerusalem.

That so after a troublesome Life, we may have a peaceable Death, and after Death a glorious Re­ward of Everlasting Rest in Heaven, according to this voice from Heaven in the Text. Blessed are the Dead which die in the Lord, for they rest from their Lab [...]urs, and their Works follow them.

I have now done with the Text, and now come to address my self unto that sad occasion, which hath given my present Discourse this Mourning Suit. The occasion of our present meeting is to Solemnize the Funeral of our deceased Neigh­bour and Friend, to do our last office to her Body, by a [...]ording it the benefit of a Christian and Comely Burial.

Concerning whom, I might upon very good and warrantable Grounds, enlarge my Discourse in the description of the blessedness, both of her Life and Death, but as the Orator said, Quid▪ opus est ver­bis? What need is there of words, when her deeds are so manifest.

She died the death of Moses, he died leisurely, God gave him notice of his Journey before-hand, for his better preparation, Go up to the Mount and die: So departed she from the World, not before she expected Death, not before she provided for Death. God was pleased in Mercy to give her warning, before she flitted, to ring her Passing-bell in her Soul many days before she died; and where­as [Page 243] many are flattered with hopes of Life, till the very Hour of Death; yet she was upon a medita­tion of Death from the first beginning of her sick­ness: Death was not sudden to her, either in re­spect of Expectation, or Preparation; she had her Wedding-garment on, and her Lamp trimmed with Faith and a good Conscience; she was ready for Death, and ripe for Eternity; behold she is coming to the Grave, and she comes as a shock of Corn from the Field in due Season.

Hopes of a joyful Resurrection. SERMON XIII.

JOB. 19. v. 25, 26, 27.

For I know that my Redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the Earth.

And though after my Skin, Worms de­stroy shis Body, yet in my flesh shall I see God.

Then I shall see for my self, and mine Eyes shall behold, and not another, though my Reins be consumed in me.

AS if he had thus argued: ‘He that waites by Faith in the Redeemer of the Re­surrection of his Body to eternal Life, after Death hath done its worst, is not a wicked man, or an Hypocrite, as you have charged me.’

‘But such is my Faith; I believe in the Redeemer, and I look to rise (after this body is consumed and eaten of Worms) to an eternal happy Life; therefore I am not such as you judge me to be, neither wicked nor hypocrite. You account me as rejected of God, yet I know that God is my Redeemer, I know that he lives for ever, and [Page 245] that he is mine for ever, and therefore do not think, because I have no hope of this life, that therefore I despair of life: Do not take upon you, that you only know these mysteries, and that I am ignorant of them, as my Friend Bildad con­cluded in the 18th. Chapter (this is the portion of Man that knows not God,) for even I also know that my Redeemer liveth, and shall stand upon the Earth at the latter day.’

In the former Verse we have considered and im­proved the Confession of Job's Faith in the Re­deemer.

First, As living or eternal.

Secondly, As rising from the Dead, or raising the Dead to Life.

Thirdly, As judging both the Quick and Dead. He in these two Verses enlargeth the Confession of his Faith concerning his own personal Resurrection. Which,

First, He asserts in the Close of the 26th Verse, In my flesh shall I see God.

Secondly, In the strong actings of his Faith he assureth himself of it, notwithstanding all the diffi­culties that might obstruct and hinder it in the 26th Verse, and in the Close of the 27th. Though after my Skin Worms destroy this Body; though my Reins be consumed within me, yet I believe I shall see God: These Impediments do not weaken my Faith.

Thirdly, He declares the Benefit or Happiness which shall accrew unto him after the Resurrection of his Body, which he doth.

First, In those words, I shall see God.

Secondly, In those, I shall see him for my self. In both which Expressions, he sets forth the Hap­piness of the Saints after the raising of their Bodies out of the Grave, and the re-union of Soul and Body.

[Page 246] Fourthly, He maintains the identity of his flesh or body in the Resurrection, or that the same body which falls shall rise. And this is in a twofold notion.

First, An identity specificial, it shall be the same Body in kind.

Secondly, An identity numerical, or individual, shall be the same particular Body he had on Earth, and laid down in the Earth. Both which are evi­denced and evinced from those passages in the Text: I shall see him in my flesh; Mine eye shall behold, and not another, I, my, mine, and not another, imply no­thing, if not himself, or no other thing but him­self.

From all we may collect, how excellent a con­fession of Faith Job made about that great mystery of the Resurrection, and how firmly his Soul was established in it.

Verse 26. And though after my Skin Worms destroy this Body. As if he had more largely said; ‘After I am dead, and laid in the Grave, where Worms do not only eat my Skin, and consume this upper Garment, but my whole Body also: yea, and not only the outward Limbs and Members of my Body, but my very Bowels and Entrals. Though my Reins be consumed within me: though Worms devour, and rottenness invade whatsoever I am, or have of a Body, though I am spent from Head to Toe, from Skin to Reins, without and within, yet notwithstanding all this, I believe that I shall rise again, and see God in my flesh.’

And mine Eyes shall behold, and not another.

We have in this Text, see, and see, and behold. The word in the original is different from what we had before, I shall behold him. It signifies more than the bare seeing, or the gathering in the Spe­cies of any object into the eye. It signifies a very [Page 247] vehement beholding; a critical discerning, view, and sight of the thing. Whom I shall behold, That is, with deep intention, both of Eye and Mind, to find out and rejoyce in all the Excellency, Beau­ty, Glory, and Worth that is in him. A Man may come into a Room, adorned with goodly Pictures, he sees them in passage, he hath a transient view of them, and he takes some pleasure in this view. Another beholds them, to see the Workmanship, how the lines are drawn, and Features shadowed to the life; he views with Skill and Art, this pleas­eth much, and gives the accurate Beholder high contentment. So here, Mine eye shall behold him: That is, I shall even set my self to take a view of him, to gather up (as it were) into my self the Idea's of his divine Perfections, and so to receive all those delight and contents which rise from such an excellent object.

Mine Eye shall behold, and not another; that is, the [...]ight which I shall have of God in my glorified State, shall not be at the second hand, but such I shall have my self: The joy which I shall then receive shall not be of any report or narrative that others shall give me of the Glory of God. I shall see with mine own Eyes, not others, or not by another.

The knowledge we have here, is but like that which the Samaritans had of Christ by the Womans report; but that which we shall have in Heaven shall be like that which they had of Christ when himself came personally among them, and spake immediately. Or we may illustrate it by that of the Queen of the South: The knowledge which we have of God here, and of his Glory and Excellen­cy, is like that of the Queen of the South in her own Country; there she had a report of Salomon's Person, of his Government, of his Riches and Dig­nity, and such a report, as did not only affect and [Page 248] astonish her, but provoke her to undertake that great Journey, that she might see for her self, and her Eyes behold, and not another; and when she came to the Court at Jerusalem, and beheld Solomon in his Person and Attendance, when she observed the service of his Table, and heard his wisdom, there was no more Spirit in h [...]r, (1 Kings 10. 5.) thas is, she was as one astonished, whose Spirits are sunk and dissipated. Where the natural Spirit doth not act, it is said not to be. When we come to the Court of Heaven, as the Queen of the South to Solomons Court, and there behold how much God is beyond, and above all that we have hitherto heard of him here at home in our own Coun­try, we shall be rap [...] up into admiration, and there shall be indeed no more of this low and narrow Spirit in us for ever.

All these conceptions about, and interpretations of the Text, are pious and profitable; but that which I rather take to be the proper meaning of these words (Mine Eye shall behold, and not another) is this; Job (as was touched in giving the analysis of these two Verses) speaks here of the Identity of his flesh in the Resurrection: I shall see him, I shall see him for my self, mine Eyes shall behold him, and not another. That is, I, the Man who stand here be­fore you, the same who Job now speaketh; I the ve­ry same numerical Person shall see God in this very [...]esh, and with these eyes; they shall be indeed new dressed and dyed, trimmed, and made fit to come into the presence of the great and glorious God; yet it shall be even this flesh, and these Eyes, in which I shall come into the Presence of God, and and behold my Redeemer. I shall be altered from what I was, but I shall not be another than I was, I shall be changed into a better condition, but I shall not be changed into another person. My [Page 249] qualities shall have a perfective alteration, but I shall retain the same matter, and be the same man. A man raised glorious and immotal, is what he was, except his Morality, and hath no more than he had, except his Glory. The Philosopher acknowledgeth there may be a specificial, but not a numerical Re­stauration of that which is corrupted. But Jo [...]'s Faith was clearer than Aristotle's reason: He be­lieved a Personal Resurrection, Mine Eye shall behold▪ and not another; I shall not be changed into another Person, whatever changes I undergo, I shall be Job still, the same Job. Hence observe:

Every Man at the Resurrection shall receive the same Body that now he hath, and be [...] the same M [...] which now he is.

One of the Antients hath a large Discourse upon this subject, wherein he discovers some, who tho they granted the Soul immortal, yet denied the Re­surrection of the same Body: Such were the Mar­cionites, Basilidians, and Vàlentinians. These, [...]aith he, went halves with the Sadduces in their opini­on. The Sadduces denied Spirits. Hence (Acts 23. 6.) Paul perceiving that the Assembly was mixed of Sadduces and Pharisees (and wisely con­sidering, that if he did but mind them of their differ­ences between themselves, they would not so strongly agree and combine against him) he made his advan­tage of it, by professing openly that he was a Pharisee. And the sacred Historian tells us what the peculiar tenents of the Sadduces were, (v. 8.) The Sadduces say there is no Resurrection, neither Angel nor Spirit, (they denied both) but the Pharisees confess both. They held, that there were immortal Spirits or Souls, united to the bodies of Men, that those bodies should arise, and be reunited to the Soul. They also confessed that there were Angels, who are Spirits subsisting properly without Bodies Now, as the Sadduces de­nied [Page 250] the Resurrection of the Body, so others deni­ed the Resurrection of the same Body: These he calleth sharers or halvers in the Sadduces Opinion; though not so grosly as they, yet too too grosly de­parting from the Faith. And indeed, they who deny the Resurrection of the same body, do (by implication) altogether deny the Resurrection of the body: For if the same numerical Body should not rise, it could not be called a Resurrection; Resur­rection is the rising of that which fell, and the ta­king up of that which was before laid down: So that it would be the Creation of a new Body, not the Resurrection of the old, if it were not the same Body. And it conduceth much to the com­fort of Saints, and may be the terrour of wicked Men, to keep close to the Faith of this Article. The Apostle seems to touch it (2 Cor. 5. 10.) We shall all appear before the Judgment-seat of Christ, that every one may receive the things he hath done in his Body, according to what he hath done, whether it be good or bad. That hand which hath been doing for Christ, that very Tongue which hath been speak­ing for Christ, that whole Body which hath been moved, and acted for Jesus Christ, as an instrument of his Glory, that shall receive the Reward: As also that Hand, that Eye, that Tongue, that Foot which hath moved. and stirred against Christ, that also shall be punished, and receive according to the evil committed in the Body. Judgment would not be exact, unless as there hath been a co­partnership between Soul and Body in their works, so also they should be co-Partners both in reward and punishment.

If it be objected, how can the same numerical Body rise again, especially in such cases, when thousands of Carcasses are mingled, and their Dust promiscuously heapead together, or scattered abroad? [Page 251] When the Bodies of Men are devoured by wild Beasts, and digested into the substance of Fowls and Fishes, especially when the Bodies of Men are eaten and concocted into the Bodies of other Men? How can these numerical Bodies rise? I answer, first, if we will not rest in matters of Faith, till we have a clear rational account of them, our Faith may quickly be at a stand. I answer, secondly, that as it is easie to make Objections against Faith, so Faith hath one answer as easie as these Objections. The Apostle gives it, and into that all such doubts must be resolved (Phil. 3. 20.) For having shewed the present condition, or disposition of the Spirit of Saints in the former Verse; Our Conversation is in Heaven, from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ. He presently shewes what the future condition of the Saints Bodies shall be. Who shall change our vile Bodies, that they may be fa­shioned like unto his glorious Body. (How is this, Who puts this vile Body into such a Glorioui fashi­on? Trouble not your selves for that, there is pow­er enough to do it, it is done,) according to the work­ing, whereby he is able to subdue all things to himself. This is an answer to the hardest Objections, Christ can subdue all things, therefore those which are hardest.

There is no difficulty to Omnipotency.

You ask how the same Body can be restored? I ask how the first body was Created? Tell me how God Created Heaven and Earth out of nothing? So that as the Apostle speaks (Heb 11. 3.) Things which are seen. were not made of things which do ap­pear: How were these things done? If you argue by reason, you will be pos'd and gravel'd in these as wall as in that other; yea, you will be at a Wall, and notable to answer above that which is or­dinary, and every day done, and shall continue to be [Page 252] done in all the Generations of Men (Solomon puts the question Eccles. 11. 5.) Tell me how the Bones grow in the Womb of her that is with Child: Can you tell how the Child is framed? Thou canst not give an account of thy own Production, nor find out the Work of God in forming the Body? Therefore as to the manner how such things are done, we must have recourse only to the Almighty power of God, to the All-powerful God, who is able to subdue all things to himself. Mine Eye shall behold, and not another.

Though my Reigns be consumed within me.

I touch upon the Interpretation of this Clause, before, as it suits with that passage, vers. 26. Though after my Skin, Worms destroy this Body, and though my Reins be consumed within me. Though I be totally consumed, Skin without, and Reins within, yet notwithstanding I believe that I shall rise and see God. Thus it was joined with the first Words of the 26th. Verse, to shew the triumph of Faith over all Difficulties that lie in the way of the Resur­rection.

The Yearly Mourner. SERMON XIV.

JUDGES 11. ult.‘And it was a Custom in Israel that the Daughters of Israel went yearly to lament the Daughter of Jeptha the Gileadite four Days in a Year.’

TO a place appointed for their meeting to this end, possibly to the place where she was Sacrificed, to express their sorrow for her loss, according to the manner, or to discourse of (so the Hebrew Lamed is some­times used) the Daughter of Jepthah, to Celebrate her Praises, who had so willingly yielded up her self for a Sacrifice.

We find our Saviour weeping over Lazarus's Grave, insomuch as the people could infer thence, See how much he loved him, John 11. 35, 36. I know no Divinity that excludes Humanity, but delights always to plant it self in soft Breasts, and either make or finds good Nature. I find in the Cata­logue and Spawn of highest Crimes (which the [Page 254] dregs of these last times should bring forth, want of natural Affection reckon'd, 2 Tim. 33.

So then, 'tis not only not unlawful, but a Duty to Mourn with those that Mourn, if you will re­ceive the Apostles Prescription, Rom. 12. 15. It is in the Scripture noted as an extream Judgment and Curse on the Wicked, Job 17. 15, (Psal. 78. 64.) his Widows shall not weep, as either want­ing leisure from other Sorrows, or liberty from their Cruel Enemies.

Tears are the first Office we do for our selves, and the last for others.

They may not please themselves, that can with dryest Eyes behold the Sicknesses, the Losses, the Funerals of Friends, as who had attained a greater measure of Religion or Discretion, or the Spirit, or who had subdued their Desires to a perfecter Re­signation, and submission to Gods Will. Let them question themselves whether this stoutness, pro­ceeds not from a Spirit void of Sense and Natural Affection, and not from an humble Resignation to the Providence and Pleasure of God; whether this Calm arise not alike to that of the dead Sea, from a Curse?

On the other side, Though Religion forbids not Mourning, yet it forbids us to Mourn as those that have no hopes; though it excludes not all grief, yea it moderates our Grief, and teacheth us to turn our sadness to an holy sorrow.

Weep not, She is not Dead but Sleepeth. SERMON XV.

LUKE 8. 52.‘And all wept and bewailed her; But he said, Weep not, she is not dead but sleepeth.’

OUR Life is divided into Labour and Rest, which Nature wisely hath contrived in­to waking and sleeping, in an admira­ble manner providing the preservation of our being by a seeming dissolution of it. We must intermit it to continue it: Die we must one half of the natural day, that we may live the other. Lye down and sleep (as it were) to die in the night, that we may awake and arise to live on the Morrow; so well acquainted is our Life with Death, that our whole Age appears the Changes and In­tercourse of both. Nay this kind of Death is that which continueth Life; such is the Frailty of the Creature, that it immediately owes its being to a kind of not being, to a privation, though not sim­ply of Life, yet—Tali—to something very [Page 256] well like Death. For tell me, strongest Constitu­tion! How long canst thou labour without the re­lief of rest? How long canst thou awake without re­freshment of sleep?

But would not have you to be ignorant, Brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ve sorrow not, as others that have no hope; For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again; even so them which sleep in Jesus, God will bring with him, as affirms St. Paul. 1 Thess 4. 13. 14. John 11. 12.

Whence it appears, that if she sleep, she shall do well; and shall we take it ill, that our Friends are well? Shall we be troubled upon Earth, because our Friends are at rest under it? Forbid it Religi­on! Pereat contristatio, ubi tanta est consolatio, Be not ye sad because your Friend is gone to a state of Joy.

If Nature sadned at departure, will let fall a Tear, let Faith gladned with Hopes of meeting a­gain, wipe away that Tear. Wrestle not with the Decrees of Heaven, nor murmur at the procedures of its Providence; 'twas God that closed her Eyes in sleep, that for bids your Eyes to weep. Weep not (for) she is not dead but sleepeth.

The Division of this Text is made to my hand's by the meeting of this Congregation, three Parties are visible in the presence. Which discover three parts legible in the words.

  • 1. The Dead,—She.
  • 2. The Mourners,—All wept.
  • 3. The Preacher,—he said, Weep not.

Weep not. This (I said) is the Mourners Com­fort, to improve it into practice, thereby to lessen the number, or to lighten the weight of their Mourn­ing. I profess my self unfurnished of any other Argument, than the numberless Felicities and weight of Glory, which Crown those that are not Dead but Sleep.

[Page 257] Yet whilst we live in this Valley of Tears, na­tural Affection will so far prevail upon our Reason, that even the Father of the Faithful, when he was to sow his nearest Relative in the Earth, could not but Water it with a shower from his Eyes. For A­braham came to Mourn for Sarah, and to weep for her, Gen. 23. 2.

Attend the first words Christ spake to a Woman after his Resurrection, was it not, Why weepest thou? Joh. 20. 15. Indeed before Christ had opened the Gates of Death, Mary, nay the whole World had cause enough to weep. But now Christ the Head was risen, and had made way for all his Members to follow; now Jesus had beaten Death at his own Weapon, and kill'd it by dying, since he hath changed the Grave into a Bed, Death into Sleep, and made the Land of Darkness the ready way to the place where Light dwelleth. Tears are both unreasonable and unseasonable, why weepest thou? is as much as weep not.

Considerable are the Syren and the Swan, whose different Fate is thus: The Syren Sings away her. Life in wanton Ayres, and Charms of Lust, the treacherous Inticements to Destruction, but when she dies, she breathes out her Soul in Howlings; Sighs and Sobs, in Pangs and Horror. The Swan; who spends her days in Innocence as white as her Livery, in pensive Notes of Sadness, mournful and black as her Feet, when she dies she expires in joyful Anthems, the voice of joy and glad­ness.

So when Death calls the Aged Swan from Streams;
She dying, sings her own glad Requiems.

Good People, had you the Reversion of a Rich Living, or Office, would you weep because it is [Page 258] faln into your Possession? Invidi non amantis, 'twere more of Envy than Love to be wail an Earthly Hap­piness. I close, as Jesus to the Daughters of Je­rusalem, Weep not for me, but weep for your selves, not for me that am dying, but for your selves that are living; for your selves that have refused my Doctrine, despised your Saviour, condemned your Innocent and Righteous Prince.

For the Sins and Sufferings of the Living, I con­fess, there is weeping work enough for him who hath Jeremy's wish, His Head a Fountain of Tears to weep day and night: But for the dead that die in the Lord weep not. Weep not, she is not dead but sleepeth.

The Application.

Since the Fare of Rest in the state of Separation; and Happiness, at meeting again of Soul and Body, depends upon the Holiness at parting: Let us be composed in both, that neither the disorder of the Body, nor multitude of Business, either ill done, or undone, may disturb the quiet of the Soul.

Before Men go to Bed they put off their Cloaths, or else they sleep both unhandsomely and uneasily. So let your Souls divest those Habits which Sin and Custom hath too long made fashion­able.

Lastly, Good Men before they go to Bed they always pray. St. Paul adviseth, Pray always, though not with the Lip, yet with the Life.

When Survivors see a Soul that hath lived long in this Region of Holy Duty, to ascend to Heaven as the Angel, Judg. 13. 20. In the Flames of the Altar, their Charity and Hopes are sufficiently in­structed to say, Nolite flere. Weep not, she is not dead but sleepeth.

The Character.

I have done with the Text that I brought hither to you, and now apply my self and discourse, to that Text that brought you hither to me; from that I presented to your Ears, to that presented to your Eyes: I close the Book of Life, and now open the Book of Death.

So St. Ambrose Interr'd Theodosius; Nazianzen, the Immortal Athanasius; and St. Hierome, the ex­cellent Lady Marcella: Nay, St. John hath taken short Notes of a Sermon made by Christ at the Fu­neral of Lazarus, John 11. 12, 13, &c. wherein are Discourses of Faith, Resurrection and Glory, raised from the Dead, and applyed to the Living. Ineed no other, because I can follow no better prece­dent, Therefore hear me, or rather hear her speak, for the Dead can speak, Heb. 11. 4.

Our dead Sister speaks first in the dignity of her Extraction, fairly proclaim'd to you by the He­rauldry of her Hearse, but fairer far in the suitable Character of her Life, the worthiness of her Birth had no other influence on her, but to engage her to worthiness of Action, which she so nobly im­proved, that the Vertue of her Life dignified the Honour of her Descent; so the Glory she received from her Father on Earth, by the Acts of Humility, and Charity, she enhansed to the glorifying her Father which is in Heaven.

Her Beauty, which was a depository from Hea­ven, she beautified with so much Piety, and adorn­ed with so much Religion, as if she had been in­trusted to preserve both the Lustre and the Vertues of the Celestial Bodies in her Epitome.

But the Beauty of her Soul was a Sun to this Taper, from whence her starry Actions received a mighty Splendor.

[Page 260] When she spake, Wisdom dictated and Wit de­livered, she hung her Language at your Ears as Jewels, much of worth in a small bulk; and as Jewels her Speech was Rich, both in Lustre and in Medicine; the Conceits of her Mirth would raise a Smile, but the Gravity of her Conveyance com­manded Reverence.

Her Reproofs, like Lightning, quick, but short, such as would melt the Blade, yet not singe the Scabbard; kill the Sin, but preserve the Sinner.

Her Promises were made in her Head, but bept in her. Hand; as a Nail fastned in a sure place, driven by Understanding, and clenched by Affecti­on.

Her Attire neither sordid nor curious, nor too early in, nor too late out of Fashion; not like those Mushroom Gentry, who declare their late rise from Peasantry and Poverty by the Herauldry of the Dirt and Rags on their Back.

Her Table was both wholesome and handsome e­nough to satisfie the Stomach of the hungry, and well enough to fancy the Palate of the Curious: yea when the Sword had Carved her Meat to the fifth part, her good Chear was as much as ever.

Her Visits were like the Sun's, beneficial where­e're she came, and treading in her Saviours steps, She went up and down doing good.

Her Access was free but not loose, her Door, as her Heart, was open to all Friends; so that without much shifting the Scene she would easily make her House a Court, an Almes-house, a School, and an Hospital all in a day.

She had Treatments for the Greatest, who came as Agrippa and Bernice with great Pomp. She had Relief for the Poorest, who as Lazarus, lay at the Gate; Instructions for the Ignorant, and Charita­ble Remedies for the Sick; Christian Applications [Page 261] for all, feeding the Hungry, cooling the Thirsty, cloathing the Naked, visiting the Sick, and har­bouring the Traveller; what God requires in acts of Neighbourhood here, and Reward hereafter, the whole Voyzenage can witness with me, and for her, that she was a great parallel to Dorcas, Acts 9. 36. This Woman was full of good Works and Almes­deeds which she did.

Finally Brethren, whatsoever things are true, what­soever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are love­ly, whatsoever things are of good report, she did them, therefore if there be any vertue or any praise, let her have it.

Her Relation as a Wife, shews her, without dis­paragement, a rare example and standard to her Sex.

Society is the most precious Comfort in Nature, the richest Jewel in her Cabinet, Adam not in perfect Paradise, not happy without it; of all So­cieties with Man, that of a Wife is nearest, being made of his own Rib, and dearest, lying in his own Bosom.

Her Affection was great as Jonathan's, wonderful and passing the love of Women, 2 Sam. 2. 26.

Marriage made her Husband and her one Flesh, but Love made them one Soul. She Married not only his Person, but his Interests and Concernments, loved his Loves, wished his Desire, as inseparable as Ruth and her Mother-in-law, Ruth 1. 16, 17. not to be parted but by Death. She owed him an Affection equal to her Life, being often ready to lay it down for his Preservation, as appears by her Swouning at any News might threaten ill to him, as if her Soul conceived it but Duty to be Bail for her Husband.

The Head of the Woman is the Man, 1 Cor. 11. 3. [Page 262] so her Husband wore the principality, she received influence from him, and gave conformity to him. But a Vertuous Woman is a Crown to that Head, Prov. 12. 14. so she gave safety, plenty, and honour to her head, as Crown may signifie. The Heart of her Husband did fafely trust in her she did do him good and not ill all the days of her life. Longer she is not ob­liged;—Till death us depart—was their agree­ment; Death ends her natural Relation, and enters her into a Divine; which she began here by her Religion.

Her Religion was not as her Sex, Female; that is, all Face and Tongue, but pure and solid, not despising the Form, but delighting in the Power of Godliness. She attired not her Devotion as the La­cedemonians did their Gods, according to the seve­ral Fashions of each City, so to gain Reputation from Man; but she persevered in the constant sub­stantials of Religion, so to gain Grace and Favour from God.

To whom with the Father and Holy Ghost, be Glory and Honour, now and for ever.

Good Night.

NOW art thou drawing near thy home, Hea­ven is within sight, and its Melody almost within hearing, thy Lord hath the Curtain in his hand ready to draw it, to shew thee all that glo­ry that hitherto he hath been but telling thee of, and give thee a Possession of all that which hither­to thou hast enjoyed only in Hopes and Title. What dost thou fear and shrug, and tremble at, Oh my Soul, thou peevish froward Creature? Shall his Angels stand waiting to convey thy departed Soul home with Songs of Triumph? And shall no­thing of all this abate thy Fears, silence thy Com­plaints, and bring thee to a Chearful Submission? Fear not then my Soul, but boldly throw thy self into his Arms, who will certainly keep that safe which thou committest to him.

‘But what if I was willing to bid adieu to my Fathers House, and leave this World, and all its Enjoyments behind me, as being sufficiently tired with the Frustrations of a pursued Happiness therein? Yet methinks, the change I shall pass at Death, will be so very great and amazing, I fear I shall not bear it. To go hence from them I know, to a Place and Company I never knew or saw in all my Life; to leave my Friends, Relati­ons, Neighbours, with whom I have a long time lived, and with whom I have familiarly conver­sed, [Page 264] to go into a Country where I may not meet with one face I know; how strangely shall we look on one another? What little content do I take in any company on Earth, where I meet with shiness? Will it not be so in Heaven?’

Answ. Art thou truly Godly? said the pious Wadsworth, in his Answer to the Fear of Death; and dost thou say thou knowest none in Heaven? that is strange. Who is he whom you call Father, every time you pray? what are you born of God? united to God by faith and love? and hold com­munion with him, and yet not know him?

Well, sayst thou, but if I know him, it is but very little, I never saw him in all my Life? And what if thou hast not seen him with thy bodily eyes? yet hast thou not believed in him whom thou hast not seen, and rejoiced with joy unspeak­able, and full of glory? Though thou hast not known him after the Flesh, yet thou hast after the Spirit.

But comfort thy self, though thou hast known him but little, and that through a vail darkly, yet he knoweth thee most perfectly: He knows thee by name, and separated thee to himself from the Womb, and effectually called and justified thee; he knows thee by thy name, and knows thy dwel­ling, and visiteth thee every morning, and is with thee living, and will not leave thee dying; and when he hath taken thee to himself in the Heavens, thou shalt know him as he knows thee, that is inti­mately, perfectly.

But sayst thou, if I know in some measure God and his Son, the Lord of that City, I know no more. There are ten thousands of Angels there, and I know not one of them, and as many Spirits of just men, some little acquaintance I had with [Page 265] some of the latter on earth, but since arrived thi­ther, they are so transfigured, so wonderfully changed, I shall not know one of them when I see them.

What if thou knowest not one Angel in all the Heavens? is it not enough that many of them may know thee? But how do I know that? How? thou hast been their special Charge ever since thou wast born to Jesus Christ. Are they not all ministring Spirits to them that are Heirs of Glory. How kindly did an Angel comfort Mary Magdalene, and the other Mary, when they early came to visit the holy Sepulchre of our Lord? How well did he know their Persons, and their Business; when he said, Mat. 28. 5. Fear not, I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified; he is not here; for he is risen, as he said: Come see the place where the Lord lay, and go quickly, and tell his Disciples that he is risen from the Dead, and behold he goeth before you into Galilee, there shall ye see him so, as I have told you. What Discourse could be more kind, friendly, and fami­liar than this?

But that thou shouldst think thy self an utter stranger to all the Spirits of the Just, is more strange, when there may be some of thy near Relations there, and many of those that thou hast had for many years such sweet Eellowship in the Ordinan­ces of the Gospel. If I shall sit down with Abra­ham, Isaac, and Jacob in the Kingdom; surely, I shall know them to be such.

Besides, their Natures in Heaven are all perfect­ly gracious and holy, and I shall be like them, and we shall all know each other to be so; and what shiness can there possible be among such, who are satisfied in each others sincere love and affection? Thou mayst be acquainted with a thousand Saints an Angels in an hours time as if thou hadst known them a thousand years.

[Page 266] And if this be so, be not, poor Soul, amazed at this great change of Company at Death: For it is but as dying Doctor Preston said, I shall change my Place, but not my Company.

Return therefore to thy Rest, Oh my Soul; for God will assuredly deal bountifully with thee; So that Death will bring a Good-Night to thee here, and a good Morrow hereafter.

The End of The House of Weeping.



BUT Oh my Soul! What ails thee to be thus sud­denly backward and fearful, no Friend hath more freely discours'd of Death in speculation; no Tongue hath more extolled it in absence. And now that it is come to thy Bed-side. and hath drawn thy Curtains, and takes thee by the hand, and offers thee service, thou shrinkest inward; and by the paleness of thy Face, and wildness of thine Eye, bewrayest an a­mazement at the presence of such a Guest. That Face which was so familiar to thy Thoughts, is now unwel­come to thine Eye. I am ashamed of this weak irreso­lution. Whitherto have tended all thy serious Medita­tions? What hath Christianity done to thee, if thy fears be still Heathenish? Is this thy Imitation of so many worthy Saints of God, whom thou hast seen entertain the violentest Death with Smiles and Songs? Is this the fruit of thy long and frequent Instruction? Did [...] thou think Death would have been content with words? Didst thou hope it would suffer thee to talk, while all others suffer? Where is thy Fath? Shall Hereticks and Pagans give Death a better welcome than thee? Hath God, with this Serjeant of his, sent his Angels to fetch [Page 82] thee; and art thou loath to go? Rouse up thy self for shame, O my Soul! and if ever thou hast truly believ­ed, shake off this Unchristian diffidence, and address thy self joyfully for thy glory.

All motions tend to rest. Return then to thy rest, O my Soul! for God hath dealt bountifully with thee.

But Lord spare me a little before I go hence and be seen no more, that my DEATH-BED THOUGHTS may be all imployed in the Contem­plating of that Eternity into which I am now a launching.

Sect. 1. The Daily Remembrance of Death.

HAppy is he, who always, and in eve­ry place so lives, as to spend his eve­ry last moment of Light, as if day were never to return. Epictetus most wisely teaching this; Death, saith he, and Banishment, and all that we look upon as Evils, let them be daily set before thy Eyes: but of all most chiefly Death. So shalt thou think upon nothing that is too low, nor too ardently co­vet anything.

Miserable diminitive Mortals, wherefore d'ye teach long Hopes? Wherefore d'ye undertake such a vast heap of Business? That shall be perhaps to Morrow, a meer Spark and Ashes. Walk curi­ously, O Man! That dismal Goddess continually hovers over our Heads; and waits for the last Sands of our Lives Hour-glass with an unwearied and ne­ver-sleeping Eye; and wilt not thou watch after her?

What e're beginning has, an end doth fear.
We all must go,
Old EAcus within those shades below
Whips on the Moments that protract us here.

Nor can any Age struggle with Death. As soon as we are Born we are subject to that Tribute; and are the Stipendiaries of Death.

—When first our trembling sight
Beholds the dazling Beams of unknown light.

Then we begin to die. The same Death me­races the Queen, that threatens the Handmaid. Therefore believe every day that shines to be thy last. Say every Evening, this day I stand at the Gate of Eternity.

Sect. 2. The remembrance of Death is a powerful Remedy against all Sins.

THE serious remembrance of Death shakes off all sense of pleasure, and turns Honey into Wormwood. The Expectation of Death, saith Chrysostom, suffers us not to be sensible of the De­lights and Pleasures we injoy. And indeed what is it not able to do, when consider'd not only in the Extremities of the Fingers, and as it were in the Hair, but over the whole Body. Death spares no Age, nor no Degree of Dignity. Here dies a young Man, there an Infant, there an old Man. Another by Poyson, or a Fall, another by a slow Rhume, another by a quick descent of Humour; here lyes another oppress'd with a mighty Shower, or the Waves, there lyes another struck with Thunder. Among so many doubtful, so many va­rious, so many sudden Accidents, what security, or what mind to sin among so many Incertainties? Therefore, since we daily die, think upon the Hour-glass, whether the old fashion'd one running Water, or the new one running Sand. Do ye not find that by dropping of the Water, and the passage of the Sand the upper Glass empties and the lower Glass fills? Consider that it is so with Life, every moment something slides away, the present Life empties, and flows into another. No­thing is here safe; not the Hour of the Hour, nor the Moment of the Moment. Happy he, to whom every day is the last; more happy he, to whom every Hour; most happy he, to whom every Moment is the utmost period of his Thoughts. He will abstain from the wickedness of his hands who believes every Hour decreed, every Moment his [Page 85] last. O vain Hope! How many dost thou de­ceive? How many, to whom thou promisest old Age, dost thou cut off in the midst of their Course? Believe therefore that may happen to thee, which happ'ns to many. How many has Death prevented in the midst of their wickedness, and cut off half the Crime? How many fall with a revengeful Mind, though with an Innocent Hand? How many snatch'd away in the attempt, have re­ceiv'd the reward of their Impiety? Many in the very Moment of a wicked Action begun, have been forc'd to leave their ill designs unfinish'd. What if thou shouldst be in the number of those? What Hour or Moment is more certain to thee than to another? Now who can expect a Crime from such a Thought, as with the Crime expects Death, and with Death, Punishment. No prudent Man plays or sports in the midst of a Storm. No Man at the brink of a Precipice meditates mischief. No Man is merry unarmed in the midst of his Armed Ene­mies. More stupid is he, whom the perpetual fear of Death, when every Hour is doubtful, every Moment uncertain, dares those things that procure an unhappy Death to Eternity. O Fools! Whi­ther do we run to be punish'd for ever? Where­fore do we not follow the Council of the Son of Syras? In all thy work, saith he, remember thy last, and thou shalt not sin.

Sect. 3. The end of a good Life is all. Out of Seneca.

TELL me, my Dear Seneca, whom Pliny with an Elogy to be envy'd calls the Prince of Learning, tell me what thou thinkst of Death, es­pecially [Page 86] immature? Heark'n Youth, give ear com­plaining Age; like a Comedy, so is Life, which it matters not how long, but how well it is acted. It imports not where thou mak'st an end, leave off where thou pleasest, only put a good period. No other is the Opinion of Epicte [...]us. Remember, faith he, that thou art the Actor of the Fable, as the Poet directs. If short, of a short; if long, of a long Fable. No otherwise, said Varro, They live not best, who live longest, but they who live most upright­ly. Most plainly so it is; it matters not, where, when, or how we end. When God pleases we must die; but let us put a good period to our Lives.

Sect. 4. All Men, no Men. Out of Arbiter.

Heu, heu, nos miseros, quam totus, Homuncio nil est.

Alas! What miserable things are we,
The frame of Man is only Vanity.

VErily so it is. But alas by much the more mi­serable, by how much the less we acknow­ledge our selves to be so. The whole little Man is nothing, as the ancient Satyrist well observes; but if I may dare to say so, then he begins to be something, when he knows himself to be nothing. O Man, know thy self and be wise. For Death equals Lillies with Thorns.

O miserable and vain Men! What are we? Learning and Fame are Smoak. We D [...]st, that meer Opinion, the other Wind, And we that are alive, vigorous and flourishing, shall shortly be [Page 87] reduced to say, We have liv'd. This single Exit all Men make. Our Life decreases by increasing; and the very day we breathe in we divide with Death: For every day some part of our Life is diminish'd. As the last drop does not empty the Glass, but what flow'd out before, so the last mo­ment does not alone bring Death, but only con­summates our Being.

Sect. 5. Mortals are of one little Day.

THE day Lilly is a Flower, whose Beauty pe­rishes in a day. There is also a Bird haunts the River Hypanis, called Haemerobios, or the Bird of one day; ending its Life the same day that it begins; dying with the dying Sun, and travelling through the Ages of Childhood, Youth and Old Age in one day. In the Morning it is hatch'd, at Noon it flourishes, in the Evening it grows old and dies. But this is more to be wonder'd at in that winged Creature, that it makes no less provision for one little day, than if it were to live the Age of a Crow or a Raven, To this little Animal the Life of Man is most fitly to be compar'd. It in­habits by the River of gliding Time: But more fleet than either Bird or Arrow. And often only one day determines all its Pomp, oft-times an Hour, and as often a Moment. Wherefore then do we think of Years and Ages, frequently no longer had then Flowers, or the shadows of Flowers; or then any thing, if any thing can be, more short and fa­ding than those Flowers.

It is a wonder greatly to be admir'd, that this swift Brevity of Life should be divulg'd by all the Prophets, be confirm'd by the Writers of all A­ges, and yet that miserable Men should be deaf to [Page 88] all their Exclamations. Ezechias cries out by Isai­ah the Prophet, From the Morning till the Evening thou shalt conclude my days. The Royal Psalmist cries out, My days have past away like a shadow. Josiah the King cries out, Man springs up like a Flower, and is trod down, and vanishes like a shadow. Behold Man is like a Bubble; all thy Life is the flight of a shadow. Canst thou then dream of any Mansion or Abiding place here? Wherefore dost thou covetously scrape together; wherefore dost thou scrape and rake, as if to live the Age of Nes­tor. Death is at thy Back, Thou shalt go hence, before thou fear'st thy departure, unless thou art afraid betimes. Make haste, Eternity is at hand.

Sect. 6. The same is deliver'd with greater Confirmations.

THE Life of no Man is otherwise than short. but the shortest of all is their Life, who for­get what is past, neglect the present, and are in no fear of the future. Most excellent is the saying of Job, they that saw him shall say, where is he? Like a fleeting Dream he shall not be found, (yet Dreams are vain, and nothing swifter than flight) he shall pass away like a Nocturnal Vision. My days, saith he; were swifter than the Racer, they fled away and saw no good, (this said the most Wealthy of Men. They took their flight like Birds carrying Apples, like an Eagle flying to his prey. Because we are of yesterday and understand nothing; because our days are like a shadow upon the Earth. Truly, our days are but a shadow up­on the Earth; and there is no delay. We Banquet and Revel, and there is no delay. We indulge to sleep, and snore till Noonday, and there is no de­lay. [Page 89] Prodigal of our time, we go to Plays, and invent voluptuous ways of Idleness, and yet there is no delay. Our years pass, glide and fly away: No Man has so much the [...]avour of Heaven as to pro­mise himself to Morrow. Thus while we dream, we pass to Eternity, either the Celestial or the Infernal. It was an excellent saying of Suidas, Ol [...] Mortals but of one little day, that only know the present, not foreseeing future things, consider that E­ternity to which ye are going.

Sect. 7. The Hope of Long Life and VVishes are vain.

WHat shall I do, said the Rich Man in his Heart, because I have not room for [...] Fruits of my Land? I will do this, I will pull down my Barns and Build bigger. Miserable Soul, alas! Thrice miserable! Wilt thou inlarge thy Bar [...]? To Morrow the Grave shall be thy Habira­tion; Oh that it prove not Hell. This Night thy Soul shall be taken from thee, and who shall inhe­rit what thou hast scrap'd together? Thy Vertue, if thou hadst any; thy Vices shall go with thee. Neither shalt thou take with thee any otherComp [...] ­nions hence Most like the Fate of this Rich Man was that of Senecio in Seneca, who considering this fleeting Life of ours which we enjoy at Mercy, E­very day, saith he, every hour shews us what nothing [...] we are, and by some new Argument still admonishes us of our frailty, while they compel us covetous of Eter­nity to look after death. Senecio Cornelius, a Roman Knight, a Man of extream [...]rugality, no less careful of his Patrimony than of his Body, when he had sate all day till night by his friend sick a Bed be­yond all hopes of recovery, when he had Supp [...]d [Page 90] well and cheary, was taken with a violent Di­stemper the Quinsey, scarcely retained his Breath within his contracted Jaws till Morning, so that he deceas'd within a few hours, [...] he had per­formed all the Duties of a sound and healthy Man. He that turn'd and wound his Money both by Sea and Land. He that left no sort of Gain untry'd, in the very Flood of his Prosperity, in the very Torrent of his overflowing heaps expir'd.

Thus it happens that when men most spend their time in toyl they spend their last Breath: Like the Winds, that when they blow most vehemently, loose their force, most quickly then allay'd, when they have rag'd most furiously. The most admi­rable Job, almost by way of complaint interrogates the Deity; And dost thou so soon cast me down? Learnedly Tertullian and truly thus, saith he, The Sailing Ships, free from the Capherean Rocks, not tost by Tempests, nor tumbl'd by the vast Waves, but steering with a flattering gale, making swift way, on a sudden with one sh [...]g loose all their hopes of safety. No other are the Shipwracks of Life, and the Calm Events of Death.

How stupid a thing then is to dispose of Age? We are not then Lords of to Morrow. How great is the madness of those that commence long hopes? I will buy, I will build, I will sell, I will appoint, I will bear honours, and then I will repose my old Age in seisure. But all things, believe me, are uncertain to the Fortunate. No Man can pro­mise himself any thing of what is to come. What we enjoy sl [...]ps through our hands; that very Hour a chance may happen and disappoint all. We propose to our selves long Voyages and tedious stays e're we return to our Countrey: Affairs of War and Council, slow Actions, prolix Business, a long Series of Toyl, Labour, and Employment. [Page 91] We begin Suites, hoping the long Life of Nestor, and the Fortune of Metellus. When in the mean time Death is at our Elbow, and from the Preci­pice of Life throws us headlong into the Sea of Eternity.

Sect. 8. Man is Dust.

REmember Man, that thou art Dust, and to Dust shalt return. This sad Verse our Mo­ther the Church repeats, when she covers the Heads of her Children with Dirt; and admonishes [...]s of our Mortality, at the same time, when we least think of it. Herein the Church imitates the Eagle. Who when she would encounter the Hart, shakes the dust which she has gather'd upon her Wings into the Hart's Eyes, and fixing her Talo [...]s between his Horns, she claps his Head with her Wings, till he fall headlong from some Precipice. Thus the Church surprizes Man running into for­bidden Impi [...]ty, as it were in the mid way, and strews his Head with this Funeral Powder. The same thing says the Priest at the Interment of the Body. Remember, saith he, O Man, that thou art but Dust, and to Dust th [...] shalt return. This he speaks not to the Dead Corps, but opportunely and in its place to those that stand abo [...]t the Grave.

Philip of Macedon was wise in this, who daily admo [...]sh'd by that Verse, (Philip, thou art but Man) carry'd himself more moderately.

But the Cranes teach us these things. They when they keep their watch in the Night, hold a Stone in one of their Feet, which falling from them when they fall asleep, accuses them of care­lesness by the noise. The same Birds when they cross the Sea, carry Sand in their Threats. The [Page 92] Grave-stone taxes Men of Vanity, and the dust that covers them. The Calf which the Hebrews worshipp'd was a Golden one,, but reduc'd into Powder▪ Nebuchadnezzar's Image was terrible to behold, but broken with the Fall of a Stone. The Apples of Sodom are fair to fight, but being broken they fall to dust. Man swelling in his Pride, boasts his Fortune and his Riches; yet all his Va­nity must be crumbled into Ashes. This is the be­ginning of Humane Pomp, and this the end. There­fore do what is to be done, Eternity is at hand.

Sect. 9. Man truly Miserable.

TIS hard to say whether Nature be a better Mother to Man, or a more cruel Step­dame. In the first place one Creature a­mong all [...]he rest she cloaths with the spoils of o­thers. The rest she covers variously with Shells, [...]inds, H [...]des, Thorns, Wooll, Bristles, Hair, Fea­thers, Scales, and Fl [...]ces. Frunch and Trees with Burk, which sometimes proves a double safe­guard against Cold and Heat. Only Man she pro­duces naked, and throws him upon the bare ground to weep and wail, while no other Animal is born to Tears, in the very dawn of Life. No sooner Man is Born, but he becomes a Captive with all his Members ty'd and bound. A crying Creature Lord of all the rest: Yet there he lyes with Feet and Hands fast Chain'd. He begins his Life with Capital punishment, only for one fault, for being Born. Wh [...]t Madness is that in those, who from such beginnings as these think themselves Born to Pride. The first hope of strength, and the fi [...]st office of t [...]e makes him like a four-footed Beast. When is Man able to go? When to speak? When [Page 93] are his Teeth prepar'd for Food? How long re­main these Symptoms that betray him weak be­yond all other Creatures. Now so many Diseases; so many Remedies, as often vanquish'd by new and unknown Diseases. We find other Creatures how quickly they perceive their own Natures, and presently some swim, others walk, some fly, others creep. But Man knows nothing without teaching, not so much as to go, to speak, or feed himself: Briefly, he does not [...]ing naturally of himself, but cry: Only to one Creature crying is natural; to one Creature L [...]ury, to one Ambition, to one Avarice, to one S [...]rstition, to one an Immense desire of [...]iving. Yet is the Life of no Creature more frail, the Lust of no Creature is more, the fear of none mo [...] co [...]fus'd, nor the fury more ve­hement. Lastly all other Creatures live quietly with their several kinds, they congregate together, and oppose their Enemies▪ The Lions Fight not with Lions nor do Serpents Serpents bite. Nor do the Monsters of the Sea prey but upon various kinds; but Man's chiefest Mischiefs proceed from Man himself.

Sect. 10. VVhat then is Man?

IF we believe the Ancients, Man is the Sport of Fortune, the Image of Inconstancy, the Mirror of Corruption, the Spoil of Time, the Slave of Death, a walk [...]g Sep [...]cher, the Figure of Frailty, a thin Shadow, a meer D [...]am, a Breathing Car­kas, a living Death. If thou askest Seneca, What is Man? He will answ [...], A weak, frail, naked Body, naturally unarmed, needing the help of o­thers, liable to all the Injuries of Fortune, the Food of every wild Beast, a Victim to the Stron­ger, &c.

[Page 94] If you ask the Sacred Writers, Man is the Bait of Worms, a Skin full of Dung, the Sport of Ca­lamity, a Pattern of Imbecility; he is a flying Post, a sailing Ship, a Bird upon the Wing, a va­nishing Smoak, a sight Froth, a scale of Envy, the drop of a Bucket, the turn of the Balance, a drop of Dew before Morning, the Guest of one day, a Flower, Grass, altogether Vanity, Dust and Ashes, Emptiness and Nothing.

And yet we little Miserable Animals compile vast Nomenclators full of specious Tities; we am­bitiously desire great Names, and without any pre­judice to our Ears, we hear the Titles of Magnifi­cent, most Illustrious, Happy, Pious, most Po­tent, most August, most Invincible, the Best, the Greatest. What can we do more, unless we should imitate Sapor King of the Persians, in an Epistle, which he thus began to Constantine the Emperor. Sapor King of Kings, Companion of the Stars, and Brother to the Sun and Moon, to Constantine my Brother wishes Health. Or rather, let us borrow Names from the Bisnagentian King, who was wont to be Saluted the Bridegroom of good Luck, the God of great Provinces, the King of most Potent Kings, Lord of all the Armies of Horse. The Ma­ster and Teacher of those that understand not how to speak, Emperor over three Emperors, Conque­ror of whatever he saw, Preserver of his Conquests, whom Eight parts of the World fear; a Knight to whom there is none to be compar'd, a Vanquisher of every one that boasts in Strength, the Hunter of Elephants, Lord of the East, South, North, West, and Sea. All this Peter Irricus relates. Are here Titles enough? If you please let us add a Series of Eulogies, which the Soldan sets before his Epistles in this Order. Omnipotent Salmander before Car­thage, Lord of Jordan, Lord of the East, Lord of [Page 95] Bethlehem, Lord of Paradise, Praefect of Hell, Su­preamest Emperor of Constantinople, Lord of the Dry Fig, the Lord by whom the Sun and Moon steer their Course, Protector of John the first Priest, Emperor, King of Kings, Lord of the Christians, Jews, Turks, the God's Friend. In a Style not much unlike to this, Solyman wrote to our Caesar: To Charles the Fifth always most August Emperor, Solyman his Contemporary, sprung from the Victo­rious and most Noble Family of the Ottomans, Em­peror of Trebizond and Constantinople, Lord of the World, and Conqueror of the Earth, &c. What would ye have more? O truely Splendid Misery? O Ashes and Nothing! O Vanity of Vanity! Most shameful is that Ignorance, when Man forgets himself to be Man.

Sect. 11. To the Haters of Funerals.

HEnce therefore not Men, but Kites, which though most Rapacious, and always hungry, yet never taste any or prey upon Funeral Diet. You though most curious in other things, will hardly be perswaded to touch any thing that smells of the Coffin or of Embalming. More grateful to you is any Supper under any Tree. than a Banquet under Yew or Cyprus. All the Preparations of Libitina you perfectly hate, desiring nothing more than ut­terly to abolish the remembrance of Death. But here behold the Delirium that possesses ye, when the Sacred Letters clearly admonish us, that it is better to go into the House of Mourning than of Feasting But you had rather do any thing else than piously mourn, and remember Death. But beware that while ye dread a short mourning, you are not forced to wait Eternally.

Sect. 12. Our Life is but a Life of Tears.

EVery one of us, saith Cyprian, when he is Born, and receiv'd into the Inn of this World, begins his Journey in Tears. Every one may say of himself.

As I began, in Tears I end my Life,
For all me Life is but a Mourning strife.
Thus all begin, thus all Men end their years;
When Born they weep, and Die expending Tears.
Thus in those Tears, as in a Ship [...]rack found,
In his own Waves each single Man lyes drown'd.
He's only blest that so doth pa [...] the Frith,
To have no cause of weeping after Death.

Wouldst thou have an Abstract, an Epitome of all Humane Life? Daniel the Archbishop and Ele­ctor of Mentz in Germany, in a little Book of Pray­ers wrote with his own hand these Precepts of Liv­ing.

  • 1. Life short.
  • 2. Beauty deceitful.
  • 3. Money flies away.
  • 4. Empire envy'd.
  • 5. War pernicious.
  • 6. Victory doubtful.
  • 7. Friendship fallacious.
  • 8. Old Age miserable.
  • 9. Death happiness.
  • 10. Wisdom, Fame Eternal.

That Heavenly Wisdom that brings us to King­doms never destitute, never to be invaded, eter­nal.

Sect. 13. God the Comfort of our Tears.

ACknowledge the voice as well of the Comfor­ter, as of the Promiser. With him I am in Tribulation, he shall deliver me, and I will glori­fie him. And this truely, for God is at hand to those that are afflicted in Mind, and will save the humble in Heart. Concerning these Promises St. Austin has been perspicuous. Fear not, saith he, when thou art in Affliction, lest God should not be with thee: God is present with those that are af­flicted in Mind. He assists in the Conflict, (consi­der) who proclaim'd the Conflict. God does not so behold thee striving for the Race, as the people look upon the Chariot Driver. They can shout and bawl, but know not how to help. They can prepare the Crown, but cannot afford strength. For Man is but Man, and no God. And perhaps, while he looks on, he labours more as he sits, than the other in the Contest. God when he beholds his Wrastlers, assists his Invokers. For the voice of the Wrastler is in the Psalm. If I said, my foot was mov'd, thy Mercy shall assist me. Therefore when thou beginst to be afflicted, summon up thy Faith, and thou shalt know the Vertue of it; for he will not forsake thee. But thou therefore thinkst thy self forsaken, because he does not deliver thee, just when thou wouldst have him. He deliver'd the Children out of the Fire. He that deliver'd the three Children, did he desert the Maccabees? Ear be any such thought. He deliver'd both these and them. Those Corporally, that unbelievers might be confounded; these Spiritually, that the Faithful might imitate. For the Lord is at hand to those that are afflicted in mind, and shall deliver the hum­ble [Page 98] in Spirit. God is above, the Christian beneath. If he would that the high God should be near him, let him be humble. Great Mysteries, my Brethren, God is above all things. Dost thou exalt thy self? Thou dost not move him. Dost thou humble thy self? He will descend to thee. Therefore invoke to thy Aid this most faithful Assistant; he will be present, at one sigh, so it be serious. And God shall wipe away all Tears from their Eyes; and there shall be no more death; neither sorrow, nor crying; neither shall there be any more pain, for the former things are pass'd away. Most truely said the same St. Austin, with how much sweetness does he be wail himself, that prays! More delight­ful are the Tears of those that pray, than the plea­sures of Theaters.

Sect. 14. Our Nativity our Death.

NOT the end of my Life, says the dying Theban, but a more ample and better beginning. For now, Fellow Soldiers, your Epaminondas is Born, because he so dies. For why should we indulge to human Grief, or envy the Gods, since they di­vide their Immortality between us.

A Nation Bordering upon the Thracians, and in Customs agreeing with them, has this one peculiar to themselves. That when an Infant is Born, the Relations sitting about it, weeping and wailing enu­merate the Miseries which the [...] is to endure. On the other side, when a Man [...]s, they bury him with Joy and Exaltation. [...] [...]unting from how many miseries he is deliver'd. Deservedly this Notion claims to it self the Applause of Wisdom, who celebrate the Birth of Man with Tears, and his Funeral with Pomp and Gladness. Therefore [Page 99] disclaim the Natural Sweetness of Life that causes Men to act and suffer many shameful things; and then the end of thy Life will be far more happy than the beginning. Wholesom was the Doctrine of the second Pliny, Therefore, saith he, many were of Opinion, that thought it best never to be Born, or immediately to die. Thus Sitenus, be­ing tak'n by Midas, and ask'd, what was the best thing could happen to Man? For a while stood si­lent. At length, being urg'd to speak, he an­swer'd, That the best thing, was never to be Born, the next, to die the soonest that might be.

This I must not omit very wonderful, unheard of, and pleasant in the Relation. Lodowic Cortusi­us, a Lawyer of Padua, forbid to his Relations all Tears and Lamentations by his will. And desir'd that he might have Harpers, Pipers, and all sorts of Musick at his Funeral, who should partly go be­fore, partly follow the Corps, and leaving to every one a small Sum of Money. His Bier he ordered to be carry'd by twelve Virgins, that being clad in Green, were to sing all the way such Songs as Mirth brought to their Remembrance; leaving to each a certain Sum of Money instead of a Dowry. Thus was he Buried in the Church of St Sophia in Padua, accompanied with a hundred Attendants, together with all the Clergy of the City, except­ing those that were black. For such by his Will he forbid his Funeral; as it were turning his Fu­neral Rites into a Marriage Ceremony. He died the 17th of July 1418.

Admirable was the saying of St. Bernard, Let them bewail their Dead, who deny the Resurrection. They are to be deplor'd, who after Death are Bu­ried in Hell by the Devils, not they who are plac'd in Heaven by the Angels. Precious is the Death of the Saints, as being a Rest from their Labours, [Page 100] the Consummation of Victory, the Gate of Life, and the entrance into perfect security. Apparent­ly said the wise Hebrew, Better is the hour of Death, than the day of our Nativity.

Sect. 15. Death every where.

SEveral miserable People who deem it more con­venient to die than live, torment themselves by what means to rid themselves out of the World. Whether to whet their Knives, temper their Poy­son, make use of Ropes, or Precipices; as if it requir'd so much Ceremony and Labour to dissolve and untye the weak knot that holds the Body and Soul together. None of these did Coma, the Bro­ther of Diogenes need. His Soul shut close up in his own Breast found out the way, For a little study serves to retain that good, the frail possession whereof is shaken with the least puff of Violence. Death is every where, and lyes lurking in all places and at all times. Where-ever thou goest thou shalt find him prepar'd; he is never unprepar'd, but meets thee at every turn.

But when only Death is enough for one Man to desire, wherefore before the last Death, do so ma­ny Deaths assassinate miserable Man; so that the Question may not be ask'd in vain.

If all my Life makes but one little drop,
Why then so many Deaths my Course to stop?

Hear St. Bernard, Let the continual Meditation of Death be thy chief Philosophy. And therefore variety of Death disturbs thee. Whatever hap­pens to others, saith St. Bernard, may happen to thee, because thou art a Man. A Man of Earth, Clay out of Clay. Of Earth thou art, by the Earth thou livest, and out of the Earth shalt thou [Page 101] return, when that day comes that often comes, and perhaps may come this day. Certain it is, because thou shalt die, though it be uncertain when, or how, or where. Because Death expects thee eve­ry where, if thou beest wise, expect that every where. 'Tis the saying of Annaeus; Uncertain it is, saith he, in what place Death may expect thee; therefore do thou expect Death in every place.

Sect. 16. Death is at home to every Man.

VVE trifle, and at distance think the ill,
While in our Bowels Death lyes lurking still.
For in the Moment of our Birth-day Morn,
That moment Life and Death conjoin'd were Born.
And of that Thread with which our Lives we measure,
Our Thievish hours still make a rapid seizure.
Insensibly we die; so Lamps expire,
When wanting Oyl to feed the greedy Fire.
Though living still, yet Death is then so nigh,
That oft-times as we speak, we speaking die.

There is a Fish in the Northern Ocean near Mus­covy, which is called Mort. This Monster of the Sea has very great Teeth; so that as Cardanus re­lates, the Handles of Swords are made of the Teeth. Every one of our Bodies is a Pond, O Mortals! wherein we nourish this Fish called Mort; and therefore not to be sought at such a distance from us; Every Mans Death is at home.

Sect. 17. Death Inexorable.

THough Rocks be deaf; and blind be Tygers rage,
Though furious War'gainst Man the Billows wage;
Morsels will Tygers tame, and the soft Gale
Of Western Winds upon the Waves prevail:
[Page 102] But fiercer than the Waves or Tygers Rage,
Deaths unt am'd Fury no Prayers can asswage.

The Parcae, to whose Distaffs, Spindles, Shears, the Ancients committed all the power of Life and Death, are inexorable, not to be mov'd by all the Supplication in the World. For when

The Parce in their Order come,
Beyond command there's no delay,
No putting off th' Appointed Day.

There's no beseeching those cruel Spinstresses: So precisely do they observe their day prefixed. According to this Conception Painters and other Artificers describe the Triumpher over all Human kind. For they Picture him without Ears; as not hearing the Prayers of any; blind also, as not moved with the Tears of any. He is Painted with­out a Tongue or Lips, that Men should not think to receive the least word of Comfort from him: He is Painted without Flesh, to shew that he wants all sense of Humanity. Only his Nerve, Arteries and Muscles, his Bow and Arrows, his Darts and Stings remain behind to strike poor miserable Mor­tals. And surely then, if ever he shewed his rage, and insulted over the World, when he assailed Christ himself the Son of God, the Author of Life, at what time the very Rocks wept, the Earth trem­bled, the Stars bewailed, the Sun grew pale, and Angels mourned; acting a dismal Tragedy upon the Life of Life it self. Whoever thou art, if thou art a Man, Death will be inexorable to thee. There­fore be mindful of Death, the Hour flies; from thence my admonition. Therefore is every day to be reckoned as thy last, and as the first of E­ternity.

Sect. 18. Most certain Death is most un­certain.

WHat more certain in Human things than Death? St. Bernard exclaims, What more uncertain than the Hour of Death. It sits at the Doors of old Men, and lyes in ambush for the young. Therefore, boast not of to Morrow, not knowing what to Morrow will bring forth. This the Venunian Lyrick was not ignorant of.

Who knows whether the Gods to this days sum
Will add to Morrow, though but just to come?

Most perspicuously saith St. James the Apostle, Go too now ye that say to day or to morrow we will go into such a City, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain; whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your Life? It is even a Vapour that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away. Whereas we ought to say, If the Lord will we shall live and do this or that.

We shall all go, all—all—for we all die and sink into the Earth like Water, that never returns. Neither canst thou be ignorant that thou art so be­gotten, as to remember that there is a Law set at the same time by the Nature of all things, both for receiving and restoring thy breach. And as no man dies that has not lived, so no man lives that shall not die: Though when he shall die is uncer­tain. And therefore Christ, stirring us up by a most faithful Exhortation, Take ye heed, watch and pray, for ye know not when the time is: And then repeating the same again, VVatch ye therefore, saith he, for ye know not when the Master of the House cometh, at evening, or at midnighe, or at the [Page 104] Cockcrowing, or in the Morning; lest coming suddenly he find you. And what I say unto you, I say unto you all, VVatch.

Sect. 19. Death to many sudden, to all un­look't for.

VVHO will not stand upon his guard against the Efforts of Death that threatens us every Hour, who has appointed no time when he intends to meets us? He creeps, flies, leaps up­on us, with a tacit motion, a stealing pace, mak­ing no signs before hand, without any cause, with­out any caution, in sickness, in health, in danger, in security; so that there is nothing sacred or safe from his clutches.

Sound and merry was Tarquin, when he was choaked with a Fish-bone. Healthy also was Fa­bius, when a little Hair that he swallowed with his Milk, cut the Thread of his Life. A Weezel bit Aristides, and in a moment of time he expired. The Father of Caesar the Dictator rose well out of his Bed, and while he was putting on his Shoes he breathed his last. The Rhodian Ambassador had pleaded his Cause in the Senate even to admiration, but expired going over the Threshold of the Court-house. A Grape-stone killed Anacreon the Poet, and if we may believe Lucian, Sophocles also. Lucia, the Daughter of Marcus Aurelius, died with a little prick of a Needle. Cn. Brebius Pam­philus, being in his Pretorship, when he asked the time of the day of a certain youth, perceived that to be the last Hour of his Life. The Breath of ma­ny is in haste, and unexpected Joy expels it. As we find it happened to Chilo the Lacedemonian, and Diageras of Rhodes, who embracing their Sons, [Page 105] that had been Victors at the Olympick Games, at the same time, and in the same place presently ex­pir'd. Lastly, Death has infinite accesses, through which he breaks into our Houses. Sometimes through the Windows, sometimes through the Vaults, sometimes through the Copings of the Wall, sometimes through the Tyles; and if he cannot meet with any Traytors either in the City or in the House; I mean the humours of the Body, Diseases, Catarrhs, Pleurisies, and the like, which he makes use of as Ministers in his Councils. He tears up the Gates with Gunpowder, Fire, Water, Pestilence, Venom, n [...]y, wild Monsters, and Men themselves as bad; he leaves no Engines untryed to snatch and force away our Lives.

Mephiboseth, the Son of Saul, was slain by Do­mestick Thieves as he was sleeping at Noon upon his Bed Fulco, King of Jerusalem, as he was Hunting a Hare, fell from his Horse, and was tram­pled to death by his Hoofs, gave up the Ghost. Josias, of all the Kings of Judah, David excepted, for Piety, Sanctimony and Liberality the chief, was unexpectedly wounded with an Arrow and died in his Camp. The Holy Ludovicus in the 57th year of his Age, upon the African Shore, in the midst of his Army, the Pestilence there raging, died of the Distemper. Egillus, King of the Goths, a most excellent Prince, was killed by a Mad Bull, which the madder people, not enduring the seve­rity of his Laws had let forth. Malcolm the first, King of Scotland, after m [...]ny ex [...]mples of [...] while he was taking cogni [...] of the Actions of his Subjects by Night, [...]as [...] a sudden [...] Have not many gone well to Bed, that have [...] found dead in the Morning? Of necessity the [...] ought to stand upon its guard. Uzza, a pe [...] ­son of no small Note in Dav [...]as Lifeguard, wh [...] [Page 106] he attempted to stay the shogging Ark, as it was carry'd in Triumph to Jerusalem, was presently struck from Heaven, so that he died by the Ark. The hand of God arm'd a Lion out of a Wood a­gainst the Prophet, that had eaten contrary to his command. The sudden voice of Peter compelled Ananias and Saphira to expiate their Crime by as sudden a death; whose Souls the greatest part of Divines believe to be freed from Eternal Punish­ment thereby. But enough of Ancient Exam­ples.

In the year 1559. Henry the Second King of France was slain in the midst of his Pastimes and Triumphs, and in publick Joy of the people. For while he Celebrated the Nuptials of his Daughter at Paris, in a Tilting, the Splinter of a broken Lance flew with that violence and pierced his Eye that he died immediately. In the year 1491. Al­phonsus the Son of John the Second King of Portu­gal, being about Sixteen years of Age, a Prince of great Hopes and Wit, took to Wife Isabella the Daughter of Ferdinand King of Spain, whose Dowry was the Ample Inheritance of her Fathers King­doms. The Nuptials were Celebrated with the preparations of six hundred Triumphs. Every Plays, Running, Racing, Tilting, Banquets. So much Plenty, so much Luxury, that the Horse-boys and Slaves glistered in Tissue. But Oh immense Grief, hardly the seventh Month had passed when the young Prince, sporting a Horseback upon the Banks of Tagus, was thrown from his Horse to the ground, so that his Scull was broken, and he wounded to death. He was carried to a Fishers House, scarce big enough to contain him and two of his Followers. There he lay down upon a Bed of Straw and expired. The King flies thither with the Queen his Mother. There they behold the misera­ble [Page 107] Spectacle; their Pomp turn'd into Lamentati­on, the growing Youth of their Son, his Vertues, Wealth, like Flowers on a sudden disrobed by the Northwinds blast, and all to be Buried in a misera­ble Grave. O the sudden Whirlwinds of Human Affairs! O most precipitate Falls of the most con­stant things!

What sha'l I remember any more? Basilius the Emperor was gored to death by a Hart, while he was entangled in a troublesom Bough. The anci­ent Monument in the Camp of Ambrosius, near Aenipontus, witnesses, That a Noble Youth, though under Age, set Spurs to his Horse to make him leap a Ditch, twenty foot broad: The H [...]rse took it; but the Rider and the Horse fell by a sudden, and almost the same kind of death. That the Spoils of the Horse, and the Garments of the Youth speak to this day.

But this sudden Fate is common, as well to the good as to the bad, neither does it argue an un­happy condition of the Soul, unless any person in the Act of burning Impiety feel himself struck with the Dart of Divine Vengeance. Such was the Exit of Dathan and Abiram, whom the gaping Earth miserably swallowed up, obstinate in their Rebellion against M [...]ses. Such was the End of those Souldiers, whom for their irreverence to Elijah, Heaven consumed with Balls of Fire. Such was the End of the Hebrew, whom the Revengers Sword pass'd thorough, finding him in the Em­braces of the Midianitess, turning his Genial into his Funeral Bed.

So many Pores of the Body, so many little doors for Death. Death does not shew himself always near, yet is he always at hand. What is more stupid than to wonder that that should fall out at any time, which may happen every day. Our [Page 108] Limits are determined where the inexorable neces­sity of Fate has fix'd them. But none of us knows how near they are prefixed. So therefore let us form our Minds, as if we were at the utmost extre­mity. Let us make no delay.

Notes upon the first Paragraph.

DEath has infinite accesses. So it is indeed; and to what I have said I add, It is report­ed, that a certain person dreamt that he was torn by the Jaws of a Lion. He rises, careless of his Dream, goes to Church with his Friends; in the way he sees a Lion of Stone gaping, that upheld a Pillar; then declaring his Dream to his Compani­ons, not without Laughter. Behold, said he, this is the Lion that tore me in the Night. So saying, he thrust his hand into the Lions Jaws, crying to the Statue, Thou hast thy Enemy, now shut thy Jaws, and if thou canst bite my hand. He had no sooner said the word, but he received a deadly wound, in that place where he thought he could have no harm. For at the bottom of the Lions Mouth lay a Scor­pion, which no sooner felt his hand, but he put forth his sting and stung the young Man to Death. Are Stones thus endued with anger? Where then is not Death, if Lions of Stone can kill? In the same manner died the young Hylas, who was kill'd by a Viper that lay hid in the Mouth of a Bears re­semblance in Stone.

What shall I mention the Child kill'd by an Isicle dropping upon his Head from the Penthouse? Of whom Martial laments in the following Verses.

Where next the Vipsan Pillars stands the Gate,
From whence the falling Rain wets Cloak and Hat,
[Page 109] A Child was passing by, when strange to tell,
Upon his Throat a frozen drop there fell,
Where while the Boy his cruel Fate bemoan'd,
The tender point straight melted in the wound.
Would Chance have us adore her lawless will?
Or tell where Death is not, if drops can kill?

Thus has Death infinite Accesses; then nearest, when it is least thought of.

Sect. 20. An Antidote against sudden Death.

HEre Reader, though out of order, I will give thee three Prayers as Examples, made against sudden Death. It is at thy choice, every day to make use of one or all cordially and sincerely. They are designed so many, it being but reason that we should fall three times, at the Feet of Christ, when we beg so great a Boon. For this we must know that in this respect there can be no Man too cautious or too provident.

The first Prayer.

MOst Merciful Lord Jesu, by thy Tears, by thy Agony and Bloody Sweat, by thy Death I beseech thee, deliver me from sudden and from unexpected Death.

The second Prayer.

O Most Gracious Lord Jesu, by thy most sharp and ignominious Stripes and Coronation, by [Page 110] most hitter Cross and Passion, by all thy Tender Goodness most humbly I beseech thee, that thou wouldst be pleased not to permit me to depart out of this Life by a sudden death, without receiving my viaticum for Heaven.

The third Prayer.

O My most Loving Jesu, O my Lord and God, by all thy Labours and thy Pains, by thy pre­cious Blood, by those Sacred Wounds of thine, by those thy last Exclamation upon the Cross, O my sweetest Jesu; my God, my God why hast thou forsaken me; by that loud cry of thine, Fa­ther into thy hands I recommend my Spirit, most earnestly I beseech thee, that thou wilt not take me hence in haste. Thy Hands, O my Redeemer made me, and formed me throughout. O do not suddenly cast me headlong. Grant me, I beseech thee, time of Repentance; grant me an Exit hap­py, and in thy favour; that I may love thee with my whole Mind, that I may praise and bless thee to all Eternity.

Nevertheless, O merciful Jesu, all things are in thy power; nor is there any one who can resist thy will. My Life depends upon thy nod; that must end when it is thy pleasure. Neither do I desire, my most gracious God, but that my will should be conformable to thine. In whatever place, at whatever time, by whatever Disease thou art pleased to call me home, thy will be done All these things I commit to thy Goodness, and to thy Divine Providence. I except no place or time, no sort of Death, though never so ignominious: This only one thing, I beg of thee, O Christ my God, that I may not die an unexpected and sud­den [Page 111] Death: Nevertheless, not mine, but thy will be done. If it so pleases thee, that I must die a sudden Death, I do not repine. Let thy will be done in all things, O God. For I hope and trust, through thy great Mercy, for the sake of which I make this only Prayer, that I shall die in thy fa­vour and grace; wherein if I'depart, not sudden death can separate me from thee. For the Just Man, though prevented by Death, shall be happy. There is no Death can be unexpected, to him whose Life has been always provident.

Wherefore, if I have not space and time (which is only known to thee, O God,) wherein to com­mend my self to thee; behold I do that now, and as submissively and as ardently as I am able, I send up my Prayer to Heaven to thee. Have mercy on me, O God, according to thy tender loving kindness; thy will be done, O Lord, in Heaven; and in Earth, into thy hands I commend my Spirit. Thou hast re­deemed me, O Lord God of Truth. Let all Created Beings bless and praise thee, O God. In thee, O Lord, have I put my trust, let me not be confound­ed for ever.

Sect. 21. The Days of Mans Life are few and evil.

HOW old art thou? Threescore. And how ma­ny art thou? Seventy. And how many art thou? Fourscore. Ah! my good friends, where are your years? Where are thy Sixty? Where hast thou left thy Seventy? Where wilt thou find thy Fourscore? Wherefore dost thou number thy lost years. Elegantly answered Laelius, that Wise Man, to a certain person, saying, I am Sixty years of Age. Thou callest these Sixty; answered he, [Page 112] which thou hast not. Neither what is past, nor what is to come is thine. We depend upon a point of flying Time, and it is the part of a great Man, to have been moderate.

The Egyptian Pharaoh asking the Patriarch Ja­cob, how many are the years of thy Age, the old man answered, The days of the years of my Pil­grimage are a hundred and thirty years, few and evil. Hear ye, O Tantalus's that thirst after ex­tent of fading Life; and know that ye are but Pil­grims not Inhabitants, nor are ye Pilgrims for a long Journey neither Your Life is both short and evil. Short, because perhaps to be ended before this very Hour that we divide with Death. No man but must know it to be evil that enjoys it. It affords us Brambles sooner than Roses to be trod upon. And yet still will ye loyter and delay in these Bushy and Thorny places! So forgetful of your Countrey. Famous is the Sentence of St. Gregory. This Life is the way to Heaven. But most of the Travellers are so taken with the plea­santness of the way, that they had rather walk slowly than come quick to their Journeys end. Oh most miserable Franticks! We are taken with Flowers, and pick up little glittering Stones, but neglect immense and unbounded Treasures. We scrape together the filth of the Earth, and the froth of Caverns, forgettful what great and real Trea­sures we lose, while we labour after such as are false. Miserable and vain Creatures! What has a Pilgrim to do with Flowers and Pibbles, if he re­turn not to his Countrey? What matter is it if he leave those behind, if he come to his Countrey. To labour in this way, to be wearied, to swear, to endure all inconveniences, is to be looked up­on as the chiefest point of Gain. For thy Countrey will please thee so much the more, [Page 113] by how much the more ungrateful thy Exile was.

Sect. 22. How a Young Man may Die an Old Man.

AS we may meet with old Men, not old Men but Children, so we may meet with young Men, not young Men, but stricken in years. Bar­laam the Hermit an old Man of Seventy years, when Jehosaphat the King asked him how old he was, answered Forty five, at which when the King ad­mired, he reply'd, that he had been absent from his Studies Twenty five years; as if those years which he had spent upon the Vanity of the World had been quite lost. So Similius, being Buried in the Cares of the Court, and living rather for his Emperors sake than for his own, caused this Inscription to be put upon his Tomb. Here lyes Similius, an old Man of Seven years of Age The Book of Samuel relates of Saul that he was the Son of one year when he began to Reign, but that he Raigned Two years over Israel. Saul at the be­ginning of his Reign was as free and Innocent from all wickedness as a Child of one year old, but he continued in this purity but one year, though he Reigned Twenty years in all. Many attain to old Age betimes, and before they are old. But the most of Men, never; who when they are old, yet retain the Vices of Children still; so that they die Children of a hundred years of Age. The Happiness of Life consists not in the length or ex­tent thereof, but in the use of it: And it may of­ten happen that he that has lived long, has not lived at all. Wherefore there is nothing more in­famous than a childish old Man, who has no other [Page 114] Argument to prove his long Life but his Age. Elegantly St. Ambrose concerning St. Agnes. In­fancy was reckoned in her year, but a vast Age of mind. The Oracle of Divine Venerable old Age is not lasting, nor to be computed by number of years: But the Senses of men are grey, and old Age is an immaculate Life. And therefore the Manners rather than the Hairs of men are to be esteemed Venerable. Only he is worthy of more reverence who is old betimes. An honest Life is the best old Age.

Yet, you will say, a man so early dead might have proved a great Man, and serviceable to his Countrey. Rather (which is more to be feared, he might have become like others. Behold young men, whom Luxury drives into all Vice, over whose Head there passes not a day without some signal Crime. Therefore he is taken away, left Evil should change his Intellect, or lest a Fiction should deceive his Soul. Whoever comes to the Extremity of his Fate, he dies an old Man. Oft­times in a long Life, the least thing to be consi­dered is that he has lived. 'Tis much more glori­ous to be old in Vertue, than in time. He has lived long enough, who has said well. He has sought well that overcomes.

Sect. 23. A PARADOX. Whoever will, has liv'd long enough.

A Short time of Age, is long enough to live well, saith Tully. No man dies so soon, who intends not to live better than he has done. A Beardless Youth has numbered years enough, who has lived to Vertue and Eternity, for which [Page 115] he was Born. Has he not spoke enough, that can perswade with one word or a nod? Has he not said enough, who arrives happily at his Port. But best of all, he that soonest attains it. So that death prevent not our Meditation, the swifter, the more happy it will be.

But I (saith the Macedonian King in Curtius) who number not my years but my Victories, if I number the Gifts of Fortune have lived long enough. How much more truely he, who Consecrates all his Life to God, and only studies to serve and please his Master faithfully, may say, I who count not these years wherein I serve God, but my desires, if I rightly compute the Benefits of my God, have lived long enough. So it is most certainly; he lives a Hundred, yea, a Thousand years, yea, Ages them­selves and serves God, whoever sincerely and cor­dially desires to serve his God so long, were it per­mitted him so long to live. For God accepts the will for the deed: With whom to intend a pious Action, is oft-times as much as to have performed it. So he may be a Martyr, and expend his Blood with a Christian Valour, though he die in his Bed. So a Man may live long, and act, and suffer coura­giously for Christ, whoever earnestly desires to live to that end. There is no man that dies not at his day, whoever dies by the Decree of the Di­vine Will.

Sect. 24. You are to Die, to Die.

AUgustus the Emperor, Peragia being taken, punished abundance of the Citizens; and to those that [...] his pardon, or desired to ex­cuse themselves, he only made this short answer, Mo [...]iendum est. You are to die. Thus he caused [Page 116] three Hundred to be slain like Victims upon an Al­tar Built to Julius Caesar.

Justin and Irenaeus, most noble Writers among the Ancients, smartly observe, that after the Sen­tence of Death pronounced against Adam, that ne­ver any Mortal, according to Gods Kalender, live a whole day. For as the Prophets and Apostles te­stifie, one day with the Lord is as a thousand years, and a thousand years is as one day. But no man lived a thousand years; therefore no Man ever lived a whole day. Thou art to die. Though thou hast attained nine hundred years, and upward, thou art to die. This is most certain from Divine Oracle, from Human Reason and Experience. Di­vine Oracles six hundred times proclaim, Morien­dum est. You are to die. Reason it self by evident demonstrations convinces, that whatever is com­posed of contraries is liable to Corruption; and therefore, Thou art to die. Experience, the Mi­stress both of Fools and Wise Men, pointing to the vast heaps of the Dead, perswades our Eyes that never yet any one of all the number of Mortals, could escape the power of death. Thou art to die is clearer than the Sun, Thou art to die. Does any Thunder from Heaven more loudly pierce our Ears, like this Sentence, Thou art to die. Here no Man must be deaf; will they, nill they, they are forced to admit these dreadful sounds. This thun­der pierces their unwilling Ears. Thou art to die, whether in the favour or in the wrath of God.

Aeschylus of old, Death, said he, is the only Goddess, among all the rest, that regards not Bribes; nor admits the least particle of sweet hope. Wherefore wisely Seneca, Let us afflict our selves, saith he, with this thought, Let us repeat this of­ten to our selves. Thou art to die. When? It is better thou shouldst not know that. Death is the [Page 117] Law of Nature; Death is the Duty and Tribute of Mortals; then to be paid, when it is exacted. Wherefore laying all other things aside, meditate upon this alone, that thou maist not fear the name of Death. Make that, by frequent Contemplation, familiar to thee: That if it should so happen, thou maist be willing to meet it.

Sect. 25. The Remembrance of Death is variously to be renewed.

1. THey say, that the Skull dryed in a Furnace, and beaten to powder, and mixed with Oil, cures a Gangrene, or a Cancer. To grinde, as it were the Scalps, and Bones of dead men by serious Contemplation, and apply them instead of an Ointment, heals all manner of Contagion of the Mind.

2. Plato was of Opinion, that any Man became so much the wiser, by how much the more lively he considered Death, Therefore he gave this Law to his Disciples studious in Philosophy, that when they went a Journey, they should never cover their Feet. Whereby that Wise Man insinuated, that the end of Life was always to be thought on.

3. Nicholas Christophorus Radzi [...]ile, Prince of Poland, affirms that in Egypt, they who excelled others in Prudence and Age were wont to carry the long Bones of dead Men Carved out of Wood or E [...]ny, shew them one to another, and there­by exhort [...]ne another to Contemplation. They also introduce the remembrance of Death at their Tables, and conclude their Banqu [...]s with this sad Sentence, Memento M [...]i, Remember to Die.

4. Caliph, King of the Ta [...]rs, in the City of Bagdat, upon a Festival Day, which they call Ra­madan, [Page 118] being resolved to shew himself to the peo­ple, rode forth upon a Mule, clad in Vestments, that glistered with Gold, Silver, and precious Stones; but over his Tulipan he wore a black Vail, signifying that all his Pomp was one day to be Clouded by the shades of Death.

5. Justinian the Emperor being dead, a Coverlet was thrown over him, wherein were wrought in Phrygian Work, the Effigies and Figures of the Vanquished Cities and Barbarous Kings, whom he had overcome. Behold the Image of Death a­mong Pageants, Scaffolds, Triumphs and Victories. Death plays with Empires, and knocks as well at the Towers of Kings, as at the Cottages of the Poor. Pope Martin the Fifth had this Symbol of a speaking Picture, or of silent Poesie. Upon a Funeral Pile, kindled and ready to burn, lay the Popes Triple Crown. the Cardinals Hat, the Arch­bishops Cap, the Emperors Diadem, the Kings Crown, the Ducal Cap and Sword, with this Mot­to. Sic omnis gloria Mundi. Thus all the Glory of the World.

6. I cannot but approve the Answer of a certain Marin [...]r, who being ask'd where his Father dy'd, in the Sea, said he. And when the other ask'd him the same question concerning his Grandfather, his great Grandiather, and his great great Grand­father, the Mariner still returned him the same Answer. Then inferred the other, And dost not thou fear to go to Sea? To which the Seaman wa­ving a reply? And where did your Father die? In his Bed, said the other; where your Father, your Grandfather, and the rest of your Ancestors? They all, said the other, died in their Beds. Then said the Mariner, and do not you fear to go to Bed, so Fatal to all [...]our Predecessors? Very Ele­gantly, and somewhat above a Sailors Genius. Let [Page 119] our daily Contemplation be like that of Justus Lip­sius, who falling Sick, as he was taking his Bed, cryed out, ad Lectum, ad Lethum, To the Bed, to the Grave. Oft-times they that sleep sleep to death, which is but the Sister of sleep.

7. John, Patriarch of Alexandria, who took his Name from given Alms, while he was living and in health, caused his Monument to be Built, but not to be finished, for this reason, that upon Solemn days, when he performed Divine Service, he might be put in mind by some of the Clergy, in tbese terms. Sir your Monument is yet unfinished, command it to be finished, for you know not when the Hour may come.

8. When the Emperor of the East was newly chosen, no person had liberty to speak to him, before the Stone-cutter had shewed him several sorts of Marble, and asked him, of which his Ma­jesty would be pleased to have his Monument made. What was the meaning of this, but only to inti­mate these words? O Emperor exalt not thy self: Thou art bat a Man, thou shalt die like the mean­est of Beggars; therefore so govern thy Kingdom, which thou art to lose, that thou maist gain an E­ternal Kingdom.

9. Domitian the Emperor gave a Banquet to the Chief of the Senate, and the Order of Knighthood after this manner. He hung his House all with Mourning. The Roofs, Walls, Pavements, Seats, were all covered with black, be speaking nothing but sorrow. Into this Funeral Dining-room were all the Guests introduced by Night, without any Attendants. By each was placed a Bier, with eve­ry one his Name inseribed upon it, with such Can­dles as they were wont to burn in their Monuments. They that waited were clad in black, and encom­passed the Guests with Funeral Salutations. They [Page 120] Supped in the mean time with a deep silence: Do­mitian in the mean time began a Discourse rela­ting to nothing but Death and Funerals: While the Guests. in the extremity of Terror were ready to die for fear. What then? Domitian thought he had given wholesome admonition to himself and the Senators. But the Mountains brought forth, and a ridiculous Mouse was the Birth. More right­ly the Egyptians, who chastise the Mirth of their Banquets with a mournful Epilogue.

Sect. 26. A new Shirt, black Letters.

THE Turkish Moschee at Caire in Egypt was Built by this means. Assan Basha, a person as well Cunning as Covetous, resolving to raise himself a Name in the World by some great Structure, yet not willing to be at the Cost himself, found out this Trick. He caused Proclamation to be made in all places, that he intended to erect a vast and sumptuous Temple to God. Now that the work might go on the more prosperously, he promised large Wages to all that should come to help for­ward the Work. And a certain day was appoin­ted to divide the Money. This Proclamation as­sembled together a vast multitude. not only from all parts of Egypt, but from several other Regions and Kingdoms; against their coming Assan had caused a great number of new Shirts and Vests to be prepar'd. Which done, those that came to re­ceive Wages, were order'd to pass singly out of the great Court, where they met into another Court equally as big through several little by Doors. Where they were stript of their old Garments, and new Shirts and Vests impo­sed upon them. All this was done to that in­tent, that whatever [...]o many thousands had brought to bear their Expences, should be left in that place. [Page 121] For in those Countreys the people are wont to sow their Money in their Shirts or their Vests. There­upon a hidious Out-cry and Lamentation arose a­mong the people. But the Basha contemning the Clamours and Cries of the people, threw all their Cloaths into a vast Fire and burnt them. Which huge Bonfire produced such vast heaps of Silver as easily sufficed for the Edifice. Thus Death deals by us; it takes from us against our Wills our old Garments, and cloaths us with a new Sepulcher: For we, as St. Paul saith, that are in this Taberna­cle, do groan, being burthened, not for that we would be uncloathed, but cloathed upon. But in vain we resist. Death derides our Clamours, our Tears; whether we will or no, the old Garment must go off. Uncase and be gone, All are tyed to the same Condition. Who happens to be Born, of necessity must die. We are distinguished by Intervals, but our Exit is the same.

But hear how the Cruelty of this most Covetous Man was revenged. The Turkish Emperor being informed of Assan's Wickedness, sent Ibram Basha to him with Letters, wherein he severely com­manded him, that so soon as he had received the Letters from Ibram, he should immediateiy send his own Head to Constantinople. Such Fatal Let­ters as those the Turkish Emperor is wont to write with his own hand, and to bind about with black Silk; and generally they contain these words, Send me thy Head. Whoever thou art, King or Caesar, when the Emperor of Heaven sends thee his black Letters. there's no resisting, no excuse, no deprecation will serve. 'Tis in vain to fly or de­lay, the Sentence is decreed. Therefore do this and trample upon necessity What thou shouldst be compelled to do against thy will, that do of thy own accord. Send thy Head; not to a Tyrant, [Page 122] but to a Father; not to a Man, but to God. Make no delay, but be willing to die. For why should not the Will prevent Necessity. 'Tis the part of Necessity to submit, but of Vertue to be willing.

Sect. 27. Every Day is to be observed.

PLatonius in Stobelas, 'Tis not enough, saith he, to spend the present day well, unless thou spendest it so as if it were to be thy last. The last day lyes hid, that all days may be observed alike. But thou wilt say, these Contemplations upon Death are s [...]d things, and do but hasten Death. Thou art deceived, the Wise Man calmly meditates upon it; no otherwise than he beholds the Winds and the Sails of a Ship as the Instruments that bring him into the Haven. This is our Folly and Error altogether. We are willing to be tossed by the Waves and Billows, yet fear the place whither Na­ture and reason carries us. From Nature we know, We are all carried to the same place.

—The Glass of all Men runs.

But if we look at reason, who that enjoys it can deny the Argument. What is here but tumbling and tossing, Cares, Miseries, Griefs of Body and Mind? What dost thou fear? Behold the Port. But indeed, as they who are Imprisoned would es­cape, and often might, unless the Keeper kept the Door lockt; so here that Jailor hinders us, call Love of Life. He is to be repelled, and that he may be so, we are to think full often upon that which is but once to be suffered. And because the last Day is uncertain and unknown, let every day be suspected. Hereby thy Mind will be the more Couragious, thy Life the more Correct, more Glad­fom, and free from Care; for what can terrifie or disturb him,

[Page 123] Whom of all fears that fear most Terrible,
The fear of instant Death can never quell.

The Dart foreseen does less harm. Death fre­quently meditated upon strikes with less force.

Sect. 28. The Coffin the last Comfort of our Pride.

ABraham, that great Person, when he, by the command of God, had been forced as a Pil­grim, to war der from place to place, minded no­thing more than the Purchase of a Burying-place. That he would have to be so surely his own, that he might possess it by all the Right and Law imagina­ble. For this reason he paid down the Money de­manded of the Seller, Currant Money among the Mer­chants. Nor was it enough for him that the Pur­chase should be publickly made; he required that all the Inhabitants of the Countrey should be wit­nesses of the Bargain. Whereby that person of high Credit intimated, that nothing is more a Mans Property than his Sepulchre, which he may truely above any thing else call his own; according to the Example of Abraham, the best of Men always reck­oning it among their chiefest Cares, to take care of their Sepulchers.

The Emperor Maximilian the First, three years before he died, caused his Coffin, made of Oak, to be put up in a great Chest, and carried along with him, where-ever he went; and provided by his VVill, that his Body should be put into it without Embalming, wrapt in Linnen, without any Em­balming or Disembowelling, his Nose, Mouth and Ears only being filled with Quick-lime. VVhat meant that great Personage? Only to have his Mo­nument always in his sight, to give him this conti­nual [Page 124] Document, Think upon Death, that it should al­so farther say, where dost thou amplifie and extol thy self; wherefore dost thou possess so much and cover more? Thee whom so many Provinces and Kingdoms will not contain, a little Chest must hold. But why did he put the Lime into those hollow parts? Behold the Spices that Embalmed him. Maximilian, that thou wert great thy acti­ons declare, but this more especially before thy Death.

What need I call to mind the Bier of Ablavius, who being Captain of the Pretorian Bands, a Prince among the Courtiers of Constantine the Great, an insatiable Devourer of Gold, which he thought upon more than his Tomb. This Person, Constan­tine taking by the Hand, How long, said he, Friend shall we heap up Treasure: and speaking those words, with the Spear that he held in his Hand, he drew out the form of a Coffin in the Dust, and then proceeding, though thou hadst all the Riches in the World, yet after thou art dead a place or Chest, no bigger than this, which I have here marked out, must contain thee; if so large a piece of Ground do come to thy Lot. Constantine was a Prophet: For Ablavius being cut into Bits, had not a piece left big enough to be Buried.

The Emperor Charles the Fifth, of Famous Me­mory, most piously imitating that Maximilian whom I have mentioned, long before his Death with­drew himself of his own accord from publick Affairs, and having resigned his. Cares to his Young and Vi­gorous Son, shut himself up in the Monastery of St. Justus in Spain, only with twelve of his Dome­sticks, applying himself to Religious Duties. He forbid himself to be called by any other Name than Charles; and disclaiming with Business the Names of Caesar, and Augustus, contemned whatever sa­voured [Page 125] of Honourable Title. This also is farther reported, that long before the resignation of his Empire, he caused a Sepulcher to be made him with all its Funeral Furniture, which was private­ly carried about with him where-ever he went. This he had five years by him in all places, even when he Marched against the French to Millaine, causing it every Night to be placed in his Chamber. Some that waited on him imagine the Chest had been full of Treasure, others full of Ancient Histo­ries; some thought one thing, some another But Caesar well knowing what it contained, and where­fore he carried it about, smiling said, that he car­ried it with him for the use of a thing which was most dear to him in the World. Thus Charles con­tinually thought upon Death, and every day could say, I have lived; rising every day to Heavenly Gain.

Many others have happily imitated Charles the Emperor, who have been used, twice every day to contemplate their Coffins, the Monument of their Death. Genebald [...] of Laudanum, say in a Bed made like a Coffin for seven years together, all which time he lived a most severe Life.

Ida, a Woman of applauded Sanctity, long before her Death caused her Coffi [...] to be made, which twice a day she filled full of Bread and Meat, which she twice a day gave liberally to the Poor. The Study of Vertue is the best prepa­ration for Death. No Death can defile Vertue. He easily contemns all things, who always medi­tates upon this, that he is to die.

Sect. 29. What is Life?

IT is a Flower, a Smoak, a Shadow, the Shadow of a Shadow. A Bubble, Dust, Froth, Dew, a Drop. It is Ice, the Rainbow, a wasted Torch, a Bag with holes in it, a ruinous House, treache­rous Ashes, a Spring day, a most inconstant April, one twang of a Harp, a broken Bucket, the Wheel of a Well, a Spiders VVeb, a little drop of the Sea, a slender Stalk, a Solstitial Plant, a short Fable, a shooting Spark, a little Cloud, a Bladder full of VVind, a Doves Neck glistering in the Sun. Life is a thin Glass, a tender Leaf, a fine Silk Thread, a Golden Apple rotten within. If a shadow be no­thing say whar is the Dream of a shadow. A thou­sand such like things may Humane Life be com­pared to. To me they seem to have spoken most truely, who call Life the shortest Dream of a sha­dow, VVe will abbreviate the Business. Life is

A Dream, a Bubble, Ice, a Flower, and Glass:
A Fable, Ashes, and the fading Grass;
A Shadow, a small Point, a Voice, a Sound;
A blast of VVind, at length 'tis nothing found.

Poor miserable Mortals! what Riches do we seem to heap, what Honours do we invest our selves withal, what Pleasures do we seem to enjoy? yet all these are but a Dream, how short, and how vain? They have slept out their sleep, and all the Men whose hands were Psal. 76. ver. 5. mighty have found nothing. O Men, you dreamt that you were happy and blessed; but of all those things which ye had, which ye hoped for, what do ye retain? These were the Dreams of those that waked, and the meer Toys of Dreamers. Now punishment opens your Eyes, that Sin shut before.

[Page 127] Life therefore what is it? I will tell ye in short. The time of Humane Life is a Point; Nature, In­constancy: Sense, Obscurity: The whole Body, a composure easily corrupted. The Mind, a Rover; Honour, Smoak; Riches, Thorns; Pleasures, Poy­son. And in a word, all things pertaining to the Body, a River; all things belonging to the Mind, a Dream. Life is a warfare; and the Habitation of a Stranger in a Forreign Land; the Shop of in­numerable Miseries. Fame after Death, Oblivion. According to Ausonius.

How! wonder Men should die! the Hours decay,
Marble and Fame it self to Death give way.

Before Death to compleat thy days in Vertue is the Noblest Designs.

Sect. 30. Life a Mimick.

ALL Life is a Comedy. VVe are the Actors! One plays a King; another a Beggar. One takes upon him the Person of a Prince, another of a Physician, another of a Husbandman. VVhat­ever part God has imposed upon us, that we ought decently to perform. Neither does the praise con­sist in this, for thee to act an Emperor or a Duke. VVhatever part thou acts, thou shalt win applause, so thou performedst it well. VVhich is the sea­sonable admonition of Epictetus. Remember, saith he, that the Actor is to be the Actor of such a part as the Composer pleases. If he would have thee act a Beggar, be sure to represent that person inge­niously. So do, if thou art to act a Lame person, a Prince, or a Plebeian. This is thy Duty to play thy part well; but it is the business of another to chuse it.

Augustus the Emperor, the last day of his Life, [Page 128] asked his Friends that were about him, whether he seemed to them to have acted the play of Life well? Adding this little Clause; if so, give me your applause.

Seneca, most admirably concerning this Come­dy of Life, I must often, saith he, use this Exam­ple, For this Mimicry of Life is by no Simile bet­ter Expressed, which has assigned us those parts, which through our fault and ignorance, we act a­miss.

Laertius in Leno, saith, that a wise Man is like a good Actor, who whether he be to represent the Person of Thersites or Agamemnon, doth both well.

Therefore we must not take notice, what we now are, but what we are to be, when we have put off our Vizards and our Habits. Nor matters it whether we take up the part of the first or last Actor, so we act well.

Sect. 31. The Type of Humane Life.

OLD Balaam propounded to Jehosaphat the King, the John Damascen. Hist. c. 23. deceitful Joys of Humane Life. A errtain Person, saith he, flies from a Unicorn, which is a fierce Creature; in his flight he is ready to tumble into a deep Ditch; but as he is tumbling, catches hold of a Tree which preserves him from the fall. VVhile he clings to the Tree, contemning his past danger, he sees two Mice, the one white, the other black, gnawing the Root of the Tree, and now got as far as the very Pith. Then looking into the Ditch, he spies at the bottom a terrible Dragon breathing Fire. Lastly, casting his Eyes about, he spies the Heads [Page 129] of four Asps reaching out of the adjoyning Well. At [...]ength neglecting all these sights, he perceives a small quantity of Honey distilling out of the Tree. Wherefore now forgetful of the Unicorn, the Mice, the Dragon, and the Serpents, he falls to licking the sweet Honey. And this said Bar­taam, is the Type of Humane Life. The Unicorn [...]epresents Death, that every where persecutes Mankind. The Ditch is the World full of Cala­mities. The Tree which we hold by, is our Life confined within certain bounds. The two Mice, Night and Day, which by little and little consume that Tree. The four Asps, the four Elements, whose Repose being disturb, presently follows a disunion of Soul and Body. That Fiend and fierce Dragon, represents the Jaws of Hell, always open to devour us. The drops of Honey, signifie the filthy Pleasures of this Life, and the deadly sweet­ness of Vice. Allur'd with this noxious Sweetness, we neither fear Hell, nor think of Heaven, content­ed to die voluptuously. Thus Barlaam to Jeosaphat. O certain, O most certain all these Sayings! If we are wise, we should believe every Hour the last; Eternity hangs at every moment of Life.

Sect. 33. The Prologue of Life, the Narra­tion, the Epilogue.

THE Prologue of Humane Life, is, To be Born; The Narration, To Grieve; The Epilogue, To Die. The Explanations of this Oration, are Mean. and Tears, or Joy, which is worse than Weeping. Most learnedly Seneca, Behold, saith he, all Mortals. There is ample and daily occasion of weeping; one tedious Want calls to daily Labour; another rest­less Ambition sollicites; another is in continual fear [Page 130] for the Riches he enjoys, and is tir'd with his own Wishes; Another Care; Another turm [...]iling Torments; Another the continual throng of Clients. This Man grieves that he has Children; another that he has lost his; a third, that he never had any. We shall want Tears before the occasion of shedding them. Dost thou not see what a kind of Life Nature has promis'd us, that has order'd Weeping to be the first Omen that attends our Birth. This is our beginning, with this the Series of our Years agrees, and thus we spend our Days.

This is that which most deserves our Tears, and which they never can sufficiently wash away; that none of us seriously considers, that there is a time when we must leave this Habitation. We consider it, 'tis true, but cursorily, and, as it were, dreaming. Hence we live as if we were always to live. Our Frailty seldom pierces deep into our Minds: Nor do we observe how much time has slid away; but as if it were, out of an inexhau­stible Stock; we trifle away so many Hours, so many Days, so many Months, and so many Years. We are most profuse of our Time, and never mind the irreparable loss of it; in which only thing, Co­vetousness is allowable. Thus the greatest part of Life slips away from Evil-doers; the greatest part from those that do nothing, and the whole from those that are active in another way. Who is he that sets a value upon Time, that prizes a Day, or understands that he dies daily? Hence it is, that we forget what is past, neglect the present, and foresce not what is to come. But when we shall come to the last push, then miserable as we are, too late we shall understand, that we were ill em­ploy'd while we did nothing. Let us do this there­fore; let us embrace every Hour, as if this Day to die: So let us order the Narration of our Life, as [Page 131] if present we were to make our Epilogue; while Life is delay'd, it runs beyond us.

Sect. 34. All Life short, even the longest.

MOst truly said Annaeus, There is no Life but what is short. For if we regard the Nature of Things; the Lives of Nester and Statilia were short, who caus'd it to be writ upon her Tomb, That she liv'd Ninty-nine Years. Behold how a little old Woman glories in her Age; what would she have done had she compleated the Centure?

Amaranthus in the Fables, speaking to the Rose; Oh, what a Flower is the Rose! how fair, how love­ly! Deservedly men call thee happy for thy Beauty, for thy Odour, for thy Colour, O Queen of Flowers. To whom the Rose; Indeed, said she, O Amaranthus, I excel in Beauty, however I flourish but a very short time, and though no hand touch, nevertheless I quickly fade: But thou flowrest continually, and livest always fresh and gay; I had rather have less beauty, and en­joy a longer life. The Life of Mortals is like that of the Rose, short and quickly fading; and though no outward force extinguish it, yet naturally and insensibly it vanishes. Not without cause there­fore the greatest of Physicians exclaims: We un­derstand not how our Life passes, but we perceive it is stoln away. The Space of Time granted to us, flies with such a swift and rapid Motion, that un­less it be some few, Life forsakes some as it were in the very Cradle. We have but a little time, and the most part of that we trifle away in Sloth and Luxury. O improvident Mortals! the Body which we bear about us, is not a Mansion, but an Inne, which is to be left, when thou art burdensom to the Master of the House. Therefore O Christian, [Page 132] make haste to live piously, and believe every Day to be so many Lives: He that shall so prepare him­self, shall securely dare Death; no Man shall die ill, that lives well.

Sect. 35. Not the longest, but the ho­nestest Life is the best.

WE are not to strive to live long, but so long as is sufficient, that life is sufficient, which is ful­fill'd. That life is fulfill'd, when any man passes from his own into the divine Will, and well employs that little time which is allotted him. What does four­score years avail that man that idly spends them? He did not live, but was dead while he lived Nor did he die late, but every day; for to live impru­dently and wickedly, is not to live ill, but to die daily: But thou sayest, he lived fourscore years; but consider from what day thou reck'nst his death. Another is snatch'd away flourishing in the midst of his course; but he had done the duty of a good Man and a good Christian; though his Age were imperfect, his Life was perfect: The other numbred fourscore years, certainly he did not live so long, but he was in being, unless thou wilt say, he lived in the same manner as Trees are said to live. Life is to be measured by the Act and Offices of Vertue. not by Time; therefore let us praise and place him in the number of the Happy, who well employed that life he had; the Just shall remain in eternal remembrance; the memory of the just with praises: For he saw the true light; he was one of many; and he lived, and now lives in Heaven. Why enquirest thou how long he li­ved; he liv'd to Immortality, he has out-stript Ages, and erected, his own Remembrance: And [Page 133] as a body of mean stature may be perfect, so in a lesser space of time a life may become perfect. Happiness is not fixt in diuturnity of time, but in Vertue; neither is he that sings oftenest to the Harp, but he that sings best is to be commended. While thou art only in being, 'tis anothers; When thou art a good Christian, it is thy own; That re­quire from thy self, that thou mayst not measure out thy Time ignobly in Vice; so to lead thy life, that thou mayst not be carried beyond the Mark. Thou demandest what is the utmost space of Life? to live to true Wisdom; to confirm thy Will in all things to the Will of God, is the truest wisdom. When we die, 'tis not the longest but the chiefest end concerns us. Death walks over all, nor is it any very long space that we precede one another, He that kills, follows the slain; 'tis the least thing of which we are most sollicitous about: For what is it to the purpose how long thou shunnest what cannot be avoided? The best life is not the long­est, but the most upright.

Sect. 36. We do not live the greatest parts of our Lives.

I Cannot doubt the truth of what the Ancient: Poet said;

—'Tis but a li [...]e term of life—
That we are said to live.—

All the rest of our life, is not life but only time; both urgent Business encompasses us, and Vices im­portune us lull'd in pleasure; we have hardly any leisure to return to our selves; we are held on at leisure for our selves, but for others. No man is his own man; so that we spend the greatest part of our lives in not living, at least we do not live to [Page 134] Heaven nor to God. How much time does our Meals, our Recreation, our Play, our Discourse, our Sleep, our Idleness takes up? How much do litigious Suits and Diseases snatch from us? How many Thieves do steal away our Lives, while we perceive not what we lose? The following Verses, though not so terse and neat, very lively express our Madness.

A man lives fourscore years, not often more,
Of which in meat and drink some half a score;
In play as many, twenty years in sleep,
Till seventeen in our childish years we heap
And nothing do; for years diseases claim.
Therefore the time that we experd to frame
Our selves to vertue and learning, is in brief,
But the fourth part of all that tedious life.

What a little is left us of that which is our own; many there are whom their Misfortunes will not give leave to take breath; many, whom their pro­sperity. For we lay not hold upon time to stop the fleetest thing in Nature; but let it slip as a super­fluous thing and easie to be recovered. What keeper of time so sparing, that may not find some­thing worthy to exchange with his time? We trifile with the most precious of all things, and there is no reckoning made of that which cannot be sufficiently valued. Like them that sleep in Ships, who are driven along by the Winds, though they perceive not the motion, and when they wake. wonder to see themselves ready to be landed, Thus the course of our life hastens away, while we sleep and neglect the inestimable price of Time. When we should wake for a better life, we admire to see our selves at our Journeys end; Death is to many, as the Harbour to the Sailer, he sails well that does not Shipwrack in the Port.

Sect. 37. Delay is the greatest blemish of Life.

WE delay and put off every thing unless it be Vice, which for the most part takes up our whole time. In other things we are always more full of Promises, and say to oue selves, to Morrow this shall be done; the next Week I will not fail to repent; next Year I intend to lead a new life. Thus Days, Months and Years slide away, while we procrastinate, while we promise, and never stand to our Promises. Excellently Seneca; Thou shalt hear, saith he, most people saying, At Fifty I intend to retire, at Sixty I intend to give over Business: And whom dost thou take for Surety of thy longer life? Who will warrant things to pass, as thou disposest them? Art thou not ashamed to reserve the Remains and Dregs of Life to God? and to appoint that time for Devotion, which thou canst no otherwise employ? How late is it then to begin to live, when thou art iust at the end of it? VVhat a foolish Oblivion of Mortality is that to de­ser wholsom Admonition, till the fiftieth or sixti­eth Year, and to seek to begin thy Life at an Age to which few attnin.

Sigismund the Second King of Poland, because of his perpetual delay and heaviness in weighty Affairs, was called the King of to-morrow. Such are we certainly, Men of to-morrow; we delay all things, most willing also, if we could, to put off Death it self; but the business of dying admits of no delay, suffers no put offs: Therefore to use the old Pro­verb, If thou wouldst be long old, be old betimes; which thou mayst be, by suffering no delay: VVe by losing the best of things, lose all. Truly said [Page 136] Chrysologus, Then a man desires to do well, when death has deprived him of the Opportunity of act­ing. VVe stalk to death most commonly with the same steps, as they that walk in their sleep; first we begin to delay and procrastinate wholesome things, then to act a little more closely, then to neglect and omit altogether what things are to be done, and so we sweetly sleep and perish.

O Mortals, Over-late is to Morrow's life, live to day; pay your Salary to day; mourn for your Sins to day, for who has assured ye of to morrow? VVhat may be done to day, why defer ye to an­other day perhaps never to come? To defer good Actions was ever noxious, and over-late.

The greatest loss of life, delay is still;
For who delays, seems not to have a will.

Let us make haste therefore, and consider how much we should add to Swiftness, if the Enemy were at our back; if we should perceive the Horse­man just at the heels of the Fugitive. This is the case Necessity drives, let us make haste and escape; let us shelter our selves in Security, and often con­sider, how amiable a thing it is to finish our lives before death: The greatest comfort in death is, to have delayd nothing.

Sect. 38. The Hunting of Death.

WIlliam the II. D. of B [...]varia, Father of the Poor, the Defender of all Religious men, whom after his decease, had the Tongues of all men been silent, the Tears and Lamentations of so many Mourners at his Funeral, had sufficiently [...]old. This most Praise-worthy Prince, I say, when he returned home from the Council of Basil, [Page 137] where he preceded in Caesar's place, dream'd, That he saw a Hart of an extraordinary bigness; that upon the one side of his Horns he carried Bells, on the other lighted Tapers. This flying Animal was pursued by a Huntsman and his Pack, all other ways being stopt, the affrighted. Beast fled [...] into the Church-yard belonging to St. Marie's Church, there the poor Hart falling into a Grave that was open'd for a person that was to be buried, was there taken and killed. Upon this the Prince awoke, and examined with himself what the mean­ing of the Dream should be: The next day also he declared to his Nobles, what he had dream'd. Se­veral Interpretations were made upon it, which when Duke William had heard; I, said he, am that Hart, who am shortly to end this mortal life. I will be buried in the Temple of the Blessed Virgin. The Event verified both the Dream and the Presa­ges; For in a short time Sickness and Death layd the Body of Prince William in the Grave, while his Soul took her Flight to those Azure Mansions a­bove. A good Death is the beginning of a most blessed Eternity.

Sect. 39. VVherefore upon the daily sight of Funerals, we do not consider Death.

THE Devil, a most skilful Painter, paints so well according to the Rules of Opticks; that which is before us, and nearest to us, we may think most remote. Thus as if we were to live a Thousand years, we promise to our selves a long Security from Death. Hence we behold Funerals, and laugh, as if it were never to be our Turn. VVe daily die, and yet we think our selves eternal.

Sir Thomas Moore, that no Age might delude any [Page 138] Person with the hopes of a longer Life, gives this Admonition. As he that is carried out of Prison to the Gallows, though the way be longer, yet fears not the Gallows the less, because he comes to it a little the later; and though his Limbs are firm, his Eyes quick, his Lungs sound, and that he relish his Meat and Drink, yet this is still his Affliction, that he is upon his Journey: Thus are we all carried to the Gibbet of Death, we are all upon the way, on­ly parted by some little Intervals. They do not leave us at our Death, but go before us. But thou wilt say, I am in Health, I perceive no likelyhood of Death. Whatever thou sayst, thou art upon thy Journey, and we are upon the Road as thou art. But I, sayst thou, have not attained my Thirtieth year. Thou wert in the way at Twenty, yea, at Ten; ev'n at one year, nay, at the first Hour; on­ly go on, shortly thou wilt be at thy Journeys end. But I sleep well, relish my Meat and Drink well. Fool that thou art! Death minds none of these things. We are in the way, see, where the Gibbet threatens thee. But a little while and thou shalt expire; and with thee all thy Pomp and Luxury dies. All our Life is the way to Death.

Sect. 41. A most Compendious, and the best Permeditation upon Death.

Happy to be in Death, first learn to live,
That thou mayst happy live, to dye first strive.

THis is the Sum of all; this is the Art of Arts. To live well we must learn, as long as we live; and which some perhaps may more admire, all our life long we must learn to dye. So many great Men, leaving all their lumber behind, when they had re­nounced their Riches, their Pleasures, and their [Page 139] Offices, have employed themselves in this one thing to the last, that they might know how to live. But many of these, confessing they had not learnt their Lesson, have departed this Life. But how shall they know this that never endeavouted to learn? Most Mortals care not for living well, but for living long. Some then begin to live when they are ready to leave the World. Hence it is that we are empty of all those Comforts, which we desire at the end of our Lives; fearful of death, and ignorant of living. VVhoever then desires to learn the Art of living, let him first learn the Art of dying. Perhaps, some may think that needless to be learnt, which is but once to be made use of. Therefore, it is, that we are with all diligence to apply our selves to this Stu­dy: For that is always to be learnt, of which, whi­ther we know it or no, we can never make the Ex­periment. The great matter is not to live, the great matter is to dye.

Sect. 42. To day, for me, to morrow, for thee.

FRancis the First, King of France, being tak'n by Charles the Fifth, when he had read, at Ma­drid, Charles's Impress upon the Wall, Plus ultra. Farther yet; added thereto, To day for me to mor­row for thee. The Victor took it not ill; but to shew that he understood it; wrote underneath, I am a Man, there is no humane accident but may befal me.

Elegantly, Gregory Nazianzene, The Head (quoth he) grows gray; the Summer of Life is at Hand. The Sickle is sharpn'd against us, and I fear, least while we are asleep, and lull'd in hopes; the terri­ble Reaper come. But thou wilt say, old Men fear, [Page 140] I am young. Be not deceived, Death is not perfix­ed to any Age. The same Bier to day carries an old Man, to morrow beautiful Youth; to day a strong lusty Man, to morrow a Virgin, or an old Woman. Seneca speaks to the purpose. Death, saith he, ought to be set before the Eyes of young, as well as old Men: For we are not summoned by the Censers Books, wherein the Ages of every one are set down. Such a Partial Citation might serve for War, but not for Death. The last Farewel, and Admonishment of all dying Men, is this. To day, I; to morrow, Thou. But the Dead alter the Sentence, and they crie; I, yesterday; Thou to day. Be mind­ful of Death; be mindful of Eternity; which I ye­sterday, thou to day or to morrow shalt begin, ne­ver to end with either.

Sect. 43. Therefore Live, while thou hast.

NOT for thy Wit, not for thy Body, not for thy Pleasure, not for thy Vertues sake, but for Heaven and for Gods sake. Live and Act, as well suffering for God, as acting and labouring. For thou knowest not how long thou shalt subsist, nor how soon thy maker will take thee away. Most wisely admonishes the wisest of Preachers: What­ever thou takest in Hand to do, that do with all thy power; for in the Grave that thou goest unto there is neither Work, Counsel, Knowledg, nor Wisdom, Therefore, as the Apostles exhorts us, Let us not be weary in well doing, for in due season we shall reap, if we Gal. c. 6. v. 9, 10. faint not: While we have therefore time, let us do good unto all Men. Thou hast begun to Labour, prosecute thy labour begun, with a co [...]tinual Industry. Never cease, [Page 141] nor intermit that Labour which may bring to Hea­ven: For there is no moment of thy Life, wherein thou mayst not gain, and increase thy Heavenly Treasure. In this manner therefore labour without ceasing. The time of rest shall come, which no la­bour shall ever interrupt. The Life of Man is a Warfare upon Earth; and like the days of a Bond-Servant are Job. 7. v. 1. [...] his Days. A Hireling, saith St. Gre­gory, allwages the Pains of his Labour with the thoughts of his wages. A Hireling is sollicitous, least any day should pass him without work, for he knows that the Night is for rest, and that the Day is ap­pointed for Labour. Do thou therefore Labour; while it is day; while thou hast an opportunity, to Work. The Night cometh, says the voice of Truth, when no Man can work. Therefore work, while the John 9. v. 4. Sun favours thee. There is one that will pay thee for thy Labour. Thou hast a perpetual and most accurate Overseer of thy work, who is God; who keeps the number of the Haires of thy Head, so doth he keep an account of thy least Fa [...]lings, and of the smallest of thy Actions, done in Honour of Him. Never question it, he numbers all thy steps. With one leap; yea, with one step thou hast finished thy whole Journey to Eternity; but take heed that thou fi [...]est thy [...]et right. For such shalt thou be to Eternity, as thou we [...]t at thy Death.

Sect. 43. If to Morrow, why not to Day.

THere is [...]ut one, and that a most ponderous Chain that holds us fast the Love of Life, which as it is not always to be contemned, so there is an [Page 142] allay to be allowed it, so that nothing may hinder us, but that we may be always prepared, to do that presently which is at some time to be done. Life is not imperfect, so it be upright. VVhere-ever thy end happen, if thy Life be good, thy end is safe.

St. Austin, Bishop of Hippo, went to visit another Bishop of his Familiar Acquaintance lying in Ex­tremity; to whom, as he was lifting up his Hands to Heaven, to signifie his Departure. St. Austin re­plyed, That he was a great support of the Church, and worthy of a longer Life; to whom the sick Person made this answer. If never, 'twere ano­ther thing, but if at any time, why not now?

Death calls upon all Men alike. Thither we must all come sooner or later; of that we are cer­tain; we doubt not of that thing, but of the time. VVhat then? Does not he seem to be the most fear­ful and imprudent Creature of all, who with so much earnestness desires the delay of Death. Would not he be the Laughing-stock of others, who be­ing Condemned among many, should beg to be the last Executed? Yet this is the Folly we are guilty of. We think it a great happiness to die last. The Capital Punishment is destined to all, and by a most just determination. Now what matters it, whether we go out first or last, out of this Life, as Men go out of a Theater. We must depart, it then at any time, why not now. To day perhaps Death spares us: That's nothing, to Morrow he will be with thee. The Sword will seize thee; a Stone waits for thee, a Fever lyes in Ambush. Thou art never nor in no place safe. There's a necessity of going. If then to Morrow, why not to Day? If at any time, why not now!

Sect. 44. Why Death is Terrible.

DEath is the same to all Men, but the Wages by which it happens are various. One expires while he is feeding, another slumbering falls into an Eternal Sleep, another in the act of Impiety ex­tinguishes. Here one drops by the Sword, ano­ther Drowns in Water; another Fires consumes. Some by the sting of Serpents die, while others are Buried in the sudden fall of Ruins. Others by the Contraction of their Nerves are tortured to Death. Others are cut off in their Youth, others in their Cradles. Sometimes an Infant comes into the World to take its farewel of Life. The Exit of some is milder, of others harsher. But how mild and gentle Death may seem to be, however it brings something of Horrour with it, and that for this reason, because it seems to deprive us of ma­ny Happinesses, and to take us from that plenty to which we are accustomed. This love of our selves, and desire of self-preservation, is the Chain that clogs us. There is also a natural fear of darkness, to which Death is thought to be our Conductor; which has engaged the Wits of many to augment the Terrours of Death.

But that which most augments the fear of Death is this, that present things we know, whither we are to go we know not, and therefore are afraid. Therefore is the Mind to be enured by much Exer­cise, that it may not be afraid of that Eternity in­to which we are to enter. Eternity is that we are to think upon day and night, as they that would bring themselves to endure hunger, must enure themselves to fasting by little and little: So the Soul that is to be translated from this inconstant [Page 144] World to a stable Kingdom, must accustom it self to endure Eternity. Let it every day salute the Gate of Eternity, every Moment believe that it waits there: Whatever it acts, let it act for Eternities sake; and only observe this one form of action. I read, I write, I paint, I meditate, I watch, I speak, and all for the sake of Eternity. Whoever aspires to Eternal Triumphs, let him learn to Com­bat Eternity.

Sect. 45. Death is sudden, but beautiful.

CHaeremon, as Palladius Bishop of Helenopolis wit­nesses, while he sits, while he works, while he acts as a healthy person, dies. So sitting, so working he was found, but dead. Vertue can beau­tifie any sort of Death

Philemon, a Comedian, contested with Menander, perhaps not his Equal, yet his Emulator. This Person recited upon the Stage, a play that he had newly made. But when he was moving the more sprightly Affections in his third Act, a sudden shower scattered the Auditory. Thereupon he promised the rest the next day. The next day a vast multitude met together, in so much that the Theater was thronged; but no Philemon came. Some blam'd the slowness of the Poet, others ex­cused him. But at last tyred with expectation, and sending to seek him, the Messengers found him dead in his Bed. His Book was in his Hand; and his Eyes fix'd upon his Book. So that the Messengers stood a while astonished at so sudden an Accident, and the Miracle of so lovely a Death. Returning to the people, they related, that they expected Phi­lemon had finished his last act at Home; leaving the World to give him their last farewel and plau­dite; [Page 145] to his Friends a sad occasion of Mourning and Lamentation. For that now a Noble Poet having put off the Mask of Life, his Bones, and not his Verses where to be read.

If we look at this present Life, the most wish'd for death is, to die, not fearing death: But much more desireable is it, to die in action, and to be busie at our work, that death it self may not prove idle. It was the wish of Cyprian the Martyr to be slain for the sake of God, while he was discoursing of God. It is a high Encomium for any Man, that not only the Devil, but neither Death himself should find him idle.

Sect. 46. VVe must watch and pray.

BEcause ye know not at what Hour the Son of Man will come. The Romans watched in their Arms, yet sometimes without their Shields, that they might have nothing to lean upon, to invite them to sleep. It is thy duty to watch, O Man, and to watch armed. Ardent Prayers to God, are the true Arms of Christians. The Shield that en­courages sleep, is the vain hope of a longer Life. The frequent Cries of the Roman Souldiers in their Watches were, Wake, wake, Mars wake. Thus they encouraged one another to constancy in watch­ing. The Heaven it self day and night waking and incessantly toyling, admonishes thee to watch. Dost thou grow deaf, or art thou falling asleep? Hear the voice of Christ, watch and pray. According to the relation of St. Mark, Christ made a Sermon; in the Conclusion whereof he thrice repeats these words; first, Take ye Mark c. 13. v. 33, 35. heed, watch and pray. Secondly, Watch ye therefore, for ye know not [Page 146] when the Master of the House cometh, at even, or at midnight; whether at the Cock-crowing, or at the dawning, lest if he come suddenly, he find ye asleep. Lastly, And that I say unto you, I say unto ye all, watch. With the same Admonitions, and by the Mouth of St. Matthew, he cries to us, Watch ye therefore. for ye know not what Mat. 24. v. 24. hour the Lord doth come. And a­gain, Watch ye therefore, because ye know neither the day nor the hour. The same he repeats upon Mount Olivet; Watch and pray, lest ye enter into Temptation. Upon the same Text he preaches in St. Luke. Watch ye therefore, at all times praying. The same, watch ye, how often doth St. Paul reiterate? These claps Thunder upon us, to shake off all sleepiness and drowsiness from us. We are deaf, yea dead, in­deed, if these loud Exhortations will not wake us. Whoever thou art, that sleepest in Vice. awake. Thou knowest the Fate of the Egyptians. The slay­ing Angel enter'd Egypt, and made a vast slaughter. Remember the Lot of the Ten Virgins. There was a Call in the middle of the Night, and they that were prepared were admitted to the Nuptials, but the drowsie Sleepers were excluded. Dost thou re­member the Folly of the Gluttonous Servant? His Lord came unlookt for, and at an Hour when he least thought of him. Hast thou considered the good Father of his Family? He wakes at all Hours, that at no time the House-breaker may get in. Dost thou remember thy Saviour? He was Born at Mid­night. And probable it is that he will come at Mid­night to the last Judgment of the World. There­fore watch, and believe every day thy last.

Sect. 47. VVe are to trust in God.

HE whom God assists, though in the midst of the Waves of the enraged Sea, he shall be a­ble to withstand the Storm with a Couragious Heart. Let Troubles surround him, let Sorrows overwhelm him, let the Devil roar and grin, a Soul that trusts in God need never be afraid. Though Hell be moved, and the World tumble, fearless he shall behold the Ruins; he shall rise a Victor; and like the Marpesian Rocks contemn the vain threats of the Ocean. Thus Job, thus David behaved themselves, Job speaking to God with a firm Confidence in him. Set me, saith he, by thy side, and let the hand of whomsoever fight against me. He provokes and Challenges the Camp of the Ene­mies of God, let come who will he is ready to meet them.

But, saith David, though I walk through the midst of the shadow of Death, I will fear no evil, for thou art with me. Behold a strong Faith! Though I am in the extremity of danger, though wrapt in the horrid darkness of Eternal Night, and that Death stood nearer than the shadow to the Body, trusting only in the presence of God, I will despise all those Terrors. Most certain I am that in his presence, there is a most safe and impregnable Refuge. For because the Lord is my Aid, I will not fear what Man can do unto me. The Lord is my Light and my Health: Whom shalt thou fear? If Armies were Encamped against me; my Heart shall not be afraid. Though I were to withstand the power of a whole Battel, my Confidence should be in God. VVe are to trust in God, so much the more, by how much the less we can trust to our selves. He [Page 148] ranges his Army under the Enemies VValls, who trusts in God. To trust in God is to be above all Enemies.

Sect. 48. VVhen it shall please God.

TO a Blessed Life a long Series of years contri­butes nothing, neither is Life to be reckoned by years or wrinkles, but by just performances. But that, When, disgusts the most part of Mortals. They know they are to die, and are willing to die, but not yet. They are willing to pay Nature her Debt, but not yet: They desire to be loos'd from the Chains of the Body, but not yet. So ingeni­ously do we poor Mortals rave: We desire an end of our Miseries, but not yet; we would be Blessed and Happy, but not yet. We would, and we would not die. We are unjust to complain at the same time, that we are miserable, and that our Mi­series are at an end. There is no reason to grieve or weep, when we cease to be what we were un­willing to be. Is it because thou wouldst have ma­ny steps to thy Death that thou buildest thy self so high a Gibbet; and is it because thou wouldst take a slow prospect of thy Funeral, that thou desirest so many years? Alas thou art to go either to day or to morrow.

Tobias the worthy Son of a most worthy old Man, but old himself, attain'd to the Ninety ninth year of his Age. Yet when Ninety nine years were expir'd in the fear of God, they Buried him with joy. Could Tobias, in our judgment, Exposlulate with God or complain. Why Lord, dost thou now break off my Life? Why didst not thou permit me to make up the full hundred? What other Answer would God return? It so pleas'd me: Now die, [Page 149] and reckon all thy past years as clear gain. There­fore we must die when it pleases God, not when it pleases Tobias, Raguel or Ananias.

But I know what deceives many. When Death knocks, we believe the Exactor comes before his time. Fools; then 'tis time; when it pleases God. Wherefore do ye delay? Wherefore do ye pre­tend immature Age? Wherefore do ye expect a Truce? Wherefore do ye think upon delay? Thou were ripe for Death long before: But grant thee thy own time, thou wilt be never the more ready or the more prepar'd. After all thou wilt desire delay, the more thou stay'st, perhaps the less pre­par'd. Delay has made many the worse. 'Tis a bad preparation for Death, to be unwilling to die. He has perform'd half of the Act who now is wil­ling. The desire of Death is to be shaken off, and thou art to learn, that it matters not when thou sufferest whatever it behoves thee to suffer. How well thou hast lived, is the main business, not how long; and often it happens well, when there is no delay. Therefore lay all hankering thoughts a­side; and thus resolve with thy self, whatever God pleases let that be done.

Sect. 49. VVe must have recourse to God in all things.

ALas! poor miserable Creatures; alas insipid Fools: When we are ill, we take our flight over the whole Orb with the wings of our Thoughts. We beg petty Comforts from things Created, with an ignominious Beggery. VVe call Friends and Enemies to our aid; we implore the help of all; only God we pass by: or at least apply our selves to him last of all. VVhat madness is this! to desire [Page 150] help from those that cannot afford it; not to de­sire it from him, who alone can give it us.

Therefore whenever, and as often as thou art ill, let thy first Groans, thy first Prayers, thy first Complaints be put up to God. Open thy Cause to God; declare to him all thy Sufferings. VVhere dost thou fly about the VVorld, and beg at the Cot­tages of Beggars? VVherefore dost thou bow in vain to every Coach that whirls by thee? Throw thy self at the Door of that only Rich Person who can free thy Soul from its necessities. Thus did Moses, who in all Cases of Doubt and Extremity had recourse to the Tabernacle, where he consulted God himself. Thus was Joshua deceived by the Gibeonites, because he would not consult God be­fore-hand. Apply thy self to God in thy Afflicti­ons, and upon all other occasions. The Woman that was troubled with an Issue of Blood for twelve years, and had suffered many things of many Phy­sicians, at length came to the Physician of Physici­ans; from whom alone she obtain'd that Cure, which she could not have from many in twelve years. It is a main matter to know from whom thou expectest a kindness. It is an Argument of extream Poverty to beg from Beggars.

Sect. 50.

VVE have said, that recourse must be had to God in every thing. Therefore a happy end is so desired from none but God. Of which I will annex a short Example.

First Prayer.
Eight Verses, chosen out of the Psalms of Da­vid by St. Bernard, which he is reported to have repeated every Day for a Happy Hour of Death.

ENlighten my Eyes that I sleep not in death; lest my Enemies say, I have prevailed against him, Psal. 12. v. 3, 4.

Into thy hands I recommend my Spirit; for thou hast redeemed me, O Lord, thou God of Truth, Psal. 31. v. 6.

At last I spake with my Tongue, Lord let me know my end, and the number of my days, that I may know how long I have to live, Psal. 39. v. 4, 5.

Shew some good token upon me for good, that they which hate me may see it; and be ashamed; because thou, Lord, hast holpen me and comforted me, Psal. 86. v. 17.

Thou hast broken my Bands in sunder; I will offer to thee the Sacrifice of Thanksgiving, and will call up­on the Name of the Lord, Psal. 116. v. 14, 15.

I had no place to fly to; and no Man car'd for my Soul.

I cry'd unto thee, O Lord, and said, Thou art my Hope and my Portion in the Land of the Living, Psal. 142. v. 5, 6.

Omnipotent Sempiternal God, who didst pro­long the Life of Hezekiah, miserably imploring thee; grant me thy unworthy Servant before the day of my Death, so much time to live, that I may be able to deplore all my Sins, and may obtain from thy Compassion, Pardon and Favour.

[Page 152] Omnipotent, Gracious, and Merciful God, I most humbly beseech thee, by the Death of thy Son, grant me a happy and a blessed Hour, when my Soul shall depart out of my Body.

Lord Jesu, Crucified Christ, by the Bitterness of the Death, which thou didst suffer for me upon the Cross, chiefly when thy Soul departed from thy Body, have Mercy on my Soul at the last Hour, who livest and reignest with the Father and the Ho­ly Ghost, for ever and for ever,


The Second Prayer.
For a Happy Departure.

MOST Merciful Lord Jesu, if this be the Con­dition of a Dying Man, if in such Dangers and Extremities my Spirit must depart out of this Life, whither shall I fly but unto thee, Oh my God? Do thou take care of my Soul, that it may not perish in that dreadful Hour. Grant me, I be­seech thee, according to the multitude of thy Mer­cies, and by that servent Love and Grief, where­with thou, who art Life it self didst die for me; that I may have the Combat of Corporal Death al­ways before my Eyes; and that living, I may so do, as, dying, I would desire to have done; and that I may expend my time and study in nothing more, than that I may Spiritually die to my self; and may mortifie all the Passions of my Sences; that so after this Life, I may live with thee, Hap­py and Blessed to all Eternity.

The Conclusion of the first Chapter. To the Reader.

DO this, meditate upon this, O Man; and while thou art well, learn to be sick, learn to die. To do both, is a rare piece of Art; which whether thou knowest or no, it is not lawful for thee to try; but when thou canst not err without the loss of Eternal Felicity. We err but once in dying, but that Error is never to be amended to all Eternity.

Therefore to abide, as being still to depart. But for the most part abide within thyself, and search every cranny of thy Conscience. Whatever thou enjoyest, look upon it as the Lumber of a place where there is no Habitation. Thou art not suffer­ed to carry out any more than thou brough [...]est in with thee. Therefore act and bestir thy self. Ap­prove thy selfright in the sight of God. Thou art to go hence. Believe that thou standest always at the Gate of Eternity Eternity is that we must look after. Pleasure is short; Punishment Eter­nal. The labour is Easie; the reward Everlast­ing.

Therefore we have given wholesom Instruction; we have taught, that Death is to be contemn'd, but the thoughts of it never to be laid aside. Now we will give the same Admonitions to the Sick.

CHAP. II. The Remembrance of Death is Recommended to the Sick.

Sect. 1. The Introduction; and whether Sick­ness be an Evil?

CAunus, is a Town in Caria, in a Pestilent Air, and unwholesom for the Inhabitant. These People when Stratonicus the Musician, and witty Man, beheld, he recited the Verse in Homer to them.

Like as the Leaves, just so the People are.

Thereby he taunted their Icterical, Yellowish and Wan Complexions. But when the Caunians had given him a very rugged Entertainment for defaming their City, as sickly and unwholesom, Stratonicus return'd upon them again; Must I not dare, said he, to call that a sickly place, where the dead walk? More wittily and more smartly than before.

But why do we deny, and lift up our Noses? We are most like to Leaves. Very plainly Job; Wilt thou break a Leaf, saith he, driven to and fro. As if he had said; When I am but a Leaf, liable to all the Inconveniences of Life, afraid of every Gust, wilt thou hasten me with the wind of thy in­dignation? I shall fall of my self, without any constraint of thine. Are not Men Leaves, whom [Page 155] Sickness, like dry Leaves and juiceless Flowers, tos [...]es to and fro, and variously sports with? Cle­ment of Alexandria, being of the same Opinion; Go to, said he, Men of an obscure Life, like the Gene­ration of Leaves, infirm Creatures, Images of Wa [...], things like shadows, frail, unsledg'd, living but the Life of one day. Certainly we are Leaves, shaken by every puff of wind. Sometimes a little Fever; what do I say? Nay a little Cough, a little drop falling upon the little wicket of the Throat, morti­fies this Leaf, and throws it into the Grave.

But whether or no is Sickness a Benefit, and Death an Evil? No, Mortal, no; it is not, saith Epictetus. Health well us'd is a good thing; ill us'd, a mischief: And therefore we may reap Benefit by Sickness. What dost thou say of Sickness? I wil shew thee its Nature; then I shall be quiet, I shall think my self well dealt with, I shall not flatter the Physician, I shall not wish for Death. What wouldst thou more? Whatever thou shalt give me, that will I make happy, prosperous, honourable, to be desir'd. But there are some that deny this, and say, Take heed of being sick, 'tis an ill thing. To them Epictetus again, That is as much as to say, saith he, Take heed that thou dost not feign three to be four, 'tis an ill thing. How evil? If we so think of it as we ought. What harm will it do me? Ra­ther will it not do me good? If therefore I so think of Poverty, Sick, or Troubles of Church or State, as I ought, is not that enough to me, will it not be pro­fitable.

Truth, Love thee, O Epictetus, How agreeable are all these things to Christian Doctrine? This Foundation being laid we shall here teach ye to be mindful of Death in Sickness, and not to be afraid of his coming.

Sect. 2. The sick Person to his Friends. To Sickness. To the beginning of a Mortal Disease. To Death. To Christ our Lord.

To his Friends.

Hence with your unseasonable mourning; This is not a place for Wailing, but for Prayer: But I depart early from you; Early, take heed ye mi­stake not; I was ripe for death as soon as I was born, yea, before I was born. What I was, when born, I know; a weak frail body, liable to all Re­proach, the Food of Sickness, the Victim of Death. Behold, who e're thou art, take Hope or Substance, to Morrow not to be, or else to be elsewhere.

To Sickness.

Must I then now be sick? The time is come for me to try my self. The couragious Man does not shew himself either in Battel or at Sea. There is a Courage also in the Bed of Sickness: Shall I leave a Feaver, or that me? We cannot always continue together: Hitherto I enjoyed Health, now my bu­siness is with Sickness. Sickness I know is the first Messenger of Death. I believe St. Gregory for that, who truly and piously; The Lord knocks, saith he, when by the anguish of Sickness, he declares the ap­proach of Death; to whom we presently open, if we receive him with Affection.

The very Fables teach me to receive this first Messenger of Death with a contented Mind. They relate, how that an old Man lay sick, and when Death was ready to snatch him away, the sick-man desired that he would defer the fatal blow awhile, [Page 157] till he made his Will, and prepared such other things as were necessary for so long a Journey. To whom Death; Fond Banquet for the Grave, said he, couldst thou not prepare in so many Years; that hast had so many warnings from me already? To whom the old Man; I take thy Truth to witness, I never had any warning from thee. To whom Death reply'd; Now I find old men will lye: A hundred, nay a thousand times I have admonished thee, when I took away not only thy equal in years, but also young Men, Children, Infants, while thou lookst and wepst: But I appeal to this Truth, forget­ful old man, did I not forewarn thee, when thy Eyes grew dim, thy Hair waxed grey, thy Ears grew deaf, all thy proud Senses defective, and thy whole Body wasted? These were my Messengers, these knockt at thy Doors, but thou wouldst not be spoken with; thou wert often and daily warn'd, I can stay no longer, come and go along with me. He ill prepares himself for Death, who prepares so late.

To the beginning of a mortal Distemper.

When I consider my Life, the multitude of my Sins, the small number of my Deeds, good God▪ I am pinn'd up, and in streights on every side: But it is better for me to fall into the hands of the Lord (for his mercies are manifold) than to live and multiply my years and my sins: What I should be, thou Lord, knowest full well. Perhaps I should fall from thy Graee, should I live longer' Death, thou art at hand; take me away, so that I may preserve the Favour of my God; or rather so that the Favour of God may preserve me, which is the only thing, O Christ Yesu, which I beg of thee, and through thee.

To Death.

Why with a slow Consumption, cruel Death,
Dost thou deprive me slowly of my Breath?
Such preparation needs not for my end:
Strike quickly then, for I will ne're contend.
Why shouldst thou spend thy Quiver on my head?
When one poor single blast will blow me dead.

For what is man? A batter'd and leaking Ship, that will split with one dash, without the force of a Tempest; the Body of man consisting of infirm and fluid parts, comely in the outward Linea­ments, not able to endure Cold, Heat or Labour, that consumes and wastes of it self, fearing its own nourishment, the plenty or want whereof is fre­quently the ruine of it; to himself only a profit­able and vitious nourishment, nicely to be looked after and preserved: A life enjoyed at pleasure, liable to a thousand Diseases, and without Diseases devour'd by it self. Do we admire at this once dy­ing, wherein thou mayst find private and con­cealed Deaths? His smell, his taste, his weariness, his watching, the humours of his Body, his meat and drink, to man are deadly.

To Christ.

I would not die, but live, he seeks to live,
That in thy love, O Christ, to die doth strive.

I do not stand in fear of those things, which thou, O God, dost appoint for me. I follow thee, O mer­ciful Father, I follow thee: And wherefore should I refuse, when thou callest me nearer to thee? 'Tis much better for me to be dissolved and be with Christ. This is that which I desire; For Christ is life to me, and Death is gain.

Sect. 3. An Antidote against Grief.

WHerefore art thou troubled? wherefore art thou perplexed? Thou art in the hand of God, and he takes care of thee. But thou art afflicted and sick. What evil can that be which pro­ceeds from the Fountain of Goodness? God would have thee to be his own, and therefore shuts thee up, and retains thee within the Lattices of Sick­ness, least thou shouldst go astray from Heaven.

A little Bird weary of the Cage, desires liberty; but while it is in the Cage, is both lov'd and sed by its Master: While she is at liberty, who can believe her free from the Fowler, or from the Snare? Thus believe me, it is a great thing to be the Captive of the Lord thy God, it is to be lookt upon as a great Favour, to be bound a little while, to be cut and wounded by him, that will spare thee to Eternity.

Sect. 4. Not always Draughts of Sweet­ness.

GOD sometimes, O sick Man, gives the Cups of bitterness; thou drankst the sweet Liquor while thou wert in health. VVhy dost thou make Faces? why dost thou refuse the Cup? Think up­on that of Job, Shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil. Ingrateful Mor­tals! we know not the Benefits we receive, but by losing them: Thou wilt be a good Valuer of lost Health for the future: Thou mayst remember also, that when thou wert in health, thou didst often recreate thy self beyond the bounds of Sobriety. [Page 160] Now therefore let me perswade thee, chearfully to take this bitter Cup, and bear this punishment imposed upon thee for thy former Ryots. For­merly at at the Latin Festivals, when the Chariot-Drivers strove for Victory, they that overcame drank Wormwood: Do thou now drink that thou mayst overcome.

He undeservedly Metheglin sips,
That to the bitter will not lay his lips.

Sect. 5. The contempt of Death is a Chri­stian Generosity.

NO Man ever govern'd his Life well, but he that contemned it. VVe are not so silly, but that we understand we must one day die; yet when Death approaches, we hang back, we tremble, we lament: But would not he appear to thee a very Fool, that should weep because he had not lived a thousand years before? These things are well coupled, thou neither wert, nor will be: thou art ordain'd for that point of time wherein thou liv'st, with that thou mayst extend, how far wouldst thou prolong? Why weepest thou? what is it thou wouldst have? thou losest thy labour: Thou shalt go thither, whi­ther all things created go. What is there that thou canst call a Novelty? Thou wert born under this Law: This hapned to thy Father, to thy Ancesters, to all before thee, and will happen to all that come after thee. It is established and decreed; Death seizes upon all; we are born to die. Consider in thy Mind the vast throng of those that went before thee, of those that are to follow thee, and those that are to go along with thee. Many thousands of Men and Creatures at this very moment that then fearest to die, are now making several and [Page 161] various Exits out of this World. Take a view of the whole World; the new, the unknown: Most certain it is, that every moment Millions are born and die, and many die the same death. Now couldst thou think that thou shouldst never come to that end, to which thou art always going. Death is a safe Road to Rest; neither is there any thing of evil in Death, but only the fear of Death: there­fore if we would live quietly, the Soul must be al­ways ready. Shall I fear my end, when I know I must have an end? when I know that all things have their end? Shall I fear my last gasp, that puts an end to all my Sighs? Why should I fear to restore that which I received upon that condition? But you will say, it is a difficult thing to contemn Death. 'Tis Death, but to him that knows how to Live.

He that his hours on Vertue doth expend,
Neither doth wish for, nor yet fears his end.

We do not deny, but that there is something ter­rible in Death; there we must learn, not to be afraid of it. No Man learns to be contented upon a Bed of Roses, to sit down at a Banquet; but this to be exercised, not to give way to Grief. He chearfully embraces Death, who has long composed himself to wait for it: And this is the greatest Ar­gument of a generous Mind, not to fear thy depar­ture: For he knows whither he shall go, that re­members from whence he came. Such a person was Theodosius the Emperour, of whom Saint Am­brojs was wont to say, I loved the man, whom when he died, was more grieved for the state of the Church, than for his own Condition. Therefore do thou make it thy business not to fear Death.

Sect. 6. An Example of the Contempt of Death.

NInachetus the Governour of Malaca in Judea, being commanded to resign his Authority, could not brook the Indignity, ignorant of true Honour and solid Vertue. Therefore making a Funeral Pile of Lignum Aloes, and other Odorifo­rous Woods, He spread a square Scaffold, which he had erected, near to the Pile, with rich Tape­stries and sumptuous Carpets: Then he appeared himself upon the Scaffold, glittering in a Robe of Tissue, set with precious Stones, and discoursed to the People of his Actions, and the whole Course of his Life: And having declared the Kindnesses which he had shewed the Captive Pottugalls, at a time of necessity; he most sadly and bitterly com­plain'd of his being undeservedly put by his Com­mand: Then reproaching the Ingratitude of the P [...]rtugalls, (such fatal Fury did his Ambition in­spire him with) he threw himself headlong into the burning Pile, a Contemner of Death.

Aelian relates a Contempt of Death not much unlike this. The end of Calamus, saith he, is wor­thy to be mentioned, if not to be admired. It was thus; When he had taken his leave of Alexander, the Macedonians, and a long life, he made him a Funeral Pile in the fairest part of the Suburbs of Pabylon, composed of Cedar, Cypress, Myr [...]le, Laurel, and o [...]her sweet Wood; and having per­formed his usual exercise of Running, he ascended the Pile, and stood Crown'd upon the heap of Wood; the Sun whom he Ador'd, shining all the while. Which done, he gave the Macedonians a Sign to kindle the Pile: Which being now all of [Page 163] a light Fire, Calanus wrapt up in Flames, stood still unmov'd, till he fell as the heap fell, and ex­pir'd in the midst of the Ashes. Alexander, ad­miring the Courage of the Man, is reported to have said, That Calanus had vanquish'd more Potent Ene­mies than he. For Alexander had wag'd War with Prous, Taxilus and Darius; but Calanus with La­bour and Death. Shall the vain Heathens shew so much Courage in Death, and Christians, trusting in God, be afraid and tremble? Death is not an evil, but the fear of Death is an evil. Let us, I beseech ye, examine things themselves, and not the Na­ture of things. If we believe Seneca, Death is the best Invention of Nature, the Remedy of all Evils. Why therefore do we fear at last? Immortal Peace, Eternal Joy will entertain us. Let us take Cou­rage from the despair of longer Life. Make that a Vertue, which would be necessity. Certainly a prudent Christian does nothing unwillingly; he avoids all necessity, because he wills what that would compel him to. Let us therefore do wil­lingly, what we cannot but do. Let us with a con­tented Mind expect our end, or rather our begin­ning. He shall be always serene and calm in his Mind who contem [...]s Death.

Sect. 7. A Man ready to dye.

ZENO, the Critick, as Swidas relates, as he was going out of his Schoole, chanc'd to stumble, and hurt his Toe. But he believing himself call'd to the Grave, strook the Ground with his Hand, ad­ding these Words, I come, Wherefore dost thou call me? Thus the old Man of Ninety Years of Age, died, without ever being Sick. Hunger was a great Friend to Zeno; for he frequently [...]asted till he [Page 164] fainted. But willingly Zeno made himself so sick, that he might not be sick, and that he might en­joy a quiet old Age, free from Diseases: Both he attained to according to his wish. Let us not won­der at the shortness of our Lives, nor the incer­tainty of our Health: For we wast our Health, and our Lives, with Giuttony and Drinking, never thinking our selves satisfied, till our cramm'd Bel­lies be as hard as a Drum. Ridiculous, yea, Mad Men, we shorten our Lives by those things, which ought to lengthen it. But that proceeds from this, because we will not be perswaded, that Abstinence has so great a power to prolong Life. But daily experience tells us, that the saying is true; so much food as you spare, so many days you add. But to the Business.

U [...]sinus, the Priest, as St. Gregory witnesses, be­ing comforted, with a Celestial Vision, in his Sleep, often cried out, I come, I come, I return thanks; and when he had declared to the standers by what he had seen, he repeated the same Words, I come, be­hold I come; and with these Words in his Mouth he expired.

A Mind prepared for Death, thus speaks, I come behold I come. 'Tis too late to layter here; we strive in vain against the Stream; Nature is a Mo­ther, not a Step-dame. Dost thou accuse Nature? O T [...]eophrastus, as if less favourable to Man than Beasts, certainly [...]e intended more to him than to them: For which is best, to suffer quickly what thou art no more to fear, or to fear long what thou art slowly to endure? Nature gives a long torment to Man, when she grants him a short Life.

—For always all Men must expect,
Their Day perfix'd.—

What art thou then afraid of? Is thy Life tak'n from thee? Not only so; but also the fear of Death [Page 165] and most Evils of Life. This is the general choice of most Men, rather to suffer quickly what we ought, than to continue long in fear and pain. There is little difference, saith the second Pliny, between suffering and expecting Misfortunes. Only that there is a Measure of Fear and not of Grief: For thou mayst bewail and grieve for what thou knowest has happened; thou fearest what may happen.

Therefore, come Death, I am thy Debtor, I will pay what I owe, when ever God requires me. Therefore freely, willingly,

Will I the number of my days compleat,
And straight surrender up my soul to sate.

Hoping to ascend from the dark Grave to everla­sting Light. Death is not an Evil, but Punishment after Death is an Evil.

Sect. 8. They fear Death, who foresee it not.

MOST certain it is, that nothing terrifies so much, as an unexpected necessity of dying. Behold how they, who are subject to the power of another, being commanded a long Journey, pack up their things in haste, sollicitous and sad; how they murmur because they had no longer warning. As they are upon their departure they often look back, pretending this and t'other Obstacle. Now there is no longer Journey than to Die; no way more crabbed, more dark, more hard to find, none more suspitious and infested with Robbers. Besides there is no return again. Therefore we must t [...]e more heedfully take care that we leave nothing be­hind. There is a necessity of going thither, fellow Souldiers, said the Roman Captain, from whence [Page 166] there is no necessity of returning. There is on­ly one remedy, to answer being called, and to obey being commanded! Alas, How improvident are they, who never take care to provide for thy Jour­ney? They take care to fare well, the rest they commit to Fortune.

Smyndirides, that debauched young Man, was wont to brag, that in Twenty Years, he had not seen the Sun rising or setting, being continually ei­ther a Bed or at his Riot. I fear one of you may find many like him among the Christians, who make Gluttony, Playing, and Drinking, their grea­test Business. To these will happen, that which Ci­cero, in his Epistles, foretold to Brutus. Believe me, saith he, you will be ruined unless you provide well. Thus it will happen to all unwary People, that want fore-sight. Foresight is necessary in all things, especially in those things that are never to be done but once; where one mistake draws a thousand along with it. This is the Condition of Death, one Error causes a thousand Mistakes. To err once there, is to perish eternally. O blind Mor­tals, it will happen to you, as it happens to them that shut their Eyes against their Enemies Swords, in a Battle, as if they were not to feel the danger which they see not. Ye shall be smitten, ye shall die, ye shall be sensible, and feel the stroke; but whether blind or seeing, that is at your choice. You refuse to think upon Death which you must shortly think upon and feel. The sufferance would soon follow when the Consideration precedes.

Sect. 9. They fear Death, who are negligent of Life.

NEither is there any Question to be made of this. They chiefly fear to die, who know not how to live; who believe no other Happiness but that of the Body. Who only know how to eat well, drink well, and sleep well, and place all their Heaven in pleasure; persons certainly most obedient, but to their Bellies, not to the Divine Will. Of whom St. Gregory truly said, They know not what the Celestial Souls desire, who set their Hearts upon Earthly Delights.

A prudent Christian, that takes no more care of the Body than of a mean and abject Slave, looks upon Death no otherwise than a Morning depar­ture out of a dark, unpleasant and incommodious Inn. Whoever thou art thou canst not fear thy Exit as of this Life, if thou hopest to enter into the other. Thy fear arises from hence. For though there are many causes vulgarly given of this fear; yet they all vanish upon the hopes of a more bles­sed Life. He who seriously aspires to Heaven fears not these Baubles. To such a Man, Labour, Sad­ness, Grief, Contempt, Ignominy, Loss, Servitude, Poverty, Old Age, are nothing else but the School of Experience, the Time of Patience, and the Ho­nour of Victory.

Sect. 10. Three Things hardly supportable in Sickness.

IN almost all Sickness three things are hardly sup­portable, Fear of Death, Pain of the Body, Dis­continuance [Page 168] from Pleasure. But as hot Diseases are Cur'd by cold, cold by hot Medicines, so are they Cur'd by their own Antidotes. Therefore the fear of Death is to be Cur'd by Love, but by Divine Love; a little Dose of Divine Love will dispel the fumes of vain fear. He that loves Christ will the less love Life; and shall perceive the love of Christ to him.

—By words alone this is not prov'd,
Love, Marcus, love if thou wouldst be belov'd.

Pain of the Body is to be asswag'd by tranquility of Conscience. A guiltless Mind is a wonderful Consolation to the Sick. And indeed a pure Con­science is a potent remedy against all Torments. That also asswages pain, as St. Gregory intimates in these words. More easily will the Sick Person en­dure pain, if he bear but this in his mind.

The most Just God will have me suffer this.

But Discontinuance from Pleasure, will nothing at all afflict him who thinks upon Eternal Joys. Those which leave, are vain, short, and filthy, and before they are forsaken frequently leave their ad­mirers; those which we promise our selves, Im­mense, Stable and Eternal. He easily contemns Fading Delights, who sincerely hopes for Eter­nal.

Sect. 11. Sickness the Sport of Vertue.

THou art well smitten, if they Conscience be smit­ten. Sickness is the School of Vertue; it is al­so called a kind of Slaughter-house of Vice, who­ever is sick is a Scholar in this School. On the o­ther side, Sickness is the Slaughter-house of Ver­tue to some, and the School of Vice; while they are well, they are mad. While they are well, they [Page 169] have a hundred Businesses; the Business of God is their last care. How many are Chaste, while they are Sick; when they recover they return to their former filthy Lusts. Such people would do better Sick, to whom health is so dangerous. These therefore God tyes them to the Bed of Sickness, that they may be at leisure to themselves, and may mind their Salvation: Forsake Vanity and look af­ter Heaven. Sickness intangles the Body in a thou­sand Miseries, but frees the Soul from as many. 'Tis the saying of St. Paul, Though our out­ward Man perish, yet the inward Man is 2 Cor. 4. v. 16. renewed day by day. Hence though Sickness seem evil, nay the worst of Sufferings, it then becomes the best, when it ren­ders the Sick Person more holy. Many when they feel the pain, correct the crime. A sick Soul sel­dom inhabits but in a healthy Body.

Sect. 12. The Sickness of the Body is the Salvation of the Soul.

SIckness exhorts to Parcimony; disswades from Lust, and is the Mistress of Modesty. Do thou lay aside all Care, whatever happens to the Body thou art safe, to the Mind be in health. For the sickness of the Body has been of great advantage in many to the health of the Soul. That sublime per­son rais'd from nothing, from the Water below, ele­vated to the Stars, who keeps the Keys of Hea­ven, whose only shadow expell'd the Distempers and Diseases of the Body; being once ask'd why he suffer'd his own Daughter to lye under the Op­pression of a violent Disease? made answer, It is convenient for her. How knowest thou but that it may be as convenient for thee? The same Person, [Page 171] when he found his Daughter might be safely Cur'd, recover'd her, and made her fit to Cure others. Do thou also take care that thy health may do thee good, and perhaps thou shalt recover. Lastly, take care of thy Soul above all things, and offer it up to the Heavenly Physician to be Cur'd. And as to what remains, hope if not for what is needful for, yet for what is convenient fot thee. Sickness is a very unpleasant Companion, but a faithful, which often pulls ye by the Sleeve, and admonishes thee of thy condition. A faithful Admonisher is a most certain fafeguard in danger. If the Sickness be remediless, be silent and rejoice, for that thou shalt be the sooner free from a loathsom and ruinous Prison. Most excellent was the saying of Gregory Nazianzene. A sick Soul is near to God.

Sect. 13. Sickness admonishes us of E­ternity.

HOW great a Benefit is this, that the Miseries of this present Life, by a short Experience should admonish us of Eternity. Therefore let the sick person labour to avoid infinite Miseries, while so impatiently endures the Bitternesses here; let him learn by pains not long lasting to avoid pains Eternal, which neither Pothecary nor Physician, no Drug nor Herb, not Death it self can Cure. There are several ways to Death; but, but one to Eternity.

Anaxagoras dying in a Foreign Countrey, when his Friends ask'd him, whether he would be car­ried back into his Countrey, There is no necessity, said he, and added the reason, for the way is wide enough every where to the Infernal Shades. This an­swer may as well be fit those who are Travelling [Page 170] up to Heaven. O happy and profitable Flame of a Fever, because short! O dreadful Funeral Piles of Hell, because Eternal.

Some Remedies are made out of some Poysons, and oft-times a small and present pain admonishes us to prevent the approach of Excessive pains that threaten to twinge us: And that which was trou­blesome became profitable. Thus every Disease the more it perplexes and torments us, the more it admonishes us of Eternity, either in perpetual Joy or Misery. Let the healthy take care, let the sick be mindful whither they go. Pleasure and Sorrow here are bounded within very narrow li­mits. All the Felicity of Mortals is Mortal; and within the same bounds are all Miseries restrain­ed.

For bright Eternity no limits knows.
So that, an Age of Time, a Tittle shows.

Sect. 14. Therefore is Death to be desir'd.

I Have said, Infirmity of Body is often to be de­sired, to the end thou maist be the sooner a Freeman and a Victor. This did he desire who said, Most gladly therefore will I glory in my infirmities. For my strength is 2 Cor. 12. v. 9, 10. made perfect in weakness; therefore have I delectation in Infirmities. As a good Sword may be often in a bad Scabbard, so in weak and sickly Body oft-times lyes hid a stout and cou­ragious Mind. That strength is to be desired which neither Time nor Fortune decays. A sick person is not fit to carry Burthens, or for digging and del­ving, but to exercise his patience, and maintain and increase his Faith. So a Shipboard, the stronger Row, but the more prudent stand at the Helm. [Page 172] Life is like a Ship, tossed with the Waves of Busi­ness, and the Sea of the World; it has its Oars, and its Helm. If thou canst not perform the meaner Offices, apply thy self to the more noble. The true and generous strength of Man is in his Soul. The Body, the Soul's House, how strong or how weak it is, is nothing to a Guest of a few days: If the House fall, there's a necessity of removing somewhere else; and being hence excluded, that necessity carries us unto a perpetual Mansion. Strength is perfected in weakness; so that al­though it seem so bad, yet is that evil so much the rather to be desi [...]d, as being the prevention of a greater. The condition of most is then most pro­sperous, when most infirm and weak.

Sect. 15. What is to be read in Sickness.

ZEm the Son of Demius, having consulted the Oracle to know how he might lead the best Life, had this answer given him. If he made him­self of the same colour with the dead, that is, if he conversed with the dead. Or as Suidas expounds it, if he read the writings of the Ancients. To dwell among Books, being to live among the dead. And this familiarity with the dead is the best Life. But it is the same madness to lay before the Sick whole Libraries, and huge Volumes, as to set be­fore them full Meals of Flesh. A little Broth or a small Sallet must serve them, so a little Book is e­nough for them for several Months: However still something is to be read to the Sick, if the Disease and Pain will give leave, but they are to be read as they eat. What they eat, they do not presently swallow, but chew first. So what they read, they must not carelesly pass over, but they are to consi­der, [Page 173] and as it were to weigh every little sentence. Otherwise to read is to neglect. But let the Sick Mans only Book be Christ Crucified. Let him read that Book continually, wherein he will find as ma­ny Comforts, as Words and Wounds.

Sect. 16. In Sickness we are often to pray.

SO I say we must always pray in sickness. Nei­ther is this a thing of any great difficulty to a sick person. For either with his Tongue if he have strength enough, may he pronounce his Pray­ers to God. Or if his Tongue be numm'd, or that his voice be intercepted by weakness, a suppliant Mind is to be lifted up to Heaven, while the Body lyes quiet, but only for some ardent groans that distinguish these private Colloquies with God in Sickness. But there is also a sort of Sickness that does not only interrupt the voice, but even op­presses the very Soul it self: But then Patience and Suffering are to be offered up for Prayers to God, to whom Pain is a grateful Sacrifice, so that Pati­ence be joined with it. He prays well, who suffers well. Neither may he be said to pray, but to ob­tain by Prayer of God, who sends such Eloquent Messengers to him as Pain and Patience. But let him be such a sick person, whose Speech may be interrupted, whose Mind may be broken, and whose Patience may be at a loss. Yet there is a way for him to pray. Let him look about, he shall see some sitting, some standing by him, ready to help and assist him. How easie is it then to cast in a word by the by; how easie is it for him to point or cry to his Friend, say this Prayer, read this Psalm, or that Paragraph. Who so hard-heart­ed, as to deny so small a Duty to the Sick? So [Page 174] that when a sick person cannot pray with his own, he may with anothers Lips. And therefore I re­peat this again, Pray always in Sickness. We can never unseasonably have recourse to God.

Sect. 17. In Pain, and at other times, what is to be meditated upon, what to be done every day.

A Man that trusts in God, though oppressed with Miseries, and full of Pain, may rightly say this; while I breathe I hope, and so much al­ways the better the nearer to my end I find my self. Seneca has most excellently Philosophized concerning pain. No Man, saith he, can feel ex­cessive pain and long; for thus has Nature most fav [...] able to us ordered it, that pain should be either tolera­ble or short. For the intense excess of grief finds a end. Therefore this is the Comfort of vast pa [...] that thou must of necessity cease to feel it, if tho [...] feelest it over-much. But this is that which trou­bles the unskilful in the pains of the Body: They are not content with their Souls alone, they have still so much Business with the Body. And there­fore O Sick Person, accustom thy self by degrees to wean thy Soul from thy Body, and to converse with thy better and more Divine part; but with thy Body, the frail and weak part no more that needs must. And though pain is seldom so con­stant but that it has some intermission; therefore do not think that all Exercise of the Soul is to be omitted, when thou lyest sick, when thou feeles pain. Above all things, take care that thy Morn­ing Prayers, and thy Evening Examination of thy Conscience, as much as in thee lyes, may make [...] due progress: If thy Tongue fail thee, let th [...] [Page 175] Mind pray. Never begin the Night, nor compose thy self to sleep, till thou hast examined thy Con­science: In the day-time when thy pain ceases or relaxes, take a good Book, and there read and weigh every Period; every Day set aside a small Hour for Prayer, pious Groans, and humble Ejacu­lations; so thou wilt believe thy self to have pray'd an Hour in Heaven.

At the beginning and end of all thy Prayers, re­fer thy self wholly to the will of God with a pre­pared Obedience. All which things are so far from difficulty, that a dying man may perform them, as well as he whose Pain is not so severe. If thou canst not, or rather will not perform these Duties, yet for that one little Hour patiently endure thy Pains: Make not thy Misery more intollerable than it is, nor burthen thy self with Complaints. Pain is the Lighter of Opinion and Conceit, and not to the Weight. On the other side, if thou beginst to exhort thy self, and say, 'Tis nothing, or else it is very little, let us endure, it will be over by and by; thou wilt make it easie while thou believ'st it so. Every Man is miserable as far as he believes him­self to be so.

Sect. 18. We are of one Opinion in Health, of another in Sickness.

LAcides the Philosopher, when he had lost the most of his Houshold-Goods; We dispute, saith he, otherwise in the Schools than we live at home. Thus the Healthy well suggest a thousand Conso­lations to the Sick: But where is that sick person who is able to comfort himself. How like Glass is our Srength, crackt with the least crush. We think our selves made of Brass, when we are in health, [Page 176] and in a manner challenge pain; but when they come, we fly them, we fall, we lie down before any Conflict with the Enemy. We are Men, thou sayst, and dying Bodies are not able to endure the force of Pain, I deny not but that Humane Bodies are frail, yet not so infirm, but that they have strength enough to endure any Affliction; unless the Mind be weaker than the Body: 'Tis our soft­ness that causes so many Deserters of Courage, while they refuse all Extremities as intollerable: But Courage dies, if you take away the Subject of it, which is, Difficulty.

Sect. 19. Pious Ejaculations to God in all Sickness and Infirmity.

O Lord, my Strength, my Power and Refuge in time of Trouble, Jer. 16. v. 19.

It is the Lord, let him do what seemeth him good, 1 Sam. 3. v. [...]8.

O Father, Let Job be well tried, because he hath answered for wicked men, Job 34. v. 36.

Before I was troubled, I went wrong; but now have I kept thy Word, Psalm 119.

Therefore have I delectation in Infirmities, in Re­bukes, in Necessity, in Persecutions, in Anguishes, for Christ's sake; for when I am weak, then am I strong. 2 Cor. 12. 10.

And now, O Lord, deal with me according to thy will, and command my Spirit to be received in peace. Tobias, c. 3. v. 6.

Sect. 20. Certain Vices of Sick-people.

  • FIrst, To listen after Curiosities, News and Tri­fles.
  • 2. Not to give Ear to the Admonitions of Death.
  • 3. To complain of those that look after them.
  • 4. To refuse their Dyet as ill drest.
  • 5. To find fault with the Bed, as ill made.
  • 6. To believe they are not well lookt after, and therefore to murmur and be angry.
  • 7. Seldom to discourse of God and divine things.
  • 8. Not to be resign'd in all things, and submis­sive to the will of God.
  • 9. To believe some things intollerable, and not digest all things with a Christian Patience.

Now I would sain know of thee, O sick Man, what concerns it thee, what is transacted in Germany, France, Italy, or Spain? Do thou rather enquire what is done in Heaven among the Saints? Or what is done in Hell, among the Cursed. Let the dead bury the dead. Do thou only mind thy Sal­vation; that's the onely one thing necessary. VVhat hast thou to do with News and false Reports? Thou dost not profit thy self thereby, but offend others. Why art thou angry with those that mind thee of the approaching danger? Know 'em, they are the Heralds of Death. I beseech thee do not imitate those old Men, many of which perhaps thou hast known, to whom it was death to hear any one dis­ccursing of Death. Hast thou not hitherto profited more then so childishly to fear Death? Hast thou not learnt in so many years calmly, quietly, and undisturbedly to die? What art thou afraid o [...]? Commit thy self entirely to the wil of God, and [Page 178] thy business is almost done. If thou wilt believe those who have had a large prospect into Truth; All life is a punishment.

Here I seasonably cite to thee the words of the wise Roman: Being thrown, saith he, into this deep and unquiet Sea, flowing with uncertain Tydes, now advancing us with sudden encrease of Riches, now again leaving us upon the barren Sands of greater Losses, we can never stand fixt in any place. We float up and down, are washt one against another, and some­times we make an absolute Shipwrack, but are al­ways in fear. Neither is there any Port, but that of Death, to them that sail in this stormy and tem­pestuous Ocean.

But every Mans Credulity deceives him, and a willing forgetfulness of Death, for the sake of those things which he loves. Daily we behold the Fu­nerals of persons known and unknown, yet we mind other business, and account that unexpected, which was foretold us all our life-time before. 'Tis not the injustice of Nature, but the depravedness of humane Reason that takes it ill to forsake that place, to which it was admitted but of Courtesie, He is unjust who will not leave the disposal of the Gift to him that gave it. And an extream piece of Covetousness it is, not to look upon what a man has received as gain, but what he restores as a loss. Ingrateful is he that calls the end of Pleasure an In­jury. A Fool, who thinks there is no good but what is present; immediately all pleasure leaves us, and is snatcht away almost before it comes. Over­narrow and circumscrib'd are his Joys, who thinks he possesses only what he has and sees. Therefore let us rejoyce for what is given, and restore it when 'tis requir'd Death seises upon one at one time, he will pass by none. Therefore let the Soul lie upon the watch, and never be afraid of that [Page 179] which will necessarily happen, which is uncertain, and always to be expected. I know not whether it be a greater piece of Folly to be ignorant of that Law of Morality, or more impudent to deny it. All Men, all Creatures look toward their latter end; who ever is born, is destin'd to die, and prepared for an Eternity.

Sect. 21. Certain Theses which the Sick are to contend against with all their might.

The first, Concerning God.

TIs an Impiety against God, the chief Parent of the World, to complain in the least, as if he should send a Sickness either too troublesome, or too unseasonable. Rather let us say with Job, As the Lord pleases, let it be done, the Name of the Lord be praised. And with the blessed Quire, let us sing, He hath justly done all things; For whether God wound or heal, he shews the Care and Affection of a most compassionate Father to­wards us.

The second, Concerning the sick Party himself.

A more violent Disease requires not longer or more constant Prayers, but a longer and more con­stant Patience; by which whatever is accounted difficult, is more easily performed. The seasonings that make Sickness pleasant, are frequent Groans to Heaven, the remembrance of Afflictions suffered by all the Saints. Repeated Ejaculations, sometimes to the Holy Trinity, sometimes to Christ for con­stant [Page 180] Patience, and a happy passage out of this Life.

The Third, Concerning other Men.

We are to submit as well to the Physicians of the Body, as the Soul. To those that come to visit us in Sickness, we are to shew a good Example of Pa­tience and a composed Mind. And though the Dis­ease be grievous, though many things afflict us, though some things displease us, other things are not done to our minds, never to fret and murmur. All our Troubles are to be season'd with the hope of Reward. Our Deeds and Sayings to be rendred commendable by Submission and Patience.

Sect. 22. The Thirst of a Sick-man, how to be cur'd.

MOst sick People are afflicted with Thirst, espe­cially they that are in Feavers. We will shew them Fountains, whence they may take their fill.

A Thief notorious for the murther of several, was taken in the lower Austria, and fastned to the Wheel, where his Thighs were first broken, to prolong the Torment of an extraordinary Criminal, for a terrour to others. But this Malefactor shew'd himself a man, and began to be a most Religious Christian in the midst of his Torments; for at every word, he breath'd out nothing but Patience and Repentance. He called upon God continually, implor'd Pardon for his Crimes, and like a Preach­er, began to dehort the Standers by from wicked Courses, such as he had taken. By this it grew to­wards [Page 181] Evening, when the Multitude flockt, some as Comforters of so great a Sufferer; though in­deed only as Spectators of a generous Patience. For he prostrate to his Punishment, that he might find a better Life, asswag'd his present Pain with the Hope of future Happiness; and gave God thanks, who in his Wrath had remembered Mercy, and had chastiz'd him to spare him. But in that slow Torment, which it was thought would have lasted three days, he only pray'd a quick Death to end the Fury of his Pains, or the opportunity of a Shower to asswage his burning Heat and Drought. It was observ'd that he had the Assistance of both; for towards Sun-set there fell a plentiful Shower, and in short, while after his Torments and his Life ended both together.

Behold, O Christian, thou hast also thy Wheel, though a more gentle one; thou art ty'd to thy Bed as to that Wheel: And perhaps not only Pain but Drought may afflict thee. Therefore that a sea­sonable Shower may fall upon thee, cause thy Bed to be made in Golgotha, at the foot of that Cross, to which the Saviour of the World was nail'd, from whose Body fell Showers of Blood. There drink, there refresh thy self, there satisfie thy self; being we'lassured that thou shalt be the more perfectly cured, the more largely thou drinkest.

Sect. 23. The Sick-man's Handkerchief.

CRosildis the Queen of the Franks, as Gregory Turonicus reports, being cruelly used by Ama­lanc her Husband, sent a white linnen Cloth dipt in her Blood, to her Brother Childebert, as much as if she should have wrote to her Brother, and have sayd, Seest thou these Marks, Childebert, and canst [Page 182] thou brook them? Canst thou behold the Suffer­ings of a Sister and wink at them? Wilt thou not revenge and defend me.

Behold, O Sick-man, Christ sends thee a Hand­kerchief, nay two; the one from Mount Olivet, li­liberally dyed in his Blood; in the other, thou feest his Face besmear'd with Sweat, Spittle, Blood, and Tears, while he dragg'd his own Cross to Gol­gotha. These linnen Cloaths Christ sends to thee be-purll'd with his Blood, wherein he has wrote these words; This Sweat, O mortals, your Sins for­ced from me: Can you see these and not abandon your former wicked life? Certainly no person more truly be­wails suffering Christ, than he who begins to hate those things for which Christ suffered.

Sect. 24. The Sick man's Bed.

THE Sick-mans Bed burns, though upon Sar­danapalus's Down, or the Roses of Smyndyrides, is, may be soft. Smyndirides a young man, famous for his Effeminacy, finding that the tender Fea­thers hurt his Skin, would needs try whether he could lie any softer upon a Bed of Roses, and yet that fragrant and soft Lodging was too hard for his delicate and tender Sides, because the Feathers had wheal'd his Skin the Night before.

A Sick-man, though he lay upon Hare's-wool, or Partridge Feathers, would think he lay hard. But he is to be pardon'd, his Pains cause him to com­plain. But we can shew you Beds much more un­easie. Laurence the Martyr, had a beginning Grid­iron for his Bed. After him Vincentius the Martyr, and many others. This was a hard and uneasie Bed indeed, yet Love made it soft and easie.

The Persians formerly inflicted a most severe [Page 183] Punishment upon the Persians, which was called Scaphismus,; for the Christian that was to be tor­mented, was layd upon his Back between two hol­low pieces of Wood, with his Head, Hands and Feet out: For his Food, he had Honey and Milk, poured into his Mouth against his will. Thus in the Day-time he was exposed to the heat of the Sun, with his Eye-lids distended upward and down­ward. His Head, Hands and Feet were also at the same time anointed with Honey, which brought in­finite swarms of Flies and Wasps to feed upon his bare Flesh, so that the Corruption extending to the enclosed parts, engendred Worms; which to­gether with the Flies and Wasps made a tedious. Banquet upon his miserable Carcase. And this Tor­ment was the Martyr forced to endure, sometimes fifteen, sometimes seventeen, and sometimes more Days together. Consider this Bed, O Sick man, this miserable and tormenting Lodging of a suffer­ing Martyr; How gentle are thy Pains to his! How soft is thy Bed to this! How is thy Disease a matter of nothing to these Torments! Be silent therefore, and preserve thy Patience. He that is a Companion of the Cross, shall be a Companion of Paradise. It was an excellent Saying of the blessed Salvianus; To me it seems to be a kind of health, for a man to be only sometimes in health.

Sect. 25. The Garden of Christ is the de­light of a Sick-man.

WHen Jesus had spoken these words, he went forth with his Disciples over the Brook Kedron, where was a Garden, into which he entred and his Disciples, John 18. v. 1. Enter this Garden, O Sick-man, all the Saints invite thee: Here shalt thou hear things [Page 184] to be admir'd, and see things more wonderful. In this Garden, Joy it self began to grow sad. My Soul is exceeding heavy, even to death, tarry ye here and watch. I beseech thee, let these words con­cern thee, O sick Man. Tarry here a while, and watch with thy Lord. The Spirit is ready, but the Flesh is frail. O Father, if thou wilt, remove this Cup from me, nevertheless, not my will, but thine be done. Yet the third time he reiterates this Prayer: Father if this Cup cannot pass from me unless I drink it, thy will be done. In these streights, O Christ, there is no Man living that can mitigate the least of thy pains: None that can supply thy place, that can give the least word of Consolation to thy Sor­rows. Thy chiefest Friends forsake, thy Disciples more forward in their Tongues than Hearts, re­nounce thee; a little before prepar'd to be bound and die with thee, anon seeking which way to save themselves by flight. Only thou alone, O Christ, watchest, prayest; thou dost both labour and sweat. O happy Garden, be purpled by thy Lord, and studded as it were, with the starry drops of his Blood. Thou heardst those groans and sobs, those sighs intermix'd with Tears, those Pray­ers interrupted with deadly Moans; privy to the Sorrows that overwhelmed Christ, to the Sleep, that seized his Disciples. Others talk of the Gar­dens of Adonis and Alcinous; they were Trifles, wild Fields overgrown with Brambles, compared to thee. The Elysian Fields are nothing in respect of thy Dignity. Nor should I err, to say, thou wert a Paradise more happy than the first. O happy Earth, that drankest the Blood of thy Lord, on which before ne're fell so precious a Dew. But, Oh Earth, didst not thou blush to be prest with so Sacred a weight; to be sprinkled with so noble a Liquor. Yes certainly, thou didst begin to blush, [Page 185] be-scarleted with that most precious Vermillion, when the new Gardener had watered thee with his Distilling Purple. From this Gardener let the sick Man learn to pray. In this Garden to gather Posies, is to join together several Acts of Pati­ence.

Sect. 26. Christ's Bed among the Olives.

THere is no more effectual Comfort to a sick Man than that Bed of Christ in the Shades of Olivet. But Oh! 'tis very hard and full of pain. Behold and attend. No sooner was Christ entered into the Garden, but he began to fear, look pale, be troubled, groan, display his sadness, confess his heaviness, betray his Anguish in his Countenance, to desire Companions in his watching and his pray­ers, often to go and return to and fro from his Com­pany, yet no comfort or quiet could he find. And then behold again how he falls upon his Knees, how he intreats the wrathful Father, how he in­terrupts his words with sighs, and begs that the Cup may be removed, yet not desiring his own, but the will of the Father to be done. How he wi­ped off the trickling Sweat from his bloody Cheeks. In this Fatal Bed of Earth, O Spectacle to be be­wailed of Men! Even to be lamented by the Angels themselves. And his Luke 22. v. 44. Sweat was like drops of Blood trickling down to the ground. Thus Christ wept and lamented with his whole Body; the Tears and those bloody ones burst forth every where. Such haste did the Divine Love make to our Salvation, that by Bands seemed to him to be delayed, the Scourge and Pill [...]r to be tardy, and the Thorns and Nails to tarry too long; the very Cross it self [Page 186] seemed to be deferred. So God loved the World. O immense Love, for the fulfilling whereof, one Death was not enough, which before Death, cau­sed Life it self to die; so that the most Loving Je­sus, was constrained to perish Limb by Limb, to consume Drop by Drop, and by the slow distilling of his Blood to breath out his Soul several ways: And yet he loved more, than he suffered; and more he desired to endure, than Humane Nature was able to bear. Death seemed to him the slight­est of his Punishments, nor was it enough for him to die once in Golgotha, unless he had died before in Gethseman. It had been a small thing for him to have expired between Thieves, had he not reaked before with bloody Sweat, to shew how he had been Scourged. O Christ! As yet the Roman Executioner does not appear, the hooked Wyre does not yet tear thy Flesh. The great Nails are not yet driven through thy Hands and Feet, and yet already such plentiful Fountains of Blood flow from thee. What will become of thee to Mor­row, when thy whole Body shall be but one Pool, one continued Wound? To day only Rivers, to Morrow Seas of Blood will flow, and this little Bed among the Olives will seem soft in respect of that cruel and severe Lodging upon the Cross.

In either of these, O my sick Friend, lay thy self down, and thou wilt presently feel ease from all thy pains. Thou wilt easily bear thy own, when thou considerest the Torments of thy Lord.

Sect. 27. The Consent and Harmony of Hu­mane with Divine Will.

AS there is nothing more easie for the healthy, for the sick, or for dying persons to do, so there is nothing more profitable than to will what God will. This is to be practised Day and Night, Morning, Noon and Evening perpetually, con­stantly, by Sick and Healthy, and by all Men. E­pictetus was a most wise Doctor in this, by the ba [...]e Instructions of Nature. I think that better, saith he, what God will have done, than what I my self. I wait upon him as a Servant; I desire what he desires; I wish for what he wishes. Whatever his will is that is mine. And that he may shew the manner how, in all Humane Affairs the will of God is to be fol­lowed, adding this Moreover. Always, saith he, I chuse to will that which is done. For whatever is done (sin excepted) is done by the will of God. For which reason this most wise Philosopher admonish­ing every Man; never require that those things which are done, should be done according to thy Disposal. But if thou art wise, be content that things are done as they are. He that accommo­dates himself to necessity is wise, and is privy to the Humane Mysteries.

Epictetus discoursing more affirmatively of con­forming the will of Man to the Divine Will; I should desire, saith he, to be seized by death, employ­ed in no other business than in curing my will, that being free from trouble and impediment I might say to God, Have I ever violated thy Precepts? Have I misapplied the parts which thou gavest me? Have I ever accused thee? Have I ever found fault with thy Government? I fell sick because it was thy will. Others fell sick [Page 188] but I willingly. It was thy will, I should be poor, I was content. I never was in command, because it was thy Will. I never for that reason covered or sought af­ter Honour. Didst thou ever see me the sadder for this? Did I ever approach thee with a Countenance chearful? Prepared to obey whatever thou commandest. Wouldest thou have me abandon the Gaiety of Masks? I am gon. And I return thee most hearty thanks that thou wilt be pleased to admit me to thy Enterludes, to behold thy Works, and understand thy manner and order of Government. Let such a Death as this seize upon me, either Thinking, VVriting or Reading.

O Heavens! How like a Christian, how like a Wise Man, how like a Divine Person! What do we do, O Christians? What shame possesses us if we blush not at these things? We are Brute Beasts, yea, Stones and Rocks, if our Sences return not to us, upon this bright and resplendent Information of Nature. But let the Rebels to Divine Will hear­ken; let them hear and answer to Epictetus, re­quiring from them nothing but what is iust. Shew me, saith he, any one who is sick and happy, in dan­ger and happy; that dies and is blessed. Shew me, saith he, a Mind that is of Gods Mind, one that never accuses God nor Men, finds fault with nothing that be­falls him, who is in wrath with no Man, who envies no Man; then shew me the person, who of a Man de­sires to become a God. Certainly it may be done by this Conjunction of wills. Therefore let not the sick person refuse to be wise with the same Epicte­tus: And set him say, Carry me, O God, and thy Divine Will, whither I am by thee appointed. For I will follow cheerfully. For if I obstinately and wickedly hang back, I shall be compelled to fol­low. Therefore if it be the will of God, let it be done.

Therfore let us in all things, in Sickness, in [Page 189] Death, submit to the Will of God; or let us con­fess our Antipathy and Aversion against all that is good and right: He desires to be wicked, who for the nonce refused to be good.

Sect. 28. Dèspair to be prevented.

THere is nothing more dangerous than despair; nor can the Enemy of Salvation find out any thing worse for Man. For all other things are mi­tigated by their own Cures. This is the chiefest and the last of Mischiefs, so that when it oppresses the Departing Soul, there is no room for any reme­dy. Therefore is it always, especially in the end, more vehemently to be withstood, because it then presses on with greater force, and there is no de­laying such Councils as are fit to be taken for thy Salvation. The neglect of the last Hour is altoge­ther irreparable. He shall never rise again, whose fall is deadly there. Therefore at length awake, O sick Man; 'tis better never wake till the E­vening. What is ill delayed, is worse omitted. Lift up thy Eyes to Heaven; the Breast of thy Cru­cified Lord is always open, his Embraces always expanded; his Wounds always prepared to health. Neither is there any necessity of long Prayers. Repent that thou hast been in an Error, and thy desire possibly is granted Say from thy Heart, I have sinned. Thou maist hope God is propitious to thee. Promise amendment; and thou maist obtain pardon. There is no sin of Man so great, but the Mercy of God is above it. Hope for this; Hope maketh not a­sh [...]med. Cor. 5. v. 5. Psal. 145. Isa. 50. v. 2. The Lord is loving unto evert Man; and his Mercy is over all his Works. Here the Lord himself. Is [Page 190] my hand shortened, that it might not help? or have I not power to deliver?

But we are for the most part altogether deceiv­ed: Fervent in sin; after sin committed, cold. We exult in sin, despair when we remember our sins. Many sin out of hopes of pardon. Both bad, but this latter far worse. Therefore cast away that fatal burthen of sin: There is one, who being sought to, will take it from thy Shoulders, who has taken greater burthens from others; to whom there is nothing hard or difficult. Only do thou make no delay. And though there be no excuse for a slothful delay; yet a late amendment is not without commendation. It is better to repent late than never. Therefore take to thy self Courage and Breath; a few Tears will extinguish the Flames of Hell. An humble and a contrite Heart God will not despise.

Sect. 29. The hope of better Life mitigates our Miseries.

VVIth Seneca, I demand of thee, O my sick Friend, why dost thou wonder at thy Miseries? Thou art Born therefore, that thou shouldst lose, that thou shouldst perish, that thou shouldst hope, that thou shouldst fear, that thou shouldst disquiet others and thy self too, that thou shouldst fear and wish for death, and which is more, that thou shouldst never know thy conditi­on, nor when thou wert safe. Besides that every thing of future is uncertain, only that we are cer­tain to decay for the worse; the Journey to Hea­ven is more easie, when we have dismissed our Thoughts from worldly Conversation. For so they become lighter and freer from Dregs. Great Ge­nius's [Page 191] never covet a long stay in the Body, they long to be gone; they hardly brook these narrow, they desire to wander through sublimity, and take a prospect from above of things below. Therefore it is that Plato cries out, The Soul of a wise Man al­ways leans towards Death. This it desires, this it meditates upon, covetous of higher Objects. And how clear is that of Plato, concerning a better Life? He, saith he, that spends his Life in the study of Wisdom, seems to be the person who will die with con­fidence, full of good hope, that he shall obtain great re­wards, if he die. This the Ancients saw in the dark; and thou canst not see it by the light of the Sun. What then, my sick Friend, do the things of the Earth trouble thee? Shortly thou shalt in­habit Heaven. Thither aspire. and whatever mise­ries thou feelest, thou wilt feel them the less.

Sect. 30. True Hope is a Blessed Life:

I Do not for this make use of either Poets or Phi­losophers. 'Tis a serious thing. I will drink to thee out of the Fountain of Divine Eloquence. Therefore lay aside thy sadness, and with a certain hope, say with the Doctor of the World, I know whom I have believed, and I am 2 Tim. 1. 12. perswaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed to him against that day. Wherefore art thou afraid, O Man, of short hope? hear the Son of Syras, Who feareth the Lord, stand­eth in awe of no Man, and is not afraid, for the Lord is his hope and strength. Bles­sed c. 34. v. 14, &c. is the Soul of him that feareth the Lord; in whom putteth he his trust, and who is his strength? The Eyes of the Lord have respect unt [...] them that love him, he is their mighty protection [Page 192] and strong ground, a defence for the health, a refuge for the hot of noon day, a succour for stumbling, and a help for falling. He setteth up the Soul, and light­neth the Eyes; he giveth health, life, and blessing. The Kingly Prophet how C [...]uragious is he. how un­daunted, having a prospect of his own Funeral. I will lay me down in peace, Psal. 4. v. 9. and take my rest; for it is thou Lord only that makest me dwell in safety. What that safety is, he expresses in another place. For thou hast been my hope, and a Psal. 61. v. 3, 4. strong Tower for me against the Enemy. I will dwell in thy Tabernacle for ever; and my trust shall be under the covering of thy wings. But thou wile say, my Impatience makes me hope ill: Here I will help thee again: Cry with David, Thou art my hope, even from my Psal. 61. v. 4. youth. Frequently this King cry'd out. God is my Salvation, God is my Hope; and also exhorts others to do the same: Trust in him, O ye people, pour out your hearts before him. Where­fore dost thou not follow him that goes crying so loudly before thee? Say therefore from thy Soul, O think upon thy Servant accord­ing Psal. 119 to thy word, wherein thou hast caused me to put my trust: The same is my Comfort in my Trouble. And with Jeremy the Prophet. I nevertheless obediently followed thee as a Jer. 17. v. 16, 17. Shepherd, and have not taken this Office upon me uncalled. Thou knowest it well. Be not thou terrible unto me, O Lord. For thou art he in whom I hope, when I am in peril. Hear him in another place. Leave 31. 16. off from weeping and crying, with-hold thine Eyes from Tears, for thy labour shall be re­warded, &c. Job is most confident in [Page 193] this. Though he slay me I will trust in him. Job 13. 15. The same he utters upon the brink of Death. After darkness I hope for light. Was there ever, saith the Son of Syrach, any one con­founded that put his trust in the Lord? Whoever conti­nued in his fear and was forsaken? Or whoever did he despise that called faithfully upon him? For God is Gracious and Merciful. He forgiveth sins in the time of Trouble, and is a defender of all that seek him in the Truth. And Hosea, Therefore hope still in thy God; for, whoever put their trust C. 12. 6. in God, are not overcome; Besides That the Lord is good unto them that put their 1 Mac. 2 61. Lam. 3. 25, 26. trust in him, and to the Soul that seeketh af­ter him. The good Man with stilness and patience expecteth the health of the Lord. Tru­ly, saith Nahum, the Lord is Gracious, and a strong hold in the day of Tribulation, and knoweth them that trust in him. And we 1 John 3. 2. also know, saith St. John, that when he shall appear we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. And every Man that has this hope in him, purgeth himself, even as he is also pure. Hope therefore most firmly in Ps. 116. v. 9. the Goodness of God, and thou shalt walk before the Lord in the Land of the Liv­ing.

Sect. 31. Tranquility proceeds from true Hope.

TUrn again, O my Soul into thy rest, for the Lord hath rewarded thee. Art thou wearied with so many sorts of Labour; behold, the Lord is at hand, and he will put an end to all thy Labours. The beginning of thy rest is Sickness and Death. [Page 194] Cease therefore, O my Soul, to be willing to be miserable, and to consume thy self with so much turmoiling. Painful Beginnings thou wilt say. 'Tis very true. But thou knowst that no days are less quiet than those that are next to rest. No days less Holidays than those that precede Festivals. So it is with thee. But thy rest shall be Eternal. The preparation tires thee, shortly the Paschal without end shall follow. Go to then, and expend a little Labour and Grief. By and by thou shalt behold the Gate, not that which leads out of this Life; but that which leads to Eternity. Then hadst thou but begun to labour, it would prove sufficient, if he for whom thou labourest think it so. Therefore, O my Soul, dismiss vain things to vain people, and turn thee to the Lord who hath rewarded thee. His Mercies toward thee hath been innumerable; thou maist sooner number the Sand of the Sea than them; by which he designs to open thee the way to Heaven. Bernardus Clarevallensis recommended this particularly to his Friends, to cast the Anchor of their hope in the safe Bay of Divine Mercy. Therefore let that Verse of the Psal­mist. In thee, O Lord. have I put my Psal. 31. 1, trust, let me never be put to confusion.

Sect. 32. Comfort in Pain.

THen should I have some comfort, yea I would desire him in my pain that Job 6. 10. he would not spare, for I will not deny the words of the Holy One. With this Comfort there­fore while my pains do burn me, I will warm my Zeal, and recollect my Courage, when the Excess of my Torments shall bring me certain hope of Death. For I know that while the pains as it [Page 195] were of Childbirth Crucifie me, the Rest and Tran­quility of another Life is preparing for me; and that the Mercy of God shines over me, either in­flicting Death, or defending my Life. Therefore let not God be delayed through any commiseration of me. For if I die, I shall escape free and secure from my Sins, nor shall I ever any more resist the will of God, as one that has left this Life, and the Inconstancy of Mortals. Yet I am very much afraid of my weakness, left I should faint in the right road, and in my holy purpose. Seeing then that hitherto, through the Mercy and Grace of God, I have remained stedfast in the truth, I would not depart from the Innocency of my Life, though I have a firm hope, that it will never be that I shall contradict the will of God, but rather that I may be always able to attend and wait upon it: Which when God shall be pleased to fulfil in me, I am so far from praying against it, that I shall rather esteem it as a great favour. For when I ought to endea­vour to be holy, there is nothing which I can re­ceive at the hands of the most holy and pure of Spirits, God, that can be harmful, if not rather profitable for me. Come then pains and exercise my patience, as God has given ye leave. To be­gin to die, and not to be in pain, scarce happens to any Man. Through pains we pass to Death. That is the high road. A little while we must be in pain, that we may not be in pain to Eternity.

Sect. 33. Patience mitigates all pains.

PAin is a sharp, cruel, horrid, sad, bitter thing, contrary to Nature, hateful to the Sences, yet which by the assistance of our Age may be mitiga­ted, or else little or nothing felt. He that in this [Page 196] Combat unwillingly turns his Back, but makes a resistance cordially and with all his might, is al­ways Superior, always gets the Victory. Why, O Clay, dost thou murmur against the Potter? He designed from Eternity one Vessel for Honour, a­nother for Dishonour, another for another use, yet all Brittle and Mortal. Wherefore then dost thou repine? Complaints and Repinings are but an addi­tion and increase of the Distemper. For nothing so much exasperates the heat of a Wound, as the im­patience of enduring the pain. All repining turns to its own Torment. Thus while the wild Beast moves the snare he is taken. Thus while the af­frighted Birds disorder the Lime-twig, they hang by the Feathers. There is no Yoke so strait that does not less hurt him that bears it willingly than him that resists. There is but one mitigation of terrible pains, which is to suffer, and submit to necessity. Wherefore then dost thou add a Disease of mind to sickness of Body? Making thy self more miserable by murmuring, and provoking him the more thereby, who beholds the Sufferings of Men from above, and considers their Patience, with a design to reward it.

But the sick Man objects; thou canst not make me not to feel what I feel. My tender sick Friend, if no where else, at least suffer patience to inhabit in thy Ears. I do not deny pain to be pain, but I say it may be lessened by patience. Which if it take not away all sence of pain, yet it gives thee the Victory over pain, while thou hast strength to endure it manfully. Therefore the Mind is to be roused up, to be armed and embattelled against its Enemies. An unprepared and impatient mind is dejected at the least Misfortunes; like a Coward, that upon the sight of the Enemy throws away his Arms and flies; thus the thought of pain Exani­mates [Page 197] a sluggish mind, which had it held but out the Buckler of Patience had proved a Victor over pain. Patience not only augments the Courage of the Mind, but mitigates the sharpness of the pain. So that if it be never so violent, however begin then to hope: Excess of pain promises an end. For extremity of Grief is the beginning of Joy. This is the Law of Contraries; the one arises from the conclusion of the other.

But are we not ashamed that so many Christian Boys and Girls have joyfully endured what we Men could not bear without weeping and com­plaints?

Why tremblest thou? Resume thy Courage; hope in God, the end is at hand. The pains are terrible but short. And it is a Noble thing for a true Christian, neither to give way to pleasure nor to pain.

Sect. 34. An Example of Patience in a Beggar.

BEhold, I beseech thee, lying at the Pool of Bethesda, a Beggar; a Beggar do I say? Yea a diseased Beggar. Alas, Poverty it self is a disease long and tedious enough. If pain of the Body at­tend it, the evil is redoubled, which cannot be endured but by a double portion of patience, as in this Paralytic. He was so indigent that no body would help him into the troubled Waters. No bo­dy would so much as compassionate his Poverty. Ah. What a hard case it is to be at the same time, both poor and sick? This Mans Disease was not of a Months or a Years standing. He had lost the u [...]e of his Limbs Thirty and Eight years; a breathing Carkass, a Funeral before Death, and buried while [Page 198] he yet lived. Sick people think a Day a Month, a Month a Year, a Year an Age: How many Ages could this Man but think so many Years? Yet be­hold his patience, he lost not his meekness of Mind. Neither in this desperate Sickness had he wasted all his hope and patience. He envied no body, he repined at no body, he reproaches no body. He accuses no Man, condemns no Man; wishes no Man his ill Fate. Neither does Curse himself, nor the day of his Birth; nor blame For­tune, nor his Parents; much less does he murmur against God, complain of Heavens Cruelty, or stand upon his own Innocency; nor does he chide the slowness of Death. Nor does he prepare to make himself away; but patiently expects help, and still hopes; nor is he importunate with Christ, contentedly satisfied that he had only not conceal­ed his Miseries from his Saviour. Thou, who art sick, canst thou imitate this poor Man? Certainly thou oughtest, or else thou canst not hope for Heaven.

Sect. 35. A Type of Patience in a Great Prince.

THou maist complain that either still Saints, or vulgar and mean people are propounded as Examples of patience. Why then, O Man, canst thou not imitate Christ upon the Cross? St. Law­rence upon the Gridiron? Imitate Lazarus waiting for the scraps. Imitate Alexius in the narrow Dungeon, and there ending his Life. But there are State Examples. Certainly, there are not want­ing Examples for thee to follow.

Behold great Princes, who but few years ago, so took care of their Bodies, as not to neglect the health of their Souls.

[Page 199] Bishop Daniel, when complaints were brought him, that the wild Beasts spoiled the Corn. 'Tis well, said he, I will soon remedy this Disease, I had rather want all sorts of Venison, than that my Subjects should be endamaged thereby.

Where are now those complaining sick people? so indulgent to themselves, who, when every thing falls not out according to their desire, fret and fume like Madmen. Let us imitate the Purple, if we refuse to imitate the Beggars Raggs: Let us imitate Princes and Captains upon the Bed of sick­ness. 'Tis the sign of a sluggish Souldier, when neither the Example of his Comrade, nor his Cap­tain will move him.

Sect. 36. An Example of Patience in a most Potent King.

NO good Man ought to be afraid of the Tor­ments of the Body, no, not of Death it self. Why should he either fear one or t'other, who is conscious to himself, that a Man ought not to fear any thing but death?

Philip the Second, King of Spain, a great Exam­ple to Posterity, contested with so violent a Disease, that all the worst of Diseases, seemed to have con­spired against him in one. No part of his Body was free from pain. Thou wouldst have said this Prince and greatest of Kings might have been cal­led, The Ballance of Calamity, and the Tabernacle of Sickness. The chief Diseases that afflicted him were, 1. The Gout. 2. Ulcers in his Hands and Feet. 3. An Aposthume in the Knee and right Muscle. 4. A continual Fever. 5. The Dropsie, and per­petual Drowth. 6. A Tertian Ague. 7. A Dy­sentery. 8. Want of Sleep. 9. He could not be [Page 200] any way turned in his Bed. One of these Diseases had been torment enough. But he with the same generous Mind as when he was well, and with a Christian patience sustained the violence of all these Diseases; so much the more sound and live­ly in Mind, by how much he was the weaker in Bo­dy. A most Illustrious Example of Christian Pati­ence. This Philip had learnt from Job that great Prince in the Land of Uz, whom the loss of so ma­ny Flocks, so much Wealth, so many Children could not move from his Patience. Naked his na­kedness delighted him, and miserable his miseries. Naked he came into the World, and naked he should go forth, was his Song, praising God for his Calamities as for his Benefits. The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away, let the Name of the Lord be blessed. Corruption he embraced as his Sister, and the heaps of Worms as his Brother. Whence this Brazen Wall, this threefold Forti­tude, encompassing a Breast so surrounded with misery. Because he knew himself guilty of no e­vil, no sins affrighted him. The Devil had taken his Kingdom of Riches from him, but he could not deprive him of his Empire over a patient and up­right Mind. Dost thou expect one more potent than Job? Attend then, for it requires Atten­tion.

Sect. 37. A Specimen Pattern, Mirror of Patience, a most absolute Example, even Christ the Lord.

O All you, that pass by the way, bebold and see if there be Lam. 1. C. 12. any sorrows like mine. Thus Christ [Page 200] calls to thee from the Cross. Thou passest by this Road of Calvary, when thou art in Distress. But thou dost only pass by, because thy pains, whatever they are, were nothing to this Sea of Grief; they were but Resemblances of Sorrow. His Pain, when Crucified, was real Pain, in whom there was no Part free from Pain. His Bones, his Nerves, his Veins, whatever scaped the Scourge and Thornes, tormented by the extending Engines. Nor is there any that dares afford the least Word to asswage these unspeakable Torments. His weeping Friends, (and how many of them?) Avail nothing, his Fugitive Disciples leave him; his insulting Enemies torment him, and whom they pierced with Nailes, before, now they Stab with Ignominious Reproa­ches and Revilings. The Father himself forsakes the Son in Torments. No Comfort to his Soul, in all this extremity of Anguish. Yet, in the midst of all these Miseries, he never complained, never repined, never made any evil Imprecation, nay, he implored the Pardon of all. He gave as many Documents of Patience, as he received VVounds and Injuries. Behold now and see, if thy Grief be like the Grief of thy Lord, and Saviour. Thou dost not love Christ, if thou resusest to suffer.

Sect. 39. Patience is the compleat Armour of a Sick Person.

DEmosthenes being asked, What he thought most Essential to Eloquence? Answered, Action. Being demanded what next? He replied, Action. Being asked a Third time, he still answered Action. Should it be asked, what is most necessary for a sick Person? He answers best, that answers Patience. If again, VVhat is most profitable for a [Page 202] Christian, as before, Patience. Should it be a third time asked, VVhat is most becoming in Sickness; the same reply serves again, Patience. Single Pa­tience claims all these three Advantages. To one and the same Patience, first, second and third Law­rel are to be yielded as of right. This we may believe out of Di­vine Luke 21. 19. VVrit. Posses [...] [...] selves by your Patierce. No otherwise St. P [...] For ye have need of Patience, that after you have done the VVill of God, ye might re [...] the Promise. VVhat wouldst thou have, O [...] Man? see­ing that through much Tribulation we must enter into the Kingdom of Heaven. VVhere thou art prickt, there grows the Rose that crowns thee. Truth it self proclaims, whosoever doth not bear the Cross, and come after me, cannot be my Dis­ciple. Therefore take the Counsel of S. Austin, and suffer what thou art not willing to suffer, that thou mayst obtain what thou wouldst wil­lingly have. Solomon also presses this home. My Son, refuse not the Prov. ch. 3. v. 11, 12. chastning of the Lord, neither fai [...]s thou, when thou art corrected of him: For whom the Lord loveth, him he chasteneth; and yet delighteth in him, even as a Father in his own Son.

Believe the same thing said to thy Tutelar An­gel, as was said to Tobias. Because thou wast accept, and beloved of God, Tob. c. 12. v. 13. it was necessary that Temptation should try thee. But this every one is cer­tain of, that VVorships thee, O God; That if his Life be in trying, it shall be crowned; and if it be in Trouble, that God shall deliver him, and if his Life be in chastening, that he shall have leave to come to thy Majesty. For thou hast no Pleasure in [Page 203] our Damnation; after a storm, thou mayest have the weather fair and still; and after weeping and heavi­ness, thou givest great joy. Thy Name, O God of Israel, be praised for ever.

Therefore, blessed are ye that weep, for ye shall laugh. The Potters Vessels are tried by the Fur­nace, and Just Men by the Temptation of Afflicti­on. Therefore, composed to all Patience, let the Sick Man say, I will bear the Wrath of the Lord, for I have offended him, till he sit in Judgment upon my Cause, and se [...] that Micah 7. v. 9. I have right. Then will he bring me forth to the Light, and I shall see his Righteousness. If that Heavenly VVrath be too terrible that Pur [...]es. How severe is that which Damns. This no Pati­ence can move, the other, but a moderate suffering will bend. VVherefore, O my Sick Friend, com­pose thy self to all sorts of Patience. Patience is necessary for thee above all things; perhaps the Meat does not Relish: this is common with sick People. Thy Sleeps, Are they short and interrup­ted? Patience. The Sick never Sleep so sound as the Healthy. Thy Pains, Do they afflict thee? Be Patient. That's the property of the Disease. That's the thing which is called Sickness. Perhaps thy Attendance displeases thee. Be Patient; 'tis a hard matter to please the Sick. Perhaps thou wantest Friends to comfort thee. Be Patient, Christ thy Lord is the best Comforter. The Elector of Brander burg came to Visit Charles the Fifth, being Sick of the Gout, and advised him to make use of his Physiti­ans. To whom Charles replied, the best Remedy, in this Disease, is Patience: The compleat Armour of a Sick Man, is Patience; being so guarded, he need fear neither Sickness, Pain, nor Death: He is proof against the blows of his Enemies, and shall certainly overcome; for Patience overcome all things.

Sect. 40. We must go at last, we are but Guests.

OUR Life is like an Inn. We live in a strange House, by Sufferance. We are no sooner en­tred in, but we are sent packing again: As the Remembrance of a Stranger, that tarrieth but one day, and then departeth. We are all Strangers, saith St. Austin. He is a Christian that knows him­self to be a Pilgrim in his own House, and in his Country. Our Country is above, there we shall not be Strangers. Here every one in his own House is a Stranger. If he were no Stranger, he were not to depart; but he must depart, therefore, he is a Stranger; but he leaves his House to his Chil­dren. Thy Father made room for thee, and thou must make room for thy Children. Since we are thus transitory, let us do something that may not be transitory; that when we come thither, whi­ther we are to go, we may find our good Works there. Therefore, since we are but Guests, let us not refuse to go; there is no more comfortable Journey to a Pilgrim, than to return into his own Country.

Sect. 41. There is a certain limit of Life.

THE Number of his Months are known unto thee, saith Job, Ch. 14. v. 5. Thou hast appointed him his Bounds, which he cannot go beyond. What dost thou labour, what dost thou toyl for, O Man? Thy days are numbred in thee. Call the Physitians of the World about thee, Podalyrius, Plachaon, Aescalapius, Hippocrates, Gal­len, [Page 205] they cannot all add one hour to thy Life, be­yond what God has appointed. Thou mayst drink Medicines, swallow Gold and Pearles, to prolong thy Life; yet thou canst not extend the Bounds, which thou art not to go beyond. Be as cautious as thou wilt; decline all the dangers of Life; take Remedies betimes, thou canst not increase the num­ber of thy Months, which God hath determined: Wish, Vow, Pray; it signifies nothing: The Li­mits of thy Life are set, and thou canst not go be­yond them, do what thou canst. Thou believest the Sands of the Sea to be Numberless, yet, he has the number of those, who had the number of thy Years, Months, Days, Hours, and Moments, from all Eternity. What ever thy Art or Industry may promise thee, they cannot add one Minute to thy Life. Feed plentifully upon Dainties; drink the choice of Wine; exercise no more than Health re­quires; take thy full rest, yet thou art Mortal; and when thou art come to the Goal of thy Life, bid the World adieu; prepare to give an account, the Tri­bunal calls thee. There is no delay, no respit, no prolonging; go we must. There is an account to be given, and therefore make no Excuses. This was not concealed from Seneca; No Man, saith he, dies too soon, in whose power it was not to live any longer than he lived.

Every one has his bounds set, which will ever remain where-ever they are set; neither can Art or Favour remove them. Though a hundred Physiti­ans, five hundred Friends, a thousand Kindred sur­round thy Bed, none of them can help thee; there is but one, and that is God alone, that can help thee. Thou losest Eternity, if at the moment of thy Death, thou forsakest God: Or if upon thy Depar­ture, before thou dost not return, and art not re­ceived into Favour. The last moment of thy Life [Page 206] pronounces Sentence upon the [...]; as thou Diest, and Fallest, so shalt thou Rise. Ah! begin to be Wise, and to Live to God. Whatever Employment or Business thou takest in hand, remember Eternity.

Sect. 42. The first small Objection of the Sick.

I Could easily Comfort my self, when I was sound and well; I made nothing to [...]desie absent Evils.

But now, Eneas in his glittering Steel.
Cannot support the tedious pains I feel.

Alas, I said one thing while I stood firm; but now I feel another thing, now I lie thrown upon my B [...]d. Abundance of Men contemn Death, but 'tis when they think themselves beyond the reach of his Dart; but when a Man comes once to be pen­ned up in the wrestling place with Death, he be­gins then to dread the Enemy whom he de­spised.

What sayst thou, my sick Friend? Why dost thou complain against thy self? Why dost thou change thy former good Resolutions? As if it were the part of a Wrestler to brag and boast out of the hearing of his Enemy, but when he comes into the wrestling Place, to sink and grow saint-hearted. Stand my Friend, and hear: Thou hast overcome, if thou art willing to overcome, and canst keep thy self from Despair. Behold Christ, not only the Spectator of the Combat but the Assistant, and He that with his own hands reaches thee all the Weapo [...]s thou art to make use of. But perhaps they are not fit for thee, no more than Sau [...]'s Ar­mour for David. Dost thou refuse the Scourges, the Thornes, the Cross? Take the shield of Pati­ence, [Page 207] that will cover thee, and keep thee safe; the rest commit to God. Thou knowest that of Abra­ham to his Son, God will provide.

Another Objection.

Behold I dye, that might have liv'd longer; certainly thou could'st not, for if thou could'st, most certainly thou would'st. But thou would'st have said this, I desired so to do, or I hoped so to do. And in that I believe thee, as all men are Covetous of life, I have liv'd but a little while, thou criest. Q What if thou hadst liv'd longer, wouldst not thou have made the same complaint? All the spaces of Life are unequal and uncertain, yet all short. Some perhaps have liv'd Fourscore Years. What has he now more than he that liv'd but Eight? unless we accompt Cares, Troubles, Pains, Vexations, and Sins for Advantages: Or what would he have had more, had he liv'd Eight Hundred? Unless thou reckon the Vertues of the Person, and not his Years. What were the Nine Hundred Ninety Nine Years of Methuselah? but a Vapour that appeareth but a little? Let us live never so long. [...]we shall say we have lived but a little while. If then we are so willing to Live, let us seek that Life which will be perpetual, which though it be not here to be found, yet is here to be sought: But I die (sayst thou) when I intended to do good. There are some that are always intending to do good, but can never find the way to begin. Thou I believe art one of those. But if thou once beginst to do well, never doubt, though thou dost not compleat thy Work; but that the insailible valuer of all things, will deduct nothing from thee; the reward shall be entire, not only of thy Deeds, but Intentions. He of good Courage, the direct and short way to reward is to die.

Sect. 45. Against other Complaints of the Sick.

THE Complaints of the Sick are almost innu­merable, they can hardly speak without mur­muring: How often do we hear them cry out, Oh miserable me! Oh afflicted me! Oh who so overwhelm'd in Pain as I am. But they that more narrowly examine the business, will change their Notes, and cry, 'Tis well, 'tis very well, 'tis Gods pleasure: O happy, O blessed me, corrected not by a Tyrant, but by a Father; God be praised; Glory be to God. Heaven reward all my Benefa­ctors. This is that, my sick Friend, that becomes thee, and behoves thee. Seneca admonishing the same thing; Do not, saith he, make thy miseries more grievous to thy self than they are. Complaints of past Griefs are idle, and these common Sayings; Never had any man such a time on't: What Torments, what Miseries did I feel! No body thought I would ever have recovered; and the like. They may be true, but they are past; what signifies it to remember past Troubles, and to be miserable, because thou wert so. Therefore lay aside two things, the Fear of what is to come and the Re­membrance of past Sorrows. Wherefore then dost thou complain in vain, and fester thy Wounds with the Nails of Impatience? I am miserable thou sayst. Rather blessed Humanity is in a good Con­dition, in regard no man is miserable, but through his own fault. Blessed is the Man whom God cha­steneth, for whom he loves he chastiseth. He ma­keth a Wound, and he healeth; he wounds, and his hand maketh whole again. Knowest thou not, that the Wound which the Chirurgeon makes is [Page 209] the beginning of the Cure. Do thou therefore nor mind the Wound, but the hand of him that wounds, and thou wilt confess thy self to be much more in health, than when thou wert at the best. But sayst thou, I feel a most vehement pain; No question, if thou endurest it effeminately. But as the Enemy makes the greatest slaughter upon them that flie, so is all pain more heavy to him that succombs under it. But the Torture is intolerable. It is not for the stout to endure slight Pains. Think upon so many hundreds of Couragious Martyrs. Seneca re­lates, That there was a certain person, who while the Veins of his Legs were cutting, read in a Book all the while. But sayst thou, My Disease will let me do nothing. How, nothing? Alas it is thy Body that is only infirm and sick, not thy Mind. Therefore if thou beest a Racer, thy Feet are only bound, if a Smith, or other Handicrafts­man, thy hands are not at liberty. But if thy Mind fail thee not, thou mayst hear, thou mayst learn, thou mayst remember, though sick. What more dost thou believe, thou dost nothing if thou art temperate in sickness? If thou shewest that thy Disease may be overcome, at least endur'd? There is room for Courage in the Bed of Sickness. Thou hast business enough; strive with thy Disease, and thou hast done enough.

Sect. 46. The Sick-man to himself, against himself.

WHat do I do? Must I thus die before I am gray? We are all in this Errour, that we think none fit for Death but the Aged, when In­fancy and Youth also go. An immaculate Life is an old Age, and the most lovely Age of all, is an ho­nest [Page 210] Life. It is better that the Intellectuals of Men, than their Heads should be gray. He is wealthy in the endowments of old Age, who worships God, leadsa prudent life, and lives well, It is more noble to be aged in Vertue, than by the gift of Time. But there is that coverousness of Life, that when we come to die, though never so decrepid, we think our selves all to be young men. But why dost thou number thy few days? God hath wrote down thy time of living in the Tables of his Pro­vidence. In the other World there are not that accuse God because he did not spare them a longer Life, but because he lived no better. Therefore do thou mind that, and remember Eternity. It is no loss to lose a point of Time, and gain Immor­tality. Most generously said the Macedonian King, I measure my self, said he, not by the Span of my Life, but by the Scene of Perpituity. Do thou measure thy self so, not by the end of thy Years, but by Eter­nity that has no end.

Sect. 47. The Patient Man to God.

MY God, the desire of my Heart [...] I a most miserable Creature, a most vile Worm, lie here ty'd to my Bed, without the use of Hands or Feet, an idle, sloathful, benumb'd, unprofitabe Servant, a burden to the Earth, enduring nothing for thy sake: Yet I desire, O God, I desire to la­bour for thy sake, to suffer Heat, Cold, Weariness, Affliction, Anguish, nay, Torments for thy sake.

This the blessed Dominie taught me, who being oppressed with violent Pains, and advised by his Friend to desire of God, to deal more mildly with him, made this answer, If I did not believe thee to speak out of Ignorance, I would not endure thy sight. [Page 211] And then throwing himself upon the bare Ground, I give thee thanks. said he, my most kind Lord, for these Miseries which thou hast sent me to endure. En­crease my Pains, multiply my Torments, send me a hundred Infirmities, for I know thou wilt send me Pa­tience with all.

Can I say more than this? It is too little that I suffer, O God, add still more and more to my Pains. I have deserved more severe Chastisement than thou inflictest upon me, O my most merciful God. Spare me not, Lord, burn, cut and tear my Flesh, so thou grant me Eternity. Had I a hundred Bodies, I would endure a hundred Crucifyings, so I might please thee. and be reckon'd in the num­ber of thine, O most merciful Father. Thy will be­done, Lord, with me, for I know how easie it is to serve thee, who equally rewardest both the Deed, and the reallity of Intention.

I am by thee composed to rest, O King of Good­ness; but the Night is coming werein I can work no longer. Yet though my Sickness has taken from me the pain of working, it has not taken from me the Will nor the Desire. I am willing, Lord, I am willing, and while any Breath remains in me, I am prepared to suffer what thousands of thy Ser­vants at this time suffer for love of thee. I am willing to suffer Contempt, Reproaches, and false Accusations for thee, Stripes and Scourges for thy sake, and to die a thousand Deaths for thee. If my strength fail, whither I cannot creep with my Hands and Feet, thi her my Desires shall flie, and convince thee of the readiness of my Will and Affection.

But will these eager Desires open the Gate of Heaven to me? Should I actually perform all these good Intentions, and suffer what the most devout of men have suffered for thy sake, shall I be wor­thy [Page 212] of the sight of God? I know for all this, I am unworthy. How then shall I make my way to Heaven? O Infinite Goodness, if thou hast not Compassion upon me, I am forlorn. There is but one Sanctuary, one Refuge from this just Indigna­tion: Thy Mercy, Lord, that is a vast and im­mense Ocean. Into this Ocean, into this Gulph I throw my self headlong, out of a certain hope that in those Waters I shall be safe from the Flames of Hell. I cry out therefore with David:

Have mercy on me, O God, according to thy mercy.

According to the multitude of thy mercies, blot out my iniquity.

But in the utmost of my Extremities, in the last hour of my Life, when my Soul is departing out of this Tabernacle, let all my Sighs and Gaspings repeat this wholesom Prayer.

Have mercy on me, O God, according to thy Infinite mercy.

Sect. 48. The sick Patient Covenants with God.

THat great and almost the last Ornament of the African Church, Fulgentius, conspicuous for his Learning and Sanctimony, seventy days before his Death continually cried out,

Lord, give me first Patience, then Pardon. This the holy man used as a Buckler against the violence of his Sickness. Yea, the more vehemently his Grief assail'd him the more vehemently he cried out,

Patience, Lord, patience.
A [...]e, that Pardon.

This is a most sweet way of Covenanting with God, neither to desire Wages before Labour, nor [Page 213] Triumph before Victory, nor to shake off the Yoak of Death without Pain.

Thus as Death is a Punishment to the Wicked, so to the Righteous it is a Bridge and entry that leads to Eternity. So true it is that Death com­mands the unwilling, but serves and obeys the Willing.

Sect. 49. Thanks be to God, should be the continual Song of the sick Patient.

SAint Cyprian, when he heard Galerias the Pro­consuls Sentence read to him, It is our plea­sure that Thuscius Cyprianus die by the Sword; gave no other Answer, but Thanks be to God. Saint Laurence Roasted upon a Gridiron, cried out, Thanks be to God. Euplius the Martyr who was Beheaded with the Gospel hanging about his Neck, often repeated these words, God be thanked. Truly said Saint Augustin, What better thing can we bear in our Minds, or utter with our Lips, or express with our Pens, than Thanks be to God! Nothing can be more quickly said, more gladly heard, nor more acceptably understood, than Thanks be to God, who has endued thee with so much Faith. In Adversity, saith Saint Chrysostom, the Wicked curse, the Christians give thanks. When we please God, we shame the Devil. For at the same time thou givest Thanks, God eases thy Pain, and the Devil departs. There is nothing more holy than the Tongue which in Adversity Gives God [...]hanks. Tertullian, commending Job, That good man, said he, upon the rec [...]it of all his bad [...]idings, still used no other expression, but Thanks be to God.

John Avila, the most skilful Teacher of the Inward man, was wont to say, That in Calamities [Page 214] and Afflictions, one Thanks be to God was worth more, than six thousand in prosperity and health. For in Prosperity to give Thanks, is common to all men, but in Adversity particular to the Righteous.

Therefore, O my sick Friend, so frame thy Mind and Tongue, that the worse it is with thee, the more readily thou mayst say, Thanks be to God. Then shalt thou be said to imitate thy Cru­cified Lord, when thou shalt have the Courage in the midst of thy Sorrows, to say, Let Troubles vex me, Grief torment me, Want Oppress me, Thanks be to God. Let my Pains rage, my Tor­ments multiply, Thanks be to God. These Ejacu­lations penetrate Heaven. This is Musick most pleasing to God. To this St. Paul ex­horts us, In all things give thanks, in 1 Thess. c. 5. v. 8. Sickness, in Health, in Want, in Plenty, in Adversity, in Prosperity: In all things give thanks. For many times Sickness, Want, a comfortless Condition, loss of Dignities, are a greater benefit of God, then of all things flowing according to thy wish. In no pains, at no time let the Sick-person think it a burthen for the Sick-person to cry, Thanks be to God. So much the more noble is thy Patience, so much more graceful thy Giving of thanks, by how the more vehement thy Disease and Pains are.

Sect. 50. The true Confidence of a Sick-man in God.

TO Die is a serious business. And we may well demand of the Patient, Wilt thou commit thy self to the Cast of Eternity? Thou art going a long a [...]d unknown Journey; and whither wouldst thou? To this the sick Patient does best to answer, [Page 215] that does not murmur; I am grived, I am com­pelled: But rather replies with a chearful Mind, willingly, freely, I resign my Spirit to God. Thus I commit my sef to Eternity. Thus glady to God.

Let the Healthy be of this mind, of the num­ber of which, rightly said one, I have already begun to die; now I die, I waste and am consumed, now I travel to Eternity: And because the Mercy of God knows no end, therefore I travel undauntedly. In the, O Lord, I have put Psal. 31. 1. my trust; Let me never be put to con­fusion. And though the Sacred Scriptures af­ford me a thousand Instances, I will not despise the Light of Reason, which enlightned the wise Roman. For what the ancient Heathen thought of Death, and our passage from Death into Eternity, he thus teaches us:

When that Day shall come which shall seperate this mixture of Divine and Humane. I will leave this Body where I found it, and return my self to God: Nor am I now without him, though de­tained by this Ponderosity of Earth. These de­lays of Mortal Age, are but a Prelude to a better and a longer Life. As we are Nine Months in the Mothers Womb, before we are sent forth into this Place; so by that space of time between our Infancy and old Age, we are prepared for another Birth of Nature. Another Original attends us, an­other Condition of Life. That Interval fits us to brook the Brightness of Heaven; therefore let us undauntedly expect that p [...]remptory Hour, not the last to the Soul, but to the Body▪ That Day which thou art afraid of as thy last, is the Birth­day of thy Etrnity. These Thoughts will su [...]er nothing abject, nothing sordid to reside in thy Mind. These Thoughts command us to approve our selves to God, to prepare our selves to God, [Page 216] to propose Eternity to our selves; of which he that has a true Hope and Confidence, shall not fear those numerous Hosts, when awakened by the trembling Sound of the last Trumpet.

Sect. 51. Constantly.

COnstantly, I beseech thee, Constantly; there is no Patience if Constancy be wanting. But one will say, it is not two, three, four, or five Weeks, that I have layn thus. Another will say, this is the sixth, the tenth, the fixteenth Month that I have layn in this miserable Condition. O­thers will cry they have been visited ten, thirteen, or more Years. Persevere, I beseech ye, perse­vere, and reserve your selves for a Celestial amend­ment. The patient Man continues, though he has been afflicted for many more years. It is but a point of time, saith he, that this Sickness has held me, when I consider Eternity.

Happy was that Servant, who has the Great Gregory for his Applauder; who from his Child­hood to his Infancy being afflicted with the Palsie, so that he could not list his Hand to his Mouth, yet by hearing could remember all the Bible by Heart, and while he lay all that time a dying, continu­ally had in his Mouth that one Sentence, Thanks be to God. To him all the Calamitous Days of his Sickness seemed nothing to Eternity.

The blessed Lydwick a Virgin of Schiedam, lay sick eight and thirty Years, contesting with a strange variety of all sorts of Maladies. In those eight and thirty Years, she scarce eat so much Bread as would suffice a strong Man for three Days, and hardly took the rest of three Nights. Yet in this croud of Miseries, her continual Prayer [Page 217] was, O kind Jesu, have mercy vpon me.

Coleta another Virgin, had sustained an incre­dible burthen of Pain and Misery for above fifty Years; she hardly slept one Hour in eight Days. Upon Festivals and Sundays her Pains augmented; and sometimes she laboured under Distempers of Mind as well as Sickness of Body: Yet in the midst of all, she would still cry out; I desire to be a Theatre and Stage for all sorts of Diseases to play their parts, that so I may become a grateful Spe­ctacle to God and Angels. She might have said with St. Bernard. My Labour is but the labour of one Hour in respect of Eternity, yet if more, I value it not, through my extream love.

Therefore my sick Friend, if thou numberest the Days and Years of thy Sickness, call them a Moment: If thy Patience and Constancy out-vye them, hope for the Eternity of the blessed. The Labour is small, the Pain short, the Recompence eternal.

Sect. 52.

THat as well the Healthy as the Sick, may put in practice, and bring forth what they have de­termined in their Minds; we have added the fol­lowing Prayers.

1. Prayer.
To be said by the Healthy, the Sick, and them that lie a dying.

OH my sweetest Lord Jesu Christ, in the Uni­on of that Charity, whereby thou didst of­fer [Page 218] thy self to the Father to die, I offer thee my Heart, that thy good Will and Pleasure may be sa­tisfied upon me and by me. Sweet Jesu, I make choice of and desire thy good Pleasure, though Adversity, Sickness, and Death press hard upon me, and commit my self entirely to thy most faith­ful Providence, and thy most holy Will. For I hope and beseech thee, that thou wilt direct me, and what-ever belongs to me, to thy Glory, and the Salvation of my Soul.

2. Prayer.
For the preservation of Conformity with the Divine Will.

LOrd Jesu Christ, who for thy Glory and our Salvation, dost intermix Joy and Sadness, and permittest for our profits, Prosperity and Ad­versity; I return thanks to thy Goodness, that thou wert mindful of me, and hast visited thy unpro­fitable Servant with this small Affliction. I im­plore thy Favour, that I may reap the Fruit and Advantage of this Visitation of thine, and that I may not be hindred by my Impatience or Ingra­titude. What thou art able to do, I humbly beg of thee, to remove this present bitter and trou­blesom Cup from me, as thou didst listen to the Tears of King Hezechia, and didst miraculously raise him from his Bed of Sickness. Yet not my will, but thine, which is just and holy, be done. In thy Hands is all the Authority of Judging and Determining concerning thy Children: Neither is there any one that better knows than thee, what Physick is most convenient for the cure of our Diseases. O my most loving Father, Reprehend, [Page 219] Chastise, and Afflict me here, that thou mayst spare me hereafter. I know thy Rod doth profit many, when thou dost Chastise thy beloved Children; and that then dost purge and try thy Elect, before thou dost Crown them. My Heart is prepared, O God, my Heart is prepared, when and how thou pleasest, to submit to thy Paternal Rod, and that my Patience should be tried by Affliction; In thee have I put my trust, O Lord, let me never be con­founded. I submit and commit my self entirely to thy most holy Will. Though thou slayest me, yet will I not cease to hope in thee, thou Fountain of Life; My desire is in thy hands.

3. Prayer.
For Patience.

MOst Omnipotent God, thou knowest how vile and frail this work of thy Hands is, how it is shaken by the least blast of Wind, and vanishes again into dust; so that there is nothing wherein I can trust to my own strength, who in the Con­test of the Flesh against the Spirit, feel so many Commotions of Anger, Impatience, Pusillanimity; Diffidence, and Mistrust, upon the slightest Assault of Sickness. Therefore I implore thy Help, most Heavenly Physician, thy Divine Physick, which is Patience; For Patience is the chief of Consola­tion in the most bitter of Sicknesses.

Grant me, I beseech thee, O Lord, with a pre­sent and contented Mind, I may be able to endure Joy and Sorrow, sweet and sowre, as proceeding only from thy Paternal Providence, because thou directest all things for the tryal and profit of thy Children.

[Page 220] Let thy Spirit, I beseech thee, teach me, through whose Comfort and Assistance, there is nothing too hard for us to perform, that I may know how to possess my Soul in Patience till Death. Thou art a God who considerest the stings of Affliction, under which we labour. Yet I, though I have not yet resisted to the shedding of my Blood, yet a­gainst my will I have had the Experience of the weakness of the Flesh, and force of contending Nature. Therefore, Lord, help my imperfection so much the more, that both my strength may be perfected in Infirmity, and that I may be able sin­cerely to testifie, that thy Rod and thy Staff, they have Comforted me.

4. Prayer.
Containing a Resignation of a Mans Self to the Will of God.

O Love ineffable, O most sweet Jesu, my God and Christ, shouldst promise me the best of worldly favours, or what I my self would desire, I would beg of thee the utmost of what I now suffer. This I beg a thousand times over, that thy will may be fulfilled and satisfied upon me, and by me in all things.

5. Prayer.
After Receiving of the Sacrament.

GLory be to thee, O Christ, who out of thy goodness hast been pleased to visit and re­fresh my sick Soul. Now let thy Servant, O Lord, depart in peace according to thy Word. Now I hold thee, O Divine Love, nor will I any more let thee go. Now to the World and all worldly things I bid adieu. Now rejoicing I come to thee, O God. Nothing, O sweet Jesu, nothing shall sepa­rate me from thee. For I am united with thee, O Christ; In thee will I live; in thee will I die, and in thee, if it be thy pleasure will I remain to all Eternity. No more do I live now, but Christ liv­eth in me. My Soul is weary of this Life. I de­sire to be dissolved and be with Christ, and to die a Gainer. Now will I fear no evil walking in the shadow of Life, because thou, O Lord, art with me. As the Hart panteth after the Rivers of Water, so panteth my Soul after thee, O God. My Soul hath thirsted after God the Fountain of Life, when shall I come and appear before the Face of my God?

Bless me, O Loving Jesu, and dismiss me in peace, because I am now truely thine, and to all Eternity will I not forsake thee. What have I now more to do with the World? O my sweet Jesu, Into thy Hands, Lord Jesu, I commend my Spirit. Receive me, O Celetial Love, that I may be hap­py in thy Embraces to all Eternity, and may for ever rest in thee.

A Conclusion of the Second Chapter. To the Reader.

THese things I have therefore said, for the—comfort of the Healthy and the Sick, that they may not be altogether without Comfort, partly to stir them up to vigilancy, partly to strengthen them that they may overcome, prepared against all Assaults of Death. An ill death is not only the worst but the most indeliable and inexpiable of all Errours in the Word.

Now I come to give some Precepts to the Dy­ing, not [...]o see them read, but to be read in health, to profit them, in that dreadful Hour.

CHAP. III. The Remembrance of Death is represented to Dying People.

Sect. 1. The Art of Dying well is briefly Taught.

NOT to know how to die is the most miserable piece of Ignorance in the World. There­fore that we may learn that which we ought to learn all our Lives, there are five things that con­duce to good Death.

First, A free and undaunted Mind. This is that which is of chiefest moment, and upon which the rest depend. It is a great satisfaction for our of­fences so willingly to abandon'd what is most dear to us. Therefore, saith David, an Offering of a Free-heart-will I give unto thee. There is no­thing so acceptable to God nor so profitable to Man, as a free and ready Mind, and a generous Trust in God.

Secondly, A Will made and Debts discharged. 'Tis an Errour never to think of a Will till Death is at the Door.

Dispose of thy Goods while thou art well in thy Sences. Moreover, as to the giving away of such things as are at our disposal.

Sect. 2. Nine causes why we are to Die with a contented Mind.

BEfore all things consider the death of thy Sa­viour, and thou wilt fear thy own with a most contented Mind. Compare, I beseech thee, thy Bed to his Cross; thy Pillows to his Thorny Diadem; thy Food with his Gall, thy Drink with his Vinegar; thy Pains with his Torments. Thou didst die in the midst of thy Friends and Comfor­ters, he in the midst of his Enemies and Revilers. Thou among thy Helpers and Assistants; he ex­pir'd deserted by all. For thy health so many Me­dicines are still prepar'd. His extream thirst wan­ted the refreshment of cold Water. Yet he the Lord and chief of all. Thou a Servant most vile and mean. Him all these Miseries befel both Inno­cent and Undeserving; thee for thy Deserts and Impiety. And therefore thou hast no reason to complain.

2. The chiefest Grace of the Supream King is a Good Death. To die well is to avoid the danger of Living ill. But he dies well who dies willingly. Who does not readily rise from a hard Bed? They only desire to lye long, who cherish'd by the heat, are loth to leave a warm Nest. If it be ill with thee in this Life, wherefore shouldst thou not wil­lingly pass to a better. If well, 'tis time for thee to make an end, lest Prosperity cast thee as it does many into a late but fatal Ruin. 'Tis a hard thing for the Fortunate to die. How many Men are Condemned to perpetual Torments, who had they dy'd Children or young had gone to Heaven.

3. The Saints and all our dearest Friends invite us to them. But, saist thou, we must leave our [Page 225] Friends and Companions. Unadvisedly spoken, thou art going to them. Where are thy Parents? Dost not thou hope in Heaven? And that thou shalt also go thither. But these are things uncer­tain and only hoped for. Very right there is no Man hopes for what he sees, or is certain of. And therefore God affords thee an occasion for that Ver­tue. He commanded thee to hope for Heaven, he would never promise it thee certainly. And yet thou art carried thither still with a certain hope, though to a thing to thee uncertain. A Creditor has no reason to mistrust a Faithful Debtor. God is become thy Debtor. Consider thou to whom thou art a Creditor. Doth not St. Paul cry out with joy, I know whom I have believed.

4. Consider, O Man of little Soul the extraor­dinary alacrity of Mind, and the ardent desire to die of many Martyrs, who contemn'd all the pre­parations of Death, and suffered the severest Tor­ments with a smiling Countenance. Certainly nei­ther Death nor Labour is terrible, but the fear of Death or Labour. Therefore let us applaud the saying of him, who said, Death is no evil, but to die shamefully. Children are frighted with Hob­goblins for want of knowledge. What is Death? A Hobgoblin: Turn the Argument, and thou shalt find it so. Yet neither Children nor Infants, nor Madmen fear Death; and therefore 'tis a most shameful thing that reason should not afford us that security which reason produces. Death is a Tri­bute and a Duty to be paid by all, why then art thou troubled? Why dost thou not pay the Debt thou owest; for Death allows no priviledges: No Man was ever exempted, or shall be. The World, saith St. Basil, is Mortal, and the Region of them that die.

[Page 226] 5. What is a long fear of Death but a long Tor­ment? Dost thou live long? Thou art long in Torment. Well said Tertullian, That is not to be fear'd that frees us from all fear. But thou wilt say, 'Tis a terrible thing in Sickness to foresee Death creeping on by degrees. Worm of a Man, what wouldst thou have? Did not thy Saviour Christ foresee his Death, and that a most sharp one, for thirty years and more? Art thou better than he? But because thou dost not so much fear Death, as the previous Inconveniences of Death, hear Epicte­tus, And shalt not thou, saith he, depart with a firm and constant mind, but trembling and cowardly, be­cause of thy fine Cloaths, or thy gaudy Silver Plate? Unhappy Man! Was it thus that hitherto thou hast lost all thy time? What if I prove Sick? Thou shalt be honestly Sick. Who shall Cure thee? God. I shall lye hard. But as a Man. I shall not have a convenient House. 'Tis an inconvenience to be Sick. What shall be the issue of the Dis­ease? Nothing but Death. Therefore dost not thou believe that the Fountain of all Evil, is the chief mark of a degenerate and dastardly Mind, is not so much death it self as the fear of Death. Therefore exercise thy self against it; make use of whatever thou hearest or readest, as weapons to Encounter it. So shalt thou know there is no o­ther way for Man to gain his own Liberty.

6. From how many Evils art thou freed by Death. To die is to shut up the Shop of all Miseries. Excellently well said Pliny. That is the condition of Life, that Death becomes the Heaven for the best of Men, and the chief benefit of Nature. And therefore let e­very one provide himself of this as one of the prin­cipal Cures for his Mind, that of all the Benefits which Nature affords Men, there is none better than a seasonable▪ Death. Caesar in Salust affirms [Page 227] Death to be a Cessation from Misery to the afflicted and no Torment. Therefore the Wise Man al­ways considers what manner of Life he led, and not how long. For Nature provided us a place to Lodge and Sojourn in but not to inhabit, lends us the use of Life, like that of Money, are not payable at a certain day. Why then dost thou complain if she call it in when she pleases; since she lent it upon that condition.

7. The Prison Doors are set open by Death; and dost thou fear to go forth. Rather rejoice: Hitherto thou wert a Captive, now thou shalt be free. How foolish a thing it is to depend upon Hope, or Happiness, and be afraid to go at large to that which always remains, and to change for a moment of dying a perpetual Immortality. The Prison is open, haste thee to a better place.

8. Death is the way; yea, it is the Gate that leads us into our Countrey, to Eternal Life, to Immortal Joy. For Death is not so much the end of Life as the beginning of Life. Learnedly said St. Bernard. The Just Man dies but securely, whose death as it is the Exit out of this present Life, is the Entry into a better. But thou wilt say, To live long how pleasant a thing it is; but how uncertain is it whether Divine Grace will not forsake thee before thy Sin. And who is there that has not of­ten reason to be afraid for his perseverance, which no holiness of Life can merit. 'Tis a Gift, and given gratis. Therefore he that desires this Gift let him reconcile himself to the Giver.

9. But the Reason of Reasons is the Will of God, whose Eternal pleasure it was that thou shouldst yield to Nature at this time, in this place, and through this Disease. What wouldst thou more? It was Gods will; it so seem pleasing to God. This is that will, that can will no evil. Therefore the [Page 228] Son of Syrack gives this advice; Humble thy self a­fore thou beest sick, and while thou maist sin, shew thy Conversation. But all these Reasons I do short­ly sum up thus.

  • 1. The Death of Christ.
  • 2. The Grace of God.
  • 3. The Invitation of the Saints.
  • 4. Examples of those that were before us.
  • 5. The Things to be feared.
  • 6. The end of all Evils.
  • 7. Enlargement out of Prison.
  • 8. Entrance into Paradice.
  • 9. The will of God.

Sect. 3. Therefore Death is not to be fear'd.

THerefore do willingly, O Christian, which o­therwise thou wouldst be forc'd to do unwil­lingly. VVhat is done by a willing Mind becomes light, and ceases to be necessity where the will takes place. The wise Man is so instructed as to consent to what he cannot withstand. Therefore I am secure and fear nothing. Nature a most kind Parent, never made any thing terrible. 'Tis only the Error of Men that makes Death formidable. VVe are afraid of Death, not because it is evil, but because it is not known to Men. If thou art re­volving any thing sublime in thy Mind; if thou art rearing any high or lofty structure despise those low and poor mistakes of the Vulgar, and admire those Precepts whose imitation leads thee the true way to Glory. VVe have innumerable Examples of those that die happily and cheerfully. Rather imi­tate him among the Ancients that made this Dia­logue between himself and the Minister of Death. Thou shalt die. Since the Fall 'tis the Nature not [Page 229] so much the punishment of Man, Thou shalt die. Upon this condition I came into the VVorld. Thou shalt die. 'Tis the Law of Nations to repay what has been borrow'd. Thou shalt die. Life is a Pil­grimage, when thou hast travell'd as far as thou hast design'd, thou must return home again. Thou shalt die. I thought thou wouldst have told me some News, I came for this purpose. As soon as I was Born Nature set me my Bounds. VVhy should I be offended? Thou shalt die. 'Tis a vain thing to fear what I cannot avoid: He that stays the long­est cannot fly it. Thou shalt die. I am not the first nor the last, many went before, and many shall follow: Thou shalt die. VVhat wise Man ever took it amiss to be set at Liberty. VVhatever begins must end. Thou shalt die. It is not grievous be­cause but once to be suffered. They are Eternal Pains that torment. Now is Death less to be fear'd than formerly. For then the Gate of Hea­ven being not so open, all Men bewail'd for this.

Noctes at (que) Dies, &c.
Both day and night stands ope th' Infernal Gate
Of swarthy Dis—

But now we can Sing,

Both day and night to Zealous Faith and Hope
The splendid Gate of highest Heav'n stands ope.

So that it matters not how terrible and threat­ning Death appears. 'Tis the most inconsiderable what he desires of us. He never thought of Death that liv'd well, nor loses any thing who gains all things.

Sect. 4. How the Holy Men do desire, yet fear Death.

LET us behold Paul, saith Gregory, how he loves what he seeks to avoid. How he avoids what he loves. He desires to die and yet fears to be spoil'd of his Flesh. Why so? because though the Eternal Victory over-joy him, yet the present pain disturbs him: And though the Love of the Recom­pence overcome him, yet he cannot be unsensible of the twitches and pangs of Torment. For as a Couragious Souldier just before the Battel palpi­tates, trembles, looks pale, yet is still instigated by his Anger. So a Holy Man seeing the approach of his Suffering, is shaken by the weakness of his Nature, fears the approach of Death, and yet re­joices to die. And because there is no passage but through Death, therefore trusting he doubts, and doubting trust; rejoicing he fears, and fearing re­joices. Because he knows he shall not attain the Garden of Repose, unless he get over the Hill that lyes between. David shew'd his fear of Death when he cry'd out, Lord take me not away in the midst of my Age. Neither was Abraham, Jacob nor Elias free from that fear though it were but mo­derate.

Arsenius a Man of a Hundred and Twenty years of Age, after he had served God Five and Fifty years, being ready to depart the World, began to be afraid and to shed Tears; which his Friends admiring. And dost thou Father, cry'd they, fear death? To whom he, Verily, said he, ever since I have taken upon me Religious Orders, I have always been afraid of this Hour. To which purpose Seneca spake very perspicuously. Therefore, saith he, the [Page 231] stoutest Man, while he is putting on his Arms looks pale, and the fiercest Souldiers knees tremble a little at first. Charles the Fifth in all Warlike Expedi­tions most Couragious, in all Dangers most un­daunted, yet when he put on his Armour before a Battel, was always wont to look pale, and quiver for fear, but after his Arms were on, like an Arm­ed Giant breathing nothing but a Lion-like Valour, like an Iron Giant he flew upon the Enemy.

Thus the best of Men desires and fears Death. But it is better to die with Cat [...], than to live with Antony. He overcomes death who dextrously suf­fers himself to be overcome by Death.

Sect. 5. An Ill Death follows an Ill Life.

AS the Tree when it is cut falls which way it bends. So which way we bend when we live, that way we fall when we die. It would be a strange thing that a commendable death should conclude an ill-spent Life. A Courtier of King Kenred, who studied more to please his Lord than his Saviour Christ, when he came to die, he did not so much seem to neglect, as to delay the care of his Soul. But at length seeing the Devils tri­umphing about him, with a List of his wicked Acti­ons, in despair he expir'd.

When the Impious Chrysaurius desir'd respite, respite but till Morning he expir'd with a denial. Thus Jezabel and Athaliah, thus Benhadad and Bel­shazzar, thus Antiochus and thousands of others, as they liv'd so they ended their days.

Sect. 6. A good Death follows a good Life.

MOST truly said St. Austin, That is not to be thought an ill death which St. Ambrose gives us this Rule; A sincere fidelity and a discerning fore­sight. Or Charity with Prudence, and Prudence with Charity.

Thirdly, Sole care of Salvation. This is the one thing necessary. St. Austin ten days before he di­ed, admitted no body to see him, but the Physici­an and the person that brought him sustenance, and that at set Hours. All the while employing himself in Prayers, Groans and Tears; leaving this Rule behind him, That no Man ought to depart hence without a worthy and competent Repen­tance.

Fourthly, To Receive the Sacrament. In this Af­fair delay is always dangerous.

Fifthly, An Entire Resignation of thy self to the Divine Will. All Men perhaps cannot shew an un­daunted Spirit; but all Men can shew a willing Mind. Therefore let the sick Patient often repeat those words of the Lord Christ; Even so, O Father, for so was it thy good pleasure. He cannot well mis­carry, that so effectually reconciles himself to his Judge.

Sect. 7. How to recover Time lost.

WHoever he be that desires to recover his lost time, let him remove himself from all time and place, and betake himself to that Now of Eternity, where God lives. In God all things lost are to be found. Let Man plunge himself into God in this manner.

[Page 233] Most Eternal God, O that I had liv'd as purely, as obediently, as holily, from the beginning to the end of the World, as all those Men did, who best pleas'd thee in the practice of all manner of Ver­tues, in continual Miseries and Afflictions. Oh that I might be able to bear thee that Love where­with all the Blessed, and all thy Holy Angels bear thee. For all that I can do and more is due to thy Mercy and Love. But now, O Lord, have Mer­cy upon me according to thy Knowledge, and thy good Pleasure.

He recovers his lost Hours who sincerely grieves for having lost them.

Sect. 8. A short Life how to be prolong'd.

A Man of an upright Mind is to live not as long as is convenient, but as long as it behoves him. Wisdom cries out, though he was soon dead, yet fulfilled he much time. For how has he not fulfill'd all times who passes to Eternity. For as much time as he has spent, not in Series of Years or Number of Days, but in Devotion, and an un­quenchable desire of profiting in Piety, so much does he deservedly claim of true Life. For he re­tains in Vertue what he lost in time. And there­fore an unwearied study of profiting, and a conti­nual going forward to perfection, is reputed for perfection.

Sect. 9. There is an End of all Things but of Eternity.

'TIS the Sence of St. Gregory, all the length of the time of this present Life is known to be a [Page 234] point, and has its end. Which the same Gregory confirming. 'Tis but little, all that has an end. For whatever tends to a Non-Entity by the course of time, ought not to seem long to us. Those ve­ry moments that seem to delay it drive it on. St. Austin is more plain. All this time, saith he, I do not mean from to day till the end of the World, but from Adam to the end of the World, is but a drop compar'd to Eternity. All things else have an end, but Eter­nity has none. There is nothing in the World but has an end; Banquets, Balls, Pleasure, Laugh­ter, have all an end, but Eternity has none. Wherefore then do we set our Minds upon vain things? Nothing but what is durable will delight a great Mind. Whatever had a beginning shall have an end, only Eternity has no end.

Why boasts the fond vain-glorious World
Whose Joys are transitory?
Like to the Potters brittle Ware
Is all her Pomp and Glory.
Ah! where is Solomon the Wise,
Or Sampson strong in Fight;
Where is the lovely Absalom;
Or David's dear Delight?
What is beceme of Caesar now?
VVith all his Trophies around.
VVhere's Aristole? Tully where,
In Learning so profound?
So many Men of Might and Fame
VVith all their Honour won,
In the short twinkling of an Eye
Are vanish'd all and gon.
[Page 235] The fleeting Banquet of our Joys
Swift as our shadows run.
In the short twinkling of an Eye
Th [...] are vanish'd all and gone.

Sect. 10. The Consideration of a Dy­ing Man.

SAith the Master of Patience, Job, The waters pierce through the very stones by little and little, and the Floods wash away the Gravel and Earth; so shalt thou, destroy the hope of Man. Thou prevailest still against him, so that he passes away. Thou chang­est his Countenance, and puttest him from thee, Job c. 14. v. 19, 20. How few Ceremonies God uses, when he would send a Man out of this into another World. He changes his Countenance, and com­mands him to be gon. VVhen death is at hand, the whole Face is changed. The Nose becomes sharp, the Eyes sunk and hollow, the Skin of the Forehead hard and wrinkled, the Colour of the Face grows pale, with several other Mortal Symp­toms, that make such a strange and dismal altera­tion in the Countenance that it seems to be quite a­nother thing. So that when God changes the Coun­tenance of Man, he sends him forth; Go now, saith he, go Man, into thy House of Eternity. Upon so small a point of Death depend so many Ages not to be numbered by Ages.

Sect. 11. Of Dying in a standing Posture.

IT was a saying of Vespasian, That an Emperor ought to die standing. I also say that it becomes a Christian to die no otherwise than standing.

[Page 236] In the year 1605 at Vienna the Night before Christmas day, a Souldier standing Sentinel in a small wooden House was frozen to death; in the Morning he was found standing, but not watching; for he had finished the VVatch of the Night and of his Life both together. In the same manner died another, who was frozen to death, and had done Living before he had done Riding; for the Horse knowing the way carried his Master to Constance in­to his publick Quarters very faithfully. Q. Curtius testifies, that some of Alexanders Souldiers were frozen to death against the Trunks of Trees; and were found not only as if they had been living, but as if they had been talking together, being all in the same posture as death seized them.

VVe read that Leodeganius the Martyr, having his Head cut off, raised himself upright, and stood immoveable for above an Hour. Peter also the Mar­tyr being upon his Knees, yet kneeled upright af­ter his Head was off. In the times of Dioclesian and Maximilian; Ursus and Victor the Martyrs, af­ter their Heads were cut off walked with them a good way in their Hands: And so did not only die standing, but stood after they were dead.

Thus it becomes a Christian to die standing, and a dying Christian must stand and fight; he stands and fights well, who being supported by God, fears not to die.

Sect. 12. Some dead before death.

'TVVas a wise saying of Alexandridas, That we should die before we are compelled to die. St. Paul makes this Asseveration, I die daily. Gregory the Great describing his own condition, Me, faith he, bitterness of Mind, and continual trouble and pains [Page 237] of the Gout so violenly afflict; that my Body is as it were like a dried Carkass in the Sepulcher, so that I am not able to rise out of my Bed.

Cosmo de Medici lying at the point of death, and being ask'd by his Wife, why he shut his Eyes so, especially when he was awake, made answer, I de­sire so to accustom them, that they may not take it ill to be always closed. 'Tis the best way of dying then to shut the Eyes, when any Allurement of pleasure assails them. O shut thy Eyes and so die that thou maist not always die, whoever thou art that lovest Integrity. Most wisely Seneca Councels Lucilicus, Endeavour this before the day of thy death, that thy Vices may die before thee.

Sect. 13. Of those that have been Buried by themselves.

PAcuvius, Tiherius Caesar's Procurator in Syria so largely endulged himself every day to Drink­ing and Gluttony in that manner, that he was car­ried from his Dining-room into his Bed-chamber in the midst of the Applauses and Symptoms of his Domestick Servants, that all the way sang to him after the manner of a Funeral Dirge, Vixit, vixit. He hath lived, he hath lived; what was this but every day to cause himself to be carried forth and buried? Of whom most excellently Seneca. What; saith he, this Man did out of an evil Conscience, let us perform with a good Conscience, and going to sleep, let us chearfully sing, vixi, I have lived; if God add to morrow to our Lives, let us gladly accept of it; he is the most happy, and the most secure enjoyer of himself, who without any sollicitude expects to Mor­row.

Labienus, who furiously Satyriz'd upon all Men; [Page 238] and was therefore called Rabienus, so far hated, that all his Books were burnt; this Labienus could not brook, nor would survive the Funerals of his Will, but caused himself to be carried into the Mo­nument of his Predecessors, and there to be shut up: Nor did he only put an end to his Life, but Buried himself alive. But more to be admir'd was he, who being buried alive, was unburied when dead. Storax, a Neopolitan, a Man some few years since of great Wealth, delicate and proud; who being Keeper of the publick Stores of Provision, when he had been tardy in his Office, drew the fury of the samished Multitude upon him; he seeking for re­fuge, hid himself in the Sepulcher of St. Austin; where being fonnd at length and stoned to Death, he was prosecuted with that rage that the people tore his Flesh bit from bit, and threw his broken Bones about the Streets, which produced this Epi­taph' upon him.

Storax, who living in a Tomb lay hid,
Yet wanted, strange to tell, a Tomb, when dead.

Albertus Magnus, the wonder of his Age, having resigned his Miter of Ratispine, returned to Cologne, to the Learned Poverty of his Order. There he lost the remembrance almost of every thing as had been foretold him. Yet was he not so forgetful, but that he remembered every day to approach the place of his Burial, where he constantly said his Prayers for himself as if he had been Buried.

S. Severus Governour of Ravenna, entered into his Monument alive, and placing himself between his Daughter and his Wife, which had been dead some years before, expir'd upon the place.

Macarius the Roman stood three years Buried up to the Neck in Earth.

Philotomus a Presbyter of Galatia, lived six years among the Sepulchers of the dead, that he might overcome the fear of Death.

[Page 239] Philemon of Laodicea, as Suidas testifies, the Dis­ciple of Timocrates the Philosopher, and Master of Aristides in the Six and Fiftieth year of his Age, threw himself in a Sepulcher, having almost starved himself to death, to ease the pains of the Gout. And when his Friends and Relations bemoan'd him, and endeavoured to perswade him to come out of the Sepulcher, Give me, said he, another Body and I will rise.

But the next is an Example of more Piety. Two Anchorites lived in the Pterugian Rock near the Ri­ver; one of which grown old and dying was Bu­ried in the Mountain by his Companion. Some few days after the Disciple of the Old Man deceased, going to a Countreyman, that was at Plough in the bottom; Do me but one kindness Brother, said he, take thy Spade and Mattock and follow me. Being come where the old Man lay Buried, the Anchorite shewed the Countreyman the Grave. And having so done, Dig, said he, here I desire thee, while I pray in the mean time. When the Grave was dig­ged, and that the Anchorite had finished his Pray­ers, embracing the old Man, Pray for me, said he, Brother; and throwing himself alive upon his Ma­ster thus Buried by himself, he gave up the Ghost.

These things may be admired, but not imitated, unless the Holy St. Paul intimates. You are dead, saith he, and your Life is hidden with Christ in God. Most Excellent is that Admonition of the Philoso­phers; Live as it were lying hid. For he lives well that absconds himself well. Such a one is honestly buried by himself, and to his great Advantage. Who too much known to all men, dyes unknown to him­self. He dies most quietly, who ever buries him­self alive in that manner.

Sect. 14. Considerations upon the Sepulchre.

The next third Season, within Plithia's Walls,
Will bring me to my longed for Funerals.

THus Socrates foretold his own Death; and truly, here the City Plithia signifies no other than the Coffin, and the Sepulcher, whither, what­ever Treaties makes a hasty speed. The Old Poet sang of Alexander the Great.

But having enter'd once that mighty Town,
Whose Sun bak'd Walls were of such high Renown,
Contented in a Coffin then he lay;
Thus Death alone makes the most true display.
What little things Mens Bodies are,—

There is no House or Habitation so certainly ou [...] own, as the Grave. This the blessed Jacoponus, a Person as Religious as Facetious, most aptly taught. A Citizen of Tudertum; had bought a pair of Cock Chickens, and spying Jacoponus, in the Market, de­sired him to do him the Favour to carry them home for him, desiring him withal that he would not fail. To whom Jacoponus, be certain, said he, that I will not fail to carry them home; and so went directly to the Church of St. Fortunatus, where that Citizens Monument was, and hid the Chickens as well as he could. The Citizen returning home, in the first place, enquired for his Chickens: All the Servants denied they saw any such thing: there­upon, the Citizen returning back, and finding Ja­coponus; I thought, said he, thou wouldst deceive me, as thou usest to do, But where are the Chic­kens? said he, To whom Jacoponus, I carried them home, as you ordered me: Thereupon, the Citi­zen [Page 241] denying any such thing to be done; come along with me, said Jacoponus, and believe thy own Eyes; and so saying, carried the Citizen to his Monument, and listing up the Stone; Friend (said he) Is not this thy House? Which the Citizen acknowledged to be true, and there received his Chickens again. Therefore, most truly, saith Job, I know, because thou wilt deliver me to Death, where the House is appointed for all living Creatures.

Sect. 15. Nine Wills:

VEry truly said Pliny the younger; the common Opinion is false, that the Wills of Men are the mirrour of Manners.

1. Zilka bequeathed his Skin to make a Drum, and his Flesh to the Fowls of the Air, and Wild Beasts; and commanded his Souldiers to spare nei­ther Churches nor Monuments. He died of the Sick­ness, in the year 1424.

2. There was a Woman that left her Cat, by Will, five Hundred Crowns, for her Cats Food, as long as she lived. O the ridiculous Fosteries of Hu­mane Thoughts. Augustus said of Herod, I had ra­ther be his Hog than his Son. A Man might as well have said, I had rather have been this Womans Cat than her Servant.

3. A Famous Usurer, being at the point of Death, sending for the Publick Notary and Respesses, caused his Will to be written in these VVords; Let my Bo­dy be returned to the Earth, from whence it was taken; but my Soul be given to the Devils. His Friends astonished at his words, advised, rebuked him, but he again and again persisted; saying, Let my Soul be given to the Devils, for I have unjustly scraped together the most of my Estate. To them [Page 242] belongs the Soul of my Wife, and the Souls of my Children, who that they might have wherewithal to spend upon Cloaths, Feasting and Luxury, put me upon the wicked Trade of Usury. To them also belongs the Soul of my Confessor, who encou­raged my wickedness by his silence. And so saying he breathed his last.

4. St. Jerome rebukes the Covetousness of Heirs, with this Fable. A little Pig bewailed the Death of its Dam. with a most bitter gruntling; but hear­ing the Will read, and that there were a heap of Acorns, and some Bushels of Pease left him, he held his Peace; and being asked wherefore he cea­sed his Lamentation so suddainly; Oh, saith he, the Acorns and the Pease have stopped my Mouth. This is the Humour of most Heirs now adays. They gape after the Legacies, make Inventories of the Goods, and tell the Money; let what will become of the Soul of the Testator; let him rest as he has deserved. But let us view another sort of Wills.

5. The Holy Martyr Hierom, the fourth day be­fore he was carried to Execution, left his Estate to his Mother and Sister; but to Rusticius, who was chief in Authority in the Commonwealth of Aneyra, his Hand already cut off.

6. The Holy Hilarion, at Fourscore years of Age, made Hesychius his Heir, in these Words. All my Wealth, that is to say, the Gospel, and one Hair Vest, my Coat, and little Cloak, I leave to my most loving Friend Hesychius. And this was all the Inven­tory of his Goods.

7. Antonius the Great, made his Will, in these Words. As for the Place of my Burial, let no man know, but your own Love. My Felt, and old Cloak, give it to Athanasius, the Bishop, which he gave me when it was new. Let Serapion, the Bishop, take the other, which is somewhat better. Do you [Page 243] take my Hair Garment. And so farewel. My Bow­els for Antony is going. He had no sooner ended these Words, but extending his Legs, he gave admittance to Death.

8. The Patriarch of Alexandria, John of Almes, wrote his Will thus. I give thee thanks, O God, that at my Death, of all my Revenues, it hath plea­sed thee to let me have remaining, but one third part of a pound. When Alexandria first made me their Patriarch, I found Fourscore Hundred pieces of Gold; to this the Friends of Christ added an unspeakable quantity of Money, all which, that I might give to God that which was Gods, I expend­ed upon the Poor; wherefore what remains I also give to them.

9. To this may be added, the Will of a certain Christian, changing only the Name, the Year, and the Day.

I Achathius, Victor, have been running to Eter­nity, from the year 1581. upon the 15th. of Au­gust, and have Eternity in my mind. Now I commend my Spirit to God; and because I cannot deny the Earth what belongs to it, I bequeath my Body to the Earth, and to the Worms. Of my Goods, there is nothing now mine, but good will, which I carry with me to the Tribunal of God; the rest I thus dispose.

  • 1. I forgive all my Enemies from the bottom of my Heart.
  • 2. I am sincerely sorry for all my Sins.
  • 3. I believe in Christ Jesus, my most loving Re­deemer. And in this Faith, I desire the Sacrament of the Church.
  • 4. I hope for Eternal Life through the goodness of God.
  • 5. I love my God, with all my Heart, above all things, and resign my self up fully to his holy will.

[Page 244] Most absolute prepared to be well, to be sick, to live or die, when it shall please the Lord. The will of God be done.

Unless every Christian so order his Life, and his last Actions, he is to be thought to have lived ill. and to have died worse. The last Hour consumates Death, but is not the cause of it; which was pre­ceded by a good Death. For nothing makes Death ill, but what follows Death. Good Seed brings a good Harvest. The Highway to a good Death, is a good Life. I may not unfitly compare Life and Death to a Syllogisine. The end of a Syllogisme, is the Conclusion; the Conclusion of Life Death: But the Conclusion is either true or false, according to the Nature of the Antecedents; so is Death good or bad, as the Life before was good or bad. Thus St. Paul severely prononnces, saying, Whose end shall be according to their VVorks. 2 Cor. 11. 15.

Memorable is the Death of that Holy Martyr, Fe­lix, who being led to Execution, rejoicing to him­self, with a loud Voice; I have, said he, preserved my Virginity, I have kept the Gospels, I have prea­ched the Truth, and now I bow my Head a Victim to God. There is a Relation of one who died sud­denly in his Study, and was found with his Finger pointing to that Verse, in the Book of VVisdom, ch. 4. v. 7. which says. Though the Righteous be overta▪ ken with Death, yet he shall find rest, pretions in the sight of the Lord, is the Death of his Saints whether slow or suddain.

The Copious St. Bernard, being near his end, Because, saith he, I cannot leave you great Exam­ples of Religion, yet I commend Three things to your Observation, which I remember observed by my self. 1. I less believed my own than the Judg­ment of another. 2. Being injured, I never sought Revenge. 3. I never would offend any Person.

[Page 245] Gerard, the Brother of St. Bernard, upon his Death-Bed, broke out into that Davidean Rapture, Praise the Lord in Heaven, Praise him in the High­est; Where is thy Victory, O Death? Where is thy S [...]ing, O Grave? Gerard, through the midst of thy very Jaws passes not only securely, but joyfully and triumphantly to his Country. He cannot die ill who has lived well.

Sect. 16. As we Live, so shall we Die.

The weary Huntsman in his rest, all Night
Dreams of new Sports. and of his past Delight.

IN the same manner, those things that pleased us in our Health, we are delighted with at our Deaths.

Antiochus miserably afflicted the Jews; and Maxi­min [...], the Emperour had designed the utter Exter­pation of the Christians. At length, they both fell into a most lamentable Disease; and when they saw no other way, the one besought the Jews, the other the Christians, to pray to their God for their Recovery. Like Esops Crew, which being taken desperately sick, cautioned his Mother, as she sate by him, not to weep for him, but rather pray [...]o the Gods for his Recovery. To whom she replied, O my Son, which of the Gods dost thou think will be propitious to thee that has robbed the Altars of every one of them.

Therefore, as we live, so we die; so are we re­prieved and condemed, so destined to Heaven or to Hell.

Sect. 17. A good Death to be desired.

I Pray God my Soul may die the Death of the Righteous, and that my last end may be like his, cried the Prophet Balaam. How much more rightly had he wished. Let my Soul live the Life of the Just, that it may also die the Death of the Just. 'Tis a Ridiculous thing to desire a good Death, and flie a good Life. 'Tis a Labour to live well, but a Happiness to die well; he that refuses to pass the Red Sea, must not think to [...]at Manna. He that loves the Egyptian Servitude, shall never reach the Land of Canaan. Piously and Elegantly St. Bernard, Oh that I may fall, saith he, frequently by this Death; that I may escape the Snares of Death; that I may not feel the deadly Allurements of a Luxuri­ous Life, that I may not besot my self in sensual Just, in Covetousnes, Impatience, Care and Trou­ble, for worldly Affairs.

This is that Death which every one ought to wish for, who designs a Life that shall never know Death. Before Death, to die to Sin and Vic [...], is the best Death of all.

Sect. 18. Sleep the Brother of Death.

PAusanias relates, that he saw a Statue of Night, in the shape of a Woman; holding in her right Hand a little white Boy sleeping, in her left, a lit­tle black Boy, like one that were a sleep. The one was called Som [...]us, Sleep; and the other Lethum, Death, but both the Sons of Night. Hence it is that Virgil calls Sleep the Kinsman of Death.

[Page 247] Gorgias Leontinus, being very old, was taken ill. In his Sickness he was visited by a Friend, who finding him fall'n asleep, when he waked, asked how he did? To whom Gorgias made answer; Now Sleep is about to deliver me to his Brother.

Whoever thou art, O Christan, before thou layst thy self to Sleep, examine thy Conscience, and wipe away the stains and spots that defile it. There are many who have begun to sleep, and die both together; and ended their Lives before they had slept out of their Sleep. The Brother of Death is to be feared, and not only cautiously, but chastly to be fallen into. He that sleeps not chastly, shall hardly wake chastly.

Sect. 19. The fore-runners of Death.

THE fore-runners of Eternity, is Death; the fore-runners of Death, are Pains, and deadly Symptoms. One deadly Symptome, if we believe Pliny, in the height of Madness is Laughter, in other Diseases an unequal Pulse. But the Eyes, and the Ears, shew most undoubted Prognosticks of Death. Experience teacheth us, that when sick People talk of going Journeys, and endeavoured to escape out of their Beds, when they pull and pick the Blankets, they are near Death. Augustus, the Emperor, a little before he expired, suddainly ter­rified, complained that he was carried away by Forty young Men. Which saith Suetonius, was rather a Presage, than a sign of any Delirium, for so many Pretorian Souldiers, when he was dead car­ried him to his Funeral Pile.

When Alexander went by Water to Babylon, a sudden Wind rising blew off the Regal Ornament of his Head, and the Diadem fixt to it: This was [Page 248] lookt upon as a Presage of Alexander's Death, which happened soon after.

In the Year of Christ, 1185. the last and most fatal end of Andronicus Commenus being at hand, the Statue of St. Paul which the Emperour had cau­sed to be set up in the great Church of Constanti­nople, abundantly wept: Nor were these Tears in vain which the Emperour washt off with his own Blood.

Barbara Princess of Bavaria, having shut her self up in a Nunnery, among other things allowed her for her peculiar Recreation, she had a Marjoram-Tree of an extraordinary bigness, a small Aviary, and a Gold Chain, which she wore about her Neck: but fourteen days before she died the Mar­joram-Tree dried up; the Birds the next Night were all found dead; and after that the Chain broke in two in the middle. Then Barbara calling for the Abbess, told her that all those Warnings were for her, and in a few days after died, in the Seventeenth Year of her Age: After her death a­bove twenty other Virgins died out of the same Nunnery.

Several other Presages there are that foretold the death of Princes and great Men: As the un­wonted Howlings of Dogs, the unseasonable noise of Bells, the Roaring of Lions, &c. Therefore said Pliny, The Signs of Death are innumerable, and that there are none or very few Signs of Safety or Security. What do all these things Admonish us, but only this; Remember, O man, that thou art a man; think upon Eternity to which thou art hastening: Go to, prepare thy self, thou art called to that Tribunal of God; as thou didst live, shalt thou be judged.

Sect. 20. What Answer is to be given to the Messenger of Death.

SAint Ambrose having received the News of his Death, when his Friends bewailed him, and begg'd of God to grant him a longer space of Life; I have not lived, as to be ashamed to lieve among you, neither do I fear to die, because we have a gra­cious God.

Saint Austin, nothing troubled at the News of his Death; He never shall be great, saith he, who thinks it strange that Stones and Wood fall, and that Mortals die.

Saint Chrysostom a little before his Death, in Exile, wrote to Innocentius, We have been these three Years in Banishment, exposed to Pestilence, Famine, continual Incursions, unspeakable Solitude, and con­tinual Death. But when he was ready to give up the ghost, He cryed out aloud, Glory be to thee, O God, for all things.

Let a dying Christian imitate these most holy Persons, and repeat these Sayings often to him­self; Thanks be to God; Glory be to thee, O God, for all things. I have watcht long enough among thorns, labour'd long enough in Storms: Now because I see the end of my Watching and my Labour, Thanks be to God: Glory be to God for all things; For Life is tedious, Death a certain gain.

Sect. 21. Death is better than a sorrow­ful Life.

IT is better once to Die, than to be always Dy­ing: We daily Die, we have lost our Child­hood, [Page 250] our Youth is gone. All our Time even to Yesterday is slid away. These things Gregory Na­zianzene comprehending in a few words, There is no good among men, with which there is not something of evil mixt. Riches are a Snare; Poverty a Fet­ter, Honour a meer Dream, Empire dangerous, Subjection troublesom, Youth is the Summer of Life, Grey-hairs the Sun-set of Life, Matrimony a Bond, Children the growing Crop of Care, Fulness breeds Petulance, Want begets Impatience. What­ever we behold in this World, is like the World in a perpetual motion. Whatever seemed stable, is now doubtful, contending with the perpetual volubility of Day-night Labours, Diseases, Sorrows, Pleasures and Calamities; Death is most certain. Elegantly St. Austin; Death, saith he, is only cer­tain, all things else uncertain. A Child once Con­ceived perhaps is born, perhaps not, but perishes in Abortion. If he be born, perhaps he grows up, perhaps not: perhaps he grows old, perhaps not: Peradventure he shall be Rich, peradven­ture Poor; perhaps he shall attain to Ho­nour, peradventure live Contemned; perhaps he shall have Children, it may be not; perhaps he shall die in his Bed, it may be slain in the Field: But who can say, perhaps he shall die, perhaps not.

The first Book of Maccabees thus describes the Death of Alexander; Then he fell sick, and when he perceived that he should die, Alexander had wish­ed for several Worlds in hopes of Victory, and thought with himself that he had performed Atchievements that deserved Eternal Annals. Nevertheless after so many and such great Victories, overcome at length he fell, not only into his Bed, but into his Tomb, contented with a small Coffin. Peter Al­fonsus reports, That several Philosophers flockt to­gether, and variously descanted upon the King's [Page 251] Death. One there was that said, Behold now four Yards of Ground is enough for him, whom the spacious Earth could not comprehend before. Another added, Yesterday could Alexander save whom he pleas'd from Death, to Day he cannot free himself. Another view­ing the Golden Coffin of the Deceased: Yesterday, said he, Alexander heaped up a Treasure of Gold, now Gold makes a Treasure of Alexander. This was their Learned Contention, yet all ended in this; Then he fell sick and died.

Thus forgetful of our selves, what Mountains do we raise to our selves in Thought. We revolve in our Minds Immortal, I wish they were Heavenly Things, whilst Death surprizes us in the midst of our vast Undertakings; and that which we call Old Age, is but the Circuit of a few Years. Where­fore do we trust to Death? Behold through what slight Occasions we lose our Lives. Our Food, our Moisture, our Watchings, our Sleep, are unwhole­some to us without their due measure. A small hurt of a Toe, a light pain of the Ear, a Worm in the Tooth, make way for Death. The little Body of Man is weak, frail, subject to Diseases; this Air, these Winds, those Waters offend him. Therefore let us believe the Son of Syras, Death is better than a bitter Life, and Eternal Rest better than continual Sickness. So that it is much better to be an In­habitant on Earth, than a Pilgrim in Heaven.

Sect. 22. The Happiness of Death.

BLessed are the dead that die in the Lord; even so saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours, and their works follow them. To die in the Lord, is the same thing as to die a Servant of the Lord; as the Scripture speaks concerning Moses, [Page 252] Moses my Servant is dead. As if God had said, saith Cajetan, Though he were once a Sinner, and was not then my Servant, nevertheless he died my Servant. He so died, that whatever he was, or whatever he did, was mine; for a Servant wholly belongs to the Master: And let such a Servant of the Lord sing that Song of Simeon at his death, Lord, now let thy Servant depart in peace according to thy word. Al­together in peace, and that Eternal; in the begin­ning whereof all the Warfare of good men is at an end, never more to be rekindl'd. For such Servants of God die in the Lord, who dying, rest in the Bosom of God, and so resting, sweetly sleep in death. Thus Stephen among so many Showers of Stones, in such in the midst of the Tumult and Dinn of the Enraged Multitude, slept in the Lord. Thus Moses the Servant of the Lord, died by the com­mand of God. Thrice happy and blessed are such, that never more shall be miserable. The death of the Just, saith St. Bernard, is good, because of its Rest, better because of its Novelty, best of all by reason of its Security. Blessed, and again thrice blessed are such, for their Works follow them: They follow them as Children follow their Parents, as Servants follow their Masters, as Scholars follow their Teacher, and Souldiers their Captain. They follow them to the Tribunal of God, to the Court of Heaven; as Peers follow their Prince, whither these Noble Servants are only admitted.

Sect. 23. The Farewel of a dying Person to the living which are to go the same way.

THere are many things of which it behoves me to Repent, of Vertue often neglected, and Time ill spent. How much did it become me to have been more patient, more submissive, more studious of daily Death. How small a Spark of Divine Love did glow in me! Pity me, O God, pity me, ac­cording to thy great Mercy! Spare a Sinner, O Infinite God, through the Passion and Blood of thy dear Son. But I have also offended you both in Word and Deed; Pardon me; you find me both Confessing and Sorry, and deny me not this Pro­vision for my Journey, the pardon of all my Trans­gressions. Let not your Vertue decrease by my Example, which was always bad. You have before your Eyes the Lives of the Saints, to which yours must conform. Enable their Patience, Submission, and Obedience to the utmost of your power. I al­so return you thanks for your Pains, for your As­sistance, for your Advice, and for your Love. God the inexhaustible Fountain of Goodness, and the Immense Ocean of Love, recompence your Affe­ction. God is certainly most Liberal to those that Commit themselves to his most holy Providence. Obedience is a most Noble Vertue, Patience is absolutely necessary, Submission is a most excellent Vertue, and Contempt of our selves, Poverty is a Vertue belov'd of Christ, Charity is the Queen of Vertue: Yet above all the Vertues, Faith in God seems to me to have something singular and most excellent, and a Plenary Resignation of a Man's self to Divine Providence, which the holy Scrip­ture [Page 254] so commends, and which is continually in the Mouth of the Kingly Prophet, and which Christ endeavours to inculcate into us, by so many Ar­guments drawn from Flowers, &c. little Birds. The Vertues of this Faith, and the Tranquility that attends it, he only knows and finds, who in every thing as well small as great, most perfectly trusts in God, and confines himself to rely upon his Providence and Will Neither do I be­lieve there is any man who had this Hope and Trust in God, but that strange and hidden My­steries befell him. Therefore let us trust in God, and commit our selves wholly to his Will and Protection.

I, whom ye here see, am cited to the Tribunal of God, to give an Account of Sixty Years. All my Deeds, Words and Thoughts, are open to this Judge. Nothing is concealed from him. All my Lifes Actions shall receive their definitive Sen­tence. How I tremble! for it is a terrible thing to stand in Judgment before God. But in this Extremity there is that which comforts me: There­fore though I am a wicked Servant, my Lord is Gracious and Infinitely Good, who will acknow­ledge his Servant though he have been bad. And now God be with you all that Survive: Farewel all you that are to follow me in your order.

Sect. 24. The last Admonitions of Dying People.

AS the Sun towards his Setting, shines often forth more pleasantly; So Man the nearer he is to Death, the wiser he is. Hence those Admonitions of dying People, which Wisdom has so much applauded.

[Page 255] [...]yrus being about to die, My Son, said he, when I am dead, close up my Body neither in Silver nor in any other Mettal, but return its own Earth to the Earth again. His last Words were, Be grate­ful to your Friends, and you will never want the Power to punish your Enemies. Farewel my dear Son, and tell these my Words to your Mother also.

Wisely saith Thcophrastus, upon his Death Bed, Many fine and pleasant things doth Li [...] impose upon us, under the pretence of Glory, then the Love of which there is nothing more vain. Hither may be referred the saying of Severus, the Empe­ror. I was all things, but nothing avails.

Constantius, Father of Constantine the Great, upon his Death-Bed, as he was resigning his Em­pire to his Son, with a wonderful Chearfulness; Now (said he) do I almost esteem Death above Immortality. I leave a Son, Emperor. Here is the Man, that after 270 years has wiped away the Tears of the Christians, and avenged the Cruelty of Tyrants. Christ was truly in Arms with Con­stantius.

Lewis, King of France, gave these his last Ad­monitions to his Son. Beware my Son, that thou never commit any deadly Sin; rather suffer all manner of Torments. First, chose such about thee as will not be afraid to tell thee what thou art to do, and what to beware. To thy Parents give all Obedience, Love and Reverence.

Ferdinand, the Great, King of Castile, falling sick of his last Sickness, caused himself to be car­ried to the great Church, in all his Royal Robes, where putting off all his Royal Ornaments, and as it were restoring God his own, he put on a Ha [...] Cloth, and casting himself upon the Ground, with Tears in his Eyes. Lord, said he, the Kingdom which [Page 256] thou gavest me, I return to thee again, seat me, I be­seech thee, in Eternal Light.

Charles King of Sicily, spoke these Words, Oh the Vain Thoughts of Men! Miserable Creatures, we are delighted with Honour, heap up Treasure, and neglect Heaven. O the happy Fate of the poor, who content with little Sleep in Tranquility. What does now my Kingdom, what do all my Guards a­vail me? I might have been Miserable, without all this Pomp. Where is now the power and strength of my Empire? The same necessity in­volves me, as hampers the meanest Begger. Of so many Thousands of Clyents, Servants and Flat­terers, there is not one that will or can accompa­ny to the Tribunal of God. Go Mortals go, and swell your Breasts with great Thoughts; to Day or to Morrow, ye must die. Farewel Earth, would I could say, welcom Heaven.

Nor must we forget the most Holy and Opulent of Kings, the Son of the Hebrew Nation, David, who being near Death, I saith he, am going the way of all the Earth, and then turning to his Son, But thou my Son Solomon, said he, Keep thou the watch of the Lord, thy God, that thou walk in his Ways, and keep his Statutes and Precepts. If thou seek the Lord, thou shalt find him; but if thou forsakest him, he shall cast thee off to Eternity. A terrible Exhortation, and enough to have pierced a Heart of Adamant.

Thus Death devours all, cuts off Kings, lays Na­tions wast, and swallows the People up; deaf to Prayers, Riches, Tears, not to be overcome by any humane force. Only the wise Man dies contented, the Fool murmurs at his departure.

Sect. 25. Christ is invited.

ABide with me, O Lord, for it draweth toward Night, and the day is far passed. The day of my Life hastens towards Night, and there is no Joshua to stay the Sun, or prolong the Day. But as the Sun is daily buried under ground, yet every Morning revives; so I and all that live shall go to the Earth, but we shall return from the Earth clea­rer than the Sun it self.

Therefore, O Christ, O my most Gracious Savi­our, abide with me; behold it draweth towards Night. My Eyes, my Ears, all my Senses fail me: but do thou, I beseech thee, not fail me, O most loving Jesu, and all the rest, I most willingly a­bandon. Begon all other things; I dismiss and give ye leave. My Creator is with me, it is enough. It is well with me. But that thou may'st tarry with me till Night, even till Death; still I cry, abide with me, O Lord, for it draweth towards Night.

Sect. 26. The dying Man is encouraged.

WHen thou hast not the convenience of rea­ding much, behold a few Verses not a lit­tle useful to ease thy Troubles, and confirm thy mind. Consider that St. Cyprian whispers these Words into thy Ears. When we die, we pass to Immortality. Nor can we attain to eternal Life, unless we depart from hence. Neither is this an Exit, but a Passage, and a flight to Eternity, after the short Conclusion of a Temperate Race. How preposterous, how perverse a thing it is, when we desire that the Will of God should be done, when [Page 258] he calls us forth of this World, that we should not streight be obedient to his Will? We strive, we struggle, and like head-strong Servants we are haled into the presence of God, with Sadness and Sorrow; forc'd rather by Necessity, than won by the tie of our Obedience; and is it reasonable we should be honoured by him with Celestial rewards, to whom we go unwillingly? Wherefore do we de­sire and pray that the Heavenly Kingdom may come, when our Earthly Captivity so much delighteth us? Wherefore do we so earnestly wish for the fulfilling of Christs Kingdom, when we had rather serve the Devil here, then raign with Christ there?

Then shall the Servants of God injoy Peace, and a calm and quiet Rest, when freed from the trou­bles of this World, when having vanquished Death we come to immortality. When to see Christ, it shall be our joy, when we can have no joy, but by, seeing Christ. What blindness of mind, what madness is it, to be in love with the Oppressions, Pains and Tears of this World, and not rather to make haste to that joy which can never be tak'n from us?

Death is therefore the Hav'n of all Mortals. O happy Shore, O secure Port! wherein none but the obstinate can Shipwrack.

Sect. 27. Faith in the Resurrection.

THis Flesh of ours now lives; though shortly to return to its Clay, to its mouldring Dust; to be the Food of Fish, Locusts, Ants. and poyson­ous Vermin. And yet, after all this, the same Flesh shall rise; and the Butcheries of Executioners, and the Coats of Martyrs shall be crown'd. Neither do thou dream of any Flesh than the former, un­less [Page 259] thou canst imagine God unjust to give the re­ward to any other than that which has won the Prize, or that he should receive another to his Heavenly Rest, than that which won the Prize. The same Soul in all things, which in this Flesh fought the good fight, stood stedfast, learnt God, put on Christ, sowed the hope of Salvation, the same shall reap. The same Flesh that with the Soul ran through the whole Order of Life, endured, bled, with the same Soul, its Companion, shall reap the reward. Lazarus was the same after he had been four days in the Sepulchre as before, The same the Son, after the Mothers Tears were tried up as before: The same was Christ, after his being en­tombed as before. Neither does any aid of Se­pulture deprive God of his Omnipotency, or put a stop to his Goodness. The same was the Tongue of the Rich Man, that was fed with-Banquets, and that which was scorched in the Infernal Flames, and begg'd to be relieved by the Finger of the more happy Begger; the same Flesh shall be re­warded or punished according to its Merits. Is not God able to enliv'n the Clay, with the same brea­thing of his Spirit as formerly? He that formed the Muscles, the Bones, the Nerves, the Veins, the Marrow, out of the same Clay, Can he not form the same, out of the same again? Is there a ne­cessity that what perishes once should always Pe­rish? By what Law? Behold, that I may not stumble thee with any higher Philosophy; behold thy Universal returning, Order of all things; that is a testimony and argument of returning Man. Summers and Winters revolve, Springs and Au­tums have their turns. The light of Sun and Stars return with the morning Splendor, or the natural Darkness had obscured. Thou wouldst think the Vine dead, and the Branches only fit for the Fire, [Page 260] yet we see them revive again, and thicker clad than before; and what the cold Kills, the heat of Summer restores more Beautiful, as if decay it self paid use. Not that these things, in all things, prove the Reparation of Human Life but lead us to it. Wouldst thou have more signal Arguments? We have a pledge in Christ, in whom we Usurp Heaven, and the Kingdom of God. Wouldst thou have it in Man? The mortified and putrified Flesh of Lazarus; wise Flesh. Moses and Elias made known to the Apostles, demonstrated, that the same Habit and Condition of Body is still preserv'd in Glory. And the departed Souls delivered out of the Prisons of this Flesh, and returned to their own pure Light and Substance; yet desire nothing more than to be clad with this refin'd Clay, and in the former Matrimonial Society, to continue a Life with the same Flesh, never to be dissolved; that they which endured together may injoy the same equality of Glory, like Christ their Captain, who ascended Flesh and Bone into Heaven, a Pledge and Argument of our future Purity.

Therefore, let us not be sad. When the old House falls a fairer will rise in the stead. He not only believed without a Cause, but lived for no Cause, that thought himself born to Perish.

Sect. 23. The hope of Resurrection, our greatest Comfort.

JOB almost buried in the Grave of innumerable Calamities, yet with a vast alaerity of Mind; I know (saith he) that my Redeemer Lives, and that I shall rise out of the Earth, at the latter day, and shall be covered again with my Skin, and shall see God in my Flesh; when I my self shall see, and [Page 261] mine Eyes shall behold, and none other for me. This my hope is laid up in my Bosome. Christ also as it were returning an Answer to Job; I am the Resurrection and Life, saith he; whoever be­lieveth in me, though he be dead shall live.

There will most certainly come a day, that will restore us to Light, and therefore ought to depart contentedly.

'Tis reported that there is a Bird in the East In­dies, called Semenda, which being sensible of her approaching Death, fetches Wood into her Nest, sings sweetly, and by the clapping of her Wings sets it a Fire, where being consumed, out of the Ashes grows a Worm, which afterwards comes to be a Bird of the same Nature. A [...] plain Symbolum of the Resurrection.

Mirmeius, the Roman Orator, a great Antagonist of the Christians: see (saith he) how for our com­fort all nature points out our Resurrection. The Sun sets and rises, the Stars fall and return. Flow­ers decay and reflourish; the withered Trees reco­ver their Vendure. Seeds return their several species. Thus the Body deceased, like Trees in Winter, cover their Vigour with a feigned dryness. We are also to expect the Spring of the Body. I know that my Redeemer Lives, and that I shall rise again at the last day.

Sect. 29. The hope of Heaven.

WHat wouldst thou? What desirest thou? Wouldst thou live? And wouldst thou not die? So live then that thou mayst once live happy. For to live, and not to live happily, is a kind of death, or the way to death. In Heaven thou shalt live, never to die. Therefore thou shalt [Page 262] live happily, for thou neither shalt nor canst suf­fer pain, because there is none there. There thou shalt enjoy thy Wishes; nor canst thou [...] be put out of possession. Eat O ye Cant. 5. 1. Friends, drink and be merry, O ye beloved.

This Banquet has no end. St. Austin cries out, O sempiternal Life, and tempiternally blessed; where joy without sorrow, rest without labour, dignity without fear, health without sickness, life without death, happiness without calamity, where all good things perfect in cha­rity. The Gates of Jerusalem shall be built of Saphyrs and Smarayds, and of precious Stones, the whole Cir­cuit of her Walls. The Streets of the City shall be pure Gold, transparent as Glass, and through her Villages shall Allelujahs be sung.

Therefore blessed are they that dwell in thy house, they will be alwaies praising thee. I believe verily to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.

Sect. 30. Sighs to Heaven.

Exod. 35. SHew me thy Glory. Shew me all thy vers. 18. Good.

Isa. 61. 3. When wilt thou give unto them that mourn, beauty in stead of ashes, joyful Ointment for sighing, pleasant rayment for a heavy mind.

Job 6. 8, 9. 10. O that I might have my desire, and that God would grant me the thing that I long for. O that God would begin to smite me. That he would let his hand go and take me clean away. Then should I have some comfort; yea I would defie him in my pain, that he would not spare, for I will not deny the words of the Holy One.

Job 7. 2. For as a bond-servant desireth the sha­dow, and as the hireling would fain have the reward of his work.

[Page 263] Psalm 15. 1. Lord who shall dwell in thy Taber­nacle? who shall rest in thy holy place?

Psalm 27. 45. One thing have I desired of the [...]ord, which I will perform, even that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the fair beauty of the Lord, and to visit his Temple.

Psalm 42. 1, 2. Like as the Hart desireth the Wa­ter-brooks, so longeth my Soul after thee, O God. My Soul is a thirst for God, yea, even for the living God. When shall I come to appear before the presence of God? Now when I think thereupon, I pour out my heart by my self. I went by with the multitude, and brought them forth to the house of God.

Psalm 55. 6. O that I had wings like a Dove, for then would I fly away and be at rest.

Psalm 60. 9. Who will lead me into the strong City?

Ps. 65. 4. Blessed is the man whom thou choosest and receivest unto thee; he shall dwell in thy Court.

Ps. 73. 1. Truly God is loving unto Israel; even to such as are of a clean heart. Vers. 24. Whom have I in Heaven but thee, and there is none upon earth that I desire in comparison of thee. Vers. 25. My flesh and my heart faileth, but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever.

Psalm 84. 1. O how amiable are thy dwellings, thou Lord of Hosts. Vers. 2. My Soul hath a desire and longing to erter into the Courts of the Lord V. 10. For one day in thy Courts is better than a thousand years.

Psalm 116. 9. I will walk before the Lord in the land of the living.

Psalm. 120. 5. My Soul hath long dwelt among them that be Enemies to peace.

Psalm 122. 1. I was glad when they said unto me, we will go into the house of the Lord.

Psalm 138. 1. By the waters of Babylon we sat down and wept, when we remembred thee, O Sion. [Page 264] Ver. 4. How shall we sing the Lord's Song in a strange Land? If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, let my right hand finger forget her cunning.

Ps. 142. 9. Bring my Soul out of prison, that I may give thanks unto thy Name. Which thing if thou wilt grant me, then shall the righteous resort unto my company.

I desire to be dissolved and be with Christ.

Sect. 31. An Abstract of the Comforts against Death.

FIrst Death kills our familiar Enemy the Body. There is no mischief more pestilential than a Bosom-Enemy. The Flesh lusteth contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit contrary to the Flesh, Gal. 5. 17. These are contrary one to another.

2ly, Death breaks the Door of the Prison where­in we are lockt up: But as old Prisoners, many times long acquaintance with the place detains us not unwilling in the midst of our Fetters and Suf­ffferings. But the best of Kings desired to be de­livered out of Custody.

3ly, Death eases us of a vast Burthen; for why, a corruptible Body is heavy to the Soul, and the Earthy Mansion keepeth down that Understanding that museth upon many things: No man can swim with this Burthen.

4ly, Death puts an end to our Pilgrimage. What is Mortal Life, saith St. Gregory, but a way? Consider my Friends, what it is to be aweary, upon the way. Our present Life is full of pain, a perpetual strugling, and yet we cannot forsake it without Tears.

5ly, Death brings us out of all Danger. The most Fortunate Man that lives is subject to many [Page 265] Dangers; and Danger is hardly avoided without danger. He has only escaped all Dangers, who is out of this Life.

6ly, The necessity of Death. Nobly said the wise Roman, There is no greater comfort in Death, than Death it self. He would not live, that would not die. Death carries with it an impartial and unvanquishable Necessity. For the first part of Impartiality is Equality.

7ly. The Death of Christ. To the Contempla­tion of this, St. Paul exhorts us: Let us, saith he, run with patience unto the Heb. 12. 1. 2. Battel that is set before us. Looking unto Jesus the Captain and Finisher of our Faith; who for the Joy that was set before him, en­dured the Cross. To the Members of this Head this is the greatest Consolation: For that the Members should not fear Death, the Head endured the ut­most violence of Death. The Author of Life by dying set open the Gates of Heaven. Why do we fear to die?

8ly, The Hope of Resurrection. Wherefore do we expostulate with Death? He does not deprive us, but introduces us into Life. The Day will shine that will recal us from our Graves. We shall all rise. Which sundry Arguments demonstrate unto us, as has been already shewed.

9ly, Immortality it self. Death is the end and passage; the end of Calamity, the passage to Ca­lamity. Hence the death of the Just is called their Birth-day. Hence also that other Saying, Death is but a Sport to a true Christian. And that no man might fear this Sport, Prudentius in his Hymns, has these Lines.

[Page 266] That which you see, believe me, is no pain,
And but a minute doth prolong its raign.
Nor doth it silly man of life deprive;
But life reforms, by keeping life alive.

Thus the best, and all the best of men have the same beginning of Happiness, as end of Mortality.

Sect. 32. Against those that Die unwil­lingly.

SO it is, we generally fear Death, neglect Life, and die unwillingly: And yet this is Ingratitude, not to be content with our time allotted. They will always be but a few Days, saith Seneca, if they be numbred. The Prolongation of Life no­thing avails to Happiness. How much more sa­tisfactory is it to put a good Value upon our own, than to value the Years of another. Did God think me worthy of this time? This is enough. He might have added more, but this is a Favour. Here opportunely Horace.

But having his compleated time enjoy'd,
Let him, like a full Guest, the Room avoid:

Who would endure a Guest that at the end of a Banquet should cry, I have not filled my Belly. Who can praise that man, who departing out this life shall complain and say, I have not lived long enough? and bemoan himself as if his life were broken off in the third Act? 'Tis not only a shameful but a ridiculous Complaint. The bounds are set; but whether a long Life or a short, there is to be an end of it. So it pleases the Author of Life.

Th' hast eat and drank enough, enough hast plaid.
And now Time calls that will not be delaid.

Most admirably Epictetus; ‘Thy Honour is at end, be gone, depart, gratefully, modestly; give place [Page 267] to others: Others must be born, as thou wert; and being born, they must have Habitations and Food? But should not the first depart, what would be left? Why art thou insatiable? why art thou not satisfied? why dost thou stifle and croud the World.’ But more admirably than E­pictetus. St. Austin; ‘At what time soever God would have thee make thy departure, let him find thee ready; For thou art a Stranger, and not Master of the House: The House is only let to thee, nor hast thou any certain Lease of it. What said the Lord thy God; When I please, when I say the word, be gone, depart. I will turn thee out of thy Inne, but I will give thee a House. Thou art a Pilgrim upon Earth, thou shalt be a Tenant in Heaven.’

He more earnestly expects, more confidently hopes for Heavenly Pleasures, who denies himself Earthly Delights.

Who life doth count severe,
Less cause hath death to fear.

Sect. 33. Delay is the Rock of dying People.

WE have admonished the Healthy, the Sick, we must also admonish the Dying, to beware of this Rock, Delay. How many thousand People have made an ill end, only because they have de­nied those things which were not to be delaied. Why, O dying Friend, dost thou set apart to Mor­row, or the next Day for thy Salvation? To Mor­row is not thine, to Day is. To Day, this very Hour, even now do what is to be done. Where wilt thou be to Morrow, or next Day.

Emylius and Plutarch, that the approach of the [Page 268] Theban Exiles being reported to the Magistrates of the Thebans, they being in the midst of their Jol­lity took no notice of it. At the same time Let­ters being brought to the Chief Magistrate, where­in all the Counsels of the Exiles were discover'd, and deliver'd to him at the same Banquet, he laid them under his Cushion, Sealed as they were, say­ing, I defer serious Business till to Morrow. But this Deferrer of Business with all his Friends was that Night surprized and killed. Thus Death uses to surprize those that delay, while they deliberate, while they muse, while they defer, he comes and strikes with his unlookt for Dart. Staint Austin, a most faithful Monitor, thus instructs one that pro­mises, I will live to Morrow. ‘God has promised thee pardon, but neither God nor Man has pro­mised thee to Morrow.’ If thou had lived ill, live well to Day. Fool this Night thy Soul shall be taken from thee. God calls thee now, exhorts thee now, expects that thou shouldst now repent, and dost thou delay? He is not so patient in suffering, as never to be just in revenging [...] divided his times. Do not say then, Tomorrow I will repent; to Morrow I will serve God. F [...]r enough God has promised thee Pardon, he has not promised to add to Morrow to thy delay. Delay not thy Con­version to God, for then God will be angry and destroy the work of thy hands. The Day is to be prevented, that so often is accustom'd to pre­vent.

Sect. 34. A ready Mind.

I Will receive the Cup of Salvation, and call upon the Name of the Lord. This Cup is bitterer, yet my Saviour drank it up, and from the bloody Cross [Page 269] drank the same to me that I should pledge him. This Cup is the fatal Cup of Death which Christ, which those most dear to Christ, which all Mor­tals drink through an inevitable necessity. Why should I alive refuse it? Who ever began to live, must cea [...]e to be, that he may begin that life that never shall decay. Both Good and Evil, Life and Death, Poverty and Riches, proceed from God. What meanest thou then vain Fear? wouldst thou not that I should drink the Cup which the Father provided for me, which Christ mingled for me? I am Mortal, and do I wonder at Death?

When Alexander the Macedonian lay sick, and that some of his Spiritual Flatterers seemed to hint to him, as if Philip his Physician had mingled Poy­son in his Physick; the King receive [...] Philip just then coming to him with the Poyson prepared; with one hand he gave him his Friends Letter, with the other he received the Poyson from him; and as he put it to his Mouth, he fixed his Eye upon the Physician's Face, to try whether he could discover any Marks of Guilt in his Face: but per­ceiving none, and being thereby confirmed in the Fidelity of his Physician. he forthwith drank off the Poyson. So will I do, when my dear Jesus, my Physician and Saviour shall reach me that whole­some Cup that is to procure my Eternal Rest, while I drink it, I will fix my Eyes continually upon this Physician's Face, upon the Countenance of my Crucified Lord, wherein I shall read his Love to­ward me, and fearless I will take off the Cup, which the more of Love it has, the more it has of Sal­vation.

Sect. 35. The dying Person arms himself with Faith, Hope and Charity.

THat this may be the more readily and easily done, we have set down certain Forms for the Exercise of Faith, Hope and Charity.

To Faith.

I do protest (in the presence of God, his Holy An­gels, and the Church both Triumphant and Militant) that I believe what ever the Holy Universal Church believes, and that I live and die in the Faith, which the same Universal Church Profession (in Union which, and under her Head) our Lord Jesus Christ. From which, whatever is dissonant, I utterly reject and abandon.

To Hope.

I have set God always before me; for [...]he is on my right hand, therefore I shall not fail.

Wherefore, my heart was glad, and my glory rejoi­ced; my flesh also shall rest in hope.

For why, thou shalt not leave my Soul in Hell, nor suffer thine Holy One to see Corruption.

Thou shalt shew me the Path of Life; in thy pre­sence is fulness of Joy, and in thy right hand is plea­sure for evermore. Psal. 16. v. 8. &c.

To Charity.

What shall I return to the Lord for all his Bene­fits. I will receive the Cup of Death from the hand of God, and call upon the Name of the Lord. I [Page 271] will call upon God with Praises, and I shall be safe from my Enemies. Into thy Hands, O Lord, I commend my Spirit. Thou hast created me, O God, thou hast redeemed me, thou hast sanctified me; thine am I alive and dead. I offer my self up entirely to thy will. Jesu, Son of David, have mercy upon me.

Sect. 36. What is always to be in the thought and Mouth of a sick and dying Chri­stian.

IN sickness, O Christian, if thou art asked, how thou do'st? or how is it with thee? Beware of returning any other Answers but these—As God will—As God pleases—As the Lord's pleasure [...]—So let it be done—According to the [...]nd pleasure of God—As it pleases God, so let his [...]ill be fulfilled in Earth, as it is in Heaven.

Nor will it be amiss to have these threefold Pre­ [...]ces continually in thy lips, and in thy mind, as [...]ell in thy Sickness, as at the hour of thy [...]eath.

1. Blessed be God to all Eternity.

2. Have mercy on me, O Lord, according to thy lo­ [...]ing Kindness; though I am not worthy of the least of [...]y mercies, O God.

3. Oh, Lord, my God, I surrender my self wholly up [...] [...]hy will, let thy will be done.

Sect 37. Certain Precepts to be particularly observed by a dying Person.

FIrst, Not to depend upon the Merits; but with all thy Sins and Omissions to cast thy self into the Fathomeless Ocean of Divine Mercy.

Next, To adhere stedfastly and constantly to the belief of the true Holy Church; and to receive the Holy Sacrament.

Thirdly, To forsake all the frail and passing Va­nities of this Life; and to unite thy self to God, with all thy Soul and Affection. To breath after the Land of Promise, where thou may'st be able to offer up a lasting Sacrifice of Praise and Thanksgi­ving to God for all his Mercies.

Fourthly, To offer up thy self, a Living Sacri­fice to the Glory of God, for his great good will toward thee, and to endure patiently for his sake all the pains and troubles of Sickness, and the bit­terness of Death.

Fifthly. To set continually before thy Eyes, the terrible Death and Passion of thy Lord Christ, that so thou mayst unite thy Body and Soul, with the wounded Body, and afflicted Soul of Christ.

But the safest way is, whatever thou wouldst do in the utmost extremity of thy Sickness, to be­gin to do that in the prime of thy Health.

Sect. 38. Refreshments for a dying Person.

COme my People, enter thou into thy Chambers, and shut thy Doors about thee. Hide thy self for a little while, till the Indignation be [...]verpast. Isa. 26. 20. When I was angry, I hid my Face from thee for [Page 273] a little season; but through everlasting goodness I have pardoned thee, saith the Lord thy Redeemer, Isa. 54. 8.

Why art thou so full of heaviness, O my Soul? And why art thou so unquieted within me. Put thy trust in God, for I will yet give him thanks for the help of his Countenance, Psalm 42. 6.

For we are the Children of the Holy Man, and look for the Life which God shall give unto them that never turn their belief from him, Tob. 2. 18.

Even so it is not the will of your Father which is in Heaven, that one of these little ones should perish, Mat. 1 [...]. 14.

For God so loved the World, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on him, should not perish but have Everlasting Life, John 3 16.

But if any Man sin, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the Righteous. And he is the Attonement for our Sins, not for our Sins only, but for the Sins of all the World, 1 John 2. 1.

Verily, verily I say unto you, he that heareth my Word, and believeth in him that sent me hath Everlasting Life, and shall not come into Damna­ [...]ion, but is escaped from Death unto Life, John 5. 24.

All that the Father giveth me shall come unto me, and him that cometh unto me I will in no wise cast out, Joh. 6. 37.

I am the Resurrection and the Life; he that be­lieveth in me, yea though he were dead yet shall he live.

And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall not dye eternally, Joh. 11. 25, 26.

In my Fathers House are many Mansions, 14. 2.

If God be on our side who can be against us? Who spared not his own Son, but gave him for us all; how shall he not with him, give us all things? [Page 274] Who shall lay any thing to the charge of Gods cho­sen? It is he that justifies; who is he that con­demneth? It is Christ which dyed, yea rather which is raised again, which is also on the Right Hand of God, and maketh Intercession for us, Rom. 8. 31, &c.

For no Man liveth to himself, and no Man dy­eth to himself; for if we live, we live unto the Lord. Whether we live therefore or die, we are the Lords.

For we know that if our Earthly House of this Tabernacle were destroyed, we should have a Build­ing of God, even a Habitation not made with Hands, but Eternal in Heaven. For therefore sigh we, desiring to be farther cloathed with our House which is from Heaven; for if that we be cloathed, we shall not be found naked, 2 Cor. 1, 2, 3.

Now also Christ shall be magnified in my Body, whether it be by Life or by death. For Christ is to me Life, and Death is to me Advantage. Having a desire to depart and be with Christ, Philip. 1. 20, 21.

But our Conversation is in Heaven, whence also we look for the Saviour; who shall change our vile Body, that it may be fashioned like his glorious Bo­dy.

This is a faithful saying, and by all means wor­thy to be received, that Christ Jesus came into the World to save sinners, of whom I am chief, 1 Tim. 1. 15,

But he that shall endure to the end, the same shall be saved, Mat. 24. 13.

Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a Crown of Life, Rev. 2. 10.

These Fountains refresh and cool the hot Baths of death, he shall happily swim therein, who plunges himself over Head and Ears in these Rivo­lets.

Sect. 39. The Sighs and Prayers to God pro­per for a Dying Person.

ENlighten my Eyes, O most merciful Jesu; that I sleep not in death. Left my Enemies say, I have prevailed against him, Psal. 13. 3, &c.

Lord Jesu Christ, Son of the Living God. Lay thy Passion, Cross and Death between thy Judg­ment and my Soul.

O Lord Jesu Christ, remember not our old Sins, but have mercy upon us, and that soon, for we are come to great misery, Psal. 79. 8.

Sweet Lord Jesu Christ, for thy glories sake, and for the Effectual Vertues sake of thy Sufferings; cause me to be written down among the number of thy Elect.

Enter not into judgment with thy Servant O Lord, for there is no Man righteous in thy sight.

I worship thee O Christ, I bless thee because thou hast redeemed the World by thy Sufferings. Savi­our of the World save me, who by thy Cross and Blood hast redeemed me.

O most merciful Jesu, I beseech thee that with thy precious Blood which thou didst shed for Sin­ners, that thou wouldst wash away all my iniqui­ties. O Blood of Christ purifie me; let the Bo­dy of Christ save me; let the Water from Christs side wash me; let the Passion of Christ comfort me.

O kind Jesu hear me; hide me between thy Wounds: Permit me not, O merciful Jesu, to be separated from thee; in this my Hour of death call me; command me to come to thee, that I toge­ther with thy Saints may praise thee to all Eternity. Cast me not from thy Countenance, nor take thy Holy Spirit from me.

Sect. 40. At the Moment of Death.

NOW Lord according to thy good pleasure deal mercifully by me, and command my Spirit to be received in peace. Sound into the Ears of my Mind those sweet words; this day thou shalt be with me in Paradise. Now let thy Servant depart in peace, because mine Eyes have seen thy Salvation.

O Jesu, Jesu, Jesu, permit me to enter into the number of thy Elect. O Jesu, Son of David, have mercy upon me O Lord Jesu, make haste to help me, O Lord Jesu, receive my Soul.

Sect. 41. The true Confidence of a Dying Person in God.

HEre I confidently aver with St. Bernard. Let another pretend to Merit; let him boast of enduring the heat and burthen of the day; my de­sire is to adhere to God, and to put my hope in the Lord.

And though I am conscious to my self, that such was the naughtiness of my pass'd Life, that I de­serve to be forsaken of God, yet will I not cease to relye upon his Immense Goodness, and to hope that as hitherto his most Holy Grace has afforded me strength to endure all things, so the same will still uphold me, and enable me to finish my course. Therefore this one thing I beg of thee O God, that thou wilt never suffer me to distrust of thy Good­ness, though I know my self to be weak and misera­ble. Yea, though I should perceive my self in that Terror and Consternation ready to fail, like St. Pe­ter, [Page 277] upon one blast of Wind, let me remember him; let me call upon Christ; Lord make me whole. Then, O then shalt thou stretch for [...]h thy Hand and save me from sinking. But if thou sufferest me to go farther yet with Peter, to run headlong into denial; then such is my hope that thou w [...]t look upon me with an Eye of Mercy and Compasti­on, as thou lookest upon Peter, and grant me a now Confirmation of Eternity. This I am certain of, that unless the fault be mine the Lord will not for­sake me. I acknowledge that saying of St. Austin, God may save some without good works, because he is Good; but he condemns none but for their evil works, because he is Just. And therefore I com­mit my self to him with a full hope and confidence in him. If he suffer me to perish for my Sins, yet his Justice shall be magnified in me. Yet I hope and most certainly hope, that his most merciful Goodness will most faithfully preserve my Soul, so that his Mercy rather than his Justice shall be praised in me. Nothing can happen to me against the will of God. Whatever he pleases, to whom ever it seem ill, is still the best to me. VVhatever pleases thee, that will I, that will I, O God.

Sect. 42. The Last Words of Dying Persons.

AUgustus the Emperor dy'd with these words in his Mouth. Live mindful of our Nuptial Knot, and so farewel. How much more holily would these Christians do, that direct their last words to the Beginning and Creator of all things.

Dyonisius the Areopagite, being condemned to lose his Head, with a Christian Generosity, con­temning the Reproaches of the Spectators, Let the [Page 278] last words of my Lord upon the Cross, said he, be mine in this World; Father into thy Hands I commend my Spirit.

Basil the Great, lying at the last period of Life, after he had piously instructed his own Friends, breathed out his Soul with these last words, Lord into thy Hands I commend my Spirit.

St. Bernard upon his Death-bed, Oh Christian, said he, despair not of this Infirmity. Christ has taught thee what thou oughtest to say in all the dangers of death, whom to fly to, whom to invoke, in whom to hope. Therefore do thou so behave thy self, that at the hour of death, thou maist be able to say, In thee Lord have I trusted let me not be confounded to Eternity.

Therefore let the last words of a dying Person be directed to God. All his Prayers, Wishes, De­sires, and last Hopes must ever tend to him. Let the dying Person say from the bottom of his Heart; To thee Lord I turn my face; to thee I direct my Eyes.

Sect. 46. Let the dying Person imitate the Penitent Thief in Golgotha.

LOrd remenber me when thou comest into thy King­dom. Happy Thief, who in the School of Christ had learnt more in three Hours, than the Unhappy Iscariot in three years.

Lord God! How great is the Abyss of thy Judg­ments. Thy Friends and Kindred are silent; thy Disciples forsake thee; the Angels appear not. Where are those thousands fed by this Crucified Lord? Who of all that multitude speaks one word for so great a Benefactor? Yet the Thief against his Companion pleads the Cause of Christ, and jus­tifies his Innocency; take off all Scandals from [Page 279] him, and convicts the Multitude of Murther. Nor was the Son of God asham'd of such an Advocate; but rather applauded him. Nor was the happy Rhetorician wanting in his Cause. ‘But we truly, said he, are righteously punished, for we receive according to our deeds, but this Man hath done nothing amiss.’

Oh how truely may I say the same of my self. I justly now dye, I receive according to my Deeds, but my God and my Lord did nothing, that he should dye, and dye in so much Torment. And therefore may I truely use this Prayer, Lord re­member me because thou art come into thy Kingdom. And because thou art now in thy Kingdom look upon me weeping in this Exile, and admit me go­ing hence into thy Kingdom. This I beg of thee for the sake of thy Scourgings, thy Thorns, thy Cross, and through thy Torments and thy Death.

Therefore what remains but for me to throw my Soul into his Bosom, who alone considers its Pains and Sufferings, He knows what conduces to the Salvation of Souls; I wait for thy Salvation, O Lord.

Sect. 47. A Heliotropian Receit against all Sickness and Death.

THE Heliotrope is a Flower, which as we find by daily Experience, turns it self with the Sun from East to West, and doing the same even in cloudy VVeather; and in the Night, for want of the Sun contracts and shuts up the Beauty of its Colours. Let the will of Man always wait upon Divine Pleasure, continually turning and winding it self to the beck of Sacred Power, though the VVeather be cloudy. Nor can any day in all [Page 280] the life of Man be more cloudy than the day of our death. Then let the dying Person with fix'd and stedfast Eyes, like the Heliotrope, turn him­self to his only Sun. This let our Saviours words teach us.

Even so, O Father, for so was it thy good pleasure. After this manner, my dear dying Friend speak al­together. In all things to be done, to be avoided, to be endured and born, according to thy Lords Example always say; Even so, O Father, even so; always submitting thine to the most holy VVill. Even so, O Father, even so, both now and for evermore.

Philip the second King of Spain, groaning under the pains of a desperate Disease, was wont continu­ally to repeat these words of our Saviour. Father, not mine, but thy will be done. And one time among the rest, as the Passion of Christ was read to him, while the Chirurgeons were Lanching open an A­posthume, he caused the Reader to stop at these words. So highly did that great King value this Heliotropian Receit, as well in Health as in Sick­ness.

This Heliotrope cures Sickness, Death, and all sorts of Diseases. He is far from Destruction, who in his will is so near to God.

THE Fatal Moment.

VVHen we dye our Everlasting state is to be de­termin'd! After Death the Judgment. The moment of our departure hence will pass us over to the Righteous Tribunal of God. It will make us either to shine with the Angels above, or to set with the Devils. It will either fix us in a joyful Paradise, or in an intolerable state of Woe. So that we may say with Nieremberg, How many things are to pass in that Moment? In the same is our Life to finish, our Works to be examined, and we are then to know how it will go with us for ever and ever? In that Moment I shall cease to Live, in that Moment I shall behold my Judge, in that mo­ment I must answer for all my publick and my se­cret Actions, for all that I have ever thought, or spoke, or done; for all the Talents, the Time, the Mercies, the Health, the Strength, the Opportuni­ties and the Seasons, and Days of Grace that I have ever had, for all the Evil that I might have avoid­ed, for all the good I might have done and did not, and all this before that Judge, who has beheld my ways from my Birth to the Grave; before that Judge who cannot be deceiv'd, and who will not be im­pos'd upon. Little can he that has not been brought near to Death and Judgment know what Thoughts the Diseased have when they are so. Little, very little does a Soul in Flesh know what it is to appear before the Great God. This is so great and so [Page 282] strange a thing, that they only know it who have receiv'd their final Sentence; but they are not suf­fer'd to return to tell us how it is, or what passes then; and God sees it fit it should be concealed from us who are yet on this side the Grave. But who does not tremble to think of this mighty Change, and of this Moment that is the last of Time and the beginning of Eternity; that includes Hea­ven and Hell, and all the Effects of the Mercy and Justice of God.

Who does not tremble when he considers that Infinite and Holy Majesty before whom the Angels cover their Faces; that considers his Omniscience, and his Greatness, and the mighty Consequences of that Sentence, how sudden it is, and how irre­sistible, and that it is an irrevocable Decree, and by a Word of this mighty Judge we live or dye for ever. It is no wonder if the thoughts of it make us shrink and quiver. It is a greater wonder that when some or other, whom we know, are almost every week going to such a place and state as this, we who are not yet Cited to the Bar, are no more concerned, and use no more endeavours to be rea­dy for it.

Oh my Friends, when you come to the Borders of the Grave, when you are within an Hour or two's distance from your Final Judgment, and your un­alterable state; what a mighty Change will it cause in your thoughts and your apprehensions. You will then know and feel it. Then, when the Per­spective is turn'd, and the other World begins to appear very great, and this very little. This that I have represented to you is a part of that which we call dying.

It is a great Mercy, and greatly to be acknow­ledg'd that God allows us so much Time wherein to prepare our selves for this final and irrevocable [Page 283] Doom. It is an instance of his Patience that is truly Divine, that notwithstanding our many re­peated Sins he has not cut us off. It is his great Mercy that gives us leave to appear in his Courts before we appear at his Tribunal, and that he af­fords us such large notice and warning that so we may be ready for our Last Tryal, whereon so very much depends.

THE TREATMENT OF OUR Departed Friends▪ AFTER THEIR DEATH In Order to Their Burial,

WHen we have received the last Breath of our Friend, and closed his Eyes, and compo­sed his Body for the Grave, then solemn and ap­pointed Mournings, are good Expressions of our dearness to the departed Soul, and of his worth, and our value of him.

The Church in her Funerals of the dead, used to sing Psalms, and to give thanks for the Redempti­on and Delivery of the Soul, from the evils and dan­gers of Mortality.

[Page 285] But it is good that the Body be kept veiled and secret, and not exposed to curious Eyes; neither should the dishonours wrought upon the Face, by the changes of death, be stared upon by imperti­nent persons. When Cyrus was dying, he called his Sons and Friends to take their leave of him, to touch his Hand, to see him the last time, and gave in charge, that when he had put his Vail over his Face, no Man should uncover it. And Epiphanius his Body was rescued from inquisitive Eyes by a mi­racle. Let it be interr'd after the manner of the Countrey, and Laws of the Place, and the Dignity of the Person; for so Jacob was Buried with great Solemnity, and Joseph's Bones were carried into Ca­naan, after they had been embalmed, and kept 400 years, and devout men carried St. Stephen to his Bu­rial, making great lamentation over him. And Aelian tells us that those who were the most excellent per­sons, were buried in publick, and men of ordina­ry Courage and Fortune had their Graves only [...]rim'd with Branches of green Olives, and mourn­ing Flowers, together with a few sprigs of Rosema­ry and Bays.

But nothing of this concerns the dead in real and effective purposes; nor is it with care to be pro­vided for by themselves, but it is the duty of the living; for to them, it is all one whether they be carried forth in a Chariot or a wooden Bier, whe­ther they rot in the Air, or in the Earth, whether they be devoured by Fishes or by Worms, by Birds or by Sepulchral Dogs, by Water or by Fire, or by delay.

Concerning doing honour to the dead, the con­sideration is not long; anciently the Friends of the dead used to make their Funeral Orations, and the Custom descended, and in the Channel of time it mingled it self in the Veins of the Earth, through [Page 286] which it passed. And now a days, Men that dye are commended at a price, and the measure of their Le­gacy, is the degree of their Vertue. But these things ought not so to be, the reward of the greatest Ver­tue ought not to be prostitute to the doles of com­mon Persons, but preserved like flourishing Laurels and Coronets, to remark and encourage the noblest things.

But that which is most considerable is, that we perform the will of the dead, the Laws oblige us, and will see to it; but did they not, certainly it is the noblest thing in the World, to do an act of kind­ness to him whom we shall never see again, but yet hath deserved it of us, and to whom we would do it if he were present: And unless we do so, our Charity is Mercenary, and our Friendships are direct Merchandize, and our Gifts are Brokage; but what we do to the dead, or to the living for their sakes, is Gratitude, and Vertue for Vertues sake, and the no­blest portion of Humanity, Kindness and Love.

The Reasons why we shut the Eyes and Mouth of the Dead.

IN the first place, when our dear Friends and Relations are dead, we close their Eyes and Mouth, which a Learned Author says, is a Custom that was used by the Primitive Christians, to re­present that the death of the Faithful is, according to the Oracles of Scripture, nothing else but a Re­pose; since after having been asleep for a while, they shall be awaked to Eternity. Moreover by shutting their Eyes and Mouth, we do intimate, that the dead are no more to take delight in the Objects of this visible World, their Employment now be­ing stedfastly to behold all the Ravishing Beauties [Page 287] of the other World, and continually to praise God, who is the Glorious and Bountiful Dispenser of them.

The Reasons why Dead Bodies are often Kis­sed, Washed, Perfumed and Cloathed: Together with the Customs of several Na­tions in the Burial of their Dead.

MAny Persons, 1. Kiss, and kindly Salute their dead Friends and Relations, to shew the natural tenderness and love they had for the de­ceased; but this Custom is now quite abolished with us in many places, though this practice ought not to be altogether discommended. 2. As for the usage that is in some Countreys, of washing the dead, St. Chrysostom tells us, that it was derived at first from the Person of our Lord and Saviour, whose precious Body was washed as soon as they took it down from the Cross. And we read in the ninth Chapter of the Acts of the Apostles, that a Woman of Joppa called Tabitha, whom St. Peter restored to Life, had been wash'd before she was laid out for the Grave. The Indians burn their dead.

3. The Custom of Perfuming and Embalming the Corps, hath in our days been (especially in Eng­land) much observed. And indeed the very rea­son, why the Primitive Christians were so careful to perfume the dead, was, because they regarded them as so many Members of the Mystical Body of the Redeemer of the World. Tertullian in his Apology, upbraiding the Heathens with the vast expences of sweet Scents and Perfumes, consumed in the Temples, tells them that those Odours would be better employed, in perfuming and embalming [Page 288] the Bodies of Christians, and their dear Friends de­parted. At the Canary Islands they bury their Dead with a Bottle of Wine standing by them.

4. As concerning the manner of Apparelling the Dead, all Christians use not the same practice; for some do only cover them with a large Winding­sheet, as they do in France: And others dress them in the very same Cloaths they were wont to wear, as in Italy, and several other places. And others dress them and lay them in their Coffin, in a white Shirt, a clean Cap (with their Toes tyed with a black Ribband) and sometimes (as a late Act of Parliament enjoyns) in Flannel; this is the Cu­stom in England. And likewise here it is the Cu­stom to set the Body when drest in order to the Grave, either in the Entry, or the principal and most publick Room of the House, and that for this reason, and that by this sight, those that pass by it at the Funeral, may be taken off from Terrestri­al things, and fix their thoughts on those that are Heavenly, by being thereby put in mind of their latter end, and that it will not be long before they must lye in the like posture too, in order to be carried on their Friends Shoulders to their Graves, as this their Friend or Relation is now to be carried. The Chineses always before they Bury their Dead (if he was a Married Man) bring him to his Wife, that so she might first kiss him, and bi [...] him farewel.

The manner of Burying the Dead in Eng­land, with the Reasons of the Pomp and Ceremony wherewith the English carry their Dead to the Grave.

NOW having thus for taken care of the dead Body, the next thing is to consider the rea­sons and manner of the Pomp and Ceremony, where­with the English carry their dead to the Grave, the manner is thus.

The whole Company of Invited Guests (being the Relations, Mourners for, and Friends of the de­ceased) march in a sorrowful Procession, first to the Church, and then to the Grave, attended with more or less Pomp and Ceremony, according to the Quality of the Party deceased: At the Head of this solemn attendance, the Minister that is to bury the Corps, walketh before the Corps (and if the party deceased was a Person of Quality or Fashion) then goes a vast number of young Blew-Coats (Boys and Girls) singing Psalms and Hymns most melodi­ously all the way to the Church; next to these Ranks now recited, goes a huge croud of Mourners and other People, that accompany the Corps, where­of usually some are weeping and lamenting, whilst others are swooning, and sometime almost fainting away by reason of grief for the party deceased. (Though such excessive lamenting usually lasts not long, as appears plainly by the story of a Woman, who did passionately follow her Husband to the Grave, and would by all means be buried alive with him, yet (being of a base and wanton temper) as soon as ever the black attire of her Husbands Funeral was over, the next day she married a brisk Youngster, with whom she lived jo­ [...]ndly all her days)

[Page 290] But to proceed, if 'tis not a Person of Quality that is diseased, this great Ceremony in England is rarely observed.

Last of all, when they are arrived at the Church, after the usual Ceremonies are over, and Funeral Sermon preached, the Corps is Interred in the Chancel (if it was the Body of a Rich and Honour­able Man) or Church-yard, if it was the Body of a Mean and Ordinary Person.

The exact Method that ought to be observed in Funeral Processions, for most Ranks and Degrees of Men.

FIrst Children of the Hospital. Two Conductors. Poor Men. Gentlemens Servants in Cloaks. Gentlemen in Cloaks. Gentlemen in Gowns. Alder­men in Black. The Preacher. A Penon of his own Arms, Helm and Crest. The Coat of Arms. Chief Mourners. Two Assistants. Aldermen not in Black. Master of the Company if, &c. Master of the Hos­pital. Then all Gentlemen not in Black. Neighbours and others.

THE Funeral Solemnity.

I Might here inlarge upon Mourning for, and the Ancient Customs and Manners of Burying the Dead in all Nations, throughout all the habitable World.

The Ancient Romans did use them that were dead after two manners, and they had two kinds of Obsequies; the first and most Ancient was to cover the dead with Earth, and to bury them as we do; the other to burn their Bodies, but this manner did not continue long.

Numa Pompilius was the Inventer of Obsequies, and he Instituted a High-priest, who had the Charge. The first Honour which they used to perform in the Obsequies of Famous Persons, was to commend the Party by an Oration. Valerius Publicola made a Funeral Oration on the death, and in the praise of Brutus. In like manner Julius Caesar, being but Twelve years old, commended his Grandfather; and Tiberius at the Age of Nine years praised his Fa­ther. The second Honour was to make Sword­players to Fight. Marcus and Decius Sons to Ju­ [...]ius Brutus, were the first that did practise this, in Honour of their Father. The third Honour was, to make a Feast of Magnificent Furnishment. The fourth was a distribution of Meat to all the common People. And such (as I hav