TO THE Truly Pious and Virtuous Mrs CROUN.


WHen you requested me to Publish this Discourse, I found you in that Mournfull condition, that 'twould have been a degree of Inhumanity not to have gratified your desire: And therefore, though I was suf­ficiently sensible how much short I had fain of both my Subjects, viz. that comfortable one of the Text, and that sorrowfull one of the Occasion; yet my Compassion over­swayed my Reason, so that I can plead no other excuse to the World for this very defective Publication, but that I had not ill nature enough to resist the Importunate Tears of an afflicted Friend, and a sorrowful Widow.

As for the Sermon, all I can say for it is this, That it Treats of a very Noble Argument, and such as car­ries comfort enough with it to ease and relieve the most dejected mind, and therefore is of all others the most fit and proper for your Meditations; for there is no present af­fliction, no, not yours, can cause you to suppose your self mi­serable, so long as you are within hope and expectance of the blessed state of eternal life.

O, Good Madam, while you are making your Mournfull descants on your dear Loss, consider now and then, that [Page] you are Iourneying towards that blessed place, where you will find infinite Myriads of better Friends, and dearer Lovers, than that best of Husbands, whose Loss you be­wail, and who love each other far more and better even than you and he did▪ and have this peculiar advantage beyond the happiest Lovers here, That they shall live an eternal life together, and to everlasting Ages enjoy one another, without being ever interrupted in their enjoy­ment, with the Melancholy prospect of being at last di­vided from each others society and embraces. This, with all those other innumerable comforts wherewith this fruitfull Theme abounds, you will find the best Cordial in the World for a drooping mind.

That therefore what I here present you may often put you in mind of Heaven, and quicken your endeavours af­ter it, and refresh your sorrowfull heart with the joyfull prospect of it, is the earnest prayer of,

MADAM, Your most affectionate Friend, and faithfull Servant, John Scott.

A SERMON Preached at the FUNERAL, &c.

Matth. 25.46.

—But the Righteous into life eternal.

IN the foregoing verses of this Chapter our Saviour describes the process of the day of Judgment, and the different Fates to which good and bad men (whom he describes under the Characters of Sheep and Goats) shall then be sentenced and consigned, and then he summs up the whole discourse in the words of the Text, These, that is, the Goats, or the Wicked, of whom he had been discoursing in the verses immedi­ately preceding, These shall go away into everlasting punishment, but the Righteous into life eternal; where by the Righteous we are to understand the truly Pious, and Vertuous, that is, they who render to God, to [Page 2] Men, and to themselves all that duty they owe in their respective Relations and Circumstances: for all our Duties being Dues, our performance of them is no­thing but the discharging of our Debts, or being strictly Righteous in rendring to God, and Men, and our selves, what we owe to each by an immutable ob­ligation: and hence the whole Duty of Man is in Scripture very often called by the name of Righteous­ness, and those who comply with their whole Duty, are frequently styled Righteous, because, to be Righ­teous, is to render to every one his due, and to render every one his due, is the whole Duty of Man; so that the meaning of the words is this, they who have been good Men in all their respective Relations, and Circum­stances, who have made it the business of their lives to render to God all that Piety and Devotion, to their Neighbours all that Justice and Charity, to them­selves all that Sobriety and Temperance which is due from them, both by the command of God, and the judgment of right reason, they, as a reward of this their universal Righteousness, shall by this final judgment be transmitted unto life eternal.

In the prosecution of which Argument, I shall en­deavour these two things. First, To shew what is here meant by life eternal. Secondly, Wherein this eter­nal life consists.

As for the first, By life here, is plainly meant happi­ness, for so it's very usual with Scripture to express the blessings it promises to Men, whether they be tem­poral or eternal. By life thus, the temporal Blessings promised in the Old Testament, are frequently ex­prest by this Phrase, as you may see at your leisure, Deut. 30.15.19. Lev. 18.5. Ezek. 20.21 and hence the Statutes of the Mosaick Law are called the Sta­tutes [Page 3] of life, Ezek. 33.15. and as the Temporal Bles­sings in the Old Testament are commonly expressed by life, so are also those Eternal Blessings of the future life promised in the New, so Matth. 18.8. Matth. 19.17. John 3.36. and because these Blessings are not Temporal, but Eternal, therefore that life by which they are expressed, is styled eternal and everlasting, so 1 Tim. 1.10 Rom. 6.22, 23. and that it is not called eternal life, merely as it is a state of endless Being and Existence, is evident, because Being, and Existence, are indifferent things, abstracted from the sense of Happi­ness and Misery, but eternal life is proposed to us as a thing that is infinitely desirable in it self, as being the Crown and Reward of all our Obedience, for which reason it is called the Crown of Life, Iames 1.12. and therefore the reason why they are expressed by life, is, because life is the root of all our sense of pleasure, without which we are nothing else but lumps of stu­pid and insensible flesh, incapable of perceiving either pleasure or pain; so that all sensation being founded in life, and all pleasure being a sweet and gratefull sen­sation, by a very easie figure the natural effect and operation of life is expressed by life it self, and indeed all the advantage of living consists in living in a sense of pleasure, and therefore it hath been very much dis­puted among Philosophers, whether this Temporary state of ours, in which there is so great an intermix­ture of pain with pleasure, doth not better deserve the name of Death, than Life; and those of them who thought it more liable to Misery, than Happiness, affirmed it to be a state of death, and stifly maintained this Paradox, that at our birth we die into a worse state than non-existence, and at our death are born in­to a true and proper state of life: but they who coun­ted [Page 4] our present life to be intermixed with more plea­sure than misery, esteemed it a privilege deserving the name of life, which is an argument that both placed all the privilege of living in those pleasant perceptions that are founded in it: and thus according to the Scripture Philospohy, to live as it imports advantage to us, is to live in the sense of joy and pleasure: so Psal. 22.26. The Meek shall eat and be satisfied, they shall praise the Lord that seek him, your heart shall live for ever, that is, rejoice for eve [...] so also 1 Thes. 3.8. How properly therefore may the [...] state of bliss be expressed by Life, since 'tis the proper scene of happiness, where joy and pleasure do for ever abound, where there is an inexhau [...]ble spring of pure unmingled delights, issu­ing forth in Rivers of Pleasure from God's Right Hand for evermore? So that if there be any thing worthy of the name of life, 'tis doubtless the blissfull state of those happy Souls, who live in a continued sense of all those joys and comforts that an everlasting Heaven imports.

I now pass on to the next thing proposed, which was to shew wherein this everlasting life consists. And here I do not pretend to give you a perfect Map of all the Beatitudes of that Heavenly State, for that is a Task fit only for an Angel, or a glorified Spirit; all I aim at, is to give you such an imperfect account of it, as God hath thought fit to impart to Mortals in the Scripture, which though it fall infinitely short of the thing it self, yet is doubtless the best and utmost that our narrow Capacities can bear. In short, there­fore, concerning this blessed State, God hath revealed to us these fix things:

1. That it includes a most perfect freedom from evil and misery. So Rev. 7.16, 17. and hence also it is called a state of Rest, Heb. 4.9, 11. Rev. 14.13 [Page 5] all which expressions plainly denote this state to be a perfect Sabbath and Jubilee of Redemption from all evil and misery: for as soon as the Souls of good Men depart out of this Corporeal State, in which they now live, they are immediately released from all those bodily passions of hunger and thirst, and pain and diseases, whereunto they are now liable by reason of their union with the body; and having in a great measure conquered their Wills whilst they were in the Body, and subdued them to the Will of God, they must immediately commense into an high degree of perfection; for being freed from the incumbrances of flesh and bloud, from the importunities of body pas­sion and appetite, and the temptations of sensuality that do now continually solicite them, they will be no longer liable to those irregularities of affection that do here disturb the tranquillity of their minds; and so their actions and affections being always regulated by their reason, their Consciences will be no more bestor­med with those terrours and affrightments [which nothing but the sense of guilt can suggest to them] but enjoy a perpetual calm and serenity: so that they be­ing translated into an immortal condition, will be re­leased from all the sad accidents of Mortality, from pain and sickness, hunger and thirst, from all corporeal passions and grievances and so no sensitive sorrow can interpose between them and their happiness to disturb their fruition, or interrupt the current of their Joys; and being translated into a state of perfect purity and goodness, they will be also freed from all the sorrow­full appendages of a sinfull condition, from dread and anxiety, from shame and remorse, and from all the corroding anguish of a wounded spirit, and so they will be liable neither to sensitive, nor rational trou­ble, [Page 6] and having nothing either from within or with­out, to intermeddle with their Joys, and disturb the scene of their happiness, they will be at perfect rest, and for ever enjoy a most undisturbed repose. O bles­sed day, when I shall take my leave of sin and mise­ry for ever, and go to those calm and blissfull Regi­ons, whence sighs and tears, and sorrows, and pains are banished for evermore.

2. That it includes a most intimate enjoyment of God; for God being a rational good, is no otherwise capable of being enjoyed by reasonable Beings, but by knowing, loving, and resembling him; all which ways he hath promised that we shall enjoy him when are are arrived in that blissfull state. For as for the knowledge of him, St. Paul tells us, that whereas we now see through a glass darkly, we shall then see him face to face, &c. 1 Cor. 13.12. and St. John, that we shall see him as he is, 1 John 3.2. which expressions must needs import such a knowledge of him as is un­speakably more distinct and clear than any we have in this present state. For then the Eyes of our Minds shall be so invigourated, that we shall be able to look on the Sun without dazeling, to contemplate the pure and immaculate glories of the Divinity, without being confounded with its brightness, and our understanding shall be so exalted, that we shall see more at every sin­gle view, than we do now in volumes of discourse, and the most tedious trains of inference and deducti­on, and enjoying a most perfect repose both from with­in and without, we shall have nothing to disturb or divert our greedy contemplations; which having such an immense Prospect of Truth and Glory round about them, shall still discover farther and farther, and so en­tertain themselves with everlasting wonder and delight; [Page 7] for what an infinite pleasure will that All-glorious ob­ject afford unto our raised minds, which then shall no longer labour under the tedious difficulties of discourse, but, like transparent Windows, shall have nothing to doe but only to receive the light which freely offers it self unto them, and shines for ever round about them; when every new Discovery of God, and of the bot­tomless secrets and mysteries of his Nature, shall in­large our Capacities to discover more, and still new discoveries shall freely offer themselves as fast as our minds are inlarged to receive them. This doubtless will be a Recreation to our Souls, infinitely transcen­ding all that we can conceive or imagine of it; espe­cially considering that all our knowledge shall termi­nate in love, that sweet and gratefull passion, that sooths and ravishes the heart, and dissolves it into joy and pleasure; for God being infinitely good and amiable, the more we know, the more cause and rea­son we shall have to love him: when therefore we are arrived to that degree of knowledge which the beatifical Vision implies, we shall find our hearts inflamed with such a degree of love to him, as will issue into unspea­kable delight and satisfaction, and even overwhelm us with ecstasies of joy and complacency. For if those Divine illapses, those more immediate touches and sen­sations of God, which good men sometimes experience in this life, do so affect and ravish them, that they are even forced into Triumphs and Exaltations; how will they be rapt and transported in that state of vision, when they shall see him so immediately, and love him so vehemently, and their whole Soul shall be nothing else but one intire globe of light and love, all irradiated and inflamed with the vision and beauty of the Foun­tain of Truth and Goodness. But alas! as these joys [Page 8] are too big for mortal language to express, so are they too strong for mortality to bear; and should we but for one day or hour see God, and love him, as those glo­rified Spirits do, we should questionless die of an ec­stasie of pleasure, and our glad hearts being tickled with such insupportable joys, by endeavouring to en­large themselves to make room for them all, would quickly stretch into a Rupture. But as our knowledge of God shall terminate in the love of him, so both to­gether shall terminate in our resemblance of his per­fections, for we having so immediate a prospect of his beauties, and being so infinitely inamoured with them, with what inexpressible vigour shall we set our selves to imitate, and transcribe them, and our imitation be­ing invigourated with a knowledge so clear, and a love so vehement, can never fail of producing the desired resemblance; so that the more we know God, the more we shall love him, and the more we know and love, the more we shall imitate and resemble him; and then both our inward motions and outward actions being all of them pure and perfect imitations of God, cannot fail of producing a most glorious agreement between his Original, and our Copy; so that whilst we interchan­geably turn our Eyes to God and our selves, and com­pare Grace with Grace, Beauty with Beauty, 'twill fill our minds with unspeakable Content, to see how the Image answers to the Prototype. For if from our love of God there must necessarily result to us such ineffable joy and complacency, what a ravishing de­light will it afford us, to see the signatures of those Adorable Beauties, for which we love him, stamped and impressed upon our own Natures, when the glory that shines about, and inflames us, shall shine into us, and become our own; and those amiable Idea's of him [Page 9] which are impressed upon our understanding, shall stamp our Wills and Affections with their own resem­blance. For so the Apostle tells us it shall be 1 John 3.2. Lord, how must our Souls be inlarged and wide­ned, to be able to contain all those mighty joys that must necessarily spring from our fruition of thee; and to what a degree of happiness shall we be advanced, when we shall be entertained with all the delights that the enjoyment of such an infinite good can afford us; and have hearts great enough to contain them all, without being overcharged with their weight and number!

3. That it includes a most indearing fruition of our glorified Saviour. And this certainly is none of the smallest ingredients of that blissfull state, that we shall be ever with our blessed Lord, as the Apostle expresses it, 1 Thes. 4.17. for herein it's evident, the same Apostle places one great advantage of the future state, Phil. 1.23. and indeed it is impossible, but it must be a vast addition to the happiness of all virtuous and greatfull Souls, to see this their blessed Friend and Bene­factor, who came down from the Bosome of his Fa­ther, and for their sakes exposed himself to a miserable life and death; to see him sitting at his Father's Right Hand, Crowned with Majesty and Honour, surroun­ded with the whole Quire of Angels and Saints, like a Sun in the midst of a circle of Stars, for lovers mu­tually partake of each others joys and sorrows; and therefore as the lovers of Jesus, when they saw him hanging on the Cross, covered with wounds and blood, with scorn and undeserved Infamy, sympathi­zed with him in all his sorrows, participated the shame of all his Reproaches, felt every Pain and Agony he indured, echoed to every sigh and groan he breathed; [Page 10] so when they behold him on the Throne of Heaven, shining with Glory and Honour, and surrounded with infinite pleasures and delights, they sympathize with him also in all his happiness, they rejoyce in his joys, exult in his glories, and triumph in his exaltation; so that his happiness is a common bank, in which all the Inhabitants of Heaven have a share, and every joy he feels strikes every heart throughout all the Assem­bly of his happy lovers: for how can any gratefull Soul forbear being ravisht at the sight of his happiness, when she considers how she was healed by his stripes, and glorified by his Humiliation? But when this best Friend of Souls shall not only permit me to see his Happiness, but also introduce me into it, when his blessed mouth shall bid me welcome, and pronounce my Euge bone serve, Well done good and profitable Ser­vant, enter into thy Masters joys, what tongue can express the Heaven of joy it must needs create in me! O blessed Jesu, how inconceivably happy will that day be, when I, who am loaded with so many vast obligations to love thee, shall be introduced into thy presence, to see thy glory, and sympathize in thy joy, as thou didst in my misery; to thank and praise thee face to face for all those wonders of love with which thou hast obliged me, and to bear a part in that Heavenly Song, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power and riches, and wisedom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing, who hast redeemed us unto God by thy bloud, out of every Kindred, and Tongue, and People, and Nations, Rev. 9.12.

4. Eternal life also includes a most delightfull con­verse and society with Angels, and glorified Spirits; for when we come to the City of the living God, the Heaven­ly Jerusalem, the Apostle tells us what our Society will [Page 11] be there, viz. The innumerable company of Angels, the general Assembly and Church of the first born, God the judge of all the spirits of just men made perfect, and Iesus the Mediator of the New Covenant, Heb. 12.22, 23, 24. As for our Society with God and Jesus, you have already heard, and as for all the rest, it consists of Angels, and the departed Spirits of good men, which be­ing stript of all those imperfections which they car­ried about them during their abode in these Earthly Tabernacles, have nothing remaining in them but what is Pure, and Heavenly, and Divine, nothing of Folly or Errour, reserve our disguize, peevishness or dissimu­lation nothing but wisedom, and love, candour and in­tegrity, openness and freedom, and in a word nothing but what indears their Conversation, and renders it unspeakably pleasant, profitable and obliging; for their understandings are all light, and their wills and affec­tions all vertue and goodness, and as the one furnishes them with the best matter of Conversation, so the other disposes them to the most obliging manner: for though we know not the way in which they converse and communicate their thoughts and minds to each other, yet there's no doubt but Souls can talk with Souls, and mutually impress their thoughts upon each other, without these Corporeal Organs, as well as with them; when therefore Souls, which have such vast treasures of knowledge in their minds, and such am­ple perfections of goodness in their wills, are linked to­gether in Society, what an amiable conversation must they enjoy with each other, when they have all the Philosophy of God's Nature, Creation and Providence, all the Miracles of his love; and Mysterious contri­vances of his Wisedom lying open before them? What [Page 12] a noble, fragrant, and boundless Field of Discourse have they to entertain each other, and when their hearts are all united in the most perfect Charity, and their affections mutually interlinked with the most obliging Graces, with what freedom and confidence, with what unspeakable satisfaction and complacency must they impart their noble thoughts to each other, and empty the rich treasures of their knowledge into one anothers minds? for the Members of this blessed Society being all of them both great Philosophers, and perfect Friends, there can be nothing that is foolish or impertinent, false or erroneous on the one hand, nothing that is peevish, or contentious, morose or offensive on the other, intermingled with their Con­versation, but Wisedom must be the sole entertainment of it, and love and mutual endearments the welcome. O what a blessed alteration therefore will there be in our Conversation when we leave this wrangling and impertinent world, and associate our selves with that glorious Assembly of wise and perfect Lovers! where we shall freely converse with Angels and Arch-Angels, with the Patriarchs, Prophets and Apostles, and with all those great and gallant Souls that were here Re­nowned for their Piety and Goodness, and be familiar­ly entertained by them with all the deep Philosophy of Heaven; where all those ineffable things which St. Paul saw and heard in his rapture, shall be freely unfol­ded to us in the Colloquies of Saints and Angels, and our minds shall be throughly initiated into all those wondrous Mysteries which Eye never saw, nor Ear heard, and which never entred into the heart of Man to conceive; and in a word, where we shall live in per­fect friendship, and love and be beloved with infinite ardour and sincerity, and all our conversation with [Page 13] those blessed People shall be an everlasting interchange of wise and holy indearments.

5. Eternal life also includes the glory and delightful­ness of the place where all these blessed things are en­joyed, for though the state of the blessed be sufficiently glorious to transform the most dismal place into a Para­dise, and to create a Heaven of light and joy in the darkest Dungeon of Hell, yet such is the goodness of God, as to prepare a place for us proportionably glorious to this happy state, which according to the Scripture ac­count is the highest Heaven, or the upper and purer tracts of the Aether, where there is everlasting day, and a perpetual calm and serenity; for so our Saviour tells the Penitent Thief, This day shalt thou be with me in Paradise, Luke 23.43. and where this Paradise is, St. Paul informs us, 2. Cor. 12. for v. 2. he tells us of his being rapt into the third Heaven, which in the 4th v. he calls Paradise, where he heard those ineffa­ble words; now that by the third Heaven, he means the uppermost, viz. the Heaven of Heavens, which is the Seat of God's glorious Schechina, or special pre­sence is evident by this, because according to the Jewish Philosophy, to which he here alludes, Hea­ven was divided into three Regions, viz. the Cloud-bearing, the Star-bearing, and the Angel bearing Re­gion, the last of which they called the third Heaven, in which they placed the Throne of the Divine Ma­jesty, and that by Paradise he means the same place, is evident, because by this name the Jews, in whose lan­guage he speaks, were wont to call the third Heaven; for so Rab. Menachem on Leviticus tells us, It is appa­rent that the great reward of our Obedience is not to be enjoyed in this life; Verum post dissolutionem justus adi­piscitur regnum quod dicitur Paradisus, fruitúrque con­spectu [Page 14] divino, i. e. But after death the just shall arrive at the Kingdom which is called Paradise, and there en­joy the beatifical Vision, and therefore is this Heaven­ly Region of Angels called by the name of Paradise, in allusion to the Earthly Paradise of Eden, denoting to us, that as that was the Garden of this lower world, as being a spot of ground abounding with pleasures and delights beyond all other places; so this is the Garden of the whole Creation, the most beautifull and delightfull Region, within all the vast spaces of the world; nor can we imagine it otherwise, considering that 'tis the place which the great Monarch of the World hath chosen above all others for his Imperial Court and special Residence, and prepared to receive the glorified Humane Nature of his only begotten Son, and to entertain his Friends and Favourites for ever; for if these Out Rooms of the World are so Royal and Magnificent, how infinitely splendid must we needs imagine the Presence-Chamber of the great King, whose presence like a glorious Sun, irradiates and gilds it all over with a bright and everlasting day?

Although therefore the Scripture hath no where gi­ven us a full description of this blissfull place, because perhaps the glory of it is such as transcends all hu­mane expression; yet since God erected it on purpose to be the everlasting Seat and Mansion of his Adop­ted Heirs of Glory, we have all the reason in the world to conclude that he hath exquisitely furnished it with all accommodations requisite for a most happy and blissfull life, and that the House is every way sui­table to the entertainment: whensoever therefore any pure and vertuous Soul is released from this Cage of Mortality, away it flies under the Conduct and Pro­tection of good Angels through the Air and Aether [Page 15] beyond the firmament of Stars, and never stops, till it is arrived at those blessed Abodes, on the top of all the Heavens, where God and Jesus, and Saints, and Angels dwell. And O with what unspeakable delight will it con­template that new seene of things, when assoon as it is entred into that bright Empire of eternal day, it sees it self surrounded with infinite Splendor and Glo­ry; so that which way soever it casts its Eyes, it's entertained with new objects of wonder and delight, which being such as will infinitely surpass its biggest expectations, will force it to cry out as the Queen of Sheba did when she saw the Magnificence of Solomon's Court, it was a true report indeed which I heard of this blessed place in the world I came from, howbeit, now I am come, and mine Eyes have seen it, I am sensible that not the half was told me, its glory and magnificence infinitely exceeding the fame which I heard of it!

Sixthly and lastly, The complement of this Eter­nal life is, that it is eternal; for so, John 6.27. Christ calls his Doctrine the meat which indures unto eternal life, and in the 40th v. he tells them, that 'twas his Fa­ther's will, that they who believed on him should have everlasting life, but because everlasting, and for ever doth in Scripture sometimes denote a long but not an endless duration, therefore he hath taken care to ex­press this Article in such words as must necessarily de­note an endless duration of bliss, for he hath not on­ly told us in John 6.50. that they who believe his Doctrine shall not die, but that whosoever liveth and believeth in him shall never die, Iohn 11.26. yea, and not only so, but that they shall never see death, Iohn 8.51. i. e. shall never come within the prospect or danger of dying; in Luke 20.36. he tells them not only that they shall not, but that they cannot die any [Page 16] more, for they are equal unto the Angels; now what a mighty addition must this make to the joys of the blessed, that they are such as shall never expire, but indure as long as God, and run parallel with Eternity, that [...]hey are not measured by moments or hours, by years or centuries, or myriads, or Indictions, but shall run on in an everlasting flux of duration, every part whereof is equally, because infinitely distant from a period? for when time like fire hath devoured all it can prey on, it shall at last die it self, and go out into Eternity, the nature of which is such, as that after we have lived most blessedly Millions of Millions of Ages, our Happiness shall be as far from an end as when it first began, for our lives and our happiness shall be Coeter­nal, our God shall live for ever, and we shall live for ever to enjoy him, and in the enjoyment of such an in­finite good we need not doubt to find variety enough still to renew our pleasures, and keep them fresh and flourishing for ever; for as we shall always know God, so we shall always know him more and more, and every new beauty that Infinite Object discovers to us, like the diversified Refractions of the same spark­ling Diamond, shall yield our minds fresh pleasures for ever, and kindle a new flame of love in us, and that a new rapture of joy, and that a new desire of know­ing and discovering more; and so continually round again, there will be knowing, loving, and rejoicing more and more for ever, so that our happiness will be so immense, as that we shall need, as well as have an Eternity to enjoy it fully. Now what an unspeaka­ble pleasure must it be for the happy Soul thus to re­flect upon her own condition! O blessed for ever be the good God, I am as happy now as ever my heart can hold, every part of me is so thronged with joys, [Page 17] that I have no room for any more, and that which completes and crowns 'em all is, that they shall never, never end, but still flow on to everlasting ages; and the farther they flow, the more they shall swell and increase. And now having finished this short and im­perfect description of this happy state of eternal life, I shall conclude with some Inferences from the whole.

1. Hence I infer how much reason we have to be contented and satisfied under all the present afflictions of this life. For shall we receive so much good at the hands of God as everlasting life implies, and not be contented to receive some evil? When our good Fa­ther hath provided for us a Crown of endless bliss and glory hereafter, with that conscience or modesty can we complain of these little paternal castigations he in­flicts on us here, especially considering, that the great design of all his present severities is to prepare and discipline us for that heavenly state, that by all these dismal Providences, he is onely training us up for a Crown, fitting, instructing and disposing us to reign with himself in glory for ever? Can any thing be unwelcome to us that is in order to so blessed an end? Can any Physick be nauseous or distastfull, that is pre­scribed to recover us into such an happy immortality? No, doubtless every thing that leads heavenwards, though never so grievous, is a blessing; and all these kind severities, that tend to our eternal welfare, are favours for which we are bound to praise and adore the goodness of Heaven for ever. When therefore we find our selves inclined to complain under our present afflic­tions, let us lift up our eyes to yonder blessed regions, and consider the joys and triumphs, the crowns and pleasures that do there await us; and how necessary [Page 18] these bitter trials are to prepare us for, and waft us to them; and if this doth not stop our mouths, and si­lence our complaints for ever, nay if it doth not cause us to rejoice in our tribulations, and thank God for them on our bended knees, if it doth not make us cheerfully submit, and say, Vre, seca, vulnera, Lord, cut, or wound, or burn me if thou seest fit, strip me of all my dearest comforts, handle me as severely as thou pleasest, so I may have but my fruit unto holiness, and my end everlasting life: If, I say, we do not thus acquiesce in our present sufferings, upon the conside­ration of that bliss they tend to, we are infinitely fool­ish and ungratefull; for 'tis but a little while e'er all these storms will be composed into an everlasting calm, e'er all these dismal clouds will vanish, and an eternal day break forth upon us, whose brightness shall never be obscured with the least spot or relique of darkness; and when that blessed time comes, Lord, how trifling and inconsiderable will all our present griefs appear! With that contempt shall we reflect upon our present cowardise and meanness of spirit, that could not bear, without murmuring, a few incoveniencies on the road to such an immortal heaven of pleasures! Wherefore if our voyage be not so pleasant as we would have it, let us remember 'tis not long, we have but a short days sail to an eternity of happiness, and when once we are landed on that blessed shore, with what ravishing content and satisfaction shall we look back on the rough and boisterous Seas we have past, and for ever bless the storms and winds that drave us to that happy port: then will the remembrance of these light afflic­tions serve onely as a Foil and Anti-mask to our happi­ness, to set off its joys, and render them more sweet and ravishing. Let us therefore comfort our selves with [Page 19] these things, and when at any time our spirits are sink­ing under any worldly trouble, consider that while we have a Heaven to hope for, we can never be misera­ble; for so long as we are fortified with this mighty hope, our minds will be impregnable against all foreign events, and its peace and comfort, maugre all afflicti­ons from without, will shine as undisturbedly as the lights of Pharos in the midst of storms and tem­pests.

2. Hence I infer what a vast deal of reason we have to slight and contemn this world. For it's plain, that we are born to infinitely greater hopes than any this world can afford us, even to the hopes of everlasting life; and being so, methinks, our ambition should soar as high as our hopes, and disdain such low and igno­ble quarries as the pleasures, and profits, and honours of this life. Certainly, Sirs, we mistake the scene of our eternity, or imagine it to be removed from Hea­ven to Earth, or else we are most strangely besotted, who when we are born to live for ever above, in the most ravishing glory and happiness, can suffer our selves to doat upon this world, and to be so strangely bewitched by its deluding vanities. O could we but stand awhile in the mid-way between Heaven and Earth, and at one prospect see the glories of both; how faint and dim would all the splendours of this world appear to us in comparison with those above! how would they sneak and disappear in the presence of that eternal brightness, and be forced to shroud their vanquish'd glories as Stars do when the Sun appears! And whilst we interchangeably turned our eyes from one to t'other, with what shame and confusion should we reflect upon the wretched groveling temper of our own minds, what poor mean-spirited creatures we are [Page 20] to satisfie our selves with the impertinent trifles of this world, while we have all the joys of an everlasting Heaven before us; and may, if we please, after a few moments obedience, be admitted into them, and enjoy them for evermore! O foolish creatures that we are, thus to prefer a far Countrey, where we live on no­thing but husks, before the everlasting festivities of our Father's house, where the meanest guest hath bread e­nough and to spare! to chuse Nebuchadnezzar's fate, and leave Crowns and Sceptres, to live among the sal­vage herds of the Wilderness; could but the blessed Saints above divert so much from their more happy employments, as to look down a little from their Thrones of Glory, and see how busie poor mortals are a scrambling for this wretched pelf, which within a few moments they must leave for ever; how they justle and rancounter, defeat, defraud and undermine one a­nother; what a most ridiculous spectacle would it ap­pear to them! with what scorn would they look on it, or rather with what pity, to see a company of heaven-born Souls, capable of, and designed for the same degree of glory and happiness with themselves, groveling like Swine in dirt and mire! one priding it self in a gay suit, another hugging a bag of glistering earth, a third stewing and dissolving it self in luxury and voluptu­ousness, and all employed at that poor, and mean, and miserable rate, as might justly make those blessed Spi­rits ashamed to own their kindred and alliance with us. To tell you truly and seriously my thoughts, I cannot imagine, but if when we are thus extravagantly concer­ned about the pitifull trifles of this world, those blessed Spirits do indeed see and converse with us; it is a much more ludicrous and ridiculous spectacle in their eyes, to see us thus foolishly concerned and employed, than [Page 21] 'twould be in ours, to see a company of boys with mighty zeal and concern wrangling and scrambling for a bag of Cherry-stones: Wherefore in the Name of God, Sirs, let us not expose our selves any longer to the just derision of all the world by our excessive do­tage upon the vanities of this life; but let us seriously consider that we are all concerned in matters of much higher importance, even in the unspeakable felicity of an everlasting life.

3. Hence I infer how unreasonable a thing it is for good men to be afraid of dying, since just on t'other side the Grave, ye see, there is a state of endless bliss prepared to receive and entertain them; so that to them Death is but a dark entry out of a Wilderness of sorrow, into a Paradise of eternal pleasure; And there­fore if it be an unreasonable thing for sick men to dread their recovery, for Slaves to tremble at their Jubilee, or for Prisoners to quake at the news of their Gaol-delivery; how much more unreasonable is it for good men to be afraid of Death, which is but a momen­tary passage from sickness to eternal health, from la­bour to eternal rest, and from close confinement to e­ternal liberty! For God's sake consider, Sirs; What is there in this world that ye are so fond of it? what in the other, that ye are so afraid of it? Sup­pose that now your Souls were on the wing, mounting towards the celestial Abodes, and that at some conve­nient stand between Heaven and Earth, from whence ye might take a prospect of both, ye were now making a pause to survey and compare them with one another; that having viewed over all the glories above you, tasted the beatifical joys, and heard the ravishing melodies of Angels; ye were now looking down a­gain, with your minds filled with those glorious Idea's [Page 22] upon this miserable world, and that all in a view ye beheld the vast numbers of men and women, that at this time are fainting for want of bread, of young men that are hewen down by the sword, of Orphans that are weeping over the Graves of their Fathers, of Ma­riners that are shrieking out in a storm, because their Keel dashes against a Rock, or Bulges under them; of people that are groaning upon sick beds, or wracked with agonies of conscience, that are weeping with want, mad with oppression, or desperate with too quick a sense of a constant infelicity; would ye not, do ye think, upon such a review of both states, be in­finitely glad that ye were gone from hence, that ye are out of the noise and participation of so many evils and calamities? would not the sight of the glories a­bove, and of the miseries beneath, make you a thousand times more fearfull of returning hither, than ever ye were of going hence? Yes, doubtless it would, why then should not our sense of the miseries here, and our belief of the happiness there, produce the same effect in us; make us willing to remove our quarters, and ex­change this Wilderness for that Canaan? 'Tis true in­deed, the passage from one to t'other is commonly ve­ry painfull and grievous; but what of that? in other cases we are willing enough to endure a present pain, in order to a future ease; and if a few mortal pangs will work a perfect cure on me, and recover me to ever­lasting health and life, methinks the hope of this blessed effect should be sufficient to indear that agony, and render it easie and desirable: But alas! to die, is to leave all our acquaintance, to bid adieu to our dearest friends and relatives, to pass into an unknown state, to converse with strangers, whose laws and customs we are not acquainted with: Why now all that looks sad [Page 23] in this is a very great mistake; for I verily hope that I have more friends and relatives in Heaven, than I shall leave behind me here on Earth; and if so, I do but go from worse friends to better; for one friend there is worth a thousand here, in respect of all those indearing accomplishments, that render a friend a Jewel: But if I die a good man, I shall carry into e­ternity with me the genius and temper of a glorified spirit, and that will recommend me to all the society of Heaven, and render the spirits of those just men, whose name I never heard of, as dear friends to me in an instant, as if they had been may ancient Cronies and acquaintance: But why should I grieve at parting with my friends below, when I shall go to the best friends I have in all the world; to God my Father, to Jesus my Redeemer, to the Holy Ghost my constant Comforter and Assistant? And what though that state, and the laws and customs of it be in a great measure unknown to me? yet what I know is infinitely desira­ble. From whence I may reasonably infer, that what I know not is so too, and if I have but the temper of Heaven, I am sure I shall easily comply with the heavenly laws and customs of it; so that in the whole, I cannot imagine why any good man that seriously be­lieves the doctrine of a blessed immortality, and hath a just well-grounded hope of being made partaker of it when he dies, should be so loth to leave this wretch­ed world. I do not deny but the circumstances of our affairs in this life are many times such as may just­ly excuse even a good man's unwillingness to die, some great opportunities of doing good may present them­selves, and invite him to stay a little longer, or his having begun his repentance late, or not having made a competent provision for his family, may for a­while [Page 24] justifie his unwillingness to depart; but unless it be in these excepted cafes, I can hardly reconcile our hopes of happiness, with our fear of death. For when I am verily perswaded, that death is onely a narrow stream running between time and eternity, and I see my God and my Saviour with Crowns of Glory in their hands, beckoning to me from the farther shore, calling to me to come over, and receive those happy re­compences of my industry and labour, that I like a naked, timorous boy, should stand shivering on this bank of time, as if I were afraid to dip my foot in the cold stream of Fate, which as soon as I am in, I am past, and in the twinkling of an eye will land me on eternal bliss; is such an extravagant inconsistency, as [if I did not feel it in me] I should never believe I could be guilty of.

4. Fourthly and lastly, Hence I infer, what unspeak­able incouragement we have to endeavour after that Universal Righteousness, which intitles us to this bles­sed state of eternal life; since God hath proposed such a vast reward to encourage and animate our industry, how can we account any work hard, of which Hea­ven is the wages? how can we faint in our Christian race when we see the Crown of Glory hang over the Goal? Methinks this should be enough to infuse life and spirit into the most crest-fal'n Soul, to make Crip­ples run, and convert the most sneaking Coward into a bold and magnanimous Heroe. For how much pains do we ordinarily take upon far less hopes? in hope of a little transitory wealth, which we know we shall enjoy but a few years, and then part with for ever; we thrust our selves into a perpetual croud, and tumult of businesses, where with vast concern and thought­fulness, with eager and passionate prosecutions, with [Page 25] endless brawls and contentions, with restless justlings, and rancountring one another, we toil and weary out our selves, and make our lives a constant drudgery; and shall we flag when Heaven is the object of our prosecutions, who are so active in the pursuit of tri­fles? Whensoever therefore we find our endeavours in Religion begin to tire, and droop, let's lift up our eyes to the Crown of Glory; and if we are capable of being moved by objects of the greatest value, that must infuse new vigour into us, and make us all life, and spirit, and wing; for what though my way lyes up the hill, and leads me along through thorns and preci­pices, so that I am fain to sweat at every step, and e­very ascent is a new toil to me? yet when I am up, I am sure to be entertained with such pleasant gales, and glorious prospects, as will fully recompence all my la­bour in climbing thither, there with an over-joyed heart I shall sit down and bless my toils; O blessed be ye my bitter agonies, and sharp conflicts; for ever blessed be ye my importunate prayers, and well-spent tears; for now I am fully repaid for you all, and doe reap ten thousand times more joys from you, than ever I endured pains: For what are the pains of a moment, to the pleasures of an eternity? Wherefore hold out my faith and patience yet a little longer, and your work will soon be at an end; and after a few labori­ous week-days, you shall keep an everlasting Sabbath. What though my voyage lye through a stormy Sea, yet 'tis to the Indies of happiness, and a few Leagues farther lies the blissfull Port, where I shall be Crown'd as soon as I am landed. Go on therefore, O my Soul, with thy utmost courage and alacrity, for let the winds bluster, and the waves swell never so much, yet thou canst not miscarry unless thou wilt, thou art not like [Page 26] other passengers, left to the mercy of wind and wea­ther, but thy fate is in thy own hands; and if thou wilt have but thy fruit unto holiness, thy end shall be everlasting life; Which God of his infinite mercy grant, &c.

And so much shall suffice for the Text, I shall now only crave your patience, while I speak a few words of the sorrowfull occasion, viz. the Funeral of our Deceased Brother Dr. Croun, who whilst he lived, was not onely a Friend, but an Ornament to the whole Race of Mankind, and whose breathless Carkass, to which we are now rendring the last Offices of Friend­ship, was e'erwhilst the seat of a mind so exalted, and a Nature so refined, as that had it but a few equals scattered through the world, they might go far to­wards the retrieving the forfeited reputation of our de­generate kind; for as for his Understanding, it was a very learned University of Knowledge, wherein Lan­guages, and Arts, and Sciences flourish'd, and every thing almost was comprehended that deserves the name of Learning, he was a general Scholar, as all his Learned Acquaintance will testify, an accurate Linguist, an acute Mathematician, a well read Histo­rian, and a profound Philosopher, and in that labo­rious course he had run through the whole Circle of Learning; he contented not himself with a slight and cursory view of the several parts of it, but took a full prospect of them all, and was aliquis in singulis, as well as in omnibus; and as for that learned pro­fession to which God's Providence determin'd, and his own Genius more particularly addicted him; though I verily believe England abounds with as many great and eminent Professours of it as ever any Age or Na­tion produced; yet in this bright constellation [Page 27] Dr. Croun will be acknowledged by all that know and understood him, a star of the first magnitude, for besides the deep and accurate insight he had in the frame and structure of Humane Bodies, of which he gave such abundant proof in his Learned Anatomical Lectures, besides his large and comprehensive know­ledge of the Virtues and Qualities of Medicaments, and of the Natures and Symptomes of Diseases, the Theory of which he had vastly cultivated and impro­ved by a long, a curious, and well-digested Experi­ence; besides these things, I say, he was a very ge­nerous and carefull Practitioner, for though his Prac­tice was very large among those of the better Rank and Quality, yet his Ears were always open to the Cries and Complaints of the Poor, to whom he al­waies Administred with as much care and considera­tion for Pity and for Charity sake, as ever he did to to the Rich for the most generous reward sake; for the life of a Man was so dear and pretious to him, that he esteemed the very saving it to be a much greater reward than the largest Fee, like the great Physician of Souls, he had a tender sympathy with his Patients in all their Griefs and Diseases, and his own Natural Compassion did so much interest him in their sorrows and dangers, that'twas a mighty ease to himself to ease and relieve them, so that the Physi­cian and the Patient commonly languish'd and recove­red together, and as his Skill and his Care were equal­ly great, so was his success answerable to both; for though he himself be gone, yet he hath left behind him many a living Monument of himself, who cannot but acknowledge with Gratitude to his Memory, that un­der God they owe the breath which they now draw, to the skill and experience of this great Aesculapius. [Page 28] And as he had an excellent mind, so he had a lovely and amiable temper, a temper in which there was no­thing but what was highly indearing, nothing that was stormy or tempestuous, rough or sower, imperious or insolent, false or malitious, humorous or phantastick, but was altogether compounded of the best and swee­test ingredients of kindness and benignity, of mo­desty and humility, of curtesie and affability, and in a word, and every good thing that good Nature implies; his passions were always sober, and his Appetites tem­perate, his Conduct was very prudent, but yet very punctual and honest, his Conversation was innocent and chearfull, and facetious, and his Carriage was grave, but yet gentile and obliging. In short, he had all the Wit of a good Poet, all the temper of a Philoso­pher, and all the good humour of a Well-bred Gentle­man. This he was in himself, we will now briefly consider him in his several Relations, as he was a Crea­ture, and so related to God. I have very often heard him express a very serious and awfull sense of the Di­vine Majesty, and particularly upon his Death-bed not many hours before his departure, where he heartily thanked God that he had well weighed and considered the course of his life, and the final issues and events of his actions, and with a very serious chearfulness re­sign'd up himself into God's hands and disposal, pro­fessing himself to be very well content to live or dye, as God in his Wisedom should think it most expedient, desiring me to pray with him and for him. As he was a Husband—Alas, the tears of his sorrowfull Relict do but too loudly proclaim how good, and how kind he was; and in such an indearing Relation, what less could be expected from so good a nature: For here all his natural sweetness and benignity, which ordinarily [Page 29] diffused it self through the whole sphere of his activity, was contracted and united in one point or centre, and so was rendred more intense and vigorous by its union. The Holy Scripture tells us, that the Husband and the Wife are one flesh; but here one would have thought they had been one Soul too, for they had all the same likings and dis-likings, the same joys and sorrows, the same pains and pleasures; such perfect Unizons were their hearts, that whatever Note one struck, t'o­ther ecchoed and resounded it; so that what the good Portia said to her dear Brutus, this happy pair might have truly said to each other, [...], I am the partner of thy fortunes, and have an equal share with thee in all that thou sufferest or enjoyest. As he was a Master, the lamentations of his Servants, for the share they had in the loss of him, suf­ficiently demonstrates his great kindness and goodness to them; his whole Family, which while he was well, did always wear sprightly and chearfull looks, upon the sad news that there was no hope of his recovery, was presently converted into a House of Mourning, and every countenance was changed, as if they had all been sentenced to die with their Master. Once more consider him as a Neighbour, he was publick good to the place where he lived; and like a rich field of Spices, he scattered his perfumes throughout all the Neighbourhood, where upon every call and invita­tion he was ready to doe good, and freely contributed his best skill and care, to all that needed and reque­sted it. Thus while he lived. Dr. Croun was a publick good, and a great and eminent Benefactour to the World; so that his loss is like the breaking up of a Common treasury, in which we had all of us a share: and accordingly ye see, that though his kindred and [Page 30] alliance was not very large, yet by the lamentations that are made for him, one would think he had been the Father of some very populous Tribe; for I dare say, that for these many years there hath not been seen a more sorrowfull Funeral within the Walls of this City than this we are now celebrating; and 'tis but fit and decent, that he who while he lived, was a com­mon friend to Mankind, should be attended to his Grave with a common sorrow; and that we who sur­vive him, and were so much beholding to him, should now pay our debts to his Memory with our Tears; but if we would be benefited by his Memory, as we were by his Life, let us remember his excellent Virtues and Accomplishments so as to imitate and transcribe them to follow his Example in all the good things he did; and if we knew any evil, to shun and avoid it: by thus doing we shall convert his Memory into Medicine, and render him as good a Physician to our Souls now he is dead, as he was to our Bodies whilst he was living, and so improve our present loss into our everlasting ad­vantage. Which God of his infinite Mercy grant; to whom be Honour, and Glory, and Power, and Ma­jesty, and Dominion for ever, Amen.



THere is lately Printed a Sermon preached before the Lord Mayor, by the same Authour, on Prov. 24.21. And meddle not with them that are given to change.

There is also in the Press a Second Part of the Christian Life, by the same Authour, which will be suddenly pub­lished.

This keyboarded and encoded edition of the work described above is co-owned by the institutions providing financial support to the Text Creation Partnership. This Phase I text is available for reuse, according to the terms of Creative Commons 0 1.0 Universal. The text can be copied, modified, distributed and performed, even for commercial purposes, all without asking permission.