THE STING OF DEATH AND DEATH UNSTVNG DELIVERED IN TWO SERMONS In which is shewed The Misery of the Death of those that dye in their Sins, & out of Christ, and the Blessedness of theirs that Dye in the Lord.

Preached on the occasion of the Death of the truely noble and virtuous The Lady Mildmay.

By LEONARD HOAR, M. D. Sometime Preacher of Gods Word in Wanstead.

Psal. 49. 14.
Like sheep they are [...] the grave, death shall feed on them; and the upright shall have dominion over them in the morning, and their beauty shall consume in the grave [...] dwelling.
Eccles. 8. 13, 14.
But [...] well with the wicked, neither shall he pro­long his dayes [...] as a shadow, because he feareth not before God.
Ver. 14.
There is [...] which is done upon the earth, that there be just men unto whom it [...] according to the work of the wicked: again there be wicked men, to whom it hapneth according to the work of the righteous: I said [...] also is vanity.
Isa. 3. 10, 11.
[...] to the righteous, that it shall be well with him, for they shall eat the fruit [...] doings.
Ver. 11.
We [...] the wicked, it shall be ill with him; for the reward of his hands shall be given [...].
Psal. 48. 14.
For this God is our God for ever and ever, and he will be our [...] unto death.
Rev. 2. 10.
Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tryed, and ye shall have tri­bulation ten dayes: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a [...] of life.

Boston, Printed by John Foster. 1680.


To Mris. Bridget Usher my ever honoured Aunt,


I Know you are no Stranger, in the dayes of your Pilgrimage, to the late and present rouling posture of the wheels of Providence; you have seen the times tempestuous, and perilous; and God, who is the great Soveraign, hath seen good to bring an instance of the evil of this time, home to your Person and Family.

Its good for yourself, with all other Relations that yet survive, to look at the supream Disposer; when the rong [...] of the wheels are high and dreadful, to eye him him that sits upon the Throne: When Israel was as a woman forsaken, and grieved in spirit, its he that called her to it, Isa. 54. There is no Staff of indigna­tion in the hand of Providence, but it is grounded in the eternal Decree. And what if God willing that this or that or the other friend, or relation be made as it were a gazing stook to Angels and Men, through afflictions and reproaches? Who shall reply? Its lawful for him to do what he will with his own, Mat. 20. 15. Why dost thou strive against him? saith Elibu, Job. 23. 13. He giveth no account of his matters. Its the duty of all friends to sanctify God in his soveraign Dispose, and with Aaron to hold their peace; not to repine or murmure at the dispensation of God, to submit to his holy and soveraign will in this matter. The great difficul­ty, and tu [...]t which is most studiously to be avoided, is not to be scandalized, nor to have our minds any wayes damaged, or discouraged in the course of our obe­dience, nor alienated from the Church and People, and Servants of God, when such instances occurr, that men upright with God, and walk close with him, fall under such great afflictions, not to think strange of the fiery Tryal, nor the worse of holy obedience, and the service of God; this I say, is a great and hard Task: and when there are such accidents falling out, friends receiving such deadly wounds in the house of their friends, not to be exasperated, nor violate the Rules of Charity, but to rest in Love towards them, is another hard Task. This is the Task and duty incumbent upon you at this time; and herein I know is some mea­sure, as things have been circumstanced, what need all that were nearly Related, and dearly Affected to him that is gone, I say, I know what need they have of Cau­tion. It is a notable observation of Mr. Strong, The will of man subordinated to the Will of God, p. 289. ‘There are as great-snares of Satan, and as great Judgements of God laid in Scandals, as in any thing in the world besides:’ And he adds, (It is an Observation much to be considered) ‘That if Satan would instil any evil im­pression, into the hearts of men, concerning any Truth of God (I may add [...] also [Page] as well, against any of the Wayes, Churches, Servants and People of God) he doth usually bring it in by some providence of God that they take offence at:’ As he instanceth in the Caderens, Mat. 8. 31. The Devil desires to exasperate their spirits against Christ, and he will doe it by drowning their hoggs. I am very sensible, in the Sufferings and Death of your deservedly honoured Companion, and guide of vouth, there was that, which except God give your self, and all other friends, much Wisdom, and Grace to ballance their spirits, the Devil may improve it to work a Prejudice of spirit against the Civil Government, Churches, Schools of Learning, against the holy wayes, and the Servants and Saints of God. Pardon me Madam, if I stay here, knowing what a Narrow this is, and earnestly request you for the Lords sake, that you labour to guard your spirit and mind against this evil. I know full well with what Magnanimity and undauntedness of spirit, you passed through the gun-shot, and the heat of the day; but I beseech you don't now stand at a distance from the Communion of the Churches and People of God, lest Satan get advantage; for we are not ignorant of his Devices.

The best Remedy against it is,

1. A sincere, meek and quiet submission to the soveraign & holy Will of God: this will quiet our spirits so that Satan can't disturb them. All the motions of our souls are eccentrick & disordered till they come to this Subordination: we are open to the storms, and fiery darts of hell, if not anchored in this Harbour.

2. An intire and ardent Love to God, his Churches, Servants and People. If Love be interrupted, Satan has great Advantage of us: Qui satis deligunt non cite offendun­tur, Salv. Epist. 1. They that [...] much and enough, will not be soon offended. A brave Christ-like spirit it is to bury and pass by real and supposed injuryes, and a great duty and concernment it is to live and dye in Charity.

If I mistake not, it was your design in coming into this Wilderness, that you might lead a quiet and peaceable life, in all godliness and honesty: And although you have met with so great a tryal as you have, yet the Interest of God, the Go­vernment, the Order of the Churches, the Truths and wayes, the Servants and Saints of God, and Communion with and in these, is as sweet and precious as ever.

I would not be understood by the world, nor be thought by your self to know of, and be privy to any evil impression upon your spirit, or to have an evil surmise concerning you, that the evil one hath touched you; but only as a faithful friend, to signify and give you an item of danger, that you and all of us may avoid it.

And now here by your great and long importunity, I am to present you with some Notes and Sermons of your dear, and sometime pleasant Companion, which he himself made choice of, to read and meditate on, in the time of his Sickness, in order to his Preparation for Death: which shews the misery of the death of the wicked, & the great change that is made in the death of Believers by Christ Jesus.

And the great concernment incumbent on you, and pressing hard on all of us, and my care for my own soul, and my hearts desire and prayer, especially, for all my dear Relations is, that they and I may dye the death of the Righteous, and that our last end may be like his. I need not tell you we are mortal, daily experience proves it, and the multiplyed instances of it, within the line of our Relation, gives [Page] full Proof and evidence of it, that we are mortal; and our dearest Relations they are dying and passing away; and I think sometimes, God hath written a Sentence of Death over the whole Family: and were [...]we fit for that great and solemn Change, I could easily seal to Solomons Testimony, that the day of ones Death is better then the day of ones Birth, Eccles. 7. 1.

Now since it is sure that this is the end of all Living, and that God will bring us to Death; it is an unalterable Statute and Decree of Heaven, that we must dye; how ought the thoughts of it to quicken us? How ought we to number, and so to number our dayes, that we may apply our hearts to Wisdome? How should the sence of it mortifye our desire to the World, as it did Barzillaes, 2 Sans 17. 34 &c as the Apostle exhorts, 1 Cor. 7. 29. how should it quicken us to Repen­tance, Faith, Holiness and Obedience, to do what we have to doe with all our might, Eccles. 9. 10. and to prepare and wait for our Change, that we may be rea­d? That's the Errand of this Sermon.

I shall therefore apply my self in a few words, to move and direct in this great and weighty work, to move and perswade all with whom I am nearly concerned, to prepare for [...]. Consider,

1. It is a [...] wherein Death hath received a large and high Commission: Death hath reigned in the Region and Time wherein we live and dwell; it hath put forth its power, and hath received a Charge from God; where and concerning whom is uncertain, and how far it may respect our Family and Relations, God only knows: but when it is in general a Dying time, and so many of our Relations are in the space of thirteen years gone to their long home, it near [...] concerns us that survive, who know that God will bring us also unto Death, and the house appointed for all living, to be prepared and stand ready: in such a time the man of God wakens up his spirit to an holy trembling at the power of Gods anger, and servent prayer for instruction in this matter, Psal. 90, 11, 12. So I beseech all my dear friends and Relations at once to receive that Counsel of Christ to his Disciples, Luk. 12. 40. Be ye therefore ready also.

2. It is a great and bird matter to be prepared for Death. I may say of the Art of D [...]ing well, Ars longa, Vita brevis, Its a great work, and the time is short. A whole Life is time little enough to go through the work of a due and serious Prepara­tion for Death and Judgement. Job 14. 14. He resolves to wait all the dayes of his appointed time. A day, week, moneth or year was not sufficient to compass so great a work in; but it will take up, and he resolvedly devotes, all his dayes to it. L [...] no day pass without a Line. Some have been in an instant, and at the last watch wrought up to it, by an extraordinary power of the Spirit and Grace of Jesus Christ; but in the ordinary course of Gods dispensation it takes time: There­fore attend that Pattern of Christ, to work while it is day, Joh. 9. 4.

3. Christ comes suddenly. Few Ages or places in the world, if any, have been so fruitfull and abounding with instances of sudden Deaths as this. Some, yea many; have been summoned before the Tribunal of Christ in an instant: God has indeed granted to all those that have lately died of our Family and Relations, some time, and to the most of them a long warning, and time of Preparation for Death. And it was remarkable in the Author of this Sermon. He long desired that he [Page] might, if the Lord saw good, dye of a consumptive & lingering Distemper; and therefore when he found the grand signs of that Distemper, said, that God had given him his desire. And through infinite grace (which God shall be admired in them for) they were moved and stirred up to a solemn Preparation of themselves, & improving their space given, that they might be prepared for Death: But God only knows (in whose hands our breath, & our times and wayes are) what time and warning we shall have: its good therefore to be ready, prepared for the worst: Receive the advice of Christ therefore, Luke 12. 35, 36. Let your loins be girded about, and your lights burning, and ye your selves like unto men that wait for their Lord, when he will return from the Wedding, that when he cometh and knocketh, ye may open to him immediately.

4. Consider what a dismal thing it is to dye unprepared: For Death to come armed by Sin, with the curse and wrath of God. To dye in our sins, it is to dye misera­bly, and to come to a miserable end I may truely say of him that so dyes, An un­timely birth i [...] better then [...]e, as Eccles. 6. 3. Yea, as Christ said of him that betrayed him, It had been good for that man he had never been born. Hence Solomon tells us, Prov. 24. 20. there shall be no reward to the evil man. No Reward? And yet is not Destruction to the wicked, and a strange punishment to the workers of iniquity? Job. 31 3. Yea upon the wicked He i. e. God shall rain Snares, Fire and Brimstone, and as horri­ble Tempest, Psal. 11. 6. Yet the wise man saith, There shall be no Reward or End to the wicked man, i. e. it shall be worse with him then if he had never been born. The Lord help us all to consider it, and mind a timous and serious prevention of this dismal issue.

5. A preparedness for Death will render us meet for all dutyes, and for all interme­diate Changes. There is much service, and many solemn changes before us: The voice of the Lord cryeth aloud to all men of Wisdom, at this time to walk humbly with their God, to watch and pray. They that are fit to dye, they are and will be fit for any service that God calls them to. Paul prepared for Death, and willing to dye, is fit to continue and abide with the Churches, and to be eminently useful for their furtherance, and joy of Truth, Phil. 1. 25. There are solemn exercising Changes foretold by the fearful signs of this time; if we are prepared for Death, we are armed against the worst, and to endure the greatest affliction that can be­tide us on this side Death, Acts 21. 13. Paul being ready to dye, is ready for bonds and imprisonment at Jerusalem. O how comfortable a thing is it to be ready to doe and suffer any thing for the Name of Christ? But not to insist longer here, If we would be prepared for Death,

1. Be and live in the daily and lively exercise of Repentance. It is Sin that makes Death bitter and terrible to the sons of men. Be thorough and serious in Repen­tance for sin: Let no sin lye unrepented of. This was Pauls practice while he lived, to exercise himself to have a Conscience void of offence, Acts 24. 16. Not but that he had to charge himself with, and which Conscience might accuse him of yea, but he cleared all Reckonings between God and himself, by a lively renewed exercise of Repentance. Pass not a day without a serious, and close review o [...] your actions and wayes, and without deep searchings of heart, and repentings fo [...] all your errors, and violations of Gods holy Law, and your Rebellion against the [Page] Gospel. Give diligence to be found of God in peace, and this will make the time of Death and Judgement, times or refreshing, Act. 3. 19. If you can allow, and live in any known sin, if you can digest sin without great bitterness & sorrow, of a surety you are not prepared for this Change.

2. Believe to the saving of your Souls. Believe on the Name of the Lord Jesus. To dye in truth, is to dye comfortably; it easeth and looseth the pains of Death. This is the way to dye in the Lord, Rev, 14. 13. and to sleep in Jesus, 1 Cor. 15. 18. i. e. in union with God in Christ. They that dye in Christ, will die in Peace, and be found of God in peace: for there is no condemnation to such, Rom. 8. 1. And the blood of Christ also cleanseth Believers from all sin: now it is a blessed thing to be free from the guilt of sin, and to have our consciences purified in the blood of Christ; this will prepare us for an happy and comfortable Death. Now its the Son only that can make us free in this matter, and that must be in a way of union with Christ by Faith. O believe in the Lord Jesus; be oft and con­stant in the renewed exercise of Faith: as it is said of Abraham, Cen. 15. 6. He believed: Though he believed long before that, when he answered the call of God, Heb. 11. 8. The Apostle tells us, By Faith Abraham when he was called, obeyed, and yet after this its said He believed, as if he had not believed before

3. Be throughly mortified to the world: Get your Affections crucified to the ho­nours, pleasures and profits of this life. Weep as though you wept not, Rejoyce as though you rejoyced not, Buy as though you possessed not, Vse this world as not abusing it, as the Apostle exhorts, 1 Cor. 7. 30, 31. When this or that alurement of the world bids high, and sollicits strongly for your affections, then think with old Barzillai, How long have too live? O my friends, God forbid that you should glory, save in the Cross of Christ. If you are Christ's, then crucifie the flesh, with its whole Train of carnal and sensual Lusts: these corrupt the judgement, and put a false varnish upon the things of the world. It is a dreadfull sign upon any soul to love the world, it undeniably evinceth, that the love of the Father is not in him, 1 Job. 2. 15. And he that is destitute of the love of the Father, is not fit to dy. He shall never be received into the everlasting Kingdome, that is totally destitute of the Love of God. O then mortifie and purge out all inordinate affection to the world, and the things of this life: whatever you doe, get your hearts dead to the Sins, Gallantryes and Jollityes of this time.

4. Live to the Lord, Serve your Generation; this is the way to dye unto the Lord, and in death to be the Lords. Rom. 14. The comforts of a well cempleated course of life, and service to God therein, will give us a serene and quiet frame of spirit in Death. I am ready to be offered up, and the time of my departure is at band: How comes he to be thus ready? I have finished my course saith he, 1 Tim. 4. 6, 7. To the labouring Saints and Servants of Christ, Death is but a Dismission to Rest: So [...] was to David, Acts 13. 36. and to Daniel, Dan. 12.ult. Doe much for God while you live, Death will be then sweet and comfortable to you. Especially con­sider, and put forth acts of charity and bounty to Christ's poor ones.

5. Secure a firm Union with Christ, that you may dye in the Lord, and sleep in Jesus. It hath pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell, Col. 1. 18. In him there is a full supply of Grace to enable you, to live and dye, to doe and suffer [Page] whatever he calls you to; now if you are Partakers of Christ, & have mystical union with him, then by the almighty power and working of the holy Spirit, you shall have a full supply of all Grace, and ability to increase those Graces in Death which are necessary for your comfort and security in such an hour.

6. Number your Dayes, yea so number your dayes as Psal. 90. 12. General Conclu­sions concerning Death should be enforced upon our hearts, by particular applica­tion. The brevity of Life, the certainly of Death, and the uncertainly of the time of Death, should be thus enforced upon our hearts. I know thou wilt bring me to Death. Job. 30. 23. So Eliphaz tells him, he shall come to his Grave, Job 5. 26, 27. Hear & knew it for thy good.

Lastly. Pray to God to prepare and [...] you for Death, as David, Psal. 39. 4. Lord make me to know my end, and the measure of my dayes. So Moses applyes himself to God, Psal. 90. 12. in a sence of his own inability to learn.

Thus in a few words have I desired to discharge something of that great care which bears strongly upon my heart: if God shall help us to fall on, and seriously to practise this great lesson, then our Death will be but a loosing from this trou­blesome Shore; and however various our Course, and the season of our depar­ture hence are, yet our meeting and Mansion with Christ, in his Fathers House shall be sure and everlasting; which that it may be, is, and shall be the Prayer [...].

your most obliged Kinsman Josiah Flint.
[Page 1]


Upon 1 Cor. 15. 55.O Death, where is thy Sting? O Grave, where is thy Victory?

THE great Article of the Resurrection of the Death, in the Subject of the Apostles Discourse in this Chapter; a Do­ctrine by the Jews denyed, by the Gentile derided, as Acts 17. 18. They scoffed at Paul, because he preached Jesus and the Resurrection from the Dead. This as a great Subject, and fundamental Article of Religion of which some in the Church of Corinth doubted, or else denied it) the Apostle labours from several Topicks to prove,

1. From the common Testimony or joynt Witness of all the Apo­stles, as having seen, and bearing Testimony unto the Resurrection of Christ, v. 4. &c. to 9.

2. From that Faith whereby these Corinthians did formerly enter­tain this Doctrine, v. 11.

3. From the Perfection of the Gospel, which contains this among others of the fundamental Doctrines to be known and believed, v. 12.

4. From the Resurrection of Christ, who rose as a publick [...]son, v. 13. &c. He is the first fruits of them that sleep, v. 20. and 23. whence he is called the first born of the Dead, Col. 1. 18. Rev. 1. 5. And the first begotten of the Dead, in respect of order and causality.

5. From the many absurdityes that would follow if there were no resurrection, as 1. Then the Apostles Preaching and Ministry was in vain, v. 14. 2. Then the Faith of the believing Corinthians was in vain, ibid. 3. Then the Apostles were false Witnesses of God, [...]. [Page 2] Ver. 16. 4. Then those that believe Justification by the Resurrection of Christ are deceived, v. 16. 5. Then they that are dead are lost, i. e. damned, totally and finally lost, even those that are dead in Christ, v. 18 6. Then the hope of Believers is in vain, v. 19.

6. From the Signification of some Christian Rites, v. 29. in which the Apostle alludes to the custome used, Acts 9. 37. ‘It was the custom not only of the Jews, and more prudent moralized Nations, but of the Christians also, to wash and anoint the Bodies of the dead; which sprung from a natural instinct, and hope of a future Resurrection, as One faith on the place.’

7. From the Sufferings of Believers, v. 30. &c.

Lastly. From the easie solution of all Arguments, Allegations and Ob­jections to the contrary, v. 35. &c.

Now the Apostle together with this proof, doth also illustrate and [...] the Truth, shewing the glorious consequents of the Resurre­ction, as the resignation of the Mediatory Kingdome to the Father by the Lord Jesus, and the glorious state of Believers after the Resurrection. When the whole Army of Saints shall follow Christ the [...] of their Salvation in their own Order, and the whole Rout of Sinners & ungodly men shall stand bound before him. Christ shall lead forth his own Soul­diers victoriously and gloriously, dragging the Herd of his spoyled Ene­mies opprobriously after him. Dan. 12. 2. And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to ever­lasting contempt. He shall receive his Church into the nearest embraces of Love, he shall reioyce over her with singing, he shall rest in his Love, each believing Soul shall be raised, changed, made immortal and glo­rious. As the Sun riseth from under clogging Mists, and obscuring Clouds, so shall they be exalted unto heaven, and there shine with an high noon glory, Dan. 12. 3. And they that be wise shall shine as the bright­ness of the Firmament, and they that turn many to righteousness, as the Sta [...] for ever and ever, then, v. 54. Death is swallowed up in victory.

In this Verse, in allusion to the words of the Prophet Hosea Hos. 13. 14. O Death, I will be thy plague; O Grave I will be thy destruction: the Apostle sounds the Triumph, O Death, where is thy Sting? O Grave where is thy Victory? Such was the Apostles confidence God-ward, th [...] he can dare what he afore dreaded, and handle the Viper he could not touch before.

[Page 3] To make way for the Doctrine, it is necessary to enquire,

1. What is meant by Death?

Answ. By Death we are to understand natural or bodily Death: It is the Resolution of the body into its first principles, by and upon the Seperation of the Soul from it, which is the close of this life, and the beginning of another. There is a twofold consideration of Death, as learned Par [...]us notes on v. 53.

1. There is a general and meer natural consideration of Death, and so it happens not only to man, but to all Creatures living. 2. A Theological consideration of it, as it is inflicted by the just punishing hand of God, and is a part of the curse, and so it is a miserable privation of Life, and so it is to be considered here, as a judicial penal evil, and so armed with its sting it is the greatest evil in the world.

2. What are we to understand by the Sting of Death?

Answ. 1. The ground-work is Metaphorical, the Apostle herein allu­ding to venomous Creatures, as snakes, serpents and vipers, who are by nature armed with a sting for offence and defence; so Death hath some­thing in it offensive until it be removed. A Sting (at least in common account) is the chief subject of venome, and the instrument whereby ve­nomous creatures pierce others, and convey their [...]oyson into them, so as to fill them with pain and anguish.

2. The Sting of Death is its strength and power to annoy and hurt. The sting of death, in a similitude and resemblance of a serpent, is its offending power: the sting of death is sin as in v. 56. Sin arms death, and the Law impowers sin, and hence death hath its sting, its power to offend and hurt sinners. Death is the fruit and consequent of sin, Rom. 5. 12. Sin entered, and Death followed after; hence Death comes as an Evil not only as a natural but as a penal and judicial evil, as I hinted before. Now sin gives strength and power unto Death so that he that dyes in his sins has a very strong Death; for sin puts forth all its power and poyson to the utmost in the infliction of death upon the sinner. Sin causeth death to pierce, pain and poison the sinner, it lets out the wrath which is to come upon the sinner: it opens a door to endless and suc­corless torments: it makes the parting with life and the comforts of it [...]itter to the sinner: hence in the death of a sinner all his sins are revived, and the curse seizeth on him.

3. What is meant by the Apostles thus speaking in a way of triumphant Glorying?

[Page 4] Answ. 1. It is a figurative manner of speech, in which Death is spo­ken to as in the form and guise of a Person, as an Officer coming under Commission.

2. It imports that his power was lost as to the Apostle, and so all Be­lievers; so the Apostle includes all believers, v. 57. who giveth us the victory. Deaths commission and power is taken away: it comes not as a penal and judicial evil to the Saints, not as a part of the curse, but a re­main of the cross, an evil of affliction sanctified and eminently conducing to their good: hence the Apostle gloryes over it, not in a way of proud insulting but in an humble triumph of faith in God through Christ, which plainly argues death, as to him and all believers, was spoiled of its power.

Hence we may take up these two Doctrines of just and weighty Ob­servation.

Doct. 1. That there is a sore and grievous Sting in natural Death, or natural Death is armed by Sin with a sore and grievous Sting.

Doct. 2. That the Sting of Death is certainly and infallibly taken out, so that it cannot really hurt, prejudice or annoy true [...].

These two Doctrines doe contain the true meaning and intent of the Apostle in these words.

1. That there is a sore and grievous Sting in natural Death. This lies first in our way. Never shall we see our deliverance fully, till we see our danger, nor be sensible of the excellent remedy, till we have felt the smart of the sore: hence many men out of stupidity, or a wilful slighting or refusing to mind their death, their last end, have made too light a matter of it; but of a truth, when death comes armed by sin, with an high Commission from the Law, it will be found to be piercing, painful and poysonous.

I shall therefore in the first place endeavour to shew more particular­ly what the Sting of Death is, before I come to shew how it is taken out.

Now there are several Stings in Death,

1. The first sting in death is, that it came into the world through mans own fault, Rom. 5. 12. By one man sin entered, and death by sin, and death passed upon all men, &c. It is sin brought in death as a curse and punishment. Death comes from God, not as instituting the course of Nature [...] first; but as revenging sin. There is a Saying in Ecclsiasticus that God did not make Death: true, it is not a Creature, but the de­struction [Page 5] of the Creature. God is not the peccant cause of the falling of this house of clay, but our sin, as Eccles. 10. 18. Its plain it the tenor of the first threatning, Gen. 2. 17. They are Malefactors that are sentenced, adjudged and condemned to die. Every sinner dyes as a Malefactor, as an evil doer suffering for his own sin. And truely it pierceth deep if a man consider, that he fetcht the Viper out of the snow, and nourished it in his own bosome, which now doth sting and devour him. When a man must say, In me convertite ferrum, mea coedes, mea fraus omnis. When it shall be told him as Jer. 2. 19. Thine own wickedness shall correct thee. And as Jer. 4. 18. thy way and doings have procured these things unto thee: this is thy wickedness. We like the foolish woman, Prov. 14. 1. pull down the house over our heads, with our own hands. Before we feel the burthen of sin our own will to it, is our warrant for it; and because our selves have done it, we can easily excuse it: but at last it will sting like an Adder. This will double the burthen, this will be enough to silence any sufferer in this last execution of Justice upon him, i. e. in this life. This consideration will devolve all the load upon our selves. Who shall relieve us? Who shall grieve for us? Whom shall we blame? but even leave our complaint upon our selves,

2. Another Sting in Death, is, that [...] from the Wrath of God, Psal. 78. 50. He made a way to his anger, and spared not their soul from death. God takes away the wicked in his wrath, Psal. 58. 9. Death is his destroying Angel that chaseth them out of the world. There are two things in a c [...]e or punishment, 1. Something that is evil, some oppressing evil. 2. The wrath of God mixt with it. Now death is a part of the curse; now this is piercing and painful indeed, for a man to be taken away in wrath: Sinners in Sion are afraid, and a fearful thing it is [...] all into the hands of the Living God.

3. Another sting in death is, that it is the punishment due to sin. It comes armed therefore with a Commission, to take satisfaction for of­fence and wrong done to the infinite God. It is the wages of sin, Rom. 6. ult. We were bound upon peril of our lives, and on pain of death, to keep Gods Law, Gen. 2. 17. In the day thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely dye: that being broken, death ensues, and seizeth on us as our punish­ment, So v. 22. of this Chapter, In Adam all dye, Sin and punishment goe together. When the body of sin goes before, Punishment as its shadow attends it: When Eve brought forth a son, she was brought [Page 6] a bed of death; according to the Proverb, Ex malo Corve malum Ovum. The Jews have a Saying, There was never any punishment hapned to them, but there was anonnce of the golden calf in it. So there is no death but there are some drachmes of sin in it. The lively Image of Sin is ever to be seen in Death. Would you see the sad influence that moisture hath upon iron? Look upon the rust of it. Would you see the horrid evil of drun­kenness? Look upon the effects of it. Prov. 23. 29. Who hath woe? Who hath sorrow? Who hath contention? Who hath babling? Who hath wounds without cause? Who hath redness of eyes? v. 30. They that tarry long at the wine, they that goe to seek mixt wine. So here. Who hath shortness of breath, a pale countenance, a crazy body, Catarrhs, Epilepsies, Pal­syes, &c? They that continue in sin. Why doth the living man com­plain? Lam. 3. 39. A man for the punishment of his sin? This stings, pains and pierceth the sinner when death comes.

4. Another sting in death is, that it separates the soul body each from other. These antient friends, whose lives and happiness here (as Jacobs was in Benjamins. Gen. 44. 30.) are bound up in one anothers welfare. Will ye take Benjamin away? All these things are against me. If mischief befal him, then shall ye bring down my grey hairs with sorrow to the grave. Can. 42. 36, 38. So may the body which is so closly wed­ded and so dearly affe [...] to the [...] [...]ay, if ye take away my soul, you take away my life. As it is reported of Hadrian the Emperour, when he was dying, he thus trembling at the gastly countenance of the King of Terrors, bespake his miserable soul,

Animula vagula blandula,
H [...]spes Comes que corporis,
Quoe nunc abibit in loca
Pallidula, rigida, nudula;
Nec ut soles dabic Jocos.

O thou little pleasant wandring soul, the guess and companion of the body, into what place will it goe? &c. So hard did he find it for these two friends to part. If it be so hard for a man to part from a near Relation, from a familiar friend and acquaintance: how did Jonathan and David weep over one another? Ah then, what is it for a man to part from him­self, to be rent a sunder one part from another? The hardest knot, and the nearest and dearest Tye that ever was, must then be broken; and the strictest Union must then be disanul'd, the soul turned out of its Possessi­on, [Page 7] the body left as a Vacuum Domicilium until the great Resurrection: this must needs pierce and sting, and fill with anguish in a dying hour.

5. Another sting in death is, that the body is consigned over to a state of corruption. Dust shall return to the earth as it was, Gen. 3. 19. with Eccles. 12. 7. The body must then be reduced and resolved into its first Principles. When God takes away their breath, then all creatures dye, and return to their dust, Psal. 104. 29. The earthly house of this Taberna­cle must be dissolved, 2 Cor. 5. 1. Taken down and in pieces, death feeds on them, Psal. 49. 14. Here the body feeds upon death, dead creatures are its food, but now death shall feed upon men: by their death shall worms & such like vermin live, I have said to corruption thou art my Father saith Job. C. 17. 14 as concluding that his body must see corruption. Some of Gods precious ones, (as Dr. Taylor said of himself when condemned to be burned, have deceived many, viz. the worms that waited for them. passing through a more speedy corruption of their precious bodies, by the rage of their enemies: but the ordinary way is to rot in the grave. Now this carryes a sting with it, to think that worms shall destroy this flesh, Job. 19. 26. The bowels and the vital parts shall be the Re [...]on of vermine. When Joseph is carryed out of Egypt, there is nothing out a Coffin of bones: and when you shall seek a Father or other Relation, or be sought for, there shall be nothing but corruption, an ill savour, or a few dry bones.

6. Another sting in death is, the dolorous accidents, and the heavy attendants that [...]e along with Death: There are many things fall in in a dying hour, there are the pains of death, grievous sickness, faintness, outward parts grow numme, the eyes sink the lips quiver and tremble, the tongue fa [...]ters, the breath whezeth and draws hard, the whole face waxeth pale the heart beats and throbbs. Mark how Solomon in Eccles. 12. 2. &c. reads the old man to his grave, The sun, or light and the moon & st [...] are darkned, the powers of the mind shall be broken, Understanding Memory and Imagination darkned & weakened. The Keepers of the house tremble, that is, the arms and hands through the abatement of the radi­cal heat and moisture doe tremble. The strong men bow themselves: i. e. the thighs and knees and feet grow feeble. The Grinders cease: that is, the Jaws and the Teeth lose their strength as to chewing the meat. And those that look out at the windows are darkned: that is, the eyes grow dim-fighted. The doors are shut in the streets, when the sound of the grind­ing [Page 8] is low: the decoction of food is spoyled, and all the passages of na­ture are obstructed. He rises up at the voice of the bird: hi [...] rest departs from him, he is easily waked out of sleep. All the daughters of musick are brought low: both voice and hearing fail, Passions, and Fear especially, is apt to move. His hair becomes hoary. He that was wont to bear bur­thens, is now a burthen to himself appetite fails. Thus Man goes to his long home. And the Spina is loosed, the Pia mater and the Veins are broken, and the circulation of the blood is stopt: these last especially are the constant and immediate Symptoms and fore-runners of death.

To have friends standing by, some lamenting over us, others amazed, and standing agast to see rooms made dark. Paul when his heart was sound, tells his friends it was ready to break with the weeping of his friends whom he had told that they should see his face no more. Act. 21. 13. So it is here; when death comes, it tells our friends, that they must see our faces no more: This causeth great and grievous sorrowing such as is heart breaking to those that are dying. And we must then wind up with the sad reckoning of Hezekiah. Isa. 38. 11, 12. I shall behold man no [...] with the Inhabitants of the world: Mine age is departed; he will cut me [...] pining sickness.

7. It puts an end to and d [...]royes our purposes as to this life. All the vast projects and counsels of state which Princes and great ones of the earth have upon the wheel when their breath goeth forth, those pe­rish. Psal. 146 4. The rich mans thoughts of pulling down his barns & building greater, they all perish'd in that night when God took away his soul, Luke. 12. 18. &c. Its reported of Coesar, that in his Notes, after his death were found Projects to unite India to the Romane Empire; to drein the Caspian Sea, &c. But his breath went forth, Death prevented and his thoughts perished. Death admits of no after thoughts, but [...] the tree falls so it lyes, Eccles. 11. 3. Whatever designs of love and good will men have, as Joseph, the Shepherd and Stone of Israel had towards the Church and People of God in Egypt, they all perish as to them. Whatever designs of evil, men have, as Herod had towards Jesus in his infancy they perish. Mortui non mordent. Whatever hopes men have as to the concerns of this life, as Hezekiah had of a Son to succeed him, they are cut off Eccles. 9 6. Also their love and their hatred and their envy are now perished. And v. 10 there is no work nor device nor knowledge nor wisdome in the grave. This is a grievous sting in death, [Page 9] for all a mans hopes, designs, Projects & devices to be brought to an end and to nought in one day, hour or moment.

8. Another sting in death is, that it strips us of all our present en­joyments, Mors ultima linea rerum. Its the last stroke of things, the utmost boundary beyond which none can pass or possess. Naked shall I return, Job 1. ult. saith Job. We shall carry nothing with us, Eccles. 5. 1 [...]. 16. Man must then leave himself, and no marvel if he leave his worldly goods. He shall lean upon his house, saith Bildad, but it shall not stand, he shal hold it fast, but is shall not endure. Some see the funeral of their worldly enjoyments while they are yet alive, Friends, Acquaintance, Riches and wealth leave them while they are yet alive, so it was with Job: but at Death, every one must forsake them and his worldly enjoyments must be as it were buried with him, Psal. 49. 10. The wise man and the fool and bruitish person, when he dyes leaves his wealth to others; so God sayes to that fool, Luk. 12. 20. This night shall thy soul be taken from thee, and then whose shall all those things be? they shall be another mans. Its certain saith the Apostle, 1 Tim. 6. 7. that we carry nothing out of this world. Where we took up our Lot in this life, there we must leave it. The things of this life are like a boat to wast us over the water, which can doe us no further service when we come [...] shore, as our cloaths that we put on in the morning and put off at night. Now for them that dote upon their worldly enjoyments, and have their portion in this life, what a grief is it, and how doth it sting them to consider that they yet must, taken an utter leave of all their joyes, delights, friends and good things at once: as the merchants of Babylon lamented over the costliness of the city, for in one hour it was made desolate: so may the rich Miser in a dying hour. They at Ziglag wept for the sacking of the place, and the captivity of their sons and daughters till they had no more power to weep, yet they might be recovered, but in Death there is no Return.

9. Another sting in Death is, that Satan is very busy to hold the souls of men in a desperate security, or plunging them into the depth of de­spair, which is the very image of Hell: hence A [...]aph in Psal. 73. speaks of some in his observation, that had no bands in Death; and Bildad tells of others that are haled to the King of Terrors. O the Ravings and restless tossing of some poor wretches when they come to dye, that cry out as if their breath were already made up of Fire and Brimstone, as Francis Spira and Hadrian the Emperour: And ah the sottish stupidity [Page 10] and senslesness of others, who mind nothing at all neither past nor pre­sent but their bodily pains, when their souls are sinking into hell. How few are there that commit their souls to God, and wisely and patiently dispose themselves for their latter end? There is a woe pronounced upon the inhabitants of the earth, for the Devil is come down unto you having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time, Rev. 12. 12. So it may be said of every inhabitant of this earth when he comes to dye, the weight of sin, the unsupportableness of Gods anger, the terrors of hell, the nearness of the danger, the difficulty of salvation will all appear nakedly to the naked soul. When God makes darkness and it is night, then the beasts of the forest creep forth: every frog will be croaking towards the evening, every puddle will send up a stinking vapor in a foggy night; all the several shadows of things will unite, every [...] will concur to make up and compleat the misery of the poor sinner, [...] Rulers of the darkness of this world and powers of darkness set in to doe the last and worst in this life.

10. Another sting in death is, in the manner of its coming.

11. It comes inevitably, none can withstand or evade it, the wise, the rich [...] strong, the beautifull, the virtuous, the young and the grey­headed &c. fall and perish by it. Its as a River that carryes all before it, a Sythe that cuts all clean before it, and levels all before it, Job. 3. 14, 15, 18, 19. It turns Kings and Counsellors, Princes into the grave: it breaks prisons: small and great are seized by it: It is appointed for all once to die, saith the Apostle, Heb. 9, 27. Like sheep they are laid in the Grave, and Death feeds on them, Psal. 49. 14. This carryes a sting with it, to lye open to the power of an enemy inevitably.

2. It comes suddenly without delay, this night, saith God, thy soul shall be taken from thee, Luk. 20. Man knoweth not his [...], Eccl. 9. 12.

3. It comes irrecoverably, Job. 14. 12. Man lyeth down and riseth [...] till the heavens be no more: and v. 14. shall he live again? the interroga­tion implyes a strong and vehement negation. Job. 7. 9, 10. 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, nor shall his place know him any more.

11. Another sting in Death is, that it puts us into a state unknown, and of which we have no experience: its called a Land of darkness, as darkness it self, and of the shadow of death, and without any order, and where [Page 11] the light is as darkness, Job. 10. 22. Men are afraid to goe in the dark: the traveller is afraid pass when the evening is come, and where a man knows nothing he suspects the worst. Mat. 17. 6. The Disciples were sore afraid at the voice from the excellent glory.

Lastly. Unto ungodly men, it is a certain is let and entrance into e­ternal Death. Its a dark passage into the bottomless pit: they are led through the prison of the grave to the place of execution. Death tem­poral ushers in death eternal: the death of the body makes way for the death of the soul, they dye now and they dye ever, Rev. 21. 8. We read of A second Death, after which there is none to come. This is the sting of all its stings, a state in which a man cannot be worse, and yet shall ne­ver be better, when death and hell shall be joyned in one for ever.

USE 1. Hence learn why men dread and are so afraid of Death, yea there are many causes why a natural man should fear Death, because, [...]f the sting that is in it. Ah, should I tell you nothing, and you should and no other but your souls seperation from your body, can you part with it without a sigh or a serious thought? or of your bodyes corruption, though it might be wrapped in lead, and entombed in marble, yet in a few days it shall be an abhorring and loathing to all living, it shall be a prey to vipers and creeping worms of the earth: your carcases and your remembrance shall alike rot and perish together. Should I tell you of your sickness [...] and death-pangs that shall oppress you, and your helpless friends standing by, should I shew you your Coffin, your Grave or Tomb, your Herse cloath and your Bier; should I tell you of the breaking of your purposes, and your intents frustrated, and this coming inevitably, suddenly and unalterably, methinks these things should pre­sent Death as terrible? Ah but I tell you, it is the wrath of God, the scalding drops of it, and the fruit of your sin the beginning of your e­verlasting destruction: Its no other liberty but what the Felon hath when he is taken out of prison and brought forth to execution: its your ex­tream agony, and the time of Satans rage, and the prevailing of the powers of darkness, the black guard of Hell surrounding of you, the rending of you in pieces. I acknowledge its an error in the saints and people of God to be so much affrighted at death, and to goe so mourn­fully out of this world: surely they have not learn'd to look off this world, and to look up to that which is to come; yet I am sure it is a greater error, and a damning error in the wicked and ungodly when [Page 12] they are not afraid of Death at all, when they look upon Death as a common and usual event and have slight thoughts of it all their com­plaints are out of sympathy with their friends, or from their bodily pains or their distracted thoughts about worldly matters, but never consider what a weighty thing it is to dye well, or what a dreadful thing it is to miscarry in their latter end And O the wretched stupidity of some that can be then most secure, and are even like the beasts which perish, Psal. 49. 12. O then blame not any that have woful apprehensions of death, and beware of indulging your selves in a stupid secure frame; for as Solomon saith in another case, Prov. 23. 32. It will sting like an Adder and bite like a Serpent.

II. Hence learn why the wicked and those that are out of Christ have such dreadful deaths, they are under the sence and apprehension of the sting of death. Death hath a piercing painful and poysonous sting, and it hath power over them, and doth (as armed with the curse of the Law) improve its power to fill them with pain, sorrow and anguish. They may be secure and stupid; and their consciences may be seared, but those that are not given up to a reprobate sence, and so are past feeling, they cannot but be full of bitterness and anguish under the unloosed pangs of Death.

But so much for this Doctrine, I proceed to the second.

II. Doct. The sting of Death is certainly and infallibly taken out, so that it cannot really hurt, prejudice or annoy any true Believer. They may truely and groundedly say as he, 1 Sam. 15. 32. Surely the bitterness of Death is past: it may pierce and pain them, but it cannot poyson them; it may bruise their heel, but cannot break their head. What is become of all that are fallen asleep in Christ, are they destroyed? Nay, they are made: Are they undone? Nay, they are perfected: Is their state altered? Nay, it is bettered and compleated: Are they conquered? Nay, they are crowned: Are they perished? No, they are highly pri­viledged: Are they in bondage? Nay, they are set at liberty: Are they killed? Nay, they are revived: Are they swallowed up? Nay, Death their last and greatest enemy is swallowed up into a compleat victory.

But I shall endeavour in the opening of this Doctrine to shew you how the sting of death is taken out.

1. That Sting is taken away that consists in its coming through mans [Page 13] own default. But you will say, is not death even in the godly a fruit of sin? I answer, it cannot be denied, but that to the godly it is the consequent of sin, but it is not in a strict sense the Punishment of their sin, for there is no condemnation to them that are in Christ. Rom. 8. 1. but it is rather a sanctified affliction to them, and the Saints priviledge: They made themselves sinful, and God made them mortal, that so they might not be alwayes miserable. Though it came in by sin, as Rom. 5. 12. yet as things are now stated in Christ, Death to the Saints is the only choice Remedy against sin, and the way of their return and entrance into a state of Perfection. Thus of the flesh, of the Viper is made a choice Antidote against his own poison, Chr [...] having overcome death for us, Heb. 2. 14. Temporal and bodily death is one of the streams of the bitter waters that flow from our provocation against God, but since the wood of the Cross is cast into it, it is become to every godly man de­lightsome and savoury, and without any distastfulness in it. It came with the curse of the thorns, but since Christ wore his crown of thorns, we may suffer and dye without fear. So long as the curse of the Law hath power, sin will be strong, so long as sin is strong, death will be terrible, and bitter, but Jesus Christ hath satisfied the Law, vanquished death, and taken out its sting, even in Golgotha, the place of sculls, where were so many Trophies of Deaths victory, in its own territories, there he overcame it, so that now a Believer may say, I brake the Law, but in Christ I satisfied it, and may glory saying, In the Lord have I Righteousness and Strength.

2. The sting of Death is taken out in that it is not now a part or fruit of the revenging wroth of God, but of his fatherly love; and there­fore he doth not so much thrust them out of this world when they dye, as take them to himself: as it is said concerning him, Gen. 5. 24. God took him. And so Christ tells his Disciples Job. 14. 3. I will come again and receive you to my self. They are gathered to their Fathers. They that dye in the Lord doe not fall, but yield themselves into the hand of God, Acts 7. 5. 9. Stephen resigns up his spirit into the hands of Christ. The wicked are gathered like Tares, and like chaff to be burned; but the Saints like a shock of ripe corn in its season, like the precious grain into the Garner to be preserved. Hence as a man would carry away his best Moveables when a place is to be destroyed, so doth God take a­way his Saints before he bring destroying Calamityes upon a Nation, Isa [Page 14] 57 1. The righteous perisheth and no man layeth it to heart, and the merci­full men are taken away, none considering that the righteous is taken [...] from the evil to come. Old Methuselah goes in the year before the Flood came, Hezekiah and Josiah are removed by death, that so they might not see the evil coming upon Judah. Precious in the eyes of the Lord is the Death of his Saints, Psal. 116. 15. Its no messenger of Satan, nor an instrument of wrath, but the messenger of Christ to translate them into the Kingdome of heaven: whilst others fall into Gods angry revenging hand, the Saints dye in the Lord, and rest in the embraces of his Love. It is said of Moses, Deut. 34. 5. He dyed at the mouth of Jehovah, with a Kiss of his mouth, as the Rabbies gloss it, as it were sweetly respiring his breath back again into the hand whence he received it. So that death to the Saints is not from Justice, but choicest mercy and love. It is one of those things given us by God in Christ, 1 Cor. 3. 22. Death is yours.

3. Deaths Sting is taken away in that though it separate Body and Soul, yet neither [...] one nor the other are separated from Christ: their Communion with [...]ne another indeed is broken, but their Union with Christ alwayes impaired or disanulled: They dye in the Lord, Rev. 14. 13. and sleep in Jesus. [...] Cor. 15. [...]8 We dye unto the Lord, whether we live or dye we are the Lords, Rom. 14. 8. Our friends indeed are not with us, but they are with Christ which is far better. Phil. 1. They are taken hence, but God takes them to himself. Body and soul are taken assun­der as the pieces of a Watch out of order, not to be lost, but to be set together again that they may goe better. God is a carefull and faith­ful keeper of those precious Reliques, and will bring them together, the word of his Truth is for it, Ezek. 37. 12. O my people, I will open your graves, and cause you to come up out of your graves. What men though they part asunder, since neither of them part nor are disunited from the Lord Jesus. O happy parting to leave this Cell, this crazy earthly Tabernacle, for a glorious Mansion, and to embrace a dear Saviour: Its but like going to bed at night, the body rests and the soul keeps in action while the night time of the grave lasts in this world, the bodies of the Saints sleep in Jesus but their souls are in bliss. The Souls of just men may bespeak their bodies, as the Lord Jesus did his Disciples, Joh. 14, 3. It is expedient for you that I goe away, and if I goe away, I will come again and receive you to myself. The Body like One [...] un­profitable [Page 15] servant for the present, Phil. v. 11. therefore departs for a [...], that it may be received for ever.

4. The Sting of Death is taken out, in that though the body rot and consume and becomes loathsome, yet it is but dissolved, it is not de­stroyed. As Christ told Martha, Thy Brother shall rise again, Joh. 11. 23. so the body shall rise again: hence the Apostle, though he grants that the body doth dye, yet it is no otherwise then as a fruitful seed dy­eth that it may spring up again v. 36, 37. of this Chapter. Job. 19. 25, 26, 27. For I know, saith Job, that my Redeemer liveth, and that 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, whom I shall see for my self, and mine eyes shall behold and not another, though my reins be consumed within me. God doth not intend to lose what he leaves behind in this world; no, but as he brought Israel out of Egypt, so will he ransome us from the power of the Grave, and redeem us from Death, Hos. 13 14. he will not leave an hair, nor a broken bone, nor a dust behind. All that are in the graves shall hear his voice, and shall come forth, Joh. 5. 28, 29. Christ shewed a Type of it at his own Resurrection Mat. 27, 52. &c. And the Graves were opened, and many bodyes of Saints which slep [...]ose: which shall be fully accomplished in all the Saints in the general [...]surrection. The Grave shall then be found to be a chamber of Repose, and a bed of Rest; Christ having made it so to the Saints. And as for the soul of a child of God it shall not see corruption. Its not so much as dissolved, but released and set at liberty. Sin here makes its motion towards heaven, and its progress in grace slow. The body is a weight pressing down, but when Death shall rid us of this, the souls motion and pass into heaven shall be quick and speedy, like the Thief on the cross, no sooner crucified and dead, but glorified. This day, saith Christ, thou shalt be with me in Para­dise, Let who will dream of the souls sleep, they are asleep that think so saith Calvin. No, assoon as the vail of the body is removed, we with o­pen face behold the Glory of the Lord. The spirit shall return to God that gave it.

5. The Sting of death is taken away in that all the dolorous accidents & attendants of death are by Christ qualified & sanctified. What are pains & agonyes of Body, but the putting down of this earthly Tabernacle in order to the raising of a spiritual and everlasting Building, the breaking off of our chains & fetters in our being released hence. While the bodies [Page 16] of the Saints are filled with pains, their souls are filled with the comforts of God. Our friends lament, but Angels rejoyce: though we must now part from them, yet there is Gods Host, the Life guard of heaven ready to accompany us thither. Suppose a Saint going to his grave, and the mourners by trains going in the streets; could the departed utter a word would it not be that of Christ to the daughters of Jerusalem, Luk. 23. 28 Weep not for me but weep for your selves and for your Children.

6. The Sting of Death is taken out in that though the purposes of a godly man in death are destroyed, yet his main purpose, and his chief design stands and abides: his main purpose and design was to glorifie God, and save himself, his own soul; Now he that hath walked with God, that hath traced the wayes of holiness, that hath studied the mysteryes of the Gospel, that hath laboured and not fainted, and that is found so doing, that hath committed his soul into the hands of God, and is able to stand at the appearing of Christ, he doth not miss of nor lose his pur­pose, I have fought the good fight, I have finished my course saith Paul, and henceforth is laid up for me a crown of righteousness. 2 Tim. 4. 7, 8.

What though men gather no more of the wealth of this world? Hea­ven is [...]heritance enough. What though they gain no more repute here? Their Record is on high. What if they attain not the end of their la­bours? Yet their reward is with the Lord. What though their worldly affairs be discomposed, if their eternal concerns be fixed? What if their dayes be cut off, since their work is done? It would not avail a man any thing to win the world and lose his soul, its profit enough if a man save his soul though he lose the world. It was a sad thing for the Mariner to cast over their goods, Acts 27. 18. but when Paul told them that no life should be lost v. 22. they are comforted: So here, though we leave our stuff and lose our worldly labours, [...] our lives are safe, the main Chance is secured.

7. The Sting of Death is taken away, in that the Saints are dead and mortified to the world, they glory in nothing more then in the cross of Christ, by which they are crucified unto the world, and the world un­to them, Gal. 6. 14. Hence they enjoy this world as though they enjoyed it not, 1 Cor. 9. Hence while they live in the world, and upon the neces­sary comforts of it, they live above it. Hence its no hard matter for them to dye and goe out of the world: The world will have no great miss of me, and I shall have no great miss of it. Things dead have no feeling [Page 17] or sence of any parting from each other. Wicked men think the Saints not worthy to live in the world, Acts 22. 22. and God thinks the world not worthy of them, Hev. 11. 38. nor doe they esteem the world worthy to be desired, the time past of their lives in this world sufficeth them, & they are weary of it. He is no Christian whose whole treasure is laid up in present enjoyments. The Saints are of another spirit, and live much upon hope, Rom. 8. 23, 24, 45. We our selves who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan within our selves, waiting for the Adoption, and it fol­lows, We are saved by hope, now hope that is seen is not hope, but if we hope then doe we with patience wait for it. So 2 Cor. 5. 2. &c. In this we groan earnestly, Their going out of this world is not their loss but their gain, for to me to live is Christ and to dye is gain, Phil. 1. 21. Tis not their ruine but their redemption, not their being uncloathed or stripped naked, but their being cloathed upon: not their going into obscurity and dark­ness, but their glorious manifestation of being the sons of God and heirs of glory, 1 [...] 6. 6. Godliness in the winding up of things is great gain. The going [...] of this life is like the ending of a fight. 2 Tim. 4 6, 7, 8. It is not a flying of the field as those that are vanquished, but the saints goe out Conquerours, yea more then Conquerours. I have fought a good fight; the time is now come that they may, fairly leave off, it is the finishing of their course, and the winning of their crown: having kept the faith while they lived, they are kept from fear in the hour of death. Pli. 1. 23. Having a desire to depart; Love and longing to be with Christ made the world tedious to Paul, that which all men naturally love, and Death desirable which men naturally dread and abhor. Assoon as good old Simeon had Christ in his arms. Now lettest thou thy servant depart! Luk. 2. 29. When John Baptist saw Christ, he resigns up all to him, Let all men follow him, Let me decrease so Christ increase, my joy is fulfilled in him, Job. 3. 29, 30. So Paul, when once he thought what it was to be with Christ, to goe to God, and to be with the Lord for ever, he felt nothing that he wanted, but this was the sum of his desire, to be dissol­ved, and no joy now to him, but to enjoy Christ: no glory, but to be where he is to behold his glory. The love of this world ceaseth when we tast of the next: No matter then if the Manna of this world cense, when we are got to Canaan. Elias can easily part with his Mantle, & keep on his journey. So a saint dying can easily part with all his pre­sent enjoyments in the hope of what is to come, for how easily can [...] [Page 18] with that which I know and firmly believe I shall never need. That City which hath no need of the Sun Rev. 21. 23. I am sure needs not any thing under the moon: and if a dying Saint may leave the temple of God here I am sure he may leave the world. A Child of God being thus mortified to the world, one sting of death is taken away.

8. The sting of death is taken away in that it brings the Saints to higher and better things: as you would take straws and pebbles out of a childs hand, and give him necessary bread; or remove poyson, and things hurtfull from a sick man, and give him cordials and restoratives, so doth the blessed God deal with his Children: He takes away this world from them, or rather them from it, and gives them another and a better: He takes away occasions of sin and trouble, and gives us [...] ­vation and rest: He takes away the cross and gives us a crown: [...] takes away temporal enjoyments and gives us eternal [...] He takes away Earth and gives us heaven. And are we any loosers [...] well to be angry? Is there grief and fear? No sure, [...] are in Pauls state to reckon as he did, To live is Christ [...] No better way for a true Christian to better his state and advantage him­self, then to depart hence, lay down his life. No man, saith Christ, [...] left house or parents, [...] or wife and children for the [...] of Gods [...] shall receive manifold here, and in the life to [...] Luk. 18. 29, 30. The Propher resolves that he [...] rejoyce in God, though the Fig tree doth not blo [...]me &c. [...] Now if the gleaming of Gods gracious presence be so solacing when [...] lower causes of joy fall what will the bright shinings of Gods glorious [...] be? Let Ziba take all said [...] since my Lord the King is come again in peace, 2 San. 19 30. So much more may the Saints of God say, Let the world take all since my Lord is safe upon his throne, and I am now going where I may behold his glory. Death is as the Chariot that is sent from Jesus to carry his true Israels to Canaan, and therefore their Spirits may now revive and say as holy Jacob; Gen. 45 28. It is enough, Jesus that was dead is alive, and lives for evermore and I will goe and I see him. The good, the grace, the glory of all hea­ven shall now be theirs.

Now then may the Saints say, I leave a Cottage to take possession of a Princely Palace: I leave my friends here, and am going to the Fa­ther, the holy Spirit, to Jesus the Mediator of the New Testrment; and [Page 19] to the Angels in light, and to the Church of the first born: I leave pre­sent enjoyments, and goe to take up an eternal inheritance. Let the loss here be as much as can be supposed the gain is as much, yea more then can be expressed. Ah who would now regard his stuff when he sees the Waggons, and the Convoy of Angels, the provision for the way, and the end of his race and that Jesus is there in honour and power, who would not resolve to got and see-him?

9. The sting of Death is taken away, in that its given in that hour to the Saints with Faith and patience to endure temptations, to resist & stand in the midst of danger. A dying hour is an hour of temptation, yea of multiplyed violent temptations. Christ sound it to be the hour & power of darkness, Psal. 22. 12, 13; 16. Now the Prince of the world comes, Joh. 14. 30. Now when his time is short, our bodies weak, and souls per­plexed, many, even all circumstances and accidents occasions of sorrow, is a special season for the Tempter to tempt to security, infidelity, car­nal confidence, to impatience, and if possible to despair, and casting a­way of our hope. Now when Satan resists, God doth assist, if Satan de­sire to win [...]ow, Christ will be sure to pray that our Faith fail not. If there be Chariots and Horsemen against Ellsha, there is a mountain full of horses and chariots of fire round about Ellsha 2 King. 6. 15. 17. If God let Satan out, its but a little way; if he tempt, its never more then the Saints are [...] bear Hence you may observe as the temptations of dying Christians are stronger, so the breathings of their souls, the sense of God love the relish of spiritual things, the ready and apt applica­tion of Scripture are more vivid and copious with them then, than in all their lives before: even as the Spirit of God and of glory hath been wont to rest upon the Martyrs when they were called to great and emi­nent Sufferings; so here, there are those supplyes of the Spirit, and that grace to he [...] in this time of need that takes away the sting. God suffers Satan sometimes to draw out his strength like Gog & Magog to the battel and stands himself as it were aloof for a while that he may give him the more sudden and fatal overthrow: I may therefore conclude this particu­lar with the words of Christ Luk. 12. 32. Fear not little Flock: and of the Apostles. 1 Joh. 4. 4. Greater is he that is in you then he that is in the world. 10 Deaths sting is taken away in that how unavoidable soever it is, or sud­den & unalterable, yet its welcome to the Believer, he is reconciled to it.

1. Though it come inevitably, yet its welcome; he doth not so much [Page 20] desire to avoid it as to meet with it: tis the fruit of the promise, the end of his desire, the answer of his Prayers, and an ease to all his suffer­ings, They rest from their labours, Rev. 14. 13. If in this life only we have hope saith the Apostle, v. 19. He doth not therefore desire to avoid death Mors si non bona est finis tamen illa malorum saith Cato. Hence Job hates his life, and would not live alwayes, Job. 7. 16. The Saints are even glad when they can find the grave, they don't dye as those that must dy, but as those that upon deliberation and choice desire to dye, Luk. 2. 29. Now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace. Hence Paul is so far from flying from it, that he pursues it. Act. 22. 13 As it is said of Cato,

Quasi morien [...] occasion [...]m se nactum esse gauderet.

2. Though it come suddenly its welcome, for it is not sudden to them [...] wait for it all their lives, Job. 14 14. All the dayes of may appointed time will I wait tell my change comes. They may dye sooner then they thought for but not sooner then they would, they may dye too soon for others but not for themselves, their own comfort and profit. Yea even the child in Christ dyeth an hundred years old, Isa. 65. 20. When I hear Job cry as Job. 14. 13. O that thou wouldest hide me in the grave: and and see the good old Patriarch break off from blessing and saying, as Gen. 49 18. I have waited for thy salvation O Lord. Those that have the first fruits groaning, as Rom. 8. 23. bearing a part with the whole creation and with the Bride, Rev. 22. 20. I rather think they dye too leisurely, and slower then they would. Doe not tell me of a sudden death where there hath been a setled course in a godly life. Nemo parùm diu vixit qui virtutis perfecta profecto funct us est munere. He comes in like a shock of corn in its season. Job. 5. 26. Thou shalt come to thy grave in full age, like as a shock of corn cometh in in his season: now the season is never taxed with being too sudden. It was sudden we say of this and the o­ther death, but he was throughly ripe first and where there was suffici­ency of life, there cannot be suddenness of Death. God knows when to cut his harvest, when to call in his labourers. Yea but he lived but a short time, therefore his death was sudden. Not so, for some live more in one year then others doe in many: and for the true Christian, he is al­wayes ready, Act. 21. 13. I am ready to dye.

3. Though it be unalterable, yet it is welcome: its certain the hours of yesterday will never return again and he that is once gon off the stage shall return no more. There is no shooting of the Gulph of Eternity: [Page 21] Lazarus cannot come as a Messenger to Dives his brethren: He that goeth down to the grave shall come up no more: But as there is no al­teration so the Saints desire no alteration▪ its the best flower in their crown that their state of happiness is everlasting. 1 Thess. 4. 17. So shall we ever be with the Lord. Do you think to scare the Saints with this? you cannot tell them more joyful Tydings than that their joyes shall be for ever. The Rivers of pleasures at Gods right hand flow alwayes. The tree of life never fades: The robes of glory never fully, nor admit of spot or wrinkle or any such thing, they doe not wax old. Serving God instantly day and night will not weary: nor will the light of heaven grow dim like a candle, nor goe down as the sun; the Lord shall be our light and our God our glory, Isa. 60 19 Set a man in such a condition as it cant be better with him, and tell him it shall never alter nor be worse with him, it will not much grieve him. So it is with the Saints in light; the chang is unalterable, you shall dye no more, nor be sick nor sorrow nor doubt any more, nor sin no more, nor want any more: as Moses said to the Israelites, so may it be said to the Saints, The Egyptians whom you have seen to day, you shall see them no more for ever, a [...] Exod 14. 18. Well may Believers breathe out their souls in tryumph and say, O Death where is thy sting? Let that be our station where there is no alteration, let the better part be ours which shall never be taken away: For simple is the best of titles, and that only is heaven: in all other things we are but Tenants for life, and that at the will of our great Lord.

II. The sting of Death is taken out, in that the Saints know whi­ther and into what estate they enter after Death. The wicked walk in darkness and know not whither they go, as he said, Anxius vixi, eulius morior, heu quo vado. They leap as it were from an high hill into a dark and deep pit, not knowing where they shall light: But the Saints know in whom they have believed, how far, and for what; and are begotten a­gain to a lively hope of the inheritance of glory; they have their eyes upon it all their lives, & have a certain assurance of it, and have the clear­est apprehensions of it at Death, Joh. 14 4. Whither I goe ye know, and the way ye know. 2 Cor. 5. 1. We know we have a Building of God, an house not made with hands eternal. That which the Saints are ignorant of is the transcendent exellency of the glory they are going to, 1 Cor. 2. 9. Eye hath not seen: But we know when he shall uppear we shall be like him, 1 Joh. 3 2. Our friends to us are as water spilt upon the ground, but with God [Page 22] they are as water in the Sea, safe and united in its inclosure with the rest of the element: so the Saints are gone to their place after death, a place of rest, and known to be so: its a known and knowing state which they enter into: its known, for their is a clear description of it in the holy Scriptures, a Map as it were of the heavenly Canaan. Its a knowing state, for then we shall know as we are known.

12. Deaths sting is taken away, in that its made a passage into hea­ven. The Saints they pass from death to life, when the wicked pass from death to death, from the first to the second death. Hence they may be terrified at it, and shrink; but a Child of God when he considers its errand, that it comes to carry him hence to his Fathers house, he can entertain it with comfort. Death to the Saints is the middle point be­tween two lives, it is an harbinger and fore runner of their being recei­ved up. The righteous being taken up thus they enter into peace, Isa. 57. 2 they never reach the end of their race till now they have shot this gulph; and now immediately they arrive at it. No sooner are the Saints undressed here, but they are cloathed upon in heaven. No soon­er doe they leave this life, but they enter upon a better. Lazarus died and was carried into Abrahams bosome, Luk. 16. 22. The thief goes from the cross with Christ to Paradise. Luke. 23. 43. This day shalt thou be with me in Paradise. Death is not an abiding, but a transient state, like a dark entry into a lightsome room. Death doth assault but not conquer them: it shall not have dominion over them as it hath over the damned in hell: No, death and hell as to them shall be cast into the lake of fire: its dominion is taken away here, yet its life is prolonged for a season and time; as its said of them Beasts, Dan. 7. 12. So death is prolonged here in this world after its dominion is broke, whilst it is of use to the Saints and may serve the interest of mercy: but when this is once over, it shall be swallowed up. So that is a suitable E­pitaph which the holy Ghost has composed to be writ upon the Tombs where Saints lye, BLESSED ARE THE DEAD WHICH DYE IN THE LORD. Rev. 14. 13. Thus you see how the sting is taken out by Christ, and how he doth disarm Death.

USE I. Of Instruction, 1. Hence see why the Saints deliberately think of death, and yet desi [...] to dye the reason is because its sting is gone, Death therefore is no way hurtful or terrible to the Saints, they can have communion with death and not be harmed by it. A child may [Page 23] play with an Adder when it has lost its sting. There is no sin, nor curse, nor sorrow nor pain that can hurt a child of God, O no its all removed in the blood of Christ; were it not so, they could not desire and long for it as they doe. Paul presseth forward, and reacheth forth to those things which are before, and his mark is the Resurrection Phil. 3. 13. 14. Now in the mention of the Resurrection he necessarily includes Death, yea a necessity of dying: surely this argues death hath no sting to the Saints; it ceaseth to be so great an enemy to them as it is to the Herd of ungod­ly men.

2. Hence learn the great difference that there is between the Death of the righteous and the wicked. They seem as to what is visible to be equal and alike in death▪ they all goe to their long home, and to the house ap­pointed for all the living. Yea, but mark the perfect man, and behold the upright, for the end of that man is peace, Psal. 37. 37. even a wicked Ba­laam when his eyes were open could say (seeing the great difference be­tween the godly and the wicked,) O that I might dye the Death of the Righteous, and let my last end be like his. Numb. 23. 10

3. Hence learn wherein the Saints are more then Conquerours. They are tryumphers over their spiritual enemies, as the Apostle saith in ano­ther case, God made them to tryumph in Christ, so he, and the rest of believers, Rom. 8. are more then Conquerours i. e. Tryumphers. Christ hath overcome for them, and by his Spirit enables them to overcome, & to tryumph in himself.

4. And lastly. Learn unto whom the praise of all the case and comfort which the Saints have in their death doth belong, viz. to Jesus, It is he makes them to differ: Death would be as powerful, as piercing, as painful to them as it is to others but that Christ hath pluckt out the sting of it as to them. What Hallelujahs of praise are due to him that hath redeemed us to God by his blood, Rev. 5. 9. How thankful how du­tiful should all the Saints be to the blessed Lord Jesus, as v. 57, 58. Thanks be to God that giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus, and it follows, Be stedfast and immovable, alwayes abounding in the [...] of the Lord.

II. Let all hence be exhorted, all and every one to labour to get this sting removed. Make it your work while you live do not leave and neglect it till you be alarumed by Death, and it comes in view, when flesh and heart fails, and Physitians grow doubtful or despair of your escape, and [Page 24] Conscience is startled, when distress and anguish take hold on you. Doe not defer it I say till then, but make it your business while you live.

1. Labour to tast the bitterness of sin so as to be duely affected with it, and to be affli­cted and mourn for it. Its sin makes death bitter and painful, but now let sin be there­fore throughly sorrowed for and repented of, that you may not dye in your sins, & then death will not nor cannot sting you. O you poor mortal sinful men that must shortly dye, Labour to repent and turn your selves: Let your hearts be grieved, and your reins be pricked for your sins, Repent that your sins may be forgiven before you come to dye, get strength, soveraignty and dominion of sin taken down, this is the way to peace in a dying hour. Wo to you saith Christ, that laugh now, Luk. 6.

2. Live by Faith depending on and cleaving to the Lord Jesus as your Redeemer and De­liverer. There is none that can save and deliver us but He, Act. 4. 12. When you have done all you can, tis he alone that can save you and deliver you from the sting of death; live so by Faith that you may dye in Faith, as they, Heb. 11. that will take a­way the sting of Death, the shield of Faith quenches the fiery darts of the Devil, Eph 6. 16. the way to loose the pains of Death is to set, and cleave close to Christ, and to depend upon him.

3. Live well: Walk with God, live holily, righteously and godly in this present world, serve your Generation as David; get your work done: it is a dreadful sting­ing thing for a man to have his work to doe when his day is done, and death is come. No, Work, while it is day, work out your Salvation with fear and trembling: be stedfast and immoveable, [...] abounding in the work of the Lord, so it shall be a blessed thing to you to [...] Lord, and rest from your labours.

How much of this was exemplified in the life, and expressed in the Death of this ho­nourable and virtuous Lady, who is now gone hence to be with the Lord for ever, who was chiefly in my thoughts in the choice of this Text. What ardor of desire? What Faith? What Hope? What Confidence? What gleamings of joy? What Patience and willingness to depart is now issued in her, is known to some, and some what to my self, I shall not therefore insist.

But since it was not my lot to attend her in her more solemn obsequies, I thus come to lay down these little branches of Bays and Cypress on her Tomb. And as it was her earnest desire that whenever this her great change should come, her own Family might reap the saving benefit of it; so it is my hearts desire and Prayer that this Congregation may have some saving benefit by, and a sanctified use of her death, that the remembrance of her pious Life may teach us how to live so, that when out life is spun out, we may dye in peace, and receive a Crown of Life.


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