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Death, Hell of the Four laft things
I. of Death. O
NE of the main businesses of our life
should be to prepare for death.
First, Medicare often and seriously on thy death and dißolution even in time of thy bealth. Foseph of Arimathea made his Sepulchre in his sagarder, that in the midst of his delights he
mighe think of death. Ofcen retire, and take -kinthy self alone, and walk in the valley of the shadow
of death. Do not start from the thoughts of it, Do by thy font, when thou findest ic by of such medications, as we do by our horses, that are given to boggle and start when we ride chem, when they fly back, and start at a thing in the way, we do not yield to their fear, and go back (thac will make them worse another time but we ride them up close to that they are afraid of, and so in cime break them of chac ill qualicy. So do thou, bring up thy heart, and inure it to look upon deach, and co handle that Serpent. ConC
sider , deach is making its approaches to thee, and may be upon thee before thog art aware. O therefore, prepare for it, that when it comes, and accaches thee, thou maist be found in such a gracious state, with such a frame of Spirit, and walking in such a boly way of life that thog maft bid it welcom, and be able to say wich blessed Paul, 1 desire to be disolved, and to be with Christ.
The frequent meditation of death will be an ex. cellent means
1. To quicken thy soul to a deep humiliation and repent ance for thy past sins.
?. To reprefle the eager and insatiable de fare of riches, and the love of this world.
3. To antidote thee against fin for time to
4. To make thee improve time, and carefully es work out thy salvation. Think
often of deach, and ic will keep worse company from thee.
Secondly, Labour to take away from thy our death the power and strength thereof. The Phi listims seeing Samplon lo exceeding Prong, 13boured co know wherein his power and strengti principally confifted; and when they understood it to lie in the hair of his head, they ceased as till it was cut.
Consider therefore, where the strength of death lies: The Spirit of Goteachech us that, in 1 Cor. 15. 56. The ping : death is fin. The power and force and sting of evs
ry mans particular death lies in his own fins. Deatle cannot hurt us, but by the force of our own fins. A man may safely handle a Serpent when che sting is our. If death be disarmed of its sting and poyson, it cannot hurt us. It concerns us therefore to use effectual means thaс our sins may be removed and pardoned, and to labour before we die, co abolith the strength of deach. Now the way to do this is,
1. To humble ow fouls unfeignedly before the Lord, and to repent of all our fins.
2. To fly to Christ and to close with him for pardon and Grace,
3. In the strength of his Grace to amend our lives, and to walk in the waies of holineffe. The fting of death is taken away by Christ Feles as to all real converis, and trae believers, lo chac ic cannot hurt chem, nay, will be an advantage to them: Ic will be only a dark and short passage to a glorious Palace, to the blisseful mansions above. So that they may triumph as Paul did, o death, where is thy sting? O grave where is thy victory Thanks be to God, who giveth us victory through our Lord Fesus Christ. But now to all imperitent, unpardoned sinners, how deadly, how incurable is the sting of death ? Deach is death with a witnesle, and Hell into the bargain to chem chat die in their firs. No fighc in the world more dreadful than co see a dying finner ( with his Conscience newly awakened) condicting with death,
and fin, and the Law, and Gods Curse together
. O how fad, how intollerably fad is it to see a man chat hath gone on in a long , carelesse, ob ftipate course of finning, now at the point i death to have his eies first opened, and to se himself on che brink of the dreadful pit, unavoidably falling into the lake of fire and brimfton.
To fuch a person, deach brings its poysoned arrow, and executes him with its venemous fling.
Thirdly, Give all diligence in chis life, colay hold on eternal life, I Tim. 6. 12. That is, to enter into the first degree of life eternal. Eternal life may be look'd upon under three confiderati ons. As Initial, as Partial, as Perfectional.
1. The eternal life initial is that which is ob tained in this life, and is an earnest of that which is to follow. 'Tis the life of Grace: Of this og Saviour spake, foh. 5.24. Verily, verib, Ilo "Unto you, he that heareth my Word, and believe on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, ani fhall not come into condemnation, but is passed from death to life. And Fob.3.36. He that believerho the Son hath everlasting life.
2. The Partial life eternal is that which be longech (though to the nobler) yer but to app ofman, namely, to the Soul. The happiac which the Souls of Saints enjoy between che tim of their death, and the last day, is the partial !: eternal. 3. The Perfectional life eternalis chat wh..
fhall be conferred on the Saints immediatly after the blessed reunion of their souls and bodies, and that gracious sentence pronounc'd, come je blessed of my Father, receive the Kingdom prepared for you from the fonndation of the world. So that we see we must iu this world enter into the first degree of eternal life, if ever we intend to be parca
kers of the other two. We must be raised from Y the death of fin to the life of grace. We must
as the Apostle (peaks, Col.1.13. Be delivered from the power of darknesse, and translated
into the Kingdom of our blessed Saviour. We must with Paul be able co say, Gal.2.20. I live, yet not 1, but Chrift liveth in me, i. c. By his Spirit guides and governs my will
, affections, and all the powers both of many soul and body. Whoever would be saved when he is dead, must begin to be farved while
he is living. We must begin to live chat blessed and eternal life before we #die.
Fourthly, Inure thy self to die to this world and the enjoyments of it, every day, more and more. is Paul tels us, he died daily, 1 Cor.15.31. If we
would learn to do so, it would not be so hard to die, when we come to it in good earnest
. Death is not so strong to him whose natural strengch has been wasted with a long, pining sicknesse, as to him who lies but a few daies sick, and has strength of nature to make resistance. That Chriftian, whose love to his life, and the contenta