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prepared the fame glory for you, that he prepared for them s O that such considerations might provoke you to shew as muchcourage and love to Christ, as any of them ever did.

Rule 7. If ever you wilt get above the power of your own sears in a suffering day make haste to clear your interest in Christ, and your pardon in his blood before that evil day come.

The clearer this is, the bolder you will be; an assured Christian was never known to be a coward in sufferings: it is impossible to be clear of fears, till you are cleared of the doubts about interest in, and pardon by Christ. Nothing is found more strengthning to our fears, than that which clouds oar evidences j and nothing more to quiet and cure our fears, than that which clears our evidences. The shedding abroad of God's love in our hearts, will quickly fill them with a spirit of glorying in tribulations, Rom. v, 5. When the believing Hebrews once came to know in themselves that they had an enduring substance in heaven, they quickly found in themselves an unconcerned heart for the loss of their comforts on earth, Heb. H. 34. and so should we too. For,

.'1. Assurance satisfies a man that his treasure and true happiness is lecured to him, and laid out of the reach of all bis enemies; and so long as that is safe he hath all the reason in the world to be quiet, and chearful, "I know (faith Paul) whom I have be"lieved, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I *' have committed to him against that day," 2 Tim. i. 12. And he gives this as his reason why he was not ashamed of Christ's sufferings.

2. The assured Christian knows that if death itself come, (which is the worst men can inflict) he shall be no loser by tbe exchange; nay he shall make the best bargain that ever he made iince he first parted with all his afflictions, to follow Christ. There are two rich bargains a Christian makes; one is, when he exchanges the world for Christ in his first choice at his cooversion, in point of love and estimation . the other is, when he actually parts with the world for Christ at his dissolution; both these are rich bargains, and upon this ground it was the apostle said, To me to lite is Christ and to die is gain," Phil, it 21. The death of a believer in Christ, is gain unspeakable, but if a man would make the utmost gain by dying, he shall find it in dying for Christ, as well as in Christ: aDd to shew you wherein the gain of such a death lies, let a few particulars be weighed, wherein the gain will be cast up in both; he that is assured he djes in Christ, knows,* 1 i, That his living time is his labouring time, bat his dyjDg time is his harvest time, whilst we live we are plowing and sowing in all the duties of religion, but when we die, then we reap the fruit and comfort of all our labours and duties. Gal. vi. <s, y. As much therefore as the reaping time is better than tha fowingand plowing,time, so much better is the death than the life of a believer.

2. A believer's living time is his fighting time, but his dying time is his conquering and triumphing time, i Cor. xv. 55, c6. The conslict is fharp, but the triumph is sweet; and as much as victory and triumph are better than fighting, so much is death better than life to him that dieth in Jclus.

3. A believer's living time is his tiresome and weary time, but his dying time is his resting and steeping time. Hal lvii. 2. Here we spend and faint, there we rest in our beds, and as much as refreshing rest in steep is better than tiring and fainting, so much is a believer's death better than his life.

4. A believer's living time is his waiting and longing time, but his time of dying is the time of enjoy ing what he hath long wished and waited for, Phil. i. 23. here we groan and sigh for Christ, there we behold and enjoy Christ,.and so much as vision and fruition are better and sweeter than hoping and waiting for it; so much is a believer's death better than his life.

2. As the advantage a believer makes of death is great to him by dying only in Christ; so it is much greater, and the richest improvement that can be made of Death to die for Christ, as well as in Christ: for compare them in a few particulars and you you fhall find,

1. That though a natural death hath less horror, yet a violent death for Christ hath more honour in it. To him that dies united with Christ, the grave is a bed of rest; but to him that di« as a martyr for Christ, the grave is a bed of honour. "To "you (faith the apostle) it is given in the behalf of Christ, not "only to believe, but also to suffer for his fale," Phil. i. 29. To you it is granted as a great honour and favour to suffer for Christ; all that live in Christ have not the honour to lay down their lives for Christ. It was the great trouble of Ludovicus Madacus *, a knight of France, to be exempted because of his dignity, from wearing his chain for Christ, as the other prisoners did; and he resented it, as a great injury, " Give me (faith he '' to his keeper) my chain as well as they, and create me a "knight of that noble order."

* Cur me non juegur torque donas, et illuJltis Mint eriinis miJitew non ersas?

2. By a natural death we only submit ourselves to the unavoidable consequence of fin, but in dying a violent death for Christ, we give our testimony against the evil of sin, and for the precious truths of Jesus Christ. The first is the payment of a debt of justice due by the fall of Adam; the second is the payment of a debt of thankfulness and obedience due to Christ, who redeemed us with his own blood. Thus we become witnefles for God, as well as sufferers upon the account of sin: in the first, sin witnesserh against us, in this we witness against it; and indeed it is a great testimony against the evil of sin: we declare to all the world that there is not so much evil in a dungeon, ta a bloody ax, or consuming flames, as there is in sin: that it is far better to lose our carnal friends, estates, liberties, and lives, than part with Christ's truths and a good conscience, as * Zuinglius {aid, " What fort of death should not a Christian "chuse, what punishment should he not rather undergo; yea, "into what vaalt of hell should he not rather chuse to be cast, *' than to witness against truth and conscience."

3. A natural death in Christ may be as fafe to ourselves, but a violent death for Christ, will be more beneficial to others; by the former we shall come to heaven ourselves, but by the latter we may bring many souls thither. The blood of the martyrs is truly called the feed of the church, Many waxed confident by Paul's bonds, his sufferings fell out to the futherance of the gospel, and so may ours: in this case a Christian, like Sampson, doth greater service against Satan and his cause, by his death, than by his life.

If we only die a natural death in our beds, we die in possession of the truths of Christ ourlelves: but if we die martyrs for Christ, we secure that precious inheritance to the generations to come, and those that are yet unborn shall blels God, not only for his truths, but for our courage, zeal, and constancy, ,by which it was preserved for them, and transmitted to them.

By all this you fee that death to a believer is great gain, it is great gain if he only die in Christ, it is all that, and a great deal more added, if he also die for Christ: and he that is assured of such advantages by death either way, must needs feel his fears of death shrink away before such assurances; yea, he will rather have life in patience, and death in desire; he will not only submit quietly, but rejoice exceedingly to be used by God

* Quas nt>n oportet mortes praecligcre, quod'nottsupplicium potius ferre, into in quam profundam inserni abyjfum nin intrar^t quant contra conscitntiam atlestari f * .'' lo such honourable enjoyment *. Assurance will call a bloody death a fafe passage to Canaan through the red sea. It will call Sstan that instigates these his instruments, and all that are employed in such bloody work by him, so many Balaams brought to curse, but they do indeed bless the people of God, and not curse them. The assured Christian looks upon his death as his wedding-day, Rev. xix. 7. And therefore it doth not much differ, whether the horse sent to fetch him to Christ be pale or red, so he may be with Christ, his love, as Ignatius called him.

He looks upon death as his day of enlargement out of prison, 2 Cor v. 8. and it is not much odds what hand opens the door, or whether a friend or enemy close his eyes, so he hare his liberty, and may be with Christ.

0 then give the Lord no rest, till your hearts be at rest by the assurance of his love, and the pardon of your sins; when you can boldly lay, the Lord is your help, you will quickly fay what immediately follows, I .will not fear -what man can do unto me, Heb. xiii. 6. And why, if thy heart be upright,mayst thou not attain it? Full assurance is possible, else it had not been put into the command, 2 Pet. i. 10. The feasing graces are in you, the sealing Spirit is ready to do it for you, the sealing promises belong to you; but we give not all diligence, and therefore go without the comfort of it. Would we pray more, and strive more, would we keep our hearts with a stricter watch;. mortify sin more thoroughly, and walk before God more accurately; how soon may we attain this blessed assurance, and in it an excellent cure for our distracting and slavish fears.

Rule 8. Let him that designs to free himselfof distraBingfeart, be careful to maintain the purity of his conscience, and integrity (if his ways, in the whs/e ceurfeef his conversation in this world.

Uprightness will give us boldness, and purity will yield us peace. Ifa. xxxii. 17. "The work of righteousness shall be "peace, and the effect of righteousness, quietness and assu"ranee for ever." Look as fear follows guilt and guile, so peace and quietness follow righteousness and sincerity, Prov. Xxviii. 1. The wicked flee when no man purfueth, but the righteous vi bold as a lion. His confidence is great, because his conscience is quiet, the peace of God guards his heart and mind. There are three remarkable steps by which Christians rife to the height of courage in tribulations, Rom. v. 1, 2, 3, 4. First they are justified and acquitted from guilt by faith, ver. 1. Then they

* They are rather delicts to us than torments. Basil*

are brought into, a state of favour and acceptation with God, ver. 2. Thence they rise one step higher, even to a view of heaven, and the glory to come, ver. 3. and from thence they take an easy step to glorying in tribulations, ver. 4.

I fay, it is an easy step; for let a man once obtain the pardon of fin, the favour of God, and a believing view and prospect of the glory to come; and it is so easy to triumph in tribulation, in such a station as that is, that it will be found as hard to hinder it, as to hinder a man from laughing when he is tickled.

Christians have always found it a spring of courage and comfort, 2 Cor. i. 12. "For our rejoicing is thisi the testimony of *' our conscience, that in simplicity, and godly sincerity, not "with fleshly wisdom, but by the grace of God, we have had "our conversation in the world." Their hearts did not reproach them with by-ends in religion; their consciences witnessed that they made not religion a cloak to cover any fleshly design, but were sincere in what they professed; and this enabled them to rejoice in the midlr of sufferings. Au earthen vessel fee empty on the fire will crack and fly in pieces, and so will an hypocritical, fsrmal, and mere nominal Christian; but he that hath such substantial and real principles of courage as these within him, will endure the trial, and be never the worse for the fire.

The very Heathens discovered the advantage of moral integrity, and the peace it yielded to their natural consciences in times of trouble.

Nil conseire tibi, nulla pallescereculpa.
Hie murus aheneus esto.—*

It was to them as a wall of brass. Much more will godly simplicity, and the sprinkling of the blood of Christ upon our consciences, secure and encourage our hearts. This atheistical agi laughs conscience and purity to scorn; but let them laugh, this is it which will make thee laugh when they shall cry. Paul exercised himself, or made it his business, "To have always a con"science void of offence, both Towards God, and towards man," Acts xxiv. 16. f. And it was richly worth his labour, it re

* Nil conseire, &c. Englished thus,
Be this thy brazen bulwark of desence,
Still to preserve thy conscious innocence,
Nor e'er turn pale with guilt.-- ,

f »Acxa medilor, operam do,

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