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this discourse, furnish them with some special assistance therein. But withal, I must tell you upon what great disadvantages I am here to dispute with your sears: so strong is the current of natural and vicious sear, that except a special hand of God en- force, and set home the arguments tHat (hall be urged, they will be as easily swept away before it, as so many straws by a rapid torrent; nor will it be to any more purpose to oppose my breath to them, than to the tides and waves of the sea.

Moreover, I am fully convinced, by long and often experience, how unsteady and inconstant the frames and tempers of 'the best hearts are; and that if it be not'altogether, yet it is next to an impossibility, to fix them in such a temper as this I aim at is. Where is that man to be found, who after the revolutions of many years, and in those years various dispensations of providence without him, altering his condition, and greater variety of temptations within, can yet fay, notwithstanding all these various aspects and pofitions, his heart hath still held one steady, and invariable tenour and course?

Alas, there be very sew (if any) of such a sound and settled temper of mind, whose pulse beats with an even stroke, through all inequalities of condition, alike free and willing at one time, as another, to be unclothed of the body, and to be with Christ. This height of faith, and depth of mortification; this strength of love to Christ, and ardour of holy desire, are degrees of grace to which very sew attain.

The case standing thus, it is no more than needs, to urge all sorts of arguments upon our timorous and unsteady hearts; and it is like to prove a hard and difficult task, to bring the heart but to a quiet and unregretting submission to the appointment of God herein, though submission be one of the lowest steps of duty in this case. i

If it be hard to fix our thoughts but an hour, on such an unpleasant subject as death, how hard must it be to bring over the consent of the will ? If we cannot endure it at a distance, in our thoughts, how (hall we embrace, and hug it in our bosoms? If our thoughtsfsty back with distaste, and impatience, no wonder if our will be obstinate, and refractory: we must first prevail withour thoughts, to fix themselves, and think close to such a subject, before it can be expected we chearfully resign ourselves into the hands of death. We cannot be willing to go along with death, till we have some acquaintance with it; and acquainted with it we cannot be, till we accustom ourselves to think assiduously, and calmly of it. They that have dwelt many .. y y 2 ^ years at death's door, both in respect of the condition of thtir bodies, and disposition of their minds, yet find reluctancyepough when it comes to the point.

Object. But is separation from the body be (as it is J an enemy to nature, and there be no possibility to extinguish natural aversation: to what purpose is it, to argue and persuade, -when there is no expectation of success?

Sol. Death is to be considered two ways, by the people of God;

i. As an enemy to nature.

a. As a medium to glory.

If we consider it simply in itself, as an enemy to nature, there Is nothing in it for which we should desire it { but if we consider it as a medium, or passage into glory, yea., the only ordinary way through which all the saints muA pass, oat of this into a better state; so it will appear not only tolerable, but de' Arable to prepared foals*. Were there not a shore of glory on the other side as these black waters of death, for my own part, I should rather chuse to live meanly, than to die easily. If both parts were to perish at death, there were no reason to. persuade one to be willing to deliver up the other; it were a madaess for the soul to desire to be dissolved, if it .were so sar from being tetter out of the body than in it, that it should have Do being at all. But, Christians, let me tell you, death is so sar from being a bar, that it is a bridge in your way to glory, and you are never like to come thither, but by passing over it: except, therefore, you will look beyond it, you will never see any defire*bleness in it. "I desire to be dissolved (saith Paul) and to be "with Christ, which is sar better." To be with death is sad, but to be with Christ is sweet; to endure the pains of death is doleful, but to see the sace of Christ is joyful; to part with your pleasant habitations is irksome, but to be lodged in the heavenly mansions is most delightful; a parting hour with dear relations is cutting, but a meeting hour with Jesus Christ is transporting; to be rid of your own bodies is not pleasing, but to be rid of sin, and that for ever, what can be more pleasing, to a gracious soul i

You see, then, in what sense I present death as a desirablething to the people of God; and therefore seeing nature teach* eth us, (as rhe apostle speaks) to put the more abundant coaielfc »css upon the uncomely parts; soffer me to dress up death in }ts best ornaments, and present it to you in the following arguments, as a beautiful, and comely object of your conditional, and wellrrcgulattd desires. And,

h VPW "i faiT and jufl accounts there shall appear t% be more gain U believers in death, than there is in life 1 reason must needs vote death to be better to them that are in Christ, than life can be; and consequently, it should be desirable in their eyes.

'Tts a clear dictate of reason, in case of choice, to chuse that which is best for us. Who is there that freely exercises reason, •net choice together, that will not do so?

What merchant will not part with a hundred pound's worth of glass beads, and pendants, for a tun of gold? A sew tinsel toys, for as many rich diamonds? Mercatura est amittere, ut lucreris; that is true merchandise, to part with things of lefler, for th'iBgs of greater value.

Now, if you will be tried, aBd determined by God's book of rates, then the case is determined quickly, and the advantage appears exceedingly upon death's fide. PhiL i. 2 u "To me '" to live, is Christ:; and to die, is gain."

Object. True, it might be so to Paul, who was eminent in grace, and ripe for glory ,. but it may be loss to others, who have not attained the height of his holiness, er assurance.

Sol. The true and plain sense of the objection is this, whether heaven, and Christ, be as much gain to him that enjoys them, though behind others both in grace and obedience, as it is to them who are more eminent in grace, and have done, and suffered more for their sake? And let it be determined by yourselves. But if your meaning he, that Paul was ready for death, end so are not you; his work and course was almost comfortably finished, and so is not yours; his death, therefore, must Deeds be gain to him, but it may be loss to you, even the lose of all that yon are worth for ever.

To this 1 fay, the wisdom of God orders the time of his people's death, as well as all other circumstances about it: And in this, your hearts may be at persect rest, that being m Christ, you can never die to your loss, die when you will. I know you will reply, That if your union with Christ were clear, the controversy were ended; but then you must also consider, they are as sase who die hy an act of recumbency upon Christ, ns those that die In the fullest assurance of their interest urhim.

And beside, your reluctancies, and aversations to death, are *oae of your way to assurance; that such a strong aversotion to fin, and such a vehement desire after, and love to Christ, as can make you willing to quit all that is dear, and definable to you in this world for his fake, is the very next door or step to assonance; and if the Lord bring your hearts to this frame, and fix them there, it is not likely you will be long without if*

Eut to <return: Paul had here valued lise, with a full allowance of all the benefits and advantages of it; "To me to 1'nre, "is Christ;" that is, if I live, I fhall live in communion with Christ, and service for Christ, and in the midst of all those comforts which usually result from both. Here is lise, with the most weighty, and desirable benefits of it, laid in one scale, and he lays death, and, probably, a violent death too, (for as that he speaks to them afterwards, chap. ii. 17.) in the other scale. Thus he fills the scale, and the balance breaks on death's fide; yea, it comes down with a w*k\* ^*aatt n/tirm, a sar, sar better.

But here salls in (as an excellent person * observes) a rub in the way: there are In this case two judges, the flesh, and the spirit, and they cannot agree upon the values, bur contradict each other. Nature saith. It is sar better to live, than to die, and will not be beaten off from it. What then? I hope yon will not put blind and partial nature in competition with God also, as you do lise with death. But seeing nature can plead so powerfully, as well as grace, let us hear what those strong reasons are, that are urged by the flesh on lise's side, and what the soul hath to reply, and plead on death's fide, (for the soul cab plead, and that charmingly too, though not by words and sounds) and then determine the matter as we shall see cause: but be sure prejudice pull not down the balance.

And here the doleful voice of nature la1. The pleas of ments, pleads, and bemoans itself to the wilnature for life, ling soul.

and against dtjfo- 'O my soul, what dost thou mean by these lution. . 'desires to be dissolved ? Art thou in earnest,

• when thou sayest thou art willing to leave 'thine own body, and be gone? Consider; and think agaii,

* ere thou bid me sarewel, what thou art to me, and what I

* have been, and am to thee; thou art my soul, that is, roy

* prop, my beauty, my honour, my lise, and, indeed, all that is 'comfortable to me. If thou depart, what am I but a specta

* cle of pity, an abhorred carcass, in a few moments? a prey

* to the worms, a captive to death? If thou depart, my candle 'is put out, and I am left in the horrors of darkness.

* I am thy house, thy delightful habitation, the house in

* which thou hast dwelt from the first moment of thy creation, 'and never lodgesl one night in any other: every room in me 'hath one way or other i been a banqueting-room for thy en1 tertainment, a room of pleasure; all my senses have been par

Mr, How, in Mrs. Margaret Baxter's funeral sermon.

veyors for thy delight, my members have all of them been thine instruments and servants, to execute thy commands and' pleasure. If thou and I part, it must be in a shower; ihou shalt seel such pains, such travailing throws, such deep, emphatical groans, such sweats, such agonies as thou never selt before: for death hath somewhat of anguish peculiar to itself, and which is unknown, though guessed at by the living. Besides, whenever thou leavest me, thou leavest all that is, and hath been comfortable to th'e in this world: thy house shall know thee no more, Job vii. 10. thy lauds, thy money, thy trade, which have cost thee so many careful thoughts, and yielded thee so many refreshments, shall be thine no longer; death will strip thee of all these, and leave thee naked. 'Thou hast also, fince thou becamest mine, contracted manifold relations in the world, Vhich 1 know are dear unto thee; I know it by costly experience: How hast thou made me to < wear and waste myself, in labours, cares, and watchings for 'them .' But if thou wilt be gone, all these must be left expo

* sed, God knows to what wants, abuses, and miseries! for I

* can do nothing for them, or myself, if once thou leave me.' Thus it charms and pleads; thus it layeth, as it were, violent hands upon the foul, and saith, 'O my foul, thou fhalt not 'depart.' It hangs abqut it much, as the wise and children of good Galeacius Caracciolus did about him, when he was leaving Italy, to go to Geneva, (a lively emblem of the case before us). It saith to the foul, as Joab did to David, "Thou hast "shamed thy sace this day, in that thou lovest thine enemy, "death, and hatest me, thy friend." 'O my soul! my lise!

* my darling! my dear and only one! let nothing but una

* voidable necessity part thee and me.' All this the flesh can plead, and a great deal more than this, and that a thousand times more powerfully and seelingly, than any words can plead the case. And all-its arguments are back'd by sense; fight, and seeling attest what nature speaks.

Let us, in the next place, weigh the pleas, and reasons, which, notwithstanding all this,. 2. The pleas of do over-power, and prevail with the believing faith in behalf of foul to be gone, and quit its own body, and death. return no more to the elementary world.

And thus the power of saith and love enables it to,reply: • * My dear body, the companion and partner of my comforts

* and troubles, in the days of my pilgrimage on earth, great is

* my love, and strong are the bonds of my affections to thee.

* Thou hast been tenderly, yea, excessively beloved by me; my

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