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Heb. x. through sin, (as the holy Apostle faith) so long as they live here in this world: but (everlasting thanks be to Almighty God for ever) there is never a one of all these causes, no, nor yet them all together, that can make a true Christian
iCor. iii. man afraid to die (who is the very member of Christ, the temple of the Holy Ghost, the Son of God, and the very inheritor of the everlasting kingdom of heaven :) but plainly contrary, he conceiveth great and many causes, undoubtedly grounded upon the infallible ancl everlasting truth of the Word of God, which moveth him not only to put away the sear of bodily death, but also, for the inanisold benesits and singular commodities, which ensue unto every faithful person by reason of the fame, to wish, desire, and long heartily for it. For death shall be to him no death at all, but a very deliverance from death, from all pains, cares, and sorrows, miseries, and wretchedness of this world, and the very entry into rest, aud a beginning of everlasting joy, a tasting of heavenly pleasures, so great, that neither tongue is able to express, neither eye to see, nor ear to hear them; no, nor any earthly man's heart to conceive them. So exceeding great benesits they be, which God our heavenly Father by his mere mercy, and for the love of his Son Jesus Christ, hath laid up in store, and prepared for them that humbly submit themselves to God's will, and ever more unseignedly love him from the bottom of their hearts. And we ought to believe, that death, being slain by Christ, cannot keep any man that steadfastly trusteth in Christ, under his perpetual tyranny and subjection: but that he (hall rise from death again unto glory at the last day. appointed by Almighty God, like as Christ our Head did rise again, according to God's appointment, the third day. For St. Augustine faith. The head going before, the members trust to follow and come after. And St. Paul faith, If Christ be risen from the dead, we (ball rise also from the fame. And to comfort all Christian persons herein, holy Scripture calleth this bodily death a sleep, wherein man's senses be (as it were) taken from him for a season; and yet when he awaketh, he is more fresh than he was when he went to bed. So, although we have our souls separated from our bodies for a season, yet at the general resurrection we shall be more fresh, beautiful, and persect than we be now. For now we be mortal, then shall we be immortal; now insected with divers insirmities, then clearly void of all mortal insirmities: now we be subject to all carnal desires, then we shall be all spiritual, desiring nothing but God's glory, and
things eternal. Thus is this bodily death a door or entering unto lise, and therefore not (o much dreadful (if it be rightly considered) as it is comfortable; not a mischief, but a remedy for all mischief; no enemy, but a friend; not a cruel tyrant, but a gentle guide, leading us not to mortality, but to immortality, not to lorrow and pain, but to joy and pleasure, and that to endure for ever, if it be thankfully taken and accepted as God's meffenger, and patiently borne of us for Christ's love, that suffered mod painful death for our love, to redeem us from death eternal. Accordingly hereunto St. Paul laith, Our life is bidoA. vL with Christ in God; but when our life shall appear, then. jhall we also appear with him in glory. Why then shall we sear to die, considering the mamfold and comfortable promises of the Gospel, and of holy Scriptures? God the Fa- i John*. ther batb given us everlasting life, faith St. John, and this lise is in his Son. He tbat batb the Son batb life, and he that batb not the Son batb not life. And this I write, faith St. John, ' John vio you. tbat helieve in the name as the Son of God, tbat you May know tbat you have everlajhng life, and that you do helieve upon the name of the Son of God. And our Saviour Christ laith, He tbat helieveth in me batb Use everlasting, andJohn v. / will raise him from death to life at the lasjl day. St. Paul ,Cor. ix. also faith, tbat Chrijl is ordained and made of God our righteousness, or holiness, and redemption, to the intent that he which will glory should glory in the Lord. St. Paul did contemn and let little by all other things, ejjleeming them as dung, Phil. iii. which before he had in very great price, that he might he found in Cbrijl, to have everlasting lise, true holiness, righteoussneis, and redemption. Finally, St. Paul maketh a plain argument on this wise, If our heavenly Fa- Rom. viii. ther would not spare his own natural Son, but did give him to death for us; how can it he, but tbat with bim heshould give us all things? Therefore, if we have Christ, then have we. with him, and by him, all good things whatsoever we can in our hearts wish or desire, as victory over death, sin, and hell: we have the favour of God, peace with him, holiness, wisdom, justice, power, lise, and redemption; we have by him perpetual health, wealth, joy, aud bliis everlasting.
1 lie Second Part of the Sermon againjl the Fear of Death.
IT hath been heretofore shewed you, that there be three causes, wherefore men do commonly sear death. First, the sorrowful departing from worldly goods and pleasures. The second, the sear of the pangs and pains that come with death. The last and principal cause is, the horrible sear of extreme misery, and perpetual damnation in time to come. And yet none of these three causes troubleth good men, because they stay themselves by true faith, persect chanty, and sure hope of the endless joy and bliss everlasting.
All those therefore have great cause to be full of joy that be joined to Christ with true faith, steadfast hope, and persect charity, and not to sear death, nor everlasting damnation. For death cannot deprive them of Jesus Christ, nor can any sin condemn them that are grafted surely in him, which is their only joy, treasure, and lise. Let us repent of our sins, amend our lives, trust in his mercy and fatisfaction; and death can neither take him from us, nor us from him. For then (as St. Paul faith) whether ice live or die, -we he the Lord's oivn. And again he faith, Chri/i did die, and role again, hecause he shouid he Lord hoth of the dead and quick. Then if we be the Lord's own when we be dead, it must needs follow that such temporal death not only cannot harm us, but also that it shall be much to our prosit, and join us unto God more persectly. And thereof the Christian heart may surely be certisied by the infallible or vfndeceivable truth of holy Scripture. It is God, faith St. Paul, -which hath prepared 7«s unto immortality; and the fame is he which hath given us an earnejl of the Spirit. Therefore let us be always ot good comfort; for we know that so long as we be in the body, we be (as it were) far from God in a strange country, subject to many perils, walking without persect sight and knowledge of Almighty God, only seeing him by faith in holy Scriptures. But we have a courage and desire rather to be at home with God and our Saviour Christ, far from the body, where we may behold his Godhead as he is, face to face, to our everlasting comfort. These be St. Paul's words in efsect, whereby we may perceive, that the lise in this world is resembled and likened to a pilgrimage in a
firangc country, far from God; and that death, delivering
The second cause why some do sear death is fore sick- The second ness and grievous pains, which partly come before death, why and partly accompany or come with death, whensoever it J.°TM^e°h< tometh. This sear is the sear of the frail slesh, and a natural paflion belonging unto the nature of a mortal man. But true laith in God's promises, and regard of the pains aud pangs which Christ upon the cross suffered for us miserable sinners, with consideration of the joy and everlasting lise to comein heaven, will mitigate thole pains, and moderate this far, that it (hall never be able to overthrow the hearty de
sire and gladness, that the Christian foul hath to beseparated from this corrupt body, that it may come to the gracious presence of our Saviour Jesus Christ. If we believe steadfastly the Word of God, we shall perceive that such bodily sickness, pangs of death, or whatsoever dolorous pangs we sufser, either before or with death, be nothing else in Chris• tian men, but the rod of our heavenly and loving Father, wherewith he mercifully correcleth us, either to try and declare the faith of his patient children, that they maybe found laudable, glorious, and honourable in his sight, when\ Jefus Christ (hall be openly shewed to be the Judge of all the world, or else to chastise and amend in them whatsoever offendeth his fatherly and gracious goodness, lest they should perish everlastingly. And, this his correcting rod is common to all men that be truly his. Therefore let us cast away the burden ossm that lieth too heavy on our necks, and return unto God by true penance and amendment of our lives; let us with patience run this course that is appointed, sufsering (for his fake that died for our falvation).all sorrows and pangs of death, and death itself joyfully, when God sendeth it to us, having our eyes sixed and set fast ever upon the Head and Captain of our faith, Jesus Christ: who (considering the joy that he should
Phit. ii. come unto) cared neither for thejbame nor pain of death, but willingly conforming and framing his will to his Father's will, most patiently fufsered the most shamesul and painful death of the cross, being innocent and harmless. And now therefore he is exalted in heaven, and everlastingly sitteth on the right hand of the throne of God the Father. Let us call to our remembrance therefore the lise and joys of heaven, that are kept for all them that patiently do luffer here with Christ, and consider that Christ iuffered all his painful paslion by sinners, and for sinners: and then we (hall with patience, and the more easily, sufser such sorrows and pains, when they come. Let us not set at light the chastising of the Lord, nor grudge at him, nor fall from him, when of him wo be corrected: for the Lord loveth them whom he doth correct, and beateth every one whom he taketh to be his child. What
Heb. xii. child is that, faith St. Paul, whom the Father loveth, and duth not chastise? if ye he without God's correction (which all his well-beloved and true children have) then heyoubut hajlards, finally regarded of God, and not his true children' Therefore seeing, that, when we have on earth our carnal fathers to be our correctors, we do sear them, and reverently take their correction; shall we not'much more be