תמונות בעמוד
PDF

with causeless Terrors? Thus we consume our own Comsorts, and prey upon our truest Pleasures. When we might lie down, and rise up, and walk abroad, with our Hearts full of the Joys of God, we continually fill them with perplexing Fears. For he that fears dying, must be always searing; because he hath always Reason to expect it. And how can that Man's Lise be comsortable, who lives in continual Fear of

losing his Comsorts? Are not these Fears of Death

self-created Sufferings? As if God had not inflicted enough upon us, but we must inflict more upon ourselves. Is not Death bitter enough to the Flesh of itself, but we must double and treble its Bitterness? The Sufferings laid upon us by God, do all lead to happy Issues; the Progress is, from Tribulation to Patience, from thence to Experience, and so to Hope, and at last to Glory. But the Sufferings we make for ourselves, are circular and endless, from Sin to Suffering, from Suffering to Sin, and so to Suffering again: And not only so, but they multiply in their Course; every Sin is greater than the sormer, and so every Sufsering also: So that except we think God hath made us to be our own Tormentors, we have small Reason

to nourish our Fears of Death. And are they mt

useless, unprofitable Fears? As all our Care cannot maii one Hair white or blacks nor add one Cubit to our Stature, so neither can our Fear prevent our Sufferings, nor delay our Death one Hour; willing or unwilling, we must away. Many a Man's Fears have hastened his End, but no Man's ever did avert it. Tis true, a cautious Fear, concerning the Danger a-fter Death, hath profited many, and is very useful to the preventing of that Danger; but sor a Member if Christ, and •an Heir of Heaven, to be asraid of entering his own

Inheritance, is a sinful, useless Fear. And do net

sur Fears of dying insnare our Sauls, andadd Strength u many Temptations? What made Peter deny his Lord? What makes Apostates in suffering Times sorsake the Truth? Why doth the green Blade of unrooted Faith wither besore the Heat of Persecution? Fear of Imprisonment and Poverty may do much, but Fear of Death will do much more. So much Fear as we have of Death, so much Cowardice we usually have in the Cause of God : Beside the Multitude of unbelieving. Contrivances, and Discontents at the wise Disposals of God, and hard Thoughts of most of his Providences, which this Sin doth make us guilty of.

§23. Let us j art her consider., what a competent Time mojl of us have had. Why should not a Man, that would die at all, be as willing at Thirty or Forty, if God see fiti as at Seventy or Eighty? Length of Time ooth not conquer Corruption; it never withers nor decays, thro' Age. Except we recefve an Addition of Grace, as weJl as Time, we naturally grow worse* "O my Soul, depart in Peace! As thou wouldst not "desire an unlimited State in Wealth and Honour, so "desire it not in Point of Time. If thou wast sensi"We, how little thou deservest an Hour of that Pati"ence which thou hast enjoyed, thou wouldst think "thou hast had a large Part. Is it not divine Wif"dom that sets the Bounds? God will honour him-' "self bv various Persons, and several Ages, and not "by one Person or Age. Seeing; thou hast acted thine u own Parr, and finished thine appointed Course, "come down contentedly, that others may succeed, "who must have their Turns, as well as thyself. r" Much Time hath much Duty. Beg theresore sor

Grace to improve it better; but be content with thy ,

"Share of Time." "TIiou hafl also had a Com*

"petency os the Csmfirts of Life. God might have "made thy Lise a Burthen, till thou hadsr. been a3 "weary of poslefSng it, as thou art now asraid of

"losing

losing it. He might have suffered thee to have consumed thy Days in Ignorance, without the faving Knowledge of Christ: But He hath opened thine Eyes in the Morning of thy Days, and acquainted thee betimes with the Business of thy Lise. Hath thy heavenly Father caused thy Lot to fall in Europe, not in Asia, Africa, or America; in England, not in Spain or Italy? Hath He filled up all thy Lise with Mercies, and dost thou now think thy Share too small? What a Multitude of Hours of Consolation, of delightsul Sabbaths, of pleafant Studies, of precious Companions, of wondersul Deliverances, of excellent Opportunities, of fruitsul Labours, of joysul Tidings, of sweet Experiences, of astonishing Providences, hath thy Lise partaken of? Hath thy Lise been so sweet, that thou art loth to leave it? Is that thy Thanks to Him, who is thus drawing thee to his own Sweetness? O foolifh Soul! would thou wast as covetous aster Eternity, as thou art for a fading, perishing Lise! and aster the Presence of God in Glory, as thou art for Continuance on Earth! Then thou wouldst cry, why is his Charm so lotfg in comings' why tarry the Wheels of his Chariots? How long, Lord! how long!" "IVhat

if God [liouldlet thee five many Years, but deny thee the Mercies which thou hast hitherto enjoyed? Mlght He not give thee Lise, as He gave the murmuring; Israelites Quails? He might give thee Lise, till thou art weary of living, and as glad to be rid of it as Judas, or Achitophel; and make thee like many miserable Creatures in the World, who canhardlv forbear laying violent Hands on themselves. Be not therefore so importunate for Lise, which may prove

a Judgment, instead of a Blessing." Howma..t

cf the precious Servants of God, cf all Ages and Place:, have gone before thee? Thou art not to enter an

"untrodden

"untrodden Path, nor appointed first to break the Ice. "Except Enoch and Elijah, which of the Saints have "escaped Death? And art thou better than they? "There are many Millions of Saints dead, more than "now remain on Earth. What a Number of thine "own Bosom-Friends, and Companions in Duty, are "now gone, and why shouldft thou be so loth-to "sollow? Nay, hath not Jesus Christ himself gone "this Way? Hath He not sanctified the Grave to "us, and persumed the Dust with his own Body, and "art thou loth to sollow him too? Rather say asThe"mas, Let us alfa go, that we may die with him."

§ 24. If what hath been said, will not persuade, Scripture and Reason have little Force. And I have said the more on this Subject, sinding it so needful to myself and others; sinding among so many Christians, who could do and suffer much sor Christ, so sew that can willingly die; and of many, who have somewhat subdued other Corruptions, so sew have got the Conquest of this. I persuade not the Ungodly from searing Death: 'Tis a Wonder raiher, that they sear it no more, and spend not their Days in continual Horror.

[merged small][ocr errors]
[ocr errors][ocr errors]

Chap: M? , .*5V

The Importance of leading a heavenly Life upon Earth. - ;, .,., -&

§ I. The Reasonableness of delighting in the Thoughts of the Saint's Rest. § 2. - Christians" exhorted to it, by considering; §3. (1) it will evidence theirjinitre Piety; §4. (2) it i: the highest Excellence of the Christian Temper; § 5. (3) it leads to the most comfortable Life; § 6—9. (4) it will be the best Preservative from Temptations to Sin; § 10. (5) it will invigorate their Graces and Duties; §11. (6) it will be their beft Cordial in all Afflictions; §12. (7) it will render them most profitable to others; § 13. (8) it will honour God-K § 14. (9) without

. it, we disobey the Commands, and lose the most gracious and delightful Discoveries of the Word of God; § 15. (10) it is the more reasonable to have our Hearts with God, as His is so much onus; § 16, 17. and (n) .in Heaven, where we have jo much Interest and Relation; § 18. (12) besides, there is nothing, but Heaven, worth setting cur Hearts upon. § igTransition to the SubjecJ of the next Chapter,

Ji.TS there such a Rest remaining sor us? Why J then are our Thoughts no more upon it? Why are not our Hearts continually there? Why dwell we not there in constant Contemplation? What is the Cause of this Neglect? Are we reasonable in this, or are we not? Hatn the eternal God provided us such

a Glory,

• * 4^ .*# .

« הקודםהמשך »