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death, besides those infinite and open ports out of which myriads of men and women every day pass into the dark, and the land of forgetfulness. Infancy hath life but in effigy, or like a spark dwelling in a pile of wood; the candle is so newly lighted, that every little shaking of the taper, and every ruder breath of air, puts it out, and it dies. Childhood is so tender, and yet so unwary; so soft to all the impressions of chance, and yet so forward to run into them, that God knew there could be no security without the care and vigilance of an angel-keeper; and the eyes of parents and the arms of nurses, the provisions of art, and all the effects of human love and providence, are not sufficient to keep one child from horrid mischiefs, from strange and early calamities and deaths, unless a messenger be sent from heaven to stand sentinel, and watch the very play. | ings and sleepings, the eatings and drinkings of the children; and it is a long time before nature makes them capable of help: for there are many deaths, and very many diseases to which poor babes are exposed; but they have but very few capacities of physic; to show that infancy is as liable to death as old age, and equally exposed to danger, and equally incapable of a remedy; with this only difference, that old age hath diseases incurable by nature, and the diseases of childhood are incurable by art; and both the states are the next heirs of death. 3. But all the middle way the case is altered: nature is strong, and art is apt to give ease and remedy, but still there is no security; and there the case is not altered. 1. For there are so many diseases in men that are not understood. 2. So many new ones every year. 3. The old ones are so changed in circumstance, and intermingled with so many collateral complications. 4. The symptoms are oftentimes so alike. 5. Sometimes so hidden and fallacious. 6. Sometimes none at all; as in the most sudden and most dangerous imposthumations. 7. And then, the diseases, in the inward parts of the body, are oftentimes such, to which no application can be made. 8. They are so far off, that the effects of all medicines can no otherwise come to them, than the effect and juices of all meats; that is, not till after two or three alterations and decoctions, which change the very species of the medicament. 9. And, after all this, very many principles in the art of physic are so uncertain, that after they have been believed seven or eight ages, and that upon them much of the practice hath been established, they come to be considered by a witty man, and others established in their stead; by which men must practise, and by which three or four generations of men more (as happens) must live or die. 10. And all this while the men are sick, and they take things that certainly make them sicker for the present, and very uncertainly restore health for the future: that it may appear of what a large extent is human calamity; when God's Providence hath not only made it weak and miserable upon the certain stock of a various nature, and upon the accidents of an infinite contingency; but even from the remedies which are appointed, our dangers and our troubles are certainly increased: so that we may well be likened

to water; our nature is no stronger, our abode no more certain; if the sluices be opened, "it falls away and runneth apace;" if its current be stopped it swells and grows troublesome, and spills over with a greater diffusion; if it be made to stand still, it putrifies: and all this we do. For,

4. In all the process of our health, we are running to our grave: we open our own sluices by viciousness and unworthy actions; we pour in drink, and let out life; we increase diseases, and know not how to bear them; we strangle ourselves with our own intemperance; we suffer the fevers and the inflammations of lust, and we quench our souls with drunkenness: we bury our understandings in loads of meat and surfeits; and then we lie down upon our beds, and roar with pain and disquietness of our souls: nay, we kill one another's souls and bodies with violence and folly, with the effects of pride and uncharitableness; we live and die like fools, and bring a new mortality upon ourselves; wars and vexatious cares, and private duels and public disorders, and every thing that is unreasonable, and every thing that is violent: so that now we may add this fourth gate to the grave: besides nature, and chance, and the mistakes of art, men die with their own sins, and then enter into the grave in haste and passion, and pull the heavy stone of the monument upon their own heads. And thus we make ourselves like water spilt on the ground; we throw away our lives as if they were unprofitable (and indeed most men make them so); we let our years slip through our fingers like water; and nothing is to be seen but like a shower of tears upon a spot of ground; there is a grave digged, and a solemn mourning and a great talk in the neighbourhood, and when the days are finished, they shall be, and they shall be remembered no more: and that is like water too, when it is spilt, " it cannot be gathered up again."

There is no redemption from the grave.

inter se mortales mutua vivunt:

Et, quasi cursores, vitäi lampada tradunt. LUCR. Men live in their course and by turns; their light burns awhile, and then it burns blue and faint, and men go to converse with spirits, and then they reach the taper to another; and as the hours of yesterday can never return again, so neither can the man whose hours they were, and who lived them over once, he shall never come to live them again, and live them better. When Lazarus, and the widow's son of Nain, and Tabitha, and the saints that appeared in Jerusalem at the resurrection of our blessed Lord, arose, they came into this world, some as strangers only to make a visit, and all of them to manifest a glory: but none came upon the stock of a new life, or entered upon the stage as at first, or to perform the course of a new nature and therefore it is observable, that we never read of any wicked person that was raised from the dead: Dives would fain have returned to his brother's house; but neither he, nor any from him could be sent but all the rest in the New Testament (one only excepted) were expressed to have been


holy persons, or else by their age were declared innocent. Lazarus was beloved of Christ: those souls that appeared at the resurrection, were the souls of saints: Tabitha, raised by St. Peter, was a charitable and a holy christian: and the maiden of twelve years old, raised by our blessed Saviour, had not entered into the regions of choice and sinfulness and the only exception of the widow's son, is indeed none at all, for in it the Scripture is wholly silent; and therefore it is very probable that the same process was used, God, in all other instances, having chosen to exemplify his miracles of nature to purposes of the spirit, and in spiritual capacities. So that, although the Lord of nature did not break the bands of nature in some instances, to manifest his glory to succeeding great and never-failing purposes; yet (besides that this shall be no more) it was also instanced in such persons who were holy and innocent, and within the verge and comprehensions of the eternal mercy. We never read that a wicked person felt such a miracle, or was raised from the grave to try the second time for a crown; but where he fell, there he lay down dead, and saw the light no more.

This consideration I intend to you as a severe monitor and an advice of carefulness, that you order your affairs so that you may be partakers of the first resurrection; that is, from sin to grace, from the death of vicious habits to the vigour, life, and efficacy of an habitual righteousness: for (as it happened to those persons in the New Testament now mentioned, to them, I say, in the literal sense) "Blessed are they that have part in the first resurrection; upon them the second death shall have no power:" meaning that they who, by the power of Christ and his Holy Spirit were raised to life again, were holy and blessed souls, and such who were written in the book of God; and that this grace happened to no wicked and vicious person: so it is most true in the spiritual and intended sense: you only that serve God in a holy life; you who are not dead in trespasses and sins; you who serve God with an early diligence, and an unwearied industry, and a holy religion, you, and you only, shall come to life eternal, you only shall be called from death to life; the rest of mankind shall never live again, but pass from death to death; from one death to another, to a worse; from the death of the body to the eternal death of body and soul: and therefore in the Apostles' Creed there is no mention made of the resurrection of wicked persons; but of" the resurrection of the body to everlasting life." The wicked indeed shall be haled forth from their graves, from their everlasting prisons, where, in chains of darkness, they are kept unto the judgment of the great day but this therefore cannot be called, " in sensu favoris," a resurrection; but the solemnities of the eternal death; it is nothing but a new capacity of dying again; such a dying as cannot signify rest; but where death means nothing but an intolerable and never ceasing calamity; and therefore these words of my text are otherwise to be understood of the wicked, otherwise of the godly: the wicked are spilt like water, and shall never be gathered up



again; no, not in the gatherings of eternity; they shall be put into vessels of wrath, and set upon the flames of hell; but that is not a gathering, but a scattering from the face and presence of God. But the godly also come under the sense of these words: they descend into their graves, and shall no more be reckoned among the living; they have no concernment in all that is done under the sun. Agamemnon hath no more to do with the Turk's armies invading and possessing that part of Greece, where he reigned, than had the Hippocentaur, who never had a being; and Cicero hath no more interest in the present evils of christendom, than we have to do with his boasted discovery of Catiline's conspiracy. What is it to me that Rome was taken by the Gauls? and what is it now to Camillus, if different religions be tolerated amongst us? These things that now happen concern the living, and they are made the scenes of our duty or danger respectively: and when our wives are dead, and sleep in charnel-houses, they are not troubled when we laugh loudly at the songs sung at the next marriage-feast; nor do they envy when another snatches away the gleanings of their husbands' passion.

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It is true, they envy not, and they lie in a bosom where there can be no murmur; and they that are consigned to kingdoms, and to the feast of the marriage-supper of the Lamb, the glorious and eternal Bridegroom of holy souls, they cannot think our marriages here, our lighter laughings and vain rejoicings, considerable, as to them. And yet there is a relation continued still:" Aristotle said, that to affirm the dead take no thought for the good of the living, is a disparagement to the laws of that friendship, which, in their state of separation, they cannot be tempted to rescind. And the church hath taught in general, that they pray for us, they recommend to God the state of all their relatives, in the union of the intercession that our blessed Lord makes for them and us: and St. Ambrose gave some things in charge to his dying brother Satyrus, that he should do for him in the other world: he gave it him, I say, when he was dying, not when he was dead. And certain it is, that, though our dead friends' affection to us is not to be estimated according to our low conceptions, yet it is not less, but much more than ever it was; it is greater in degree, and of another kind.

But then we should do well also to remember that in this world we are something besides flesh and blood; that we may not, without violent necessities, run into new relations, but preserve the affections we bore to our dead when they were alive: we must not so live as if they were perished, but so as pressing forward to the most intimate participation of the communion of saints. And we also have some ways to express this relation, and to bear a part in this communion, by actions of intercourse with them, and yet proper to our state: such as are strictly performing the will of the dead, providing for, and tenderly and wisely educating their children, paying their debts, imitating their good example, preserving their memories privately, and publicly keeping their memorials, and desiring of


God, with hearty and constant prayer, that God would give them a joyful resurrection, and a merciful judgment,—for so St. Paul prayed in behalf of Onesiphorus; that " God would show them mercy in that day;" that fearful, and yet much to be desired day, in which the most righteous person hath need of much mercy and pity, and shall find it. Now these instances of duty show, that the relation remains still; and though the relict of a man or woman hath liberty to contract new relations, yet I do not find they have liberty to cast off the old, as if there were no such thing as immortality of souls. Remember that we shall converse together again; let us therefore never do any thing of reference to them, which we shall be ashamed of in the day when all secrets shall be discovered, and that we shall meet again in the presence of God: in the mean time, God watcheth concerning all their interest, and he will, in his time, both discover and recompense. For though, as to us, they are like water spilt; yet, to God, they are as water fallen in ❘ the sea, safe and united in his comprehension and enclosures.

But we are not yet passed the consideration of the sentence: this descending to the grave is the lot of all men, "neither doth God respect the person of any man" the rich is not protected for favour, nor the poor for pity; the old man is not reverenced for his age, nor the infant regarded for his tenderness; youth and beauty, learning and prudence, wit and strength, lie down equally in the dishonours of the grave. All men, and all natures, and all persons resist the addresses and solemnities of death, and strive to preserve a miserable and unpleasant life; and yet they all sink down and die. For so have I seen the pillars of a building, assisted with artificial | props, bending under the pressure of a roof, and pertinaciously resisting the infallible and prepared ruin,

Donec certa dies, omni compage solutâ,
Ipsum cum rebus subruat auxilium;

"till the determined day comes, and then the burden
sunk upon the pillars, and disordered the aids and
auxiliary rafters into a common ruin and a ruder
grave: so are the desires and weak arts of man;
with little aids and assistances of care and physic,
we strive to support our decaying bodies, and to put
off the evil day; but quickly that day will come,
and then neither angels nor men can rescue us from
our grave; but the roof sinks down upon the walls,
and the walls descend to the foundation; and the
beauty of the face, and the dishonours of the belly,
the discerning head and the servile feet, the think-
ing heart and the working hand, the eyes and the
guts together shall be crushed into the confusion of
a heap, and dwell with creatures of an equivocal
production, with worms and serpents, the sons and
daughters of our own bones, in a house of dirt and

Let not us think to be excepted or deferred: if beauty, or wit, or youth, or nobleness, or wealth, or virtue, could have been a defence and an excuse from the grave, we had not met here to-day to a 2 Tim. i. 18.

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mourn upon the hearse of an excellent lady and God only knows, for which of us next the mourners shall go about the streets, or weep in houses.

Ζεὺς μέν που τόγε οἶδε καὶ ἀθάνατοι θεοὶ ἄλλοι, Οπποτέρῳ θανάτοιο τέλος πεπρωμένον ἐστίν. Ι. γ. We have lived so many years; and every day, and every minute, we make an escape from those thousands of dangers and deaths that encompass us round about: and such escapings we must reckon to be an extraordinary fortune; and, therefore, that it cannot last long. Vain are the thoughts of man, who, when he is young or healthful, thinks he hath a long thread of life to run over, and that it is violent and strange for young persons to die, and natural and proper only for the aged. It is as natural for a man to die by drowning as by a fever: and what greater violence or more unnatural thing is it, that the horse threw his rider into the river, than that a drunken meeting cast him into a fever? and the strengths of youth are as soon broken by the strong sicknesses of youth, and the stronger intemperance, as the weakness of old age by a cough, or an asthma, or a continual rheum: nay, it is more natural for young men and women to die, than for old; because that is more natural which hath more natural causes, and that is more natural which is most common: but to die with age is an extreme rare thing; and there are more persons carried forth to burial before the five and thirtieth year of their age, than after it: and, therefore, let no vain confidence make you hope for long life: if you have lived but little, and are still in youth, remember that now you are in your biggest throng of dangers, both of body and soul; and the proper sins of youth to which they rush infinitely and without consideration, are also the proper and immediate instruments of death. But if you be old, you have escaped long and wonderfully, and the time of your escaping is out: you must not for ever think to live upon wonders, or that God will work miracles to satisfy your longing follies, and unreasonable desires of living longer to sin and to the world. Go home and think to die, and what you would choose to be doing when you die, that do daily: for you will all come to that pass to rejoice that you did so, or wish that you had: that will be the condition of every one of us for "God regardeth no man's person."

Well! but all this you will think is but a sad story. What? we must die, and go to darkness and dishonour; and we must die quickly, and we must quit all our delights, and all our sins, or do worse, infinitely worse; and this is the condition of us all, from which none can be excepted; every man shall be spilt and fall into the ground, and "be gathered up no more." Is there no comfort after all this? "shall we go from hence, and be no more seen," and have no recompence?

"Misero misere," aiunt, "omnia ademit. Una dies infausta tibi tot præmia vitæ."-LUCR. Shall we exchange our fair dwellings for a coffin, our softer beds for the moistened and weeping turf, and our pretty children for worms; and is there no

allay to this huge calamity? yes, there is: there is a yet in the text. "for all this, yet doth God devise means that his banished be not expelled from him:"| -All this sorrow and trouble is but a phantasm, and receives its account and degrees from our present conceptions, and the proportion to our relishes and gust.

When Pompey saw the ghost of his first lady, Julia, who vexed his rest and his conscience, for superinducing Cornelia upon her bed, within the ten months of mourning, he presently fancied it, either to be an illusion, or else that death could be no very great evil:

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"Death is nothing but the middle point between two lives, between this and another :" concerning which comfortable mystery the Holy Scripture instructs our faith, and entertains our hope in these words: God is still the "God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; for all do live to him ;" and the souls of saints are with Christ: "I desire to be dissolved," (saith St. Paul,)" and to be with Christ, for that is much better:" and, "Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord; they rest from their labours, and their works follow them: for we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens:" and this state of separation St. Paul calls "a being absent from the body, and being present with the Lord." This is one of God's means which he hath devised, that although our dead are like persons banished from this world, yet they are not expelled from God: they are" in the hands of Christ;" they are " in his presence;" they are, or shall be, " clothed with a house of God's making;"" they rest from all their labours;" "all tears are wiped from their eyes," and all discontents from their spirits; and in the state of separation, before the soul be re-invested with her new house, the spirits of all persons are with God, so secured, and so blessed, and so sealed up for glory, that this state of interval and imperfection is, in respect of its certain event and end, infinitely more desirable than all the riches, and all the pleasures, and all the vanities, and all the kingdoms of this world.

I will not venture to determine what are the circumstances of the abode of holy souls in their separate dwellings; and yet, possibly, that might be easier than to tell what or how the soul is and works in this world, where it is in the body "tanquam in alienâ domo," as in prison," in fetters and restraints; for here the soul is discomposed and hindered; it is not as it shall be, as it ought to be, as it was intended to be; it is not permitted to its own


1 Cor. xv. 18. 1Thess. iv. 16. Rev. xiv. 13. John v. 24. 2 Cor. v. 6, 8.

freedom and proper operation; so that all that we can understand of it here, is, that it is so incommodated with a troubled and abated instrument, that the object we are to consider, cannot be offered to us in a right line, in just and equal propositions: or if it could, yet because we are to understand the soul by the soul, it becomes not only a troubled and abused object, but a crooked instrument; and we here can consider it just as a weak eye can behold a staff thrust into the waters of a troubled river, the very water makes a refraction, and the storm doubles the refraction, and the water of the eye doubles the species, and there is nothing right in the thing: the object is out of its just place, and the medium is troubled, and the organ is impotent: "At cum exierit, et in liberum cœlum, quasi in domum suam, venerit ;"" when the soul is entered into her own house, into the free regions of the rest," and the neighbourhood of heavenly joys, then its operations are more spiritual, proper, and proportioned to its being; and, though we cannot see at such a distance, yet the object is more fitted, if we had a capable understanding; it is in itself in a more excellent and free condition.

Certain it is that the body does hinder many actions of the soul; it is an imperfect body and a diseased brain, or a violent passion, that makes fools: no man hath a foolish soul; and the reasonings of men have infinite difference and degrees, by reason of the body's constitution. Among beasts, which have no reason, there is a greater likeness than between men, who have; and as by faces it is easier to know a man from a man, than a sparrow from a sparrow, or a squirrel from a squirrel; so the difference is very great in our souls; which difference, because it is not originally in the soul, (and indeed cannot be in simple or spiritual substances of the same species or kind,) it must needs derive wholly from the body, from its accidents and circumstances; from whence it follows, that because the body casts fetters and restraints, hinderances and impediments upon the soul, that the soul is much freer in the state of separation; and if it hath any act of life, it is much more noble and expedite.

That the soul is alive after our death, St. Paul affirms: "Christ died for us, that whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him." Now it were strange that we should be alive, and live with Christ, and yet do no act of life: the body when it is asleep, does many; and if the soul does none, the principle is less active than the instrument; but if it does any act at all in separation, it must necessarily be an act or effect of understanding; there is nothing else it can do, but this it can ; for it is but a weak and an unlearned proposition to say, that the soul can do nothing of itself, nothing without the phantasms and provisions of the body: for,

1. In this life the soul hath one principle clearly separate, abstracted, and immaterial; I mean "the spirit of grace," which is a principle of life and action, and in many instances does not at all com

b 1 Thess. v. 10.

municate with matter, as in the infusion, super- of God's saints cannot fail: for suppose the body induction, and creation of spiritual graces.

2. As nutrition, generation, eating and drinking, are actions proper to the body and its state; so ecstasies, visions, raptures, intuitive knowledge and consideration of itself, acts of volition, and reflex acts of understanding, are proper to the soul.

3. And therefore it is observable that St. Paul said, that "he knew not whether his visions and raptures were in or out of the body;" for by that we see his judgment of the thing, that one was as likely as the other, neither of them impossible or unreasonable; and therefore, that the soul is as capable of action alone as in conjunction.

4. If in the state of blessedness, there are some actions of the soul which do not pass through the body, such as contemplation of God, and conversing with spirits, and receiving those influences and rare immissions, which coming from the holy and mysterious Trinity, make up the crown of glory; it follows that the necessity of the body's ministry is but during the state of this life, and as long as it converses with fire and water, and lives with corn and flesh, and is fed by the satisfaction of material appetites; which necessity and manner of conversation, when it ceases, it can be no longer necessary for the soul to be served by phantasms and material representations.

5. And therefore, when the body shall be reunited, it shall be so ordered that then the body shall confess it gives not any thing, but receives all its being and operation, its manner and abode, from the soul; and that then it comes not to serve a necessity, but to partake a glory: for as the operations of the soul, in this life, begin in the body, and by it the object is transmitted to the soul; so then they shall begin in the soul, and pass to the body; and as the operations of the soul, by reason of its dependence on the body, are animal, natural, and material; so in the resurrection, the body shall be spiritual, by reason of the pre-eminence, influence, and prime operation of the soul. Now between these two states stands the state of separation, in which the operations of the soul are of a middle nature, that is, not so spiritual as in the resurrection, and not so animal and natural as in the state of conjunction.

To all which I add this consideration, that our souls have the same condition that Christ's soul had in the state of separation, because he took on him all our nature, and all our condition; and it is certain, Christ's soul, in the three days of his separation, did exercise acts of life, of joy and triumph, and did not sleep, but visited the souls of the fathers, trampled upon the pride of devils, and satisfied those longing souls which were prisoners of hope: and from all this we may conclude, that the souls of all the servants of Christ are alive, and therefore do the actions of life, and proper to their state; and, therefore, it is highly probable that the soul works clearer, and understands brighter, and discourses wiser, and rejoices louder, and loves nobler, and desires purer, and hopes stronger, than it can do here. But if these arguments should fail, yet the felicity

to be a necessary instrument, but out of tune and discomposed by sin and anger, by accident and chance, by defect and imperfections, yet that it is better than none at all; and that if the soul works imperfectly with an imperfect body, that then she works not at all when she hath none: and suppose also that the soul should be as much without sense or perception in death, as it is in a deep sleep, which is the image and shadow of death; yet then God devises other means that his banished be not expelled from him. For,

2. God will restore the soul to the body, and raise the body to such a perfection, that it shall be an organ fit to praise him upon; it shall be made spiritual to minister to the soul, when the soul is turned into a spirit; then the soul shall be brought forth by angels from her incomparable and easy bed, from her rest, in Christ's holy bosom, and be made perfect in her being, and in all her operations: and this shall first appear by that perfection, which the soul shall receive, as instrumental to the last judgment; for then she shall see clearly all the records of this world, all the register of her own memory for all that we did in this life is laid up in our memories; and though dust and forgetfulness be drawn upon them, yet when God shall lift us from our dust, then shall appear clearly all that we have done, written in the tables of our conscience, which is the soul's memory. We see many times, and in many instances, that a great memory is hindered and put out, and we, thirty years after, come to think of something that lay so long under a curtain; we think of it suddenly, and without a line of deduction, or proper consequence and all those famous memories of Simonides and Theodactes, of Hortensius and Seneca, of Sceptius, Metrodorus, and Carneades, of Cyneas the ambassador of Pyrrhus, are only the records better kept, and less disturbed by accident and disease: for even the memory of Herod's son of Athens, of Bathyllus, and the dullest person now alive, is so great, and by God made so sure a record of all that ever he did, that as soon as ever God shall but tune our instrument, and draw the curtains, and but light up the candle of immortality, there we shall find it all, there we shall see all, and the whole world shall see all; then we shall be made fit to converse with God after the manner of spirits, we shall be like to angels.

In the mean time, although upon the persuasion of the former discourse, it be highly probable that the souls of God's servants do live in a state of present blessedness, and in the exceeding joys of a certain expectation of the revelation of the day of the Lord, and the coming of Jesus; yet it will concern us only to secure our state by holy living, and leave the event to God, that (as St. Paul said) "whether present or absent, whether sleeping or waking," whether perceiving or perceiving not, we may be accepted of him;" that when we are banished this world, and from the light of the sun, we may not be expelled from God, and from the light of his countenance, but that, from our beds of sorrow, our souls may pass into the bosom of Christ,


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