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to the slaughter ; the rather that Satan, who useth all his art to fupport the hopes of the hypocrite, will do his utmost to mar the peace, and increase the fears of the saint. Finally, The bad frame of spirit, and ill condition, in which death fometimes seizeth a true Christian, may cause this perplexity. By his being in the state of grace, he is indeed always habitually prepared for death, and his dying fofily is insured ; but there is more requisite to his cctual preparation, and dying comfortably; his fpirit must be in good condition too.

Wherefore, there are three cases, in which death cannot but be every uncomfortable to a child of God. (1.) If it seize him at a time when the guilt of foine particular sin unrepented of, is lying on his conscience; and death comes on that very account, to take him out of the land of the living; as was the cause of many of the Corinthis: believers, 1 Cor. xi. 30. " For this caufe (narnely, of unworthy " communicating) many are weak and fickly among you, and many fieep." If a person is surprised with the approach of death, while lying under the guilt of some unpardoned sin, it cannot but caule a mighty confternation. (2) When death catches him napping. The mighty cry must be frightful to fleeping virgins. The man who lies in a ruinous house, and awakens not till the timber begins to crack, and the stones to drop down about his ears, may indeed get out of it safely, but not without fears of being cruhed by its fall. When a Christian has been going on in a course of fecurity and backsliding, and awakens not till death comes to his bed-fide; it is no marvel if he get a fearful awakening. Lastly, When he has lost sight of his saving interest in Christ, and cannot produce evidences of his title to heaven. It is hard to meet death without fome evidence of a tittle to eternal life at hand: hard to go through the dark valley without the candle of the Lord shining upon the head. It is a terrible adventure to launch out inte eternity, when a man can make no better of it, than a leap in the dark, not knowing where he shall light, whether in heaven or hell

. Nevertheless, the Itate of the saints, in their death, is always in itself hopeful. The presumptuous hopes of the ungolly, in their death, cånnot make their state hopeful; neither can the hopelesness of a faint make his state hopeless: for God judgeth according to the truth of the thing, not according to men's opinions about it. Howbeit the faints can no more be altogether without hope, than they can be altogether without faith. Their faith may be very weak, but it fails not; and their hope very low, yet they will, and do, hope to the end. Even while the godly seem to be carried away with the streams of doubts and fears; there remains still as much hope as determhes them to lay hold on the tree of life, that banks of the river. Jonah ii. 4. “ Then I said, I am caft out of thy “ fight: yet I will look again towards thy holy temple.

USE. This speaks comfort to the godly againlt the fear of death. A godly man may be called a happy man, before his death; because, whatever befal him in life, he shall certainly be happy at death. You

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" are full of fears, and have lictle hope?” ANSW. It must be owned, chat saints de dor all die in one and the same manner; there is a diversity among them, as well as among the wicked; yet the worst case of a dying faint is indeed a hopeful one. Some die trium. phantly, in a full assurance of faith. 2 Tim. iv, 6. 16 The time of is my departure is at hand. ver. 7. I have fought a good fight, I " have finished my course, I have kept the faith. ver. 8. Hence“ forth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness." They get a taste of the joys of heaven, while here on earth; and begin the songs of Zion, while yet in a strange land. Others die in a solid fiducial dependence on their Lord and Saviour: though they cannot fing triumphantly, yet they can and will say confidently, The Lord is their God. Though they cannot triumph over death, with old Simeon, having Christ in his arms, and saying, “ Lord, now letreft “ thou thy fervant depart in peace, according to thy word. For * mine eyes have seen thy salvation,” Luke ij 29, 30. yet they can say with dying Jacob, I have waited for thy salvation, Lord.' Gen. xlix. 18 His left hand is under their head to support them; though his right hand dorb not embrace them : they firmly believe, though they are not filled with joy in believing. They can plead the covenani, and hang by the promise, although their house is not so with God, as they could wint. But the dying-day of some faints may be like that day inentioned. Zech. xiv. 7. Not day, nor night. They may die under great doubcs and fearri ferring as it were, in a cloud, and going to heaven in a mist. They may go mourning without the sun, and never put off iheir spirit of heaviness, till death ftrip them of it. They may be carried to heaven through the con. fines of hell; and may be pursued by the devouring lion, even to the very gates of the new Jerufalemn; and may be compared to a Thip almolt'wrecked in sight of the harbour, which yet gets safe into her port, : Cor. iii. 15. " If any man's works thall be burnt,

che shall fuffer loss: but he himself shall be saved, yet so as by “ fire." There is safety amidst their fears, but danger in the wicked's firongeft confidence; and there is a blessed seed of gladnefs in their greatest forrows, " Light is sown for the righteous, and 66 gladness for the upright in heart," Píal. xcvii. u.

Now, saints are liable to such perplexity in their death, because, though they be Chriftians indeed, yet they are men of alike. paffions with others; and death is a frightful object in itself, whatever dress it appear in the stern countenance, with which it looks at mortals, can hardly miss of causing them thrink. Moreover, the saints are of all men the most jealous of themselves. They think of eternity, and of a tribunal, more deeply than others do : with them, it is a more serious thing to die than the rest of mankind are aware of. They know the decits of the heart, the fubtilities of depraved human nature, better than others do. And therefore they may have much ado to keep up hope on a death.bed : while others pass off quietly, like sheep

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to the slaughter ; the rather that Satan, who useth all his art to fupport the hopes of the hypocrite, will do his utmoft to mar the peace, and increase the fears of the saint. Firally, The bad frame of spirit, and ill condition, in which death sometimes seizeth a true Christian,

may cause this perplexity. By his being in the state of grace, he is - indeed always habitually prepared for death, and his dying forfily is

insured; but there is more requisite to his octual preparation, and dying comfortably; his fpirit must be in good condition too.

Wherefore, there are thrée cases, in which death cannot but be fvery uncomfortable to a child of God (1.) If it seize him at a time when the guilt of foine particular sin unrepented of, is lying on his conscience; and death comes on that very account, to take him out of the land of the living ; as was the cause of many of the Carinthi :n believers, 1 Cor. xi. 30. “ For this cause (namely, of unworthy * communicating) many are weak and fickly among you, and many sleep." If a person is surprised with the approach of death, while lying under the guilt of some unpardoned sin, it cannot but cause a mighty confternation. (2) When death catches him napping. The mighty cry must be frightful to fleeping virgins. The man who lies in a ruinous house, and awakens not till the timber begins to crack, and the stones to drop down about his ears, may indeed

get out of it safely, but not without fears of being crushed by its fall. When a Christian has been going on in a course of security and backsliding, and awakens not till death comes to his bed-side; it is no marvel if he get a fearful awakening. Lastly, When he has lost light of his saving interest

' in Christ, and cannot produce evidences of his title to heaven. It is hard to meet death without fome evidence of a tittle to eternal life at hand: hard to go through the dark valley without the candle of the Lord shining upon the head. It is a terrible adventure to launch out into eternity, when a man can make no better of it, than a leap in the dark, not knowing where he'fhail light, whether in heaven or hell.

Nevertheless, the state of the saints, in their death, is always in itself hopeful. The presumptuous hopes of the ungoilly, in their death, cannot make their state hopeful; neither can the hopelesness of a faint make his state hopeless: for God judgeth according to the truth of the thing, not according to men's opinions about it. Howbeit the faints can no more be altogether without hope, than they can be altogether without faith. Their faith may be very weak, but it fails not; and their hope very low, yet they will, and do, hope to the end. Even while the godly seem to be carried away with the streams of doubts and fears; there remains still as much hope as determiies them to lay hold on the tree of life, that grows banks of the river: Jonah ii. 4." Then I said, I am cast out of thy “ fight: yet I will look again towards thy holy temple."

USE. This speaks comfort to the godly against the fear of death. A godly man may be called a happy inan, before his death; because, whatever befal him in life, he shall certainly be happy at death. You

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who are in Christ, who are true Christians, have hope in your end; and such hope as may comfort you against all those fears, which arise from the consideration of a dying hour. This I shall branch out, in answering some cases briefly.

CASE I. The prospect of death (will fome of the saints say) is uneasy to me, not knowing what shall become of my family, when I am gone. ANSW. The righteous hath hope in his death, as to his family, as we as to himself. Altho' you have little for the present, to live upon; which has been the case of many of God's chosen ones, 1 Cor. iv. it. We (namely the Apostles, ver. 9.) both hunger and thirst, and are naked, and are buffeted, and have no certain dwelling-place: and tho'

you have nothing to leave them, as was the case of that son of the prophet's, who did fear the Lord, and yet died in debt which he was unable to pay; as his poor widow represents, 2 Kings iv. I. yet you have a good friend to leave them too; a covenanted God, to whom you may confidently commit them, Jer. xlix. II. “Leave thy father“ leis children, I will preserve them alive, and let thy widows trust in « me.” The world can bear witness of signal settlements made upon the children of providence; such as by their pious parents have been cast

upon God's providential care. It has been often remarked that they wanted neither provision nor education. Mofes is an eminent instance of this. He, albeit he was an outcast infant, (Exod. ii. 3.) yet was learned in all the wisdom of the Egyprians, Acts vii. 22. and became king in Jesurum, Deut.xxxiii. 5. O! may we not be ashamed, that we do not securely trust him with the concerns of our families, to whoin, as our Saviour and Redeemer, we have committed our eternal interests!

CASE II. “ Death will take us away from our dear friends ; yea,

we Thall not see the Lord in the land of the living, in the blessed “ ordinances.” Answ. It will take you to your best friend, the Lord Christ. And the friends you leave behind you, if they be indeed perfons of worth, you will ineet them again, when they coaie to heaven: and

you will never be separated any more. If death take you -away from the temple below, it will carry you to the temple above. It will indeed take you froin the streams, but it will let you down by the fountain. If it put out your candle, it will carry you where there is no night, where there is an eternal day.

CASE III.“ I have so much ado, in time of health, to satisfy my« felf, as to my inzerest in Christ, about my being a real Christian, " a regenerate man; that I judge, it is almost impossible I thould die

comfortably.” Answ. If it is thus with you, then double your diligence, to make your calling and election fure. Endeavour to grow in knowledge, and walk clofely with God; be diligent in self-examination; and pray earnestly for the Holy Spirit, whereby you may know the things freely given you of God. If you are enabled by the power and Spirit of Christ

, thus diligently to prosecute your spiritual concerns ; though the time of your life be neither day or night, yet at evening

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time, it may be light. Many weak Christians indulge doubts and fears about their spiritual state, as if they placed, at least, some part of religion in this impudent practice : but: towards the period of life, they are forced to think and act in another manner. The traveller, who reckons he has time to spare, may stand still debating with himself, whether this or the other be the right way; but when the fun begins to fet, he is foreed to lay aside his fcruples, and resolutely to go forward on the road he judges to be the right one, left he ly all night in the open fields. Thus some Chriftians, who perplex themselves much, throughout the course of their lives, with jealous doubts and fears, content themselves, when they come to die, with such evidences of the safety of their state, as they could not be satisfied with before ; and, by disputing less against themselves, and believing more, court the peace they formerly rejected, and gain it too.

CASE IV. “ I am under a fad decay, in respect of my spiritual "condition.” ANSW. Bodily consumptions may make death easy; but it is not so in spiritual decays. I will not say, that a godly man cannot be in such a case, when he dies; but I believe it is rarely fo. Ordinarily (I suppose) a cry comes to awaken sleepy virgins before death come.

Samson is set to grind in the prison, until his locks grow again. David and Solomon fell under great spiritual decays; but, before they died, they recovered their spiritual strength and vigour. However, bestir ye yourselves without delay, to strengthen the things that remain: your fright will be the less, that ye awake from fpiritual sleep, ere death come to your bed-side: and your ought to lose no time, seeing you know not how soon death

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seize you. CASE V. “ It is terrible to think of the other world, that world " of spirits which I have so little acquaintance with.” ANSW. Thy best friend is Lord of that other world. Abraham's bofom is kindly, even to these who never saw his face. After death thy soul becomes capable of converse with the blessed inhabitants of that other world, The spirits of just men made perfect were once such as thy spirit now And as for the angels, howsoever they be of a superior nature in the rank of beings, yet our nature is dignified above theirs, in the man Christ: and they are, all of them, thy Lord's servants, and so thy fellow-fervants.

CASE VI. “ The pangs of death are terrible.” Answ. Yet not fo terrible as pangs of conscience, caufed by a piercing sense of guilt, and apprehensions of divine wrath, with which, I suppose thee to be not altogether unacquainted. But who would not endure bodily fickness, that the soul may become found, and every whit whole? Each pang of death will fet sin a step nearer the door; and with the last breath, the body of sin will breath out its last. The pains of death will not last long; and the Lord thy God will not leave, but fupport thee, under them.

CASE VII. “ But I am like to be cut off in the inidst of my days." ANSW. Do not complain, you will be the sooner at home : you have

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