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Moſes his Death: Opened and applyed, IN A SERMON At Chriſt-Church in London, De­cemb. 23. MDCLVI. AT THE FUNERAL OF Mr. Edward Bright, M. A. Fellow of Emmanuel Colledge in Cambridge, and Miniſter of the Goſpel there.

By Samuel Jacombe M. A. Fellow of Queens Colledge in Cambridge, and Paſtor of Mary Woolnoth, Lumbardſtreet, London.

With ſome ELEGIES.

Nec unquam magnis ingeniis cara in corpore mora eſt. Exire at­querumpere geſtiunt: Aegrè has auguſtias ferunt, Vagi per omne ſublime et ex alto aſſueti, humana deſpicere. Inde est quod Plate clamat Sapientis animum totum in mortem promi­nere, hoc velle, hoc meditari, hac ſimper cupidine ferri, in ex­teriora tendentem.

Seneca lib. de Conſol. ad Martiam, c. 23.

London, Printed for Adoniram Byfield, at the Bible in Popes­head Alley neer Lumbardſtreet. 1657.

To the Reverend and Learned WILLIAM DILLINGHAM, D. D. Mr. of Emmanuel COLLEDGE in CAMBRIDGE. And to the Fellows of that Religious Foundation.


HE whoſe memory is a faithful Regiſter of former practice, and whoſe judge­ment doth not much miſcarry in his obſervation of preſent experience, will as eaſily acknowledge this truth as I can propoſe it, viz. That men of noble and gallant ſpirits, able to ſcorn injuries, bravely to conquer, yea to revenge themſelves upon the baſe attempts of malice, by not vouchſafing ſo much as to take notice of them; yea men whoſe magnanimity is heightened by danger, and their courage increaſeth with it; that theſe generous mindes, have been diſconſolate at the abſence of a friend, have been male-contented at the death of a beloved rela­tion. Hee who could not bee aſtoniſhed by Hectors va­lour, nor his attendants rage; yet when the news comes that his friend Patroclus is dead, it is then ſaid. 〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, &c. Iliad. 6.6.Sorrow like a thick cloud ſate upon his countenance, and obſcured thoſe ſparkling rayes which uſed to come from it. The victorious David that trembled not to ſee Goliah, but with undaunted reſolution, though a young ſtripling, ſets upon him; yet Jonathans death, makes him ſay, I am diſtreſſed,2 Sam. 1.29. when hee was grown elder, and had more ex­perience of Gods preſence with him.

The Holy Jeſus, that great exemplar of piety, who al­wayes ſubmitted to his Fathers will, and therefore could not bee obnoxious to the corroding thoughts of diſcon­tent, yet by his practice, ſhewed how much our nature was liable to bee afflicted with the loſs of Friends, for hee who wept but twice (that I remember) wept once for impeni­tent Jeruſalem,Joh. 11.33, 35. dead in ſins and treſpaſſes, and another time when the beloved Lazarus lay in the grave, and the cho­rus of mourners came lamenting him.

Nature it ſeems quickly opens the flood-gates, the in­genuity of Chriſtianity allows a ſerious ſenſe of the preſence and abſence of a reall friend; true goodneſs promotes com­paſſion, 〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, the great skill is to moderate the paſſion, that the ſtream may keep within the channel, and not over-flow the banks: I hope all you, by your piety and prudence ſecured your ſelves from diſcontent, when you heard of the ſickneſs and death of our dear and truly honouréd Friend. But I for my part muſt confeſs, that few Providences in my life, have hither­to been made ſuch arguments to it, by the tempter to mee, as this was; and becauſe it is poſſible, that ſome in your Famous Univerſity, might feel the ſame diſeaſe with my ſelf, I ſhall make bold to tell you (I am ſure I ſpeak to my Friends) the courſe I took for my Cure.

The Dictate of the Imperious Stoick, ſoon came into my minde, Non ſentire mala non eſt hominis, non ferre, non eſt viri, Not to feel an evil, ſpeaks no humanity, not to bear it, ſpeaks no man-hood.

This I thought was ſoon ſaid, but all his arguments (though I deny not their uſefulneſs) yet were too ſhort to bring mee to that manly, I will rather ſay that Chriſtian〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, peace and tranquillity which I deſired: Two things I found〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, that had the true vertue of Nepenthe in them; partly awing mee, and commanding down impetuous tumults; partly relieving, and refreſhing mee in my combate with them.

The firſt of them was the command of our Saviour to his Diſciples, Let not your heart be troubled. Joh. 14.1.When I conſi­dered the occaſion of it, the command was ſtrange, but the ſtranger it appeared at firſt ſight, the more emphatical and remarkable it was. The great evidence of Gods love to man was now withdrawing; the Prince of life was to ſuffer death. He whoſe preſence animated the poor Diſciples, as the Generals doth the unskilful Souldiers; Hee whoſe Miracles kept them from contempt. Hee for whom they had for­ſaken Father and Mother, goods and lands. Hee who asked them moſt pathetically when others forſook him, Will yee alſo go away? Hee is now leaving them,John 6. will go away himſelf, and yet hee ſaith, Let not your heart bee troubled.

I from hence concluded, that if I had been in the Diſ­ciples caſe, I ſhould have ſeen more reaſon for diſcontent than now I do: And if it was not lawful at the farewel of the bleſſed Jeſus, it could never bee lawful.

Whilſt I thus ſtated my duty, I found ſomething re­freſhing mee, and it was nothing elſe that ſatisfied mee, but that which was the occaſion of the grief of the Diſciples, and of all good men before them, and ſince: (viz.) That Chriſt dyed,Thus the wiſe God can make uſe of this ſad providence to ſatisfie under another. and all the holy men that lived before him, and all that had given up themſelves to him as his ſervants ſince his coming into the world: For I conſi­dered there was no reaſon why God ſhould work Mi­racles for my ſake, and ſince ſo many were dead, that I knew were the love and delight of God; I concluded death could not bee to a good mans loſs; and ſince I ſaw God had provided for the world, notwithſtanding the death of ſo many uſeful perſons thus long; I concluded hee could ſtill, and if for the world, and the Church, ſure hee could for my peace and comfort.

Whilſt I concocted theſe meditations, and ſurveyed the examples recorded in Scripture. None ſooner came into my thoughts, than Moſes, who by his Country man is truly called〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, and the Heathen not at all miſtaken, when hee ſaid,〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, Philo Judaeus. lib. 1. Longinus.a man not of the ordinary rank, but rarely accompliſhed, of whom God himſelf gives moſt full teſtimony. His death in the Wildernſs, when one would have thought his life might with much confi­dence have been expected,〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉. Diadorus Sic. lib. ult. made mee thinke a diſcourſe on it, was pertinent to the preſent occaſion, and would tend both to awaken ſome, and ſatisfie all others that were perplexed at the death of our Friend, ſo ſuddenly upon his coming hither, and entring on the Miniſtry in this City.

This Diſcourſe, ſuch as it is, is yours, and though there are many things in it, that will need your pardon, and a ſecond reading makes mee obſerve more Errata's in my own copy,Nam & mihi prope ſemper ſermo meus diſ­plicet. Auguſt de Ca­techiz. rudi­bus. cap. 2. than in the Preſs; yet becauſe I know it is next to impoſſible for mee to pleaſe my ſelf; and becauſe I know it will bee welcome for his ſake, whoſe death was the oc­caſion of it, I preſent it to you, with confidence of your ac­ceptance.

The Almighty God bleſs your Society: Make your Col­ledge a Nurſery of Religion and Learning: Sanctifie this pro­vidence to us all, convince us by it, more fully of the vanity of all things,Quod cuiquam conting it, cui­vis poteſt. yea of learning, that moſt curious peece of vanity, make us to provide for ſickneſs and death; Make us thankful for life, health, the uſe of reaſon, and underſtanding, care­fully to improve all for the glory of God, that wee may dye with the teſtimony of a good conſcience, and the love of good men, yea of God himſelf.

So prayeth Your moſt real Servant, Sam. Jacomb.

TO The Inhabitants of Chriſt-Church Pa­riſh, LONDON.

IF the care of a moſt compaſsionate,Dr. Cox and in­genious Phyſitian: If the prayers of good men in this City, and in the Univerſity, had been ſufficient preſervatives againſt the aſſault of death, there had been no occaſion for the preaching, or publiſhing of this Ser­mon: That I ſhould preach at his Funeral was his requeſt, to whom I might lawfully deny nothing: that I ſhould publiſh it, is the requeſt of his Friends, whom I heartily reſpect, whom I was the more induced to gratifie, that I might have an oppor­tunity to tell you what thanks my dead Friend had for all the expreſsions of your love to him; how deeply hee reſented them, and how much reſolved hee was to teſtifie his thankfulneſs by a ſerious and conſcientious care of your ſouls.

I am confident you cannot eaſily forget him; I beſeech you, let his memory put you in minde of theſe two things.

1 Of the vanity of all the world: Alas you ſee all the joyes of this world are not big enough to counterpoiſe the trouble of one diſeaſe; you cannot with all your eſtates buy a faithful friend: and when you have him, you cannot keep him from the ſtroke of death: nay, you cannot (Nebuchadnezzar a grea­ter man than any of you, could not) keep out one melancholly fan­cy: was any of you great as the Roman Caeſar; beloved like Titus, wiſe as Solomon, learned as the beſt Philoſopher; yet you could not tame the rebellion of one pertinacious humour, nor preſerve that which is as dear to you as life.

2 Look after a better world ſeriouſly, and to that end bee ſure to prize the next conſcientious Miniſter God ſhall give you: To preſſe you to more care in your choice would bee ſuper­fluous, ſince I am not ignorant how ſolicitous you have been already. I hope hee upon whom you have pitched your thoughts, will accept that charge: and if hee do, I can eaſily bee confi­dent, hee will bee a great bleſſing to you: but when you have him, or any other faithful preacher of the Goſpel; then remem­ber what reaſon you have to profit by every pious Sermon, when you know not but that your next Miniſter may bee taken as ſuddenly from you as Mr. Bright; but this duty with di­verſe others are at large preſſed in the Sermon it ſelf: I have nothing to deſire of you, but this, if you forget Mr. Bright, re­member the welfare of your immortal ſouls, that Chriſt may ſee the fruit of the travel of his ſoul in you, and may bee ſa­tisfied; that the godly Miniſters you have had, or ſhall have, may rejoyce in the day of Chriſt, that they have not run in vain, nor laboured in vain; this is his requeſt to you, who is

Your Servants for Jeſus ſake Samuel Jacombe.


THe ingenuity of a Scholler will either not take notice of, or eaſily pardon the miſtakes of the Preſſe, in accenting Greek words; as〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉for〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, p. 1. and in theſe words themſelves, captius, p. 21. Marg. for captivus. Antonio p. 26. Marg. for Antonino. 〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉p. 4. for〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉p. 47. for〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, &c. The miſtakes which prejudice the ſenſe are; And p. 12. l. 4. for An. Grace p. 26. l. 18. for Grave.


Joſhua 1.2. Moſes my Servant is dead.

SAd News: But may it not bee hoped, that hee, who in his infancy was mi­raculouſly preſerved in an Ark of Bulruſhes; and therefore called Moſes,n = "a" Exod. 2.10 Hanc nomi­nis rationem aſ­ſignant tum illi qui verbum volunt eſſe Aegyptium, ex〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉aquâ &〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉ſervatus factum. Sic Philo. Jud. Joſephus. Cl. Alex. Tum illi qui ex Hebrae〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉derivatū volunt quod verbum nun­quam uſurpati niſi de educti­one ex aquis, obſervat. Bochartus. v. 2 Sam. 22.17. Iſa. 63.11. becauſe drawn out of the water: And hee, who once was abſent forty dayes, and forty nights, and the Iſraelites ſaid,n = "b" Exod. 32.1. As for this Moſes, the man that brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we wot not what is become of him; Yet hee deſcended from the Mount with his face ſhining, and brought excellent Laws for the Jewiſh Nation, and eſtabliſhed a〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, n = "c" Joſeph. Cont. Apion.a Divine Government amongſt them: May it not bee hoped, that a third provi­dence equally miraculous attends him, and that once more his preſence may ſcatter theſe fears of his death, as the riſing Sun doth the foggy vapours? Never did the poor He­brews need him more, they were yet in the Wilderneſs, had Jordan to paſs over, the Canaanites to conquer: And will the compaſſionate God take away the Nurſe before the childe can go alone? Will it bee a crime then to queſtion that intelligence, it will, if you conſider who is the Intelligencer, viz. God himſelf, for ſo it is ſaid, verſ. 1. The Lord ſpake to Joſhua, ſaying, Moſes my Servant is dead.

2But if the Sun bee ſet, and work bee yet to bee done, a candle muſt bee lighted. If Moſes Gods Servant, bee not here, then Joſhua who was Moſes ſervant ſhall ariſe, and lead the people over Jordan, no Parentheſis put in by God, ſhall ſpoyl the ſenſe of what hee was ſpeaking: his gracious providences may, like ſome Rivers, run on a ſudden under ground, but by and by they appear again, and the ſwelling torrent pleaſeth and refreſheth him who ſees it: Iſrael muſt take poſſeſſion of the promiſed Land, and ſince it cannot bee done by the hand of Moſes, it ſhall by the hand of Joſhua, Moſes my Servant is dead, now there­fore ariſe,Verſ 2. go over this Jordan, thou and all this people unto the Land which I do give unto them.

That is the Context.

The Text it ſelf preſents to us,

  • 1 Moſes his relation; and God owning him in it, A Servant: My Servant.
  • 2 Moſes his preſent condition: Moſes my Servant is dead.

A tranſient view ſhall ſerve for the firſt part of the Text, the latter wee muſt longer gaze on; for wee are not now conſidering Moſes going up to Mount Sinai to receive Gods Oracles, and coming down with his face ſhining; but wee are conſidering him as gone up to Piſgah to view the promiſed Land, and dye there: And therefore three or four Concluſions ſhall contain what at preſent ſhall bee ſaid on the relation wherein Moſes ſtood to God. Deut. 34.1.6.

Moſes my Servant.

Conclu. 1. The proper notion of a ſervant is to bee uſed at the pleaſure of another. What a ſer­vant is. Laert, in vita Zen. Ariſt. 1. polit. c. 9.Zeno well defined liberty,〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉: And Cicero to the ſame purpoſe, in Paradox. Eſt poteſtas vivendi ut velis, a power of living and acting at a mans own pleaſure: The true notion of ſervitude which is oppoſed to liberty, muſt therefore bee this, To bee de­termined to act, or not to act at the command and will of ſome other. See Juſtinians Inſtunt. l. 1. Tit. 3.The Philoſopher hath no leſs ingeniouſly, than truly defined a ſervant,〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, a living in­ſtrument. And the Centurion in the Goſpel deſcribed a ſer­vant3 to the life, when hee ſaid of him, I ſay, Go, and hee goeth, Come and he cometh: All that wee have ſaid in this Concluſion, is aſſerted by the Apoſtle, Know yee not that to whom yee yeeld your ſelves ſervants to obey,Rom. 6.16. his ſervants yee are to whom yee obey? and is implied in our Saviours words, Whoſoever committeth ſin, is the ſervant of ſin. Joh. 8.34.

Conclu. 2. The uſe of any perſon at pleaſure, or obedience from him, can no further bee demanded, than there is right and title to him, and it: That the difference of right and title doth alter the caſe as to the power of uſe,A ſervant hath no right to himſelf. is palpably evi­dent from this one inſtance: Hee that holds Lands in Fee-ſimple, hath power to alienate, ſell, or let them to whom hee will; hee which is a Tenant, and only rents thoſe lands, hath the fruits that grow upon them, as intirely his, and will diſpoſe of them without controle, but either give away, or ſell a foot of the Soil hee dare not, becauſe that is the Landlords. The common maxime amongſt Civilians, is, Servus non eſt ſui juris, a ſervant ſo far as hee is a ſervant, hath no right to himſelf: yet Maſters had not equal title to all ſervants; for amongſt the Heathen, thoſe whom they took captive (and called mancipia quaſimanu capti) them they made account they could ſell, and diſpoſe of,Juſtin. Inſt. ut ſupra. as wee of lands that are our own inheritance; thoſe whom they hired, they could diſpoſe of, as wee of land rented (i.e.) They thought they had right to the perſons of the former, but to the acti­ons only of the latter.

Conclu. 3. God alone hath an univerſal right to all that any creature, is, hath, or can bee done by it: And therefore the Apoſtle hath moſt properly joyned theſe two together,Act. 27.23. Whoſe I am, and whom I ſerve, by reaſon of that ſhort and imperfect title which one creature hath to another. The ſame Apoſtle argues excellently,Seneca Ep. 47. Servi ſunt imo homines; Servi imo Conſervi. In mancipio Cogitandum quantum per­mittir aequi bo­nique naturalib. de Clem. Col. 4.1. That Maſters ſhould give to their ſervants that which is juſt and equal, be­cauſe they alſo have a Maſter in heaven. Which notion I finde urged by the Maſters of Moral Philoſophy among the heathen, who put us in minde, that though they bee ſer­vants, yet they are men; and that wee and they too are ſer­vants together of the ſupreme Deity. And howſoever the world hath neglected this great truth in their practiſe. Yet4 the beauty of it hath ſo far enamoured all perſons that they have rather choſe to bee called Patres-familias,Gratius eſt no­men pictatis quam poteſta­tis. fathers of all their Family, quam Domini, than Lords or Maſters, as Tertullian hath obſerved to my hands.

Amongſt the Romans, it was lawful, if any ſervant was miſ-uſed, to flye to the Statues of their gods, whereby it was an acknowledged caſe,Grot. de Jure. Bel. & Paci. lib. 3. that Maſters had not full and ab­ſolute Dominion. In the Jewiſh Politie God ordained, Ex. 21.26, 27. If a man ſmite the eye of his ſervant that it periſh, or ſmite out his tooth, that hee ſhould let him go free for it.

Amongſt other famous inſtances of moſt remarkable and imitable piety, wherewith the 31. Chapter of Job is filled,Job 31.13. wee finde this for one, verſ. 13. that that holy man did not deſpiſe the cauſe of his Man-ſervant, nor of his Maid-ſervant, when they contended with him. O rare ex­ample of incomparable humility! hee who had ſo much authority, that before him Princes refrained talking, and laid their hand on their mouth. The Nobles held their peace, and their tongue cleaved to the roof of their mouth:Job 29.9, 10. Yet hee ſecured his humility as well as his Majeſty; of which this is ſufficient evidence, that hee did not deſpiſe the cauſe of his meaneſt ſervant;In caetu princi­pum memor regiminis, in ceitamine fi­mulorum me­mor conditio­nis, Gregor. Mag. in 31. c. Job 17. his reaſon for this noble practiſe is unanſwerable, and pertinent to our purpoſe, verſ. 14, 15. What then ſhall I do when God riſeth up, and when hee viſiteth, what ſhall I an­ſwer him? Did not hee that made mee in the womb, make him? And did not one faſhion us in the womb?

But though the title which one creature hath to another, bee imperfect, as wee have demonſtrated, yet Gods is full, compleat, perfect, abſolute; His wee all are by Creation: Hee made us, not wee our ſelves: Wee are, as the Pſalmiſt phraſeth it,Pſ. 100. Pſalm. 95.7. The ſheep of his hand. No Shep­herd makes their ſheep, as this heavenly Shepherd doth, as St. Auſtin paraphraſeth upon that Text: His wee are, not only by Creation, but Preſervation, which is Creation every moment in a new edition: His wee are by Redemption, by vertue whereof, all his Saints ſhall when the day of glory dawns, come out of his hand as a curious volume which Angels ſhall read with admiration, wherein there ſhall bee no blot, no Errata, though they were whilſt in the Devils5 hands as a copy ſpoyled, that nothing almoſt could bee ſeen in them that was imprinted; when the prime and Ma­ſter-piece of Gods Workmanſhip came into the world: Upon this laſt foundation of Divine right, the Apoſtle concludes, Wee are not our own,1 Cor. 6. for wee are bought with a price.

I have inſiſted the more largely upon this Concluſion, not only becauſe the whole ſuperſtructure of Worſhip is built upon it, but becauſe it is peculiarly uſeful.

  • 1 To Maſters, and all in Authority, that they impoſe no other commands on thoſe under them, and behave themſelves no otherwiſe towards the meaneſt ſervant, than the ſupreme Lord will allow of.
  • 2 That all who are under ſubjection, and are diligent obſervers of the pleaſure of thoſe who are above them, would remember, that they owe more to God, than to any creature, and that his ſervice never muſt bee neg­lected.

Therfore God ought to bee ſerved.Conclu. 4. Since God alone hath a ſovereign and pecu­liar right to all his creatures, it follows naturally, that all Angels and men, ought freely and voluntarily to pay that homage, to do thoſe acts of obedience, to perform that ſer­vice which is due to him. Our Saviours maxime, ſhould bee evermore before our eyes, as the Jewiſh Phy­lacteries were before theirs, Thou ſhalt worſhip the Lord thy God, and him only ſhalt thou ſerve. Mat. 4.10.The unhappy Jeſuite, who in moſt of his notions is like the horſe-leech, ſucking the worſt blood, and leaving the beſt behinde, might if fond prejudice would have given him leave, have under­ſtood enough from this place, to have abhorred the do­ctrine of Saint-worſhip: For hee might eaſily obſerve that our Saviour refuſeth not to worſhip the Devil, becauſe hee was Gods enemy, becauſe a Rebel, becauſe an Apoſtate, but becauſe hee was not God; for his anſwer is framed, as an univerſal deciding of this caſe, that religious worſhip is due to God alone; and therefore the holy Angel refuſed it upon this account; See thou do it not,Rev. 19 10. I am thy fellow-ſervant.

Let that which is Caeſars bee given to Caeſar; thoſe teſti­monies6 of honour and reſpect which wee owe to creatures, let them have it, but that which is Gods, let it bee given to God; who ſince hee hath a peculiar right, ought to have a peculiar ſervice; for ſo wee are taught by the examples of all pious, and underſtanding perſons mentioned in holy Writ, the Holy Jeſus ſaid, It was his meat and drink to do his Fathers will; and though hee fulfilled the Law, and might by vertue thereof have demanded life (for the Law ſaith, Do this and live) yet hee became obedient to the death, and ſpoke words never to bee forgotten, Father, not my will, but thine bee done.

Abraham is called Gods ſervant, Gen. 26.24. as a faith­full ſervant hee followed his heavenly Maſter whitherſo­ever hee pleaſed; and therefore it is ſaid, Iſa. 41.2. That God called him to his foot, that which is in the Hebrew〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉righteouſneſs; wee well tranſlate the righteous man, for the following words that ſpeak of a perſon, juſtifie that Tranſlation; and the Chaldee Paraphraſe tells us, who the perſon was, which is plainly intimated by the Context. 〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉Abrahamum electum juſtum. Abraham that choice and famous man for righteouſneſs, God ſaid no more but this, Go to a place that I ſhall ſhew thee, leave thy Country, and thy friends: Hee is obedient, fol­lows his Maſter ſtep by ſtep,〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉. Homer. whitherſoever hee leads him.

I muſt confeſs Moſes Gods ſervant in the Text, was at firſt unwilling to go about the work God called him to, yet not becauſe hee was unwilling to do God ſervice, but be­cauſe hee thought himſelf unfit for it; yet I cannot think him ſo unwilling, as ſome incautelous Reader may perhaps gueſs hee was at firſt ſight of thoſe words, recorded in Exod. 4.13. And hee ſaid, O my Lord, ſend I pray thee, by the hand of him whom thou wilt ſend; Which to a vulgar Engliſh eare, ſounds as if hee ſhould ſay, O Lord, ſend whom thou wilt, I will not go about this errand; I rather think as a very learned man hath obſerved to my hand, that hee deſired God to ſend by the Meſſiah, that7 excellent Meſſenger whom hee had promiſed to the loſt world: For the common name of the Meſſiah among the Jews, as the New Teſtament informs us was,〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉Hee that was to come, Mat. 11.3. and he who was to bee ſent, by which notion Johns expreſſion may be underſtood, Joh. 3.34. For hee whom God hath ſent ſpeaketh the words of God. John was Gods Meſſenger, yet hee utterly diſclaimes this title of being that perſon whom God hath ſent, which hee could not have done had it not been peculiar to the Meſſiah;The Syriack, Arabick, and Samaritan verſions. Quem miſlurus es. the meaning therefore of Moſes his words ſeems to bee, Lord I know thou haſt promiſed to ſend an authentick Meſſenger into the world, one that ſhall ſpeak as never man ſpake, I beſeech thee at this time ſend him on this great Errand to Pharaoh for the deliverance of thy people Iſrael: I am the more inclined to this interpretation, be­cauſe I yet ſee nothing in our Modern Commentators that oppoſe it, which ſhould weigh down the ſcales againſt the judgement of the Ancients: But whether hee did parti­cularly eye the Meſſiah or not, or whether hee left the per­ſon to bee indifferently at Gods choice, ſo hee might bee ex­cuſed himſelf; It is certain it was his fault to diſpute ſo long againſt Gods call; For which God was angry, verſ. 14. Yet his modeſt intreaty, verſ. 13. O my Lord, I pray thee, makes it to mee evident, that this unwillingneſs aroſe not from perverſneſs of ſpirit, but a deep ſenſe of his inability: But wee finde ſometimes that a tree ſhaken by the wind roots it ſelf the faſter, and broken bones well ſet, grow ſtronger, and they who go backwards, leap the further for it: Moſes when once hee accepts Gods imployment (ha­ving bafled the great temptation at the firſt undertaking) hee doth his work with courage, and afterwards receives Gods teſtimony, that Moſes his ſervant was faithful in all his houſe. Heb. 3.5.

God owns Mo­ſes in this rela­tion.For God uſeth to obſerve, and to own all that are in re­lation to him; Moſes my Servant; which was the ſecond thing wee took notice of in the firſt part of the Text; and had wee time to dwell upon it, it might bee of excel­lent uſe to conſider, that God hath not only minded them, and acknowledged them whileſt living, but hee hath evi­denced8 great reſpect to them when they are dead. The Iſraelites got many a bleſſing for Abrahams ſake; and it is remarkable, that when God conſiders himſelf, hee conſiders David too, 2 King. 19, 34. I will defend this City to ſave it for mine own ſake, and for my ſervant Davids ſake.

Oh rare encouragement to bee faithful to God! when it ſhall not only bee ſaid to us at death, Well done good and faithful ſervant, enter into thy Maſters joy: But for our ſakes alſo it ſhall go better with thoſe wee leave behinde us on earth. Children, Families, Countries, ſhall all partake of a bleſſing, out of Gods reſpect to us when wee are laid in the duſt, and they ſay of us, what the Jews ſaid of Abraham and Iſrael,Iſa. 63.16. That wee are ignorant of them, and acknowledge them not.

But if I ſhould ſtay here, I ſhould prevent my ſelf, in that which is moſt pertinent, both to the Text and the preſent occaſion: It is ſufficient that I have given you gold in the maſs, your meditation muſt beat it into leaf gold; and it may be I ſhall aſſiſt you, before I put a full period to this Diſcourſe.

The ſecond thing which the Text preſented to us, was Moſes preſent condition;Moſes condi­tion. Moſes my Servant is dead.

Faithful ſervice to God is no ſecurity from the common Law of Mortality:Note. Gods beſt ſervants are not perſons priviledged from the arreſt of this ſurly Serjeant.

Of the man Moſes it is ſaid, That hee was very meek above all the men which were upon the face of the earth;Numb. 12.3. Yet his meekneſs could not charm this adver­ſary.

Hee was admirably uſeful, and ſo is the Sun to the Traveller, and yet it ſets: Deaths ſithe makes no diſtincti­on betwixt wholeſome herbs, and ſtinking weeds.

Hee was a man of excellent Education, brought up in Pharaohs Court,Act. 7.21.22. hee was skilled in all the learning of the AEgyptians.

But China mettal, and Venice Glaſſes, are as ſoon, yea ſooner broken to peeces, than courſe pots: Pure com­plexions9 ſoon catch infectious diſeaſes. 〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉Philo, called the yong King. Exod. 11.3.Hee was a man of power and authority. The man Moſes was great in the land of Egypt; Yea hee was mighty in words, and in deeds: But hee that could work Miracles, to ſave or deſtroy others, can work none to ſave himſelf: The great Xerxes wept when all the ſtrength of his Army could not keep death out of their Quarters. A holy man hee was that choſe rather to ſuffer affliction with the people of God,Act 7.22. Deut. 34.12. No Prophet like him in all the terror which he ſhewed in the ſight of all Iſrael. Heb. 11. 〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉Philo. lib. 1. de vita Moſis Exod. 32.10. Verſ 14. than enjoy the pleaſures of ſin; But yet hee was a man, and a na­tural body will bee natural, when the ſoul is refined from the dregs of wickedneſs; and a ſick horſe will bee faint, and go heavily, and at length fall, though you ſhould ſet a better Rider on his back: Yea which is further remark­able, hee was a man whoſe prayers were prevalent with God for others; that when God was about to deſtroy the Iſraelites, hee ſaith to him, Let mee alone; and upon his in­terceſſion the Text ſaith, That the Lord repented of the evil which hee thought to do unto his people. Yet when this man comes to beg for his own life, yea when hee begs that hee may but live a little longer to enter the promiſed Land, yet God will not hear him.

If my memory fail mee not, it is the onely requeſt recorded in Scripture which God denied to grant him; after hee had accepted this ſervice of bringing the people out of Egypt.

Moſes was ſuch a man that God ſaith of him,Deu 34.10, 11 There aroſe not a Prophet ſince in Iſrael like unto Moſes, whom the Lord knew face to face, a man rarely accompliſhed;〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 will you know what is become of him? Moſes Gods ſer­vant is dead.

I ſhall give three Reaſons for it.

Reaſon 1. That God may ſhew the world how little hee ſtands in need of any creature; when God would puniſh the Aegyptians, hee doth not bring Earthquakes, not only Thunder and Lightnings, but Frogs, and ſwarms of Flyes,Exod. 8.16.18. the duſt of the Land is turned into Lice, and the Magi­cians that had done ſome thing greater, ſhall not bee able to do this: God makes the meaneſt things the greateſt10 ſcourges, and then much of himſelf is viſible: When God will break Nebuchadnezzars pride. Hee will not bring a Puiſſant Army to conquer him: Nor ſhake the fabrick of the world to amaze him;Quiautem dicit ſenſum libi redditum, oftendit non forman ſe amiſiſſe ſed mentem. Hiei on. in 4. Dan. v. 34. but when hee ſpeaks loftily, Is not this great Babylon that I have built for the houſe of the Kingdom,c. he doth but hear a few words, The Kingdome is departed from thee, and God lets a melancholy fancy pur­ſue him, and the great King is below the pooreſt man in all his Dominions. One would have thought if Moſes ſhould have delivered the people, it ſhould have been done whilſt hee was a favourite in Pharaohs Court. But hee muſt go into the Wilderneſs, and live forty years in Midian, indure hardſhip and miſery,Act. 7.30. 〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉Philo. loſe his favour in Aegypt, be­fore hee bee fit for God to make uſe of as a Deliverer. And when God hath ſent him, and hee hath wrought miracles, and carried the people through the Red Sea, they are ready to ſay, Exod. 32.1. It was Moſes that brought us up out of the Land of Egypt. But they ſhall ſee God needs him not. Joſhua one of his young men, that uſed in all his addreſſes to ſay, My Lord Moſes, Numb. 11.28. hee ſhall conduct them, and it ſhall bee evident God can bee with him as he was with Moſes: And ſure God is ſeen moſt when Daniel looks better with poor pulſe, than the reſt do with the Kings delicious fare.

The way to ſhorten the beſt mens lives, is for people to think they cannot live without them. The Sun never yet needed a Glow-worm; nor God a creature, as God ſometimes diſ­covers himſelf in his dealings with wicked men, that hee brings the miſchief upon them they feared, by the means they uſed to prevent it. Pharaoh fears the Iſraelites ſhould multiply, and bee mightier and greater than the Egyptians, and therefore hee will oppreſs them, Exod. 1.9, 10. Jero­boam fears that the hearts of the people will return to Reho­boam if they ſhould go up to Jeruſalem to offer ſacrifice, and therefore hee ſets up two golden Calves, 1 King. 12.27. The Jews are afraid, if they ſuffer Chriſt to proceed in his Doctrine, and Miracles, all would beleeve on him, and the Romans would come and take away their Kingdome: Theſe inſtances makes that truth evident which Solomon11 hath recorded, Prov. 10, 24. That which the wicked fears ſhall come upon him; yea, his own policy to prevent it, ſhall be the means to bring it, the Iſraelites increaſe the more for their affliction, Exod. 1.12. Jeroboams family is therefore rejected, 1 King. 14.8, 9, 10. The Jewes are deſtroyed by the Romans for crucifying Jeſus Chriſt: and have ever ſince continued the ſcorn of the world; ſo God in his dealing with his people in waies of mercy, chuſes not the means which they think moſt, but leaſt on: Gideous army is too great, a few ſhall do that work, Moſes is too much admi­red; Moſes ſhall die, that God may be more acknowledg­ed, and man leſſe; for it is our ſin and folly to aſcribe to Saul his thouſands, and to David his ten thouſands, but to God nothing at all.

Reaſ. 2. Moſes is dead. That God may ſhew what an extreme hatred and antipathy hee hath to ſin every where;Pſal. 106.32. even in a Moſes: If this meek man be provoked, and ſpeak unadviſedly with his lips, it ſhall go ill even with Moſes, Pſal. 106.32, 33. If the good man be paſsionate, and ſay, I am not able to hear all this people alone, it is too heavy for mee,Numb. 11.14 15. and if thou deal thus with mee, kill mee I pray thee out of hand. Moſes ſhall know that God can take him at his word, and another ſhall have the burden, and the honour too; yea, though hee be afterward earneſt for lite, and beg importu­nately that hee may enter into the promiſed Land, yet God will not be intreated: Wee little think, how much miſ­cheif wee do our ſelves, who may be any way publickly ſerviceable, to be at any time weary of the imployment God hath charged us with; eſpecially if the diſcontent ſhew it ſelf to others, for then the divine providence is ingaged to make it manifeſt, that hee can well enough be without ſuch muttering ſervants; and that it becomes us not to be too bold, or preſumptuous by the confidence we have in our former fidelity, or preſent uſefulneſſe. Let Jonah run away if he will, but a ſtorm ſhall follow him: For God will have all the world take notice, that hee hates ſin, becauſe it is. ſin, and not becauſe ſuch a perſon commits it.

If wee would obſerve, wee might eaſily perceive, how12 irreconcileable Gods hatred is to ſin. Adam was the prime peece of divine Art; the glory and honour of the viſible World; if hee ſin, hee ſhall die; and becauſe the diſhonour is great, anunavoidable neceſſity of death, ſhall bee the fad condition of all his poſterity. Wee read of none except­ed from the execution of this fatal ſentence but Enoch and Elijah: one would think that any conſidering minde, that ſhall ſee the tears of them that are in miſery, hear the groans of them that lye on ſick-beds; obſerve the ſighs of conſuming perſons, who decay by little and little, as a gar­ment that is Moth-eaten, or that ſhall ſurveigh the toſſings of men in feavers, who are never at reſt. God outs them off with pineing ſickneſſe, and as a Lion hee breaks their bones: I ſay, one would think, a very weak head, that will but ſe­riouſly conſider, might eaſily from thoſe premiſes con­clude, that ſin is a thing odious and abominable, and though God bee good, yet hee is not fond; for the righteous Lord loveth righteouſneſſe. Pſal. 11.7.

If this convince thee not ſufficiently; come nearer, and ſee how ſin like a noiſome carkaſſe. infects the air, and all that come near it, ſuffer for it; let a man bee openly wick­ed, and do high acts of baſeneſſe, and his relations, his children,Exod. 20.5. yea his childrens children ſhall ſmart for it; for God vſits the iniquity of the Fathers upon the children to the third and fourth Generation.

Epiphanius tells us that for three thouſand three hundred and thirty two years; there is not one example in Scripture of a Son that died before his Father: till Terahs time, whom he conceives to be a notorious Idolater; and of him it is ſaid Gen. 11.28. That Haran died before his Father Terah, in the Land of his nativity in Ur of the Chaldees: hee could not forget Abel, and therefore no queſtion hee intended only that they of whom it might properly bee ſaid, They died, not they who were killed ſhould come within the reach of this obſervation.

Hee that is not a very careleſſe reader of Scripture, cannot but grant, that if this Leproſie once break forth, no man knows whither it will ſpread: When Korah, Dathan,Numb. 18.30, 31. and Abiram ſin, the earth ſwallows them up, and13 their little children two, even all that appertained to them. Yet we muſt remember that a temporal evil brought upon the childe, as a puniſhment of the Father, may be a mercy to the childe, of which wee have a happy inſtance, 1 King. 14.13. that this childe came to the grave, was the great grief of Jeroboam, and yet the great bleſſing of the childe.Adams ſin made death certain, and when ſin grew grea­ter, than death which before crept like a Snail, began to come faſter, till it had brought the life of man, from a thouſand years long to ſeventy; and if any one was an open affronter of the Lawes of Heaven, the poor family, and the innocent infants found the thread of life cut aſunder for the Parents crime: Do you yet beleeve that God hates ſin? If you will ſee further, behold the holy God is no re­ſpecter of perſons; and it David murder Uriah, the ſword ſhall follow him; If Moſes be angry, and ſpeak unadviſed­ly, God is angry preſently, and Moſes ſhall die in the Wil­derneſs.

Reaſ. 3. Moſes is dead, that hee may bee rewarded for the faithfull ſervice he hath done already; ſin brought in death, but God hath made death to bring in glory: the dark room is an entry into the preſence chamber: It was a great rid­dle to fleſh and blood, but was perfectly diſcovered at Chriſts reſurrection, and aſcenſion; Out of the cater comes meat: Had Moſes lived, hee would have found that in every day there was ſomething of Autumn, as well as Spring; even in the face the moſt beautifull part of the bo­dy, is the ſink of the brain; It is better to bee in the mount with God, than to be troubled with the Idolatrous Iſrae­lites; hee cannot forget,Numb. 12.1. that even Aaron and Miriam ſpake againſt him.

Meekneſſe of ſpirit is one of the beſt Antidotes againſt ſuch miſchiefs from neer relations, but no man knows what trouble hee may finde from thoſe hee loves beſt, and whom hee hath ſerved moſt: If Moſes be blameleſſe himſelf, they will bee angry, becauſe of the Aethiopian Woman: Thus one relation produceth trouble from another: If his face ſhine, when hee comes down from the mount, the Iſraelites cannot bear it, hee muſt put a veil on; let the life bee careleſſe, and then hee ſcornes himſelf, or others may quickly ſcorn him; let it bee exemplary that a man ſhines as a light in the world, holding forth the word of life; it will be alwaies true, that ſore eyes cannot14 bear it. It is better to be with Angels, who alwaies-behold the face of God in Heaven: All things are yours, Life and Death:1 Cor. 3. ult. in life, good men do work; after death, they enter into joy; yea, into the joy of their Lord; they are glorified together, Rom. 8.17. Particeps eſt herilis gaudij. Grot. in Mat. 25.23.Here they ſerve, there they are ſerved, Luk. 12.37. Bleſſed are thoſe ſervants which waited for their Lord, whom at his comming, hee ſhall finde watching; Verily I ſay unto you, that hee ſhall girde himſelf, and make them ſit down to meat, and will come forth and ſerve them: Moſes cryed out paſsionately, Lord, ſhew mee thy glory; God will now anſwer that prayer,Honorem illis novum habebit atqueinſolitum Grctius. in loc. but then his deſire of life muſt be de­nyed, for no man can ſee my face, and live; upon which words Saint Auguſtine meditating, cryed out, Moriar Domine ut te videam, Let mee die Lord, that I may ſee thee. And indeed, Paul told him, that he muſt be diſſolved, if he would bee with Chriſt: A ſoul that is〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉winged with divine love, is like a poor bird in a cage, ſits often ſad, becauſe impriſoned,Chryſoſt. In Acts 26. looks through the wires, ſings when the Sun comes at it, but alaſs, it ſets by and by, and a clou­dy diſmal night follows it: The ſouls clear viſions of God are too glorious for this ſtate; here it is rara hora, brvis mo­ra, as Bernard phraſeth it; the man whoſe piety is ſteddy, and induſtry great, ſees here through a glaſs darkly, there face, to face; and then hee ſhall know, even as hee is known; When you therefore wonder why good men die, you for­get too much the trouble of life, and the glory after death: Jacobs Motto agrees well with their experience: Few and evil have been my daies. So great are the exigencies and ne­ceſsities of the preſent ſtate, that it requires the skill of the wiſeſt man, and moſt ſelf-obſerving, to give a catalogue of thoſe imperfections which all perſons feel and groan under; the happineſſe of infancy is, that wee feel only the trouble of what is preſent, and wrack not our ſelves with fears of what is future; when we get up to underſtanding there are boiſterous luſts, like cruel Pyrates, ſetting upon us that we cannot quietly ſail to the Haven of peace and reſt. What it is to be wiſe, and live in the enjoyment of God, and a mans ſelf-buſy-paſsions ſcarce ſuffer the Juvenile age to make en­quirry: If a man come to old age, hee is an Imperious In­fant,15 or a childe in authority: If a man bee good, the Devil ſets on him, Waſpes are buſie where the honey is. If hee cannot bee hindred from doing good, which is the Devils firſt deſign, hee ſhall bee Fly-blown with pride, which is the ſecond, and as dangerous. Upon due thoughts it will bee found that for us to ſerve God here, is our great wiſdome; for us to dye when God pleaſeth, is Gods great mercy. La­bour in the Lord ſhall not bee in vain, but the reward of Labour in the Lord, is when wee dye in the Lord; For then wee reſt from our labours,Rev. 14.13. and our works follow us.

Hitherto our Diſcourſe hath tended to give ſatisfaction to this enquiry why Moſes dyed: It remains that wee draw ſome Corollaries, and ſo make application to all your conſciences.

  • 1 The death of Moſes ſpeaks ſomething to all that ſtand in the ſame relation to God, that hee did, viz. that are his ſervants, publick inſtruments for the doing of his work.
  • 2 The death of Moſes ſpeaks ſomething to all thoſe, who are in a capacity of loſing perſons ſo eminently uſe­full and beneficiall to them, as Moſes was to the Iſraelites.

I begin my Diſcourſe with all thoſe that are in publick imployment, and are ſincerely faithful to the truſts com­mitted to them, whether they be Magiſtrates or Miniſters: Two things are proper advice, from all that wee have hi­therto ſpoke upon this Text.

Corol. 1. Promiſe not to your ſelves long life: One would have thought if any man in the world might have bee confident of his life, ſure Moſes might, till hee had carried the people through the Wilderneſs, and brought them into the Land of Canaan; this buſineſs was that which God ſet him about. It was the fulfilling of the ancient Promiſe made to Abraham; Gods glory was ingaged to per­fect it, that his Name might not bee diſhonoured by the heathen round about, who had ſeen, or heard of all his Miracles. Moſes knew the people, and was much honour­ed by them; and ſo one would imagine the fitteſt man in the world for it, yet Moſes dyeth.

16Know therefore that when you are about the beſt work, the moſt excellent deſign, moſt honourable for God, moſt uſefull for others, yet then death comes with commiſſion, the ſhadows of the evening ſtretch themſelves upon you, it is no longer day; And when this night comes, no man can work.

When firſt thou didſt en­tice to thee my heart; I thought the ſervice brave See Herberts Poems.Philoſophers obſerve, that a very great calmneſs uſually goes before a mighty Earthquake; Such folly and mad­neſs hath ſpread it ſelf upon the hearts of men, that gene­rally they promiſe to themſelves, what God never promiſed them, and promiſe not to themſelves, what hee hath promiſed them. God never perſwaded men to bee Chriſtians by con­ſtant health, by long life, by applauſe and honour, but hee hath told us of a providence about us that ſhall make all things work for good. Wormwood wee may drink, but it ſhall turn to health, that wee ſhall not dye, or that wee ſhall not dye at thirty, as well as at threeſcore, God hath not ſpoke one ſyllable; but hee hath told us of a great glory hereafter, and that our labour ſhall not bee in vain in the Lord. If ever a good man might have hoped for exempti­on from ſuch ſore calamities, ſure Job might, then, when they fell upon him,Immenſi prae­conii eſt bo­num eriam in­ter malos ex­titiſſe. Gregor. Mag. though hee lived not among the Jews, but in the land of Uz, yet hee was perfect and upright, hee feared God, and eſehewed evill. The Sun-ſhine of outward plenty, put not out the fire of his devotion; hee did but fear that his ſons might ſin, It may bee that my ſons have ſinned, verſ. 5. and hee muſt ſend for them, and ſanctifie them, and offer burnt offerings according to the number of them all. Did not 'Job hope for a happy life from hence? Yes, When I looked for good,Job 30.26. then evill came unto mee, and when I waited for light, then came darkneſs? Was hee not one that acted the part of a good Magiſtrate? Yes, Hee was eyes to the blinde, and feet to the lame, hee was a father to the poor,Job 29. and the bleſsing of him that was ready to periſh, came up­on him. But the concluſion which hee made, did not follow from the premiſes;Job 29.18. Then I ſaid I ſhall dye in my neſt, and I ſhall multiply my dayes as the ſand. Long life and peace, were things preſumed; but you will finde it a ſad miſtake,17 if you peruſe the next Chapter, verſ. 15. Trrurs are tur­ned upon mee, verſ. 23. Job Chap. 30.I know that thou wilt bring mee to death, and to the houſe appointed for all living. His harp was turned to mourning, and his organ into the voyce of them that weep.

In the time of our Saviours greateſt joy,Luke 9.28, 29, 30, 31. when the faſhion of his countenance was altered, and his rayment was white and gliſtering, and Moſes and Elias appeared in glory, they ſpake to him of his deceaſe. I could wiſh all perſons of worth and excellency in their mutual converſe, in their contribution of aſsiſtance for the promoting of the moſt pious intereſts, would ſometimes entertain one another with a diſcourſe about their deceaſe, for that would pluck up the weeds of vain hopes, and fond imaginations which are apt to grow in the hearts of good men.

And though ſome men, whoſe thoughts are ſo immer­ſed in ſecular and worldly affairs that they are ſcarce at leaſure to conſider whether their ſtrength bee the ſtrength of braſs or clay: Though they bee guilty of this miſtake, whoſe lives meet with few hours of pain, and their little ſadneſs is but like vinegar put into ſweet ſauce, makes it taſte better, or like a harſh note in muſick, that goes be­fore a ſweet one, forcing the ear to bee more cove­tous, and making the harmony more grateful; yet it is wonderfully ſtrange, that they who by long ſtudy and ſerious thoughts have macerated their bodies and made them ſickly, who are like a flower expoſed to the violence of the North wind, and have no ſhelter; that ſuch as theſe ſhould forget their death, ſeems to bee incredible: Did not ſad experience tell it was too true. I would not bee as the Screech-owl, a meſſenger of death to any one, much leſs to my beloved brethren in the Miniſtry, I would gladly bee as the Crow on the Capitol, who when ſhee could not ſay, It is well, ſaid, It ſhall bee well: I cannot ſay,〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉. It is well with us, when Mr. Vines, Mr. Froſt, Mr. Bright,Sueton. Domit. are carried to their graves, I would ſay, It ſhall bee well, and the next year ſhall produce no ſuch ſad ſpectacies. But neither my Text, nor the occaſion of this ſolemn Aſſembly, make mee able to promiſe it: In the former you finde a Prophet,18 that never had one like him (till the Son of God appear­ed) dead before you; By the latter you may bee informed, that a holy man may have his Autumu even in his Spring, and his leaves may drop aſunder before hee bee well ripe. When the Sons of the Prophets came forth to Eliſha, they ſaid to him, Knoweſt thou that the Lord will take away thy Maſter from thy head to day? hee anſwered, Yes, I know it, hold you your peace. 2 King. 2.3.If I ſhould tell you that your Saviour is dead, I might ſay, Know you that your Maſter lay in the grave, and the ſervant muſt not bee better than his Lord. But now I ſay, Know you that God hath taken away from you your fellow-ſervant? I preſume you will anſwer mee, Wee know it, hold you your peace. Yet I am ready to urge that Queſtion thrice, as the Sons of the Prophets did; for I am ſure that which you know quickly, you may forget haſti­ly. It is not haſty ſhowers, but ſoft ſnow that ſoaks deep, whilſt the former runs off as faſt as it comes, the latter gently creeps in at every chink of ground.

Let mee humbly therefore beſeech you, to think again, and again, to look wiſhly upon the Text, and upon the Grave of that uſefull friend whom God hath now taken from us; And then I queſtion not, but you will bee pre­pared for the ſecond thing which the Text recommends to your practice.

Corol. 2. Then it is good reaſon you ſhould do your work, as faſt, and as well as you can.

It is good reaſon,

  • 1 Becauſe you are ſervants.
  • 2 Becauſe you are dying ſervants.

1 Conſider, you are ſervants: If you bee asked, Why ſtand you idle, and go not down into Gods Vineyard? you cannot anſwer, God hath not called us: Shall ſervants loyter? It was Moſes commendation, that as a ſervant hee was faithfull in all Gods houſe: Let it bee yours: Suffer mee to propound a few Queries: Let all your conſciences anſwer them.

Query 1. Is it not your Juſtice: Is not your ſervice a debt? Ought you not to diſcharge it? Have you a right to your ſelves? Did you make and redeem, or do you now preſerve your ſelves? Hath God no way ingaged you? 19Did God give you your parts and talents to bee laid up in napkins, or doth hee expect his own with due improve­••ent? or were not your gifts given you for others ſake? as the mothers breaſt for the childes advantage. Mr. Gurnals Chriſtian Ar­mour, Part. 1. p. 333.

A moſt accurate Preacher hath ſaid truly,If the Mi­niſter labour not to increaſe his ſtock, hee is the worſt Theef in the Pariſh. It is wicked for a man truſted with the improving of Orphans eſtates, to let them lye dead by him, much more for a Miniſter not to improve his gifts, which I may call the Town ſtock, given for the good of the ſouls of both rich and poor.

Or have you a minde it ſhall bee ſaid at your death, There is gone the unjuſt ſervant, that called God Maſter, but ſerved the Devil.

Quer. 2. Is not faithful ſervice, the expreſſion of your ingenuity? Are you not beholden to God? Do not mercies make thee reſolve to preſent thy ſelf to him,Rom. 12.1. which is thy reaſonable ſervice? Can you forget how paſſionately the bleeding Saviour ſaid, If thou loveſt mee feed my ſheep; Loveſt thou mee, feed my lambs: Have divers luſts and pleaſures which you have ſerved too long, Tit. 3.3. Done you greater favours than God?

Quer. 3. Is it not your ſecurity? The Coward that runs away in this ſervice ſhall certainly bee killed: If Jonah will go to Tarſus, a ſtorm muſt follow him, and overtake him; Do wee provoke God to jealouſie?1 Cor. 10. •• are wee ſtranger than hee? Oh remember often thoſe dreadful words of our Sa­viours, Take the unprofitable ſervant, and cſt him it to ever­laſting burning. The ſervant that had work to do, and began to drink and bee drunken; His Lord will come in a day when hee looketh not for him, and will cut him in ſunder,Luke 12.46. Ms crat do­minorum no­men ſervis in fronte ſcribere. Ariophan••Babylonios ſrvos cum fronte inſcrip­ introduxit in Scenam. Grot. in loc. and will ap­point him his portion with the unbeleevers. None were ſafe when the earth was hurt, Rev. 7.3. but the ſervants of God who were ſealed in their fore-heads. Do you think you ſhall alwaies live at Gods table, to delight in the Devils drudgery? No, at length you muſt have their portion too, Depart yee curſed, I know you not. Wee may flatter, and deceive men, but wee cannot that God, who will not bee mocked, who tells us, That hee will require the blood of others at our hands.

20Quer. 4. Doth not your compaſſion to others force it? You that are Gods Stewards, have this for your work in Gods houſhold,Luke 12.42. To give them their portion of meat in due ſeaſon; Can you forbear to break the bread of life to ſouls; ſouls for which Chriſt dyed? Can you forget how paſſio­nately hee ſaid, If yee love mee feed my ſheep? Have you neither love to Chriſt, nor his ſheep neither? Do you not remember that your Saviour had compaſſion on the mul­titude, becauſe they had nothing to eat, and hee would not ſend them away faſting,Mat. 15.32. leſt they ſhould faint by the way? Oh that wee had as much love to ſouls as Chriſt had to bodies, How many have continued many years, and never yet taſted the bread of life! Oh what ſad deliqui­ums, what fainting fits at death! what dreadfull horror, when they ſhall enter into the borders of Eternity, and ſee themſelves ſeparated from the true portion of immortal ſpirits! Will they not bee ready to upbraid your cruelty, and unmercifulneſs. Obſerve what ridiculous and abſurd things ſinners make themſelves here. The covetous man that hath more than enough, yet perplexeth himſelf with his own wants, look how like a fool hee goes leading his horſe in his hand, and carrying his ſaddle on his back till hee bee pickled in his own ſweat, when his horſe would with eaſe carry him, and his ſaddle too. Look what a fool the proud man is, that will needs bee popular, and do every thing to bee honoured by others, yet himſelf is as much afraid, left this ſecret plummet which puts all the wheels in motion, ſhould bee diſcovered, as a Theef is to bee taken in the very act; and if hee have the hat and the knee of ſpe­ctators: the poor man doth as the Aſs, that thought ſhee was honoured, when alas it was the image ſhee carried. It is not the man (for him they ſcorn) but the fine cloaths, and the great eſtate, that is ſo much Idolized; for ſo a dull beaſt ſhall command the eyes of the multitude with gaudy trappings, when one of better ſpirit and ſer­vice ſhall not bee looked on. Do you not minde what a Swilling-tub a beaſtly Drunkard is? what a childiſh Ape hee is that is given to chambering and wantonneſs? Look how the poor diſcontented man like the Silkworm, eats21 out his own bowels? Can you ſee all this, and much more which your own thoughts tell you, and not pitty the de­generate eſtate of loſt man?

Oh what is become of the glory of Gods Creation! How hath this fair Picture loſt the oriency of all its co­lours, that beauty of all its Lineaments? Caſt your eyes upon the excellency of a true Chriſtian, who is bonorum rector, malorum victor, one that knows how to want, how to abound; one whoſe goodneſs and wiſdome, ſtrikes an awe and reverence into all that converſe with him, the prophane perſon fears him, the hypocrite counterfeits him, as knowing hee hath no beauty, unleſs painted with thoſe colours? Can you ſee ſinners want theſe perfections and bee ſatisfied? Hath the Devils malice done ſo much miſchief? Shall your affectionate compaſſion do no good? but the dreadful terrors of Eternity (mee thinks) ſhould ſtrike fire out of a flint. All vice is folly here, and this folly will bee puniſhed with weeping and wailing, and gnaſhing of teeth hereafter. Oh think when you are preaching, it may bee here are many that have not hearkned to Gods voyce, and God may now be about to ſwear that they ſhall never enter into his reſt. Can this enter into your ſerious thoughts, and you forget to do the work of faithful ſer­vants: If it bee poſſible, perſwade this fooliſh world to leave mudwalls for good food, and Peſt-houſes for health­full air. Tibinobilius eſt ſervire quam regna mundi capeſſe­re, merito, quando ex ſer­vis filii, exim­piis Juſti de eaptius reddi­mur abſoluti. Caſſidor. in orat. p. 439. Herbets Odor: p. 169. new. Ed.

Query 5. Is it not your glory and perfection, your own great honour and priviledge, to bee Gods ſervants? Abraham is Gods ſervant, but hee is his friend too, Iſa. 41.8. Moſes is his ſervant, but Moſes ſees him face to face.

How ſweetly doth My Maſter ſound, My Maſter.
As Amber-greeſe leaves a rich Sent unto the Taſter.
So do theſe words a ſweet Content
An oriental fragranoy, My Maſter.

22With theſe all day I do perfume my minde: ſo Mr. Herbert, that pious, and moſt incomparably ingenious Poet of whom it is ſaid, That in his ordinary ſpeech when hee made mention of the bleſſed Name of our Lord and Saviour Jeſus Chriſt, hee uſed to adde, My Maſter, Who is it, I beſeech you, that you can glory in as your Maſter? your ſelves, your luſts, the world, the Devil, or God; which is greateſt honour to bee Ambaſſador for a wiſe Prince, or to bee a ſlave to a baſe beggar?

〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉
〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉
Ariſtoph, Plut.

Alas, wee are too much fools to bee fit to rule our ſelves, and the Devil hath wit enough, but it is to cheat us, and make us miſerable.

The Philoſopher hath well obſerved,Ariſt. pol. lib. 1. cap. 3. 〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉. that there is〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, one whoſe weak ſpirits, and crazie intellectuals ſhew him born to bee in ſubjection to another wiſer than himſelf, and the beſt character that can bee given of him is,〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, hee is able to bee under Autho­rity; hee is not ſo wilful as to refuſe government, not ſo ſtubborn as to ſcorn direction. Unhappy and miſerable creature that cannot ſee it ſelf, and will not bee led by a ſeeing guide. The greateſt favour that can bee done to children, is to put them under the inſpection of wiſe and ſober Tu­tors; and it is childrens credit when under them; to bee like ſoft wax warmed, that will receive any impreſſion: It is the happineſs of an Angel to comply with the Divine will: ſure it muſt bee ours, who are yet in a ſtate of infancy and nonage, ready to run headlong into all dangers to conſult the Oracle of heaven, and take Gods advice in all wee go about;〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉. Plut. 〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉. for it any thing bee rational, this is: Where the ſu­periour is infallibly wiſe, righteous, and good; there the inferiour cannot do himſelf ſo great a courteſie, as univer­ſally to ſurrender his uncertain, fallible, mutable will to him in all things. I wonder not therefore that David chuſeth to bee a door keeper, and that hee cryes out ſo23 pathetically, Pſal. 116.16. O Lord, truly I am thy ſervant, I am thy ſervant.

I might at large proſecute this great argument to dili­gence, and fidelity by propounding,

  • 1 The excellency of all Gods Laws.
  • 2 The great reward which his bounty hath promiſed. Compare the former with your own paſſions, the latter with ſhame and death, the onely profit that can bee reaped from ſin, and it will eaſily bee granted, that every prodigal when he comes to himſelf, will quickly cry out, Make mee as one of thy hired ſervants: And indeed a right under­ſtanding in this point, makes the ſervice to bee ſuch as it ſhould bee; For hee that looks upon God as a hard Ma­ster, will either hide the Talent in a Napkin, and do no­thing, or elſe that which is as good as nothing; whilſt hee hath better thoughts of ſin, and the pleaſures of this world, then hee hath of God, and of the rewards which hee will give to them that obſerve him. Gods Creation, Preſer­vation, and Redemption, give him a right to us, and make our ſervice neceſſary: but the excellency of his nature, the goodneſs of his worke, the future happineſs promiſed, make the ſervice cheerful.

The ſumme of all is, Yee are ſervants: And then your Juſtice, your Ingenuity, your Security, your Compaſſion, your Glory, requires faithfulneſs.

I conclude this Conſideration with Mr. Perkins Motto.

Miniſter Chriſties, hoc age,
Thou art Chriſts ſervant, minde thy work.

We have at length finiſhed the firſt Conſideration, which ſhould promote care in Gods ſervice. I ſhall briefly urge the ſecond.

Conſideration 2. Yee are not onely ſervants, but dying ſervants, and therefore do your work as well,Dying ſervants and as faſt as you can. When Mr. Calvin grew ſickly, and ſome friends diſſwaded him from ſome imployments, hee gave24 this anſwer, Vultiſne Chriſtum me inveniretioſum? Would you have Chriſt finde mee idle? Shall death, a Meſſenger that was never idle, but alwayes did his errand, finde us idle when Chriſt ſends it? there is a night coming when wee cannot work, and it is very like our day is a Winter day, not a Summer day. Play the leſſon God hath ſet you whilſt the Inſtrument is in tune, the weather will alter pre­ſently, and then the ſtrings will fall, or break.

Per columbam ſimplicitas, per ignem zelus judicatur. In cap. 1. Job.Gregory hath obſerved that the Spirit of God deſ­cended in two ſhapes, the firſt was of a Dove, the laſt of Fire; the firſt ſhewed Innocency and Simplicity; the laſt Zeal and Activity: That wee muſt do no harm, is certain, (let none but helliſh ſlaves carry Plague-ſores about them) but that wee muſt do good, bee fervent in ſpirit, ſerving the Lord, is as certain: What good from an eye that is al­wayes covered with its own lid, or from fire that is al­wayes buried in the aſhes, or a ſhip that alwayes lyes at anchor? You muſt bee doing, for God will ere long ſay, Give an account of your ſtewardſhip, you muſt bee no longer ſtewards.

The laſt words almoſt which were heard from that fa­mouſly learned, and pious Biſhop of Armagh, were, Lord in ſpecial forgive my ſins of omiſsion; yet hee was ſingularly induſtrious in writing, reading, exhorting, inſtructing. Sins of omiſſion will at death go nearer our hearts than wee thought they would in life. Bee as zealous for God all your life, as you thought you ſhould bee when you firſt en­tred on this publick imployment for God, and as you re­ſolved to bee when you laſt lay upon a bed of ſickneſs. But ſad experience findes the common obſervation too true, That bells ſtrike thick while they are riſing, but ſtand ſtill, and give no ſound at all when they are at full pitch, Wee forget what wee were, and what wee ſhall bee, and conſider not what a great account wee muſt ſuddenly make, and therefore fall aſleep, and do not by deep medi­tation, winde up thoſe weights which muſt keep our ſouls in ſpiritual motion; Wee finde in nature, that ſtones the nearer the center, move faſter. Wee finde the Devil raging, becauſe his time was ſhort;Hev. 12.12. Shall not wee bee as induſtri­ous25 who have but little time for better work; reprove ſin to day, as a man that may dye at night,Nemo reſtituet annos nemo iterum te tibl reddet. Seneca de Brevit. vit••cap. 8. for when thou dyeſt, the opportunity is loſt, then you know not how to beſeech ſinners to bee reconciled, then it is too late to make Dives his motion. Oh that my brethren were warned not to come into this flame!

The Stoick ſaith truly, Maximum vivendi impedimentum eſt,Idem cap. 9. expectatio qua pendet ex craſtino, The greateſt impe­diment to a good life, is hope of living to morrow. They who pleaſe themſelves with their own thoughts and com­pany, ſometimes finde they are at their journies end, be­fore they thought that they had been near it. Men that ſleep ſecurely wonder ſo much time ſhould bee gone, as they finde there is when they awake: Whilſt wee are im­ployed in things worldly and ſenſual, our time is gone, but our work is not done.

I read lately Chryſoſtomes third Homily upon the Acts, wherein becauſe I found many things, which affected and awakened mee much. I ſhall recommend them to your conſideration.

I am perſwaded ſaith hee,〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉. That very few of them who are intruſted with the Goſpel, and the care of ſouls, ſhall bee ſaved, the far greater part is damned; my reaſon is,〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, ſc. This work requires a ſoul more than ordinary, hee had need have a thouſand eyes in his head, and have them all awake. The ſin of a publick Miniſter gives more offence, than of a pri­vate perſon. God could better bear with the diſcontent of an ordinary Jew, than hee could with the paſſion of Moſes. 〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉.

Which of us ſhews ſo much care of the flock of Chriſt, as Jacob did of his Uncle Labans, In the day the drought conſumed mee, and the froſt by night, and my ſleep departed from mine eyes. Gen. 31.40.I value (ſaith hee) nothing more than the light, yet I could wiſh to bee blinde, if by that means I might open the eyes of your mindes, and convert your ſouls, yea this I could wiſh a thouſand times:〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉. I wiſh you may never further make experiment by your ini­quity, of the truth of this vaſtaffection: When ſo great26 a calamity befalls mee, as if any of you ſin, Let mee periſh, if I bee not like one paralytical, or in an extaſie, that I can truly ſay with the Prophet,〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉. As for the light of mine eyes it is gone from mee, Pſal. 38.10. I hope this fire warms.

I would adde more force to theſe conſiderations of our relation as ſervants, of our ſudden diſcharge from that relation by death, but that my charity forbids mee to ſuſpect that others needs ſo much as myſelf, to awaken conſtant dili­gence; and to prevent that dull Lethargie which is apt to creep upon us.

Tanta ſane diligentia ſub­jectos ſibi po­pulos rexit & omnia & om­nes quaſi ſua eſſent, curaret. De Antonio pio. Julius Capitolinus.God grant that all Chriſtian Magiſtrates may minde the affairs of all particular perſons under them, as if they were their own: And that all Miniſters of the Goſpel, may ſin­cerely endeavour to ſave themſelves, and them that hear them, not preaching themſelves, but Chriſt Jeſus the Lord, and themſelves the ſervants of others for Jeſus ſake, 2 Cor. 4.5.

I have now finiſhed the firſt part of my task, which was to draw practical inferences that did concern all that ſtood in Moſes relation, that were Gods publick officers in the world, acting for him by his direction; the other part muſt now bee undertaken, which wee hope will more briefly bee diſpatched: It is to tell you, what Moſes death ſpeaks to all thoſe, who are daily in a capacity of loſing ſuch ſer­vants of God, who are uſefull to them in their generation, as Moſes was to the Iſraelites in his.

Wee have heard what Moſes death ſpoke to Joſhua, and the Elders of Iſrael, let us now hear what it ſpeaks to the people, and it recommends five things.

What Moſes death ſpeaks to the people.1 Let no man bee Idolized, bee hee what hee will, hee is but a ſervant, and a dying one too, a flower, yet withering and fading. Epiphanius ſaith, That in Arabia Moſes was accounted a god, and there his Image was worſhipped; their reaſon was becauſe of the miracles which hee wrought; Sure they knew not that hee was but a ſervant, and that hee dyed in the Wilderneſs: Fools wee are to a­dore the conduit-pipe, and forget the Fountain. Wee look to inſtruments, and forget the principal Agent:27 When Pharaoh conſulted Joſeph as an Oracle, hee wiſely told him, God ſhall give Pharaoh an anſwer of peace: When Paul and Barnabas come to preach the Goſpel; if they may bee looked upon as gods for their Miracles, the mali­cious Devil is as well pleaſed, as if they had bee ſcorned or trampled on.

And if ſome great Schollars bee not miſtaken, the great reſpect which were in the world to the better ſort of men among Heathens,〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉. Chryſoſt ad 12 cap. 2. ad Co­rinthos. Luodo: Vives in Comment. in Auguſt de Civit. Dei. I am not igno­rant that Gro­tius gives ano­ther account of the original of this practice viz. becauſe the ſtars had been by the Aſtronomers caſt into the forms and ſhapeof Beaſts. See Ex­plicat. De ealog. p. 28. Plut. de Defect. Orac. and holy men amongſt Chriſtians have ſerved his intereſt, more to bring in Idolatry, than the baſe practiſes and wanton wits of prophane men could to bring in Atheiſm; for by this art (it is thought) the ſilly beaſts came to bee worſhipped as gods; for whereas ſeve­ral Princes and great men, applauded by the people, had ſeveral devices and emblems which they bare in their Shields or Creſts (ſome beſt liking Dogs, others Lions; Wolves, or Cats, as ſympathy of nature, fancy, or particu­lar occaſion led them) the ſpectators mindes were by little and little tainted, and for the mans ſake began to give ado­ration to the Beaſts, till poſterity looked upon them as Co­adjutors, and helpers in all victorious ſucceſs in war, or proſperous events in peace.

I might at large proſecute this notion, if I had time to view Popiſh Images: Wee ſometimes finde a ſordid, but a cunning fellow, turned out at one door, to ſneak in at ano­ther: When Paganiſh Idolatry muſt fall to the ground, and the Iles hear a dleful voyce, that the Great god Pan is dead, the Devil joyns with the multitude of Chriſtians, and cryes down all the ancient duties, but it is that hee may the more applaud the Saints; and then you know, if any perſon bee much beloved, his picture ſhall bee deſired. Experience hath given ſad teſtimony, that adulterous hearts, when they once had Minions, pleaſed themſelves more with them, than with their lawful Conſorts. To this day the Devil hath no ſuch engine to winde up the hearts of the faithleſs Jews to ſuch an incredible height of unbelecf, as their high thoughts of Moſes, and of that Law, which they kiſs and reverence: Inſomuch that this is now their ſetled maxime, that no perſon can bee looked on as com­ing28 from God, that doth not eſtabliſh the Moſaical Occo­nomy, the fancy of whoſe perpetuity would prejudice and take away the efficacy of that great Argument,Maimon. Fund. legis with Vorſtius. uſed by our bleſted Saviour, I mean Miracles.

I am perſwaded the Devil hath plaid the ſame game, in theſe late years of the Chriſtian world; for when men are perſwaded to have mens perſons in admiration, either the ad­mired creatures continue what they were thought to bee, & then God is little acknowledged, or if they turn to error and bad practice, either their admirers ſee it not, and ſo follow them, or if they do ſee it, then it is a good argument to Scepticiſme, and make men ſuſpect all Religion. I perſwade my ſelf, moſt Sects (which have cauſed woful diviſions) have aroſe from Idolizing the Sect-maſter. It is known well enough that a Maſters errour is no ſmall temptation to a Scholar: And indeed there is no temptation to the Maſter, like the admiration of the Scholar.

But I forget my ſelf, and ſtay too long upon this head; Lonly ſuggeſt that then wee Idolize any man:

  • 1 When wee ſet him up as a Dictator, to beleeve and act as hee would have us, without his ſhewing Gods Com­miſſion for what is propounded by him to us. For who dethroned God, and ſet up man as the ruler of my faith and life?
  • 2 When wee are ſo diſ-ſatisfied at the loſs of any crea­ture that wee enjoy not quiet of minde in God, and beleeve not his ability to ſupply that loſs; as if God could not make the ſtream to run as well for our advantage in ano­ther channel. It is a ſign when the caſe is thus, that wee put the ſervant into the Maſters place, and make account the Families welfare depends on him who is ſent, and not on him who ſends him. Whatſoever hee bee, though ex­cellently adorned with the accompliſhments of a man, with the perfections of a Chriſtian, know, if hee do good, it is becauſe God bleſſeth him, the Inſtrument makes no Muſick, unleſs ſome curious hand touch it; and know, that all that glory thou admireſt is carried in an earthen veſſed, and a little knock may break that Pitcher which hath often brought good water from the bubling29 fountain. Let theſe conſiderations keep our affections ſo­ber; for if men bee once inordinate in paſſion, and liſten to temptation, you had as good talk to mad men, and the De­vil knew there was ſuch amongſt the Jews, and therefore contended about the body of Moſes with the Angel. Not queſtioning but they who were ſo ready to worſhip a gol­den Calf, would quickly have ſome devotion to pay upon his Sepulchre; but the phyfick, and thoſe cordials which do no good when nature is ſpent, are proper and ſucceſ­ful medicines, before ſtrength bee too much impaired, and ſpirits waſted. Thoſe arguments which ſpeak to ſober, in­different, or not over much prejudiced Auditors, are to others whoſe paſſions are engaged, like lightning, which goes through a porous body, and leaves no impreſſion, nor any teſtimony of its preſence there.

Got cauſeth the Sun to riſe, like a Gyant to run its courſe, and he makes it to ſet at night; God ſends forth men into the world to bee uſeful, they are his ſervants; hee calls them home, they dye; Let God every where bee acknowledged, no mandolized.

2 Yet Moſes his death, chargeth you that they bee not ſleighted: Servants indeed they are, but they are Gods ſervants, they dye, but it is God that calls them from you to himſelf that he may reward them: Have you any good Magiſtrates? thank God for them, live quietly under them in all godlineſs and honeſly. Have you good Miniſters that labour in the word and doctrine? bleſs God for them; they beſeech you, as in Gods ſtead that you would bee re­conciled to him, reſpect the Ambaſſador for his ſake that ſends him; thoſe whom you value not upon their own ac­count, value as they ſtand in relation to God. I preſume no man can eaſily bee ſo fond and ignorant as to imagine that hee is bound to think, every one that hath the name and the garb of a Miniſter, muſt bee looked on as Gods ſer­vant; No it is too evident that many carrie Gods livery on their backs, which do the Dvils ſervice, with their hands: Unto many of whom, even men may ſay, what God will, when they talk of propheſying in Chriſts Name, Yee are workers of iniquity, wee know you not; and30 if Korah, Dathan and Abiram, will offer ſtrange fire, the con­gregation muſt leave them:

But I now ſpeak of thoſe whoſe ſtudy and prayer is to ſave themſelves, and them that hear them, who prayes to their people whileſt they are ſpectators, as well as whileſt they are auditors; they are would convert ſouls to righte­ouſneſs; let them bee reſpected for their works ſake; yea, for their Maſters ſake, let them bee reputed ſervants of the moſt high God: The Devil found it would bee a good way to pine and ſtarve the vitals of Chriſtianity, to make the feet lame,Mr. Baxters learned and excellent Diſ­courſe, to prove that over doing is undo­ing; in his di­rections for peace of con­ſcience. and the hands feeble, if hee made the head too bigge, if hee put a Pope into St. Peters chair; and then the deſign ever after ſhould be, more to maintain their own grandeur and greatneſs, than the life and power of godli­neſs: If the Proteſtant Religion findes out this temptation, then ſcorn, vilifie, down with Miniſters, and Miniſtry, vilifie the perſons, and that will help to make the Doctrin vile.

I cannot forget how angry God was even with Aaron and Miriam, Numb. 12. For alas! even they could ſpeak againſt Moſes: Wherefore ſaith God, were yee not afraid to ſpeak againſt my ſervant Moſes? verſ. 8. And the anger of the Lord was kindled againſt them: Why, what had they ſpoke? ſee verſ. 2. Hath the Lord ſpoke only by Moſes; he married the Aethiopian, a ſtrange woman, hee is not ſo much wiſer than wee. God will not bear any thing which manifeſts contempt of them that are imployed by him.

But the beſt way to ſhew reſpect to them, that now con­ſecrate themſelves to Gods ſervice, is to accept of the Do­ctrine which they preach (viz.) the holy commands and promiſes of the Goſpel: What though ſome of them have not ſuch parts, ſuch ſagacious apprehenſions, ſuch peircing expreſſions, ſuch lively repreſentations of their thoughts: remember, that Iſaiah was a noble man, and nearly allyed to the King. Amos was a Herdſ-man, yet both were Pro­phets. Jeſus Chriſt dieth,Mark. 16. and ſends out poor Fiſher-men, and they do more miracles, and greater than ever hee did; and convert more ſouls: If God pleaſe, the pulſe, the31 courſer fare, ſhall make Daniel look better than the reſt: though Moſes muſt not bee idolized, yet Joſhun muſt not be deſpiſed. I of Paul, and I of Apollo, and I of Cophas; ſure yee are carnal: are they not all the ſervants of Chriſt? what, is no ſenſe nor reaſon ſpoke, unleſs it bee adorned with ſuch a degree of eloquence? Is there no light, unleſs there be noon-day glory? this is juſt like a ſilly Country­man, that counts him the King which hath moſt ſilver lace, and can ſhew the biggeſt handfuls of gold: the fooliſh ſports of lacivious fancies, grave and maſculine plety, looks on with a noble contempt; though I love with all my heart to hear diſcourſes, wherein my underſtanding perceives learning, and my affections feel piety, yet I am far from thinking, that one quarter of them is learned, which the world reputes ſo: where the words are ſtarched, and they are ſet together, to make a few fine cadencies, and they pleaſe an itching eare, that affects trifles, but cure no diſ­eaſe, blow away no miſt from the underſtanding, leave no foundation for ſetled peace, or ſober godlineſs:Hieronimus ad Pannachium. Cito tur­gens ſpuma dilabitur, this froth that looks white is preſent­ly waſted. A tumor in the face that gliſters and ſhines much, is contrary to that healthful complexion which makes beau­ty: I would have learning, but it ſhould be to convey truth better to the underſtandings of all that hear mee: learning to make every thing plain, not to make any thing obſcure and difficult.

Mr. Meade uſed to ſay, to preach ſo as people ſhould not underſtand, was like a Shooe-makers bringing home a handſome Shooe, but with a Laſt in it: it looked nearly, but it was of no uſe as it was; for no foot could bee put into it: When I am in pain, and a member gangrenes, talk not to mee how the Chirurgeon looks, but tell mee how fit hee is, and how well skilled for the cure: doth the Prince applaud the Ambaſſador? that hath ſhewed hee could ſpeak elegantly, and had words at will, but left out the potent reaſons, wherewith hee ſhould have ſecu­red the buſineſs, or elſe ſo buried them in his own phraſes, that they were not underſtood: If any one ask why I ſpeak all this, I ſhall tell him no other reaſon but this (I wiſh I had30 no more) I would not have the water of life valued, for the Veſſel through which it runs, nor Gods truth for the mans parts, but them for truth; and every one eſteemed as hee is a member of Gods family, and is more or leſs a faith­ful ſervant.

But if you will ſleight them, let mee tell you, they ſhall not be troubleſome to you very long; for Moſes ſhall die: God ſends them now to demand fruit, and to charge you to prepare for eternity, and to invite you to accept of great ſalvation, it may be, it is the laſt time that ever this Meſſen­ger ſhall bee ſent to you, welcome him now or never: Think every time you ſee a godly Miniſter going into the Pul­pit, it may be I ſhall never hear this man more, never hear him pray for my ſoul more, never perceive him entring into my very heart, and command my affections, and raiſe my ſpirit by Goſpel Arguments, and allure mee by divine motives, if not now, never; if not now, nothing muſt ſpeak to mee but his grae, until the day of judgement, when hee who loved my ſoul, and asked mee why I would die; muſt come in as a witneſſe a­gainſt mee, and juſtifie God in my condemnation, why ſhould I ſlight Gods meſſage, or ſlight him who brings it? Now hee is for ought I know, entring into the joy of his Lord; now God ſo values him, as to reward him.

Surely this arguing is rational, and might eaſily enter into any mans minde, who obſerves but common experi­ence, though hee had nothing elſe to prompt him. I hope all of you will reap this advantage from the preſent occaſion, to value the perſons, and the Sermons of all con­ſciencious preachers better: idolize them not, was our firſt advice, that is one way to loſe them. Guſtavus the renowned King of Sweden, propheſied truth when hee ſaid, God would take him off, becauſe men too much admired him; yet ſcorn them not, for Ambaſſadors are ſoon called home, when it is deſperate to prevail ſo far as to get fair audience: but howſoever you deal with us, do but practiſe godlineſs, and we ſhall rejoyce; for I queſtion not but holy men can hear­tily preſent Pauls petition: Now I pray to God that yee do no evil,2 Cor. 13.7. not that wee ſhould appear approved, but that yee ſhould do that which is honeſt, though wee bee as reprobat••. Experience33 tell us, that good thoughts of the Phyſitian facilitate the cure, and the good health of a ſickly patient, brings credit enough to the Phyſitian.

3 Moſes his death, Chargeth you not to be confident of long life your ſelves: if Palaces crack and fall, ſure weak cotta­ges muſt; if Moſes die, aprivate Iſraelite muſt not live al­waies: All fleſh is graſs, Iſa. 40.6, 7, 8. Homo cum ſis, id fac ut ſemper intelig as: The Heliotrope, may pride it ſelf, at the Suns preſence, the pretty flowers may open all their heads, and welcome the ſalutes of the grand beauty of this vi­ſible world; but the Sun will ſet, and a night muſt be found every four and twenty hours in Summer, but at length comes a cold Winter, a tedious abſence of the warm beams, and then the leaves drop, and the roots periſh; we are far nearer ſickneſs and death, than wee think wee are: Soul take thine eaſe; that the man ſaid; This night ſhall thy ſoul bee taken away from thee, that God ſaid: Is not this great Babel that I have built for the honour of my name. The great King hath no ſooner ſaid it, but hee hears a voice, that ſpeaks ſomething of a different nature, like the noiſe of a thunder-clap, that ſwallowes up the melody which his ſecure pride made him: The Kingdome is departed. A remarkable check you have to mens vain preſumption of life, in 1 King. 16.8, 9. Elah is drinking himſelf drunk, and his ſervant Zimri comes in and kills him; Well, Zimri will bee King, promiſeth himſelf much hap­pineſſe in his royalty, but it haſtens his death. Omri beſiegeth him, and when the City is taken,1 King. 16.18 the poor King goes into the Palace, burns the houſe over him with fire, and dies.

The Iſraelites like not Mannah, they muſt needs feed more deliciouſſy; they ſhall; but while the meat was in their mouthes, the wrath of God fell upon them, and ſlew the mightieſt of them; wee are blinde if wee ſee not, that man groweth up as a flower, and is cut down;Job 14.2. hee fleeth as a ſhadow, and continueth not: Every thing in nature tells us of changes; our very Table is but a〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, a bier, whereon every diſh of meat ſtands as a dead corpſe: I could weep ſometimes, and drop my tears as the dew of34 the morning, when I ſee a young man in the pride of his ſtrength,Quis pacturi­entem roſam & papillacam corymbum an­teq••m in ca­larnum fandatur orbis, & totâ ruben ium foliorum un­bitione imma­ture demeſium aequis oculis mai ceſſere vi­deat. Hieron. ad Pammachiam ſuper obit. Paulinae uxoris. in the acuteneſs of his parts, in the bloſſome of his beauty, whilſt hee is the delight of friends, and his ſo­ciety the ambition of ſpectators; hee ſits ſtill, and thinks no hurt, when a rude paſſion ſtabs him; or hee is innocently merry, but his juvenile blood is inflamed, hee is ſick, hee groans, hee ſighs, hee dyes: But I reſolve to ſtop the flood-gates, and blame my folly; for it is folly to forget that it is as natural for the graſs to wither, and it is as ordinary for it to bee cut down, as it is to creep out of the womb of the earth: Bee as careful as wee can, good fruit will periſh, becauſe it is worm-eaten, and that which eats it, is bred within it. Juſt when Pharaoh will have bricks made, and build Pyramids; leave Monuments of his greatneſs to poſterity, then is God about to break him, and pluck down the plumes of Aegyptian pride.

And ſurely, if an Iſraelite cannot preſume that long life ſhall bee his portion, an Aegyptian cannot; if a Moſes can­not, then not an Iſraelite; but this fond ſelf-flattery, this great diſeaſe of beſotted humane nature, whilſt I perceive ſo much reaſon as a medicine proper for its cure, and yet ſo little of it received; makes mee ſad, and bewail the deli­rium that hath deprived us of all ſober underſtanding: And indeed who can think of Jonathans great integrity, and read his great miſtake, without ſome degree of this paſ­ſion, 1 Sam. 23. hee ſaid to David, Thou ſhalt bee King over Iſrael, and I ſhall bee next unto thee. Alas, good man, who knew not that hee was to dye in the next battel, and ſhall not the tares bee cut up when the wheat is? Shall not the duſt bee blown away when pearls are? Whether I, or you ſhall bee deaths portion next, I know not, but that wee ſhall all bee, is certain, for Moſes is dead; neither humi­lity, nor meekneſs, power, and greatneſs; neither the love of God to him, nor the love of Iſrael gives a diſpenſation, from deaths claim.

4 Moſes his death: Commands you to prepare for death; nothing will ſecure from it; therefore provide for it: Art thou great or ſmall, in proſperity, in adverſity, the way may differ, it may bee fairer to thee, fouler to35 another; but the journies end is the ſame; the debt is due, the day of payment not expreſſed, and therefore it may bee demanded preſently: What have you to ſay when death comes? Will you ſpeak to Time, as Joſhua to the Sun, Stand ſtill, that I may bee avenged of all my adver­ſaries, that I may murder and crucifie thoſe ſins and luſts which have robbed mee of God and Heaven: Alas, you cannot, Times Chariot runs poſt, hee will not hear; or is the grim viſage of death, and the thoughts of eternity, and a day of judgement ſo little formidable, that thou canſt look ſteadily without amazement on them? Alas thy heart fails thee at the thought of them? What cordial then haſt thou? Moſes my ſervant goes before, Death comes after: bee Gods ſervant; and thou art well prepa­red for this charge; bee the Devils ſervant, and have the Devils curſe; bee Gods, and the gift is eternal life: Aaron goes up willingly to Mount Hor and dyes: Moſes when hee ſees it is Gods will, is ſatisfied: Nothing like the teſtimony of a good conſcience, that a man hath been faithful in Gods ſervice; though every one in Gods family bee not a ſteward, a publick officer as Moſes was, yet every one is a ſervant, hath ſome work to do; oh why do you neglect it? Is that a fit time for man to dreſs himſelf in a dark night, when the dreadful cry aſtoniſheth him that his houſe is on fire about his ears? the poor man ſtands naked, amazed, and is either burnt, or runs down the ſtairs, with fears not to bee conceived by any body but himſelf; ſo it is when death fetcheth the ſinner, and conſcience cryes aloud that the fire of hell will ſcorch him, and the great Judge infal­libly condemn him: Is this a time now for him, to put on the ornaments of grace, when hee is putting off the body? No, alas, that is too great a work to bee done ſo ſoon, and hee is too much amazed to go about it: The fear of a danger paſt, kills Nabal, and makes his heart like a ſtone within him. There are ſad inſtances that make it evident, that the time which men allot to make preparation for death, is generally uſeleſs, and ineffectual for that pur­poſe.

36A learned Doctor of our own hath collected three ſad examples which give ſufficient reſtimony to our laſt aſſer­tion,Great Exampl. 3. Part. p. 144. the firſt of them he met with in S. Gregory, who reports of Chryſaurius a Gentleman in the Province of Valeria, rich, and vitious, witty, but laſcivious covetous, proud; that be­ing caſt upon his death bed, he fancied he ſaw evill ſpirits coming to arreſt him, and drag him to hell; hee fell into a great agony, ſhreeked out; And when his diſeaſe grew deſperate, hee cryed out, Give mee reſpite, but till the mor­row, And with thoſe words he dyed. His ſecond example is of a drunken monk, whom Bede mentions; who upon his death-bed ſeemed to ſee hell opened,Lib. 5. c. 15. Hiſt. Gent. Angloium. and a place aſſigned him near Caiaphas, and thoſe which crucified our Saviour. The Religious perſons which ſtood about his bed, called on him to repent of his ſin, to implore the mercies of God, but hee anſwered, this is no time to change my life, the ſentence is paſſed upon mee, it is too late. His third example is one Gunizo, a factious and ambitious perſon, of whom Damianus reports, that the Tempter gave notice to him of his approaching death; but when any man preached re­pentance to him,Biblioth. F. Pp. Tom. 3. out of a ſtrange incuriouſneſs, or the ſpirit of reprobation, hee ſeemed like a dead and uncon­cerned man; in all other Diſcourſes hee was awake, and apt to anſwer.

Divers now in Cambridge will quickly perceive that theſe three inſtances call to their mindes a fourth, of a woman that lived there, who on a ſick-bed being viſited by divers perſons of piety, and entertained with holy diſcourſes, uſed to ſay nothing but this, Call Time again.

It is true, wee have not every day ſuch remarkable in­ſtances, no more is every murderer hanged upon the Gib­bets, yet ſo many ſuffer this dreadful puniſhment, as to make acts of baſeneſs formidable, and to ſhew the ſore hatred, which a good and compaſſionate Magiſtrate hath againſt them; ſo the former examples demonſtrate that Gods grace (though of abſolute neceſſity to our happineſs) yet then when wee ſhould need it, wee may either forget, or elſe not finde it, wee thought wee ſhould, at the com­mand of our wiſhes.

37But what is the deſign of poor beſotted man? Let a ſickneſs arreſt us, a Phyſitian is ſent for, an eſtate, a great revenue ſhall bee parted with for Time, get but health, and then any man ſhall have it for a trifle: Nay wee are weary of it if it muſt bee ſpent in the thoughts of God and eterni­ty; then this ſhort, very ſhort life, is too long for us: Men that are full of buſineſs in the world, talk like Auguſtus, Aliquande ſe victurum ſibi ſperabat, he hoped he ſhould ſome­time live to enjoy himſelf, and they long paſſionately for a great Vacation; but when it may bee in their power, they act like Turannius, who after the ninetieth year of his age, having received a diſcharge from Caeſar, and got liberty to bee freed from Court attendance,Componi ſe in lecto, & ve­lur exanimem a circumſtante familia plangi juſſit. Sene­ca de Brevit­vitae, cap. ult. will needs bee laid in his bed, like one that hath breathed his laſt, and all his family muſt bewail the old mans death. The God of heaven will tel us at the day of judgement, how little wee knew what to do with our ſelves, and our time when we had fair oppor­tunities to prepare for death, and to work out our ſalvation: God will eaſily convince us, that it was our wilful proſecu­tion of our own luſts which ruined us, and that wee would not come to him that wee might have life.

If any one ſhall ask mee, what ſhould bee done to make preparation for death: I would beg of him, firſt,Nihil minus eſt hominis oe­cupati quam vivere, idem cap. 6. That hee would bee ſo much at leaſure as to bee a while ſerious, if hee can but prevail ſo far with himſelf, as not to bee turned out of doors by his own thoughts, hee will anſwer his own queſtion himſelf, and ſoon reſolve, that to live, is the beſt preparation to dye. Haec quae vides oſſa circumvo­lura nervis, & obductam cu­tem, vultum que & miniſtias manus & caete­ra quibus in­voluti ſumus, vincula ani­morum tene­braeque; ſunt. Se­neca Conſol. ad Marciam. c. 24.

For it is one thing to bee in the world, another thing to live: To bee a man in the due uſe of all powers and fa­culties in the juſt command of all paſſions, to bee a Chri­ſtian in the exerciſe of all Divine graces, this is to live, o­therwiſe men are dead in ſins and treſpaſſes, and their ſouls are buried in a lump of fleſh.

I perſwade my ſelf in this point, men need more to bee awakened than inſtructed, for who knows not that hee ought to repent, and who underſtands not that by repen­tance, God means that which hee himſelf means, when hee charges a ſon, a friend, a ſervant to repent, viz. That hee38 ſhould bee heartily ſorrowful for what is paſt,S. Auguſtinus ſibi juſſera: Pſalmos Di­vidicos de pae­nitentia ſcribi ipſoſquejacens in lecto contra paretem Poſito Jegebat jugi­ter & ubertim flebit. Poſido­nius. and do ſo no more; why then is not the Catalogue of ſin read over till thy heart bee melted with godly ſorrow, and a con­ſtant antipathy againſt iniquity make thee watchful That thou ſin no more leſt a worſe thing come.

Reader, tell mee, Wouldeſt thou not do this, this week, it thou thoughteſt thou ſhouldeſt dye the next? but remem­ber this day cannot bee too ſoon, becauſe to morrow may bee too late. It was a good ſaying of a wiſe Rabbi, It is every mans duty to repent one day before hee dyes; and hee that knows not but that this day may bee his laſt, had need begin to day, and ſo make every day a continued act of repen­tance: Do this to purpoſe now, for ſince nothing makes enmity betwixt the holy God and us but ſin, practiſe this duty daily by ſurveying all thy life, by continuing reſo­lutions of obedience, by holy watchfulneſs, that when the hour of death comes, thou mayeſt have this by thee as a never failing cordial.

And doſt thou not know, that thou wilt then need a ſtrong beleef of this great truth, That God hath mercy for a repenting ſinner, That the caſe of man is not deſperate; That wee have liberty for ſecond thoughts by the New Covenant; That there is a great glory hereafter, and a cer­tain reſurrection to eternal life? why is not this point ſtu­died by thee till thy ſoul bee fully confirmed in this great Article?

Or art thou ignorant that thou ſhalt be unwilling to dye if thy treaſure be not laid up in heaven?〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉Plat. in Phaed. you may pull off a glove with eaſe, but not the skin; you may eaſily ſee a ſoul go hence, that hath none on earth that it deſires in compariſon of God. Whereas a ſoul immerſed in body, uſed to no­thing but eating and drinking, and the pleaſures of the belly,〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, ſc. that is bewitched by the body, faln in love with it, and imbraceth it; Oh how willing it is to catch at, and claſp about every thing that might make it ſtay in its be­loved tabernacle; Oh be ſure to inure thy minde to things heavenly, and ſpiritual, for inordinate conſent to the plea­ſures of our outward man do〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉(as the noble Philo­ſopher39 ſpeaks) ſtrangely unite our ſouls to our bodies, that they cannot go from that which they count their happineſs without infinite torment and vexation: That day wherein the vanity of the world, the emptineſſe and diſſatisfaction of all corporal delights are not ſo far ſtudied, as to preſerve our love for God, that day did nothing for our proviſion for death.

Reader, all this thou art perſwaded of, practice it; yet for thy comfort and quiet, at the hour of death, remem­ber to familiarize death to thy thoughts in life; a Mariner is not afraid in a ſtorm at Sea, when a childe, or a timo­rous woman quakes for fear in a fair day, on a ſhallow river: Think thy Saviour the beloved Son of God died, and lay in the grave; remember if thou art Chriſts, all things are thine, life, and death; ſeriouſly read, and duly conſider, Heb. 2.14.15. 1 Cor. 3. laſt.Foraſmuch then as the children are partakers of fleſh and blood, hee alſo himſelf likewiſe took part of the ſame, that through death hee might deſtroy him that had the power of death, that is the Devil, and de­liver them, who through fear of death were all their life time ſubject to bondage.

Did wee thus practice, and thus anticipate death by thoughts, wee ſhould finde our childiſh fancies apt to con­verſe with that grim viſage, which at the firſt they ran a­way from.

By this means wee ſhould bee worthy that character of thoſe valiant people. Lucan.

Animaequecapaces Mortis.

Men not tranſported with the love of life, nor inſlaved with the fear of death: Men fit to live; fit to die; men that could triumph, and ſing that glorious〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, Oh death! w where is thy ſting, Oh grave! where is thy victory?

Fifthly and laſtly,I ſpeak here only of good men that make proviſion for death by a pi­ous life. Moſes death chargeth you to bee ſatiſ­fied, quiet, and contented, when you die your ſelves, when your friends, when good Magiſtrates, good Miniſters die before you; for ſure wee, and they may bee ſick, and die, and yet bee beloved of God; ſo was Moſes: Yea behold a greater than Moſes, Jeſus Chriſt; hee that heard the voice from Heaven, this is my beloved Son, hee felt the pains of40 death, and lay three daies in a Sepulchre: deaths face looks more lovely ever ſince, and may bee beheld with leſs aſto­niſhment: Now wee may chearfully ſay, come let us go and dye alſo: ſure though the Bee humme, and make a noiſe, though the Serpent hiſs, yet the ſting is gone: Bleſſed bee God for the ſatisfaction wee have in this great caſe by the death and reſurrection of our Lord and Saviour: when our pains are next to intollerable, though wee ſhould ſweat as hee did, drops like blood; yea, when wee feel the ſtroak of death, and finde the face beſmeared with a cold clammy moiſture; the eyes are dimme, the hands ſtiffe, the friends ſtand by and weep, they ſpeak, but can receive no anſwer: there is no liberty for a thought of any thing but pain and ſadneſs, grief and ſorrow, yet may a ſober Chriſtian now by this Goſpel-knowledge of the death of Chriſt, make this happy concluſion; this may bee my caſe, and yet I not bee hated, but ſo far beloved of the holy God, as that I may hereafter ſhine as the Sun in the firmament,Mat. 13.43. and may for ever bee as the Angels beholding the face of my Father in Heaven: Go then yee uſeful exemplary perſons, who ſpeak much to the World, when you ſay nothing, who by good works,Eſt aliquid quod a magno viro, vel tacen­te proficias. Seneca. thoſe unanſwerable ſyllogiſmes, thoſe in­vincible demonſtrations, convince ſpectators, who by the beauty of holineſſe, ſteal away the hearts of gainſayers, and win