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THE King of Terrors METAMORPHOSIS. OR, DEATH Transform'd into SLEEP.

A SERMON Preached at the Funeral of Mrs. Elizabeth Nicoll, Daughter to that Worthy, eminently Pious, and Charitable Citizen of London, Mr. John Walter Deceaſed, and late Wife of Mr. William Nicoll of London Draper.

By Thomas Lye Rector of Alhal. Lumbard-ſtreet, London.

Iſai. 26.19.

Awake and ſing, ye that dwell in the duſt.

Mark 5.39.

The Damſell is not dead, but ſleepeth.

John 11.12.

Lord if he ſleep, he ſhall do well.

Nox Exitus eſt, ſed Tranſitus.


LONDON, Printed by M. S. for Hen. Cripps, and are to be ſold at his Shop in Popes-head-Alley, 1660.

To his Dearly Reſpected Friend Mr. William Nicoll.

Dear Sir,

It hath pleaſed the Lord, of late to do with you, as of old with his eminent Servant Ezek viz To take away from you the[a][a]Ezek. 24.16. deſire and delight of your eyes Your dear, deareſt Wife, your ſelf in ano­ther skin, the t'other[b][b]Anime divi­dium med. half of your ſoul, is gone down to the Chambers of darkneſs. When I conſider, the cloſeneſs of your Rela­tion, the dearneſs of your Affection, I cannot but grant, the deprivation of ſuch a Wife, to be a ſharp diſpenſation; a bitter cup indeed; But yet it hath this to ſweeten it, that 'tis handed out by a wiſe, ſoveraign, gracious Father; a God, that doth, and will do, what he pleaſes, and none can ſtay his hand, or ſay unto Him,[c][c]Dan. 4.35. what doſt Thou. And, Sir, give me leave to tell you, I do not, dare not, look on you, as ſuch a piece of preſumptuous clay, as dares give check to your great Pot­ter. You are none of thoſe proud and impa­tient Worms, that will turn again, when a God treads either on you or yours, No, but rather, you have learnt good old Eli's Epi­phonema,[d][d]1 Sam. 3.38. It is the Lord; or which is more, with Job, not only to ſubmit unto, but even to[e][e]Job. 1.21 bleſs A taking as well as a giving God. It were eaſie to expatiate. But then, the Gate would be too wide for the City. As there­fore the Voice to Auſtin, Tolle & Lege, ſo I to you, Read, Conſider; and in Gods ſtrength endeavour ſo to improve the Truths herein contained, that it may appear to your Conſcience, that you have not ſo much loſt, as parted, only for a time, with the dearly beloved of your ſoul: and that the time is coming, yea haſtning, when you ſhall happily meet again, and for ever repoſe your ſelves in that center of Bliſs, the bo­ſom of Chriſt; yea, and ſo meet, as never to part more.

Your Affectionate Friend and Paſtor, THO. LYE.

To His much Eſteemed and Worthy Friend, Mrs. ALICE WALTER.

Worthy and Chriſtian Friend.

THis Sermon, which was lately preacht to your Ear, is now, at the requeſt and im­portunity of ſome Friends, humbly preſented to your Eye. I hope by this time, your prudence, faith, patience, have well di­geſted your late juſt ſorrows: and that the ten­der of theſe Notes will not cauſe your Wounds to bleed afreſh: They were firſt intended, and are now offered, as a Lenitive, not Corroſive; to al­lay, not aggravate, your Griefs.

'Tis true, the All-wiſe Soveraign of Heaven and Earth, has thought it fit to deprive you (at leaſt for a while) of ſuch eminent enjoyments, as but few Mothers in our Iſrael are bleſt with. A pru­dent, faithful, affectionate, pious, charitable Husband: Another Enoch, for of a truth, he walkt with God: One that was eyes to the blind, feet to the lame; whom not only the lips of the hungry, but the loins of the naked, did bleſs; a man rich in faith, rich in good works. And two daughters the one, credibly reported, the other known, to me to be ſo humble, obedient, modeſt, diſcreet, devout, that ſhe fully proved her ſelf, the genuine Iſſue of ſo precious a Father: a Branch worthy ſuch a Stock: Theſe are now taken from you, whereof the one was your ſelf divided, the others, your ſelf multipli'd. such ſtrokes, when they come ſingle, cannot but ſharply afflict us, but when double, tre­ble, are apt deeply to aſtoniſh us. And here me­thinks, your condition beſpeaks us, as once Job his Friends, Job 19.21. Have pitty upon me, have pit­ty upon me, Oye my Friends, for the Hand of God hath touched me. We do, we cannot, but pit­ty you; and how freely could we ſit down and min­gle tears and ſighs with you, weep till we could weep no more, but that my Text muſt be remem­bred, which ſtrictly forbids, both you and us, im­moderate mourning for thoſe that are fallen a­ſleep in Jeſus; and certainly, without the leaſt ſtrain of charity, we may ſo conclude concerning your late Relations: they are not dead, but ſleep in Jeſus: and if ſo, why may not you reply with Auſtin concerning Monica, what cauſe have I to over-grieve for a mother an husband, daugh­ters, of whoſe happineſs I am and juſtly may be ſo well aſſured. I need not ask you, whether you lo­ved them: And could you love them, and not wiſh they might be perfectly happy? And could they be perfectly happy and not die? and are they dead, and do you, can you, dare you, think them leſs than perfectly happy? True, your loſs is great, but their gain is greater. oh grieve not ſo much at your loſs, as rejoyce at their gain. If you do, and your tears exceed your joys, you will by theſe bewray a love indeed, but 'tis of your ſelf more than them. Go then, Chriſtian Friend, and ſince you cannot here enjoy their perſons, imitate their graces: live more and more like them, ſince you cannot, as yet, live with them: and let this cauſe you to love and long for Heaven ſo much the more, becauſe ſo much of your ſelf, even more than half, is there already. Which that you may, as it is the ſerious advice, ſo it ſhall be the ardent prayer, of

The Servant of your Faith, and Helper of your Joy. THO. LYE.


1 Theſſ. 4.13, 14.

13. But I would not have you to be igno­rant, Brethren, concerning them which are aſleep, that ye ſorrow not, even as others, which have no hope.

14. For if we believe, that Jeſus died, and roſe again, even ſo them alſo which ſleep in Jeſus, will God bring with Him.

OUR Apoſtles drift in theſe words is to prefs his Theſſalonians to moder ation of ſorrow for thoſe of theirs,Scopt. that were dead in Christ. Grief, (like her ſiſter Paſſions, being too too apt to paſſe its bounds, and overflow its chanel) tranſports the Theſſalonians into a great indecency. Whilſt they wept as Men, they had almoſt forgot to act as Chriſtians; The floud of their2 tears, had as it were drowned the anchor of their hopes. For a ſtop and Bay to this uncomely, unchriſtian Deluge, our Apoſtle here lets down this holy Floud-gate, in the words of the Text:But I would not have you, &c.

In which words, we have a Chriſtian duty gravely propo­ſed,Diviſion. and ſtrongly preſt.

1. A Duty propoſed, i. e. a mean, a temper, moderation in mourning for the dead. Sorrow for the dead, they might, nay, they ought? Paul prohibits not, but allows, yea elſewhere commands to mourn: But then it muſt be in mea­ſure, not immoderately. Greive, as men, they may and ought; but then as chriſtian men. Not as men without[a][a]Contriſtamur & nos in no­ſtiorum morti­bus, neceſſitate amittendi, ſed cum ſperecipi endi. Aug. hope.Grace deſtroys not Nature, but rectifies. it. Religion doth not extirpate affections, but only orders and moderates them.

2. The Arguments by which this Duty is preſt. And theſe are taken

1. Ab Inhoneſto. Such an immoderate mourning for the dead would ſpeak the Theſſalonians, if not groſly Igno­rant, at leaſt deeply inſenſible and forgetful of the happy condition of the Saints departed. I would not have you[b][b]Velim vos ſcire. Trem. Syr. & AEth. ver ſis. ignorant.Or, I would have you know; q. d. did you indeed clearly know, firmly believe, or ſeriouſly remember and conſider, what you have been taught, nay, and have profeſt, viz. the thrice happy eſtate of Believers after this life, you would not, could not, ſo intemperately bemoan their ſeeming-loſſe, whilſt you ſeriouſly recollect their reall gain.

2. Ab Indecore. Such an immoderate ſorrow rather be­comes an hopeleſs Heathen, then an hopeful Theſſalonian:Sorrow not even as others that have no hopeQ. d. The Heathens indeed, wring their hands, beat their breaſts, ſigh to the breaking of their loins, bedew, nay fur­row their cheeks with tears at the Funerals of their Relati­ons;3 and all this becauſe they have no hope of their Reſur­rection to a new and better life. They ſuppoſe, they have taken their ultimum vale of their departed Friends, bid them an eternal adieu, that they are utterly extinct, loſt and gone,〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, that they ſhall never ſee, or enjoy them more, and ſo no wonder, if they[c][c]Lugetur mor­tuus quem ge­henna ſuſcipit, quem Tartarus devorat. mourn, and that immoderately. But for you, whoſe deareſt Relations ſouls are by Angels tranſported into the higheſt Heavens, and there inſtall'd free Denizons of thoſe glorious Manſions; nay more, even lodg'd and repoſed in the boſom of our Lord Jeſus; for ſuch as you, to mourn immoderately, and that for ſuch as theſe, it would argue an heatheniſh deſpair ſway'd more in your breaſts, then a Chriſtian hope.

3. A qualitate Mortis;Concerning them which are aſleep in Jeſus.

Q. d. And what is this you take ſo much to heart? Is it that you call their death? Alas you are quite miſtaken, their departure hence is not ſo properly to be termed a death, as,

1. A ſleep. What you miſtake for a Serpent, is indeed but a Rod. Their death is no more but a ſleep, a ſweet, ſilent, refreſhing ſleep. The Damſel is not dead, but[d][d]Mark 5.32. ſleepeth. As our natural ſleep is a breathing Emblem of death, ſo our temporal death is nothing elſe but a fair reſemblance of ſleep. The one is a ſhorter death, the other a longer ſleep. And will you, can you grieve immoderately, when you ſee your deareſt Friends, when weary, laid down to reſt, and gone to ſleep?

2. A ſleep in Jeſus. 〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉[e][e]〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉Helleniſm. Enallage propo­ſuionis: ut & 1 Tim. 2.15. Rom. 4.11. Spanhem.〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉. Belie­vers at their death fall aſleep in Chriſt. Death it ſelf diſ­ſolves not that real, ſpiritual, cloſeſt union, between Chriſt and true Believers: No more then ſleep doth that be­tween ſoul and body. Being truly ingrafted into Chriſt, they have ſaithfully perſevered to the end in the profeſſion and practiſe of the faith, have not left him in life, and therefore Chriſt will not forſake them in death: They then ſleep in Chriſt. And will you grieve immoderately4 to ſee a Child ſweetly fallen aſleep in his Fathers armes?

4. A Certitudine Reſurrectionis. This their death is a ſleep indeed, but not a perpetual, everlaſting ſleep. Tis not a ſleep of eternal death. No. But theſe that ſleep now, ſhall certainly awaks and ariſe from the dead, and Chriſt ſhall give them life. Chriſt their head being riſen, is the exemplar, pattern, pledge, and will be the cauſe of their reſur­rection. True, Chriſt is gone a far journey, but he will come again, and all theſe.

That ſleep in Chriſt will God bring with Him.

Having thus Anatomized the whole, I ſhall only ſingle out one of the parts, and make that, which Paul uſes as his third Argument to back his Exhortation, the Baſis of my preſent Meditations; and 'tis this,


A true Believers temporal Death is a ſweet and ſilent ſleep in Jeſus Chriſt.

This truth I ſhall explain, confirm, improve.

For Explication.

Explica tion 1Queſt. What is it that ſleeps in a Believers death?

Sol. 1. Negatively. Not his Soul. As the ſoul cannot[f][f]Mat. 10.28. die, ſo it doth not ſleep, i. e. after its diſſolution from the body, it lies not ſtill without any motion or operation; True in­deed, ſuch acts of the ſoul as are meerly Organical, i. e. ſuch as the ſoul cannot exert but by the help of the body, as ſeeing, hearing, taſting, &c. theſe indeed do, and muſt needs ceaſe. But then there are other acts, which are in­organical and immaterial, which the ſoul can put forth of it ſelf, without the leaſt commerce with or aſiſtance from the body. Theſe ceaſe not. As appears;

1. By the Light of Nature. Natures dim eyes have been cleare enough to ſee this truth. Hence the Platoniſts reſem­ble the ſouls being and acting after death, to the diſtinct being of the Wagoner after the Coach is broken. To the ſwimming out of the Mariner when the Ship is wrackt5 To the creeping out of the Snail when the ſhell is cruſht.

2. By the Light of Reaſon. What hinders me to con­clude the being, the quick and lively acting of the ſoul (that pure, immaterial, and immortal ſubſtance) in the Air, in the Heaven, or elſewhere, as well as in the compaſs of my body? Why ſhould not that ſoul, that exiſted without the body before it was created, inſpired, infuſed, as well exiſt and act after the union of it with the body is diſ­ſolved?

3. By daily, conſtant Experience. Do we not find and feel the ſoul, even whilſt in the body, to have its motions, paſſions, tempers, quite different from, and independent on the body? Is not the ſoul often cheerful, when that is in pain? Does not the ſoul often ſing, when the body ſighs? Have not innumerable Martyrs triumphed in the midſt of flames and tortures? Does not holy Baynam tell the Papiſts, that his flames were no more to him then a bed of Down or Roſes? Again, in the deepeſt and deadeſt ſleep, when ſleep with its ſtrongeſt cords has moſt ſtrongly bound up all our ſenſes, has not the ſoul its nimble workings, and moſt rational[g][g]Corpore qui­eſcente, anima non dormit, itn etiam anima poſt mortem. ſomnus ſenſus tantùm exc­teriores occu­pat non ani­mam. diſcourſes then? To ſay nothing of divine Raptures and Extaſies, when the body is as it were laid by as uſeleſs and uninſtrumental to the ſoul; as appears in paul 2 Cor. 12.2, 3, 4. when Paul's ſoul had an ear to hear ſuch words as his body could not find a tongue to expreſs: And in John, Rev. 1.16. In a word, in ſickneſs, yea in death it ſelf, when the ſoul walks in the very valley and ſhadow of death, in the very act and article of its diſſolution, what a freſh vigour does the ſoul many times put on? How does this divine flame blaze in the very ſocket? How does it crect and rouſe it ſelf, and plainly tells us, that it means not to fall with the body, but only to leave it, as an Inhabitant a ruinous houſe, till it be repaired? as a Muſitian to lay aſide his Lute, whoſe ſtrings are crackt, till it be new ſtrung.


4. By the Light of Scripture. The ſouls which were under the Altar were not aſleep, though their bodies were; for they cryed with a loud voice, &c. Rev: 6.9, 10. In death, the body, that handſome Pile of duſt, returns to the carth as it was, but the ſpirit, the ſoul, Iſta Divinae aurae par­ticula, returns unto God who gave it, Eccleſ. 12.7. and to the ſpirits of juſt men made perfect, Heb. 12.23. Had the ſoul of the penitent Thief ſlept, how could it have been truly ſaid to have been with Chriſt in Paradice, Luke 23.43. With Chriſt in Paradice, i. e, in the higheſt Empyrean Heavens, Acts 3.21. beholding his face in light and glory, John 17.24. Had Paul but dreamt of the ſouls ſleep, he would never have groaned ſo earneſtly to be cloathed upon with his houſe from heaven, 2 Cor. 5.1, 4. Nor to have had the union of his ſoul and body diſſolved, and the com­munion with God which he then enjoy'd, interrupted at leaſt, if not broken off, had he not been ſure, that immediately on that diſſolution, he ſhould be with Chriſt, Phil. 1.21, 23.

Thus Negatively. The ſoul ſleeps not.

2. Affirmatively. The body ſleeps, Matth. 27.52. Or, if you will, the ſtate of a Believers death much reſembles that of ſleep: which leads me to the ſecond thing I promi­ſed: viz.

2. Confirmation.

Now I ſhall prove this point, generally and particu­larly.

1. More generally. Sleep is the image of death, and death is more then the image of ſleep. Lighten mine eyes leaſt I ſleep the ſleep of death,〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉i. e. Leaſt I ſleep Death. i. e. leaſt I die, Pſal. 13.3. Our friend Lazarus ſleepeth, John 11.11. Our Saviour interprets his own words; Lazarus is dead, v. 14. Many are ſickly among you, and many ſleep, i. e. are dead, 1 Cor. 11.30. An uſual phraſe among the Hebrews for being dead, was this, They ſlept with their Fathers, 1 King. 11.43. 2 King. 20.21. Luke retains the Hebrew form, and7 tells us, that Stephen and David gave up the ghoſt and fell aſleep, Acts 7.60. and 3.36.

And hence it is that the Saints graves are call'd their beds: They ſhall reſt in their beds, Iſai. 57.2. When a Believer dies, he is but gone to bed; gone down from a bed of ivory to a bed of earth; from a pillow of down, to a pil­low of duſt.

Hence alſo both the Greeks and Latines ſtile the pla­ces where the dead are laid up and buried,[i][i]i〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉Dormitoria. ſleeping places:

Thus more generally. But

2. More particularly. By ſpreading before you the Analogy, proportion, reſemblance, paralel, that is between ſleep and death. A Believers death runs paralel to ſleep, in its Antecedent, Concomitant, Conſequents.

1. In its Antecedet; or that which uſually goes before ſleep, and that is Veſtium Depoſitio. When a man goes to ſleep, he uſually[k][k]Somnum ca­piens veſtes exuit. 1〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 uncloaths, diſmantles, diſrobes himſelf. In like manner Peter calls his death, 1 a putting off of his taber­nacle, 2 Pet. 1.14. Paul ſtiles it a diſſolution of our earthly houſe of this tabernacle, 2 Cor. 5.1. An un­cloathing:〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉v. 4. When a Believer dies, he laies aſide, not only the garment ſpotted with, but even that which is made of fleſh. Thus Jubentius and Maximinus We are ready to lay off the laſt garment the fleſh.

2. In its Concomitant; Or that which accompanies and attends on ſleep: and that is, Quictis tranquilitas, Sweet[m][m]〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉. Orph. de ſomn. TuqueO domi­tor ſomne, malo­run, requies cnimi. Sen. Her. ſur. Reſt and Repoſe. When a man goes to his ſleep, we ſay he goes to his reſt. So Job 3.13. Now ſhould I have lien ſtill and been quiet; Now ſhould I have ſlept, I ſhould have been at reſt. 'Tis true, reſt is more then ſleep; Sometimes a man ſleeps, when he doth not reſt, but is trou­bled in his ſleep; But when reſt is joyn'd with ſleep, this is perfect ſleep.

In death a Believer enjoys a perfect reſt: A ſtate where­in Believers lie quietly in their beds of earth, and have not ſo8 much as one waking moment, or diſtracting dream. Here indeed, thoſe Doves, find no reſt for the ſoles of their feet; but no ſooner are they lodged in the Ark of death, but they are at reſt. They ſhall[n][n]Iſa. 57.2. reſt in their beds. Now there is a five-fold reſt which a Believer enjoyes in and by his temporal death: From labour, from trou­ble, from infirmities, from ſin, and from tempta­tions.

1. From labour and toil. No working in the Grave: There the ſervant is free from his maſter, The poor Iſra­elite from his Egyptian Task-maſter. No tale of bricks demanded there. There the weary with labour is at reſt, Job 3.17, 19. This life is the day of the Saints working. They, as well as their Maſter, muſt work while 'tis day. Death is the night of the Saints reſting. When the Sun of our Life ariſeth, we go forth to our labour until the evening of death, Pſal. 104.23. and no longer, for then, they that die in the Lord reſt from their labours, Rev. 14.13. This life is a continual motion; death a perpetual reſt. Our life is a ſtormy paſſage, a tempeſtuous Sea-voyage, death brings us to a peaceable Port.

2. From troubles, miſeries, calamities: And theſe either publick or private.

1. Publick and National. No warrs, famine, peſti­lence, no bloody battels, no garments rould in blood, no ſod­ding of the Babe, to ſatisfie the hunger of the Mother, in the Grave. If a Cloud of blood hover over a Nation; If an Angel on a red Horſe be ready to mount and march through a Kingdome; If commiſſion be given to the Sword to eat fleſh and to drink blood; the death of a Believer hou­ſes him before the ſtorm. Joſiah dies in peace, and ſees not all the evil which God will bring on Jeruſalem, 2 King. 22.20. The Righteous man is taken from the evil to come, Iſai. 57.1. A Believers grave is nothing elſe but one of Gods privy Chambers, where he is hid from the indignation to come, Iſai. 26, 20.


2. Private and Perſonal. No trouble, no oppreſſion, no perſecution, no racks, no ſtrappado's in the Grave, The voice of the oppreſſour is not heard there, Job 3.18, This life indeed is a cloudy, bluſtring paſſage to Gods Jonahs, but death is that Whale, which doth not ſo properly ſwallow them up, as carry and convergh them, 'tis indeed, both their Ship and Pilot, to conduct them ſafe to ſhoar. Poor Saints, here, they are uſually the worlds Gally-ſlaves: this lower Orbe is to them, but a larger kind of Tunis of Ar­gier, but they are manumitted there. Their death ranſomes them. Here they are at the foot of every bloody Bonner, Gardiner, Nero, Trajan, Diocleſian, Julian: but death ſets them out of gun-ſhot. The rod is taken off their backs, and a palm put into their hands, Rev. 7.9, 14. There Peter no more feares the Croſſe, Paul the Axe, James the Sword, Iſaiah the Saw, Elijah Jezebel, the noble Army of Martyrs, the Cole-houſe, Dungeon, Halter, Faggot, Flames. Hence Cyprian when dying, God be thanked for this Goal-delivery: And I. Buiſſon Now ſhall I have a double Goal-delivery, one out of my ſinful fleſh, another out of my loathſome dungeon.

3. From all bodly[o][o]Hic quot ve­nae tot morbi. weakneſs, infirmities, pains, griefs, paſſions,[p][p]Diu vivere nihil aliud eſt, quàm diù torqueri. Aug. miſeries. By reaſon of theſe, Saints, whilſt here, are ſubject to panting hearts, moiſtned eyes, blub­ber'd cheeks: Here uſually aſhes are their bread, and tears their drink. Here the Saints life is uſually ſo miſerable, that 'tis an obſervation of Hierom, and the reſolution of an ancient[q][q]Chriſtus non ploravit Laza­rum mortuum, ſed ad hujus vi­tae arumnas ploraevit reſuſ­citandumCon­cil. Tolet. 3. Councel, concerning Jeſus his weeping over Lazarus, John 11.31. That it was not ſo much a grief for Lazarus his death, as the conſideration of his[q][q]Chriſtus non ploravit Laza­rum mortuum, ſed ad hujus vi­tae arumnas ploraevit reſuſ­citandumCon­cil. Tolet. 3. rai­ſing again to a miſerable life, that drew thoſe tears from our Saviours eyes.

But now, Death wipes every tear from a Believers eye, Rev. 7.17. ſorrow and ſighing do then fly away, Rev. 21.4. Death is the great Catholicon, panacea, ſalve for all ſores; the reall and laſting cure of all the Saints diſeaſes, maladies, infirmities. So that good man Laverock com­forted10 his fellow Martyr John ap Rice: Come, ſaith he, be of good comfort Brother; for my Lord of London is our good Phyſitian; He will ſoon cure thee of thy blindneſs, and me of my lameneſs, this day.

4. From ſin: He that is dead, is freed from ſin, Rom. 6.7. From their own ſin, and from the ſins of others.

1. From their own ſin; and that both as to its guilt and ſilth.

1. From the guilt: I mean the ſenſe and apprehenſion of guilt. Poor Believers, whilſt here, many times lie under the ſtabs and throws of a wounded Concience: their ſouls ſtricken through with Gods venemous Arrowes, and made as it were dizy with the wine of aſtoniſhment. As they are for­ced to lye down in ſorrow, ſo they fear they ſhall riſe up in Flames; This was the caſe of Heman, Aſaph, &c. Many, very many of the children of Light, whil'ſt here, walk in ſuch darkneſs, Iſa. 50.10. But now Death delivers them from this midnight darkneſſe, brings them into the face and preſence, ſets them under the beams of the Sun of righteouſneſs, which ſhall never more be clouded; Not a wrinkle more now for e­ver to be ſeen on Gods face, not the leaſt frown on Gods fore­head, Every ſcore quite blotted out, every debt cancelled, and they no leſſe fully, the freely acquitted and diſcharged, Jeremiah, 31.34.

2. From the raging power; yea, from the polluting, pestring preſence of ſin. Poor Saints here labour under the intollera­ble burthen of a corrupt heart, and ſinfull life. How was Paul preſt, oppreſt, with that weight, that mountain, the law of his members warring againſt the law of his mind. This makes him cry out likea forlorn Caitif,〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉O wretched man that I am, Rom: 7.24. Paul that could re­joyce in tribulation, could not but mourn under corruption; This was that made the good man cry out, Libera me a malo; hoc est, a me ipſo, Domine. This made holy Bradford bewail himſelfe, as the living Chriſtians of old, when tied to dead carkaſſes.


But now when once death comes, it ſoon knocks off theſe ſhackles: takes off theſe weights, that ſo eaſily beſet us. As the Martyrs formerly cheered themſelves againſt the rage of their bloody perſecutors. Oh brethren, ſaid they, our perſecuters are ſending of us thither, where we ſhall never of­fend God more. Death ſpares not one Agag alive. Every Canaanite ſlain. Every Egyptian drown'd. Thoſe corrupti­ons they have ſeen to day, they ſhall ſee them no more for ever. Death preſents them without ſpot or wrinkles, Eph. 5.27. Totally frees them not only from the power, but preſence of ſin. The end of their living, is nothing leſs then the end and period of their ſinning.

2. From the ſins, and corruptions of others. Here the ſinfulneſs and pollution of the times and places, wherein Saints live, (ſpecially of perſons neerly related to them,) makes their lives grievous, and is as it were a Coloquin­tida in the pot of their ſweeteſt comforts. Lots righte­ous ſoul vext with the Sodomites, 2 Pet. 2.8. Rebeccah weary of her life, becauſe of the daughters of Heth, Gen. 27.46. Woe is me, ſaith David, that I muſt dwell in Meſech, Pſal. 120.5. Oh that I could leave my peo­ple, ſaith weeping Jeremy, Jer. 9.2. But now, 'tis not the leaſt part of our happineſſe by death, that it brings us there, where there are no ill neighbours. There ſhall enter in nothing that defiles into thoſe holy Manſions, Rev. 21.27. Corrupt fleſh and blood ſhall not, cannot enter into the Kingdom of God: 1 Cor. 15.50.

5. From temptations, Satans winnowings, buffetings, ſolicitations to ſin. Here, ever and anon a meſſenger ſent from Satan to buffet Saints, 2 Cor. 12.7. Anakims to fight them, Midianitiſh women to allure them, Satan going about like a roaring Lion ſeeking whom, and how he may devour, 1 Pet. 5.8. Here Gods Adam's never without an Eve and a Serpent. In this Egypt Chriſts Jo­ſeph's alwayes dogg'd with the ſuggeſtions of a Potiphars wife. But now the death of Saints Brings them into that heavenly Paradice, where there is no Serpent. The great12 Dragon, the Accuſer and Tempter of the Brethren is caſt down thence, and never to be admitted more, Rev. 12.9.16. Here the Saints alwayes wreſtling, not only with fleſh and blood, but principalities, and powers, and ſpiri­tual wickedneſſes in nigh places, Eph. 6.12. Here, though they ate never totally overcome, yet are they ſtoutly char­ged and aſſaulted: and though 'tis the Saints honour to conquer, yet is it their trouble to conflict: yea, but now death puts the Saints into ſuch a condition, that they are not only without a foyle, but without fighting too.

Thus in reſpect of its concomitant, Reſt, the death of Saints may well be reſembled to ſleep.

3. In its Conſequents: which are two: Excitationis fa­cilitas: & Virium reparatio.

1. Excitationis facilitas. Awaking or riſing from ſleep. Natural ſleep is not perpetual: we ſleep and a­wake again: Pſal. 3.5. I laid me down and ſlept, I awa­ked. So that though the body lies for a time in the grave, yet it ſhall awake and riſe again. Many, i. e. all of them that ſleep in the duſt ſhall awake: Dan. 12.2. Pſal. 17.15, Iſai. 26.19. John 5.28. Job 19.26, 27. Hoſ. 13.14. Rev. 10.13. A time coming when the loud Trump ſhall awaken the ſleeping aſhes, and thoſe old friends, ſoul and body, meet and embrace, and never part more.

2. Virium reparatio, renovatio, reſtitutio. The body, that was ſown in weakneſs, ſhall be raiſed in power. It was ſown a natural body: it ſhall be raiſed a ſpiritual body; endowed with impaſſibility, ſubtilty, agi­lity, clarity. It is ſown in diſhonour, it ſhall be raiſed in glory, 1 Cor. 15.42, 43, 44. It ſhall be like unto Chriſts glorious body, Phil. 3.21. ſhining forth and ſparkling like the Sun in its midday-glory, Matth. 13.43.

And thus we have diſpatcht the parallel betwixt a Belie­vers death and ſleep. The third thing promiſed, was the13 Application and Improvement of the whole; to which we now addreſs our ſelves.

3. Application.

Applica tion. 3By way of Information, Exhortation, Dehortation, Conſo­lation.

Informa tion. 11. For the Information of our Judgements in four Corollaries.

1. If a Believers death be a ſleep, then that Aphoriſme of the wiſe Man appears to be a great truth, Eccleſ. 7.1. The day of death is better then the day of ones birth. Man is born unto trouble, as the ſparks fly upward, Job 7.5. Sparks have a principle in themſelves, by which they aſ­cend, they need no directing, they fly upward naturally. So 'tis a natural courſe for man, as ſoon as he is born, to verge to ſorrow. Our birth is nothing elſe but a lanching forth into a deep Ocean of ſin and ſorrow, an intrat to act our parts in a Scene of iniquity and miſery: Yea, but now a Believers death is his happy Exit and Epilogue; his calm[r][r]Rev. 14.13. Port, and ſafe Harbour, after all his tollings and tempeſts. Of this truth, that Mirrour of her Sex, the Lady Jane Grey, diſcovers a clear conviction, who, being requeſted by the Lieutenant of the Tower to write her Symbol in his book, before her beheading, wrote thus: Let the glaſſy condition of this life never deceive thee: there is a time to be born, and a time to die, but the day of death is better then the day of birth.

2. If a Believers death, &c. Hence learn, The infi­nite power, wiſdom and goodneſs of God, in that he is able and willing to turn the worſt of evils, into ſo great a good: out of the deadlieſt poyſon to make the moſt ſoveraign Antidote: to turn a Moſes Serpent into a Rod, and with that Rod to work wonders: to fetch honey and ſweetneſs out of the carcaſs of a Lion: nay, to turn the Eater in­to meat, Death into ſleep; to make that, which in it14 ſelf is the greateſt loſs, to become ſo great a Gain, Phil. 1.23. to render the King of Terrors, Job 18.14. moſt amia­ble, yea moſt uſeful: to make that ſo ſweet a bleſſing, which was threatned, as the ſaddeſt curſe: to turn an Eſau's ma­lice into courteſie and ſalutes, his intended ſtabs into tears and kiſſes. Verily this is the Lords doing, and it ought to be marvellous in our eyes.

3. If a Believers death, &c. Hence ſee, the vaſt difference between an Ʋnbeliever and a Believer in their death. Death to an unbeliever is Poena peccati; ſo threat­ned, Gen. 2.17. ſo inflicted, Rom. 5.12. Their end is deſtruction, Phil. 3.19. Death comes fiercely to them, pulls them by the threat, like a grim Serjeant, arreſts and ſummons them to hell, where after ten hundred thouſand years ſcorching and yelling in flames, their pain is never the nearer to its period. No time gives them hope of abating; yea time hath nothing to do with this eternity; where they ſhall be ever dying, but never die: where Di­vels, who were here ready to tempt them, when graceleſs, to ſin, are as ready to purſue them, now damned, with torments. 'Tis true, their bodies ſleep indeed for a while, but 'tis as Sampſon in Dalilahs lap, ready to be given up as a prey to the Philiſtins: as Siſera in Jaels Tent, the hammer and nail ready to be ſet to the Tem­ples: or as Peter ſlept between his cruell Keepers: bound they are and lockt up in their graves, as in a ſtrait and loath­ſom priſon, a doleful, diſconſolate dungeon, where they lie re­ſerved in the chains of darkneſs, until the judgement of the great day, Jud. 6.7.

But now the death of a Believer is quite another thing. To them 'tis inſtar dulcis ſomni. Death comes mildly and ſweetly to the m, like an humble Page, with a courteous in­vitation to a feaſt of glory, and proffers its ſervice to lead and conduct them to it: Be not afraid, ſaith death, though my countenance be ſtern, my hand is ſoft, though my pangs ſeem grievous, yet the reſt I bring is ſweet. To others I am death, to you only a ſleep, and ſuch a ſleep as God15 gives his Beloved, Pſal. 127.2. That which is a Grave to others, is a Bed to you, Iſai. 57.2. where your bodies ſhall lie, as Chriſt did in his grave, with a guard of Angels, John 20.12. Believers are delivered from the ſting, though not from the ſtroke of death: If death be a Ser­pent, to Saints 'tis a Serpent without a ſting: it has left its ſting and teeth and all in the ſides of Chriſt. Hence it is that we hear the Apoſtle ſounding out his Io tri­umphe, and find him treading on the neck of his vanquiſht enemy, playing on the hole of this Aſpe, and with an holy kind of Sarcaſm, flouting at it: Oh death where is thy ſting? 1 Cor. 15.55, 56, 57.

Thus we ſee a vaſt difference; the unbeliever dies howl­ing; the Believer ſinging: the one takes death for a gulf of ſorrow, the other for a port of ſafety. The one ſighs becauſe ſtript for a ſcourging, the other ſings, be­cauſe he layes off his cloaths to go to bed and ſleep after his toyle.

4. If a Believers death be a ſleep in Jeſus: Hence con­clude, That even death it ſelf diſſolves not the ſtrict union that is between Chriſt and a Believer. [t][t]Aug. de Civ. Dei.All the faithful, though dead, are yet the living members of Chriſt Jeſus. As in Chriſts death his ſoul and body, though ſevered each from other, remained united to the Deity; ſo in death, Believers ſouls and bodies ſtill remain united unto Chriſt, Rom. 8.38, 39. Though Abraham, Iſaeac, Jacob die, yet God is ſtill their God, Matth. 21.31, 32. The Relation of God to them, is as ſtrong when dead, as when living. Though dead to men, yet they were not dead to God. Sleep, though it chains up the ſenſes for a time, yet it diſ­ſolves not the union between ſoul and body; Nor does the ſleep of the Spouſe break the marriage knot, be­tween her and her Bridegroom: the union that is betwixt Chriſt and Believers out-lives death. Death indeed may and doth triumph over the naturall union betwixt body and ſoul, but cannot in the leaſt either diſſolve, or weaken the myſticall union betwixt the ſoul and Chriſt. 16Let Believers live, and they live, from, for, and in Chriſt: and let them die, they do but ſleep in him. Thus for Information.

Exhor tation. 22. Exhortation.

Is a Believers death no more then a ſleep? Then Be­lievers,

1. Be not afraid of death. Your death, Believers, is a ſleep, a ſweet ſleep, Eccleſ. 5.12. and ſhould the la­bouring man be afraid of a ſweet ſleep? No, but rather reſolve with David, though you walk in the valley of the ſhaddow of death, yet there to fear no evil, Pſal. 27.3. I diſſwade not from a naturall, or from a ſpiritual fear of death. The one is allowed, the other neceſſary. He is no man that doth not fear death. Beſide the pain, Na­ture muſt needs ſhrink at the thought of parting; and he acts not the Chriſtian that doth not ſo fear death, as to mind and prepare for its certain, and yet moſt uncertain On-ſet. I only diſſwade from that baſe, cold, cowardly, carnal fear of death, which makes the whole life, no­thing elſe but a living death, which[v][v]Furer eſt ne moriare, mori. kills men daily, becauſe they muſt once die, and keeps them under perpe­tual ſlavery and bondage, Heb. 2.15. To drive this Naile home I would only offer theſe few Conſidera­tions.

1. Such a ſlaviſh fear, better becomes a Pharaoh and his Magicians, then Iſraclites and Believers. 'Tis no won­der to ſee their courage fall, when once the cry of death is in their Houſes, Exod. 12.29, 30. This Baſilisk may well affright thoſe Enchanters and Mountebanks: But a Moſes, an Iſraelite indeed, may take it by the tayle, han­dle it, and turn it into an harmleſs wand, yea into a rod, budding with glory and immortality.

'Tis true, the[w][w]Dar. 5.15, 6. Caldean Tyrants face may look pale and griſly, ſtam'd with the colour and fear of death: Thoſe hands, which not long ſince lifted up his maſſie17 Goblets in ſcorn and deſiance of the God of Iſrael, may well hang down, when death writes him a letter of ſummons, to appear that night, before a moſt ſtrict and ſupreme Tribunal. I do not wonder at Lewis the eleventh his ſtrait charge to his ſervants, when once they ſaw him ſick, never once to name that bitter word Death in his eare. Well may theſe fear Death, that know him but as a Purſui­vant ſent from Hell. But that is not your caſe Belie­vers.

2. Conſider: How cheerfully have Gods people, your fellow ſouldiers, lookt death in the face. Paul ſo farre from fearing, that he earneſtly pants and longs after a diſſolution, Phil. 1.28. How ſweetly doth good old Simeon chant out his Swan-like ſong; his Dom ns nunc dimittis? Luke 2.29. How familiarly doth holy Moſes hear of his end: 'tis no more betwixt God and Moſes, but go up to Mount Nebo and die, Deut. 32.50. Had he been invited to a feast, it could not have been in a more ſweet compella­tion. No otherwiſe then to other Prophets, Go up and eat, or ſleep. It has been no harſh news to Gods Children, to hear of their departure. To them death hath loſt its horrour through Acquaintance. That face, which at firſt ſeem­ed ill-favoured, by often viewing is grown out of diſlike. Saints that have had ſuch intire converſation with God, are not afraid to go to him. Hence that of Ambroſe: I have not ſo lived, that I am aſhamed to live longer, nor yet fear I death, becauſe I have a good Lord: And that of Hilarion to his ſoul: Egredere, Anima, egredere: Get thee out my ſoul, away, thou haſt ſeventy years ſerved Chriſt, and art thou now afraid of death?

3. Whilſt there lurks in the breaſt this ſlaviſh fear of death, the leaſt piece of this leaven is enough to ſoure the whole lump of all our joyes and comforts. The leaſt dram of this Coloquintida will marr the relliſh of all our ſweets, and make us cry out, there is death, death, death, in the pot. This little fly, will ſoon taint, our whole box of Ointment. On theſe and ſuch like Acceunts Believers may18 be ſtrongly armed againſt the uncomely, ſlaviſh fear of death. But that is not all. This truth calls yet for a more rayſed and noble temper; ſcrews up Believers to an higher Cue. Viz.

2. Is your death, Believers, a ſleep, ſo ſweet a ſleep, 'tis not enough for you not to fear, it becomes you to be willing to die, to deſire to be diſſolved, Phil. 1.23. To groan earneſtly to be uncloathed, that you may go to reſt, 2 Cor. 5.1, 4. Let it not be ſaid of you that you are dragg'd and haled to your graves, as of the fooliſh rich man, Luke 12.20. x ' 〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉: vehementius ab invito fla­gitoCauſab.This night, thy ſoul ſhall be taken from thee. Go not as a Swine, but as a Lamb, to the ſlaughter. Reſign thy ſoul without a forcible entry, Be a Voluntier in death. Be not preſt to it. Death, which is the Atheiſts fear, ſhould be the Chriſtians deſire. Yet here obſerve, this deſire of death muſt not ſpring from a pet or paſſion, meer­ly out of a taedium of living; as a ſick man deſires to change his bed, meerly out of wearineſs of, and diſcon­tentment with his preſent condition. Death may not, muſt not be deſired, out of impatience under, or diſtruſt of Gods Providence, Job Jer. 20.74. Jon. 4.3. No nor yet to avoid the labour and duty of our callings. To be weary of living on ſuch accounts, argues not Chriſtia­nity, or a more raiſed frame, but pride, peeviſhneſs, cowardli­neſs, ſlug giſhneſs of ſpirit.

But, (this grand condition alwayes understood, viz. with ſubmiſſion to the will of God) it hugely becomes a Chriſtian, conſidering the weight of his ſins here, and of his glory hereafter, that death delivers from the one, and uſhers in­to the other, with[y][y]Phil. 1.23. Paul, to deſire to be diſſolved, and to be with Chriſt.

And that on a double account.

1. There is nothing here, that can invite or deferre our ſtay. Alas what is there here but darkneſs of ignorance, diſtempers of paſſions, complaints of eſtates, fears and ſenſe of evil, hopes and doubts of good, ambitious rackings, covetous toylings, envious underminings, reſtleſs deſires,19 all vanity and vexation of ſpirit, Eccleſ. 1.1. many worlds of diſcontent in one. Why then ſhould we linger and han ker after a continuance in this Baca of teares, and not de­ſire rather to enter into our Reſt? Shew me a man that ever truly knew, what life was, and was loath to leave it, and ile in him ſhew thee, a priſoner, that bleſles himſelf in his fet­ters, a ſlave that likes his chains and gally.

2. There is all that in a Believers death, that may tempt and inflame his deſires. 'Tis that to a Believer, which a night of reſt is to the weary Labourer, 2 port to the wea­ther-beaten Mariner, freedom to the fetter-gal'd Priſoner, the marriage-day to the loving Spouſe, the day of coronation to the king. Why then ſhould not a Saint conclude with Vid Breſſius: Oh that my ſoul had the wings of a Dove, to fly and make haſt to that mountain of God, and Paradice of eternal pleaſures: Or with that aged Father in Austin, who when his friends, endeavouring to comfort him on his bed of ſickneſs, told him, they hoped he ſhould recover, an­ſwered: If I ſhall not die at all, well: but if ever, why not now? Oh then, Believers, pant after an holy and an happy diſmiſſion: never ceaſe tutoring and ſcrewing up your ſouls, till, in Gods ſtrength you can reſolve, that if you might die to day, you would not chooſe to live till to morrow. Never think your ſouls in an hail condition, ſo long as you are 10th, to think of dying. Take this only comfort, from the prolonging of your dayes, not that you live long, but that you are in a ſphear of doing your own and others ſouls more good, and bring­ing your God more glory.

And becauſe the quelling of the ſlaviſh fear of death, and rendring of a Believer willing to depart, is a buſineſs of ſuch grand concernment, give me leave to preſcribe a dire­ction or two: viz.

1. If ever you deſire, that death ſhould not be your fear, but gain, and ſo deſirable: be ſure to make Chriſt your life. This was Pauls method, Phil. 1.21, 23. He that would ſleep in Jeſus, muſt live to him. Labour to be acted by the Spirit of Chriſt, and the immediate fruits thereof, viz. faith, love,20 filial fear, as thy principle, Rom. 8.14. Gal. 2.20. ſteer by Chriſts word, as your Compaſs, your Rule, Canon, Gal. 6.16. Level at Chriſts glory, as your higheſt end, 1 Cor. 10.31.

Our life, as it gives way to death, ſo it muſt make way for it. As the tree falls, ſo it ſtill lies: and as it ſtands, ſo uſually it falls. If ever we hope to ſleep ſweetly in death, we muſt walk fruitfully in life. 'Tis the ſleep of a labouring man that is ſweet, Eccleſ. 5.12. To live holily is the only way to die happily. Mark the upright man, and behold the juſt, for the end of that man is peace, Pſal. 37.37.

2. Fix your eyes on the death of Chriſt. Chriſt by his death hath wholly routed, yea conquered death. Chriſt precious bo­dy lying in the grave hath ſweetly perfumed that houſe of corruption. Chriſt by his death hath cut off all deaths ſuc­cors. Whereas death borrowed its ſting from ſin, its ſtrength from the law, and curle of God, Chriſt hath diſarm'd them all of their deſtroying, killing power, 1 Cor. 15.56. So that now, as he falſly, thou mayſt ſay truly, the bitterneſs of death is paſt.

3. Act and exert Faith to the uttermoſt. Quartan Agues are not ſo much the ſhame of phyſick, as the fear of death is of all natural skill and valour. This is Faiths proper evil, Faith alone profeſſes this cure, undertakes it, and performs it throughly.

Faith is that, that can turn fears into hopes, ſighs into ſongs, tremblings into exultings. Faith ſingles out this Giant as her chief prize, and grapples with him, not as a match, but as a vanquiſht underling, ſets her foot on the neck of this King of Terrors. Faith concludes, that a Chriſt hath taken all the poyſon out of the cup of death, and made it an whol­ſom potion of immortality to his people: ſo that now their death, is nothing elſe but the funeral of all their ſins, cares, and ſorrows, and the Reſurrection of their true joys and comforts.

3. Is a Believers death a ſleep? Be exhorted to that high and Honourable duty, of ſerving your generation before you fall aſleep. So did holy David, Acts 13.36. write after his Copy.


4. Is a Believers death no more then a ſleep? Adore and bleſs the infinite mercy and goodneſs of the Lord Jeſus, who by his death hath quite pluckt out the ſting of death, and ſoaltered both its name and nature. That which was once, a grim death, is now to you nothing more then a ſweet ſleep.

5. Is a Believers death a ſleep? Oh then prepare for death. Sleep ſteals, and creeps upon us unawares, ſo does death. To day therefore, while it is called to day. Boaſt not thy ſelf of to morrow, for thou knoweſt not what a day may bring forth, Prov. 27.1. Thou wilt repent to morrow! But what if this night thy ſoul ſhould be taken from thee? Luk. 12.20. Haſt thou not heard of fiſhes taken in an evil net, and of birds that are caught in a ſnare? ſo are the ſons of man ſnared in an evil time, when it falleth ſuddenly upon them, Eccleſ. 9.12. To this end

1. Live in a conſtant and ſerious[z][z]Gaena Dami­tiani ſunebris, Et; AEgytiorum Sceletus inter pocula. meditation of ap­proaching death. This was that which Meſes ſo earneſtly plies the Throne of Grace for. Pſal. 90.12. So teach us to number our dayes, that we may apply our hearts unto wiſdom. Plato's Philoſophy in this was true Divinity, The whole ſum of a wiſe mans life is the commentation on his death. Not every ſleet and ſtitting flaſh, but a frequent, deep, and ſixed Contempla­tion. This was that, which ſaved the ſoul of the young Prodi­gal, who for ſeveral dayes, an hour together, ſixt his eyes and thoughts on the ring with a deaths-head, given him by a friend on that condition. Ortelius reports of ſome people, that they thought this duty ſo neceſſary, that they uſed the bones of dead men, inſtead of money: that death might be continually in their eye. Thoſe ſunera Pacuri are of remark in ſtory. He was uſed every night to be carried to his cham­ber, as to his[a][a]Sie ordinan­dus eſt dies omnis tanqua vitam conſum met, Seu. grave: and the word at the cloſe of the ſo­lemnity was〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉.

2. Look not on death at a diſtance; as that that ſhall come certainly, but as that, that may comeſuddenly. Look on every day as thy laſt. Do not as thoſe, that have ſet dayes of truce and peace, in which they hang up their Armes a ruſting, and22 do not watch their beacons. But rather as thoſe, that live in perpetual hazard of war, and of the enemies inroad. Have all things in daily readineſs for ſervice, at half an hours warning, on the leaſt alarm. Stand as it were centinel; with musket loaded, match lighted, piece cockt, ready to diſcharge. Live not one hour in inſidelity, or impenitency. Dare not to ſleep a minute, who can tell, but then the Bridegroom may come and take thee, as he did the fooliſh Virgins, napping, Matth. 25.5, 6, 13. Thy Lord comes, not only in a day, but in an hour thou thinkeſt not of, therefore watch alway, Matth. 24.44, 50.

Dehorta tion. 33. By way of Dehortation. Is a Believers death only a ſleep? Then mourn not immoderately for them that are fallen aſleep in Jeſus. Remember, I beſeech you, you neer Re­lations of our now deceaſed Friend, mourn not immode­rately, ſhe is fallen aſleep in Jeſus. This is our Apoſiles great driſt in the Text, to diſſwade his Theſſalonians from immode­rate grief for their dead Relations, and that on this account, becauſe they were only fallen aſleep in Chriſt.

It is indeed an indiſpenſable duty, to be really affected with, and afflicted for, the death of holy men; who knows no what lamentations were taken up for good old Jacob, Gen. 50.16. for holy Hezekiah, 2 Chron. 32.33. for precious, hopeful Joſiah, 2 Chron. 35.24, 25. Who hath not heard of Eliſha's Epitaph, my father, my father, the Horſemen of Iſrael, and the Chariots thereof, 2 King. 13.14. Nurſe Deborah bu­ried under Allon-Bacuth, an oak of weeping, Gen. 35.8. and charitable Dorcas covered with tears, as ſhe covered others with cloaths. Act. 9.39. Tears for the dead are their juſt[b][b]〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉. dofun­elorum juſta. dues. If ever grief be ſeaſonable, it becomes a funeral.

Grieve then we may, and muſt, but not immoderately; our ſorrow muſt have its juſt check, and due temper, and that on theſe accounts.

1. Such an immoderate grief, would give too great an occa­ſion to the Gentiles to traduce us. When they ſee us bewayle thoſe as utterly loſt, whom we profeſs to live with God. 23Spei noſtra, ac fidei prevaricatores ſumus. Simulata, ficta, fu­cata videnter eſſe, quae dicimus. Cypr.

2. Such an immoderate grief is contrary to the example of our holy predeceſſours. Saints that have gone before us have ſet us bounds to their ſorrows. So did Abraham for his dear­eſt Sarah,**Intimated by a ſmall Caph in Lib­cothah. Geu. 23.2, 4. So did Joſoph and his brethren for their father Jacob. True, they mourned with a great and ve­ry ſore lamentation, but then it laſted but ten dayes, Gen. 50.10. Though the Egyptians indeed mourned for him ſeventy dayes, v. 3. Not that the Iſraelites were leſſe kind, but more Chriſtian-like in their ſorrows. And David too, though a man as it were made up of ſtrong affections, ſets limits to his griefs, 2 Sam. 12.23, 24. Though in Abſolom's caſe he forgat him­ſelf. Which yet[c][c]Non or­barium doluit ſed quia nove­rat in quas panas, im­pia, adultero & parricidalis anima rapere­tur. Aug. Auſtin endeavours to excuſe.

3. Such an immoderate grief is direclly contrary to Gods Revealed-will. The Iſraelites might not cut themſelves, not make any baldneſs between their eyes for the dead. Both, teſtimonies of the Heathens immoderate ſorrow, Deut. 14.1. and our Saviour intimates his diſlike of the Jewiſh Minſtrels, which were uſed for the increaſe of ſorrow, at funerals, Matt. 9.23, 24. as knowing that, in that caſe, our affections needed not ſo much a ſpur, as a bridle.

4. Such an immoderate grief is thwart and contrary to the bleſſed eſtate and condition of Saints departed. Is it fit to grieve immoderately for thoſe that are preferred hence to heaven? Suppoſe them, whilſt here, as well as earth could make them, what is earth to heaven, gold to glory, the enjoyment of the whole creation, to the fruition of a Creator? Why then ſhould we blubber our cheeks, and ſay of them as Jacob of Joſeph, They are devoured, when as they are gone to be Lords in Egypt. Non Lugendus qui moritur, ſed deſiderandus, Tert. Saints departed, are fitter objects for our deſires, to be with them, then of our ſorrows, for being for a while deprived of them. Too deep a[d][d]Non ac­cipiendoe ſunt hic airae veſtes quando illi ibi inſtrumenta alba jam ſump­ſerum. Cypr. black becomes not us below, while we conſider, that they walk in whites above. If it was our joy to ſee them ſanctified, it ſhould be our triumph to know them ſaved.


Conſola tion 4Laſtly, by way of Conſolation. How does this Doctrine drop like the dew, or rather like an Honey-comb. You hear, Believers, that your death is a ſleep. Nothing more. Hold up therefore your hands that hang down, ſtrengthen the feeble knees. Remember,

1. Your death is a ſleep. Whilſt here you are very apt to complain of many a vexing day, of many a reſtleſs night. O know there is a time ſhortly coming, when you ſhall lie down quietly in your beds of earth, and not be diſturbed in the leaſt, either with one waking moment or diſtracting dream. When once the curtains of darkneſs are drawn about you, you ſhall never open your eyes more till the morning of Eternity dawn, and break forth in luſtre on you. Behold, to your everlaſting comfott, death it ſelf is even embalmed to you, and clothed in ſuch ſoft language, that you may ſcent a perfume, and diſcover a beauty in it, and 'tis no more a death, but a ſleep only to you.

2. 'Tis a ſleep, that is accompanied with reſt and quietneſs: An undiſturbed Reſt. A port, an haven of Reſt, and how wel­com ſhould that be to a ſea-ſick weather-beaten Seaman? How deſſrable, how acceptable ſhould death be to a ſoul long tost in the waves of this world, ſick of its own ſinful ima­ginations, and tired with external temptations. Here alas, there is no Palace ſo high, or Tower ſo ſtrong, that can keep diſeaſes and infirmities from your bodies, cares, fears, tempta­tions from your ſouls: yea but your death puts you into ſuch a Cittadel, whoſe walls are ſo many cubits high, that no Sena­cherib can ſhoot an arrow into it; its ſtrong gates and bars exclude all enemies, all annoyances. None from without can storm it, none from within can betray it. 'Tis ſuch a Caſtle as affords a perfect tranquility to all within it, Rev. 14.13.

3. 'Tis a ſleep in Jeſus: To whom departed Saints are ſtill united; and whilſt Chriſt your Head is above water, you need not fear a drowning. When you depart hence from your Friends Armes, you do but aſcend to your Saviours more cloſe embraces. No ſooner ſhall your ſouls lay down the clay of your body, but they ſhall be ſeated under his Altar, Rev. 256.9. Under his ſpecial protection, which is ſuch a perfect San­ctuary, as no Avenger of blood, can there either arreſt, or disturb you.

4. 'Tis a ſleep, and that in Jeſus, and therefore you ſhall and muſt riſe again. If Chriſt the head be riſen, the body ſhall not alwayes ſleep. 'Tis the Apostles grand comfort in the Text, and his Argument, 1 Cor. 15.20. Theſe bodies of yours in death, are not lost, but laid up only, Job 19.26, 27. and as man lies down in weakneſs, ſleeps and riſeth up in strength, like a Giant refreſht with wine. So a Believer, like a grain of corn, dies indeed, but 'tis that he may ſpring up in more luſtre, beauty, fruitfulneſs. John 12.24 As by ſleep our bodies are refreſht, ſo by death our bodies ſhall be reſin'd. Theſe bodies of yours, which are laid down in corruption, ſhall be raiſed in glory. That skin which is now wrinkled, ſhall one day ſhine; this duſt ſhall be glorious, this baſe and vile body ſhall be transformed and made conformable to that glorious Standard, viz. Chriſts Body. Theſe courſe mate­rials, this lump of red earth, ſhall be laid to mellow in the earth, till it be fit to be made more then a China-diſh, even a veſſel fit for the great Maſters uſe, a Cabinet fit to receive a glorified ſoul. Think not therefore much to looſe a little ver­milion red, a mixture only of flegm and ſanguine, for this, you ſhall gain a radiant and reſplendent luſter; in compariſon whereof, the moſt accompliſht beauty on earth would look but like a meer deformity. Death will not ſo much conſume, as calcine your bodies: ſever the droſs from the ſilver, the ore from the gold, 1 Cor. 15.42, 43. when you fall, it ſhall not be ſaid of you as of him. Died Abner as a fool? or as a Beaſt? No, but as a[e][e]Combuſtus ſenex tumule procedit adul­tus, conſumens dat membera rogus. Phenix, out of whoſe very aſhes there ſprings another more lively and vigorous. Wherefore comfort one another with theſe words,

And be not ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are aſleep, &c.


About this transcription

TextThe king of terrors metamorphosis. Or, Death transform'd into sleep. A sermon preached at the funeral of Mrs. Elizabeth Nicoll, daughter to that worthy, eminently pious, and charitable citizen of London, Mr. John Walter deceased, and late wife of Mr. William Nicoll of London draper. By Thomas Lye rector of Alhal. Lumbard-street, London.
AuthorLye, Thomas, 1621-1684..
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SeriesEarly English books online.
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Bibliographic informationThe king of terrors metamorphosis. Or, Death transform'd into sleep. A sermon preached at the funeral of Mrs. Elizabeth Nicoll, daughter to that worthy, eminently pious, and charitable citizen of London, Mr. John Walter deceased, and late wife of Mr. William Nicoll of London draper. By Thomas Lye rector of Alhal. Lumbard-street, London. Lye, Thomas, 1621-1684.. [6], 25, [1] p. printed by M.S. for Hen. Cripps, and are to be sold at his shop in Popes-head-Alley,London :1660.. (Annotation on Thomason copy: "Decemb. 6.".) (Reproduction of the original in the British Library.)
  • Funeral sermons, English -- 17th century.

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ImprintAnn Arbor, MI ; Oxford (UK) : 2011-04 (EEBO-TCP Phase 2).
  • DLPS A88663
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  • STC Thomason E1053_4
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  • EEBO-CITATION 99866989
  • PROQUEST 99866989
  • VID 119279

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