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abased himself to the lowest degree, veiled his glory in
human nature, submitted to the various inconveniences of a
despised life, conquered death by submitting to it, and thus
“ delivered those who, through fear of death, were all their
life-time subject to bondage.”

In discoursing of these words I shall endeavour to shew-
I. Why death is the object of fear.

II. What is the nature of that fear from which Christ delivers; and

Lastly. By what means this deliverance is effected.
I. Why death is the object of fear.

1. We are afraid of death because it is an enemy we never yet encountered—with whose force we are unacquainted. It is a dark path we have never trod. Though we know what death is, yet we know not what it is to die; how the vital thread is cut, or what the soul feels at its separation. Diseases, indeed, tell us that we must die, but not what death is. Death is like a dark passage illuminated at both ends, whilst all that lies between is hid from qur eyes.

It is appointed unto men once to die.” Were we often to pass through this change we should be better acquainted with it, and consequently less afraid of it. But death, as unknown, is the king of terrors. Thus we read of the snares and terrors of death, and uncommon troubles sound the more dreadful by having the epithet of death bestowed

“ The sorrows of death,” says the Psalmist, compassed me.” Death is strange, and therefore terrifying.

2. Death is terrible, because it is a certain and insuperable evil; only two individuals ever escaped it, and that rather to shew what God can do, than what he will do. As sure as there is a time to be born, so sure is there a time to die. As sure as we sin, so sure shall we die; “ the wages of sin is death.” “By Adam's disobedience sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and thus death passed upon all, for that all have sinned." The leprous house must be laid in the dust, and not one stone left upon another. “Dust thou art !"

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upon them.

SERMON LXVII.

A FUNERAL SERMON.

(PREACHED AT WARWICK.)

HEBREWS 11. 15.

And deliver them who through fear of death were all their life

time subject to bondage.

Salvation by Jesus Christ is the very sum and substance of the christian religion, and the extensiveness thereof is one of its greatest glories. Were all the fruits of Christ's death concealed in the darkest oblivion, and all reserved for another state, yet were the highest returns of gratitude due even for a hope of future glory. The distant prospect might afford us ground of joy, and tune our harps to the praise of Him who then would be the distant portion of his people. But what superior strains of praise are due when we consider that salvation begins even here, clusters are vouchsafed from the promised land, and by the first-fruits, we may conclude what the harvest will be. Amongst all the blessings which stream to a believer in a Redeemer's blood, even whilst here below, a deliverance from fear is not the least; nor shall we despise the mercy, when we consider what the purchase of it cost. It was for this purpose that Christ both came and died. « Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil.” How great, then, is the mystery of godliness! He took not to himself an angelic form, but abased himself to the lowest degree, veiled his glory in human nature, submitted to the various inconveniences of a despised life, conquered death by submitting to it, and thus “ delivered those who, through fear of death, were all their life-time subject to bondage.”

In discoursing of these words I shall endeavour to shew-
I. Why death is the object of fear.

II. What is the nature of that fear from which Christ delivers; and

Lastly. By what means this deliverance is effected.
I. Why death is the object of fear.

1. We are afraid of death because it is an enemy we never yet encountered—with whose force we are unacquainted. It is a dark path we have never trod. Though we know what death is, yet we know not what it is to die; how the vital thread is cut, or what the soul feels at its separation. Diseases, indeed, tell us that we must die, but not what death is. Death is like a dark passage illuminated at both ends, whilst all that lies between is hid from our eyes. “ It is appointed unto men once to die.” Were we often to pass through this change we should be better acquainted with it, and consequently less afraid of it. But death, as unknown, is the king of terrors. Thus we read of the snares and terrors of death, and uncommon troubles sound the more dreadful by having the epithet of death bestowed

“ The sorrows of death," says the Psalmist, “compassed me." Death is strange, and therefore terrifying.

2. Death is terrible, because it is a certain and insuperable evil; only two individuals ever escaped it, and that rather to shew what God can do, than what he will do. As sure as there is a time to be born, so sure is there a time to die. As sure as we sin, so sure shall we die; “ the wages of sin is death." By Adam's disobedience sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and thus death passed upon all, for that all have sinned.” The leprous house must be laid in the dust, and not one stone left upon another. “Dust thou art !"

upon them.

into one place,” says the wise man; “ all are of the dust, and all turn to dust again.” And again, “ There is no man that hath power over the spirit, to retain the spirit, neither hath he power in the day of death; and there is no discharge in that war: neither shall wickedness deliver those that are given to it." No sooner are we born but we begin to die; the longest liver is only longer dying than others. The seeds of mortality appear, the symptoms of our frailty discover themselves, and plainly speak this language_" Thou shalt die.” Is not every disease a forerunner of the last?-death's harbinger, to open its commission, and proclaim its power? Are not the frequent funerals we see a demonstration of the certainty of our own ? has not every monument a memento mori inscribed upon it? Nor can those who strive most to get rid of the troublesome thoughts of death deny the certainty, or entirely free themselves from the fear thereof. No rank or age will exempt from death ; never was this mighty conqueror overthrown but once, and then he conquered before he was overcome. With what a cruel precipitancy does he sometimes force the tender infants from the breasts of their loving parents, whilst his hasty hand scarce suffers them to bid the last farewell; whilst the hoary locks of others for a long time foretel their lingering dissolution. Instead of wondering that we die, we have reason to wonder that we live so long ;-" that a harp of a thousand strings should keep in tune so long;" that the water is not sooner spilt; or we, who are crushed sooner than the moth, retain that life so long which is sustained by so feeble a thread. Nothing can prevent the fatal attack, nor for a moment delay the consequences thereof. Could the matchless power of the strongest arm repel the darts of this all-conquering foe, Samson had still lived, the wonder of the world, the hero of this our day; could beauty move to pity, Absalom had never died; could riches bribe, Crosus had still lived ; nor would Solomon, could wisdom have contrived an escape, have ever been numbered amongst the dead. Could the tears of friends, the prayers of a church, or the desires of God's people, have moved to remorse or pity, how many godly ministers would, even at this time, be boldly asserting that cause which is so basely deserted by some, and undermined by others; and our friends for whom we now mourn, had never died. But holiness is no acquittance from the grave, though it be a protection from hell; nor can we think the exemption from death is one of the privileges of the new covenant. Neither men, physicians, nor angels, can retain us here when death says, Depart, or God says, Come.“ Man that is born of a woman is of few days, and full of trouble; he cometh forth like a flower, and is cut down; he fleeth also as a shadow, and continueth not.” Prepared, or unprepared, we must go. Man's life is like a lighted torch, either extinguished by some sudden blast, or at length expiring of itself. But death, though so certain in itself, yet, as to the time of its approach, is uncertain. How knowest thou, O sinner, but this may be the last sermon thou mayest hear; this night may thy soul be required of thee; well then mayest thou tremble. Can we be so fool-hardy as to stand as the mark of an archer, see one fall on our right hand, and another on our left, and yet remain unmoved? Death is a long journey, therefore have all things ready. The death of some is more sudden than that of others: how unexpected was the message to the rich man in the gospel —" Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee!" Belshazzar, in the midst of his revels, received the sentence, and the same night was slain. Death is the king of terrors, and the terror of kings; sometimes he makes a slower approach, and the building frequently totters before it falls; but whether death comes later or sooner, it is certain and inevitable, and therefore the object of fear.

3. Death is terrible on account of the troop of diseases that are commonly the forerunners of it. Were it not terrible in itself, yet must it be dreaded on account of its concomitants. Even a natural death is violent. What

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