Sermon CLVIII

SERMON CLVIII.

PREACHED AT WHITEHALL.

Psalm Lxviii. 20.
And unto God the Lord, belong the issues of death (from death).

Buildings stand by the benefit of their foundations that sustain them, support them; and of their buttresses that comprehend them, embrace them; and of their contingations that knit and unite them. The foundation suffers them not to sink; the buttresses suffer them not to swerve; the contignation and knitting, suffer them not to cleave. The body of our building is in the former part of this verse; it is this; He that is our God, is the God of salvation; ad salutes, of salvations in the plural, so it is in the original; the God that gives us spiritual and temporal salvation too. But of this building, the foundation, the buttresses, the contignation are in this part of the verse, which

1 Before that month ended (January 1630,) he was appointed to preach upon his old constant day, the first Friday in Lent (February 12, Ed.); he had notice of it, and had in his sickness so prepared for that employment, that ns ho had long thirsted for it, so he resolved his weakness should not hinder his journey; he came, therefore, to London some few days before his appointed day of preaching. At his coming thither, many of his friends (who with much sorrow saw his sickness had left him but so much flesh as did only cover his bones), doubted his strength to perforin that task, and did therefore dissuade him from it, assuring him, however, it was Ijkely to shorten his life; but he passionately denied their requests, saying, "Ho would not doubt that that God, who in so many weaknesses had assisted him with an unexpected strength, would now withdraw it in his last employment, professing a holy ambition to perforin that sacred work." And when, to the amazement of some beholders, ho appeared in the pulpit, many of them thought he presented himself, not to preach mortification by a living voice, but mortality by a decayed body and a dying face. And doubtless many did secretly ask that question in Ezekiel (chap, xxxviii. 3), " Do these bones live? or, can that soul organize that tongue to speak so long time as the sand in that glass will move towards its centre, and measure out an hour of this dying man's unspent life? Doubtless it cannot." And yet, after some faint pauses in his zealous prayer, his strong desires enabled his weak body to discharge his memory of his preconceived meditations, which were of dying; the text being, 8 To God the Lord belong the issues from death." Many that then saw his tears, and heard his faint and hollow voice, professing they thought the text prophetically chosen, and that Dr. Donne had preached his own funeral sermou.—Waitox. [It was preached before the king, at Whitehall.—Ed.]

constitutes our text, and in the three diverse acceptations of the words amongst our expositors, Unto God the Lord belong the issues of death. For, first the foundation of this building, (that our God is the God of all salvation) is laid in this, That unto this God the Lord belong the issues of death; that is, it is his power to give us an issue and deliverance, even then when we are brought to the jaws and teeth of death, and to the lips of that whirlpool, the grave; and so in this acceptation, this exitus mortis, this issue of death is liberatio a morte, a deliverance from death; and this is the most obvious, and most ordinary acceptation of these words, and that upon which our translation lays hold, the issttes from death. And then, secondly, the buttresses, that comprehend and settle this building; that He that is our God is the God of salvation, are thus raised; Unto God the Lord belong the issues of death, that is, the disposition and manner of our death, what kind of issue, and transmigration we shall have out of this world, whether prepared or sudden, whether violent or natural, whether in our perfect senses, or shaked and disordered by sickness; there is no condemnation to be argued out of that, no judgment to be made upon that, for howsoever they die, precious in his sight, is the death of his saints, and with him are the issues of death, the ways of our departing out of this life, are in his hands; and so, in this sense of the words, this exitus mortis, the issue of death, is liberatio in morte, a deliverance in death; not that God will deliver us from dying, but that he will have a care of us in the hour of death, of what kind soever our passage be; and this sense, and acceptation of the words, the natural frame and contexture doth well and pregnantly administer unto us. And then lastly, the contignation and knitting of this building, that He that is our God, is the God of all salvation, consists in this, Unto this God the Lord belong the issues of death, that is, that this God the Lord, having united and knit both natures in one, and being God, having also come into this world, in our flesh, he could have no other means to save us, he could have no other issue out of this world, nor return to his former glory, but by death. And so in this sense, this exitus mortis, the issue of death, is liberatio per mortem, a deliverance by death, by the death of this God our Lord, Christ Jesus; and this is St. Augustine's acceptation of the words, and those many and great persons, that have adhered to him. In all these three lines then, we shall look upon these words; first, as the God of power, the Almighty Father, rescues his servants from the jaws of death; and then, as the God of mercy, the glorious Son, rescued us, by taking upon himself the issue of death; and then, (between these two,) as the God of comfort, the Holy Ghost, rescues us from all discomfort by his blessed impressions beforehand, that what manner of death soever be ordained for us, yet this exitus mortis, shall be introitus in vitam, our issue in death, shall be an entrance into everlasting life. And these three considerations, our deliverance a morte, in morte, per mortem, from death, in death, and by death, will abundantly do all the offices of the foundation, of the buttresses, of the contignation of this our building, that He that is our God, is the God of all salvation, because Unto this God the Lord belong the issues of death.

First then, we consider this exitus mortis, to be liberatio a morte; that with God the Lord are the issues of death, and therefore in all our deaths, and deadly calamities of this life, we may justly hope of a good issue from him; and all our periods and transitions in this life, are so many passages from death to death. Our very birth, and entrance into this life, is exitus a morte, an issue from death; for in our mother's womb, we are dead so, as that we do not know we live; not so much as we do in our sleep; neither is there any grave so close, or so putrid a prison, as the womb would be to us, if we stayed in it beyond our time, or died there, before our time. In the grave the worms do not kill us: we breed and feed, and then kill those worms, which we ourselves produced. In the womb the dead child kills the mother that conceived it, and is a murderer, nay a parricide, even after it is dead. And if we be not dead so in the womb, so, as that being dead, we kill her that gave us our first life, our life of vegetation, yet we are dead so as David's idols are dead; in the womb, we have eyes and see not, ears and hear not*. There in the womb we are fitted for works of darkness, all the while deprived of light; and there, in the womb, we are taught cruelty, by being fed with blood; and may be damned though we be never born.

2 Psalm cxv. 6.

Of our very making in the womb, David says, / am wonderfully and fearfully made*, and Such knowledge is too excellent for me*; for, Even that is the LoroVs doing, and it is wonderful in our eyess, Ipse fecit nos, It is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves*, no, nor our parents neither. Thy hands have made me, and fashioned me round about, says Job7; and, (as the original word is) Thou hast taken pains about me; and yet says he, Thou dost destroy me: though I be the master-piece of the greatest Master, (man is so) yet if thou do no more for me, if thou leave me where thou madest me, destruction will follow. The womb, which should be the house of life, becomes death itself, if God leave us there. That which God threatens so often, the shutting of the womb, is not so heavy nor so discomfortable a curse, in the first as in the latter shutting; not in the shutting of barrenness, as in the shutting of weakness, when children are come to the birth, and there is not strength to bring forth*. It is the exaltation of misery, to fall from a near hope of happiness. And in that vehement imprecation the prophet expresses the height of God's anger, Give them, 0 Lord, what wilt thou give them? Give them a miscarrying womb*. Therefore as soon as we are men, (that is, inanimated, quickened in the womb) though we cannot ourselves, our parents have reason to say in our behalf, Wretched man that he is, who shall deliver him from this body of death1*? For, even the womb is the body of death, if there be no deliverer. It must be he that said to Jeremy, Before I formed thee I knew thee, and before thou eamest out of the womb I sanctified theen. We are not sure that there was no kind of ship nor boat to fish in, nor to pass by, till God prescribed Noah that absolute form of the ark; that word which the Holy Ghost by Moses, uses for the ark, is common to all kinds of boats, thebah'1; and is the same word that Moses uses for the boat that he was exposed in", that his mother laid him in an ark of bulrushes. But we are sure that Eve had no midwife when she was delivered of Cain; therefore she might well say, Possedi virum a Dominou, I have gotten a man from

8 Psalm exxxix. 14. 4 Psalm exxxix. 6. 5 Psalm cxviii. 23.

8 Psalm c. 3. 7 Job x. 8. 8 Isaiah xxxvii. 3.

8Hoseaix. 14. 18 Rom. vii. 24. 11 Jer. i.v.

the Lord; wholly, entirely from the Lord: it is the Lord that hath enabled me to conceive, the Lord hath infused a quickening soul into that conception, the Lord hath brought into the world that which himself had quickened; without all this might Eve say, my body had been but the house of death, and Domini Domini aunt ex it us mortis, To God the Lord belong the issues of death.

But then this exitus a mcrte, is but introitus in mortem; this issue, this deliverance from that death, the death of the womb, is an entrance, a delivering over to another death, the manifold deaths of this world. We have a winding-sheet in our mother's womb, that grows with us from our conception, and we come into the world wound up in that winding-sheet; for we come to seek a grave. And, as prisoners, discharged of actions, may lie for fees, so when the womb hath discharged us, yet we are bound to it by cords of flesh, by such a string, as that we cannot go thence, nor stay there. We celebrate our own funeral with cries, even at our birth, as though our threescore and ten years of lifo wero spent in our mother's labour, and our circle made up in the first point thereof. We beg one baptism with another, a sacrament of tears; and we come into a world that lasts many ages, but wo last not. In domo Patris, (says our blessed Saviour, speaking of heaven) multce tnansioues1*, There are many, and mansions, divers and durable; so that if a man cannot possess a martyr's house, (he hath shed no blood for Christ) yet he may have a confessor's; he hath been ready to glorify God, in the shedding of his blood. And if a woman cannot possess a virgin's house, (she hath embraced the holy state of marriage) yet she may have a matron's house; she hath brought forth, and brought up children in the fear of God. In domo Patris, In my Father's house, in heaven, there are many mansions, but here upon earth, The Son of man hath not where to lay his head", says he himself. No? terram dedit filiis hominum. How then hath God given this earth to the sons of men? He hath given them earth for their materials, to be made of earth; and he hath given them earth for their grave and sepulture, to return and resolve to earth; but not for their possession. Here we have no continuing city'1; nay, no

15 John xiv. 2. » Matt. viii. 20. "Heb. xiii. 14.

cottage that continues; nay, no we, no persons, no bodies that continue. Whatsoever moved St. Hierome to call tho journeys of the Israelites in the wilderness, mansions, the word", (the word is nasang") signifies but a journey, but a peregrination: even the Israel of God hath no mansions, but journeys, pilgrimages in this life. By that measure did Jacob measure his life to Pharaoh, The days of the years of my pilgrimage*''. And though the apostle would not say, Morimur, That whilst we are in the body, we are dead, yet he says, Peregritiamur, Whilst wo are in the body, we are but in a pilgrimage, and we are absent from the Lord". He might have said dead; for this whole world is but an universal churchyard, but one common grave; and the life and motion, that the greatest persons have in it, is but as the shaking of buried bodies in their graves by an earthquake. That which we call life, is but hebdomada mortium, a week of deaths, seven days, seven periods of our life spent in dying; a dying seven times over, and there is an end. Our birth dies in infancy, and our infancy dies in youth, and youth, and the rest die in age; and age also dies, and determines all. Nor do all these, youth out of infancy, or age out of youth, arise so, as a phoenix out of the ashes of another phoenix formerly dead, but as a wasp, or a serpent out of carrion, or as a snake out of dung; our youth is worse than our infancy, and our age worse than our youth; our youth is hungry and thirsty after those sins which our infancy knew not, and our age is sorry and angry that it cannot pursue those sins which our youth did. And besides, all tho way so many deaths, that is, so many deadly calamities accompany every condition, and every period of this life, as that death itself would be an ease to them that suffer them. Upon this sense does Job wish that God had not given him an issue from the first death, from the womb; Wherefore hast thou brought me forth out of the womb? 0 that I had given up the ghost, and no eye had seen me; I should have been, as though I had not been".

Is Exod. xviL 1.

"i?D3, vulsit, evellit—castra movit, fab evellendis tentorii paxillis); hence yWX iter.—Ed.

88 Gen. xLvii. 9. *l 2 Cor. v. 6. « Job x. 18, 19.

And not only the impatient Israelites in their murmuring, ( Would to God we had died by the hand of the Lord, in the land of Egypt",) but Elijah himself, when he fled from Jezebel, and went for his life, as that text says, under the juniper-tree, requested that he might die, and said, It is enough, now 0 Lord take away my life**. So Jonah justifies his impatience, nay his anger towards God himself; Now 0 Lord take I beseech thee my life from me, for it is better for me to die, than to live". And when God asked him, Dost thou well to be angry for this? and after, (about the gourd) Dost thou well to be angry for that? he replies, / do well to be angry even unto death. How much worse a death, than death, is this life, which so good men would so often change for death. But if my case be St. Paul's case, Quotidie morior", That I die daily, that something heavier than death fall upon me every day; if my case bo David's case, Tola die mortifcamur", All the day long we are killed, that not only every day, but every hour of the day, something heavier than death falls upon me: though that be true of me, Conceptus in peccatis, I was shapen in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me88, (there I died one death) though that be true of me, Natus flitis irai, I was born, not only the child of sin, but the child of the wrath of God for sin, which is a heavier death, yet Domini Domini sunt exitus mortis, With God the Lord are the issues of death; and after a Job, and a Joseph, and a Jeremy, and a Daniel, I cannot doubt of a deliverance; and if no other deliverance conduce more to his glory, and my good, yet, He hath the keys of death", and he can let me out at that door, that is, deliver me from the manifold deaths of this world, the omni die, and the tota die, the every day's death, and every hour's death, by that one death, the final dissolution of body and soul, the end of all.

But then, is that the end of all? Is that dissolution of body and soul, the last death that the body shall suffer? (for of spiritual deaths we speak not now;) it is not. Though this be exitus a morte, it is introitus in mortem; though it be an issue from the manifold deaths of this world, yet it is an entrance into the death

*, Exod. xvi. 3. ** I Kings xix. 4. "Jonah iv. 3. w 1 Cor. xv. 3. *' Psalm xuv. 22. n Psalm Li. 5. "Rev. i 18.

of corruption, and putrefaction, and vermiculation, and incineration, and dispersion, in, and from the grave, in which every dead man dies over again. It was a prerogative peculiar to Christ, not to die this death, not to see corruption. What gave him this privilege? Not Joseph's great proportions of gums and spices, that might have preserved his body from corruption and incineration, longer than he needed it, longer than three days; but yet would not have done it for ever. What preserved him then? Did his exemption, and freedom from original sin, preserve him from this corruption and incineration I It is true, that original sin hath induced this corruption and incineration upon us. If we had not sinned in Adam, mortality had not put on immortality, (as the apostle speaks*8) nor corruption had not put on incorruption, but we had had our transmigration from this to the other world, without any mortality, any corruption at all. But yet since Christ took sin upon him, so far as made him mortal, he had it so far too, as might have made him see this corruption and incineration, though he had no original sin in himself. What preserved him then? Did the hypostatical union of both natures, God and man, preserve his flesh from this corruption, this incineration? it is true, that this was a most powerful embalming: to be embalmed with the divine nature itself, to be embalmed with eternity, was able to preserve him from corruption and incineration for ever: and he was embalmed so, embalmed with the divine nature, even in his body, as well as in his soul; for the Godhead, the divine nature, did not depart, but remain still united to his dead body in the grave. But yet for all this powerful embalming, this hypostatical union of both natures, we see, Christ did die; and for all this union which made him God and man, he became no man, for the union of body and soul makes the man, and he, whose soul and body are separated by death, (as long as that state lasts) is, (properly) no man. And therefore as in him, the dissolution of body and soul was no dissolution of the hypostatical union, so is there nothing that constrains us to say, that though the flesh of Christ had seen corruption and incineration in the grave, this had been any dissolving of the hypostatical union; for the divine nature, the Godhead, might have remained

with all the elements and principles of Christ's body, as well as it did with the two constitutive parts of his person, his body and soul. This incorruption then was not in Joseph's gums and spices; nor was it in Christ's innocency and exemption from original sin; nor was it, (that is, it is not necessary to say it was) in the hypostatical union. But this incorruptibleness of his flesh, is most conveniently placed in that, Non dabis, Thou unit not suffer thy Holy One to see corruption". We look no further for causes or reasons in the mysteries of our religion, but to the will and pleasure of God. Christ himself limited his inquisition in that; Ita est, Even so, Father, for so it seemed good in thy sightChrist's body did not see corruption, therefore, because God had decreed that it should not. The humble soul, (and only the humble soul is the religious soul) rests himself upon God's purposes, and his decrees; but then, it is upon those purposes, and decrees of God, which he hath declared and manifested; not such as are conceived and imagined in ourselves, though upon somo probability, some verisimilitude. So, in our present case, Peter proceeded in his sermon at Jerusalem**, and so Paul in his at Antioch; they preached Christ to be risen without having seen corruption, not only because God had decreed it, but becauso he had manifested that decree in his prophet. Therefore does St. Paul cite by special number the second Psalm for that decree, and therefore both St. Peter and St. Paul cite that place in the sixteenth Psalm; for, when God declares his decree and purpose in the express word of his prophet, or when he declares it in the real execution of the decree, then he makes it ours, then he manifests it to us. And therefore as the mysteries of our religion are not the objects of our reason, but by faith we rest in God's decree and purpose, (it is so, O God, because it is thy will it should be so) so God's decrees are ever to be considered in the manifestation thereof. All manifestation is either in the Word of God, or in the execution of the decree; and when these two concur and meet, it is the strongest demonstration that can be: when therefore I find those marks of adoption, and spiritual filiation, which are delivered in the Word of God, to be upon me; when I find that

real execution of his good purpose upon me, as that actually I do live under the obedience, and under the conditions which are evidences of adoption and spiritual filiation, then, and so long as I see these marks, and live Eo, I may safely comfort myself in a holy certitude, and a modest infallibility of my adoption. Christ determines himself in that, the purpose of God; because the purpose of God was manifest to him: St. Peter and St. Paul determine themselves in those two ways of knowing the purpose of God, the Word of God before the execution of the decree in the fulness of time. It was prophesied before, said they, and it is performed now; Christ is risen without seeing corruption.

Now this which is so singularly peculiar to him, that his flesh should not see corruption, at his second coming, his coming to judgment, shall be extended to all that are then alive, their flesh shall not see corruption; because (as the apostle says, and says as a secret, as a mystery, {Behold I show you a mystery; we shall not all sleep,) that is, not continue in the state of the dead in the grave) but we shall all be changed**. In an instant we shall have a dissolution, and in the same instant a redintegration, a recompacting of body and soul; and that shall be truly a death, and truly a resurrection, but no sleeping, no corruption. But for us, who die now, and sleep in the state of the dead, we must all pass this posthume death, this death after death, nay this death after burial, this dissolution after dissolution, this death of corrruption and putrefaction, of vermiculation and incineration, of dissolution and dispersion, in, and from the grave. When those bodies which have been the children of royal parents, and the parents of royal children, must say with Job, To corruption, Thou art my father, and to the worm, Thou art my mother and my sister ". Miserable riddle, when the same worm must be my mother, and my sister, and myself. Miserable incest, when I must be married to mine own mother and sister, and be both father and mother, to mine own mother and sister, beget and bear that worm, which is all that miserable penury, when my mouth shall be filled with dust, and the worm shall feed, and feed sweetly upon me". When the ambitious man shall have no satisfaction if the poorest alive tread upon him, nor the poorest receive any contentment,

84 1 Cor. xv. 51. "Jobxvii. 14. *8 Job xxiv. 20.

in being made equal to princes, for they shall be equal but in dust". One dieth at his full strength, being wholly at ease, and in quiet, and another dies in the bitterness of his soul, and never eats with pleasure; but they lie down alike in the dust, and the worm covers them*8. The worm covers them in Job, and in Esay, it covers them, and is spread under them, (the worm is spread under thee, and the worm covers thee). There is the mats and the carpet that lie under; and there is the state and the canopy that hangs over the greatest of the sons of men. Even those bodies that were the temples of the Holy Ghost, come to this dilapidation, to ruin, to rubbish, to dust: even the Israel of the Lord, and Jacob himself had no other specification, no other denomination but that, Vermis Jacob, Thou worm Jacob". Truly, the consideration of this posthume death, this death after burial, that after God, with whom are the issues of death, hath delivered me from the death of the womb, by bringing me into the world, and from the manifold deaths of the world, by laying me in the grave, I must die again, in an incineration of this flesh, and in a dispersion of that dust; that all that monarch that spread over many nations alive, must in his dust lie in a corner of that sheet of lead, and there but so long as the lead will last: and that private and retired man, that thought himself his own for ever, and never came forth, must in his dust of the grave be published, and, (such are the revolutions of graves) be mingled in his dust, with the dust of every highway, and of every dunghill, and swallowed in every puddle and pond; this is the most inglorious and contemptible vilification, the most deadly and peremptory nullification of man, that we can consider. God seems to have carried the declaration of his power to a great height, when he sets the prophet Ezekiel, in the valley of dry bones, and says, Son of man can these bones Ike"? as though it had been impossible; and yet they did; the Lord laid sinews upon them, and flesh, and breathed into them, and they did live. But in that case there were bones to be seen; something visible, of which it might be said, Can this, this live? but in this death of incineration and dispersion of dust, we see nothing

that we can call that man's. If we say, Can this dust live? perchance it cannot. It may be the mere dust of the earth which never did live, nor shall; it may be the dust of that man's worms which did live, but shall no more; it may be the dust of another man that concerns not him of whom it is asked. This death of incineration and dispersion is to natural reason the most irrecoverable death of all; and yet Domini Domini sunt exitus mortis, Unto God the Lord belong the issues of death, and by recompacting this dust into the same body, and re-inanimating the same body with the same soul, he shall in a blessed and glorious resurrection, give me such an issue from this death, as shall never pass into any other death, but establish me in a life, that shall last as long as the Lord of life himself. And so have you that that belongs to the first acceptation of these words, (Unto God the Lord belong the issues of death) that though from the womb to the grave, and in the grave itself, we pass from death to death, yet, as Daniel speaks, The Lord our God is able to deliver us, and he will deliver us. And so we pass to our second accommodation of these words (Unto God the Lord belong the issues of death) that it belongs to God, and not to man, to pass a judgment upon us at our death, or to conclude a dereliction on God's part, upon the manner thereof.

Those indications which physicians receive, and those presagitions which they give for death or recovery in the patient, they y receive, and they give, out of the grounds and rules of their art: but we have no such rule or art to ground a presagition of spiritual death, and damnation upon any such indication as we see in any dying man: we see often enough to be sorry, but not to despair; for the mercies of God work momentanely, in minutes; and many times insensibly to by-standers, or any other than the party departing, and we may be deceived both ways: we use to comfort ourselves in the death of a friend, if it be testified that he went away like a lamb, that is, but with any reluctation; but God knows, that may have been accompanied with a dangerous damp and stupefaction, and insensibility of his present state. Our blessed Saviour admitted colluctations with death, and a sadness even in his soul to death, and an agony even to a bloody sweat in his body, and expostulations with God, and exclama

VOL. VI. u

tions upon the cross. He was a devout man, who upon his death-bed, or death-turf (for he was a hermit) said, Septuaginta annis Domino servivisti, et mori times"? Hast thou served a good Master threescore and ten years, and now art thou loth to go into his presence? yet Hilarion was loth. He was a devout man (a hermit") that said that day that he died, Cogitate hodie cospisse servire Domino, et hodie finiturum, Consider this to be the first day's service that ever thou didst thy Master, to glorify him in a Christianly and constant death; and, if thy first day be thy last day too, how soon dost thou come to receive thy wages; yet Barlaam could have been content to have stayed longer for it; make no ill conclusion upon any man's lothness to die. And then, upon violent deaths inflicted, as upon malefactors, Christ himself hath forbidden us by his own death to make any ill conclusion; for his own death had those impressions in it; he was reputed, he was executed as a malefactor, and no doubt many of them who concurred to his death, did believe him to be so. Of sudden deaths there are scarce examples, to be found in the Scriptures, upon good men; for death in battle cannot be called sudden death: but God governs not by examples, but by rules; and therefore make no ill conclusions upon sudden death; nor upon distempers neither, though perchance accompanied with some words of diffidence and distrust in the mercies of God. y The tree lies as it falls; it is true; but yet it is not the last stroke that fells the tree; nor the last word, nor last gasp that qualifies the soul. Still pray we for a peaceable life, against violent deaths, and for time of repentance against sudden deaths, and for sober and modest assurance against distempered and diffident deaths, but never make ill conclusion upon persons overtaken with such deaths. Domini, Domini sunt exltus mortis, To God the Lord belong the issues of death, and he received Samson, who went out of this world in such a manner (consider it actively, consider it passively; in his own death, and in those whom he slew with himself) as was subject to interpretation hard enough; yet the Holy Ghost hath moved St. Paul to celebrate Samson, in his great catalogue", and so doth all the church.

Our critical day is not the very day of our death, but the whole course of our life: I thank him, that prays for me when my bell tolls; but I thank him much more, that catechises me, or preaches to me, or instructs me how to live, fac hoc et vives, there is my security; the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it, Do this and thou /halt live. But though I do it yet I shall die too, die a bodily, a natural death; but God never mentions, never seems to consider that death, the bodily, the natural death. God doth not say, Live well, and thou shalt die well; well, that is an easy, a quiet death; but live well here, and thou shalt live well for ever. As the first part of a sentence pieces well with the last, and never respects, never hearkens after the parenthesis that comes between, so doth a good life here, flow into an eternal life, without any consideration what manner of death we die. But whether the gate of my prison be opened with an oiled key (by a gentle and preparing sickness) or the gate be hewed down, by a violent death, or the gate be burnt down by a raging and frantic fever; a gate into heaven I shall have; for, from the Lord is the course of my life, and with God the Lord are the issues of death; and farther we carry not this second acceptation of the words, as this issue of death is liberatio in morte, God's care that the soul be safe, what agony soever the body suffer in the hour of death; but pass to our third and last part; as this issue of death is liberatio per mortem, a deliverance by the death of another, by the death of Christ.

Sufferentiam Job audiistis et vidistis finem Domini, says St. James v. 11. You have heard of the patience of Job, says he; all this while you have done that: for in every man, calamitous, miserable man, a Job speaks. Now see the end of the Lord, saith that apostle, which is not that end which the Lord proposed to himself (salvation to us) nor the end which he proposes to us (conformity to him) but, See the end of the Lord, says he, the end that the Lord himself came to, death, and a painful, and a shameful death. But why did he die? and why die so? Quia Domini Domini sunt exitus mortis (as St. Augustine interpreting this text, answers that question") because to this God our Lord belonged these issues of death; Quid apertius

44 Do Civit. Dei t. 17 ; c. xviii.

diceretur? says he there; What can be more obvious, more manifest, than this sense of these words? In the former part of the verse it is said, He that is our God is the God of salvation; Deus salvos faciendi, so he reads it, The God that must save us; Who can that be, saith he, but Jesus? For therefore that name was given him, because he was to save us": And to this Jesus, saith he, this Saviour, belongs the issues of death, Nec oportuit cum de hac vita alios exitus habere, quam mortis, Being come into this life in our mortal nature, he could not go out of it any other way than by death. Ideo dictum (saith he) therefore it is said, To God the Lord belong the issues of death; Ut ostenderetur moriendo nos salvos facturum, to show that his way to save us, was to die. And from this text doth St. Isidore prove, that Christ was truly man (which as many sects of heretics denied, as that he was truly God) because to him, though he were Dominus Dominus (as the text doubles it) God the Lord, yet to him, to God the Lord belonged the issues of death. Oportuit cum pati, more cannot be said, than Christ himself saith of himself, These things Christ ought to suffer"; he had no other way but by death. So then, this part of our sermon must necessarily be a passion sermon, since all his life was a continual passion, all our Lent may well be a continual good-Friday; Christ's painful life took off none of the pains of his death; he felt not the less then, for having felt so much before; nor will anything that shall be said before, lessen, but rather enlarge your devotion to that which shall be said of his passion, at the time of the due solemnization thereof. Christ bled not a drop the less at last, for having bled at his circumcision before, nor will you shed a tear the less then, if you shed some now. And therefore be now content to consider with me, how to this God the Lord belonged the issues of death.

That God the Lord, the Lord of life could die, is a strange contemplation; that the Red Sea could be dry47; that the sun could stand still*8; that an oven could be seven times heat and not burn; that lions could be hungry and not bite, is strange, miraculously strange; but super-miraculous, that God could die:

but that God would die, is an exaltation of that; but, even of that also, it is a super-exaltation, that God should die, must die; and non exitus (saith St. Augustine) God the Lord had no issue but by death, and oportuit pati (saith Christ himself) all this Christ ought to suffer, was bound to suffer. Deus ultionum Deus, saith David, God is the God of revenges; he would not pass over the sin of man unrevenged, unpunished. But then, Deus ultionum libere egit (says that place) The God of revenges works freely; he punishes, he spares whom he will; and would he not spare himself? He would not. Dilectio fortis ut mors", Love is as strong as death; stronger; it drew in death, that naturally was not welcome. Si possibile (saith Christ) If it be possible let this cup pass, when his love, expressed in a former decree with his Father, had made it impossible. Many waters quench not love; Christ tried many; he was baptized out of his love, and his love determined not there; he wept over Jerusalem out of his.love, and his love determined not there; he mingled blood with water in his agony, and that determined not his love; he wept pure blood, all his blood, at all his eyes, at all his pores; in his flagellations, and thorns; to the Lord our God belonged the issues of blood; and these expressed, but these did not quench his love.

He would not spare, nay, he would not spare himself; there was nothing more free, more voluntary, more spontaneous than w the death of Christ; it is true, libere egit, he died voluntarily; but yet, when we consider the contract that had passed between his Father and him, there was an oportuit, a kind of necessity upon him: all this Christ ought to suffer. And when shall we date this obligation, this oportuit, this necessity, when shall we say it began? Certainly this decree by which Christ was to suffer all this, was an eternal decree; and was there anything before that that was eternal? Infinite love, eternal love; be pleased to follow this home, and to consider it seriously, that what liberty soever we can conceive in Christ to die, or not to die, this necessity of dying, this decree is as eternal as that liberty; and yet how small a matter made he of this necessity, and this dying? His Father calls it but a bruise, and but a bruising of his heel {The serpent

"Cant. viii. 6.

shall bruise his heel") and yet that was, that the serpent should practise and compass his death. Himself calls it hut a baptism, as though he were to be the better for it; / have a baptism to be baptized with*1; and he was in pain till it was accomplished; and yet this baptism was his death. The Holy Ghost calls it joy; (For the joy which was set before him he endured the cross") which was not a joy of his reward after his passion, but a joy that filled him even in the midst of those torments, and arose from them. When Christ calls his passion calicem, a cup, and no worse, (Can ye drink of my cup",) he speaks not odiously, not with detestation of it; indeed it was a cup; solus mundo, a health to all the world; and quid retribuem, says David, What shall I render unto the Lord*? Answer you with David, Accipiam calicem, I will take the cup of salvation. Take that, that cup of salvation his passion, if not into your present imitation, yet into j-our present contemplation, and behold how that Lord who was God yet could die, would die, must die for your salvation.

That Moses and Elias talked with Christ in the transfiguration both St. Matthew" and St. Mark" tell us; but what they talked of, only St. Luke"; Dicebant excessum ejus, says he; they talked of his decease, of his death, which was to be accomplished at Jerusalem. The word is of his Exodus, the very word of our text, Exitus, his issue by death. Moses, who iu his Exodus had prefigured this issue of our Lord, and in passing Israel out of Egypt through the Red Sea, had foretold in that actual prophecy Christ's passing of mankind through the sea of his blood, and Elias, whose Exodus, and issue out of this world, was a figure of Christ's ascension, had no doubt a great satisfaction, in talking with our blessed Lord, De ezcessu ejus, of the full consummation of all this in his death, which was to be accomplished at Jerusalem. Our meditation of his death should be more visceral, and affect us more, because it is of a thing already done. The ancient Romans had a certain tenderness, and detestation of the name of death; they would not name death, no not in their wills; there they would not say, Si mori contingat, but Si quid humanitus contingat, not

50 Gen. iii. 15. "Luke xii. 50. ** Heb. xii. 2.

"Matt. xx. 22. "Psalm cxvi. 12. "Matt. xvii. 3.

56 Mark ix. 4. » Luke. ix. 31.

if or when I die, but when the course of nature is accomplished upon me. To us, that speak daily of the death of Christ, (he was crucified, dead and buried) can the memory or the mention of our death be irksome or bitter? There are in these latter times amongst us, that name death freely enough, and the death of God, but in blasphemous oaths and execrations. Miserable men, who shall therefore be said never to have named Jesus, because they have named him too often; and therefore hear Jesus say, Nescivi vos, I never knew you; because they made themselves too familiar with him. Moses and Elias talked with Christ of his death only in a holy and joyful sense of the benefit which they and all the world were to receivo by it. Discourses of religion should not be out of curiosity, but edification. And then they talked with Christ of his death, at that time when he was at the greatest height of glory, that ever he admitted in this world; that is, his transfiguration. And we are afraid to speak to the great men of this world of their death, but nourish in them a vain imagination of immortality and immutability. But Bonum est nobis esse hie, (as St. Peter said there) It is good to dwell here, in this consideration of his death, and therefore transfer we our tabernacle, (our devotion) through some of these steps, which God the Lord made to his issue of death, that day.

Take in his whole day, from the hour that Christ ate the passover upon Thursday, to the hour in which he died the next day. Make this present day, that day in thy devotion, and consider what he did, and remember what you have done. Before he instituted and celebrated the sacrament, (which was after the eating of the passover) he proceeded to the act of humility, to wash his disciples' feet; even Peter's, who for a while resisted him. In thy preparation to the holy and blessed sacrament, hast thou with a sincere humility sought a reconciliation with all the world, even with those who have been averse from it, and refused that reconciliation from thee? If so, (and not else) thou hast spent that first part, of this his last day, in a conformity with him. After tho sacrament, ho spent the time till night in prayer, in preaching, in psalms. Hast thou considered that a worthy receiving of the sacrament consists in a continuation of holiness after, as well as in a preparation before? If so, thou hast therein also conformed thyself to him: so Christ spent his time till night. At night he went into the garden to pray, and he prayed prolixius; he spent much time in prayer58. How much? because it is literally expressed that he prayed there three several times, and that returning to his disciples after his first prayer, and finding them asleep, said, Could ye not watch with me one hour"? It is collected that he spent three hours in prayer. I dare scarce ask thee whither thou wentest, or how thou disposedst of thyself, when it grew dark and after, last night. If that time were spent in a holy recommendation of thyself to God, and a submission of thy will to his; then it was spent in a conformity to him. In that time, and in those prayers were his agony and bloody sweat. I will hope that thou didst pray; but not every ordinary and customary prayer, but prayer actually accompanied with shedding of tears, and dispositively, in a readiness to shed blood for his glory in necessary cases, puts thee into a conformity with him. About midnight he was taken and bound with a kiss. Art thou not too conformable to him in that? Is not that too literally, too exactly thy case? At midnight to have been taken, and bound with a kiss? From thence he was carried back to Jerusalem; first to Annas, then to Caiaphas, and (as late as it was) there he was examined, and buffeted, and delivered over to the custody of those officers, from whom he received all those irrisions, and violences, the covering of his face, the spitting upon his face, the blasphemies of words, and the smartness of blows which that gospel mentions. In which compass fell that gallicinium, that crowing of the cock, which called up Peter to his repentance. How thou passedst all that time last night, thou knowest. If thou didst anything then that needed Peters tears, and hast not shed them, let me be thy cock: do it now; now thy Master (in the unworthiest of his servants) looks back upon thee, do it now. Betimes iu the morning, as soon as it was day, the Jews held a council in the high priest's house, and agreed upon their evidence against him, and then carried him to Pilate, who was to be his judge. Didst thou accuse thyself when thou wakedst this morning, and wast thou content to admit even false accusations, that is, rather to suspect actions to have been sin which were not, than to smother

and justify such as were truly sins? Then thou spenteet that hour in conformity to him. Pilate found no evidence against him; and therefore to ease himself, and to pass a compliment upon Herod, tetrarch of Galilee, who was at that time at Jerusalem, (because Christ being a Galilean, was of Herod's jurisdiction) Pilate sent him to Herod; and rather as a madman than a malefactor, Herod remanded him with scorns to Pilate to proceed against him; and this was about eight of the clock. Hast thou been content to come to this inquisition, this examination, this agitation, this cribration, this pursuit of thy conscience, to sift it, v to follow it from the sins of thy youth to thy present sins, from the sins of thy bed to the sins of thy board, and from the substance to the circumstance of thy sins? That is time spent like thy Saviour's. Pilate would have saved Christ by using the privilege of the day in his behalf, because that day one prisoner was to be delivered; but they chose Barabbas. He would have saved him from death, by satisfying their fury, with inflicting other torments upon him, scourging, and crowning with thorns, and loading him with many scornful and ignominious contumelies; but this redeemed him not; they pressed a crucifying. Hast thou gone about to redeem thy sin, by fasting, by alms, by disciplines, and mortifications, in the way of satisfaction to the justice of God 2 That will not serve, that is not the right way. Wo press an utter crucifying of that sin that governs thee, and that conforms thee to Christ. Towards noon Pilate gave judgment; and they made such haste to execution, as that by noon he was upon the cross. There now hangs that sacred body upon the cross, re-baptized in his own tears and sweat, and embalmed in his own blood alive. There are those bowels of compassion, which are so conspicuous, so manifested, as that you may see them through his wounds. There those glorious eyes grew faint in their light, so as the sun, ashamed to survive them, departed with his li<dit too. And there that Son of God, who was never from us, and yet had now come a new way unto us, in assuming our nature, delivers that soul which was never out of his Father's hands, into his Father's hands, by a new way, a voluntary emission thereof; for though to this God our Lord belong these issues of death, so that, considered in his own contract, he must necessarily

die; yet at no breach, nor battery which they had made upon his sacred body, issues his soul, but emisit, he gave up the ghost: and as God breathed a soul into the first Adam, so this second Adam breathed his soul into God, into the hands of God. There we leave you, in that blessed dependency, to hang upon him, that hangs upon the cross. There bathe in his tears, there suck at his wounds, and lie down in peace in his grave, till he vouchsafe you a resurrection, and an ascension into that kingdom which he hath purchased for you, with the inestimable price of his incorruptible blood. Amen.

END OF THE SERMONS.