Hopkins - HP BR75 .H65 1710

A' Funeral Sermon. thertfotfin the' full Strength and Vigour of theif Years, when they migh t, according to humane ptobability, have lived'much longer, or elfe c?mpa;mg the !h orrnefs of their Life, w'ith the'length of dth~rs, God fe~m~ to break It O~I~ the ~iddle before he ha<i finifhf'it. lndee<l mofl: 1 Men 'do thcmfelves fuorten the1r own lives; fome bY in:tcmperinCe are frill fuaking their Glafs to make it run the fa1l:er, and others break i~a!f once by violence; yet all live as ion~ as God had decreed, thorlgh ,not fo long aS>was their duty. I !hall not farther d1fpute whether the term. ofLrfe be fixt or moveable. 'Job, methinks, hath clearly ltated and detetmined the Q]•eltion, ']ob 7• J, Is thbe nbt an apptiinud time to man 11pon earth ? ttre not his d~ys alfo like the daJs o.f ,an blrelin,!? An hireling hath his Days ofprefixt ·fervicc; ~nd When they are expired; he is difchat'g'd from\his labOl1f, fo 'Job I4· 5• $s days are detdmined, t~t number of his mOnths a,Ywith thee, thflU haft_ ap~inttd his bounds that he cannot P'fs· . If IS true however, though G~ hath thus numbred out our Days, yet ·~her.e are f!lea.ns proper to pro--- lOng ollr lives beyond the term that God hath fixt m hts Decree, and fi1ch as would prove available if applied : wh~ver die? might have lived longer,: had the right means been ufed. As Martha fatd to Chnft; Lord if ·t~u hadft bun her( ~y Brother Luke , :. h}df ,nbt'dird: Sowemayfay, tf fuch means and remedtes had been appltCd, death21o niight 'have been prevented. But•withal we m\llt obferve, that<that God who hath plefl'Yed ' to every one his term of Life, hath likewife ordained . in hi~ own ,Couf\[el and purpbfc, that thofe means which · are proper to prolong it beyond th at term, fll:tll through fome unavoidable mifl:ake or mHh'ap, either not be known, or n ot ufed. This may be a fupport unto us againft Fears of our own, and Grief for th e Death ofotherS; all our times are in God's hands, he meafi.Jres out every Day to us ; and as he bath appointed the bounds, over which we J.hall not pafs; [o he bath appointed that vie !hall cert'ainly reac)i them. His Providence difpofeth of the mea,nefl: ana fmalleft conccrnments of Mltti'S Life, and therefore much more Of Life it felf: and if an hair ofour Heads cannot, much lefs them fuall we our felves, fall to the Ground withoitt'our'I'feavenly Father. · . 1 SecondlY.,· As we Know not the time, fo neither the particular manner ofour Death, I i: wRctHer it' !halT~~~ fudd~n, or forefuen; by Difeafe, or Cafiralty: wh~therthe Thread of l!.ifc fhall .be fnapt in pieces by fome unexpeCted Accident, or worn and fretted aWay'byforhe-lingring Confu~_nption, or bltrnt afunderbyfomefiery Fever. In What rhanncr and Ihape our Death wi11 appear to us·we know not; this is a fecrct of God's Own Breafl:. Bdt whatevet'the lhape be, if we en~eaVour by an holy Life to J?fCpue our felvesfor it, it fhall not be frightful nor terrible to us. Bnt truly, the generalitj of the World ate to little careful to prepare for rhdr Death, as tf they were pnvtleged Perfonsl and had a protelhon gtven them fr om that Arrelt. Thoueh they fee thonfands fal before them, though Death mows down their Friends and Relation9round about then_!z yet they live fo fecure and co nfident; :is if~hey were not at all concerned in thofel!.xamples, asifGod.'sh<~;ndcutoffothers o'nly to make the more room for them in the World: Who is there fo fool -hardy, that ftandlng riear the mark of an Archer, and feeing One Arrow fly ov~r his Head, another light at his Feet; one glance by his right, another by his left Hand, that will rtot at le~gth berh.ink himfelf of his ,danger, ~hat bY, the very ne~t he alfo .may be fhot and flam. Man IS th1s mark at whiCh DeathJscontmuall}' fhoonng, fomet11nes the Arrb~ flies over our Heads, and flays forne great Perfori, our Superionr; fome- 'timb it lights at our Feet, when it kills a Child or Servant, or thofe who are our ~ttferiout~.l ~ Sbm~tiJ!!CS it paffeth by pur l.eft Hand, .and kills a~1 Enemy, at ~hofe ueath p<)flibly we reJoyce; ~nd anon tt,ltnke..rhe Fnend ofo~rttghr Hand: THough we fee all this; though we lee our Fnends ,an~ Foes tl)oJe of all Stares and Ages 'drop tlown deltd round abent us, yet are we ltrll as frohck and careter s, as if this "fiodiin'g 11t all concerned us; whereas .poffibly the very next J\rrow m:ty ft,ri-kc us lhrough t'he Heart dead upon the Place. 'Tisa.l\rangeand bnuiihSort i!hnrfs, that fo 'ma'ny Ipefr.tcles ofMortality, can~ot move. . . · We read'ohbat Vifrdrious. Emperor Cl,arleHi)eVtb• that to engrave t{\e deeper d<Ji . •\lptelle~fions of his Death, he i:aufed his .own Funerals to b<; fole\flnized, while he f;jg rb": \oas yet liVing. He laid himfelf down in hi's 'l"omb, and had that rare fate o f great . ' ·' ~errons, !tO be _lal:nented WithJtrue tears; dt lfa,ft h~ own. Hoc. vide(icet 'ritdimen/o (as the'H,fltofian fj>eaks} C.rolurvicin• j""' mhrti proludebat. If it were ' il.ny help to 'preparc'hiln to1lye'at hlltl'eally, by dying thtis 'firlt in Emblem, we may ' almo.lt daily'