Hopkins - HP BR75 .H65 1710

Jl Funeral Sermon.· "Twill not be many years nor days hence, till every one of \15 be. ill our etern:tl State· there ftands nothing between us and it, but this thin mud-wall of onr Bodies: 3 we;k fcnceagainrt fo many difcafes and c:tfil::tltiesas may every day a.nd ,fmur aff:mlt m. What .AntllCharfii faid ofthofe who fail'd, that. they were but ·four inch~s.L~t~ti~t:i~ removed from Death, is true of us a_ll; we are but four mchcs 1:cmoved from_Dcatn rb:t"/.n" and Eternity. Nay, a wound th<it digs i16t half fo deep maydtfp:ttchus. Our Souls' nr · arc in our Bodies only as a little air included in a thil~ bubble; and when that breaks,. oh what or where are we? Gon in an inftafit Out of all the bulincffcs and picafurcs of this prcfent Life into an cftate for ever unc~~ng~ablc. Now what is your care, and what do you chiefly bufic your fe lvcs about? Death is approach ing you, arm'd w~th ten thoufand Woes and ~la~ues; .111~ is it t ime fo_r you to trifle away your prec1ous Moments (Moments on wh1ch deren~s your Eternity) i11 fports, or complements, or impertinent employments? Is tt tun: for you to mufe what garb you will wear, what vifit you will make, whether at tins Hot~fc or the next; wh:tt recreat ion Ihall pafs away to morrow) whether the Ha\vk, or the Hound, when all this while Death hath yOu in fuU chafe? VVhile You are COntriving your profits and pleaftires, your recreations and employments, and Iharing Olit yotir liVes among them,a fuddcn, unfecn, and unthought of hand of Goo fi1atcheth you from them all, and all thefe vain thoughts perilh with you. Is this providing for Eternity? is this improving your fhort time, and few Minutes for HeJvcn? Pity is it that ever a precious and immor~al ?oullh9nl_d be intrufred to the care and management of fuch Brlttcs, who by mmd1ng nothmg but their fenfi.tal eafc and delights, their food and fodder, degrade it in this World, and deftroy it in the next. . . Now, to provide for eternity, I know no better rule, than to do nothingbut what thou might'ft be contented to be found doing when Chrift rhall come to Judge thee: to live fa, as if every day were thy lafr, and the very next to Etern ity. Ifirbenot fa, it is more than you or I know. Since we have no affitrance of a day or hourlonger, it is but rcafon and wifdom to look upon every one as the laft. Suppofe now ytmr Chambers darkned, your Friends (l:anding round your Beds, motlrning over you, a fad filencefi lling all the place, nothing heard hut your Groans, or theirs to anfwer yours:, when your Souls fitting on yotlr lips fl1all look over into Eternity and fiutt.er to be gon; when they iliall, like the flame of an expiring lamp, vibrate and catch Jt the exhaufted Body, how ,would you i:hcn fpend thatfm:1ll fcanr~ ling of remaining time? \Vonld you be laying up for year$? ·wontd you be contriv~ ing for your v.1in ple:tfi.tres, or fend fot' your idle and debanch'd 01mp:mions to laugh and jcft away rl11t laft hour, as well as the reft? No:, thefc dcfigns, and this mirth arc n0w dafh't; now the neceffit ies of the Soul begin to croudhard upon you; the fight of a fevere Jud~e and dreadful Tribunal, the worryings of an accufing Confcicncc, the fearful review of pafr Sins, and expeCtation of attending Torments now rhake out all fu.ch, once fa delightful and contenting thoughts: and now whe~ )rot\r Souls arc departing out of your Bodies, they begin to come into your re..· membrance. Hearken to the voice of dying-men, what fay they? Oh, that Cod would pardon ~nd accept them! Oh that he would fpare them a little to r epent and reform! orelfc, Oh that he would affin·e them of his favour, and receive them to his mercy! This is the language, and thefc are the cares of the fick-bed, when Death comes nigh to thcn1 and looks them in the face. And why is it not your care now in your health and firength? \Vh:J.:t affitrance have you, that you are not now as nigh Death :ts thofe who lie thus langn irh ing, and complaining of their folly for neglctl:ing their Souls ~ll this laft hour? God doth not always give wa~·ning, bnt fome he ftrikes fitddcnly • and for ought we know, we may be as near our Deaths as th'ofc whom their Friend~ and Phyficians have given over. · ~owever, fhonld God fpare you longer, yet the duration of your Life is moft uncc_rtai_n; and ID del~y our preparations for Death upon the uncertain continuance of Lrfe, IS fuch ftupendrous Madnefs and Folly, that certainly were there not witchcraft ·~~ forcery nfed upon ns by the Devil, a Man that bath the free command of his W<t and Reafon, could never be guilty of. L Night