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Sect. I. That the general Period of human

Life is fixed and determined by God, and that it is but very short,

Page 83 Sect. II. What little Reason we have to com

plain of the Shortness of human Life, 87 Sect. III. What Use to make of the fixed Term of human Life,

93 SECT. IV. What Use to make of the Shortness of human Life,

105 Sect. V. The Time, and Manner, and Cir- .

cumstances of every particular Man's Death, are not determined by an absolute and unconditional Decree,

119 Sect. VI. The particular Time when we are

to die is unknown and uncertain to us, 126 SECT. VII. That we must die but once, or that

Death translates us to an unchangeable State; with the Improvement of it.

151

CH A P. IV. Concerning the Fear of Death and the Reme

dies against it, The Conclufion,

215

. 231

TO

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VORGIVE the Muse, who in unhallow'd Strains,

The Saint one Moment from his God detains ;
For sure whate'er you do, where'er you are,

*Tis all but one good Work, one constant Pray't.
Forgive her; and intreat that God, to whom
Thy favour'd Vows with kind Acceptance come,
To raise her Notes to that sublime Degree,
That suits a Song of Piety and Thee.

Wondrous good Man !' whose Labours may repel The Force of Sin, may stop the Rage of Hell : Who like the Baptist, from thy.God was sent The crying Voice to bid the World repent.

Thee Youth shall study; and no more engage
His flattering Wifhes for uncertain Age;
No more, with fruitless Care and cheated Strife,
Chase fleeting Pleasure through this Maze of Life :
Finding the wretched All He here can have,
But present Food, and but a future Grave;
Each great as Philip's Victor Son, shall view
This abject World, and weeping ask a New.

Decrepit Age shall read thee, and confefs
Thy Labours can afswage, where Med'cines cease :
Shall bless thy Words, their wounded Souls Relief;.
The Drops that sweeten their last Dregs of Life ;
Shall look to Heav'n, and laugh at all beneath;
Own Riches gather'd, Trouble ; Fame, a Breath ;
And Life an Ill, whose only Cure is Death,

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Thy

Thy

even Thoughts with so much Plainness flow,
Their Sense untutor's Infancy may know;
Yet to such Height is all that Plainness wrought,
Wit may admire, and letter'd Pride be taught.
Easy in Words thy Style, in Senfe fublime;

Ón its bleft Steps each Age and Sex may rise : 'Tis like the Ladder in the Patriarch's Dream,

Its Foot on Earth, its Height beyond the Skies.
Diffusd its Virtue, boundless is its Pow'r;
'Tis publick Health, and universal Cure.
Of heavenly Manna 'tis a second Feast,
A Nation's Food, and All to ev'ry Tafte.

To its last Height mad Britain's Guilt was rear'd;
And various Deaths for various Crimes she fear'd;
With your kind Work her drooping Hopes revive,
You bid her read, repent, adore and live.
You wrest the Bolt from Heav'ns avenging Hand;
Stop ready Death, and save a finking Land.

O! fave us still, ftill bless us with thy Stay ;
O! want thy Heav'n, till we have learnt the Way;
Refuse to leave thy destin'd Charge too soon;
And for the Church's Good defer thy own:
O! live, and let thy Works urge our Belief;
Live to explain thy Doctrine by thy Life;
Till future Infancy baptiz'd by thee,
Grow ripe in Years, and old'in Piety;
Till Christians yet unborn be taught to Die.

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Then in full Age, and hoary Holiness,
Retire, great Teacher, to thy promis'd Bliss:
Untouch'd thy Tomb, uninjur'd be thy Duft,
As thy own Fame among the future Juít;
Till in last Sounds the dreaded Trumpet speaks ;
Till Judgment calls, and quicken'd Nature wakes;
Till through the utmost Earth and deepest Sea,
Our scatter'd Atoms find their destin'd Way;
In hafte to cloath their Kindred Souls again,
Perfect our State, and build immortal Man:
Then fearless, Thou, who well sustained the Fight,
To Paths of Joy, and Tracks of endless Light,
Lead up all those, that heard Thee, and believ'd:

Midft thy own Flock, great Shepherd, he receiv’d;
And glad all Heav'n with Millions thou haft favd.

A Practical

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It is appointed unto all Men once to die.

The INTRODUCTION.

HERE is not a more effectual Way

to revive the true Spirit of ChristianiT ty in the World, than seriously to

meditate on what we commonly call

the Four last Things, Death, Judgment, Heaven, and Hell; for it is morally impoffible Men should live such careless Lives, should so wholly devote themselves to this World, and the Service of their Lusts; should either cast off the Fear of God, and all Reverence for his Laws,

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to satisfy themselves with fome cold and formal
Devotions, were they possessed with a warm and
constant Sense of these Things. For what manner,
of Men 'ought we to be, who know that we must
shortly die, and come to Judgment, and receive
according to what we have done in this World,
whether it be good or evil, either eternal Rewards
in the Kingdom of Heaven, or eternal Punishments
with the Devil and his Angels ?

That which first presents itself to our Thoughts,
and shall be the Subject of this following Treatise,
is Death; a very terrible Thing, the very naming
of which is apt to chill our Blood and Spirits, and
to draw a dark Veil over all the Glories of this Lite.
And
yet

this is the Condition of all Mankind, we
must as surely die, as we are born: For it is ap-
pointed unto Men once to die.

This is not the original Law of our Nature; for though Man was made of the Dust of the Earth, and therefore was by Nature mortal; (for that which is made of Duit is by Nature corruptible, and may be resolved into Dust again) yet had he not finned, he should never have died; he should have been iinmortal by Grace, and therefore had the Sacrament of Immortality, the Tree of Life, planted in Paradise : But now by Man Sin entred into the World, and Death by Sin; and so Death passed upon all Men, for that all have finned, Rom. v. 12. And thus it is decreed and appointed by God, by an irreversible Sentence, Duft thou art, and unto Duft thou shalt return.

Now to improve this Meditation to the best Advantage, I shall, 1. Consider what Death is, and what Wisdom that should teach us. 2. The Cercainty of our Death, That it is appointed unto Men ence to die. 3. The Time of our Death; it must

be

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