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that the Seed of the Woman shall bruise the Serpent's Head, Gen. iii. 15. in his Curse upon the Serpent, who beguiled Eve : I will put Enmity between thee and the Woman, and between thy Seed and her Seed; it mall bruise thy Head, and thou shalt bruise his Heel. Which contains the Promise of sending Christ into the World, who by Death Mould destroy bim who had the Power of Death, that is, the Devil; and deliver them, who through Fear of Death, were all their Life-time subje£t to Bondage ; Heb. ii. 143 15. i. e. before he denounces the Sentence of Death against Man, he promises a Saviour and Deliverer, who should triumph over Death, and raise our dead Bodies out of the Dust, immortal and glorious. Here is a most admirable Mixture of Mercy and Judgment! Man had forfeited an earthly Immortality, and must die; but before God would denounce the Sentence of Death againft him, he promises to raile up his dead Body again, to a new and endless Life. And have we any Reason to complain then, that God has dealt hardly with us, in involving us in the sad Consequences of Adam's Sin, and exposing us to a temporal Death, when he has promised to raise us up from the Dead again, and to bestow a more glorious Immortality on us, which we shall never lose? When Man had finned, it was necessary that he should die, because he could never be compleatly and perfectly happy in this World, as you have already heard : And the only possible Way to make him happy, was to translate him into another World, and to bestow a better Immortality on him. This God has done, and that in a very ftupendous Way, by giving his own Son to die for us; and now we have little Reason to complain that we all die in Adam, since we are made alive in Christ. To have died in Adam, never to
have lived more, had indeed been very severe upen Mankind; but when Death signifies only a Necefsity of going out of these Bodies and living without them for some Time, in order to re-assume them again immortal and glorious, we have no Reason to think this any great Hurt. Nay, indeed, if we consider Things rightly, the Divine Goodness has improved the Fall of Adam, to the raising of Mankind to a more happy and perfect State. For though Paradise, where God placed Adam in Innocence, was a happier State of Life than this World, freed from all the Disorders of a mortal Body, and from all the necessary Cares and Troubles of this Life, yet you'll all grant that Heaven is a happier Place than an earthly Paradise ; and therefore it is more for our Happiness to be translated from Earth to Heaven, than to have lived always in an earthly Paradise. You will all grant, that the State of good Men, when they go out of these Bodies before the Resurrection, is a happier Life than Paradise was; for it is to be with Christ, as St. Paul tells us, which is far better, Phil
. i. 23. And when our Bodies rise again from the Dead, you will grant they will be more glorious Bodies than Adam's was in Innocence : For the first Man was of the Earth, earthy, but the second Man is the Lord from Heaven, 1 Cor. xv. 47. Adam had an earthly mortal Body, though it should have been immortal by Grace; but at the Resurrection our Bodies shall be fashioned like unto Christ's moit glorious Body. The Righteous shall shine forth like the Sun in the Kingdom of their Father : That as we have borne the Image of the Earthly, we shall also bear the Inage of the Heavenly, 1 Cor. xv. 49. So that our Redemption by Christ has infinitely the Advantage of Adam's Fall, and we have no ReaF 3
fon to complain, That by Man came Death, since by Man also came the Resurrection of the Dead.
That St. Paul might well magnify the Grace of God in our Redemption by Chrift, above his Juftice and Severity in punishing Adam's Sin with Death. Rom. v. 15, 16, 17, But not as the Offence, so also is the Free Gift : For if thro' the Offence of one, many be dead ; much more the Grace of God, and the Gift by Grace, which is by one Man, Fesus Christ, hath abounded unto many. And not as it was by one that finned, so is the Gift : for the Judg: ment was by one to Condemnation ; but the Free Gift is of many Offences unto Juftification. For if by one Man's Offence, Death reigned by one ; much more they which receive Abundance of Grace, and of the Gift of Righteousness, Mall reign in Life ly one, Jesus Christ. Where the Apostle magnifies the Grace of God upon a fourfold Account. Death was the just Reward of Sin, it came by the Offence of one, and was an Act of Justice in God: Whereas our Redemption by Christ is the Gift of Grace, the free Gift, which we had no just Claim
2. That by Christ we are not only delivered from the Effects of Adam's Sin, but from the Guilt of our own : For though the Judgment was by one to Condemnation; the Free Gift is of many Offences unto Justification. 3. That though we die in Adam, we are not barely made alive again in Christ, but shall reign in Life by one, Jesus Chrift; which is a much happier Life than what we lost in Adam. 4. That as we die by one Man's Offence, so we live by one too ; By the Righ!cousness of Oile, the Free Gifi cumes upon al Mon unto Fujification of Life. We have no Reason to complaii that the Sin of Adam is imputed to us to Death, if the Righ:eoulness of Christ purchase for us eterna!
Life. The first was a neceffary Consequence o Adam's losing Paradise; the second is wholly owing to the Grace of God.
Thus we fee what it is that makes us mortal: God did not make Death; he created us in a hapру and immortal State ; but by Man Sin entered into the World, and Death big Sin. Whatever Averfion then we have to Death, should begec in us a. greater Horror of Sin, which did not only at first make us mortal, but is to this Day both the Cause of Death, and the Sting of it. No Degree indeed of Virtue now can preserve us from dying; but yet Virtue may prolong our Lives, and make them happy, while Sin very often hastens us to the Grave, and cuts us off in the very midst of our Days. An intemperate and luftful Man destroys the most vigorous Constitution of Body, dies of a Fever, or Dropsy, or Rottenness and Consumptions; others fall a Sacrifice to private Revenge, or publick Justice, or a Divine Vengeance; for the Wicked shall not live out half their Days. However, setting aside fome little natural Aversions, which are more easily conquered, and Death were a very in nocent, harmless, nay, desirable Thing, did not Sin give a Sting to it, and terrify us with the Thoughts of that Judgment which is to follow. Quarrel not then at the Divine Justice in appointing Death; God is very good, as well as just in it; but vent all your Indignation against Sin; pull out this Sting of Death, and then you will see nothing but Smiles and Charms. in ; then it is nothing but putting off these mortal Bodies; to re-assume them again with all the Advantage of an immortal Youth. It is certain indeed we must die, this is appointed for us; and the very Certainty of our Death will teach us that WirF 4
dom which may help us to regain a better Immortality than we have loft.
S E C T. II.
must certainly die.
FoR, 1. If it be certain that we must die,
this should teach us frequently to think of Death, to keep it always in our Eye and View, For, why should we cast off the Thoughts of that which will certainly come, especially when it is so necessary to the good Government of our Lives, to remember that we must die? If we must die, I think it concerns us to take care, that we may die happily, and that depends upon our living well; and nothing has such a powerful Infuence upon the good Government of our Lives, as the Thoughts of Death. I have already shewed you what Wifdom Death will teach us, but no Man will learn this who does not consider what it is to die; and no Man will practise it, who does not often remember that he muft die : But he that lives under a constant Sense of Death, has a perpetual Antidote against the Follies and Vanities of this World, and a perpetual Spur to Virtue.
When such a Man finds his Defires afier this World enlarge beyond, not only the Wants, but the Conveniencies of Nature, Thou Fool, says he to himself, What is the Meaning of all this? What kindles this insatiable Thirst of Riches ? Why must there be no End of adding House to House, and Field to Field ? Is this World thy Home? Is this thy abiding City ? Dost thou hope to take up an eternal Rest here? Vain Man! thou must shortly remove thy Dwelling, and then