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fuch Believers Believe not to their Comfort, but to their Dread. They only, like their Father the Devil, Believe and Tremble: And cannot help Believing to their Confufion, what they would never be perfuaded to Believe to their Salvation..

And are not All Men under fuch Circumftances of the fame Mind? Do not all agree in their Judgment then? It may please God indeed fometimes, when the Sinner has long ftood it out against Convictions, and many fecret Checks and Admonitions of the Holy Spirit, (for Example to the World of his great Indignation against Prefumption and Obftinacy in Sin) to Punish fuch a One with the greatest of all his Plagues, a Hardned Tim. iv. Heart, and a Confcience feared, as with a hot Iron. Such Miferable Wretches having Eph. iv. the Understanding darkned, and alienated from the Life of God, becaufe of the Blindness of their Hearts, and being past Feeling, may have little Sense of their Danger; and may poffibly at laft Dye, as they have Lived, Stupid and Thoughtlefs in their Sins. But fuch Inftances of Sinners Unconcerned at the Dying Hour, are, God be thanked, what we feldom meet with. The Common Apprehenfions of All Men, the Learned and the Ignorant, the Rich and the Poor, are generally the fame Then: Whatever their Lives Have been, they then All wish that they Had been Good and Virtuous. If they have had



any serious Fits, and fpent any Hours of their Lives well, in Prayers and Reading the Holy Scriptures, and other Duties of Religion; Or any Part of their Eftates in Good Works, and Alms Deeds; Do they not call Them to Mind with more Satisfaction and Pleasure, than all their Frolicks, and Follies, and extravagant Vices? Then is the Remembrance of One Day Spent in the Court of Pf. lxxxiv. God's Houfe, better than a Thousand Spent in the Tents of Ungodliness *.

And do not all the Death-bed Confeffions, Declarations, and Refolutions, that we ever hear of, run the fame Way? All against Impiety, and Vice? And All the Penitential Sighs and Groans, and Dying Exclamations that Men make, are they not all for the Sins of their Lives? For tho' Men may struggle with themselves, and may keep down Conscience, at an under, all their Life long; Yet an Unrelenting Atheist, that can boldly stand to his Principles, and glory in his Vice and Impieties, and defy God and Heaven, with his Dying Breath, is a Monster scarce to be heard of Once in an Age. Their Stout Hearts then come down, and many of them are Ready, in their Extremity, to fly to their Prayers, and would fain take Shelter in Reli

10, 11.

* Unus Dies benè, & ex Praceptis tuis actus, eft peccanti Immortalitati anteferendus. Cicero Tufc. Quæft. lib. 2.

gion at laft, and feek Comfort from it, tho they had Neglected, perhaps Derided it, all their Life before. They know they have of ten Abused, and done enough to Forfeit the Privilege of the Sanctuary; but in their Diftrefs, having no other Refuge to flee unto, they are willing to Try its Mercy; And if it Refuse them its Protection, they can but Dye, as Joab did, at the Horns of the Altar.

This then is the End of Wickedness and Vice, Trouble, Sorrow, and Repentance.

But now on the other Side; Have we ever known, or heard of any, that have Repented of their Virtues? When a Man Has Lived Soberly, Righteously, and Godlily in the World, are his Temperance, Justice and Piety, ever attended with any Penal Confequences? Does the Remembrance of Thefe ever yield any Bitter Fruits, or fill the Mind with Remorfe and Horror? Does the Remembrance of our Watchings, and Faftings, and Mortifications? Do the Hours we have spent with God in Secret? In Prayers and Meditations; Or in any Exercises of Virtue or Piety? Do thefe (I fay) fit Uneafy on the Mind? Or cause any Sad Reflections to Afflict and Torment us at the laft? And here we might give the Challenge to the Atheist, and defy them All, to find out but One Single Inftance of this kind, either from their own Knowledge, or from all the Records.


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of Time; And from them all, let them Produce but one Single Inftance, of a Man that Has Lived well, and virtuoufly All his Days, and is Sorry for it at his Death: Diffatisfy'd with himself for it, Troubled at his well-spent Life, and Terrify'd with the Remembrance of ir at the Dying Hour; And could Wish that he had Lived otherwife In the Ways of Sin and Wickedness. No; Death-bed Wishes and Declarations are quite of another Strain: However, Men Have Lived, they could Wish at leaft, that they Had Lived the Life of the Righteous, as they would now be glad to Dye the Death of the Righteous, and have their Laft End like His.

Which that we may All have, God of his Infinite Mercy Grant, thro' Jefus Christ our Lord.

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The Difference betwixt the Death of the Wicked and the Death of the Righ


NUM. XXIII. Part of the 10th Verfe. — Let me dye the Death of the Righteous, and let my Laft End be like His.


HE Words are a Part of Balaam's Parable, whom I confider'd as a Man that for Worldly Ad

vantages acted against the Dictates of his own Mind. But though he was kept off by Worldly Confiderations from Living the Life of the Righteous, yet he could not but account them Happy, and wish that



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