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bours and Sufferings-I have fought a good Fight, I have finished my Course..


likewife as it was to bring him to the Kingdom prepared for him, and give him Poffeffion of his Crown-There is laid up for me a Crown of Righteousness, which the Lord the Righteous Judge fhall give me at that Day.

For this Reafon the Church of Chrift in all Ages, for the Celebration of the Memory of Saints and Martyrs, have kept their Feftivals (as we do at this Day,) not on the Day of their Birth, but on the Day of their Death; the Birth having been only an Entrance into a State of Sin and Misery, but their Death an Entrance into an Endless State of Happiness and Glory; That being as it were their Coronation-Day, their BirthDay to that Crown of Life, which the Lord of Life will give them at that Day. Only our Saviour and John the Baptift have their Birth Days folemniz'd by the Church; the One being neither Conceived nor Born in Sin, and the Other (we are told) was Sanctify'd from his Mother's Womb.

Thus have we seen the Different Apprehenfions that Good and Bad Men have of their Departure hence, with Regard to their Future State: The One Defires it when God fhall fee fit, the Other Dreads it above all things: As indeed it is a very Dreadful Thing to One that has no Better Hope, to





think of being removed hence to a Place of Torments prepared for the Devil and his Angels: Whilft the Good Man looks on Death as his Redemption, his Deliverance from the Evils of this World, and his Paffport to a Happy Eternity; and therefore breaths forth his Soul to God in pious Ejaculations and Hallelujahs, whilft the other goes off in Sighs and Groans *.

The Great Prophet Ifaias, who, we are xlviii. 24, told, faw by an excellent Spirit, what should come to pass at the laft, and comforted thofe that mourned in Sion, has in the Prophetical Language very livelily fhadow'd out to us the Different Ends of Both these forts of Men, that we have been speaking of, when their End fhall come. Then (fays he) Ifa. xxxiii. shall the Sinners in Sion be afraid; Fearfulnefs hath furprized the Hypocrites. Who among us fhall dwell with the Devouring Fire? Who among us shall dwell with Everlasting Burnings? But the Redeemed of the Lord fhall return, and come with Singing unto Sion; and Everlasting Joy shall be upon their Heads: They fhall obtain Glad nefs and Joy, and Sorrow and Mourning shall flee away.

Anima quam in fe pronam Corporis Ufus effecit, atque in Pecudem quodammodò reformavit ex Homine, abfolutionem Corporis perhorrefcit, & cum Neceffe eft,

Non nifi cum gemitu fugit indignata fub Umbras.
Macrobius in Somn. Scip. lib. 1.


Now if these Things be True, that Virtue and Piety conclude thus happily, and Sin has fuch a Sad and Sorrowful End, the Conclufion is certainly True, that the Death of the Righteous is very Defirable; and that upon the highest Reasons, and greatest Interefts, that can concern Mankind, even the Eternal Interefts of our Immortal Souls.

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How much it Concerns us to be well Prepared for Death.

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

N my foregoing Discourse I proposed to confider these Three Things.

I. What the great Difference is betwixt the Death of the Wicked, and the Death of the Righteous, that should make

the One appear Dreadful, and the Other ve ry Defirable.

IIdly, If the Death of the Righteous be fo very Defirable, it highly concerns every one of us to take Care in time to Prepare for it.

And III, How we may best Prepare ourselves for that Happy Death.

The First of thefe, The Difference betwixt the Death of the Wicked, and the Death of the Righteous, I have already spoken to: And now come in the


IId Place to confider, that, if the Death of the Righteous be fo very Defirable, it highly concerns every one of us to take Care in Time to Prepare for it.

There is nothing more unaccountable in all Morality, than Men's ftrange Thoughtleffness and Inconfideration of their Latter End. The Wiseman tells us, The Living Ecclef. Know that they shall Dye: All Men Living ix. 5. Know it. Reafon tells us, that it is Natural to All; And Revelation tells us, That it is Appointed to All Men to Dye. Our conftant Obfervation of what befals Others, and the Sense of our own Decays, and Weakness, and Infirmities growing upon us, do all tell us fo. The Grave threatningly tells us fo every Time it opens its Mouth; And we find that neither Greatness, nor Honours,

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