« PoprzedniaDalej »
TREATISE OF DEATH,
THE LAST ENEMY TO BE DESTROYED.
SHOWING WHEREIN ITS ENMITY CONSISTETH,
AND HOW IT IS DESTROYED.
Part of it was preached at the Funeral of Elizabeth, the late wife of Mr.
Joseph Baker, Pastor of the Church at St. Andrew's in Worcester.
With some few Passages of the Life of the said Mrs. Baker, observed.
“In whose eyes a vile person is contemned : but he honoureth them that fear the Lord.”- Psalm xv. 4.
“O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”—1 Cor. xv. 55–57.
TO THE WORSHIPFUL
MAYOR, ALDERMEN, AND SHERIFF
CITY OF WORCESTER;
THE REST OF THE INHABITANTS; ESPECIALLY THOSE OF
THE PARISHES OF ANDREW'S AND HELEN'S.
WORSHIPFUL, AND THE REST BELOVED,
The chief part of this following discourse being preached among you, and that upon an occasion which you are obliged to consider, (Isaiah lvii. 1,) being called, to publish it, I thought it meet to direct it first to your hands, and to take this opportunity plainly and seriously to exhort you in some matters that your present and everlasting peace is much concerned in.
Credible fame reporteth you to be a people not all of one mind or temper in the matters of God; but that, 1. some of you are godly, sober, and peaceable; 2. some well-meaning and zealous, but addicted to divisions ; 3. some papists; 4. some hiders, seduced by your late deceased neighbour Clement Writer, (to whom the quakers do approach in many opinions) ; 5. And too many profane and obstinate persons, that are heartily and seriously of no religion, but take occasion, from the divisions of the rest, to despise or neglect the ordinances of God, and join themselves to no assemblies.
1. To the first sort (having least need of my exhortation) I say no more, but
have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him, rooted and built up in him, and established in the faith, as ve have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving. And beware lest any man spoil you by deceit,” &c. (Col.ii, 6—8.) Walk as “a chosen genera
tion, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar people; to show forth the praises of him that hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light; having your conversation honest among the Gentiles : that, whereas they speak against you as evil-doers, they may by your good works, wbich they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation ; for so is the will of God, that with well-doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men.” (1 Pet. ii. 9, 12, 15.) Your labour aud patience is known to the Lord, and how ye cannot bear them which are evil, but have tried them which say they speak from the Lord, and are apostles, and are not, and have found them liars ; even the woman Jezebel, that is suffered to teach and seduce the people, calling herself a prophetess, who shall be cast into a bed of tribulation, and all that commit adultery with her, except they repent; and her children shall be killed with death; and all the churches shall know that Christ is he who searcheth the reins and hearts, and will give to every one according to their work. As for yourselves, we put upon you no other burden but that which you have already; hold fast till the Lord come. (Rev. ii.) Be watchful that ye fall not from your first love. And if any have declined, and grown remiss, remember how you have received, and heard, and hold fast, and repent, and strengthen the things that remain, which are ready to die, lest your candlestick should be removed.” (Rev. iii. 2, 3, &c.) And “ beware, lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own steadfastness. But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.' (2 Pet. iii. 17, 18.) And I beseech you, brethren,“ do all things without murmurings and disputings : that ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, amongst whom you and your brethren shine as lights in the world.” (Phil. ii. 14, 15.) And if in well-doing you suffer, think it not strange, but rejoice that ye are partakers of the sufferings of Christ, that when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy. If ye be reproached for the name of Christ happy are ye, for the Spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you, being glorified on your part, while he is evil spoken of on theirs.” (1 Pet. iv. 12– 14.)
2. To the second sort, inclinable to divisions, let me tender the counsel of the Holy Ghost. “My brethren, be not many masters (or teachers), knowing that ye shall receive the greater