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duty, nor be rebellious themselves ; but our labours shall be acceptable with our Lord, and you shall know that his ministers were among you. (Ezek. ii. 3-8.) “Yet a little while is the light with you: walk while ye have the light, lest darkness come upon you ; for he that walketh in darkness knoweth not whither he goeth.” (John xii. 35.) Oh, take this warning from Christ, and from An earnest desirer of your everlasting peace,

RICHARD BAXTER.

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TREATISE OF DEATH,

THE

LAST ENEMY TO BE DESTROYED,

1 CORINTHIANS xv, 26.

The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.

Death is the occasion of this day's meeting; and death must be the subject of our present meditations. I must speak of that which will shortly silence me, and you must hear of that which will speedily stop your ears : and we must spend this hour on that which waits to cut our thread, and take dowu our glass, and end our time, and tell us we have spent our last. But as it hath now done good by doing hurt, so we are to consider of the accidental benefits, as well as of the natural evil, from which the heavenly wisdom doth extract them. Death hath now bereaved a body of its soul, but thereby it hath sent that soul to Christ, where it hath now experience how good it is to be absent from the body and present with the Lord. (2 Cor. v. 8.) It hath separated a faithful wife from a beloved husband; but it hath sent her to a husband more dearly beloved, and taught her now, by experience, to say, that to be with Christ is best of all. (Phil. i. 23.) It hath deprived a sorrowful husband of a wife, and deprived us of a faithful friend : but it hath thereby brought us to the house of mourning, which is better for us than the house of feasting ; (a paradox to the flesh, but an undoubted truth ;) for here we may see the end of all men, and we who are yet living may lay it to our hearts. (Eceles. vii. 2, 3.) Yea, it hath brought us to the house of God, and occasioned this serious address to his holiness, that we may be instructed by his word, as we are warned by his works; and that we may be wise to understand, and to consider our latter end. (Deut. xxxii. 29.)

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It is like you will think, to tell men of the evil or enmity of death is as needless a discourse as any could be chosen; for who is there that is not naturally too sensible of this, and who doth not dread the name, or, at least, the face of death? But there is accidentally a greater evil in it than that which nature teacheth men to fear : and while it is the king of terrors to the world, the most are ignorant of the greatest hurt that it doth thein, or can do them; or, at least, it is but little thought on; which hath made me think it a needful work to tell you yet of much more evil in that which you abhor as the greatest evil : but so as withal to magnify our Redeemer, who overslooteth death in its own bow; and causeth it, when it aims at the mark, to miss it; and which causeth health by loathsome medicines; and, by the dung of our bodily corruption, manureth his church to the greater felicity.

Such excellent skill of our wise physician we find expressed and exercised in this chapter, where an unhappy error against the resurrection hath happily occasioned an excellent discourse on that weighty subject, which may establish many a thousand souls, and serve to shame and destroy such heresies, till the resurrection come and prove itself. The great argument which the apostle most insisteth on to prove the resurrection, is Christ's own resurrection, where he entereth into a comparison between Christ and Adam; showing that, as Adam first brought death upon himself, and then upon his posterity, so Christ, who was “made a quickening Spirit," did first rise himself as the first-fruits, and then at his coming will raise his own; and “as in Adam all die, so in Christ shall all be made alive.” And this Christ will do as our victorious king, and the captain of our salvation, who, when he hath subdued every enemy, will then deliver up the kingdom to the Father; and the last enemy which he will subdue is death, and therefore our resurrection is his final conquest.

The terms of the text have no difficultv in them. The doctrine which they express must be thus unfolded :

1. I must show you that death is an enemy, and what is meant by this expression, and wherein its enmity doth consist.

II. I shall show you that it is an enemy to be destroyed, though last, and how, and by what degrees it is destroyed. And then we shall make application of it to your further instruction and edification.

1. That you may know what is meant by an enemy here, you

must observe that man, being fallen into sin and misery, and Christ having undertaken the work of our redemption, the Scripture oft speaketh of our misery and recovery metaphorically in inilitary terms: and so Satan is said to take us captive, and we to be his slaves, and Christ to be the captain of our salvation, and to redeem us from our bondage; and thus our sin and misery, and all that hindereth the blessed ends of his undertaking, are called enemies. Death, therefore, is called an enemy to be destroyed, that is, a penal evil to be removed by the Redeemer, in order to our recovery, and the glory of his grace. 1. It is an evil. 2. A punishment procured by our sin, and executed by God's justice. 3. It is an evil that

. hindereth our felicity. These three things are included in the enmity.

That death is an enemy to nature is a thing that all understand: but all consider not how it is an enemy to our souls, to the exercise of grace, and, consequently, to the attainment of glory. I shall, therefore, having first spoken briefly of the former, insist a little longer upon the latter.

1. How great an enemy death is unto nature doth easily appear,

in that, l. It is the dissolution of the man. It maketh a man to become no man, by separating the soul from the body, and dissolving the body into its principles. It pulls down in a moment a curious frame that nature was long building and tenderly cherishing and preserving. The mother long nourisheth it in her bowels, and painfully brings it forth, and carefully brings it up. What labour doth it cost our parents and ourselves to make provision for this life, and death in a moment cuts it off. How careful are we to keep in these lamps, and to maintain the oil, and death extinguisheth them at a blast. How noble a

. creature doth it destroy! To-day our parts are all in order, and busy about their several tasks; our hearts are moving, our lungs are breathing, our stomachs are digesting, our blood and spirits by assimilation making more; and to-morrow death takes off the poise, and all stands still, or draws the pins, and all the frame doth fall to pieces. We shall breathe no inore, nor speak, nor think, nor walk no more : our pulse will beat no more ; our eyes

shall see the light no more; our ears shall hear the voice of man, delightful sounds, and melody, no more; we shall taste no more our meat or drink; our appetite is gone; our strength is gone; our natural warmth is turned into an VOL, XVII,

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