HOMILY ON THE FEAR OF DEATH

from Short-Title Catalogue 13675.
Renaissance Electronic Texts 1.2.
© 1994, 1997 Ian Lancashire
University of Toronto

UTEL Home Page.


AN EXHORTATION
against the feare of Death.

[I.9.1-1]  IT is not to bee maruelled that worldly
[I.9.1-2]  men doe feare to die. For death depri­
[I.9.1-3]  ueth them of all worldly honors, riches,
[I.9.1-4]  and possessions, in the fruition whereof,
[I.9.1-5]  the worldly man counteth himselfe hap­
[I.9.1-6]  py, so long as hee may enioy them as his
[I.9.1-7]  owne pleasure: and otherwise, if he bee
[I.9.1-8]  dispossessed of the same, without hope
[I.9.1-9]  of recouery, then he can none otherwise
[I.9.1-10]  thinke of himselfe, but that hee is vn­
[I.9.1-11]  happy, because he hath lost his worldly
[I.9.1-12]  ioy and pleasure. Alas thinketh this
[I.9.1-13]  carnall man, shall I now depart for e­
[I.9.1-14]  uer from all my honours, all my treasure, from my countrie, friends,
[I.9.1-15]  riches, possessions, and worldly pleasures, which are my ioy and heartes
[I.9.1-16]  delight? Alas that euer that day shall come, when all these I must bid
[I.9.1-17]  farewell at once, and neuer to enioy any of them after. Wherefore it is
[I.9.1-18]  not without great cause spoken of the Wise man, O death, how bitter
[I.9.1-19]  and sowre is the remembrance of thee to a man that liueth in peace and

[margin]
Eccle.41.
[margin]


[I.9.1-20]  prosperitie in his substance, to a man liuing at ease, leading his life af­
[I.9.1-21]  ter his owne minde without trouble, and is therewithall well pampered
[I.9.1-22]  and fedde? There bee other men, whom this world doeth not so greatly
[I.9.1-23]  laugh vpon, but rather vexe and oppresse with pouertie, sickenesse, or
[I.9.1-24]  some other aduersitie, yet they doe feare death, partly because the flesh
[I.9.1-25]  abhorreth naturally his owne sorrowfull dissolution, which death doeth
[I.9.1-26]  threaten vnto them, and partly by reason of sickenesses and painefull
[I.9.1-27]  diseases, which be most strong pangues and agonies in the flesh, and
[I.9.1-28]  vse commonly to come to sicke men before death, or at the least accompanie
[I.9.1-29]  death, whensoeuer it commeth.

[I.9.1-30]  Although these two causes seeme great and weightie to a worldly
[I.9.1-31]  man, whereupon hee is mooued to feare death, yet there is an other
[I.9.1-32]  cause much greater then any of these afore rehearsed, for which indeede
[I.9.1-33]  he hath iust cause to feare death, and that is the state and condition where­
[I.9.1-34]  vnto at the last end death bringeth all them that haue their hearts fix­
[I.9.1-35]  ed vpon this world, without repentance and amendment. This state
[I.9.1-36]  and condition is called the second death, which vnto all such shall ensue
[I.9.1-37]  after this bodily death. And this is that death, which indeed ought to
[I.9.1-38]  be dread and feared: for it is an euerlasting losse without remedy of the
[I.9.1-39]  grace and fauour of GOD, and of euerlasting ioy, pleasure, and felici­
[I.9.1-40]  tie. And it is not onely the losse for euer of all these eternall pleasures,
[I.9.1-41]  but also it is the condemnation both of body and soule (without either
[I.9.1-42]  appellation, or hope of redemption) vnto euerlasting paines in hell. Vnto

[margin]
Luke 16.
[margin]


[I.9.1-43]  this state death sent the vnmercifull and the vngodly rich man (that Luke
[I.9.1-44]  speaketh of in his Gospel) who liuing in all wealth and pleasure in this
[I.9.1-45]  world, and cherishing himselfe dayly with dainty fare, and gorgious ap­
[I.9.1-46]  parell, despised poore Lazarus that lay pitifull at his gate, miserably pla­
[I.9.1-47]  gued and full of sores, and also grieuously pined with hunger. Both
[I.9.1-48]  these two were arrested of death, which sent Lazarus the poore miserable
[I.9.1-49]  man by Angels anon vnto Abrahams bosome, a place of rest, pleasure,
[I.9.1-50]  and consolation: but the vnmercifull rich man descended downe into
[I.9.1-51]  hell, and being in torments, he cryed for comfort, complaining of the in­
[I.9.1-52]  tolerable paine that he suffered in that flame of fire, but it was too late.
[I.9.1-53]  So vnto this place bodily death sendeth all them that in this world haue
[I.9.1-54]  their ioy and felicity, all them that in this world be vnfaithfull vnto
[I.9.1-55]  GOD, and vncharitable vnto their neighbours, so dying without re­
[I.9.1-56]  pentance and hope of GODS mercy. Wherefore it is no maruaile, that
[I.9.1-57]  the worldly man feareth death, for hee hath much more cause so to doe,
[I.9.1-58]  then he himselfe doeth consider. Thus wee see three causes why worldly

[margin]
The first.
[margin]


[I.9.1-59]  men feare death. One, because they shall loose thereby their worldly ho­
[I.9.1-60]  nours, riches, possessions, and all their hearts desires: Another, because

[margin]
Second.
[margin]


[I.9.1-61]  of the painefull diseases, and bitter pangs, which commonly men suffer,
[I.9.1-62]  either before, or at the time of death: but the chiefe cause aboue all other,

[margin]
Third.
[margin]


[I.9.1-63]  is the dread of the miserable state of eternall damnation both of body and
[I.9.1-64]  soule, which they feare shall follow, after their departing from the world­
[I.9.1-65]  ly pleasures of this present life.

[I.9.1-66]  For these causes be all mortall men, (which be giuen to the loue of this
[I.9.1-67]  world) both in feare, and state of death, through sin (as the holy Apostle

[margin]
Heb.10.
[margin]


[I.9.1-68]  saith) so long as they liue here in this world: But (euerlasting thankes
[I.9.1-69]  be to Almightie GOD for euer) there is neuer a one of all these causes,

[margin]
1.Cor.3.
[margin]


[I.9.1-70]  no nor yet them altogether, that can make a true Christian man afraid to
[I.9.1-71]  die (who is the very member of Christ, the Temple of the holy Ghost, the
[I.9.1-72]  sonne of God, and the very inheritour of the euerlasting kingdome of hea­
[I.9.1-73]  uen:) but plainely contrary, hee conceiueth great and many causes vn­
[I.9.1-74]  doubtedly grounded vpon the infallible and euerlasting trueth of the
[I.9.1-75]  word of GOD, which mooueth him not onely to put away the feare of
[I.9.1-76]  bodily death, but also for the manifold benefits and singular commodities
[I.9.1-77]  which ensue vnto euery faithfull person by reason of the same, to wish,
[I.9.1-78]  desire, and long heartily for it. For death shall bee to him no death at all,
[I.9.1-79]  but a very deliuerance from death, from all paines, cares, and sorrowes,
[I.9.1-80]  miseries, and wretchednesse of this world, and the very entry into rest,
[I.9.1-81]  and a beginning of euerlasting ioy, a tasting of heauenly pleasures,
[I.9.1-82]  so great, that neither tongue is able to expresse, neither eye to see, nor eare
[I.9.1-83]  to heare them: nor any earthly mans heart to conceiue them. So
[I.9.1-84]  exceeding great benefits they be, which GOD our heauenly Father by
[I.9.1-85]  his meere mercy, and for the loue of his Sonne Iesus Christ, hath laid
[I.9.1-86]  vp in store, and prepared for them that humbly submit themselues to
[I.9.1-87]  GODS will, and euermore vnfainedly loue him from the bottome of
[I.9.1-88]  their hearts. And wee ought to beleeue that death being slaine by Christ,
[I.9.1-89]  cannot keepe any man that stedfastly trusteth in Christ, vnder his perpe­
[I.9.1-90]  tuall tyrranie and subiection: but that hee shall rise from death againe
[I.9.1-91]  vnto glory at the last day, appointed by Almightie GOD, like as Christ
[I.9.1-92]  our head did rise againe, according to GODS appointment, the thirde
[I.9.1-93]  day. For S. Augustine saith, The head going before, the members trust
[I.9.1-94]  to follow and come after. And S. Paul sayth, If Christ be risen from the
[I.9.1-95]  dead, we shall rise also from the same. And to comfort all Christian per­
[I.9.1-96]  sons herein, holy Scripture calleth this bodily death a sleepe, wherein
[I.9.1-97]  mannes senses be (as it were) taken from him for a season, and yet when hee
[I.9.1-98]  awaketh, he is more fresh then he was when he went to bed. So al­
[I.9.1-99]  though we haue our soules separated from our bodies for a season, yet at
[I.9.1-100]  the generall Resurrection we shall be more fresh, beautifull, and perfect
[I.9.1-101]  then we be now. For now we be mortall, then shall we be immortall: now
[I.9.1-102]  infected with diuers infirmities, then clearely void of all mortall infir­
[I.9.1-103]  mities: now we be subiect to all carnall desires, then we shall be all Spi­
[I.9.1-104]  rituall, desiring nothing but GODS glory, and things eternall. Thus
[I.9.1-105]  is this bodily death a doore or entring vnto life, and therefore not so much
[I.9.1-106]  dreadfull (if it be rightly considered) as it is comfortable, not a mischiefe,
[I.9.1-107]  but a remedy for all mischiefe, no enemy, but a friend, not a cruell tyrant,
[I.9.1-108]  but a gentle guide leading vs not to mortality, but to immortality, not to
[I.9.1-109]  sorrow and paine, but to ioy and pleasure, and that to endure for euer, if
[I.9.1-110]  it be thankefully taken and accepted as GODS messenger, and patient­
[I.9.1-111]  ly borne of vs for Christs loue, that suffered most painefull death for our
[I.9.1-112]  loue, to redeeme vs from death eternall. According hereunto S. Paul saith,

[margin]
Colos.3.
[margin]


[I.9.1-113]  our life is hid with Christ in GOD: but when our life shall appeare, then
[I.9.1-114]  shall we also appeare with him in glory. Why then shall we feare to die,
[I.9.1-115]  considering the manifold and comfortable promises of the Gospel, and of
[I.9.1-116]  holy Scriptures? GOD the Father hath giuen vs euerlasting life (saith

[margin]
1.Iohn 5.
[margin]


[I.9.1-117]  S. Iohn) to you that beleeue in the Name of the Sonne of GOD, that

[margin]
1. Iohn.5.
[margin]


[I.9.1-118]  you may know that you haue euerlasting life, and that you doe beleeue
[I.9.1-119]  vpon the Name of the Sonne of GOD. And our Sauiour Christ saith,

[margin]
1.Iohn.5.
[margin]


[I.9.1-120]  He that beleeueth in me hath life euerlasting, and I will raise him from
[I.9.1-121]  death to life at the last day: S. Paul also saith, that Christ is ordained and
[I.9.1-122]  made of GOD our righteousnesse, or holinesse and redemption, to the in­

[margin]
1.Cor.1
[margin]


[I.9.1-123]  tent that he which will glory should glory in the Lord. S. Paul did con­

[margin]
Phil.3.
[margin]


[I.9.1-124]  temne and set little by all other things, esteeming them as doung which
[I.9.1-125]  before he had in very great price, that he might be found in Christ, to haue
[I.9.1-126]  euerlasting life, true holinesse, righteousnesse, and redemption. Finally,
[I.9.1-127]  S. Paul maketh a plaine argument in this wise. If our heauenly Fa­

[margin]
Rom.8.
[margin]


[I.9.1-128]  ther would not spare his owne naturall Sonne, but did giue him to
[I.9.1-129]  death for vs: how can it bee, that with him hee should not giue vs all
[I.9.1-130]  things? Therefore if we haue Christ, then haue we with him, and by
[I.9.1-131]  him, all good things whatsoeuer wee can in our hearts wish or de­
[I.9.1-132]  sire, as victorie ouer death, sinne, and hell: wee haue the fauour of
[I.9.1-133]  GOD, peace with him, holinesse, wisedome, iustice, power, life, and
[I.9.1-134]  redemption, wee haue by him perpetuall health, wealth, ioy, and blisse
[I.9.1-135]  euerlasting.








&leaf; The second part of the Sermon against
the feare of Death.


[I.9.2-136]  IT hath beene heretofore shewed you, that there be three
[I.9.2-137]  causes wherefore men doe commonly feare death. First,
[I.9.2-138]  the sorrowfull departing from worldly goods and plea­
[I.9.2-139]  sures. The second, the feare of the pangs and paines that
[I.9.2-140]  come with death. Last and principall cause is, the hor­
[I.9.2-141]  rible feare of extreame misery, and perpetuall damnation
[I.9.2-142]  in time to come. And yet none of these three causes troubleth good men,
[I.9.2-143]  because they stay themselues by true Faith, perfect Charitie, and sure
[I.9.2-144]  Hope of the endlesse ioy and blisse euerlasting.

[I.9.2-145]  All those therefore haue great cause to be full of ioy that be ioyned to
[I.9.2-146]  Christ with true Faith, stedfast Hope, and perfect Charitie, and not to
[I.9.2-147]  feare death nor euerlasting damnation. For death cannot depriue them
[I.9.2-148]  of Iesu Christ, nor any sin can condemne them that are graffed surely in
[I.9.2-149]  him, which is their onely ioy, treasure, and life. Let vs repent our sinnes,
[I.9.2-150]  amend our liues, trust in his mercy and satisfaction, and death can nei­
[I.9.2-151]  ther take him from vs, nor vs from him. For then (as Saint Paul saith)
[I.9.2-152]  whether we liue or die, we be the Lords own. And againe he saith, Christ
[I.9.2-153]  did die, and rose againe, because hee should be Lord both of the dead and
[I.9.2-154]  quicke. Then if we be the Lords owne when we be dead, it must needs
[I.9.2-155]  follow that such temporall death, not onely cannot harme vs, but also
[I.9.2-156]  that it shall be much to our profite, and ioyne vs vnto GOD more per­
[I.9.2-157]  fectly. And thereof the Christian heart may surely be certified by the in­
[I.9.2-158]  fallible or vndeceiuable trueth of holy Scripture. It is GOD (saith
[I.9.2-159]  S. Paul) which hath prepared vs vnto immortalitie, and the same is hee
[I.9.2-160]  which hath giuen vs an earnest of the Spirit. Therefore let vs be al­
[I.9.2-161]  wayes of good comfort, for we know that so long as we be in the body, we

[margin]
2.Cor.5.
[margin]


[I.9.2-162]  be (as it were) far from GOD in a strange countrey, subiect to many pe­
[I.9.2-163]  rils, walking without perfect sight and knowledge of Almightie GOD,
[I.9.2-164]  only seeing him by Faith in holy Scriptures. But we haue a courage and
[I.9.2-165]  desire rather to be at home with GOD and our Sauiour Christ, farre
[I.9.2-166]  from the body, where we may behold his Godhead as he is, face to face,
[I.9.2-167]  to our euerlasting comfort. These be S. Pauls words in effect, whereby
[I.9.2-168]  we may perceiue, that the life in this world, is resembled and likened to a
[I.9.2-169]  Pilgrimage in a strange countrey, farre from GOD, and that death, de­
[I.9.2-170]  liuering vs from our bodies, doth send vs straight home into our owne
[I.9.2-171]  countrey, and maketh vs to dwell presently with GOD for euer, in euer­
[I.9.2-172]  lasting rest and quietnesse: So that to die, is no losse, but profit and win­
[I.9.2-173]  ning to all true Christian people. What lost the theefe that hanged on
[I.9.2-174]  the Crosse with Christ, by his bodily death? yea, how much did he gaine
[I.9.2-175]  by it? Did not our Sauiour say vnto him, This day thou shalt be with
[I.9.2-176]  me in Paradise? And Lazarus that pitifull person, that lay before the

[margin]
Luke 16.
[margin]


[I.9.2-177]  rich mans gate, pained with sores, and pined with hunger, did not death
[I.9.2-178]  highly profit and promote him, which by the ministery of Angels sent him
[I.9.2-179]  vnto Abrahams bosome, a place of rest, ioy, and heauenly consolation?
[I.9.2-180]  Let vs thinke none other (good Christian people) but Christ hath prepa­
[I.9.2-181]  red and made ready before, the same ioy and felicitie for vs, that he prepa­
[I.9.2-182]  red for Lazarus and the theefe. Wherefore, let vs sticke vnto his saluation,
[I.9.2-183]  and gracious redemption, and beleeue his word, serue him from our
[I.9.2-184]  hearts, loue and obey him, and whatsoeuer we haue done heretofore con­
[I.9.2-185]  trary to his most holy will, now let vs repent in time, and heereafter study
[I.9.2-186]  to correct our life: and doubt not, but we shall find him as mercifull vnto
[I.9.2-187]  vs, as he was either to Lazarus, or to the theefe, whose examples are writ­
[I.9.2-188]  ten in holy Scripture for the comfort of them that be sinners, and subiect
[I.9.2-189]  to sorrowes, miseries, and calamities in this world, that they should not
[I.9.2-190]  despaire in GODS mercy, but euer trust thereby to haue forgiuenesse
[I.9.2-191]  of their sinnes, and life euerlasting, as Lazarus and the thiefe had.
[I.9.2-192]  Thus I trust euery Christian man perceiueth by the infallible or vnde­
[I.9.2-193]  ceiueable word of GOD, that bodily death cannot harme nor hinder
[I.9.2-194]  them that truely beleeue in Christ, but contrarily shall profit and promote
[I.9.2-195]  the Christian soules, which being truely penitent for their offences depart
[I.9.2-196]  hence in perfect Charitie, and in sure trust, that GOD is mercifull to
[I.9.2-197]  them, forgiuing their sinnes, for the merits of Iesus Christ his onely na­
[I.9.2-198]  turall Sonne.

[I.9.2-199]  The second cause why some doe feare death, is sore sickenesse and grie­

[margin]
The second
cause why
some doe
feare death.
[margin]


[I.9.2-200]  uous paines, which partly come before death, and partly accompanie
[I.9.2-201]  or come with death, whensoeuer it commeth. This feare is the feare
[I.9.2-202]  of the fraile flesh, and a naturall passion belonging vnto the nature of a
[I.9.2-203]  mortall man. But true faith in GODS promises, and regard of the
[I.9.2-204]  paines and pangs which Christ vpon the crosse suffered for vs miserable
[I.9.2-205]  sinners, with consideration of the ioy and euerlasting life to come in hea­
[I.9.2-206]  uen, will mitigate and asswage lesse those paines, and moderate or bring
[I.9.2-207]  into a meane this feare, that it shall neuer bee able to ouerthrow the
[I.9.2-208]  hearty desire and gladnesse, that the Christian soule hath to be separated
[I.9.2-209]  from this corrupt body, that it may come to the gracious presence of our
[I.9.2-210]  Sauiour Iesus Christ. If we beleeue stedfastly the word of GOD, we
[I.9.2-211]  shall perceiue that such bodily sickenesse, pangs of death, or whatsoeuer
[I.9.2-212]  dolorous pangs we suffer, either before or with death bee nothing else in
[I.9.2-213]  Christian men, but the rod of our heauenly and louing Father, where­
[I.9.2-214]  with hee mercifully correcteth vs, either to trye and declare the faith of
[I.9.2-215]  his patient children, that they may bee found laudable, glorious, and
[I.9.2-216]  honourable in his sight, when Iesus Christ shall be openly shewed to bee
[I.9.2-217]  the Iudge of all the world, or else to chastice and amend in them whatso­
[I.9.2-218]  euer offendeth his Fatherly and gracious goodnesse, lest they should perish
[I.9.2-219]  euerlastingly. And this his correcting rodde is common to all men that
[I.9.2-220]  bee truely his. Therefore let vs cast away the burden of sinne that lieth
[I.9.2-221]  too heauie in our neckes, and returne vnto GOD by true penance
[I.9.2-222]  and amendment of our liues, let vs with patience runne this course
[I.9.2-223]  that is appoynted, suffering (for his sake that dyed for our saluation) all
[I.9.2-224]  sorrowes and pangs of death, and death it selfe ioyfully, when GOD
[I.9.2-225]  sendeth it to vs, hauing our eyes fixed and set fast euer vpon the head and

[margin]
Philip.2.
[margin]


[I.9.2-226]  Captaine of our faith, Iesus Christ: who (considering the ioy that hee
[I.9.2-227]  should come vnto) cared neither for the shame nor paine of death, but wil­
[I.9.2-228]  lingly conforming and framing his will to his Fathers will, most patient­
[I.9.2-229]  ly suffered the most shamefull and painefull death of the crosse, being inno­
[I.9.2-230]  cent and harmelesse. And now therefore hee is exalted in heauen, and e­
[I.9.2-231]  uerlastingly sitteth on the right hand of the throne of GOD the Father.
[I.9.2-232]  Let vs call to our remembrance therefore the life and ioyes of heauen,
[I.9.2-233]  that are kept for all them that patiently doe suffer here with Christ, and
[I.9.2-234]  consider that Christ suffered all his painefull passion by sinners, and for
[I.9.2-235]  sinners: and then wee shall with patience, and the more easily suffer such
[I.9.2-236]  sorrowes and paines, when they come. Let vs not set at light the chasti­
[I.9.2-237]  sing of the Lord, nor grudge at him, nor fall from him, when of him wee
[I.9.2-238]  bee corrected: for the Lord loueth them whom he doeth correct, and bea­
[I.9.2-239]  teth euery one whom he taketh to his childe. What childe is that (sayth

[margin]
Hebr.12.
[margin]


[I.9.2-240]  S. Paul) whom the Father loueth, and doeth not chastice? If ye be with­
[I.9.2-241]  out GODS correction (which all his welbeloued and true children
[I.9.2-242]  haue) then bee you but bastards, smally regarded of GOD, and not his
[I.9.2-243]  true children.

[I.9.2-244]  Therefore seeing that when we haue in earth our carnall fathers to be
[I.9.2-245]  our correctours, we doe feare them, and reuerently take their correction:
[I.9.2-246]  shall we not much more be in subiection to GOD our spirituall Father,
[I.9.2-247]  by whom we shall haue euerlasting life? And our carnall fathers some­
[I.9.2-248]  time correct vs euen as it pleaseth them, without cause: but this Father
[I.9.2-249]  iustly correcteth vs, either for our sinne, to the intent wee should amend,
[I.9.2-250]  or for our commoditie and wealth, to make vs thereby partakers of his
[I.9.2-251]  holinesse. Furthermore, all correction which GOD sendeth vs in this
[I.9.2-252]  present time, seemeth to haue no ioy and comfort, but sorrow and paine,
[I.9.2-253]  yet it bringeth with it a taste of GODS mercy and goodnesse, towards
[I.9.2-254]  them that be so corrected, and a sure hope of GODS euerlasting conso­
[I.9.2-255]  lation in heauen. If then these sorrowes, diseases, and sickenesses, and
[I.9.2-256]  also death it selfe bee nothing els but our heauenly Fathers rod, whereby
[I.9.2-257]  hee certifieth vs of his loue and gracious fauour, whereby hee trieth and
[I.9.2-258]  purifieth vs, whereby hee giueth vnto vs holinesse, and certifieth vs that
[I.9.2-259]  we be his children, and he our mercifull Father: shall not wee then with
[I.9.2-260]  all humilitie, as obedient and louing children, ioyfully kisse our heauenly
[I.9.2-261]  Fathers rod, and euer say in our heart, with our Sauiour Iesus Christ,
[I.9.2-262]  Father, if this anguish and sorrow which I feele, and death which I see
[I.9.2-263]  approch may not passe, but that thy will is that I must suffer them, thy
[I.9.2-264]  will bee done.






The third part of the Sermon of
the feare of Death.


[I.9.3-265]  IN this Sermon against the feare of death, two causes
[I.9.3-266]  were declared, which commonly mooue worldly men to
[I.9.3-267]  be in much feare to die, and yet the same do nothing trou­
[I.9.3-268]  ble the faithfull and good liuers when death commeth,
[I.9.3-269]  but rather giueth them occasion greatly to reioyce, consi­
[I.9.3-270]  dering that they shalbe deliuered from the sorrow and mi­
[I.9.3-271]  serie of this world, and be brought to the great ioy and fe­
[I.9.3-272]  licitie of the life to come. Now the third and speciall cause why death in

[margin]
The third
cause why
death is to
be feared.
[margin]


[I.9.3-273]  deede is to bee feared, is the miserable state of the worldly and vngodly
[I.9.3-274]  people after their death: but this is no cause at all, why the godly and
[I.9.3-275]  faithfull people should feare death, but rather contrariwise, their godly
[I.9.3-276]  conuersation in this life, and beliefe in Christ, cleauing continually to his
[I.9.3-277]  mercies, should make them to long sore after that life, that remaineth for
[I.9.3-278]  them vndoubtedly after this bodily death. Of this immortall state,
[I.9.3-279]  (after this transitory life) where wee shall liue euermore in the presence
[I.9.3-280]  of GOD, in ioy, and rest, after victorie ouer all sicknesse, sorrowes,
[I.9.3-281]  sinne, and death: there be many plaine places of holy Scripture, which
[I.9.3-282]  confirme the weake conscience against the feare of all such dolours, sicke­
[I.9.3-283]  nesses, sinne, and bodily death, to asswage such trembling and vngodly
[I.9.3-284]  feare, and to encourage vs with comfort and hope of a blessed state after
[I.9.3-285]  this life. S. Paul wisheth vnto the Ephesians, that GOD the Father

[margin]
Ephes.1.
[margin]


[I.9.3-286]  of glory would giue vnto them the Spirit of wisedome and reuelation,
[I.9.3-287]  that the eyes of their hearts might giue life to know him, and to perceiue
[I.9.3-288]  how great things he had called them vnto, and how rich inheritance hee
[I.9.3-289]  hath prepared after this life, for them that pertaine vnto him. And S.
[I.9.3-290]  Paul himselfe declareth the desire of his heart, which was to bee dissolued

[margin]
Phil.1.
[margin]


[I.9.3-291]  and loosed from his body, and to be with Christ, which (as hee said, was
[I.9.3-292]  much better for him, although to them it was more necessary that hee
[I.9.3-293]  should liue, which he refused not, for their sakes. Euen like as S. Martin
[I.9.3-294]  said, Good Lord, if I be necessary for thy people to doe good vnto them, I
[I.9.3-295]  will refuse no labour: but els for mine owne selfe, I beseech thee to take
[I.9.3-296]  my soule.

[I.9.3-297]  Now the holy Fathers of the olde law, and all faithfull and righte­
[I.9.3-298]  ous men which departed before our Sauiour Christes ascension into
[I.9.3-299]  heauen, did by death depart from troubles vnto rest, from the handes
[I.9.3-300]  of their enemies, into the handes of GOD, from sorrowes and sick­
[I.9.3-301]  nesses, vnto ioyfull refreshing in Abrahams bosome, a place of all com­
[I.9.3-302]  fort and consolation, as the Scriptures doe plainely by manifest words
[I.9.3-303]  testifie. The booke of wisedome saith, that the righteous mens soules

[margin]
Wisd.3.
[margin]


[I.9.3-304]  bee in the hand of GOD, and no torment shall touch them. They see­
[I.9.3-305]  med to the eyes of foolish men to die, and their death was counted mise­
[I.9.3-306]  rable, and their departing out of this world wretched, but they be in rest.

[margin]
Wisd.4.
[margin]


[I.9.3-307]  And an other place sayth, That the righteous shall liue for euer, and
[I.9.3-308]  their reward is with the Lord, and their mindes bee with GOD, who
[I.9.3-309]  is aboue all: therefore they shall receiue a glorious Kingdome, and a
[I.9.3-310]  beautifull crowne at the Lords hand. And in another place the same
[I.9.3-311]  booke sayth, The righteous, though hee bee preuented with sodaine
[I.9.3-312]  death, neuerthelesse hee shall bee there where hee shall bee refreshed. Of
[I.9.3-313]  Abrahams bosome, Christs wordes bee so plaine, that a Christian man
[I.9.3-314]  needeth no more proofe of it. Now then, if this were the state of the ho­
[I.9.3-315]  ly Fathers and righteous men, before the comming of our Sauiour,
[I.9.3-316]  and before hee was glorified: how much more then ought all we to haue
[I.9.3-317]  a stedfast faith, and a sure hope of this blessed state |&| condition, after our
[I.9.3-318]  death? seeing that our Sauiour now hath performed the whole worke
[I.9.3-319]  of our redemption, and is gloriously ascended into heauen, to prepare

[margin]
Iohn 17.
[margin]


[I.9.3-320]  our dwelling places with him, and said vnto his Father, Father, I will
[I.9.3-321]  that where I am, my seruants shall bee with mee. And we know, that
[I.9.3-322]  whatsoeuer Christ will, his Father will the same, wherefore it cannot
[I.9.3-323]  bee, but if wee bee his faithfull seruants, our soules shall be with him,
[I.9.3-324]  after our departure out of this present life. Saint Steuen when he was
[I.9.3-325]  stoned to death, euen in the middest of his torments, what was his
[I.9.3-326]  minde most vpon? when hee was full of the holy Ghost (sayth holy

[margin]
Acts. 7.
[margin]


[I.9.3-327]  Scripture) hauing his eyes lifted vp into heauen, hee saw the glory of
[I.9.3-328]  GOD, and Iesus standing on the right hand of GOD. The which
[I.9.3-329]  trueth, after hee had confessed boldly before the enemies of Christ, they
[I.9.3-330]  drew him out of the Citie, and there they stoned him, who cryed vnto
[I.9.3-331]  GOD, saying, Lord Iesu Christ, take my spirit. And doeth not our

[margin]
Iohn 6.
[margin]


[I.9.3-332]  Sauiour say plainely in Saint Iohns Gospell, Verily, verily I say
[I.9.3-333]  vnto you, Hee that heareth my word, and beleeueth on him that sent
[I.9.3-334]  mee, hath euerlasting life, and commeth not into iudgement, but shall
[I.9.3-335]  passe from death to life? Shall wee not then thinke that death to bee
[I.9.3-336]  precious, by the which we passe vnto life?


[margin]
Psal. 116.
[margin]


[I.9.3-337]  Therefore it is a true saying of the Prophet, The death of the holy
[I.9.3-338]  and righteous men, is precious in the Lords sight. Holy Simeon, after
[I.9.3-339]  that he had his hearts desire in seeing our Sauiour, that he euer long­
[I.9.3-340]  ed for in his life, hee imbraced, and tooke him in his armes, and sayd,

[margin]
Luke 2.
[margin]


[I.9.3-341]  Now Lord, let mee depart in peace, for mine eyes haue beholden that
[I.9.3-342]  Sauiour, which thou hast prepared for all Nations.


[margin]
Psal.111.
[margin]


[I.9.3-343]  It is trueth therefore, that the death of the righteous is called peace,
[I.9.3-344]  and the benefite of the Lord, as the Church sayth, in the name of the
[I.9.3-345]  righteous departed out of this world: My soule turne thee to thy rest,
[I.9.3-346]  for the Lord hath beene good to thee, and rewarded thee. And wee see
[I.9.3-347]  by holy Scripture, and other ancient hystories of Martyrs, that the
[I.9.3-348]  holy, faithfull, and righteous, euer since Christes ascension, or going vp,
[I.9.3-349]  in their death did not doubt, but that they went to Christ in Spirit,

[margin]
Apoc.14.
[margin]


[I.9.3-350]  which is our life, health, wealth, and saluation. Iohn in his holy Re­
[I.9.3-351]  uelation, saw an hundred forty and foure thousand virgins and inno­
[I.9.3-352]  centes, of whom he sayd, These follow the Lambe Iesu Christ where­
[I.9.3-353]  soeuer hee goeth. And shortly after in the same place hee sayth, I heard
[I.9.3-354]  a voyce from heauen, saying vnto mee, Write, happy and blessed are the
[I.9.3-355]  dead, which die in the Lord: from henceforth (surely sayth the spirit) they
[I.9.3-356]  shall rest from their paines and labours, for their works doe follow them:
[I.9.3-357]  so that then they shall reape with ioy and comfort, that which they so­
[I.9.3-358]  wed with labours and paines.

[I.9.3-359]  They that sowe in the spirit, of the spirit shall reape euerlasting life.
[I.9.3-360]  Let vs therefore neuer bee weary of well doing, for when the time of
[I.9.3-361]  reaping or reward commeth, wee shall reape without any wearinesse
[I.9.3-362]  euerlasting ioy. Therefore while wee haue time (as Saint Paul exhor­

[margin]
Galat.6.
Matth.6.
Iames 5.
[margin]


[I.9.3-363]  teth vs) let vs doe good to all men, and not lay vp our treasures in earth,
[I.9.3-364]  where rust and mothes corrupt it, which rust (as Saint Iames saith)
[I.9.3-365]  shall beare witnesse against vs at the great day, condemne vs, and shall
[I.9.3-366]  (like most burning fire) torment our flesh. Let vs beware therefore (as
[I.9.3-367]  wee tender our owne wealth) that wee bee not in the number of those
[I.9.3-368]  miserable, couetous, and wretched men, which Saint Iames biddeth
[I.9.3-369]  mourne and lament for their greedy gathering, and vngodly keeping of
[I.9.3-370]  goods. Let vs bee wise in time, and learne to follow the wise example of
[I.9.3-371]  the wicked Steward. Let vs so wisely order our goods and possessions,
[I.9.3-372]  committed vnto vs here by GOD for a season, that wee may truely
[I.9.3-373]  heare and obey this commandement of our Sauiour Christ: I say vnto
[I.9.3-374]  you (saith hee) make you friendes of the wicked Mammon, that they

[margin]
Luke 16.
[margin]


[I.9.3-375]  may receiue you into euerlasting tabernacles, or dwellings. Riches bee
[I.9.3-376]  called wicked, because the world abuseth them vnto all wickednesse,
[I.9.3-377]  which are otherwise the good gifts of GOD, and the instruments wher­
[I.9.3-378]  by GODS seruants doe truely serue him in vsing of the same. Hee
[I.9.3-379]  commanded them not to make them rich friends, to get high dignities
[I.9.3-380]  and worldly promotions, to giue great gifts to rich men that haue no
[I.9.3-381]  neede thereof, but to make them friends of poore and miserable men, vn­
[I.9.3-382]  to whom, whatsoeuer they giue, Christ taketh it as giuen to himselfe.
[I.9.3-383]  And to these friends Christ in the Gospel giueth so great honour and pre­
[I.9.3-384]  heminence, that he sayth, They shall receiue them that doe good vnto
[I.9.3-385]  them into euerlasting houses: not that men shall bee our rewarders for
[I.9.3-386]  our well doing, but that Christ will reward vs, and take it to bee done
[I.9.3-387]  vnto himselfe, whatsoeuer is done to such friends.

[I.9.3-388]  Thus making poore wretches our friends, wee make our Sauiour
[I.9.3-389]  Christ our friend, whose members they are: whose misery as hee taketh
[I.9.3-390]  for his owne misery, so their releefe, succour, and helpe, he taketh for his
[I.9.3-391]  succour, releefe, and helpe, and will as much thanke vs and reward vs
[I.9.3-392]  for our goodnesse shewed to them, as if he himselfe had receiued like bene­
[I.9.3-393]  fit at our hands, as he witnesseth in the Gospell, saying, Whatsoeuer yee

[margin]
Matth. 25.
[margin]


[I.9.3-394]  haue done to any of these simple persons, which doe beleeue in mee, that
[I.9.3-395]  haue ye done to my selfe. Therefore let vs diligently foresee, that our
[I.9.3-396]  fayth and hope which we haue conceiued in Almighty GOD, and in our
[I.9.3-397]  Sauior Christ waxe not faint, nor that the loue which we beare in hand
[I.9.3-398]  to beare to him, waxe not cold: but let vs study dayly and diligently to
[I.9.3-399]  shew our selues to be the true honourers and louers of GOD, by keeping
[I.9.3-400]  of his commandements, by doing of good deedes vnto our needy neigh­
[I.9.3-401]  bours, releeuing by all meanes that wee can their pouerty with our a­
[I.9.3-402]  bundance and plenty, their ignorance with our wisedome and learning,
[I.9.3-403]  and comfort their weakenesse with our strength and authority, calling
[I.9.3-404]  all men backe from euill doing by godly counsaile and good example, per­
[I.9.3-405]  seuering still in well doing, so long as we liue: so shall wee not neede to
[I.9.3-406]  feare death for any of those three causes afore mentioned, nor yet for any o­
[I.9.3-407]  ther cause that can be imagined: but contrarily, considering the manifold
[I.9.3-408]  sicknesses, troubles, and sorrowes of this present life, the dangers of this
[I.9.3-409]  perillous pilgrimage, and the great encumbrance which our Spirit hath
[I.9.3-410]  by this sinfull flesh and frayle body subiect to death: considering also the
[I.9.3-411]  manifold sorrowes and dangerous deceits of this world on euery side, the
[I.9.3-412]  intolerable pride, couetousnesse, and lechery, in time of prosperity, the
[I.9.3-413]  impatient murmuring of them that bee worldly, in time of aduersity,
[I.9.3-414]  which cease not to withdraw and plucke vs from GOD, our Sauiour
[I.9.3-415]  Christ, from our life, wealth, or euerlasting ioy and saluation: considering
[I.9.3-416]  also the innumerable assaults of our Ghostly enemy the Diuell, with all
[I.9.3-417]  his fierie darts of ambition, pride, lechery, vaine glory, enuie, malice, de­
[I.9.3-418]  traction, or backbiting, with other his innumerable deceits, engines,
[I.9.3-419]  and snares, whereby he goeth busily about to catch all men vnder his
[I.9.3-420]  dominion, euer like a roaring Lion, by all meanes searching whom hee

[margin]
1.Pet.5.
[margin]


[I.9.3-421]  may deuour. The faythfull Christian man which considereth all these
[I.9.3-422]  miseries, perils, and incommodities (whereunto he is subiect so long as
[I.9.3-423]  he heere liueth vpon earth) and on the other part considereth that blessed
[I.9.3-424]  and comfortable state of the heauenly life to come, and the sweet conditi­
[I.9.3-425]  on of them that depart in the Lord, how they are deliuered from the con­
[I.9.3-426]  tinuall encumbrances of their mortall and sinnefull body, from all the
[I.9.3-427]  malice, crafts, and deceits of this world, from all the assaults of their
[I.9.3-428]  Ghostly enemy the Diuell, to liue in peace, rest, and endlesse quietnesse,
[I.9.3-429]  to liue in the fellowship of innumerable Angels, and with the congrega­
[I.9.3-430]  tion of perfect iust men, as Patriarches, Prophets, Martyrs, and Con­
[I.9.3-431]  fessours, and finally vnto the presence of Almighty GOD, and our Sa­
[I.9.3-432]  uiour Iesus Christ. Hee that doeth consider all these things, and belee­
[I.9.3-433]  ueth them assuredly, as they are to be beleeued, euen from the bottome of
[I.9.3-434]  his heart, being established in GOD in this true fayth, hauing a quiet
[I.9.3-435]  conscience in Christ, a firme hope, and assured trust in GODS mercy,
[I.9.3-436]  through the merits of Iesu Christ to obtayne this quietnesse, rest, and
[I.9.3-437]  euerlasting ioy, shall not onely bee without feare of bodily death, when

[margin]
Philip. 1.
[margin]


[I.9.3-438]  it commeth, but certainely (as S. Paul did) so shall hee gladly (according
[I.9.3-439]  to GODS will, and when it pleaseth GOD to call him out of this
[I.9.3-440]  life) greatly desire in his heart, that he may be rid from all these occasions
[I.9.3-441]  of euill, and liue euer to GODS pleasure, in perfect obedience of his
[I.9.3-442]  will, with our Sauiour Iesus Christ, to whose gracious presence the
[I.9.3-443]  Lord of his infinite mercy and grace bring vs, to raigne with him in life
[I.9.3-444]  euerlasting: to whom with our heauenly Father, and the holy Ghost, be
[I.9.3-445]  glory in worldes without end. Amen.