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Sect. I. That the general Period of human
Life is fixed and determined by God, and that it is but very short,
Page 83 Sect. II. What little Reason we have to com
plain of the Shortness of human Life, 87 Sect. III. What Use to make of the fixed Term of human Life,
93 SECT. IV. What Use to make of the Shortness of human Life,
105 Sect. V. The Time, and Manner, and Cir- .
cumstances of every particular Man's Death, are not determined by an absolute and unconditional Decree,
119 Sect. VI. The particular Time when we are
to die is unknown and uncertain to us, 126 SECT. VII. That we must die but once, or that
Death translates us to an unchangeable State; with the Improvement of it.
CH A P. IV. Concerning the Fear of Death and the Reme
dies against it, The Conclufion,
VORGIVE the Muse, who in unhallow'd Strains,
The Saint one Moment from his God detains ;
*Tis all but one good Work, one constant Pray't.
Wondrous good Man !' whose Labours may repel The Force of Sin, may stop the Rage of Hell : Who like the Baptist, from thy.God was sent The crying Voice to bid the World repent.
Thee Youth shall study; and no more engage
Decrepit Age shall read thee, and confefs
even Thoughts with so much Plainness flow,
Ón its bleft Steps each Age and Sex may rise : 'Tis like the Ladder in the Patriarch's Dream,
Its Foot on Earth, its Height beyond the Skies.
To its last Height mad Britain's Guilt was rear'd;
O! fave us still, ftill bless us with thy Stay ;
Then in full Age, and hoary Holiness,
Midft thy own Flock, great Shepherd, he receiv’d;
It is appointed unto all Men once to die.
HERE is not a more effectual Way
to revive the true Spirit of ChristianiT ty in the World, than seriously to
meditate on what we commonly call
the Four last Things, Death, Judgment, Heaven, and Hell; for it is morally impoffible Men should live such careless Lives, should so wholly devote themselves to this World, and the Service of their Lusts; should either cast off the Fear of God, and all Reverence for his Laws,
to satisfy themselves with fome cold and formal
That which first presents itself to our Thoughts,
this is the Condition of all Mankind, we
This is not the original Law of our Nature; for though Man was made of the Dust of the Earth, and therefore was by Nature mortal; (for that which is made of Duit is by Nature corruptible, and may be resolved into Dust again) yet had he not finned, he should never have died; he should have been iinmortal by Grace, and therefore had the Sacrament of Immortality, the Tree of Life, planted in Paradise : But now by Man Sin entred into the World, and Death by Sin; and so Death passed upon all Men, for that all have finned, Rom. v. 12. And thus it is decreed and appointed by God, by an irreversible Sentence, Duft thou art, and unto Duft thou shalt return.
Now to improve this Meditation to the best Advantage, I shall, 1. Consider what Death is, and what Wisdom that should teach us. 2. The Cercainty of our Death, That it is appointed unto Men ence to die. 3. The Time of our Death; it must