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A41542 A sermon on occasion of the death of the reverend and learned Mr. Stephen Lobb, who dyed June 3, 1699 by Thomas Goodwin. Goodwin, Thomas, 1650?-1716? 1700 (1700) Wing G1270A; ESTC R32448 23,607 49

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from the Wrath to come 1 Thes 1. 10. What tho' his Soul must part from the Body as well as others since it is appointed unto all Men once to die Heb. 9. 27. Yet there is no Curse in his Death nor can the Devil strike any Sting of it into his Heart nor wound his Conscience with Despair nor can all his Malicious Arts do him any Mischief What tho the Believer is not priviledg'd against the common Fate of all Men yet he is secur'd from the bad Effects of it and from all the dreadful Consequents which pursue every wretched Man who dies in Unbelief and with the weight of all his Sins sinking down his Soul But the Believer even in dying is in a state of Safety and Death from being a Curse as it is to all others is chang'd into a Blessing for it doth not extinguish his Life but only translate it to Happiness and Glory I. I shall shew how Satan hath the Power of Death II. I shall prove that our Lord Jesus Christ hath destroy'd the Devil and his Power of Death at once I. How is it that Satan hath the Power of Death Hath he any just Title to his Dominions Is any Authority due to him Or doth he by right sway the Scepter of this Kingdom Or hath he the supream Command over the Lives of Creatures as God hath who kills and makes alive as he pleaseth Deut. 32. 39. 1 Sam. 2. 6. No certainly It is all an usurp'd Tyranny which God permits him to exercise over fallen Man to punish the Rebellion of that Ingrateful Creature who would not be subject to Christ's Milder Scepter But how did Satan gain this Power of Death 1. He obtain'd it by the Conquest of Man and by making him a Rebel against his God subdued him to himself He erected his Empire upon the Ruins of this fallen Creature for ever since he overcame our first Father in Paradise his wretched Posterity have been the Trophies of his Victory till Christ as a mightier Conqueror rescued those whom God had given to him to be Redeem'd Thus it was by Sin that the Devil conquer'd Man and obtain'd the power of Death over him Condemn'd to Dye Thus it was by Sin that he enlarg'd his Dominions beyond the Confines of Hell and got footing here on Earth and set up his dark Kingdom in the World and rules in the Children of disobedience Eph. 2. 3. 2. He hath the Power of Death as he hath brought Men under the Law of Sin and Death insomuch as they are so far from being subject to God and his Righteous Laws as they are enslav'd to those of Sin and the Reward of their wretched Service and Obedience is Death of which the Devil hath the Power and it is Sin that gives it him What is the Scepter of Christ's Kingdom It is Righteousness Heb. 1. 8. What is the Scepter of Satan's Kingdom Nothing but Sin It is by this he gets his Power It is by this he holds Men in Bondage It is by this he wracks and tortures their Consciences and drives them to despair And it is by this he endeavours to keep the Soul in slavish fear and bondage and to hinder it from believing and trusting in Christ 3. Satan more and more encreaseth this Power which he hath of Death by promoting the Efficacy of Sin and tempting Men to commit it How doth he strengthen the Bands of Death and tie them faster on us It is by increasing the force of Sin in drawing us to reiterated Acts and so we are the more entangled and with all our Struglings are unable to get loose How is it that he binds Men over securely to Eternal Death It is by hardening them in Unbelief and Impenitence To treasure up Wrath against the Day of Wrath Rom. 2. 5. If we then did but seriously think that every time the Devil enticeth us to Sin Death is in the Snare and that tho he covers the Mischief with the alluring colours of Pleasure Profit or Honour yet he really tempts us to Murther our Souls we should be more aware of his many Devices and Industriously avoid all those little Artifices by which he exerciseth on us the power which he hath of Death 4. He makes use of this power in torturing the Consciences of Men with the Fears of Death Death indeed is so contrary to Nature and looks so like an utter extinction of Being that if Christ had not given us assurance of a Blessed Immortality there is not even a good Man who would not regret to dye But he is not upon the wrack perpetually tortur'd with the horrors of it as wicked Men are when they see it make near approaches to them For not only the Face of Death it self is dreadful as it comes to hurry them from all enjoyments of this Life in which they plac'd all their happiness but going out of the World they have a prospect of the sad Regions of Despair into which they are entring The Devil who flatter'd them before and gently seduc'd them to Sin now puts on his natural affrighting Visage accuseth and threatneth them with all the merciless Looks of an Executioner And that which makes the thing more dreadful the Law of God accuseth and condemneth the unbelieving Sinner and this gives force to the Devil's Accusations for without it he could not accuse threaten and perplex any Men with the Terrors of Death No! It is Sin which is the sting of death and the strength of Sin is the Law 1 Cor. 15. 56. It is thus the Devil useth his Power to keep Men in a slavish submission to him and as a true Tyrant he Governs his Subjects only by fear 5. The Devil hath the power of Death inasmuch as he is the Instrument of God's Vengeance inflicting the second Death He is the Jaylour and Executioner in Hell where Death keeps its Court and sits on a Throne Now in this respect Satan hath nothing to do with a Believer who being freed from Sin and the Curse and Condemnation of the Law shall never be deliver'd to this Tormentor as the Expression is Matth. 18. 24. Nor hath he power to inflict Temporal Death on the Believer He cannot separate our Souls and Bodies as he pleaseth If this were permitted him what Slaughter and Devastation would he make in the World He destroys indeed the Souls of Wicked Men but it is with their consent and they are their own Murtherers But Men die according to God's Appointment and by those ways and means which he had fore-ordain'd to put an end unto their Lives II. The second part of my Discourse is to prove that Christ by dying hath destroy'd Satan and the power of Death at once He hath destroy'd Satan not by extinguishing his Being for the innumerable Mischiefs which he doth shew him to be alive and very vigorous and active But as a Tyrant is said to be ruin'd when his Throne is overturn'd and his cruel oppressive Government
is subverted so Satan is said to be destroy'd when his Kingdom is so and this hath Christ accomplish'd by his Death for he hath Redeem'd the Elect Sons of Men out of the Devil's Power and reduc'd them to his own Kingdom insomuch as Satan hath no more Dominion over them 1. It is evident that Christ hath destroy'd Satan and the Power of Death because his great Design in assuming our Nature was to accomplish this Glorious Work He came into the World not to make himself Great and Honourable and to raise an Earthly Empire which he might easily have done whenever he pleas'd But he came to perform a more dreadful and difficult Undertaking He came to suffer the Punishment due unto us that so he might be a proper Sacrifice and the great Propitiation to satisfie God's Justice and appease his Wrath and Redeem us who were obnoxious to it and subject to the Curse of the Law He came to bear our Sins to be wounded for our Transgressions to be bruis'd for our Iniquities to have the Chastisement of our Peace laid upon him that by his Stripes we might be heal'd Isa 53. 5. He came to live miserably as a Man of Sorrows and acquainted with Grief and at last to die for us to endure God's Anger and undergo Divine Vengeance And he dyed on purpose that he might destroy the Power of Death and that the Curse and Sting of it being left in his own Soul it might do us no hurt Thus his great Design was to deliver us from Death that it might not be a Curse and Horrour to us when we pass through its Gloomy Shaddow that it might not have power to hold us in its Bands but that our Souls might immediately at the expiring of our latest Breath pass into a state of Immortal Life and Unfading Bliss and our dead Bodies revive and breaking the Prisons of the Grave rejoyce in a Glorious Resurrection This was the great Performance for which he came into the World It was for this God the Father appointed him in the Eternal Councils between him and his Glorious Son It was for this the Father sent him Joh. 3. 16. And this was the Work which the Son did chearfully undertake Heb. 10 6 7 8 9 10. It was this great Business which he had in his Mind and Thoughts when he liv'd here on Earth and of which he so frequently discours'd to his Disciples And what Can we think it possible for Christ to fail in the Execution of his principal Design How should he who was declar'd to be the Son of God with Power fail in accomplishing that Work which was the aim of his Mind the desire of his Heart That Work concerning which he expresseth the warmest eagerness of Spirit till it were accomplish'd Luke 22. 15. Nothing certainly shall frustrate what Christ so earnestly intended Nothing can hinder the Believer from partaking the Fruits and Benefits of his admirable Performance Rom. 8. 33 34 35 38 39. No! He Travail'd in the Greatness of his Strength as one Mighty to save Isa 63. 1. Sin Satan and the Power of Death are therefore undoubtedly destroy'd by his Death For tho' he dyed yet he fell in the Field of Victory and all those Enemies lay conquer'd by his side and he conquer'd them that we might rejoyce in him as being more than Conquerors through him who hath lov'd us and done so much for us Rom. 8. 37. 2. That our Lord Jesus Christ hath destroy'd the Power of Death is apparent from his having disarm'd it of its Sting and Power What is the Power of Death 'T is Sin and when this is taken off from our Consciences the other in whatever unpleasing Forms of Diseases it approacheth us is really nothing more but an easie Sleep in the Bosom of Jesus What makes Death a Curse 'T is Sin What puts a Sting into it Nothing but Sin and when that is remov'd Death hath no Curse in it to blast us no Sting to annoy us but is chang'd into a Blessing Now our Lord Jesus hath made an end of Sins Dan. 9. 24. He hath taken off the Guilt of them from the Conscience of the Believer and purg'd it from dead Works that he may draw nigh to a reconcil'd God and to his satisfied Justice in full assurance of Faith Heb. 10. 22. How hath he remov'd the Guilt from us By taking it on himself And how did he become Guilty in the Judgment of a Just God and his Righteous Law Not as having committed any Sin not as having any inherent in him but as having our Iniquities imputed to him He was made Sin for us and so was adjudg'd Guilty and oblig'd to suffer the Punishments which he had deserv'd And this was absolutely necessary for our Pardon and Justification We could not have been made the Righteousness of God in him unless he had first been made Sin for us 2 Cor. 5. 20. Thrice Blessed then is the Believing Soul whose Sins and Guilt and Punishment Christ hath born For whom Christ hath sufferd the Anger of an Incensed God which he the wretched Sinner had provok'd For whom Christ hath satisfy'd Divine Justice and answer'd the Law To whom therefore Iniquity is not imputed Rom. 4. 8. And for that reason Death is depriv'd of its Power and can do him no hurt And for whom Christ hath brought in everlasting Righteousness Dan. 9. 24. That his naked Soul being cloath'd with it may when divested of the Body appear with confidence before a Holy and Righteous God 3. It cannot be deny'd that our Redeemer hath destroy'd Satan and the Power of Death Forasmuch as he hath put a stop to his Accusations Put a stop did I say I did not speak enough Christ hath invalidated them they are of no force and vertue they are frivolous Gavils and are rejected at God's Court of Justice Is Satan thus thrown over the Bar that he cannot implead the Believer nor lay any thing to his charge Rom. 8. 33 Why then truly he is destroy'd for it is the Pleasure the Strength the very Life of his Soul to be an Accuser This is the Name that is given him to express that Temper and Disposition which is inseparable from his Nature Rev. 12. 10. And therefore when he is cast down when he is thrown out of this ill Office which was his Malicious Delight he is wholly dis-spirited Nor is Satan's Courage and Strength only enervated but the Power of Death is broken too When doth the fear of Death prevail over a Man 'T is when his Apprehensions of are not only disquieting but tormenting 'T is when Conscience flasheth Guilt in a Sinner's Face and Satan joyning with it enforceth the Accusation and urgeth it with the greatest vehemence on purpose to drive the wretched Soul to despair But our Lord Jesus disanulls these Accusations insomuch as they are of no force against a Believer Were it not for this Satan would perplex the poor Soul all its Days
A SERMON On Occasion of the DEATH OF The Reverend and Learned Mr. STEPHEN LOBB Who Dyed June 3. 1699. By THOMAS GOODWIN The Second Edition LONDON Printed for John Marshall at the Bible in Gracechurch-street near Cornhill Where you may be supplied with most of Dr. Owen's Works Likewise the true Effigies of Dr. Owen sold alone TO Mr. Theophilus Lobb I Knew none to whom I could better direct this Discourse on the Mournful Occasion of your Worthy Father's Death then you his Son Do not fix your Mind too deeply on your Loss of him to aggravate your Sorrow but turn your Thoughts to a Review of the Example of his Life which he hath left you and which deserves to be imitated Be Good and Generous ready to do kind Offices to all and be true to Friendship as he was Seek the God of your Father to be your God in Covenant and devote your self with all Sincerity unto him Love Jesus Christ and his pure Gospel espouse his despis'd Interest and dare to vindicate his Truths so much invaded on every side tho' to do so may be contrary to your Interest in this World Value Humane Learning in subserviency to Divine and more sublime Knowledge industriously pursue it by close and unwearied Studies and after all dedicate it to Christ's Service and zealously employ it for the Defence of his Truth as your Father did But never let Learning through any Vanity of Mind make you to disgust the Plainness and Simplicity of the Gospel That a double portion of the Spirit may rest upon you That you may stand up in your Father's room That your Mature Years may produce that Fruit which your Blooming Youth promiseth and that the God of all Grace would establish strengthen and settle you and make you useful and serviceable in the Churches of Christ is the Hearty Prayer of Your Dear and Faithful Friend Tho. Goodwin There is in the Press and will speedily be Published a Book Intitled the Mystries of God finished Sold at the Bible in Gracechurch-street A SERMON On Occasion of the Death of The Reverend and Learned Mr. STEPHEN LOBB Who Dyed June 3. 1699. HEB. 11. 14. Forasmuch then as the Children are partakers of Flesh and Blood he also himself likewise took part of the same that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death that is the Devil THIS one Thought that our Lord Jesus Christ hath conquer'd Satan and destroy'd the Power of Death may give us Courage and Resolution to look that otherwise formidable Enemy in the Face The same Consideration may comfort us when by Death we lose our Relations and Friends For tho' they depart yet we knowing that they Dye in the Lord and that tho' Death strike them to the Heart yet the Strength and Curse of it is taken off we ought to Regard their departure out of this World as a Happiness to them however it gives an occasion of Mourning unto us I shall briefly explain the meaning of the Words of the Text before I raise my Doctrine from them They declare that our Lord Jesus was partaker of Humane Nature with this design that by Dying he might destroy the Power of Death and at the same time they give us a thought that will suggest the strongest Consolation in a Dying Hour Christ found us to be held equally in the Fetters of Sin as in the Bands of Death He therefore came into the World assum'd our Nature and dyed that by the Sacrifice of himself Expiating our Guilt and satisfying Divine Justice he might deliver us from the Slavery of Sin and the Tyranny of Satan who held us under the Sentence of the Law as condemn'd to Dye and so had the Power of Death over us That we may more clearly understand that sad Condition into which Sin hath brought the Sons of fall'n Adam and by which Satan hath obtain'd such a dreadful Dominion over them we must consider that the Scripture expresseth a threefold Death to which Sinners are obnoxious One is that of which we continually see visible Instances and of which every one of us tho' now alive and in health shall at the appointed hour be an Example This death puts an end to a Man's being in this World and the time will surely come in which we shall cease to dwell here and our Friends shall know us no more tho' they may remember us This Death parts Soul and Body once so dear Companions in this World and mutual partners of Joys and Pains And this Death sends the Immortal Spirit to an everlasting State of Bliss or Misery and lays down the decay'd Body in the Grave to be Rebuilt in a joyful or dismal Resurrection Tho' it is this Death which the generality of Mankind doth most fear who regarding this World as all their Happiness account it the worst thing they can suffer to be remov'd out of it Yet there is another Death which is far more dreadful that Death which tho' stupid Sinners do not feel yet strikes through the Vitals of their Souls and which not only darkens the Mind and damps that holy Fire which in Man's primitive Constitution perpetually flam'd in his Breast and enkindled his Affections and mov'd them toward God but deadens all our Powers and Faculties and makes Man to be dead in Sin Eph. 2. 1. and utterly disabled to do any thing that is Good It is by this Death that Satan hath the advantage and gains a Dominion over us and leads us Captive at his Will and prevailingly tempts us to Sin and Dye were it not for this Spiritual Death which hath disarm'd and weaken'd us and which exposeth us defenceless to his Attacks he could not on all occasions get so easie a Victory over us Nay were it not that this Spiritual Death hath universally seiz'd Mankind the Devil would have little business on Earth and have no more to do here than in Heaven And now consequent to this Spiritual Death is that which is Eternal which is all Anguish and Torture of Mind without Intermission or End and which is that never-ceasing Misery and Woe under which the Devils and Damn'd Spirits do hopelesly groan Whereas then we were dead in Sin and appointed to dye as it was a Curse threatned to the Sinner and were Sentenc'd to undergo all the horrors of Eternal Death Christ came on purpose to take off the Curse of the one and entirely to free us from the other And since it was by dying that he design'd to subvert the Devil's Empire of Death he took Humane Nature into Union with himself that he might be capable of Suffering and Dying Forasmuch as the Children were partakers of Flesh and Blood The Children those of the Sons of Men whom God the Father had given him Thus in the Verse preceding the Text. Behold I and the Children which God hath given me in which he refers to Isa 8. 18. The Children those whom Christ came to redeem from the Curse
of the Law and to save from the power of Sin and Death and cruel Dominion of the Devil Forasmuch as these Children were partakers of Flesh and Blood c. If any ask what is meant by Flesh and Blood his own experience may sufficiently resolve him We all feel the Miseries Sorrows and Pains of our corrupt and frail Constitution and after having been weakened by various Diseases which incessantly batter our decaying Frame we must lie down and die By Flesh and Blood in Scripture not mere Humane Nature is always signify'd but 't is often meant as it is deprav'd by Sin corrupted and polluted Rom. 8. 4 5. Gal. 5. 19 24. 1 Cor. 15 50. But in other places of Scripture Flesh and Blood import the Natural Constitution of Man's being without the inherent Malignity of Sin Matth. 26. 41. but yet infirm and frail and subject to Pains and Sorrows Now the Children of Men are partakers of Flesh and Blood not only weak and frail but sinful and defil'd They all communicate of it for so the word 〈◊〉 〈◊〉 〈◊〉 〈◊〉 〈◊〉 signifies and this corrupted Mass of Humane Nature tainted first in Adam is diffus'd through all his Posterity and is the common portion in which they participate and Miseries and Sorrows are their wretched Inheritance Now our Lord Jesus assum'd Humane Nature into Union with himself not with those Corruptions and Lusts which Infect it in us No! He was Holy in the first Constitution of his Being Luc. 1. 35. in his Conception and Birth And all the time of his abode here below he was Holy Harmless and separate from Sinners Heb. 7. 26. And the manner of the Expression in the Text implyeth as much For when the Apostle speaks of Christ's assuming this our Nature he alters the Phrase he doth not say 〈◊〉 〈◊〉 〈◊〉 〈◊〉 〈◊〉 he communicated it with us or possessed it in common as we have it in our Persons with all the Contagion of Sin adhering to it But 〈◊〉 〈◊〉 〈◊〉 〈◊〉 〈◊〉 he took part of the same the sound part in all the Essentials of Humane Being without the other that was tainted and polluted Now that the Eternal Son should be as truly Man as he was God was necessary that he might be a fit and proper Mediator that the Threatning of the Law might be made good for as it was denounc'd that Man sinning should die this Punishment was inflicted on a Person who was really Man bearing our Sins as imputed to him It was necessary also that our Redeemer should assume Humane Nature that there might be a Change or Commutation of Persons between him and us not Natural as if we were transform'd into his Being or he into ours but Legal so that he truly appear'd in our stead to answer what the violated Law charg'd upon us and to satisfie offended Justice He really represented us in what he suffer'd and acted for our Redemption insomuch as the Sufferings which he endur'd and the Righteousness which he perform'd are plac'd to our Account by God his Father who admitted that he should put his own Person in the room of our Guilty ones taking our Sins upon him and suffering the Punishments due to them and accepted for us what Christ did and suffered in our stead to all the real Intents and Purposes of our Justification as if we had suffer'd and done it our selves And since the manner of making satisfaction for Sin was to be by undergoing the Penalty which it deserv'd and God had threaten'd and this was Death Gen. 2. 17. not only Separation of Soul and Body but the Wrath of God which gives deep and piercing Wounds to a Spirit it was therefore needful that the Person who offer'd up himself as an Expiatory Sacrifice for us should be Man that he might be capable of Dying For God cannot dye nor be susceptive of the Inflictions of his own Wrath and Justice Nor could an Angel dye as Death imports separation of Soul and Body which those Spirits have not and therefore this among others may be given as a reason why the Apostle says Heb. 2. 16. That he took not on him the Nature of Angels but the Seed of Abraham For by Death which cannot make any impression on an Angelick Nature but may on the Humane Christ intended to destroy him that had the power of Death that is the Devil These Words which are the latter part of my Text express the means by which our Triumphant Lord Jesus gain'd the Victory over Satan He might have employ'd his Invincible Power as God to conquer this Enemy of Mankind who had usurp'd a Dominion in the World The same Jesus who made Legions of Devils tremble at his Voice when he forc'd them by a powerful Command to go out of the Man possess'd could by the Power and Glory of his Divinity have entirely not only vanquish'd but destroy'd him without Dying himself But since God was angry with Man and provok'd by his Sin had justly permitted Satan to have Dominion over him and since it was by Man's Sin that the Devil had obtain'd the power of Death therefore his Empire could not be subverted but by taking away Sin the strength of it And Sin could not be remov'd but by an Expiation of its Guilt and abolishing the Curse of the Law and appeasing God's Wrath and satisfying his Justice And all this could not be effected without a Sacrifice sufficient to make an Atonement And no other Sacrifice was there or indeed could be but our Dying Redeemer So necessary was it for him to die That by Death he might destroy him who had the Power of Death that is the Devil This latter part of the Verse which I fix on as the Subject of my Discourse affords a Doctrine suitable to the occasion of it OBSERVATION That tho' a Believer is not excus'd from Dying yet Satan being conquer'd by Christ hath not the power of Death over him He cannot make it a Curse to him for Christ hath taken away Sin which rendred it such He cannot distract him with amazing Fears nor throw his Conscience into the Convulsions of Despair from Apprehensions of Guilt for Christ by his Blood hath purg'd his Conscience from Dead Works that he may draw near unto God in full dssurance of Faith Heb. 10. 22. He cannot affect his Soul with the malignant Influences of a Spiritual Death for tho' indeed it was once dead in Trespasses and Sins yet it is now quickned by Christ Jesus Eph. 2. 1. He cannot bring the believing Soul within the Confines of Eternal Death for there is no Condemnation to him being in Christ Jesus Rom. 8. 1. And he having overcome shall not be hurt of the second Death Rev. 2. 11. Not the least part of it can ever be his Portion none of its Anguish and Woe ever fall upon him nor shall any of the Flames of Divine Anger which burn to the lowest Hell ever pierce his Soul for his Blessed Jesus hath delivered him
and weary it out by continually accusing it and distract it at the last moment of Life It must be acknowledg'd indeed that the Devil is often permitted to disturb many Holy Persons with his Accusations But what then Christ who hath ruin'd his Power in this respect steps in to the Soul's Rescue and driving Satan off prevents the attempted Mischief and restores Peace to the Afflicted Conscience 4. It is evident that this our mighty Saviour hath deliver'd us from the Power of Satan because he hath recover'd our Souls out of that Spiritual Death into which Sin and the Devil had thrown them This was the Strength of the Devil's Empire in us for he could never have rul'd us had we not been dead in Sin nor have led us Captive had we not been thus weaken'd 'T is this Spriritual Death that makes Men an easie Conquest to him and secures the Peace of his Dominion in their Hearts Christ therefore by quickening the Soul which is dead in Trespasses and Sins Eph. 2. 1. frees it from the Power of Satan and Death He thereby gives us a new Life from the dead and we are not within the Dominions of the Devil any longer for the Spirit of a Believer is Life Rom. 8. 10. and he is therefore no Subject of Death's Kingdom And to strengthen our Assurance that if we are Believers we are quickned with Christ Col. 2. 13. and so are no more any part of Satan's Empire than he himself is Let us consider that our Lord Jesus hath Life in himself for this purpose that as he Lives we may live also God hath therefore given to the Son to have Life in himself as he hath Life in himself Joh. 5. 26. This assigns the cause of what is said V. 25. Why the Dead should hear the Voice of the Son of God and they which hear shall Live It is the Soul's Vivification by the Voice of Christ in the Gospel that is meant For the Hour that Christ speaks of as now coming and instantly present must import the time of the Preaching of the Gospel which was very near whereas the Day of the Resurrection was Seventeen Hundred Years distant in Futurity The cause why the Voice of Christ makes dead Souls live is assign'd v. 26. The Son hath Life in himself and therefore Quickens whom he will v. 21. Thus that Spiritual Death in our Souls by which Satan once kept us under his Subjection is remov'd and so his Power and Dominion over us is destroy'd 5. It is plain it is openly visible that Christ hath destroy'd Satan who hath the Power of Death inasmuch as he hath broken his dark Kingdom subverted his Throne depos'd him from that Authority so arrogantly assum'd by him and thrown him out of that Empire which he had usurp'd in the World This Christ hath done not by Arms but by Dying As Sampson his Type kill'd more at his Death than he had through his whole Life and tho he dyed yet fell a Conqueror So our Great Saviour destroy'd all his and our Enemies by dying and in the sight of all the Angels triumph'd over them when he Ascended after his Victory and will at last openly triumph before the Eyes of all the World when he shall sit on his Throne having all his Enemies put under his Feet Hoh 1. 13. Heb. 10. 13. 6. The Believer knows by his own Experience which is more convincing than all Arguments which can be urg'd that Christ hath deliver'd him from the Power of Satan and Death because he feels himself freed from the fear and bondage of it He knows that Christ hath made his Peace with God and brought him into a Justified State insomuch as nothing can be laid to his charge and therefore is not afraid to go to a Reconciled God who hath fully Pardon'd and perfectly Justified him He sees his Soul sprinkled with the Blood of Jesus as that of the Paschal Lamb was on the Posts of the Israelites Houses Exod. 12. 13. and knows himself secure from any destroying Angel the Instrument of God's Vengeance In what a Horror were they on that dismal Night when Death march'd in pompous Destruction through all the Cities of Egypt But how were they re-assur'd and comforted when they saw the badge of their Safety on the Posts of their Doors In what a Consternation is a poor Soul when he regards Death not only as his Dissolution but as having the Wrath of God his offended Justice and all the Horrors of Hell joyn'd with it to render it terrible But when he sees his Conscience sprinkled with the Blood of Jesus and purged from Dead Works that he may draw nigh to God in full Assurance of Faith he dreads Death no longer when he sees Christ the Captain of his Salvation to be with him to hearten comfort and support him in charging through this difficult Pass he is not apprehensive of any danger but encouraged by his Presence tho he go through the Valley of the Shadow of Death yet he fears no Evil Psal 23. 4. And is so far from thinking it to be any Unhappiness to die as he desires to depart and to be with Christ Phil. 1. 23. 7. Every Instance which we have of a Believer's dying proves the Assertion of my Text and Doctrine for even by this Death our Lord Jesus finisheth the Ruine of Satan and of the Power of Death The Believer's Victory is now compleated who is more than Conqueror through the Power and Strength of Christ he had before fought many a Battle with Satan and put him to flight He had often resisted Sin successfully and given it a Repulse And now he conflicts with his last Enemy and overcomes and his Death is a Triumphant Chariot to carry him to Heaven where he rejoyceth in a safe Retreat from all Sin and Misery It is there he is out of the reach of all Evils It is there that being freed from the Body of Sin and Death under which he groan'd Rom. 7. 24. he feels Diseases and Pains and Pangs of Dying no more It is there he is plac'd out of the reach of Satan's Temptations and violent Assaults for tho that Active and Malicious Spirit pursued him with the fiercest Rage while in this World yet he cannot follow him to Heaven nor will any of his Batteries carry so far Thus the Day of Death is the Day of a Believer's finish'd Victory in which he may truly say he is more than a Conqueror Rom. 8. 37. And then the Blessed Soul is remov'd from a wretched Abode to an happier Mansion and by Death comes to be more closely united unto God the Spring of all Life and to the compleat Enjoyment of that which is Eternal which is God's Gift to him who first begun it in him by his renewing Spirit and brought him to the entire possession of it at last 8. The last and most signal Evidence of Christ's destroying the Power of Satan and Death will be when he
raiseth the Dead Bodies of Believers from the Grave by his Spirit which develleth in them Rom. 8. 11. This last Day is the Day of Christ's compleat Victory when as himself was Victorious over it at his own Resurrection so all his Members in theirs shall Triumph over it too Then he will appear with all whom he Redeem'd and whom he now makes entire Conquerors by vertue of his Victory and he will appear as having made a Conquest over the Grave it self 1 Cor. 15. 25 26. For he must Reign 'till be put all his Enemies under his Feet and the last Enemy which shall be destroy'd is Death Then the Bodies of all the Elect which have lain for so many Ages in the Grave shall at last have the dark Prisons open'd and ascend Triumphant over Death it self How Great and Glorious will that Day be in which at one Word of Command from Christ the Earth and Seas shall give up the Dead which are in them Rev. 20. 13. and all the Bodies of the Saints shall come forth new form'd like unto Christ's Glorious Body according to the working whereby he is able to subdue all things unto himself Phil. 3. 21. when we shall meet the Patriarchs and Prophets the Apostles and Martyrs and all our Relations and Friends who have slept in Jesus in the Morning of the Resurrection and see them shining in Glory and our Lord Jesus with refulgent Majesty at the head of them What an Illustrious appearance of things will this be Never was there brighter day then this when Christ shall make an utter End of Death as he hath conquer'd and destroy'd Satan who had the power of it As there is no Truth in the Gospel but may and ought to be practically applyed let us see what use we may make of this Important Doctrine which I have endeavour'd to Explain and prove to you USE 1. Is it so that Satan hath the Power of Death over the Soul and Conscience of every unbeleeving Sinner Then every one of you who have not believ'd in Christ tremble at the thoughts of your dismal condition Seriously reflect upon your present misery and future danger What can be more deplorable then your present misery You are not only under the Tyranny of Satan and a base vassal of his dark Empire You are not onely servilely addicted to his obedience but you are also expos'd unto all mischeifs which he may and will do you by exercising that power which he hath of Death He will strengthen and increase that spiritual Death which is in your Souls for he will prevailingly tempt you to Evil and sad experience may convince you that a Man by continuing in Sin and frequent commission of it grows more and more Insensible and Dead and all the powers of his mind are more weaken'd to any Holy or good Action and the more he Sins the more he becomes Slave to it What a dismal consideration is this And yet this is the woful state of every unbeleever And now do but look beyond the spaces of Time and this World and take a due prospect of your future danger If you Dye in this condition it is not more certain you are now alive then that you will be condemn'd nay are 〈◊〉 condemn'd already to Eternal Death The indignation and wrath of a provok'd God will be pour'd out upon you Rom. 2. 8. 9. And who knows the power of his Anger Psal 90. 11. Who then can bear it USE II. Hath Death entred into the World by Sin let then our sorrow for our Dead Relations and Friends sharpen our hatred and indignation against it In every Sickness we see or feel the effects of it and tho' our Freinds Dye in the Lord yet their Death shows us what Sin brought into the World and when we hear them breathing out their last Groans this may bring to our minds what mischief Sin does Let us consider that tho' our Lord Jesus Christ has obtain'd the pardon of Sin and taken away the infliction of Vindictive justice yet it is true that by every Sin which we commit we displease God and so displease him that he will make us to feel his Fatherly correction He will put us in mind by some severe chastisement how we have been wanting in our duty and that we have done that which has not been right in his sight This sad occasion then which causes us to Mourn for the loss of our Freind may at the same time make us Mourn for our Sins Were it not for them this had never been for both he and we should have been Immortal and so never have parted Therefore the greater our loss is let us detest our Sins the more Now to Press this thought upon you and to excite in you and my self a just hatred and indignation against Sin by which we have displeas'd God and which is the cause of that loss under which we Mourn Let us consider the worth and excellency of the Person who God has been pleas'd to move from us I know very well that Sermon 's Preacht upon such occsions are too much abus'd to flattery but there is no fear of it in this case for there is no need of it I shall onely speak that of our Friend and Brother Deceas'd which all that were acquainted with him must acknowledge to be true And to speak the truth can't be imputed to Favour Affection or any prejudicate opinion If we consider him as a Man or as a Christian there was every thing in him to endear him to us He was of an excellent benign temper rarely provok'd to anger and if he were it must be from some weighty cause and yet even then his passion was soon over He was a Man prone to do good ready to receive the distressed active to promote any publick interest any cause of Christ and the prosperity of his Church He was a Man of a discerning penetrating Spirit of great strength of mind of a firm and sound judgment and yet which was an excellency most to be admir'd He was not proud of these admirable endowments And as God had bestow'd upon him these natural abilities and therefore to praise them is to praise God the author of them and to give him the Glory So he took care to improve them and to cultivate the rich Soyl. He was industrious to encrease his knowledge by a severe application to God and useful studies But you 'll say these are but humane accomplishments knowledge Learning and Generosity of Spirit were found in many of the Philosophers who knew not Christ 'T is true but our dear Friend and Brother knew and loved Jesus Christ and his Gospel and in the whole course of his Study those were most delightful to him that led him into the Mysteries of our Redemption The knowledge of Divine things most ravisht his Soul and was the Element in which his Spirit breath'd and as he lov'd the Gospel so he understood the truths of ît
and knew how to vindicate them In their necessary defence he employ'd that Art of reasoning of which he was a Great Master I do not mean an Art of Sophistry and Cavil but that which gives just Rules for the framing clear and distinct Ideas which direct us to judge according to the due perceptions that we have of things and which Instructs us in an orderly Method of Arguings that we may not be confus'd perplex'd or mistaken in our Reasoning This was the Art of which he made use and he Argued without Wrangling and knew how to be zealous for the Truth and yet not be Angry If we consider him farther as to his relative Duties he was a Loving Husband a Tender Father True to his Friend Punctual to all Acts of Kindness and never promis'd more than he meant to perform And to name that Station in which he most shin'd he was a Faithful Pastor labouring