Four usefull discourses viz. ... / by Jer. Burroughs ...

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Title
Four usefull discourses viz. ... / by Jer. Burroughs ...
Author
Burroughs, Jeremiah, 1599-1646.
Publication
London :: Printed for Thomas Parkhurst ...,
1675.
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Subject terms
Christian life -- Congregational authors.
Sermons, English -- 17th century.
Cite this Item
"Four usefull discourses viz. ... / by Jer. Burroughs ..." In the digital collection Early English Books Online. https://name.umdl.umich.edu/A30576.0001.001. University of Michigan Library Digital Collections. Accessed May 26, 2024.

Pages

It is Gain thus to be with Christ.

Hence then, If it be Gain for one that doth so much Service for Christ as Paul did, surely than those that are Believers, and are made little Use of in any Service for Christ, they will get by their Death. Paul was a Man that one would wonder how the Churches could spare him, he did so much for Christ; and yet Paul would get by Death. If thou beest a Believer, thou shalt have thy Immediate communion with Christ, as Paul had. Alas, here while thou Livest, thou hast but little com∣munion between Christ and thee, and doest Him but little Service in the World: Then why should you so much desire to Live in the World, that have nothing to Countervail the Trouble that you have, and the Sin that is committed in the World? O, surely, it will be gain for you.

Secondly, Hence it follows, That it is a Self-denial to a Believer, to be willing to Live here in the World. You will say, If it be so much Gain, why should any be

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so desirous to Live? It's this, first, Nature will have its work, though in their Judgments they are convinc't, that it's better to be with Christ; yet the Body will be working, and the Affections will follow the Body very much. Further, Though they be convinc't that it is Gain, yet God lays a Tie upon them, to preserve their Lives as long as they can here in this World, in Obedi∣ence to God: They do desire to avoid Dangers, and Preserve their Lives. It is not for them to be where it is best for them to be, but to be where God would have them to be; and therefore God doth charge them to seek to Preserve their Lives, and to go on till He Himself shall Dissolve the Body and Soul. It's God that is the Lord of our Life, and as God gave us our Lives, so it is He that must take them away, and not any Body else. But yet, I say, there is some Self-denial in it: We must look upon our selves here, as in a very Low and Mean condition, in comparison of what we hope to be within a while after. Therefore observe this one Note, Those that do believe the Gain of Death, they had need La∣bour what they can, to countervail the Forbearance of the Gain, by somewhat or other. If a Man hath a great Gain, and it comes not in his present Possession, he thinks, What shall I have for my Forbearance? You will say, What is it that any Believer can have in lieu of his Forbearance of that Gain? Truly, the most Excellent thing is this, that he may do Christ Service while he Lives. Now then, Is that the main thing? O learn from hence, to be of as much use in your Lives, as possibly you can, for you have nothing else (to speak of) in For∣bearance of that great Gain. Why, Lord, I expect to enjoy Thee for ever before long, but thou art pleased to Prolong my Life here for a while; in the mean time

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I meet with many Temptations and Troubles, and Vexa∣tions, and much Sin I have: But yet, Lord, thou know∣est it's my desire to Honour Thee, and Serve Thee; and through Thy Mercy, I am some way or other Service∣able to Thee, in the Place where Thou hast set me; and, Lord, this is the thing contents me, while I am absent from Thee.

Thirdly, Hence we see the great Difference that there is between the death of a Believer, and the death of a Wicked Man. I shewed you, I remember in the death of an Ungodly Man, when the siery Serpent comes with his Sting, and takes him in his Natural Estate, Death is not Gain to such a one: O, no; death takes away all his Gain: But now, death is the greatest Gain to the Saints. That's an excellent Scripture you have in 1 Cor. 3. the lat∣ter end, Whether Paul, or Appollos, or Cephas, or the World, or Life, or Death, or Things present, or Things to come, all is yours. In Christ, Death comes to be made yours: Death is part of the Possession of the Saints: O the difference between the death of the Saints, and the death of Wicked and Ungodly Men! Do but put two Men, a Wicked Man, and a Godly Man, lying both together upon their Death-Beds, (you must take a wicked Man that hath an enlightned Conscience) he lies beholding the Wrath of the Infinite God, ready to swal∣low him up, and his Conscience tearing and rending of him, and so the black dismal bottomless Gulf, ready to swallow him; see the fiery Serpent sent from an Angry God, twisting himself about his Middle, with a Sting at his Heart, ready to take away his Life, that he might not Live any longer to Dishonour his God; he lies cur∣sing himself for his Wickedness and Folly, and the Com∣pany that he hath Liv'd in, and wishing that he had never

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been Born. Now the Godly Man, he lies blessing of the Name of God for His Goodness; and in that, God did shew to him in the time of his Life, the things that concern his Eternal Peace: He blesses God that ever he knew Him, that ever he knew His Wayes: He blesses God, that the time of his departure is so near, and he sees Jesus Christ ready to receive him, and the Angels at∣tending about him: O the blessed day when I shall go to Enjoy an Immediate, Full, and Eternal Commu∣nion with Jesus Christ, that is best of all. And there he lies Encouraging all that comes to see him, to know Christ and God betimes. O here's the difference be∣tween the death of the Godly, and the death of the Wicked: One is the greatest Terror, and the other is the greatest Gain.

And, my Brethren, let these Things that I have now Spoken to you, let them prepare you for Death, and welcome Death whensoever it comes. Do not think of what you must Leave in the World, but what you are going to: It is to go to Christ, that is best of all. And manifest the Power of those Things, lay them up against such a time.

And let all that hath been said, Teach you to be God∣ly, to Prize Christ and the Gospel: Here's that will Recompence all Troubles and Afflictions you meet with∣al in the Wayes of God, to be able upon your Death-Bed, to say with Paul: To me to Die is Gain. It will Recompence whatever Pains you take in the Wayes of Religion.

And I appeal to you: Do you think that there was ever any since the World began, that was Sorry upon their Death-Bed, that they had taken too much Pains in the Wayes of God? There have been Thousands

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that have Cursed themselves for the neglecting of the day of Grace and Salvation, but never sorry for taking so much Pains. O no! When thou comest upon thy Death-Bed thou wilt have need of all, and thou wilt bless God for any pains that thou hast taken for Christ. Lay then this Sentence unto thy Heart, it will Teach thee to Live, and to Die: And, Certainly, he must needs Live Joyfully whose Life is Christ: And he must needs Die comfortably, whose Death is Gain.

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