Sermon (Dr Williams Library - 1023 N.8. 1652. Ralph Josselin)

28.6.1651 (Saturday 28 June 1651)

document 71000030

1 Thes.4.13,14,15,16,17,18

[1] Dear Brethren, and Beloved in our Lord and Common Saviour Jesus Christ, the occasion that cals us together in the Evening of this Week to hear a message from our God, is the conclu [2] sion of the life or our dear Sister, and the performance of our last duty to her, we have laid her up in her bed of dust, in sheets of clay, the best bed of honour that our dusty carkasses may or must expect. An occasion that your eyes may more affectedly see, then your ears hear, the sense of things is sooner conveyed to the heart from the forward eyes, then from the background ears. Mine eye affecteth my heart: So the Church experienced it, Lament. 3.51. and I hope our heart cannot but be affected by what we have seen. We are come together to a place of mourning, and I shall especially eye the living as they should themselves, so the Text speaketh, Ecclesiast, 7.2,3,4. 'it is better to go to the house mourning then to go to the house of feasting, for that is the end of all men, and the living will lay it to his heart: Sorrow is better than laughter, for the sadness of the countenance the heart is made better: The [3] heart of the wife is in the house of mourning, but the heart of fools is in the house of mirth. [4] Her Education in the World, in her younger dayes was very free and high, which I mention as making the frugality, retiredness and submissiveness of her later daies the more commendable. [6]. . . yet in her last sicknesse God freed her from fears, filled her with spiritual joyes, enjoyments of himself, and earnest longings to be with him: In her affliction submissive, patient, her pains were violent that made her cries piercing, but they were the throws of a dying person, and not the fruits of impatience.[5] In the words read, observe,

[7] Tender mothers, why do you alwayes bedew your cheeks for your dearest daughters that are not? Husbands, why wear your mournings over your hearts for your beloved wives? Know you how its with them, that it is thus with you? They are hugg'd and lull'd asleep in the arms of Jesus. [9]

1. In reference to our sorrowing for them: This is not forbidden, but is moderated, sorrow not as others which have no hope, vers 13. tis not uncomely to wet the Herses of our dying friends with tears; Husbands, Fathers, Mothers, you may follow your friends with tears, those pearls become your eyes, your cheeks; but mourn not [10] as those that are without hope thy Wife, thy Husband, thy dear Daughter shall return again, and now for present are but asleep. [11]. . . the world commonly praises immoderate grief when men like Rachel refuse to be comforted; but this temper the Lord approveth not, he saith, Comfort one another with those words: Tis better to obey Gods commands, then to enjoy the worlds praises. [12]. . . concerning our dying friends, Oh we shall never see them more. This ignorance its Nigredo and nox anime, a black darkness, a night upon the soul, and it must be removed, I would not have you ignorant concerning them that are asleep; ...[14]. . . Look about now in to your fields and medows, you shall finde the weary Workmen sweetly sleeping on the ground; to sleep on the ground is one of the pleasures of the Summer; [15] your Wives, your Husbands, your Sonnes and Daughters, whose departing . . . Grave to take a little rest by sleep . . .[24]

. . . 2. At rest from bodily distempers, all that knew her, knew her a woman that walkt among the Graves and the Tombs daily, daily dying; she had a deaths- head, and a deaths- though served to her daily, for years, her inward chest- pains were daily monitors of her end, these pains as they were near her heart, so was her heart sensible of them. The Ancients had at their feasts a Deaths- head served in at their Tables; or as some, a silver Image [25] of death, to which ustorn Novarius the Jesuite applieth that of the Psalmist psalm 109. 23. I am gone like the shadow. Thursday I shall die, said she, and often askt for Thursday when she died, oh nimble time was leaden heel'd in this respect: [26]. . . Listen at their Graves and Tombs, there is all quiet, there is no groan or sigh, 'twas not thus in your chambers, there their oh's and shrieks were many and piercing! [31]

Doct.3 God that alloweth us to mourn, puts a limit to our mourning. We may wet our eyes and cheeks with tears, but not drown them: Sorrow may enter into our hearts: Ignoscimus matrum lachrymis, sed modum quarimus in dolore; We have nothing to say against your tears, they are comely, commendable, tears are the best solemnity of a funeral, lesse of entertainment and more of tears would do well.

. . . There must be a measure of our sorrow, it's fit it should be limited. Friends mourn, let your eyes runne over, bedeck the Herses of your [32] Wives, Husbands, Babes with tears; they are a comely dresse and mourning for our Friends, a senselesse Stoickness doth not become Christian tendernesse: only keep time in mourning, let it not be overmuch, let it testifie your love, let it drown neither your patience, nor your hope.

[39]. . . convey down to your spirits that your friends shall return again, they are not buried in the dust for ever, believe it, dwell upon it.

[41] 2. But you eye your losse, your misse and want of them, Oh when I return home, Oh my childe that met me, hugged me, is dead; my wife that came forth to welcome me with joy, is gone for ever, Oh how naked house [42] and family is unto me!

. . . but consider they are but gone before on the same way, in the same journe thou art travelling, and all the Saints are following, and then you shall enjoy them for ever; like travellers therefore when they came near home, gird up your spirits, follow the Lord more closely, that you may have a part in the resurrection of the just.

[43]. . . Your friends, dear Saints, are your comforts so farre as God is in them, and they live by the Spirit, Power, Grace of Jesus, if dead, they live in the enjoyment of Jesus, let us therefore live in God, and unto God, and we shall enjoy God our comfort here, and hereafter for ever Amen.

[44] There is lately published Four necessary cases of Conscience of daily use, written by M. Thomas Shepherd late of New England.

Vicsars ij Manuductio ad Artem Rhetoricam 12o

Dr Don late Dean of Pauls Sermon at the Lady Danvers

Funeral with Verses of Mr George Herberts, etc.

M. Elton on The ten Commandments and Lords-Prayer, formerly burnt by the Bishops.