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jis way? They meet us, as foon as we set our foot on earth, to tell us at our entry, tha. we do but come into the world to go out again. Howbeie, some are Saatched away in a moment, without being warned: by sickne's or disease. Furthly, We have sinful fouls; and therefore have dying bodies : death follows lin, as the shadow-foilows the body. The wicked 'must die, by virtue of the threarning. cfihe cove-nant of works, Gen. 1..17... In the day that thou eatest thereof, thou Malt surely die. And the godly must die 100; ihat, as death. entered by mi, fin-nay go out by death.. Christ has taken away the sting of death, as to them; albeit he has not as yet remored death itself. Wherefore though it falten on i them, as the viper on Paul?s band, it fhill do them no harm : but because the leprosy of fin is in the walls of the house, it must be broken down, and all tbe materials thereof carried forth, Laftly, Man's life in this world, according to the scriptureaccount of ity is but a few degrees removed from death. The scripture-represents it, as a vain and empty thing, short : in its : continuance, and swift in its palling away...

FIRST, Man's life is a vain and empty thing, while it is: it :: vanilheth away; and lo! it'is not.: Jrib viii. 6. My days arevanıy.". If ye suspect afflicted Job of partiality in this matter, liear the wife and prosperous Solomon's character of the days of his life, Ecclef, vilia 15All things have I seen in the days of . my vanity,' i. e. ny rain days.?More's who was a very active man, compares our days to a sleep, Psal. xc. 5: They are as an sleep, which is not noticed, till it be ended.. The resemblance, is pat: few men have right apprehenfions of life, until death awaken them; then we begin to know we were living... We {pend our years as a tale that is cold," "ver. 2. When an iäle tale is a-telling, it may affect a little; but when it is ended, its is forgot: and so is man forgotten, when the fable of his life is ended. It is as a dream, or vision of the night, in which there is nothing folid : when one awakes; all.evanisheth. Joo XX, 8. • He shall fiy away as a dream, and shall not be found; yea, he Mall be chased away as a vision, of the night!. Ia is batia va na înow, or image, Plal. xxxix. 6. Surely every man waiketh in a vain show.? Man, in this world, is, but, as it were, a.walking ftatue : his life is but, an image of life ; there is fu_much of death in it.

If we look on our life, in the several periods of it, we willen hod ita leap of vanities... Childhood and youth are vanity, Ecclef, xi. 10. We come into the world, the most lepks of

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Man's Life Vanity.

IV. all animals : young birds and beasts can do foinething

for them- . felves, but infant män is altogether unable to help himfelf. Our childhood is spent in pitiful rilling pleasures, which become the fcorn of our own after-tiloughts. Youth is a flower that foon withereth, a bloffom that quickly falls of: it is a space of time in which we are rash, fooliíh, and inconsiderate, pleasing ourfelves with a variety of vanities, and swimming, as it were, through a food of them. But ere we are a svare, it is past, and we are in priddle-age, encompassed with a thick cloud of cares, through which we must grope ; and finding ourselves beset with pricking thorns of difficulties, through them we must force our Way, to accomplille

the projects and contrivances of our riper ihoughts. And more we solace ourselves in any earthly enjcynient we attain to, the more bitterness do we find in part. ing with it. Then comes old age, attended with its own train of infirmities, labour and Tori ow;' Pfal. xc. Io, and sets us down next door to the grave. In a word, " All-felh is grass,' lid. xi. 6. Every stage, or period of life, is vanity, Man at hiş beit flate, (his middle-age, when the heat of youth is spent, and the sorrow's of old age have not yet overtaken bim) is alto. gerher vaniiy,' Psal. xxxix. 5. Death carries off fome in the bud of childhool, others in the bluslom of youth, and others when they are come to their fruit : few are left ftanding, tiil, like ripe corn, they forsake the ground: all die one time or other,

SECONDLY, Man's life is a short thing : it is not only a vanity, but a thort-lived vanily. Confider, Fiest, How the life of man is reckoned in the scripture. It was indeed some times reckoned by hundreds of years : but no man ever arrived: at a thousand, which yet bears nb proportion to eternity; Now, bundreds are brought down ia fcores; otiree score and ten, cr four fcore, is its utmost lengib, Pfal. xc. to. But few med arrive at that length of life. Death does but rarely wait zülmen be bowing down, by reason of age,. to meet the grave. Vet, as if yeats were too big a word for such a small thing as iho 1:fe of man on earth; we find it counted by months, Job.xiv. 5.

The munher of his months are with thee? Our course, like that of the moon, is run in a little time; we are alway's wax: ing or wancing, till we disappear. But frequently it is reckoned by days; and i befe but few. Job xiv. I; Man that is born of a woman, is of few days. Nay, it is but one day in fcriptureaccount, and that a hueling's day, who wilt precisely obferve

hen his day ends, and give over his work: yer6. Til he shalt

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accomplish as an hireling his day.' Yea, the feripure brings it down to the fhociett space of time, and calls it a moment, 2 Cor. iv. 17. Our lighé affliction (though it last all our life long,) is but for a moment.' But else where it is brought down to yet a lower pitch, farther than which one cannot carry it, Psal. xxxix. 5. Mine age is as nothing before thee.? Agreeable to this, Solomon tells us, Ecclef. iii. 2. • There is a time to be born, and a time to die:' but makes no mention of a time to Jive; as if our life were but a skip from the womb to the grave. S.condly, Consider the various fimilitudes by which the scripture represents the shortness of man's life. Hear Hezekialı, Ifa. xxxviii. 12. Mine age is departed, and is removed froni me, as a fhepherd's tent: I have cut off like a weaver my life.? The slepherd's tent is foon removed ; for the flocks most not feed long in one place : Such is a man's life on this earth, quick. Jy gone. It is a web, he is incestantly working; he is not idle so much as one moment: in a short rime it is wrought, and then it is cut off. Every breatlıing is a thread in this web, when the Haft breath is drawn, the web is woven out hé, expires, and then it is cut off, he breathes no more. Man is like the grass, and 1:ke a flower, Isa. xl. 6. All.A«ih (even the strongest and most healthy fem) is grass, and all the goodliness thereof is as the flower of the field. The gras is dourithing in the morning : but, in the evening, being cur down by the niowers, it is withered : To man sometinies is walking up and down at ease in the morning, aod in the evening, is lying a corpse, being knock

ed down by a ludułen stroke, with one or uther of death's wea. "pons. The flower, at beft, is but a weak and render thing, of frort continuance, where-ever it grows : but (obferve) man is not compared to the flower of the garden, but to the flower of the field, which the foot of every beast may tread down at any time. Thus is our life liable to a thousand accidents every day, any of which, may cut ws off. But though we should escape a

al theso, yet at length this grass withereth, this flower fadeth sf itself. It is carried off, as the cloud is confumed and vanisheth away,” Job vii. It looks big as the morning cloud, which promiseth great ihings, and raiseth the expectations of the huse bandman : but the sun riseth, and the cloud is scattered: deall. comes, and man evaoifaeth. The apoitle James proposeth the queftion', " What is your life ? chap. iv. 14. Hear his owo aoswer,

It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then. parifheth away,

It is frail uncertain, and lafteth not. It is as smoak, which goes out of the chimney, as if it would da ken


the face of the heavens : but quickly is scattered, and

appears. no more. Thus goeth. nian's life, and where is he? It is a wind, J. b vii. 7. Orenember ihat my life is wind.' It is but a palling blaft, a short puff, a wind that paileth away, and cometh not again,' Pfal. 1x3 viji. 39. Our breach is in our noss trils, as it were always upon the wing to depart, ever pasling. and repaffing, like a traveller, until it go away for good and all, not to


till she heavens be no more. LASTLY, Man's life is a swift thing: not only a pafing, but a flying vaniry. Have you not observed how swiftly a fhadow." hath run along the ground, in a cloudy and windy day, suddenJy darkening the places beautified before with the beams of the fun, but


suddenly disappearing? Such is the life of man on the tarih, for 6. be fleeth as a thacow, and continueth not,' Job xiv. 2. A weaver's fhut:le is very swift in its motion ; in a moment it is thrown from one side of the web. to the other: yet our days are swifter than a weaver's fhurtle, chap. vii. 6.. How quickly is man tossed through time into eternity ! See how Job describes the swifiness of the time of life, chap.ix: 25. ' Now. my days are swifter than a polt: they fee away, they fee na good.? Ver. 26. • They are hälted away as the swift ships; as the eagle that haitech to the prey.? He compares his days with a poft; a fool-post; a runner, who runs fpeedily to


cid. ings, and will make no tay. Bu though the post were like: Ahimaaz, who aver ran Cushi ;:our days would be fwifter than he, for they flee away, like a man fleeing for his life, before the pursuing enemy; he runs with his uunoit vigour : yet our days run as fast as he. Howbeit; that is not all. Even he who is Heeing for his life, cannot run always; he must needs somerimes stand still, ly down, or sun in some where, as Sisera did into Jel's teor, 10 refresh himself; but our time never halts. Ti erefore it is compared to ships, which can fail night and day, without intermillion, till they be at their port; and swift ships, Flips of difire, in which men quickly arrive at the degred haven; or ships of pleafure, that fail more swiftly than ships of burden. Yet the wind fai'ing, the ship’s course is marred: but our time always runs with a rapid course. There it is compared to the eagle flying : not with his ordinary fight, for that is not sufficient to represent the swiftness of our days; but wken he

which is with an extraordinary

(wifiness. And thus, even thos, our days fly away: ;

Having thus discoursed of death, let us improve it; in discerning the vanity of the world; in bearing up, with Christian

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contentment and patience, under all iroubles and difficulties ini in mortifying our lusts; in cleaving unto the Lord with purpose of heart, on all hazards; and in preparing for dea:h's approach.

And, first, Let us hence, as in a looking glass, behold the vanity of the world; and of all these things in it, which mien so much value and esteem, and therefore set their , bearis upon. The rich and the poor are equally intent upon this world; they bow the knee to ir; yet it is but a clay god: they court the bulky vanity and run keenly to catch the shadow; the rich man is hugged to death in its embraces; and the poor man wearies himself in the fruitless pariuit. (What wonder if the world's (miles overcome us, when we poflue it so eagerly, even while it frowns upon us :) But- look into the grave, o man, confider and be wife ; litten to the doctrine of death, and learn, (1.) 'That hold as fast as thou canst, thou shalt be forced to let go thy hold of the world at length. Though thou load thyselt with the fruits of this earih ; yet all shall fall cff, when thou comelt to creep into thy hole, the house, under ground, ap. pointed for all living. When death comes, thou must bid an eternal farewell to thy enjoyments in this world: thou must leave thy goods to ano:her : and whose thall those things be, which thou hast provided?' Luke xii. 20. (2.) Thy portion of these things fhall be very little ere long. If thou ly down on the grass, and stretch thy self at full length, and observe the print of thy body when thou riset, thou inayft fee how much of ihis earth will fall to thy fare at-last. It may be thon shalt get a cuífin, and a winding sheet ; but thou art not fure of that. Many who have had abundance of wealth, yet have not had fo much, when th:y took up their new house in the land of silence. But however that be, more ye cannct expect. It was a moniifying lefun, Saladine, when dying, gave to his foldiers. He called for his standard-bearer, and ordered him to take his winding-theet upon his pike, and go out to the camp, with it and sell them, That of all his conquefts, viétories and triumphs, he had nothing now left bim, but that piece of linen 10 wrap his body in for burial. Lastly, This world is a false friend, who leaves a man in time of greatest need; and flees from him when he has most ado. When chou art lying on a death bed, all shy friends and relations cannot rcfcue thee; all thy fubftance cannot ranfam thee; nor procure thee a reprieve for one day, nay, not for one hour. Yea, the more thou poffeffelt of this world's goods, thy forrow, at death, is like to be the greater: for tho' one may live more comniodiously in a palace, than in a cortage ;

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