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posterity shall fall into necessity of death from ever living, thou and all thy posterity shall be subject to death." Here came in death and hell. Sin was their mother. Therelore they must have such an image, as their mother sin would give them.
An ugsome thing and an horrible image must it needs be that is brought in by such a thing so hated of God; yea, this face of death and hell is so terrible, that such as have been wicked men, had rather be hanged than abide it. As Ahitophel, that traitor to king David, like an ambitious wretch, thought to have come to higher promotion, and therefore conspired with Absalom against his master David. He when he saw his counsel took no place goeth and hangeth himself, in contemplation of this evilfavoured face of death. Judas also when he came with ambushments to take his master Christ, in beholding this horrible face hanged himself.
Yea, the elect people of God, the faithful, having the beholding of this face (though God hath always preserved them, such a good God he is to them that believe in him, that he will not suffer them to be tempted above that, that they have been able to bear), yet for all that, there is nothing that they complain more sore, than of this horror of death. Go to Job, what saith he? “ Woe worth the day that I was born in, my soul would be hanged :” saying in his pangs almost he wist not what. This was when with the eye of his conscience, and the inward man, he beheld the horror of death and hell, not for any bodily pain he suffered. For when he had boils, blotches, blains, and scales, he suffered them patiently, he could say then ; “ If we have received good things of God, why should we not suffer likewise evil?" It was not for any such thing, that he was so vexed: but the sight of this face of death and hell was offered to him so lively, that he
would have been out of this world. It was this evilfavoured face of death that so troubled him.
King David also said in contemplation of this ugsome face; “ I have been sore vexed with sighing and mourning."~" Mine eye hath been greatly troubled in my rage.” A strange thing, when he had to fight with Goliah, that munstrous giant, who was able to have eaten him, he could abide him and was nothing afraid. And now what a work, what exclamations maketh he at the sight of death!
Jonah, likewise, was told enough to bid the shipmen cast him into the sea, he had not seen that face and visage; but when he was in the whale's belly, and had there the beholding of it, what'terror and distress abode he!
Hezekiah, when he saw Senacharib besieging his city on every side most violently, was nothing afraid of the great host and mighty army that was like to destroy him out of hand : yet he was afraid of death. When the prophet came unto him and said ; “ Prepare thine house, thou shalt die, and not live;" it struck him so to the heart, that he fell a weeping. O Lord, what a horror was this!
There be some writers that say, that Peter, James, and John were in this feeling at the same time, and that Peter, when he said, “ Depart from me, Lord, for I am a sinful man,” did taste some part of it: he was so astonished, he wist not what to say. It was not long that they were in this anguish, some say longer, some shorter, but Christ was ready to comfort them, and said to Peter, “ Be not afraid.”
A friend of mine told me of a certain woman that was eighteen years together in it. I knew a man myself, Bilney, that blessed martyr of God, what time he had borne his fagot and was once come again to Cambridge, had such conflict within himself, beholding this image of death, that his friends were afraid to let him be alorie : they were fain to be with him day and night, and comforted him as they could, but no comfort would serve. As for the comfortable places of Scripture, to bring them unto hiin, it was as though a man would run himn through the heart with a sword : yet afterward for all this he was revived and took his death patiently, and died well against the tyrannical sce of Rome. Woé will be to that bishop, that had the examination of him, if he repented not. Here is a good lesson for you, my friends, if ever ye come in danger, in durance, in prison for God's quarrel, and his sake (as he did for purgatory matters, and put to bear a fagot for preaching the true word of God against pilgrimage and such like matters), I will advise you first and above all things to abjure all your friends, all your friendships ; leave not one unabjured, it is they that shall undo you, and not your enemies. It was his very friends that brought Bilney to it,
By this it may somewhat appear what our Saviour Christ suffered; he doth not dissemble it himself, when he saith, “ My soul is heavy to death." He was in so sore an agony, that there issued out of hiin, as I shall entreat anon, drops of blood. An ugsome thing surely, which his fact and deed sheweth us! What horrible pains he was in for our sakes! But you will say, how can this be? It were possible that I and such others as be great sinners should suffer such affliction. The Son of God, what, our Saviour Christ? He never sinned, how can this stand, that he should be thus handled ? He nerer deserved it. Marry, I will tell you, how we must consider our Saviour Christ : two ways, one way in his manhood, another in his Godhead. Some places of Scripture must be referred to his deity, and some to his humanity. In his Godhead he suffered nos thing; but now be made bimself void of his duity,
as Scripture saith ; “Whereas he was in the form of God, he emptied himself of it,” he did hide it, and used himself as though he had not had it. He would not help himself with his Godhead : he humbled him. self with all obedience unto death, even to the death of the cross. This was in that he was man, he took upon him our sins : our sins, not the work of sin. I mean not so, not to do it, not to commit it: hut to purge it, to cleanse it, to bear the stipend of it, and that way he was the greatest sinner of the world, he bare all the sin of the world on his back, he would become debtor for it.
Now, to sustain and suffer the dolours of death, is not to sin : but he came into this world, with his passion to purge our sins. Now this, that he suffered in the garden, is one of the bitterest pieces of all his passion. This fear of death, was the bitterest pain, that ever he abode, due to sin, which he never did, but became debtor for us. All things he suffered for us, this he did to satisfy for our sins. It is much like if I owed another man twenty thousand pounds, and should pay it out of hand, or else go to the dungeon of Ludgate ; and when I am going to prison, one of my friends should come and ask, “ Whither goeth this man?” And after he had heard the matter, should say, Let me answer for him, I will become surety for him. Yea, I will pay all for him. Such a part played our Saviour Christ with us.
If he had not suffered this, I, for my part, should have suffered, according to the gravity and quantity of my sins, damnation. For the greater the sin is, the greater is the punishment in hell. He suffered for you and me, in such a degree as is due to all the sins of the whole world. It was as if you would imagine, that one man had coinmitted' all the sins since Adam ; you may be sure he should be
punished with the same horror of death, in such a sort as all men in the world should have suffered.
Feign and put case, our Saviour Christ had committed all the sins of the world, all that I, for my part, have done, all that you, for your parts, have done, and that any man else hath done: if he had done all this himself, his agony, that he suffered, should have been no greater nor grievous than it
This that he suffered in the garden was a portion, I say, of his passion, and one of the bitterest parts of it. And this he suffered for our sins, and not for any sins that he had committed himself, for all we should have suffered every man according to his own deserts.
This he did of his goodness, partly, -to purge and cleanse our sins; partly, because he would taste and feel our miseries, that he should the rather help and relieve is; and partly he suffered, to give us example to behave ourselves as he did. He did not suffer to discharge us clean from death, to keep us clean from it, not to taste of it. Nay, nay, you must not take it so. We shall have the beholding of this ugsome face every one of us, we shall feel it ourselves. Yet our Saviour Christ did suffer to the intent, to signiíy to us, that death is overcomeable. We shall indeed overcome it, if we repent and acknowledge, that our Saviour Christ pacified with his pangs and pains, the wrath of the Father, having a love to walk in the ways of God. If we believe in Jesus Christ, we shall overcome death. I say, it shall not prevail against us.
Wherefore, whensoever it chanceth thee, my friend, to have the tasting of this death, that thou shalt be tempted with this horror of death, what is to be done then ? Whensoever thou feelest thy soul heavy to death, make haste and resort to this garden, and with this faith thou shalt overcome this