Charles Drelincourt.

The Christian's defence against the fears of death : with seasonable directions how to prepare ourselves to die well online

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is he that acts beyond probability and hope; that causetb
tjie dead to live; andcalleth thosethijtg» which be not, as
though they were, Rom. iy^ I7. He vi^ill send bis good
angels to administer to all your necessities. When you
shall he rdl9uced to the last extremity, ready to receive
the fatal stroke of death, God will sta.y the sword of his
justice, and will change your cries and tears into joy and
everlasting gladness. There will arise some holy and de-
vout soul, some lover of the public tranquility, that shall
bring to you the olive branch of peace . If God only
breathes, the tempest will cease, the winds be still, and
the overildwing waves that are ready todeyottryou shall
return to their former channels! Otherwise he will pre-
serve you by fiipacle in the mids^t of these terrible ea-


lamities and horild cwnfi^ions. As Abpabam found a
ram caught in a thicket, ^en. xxii. 13; so in tlie midst of
the sharpest troubles, the most intricate and di^eaded dif-
ficultieis, you shall find unexpected comfort and help. —
And as the various colours of the beautiful rainbow appear
upon the cloud whence the storm and rain prftceed; thus,
ia the greatest afilictibns, God will give you precious
testimonies of his fatherly care and affection. The h^pe
which you have in God shall never make you ashamed,
because the love of God is shed abroad in your hearts,
by the holy ghost which is given unto you, Rom. v- 5-—
The hotter the fires shall bej the more and the greater
miracles they will bring forth. The higher the waters
of your deluge shall rise, thenearer they will approach
your souls unto God, and the nearer you will draw to
heaven, the place of our eternal rest. Therefore, be
comforted, my dear children, and assiire yourselves, that
by the favour of God's grace and fflercy, we shall spee-
tfily see one another again. I shall not return to you,
but you shall come to me, 3 Sam. xii. 33; for I go (0
that spacious and magnificent house, whither our Lord
and Saviour JesusXDhrlst i§ gone to prepare a place for
US; and where Ke^ill resceive iis all^ John xiv. 2, 3. I
ascend unto my I'ather and ffoiir Ifather, and to thy 0od
and your God, John x%. iy.



Foj' a Ming or Prince, who -preparies for dsatk^ %
relying upon Go(fs providence.

*KING of KittgSj and Lord bf , Lortla, who of thy
Special grace and. iiavour hast ordained me, upon earth,
a lively image, of thine omnipotence, a ray of thy glory:
siifftr me nob to be lifted up with pride On account of
the power and majesty wherewith thoU hast cloth&d
nie; and let me not imitate the vanity of that profane
monarch, who cried, Is not this great Babylon that 1
have huilt for the house of the kingdom, by the mighi
of my power, and for the honour -of my majesty f On
the cmtrary, grant that I may devoutly adore him by
whom 1 reign; and that 1 may prostrate my -heart be-
fore thy sovereigp and eternal throne^ at which I must
appear, not only as a man, to answer for my own par-
ticular actions) but also as a prince, to render an- ac-
count of ray administration, and the many thousand
souls whicji' thou hast committed to my charge. If al
any time the splendour of a crown dazzles me, or my
flaiterers cry out, 2'he voice of a God, tind not of a
man, let me remember my frail and corruptible nature,
tliat 1 came into the world like other men, and am sub-
ject to the same passions and infiipitiesj that deatL
\vill not spare me any more thannme nfean^gt of my
subjects, nor pay me any greater resfUct; that he will
lllter as boldly into my palace,, as into the tent of my
poorest soldier, or a shepherd's cottage; that he-will
break my sceptre with as much ease as his Sheep-hook;
tlmt he will trample andet; foot the pyecious jewels o!
my crown with as little ceremony as the flowers of the
fields jand that my life, as well as that of my vilest
slave, is but a breath in my nostrils, a wind that passes
away, a shadow that flies. O God of all fleshi so lon^
as it shall please thee to continue me henl^below, reigi
in my heart and over my affectiops. Guide me by, th^
holy spirit, and; idirect me by thine infinite y/idoii,
Since by thee kings reign, and, princes execute judg-


ni«nt, grant me thy grace, that I may have thee always
before mine eyes, and employ to thy glory, and the
advkneement of thy klBgdom, all the power and autho-
rity which I possess from thy bomity. Let me consid-
er my subjects as thy creatures, made by thee in Ihiile
image, -and as thy children whom thou hast redeemeil
with the blood of thine only Son. And whereas itiiath
seemed good in thine eyes to make so great a distinc-
tion between them and me, let me never forget the im-
mense (distance which there is between me, who am ,
but dust and ashes, a worm, and less than nothing, and
thee, O great and living God! whose being is eternal,
and power infinite. When thou sayest to the richest
and most mighty monarchs of the earth, Sons of men
return! in ap instant they return from the ground from
whence they were taken; and with them vanish all
iheir de^p designs, all their great and glorious enter-
prizes. O Sovereign Potentate of the world! A\hen it
shall please thee to advertise me by aiiy^ one of thy
prophets, or otherwise to certify me by any visible token,
that it is thy good pleasure to take me from my king-
dom, (my principality,) instead of being afraid, or af-
flicting myself like an infidel prince, grant that I ma^
show an heroic constancy, and a chrisliaa resignation
to thy holy and divine will. If with otle hand thou
writest the sentence of my death, with the other thou
shalt ehgra^ that irrevocable decree, 'in virtue whereof
I shall go to take jiossession of a life sovereignly hap-
py. O Almighty God! what are all the kingdoms from
Which thou takest, me, in comparison of the celestial
inheritance which thou hast prepared for nie from the
foundation of the world! Seeing, with respect to the
heavens, all the earth is no more than a point; what
are all the diadems . here belo\V? unstable -and perish-
ing, when compared to that incorruptible crown of glo-
ry which thou wilt give me at the end of my course^^
O that I may lay aside with joy this regal purple, to
put on those precious robes of light and immortal|*y
vkliich shine forth in thy celestial pjfradise! that I may
cheerfully lay do^vn^ this transitory sceptre, to take up
tbose. everlasting palms which adorn tlie glorious han/is


of thy triumphant paints! O viQtorious prince 'of thft
kings of the earth! :from thee I received the govern-
ment of this my kingdom, (principality,) into thine
adorable hands I most wilUdtgiy resign it. Graciously:
^ant that my successor may inherit the piety aitid zeal
which thqu hast kindled in my heart: or irather, O
inexhaustible source of blessings! grant that he may
surpass me in all things:^ that he may have none of my
defects, but may be adorned and enriched with all the:
Virtues which I want: that he may be clothCid witlt
Ihy most tixcellent gifts, and crowned with thy mo^t
precious favours. My King, and my God! thou hast
^venVto n^e, as to David, the mau aftier thine own
heart, a sincere and earnest desire to rebuild thy tem-
ple, and to beautify thy church: but since it- huth not
seemed good in thine eyes, that 1 should advance this
glorious work, grarit'ihati my successor may be filled
with a wisdom like unto that of Soloinon; and that he
may be attended with the same prosperity, , glory, and
Iiappiness; that he may establish his throHe upon a.
solid piety: that during his reign, righteousness ahd
peace may kiss each other; that truth may flourish in
the earth, and charity shine forth from heaven; that
all his people may hless him; that he may have a^ ma-'
By guards as subjects, and as many citadels as hearts.
Bdt, 'aljove all, O merciful God! grant hini grace th?it
lie may rebuild *thy house, and tlat he iSiay raise -jt
to the utmost height of glory and happiness that it is
capable of attaining here below. Mean time, I will
go and glprify thee in the magBifieent palace of im-
mortality': I will cast my crown at the feet of the
Lamb,) and will worship him who liveth for ever and
ever. Amen,



For q, Viceroy or Governor^

* ADORABLE Governor of tKe universe! since I haT«
*iibe honour to represent my prince, who is a, lively image
^f thy Majesty, it is but giast that I pay thee a religious
P&mage. For I slioulfl not possess this power, w,as it
not given me from above, and if tbou, wibo art the King
■of Kings, and who lioldest in thine hand the hearts of
princes, hadst not caused nie to fmd favour in their sig-ht.
Grant me thy gvace, t%at I may never forget, that t'he
people over whom 1 rul-e are not my slaves, but the sub-
jects of my prince: and what is more, thy creatures a«d
thy children: That itisiiot fcA-me todisppse of themas
1 will, or to follow the dictates of my passions, but to
(observe the orders whiel) I htfve received, and to obey
thy divine commands: That I may represent to myself
jny prince asalways present, and over'lookiiig all my ac-
tions: but especially that I may nev'ter forget tliat I#a.m
always befoiH) thy sacred eyes, which penetrate to. the
feottom of my iieatl, aijd fead my taost sfecret thoughts:
That I may renremtier, ^day and niglit, that I must give
:an account tofflyraa«ter of theadmilQistration"wlieriewith
lie bath intrasted me;; and4hat I must appear befor* thy
tribunal, wnere all disguise and evasion is in vaitt. If
^rhile I thus discharge my office witb all the fidelity,
ililigenc^', and vigour, wlfereof I am •capable, death ^Iui!ll
come and call me from the world, mercifully grant tbat
I may not be afraid; but that I may quit these houonrs
witiiGut regret, seeing the government of a kingdott; or
an empire, or even over a thousand worlds, is nothing
"m comparison of tliat glory and exaltation which thou
bast prepared for me in heaven. Leithottheica^'ofwbat
may liappeii after my decease distiiiib tire peace aiid're-
pose oTmy «oul: for thou tan«t raise ^p ministers atid
gov^enwrs, wlro sliall be filled with the'^rlt of wisdom
arid |)rndence,and whose adniinistralion §imll be a;ifen-
ded with BUOceS'S and glory. Mean time, 1 «balVre(stf!!»p
©ver from all my fatigues and kboai's; and af(,fer I s&all

^3 THE CliRlSTIAJf'S CONSOLATION. # overcome Satati, the world, sin, antt d^a^hj ^"'^
shall have kept thy wrarks unto the end, thoUjWilt put.
a palm into my hand, a crown upon my head,' and into,
my mquth the song of the blessed, in whose compiny I
shall sing praises and thanksgiving for ever and ever.'


for the General of an Army, or any other superior


O LORD of Hosits!. I have always believed that this
profession, which I have embraced for the service of my
prince and country, is not displeasing to thee. Thon
hast formerly given military laws to thy people, thou
hast not disdained to guide their armies, to march in theii
ca|np, and to order all their battles. Thouglr thy Son
is the King of peace, yet his first minister commands no(
soldiers to lay down their arms, but not only to be con-
tent with their wages, and to do violence to no man; am
his holy apostles teach us, that it is not to no purpose
that thou hast piit a swprd icto the hands^f kings ani
princes, who are the images of thy almigtl^ power anc
sovereign justice. Grant, that whenever lam at the hear
of my army (or company,) I may represent to ;!iyself mj
ptince as there in person, arid that I am to fight in hii
presence; but above all let me remember, that I am ii
fbe company of thy holy angels, and before thee, wh<
artiAe Prince of the Icings of the leartA, of all their peo
pie and ^n their armies. Let not the power which i
given nae of commanding others, cause me to neglec
that obedience which I owe to thee, my creator and m;
God. Let not my post as captain make me forget, that
am the soldier of Jesus Christ, -npjio inmghtepjisnesfliot
judge and make war. Let not the sword which.Iw'ea
at my side, liinder me from siVining my heart- with tK


'^han any tivo-edged sword, seeing it divides the soul,
Injf tJKvspirit, tlie joints and the marrow. With this
diviie^word, give me the breast-plate of righteousness,
^elhelmet of salvation, and above all, the sfiield of faith,
^chereicith to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. O
jny God, endue me with the strength and virtitiB qPthy
%Oly spirit, that I may be able to encounter all my spiri-
tual enemies and gain the victory over them. Give me
to overcome tlie world and sin, to conquer myself, my
^assioQs, and evil, affections, to see hell routed, and Sa-
tan bruised under ifly feet. Finally, grant me the grace
to encounter death courageously, aiid to overcome it.
great and living God> I have no need of any one to re-
mind me of my mortality, seeing death is every day pre-
sent before mine eyes^ and that 1 march continually in
the midst of its envenomed darts. If it should attack me
in the beginning of my success, in the fiiHt dawn of my
glory, grant that I may fix my hopes upon a more glo-
iious victory, a more magnificent triumph, +han any
this world can boast, since to vanquish millions of men,
and to triumph over the whole earth, is nothing in com-
parison of our conquest over death, and our triumph
over hell. 0» if this inexorable death shall take me
away at a time when my life and services seem the most
useful to my prince and country, teach me to put my
tBtrst in thine adorable providence, which never vvants
either captjihs or soldiers. Thou shalt arise up more
virtuous and triumphant leaders; mean time, 1 shall en-
ter into that celestial peace which reigns in thy kingdom-
Lord Jesus, I shall reap the fruits of that blessed im-
mprtality which thou hast purchased for me by thine in-
comparable victories, thy most glorious sufferings, and
'shall sh^f in the magnificence of thine eternal triumphs.
Let death therefore, come when it will, 1 shall be al-
ways ready to say unto it with the Apostle, I have fought _
a ^ood'isJit, I hav§ fintshed my course, 1 have kept
the. fcdth. Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of
righteousness, which the Lord the righteons judgfi shall
^ve. me at that day. .AMrh:^^^




' ' ■ >'■■ . ' '' ■

jpbr a Jvdge or Magistrate.

' SOVEBEl&N Judge of the woiidy who liasthoir-
oured me with thi» high- office^ and hast iiitrasted in mr
bands, the administcation. of justice, grant that I may
aevep forgpt that I am caviled thereto, not by men, but
by the«|j:. who briagest low, and liftest np, and who'
raiscst upj the poor oat of tiie dust, tot set them among
pi?inc«s. Enlighten me with thy divine Tight, and endue
me with that spirit of Wlsctom which thou formerly raa-
dest to rest upon thy servant Moses^ and the judges of
Israel. Grant me thy grace, that I may worthily^sup-
port the dig»i^ of mine office, and shew myself impein-
etrable to corruptioHi Let mine ears be always open to
the cry of the afflicted; butlet them be forever shut against
injustice, and the criminal voice of favour and affection-
Let me have n& respect tp persons, but do impartial
justice to every one, and let iiotliing deter me from con-
demning the guilty, and; clearing theiBHtJcent, Let nie
never be swayed either by my own passions or those of
others; but grant that T in^y be afaithflil interpreter bf
thy laws and ordinances^ ^very time I sit to judge thy
people, let me re meiBbeirf that them presid^t in the as-.
sembly of the judges, land that thou see&ttbe very b(ittp,t)i
of their hearts. Let me never forget, that aftep liavif?g
judged others,! shall bejudged myself, and thatnothin,!^
can withstand the decrees of thine adorable counsel. If
at any time the coDsidecation« of ftesh and blood have
the power to tempt me, let me remember my latter end,
that 1 may be restrained by an holy.d*>ead. j^et me re-
present it to myself, as bringing me^ summons to ap-
pear in person before thy tribuiB>kl, where 1 must give an
account,.' not only of my words and actions,' but also of
my most secret thoughts, and every wilful errour of opin-
ion. O Lord, thou hast eyes whicih penetrate the deep-
est ahy^ss, an ear which, hears the silent voice of the heart,
ahdjan hand which arresits the criminal vvhereevpr he


goes. When I think of that glorious throne, round which
the ininisters of thy justice fly by thousands, I should
tremblfe with fear, if iif^ that sits thereon was not mins
a|l|PGate as well as judgte; if he had not paid my ransom,
jj^nd was not ascended up into heaven, to make interces-
sion, and prepare a place for me. Grant therefore, that
Ijiiay part without reluctance from the vain and transi-
tmy honours of this world, seeing thou prejjarest for mes
L^n high' a more excellent dignity, which is eternal and
pinchangeable. Let me cheerfully put off those rtihes^
which breed nothing but moths and cares to tqrwent my
heart, and let me put on, with transports of joy, those
robes of light and glory which will render me sovereign-
ly happy. Let me descend with pleasure from this judg-
ment-seat, seeing the Lord Jesus hath promised, that to
ihem that overcome be will grant to sit with him in his
throne. Thou wilt mereifnlly raise in my -stead prudent
and uncorrupt jiulges, who shall judge the people in
righteousness and trath. Mean time, I shall reap the
sweet and pleasant fruits of thine eternal mercies, Which
thou hast manifested in thine only Son, who hath pur-
chased for us, and is made unto ns, wisdom, righteous-
pess, sanetiflcation, and redemption, timen.


JFor a Minister of God's icord,wha beholds the approach
of death with aiii.h&ly joy.

GKEAT Shepherd am] Bishop of our souls! lean
never enough acknowledge, nor sufficiently admire, the
graces and favours which tho:i hast bestowed upon me.
Thirfii hast invested me with an office, wherewith the
angels of heaven think themselves honoured, and which
thou madesjt thy sacred employment in the days of thy
flesh. It hath pleased thee to make me one of the shep-
herds of thy flock, and to intrust in mine hands the care
of^rhat thou holdest the most dear and precious in this
world, namely, of thy church, which thou hast so loved,


that thou gavest thyself fot- it, and hast redeemed it
with thine own blood. But alas, my Lord and itfy
God! who Is sufficient for thfese things? The lilfice is
exceeding weighty and painful, and as for me, I am
weakness and infirmity itself. The world , hates and
cruelly persecutes us; and the devil, like a roaring lioh,
walks eoratinually round about us, seekingjto devo^
both the sliepherds and the flock. Even in thine heri-
tage, how often do I eat the fruit of bitterness^ and
drink the water of affliction? I meet with brambles unM^
thorns without number, but with few flowers. They
who ought to encourage me in the midst of so many
difficulties, weaken my hands, and afflict my heart;
and that which should yield me the greatest joy and
consolation, is become my greatest grief and most pierc-
ing torment. O merciful Lord, so long as it shall'
please thee to preserve me in this mortal lifej and to
continue to me the honour of thy holy ministry, make
thy strength perfect in my weakness, and accojnpli $h
thyself the work which thou commandest thy servant.
Open the door to the gospel of thy grace, and grant
that all the earth may learn to serve and worship thee
in spirit and in truth. Cast down imaginations, and
f.very hi.ii,h thing that exalteth itself against thee, and
Iw'ing into captivity every thought to thy obedience.
Let the world be confounded,: with all its deceits; and
l^t it never have tife ^power either to terrify me by its
threats, or to corrupt rae by its promises. Let Sataii
IS lightning fall from heaven, and' let him be for ever
diut up in the bottomless pit. Stop the mouth of all
false prophets* and let truth be every where victorious
ind triumphant over lies. Mercifully grant, that we
■nay see thy flock increase in number; but, above all
:hings» that it may increase in grace, and thy heavenly
jenwliction. Let me never forget,. that the sheep over
vhora I have the honour to be shepherd, are not pine>
leither any man's living, but tliidej O Lord Jesus) wlio
ikst created them by thine infinite power, redeemed
hem by thy sovereign -miercy, and offei-ed thyself a
villing sacrifice, do deliver them out of the paw of the
•ear. and out of the naw of the infernal lion. Let mfe


remember that 1 must soon appear before thy glorious
lace, and render an account of my ministry. Lord,
who knowest all things, and from whom ildfhilig is hid^
thou seest the bottom of my heart, and leadest my most
secret ti>ioughts. Thou knowest with what fidelity and
pUfection I liave employed myself in thy service. 1
have led thy sheep to feed on the sweet herbage of thy
divine pastures; and hav^ given them to drink of the
^*vaters sprin^ng up into eternal life. My conscience
beareth me witness both before thee, and in the pre-
sence of thy holy angels, that I have advanced nothing,
either by word of mouth, or by writing, but what I
believe to be entirely conformable to the sacred oracles
of thy prophetsy apostVes, apd evangelists. 1 have
drawn from the treasure of thy holy scriptures things
both new and old, for tlie adornment of thy house, and
the edification of those that dwell therein. 1 have la-
boured day and night to accomplish whatever thou haftt
put into my .heart for thy glory, the advancement of
thy kingdom, and the consolation of thy children. In
the mpst difficult encounters, I have taken counsel nei-
ther of flesh nor of blood, but have preferred the hon-
our of thine almighty name, and the manifestation ot
thy truth, to all earthly advantages, and every particu-
lar interest of my own. 1 have esteemed as nothing all
the riches ^f the world, and all the' honours of the age,
in comparison of this celestial treasure, this light of
life, which thou hast placed in me, as in an earthen
▼esse.1, that glory may be given to thee alone, who art
the author of every good and perfect work. My be-
loved meat, my most delicious drink, has been to do
thy will, and to finish thy work. 1 have taken a peculiar
pleasure in prpnouncing the decrees of thine adorable
wisdom, and in revealing the mysteries of thy kirigddiir.
I ha1?e<-s*y!ropathized in all the evils and misfortuttes of
thy members, and I have not been sparing to them of
those consolations wherewith thou hast comforted me
in all my affiictiions, and wherewith thou hast sustained
and strengthened me in all ray encounters.*^ Thy law
is within my heart, and thy gospel is engraved by the
f nger of thy holy spirit. Thpu hast feindle4 JJi we a,


sincere desire to save Souls^ and to bring them to the ;
kiogdom of thy glory. O Lord, who seest all flie secret
iCorners of the heart, thou knowest whether I can say
with thy .prophc<t. The %ml oftjiyhouse hath eaten" me
up: or with thy holy apostle, th^ttthe care tif thy church
Cftmeth upon me daily. But in all tliese things 1 pre-
tertd not to stand justified. So far from relying upon my
own righteousnessj and being pufted up with an opin-
ion of my own merits, T confess myself to be a poor,'mi-
tsRrable sinner ; and with all humility, beg pardon for
the, notorious defects wherewith I have dishonoured thy
service. My charity has not been sufficiently pure, nor
my zeal enough inflamed. I have sometimes been too
indulgent, and at other times too severe in reprehending
vice; and 1 have not been as 1 ought, a pattern to thjf
flock in all sorts of good works. The love of myselF
bath , insensibly mingled itself with that love which I
tiv.e to thee alone; and I iiave not sei'ved thee purely for
tliine own sake, and because of thy divine perfections,
but likewise in hopes of that reward which thou hast
promised to thy faithful servants, when thou shalt give
to every one his hire. 1 have been too sensible of the
injuries ofiered to my person, especially when I have
seen sinister interpretations put upon ray best actions,
and my most charitable cares repaid with ingratitude.

Online LibraryCharles DrelincourtThe Christian's defence against the fears of death : with seasonable directions how to prepare ourselves to die well → online text (page 22 of 47)