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SECONDLY, Martyrdom is the greatest Love of God, because the Martyr sets fo high a Price upon him, that he will chuse rather to die thaq forfeit the Enjoyment of his Favour and Blessedness, and may truly say with the Pfalmilt, Psal. 63. 4. Thy loving kindness is better than life.' 'Tis an easie thing for a Man in a warm gusty fit of Devotion, when the Evil day is far off, and no probable Danger of any Competition between his Religion and his Life, to say that he sets a greater Value upon the loving Kindness of God than upon Life, You know who did so. Th0' I should die with thee, yet I will not deny thee, that is, (to reduce the Words to a more Logical Order) I would rather die than deny thee. This is easily said, but not so easily done, as the Event too fadly shew'd. But he that says he values the loving Kindness of God more than Life, and dies. rather than forfeit it, may be believed. For what greater Love can there be than this, or what higher Instance or Tryal of it? The greatest Love of God was to die for Man, God could not signalize his Love to Man by any higher Instance than by dying for him; and the greatest Love of Man is to die for God.

THIRDLY, The greatest Courage. For there is also no Courage like the Courage of a Martyr. He fear's no Evil but only Sin and Damnation, which are just and reasonable Objects of Fear, and will undergo any other Evils to avoid these, which is the truest and the greatest Courage. For where is there any like it? I would not

leave the Man of Honour or Duelist, of all the Pretenders to Courage in the World, offer at a Competition here. For 'tis most certain that he abuses the Notion of Courage as well as that of Honour. His Courage is to dare to sin and be damn'd, that he may avoid the Reproach of Cowardize, that is, not to fear and avoid what with all possible Concern he should, and to fear and avoid what he should not. And if this be Courage, I must then confefs that I do not know what is Cowardize.

But neither may the Military Man be a Competitor here. 'Tis I confess great and brave for a Man in a juft and laudable Cause, for the Defence of his Prince and Country, to fall a Sacrifice at the Head of an Army. And the Heralds Office supposes as much. But there are also some Allays that qualifie the Glory even of this Action. For the Man is supposed to be ingaged with Multitudes and Numbers, which incourage as well as defend; and to fight in a Heat, when his Spirits are raised, and his Blood runs high, fo as scarce to be able to feel a Shot or a Stab that shall be given him, and to want Opportunity of Retreat, and to be kept from refleeting upon his Danger by Noise, Tumult and Confusion, and to have the Spur of Emulation, and the Incentive of Anger, fômetimes of Hatred and Revenge ; and which is more than all the rest, the Hopes of a safe come off at last. Believe me, this

goes a great way, and I question whether among thofe that venture themselves in War, one of Ten

Thou

Thousand would do so, if he knew before-hand that he should certainly die in the Field. But now to have a Man go alone and in cold Blood to the Stake, or to the Scaffold; When in every Period of his Advance ’tis still in his Power by compliance to recede from his dreadful Undertaking, and there calmly and deliberately submit himself to certain Execution, and feel bimself die with all his Thoughts, Reflections and Paffions about him; this is Courage indeed, and such a Noble Spectacle as might well deserve to be a Theatre to Angels and Men, yea' even to God himself.

These are some of those great things that illustrate the Excellency of Martyrdom, and shew it to be one of the highest Degrees of Vertue, and consequently that it is intitled to an higher Degree of Glory : Which the Scripture also exprefly makes to be the Portion of Martyrs, who are said to indure tortures, and not to accept of deliverance, that they might obtain a better Resurrection,

A Better Resurrection, that is, a Refurrection to a Better State of Happiness, that being the only Measure whereby one Resurrection may be said to be Better than another. And says the Angel to St. John concerning those who are cloathed with white Robes, and had Palms in their Hands, Rev. 7. 14. These are they which came out of great Tribulation, and have wasb’d their Robes, and made them white in the Blood of the Lamb. Therefore are they before the Throne of God, and serve him day and night in his Temple. And he that sitteth on the Throne shall dweli among

them.

Heb. II.

AND

And now since there is a brighter Crown of Glory prepared for Martyrs, and those that suffer Persecution for the sake of Righteousness, all that further remains is to commend from the Premises these two Practical Inferences.

FIRST, That we entertain no hard Thoughts of the Justice or Goodness of God for suffering so many severe Persecutions in the Christian Church, fome whereof were violent, as under the Roman Emperors; fome Fraudulent by Hereticks, as Arius, Nestorius, &c. And some of a mixt Nature, consisting both of Fraud and Violence, when both Temporal and Spiritual Power did combine together (as now in the Papal See) against the Lord and his Christ. I say we should learn from hence not to censure the ways of God for this, nor to charge him foolishly, since there is fo plentiful a Reward laid up for those that suffer in the Cause of Righteousness.

SECONDLY, That we do fortifie our selves with the Consideration of this Beatitude, That if God should ever honour us so far as to call us to the Trial of the Cross, we may be so true to God, to Religion, and to our own Souls, as to suffer couragiously and thankfully, ever looking up to that glorious Crown, that white Robe, and those Triumphant Palms which distinguish the Noble Army of Martyrs, who eternally fing Hymns and Praise to God for the Blessing of those Crosses, which now spring up into Crowns, and in bearing of which they find so great Reward. Glory be to God on High.

The

The Conclusion of the Whole, in

a Discourse concerning the BEATITUDES in general.

AVING hitherto discoursed upon e

very Beatitude particularly by it self, H

I think it may not be improper for

the further Accomplishment of this Work, to conclude all with a Discourse concerning the Beatitudes in general. Where there are Three Material Enquiries that seem to demand Satisfaction.

The Firft is, Concerning the Manner and Way of this Divine Sermon, Why our Lord chofe to deliver his Laws and Precepts by the way of Blessing?

The Second is, Concerning the Number of the Beatitudes.

The Third is, Concerning their Order and Method.

For Satisfaction to the first Enquiry, I conlider first, That Christ who came into the World upon an Errand of Love, the greatest Love that an infinitely good God could express to a Creature and who no doubt had also a Soul well tuned, and a Body well temper’d, and both set

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