HOME > Library > Books > A Practical Discourse Concerning Death by William Sherlock, D.D. [Sermons] (1723 Edition, London)
A Practical Discourse Concerning Death
by William Sherlock, D.D.
(Dean of St. Paul's)
Sermons, 1723 Edition, London
HAIL & FIRE REPRINTS 2009
"What a deplorable state is this, when we are dying, to be uncertain and anxious, what will become of us to eternity?
Now there is no possible way to prevent these fears when we come to die, but by giving all diligence to make our calling and election sure, by living such holy and innocent lives, that our consciences may not condemn us; and then we shall have confidence towards God.
But this is such a remedy, as few of these men like: they would be glad to be sure of heaven, but yet would go as near hell as they can, without danger of falling into it; they will serve God, but must reserve a little favour and indulgence to their lusts; though they dare not take full draughts of sensual pleasures, yet they must be sipping now and then, as often as they can pacify their consciences, and get rid of the fear of God, and of another world; and therefore they are very inquisitive after other cures for an accusing and condeming conscience; are mighty fond of such marks and signs of grace, as will secure them of heaven, without the severities of mortification, or the constant and uniform practice of an universal righteousness: and a great many such signs have been invented which like strong opiates asswages their pain and smart, till their consciences awake when it is too late, in the next world.
For all this is cheat and delusion, as St. John assures us, Little children, let no man deceive you; he that doth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous. He that committeth sin, is of the devil, for the devil sinneth from the beginning: for this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.
Whosoever is born of God, doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him, and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil; whosoever doth not righteousness, is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother." (page 305)
"Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD." Isaiah 55:6-8 KJV