Richard Sibbes: Death is the Death and Destruction of Itself
I beseech you, therefore, let us lay up this against those dark times wherein death will be presented unto us an ugly and grim thing. It is so to nature indeed, but to faith, death is become amiable (That is, ‘lovely.’ Cf. Ps. 84:1.).
. . . it is the best physician
Indeed, as I said, there is nothing in the world that doth us so much good as death, for it is the best physician. It cures all diseases whatsoever of soul and body. And indeed—for to shut up this point—death is the death and destruction of itself; for after death there is no more death. It consumes itself. By death we overcome death. ‘We can never die more,’ Rom. 6:9. We are freed from all death.
We are freed from all death.
Therefore, to be afraid of death, is to be afraid of life, to be afraid of victory; for we never overcome death till we die. Lay up these considerations against the time of need. When death comes, there will be a confluence of a world of grief, when conscience, being guilty of sin, shall be arraigned before God; when there will be sickness, and diseases of body, and a deprivation of all the comforts and employments of the world. They will all meet in a centre, in a point, at death; but a man had need to gather the greater comfort against that hour; and what shall comfort us then?
There is a sweet comfort in Rom. 8:38, 39, that neither life, nor death, nor things present, nor things to come, shall be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ. It is a sweet comfort, that nothing shall separate us; but this is a greater comfort, that death is ours.
this is a greater comfort, that death is ours.
It shall not only not separate us from God and from happiness, but it shall bring us to nearer communion with God and Christ, for it is a separation that causeth a nearer conjunction; the separation of soul and body causeth the conjunction of the soul to Christ for the present, and afterwards an eternal conjunction of soul and body in this blessed fruition of him. Now, blessed be God for Jesus Christ, that hath made in him even death, the bitterest thing of all, to be sweet unto us.
Richard Sibbes, The Complete Works of Richard Sibbes, 4:12-13.
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