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WHAT other thing do we daily in this present life, than heap sin to sin, and hoard up trespass upon trespass? so that this day is worse always than yesterday, by increasing, as days, so sins, and therefore thy indignation, good Lord, against us. But when we shall be let go out of the prison of the body, and so taken into thy blessed company, then shall we be in most safety of immortality and salvation: then shall come unto us no sickness, no need, no pain, no kind of evil to soul or body; but whatsoever good we can wish, that shall we have, and whatsoever we loath shall be far from us.
O, dear Father, that we had faith to behold these filings accordingly! O that our hearts were persuaded thereof, and our affections inflamed with the desire of them! then should we live in longing for that which now we most loath. O help us, and grant that we, being ignorant of things to come, and of the time of our death which to thee is certain, may so live and finish our journey here, that we may be ready, and then depart, when our departing may make most to thy glory and our comfort through Christ.
What is this life but a smoke, a vapor, a shadow, a warfare, a bubble of water, a word, grass, a flower? Thou shalt die, is most certain; but of the time, no man can tell when. The longer in this life thou dost remain, the more thou sinnest, which will turn to thy more pain.
By cogitation of death our minds be often in manner oppressed with darkness, because we do but remember the night of the body, forgetting the light of the mind and of the resurrection. Thereto remember the good things that after this life shall ensue, without wavering, in certainty of faith; and so shall the passage of death be more desired. It is like a sailing over the sea to thy home and country: it is like a medicine or purgation to the health of soul and body: it is the best physician: it is like to a woman’s travail; for, as the child being delivered cometh into a more large place than the womb wherein it did lie tofore, so thy soul being delivered out of the body cometh into a much more large and fair place, even into heaven. JOHN BRADFORD, out of L. Vives A GODLY MEDITATION