(A Funeral Sermon for Mr. Christopher Love on the following Sabbath-Day after he was executed. By Mr. Edmund Calamy, London, August 24, 1651)
“Our friend Lazarus sleeps.” John 11:11
“And when Stephen had said this, he fell asleep.” Acts 7:60
Let me beseech the people of God, that they would look upon death, not as it is presented unto us in nature’s looking-glass, but as it is set down in a Scripture-dress. Nature presents death in a very terrible manner–and it is true, death is very terrible to a man outside of Christ. But to you who are in Christ, the sting of death is taken away–and death is nothing else but a quiet and placid sleep, a putting off of our clothes, and a going to bed until we awake in the morning of the resurrection.
Death to a child of God is nothing else but a putting off of his earthly tabernacle.
It is but a going from an earthly prison, into an heavenly palace.
Death is the letting of the soul out of prison, as a bird out of the cage, that it may flee to Heaven.
Death is change from a temporary Hell, to an eternal Heaven!
Death is not the death of the man, but the death of his sins.
It is the end of the pilgrim’s journey–and the seaman’s haven.
Death is being absent from the body, and being present with the Lord.
Let all God’s people look upon death through Scripture spectacles, and consider it as it is sweetly represented in this text! A child of God should be as willing to die as to put off his clothes–because death is nothing else to him but a sleep.
Death is a departure from earth’s misery–to the everlasting happiness of Heaven!
“Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints.” Psalm 116:15
(You may want to read an excerpt from a letter by Christopher Love to his wife, on the morning of his execution.)