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A SERMON

PREACHED AT THE FUNERAL OF

THAT

HOLY, PAINFUL, AND FRUITFUL MINISTER OF CHRIST,

MR. HENRY STUBBS;

ABOUT FIFTY YEARS A SUCCESSFUL PREACHER AT BRISTOL, WELLS, chew,

DURSLEY, LONDON, AND DIVERS OTHER PLACES.

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A

S E R MON,

PREACHED AT THE

FUNERAL OF MR. HENRY STUBBS.

ACTS xx. 24.

But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear

unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the Gospel of the grace of God.

This hour being designed to such a commemoration of our deceased friend, Mr. Stubbs, as is laudably used at such men's funerals, I have chosen words of this text, which the heart and life of this holy man did so constantly express, that, doubtless, the same Spirit suggested them to blessed Paul and him. They are the profession of a full devotedness to God, in his christian and ministerial work, notwithstanding all expected difficulties and oppositions, which he resolved with unmoved patience to undergo to the joyful finishing of his course.

The witness of the Holy Ghost, with his own experience, did teach him to expect bonds and afflictions at Jerusalem, it being the ordinary entertainment which every where did abide him; but how much worse might come he knew not, but was resolvedly prepared for all. The joyful finishing of his course was so desirable to him, that no suffering, though it were the loss of life itself, did seem too dear or hard a means for its accomplishment.

Here is then, first, the great and desirable prize for which nothing could be too dear. Secondly, The cheerful resolution of the apostle to go on, and part with life itself to attain it.

The first, though the words have no great difficulty, yet, as to the matter, may need to some a brief explication, viz :

1. What is meant by his “ course.”

2. What by his “ ministry and testifying the gospel of the grace

of God.” 3. How this was “ received of the Lord Jesus.” 4. What is meant by the “finishing of his course." 5. How it was to be done “ with joy.”

6. Why he was not moved by foreseen sufferings, nor accounted his “life dear” to attain this end,

And for brevity, I shall now observe this method, to add the instructions and other applications, to each part of the text as I explain it.

First, the word translated “course," signifieth a race to be swiftly run: and a threefold race is here included. 1. The race of human life, which is short and uncertain ; we are not born for nothing ; nor doth God give us life, and time, and maintainance, to live in idleness, or to serve the flesh. The sun stands not still whether we sleep or wake; our breath, our pulse are still in motion, our glass is running. And oh ! how quickly shall we see and hear, that time on earth shall be to us no more. This course will be certainly and quickly finished; but whether 5. with joy,” it concerns us timely to foresee. For the review of time, of precious time, and the work of time, will be no contemptible part of our everlasting work.

Secondly, the “ course” (or race) of Christianity, is the necessary improvement of our time. This is not a play, nor an idle, brutish, or a jesting life. It is a great work for a selfdestroying, undone sinner, to believe in a Saviour, and such a Saviour, and wholly to trust his merits, sacrifice, counsel, conduct, his powerful operations, and effectual intercessions for all our present and our future hopes. It was not a dream of war that we were listed for in our baptism under the Captain of our salvation. The resisting of temptations, the quenching of the devil's fiery darts, the denial of ourselves and forsaking friends, reputation, estate, and liberty, and life, for the sake of Christ, and renouncing the flesh, the world, and the devil, for the hopes of a promised, unseen glory, is a real work. To believe in Christ and his promise of heaven, to the forsaking of all worldly hopes, is a serious business. To love God above all, and our neighbour as ourselves, and to do as we would be done by, how easily soever mentioned and pro

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