Considerations For Saturday Why The Gospel Of DOOMBS-DAY Is Read Upon The First Sunday in Advent: A Plaine Path-way To Heaven Thomas Hill 1634

GOSPEL Luke 21. 25-33 
 At that time, Jesus said to His disciples: "There shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, by reason of the confusion of the roaring of the sea and of the waves: men withering away for fear and expectation of what shall come upon the whole world. For the powers of heaven shall be moved; and then they shall see the Son of man coming in a cloud with great power and majesty. But when these things begin to come to pass, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is at hand." And He spoke to them a similitude: "See the fig tree, and all the trees; when they now shoot forth their fruit, you know that summer is nigh; so you also, when you shall see these things come to pass, know that the kingdom of God is at hand. Amen I say to you, this generation shall not pass away till all things be fulfilled. Heaven and earth shall pass away, but My words shall not pass away."


Saturday Meditation

Beside these substantial consolations, we have one effectual remedy, against the terror and danger both of the particular, and general judgement: and that is, a careful remembrance, and feeling meditation of the nearness of our death, of our judgment, of the terrible pains of purgatory, and the everlasting flames of hell.

For these things will kindle wholesome flames in our souls, and set a fire all the remainders of sinful desires and naughty inclinations, by which the hopes of our enemies, the fiends of hell, will be clean fired, & consumed; no otherwise then the fire brands tied to the tails of Samsons foxes, burnt up the harvest of the Philistines, Judic.15.v.q. sins are foxes, that mare the vineyard; and the tails of sins are these latter ends of our life, I mean death, judgment, purgatory, and hell' These well meditated, and carefully pondered, are as much as the firing of our vineyards by the tails of these pernicious foxes, our sins, and naughty inclinations, which by such inflamed meditations, will undoubtedly be consumed, and so the devils harvest, which he hoped to real of our sins, will be marred.

Remember these last things, (sayth Ecclesiasticus,7.v.40.) that is, death, judgement, hell and heaven, bear them carefully in mind, and thou shalt never sin.

Death then being the first of those last ends of man, and the door or entrance unto the rest: continual memory thereof is a sovereign remedy against sin; Neither can it be remembered, without bringing in the other last things in fit company: and because the remembrance of them is so wholesome, therefore this first day of advent doth principally imprint them in our minds, to prepare in them a fit habitation for the new born babe at Christmas, that is to make our souls clean & pure, for Christ to repose in them.

And this is done by the holy Church yearly, and at the end of the old year; that if perhaps it have not be spent by us with that spiritual profit, which it ought, we may at least end, it well, and begin the new year with more fervor & devotion, conceived also by the feeling faith of this great benefit of the incarnation of the soon of God our blessed Lord and savior, to redeem us from hell and eternal damnation.

Doubtlessly, the feeling remembrance of death is so proper and natural a preservative, to repress in us all inordinate desires of worldly and fleshly delights, which carry us away from the love of God and pursuit of heaven.

That even pagans and heathen men did use it for that end: as we read of a wise Emperor, who appointed one to come daily unto him, in the midst of his greatest employments, or pleasures, to tell him what he had done about his tomb, and what it would please him else to be added unto it: that so he might daily remember, he was to die.

Holy St. Hierom sayth of himself, that whether he did eat, or drink, of rest, or do any other thing, he stilled imagined the sound of the dreadful trumpet in his ears, which should raise the dead to life, and call them to judgement.

The silk worms (as they say) are so tender, that the sound of thunder doth presently kill them: wherefore they, which keep them, remedy this danger in time of thunder, with some other delightful noise, or musical sound made near unto them.

Such is our delicates, that we had rather hear any things, then the thundering mention of death and judgment; and yet is this thunder the readiest way to kill these worms of concupiscence, which produce these silken twins of fruitless pleasures, and vain temporal employments.

Yet if we cannot brook the mighty noise of the thunder; come to it (as the holy Church teacheth us) the musical sound of the blessed babe, our redeemer, the sweet memory of his incarnation, and it will keep us in such temper, that even our temporal solaces, will not go beyond the approved bounds of virtue, and the service of God.


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