And let the most learned Philosophers learn, That the soundest Philosophy is the Meditation of Death.
In short, Whatever be our Employment, Condition, or Age, let us lift up our Minds and Hands unto GOD, to speak to him in the Language of the Prophet David; Lord, let me know my end, and the number of my days, that I may know how long I am to live. Or of Moses, So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto Wisdom.
A Prayer and Meditation on our Mortality.
O My God and Heavenly Father, since 'tis thy Pleasure, that I should be mortal, and that my Body should return to the Dust; Grant me Grace to be always mindful of my frail Condition, the Variety of Seasons, the Unconstancy of the World, and Alterations I meet with, as Memento's of my last Change and Departure. Let my Infirmities and frequent Distempers be looked upon as so many Messengers sent to summon and warn me that I must shortly leave this Tabernacle. Let the Bed I rest on call to my mind, that when all the Business of my Life shall be finished, I must lie down and rest in a Bed of Dust. Let the Garments that I cast off at Night, the Sleep that benumbs my Senses, the Tombs of my Predecessors, Forefathers and Friends, refresh in me the Thoughts of my Departure to my last Home. Gracious GOD, give me Grace so often to look upon Death and the Grave, that I may be acquainted with them, and that they may not fright or terrify, but comfort me; for tho' I know I am born to die, I know also this, that Death shall introduce me into the Presence of my GOD, the only Author of Life and Happiness, to live for ever with Him in Bliss. Amen.
Sunday, July 31, 2011
Charles Drelincourt, The Christian's Defence Against the Fears of Death, pp. 59-60: