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Uploaded by : Benjamin Gottlieb | 06/15/09

A sermon delivered by John Donne in February 1631.

  • Title:
    Death's Duell, or A Consolation to the Soul, against the dying Life and the living Death of the Body
  • Artist:
    John Donne
  • Year:
  • Description:
    Psa. 68. vers. 20 In Fine. AND UNTO GOD THE LORD BELONG THE ISSUES OF DEATH i.e. FROM DEATH. Buildings stand by benefit of their foundations that sustain and support them, and of their butteresses that comprehend and embrace them, and of their contignations that knitt and unite them: The foundations suffer them not to sink, the butteresses suffer them not to swerve, and the contignation and knitting sufferes them not to cleave. The body of our building is in the former part of this verse: It is this, he that is our God is the God of salvation; and salutes, of salvations in the plurall, so it is in the originall; the God that gives us spirituall and temporall salvation too. But of this building the foundation, the butteresses the contignations are in this part of the verse, which constitutes our text, and in the three divers acceptations of the words amongst our expositiors, Unto God the Lord belong the issues of death. For first the foundation of this building, (that our God is the God of all salvations) is laid in this; That unto this God the Lord belong the issues of death, that is, it is in his Power to give us and issue and deliverance, even then when wee are brought to the jaws and teeth of death, and to the lips of that whirlpool, the grave. And so in this acceptation, this exitus motre, this issue of death is liberatio á morte, a deliverance from death, and this is the most obvious and most ordinary acceptation of these words, and that upon which our translation laies hold, the issues from death. And then secondly, the butteresses that comprehend and settle this building, That hee that is our God, is the God of all salvation, are thus raised; unto God the Lord belong the issues of death, that is, the disposition and manner of our death: what kind of issue and transmigration wee shall have out of this world, whether prepared or sudden, whether violent or naturall, whether in our perfect senses of shaken and disordered by sicknes, there is no condemnation to bee argued out of that, no Judgement to bee made upon that, for howsoever they dye, precious in his sight is the death of his saints, and with him are the issues of death, the wayes of our departing out of this like are in his hands. And so in this sense of the words, this exitus mortis, the issue of death, is liberatio in morte, A deliverance in death; Not that God will deliver us from dying, but that hee will have a care of us in the houre of death, of what kinde soever our passage be. And this sense and acceptation of the words, the naturall frame and contexture doth well and pregnantly administer unto us. And then lastly the contignation and knitting of this building, that hee that is our God is the God of all salvation, consists in this Unto this God the Lord belong the issues of death, that is, that this God
  • Disciplines and Movements:
    Poetry and 16th Century (Renaissance) Poetry
  • Themes and Tags:
    no themes

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