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Daniel Tossanus (1541-1602) on Ezekiel 18:23 and 32 (informal reference)

April 14, 2009

Tossanus:

I believe the life everlasting.

A Prayer

O Lord my God, if thou has advertized the king of Hezekiah by the Prophet Isaiah, to dispose of his affairs when he should die [Isaiah 38:1.]: much more thy will is, that we going to death, should have regard to the disposition of our souls: to present ourselves before thee.  For alas, death is certain, but his hour is uncertain: and there is nothing more dangerous than to leave the soul in this sight doubtful and uncertain. O Lord what a Porter has thou given us, at our passage from this world, which will not suffer us to carry away anything with us? [The sentence of S. Bernard.]. But as we come naked into this world, even so death causes us to pass out of the same state. Wherefore should we then torment ourselves so much in worldly things? O Lord, what is it, that i should dispose of myself? It is in thee, to dispose of us: it is in thee to command, and in us to obey. Bear up our weakness through thy mercy. For how is it, that we should not be afraid of death, sins the horror thereof has made thy Son Jesus to sweat water and blood? [Mar. 14; Isaiah 53:4.] But seeing that it is even he, who has also born our sorrows, and that was wounded for our iniquities, what gain or advantage should death have over us, since that thy Son Jesus has saved us? And if thou be for us who is he that can  be against us? Yea man born of woman is thralled to many miseries and vanishes away as a shadow, or flower of the field. But yet O God, we do know how thou desires not the death of us sinners: thou rather would that we should turn and live [Ezek. 18:23, 27, and 32]. We do shed here many tears, but thou will at once make dry all my tears by calling me unto thee. Now O Lord strike  here below, so long as thou will, hurt wound, seeing that thou are merciful and favorable unto us in the everlasting & life to come. What sorrow or affliction should we fear, since that all things turn thy children for their good? Alas who would take much pleasure in life, since that man living it cannot see, and that all this is in it is but transitory, and miserable? Grant me therefore grace, patiently to await thy will, that I may be found a watching faithful servant. And as the prince of this world, coming towards thy Son Jesus what to bite upon him [John 14:30.]: so also the same enemy may not have any thing against me, seeing that I do belong to thy Son Jesus. By faith O Lord, have our fathers overcome kingdoms, and closed the mouth of Lions. Therefore O Lord grant me grace, that I may also overcome by faith all temptations, until that this faith being ended I may enter into thy everlasting rest.

Daniell Tossain The Exercise of the faithful soule (Imprinted at London by Henrie Middleton for Henrie Denham, 1583), 301-303. [Some spelling modernized, underlining mine.]

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