Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

tion of damnation. Acts, xxiv. 15. I have hope towards God, which they themselves also allow, that there shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust.

5. Q. Shall we receive the same bodies we now have at the resurrection; or, shall some other bodies be prepared for us?

A. The very nature of a resurrection does unanswerably prove, that we shall receive the same bodies; and the end of it confirms it to us: our bodies being therefore raised and restored to us, that we may be rewarded or punished, in the same estate both of soul and body, in which we had done things worthy either of reward or punishment.

PROOFS SUBJoined.-Dan. xii. 2. And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt. Rom. viii. 11. But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth

1 Cor. vi. 13, 14. Now the body is not for fornication, but for the Lord; and the Lord for the body. And God hath both raised up the Lord, and will also raise up us by his power

2 Cor. v. 10. For we must all appear before the Judgment-seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good, or bad. John, v. 28, 29. The hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, and shull come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.

in you.

6. Q: Shall all mankind, not only good and bad, but every single person of either kind, be raised at the last day?

A. All that ever died shall be raised. John, v. 21. For as the Father raiseth up the dead, and quickeneth them; even so the Father quickeneth whom he will. 2 Cor. v. 10. We must all appear before the Judgment-seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, whether it be good or bad. But many will be found at the last day alive on the earth. Now, they shall not die, nor, by consequence, rise from the dead. But they shall be changed: that is to say, the men of that age, (whether good or bad,) shall, by the mighty power of God, be put into the same state with those, who being dead, were raised from the dead : and so be brought with them before the Judgnient-seat of Christ. I Cor. xv. 51. Behold, 1 shew you a mystery, we shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed. Thess. iv. 15. For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.

Sect. XX.

Of the Future State; of Heaven, -Hell.

1. Q. What shall follow upon the resurrection?

A. The last and general Judgment of mankind; which being passed, and the sentence pronounced upon every one according to his works; it shall immediately be put in execution; the wicked shall go into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into life everlasting, Matt. xxv. 46.

2. Q. Shall the wicked, as well as the righteous live for ever?

A. They shall, if such a state of inexpressible misery as they shall be condemned to, may be called living. For they shall never cease to be; nor ever cease to be tormented to all eternity.

Matt. x. 28. And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul; but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. xxv. 41, 46. Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels. And these shall go away into everlasting punishment : but the righteous into life eternal. xviii. 8. Wherefore if thy hand or thy foot offend thee, cut them off, and cast them from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life halt or maimed, rather than having two hands or two feet to be cast into everlasting fire. Compare Mark, ix. 44, 45, 46, 47. Where their worm diethnot, and the fire is not quenched. And if thy foot offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter halt into life, than having two feet lo be cast into hell, into the fire, that never shall be quenched: where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched. And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out: it is better for thee to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye, than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire : where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.

3. Q. How then is everlasting life a privilege of the church of Christ?

A. As the resurrection of the body was before said to be. That life which alone deserves to be so called; that happy and glorious life which God has prepared for the faithful in his kingdom, that is the sin

gular privilege of Christ's church, and of the faithful members of it. The other is rather an everlasting duration, a state of endless dying, than an everlasting life.

4. Q. But can it be consistent with the justice and mercy of God, to punish the temporary and transient sins of men with an everlasting state of misery and sufferings ?

A. We must confess it so to be, or say, (which is as unreasonable as it would be wicked,) that God will deal unjustly and unmercifully with sinners at the last day. For certain it is, that this he has declared shall be the result of their evil doings.

5. Q. Why may we not by the everlasting death, and everlasting punishment, of which the Scriptures speak on this occasion, understand rather the final destruction of such wicked persons, than an eternal continuance of them in pain and misery?

A. Because the Scriptures have plainly declared, were men willing to understand it, that by everlasting punishment is meant everlasting torment. That their worm shall not die, nor their fire be quenched; but they shall dwell in everlasting burnings, Mark, ix. 44. Isa. Ixvi. 44. That there shall be weeping and wailing, and gnashing of teeth, Matt. vii. 12, 13, 42, 50.

All which phrases, however they be understood, must denote suffering as well as punishment: an eternity of pain, not an eternal state of death and insensibility. Besides, that everlasting death or destruction, would not otherwise be, properly speaking, an everlasting punishment. For as soon as men are thus dead, they cease to suffer; and, for that very reason, cease to be punished. And one may as well say, that a malefactor who was executed for his crimes a hundred years ago still continues to be punished by the magistrate; as that after a man should be once annibilated, he should continue to be punished for his sins by God Almighty.

PROOFS SUBJOINED.-Compare Rev. xiv. 11. xxi. 8. and the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name— But the fearful and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone.

6. Q. Wherein do you suppose the everlasting happiness of the righteous shall consist?

A. As to the particulars of it, they are altogether unknown to us: nor, indeed, are we able in our present estate perfectly to comprehend the greatness of them. Thus much in general, we are told, that they shall be placed in a most glorious and perfect state ; free from all sin, and from all suffering: where they shall enjoy all the pleasure and satisfaction that their natures, then vastly enlarged, shall be capable of. They shall dwell in the presence of God; shall be continually entertained, not only in the contemplation, but with the fruition of all the riches of his goodness and glory. They shall be companions with the holy angels, and pass their time in the greatest love of God, and of one another, that can be imagined. They shall turn all their service into praise and wonder; shall have nothing left to wish or desire of him. And they shall both love, and serve, and praise him, with such rapture and

« AnteriorContinuar »