Imágenes de página
PDF
ePub
[ocr errors]

or preparatory degrees of death, see chap. xiii. on the punishment of sin. The fourth and last gradation is that of which we are now speaking, namely, eternal death, or the punishment of the damned.

Under this death may be included, the destruction of the present unclean and polluted world itself, namely, its final conflagration.t Whether by this is meant the destruction of the substance of the world itself, or only a change in the nature of its constituent parts, is uncertain, and of no importance to determine; respecting the event itself, we are informed, so far as it concerns us to know, Job xiv. 12. 'till the heavens be no more.' Psal. cii. 26. “they shall perish.' Isai. xxxiv. 4. the heavens shall be rolled together as a scroll, and all their host shall fall down.' li. 6. the heavens shall vanish away like smoke.' Matt. xxiv. 35. heaven and earth shall pass away. 1 Cor. vii. 31. the fashion of this world passeth away.' 2 Pet. iii. 7. 'the heavens and the earth, which are now ...... reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.' v. 10. in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise.' v. 12. • wherein the heavens being on fire- Rev. x. 6. • he sware by him that liveth for ever and ever ......... that there should be time no longer.' xxi. 1. 'the first heaven and the first earth were passed away, and there was no more sea.

The second death, or the punishment of the damned, seems to consist partly in the loss of the chief good, namely, the favour and protection of God, and the beatific vision of his presence, which is commonly

t ........ ...... meanwhile The world shall burn. III. 333.

called the punishment of loss; and partly in eternal torment which is called the punishment of sense.* Matt. xxv. 41. depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels.' Luke xiii. 27, 28. •I know you not whence ye are; depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when ye shall see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob, and all the prophets, in the kingdom of God, and you yourselves thrust out.' xvi. 23. being in torments, he seeth Abraham afar off.' 2 Thess. i. 9. who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power.

The intensity and duration of these punishments are variously intimated. Isai. xxx. 33. Tophet is ordained of old; yea, for the king it is prepared : he hath made it deep and large ; the pile thereof is fire and much wood ; the breath of Jehovah, like a stream of brimstone, doth kindle it. lxvi. 24. compared with Mark ix. 44. where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.' Dan. xii. 2. "to shame and everlasting contempt. Matt. viii. 12. 'outer darkness, there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. See also xiii. 42, &c. Mark ix. 43. "fire that never shall be quenched. Rom. ii. 8, 9. indignation and wrath, tribulation and anguish.' 2 Thess. i. 9. who shall be punished with everlasting destruction. Rev. xiv. 11. the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever, and they have no rest day nor night.' See also xix. 3. xxi. 8. “they shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone.'

* "Quidam enim eorum censent peccatum originis puniri tantum pæna damni ; alii vero insuper ei pænam sensus adjungunt.' Dissertatio Secunda de Peccato Originis, Curcell. 61. 'To which two beads, all that is necessary to be known concerning this everlasting punishment may be reduced ; and we shall accordingly consider it as it is both pona damni and pæna sensus, the punishment of loss and the punishment of sense.' Beveridge, Works, Vol. II. 149. See also Taylor, Work: IX. 369.

Punishment, however, varies according to the degree of guilt. Matt. xi. 22. it shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the day of judgment, than for you. Luke xii. 47, 48. he shall be beaten with many stripes.....he shall be beaten with few stripes.

The place of punishment is called Hell; Tophet,* Isai. xxx. 33. hell fire,' Matt. v. 22. and still more distinctly x. 28. "outer darkness,' viïi. 12. xxii. 13. xxv. 30, 6a furnace of fire,' xiii. 42. Hades, Luke xvi. 23; and elsewhere; "a place of torment,' v. 28. the bottomless pit,’ Rev. ix. 1. “the lake of fire,' xx. 15.

the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone,' xxi. 8. Hell appears to be situated beyond the limits of this universe. Luke xvi. 26. “ between us and you there is a great gulf fixed, so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot.' Matt. viii. 12. outer darkness. Rev. xxii. 14, 15. they may enter in through the gates into the city; for without are dogs.' Nor are reasons wanting for this locality ; for as the place of the damned is the same as that prepared for the devil and his angels, (Matt. xxv, 41. in punishment of their apostasy, which occurred before the fall of man, it does not seem probable that hell should have been prepared within the limits of this world, in the bowels of the earth, on which the curse had not as yet passed.f This is said to have been the opinion

......... Tophet thence And black Gehenna call’d, the type of hell. Paradise Lost, I. 404. + In the argument to the first book of Paradise Lost, hell is described as situated not in the center (for heaven and earth may be supposed as yet no

er

of Chrysostom, as likewise of Luther and some later divines.* Besides, if, as has been shown from various passages of the New Testament, the whole world is to be finally consumed by fire, it follows that hell, being situated in the centre of the earth, must share the fate of the surrounding universe, and perish likewise ; a consummation more to be desired than expected by the souls in perdition.

Thus far of the punishment of the wicked; it remains to speak of the perfect glorification of the righteous.

Perfect glorification consists in eternal life and perfect happiness, arising chiefly from the divine vision.t It is described Psal. xvi. 11. thou wilt show me the

[ocr errors]

path of life; in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.' xvii. 15. • I will behold thy face in righteousness; I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with thy likeness.' Dan. xii. 3. they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament, and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever.' Matt. xiij. 43.

then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father.' xxii. 30. they are as the angels of God in heaven.' v. 8. blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.' 1 Cor. ii. 9. as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. xii. 12.

now we see through a glass, darkly, but then face to face ; now I know in part, but then shall I know even as also I am known. xv. 42, 43. so also is the resurrection of the dead : it is sown in corruption, it is raised in incorruption; it is sown in dishonour, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body.' 2 Cor. iv. 17. 6a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.' v. 1. we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. Eph. ii. 6. hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus.' Philipp. iii. 21. who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body.' 1 Thess. iv. 17. we shall be caught up together with them into the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air, and so shall we ever be with the Lord.' 2 Tim. iv. 8. henceforth there is laid up

« AnteriorContinuar »