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ing for “ the utter dissolution or destruction both of “body and soul,” yet he owns there that they say no such thing; but leave “room for hope that the soul “ may remain capable of a second resurrection, after 6 the second death is over.” Thus he talks backwards and forwards, without any consistent principles; sometimes in the hypothesis of a restoration, and sometimes in that of annihilation"; inferring which of them he pleases from the same texts, just as it serves his turn; though it is certain they are utterly contradictory, and as scripture cannot teach, so no man can consistently argue for both. His quotation from Hermas has been considered before, Num. XCIII. I have also shewed, Num. LXIX. what is meant by the second death, and by death and hades being cast into the lake of fire. “One cannot 6 conceive any more,” says Dr. Wall , “ by death and “ hades cast into the lake, than that there shall be “ no more death or hades; but all heaven or hell." And lord King , having quoted St. John's words, thus explains them; “ That is, death or the grave “ surrendered her imprisoned bodies, and hell her “ detained souls; after which their empire and power “ over the children of men was destroyed and anni“ hilated.” There will then be no more death, that last enemy will be destroyed, and swallowed up in victory, 1 Cor. xv. 26, 54. and hades, his companion and attendant, Apoc. vi. 8.8 must follow with him. In consequence of this, the second death, with regard to wicked men, cannot be any future dissolu. tion of body and soul, but a state of punishment; having their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone : this is the second death. In this sense, he that orercometh shall not be hurt of ihe second death, Apoc. ï.11. Vor would the wicked be hurt by it, but greatly relieved, if it only meant annihilation. “ The victory over temporal death “ shall be in some measure (as has been already ob“ served) universal; for all shall rise again from the
c On the New Testament, p. 413.
8 Και είδον, και ιδού ίππος χλωρός, και ο καθήμενος επάνω αυτού, όνομα αυτό και θάνατος και ο άδης ακολουθεί μετ' αυτού.
VOL. II. HORBERY.
dead, and all, both just and unjust, shall be clothed “ with immortal and incorruptible bodies, which shall ““ never be dissolved any more. But though there “ shall be no more dissolution of the body, nor sepa“ ration of the soul, yet is there a greater destruc“ tion, into which they who beliere not God, and “ obey not his gospel, shall at last fall; and that is, “ the second death ; Rev. xxi. 8. The fearful, the ““ unbeliering, the abominable, and murderers, and “ whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and “ all liars, shall hare their part in the lake that “ burneth with fire and brimstone : which is the “ second death.” Dr. Clarke's Sermon, How Christ has given us the Victory over Death, vol. v. p. 234.
Num. C. Apoc. xxi. 27. And there shall in no wise enter into it any
thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb's book of life. See Numb. LXI. LXIV. LXVI.
Num. CI. Apoc. xxi. 11, 12. He that is unjust, let him be unjust
still : and he that is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still. And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be. See Dr. Clarke's two excellent Sermons on these words, vol. ix. p. 179.
God will reward all men according to their de- . serts. Page 180, he says, “ An argument still more “ pressing than either of the former (viz. Christ's “ declaring that he will reward every man accord“ ing to his works, and his warning them of the “ suddenness of his coming to distribute those re“ wards; an argument more pressing than either “ of these,) is this very declaration, this additional “ threatening, that even before his coming, if they “ continue obstinate, he will forsake and leave them s to the effects of their own wickedness; he that is “ unjust, let him be unjust still.” P. 181.—- De“ nouncing to the obstinately wicked and impeni“ tent, that if they will not be brought to a timely “ repentance, by those motives of religion he has “ thought fit to afford them, he will give them up to “ themselves, to eat the fruit of their own ways, and “ to be filled with their own devices. He that is “ unjust,” &c. P. 182. “ If therefore men will be “ wicked, after all reasonable means have been made “ use of for their conviction ; nothing is more fit, “ nothing more becoming the supreme Governor of “ all things, than to give them over to continue in “ their wickedness : nor can any punishment be “ more proper and equitable, if men will be unjust, “ in defiance of all the arguments of the gospel, in “ contempt of all the mercies and all the judg“ ments of God; than to let them be unjust still.” P.185. “ Wicked men ought earnestly to be warned, " that, if they repent not very speedily, the time will “ soon come when it shall be too late for them to
“ have any alteration made in their state: He that “ is unjust,” &c. In the second Sermon, p. 211, he says,—“ Besides the shortness of the time itself, (viz. “ to the end of the world,) it is really to us much “ shorter, in that to every particular person, the " world comes to an end at the conclusion of his “ own life; and to him, that moment which con“ signs him to judgment, by requiring his soul of “ him, and putting an end to all further space of “ probation, is in all respects the very same thing, " as if the day of his death were itself the great and “ final day of judgment.”_" That which will deter“ mine every man's eternal portion is of necessity “ and inevitably very near;—for this cause our Sa“ viour represents his coming as being very near; “ Behold, I come quickly,” &c. P. 223. “ All the “ mercies and all the judgments of God, all the pro“ mises and all the threatenings in scripture; in a “ word, the whole design of the gospel, is to call “ sinners to repentance. If they will not be drawn “ by these cords of a man, by these motives suited to “ the nature of rational creatures; God is not ob“ liged to compel them by force, and to use methods “ inconsistent with his government of the moral “ world.” In the next page,-“ If we will not be “ made happy, unless God work a miracle to alter “ our wills; if we will not become righteous, unless “ he change our nature, and compel us, contrary to “ the order and method of his creation, and of his “ government of reasonable creatures; both reason “ and scripture assure us, that he may very justly “ suffer us to go on to be wicked and miserable.” Once more, p. 228.—“Of all obstinately wicked and o incorrigible persons, it is said, in the words of the
“ text, at the end of the whole scripture; that if “ they will not be moved to repent, by the things “ contained in that book, by all the arguments and “ motives of the gospel; then he that is unjust, let « him be unjust still: and he that is filthy, let him “ be filthy still.”
I have quoted so much from Dr. Clarke h, not only because it explains St. John's words, but also because it lays the foundation of the doctrine I contend for. Here is no express declaration indeed, either in the text or comment, of the duration of future punishments; but here is an express declaration that God will reward every man according as his work shall be; and that men may become so obstinately and incorrigibly wicked, that it will be in vain to use any means to recover them; and that therefore no more means will be used. It is possible, in the nature of things, that such creatures may be annihilated, because there is a power in being able to effect this. But to argue from mere power, in this case, (and indeed in most cases,) is unphilosophical and absurd. We must attend to the nature and reasons of things, and the declarations of God's will; and there is no ground from these to expect annihilation, but much to the contrary.
h I may add also archbishop Tillotson : “This life is the time “ of our preparation for our future state. Our souls will con“tinue for ever what we make them in this world. Such a tem“ per and disposition of mind as a man carries with him out of “ this life, he shall retain in the next. It is true, indeed, heaven “perfects those holy and virtuous dispositions which are begun “ here; but the other world alters no man as to his main state; " he that is filthy, will be filthy still; and he that is unrighteous, “ will be unrighteous still.” Sermon on Phil. iii. 20.