Imágenes de páginas

truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath, tribulation and anguish upon every soul that doth evil," Rom. ii. 6, &c. "For the work of a man, shall he render unto him, and cause every man to find according to his ways," Job xxxiv. 2. "Thou renderest to every man according to his work,” Psal. Ixii. 12. "I the Lord search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings," Jer. xvii. 10. See also chap. xxxii. 19. "For the son of man shall come in the glory of his father, with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works," Matt. xvi. 27. "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," 2 Cor. v. 10. "Behold I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be," Rev. xxii. 12. "Agree with thine adversary quickly, whiles thou art in the way with him: lest at any time the adversary deliver thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and thou be cast into prison. Verily I say unto thee, Thou shalt by no means come out thence, till thou hast paid the uttermost farthing," Mat. v. 25, 26. In the parallel text in Luke, it is thus expressed, "I tell thee, thou shalt not depart thence till thou hast paid the very last mite." James ii. 13, "He shall have judgment without mercy, that hath shewed no mercy." Rev. xiv. 10, "The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture, into the cup of his indignation? and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb; and the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever."

These texts, it is presunied, sufficiently shew, that we have the authority of scripture to prove, that in the

future world, the wicked will be punished according to their demerits, and that no mercy will be shewn them.

(2) The same truth is evidently holden by Dr. C.— He asserts, *that "there will be no salvation for those in the next state, who habitually indulge to lust in this; but they must be unavoidably miserable, notwithstanding the infinite benevolence of the Deity, and to a great degree, God only knows how long, in proportion to the number and greatness of their vices." That " some of them" [the damned] "shall be tormented for ages of ages, the rest variously, as to time, in proportion to their deserts:" That they will suffer "positive torments in proportion to the number and greatness of their crimes :" That there will be a difference in the punishment of wicked men, according to the difference there has been in the nature and number of their evil deeds:" That ||“ if they" [the blasphemers of the Holy Ghost are not saved till after they have passed through these torments" [of hell]"they have never been forgiven.—The divine law has taken its course;" nor has any intervening pardon prevented the full execution of the threatened penalty." Some observations have been already made on these passages concerning the blasphemers of the Holy Ghost, to show, that on Dr. C's plan they equally prove, that all the damned are saved without forgiveness; that the divine law has its course on them all; that they all suffer the full threatened penalty, and of course they suffer ail that punishment which they deserve.

The other quotations set this matter in a light equally clear. If the wicked shall be punished in proportion to the number and greatness of their vices; in proportion to the number and greatness of their crimes; according to the nature and number of their evils deeds; in pro

* P. 10. + P. 307.

P. 320.

HP. 336.

P. 350.
TP. 2, &c.

[ocr errors]

portion to their deserts; they will most certainly receive the full punishment due to them according to their demerits, and nothing will be remitted to them.

Thus it appears both by the authority of scripture and also by that of Dr. C. that the damned will actually suffer all that punishment, which they deserve. And as it is now supposed to be proved in the preceding chapter, that the damned deserve a further punishment than that which is conducive to their repentance and personal good; of course it follows, that they will in fact suffer such further punishment.

Objection. The argument from the scriptural declarations, that the wicked shall be punished according to their works, &c. to prove, that they will suffer all which they justly deserve, is not conclusive; because the same expressions are used concerning the righteous, setting forth, that they shall be rewarded according to their works, &c. Yet it is granted on all hands, that their reward is not merely such as they deserve, or is not strictly according to justice.

Answer. The reward of the righteous is indeed not merely such as they deserve, but infinitely exceeds their deserts. It is therefore at least equal to their deserts;' or it falls not short of them. If this be allowed concerning the punishment of the wicked, it is sufficient for every purpose of the preceding argument. If the wicked suffer a punishment at least equal to their demerits; then no part of the punishment deserved by them, is remitted to them. Beside; the declarations of scripture are, that the wicked shall pay the uttermost farthing, the very last mite; that they shall have judgment without mercy, wrath without mixture, &c. which are as strong and determinate, expressions, to represent that they will be punished to the full extent of justice, as can be conceived.

3. Although Dr. C. is so great an enemy to vindictive punishment; yet he himself, holds that men do even in this life suffer such punishment. "But do those testimonies of his vengeance lose their nature as judgments on his part, and real evils on their's, because they may be an occasion of that repentance, which shall issue in their "salvation? When God threatened the Jewish nation, in case they would not do his commandments, with famine, the pestilence, the sword, and a dispersion into all parts of the earth; did he threaten them with a benefit? And when those threatenings were for their sins carried into execution, did he inflict a blessing on them? When he threatened in particular, that if they were disobedient, they should be cursed in the field, Deut. xxviii. 16, did he hereby intend, that the field should be cursed; but that he meant thereby a real benefit to them?" *If vindictive punishment be inflicted even in this life, much more may we conclude that it is inflicted in hell, the proper place of retribution to the wicked.

4. If the punishment of hell be a mere discipline happily conducive to the good of the sufferers, there is no forgiveness in the preservation of a man from it. It is no forgiveness for a parent to give his child a licence to tarry from school; or for a physician to allow his patient to desist from the cold bath, which he had prescribed. Or if a parent, to inure his child to hunger and cold, have kept him for some time on a scanty diet, and have clothed him but thinly; it is no act of forgiveness, to allow the child in future a full diet, or warm clothing. Forgiveness is to remit a deserved penalty, or to exempt from penal evil; not to deprive of a benefit, or of any thing which is absolutely necessary to our happiness, and which is therefore on the whole no real evil, but a real good. If therefore there be nothing more penal or vin* Five Dissertations, p. 110.

dictive in the punishment of hell, than in the cold bath, or in the scanty diet and thin clothing just mentioned; there is no more of forgiveness in exemption from the former, than in exemption from the latter. Thus the scheme of disciplinary punishment in hell leads to a conclusion utterly inconsistent with the whole tenor of scripture, and of the writings of Dr. C.

5. All those texts which speak of the divine vengeance, fury, wrath, indignation, fiery indignation, &c. hold forth some other punishment, than that which is merely disciplinary. The texts to which I refer are such as these ; Deut. xxxii, 41, "If I whet my glittering sword and mine hand take hold on judgment; I will render vengeance to mine enemies, and will reward them that hate me." Rom. iii. 5, 6, “Is God unrighteous, who taketh vengeance ?—" God forbid." Chap. xii. 19, "Vengeance is mine: I will repay saith the Lord." Luke xxi. 22, "These be the days of vengeance." 2 Thes. i. 8, "In flaming fire taking vengeance of them, that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ." -Jude 7, "Suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.”— Job xx. 23. " When he is about to fill his belly, God shall cast the fury of his wrath upon him."-Isai. li. 17, “Awake, awake, stand up O Jerusalem, which hast drunk at the hand of the Lord, the cup of his fury; thou hast drunken the dregs of the cup of trembling, and wrung them out."-Chap. lix. 18, "According to their deeds, accordingly he will repay fury to his adversaries, recompence to his enemies" &c. Instances of the denunciation of wrath against the wicked, are noted in the margin.*-Rom. ii. 8, 9,“ Indignation and wrath, tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doth evil.” Heb. x. 27, "A certain fearful looking for of judgment,

*Matt. iii. 7. 15. v. 9. ix. 22.

Luke iii. 7. xxi. 23. John iii. 36. Rom. iv. 1 Thes. i 10. v. 9.

« AnteriorContinuar »