« AnteriorContinuar »
upless by way of bumble petition, in cases extraordinary; or by way of advice for satisfaction of conscience, if they be thereunto required by the civil magistrate.e
OF THE STATE OF MEN AFTER DEATH, AND OF THE
RESURRECTION OF THE DEAD.
The bodies of men after death return to dust and see corruption ja but their souls, (which neither die nor sleep,) having an immortal subsistence, immediately return to God who gave them.b The souls of the righteous, being then made perfect in boliness, are received into the highest heavens, where they behold the face of God in light and glory, waiting for the full redemption of their bodies ;c and the souls of the wicked are cast into bell, where they remain in torments and utter darkness, reserved to the judge
V. t Luke xii. 13, 14. And one of the company said unto him, Master, speak to my brother, that he divide the inheritance with me. And he said unto him, Man, who made me a judge, or a divider over you ? John xviii. 36. Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world : if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence.
I. a Gen. iii. 19. In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust thou shalt return. Acts xiii. 36. For David, after he had served his own generation by the will of God, fell on sleep, and was laid unto his fathers, and saw corruption.
b Luke xxiii. 43. And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To-day shalt thou be with me in paradise. Eccl. xii. 7. Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.
c Heb. xii. 23. To the general assembly and church of the firstborn which are written in heaven, and to God the judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect. 2 Cor. v. 1, 6, 7. For we know, that, if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. Therefore, we are always confident, knowing that whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord: We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord. Phil. i. 23. For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better. With Acts iii. 21. . Whom the heaven must receive, until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began. And Eph. iv. 10. He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things.
ment of the great day.d Besides these two places for souls separated from the bodies, the scripture acknowledgeth
II. At the last day, such as are found alive shall not die, but be changed :e and all the dead shall be raised op with the self-same bodies, and none other, although with different qualities, which shall be united agaio to their souls for ever.f
III. The bodies of the unjust sball, by the power of Christ, be raised to dishenour ; the bodies of the jast, by his Spirit, unto honour, and be made conformable to his own glorious body.&
d Luke xvi. 23, 24. And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue ; for I am tormented in this flame. Acts i. 25. That he may take part of this ministry and apostleship, from which Judas by transgression fell, that he might go to his own place. Jude 6, 7. And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains, under darkness, unto the judgment of the great day. Even as Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities about them
in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire. 1 Peter üï. 19. By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison.
II. e 1 Thess. iv. 17. Then: we which are alive and remain, shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. 1 Cor. xv. 51, 52. Behold, I show you a mystery; we shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump, (for the trumpet shall sound,) and the dead shall be raised in. corruptible, and we shall be changed.
f Job. xix. 26, 27. And though after my skin, worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God, whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another; though my reins be consumed within me. 1 Cor. xv. 42, 43, 44. 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. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual' body..
III. g Acts xxiv. 15. And have hope towards God, which they themselves also allow, that there shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust. Jobn v. 28, 29. Marvel not at this : for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear huis voice, and shall come forth, they that have done good unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrect. ion of damnation. 1 Cor. xv. 43. (See in letter f.} Phil. iii. 21. Whoshall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unte his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to sulla ne all things unto himself.
OF THE LAST JUDGMENT.
God hath appointed a day, wherein he will judge the world in righteousness by Jesus Christ,a to whom all power and judgment is given of the Father.b In which day, not only the apostate angels shall be judged, but likewise. all persons that have lived upon earth, shall appear before the tribunal of Christ, to give an account of their thoughts, words, and deeds, and to receive according to what they have done in the body, whether good or evil,
II. The end of God's appointing this day is for the manifestation of the glory of bis mercy, in the eternal salvation of the elect, and of his justice in the damnation of ibe reprobate, who are wicked and disobedient. For then shall the righteous go into everlasting life, and receive that fulness of joy, and refreshing which shall come from the presence of the Lord ; but the wicked, who know not God, and obey not the gospel of Jesus Christ, shall be cast
I. a Acts xvii. 31. Because he hath appointed a day, in the whichi he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he bath raised him from the dead.
b John v. 22, 27. For the Father judgeth no man; but hath committed all judgment unto the Son. And hath given him aathority to. execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man.
c 1 Cor. vi. 3. Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life? Jude 6.°(See letter d chapter foregoing.) 2 Pet. ii. 4. For if God spared not the angels that sin. ned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment..
d 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: Eccl. xii. 14. For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil: Rom. ii. 16. In the day when God shall jndge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ, according to my gospel Rom, xiv. 10, 12. But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at naught thy brother? for we shall all stand be. fore the judgment-seat of Christ. So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God. Mat. xii. 36, 37. But I
say that every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. For by thy words thou shalt be jarstified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned,
into eternal torments, and be punished with everlasting des truction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power.
III. As Christ would have us to be certainly persuaded that there shall be a day of judgment, both to deter all men from sin, and for the greater consolation of the godly in their adversity of so will he have that day unknown to men, that they may shake off all carnal security, and be always watchful, because they know not at what hour the Lord will come, and may be ever prepared to say, Come, Lord Jesus, come quickly. Amen.&
II. e (Mat. xxv.31, to the end.) Rom. ii.5, 6. But after thy hardness and impenitent heart, treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath, and revelation of the righteous judgment of God; who will render to every man according to his deeds. Rom. ix. 22, 23. What if God, willing to show his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much long suffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction : and that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory? Mat. xxv. 21. His Lord said unto bim, Well done, thou good and faithful servant ; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things : enter thou into the joy of thy Lord. Acts iii. 19. Repent ye, therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord. 2 Thess. i. 7.-10. (See in the Bible.)
III. f 2 Peter iii. 11, 14. Seeing then, that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness? Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, 'without spot, and blameless. 2 Cor. v. 10, 11. (See in letter d.) Knowing, therefore, the terror of the Lord, we persuade men ; but we are made manifest unto God, and I trust also, are made manifest in your consciences. 2 Thess. i. 5, 6. 7. Which is a manifest token of the rightcous judgment of God, that ye may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which ye also suffer. Seeing it is a righteous thing with God to recompense tribulation to them that trouble you; and to you who are troubled, rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels. Luke xxi. 27, 28. And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory; And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh. Rom. viii. 23, 24, 25. And not only they, but ourselves also which have the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, .waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body. For we are saved by hope : but hope that is seen, is not hope :: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for ? But if we hope for: that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.
g Mat. xxiv. 36, 42, 43, 44. (See in the Bible.) Mark xii. 35, 36, 37. Watch ye, therefore ; (for ye know not when the master of the house eometh; at even, or at midnight, or at the cock-crowing, or in the morning ;) lest coming suddenly, he find you sleeping. And what I say unto you, I say unto all, Watch Lake xü. 35, 36. Let your loins be girded about, and your lights burning; and ye yourselves like unto men that wait for their lord, when he will return from the wedding ; that when he cometh and knocketh, they may open unto bim im nediately. Rev. xxi. 2). He which testifiéth these things, waith, Surely, I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.