Page images


Wherein the testimonies of the other books of the New Testament are produced.

Num. XLIX.

Acts i. 25. that he might go to his own place. THERE can be no reasonable doubt but that these words are spoken of Judas, and the Tomos o dios is that proper place which belonged to him, as he is called viòs άzwλeías, the son of perditiona. See Stillingfleet's Irenicum, p. 233. From this text bishop Bull has asserted the doctrine concerning the middle state of happiness or misery, allotted by God to every man presently after death, according as he has been good or bad in his past life; and proved it to be inconsistent with the popish doctrine of purgatory, as it is likewise with Mr. Whiston's. See Bull's Sermons, vol. i. Serm. III. p. 80.

Num. L.

Rom. i. 18. For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness.

a St. Ignatius says, "Every one shall depart unto his own (pro“per) place,” eis TÙY TÖLGY TÓTOY; (Epist. ad Magnes. sect. v.) on which bishop Pearson has this note; "De Juda legimus, Act. i. 25. σε πορευθῆναι εἰς τὸν τόπον τὸν ἴδιον. Unicuique sc. suus post mortem "assignatus est locus. Sic apud Clem. Roman. Petrus dicitur ab« iisse εἰς τὸν ὀφειλομένον τόπον τῆς δόξης. Paulus autem εἰς τὸν ἅγιον “Tómov.” Vid. Ignat. Epist. ed. Oxon. Annot. Pearsoni, p. 42.


Num. LI.

Rom. i. 32. Who knowing the judgment of God, (that they which commit such things are worthy of death,)

Num. LII.

Rom. ii. 2. We are sure that the judgment of God is according to truth against them who commit such things.

Num. LIII.

Rom. ii. 5, 6. —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.

Num. LIV.

Rom. ii. 8, 9. unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath, tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doth evil——.

Indignation and wrath: that is, such punishment as men are apt to ascribe to indignation and wrath; but the judgment of God proceeds upon other motives, and will be exactly according to truth and justice. It is revealed against unrighteousness; against such unrighteousness, as men themselves know b to be worthy of death; and men treasure it up to themselves by their hardness and impenitent hearts; so that when God renders it to them, he only renders to every man according to his deeds. There is no sense in talking of eternal

b I am aware of the various reading in chap. i. ver. 32; but it is nothing to my purpose whether the Gentiles knew, or knew not, or only considered not, that such sins were worthy of death. All Christians, with whom only we are concerned at present, know this; though they are too apt, perhaps, not sufficiently to consider it.

punishments, as if they proceeded from any passions in God. If that could be proved, it would be, possibly, the best presumptive argument that has been offered against their eternity. For what is more changeable and arbitrary, than the effects of passion? But the punishments of wicked men in the future state, are all along represented as founded upon the exactest reason, and truth, and justice; and are therefore as immutable as these things themselves. And if it be right and reasonable that these punishments should continue for a year, or even for a day, it will be right and reasonable that they should continue for ever; the objects still continuing the same, and all the reasons of punishment eternally subsisting. As little reason is there to represent them as instances only of power and dominion. They may fall in as naturally with God's whole scheme, and be as much according to the constitution and laws of nature, as any ordinary event which happens regularly every day. The next time therefore men object in this manner, they had better object against God's whole scheme, against the original plan, and universal constitution of Providence; the ten thousandth part of which is not comprehended by them, and which is the highest insolence in any mortal. But more of this, it may be, hereafter. I cannot but observe in passing, that alwvos in ver. 7. must signify strictly eternal. For if they who seek for glory, and honour, and immortality, are put off only with lasting life, (how lasting soever,) they are put off with something infinitely less than they sought for, and may possibly think themselves disappointed.


[ocr errors]

Num. LV.

Rom. ii. 12. shall also perish without law.

N. B. Whatever the word aroλouvrai, perish, may here mean, it is spoken of persons not concerned in the sanctions of the gospel.

Num. LVI.

Rom. vi. 21. —the end of those things is death.

Num. LVII.

Rom. vi. 23. the wages of sin is death :

Not merely the first death, or the dissolution of body and soul, attended with no other consequences; for that would not be an equal retribution ; but the

< See Dr. Clarke's Letter to Mr. Dodwell, p. 10. and 60. It is evidently synonymous to being judged, or condemned, in the latter part of the same verse.

d For all men die, from the most virtuous to the most perfectly vicious characters; and so through all the intermediate degrees. Besides, death, as the positive punishment and wages of sin, can never be considered barely as the separation of soul and body; (for that may be wished for, by good men, as some consolation; and even run into by the wicked, as a refuge;) but that separation, as inflicted by, and accompanied with the wrath of God. It is death therefore with all its consequences; all the consequences that may be feared from the wrath of God; or in Dr. Clarke's words, "when the death of the body is the forerunner of that "death of the soul, from which there is no hopes of release, but "the wrath of God must abide on it for ever." Vol. v. Serm. VIII. p. 159. And p. 214. of the same vol. he says, "Death in the "Old Testament generally signifies that temporal death, which is "the dissolution of the body; though when it is threatened as the "punishment of sin, it prefigures and includes in it eternal death. "Which is also sometimes expressly threatened even in the Old "Testament.-In the New Testament, death, when it is threat"ened to sinners, signifies almost always eternal death; the gospel

second death mentioned Rev. xxi. 8; as appears too by the opposition it stands in, in both verses, to everlasting, or eternal life. It is a state of eternal condemnation; and though that condemnation should at last end in utter extinction of being, (which we have no reason to believe, either from scripture or philosophy,) it would still be inconsistent with the doctrine of the reestablishment or restoration of impenitent sinners." For they forget the commands " of the living God, and live in luxury and in vain pleasures; and are corrupted by this evil angel, "some of them even unto death; and others to a falling away. I replied, I understand not what you mean, by saying unto death, and to a falling away. Hear, says he; All those sheep which thou "sawest exceeding joyful, are such as have for ever






departed from God, and given themselves up to "the lusts of this present time. To these therefore "there is no return, by repentance, unto life; be"cause that to their other sins they have added this, "that they have blasphemed the name of the Lord. "These kind of men are ordained unto death."But they that are dead, are utterly gone for ever." Shepherd of Hermas, archbishop Wake's version, book iii. simil. 6. See Num. XCIII.



"But the way of darkness is crooked, and full of cursing. For it is the way of eternal death, with punishment; in which they that walk meet those things that destroy their own souls." St. Barnabas; Wake's version, p. 193. 4th edit.



containing, as a more clear discovery of life and immortality, so " also a more express revelation of the wrath of God from heaven, "against all unrighteousness and ungodliness of men."

e • St. Barnabas does not say, the way of eternal death, dià Tipw

« PreviousContinue »