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As for the better part of Man, the Soul, it shall be highly exalted to the utmost perfection in all the parts or faculties thereof. The understanding ihall
be raised to the utmost capacity, and that capacity compleatly filled. Nowa 1 Cor. 13. 12. we see through a glass dārkly, but then face to face ; now we know but
in part, but then Thall we know even as also we are known. And this even
now we know, that when God Jhall appear we shall be like him, for wie , 1 John 3. 2. thall fee him as he is. Our first cemptation was, that we should be like un.
to God in knowledge, and by that we fell; but being raised by Christ, we come to be truly like him, by knowing him as we are known, and by seeing him as he is. Our wills shall be perfected with absolute and indefective holi ness, with exact conformity to the will of God, and perfect liberty from all
fervitude of Sin : They shall be troubled with no doubtful choice, but with on their * radical and fundamental freedom shall fully embrace the greatest good fuit quam Our affections fhall be all fet right by an unalterable regulation, and in that peccando Adam perdi- ' gulamy.
h: regularity shall receive absolute satisfaction; and all this Thall be effected, that dit, pofle non we 1
we may be thereby made capable, and then happy by a full fruition. mori, novifiima erit non pofle mori ; ita primum liberum arbitrium, pofse non peccare, novissimum non poffe peccare. Sic enim erit inamislibilis voluntas pietatis & æquitatis quomodo eft felicitatis. Nam utique peccando nec pietatem nec felia citatem tenuimus, voluntatem verò felicitatis nec perditâ felicitate perdidimus. Certè Deus ipse numquid quia peccare non poteft, ideo liberum arbitrium habere regandus est? Erit ergo illius civitatis & una in omnibus & insepara. bilis in fingulis voluntas libera, ab omni malo liberata, & impleta omni bono, fruens indeficienter æternorum jucuna ditate gaudiorum, oblita culparum, oblita pænarum, nec tamen ideo sųæ liberationis oblita, ut liberatori fuo non Gis ingrata. S. Aug. de Civit. Dei, l. 22. 6. 30. Vide eundem Tractatu de Epicuris u Stoicis, prope finem,
To this internal perfection is added a proportionately happy condition, consisting in an absolute freedom from all pain, misery, labour and want ; an impossibility of sinning and offending God; an hereditary poffeffion of all good, with an undpeakable complacency and joy flowing from it, and all this redounding from the vision and fruition of God: This is the Life.
And now the duration of this life is as necessary as the life it felf, because to make all already mentioned amount into a true felicity, there must be added an absolute security of the enjoyment, void of all fear of losing it or being deprived of it. And this is added to compleat our happiness, by the adjection of eterniry. Now that this life thall be eternal, we are assured who have not yet obtained it, and they much more who do enjoy it. He which
hath purchased it for us, and promised it unto us, often calleth it eternal life; Heb. 13. 14. it is described as a continuing city, as everlasting habitations, as an house eter. 2 Cor. 5. 1.
nal in the heavens; it is expressed by eternal glory, eternal salvation, 1 Pet. 5. 10. an eternal inheritance, incorruptible, unde filed, and that fadeth not away; Heb. 5.9. by the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. And left
we should be discouraged by any short or lame interpretation of eternity, it 2 Pet. 1. 11. is further explained in such terms as are liable to no mistake. For our Sagonna viour hath said, if any man keep my saying, he shall never fee death. And. Rev. 21.4." whofoever liveth and believeth in me shall not die. When God shall wipe
away all tears from our eyes, there shall be no more death; and where there is life and no death, there must be everlasting Life: Which is expressed by
St. Paul by way of opposition, calling it life and immortality, and that ito2 Tim. I. 10. gether with the abolition of death, saying that our Saviour Jesus Chrift hath
abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.
The belicf of this Article is necessary, (as to the ecernity of torment).to deter us from committing fin, and to quicken us to holiness of life, and a fpeedy repentance for sin committed. For, the wages of fin is death; nothing can bring us to those everlasting flames but fin, no sin but that which is unrepented of; nothing can save that Man fromɔtbe.never-dying Worm,
1 Pet. 1. 4.
who dieth in his Sins; and no other rcafon can bring him thither, bur because be finned and repented not. * They which imagine the pains inflicted for fin *Tertul. Apo. to be either small or short, have but a slender motive to innocence or repen
op. 6.45. recount
ning the advantance; but fuch as firmly believe them sharp and endless, have by virtue of rages of the that faith within themselves a proper and natural fpur and incitement to avoid Chriftians to
wards innothem: For who can dwell in everlasting burning's ?
cence and how
liness of life, which the Heatbeas had not. Recogitate etiam pro brevitate supplicii cujuslibet, non tamen ultra mortem remanfuria Sic & Epicurus omnem cruciatum doloremque depretiat, modicum quidem contemptibilem pronunciando, magnum verò non diuturnum. Enimvero nos qui fub Deo omnium speculatore dispungimur, quique æternam ab eo poenam providemus, merito foli innocentiæ occurrimus, & pro scientiæ plenitudine, & pro latebrarum difficultate, & pro magnitudine cruciatûs, non diutuini, sed sempiterni, eum timentes quem timere debebit & ipfe qui timentes judi. çat, Deum non Proconsulem timentes.
Secondly, The belief of eternal pains after death is neceffary to breed in us a fear and awe of the great God, a jealous God, a confuming fire, a God that will not be mocked, and to reach us to tremble at his word, to consider the infinity of his justice, and the fierceness of his wrath, to meditate on the power of his menaces, the validity of his threats, to follow that direction, to embrace that reduplicated advice of our Saviour, I will forewarn you whom Luke 12. 5: ye shall fear; Fear him, which after he hath killed, hath power to cast into hell, yea, I say unto you, fear him. And that exclusively of such fear as concerns the greatest pains of this life, which the † Martyrs undervalued t so Polycarout of a belief of eternal torments.
pus the Martyr answered
the Proconsul threatning to consume him with fire, Mög dresses to regis meger xoxbulyar sej peer' dailor (Gevrójdson. 'Ayvoris gs pe lagens sehteas asario xonéoews TOTS CECési theo pe von my . Epift. Smyrn. Eccles.
Thirdly, This belief is necessary to teach us to make a fit estimate of the price of Christ's Blood, to value fufficiently the work of our redemption, to acknowledge and admire the love of God to us in Chrift. For he which believeth not the eternity of torments to come, can never fufficiently value that ransome by which we were redeemed from them, or be proporcionately thankful to his Redeemer, by whose intervention we have escaped them. Whereas he who is sensible of the loss of Heaven, and the everlasting privation of the prefence of God, of the torments of fire, the company of the Devil and his Angels, the vials of the wrath of an angry and never to be appeased God, and hopeth to escape all these by virtue of the death of his Redeemer, cannot but highly value the price of that Blood, and be proportionably thankful for so plenteous a redemption.
Again, As this Article followeth upon the Refurrection of the just, and containerh in it an eternal duration of infinite felicity belonging to them, it is necessary to stir us up to an earnest desire of the kingdom of Heaven, and that righteousness to which such a life is promised, I will now turn aside and see this great light, faid Mofes, when he saw the burning Bush. It is good for us to be here, said S. Peter, when he saw our Saviour transfigured in the Mount; how much more ought we to be inflamed with a desire of the joys of Heaven, and that length of days which only fatisfieth by its eternity, to a + se s. Austin careful and constant performance of those commands to which such a reward upon those is graciously promised! For as all our happiness proceedeth from the vision of words [lon
gitudine dies God, fo we are certain that without holiness no Man shall see him.
eum] in the 911 Pfal. Quæ eft longitudo dierum ? vita æterna eft. Fratres, nolite putare longitudinem dieruin dici, ficut sunt hyeme minores, æstate dies majores. Tales dies nobis habet dare? Longitudo illa est quæ non habet finem, æterna vita quæ nobis promittitur in diebus longis. Et verè quia fufficit non fine causa dixit, replebo eum. Non nobis sufficit quicquid longum eft in tempore fi habet finem, & ideo nec longum dicendum eft. Et fi avari sumus, vitæ æternæ debeinus effe avari : talem vitam desiderate quæ non haber finem. Ecce ubi extendatur avaritia veftra, Argentum vis fine fine? Vitam æternam desidera fine fine. Non vis ut habeat finem poffeflio tua ? Vitam æternamn defidera.
aia fuffec longum difcce ubi erite tua
Secondly, This belief is necessary to take off our inclinations and desires * Nemo vi- from the plealu
from the pleasures and profits of this Life; to breed in us a * contempt of tam æternam, the World, and to teach us to despise all things on this side Heaven ; to set incorruptibi- 2 our affe&tions on things above, not on things on the earth, considering we lem immortalemque des are dead, and our life is bid with Christ in God. Forb where our treasure fiderat, nifi is, there will our hearts be also. Therefore we must forget ċ those things cum vitæ hu- which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, press jus temporalis, corrupti- towards the mark, for the price of the high calling of God in Chrif fejús. bilis, mortalisque pæniteat. S. Aug. Hon. 50. Col. 3. 2, 3. b Mat. 6. 21. c Phil. 3. 13, 14.
Thirdly, An assent unto this truth is necessary to encourage us to take up the Cross of Christ, and to support us under it, willingly and chearfully to
undergo the afflictions and tribulations of this life, reckoning with the Apostle. Rom. 8. 18. that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with 2.Cor. 4. 17, the glory which Jhall be revealed in us; and knowing that our light afflic
tion, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of Glory. And this knowledge is not to be obtained, this comfort is not to be expected, except we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.
And now having thus shewed the propriety, proved the verity, and declared the necessity of this Article, we may fully instruct every Christian how to express his belief in the last object of his Faith, which he may most fitly thus pronounce: I do fully and freely affent unto this, as unto a most necessary and infallible Truth, That the unjust after their resurrection and condemnation shall be tormented for their Sins in Hell, and shall be so continued in torments for ever, so as neither the Justice of God shall ever cease to inflict them, nor the persons of the wicked cease to subsist and suffer them: And that the just after their relurrection and ablolution thall as the blefied of the the inheritance, and as the Servants of God enter into their Master's Joy; freed from all possibility of Death, Sin and Sorrow, filled with all conceivable and inconceivable fulness of happiness, confirmed in an absolute fecurity of an eternal enjoyment, and so they shall continue with God and with the Lamb for evermore. And thus I believe the Life everlasting.
52 i 3
Of the Texts of SCRIPTURE that are mention'd, and more or less
explain’d in this BOOK, not in any former Edition.
1 9 9
146 | 14 19
265 | 18 16
25 14 35
23,24 | 14
35316, 4,5 25,148,150