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dying, yet never die. 6. A variety of phrases is used, to signify the terribleness of the future punishment of the wicked; as by tearing them in pieces, as a lion tears his prey; by cutting thein asunder, in allusion to punishments of this kind, as Agag was hewed to pieces by Samuel; oi to sacrifices, cut up when offered as victims ; and by drowning men in perdition, which denotes the utter destruction of thein ; and by weeping, wailing, and gnashing of teeth, through grief, malice, and envy.—7. By the wrath of God, which comes upon the children of disobedience; by wrathi to come, men are warned to flee from ; and from which Christ only can deliver them; and by indignation and wrath on every soul of man that does evil. And this is what is chiefly intended by the several words and phrases before observed; and in a sense of which the future punishment of the wicked will greatly lie; as will appear by considering,
III. The species and sorts of that punishinent; or the parts of which it consists, and wherein it lies: it is usually distinguished into pæna damna, punishment of loss; and pæna sensus, punishment of sense; nor is the distinction amiss, provided they are considered as together, and meeting in the same subject, as they do in the fallen angels; who sinning, were cast out of heaven, were driven from the presence of God, and so lost their original happiness; and were cast down to hell, and so punished with a sense of divine wrath : and both may be observed together in the sentence pronounced on the wicked at the general judgment ; Depart from me, there is the punishment of loss; ye cursed, into everlasting fire, there is the punishment of sense; the one is the loss of the divine presence ; the other a feeling of the curse of the law, and the wrath of God; and there cannot be the one without the other : some have thought, that only the punishment of loss, but not of sense, will be sustained by devils, and wicked men, before the day of judgment; but though the devils may not be in full torment till then, yet not exempt from any, since they are cast down to hell; and as for wicked men, they are inmediately after death in a state of pain, and under a sense of it, as the rich man in hell, being in torment: and others are of opinion, that such as die without actual sin, and are only guilty of original sin, shall only suffer the former, but not the latter, But as the scriptures say little of the case of such, it becomes us to say little also, and leave it to the wise and just Disposer of all things: yet if eternal death is the demerit of original sin, it is not easy to say how there can be one sort of punishment without the other; where there is a loss, there will be a sense of it, or else it is no punishment; and a sense of it will give pain ; though as there are degrees of punishment otsin as will be seen anon, it is reasonable to believe, the punishment of such will be comparatively a milder one, as Augustin expresses it: no doubt there were many such among the inhabitants of Sodom and Gomorrah, when those cities were destroyed ; and yet the apostle says of them in general, that they were suffering the vengeance of eternal fire, Jude verse 7. But to proceed,
1. There is the punishinent of loss, which will consist of a privation of all good things. – 1. Of God the chiefest good; as the enjoyment of God, is
man's chief happiness, so a privation of that enjoyment is his greatest infelicity; the angels, when they sinned, and so Adam, when he sinned, were driven trom the presence of God. And though wicked men desire not the presence of God, but say, depart from us, that is, this is the language of their lives and actions i yet when they come to be punished with everlasting destruction fro.n the presence of the Lord; a great part of that destruction will lie in an eternal separation from it; it will be dreadful to thein, as it was an aggravation of the punishment of Cain, and made it intolerable to him, thouglı a wicked man; From thy face shall I be hid! so to be everlastingly banished from God, without any hope of his tavour, will be dreadful: the words of an ancient writer are, “ Many men only fear hell-fire; but I say, the loss of that glory (the glory of God and of heaven) is much greater than hell, or the punishment of sense: if it cannot be proved by word, it is not to be wondered at; for we do not know the happiness of good things, till we clearly know the inisery of evil things, from the privation of those good things.” – 2. Oi Cuorist, the light and life of men, the light of grac, and the light of gloiy, in whoin all salvation is; as death is the privation of life in a natural sense, eternal death is a privation of eternal life in Christ; as blindness is a privation of sight, and darkness of lig'at; so the judicial blindness and darkness of the infernal state, is a privation of the sight of Christ, and of light, life, and salvation by him; as the happiness of glorified saints, will lie in beholding Christ, and seeing his glory; the miserable state of the wicked will lic in being eternally deprived of such a sight; and, therefore this is always in the awful sentence pronounced on them by Christ; Depart from me, ye cursed; or depart from me, ye workers of iniquity, Matt. vii. 23. - 3. Of the grace, peace, and joy of the Holy Ghost, of which they are detute now, and will for ever be deprived of it; which will be in perfection in the kingdom of heaven; and instead of that, nothing but distress, anguish, and hor. ror of mind; having to rest, no case, nor peace day and night, Rev. xiv. 11. - 4. Of the company of angels and saints: they will be tormented in the presence of the angels, without receiving any benefit by them, or relief froin them: they will be sensibie of the happiness of the saints, which will aggravate their misery; they will not be able to come at them, and share with thein in their bliss ; nor have the least degree of consolation from them; the rich man saw Lazarus in the bosom of Abrahamn, but could not obtain one dip of the tip of his finger in water to cool his tongue. This sceins to be the Tantalus of the heathens, or what they mean by Tantalus; a man athirst and hungry, standing in water up to his chin, and pleasant fruits just at his lips, and yet he not able to quench his thirst with the one, nor to satisty his hunger with the other“; yca, they will not have the least pity shewn them by God, angels or men; God will mock at their destruction; angels will applaud his righteous judgment, and
"Chrysostom. Homil. 47. ad pop. Antioch. Qirrt aquas in aquis & poma fugacia caplat Tantalus : hoc illi garrula lingua dcdit, Ovid. Amoi. eleg. 1. Vo 43. llygın. tab. 8a.
the holy apostles and prophets, and all the saints, will rejoice over them, as they will over Babylon, and at her destruction, because of the justice of God being giorified by it. — 5. Of the kingdom of heaven, from whence they will be exciuded, and of the gl ries and joys of it, of which they will be for ever deprived, they will see the patriarchs and prophets, and all the saints, in the kingdom of God, and they themselves thrust out; the door will be shut upon them, and no entrance allowed them; they will be obliged to stand without, where dogs öre; and will be cast into outer darkness, for ever deprived of the light of joy and comtort.
11. There is the punishment of sense, and which will lie both in body and sou!; for both will be destroyed in hcii, and be sensible of the fire of it. 1. Tlie body: hence we often read of the whole body, and of the several members of it with it, being cast into hell, Mark ix. 43-47. now though these are proverbial, or parabolical phrases, yet they have a meaning in them, and have respect to corporal punishment, which will be endured in the body, some way or another. The body is subservient to the soul in the commission of sin; its members are yielded as instruments of unrighteousness; that little member the tongue, is a world of iniquity, defiles the whole body, and is productive of many evils; and it is but just therefore, that the body should have its share in the purishment of sin; and for this purpose is the resurrection of the body, that sinful men may receive the just demerit of their sinful actions done in their bodies, It is a question moved, whether the fire of hell is a material fire? No doubt that it is not the only thing meant by it, nor the chief, which is the fire of divine wrath, in which figurative sense it is often taken; though it seems to be some, times taken in a proper sense, since it has those things ascribed to it which belong to fire properly so called, as smoke, flame, heat, &c. and, indeed, how the body can be affected with any other, is not easy to say, unless by sympathy with the soul, sustaining the fire of divine wrath ; nor is it any objection, that the bodies of the wicked will be raised immortal, as never more to die; whereas they would be liable to be consumed, if cast irto material fire. To which it may be answered, they may be preserved, lug the power of God, from being consuined by it; as the three men in Nebuchadnezzar's furnace were preserved in the midst of it for their safety, so may wicked men be preserved in the furnace of fire for their punishment. And there are such things in nature which are not consumed by fire; as a sort of flax, and cloth made of it, cleansed by burning it; and a precious stone, set on fire, which is not to be quenched; for which season both have the name of asbestos', unquenchable: and there is a sort of fly, called pyrausta; or the fire-fly, which lives in the fire. Besides, this fire may not be, as doubtless it is not, the same with our culinary fire; it may be, like that, excruciating, but not consuming; as we see with respect to tightening, or fire from heaven, which sometimes vill scorch and burn, and yet not consume and destroy bodies, of reluce them to ashes; as in the case of Nadab and Abilu : but this is not very material to deter:nine; since, - 2. The soul will be filled with a sense of wrath, which will be poured forth on the wicked, and burn like fire, Psal, lxxix: 5. this is the fiery indignation which shall consume the adversaries of God and Christ in hell, that indignation and wrath, tribulation and anguish, which will coince upon every soul of man that does evil, Rom. iii ?, 9. that fire which the breath of the Lord, like a stream of brimstone; will kiydle, Isai. xxxi. 30. and which the body, by its near conjunction with the soul, will feel the effects of.
'Plin. Nat. Hist. 1. 19. c. 1. & 1. 37. C. 10. Strabo, I. 10. P. 307. Pancirol. rer. memorab. & Salmuth, in ibid. p. 16. vid. Philosoph. Transaci, abridged, vol. 3. p. 552, &c. & vol. 4. par.i.
· IV. The degrees of this punishment; for it seems such there will be, since wicked men will be judged, and so pumshed, according to their evil works, whether more or fewer, greater or lesser. But then these cannot be understood of the punishment of loss; one cannot lose more or less than another; all are equally excluded from the presence and communion of God and of Christ, and of the Spirit ; and from the company of angels and saints, and from tiie kingdoin of heaven and the glorice of it; but can only be said of the punishment of sense; some are lesser sinners, and others greater; some are only guilty of original sin, and not of actual transgressions, at least of very few, and so are deserving of a milder punishment only, as before observed; and of actual transgressions some are guilty of moie, and of more heinous ones; see Johu xix. 11, and their guilt and punishment are in proportion to then; some are attended with greater aggravations, and so are deserving of a gierer punishment; some are done in ignorance, and oshers against light and knowledge; one knows his master's will and does it not, and so deserves to be beaten with many stripes ; and another knows it not, and yet does things worthy of stripes, and therefore to be beaten with few stripes, Luke xii. 47. Some have had ile advantage of a written law, the law of Meses, as the Jews had, and this explained with the sanctions of it; when others, as the Gentiles, had only the light of nature and the law of it to guide them; and as both will be judged according to their different laws, so will they be punished in a different manner, Rom. ii. 12. Some have had the advantage of a preached gospel, and have despised it, and have been disobedient to it, which is an aggravation of their condemnation; so that it will be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon, for Sodom and Gomorrah, than for them, Matt. xi. 20, 21. The scribes and Pharisees who, against the clear. est evidence, and the conviction of their own consciences, denied that Jesus was the Messiah, and blasphemed his miracles, which were proofs of it; and under a pretence of religion devoured widows' houses, justly receive the greater damnation, Matt. xii. 25-32. and those who have treated contumeliously the great doctrines of the gospel, respecting the person and blood of Christ, and the grace of the Spirit of Christ; of how much sorer punishment shall they be thought worthy, than those who have only broken the law of Moses? Heb. X. 28, 29. Some have been favoured with greater mercies in providence than others, and
have abused them, and despised the goodness of God extended to them, and so have treasured up more wrath against ihe day of wrath: and having their good things here, will have their evil ones hereafter, with redouble) vengeance. Rom. ii. 4, 5. Luke xxi. 25.
What remains to be considered is, the duration of the punishment of the wicked in hell. It will always continue and never have an end, and is therefore called everlasting punishment, and everlasting destruction, Matt. xxv. 46, 2 Thess. i. 9. and this will admit of proof both froin reason and revelation, froin the light of nature, and froin the sure word of prophecy. The heathens had not only knowledge of the future punishment of the wicked in hell, but of the eternal duration of it. Lucretius, the Epicurcan philosopher, though he disbelieved it. bears a full testiinony to the truth of it, even whilst he derides it; he wrote many years before the coming of Christ, so that what he says could not be derived from the writings of the New Testament, but from a more ancient tradition handed down among the Ge: tiles time immemorial; he says", that the fears of eternal punishment after death, and as what would never have an end, were the cause of all the troubles and miseries of human life; under the bondage of which men lay oppressed, until Epicurus, a man of Greece, rose up, and delivered men from those fears and fancies, so that, according to him, till the tiines of Epicurus, who lived inore than two hundred years before Christ, this sentiment had alwavs obtained among the heathens. And from the sacred scriptures the eternity of future punishment is abundantly evident: as, -1. From the punishment of the inhabitants of Sodom and Gomorrah, who were made an ensample to those that after should live ungedly; the destruction of those cities was an einblem of eternal punishinent: they agice in the efficient cause of them, God; in ilie instruments, angels; in the matter and manner of the destruction, by fire and brimstone; in circumstances, suddenly, at an unawares; and in the nature of it, irreparable, and in a sense eternal; for those cities were reduced to such a state, as that they will not, nor can be restored again, and so a fit type of the everlasting punishment of sinners in hell; but more than this, the inhabitants of those cities are now suffering the vengeance of eternal fire, Jude 7. they are not only now suffering the vengeance, but the vengeance is eiernal, and expressed by fire that is everlasting. 2. From the sense and fears of sinners in Zion, expressed in Isai. xxxiiy. 14. The sinners in Zion are afraid; who among us shall dwell with everlasting burnings? the Targuin interprets this of everlasting burnings of liell; and many christian interpreters, of the wrath of God, and the tortures of a guilty conscience there ; which are represented as what will endure for ever, and as intolerable, the de. sert which those sinners were conscious of, and that the outward form of seligion would not deliver from them. - 3. From the resurrection of the dead, and the issue of it, as described in Dan. xii. 2. Sone of whom awake to everlasting life, and some to everlasting contempt: this two-fold resurrection is
wÆternas quoniam penas in morte timendum, Lucret. dc Rerum Natura, 1. ..