Book IV

• • OF THE DEATH OF THE BODY.

The things to be enquired into, are, What death is ? who are the subjects of it? what the causes of it, and its propertics ?

I. What death is. To say what it is, is difficult; we know nothing of it practically and experimentally, though there are continual instances of it before our eyes. We know nothing of death but in theory : what it is, is chiefly to be known from the scripture, by which we learn, 1. That it is a disunion of the soul and body, the two constituent parts of man; the one consists of flesh, blood, and bones, of arteries veins, nerves, See. the other is a spiritual substance, immaterial and immortal, and goes by the name of spirit. Death is a dissolution of this union; Tb* body without the spirit, separate from it, is dead, James ii. 26. 2. It is a dissolving this earth, ly house of our tabernacle, 2. Cor v. J. in allusion either to military tents, or those of shepherds, which were removed from place to place for the sake of pasturage for their flocks, Isai. xxxviii. 12. 3. It is signified by a departure out of ihis world to another; the death of Christ, and of some others is expressed in such language, John xiii. 1. 2 Tim. iv. 7. it is like going from one house to another: with the saints it is a departure from their earthly house, to an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens; from houses of clay which hare their foundation in the dust. It is like loosing from the port, as the sailor's phrase is, and launching into the ocean, and sailing to another port. 4. Death is expressed by going the way of all the earth ; so said Joshua when about to die, Josh, xxiii. 14. and so said David, 1 £ings ii. 2. so Christ describes his death, Luke xxii. 22. 5. Death is called, a returning to the dust and earth of which the body is formed, EccLxii. 7. 6. Death is frequently expressed by sleeping, Dan. xxii. 2. John xi. 11. and is so called because sleep is an image of death ; in sleep the senses are locked up, and after sleep a man rises: so is death to the saints; it is a rest unto them, and they will rise in the morning of the resurrection.

II. Who are the subjects of death. Not angels, for they being simple, uncompounded, incorporeal and immaterial, are incapable of death ; they die not, Luke xx. 36. but men, even all men, a few only excepted, as Enoch and Elijah, under the 6ld Testament. Persons of every sex, male and female ; of , every age, young and old, small and great. Persons of every character among men; it may be seen and observed in instances withput number, that wise men die, and also the fool and brutish person. Persons of every character in the sight of God, wicked men and good men; The prtfihets do they live for ever? they do not, Zech. 1. 5. Yet,—5. Their death is different frpm that of wicked men ; they die in Christ, in union to him, and so are secure from condemnation ; they die in faith, and their end is peace. 6. The reason of which is, death is abolished as a penal evil, and is become a blessing to them, for blessed are they that die in. Christ.

JII. The causes of death, on what account it comes upon men, and to whom and what it is to be ascribed. i. The efficient cause is God, who is the sovereign disposer of life and death ; it is he that gives life and breath, and all things to his creatures; he that gives life has a right to take it away; IiiUt and I make alive, Deut. xxxii. 39. No man has a right to take away his own life, nor the life of another. Satan, though he, »s said to have the power of death, Heb. ii. 14. yet this is not to be understood as if he had a power and right to inflict death at pleasure on men; for if so, such is his malice and rooted enmity to men, that the race of mankind would have been extinct long ago. The case of Job shews that he lies under ihe restraint of God in this manner. Death of right is of God only ; it is he who threatened with it in case of sin ; and made it the sanction of his law. Whatever are the means of the death of men, whether extraordinary or ordinary, they are all of God, and under his direction ; every disorder, disease, and sickness, are servants sent by him to execute his pleasure. 4, Death is by his appointment; it is the statute, law of heaven. The grave is the house appointed for all men living, Job xxx. 23. All the circumstances are according to the determinate eounsel and will of God. Nor can any live longer than the appointed time ; The time dreiv nigh that Israel must die, Gen. xlvii. 29. Says Job, of man, his days are determined, the number of his months are with thee; thou hast appointed his bounds that he cannot piss, Job xiv. 5. physicians may make life a little more easy and comfortable while it lasts ; but they cannot protract it one moment, n. The procuring cause of death, is sin ; The body is dead because of sin, Hom. v. 12. the threatening was, In the day that thou eatest thereof thou shali surely die. in. The instrumental causes, or means of death are various. Angels are sometimes made use of to inflict it; 2 Kings xix. 35. Multitudes are cut aJF by the sword of Just tice, and God has his four judgments^ sword, famine, pestilence, and wild beasts, by which sometimes great havock is made among men ; the ordinary means are disorders of the body. IV. The properties of death, which serve to lead into the nature, power, and use of death. 1. It is but once; It if appointed unto men once to die, Heb. ix. 27. There have been some instances in which men have died, and have been raised again to a mortal life, as it should seem, and then have died «gain; but commonly men die but once, as Christ the Saviour did. 2. Death is certain; Israel must die, and so must every man. Nothing is more certain than death, as all cxperience in all ages testify; and yet nothing more uncertain than the time. 3. Death is mighty. No man has power over his spirit, to retain the spirit one moment, when it is ' called for. 4. Death is insatiable; it is one of those things that is never satisfied ; though sometimes thousands are slain in one day, it never has enough. 5. Death is necessary ; not only by the appointment of God, which must be accomplish. ed; but for the truth of God, in his threatening with it, in case of sin, it is also necessary to the saints, for their good. 6. Though death is formidable to nature, it is desirable by good men ; they are willing rather to be absent from the body that they might be present with the Lordr

OF THE IMMORTALITY OF THE SOUL.

That the soul of man is immortal may be proved, I. From the consideration of the soul itself, its origin, nature, powers, and faculties. i. From the original of it; it is not of men; it is the very breath of God:, God breathed into man the breath of life, and he became a living soul, immortal and never dying, Gen. ii. 7. n. The immortality of the soul may be proved from the nature of the soul; which is, 1. Spiritual., of the same nature with angels, spiritual substances, and so not die, Heb. xii. 9. 23. 2. The soui of man is simple and uncompounded ; it is not composed of flesh and blood ; a spirit has none of these. 3. It is immaterial, it is not composed of matter and form. Matter is incapable of thought, reasoning, and discoursing, willing and nilling, as the soul is. Matter is divisible, discerpible, may be cut to pieces: not so the soul; it is out of the reach of ever)' slaughtering weapon; the sharp arrow cannot penetrate, nor the two.edged sword divide it. 4. The soul has no contrary qualities, which, when one is predominate, threatens with destruction ; it is neither hot nor cold ; nor has it any such tender part which will not bear a blow. 5. The soul of man is made after the image ofGod; it bears a resemblance to the divine nature, particularly in its immortality : this is given by Alcmseon as an argument of it; and so Plato, the soul is most like to that which is divine, immortal, intelligible, uniform, indissoluble, and always the same. in. The immortality of the soul may be proved from the powers and faculties of it, its understanding and will. 1. Its understanding. There is a spirit, or soul,z'w man : and the inspiration of the Almighty giveth them understanding Job 32. 8. an intellective power and faculty of understanding things, which distinguishes men from brutes. The understanding of man can take in, things spiritual, and incorporeal, immaterial, incorruptible, and eternal: it has knowledge of eternity itself; though it may be observed, there is great difference of an eternity past, and of that which is to come; when it considers the former, it is soon at a loss, like a bird that attempt* to take flights it is not used or equal to. But when the soul fixes its thoughts on an eternity to come, with what pleasure does it roll over millions of ages. The reason of this difference is, because the soul itself is not from eternity. The knowledge which the mind and understanding of man has of things in the present state, is very imperfect, through the brevity of life ; and therefore it may be reasonably concluded, that there is a future state, in which its knowledge of things will be more perfect; it has been a constant and continual complaint of the sons of learning and science, ars longa, vita brevis; art is long, and life is short. Besides the knowledge the mind of man has of things now, is not in proportion to the powers that he is possessed of. How many are there that die in infancy? how many in childhood and youth? These powers are not bestowed upon them in vain. There must be then an after state, in which the soul exists. 5. Let a mau know ever so much in this present life, he is desirous of knowing more. Now this desire of knowledge is not implanted in man, by the author of nature, in vain ; wherefore the soul must remain after death s this was the argument Socrates used, to prove to his scholars the immortality of the> soul. With respect to truly good men, the argument receives farther strength. Gracious and earnest desires are not im. planted in vain by the God of all grace, as they would be, if the sonl was not immortal. 11. The will of man is another faculty of the soul, the object and actings of which shew it to be immortal. 1. The will has for its object universal good. now there must be a future state, in which true happiness will be attained, at least by some, or else the actings of the will about it will be in vain. 2. God is the summum bonum, the chief good, but then he is not perfectly enjoyed as such in this life ; in order to this the soul must remain after death, and be immortal. 3. The will has its desires, which are not satisfied in this life ; the good man says, Whom have I in heaven but thee? Psal. Ixxiii. 25. unless there is a future state in which the soul exists, they are not satisfied, and so far in vain 4. The actions of the will are free, it can subsist and live without it, and when the body is dead. 5. The will is not weakened, nor indeed any of the powers and faculties of the soul impaired by sickness and approaching death; how active and vigorous the will when on the verge of eternity I This ap. s pears by its willingness or unwillingness to die, a man understands clearly what his friends about him sa\, and can by a sign, by the lifting up of his hand, signify his faith, hope, joy, mid comfort; all which shew that the soul sickens not with the body.

II. The immortality of the soul may be proved from the light of nature and reason. 1. From the consent of all nations. Cicero says, that souls remain after death, are immortal ; Seneca calls it, a public persuasion, or belief; it has been embraced by the wisest among the heathens ; by the best of their philosophers, as Pythagoras, Socrates, Plato, Seneca* Cicero, arid others ; and by the best of their poets, as Homer, Phocylides, Virgil, &c. this doctrine has been receivtd, by the Brachmans among the Indians, and the Druids in England. 2. This may be concluded from an extinction of man, soul and body, being abhorrent to man, a total extinction, to have no being at all, nature starts at it. 3. It may be argued, from the natural dtsire in men to be religious, in some way

or another ? there is nothing can be a greater damp to religion and morality, than the disbelief"of the immortality of the soul, 4. fears of the displeasure and wrath of incensed deity, and of divine judgment; shew that there is a future state, in which souls remain immortal. And which still more appears, 5. Not only from the stings of conscience, but from the horrors and terrors, dread, trembling, and panic fears, nicked men are sometimes seized with, as Felix was. 6. The belief of this may be farther argued, from the providence of God concerned in the unequal distribution of things in this If. In a future state, the wicked who have in their life-time received good things, and good men evil things, the latter will have their comforts, and the former the torments. 7. The immortality of the soul may be concluded from the justice of God ; in a future state good men will be happy, and wicked men miserable. S. It seems not agreeable to the wisdom of God, to create man in his image, and make the beasts of the field, for his sake and yet he and they should have the same exit. 9. Between the spirits of men, and those of brutes, there is a difference ; the one at death go upwards the other downward to the earth, Eccles. iii. 21. 10. If the soul is not immortal* the brutes, in many things have the advantage of men ; they are not so weak ; nor subject to so many diseases : the brutes have no fearful apprehensions of danger they know nothing of death, are in no fear about it; therefore if the soul dies with the body, their present condition is worse than that of brutes.

III. The immortality of the soul may be proved from the sacred scriptures; from express passages of scripture; as from Eccles. xii. 7, Matt. x. 28. Luke xii. 4. This is to be proved also from scripture doctrines, and from scripture instances. 1. From scripture doctrines; as from the doctrine of God's love to his people, which is everlasting, Jer. xxxi. 3. from the doctrine of eternal election ; Acts siii. 48. from the covenant of grace, Matt. xxii. 31. and from the doctrine of Christ respecting his work, the'judgment also

whether particular or general, is a proof of the soul's immortality ; for if that dies with the body, there is nothing remains after death on which judgment can pass. n. The immortality of the soul may be proved from scripture instances ; as from the cases of Enoch and Elijah, who were translated, soul and body. Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, who died, and yet aftei death were living, also from the spirits in prison, in the times of the apostle Peter, who were disobedient to the warnings of Noah; and from the souls under the altar, Rev. vi. 9. Lastly, all such scriptures which speak of the felicity of heaven, and of the torments of hell, as to be enjoyed or endured by men after death, prove the immortality of the soul, But,

There are some objections made to the immortality of the soul. 1. From such scriptures which threaten the soul with death in case of sin, tzt.k. xviii. 4. To which may be replied ; there is a spiritual or moral death. And there is an eternal death, and there is a natural death, such as of the body, which the soul is not capable of; and if it was, it would put an end to the second death called an eternal one. 2. From what is said of m.m, Psal. Ixxviii. 39. that he is but flesh, a wind that pa&tseth away, and cometh not again: but this is said of man with respect to his body. 3. From Psal. cxlvi. 4. His breath, goeth forth, he returneth to the earth : the meaning is, that schemes projects, and purposes, concerning either civil or religious things, are then at an end, as Job says, My days are post; my purposes are broken off\ even the thoughts of my heart, Job, xvii. 11. 4. From the likeness of the spirits of brutes and of men, Eccles. iii. 19* 20. But then Solomon in the next verse* clearly observes the difference. 5. The immortality of the soul is objected to, from such passages which speak of man's going, at death, whence he shall not return. But these are to be understood, of his returning to his house, and former manner of living. 6. From those places ; which speak of the dead as not, Jer. xXxi. 15. But this cannot be meant of non-existence, either of soul or body.

STATE OF THE SOUL UNTIL THE RESURRECTION, AND ITS EMPLOYMENT.

I. As soon as the body is dead, the soul immediately enters into a separate state of happiness or misery. The souls of the wicked are sent down to hell. And the souls of good men return to God, the immediate state of the wicked after death, is but sparingly spoken of in scripture; but that of good men more plentifully, the proof of the latter will be chiefly attendcd to, and which may be taken. i. From Eccles. iv. 2. where the saints dead are preferred to living ones. n. From Isai. lvii. 1, 2. The righteous perisheth, EsPc. They enter into peace. They rest in their beds. They walk in their uprightness. in. From Luke xvi. 22, 23, And it came to'pass that the beggar died, &?c. The beggar is represented as under the care and convoy of angels. The rich and wicked man, upon his death, to be in hell. That this respects the intermediate state between the death of the body, and the resurrection of it, is clear, from what the wicked man petitioned, on the behalf of his brethren in his fathers house, iv. From Luke xxiii. 43. And "Jesus said unto him, the penitent thief, then suffering death; verily I say unto thee, which being thus solemnly affirmed might be depended on, to day thou shali be with me in paradise, in heaven, v. From 2 Cor. v, J.—8. For wc know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternai in the heavens. Death is signified by a dissolution of the earthly body ; Heaven is represented as another house of a different nature, into which the saints are at once removed, when dislodged from their earthly house, the body, This is no conjecture, but a certain thing. After which there are strong desires in the saints; of this they have an earnest. And this will be as soon as they are absent from the body, vi. From Phil. 21, 23. i. For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gainfor I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire fa dtpxrt, and to be with Christ, which is far better! Would

he have been at a loss what choice to have made, whether to live or die ; if he was not to enter upon a State of happiness .until the resurrectiori, certain it is, that it would have been better for the churches of Christ, for the interest of religion, and for the glory of God, if he had remained on earth to this day. vn. From Rev. xiv. 13. Blessed are the deadwhich die in the Lord, &?c. which leads to consider the proof that ^ihay be given,

IT. That the souls of men, when separated from their bodies b} death, are r.ot in a state ol insensibility and inactivity. i.1 shall endeavour to prove, that the soul is operative. For, I. The soul can and does operate, without the use of bodily organs in its present state : the rational soul thinks, discourses, and reasons, without the use of them ; it can consider of things past long ago, and of things very remote and at a great distance ; and as it can net without the body now, it can act in that separate state of existence without it. 2. The case of persons in raptures, extacies, and trances ; as John, when he heard the various things recorded in the Book of the Revelation ; and Paul, 2 Cor. xii. 2. The body in an extacy is of no more use to it, nor the organs of it, than if it were dead. 3. The soul freed from the body, must be more capable of exercising its powers. 4. The soul separate from the body is most like unto the angels, and its state, condition, and employ, ment, greatly resemble theirs. They are continually before the throne of God, praising his name, and celebrating his perfections. 5. If the souls of believers after death, are in a state of insensibility and inactivity, their case would be much worse than that of the living, as has been observed. 6. If the souls of truly gracious persons are, upon their departure from hence, insensible and inactive, what is become of the work of grace upon their souls ? How does this well of water spring up into everlasting life, when it does not spring at all, but the streams of it cease to flow? what a chasm roust there be between grace and glory, 7. The proof that has been gjyeri of souls separate from the body entering immedi

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Fifthly, It is observed, that it is said of the dead, that they know not any thing, Eccles. iv. 5. But this is to be understood of the things of this world; they know the things of the other world in which they are. I go on,

III. To point out the work and employment of separate souls ; I shall content myself with just observing some few things, i. It need not be doubted, but that they are employed in celebrating and adoring the perfections of God, Rev. v. 11. 12. and vii. 11. 12. n. They are also employed in beholding God in Christ, and the glory of Christ, John xxii. 24. in. They are likewise employed in the exercise of various graces, Psal. xvi. 9. Rev. vi. 11. i v. They are also employed in serving God ; so those come out of great tribulation, are said to be before the throne of God, and to serve him day and right in his temple, Rev. vii. 14, 15. The souls under the altar are represented as expostulating with God after this manner, And they cried with a loud voice, saying.. Hotv iong,0 Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge cur bio ad an tbtm that dwell on the earth? Rev. vi. 10. v Much of the employment of souls in this separate state, lies in converse with angels, and the spirits of just men made perfect. We read of the tongue of angels; they can communicate their thoughts to one another, and be happy in their mutual converse; see Dan. viii. 13. and xii. 5—7. The souls of men in the separate state, are distinguishable from one another; and there are ways and means, no doubt, of knowing one from another; thus the soul of Abraham may be known from the soul of Isaac; and the soul of Isaac from the soul of Abraham ; and the soul of Jacob from both: and as the saints will know one another in heaven, one part of their happiness will lie in conversing together about divine and heavenly things.

OF THE RESURRECTION OF THE BODY.

Though the immortality of the soul may be known by the light of nature, yet not the resurrection of the body. It has been asserted by some heathen writers that it cannot be

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from the dead merely to torment them. The answer to which is, That though God is just as well as merciful. They further argue, that Christ is the meritorious cause of the resurrection ; and since he has merited nothing for the wicked, or reprobate, they shall not be raised. The answer to which is, That Christ is the meritorious cause of the resurrection of life ; but not of the resurrection of damnation. 2. There are other objections taken from various passages of Scripture, as from Psal. i. 5. Thtrefore the ungodly shall not stand in judgment; they shall not stand before him with - confidence, Isai. xxvi. 14* They are deceased, they shall not rise; which express the prophet's complaint of the present state of Israel and of his distrust of their revival and restoration. Others object that passage in Eccl. vii. 1. Better is the day of death) / than the day of one's birth; since if the wicked rise again, it must be worse with them at death than at their birth; but the words are not spoken of the wicked, but of the righteous, that the wicked shall rise, is not only to be proved from express passages of scripture, before observed, but may be concluded from the general judgment; and the punishments and tor* ments of the wicked, n. To enquire, what of men shall be raised ? Man consists of two parts, soul and body. It is not the soul that is raised, for that dies not; it is that which sleeps in the dust of the earth, and shall be awakened from thence; for, l. The body is not annihilated, or reduced to nothing at death, which is contrary to reason and scripture; death is returning to dust; but then dust is something: if the' body was reduced to nothing at death, Christ would lose part of his purchase, and the Spirit his dwelling place, 1 Cor. vi. 15. 19, 20. The resurrection would not be a resurrection, but the creation of a new body. 2. The body, at the resurrection, will not be a new, aerial, and celestial body, as Origen and others thought, it will be different from what it is now, as to its qualities but not as to its substance. If the body was a new, aerial, celestial body, would it be consistent with the justice of God, that such new, created bodies, which never sinned, should be everlastingly punished? 'J. It may be proved, that the same body thai now is, will be raised from the dead; this is fully expresst d by Job, chap. xix. 26, 27. and by the apostle Paul, lCor xv. 53, 54. This mortal must put on immortality ; this corruption, must put on incorruption. Consider, 1. The notation jf the word resurrection; which signifies a raising up again that which is fallen. 2. The figurative phrases, by which it is expressed, shew it; as by quickening seed, by awakening oui of sleep : the same It that is sown in dishonour is raised in glory. 3. The places from whence the dead will be raised, and be summoned to deliver them, prove the same; our Lord says. All that are in the graves shall come forth. 4. The translations of Enoch and Elijah, were in the very same bodies they had when on earth. 5. The resurrection of Christ's body is a proof of this truth; since he rose from, the dead with the same body he suffered on the cross, John xx. 25. 27. 6. It seems quite necessary from the justice of God. 7. This may be concluded from his veracity in his purposes, promises, and threatenings. 8. It would be a disappointment to the saints, who are waiting for the redemption of ,.heir bodies, if not the same, but others, should be given them. 0. If the same bodies are not raised, the ends of the resurrection will not appear clearly to be answered. 10. If the christian doctrine of the resurrection of the dead is not of the same body, it seems to be no other nor better, than the old Pythagorean notion of the transmigration of souls into other bodies.

III. To observe the causes of this stupendous affair, 1. The efficient cause is God, Rom. iv. 17. 2 Con i. 0. 2. Christ as the Mediator, is the meritorious cause. 3. The instrumental cause, or means, the voice of Christ, and the sound of the trumpet, John v. 28. 4. The final cause is the glory of divine grace.

As to the time of the resurrection, it cannot be exactly fixed; noi does it become us curiously to inquire into it, any more than into the ime of the kingdom, and the hour of judgment,, in general, it .s said to be at the last day, John vi. 39—54.

IV. There are many objections made to this great and glorious doctrine, i. That maxim, or aphorism, is sometimes alledged; a privation* ad habitum non datur regressus ; from a total destruction of any being, there is no restoration of it to its former state and condition: This may be true of things according to the common course of nature; yet will not hold good of what may be done by the power of God. Besides, the bodies of men at death are not totally destroyed; they are in being, and are something; out of which, it is Ikh impossible, they may be raised by the power of God. «. It is objected, the body is dissolved into so many, and such small particles; that they should meet in their proper places in the body, seems incredible. But, the omnipotence and omniscience of God, knows where every particle of matter lies, and can collect and range them. Besides, it has beeh observed by some, that panicles as numerous and more minute, as those of light be, are governed by certain fixed laws, that the parts of which the visible body is composed, were as much scattered over the whole earth, more than five thousaud years ago, as they will be many years after death, or at the end of the world ; it is observed, that the loadstone will draw iron when at a distance from it; and that the heavenly bodies, which are at a great, and almost immeasurable distance, are subject to a law that brings them towards each other. Such is the virtue of the loadstone, that let iron, lead, salt, and stone, be reduced to powder, and mixed together, and hold the loadstone to it, it will draw the iron only. And surely then, the great Alchy. mist of the world, and he who is the Author of the loadstone, can gather together the particles of the dissolved body. in. The various changes and alterations the body undergoes, are objected to the same body being raised. It is a good distinction made by a learned writer, of an own or proper body, and of a visible one ; the visible body consists both of fluids and of solids. An own or proper body, consists almost only of solids; as of skin, bones, nerves, tendons, cartilages, arteries, and veins; which continue the same from infancy to the a>*ge of maturity. iv. The grossness and gravity of bodies, are objected, as rendering them unfit to dwell in such a place as heaven, all fluid, and purely ethereal. As for the grossness, they will be gready refined and spiritualized. As to the gravity of them, a learned man observes, " There is no such thing as gravity in regions purely etherael." But, v. There is another objection, of more importance, which must be removed ; which is taken from human bodies being eaten by men, either through necessity, as in distressed cases; or of choice, as by Cannibals, or man.eaters. God, who has promised to raise the bodies of all men, will take care that nothing relating to nourishment, should hinder the performance of it; and that the particles of one man's body, shall never so become the particles of another, as that the resurrection of cither should thereby be rendered impossible.

To conclude, this doctrine appears to be of great importance and usefulness. And it may be a means of encouraging our faith in God. This doctrine affords much comfort; hence, in the Syriac version of John xi. 24. it is called the consolation of the last day. ,

OF THE SECOND COMING OF CHRIST, AND HIS PERSONAL APPEARANCE.

In distinction from his first coming and appearance at his incarnation, it is called his second, Heb. ix. 28. which will now be treated of.

I. By giving the proof of the certainty of it. i. From what the patriarchs before and after the flood have said o( it; Enoch, the seventh from Adam, is recorded by the apostle, Saying, Behold the Lordcomet h with ten thousands of his saints, to execute judgment upon all, Jude, verse 14, 15. David speaks of the coming of Christ to judge the earth and the world, Psal. xcvi. 13, N. The certainty of Christ's second coming and personal appearance may be confirmed from what the pro. phets have said concerning it; for it has been spoken of by the mouth of them «#> Acts. iii. 21. The prophecies in Dan. viii 13,14. and another in Dan. xii. 1—3. respects the personal coming of Christ. So also the prophecy in Zech. xiv. 4, 5. and in Mai. iv. 1—3. ni. The certainty of Christ's second coming may be evinced from several sayings and parables delivered by him: as, 1. The answer of Christ to the question of his disciples; What shall be the sign of thy coming, and ofthe end of the world? Matt. xxiv. 3. 2. The parables in Matt. xxv. all respect the second coming of Christ. The chapter is closed with an account of the Son of man coming in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, and sitting on the throne of his glory. 3. The parable of the nobleman, in Luke xix. 12, &c. is similar to that of the talents. 4. The words of Christ in John xiv. 2, 3. cannot well be neglected ; In my Fathers bouse are many mansions ; I go to prepare a place for you, and1will come again, and receive you unto myself, iv. That Christ will come personally on earth a second time, may be most certainly concluded from the words of the angels, in Acts i. 11. This same Jesus which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in Hie manner as ye have seen him go into heaven. The angels reproved the apostles, that they stood gazing at Jesus, as he went up to hearen, being desirous of seeing the last of him, as if they were never to see him any more; whereas he would come again from heaven, in like manner as they saw him go. v. The second coming and appearance of Christ, may be confirmed from various passages in the sermons, discourses, and epistles of the apostles. And, 1. From the words of Peter, Acts iii. 19—21. From whence it appears, that there was then to come, and still is to come, a time of the restitution of all things. 2. There are various passages, in which express mention is made of the coming of Christ; of his appearing a second time unto the salvation of his people, 1 Thess. iv. 14. 16. 1 Cor. iv. 5. 3. In all those places in which mention is made of that day, that famous, that well known day, so much spoken of and expected, 2 Tim. i. 12. 18. and of the day of the Lord, 2 Pet. iii, 10. and of the day of the Lord Jesus, 1 Cor. i. 8. and of the day of redemption, Eph. v. 30. Vi. ln the book of the Revelation, frequent mention is made of the visible, quick, and speedy coming of Christ, and of what shall be then done by him, as in chap. i. 7. &c. and xx. 1—3.

II. The locality of Christ's second coming, and personal appearance; or the place from whence he will come, and where he will appear. i. The place from whence he will come; the third heaven. 2. The place whither he shall come, the earth ; when he appears from the third heaven, he shall descend into the air, and there stay some time, until the dead saints are raised, and the living ones changed.

III. The visibility of Christ's personal appearance; he will appear in human nature; and every eye shall see him, Matt, xxiv. 27. so that he will be seen by all the tribes, kindreds, and n.\ ions of the earth.

IV. The glory of Christ's second coming. It is, with propriety, called, The glorious mppearanceof the great God i Tit. ii. 13. Christ will come in the glory of his Father, Matt. xvi. 27. He will come as a Judge, to which office he is appointed by his Father. n. He will come in his own glory, Matt. xxv. 31. which is twofold. i. He will come in the glory of his divine nature, and the perfections of it: as a divine Person, as God over all; so his coming is called, the coming of the day ofGody

2 Pet. iii. 12. 2. Christ will come in the glory of his human ■ature. The apostle takes notice of this remarkable circumstance, which will attend the second coming and appearance of Christ, that it will be without sin, the disgrace of human nature, Heb. ix. 28. in. Christ will come in the glory of his holy angels; this circumstance is always observed in the account of his glorious coming. This will add to the glory and solemnity of the day. When God descended on mount Sinai, he came with ten thousand of his saints ; when Christ ascended on high, his chariots were twenty thousand; and when he shall descend from heaven, he will be revealed from thence with his mighty angels.

V. The time of Christ's second coming and personal appearand, may next be enquired into. But to put a stop to en« quirks of this kind, at least a boundary to them, it should be observed what our Lord says; 0f that day and hour knoweth' no man, not the angels; but my Frther only, Matt. xxiv. 36. Another evangelist has it, Neither the Son, that is, as man. Some good men, in the last age, fixed the time of Christ's second coming, of his personal reign, and the millennium; ia which being mistaken, it has brought the doctrine into disgrace, and great neglect. It seems impracticable and impossible to know the time of the second coming of Christ; and therefore it must be vain and needless, if not criminal, t» enquire into it. However, it is known to God, and he, in his own appointed time, will send him,shew him, and set him forth.

VI. The signs of Christ's appearance and kingdom. The more remote ones are such as Christ gives in answer to the question of the apostles to him ; What shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world? such as wars and rumours of wars, famines, pestilences, earthquakes, and persecutions of good men. The more near signs, or what will more nearly precede Christ's second and personal coming, are the spiritual reign. But after all, it seems as if there would be an uncertainty of it until the sign of the Son of man.

VII. The ends to be answered by the second and personal coming of Christ. i. The putting of the saints into the full possession of salvation, Heb. ix. 28. 2. The destruction of all his and our enemies.

OF THE CONFLAGRATION OF THE UNIVERSE.

The universal conflagration is strongly and fully expressed by the apostle Peter, 2 epist. iii. 10. 12. where he says, The elements shall melt away with fervent heat; the earth also, and the works that are therein, shall be burnt up: which is to be understood of the burning of the whole sublunary world; signified by the heavens and the earth, taken in a literal, and not in a figurative sense.

I. Not figuratively, as some interpret them, of the Jewish ahurch, and of the Mosaic elements; for the Jewish church ie never called the world. Though the commandments of the ceremonial law are called elements, or rudiments, in allusion to the elements, or rudiments of a language, yet they are never so called in allusion to the elements, which belong to the natural system of the world. The abrogation of the ceremonial law is expressed by the fleeing away of shadows ; but never by burning, melting, and dissolving. The Mosaic elements, or the ceremonial law, and its precepts, were already abolished, when Peter wrote this epistle. And likewise, the new heavens and the new earth, if by them are meant the evangelical state, or gospel church state; that also had already taken place, and Peter was an instrument in the forming of it. II. The words are to be understood literally ; yet not of a partial burning of some particular place or city. The de. struction here spoken of, is of equal extentwith the destruction of the world by the flood. No such events happened at the destruction of Jerusalem, as the passing away of the heavens with a great noise, a fervent heat in them, to the liquefaction of the elements. Nor was this destruction so desirable a thing as to be looked for with pleasure, it is expressly said to be at the day of judgment. The nature and extent of this burning, will appear, i. From partial burnings; which maybe considered as types, emblems, and pressages of the universal burning, as, the burning of Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities of the plain. The destruction of Jerusalem, Matt. xxiv. 3. The burning of the beast, of antichrist, and of the antichristian states, Dan. vii. 9,—11. and the destruction of Gog and Magog, or the Turk, will be by fire ; the Lord will rain upon him an overflowing rain, and great hailstones, fire mnd brimstone, Ezex. xxxviii. 22. Now these several partial burnings, at least, make that possible and probable, I i. The probability of the universal conflagration, may be argued from the preparations in nature, for the apostle says, that the heavens and the earth are now, are kept in store ; it is certain, there are various Valcano's or burning mountains, in different parts of the world. And there is not only a preparation making in the earth, bat in the heaven also, where there is a great store of materials fit for this purpose provided; witness the fiery meteors in them, the blazing comets, which sometimes appear, and are always in being, though not always seen by us ; and those vast bodies of light and fire, the sun and stars, and the vast quantities of matter which occasion such dreadful thunders and lightenings, when these things are considered, the general conflagration of the world, will seem neither impossible nor improbable; but ra'her it may be wondered at, and thought a miracle, that the earth has not been destroyed by fire long ago. Let the atheist, the infidel, the profane and careless sinner, tremble at this. Pliny, the heathen, observing the many fires in the earth and in the heavens, says, M It exceeds all miracles, that one day should pass and all things not put into a conflagration," 141. What may make the doctrine of the universal confl igration probable is, that it has been believed in all ages, and by all sorts of persons. Josephus says, that Adam foretold the destruction of all things, at one time by the force of fire ; and at another time, by the violence and multitude of water; and therefore the posi terity of Seth built two pillars, one of brick and the other of stone, on which they inscribed their inventions; this same tradition has been em'incsd by poets and philosophers, it isxhe observation of many writers, that the Stoic philosophers held the conflagration of the world by fire ; that men of different nations, and ages, and sentiments, should agree in this, makes it probable that so it may be. iv. That the world, and alt things in it, shall at last be consumed by fire, may be concluded from the sacred scriptures. From Psal. i. 3. 0ur God shall ceme fcfe. From Psal. xcvii. 3—5. Afire goeth before him, andburneth up his enemies round about. From Isai xxiv. From Isai. Ixvi. 15, 16. For behold the Lord will come with fire, Ecfc. From the various passages in the minor pro phets ; particularly in Nahum i. 3—5.

Some passages in Zeph. i. seem to look this way.

It will be needless to take notice of passages in the NewTestamcnt; since the famous one in Peter, and the texti* 2 Thess. i. 7, 8. has been often quoted and referred to. I pro^ ceed.

v. To answer some queries relative to it; As 1. with what sort of fire the world will be burnt. Not with fire taken in a figurative sense, but in a literal sense. The world will be destroyed b) fire much in the same manner as it was by water: the stores of fire in the heavens being opened, and great quantities issuing out of the bowels of the earth, these joining together will bring on their speedy dissolution. 2. What will be the extent of this burning ? or how far, and to what will it reach I To tie heavens, the elements, the earth, and all the works in it.—To the heavens ; not to the third heaven: it is a question whether it will reach the starry heaven, or at all affect the luminaries of the sun, moon, and stars. But it will be the airy heaven, that will be the subject of the conflagration, the atmosphere about us, the surrounding air, and meteors in it; the earth, and all the works that are in it; the whole terraqueous globe, both land and sea. This fire will reach to all the living creatures in the earth, land and sea, the works of God's hands. It will be extended to all the works of nature, mountains, hills, and rocks, metals and minerals in the bowels of them, and all that cover and ornament them, trees, herbs, plants, and flowers. It will consume all the works of art, all literary works, lands, possessions, and inheritances, with all the writings of men.

Here let it be observed for the comfort of the saints, that there are many things which will escape the general conflagration ; as the Book of life, in which the names of God's elect are written ; the Covenant of grace, which contains the mag« na charta of their salvation; the Word of God, as it is the engrafted word in their hearts, and the title to the heavenly inheritance. 3. The next query is, whether the earth shall be. dissolved by fire, as to its substance, or only as to its qualities ? There are persons of great note on both sides of the question, and the arguments of each are not despicable: but I rather incline to the latter, that the world will only be destroyed with respect to its qualities.

Those who suppose that the world will be only destroyed, as to the qualities of it, argue also from reason and scripture. i. From reason; they observe that the old world which perished by the flood, was not destroyed as to its substance. 11. They likewise produce passages of scripture, and argue from them, against the substantial destruction of the world, and for the change of it only; as Psal. civ. 5. and £ccles. i. 4. as Psal. cii. 26. Isai. li. 6. and Acts iii. 21. Bat of this more in the following chapter.

OF THE NEW HEAVENS AND EARTH, AND THE INHABITANTS OF THEM.

This is clearly revealed in the sacred scriptures; we christians look for new heavens, and a new earth, wherein dwell, eth righteousn*ss, righttous persons, and they only, 2 Pet. iii. 13. The things to be enquired into are, what these new heavens and earth be, and who the inhabitants of them.

I. What are meant by the new heavens and the new earth, in the above passages ; these are to be understood not in a figurative, but in a literal sense. l. Not in a figurative sense, as of the gospel church state ; Peter could never speak of the new heayens and new earth in this sense as future. The gospel church state, even in the first and purest ages of it, was not perfect as the state of things will be; but in the new heayens and the new earth, none but such as are perfectly righteous will dwell in the new Jerusalem-state; there will be no temple, no worship, in the manner that now is. Nor is it to be understood of the state of the Jews at the time of their conversion. This will be before the new heavens and new earth are formed, Rev.^xix. 7, 8. Nor of the spiritual reign of Christ, which will be in the present earth and not in the one. Nor of the heavenly state, or the ultimate glory; for these new heavens and earth are distinct from the third hea. ven, the seat of that. The camp of the saints, and the holy

and beloved city, are represented as on earth, even at the end of a thousand years, Rev. xx. 9. ii. The new heavens and new earth are to be understood in a literal sense; a literal sense is not to be departed from without necessity: the phrase, heaven and earth, is used by the apostle Peter frequently, and always literally in the sublunary world; by the new ones, can be meant no other. 1. Tiie new heavens must be interpreted of the airy htavens, and of a new air in them ; purged, purified, and refined by fire: no storms of hail, no stores of snow, no blustering storms and tempests, no coruscations and flashes of lightning, nor peals of thunder; but a pure, serene, and tranquil air, quite suited to the bodies of raised saints ; the air will now be cleared of devils, the whole body of them will be cast into ihe abyss. 2. The new earth, will be an earth refined and renewed, and restored to its paradisaical estate : as it was bi fore the fall. It shall no more bring forth thorns and thistles, nor n quire labour and pains to cultivate it. It must be but reasonable,' that since Christ hath redeemed his people from the curse of the law, being made a curse for them, that evety degree of that curse should be removed; which, as yet is not, from the earth particularly ; when the second Adam, and his seed, come to enjoy the earth alone, accordingly, There will be no more curse, Rev. xxii. 3.

II. The inhabitants of the new heavens and the new earth are next to be considered. These are described, l. By the name of righteousness itself; wherein, in the new heavens and earth, dwelleth righteousness, 2 Pet. iii. 13. that is, righteous persons; see Isai. Ix. 21. Thy people shall he all righteous; they shall inherit the land for ever: Psal. xxxvii.f29. The righteous shall inherit the land, and dwell therein for ever. li. The inhabitants of which are the palm bearing company in Rev. vii. 9. for this vision is synckronal, or cotemporary, with that of the new heavens and the new earth. These are the persons, and this will be the happy case of the inhabitants of the new heavens and the new earth, in. A farther account is given of those inhabitants in Rev. xxi. 1, 2, &c. They are called the holy city, the new Jerusalem ; but not as in any state on this present earth. Mortal men, dwelling in houses of clay, would never be able to bear such a glory.

The inhabitants of the new heavens and the new earth, are here described under the names of the holy city, by their descent from heaven, and by their freedom from all evils; God shall wipe away all tears from thjir eyes : there shall be no more night, either in a literal sense, or rather figurative, meaning no night of ignorance and error, of darkness and desertion, and of affliction of any kind; and they need no candle, neither the light of the sun; neither artificial nor natural ligh.; for the Lord God giveth them light, what vastly exceeds either; and they shall reign for ever and ever; first with Christ on the new earth, for a thousand years, next to be considered, and then in heaven to all eternity.

OF THE MILLENNIUM, OR PERSONAL REIGN OF CHRIST.

I OBsERVE,

I. That Christ will have a special, peculiar, glorious, and visible kingdom, in which he will reign personally on earth. I. I call it a special, peculiar kingdom, different from the kingdom of nature, and from his spiritual kingdom. 2. It will be very glorious and visible; hence his appearing and kingdom are put together, 2 Tim. iv. 1. 3. This kingdom will be after all the enemies of Christ, and of his people, are removed out of the way. Antichrist will be destroyed; an angel, who is no other than Christ, will then personally descend to bind Satan and all his angels. 5. This kingdom of Christ will be bounded by two resurrections; by the first resurrection, or the resurrection of the just, at which it will begin; and by the second resurrection, or the resurrection of the wicked, at which it will end, or nearly. 6. This kingdom will be before the general judgment, especially of the wicked. John, after he had given an account of the former, Rev. xx. relates a vision of the latter. 7. This glorious, visible kingdom of

Christ will be on earth, and not in heaven; and so is distinct from the kingdom of heaven, or the ultimate glory.

II. Having explained the nature of Christ's kingdom, I shall proceed to give the proof that there will be such a glorious, visible kingdom of Christ on earth. Now the proof of this point may be taken, I. From some passages in the Psalms, as the xlvth Psalm ; which shews that this kingdom of Christ will be on earth, and agrees with the faith and expectation of the saints, that as they are made by him, kings and priests unto God, they shall reign on earth. Psal. xcvi. which begins, The Lord reigneth, let the earth rejoice; shews that the Psalm respects the kingdom of Christ on earth ; and which will take place at his coming to judge the world, as appears by its connection with the last verse of the preceding Psalin. II. From various passages in the prophets: and, 1. From Isai. xxiv. 23. Then the moon shall be confounded, fcfe. the sun and moon will he ashamed and confounded ; they will blush and withdraw their light; that city, the new Jerusalem, where he will reign, will stand in no need of their light, for the Lamb will be the light of it, Rev. xxi. 23. 2. With this agrees another prophecy in Isai. xxx. 26. Moreover, the light of the moon shall be as the light of the sun, CsV. this prophecy will not be fulfilled until the day of the great slaughter is over: nor will it be fully accomplished until the name of the Lord, or the Lord himself, eomes with the fume of a devouring fire, to burn up the world, and all things in it, verse 27. 30. There is another prophecy which seems to belong to this glorious kingdom of Christ on earth, in Jer. xxiii. 5, 6. Behold the days come, saith the Lord, that I will raise unto David a righteous branch, Es?c. and on the earth this his reign will be. 4. There are some passages in Ezekiel, which seems to have respect to this kingdom state; as in chap. xxi. 27. in Daniel ii. 44. and in Zech. xiv. 9. in. The proof of this glorious kingdom of Christ, may be given from various passages in the New Testament; and, 1. From Matt. vi. 10. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done in earth, a% it is heaven. 2. From Matt. xx. 21—23. Then came to him,

the mother of Zebedee's children, desiring that her two sons may sit the one on Christ's right hand, and the other on the left, in his kingdom. 3. From Luke i. 32, 33. The Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David; and he shall reign over the house oj Jacob forever ; and of his kingdom tliere shall be no end. 4. From Luke xxiii. 42, 43. And he said unto yestis. Lord, remember me when thou comett into thy kingdom, 5. From Acts i. 7. Lord wilt thou at this time restore the kingdom unto Israel? 6. From 2 Tim. iv. 1. I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and dead at hit appeai ing, and his kingdom. His appearing a second time, and then his personal reign, and glorious kingdom will take place.

II. In this glorious, visible, and personal reign of Christ, all the saints will have a share, they will reign with him, Rev. xx. 4. 6. t. There are various passages of scripture, which give plain intimations of the reign of the saints with Christ ia his kingdom, as Psal. xlv. 16. Isai. xxxii. 1. Micah. iv. 7, 8. Luke i. 32. Matt. xix. 28. Rom. viii. 17. Rev. iii. 21. Sec. II. All the saints will share in the glories of Christ's kingdom ; though some will have distinguished honours, yet all will reign with Christ; for, 1. All the saints will come with Christ, who have departed this life, when he comes a second time ; this is asserted both in the Old and New Testaments, Zech. xiv. 5. 1 Thess. iii. 13. 2. All that are Christ's shall rise from the dead at his coming, 1 Cor. xv. 23. and, in consequence of their resurrection, shall reign with him. 3. All the elect of God, and the redeemed of the Lamb, arc kings and priests; and being such, shall reign on earth. 4. The whole church of God, and the members of it, in every dispensation, shall have a share in this kingdom, in. In what sense the saints, even all the saints, will reign with Christ, may be next considered. This will not be after the manner of his spiritual reign among his saints ; that is a reign in them, this is a reigning with them, and of them with him. This will be a reign with Christ personally and visibly. It implies ..some kind of share with him

in the glories of his kingdom, and supposes dominion over all their enemies.

HI. The description of the persons that shall thus reign with Christ, as given Kev. xx. b. They are such who have part in the first resurrection; 0n web the second death hath no power. They will be priests of God and of Christ; that is, made priests to God by Christ. They will be always before the throne, and serve the Lord day and night, and hunger and thirst no more. They will be holy in body, being raised in purity, and in soul, being perfectly sanctified.

IV. The continuance and duration of the reign of Christ and the saints together, which will be a thousand years. It it expressly said, The rest of the dead lived not again till the thousand years were finished, Rev. xx. 5. It may be enquired,

Whether these thousand years are past or to come? To the solution of which, this observation is necessary, that the binding of Satan, and the reign of Christ, are cotemporary. i. These thousand years have been dated from the birth of Christ, who came to destroy the works of the devil, and before whom, Satan fell as lightening from heaven, yet this falls short of the binding and casting him into the bottomless pit. u.Others date these thousand years of Satan's binding, from the resurrection of Christ; but Satan was not then bound, in. Others begin these thousand years of Satan's binding at the destruction of Jerusalem ; but in these times, the devil could never be said to be bound, when he had a synagogue of corrupt men, Rev. ii. 9. iv. Others begin the date of Satan's binding, and Christ's reigning, from the times of Constantine; and reckoning the thousand years from hence they will reach to the beginning of the fourteenth century. But that the devil was not then bound, appears by the flood he cast out of his mouth to destroy the woman, the church, who was obliged to disappear and flee into the wilderness, the remnant of whose seed he persecuted, Rev. xii. 13—17 v. Some begin the thou, sand years reign, and the binding of Satan, at the reformatio* from popery; but whether the date is from Wickliff, John

Huss, and Jerom from Prague, or of Luther, they all of them either suffered death or met with great inhumanity and ill treatment, from the instruments of Satan, and therefore he could not be bound. Satan will not be bound till Christ, the ' mighty Angel, descends from heaven to earth, which will not be till the end of the world.

V. I close all with an answer to a few of the principal ob. jections. i It may be objected, to what purpo.: will Satan, be bound a thousand years to prevent hi» de piion of the nations, when there will be no nations to be deceived by him during that ti'ne, since the wicked will be all destroyed in .he general conflagration, and the saints will be with Chris:, out of the reach of temptation and seduction. I answer, this will not be the case at the binding of Satan ; the same nations, Satan, by being bound, is prevented from deceiving, are those that will be deceived by him after his being loosed, as appears by comparing Rev. xx. 3. with verse 8. 2. That though the saints are said to reign with Christ a thousand years, Rev. xx. 4—6. yet they are not there said to reign on earth. But it is elsewhere said, the meek shall inherit the earth. They are manifestly the camp of the saints, who will come up on the breadth of the earth, and therefore must be on earth. 3. It is objected to the personal reign of Christ with the saints on earth, that they, by reason of the frailty of nature, will be unfit to converse with Christ. This objection proceeds upon a supposition, that the saints will then be in a sinful, mortal state ; which will not be the case. 4. It is suggested, that for the saints to come down from heaven, and leave their happy state there, and dwell on earth, must be a diminishing of their happiness, and greatly detract from it. No such thing; for Christ will come with them. 5. The bodies of the wicked lying in the earth till the thousand years are ended, may be objected to the purity of the new earth, and to the glory of the state of the saints upon it. The purification of it by fire.. will, indeed, only affect the surrounding air, and the surface of the earth, or little more. As for the bodies of the wicked, that will have been interred in it from the beginning of tRe world to the end of it, those will be long reduced to their original earth, and will be neither morally impure, nor naturally offensive ; and if any thing of the latter could be conceived of, the purifying fire may reach so far as entirely to remove that, and as for the bodies of the wicked, which will be burnt to ashes at the conflagration, how those ashes, and the ruins of the old world after the burning, will be disposed of, by the almighty power, and all wise providence of God, it is not easy'tosay; jt is very probable they will be disposed of under ground: all the wicked that ever were in the world, will be under the feet of the saints in the most literal sense ; they will tread upon the very ashes of the wicked, Mai, iv. 3. n. As to the questions. 1. What will become of the new earth, after the thousand years of the reign of Christ and his saints on it are ended? whether it will be annihilated or not? My mind has been at an uncertainty about this matter; sometimes inclined oneway, and sometimes another; because of the seeming different accounts of it in Isai. lxvi. 22. where it is said to remain before the Lord, and in Rev. xx. 11. where it is said to flee awaj from the face of the Judge. My last and present thoughts are, that it will continue forever, Rev. xr. 11". 2. Who the Gog and Magog army are, that shall encompass the camp of the saints when the thousand years are ended ? They are the rest of the dead, the wicked, who live not till the thousand years are ended. 3. What the fire will be, which .shall come down from heaven, and destroy the Gog aud Magog army? The wrath and indignation of God.

OF THE LAST AND GENERAL JUDGMENT.

Witit respect to the last and general judgment, the things to be considered are,

I. 1 he proof of a general judgment: there will be a judgment D1 men in a future state. 1. A particular one, which parses upon particular persons immediately after death, Heb. is. 27. 2. A general one after the resurrection of the dead; and this is the judgment that proof is to be given of. i. From reason ; and it may be observed, 1. That the heathens, destitute of divine revelation, and who have had only the light of nature to guide them, have entertained notions of a future judgment. '1 hey spi ak of righteous judges in the infernal regiios; as ./Eyeus, Khadamanthus, and Minas. 2. It appears from the accisatioi^ of a natural conscience for sin: Felix tr» molM when V, he ird the npri;tle Paul discourse of judgment to come. 3. T may be argied from the justice of God, for it 's a ngVe His thing vith God, to render tribulation to tturn that trouble his 1)eopkv and to reward his saints according tr h,» frratious promises. 4. This may be concluded from t V .,elation men stand in to God, as creatures to a Creator. Every one must give an account of himself to God. this may be reasoned £rrini tht. judgments of God, in this present life, 1 Cor. xi. 32. 6. The desires of the saints after it, furnish out an argument in favour of it: they most earnesly desire his coming to judgment. Such desires are not implanted in vain. u. The truth of this doctrine will more fully appear from divine revelation. 1. In the prophecy of Enoch, the seventh from Adam, recorded in Jude. 2. The character Abraham gives of Jehovah, as The Judge ofail the earthy

| mho will do right. Gen. xviii. 25. 3. This may be concluded from the faith of Job, xix. 25. 4. Also from the declaration of Moses, in bis song, The Lord shall judge his people, Deut. xxxii. 36. 5. Likewise from the song of Hannah ; The Lord shall judge the ends of the earth, 1 Sam. ii. 10. 6. From some passages in the Psalms, Psal. i. 3—6. and xcvii. 9. 7- From the book of Ecclesiastes, where it is said, God will

Judge the righteous and the wicked. 8. From various sayings of Christ recorded by the evangelist, Matt. v. 21, 22 and vi. 1. and xi. 22. 24. and xii. 36—42. 9. From the sermons and epistles of the apostles, particularly the apostles Peter and Paul ; the apostle Peter in Acts x. 42. 1 Pet. iv. 9. 2 Pet. ii. 2. the apostle Paul in Acts xvii. 31. and xxiv. 25. Kom. ii. 3—16. and xiv. 10. 2 Cor. v. 10, 2 Tim. iv. 1, 8.—10. Heb. »i. 2.

II. The next enquiry is, who the person is that shall be the Judge, preside in judgment, and carry on the judicial process toihe end ? God is, and will bt; Judge, and he only ; hence we read of God the Judge of all, Heb. xii. 23. but according to tne economy settled between the three divine Persons, the work is assigned) unto the Son; hence we read of appearing and standing before the judgment seat of Christ, and of the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead, ai his appearing and kingdom, Rom. xiv. 1. it is a branch of his kingly office ; Then shall the King say, is'c. l. It is highly proper that the Judge of all the earth, should be God. The woik requires divine omniscience, infinite wisdom, almighty, power, and strict justice and faithfulness; all which are to be found in Christ the Son God. it. That Christ should appear in human nature, when he comes to judge the world, is highly necessary; for God has appointed to judge the world by that Man whom he has ordained : yea, the Father has given him authority to execute it, because he is the Son of man, Acts xvii. 31. John v. 27,

As for the concern of others in the judgment, angels or men, nothing is to be admitted, that derogates from the glory of the office of Christ, as Judge of the world.

III. The persons that will be judged; angels and men: as to good angels, nothing is said of the judgment of them in scripture ; nor does it seem probable, since they never sinned. But as to the case of the evil angels, it is notorious that they wiU be judged. The judgment spoken of in scripture chiefly concerns men, good and bad; for as the wise man says, God shall judge the righteous and the wicked, i. The righteous : and these shall be judged first alone ; for the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment with {hem, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous. Moreover, since they are to judge the world, and to judge angels, it is necessary they should be first judged themselves. n. The wicked will be judged; such who have indulged themselves in the gratification of sinful pleasures, and may have been so hardened in sin as to imagine they shall escape the judgment of God ; yet they shall not, Rom. ii. 3—5. even all the wicked shall be judged, Rev. xx. 5. 12.

Some objections are made to what has been said concerning the judgment of the righteous before the wicked ; as, l. That it seems to contradict the account given of the judgment of both, Matt. xxv. as appearing together, and then separated. To which it will be sufficient to answer, that in descriptions taken from men, it is not to be expected, that there should be an exact correspondence in every circumstance of them. The allusion is to a sanhedrim, or court of judicature with the Jews ; when, whom the judge absolved, he placed at his right hand ; and whom he condemned, he placed at his left. All which may as well be done by supposing the judgment of the one to precede the judgment of the other. 2. It is objected, that this account ol the judgment seems to make two days of judgment. Not at all: there will be but one day of judgment, though it will be a long one. 3. Should it be further objected, that there seems no necessity for such a length of time to judge the world in. I answer, if there is any thing in this objection, it lies as strongly against any formal judgment at all. 4. It may seem inconsistent to some, that the time of the saints reigning with Christ, and their being judged by him, should be together: but they will not stand before the judge as criminals, but as the favourites of heaven; and this judgn ment will not be of their persons, on which their final state depends ; but of their works.

It may be proper briefly to observe, what of men will be brought into judgment, i. All their works and actions, whether good or evil, Eccles. xii. 14. 2. All the words of men, Matt. xii. 35—37. 3. Every thought, good or bad; God will judge the secrets of men, Rom. ii. 16.

IV. The rule of judgment, according to which it will proceed, and from whence the evidence will be taken, art certain kooks opened, Rev. xx. 12. 1. The book of divine omniscience will be opened, Mai. iii. 5. S. This book 6cems to be

the same with the book of remembrance. 3. The book of the creatures, or creation, will be opened. 4. The book ol pro. ▼idence will be opened. 5. The book of the scriptures will be opened, bo;h of law and gospel. 6. The book of conscience: in this are recorded the actions of men; and from thence are they to be brought forth upon occasion. 7. There is another book that will be opened ; and that is the book of life, Rev. xxi. 27.

Now the dead will be judged out of those things which are written in the books. according to their ivorks, Rev. xx. 12. This judgment out of the books, and according to works, is designed to shew with what accuracy and exactness, with what justice and equity, it will be executed, in allusion to statute books in courts of judicature, to be referred unto in any case •f difficulty.

V. The circumstances of the judgment, as to time and place. l. The time of it, will be after the resurrection. It is •ften spoken of in scripture as though it would be quickly, particularly in Rev. xxii. 7—20. to alarm men, and keep up a constant expectation of it; He bath appointed a day, in which he will judge the world in righteousness, Acts xvii. 3 J. ir. The place. This is also uncertain. Some, because of certain passages in Joel iii. 2. 12. have thought of the valley Jehoshaphat; but no valley can be supposed large enough to hold all that will be judged at the day of judgment. The two more probable opinions are, that the judgment will be either in the; air or in the earth. 1 rather think it will be on earth.

VI. The properties of this judgment, as may be gathered from what has been said about it, and from express passages of scripture, l. It is future, judgment to come, Acts xxiv. 25. 2. It is certain, Eccles. xi. 9. 3. It will be universal; none shall escape it. 4. It will be a righteous judgment, Rom. ii. A S. It will be the last judgment, 1 Cor. xv. 52. 6. It is called eternal judgment, Heb. vi. 2.

OF THE FINAL STATE OF THE WICKED.

When the judgment is finished, and the sentence pro* Souuced, the wicked will go into everlasting' punishment, Matt. xxv. 46. What that punishment will be, and the duration of it, are the things to be considered.

I. Prove that there will be a slate of punishment of wicked teen in the future world. There is a punishment of the wicked in their bouls, which takes place at death; as appears from the parable of the rich man, Luke xvi. 23. this will appear,—1. From the light of nature among the heathens j being owned and spoken of, not only by their poets, but by their philosophers, and those the more wise, grave, and serious among them. Tertulian, charges the heathens with borrowing these things from the sacred writings. " When we speak of God as a Judge, and threaten men with hell-fire, we are laughed at: but, says he, the poets and the philosophers erect a tribunal in hell, and speak of a river of fire there : fr6m whence sa) s he, I beseech you, have they suck like things, but from our mysteries ?" 2. A state of punish, ment hereafter, appears from the impressions of guilt and wrath on the conscience of men now. Cicero says, " Every man's sins distress him ; their evil thoughts and consciences terrify them ; these, to the ungodly, are their daily and domestic furies, which haunt them day and night." Such may be observed in Cain, Pharaoh, Judas, and other wicked persons. 3. This may be argued from the justice of God. Justices does not take place in this world ; it seems, therefore, but just and reasonable, that there should be a change of thing*1. 4. This is abundantly evident from divine revelation, Psal. ix. 17. Matt. v. 22—30. 5. This may be farther confirmed, from the examples of persons that already endure the punishment, as the fallen angels, Rev. xx. 10. The men of the old world, 1 Pet. iii. 19, 20. And the men of Sodom, Jude verse 7. v

II. The names, words, and phrases, by which the place and state of future punishment are expressed; will still give a further proof of it. i. The names of the place; the scriptures make mention of it as a place of torment, Luke xvi. 28. and Judas is said to go to his own place. 1. It is called destruction, Rev. ix. 11. 2. Another name or word by which it is expressed, is Sheol, which is often rendered the grave; as in Gen. xlii. 38. yet in some places it seems as if it could not be understood of that, but of the state or place of punishment of the wicked; as in Psal. ix. 17 The wicked shall be turned into hell: the phrase being turned into it, denotes indignation, contempt, and shame. 3. Another name for hell is, Tophet; which was a place in the valley of the son of HinDom, where the Israelites burnt their sons and their daughters in the fire, sacrificing them to Molech; and that the cries of the infants might not be heard to affect their parents, drums, or tabrets, were beat upon during the time: and from hence the place the name»of Tophet, Toph signifying a dium, or tabret, Jer. vii. 31, 32. Tdphetis ordained of old^ &fc. lsai. xxx. 33. 4. From Gehinnom, the valley of Hinnom, where Tophet was, is the word used in the New Testament, geenna, Matt, v. 22—30. where, as Diodorus Siculus relates, the inhabitants had a statue of Saturn, whose hands were put in such a position, that when children were put into them, they rolled down, and fell into a chasm, full of fire, a fit emblem of the fire of hell. 5. Sometimes this place is called the deep abyss, or bottomless pit, Rev. ix. 1, 11. 6. Another name is Hades, which signifies an invisible state, a state of darkness. The gates of hell, in Matt. xvi. 18 must mean something else, and not the gates of the grave. 7. Another word by which it is expressed, is Tartarusi and this also but in one place, and comprehended in a verb there used, 2 Pet. ii 4. God spared not the angels that sinned; but tartarosis, cast them down to tartarus, or hell. ii. There are words and phrases by which the future punishment of the wicked is expressed; and which may serve to give a further account of the nature of it.—1. It is represented as a prison; the spirits that were disobedient in the days of Noah, are expressly said to be in prison, 2 Pet. i. 4. 2. It is spoken of as a state of darkness, outer darkness, Matt.

Tiii. 12. 3. It is set forth by fire, Matt, v. 21. a furnace of fire. Matt. xiii. 42, 50. 4. It is expressed by a worm that never dies, Mark ix. 44—48. 5. This is what is called the second death, Rev. xxi. 8. 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 them asunder, in allusion to punishments of this kind, as Agag was hewed to pieces by Sammuel; or to sacrifices, cut up when offered as victims; and by drowning men in perdition, which denotes the utter destruction of them; 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.

III. The species and sorts of that punishment; or the parts •f which it consists, and wherein it lies: it is usually distinguished into puna damme, punishment of loss; and p<ma sensus, punishment of sense, i. There is the punishment of loss, which will consist of a privation of all good things. 1. Of God the chiefest good. 2. Of Christ, the light and life of men, the light of grace, and the light of glory. 3. Of the grace, peace, and joy of the Holy Ghost, of which they are destitute now, and will for ever be deprived of it. 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 from them, they will not have the least pity shewn them by God, angles or men; God will mock at their destruction ; angels will applaud his righteous judgment, and the holy apostles and prophets, and all the saints, will rejoice •ver them, because of the justice of God being glorified by it. 5. Of the kingdom of heaven, from whence they will be exeluded, and of the glories and joys of it, of which they will be, for ever deprived, n. There is the punishment of sense, and, which will lie both in body and soul. i. The 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. 2. The soul will be filled with a sense of wrath, which will be poured forth on the wicked, and burn like fire, PsaL borix, 5.

IV. The degrees of this punishment; for it seems such there will be, since wicked men will be judged, and so vanished, according to their evil works, whether more or fewer, greater or lesser. It will be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon, for Sodom and Gomorrah, than for many, Matt. xi. 20, 21.

What remains to be considered is, the duration of the punishment of the wicked in hell. Il will always continue and never have an end, and is therefore called everlasting punishment, and everlasting destruction, Mati. xxv. 46. 2 Thess. i. 9. and this will admit of proof both from reason and revelation, from the" light of nature, and from the sure word of prophecy. Lucretius says, that the fears of eternal punishment after death, were the cause of all the troubles and miseries of human life, until £picurus, a man of Greece rose up, and delivered men from those fears and fancies, so that, according to him, till the times of Epicurus, this sentiment had always obtained among the heathens. From the sacred scriptures the eternity of future punishment is abundantly evident: as, i. From the punishment of the inhabitants of Sodom and Gomorrah. Those cities are now suffering the vengeance of eternal fire, Jude 7. 2. From the sense and fears of sinners in Zion, expressed in Isai. xxxiit. 14. The sinners in Zion are afraid; who among us shall dwell with everlasting burnings? 3. From the resurrection of the dead, and the issue of it, as described in Dan. xii. 2. Some of whom awake to everlasting life, and some to everlasting contempt. 4. From the sentence pronounced on the wicked, Matt. xxv. 41. to depart into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels. 5. From the execution of the sentence, Matt. xxv. 46. These shall go away into everlasting punishment; as the happiness of the saints in heaven is eveilasting, and there is no reason to believe it ever will have an end; so the punishment of the wicked in hell will be everlasting. The opposition of the two states of the respective persons requires, that it should be understood in the same sense, and as of equal extent. 6.

From the immortality of the soul. The soul of man is immortal, as has been abundantly proved; if therefore it is immortal, and lives for ever, it must be for ever either happy or miserable. 7. From the parts of future punishment; the punishment of loss, and the punishment of sense. The loss of all good sustained will be irretrievable; and the sense of pain and torment without intermission. 8. From an incapacity of ever being relieved, the door of the gospel will be shut. 9. From the impossibility of an escape, or a remove out of it. The place of torment is bounded by a great gulf. The heathens themselves represent Hades and Tartarus so closely locked and shut up, that there is no return from thence*. 10. From the perfections of God : The veracity and the justice of God require it. It is pretended by some, as if it was contrary to the justice of God, that a transient, temporary action, as sin is, should be everlastingly punished. To which it may be replied, that though sin, as an action, is a transient one, yet the evil, the guilt, the demerit of sin continue, unless purged by the blood of Christ, and atoned for by his sacrifice. Besides, sin is continued to be committed in a future state, as blasphemy, malice, envy, and the like; and therefore as they continue to be committed, it is but just that the wrath of God should remain upon them: moreover, though sin is a finite action, yet it is, objectively, infinite, as committed against an infinite Being; and therefore justly is punished with the loss of an infinite good.

OF THE FINAL STATE OF THE SAINTS.

In treating on this state, I shall take much the same method as in the preceding chapter. I shall,

I. Prove that there will be a state of happiness of good men in the world to come. And this may be made to appear in some respect, i. From the light of nature and reason. 1. A general notion of happiness after death has obtained among the wiser sort of heathens. They speak of the Elysian fields, and islands of the blessed, grassy plains, and flowery meads, * Homer, Iliad 8. v. 15.

delicious fruits, and gende zephyrs. 2. From a natural desire in mankind after happiness, and which is universal; and yet it is certain it is not attained in this present life, though eagerly sought for, in one way or another. Now either this desire of happiness is implanted in vain, or there must be a future state, in which this happiness will be enjoyed. 3. From the unequal distribution of things in the present state ; which makes the providences of God very intricate, and perplexed with difficulties not easy to be solved. But this more abundantly appears, ii. From divine revelation; by which life and immortality are brought to light; or an immortal life of happiness is set in the clearest light; and which may be strongly concluded, 1. From the promise of God; He hath promised us eternal life, ljohnii. 25. 2. From the predestination of men unto it; Whom he did predestinatethem he also g lor i. fied. Rom. viii. 30. 3. From the preparation of this happiness for them; it is a kingdom prepared from the foundation of the world. 4. From Christ's actual possession of it for his people ; That where he is, they may be also, John xiv. 2, 3. 5. From the effectual vocation of men to eternal life and happiness; Whom he calledthem he also glorified, Rom. viii. 30. 6. From the grace of God implanted in the heart, and the earnest of the Spirit there; he is said to be given as an earnest, and to be the earnest of the inheritance, until the re. demption of the purchased possession, Eph. ii. 14. 7. From the present experience of the saints; like the Israelites, they have seen clusters of Canaan's grapes, some of the fruits of the good land, by the way as a specimen and pledge of what they shall enjoy. 8. From the desires of the saints after future happiness, Phil. i. 23. and iii. 14. 9. From the assurance of it some of the saints have had ; we Know, that we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens, 2 Cor. v. 1. 10. This happiness is begun already in this life, John. v. 24. Lastly, There are instances of saints already in heaven, and some in their bodies, as well as in their souls, as Enoch and Elijah. I go on to consider.

II. The names, phrases, and epithets, used of his happiness, i. The names by which it is called ; both as a place and as a state. As a place, 1. It is called heaven; the hope laid up in heaven.

2. It goes by the name of paradise; in allusion to the garden •f Eden, a place of pleasure and delight, Luke xxiii. 43.

3. It is represented as a place of light, Rev. xxi. 23. 4. It is signified by an house to dwell in, John xiv. 2. 5. It is said to be achy, Heb. xi. 10, 16. 6. It is called the better country, Heb xi. 16. As a state it is sometimes called an inheritance, Acts xx 32. A kingdom, Matt. xxv. 34. a crown, 2 Tim. iv. 8. It is expressed by glory itself, Psal. lxxxiv. 11. It is said to be a weight of glory, 2 Cor. iv. 17. in allusion to the pon. derous crowns of princes ; it has the name of peace; it is signified by a rest, which remains for the people of God, after this toilsome life is over, Heb. iv. 9. It is called the joy of the Lord, Matt. xxv. 21, 23. n. There are are various phrases also by which this happy state is expressed, as by being in Abraham's bosom,; and sitting down as at a table and a feast, Dut more especially by being with Christ, and sitting

with him on his thione, Phil. i. 23. Rev. iii. 21. It is, as yet, an unseen happiness: it is future, a glory that shall be revealed ; gi ace that is to be brought at the revelation of Christ. It is enduring, a crown of glory that fadeth not away. I proceed to shew,

III. The parts of this happiness, or wherein it will consist. i. In a freedom from all evils, both of soul and body; from all evils that affect the soul. From the evil of evils, sin: From all temptations to it; from the dominion and the commission of it: yea, the saints in heaven will be free from the very being of sin ; they will be rid of an evil heart of unbelief, and be no more distressed: from the evil one, Satan, and his temptations ; and from evil men: there will be no more tares among the wheat, nor goats among the sheep, nor foolish . virgins among the wise; they that offend, and do iniquity, will be gathered out of ihe kingdom of Christ.

This happiness will consist in a freedom from all bodily evils* No more penury, nor straitness; no more want of food, of drink, and of clothing; no more racking pains, nor loathsome diseases; no more sickness; no more death., n. This happy state will consist in the enjoyment of all that is good. In ihe enjoyment of God himself; Father, Son, and Spirit, in the highest perfection, and without any interruption, and to all eternity. In being with Christ, and beholding his glory. In having the company and society of angels, and of one another. They will now be come, in the fullest sense, to an innumerable company of angels ; and will converse with them, and join them in adoring the divine perfections, and blessing and praising God and the Lamb. The communion of the saints will be with the utmost peace and concord ; they will dwell together in unity, in the highest perfection; there will be no jars nor discord among them ; no envy and vexation among brethren .r love will be arrived at its greatest pitch of vigour and glory, and continue so forever. This happiness will consist in perfect holiness. Sanctificaiion will now be completed in soul and body. There will be a glory revealed in the saints, which is beyond all comparison ; and a glory put upon them that is inconceivable. From all which will arise the greatest joy and felicity : the redeemed of the Lord shall now be come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads, Isai. xxxv. 10.

IV. It may be considered, whether there will be any de. grees in the final happiness of the saints; or whether one saint will have a greater share of happiness than another, It appears, there will be degrees in the punishment of the wicked in hcil ; and some think there will be degrees in the happiness of the saints in heaven ; and others not: and there are " some things advanced on both tides not to be despised. The arguments against degrees in glory are, That all the people of God are loved by him with the same lave all chosen together in Christ, equally interested in the same covenant of grace, equally redeemed with the same price, justified by the

same righteousness; equally the sons of God, and all kings and priests. The future glory and happiness of the saints, is frequently expressed by words of the singular number; shewing, that though it belongs to more, it is the same to all.

It is a question moved by some, whether there will not be an increase of the happiness of the saints in a future state, or some addition made unto it, and improvement of it, by fresh discoveries of the mysteries of grace and of providence, that may be gradually made, which may afford new pleasure and delight. This is not easy to determine; much may be said for the growing happiness of the saints onward in eternity; but the determination of this question, must be left till we come into that state when we shall know even also as we are known. \

The eternity of this happiness is the next and the last thing to be considered, this happiness will never have an end; as appears by its names. 1. By its being frequently called eternal life. 2. It is a glery, and it is called eternal glory, an eternal weight of glory, a crown of glory that fadeth not away: ■ 3. It is an house eternal'm the heavens ; everlasting habitations, Luke xvi. 8. 4. It is an inheritance, and an eternal one: 1 Pet. v. 4. 5. It is a city, and a continued one, Heb. xi. 10. 6. It is a kingdom, and an everlasting one. 2 Pet. ill. 7. It is a country in which the saints are not sojourners, they will for ever dwell as in their own native land. 8. It is expressed by being with Christ, and which will be for ever. 9. The eternal purpose of God, which first gave birth to this state of happiness; the everlasting covenant of grace, in which it is secured; and the promise of it, made before the world began, confirm and ensure the everlasting continuance of it. 10. Were there any fears of its ever ending, it would not be perfect happiness; but as perfect love casteth out fear, so the full evidence that is given of the eternity of the saints happiness, casts out all fear of its ever coming to an end.