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For that life consisteth in the happiness which is conferred on the soul departed in the fear, and admitted to the presence, of God. St. Paul had a “desire to depart and to be with Christ;" (Phil. i. 23.) he was “willing rather to travel and be absent from the body, and to be present and at home with the Lord.” (2 Cor. v. 8.) And certainly where St. Paul desired to be when he departed, there he then was, and there now is, and that not alone, but with all them which ever departed in the same faith with him, and that is with Christ who sitteth at the right hand of God. This happiness which the Saints enjoy between the hour of their death and the last day, is the partial life eternal. Thirdly, I call that perfectional, which shall be conferred upon the elect immediately after the blessing pronounced by Christ, “Come, ye blessed children of my Father, receive the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.” (Matt. xxv. 34.)
This eternal life is to be considered in the possession, and in the duration: in the first, as it is life; in the second, as it is eternal. Now this life is not only natural, that is, the union of the soul to the body, which is the life of the reprobate; but spiritual, which consisteth in the union of the soul to God,* as our Saviour speaks, “He that hath the Son hath life, and he that hath not the Son hath not life.” (1 John v. 12.) And it is called after an especial manner life, because of the happiness which attendeth it:s and therefore to understand that
Duæ vitæ sunt, una corporis, al- 9775. So the Psalmist is to be undertera animæ; sicut vita corporis ani- stood, Psal. Ixix. 32. “ The humble ma, ita vita animæ Deus. Quo modo shall see this and be glad, and your si anima deserat, moritur corpus: sic heart shall live that seek God.” And anima moritur, si deserat Deus.' S. St. Paul, 1 Thess. iii. 8. "Ort vūv za August. in Psal. 70. Serm. ii. §. 3. μεν, εάν υμείς στήκητε εν Κυρίω. Τhus
† For life is taken for happiness, life of itself is often taken in the Scripand to live for being happy. Among tures for a happy and glorious life, the Greeks and Latins, Lõv and vivere even that which is eternal, as St. Au. were taken for living a cheerful and gustin observeth upon these words of merry life, as Vivamus, mea Lesbia,' the Psalmist : ' Veniani mihi miserain Catullus, Carm. v. 1. and in Mar- tiones tuæ et vivam: Tunc enim vere tial. t. i. epigr. 16. ver. 12.
vivam, quando nihil potero timere ne • Sera nimis vita est crastina, vive moriar. Ipsa enim et sine ullo additahodie.'
mento dicitur vita, nec intelligitur nisi And as it is an old inscription, Amici æterna et beata, tanquam sola dicenDUM VIVIMUS VIVAMUS, and in the da sit vita, in cujus comparatione ista convivial wish, Znoelas, mentioned by quam ducimus, mors potius sit appelDio in the life of Commodus, 1. Ixxii. Janda quam vita; quale illud est in so in the language of the Scriptures, evangelio, Si vis venire ad vitam, serand a religious notion, they signify a va mandata. Nunquid addidit, aterhappy and a blessed life: as 1 Sam. 'nam vel beatam? Item de resurrex. 24. 7700 T Let the king live, is ctione carnis cum loqueretur, Qui bene translated by the Chaldee paraphrast, fecerunt, inquit, in resurrectionem risabo mbaya Let the king prosper. tæ ; neque hic ait, æterne vel beatæ. And when David sent unto Naval, he Sic et hic, Veniant, inquit, mihi misesaid, “Thus shall ye say to him that rationes tuæ, et vivam: Neque hic ait, liveth in prosperity,” which is in the in æternum vivam, vel beate viram ; original (1 Sam. xxv. 6.) nothing but quasi aliud non sit vivere quam sine
life is to know, so far as it is revealed, in what that happiness doth consist.
To begin with that which is most intelligible; the bodies of the Saints, after the resurrection, shall be transformed into spiritual and incorruptible bodies. The flesh “is sown in corruption, raised in incorruption; sown in dishonour, raised in glory; sown in weakness, raised in power; sown a natural body, raised a spiritual body.” (1 Cor. xv. 42–44.) This perfective alteration shall be made by the Son of God, “ who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself. (Phil. iii. 21.) Thus, when we come into that other world, the world of spirits, even our bodies shall be spiritual.
As for the better part of man, the soul, it shall be highly exalted to the utmost perfection in all the parts or faculties thereof. The understanding shall be raised to the utmost capacity, and that capacity completely filled. “Now we see through a glass darkly, but then face to face; now we know but in part, but then shall we know even as also we are known.” (1 Cor. xiii. 12.) And this even now “we know, that when God shall appear we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.” (1 John iji. 2.) Our first temptation was, that we should be like unto God in knowledge, and by that we fell; but being raised by Christ, we come to be truly like him, by knowing him as we are known, and by seeing him as he is. Our wills shall be perfected with absolute and indefective holiness, with exact conformity to the will of God, and perfect liberty from all servitude of sin: they shall be troubled with no doubtful choice, but with their radical and fundamental freedom shall fully embrace the greatest good.** Our affections shall be all set right by an unalterable regulation, and in that regularity shall receive absolute satisfaction; and all this shall be effected, that we may be thereby made capable, and then happy by a full fruition.
To this internal perfection is added a proportionately happy condition, consisting in an absolute freedom from all pain, ullo fine, et sine ulla miseria vivere' felicitatem tenuimus, voluntatem vero In Psal. 118. serm. 19. §. 4. Thus St. felicitatis nec perdita felicitate perdiAugustin. And again : «Non est vera dimus. Certe Deus ipse numquid vita, nisi ubi feliciter vivitur; nec vera quoniam peccare non potest, ideo libeincorruptio, nisi ubi salus nullo dolore rum arbitrium habere negandus est? corrumpitur.' Enchir. de Fid. ad Erit ergo illius civitatis et una in omLaurent. c. 92.
nibus et inseparabilis in singulis vo* 'Sicut prima immortalitas fuit, luntas libera, ab omni malo liberata, quam peccando Adam perdidit, possé et impleta omni bono, fruens indeficinon mori, novissima erit non posse enter æternorum jucunditate gaudiomori; ita primum liberum arbitrium rum, oblita culparum, oblita poenaposse non peccare, novissimum non rum, nec tamen ideo suæ liberationis posse peccare. Sic enim erit ina- oblita, ut liberatori suo non sit inmissibilis voluntas pietatis et æqui- grata.' S. August. de Civit. Dei, l. tatis, quomodo est felicitatis. Nam xxij. c. 30. Vide eundem Tractatu utique peccando nec pietatem nec de Epicuris et Stoicis, prope finem.
misery, labour, and want; an impossibility of sinning and offending God; an hereditary possession of all good, with an unspeakable complacency and joy flowing from it, and all this redounding from the vision and fruition of God; this is the life.
And now the duration of this life is as necessary as the life itself, because to make all already mentioned amount unto a true felicity, there must be added an absolute security of the enjoyment, void of all fear of losing it or being deprived of it. And this is added to complete our happiness, by the adjection of eternity. Now that this life shall be eternal, we are assured who have not yet obtained it, and they much more who do enjoy it. He which hath purchased it for us, and promised it unto us, often calleth it eternal life ; it is described as a “continuing city;" (Heb. xiii. 14.) as “everlasting habitations,” (Luke xvi. 9.) as a “house eternal in the heavens;" (2 Cor. v. 1.) it is expressed by “eternal glory,” (1 Pet. v.
10.) “eternal salvation,” (Heb. v. 9.) by an “eternal inheritance, (Ibid. ix. 15.)“ incorruptible, undefiled, and that fadeth not away;” (1 Pet. i. 4.) by “the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.” (2 Pet. i. 11.) And lest we should be discouraged by any short or lame interpretation of eternity, it is farther explained in such terms as are liable to no mistake. For our Saviour hath said, “ if any man keep my saying, he shall never see death.” (John viii. 51.) And,“ whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall not die.” (Ibid. xi. 26.) When “God shall wipe away all tears from our eyes, there shall be no more death;" (Rev. xxi. 4.) and where there is life and no death, there must be everlasting life: which is expressed by St. Paul by way of opposition, calling it “life and immortality," and that together with the abolition of death, saying that our Saviour Jesus Christ hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the Gospel." (2 Tim. i. 10.)
The belief of this Article is necessary (as to the eternity of torment) to deter us from committing sin, and to quicken us to holiness of life, and a speedy repentance for sin committed. “For the wages of sin is death;” (Rom. vi. 23.) nothing can bring us to those everlasting flames but sin, no sin but that which is unrepented of; nothing can save that man from the neverdying worm, who dieth in his sins; and no other reason can bring him thither, but because he sinned and repented not. They which imagine the pains inflicted for sin to be either small or short,* have but a slender motive to innocence or
* Tertullian recounting the advan- remque depretiat, modicum quidem tages of the Christians towards inno- contemptibilem pronunciando, macence and holiness of life, which the gnum vero, non diuturnum. Enimvero heathens had not : Recogitate etiam nos qui sub Deo omnium speculatore pro brevitate supplicii cujuslibet, non dispungimur, quique æternam ab eo tamen ultra mortem remansuri. Sic poenam providemus, merito soli innoet Epicurus omnem cruciatum dolo- centiæ occarrimus, et pro scientiæ
repentance; but such as firmly believe them sharp and endless, have by virtue of that faith within themselves a proper and natural spur and incitement to avoid them: for who can “dwell with everlasting burnings?” (Isa. xxxiii. 14.)
Secondly, The belief of eternal pains after death is necessary to breed in us a fear and awe of the great God, a jealous God, a consuming fire, a God that will not be mocked; and to teach us to tremble at his word, to consider the infinity on his justice, and the fierceness of his wrath, to meditate on the power of his menaces, the validity of his threats, to follow that direction, to embrace that reduplicated advice of our Saviour, “I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear; fear him, which after he hath killed, hath power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you, fear him.” (Luke xii. 5.) And that exclusively of such fear as concerns the greatest pains of this life, which the martyrs undervalued out of a belief of eternal torments. *
Thirdly, This belief is necessary to teach us to make a fit estimate of the price of Christ's blood, to value sufficiently the work of our redemption, to acknowledge and admire the love of God to us in Christ. For he which believeth not the eternity of torments to come, can never sufficiently value that ransom by which we were redeemed from them, or be proportionately thankful to his Redeemer, by whose intervention we have escaped them. Whereas he who is sensible of the loss of heaven and the everlasting privation of the presence of God, of the torments of fire, the company of the devil and his angels, the vials of the wrath of an angry and never-to-beappeased God, and hopeth to escape all these by virtue of the death of bis Redeemer, cannot but highly value the price of that blood, and be proportionably thankful for so “plenteous a redemption.” (Psal. cxxx. 7.)
Again, As this Article followeth upon the resurrection of the just, and containeth in it an eternal duration of infinite felicity belonging to them, it is necessary to stir us up to an earnest desire of the kingdom of heaven, and that righteousness to which such a life is promised, “I will now turn aside and see this great sight,” said Moses, (Exod. iii. 3.) when he saw the burning bush. “It is good for us to be here,” said St. Peter, (Matt. xvii. 4.) when he saw our Saviour transfigured in the mount; how much more ought we to be inflamed with a desire of the joys of heaven, and that length of days
plenitudine, et pro latebrarum diffi- swered the Proconsul threatening to cultate, et pro magnitudine crucia- consume bim with fire: Ilớp å treileīs tus, non diuturni, verum sempiterni, tò mpòs üpav kalópevov xai jet' óliyov eum timentes, quem timere debebit σβεννύμενον. Αγνοείς γάρ το της μελet ipse qui timentes judicat, Deum, λούσης κρίσεως και αιωνίου κολάσεως non Proconsulem, timentes.' Apolog. roig ågebéoi tnpoúpevov a Õp. Epist. ad c. 45,
Smyrn. Eccles. c. 11. * So Polycarpus the Martyr an
which only satisfieth by its eternity,* to a careful and constant performance of those commands to which such a reward is graciously promised! For as all our happiness proceedeth from the vision of God, so we are certain that without holiness no man shall see him.
Secondly, This belief is necessary to take off our inclinations and desires from the pleasures and profits of this life; to breed in us a contempt of the world, and to teach us to despise all things on this side heaven; to “set our affections on things above, not on things on the earth, considering we are dead, and our life is bid with Christ in God.” (Col. iii. 2,3.) For “where our treasure is, there will our hearts be also.” (Matt. vi. 21.) Therefore we must forget “those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, press towards the mark, for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” (Phil. iii. 13, 14.)
Thirdly, An assent unto this truth is necessary to encourage us to take up the cross of Christ, and to support us under it, willingly and cheerfully to undergo the afflictions and tribulations of this life, reckoning with the apostle, “that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us:" (Rom. viii. 18.) and knowing that “our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.” (2 Cor. iv. 17.) And this knowledge is not to be obtained, this comfort is not to be expected, except “we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.” (Ibid. 18.)
And now having thus shewed the propriety, proved the verity, and declared the necessity, of this Article, we may fully instruct every Christian how to express his belief in the last object of his faith, which he may most fitly thus pronounce: I do fully and freely assent unto this, as unto a most necessary and infallible truth, that the unjust after their resurrection and condemnation shall be tormented for their sins in hell, and shall be so continued in torments for ever, as neither the justice of God shall ever cease to inflict them, nor
* So St. Augustin upon those gum dicendum est. Et si avari suwords, Longitudine dierum replebo mus, vitæ æternæ debemus esse eum, in the 91st Psalm: Quæ est avari: talem vitam desiderate, quæ Jongitudo dierum? Vita æterna. Fra- non habet finem. Ecce ubi extendatres, nolite putare longitudinem die- tur avaritia vestra. Argentum vis rum dici, sicut sunt hyeme dies mino- sine fine? Vitam æternam desidera
dies majores. Tales dies sine fine. Non vis ut babeat finem nobis babet dare? Longitudo illa est possessio tua? Vitam æternam dequæ non habet finem, æterna vita sidera.' In Psal. 90, Serm. 2. §. 12. quæ nobis promittitur in diebus lon + Nemo vitam æternam, incorrugis. Et vere, quia sufficit, non sine ptibilem immortalemque desiderat, causa dixit, replebo eum. Non nobis nisi eum vitæ hujus temporalis, corsufficit quicquid longum est in tem- ruptibilis, mortalisque, pæniteat.' S. pore, si habet finem; et idco niec lon- August. Hom. 50. al. Serm. 351. §. 3.