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even these toads and snakes are loth to die, and thereby show
that yet there is a greater evil which they are capable of, and
that without sin. Have you all these so sensible demonstrations,
yea, do you see the sinful world lie under war, and blood, and
famine, and pestilence, and yet will you not believe that God's
threats of everlasting torments are true ?
Yet once more let me ask

you,
did
you

never know a man in
desperation under intolerable pangs of conscience ? Alas! it is
frequent; so that some of them have said, as Spira, that they
had the torments of hell already on them, and wished they were
in hell, that they might feel the worst, so that their lives are a
burden to them; that though their friends watch them never so
carefully, they cannot keep them from making away themselves.
Is not here a plain foretaste of hell on earth? When no pain
is upon the body, no losses nor crosses on them in the world,
and
yet

their minds lie under this torment. Nay, is there not naturally in all men living, a fear of suffering in another world ? Even as there is naturally an apprehension of a God who is holy and just, so also a fear of the execution of his judgments hereafter. And as atheists, when they have done their worst, they cannot be perfect atheists, nor blot out all apprehensions' of a God from their minds ; so when they have done their worst, they cannot perfectly get rid of those natural fears of everlasting sufferings; but even when they are drowning them in the pleasures of sin, and stopping the mouth of conscience with the noise of worldly delight and business, and are drinking away, or playing away, or laughing away their fears, yet still they stick in their very hearts, and are so rooted that they can never pull them up, though they may stifle them. And very few are given over to such desperate unbelief, but many a griping fear doth stir within them, and they dare not be much alone, nor dare seriously bethink themselves one hour, whether there be such things in the life to come, or no.

They dare scarce hear the minister preach of them, lest, with Felix, they should tremble. They are ready to say, what if these things should be so, what a case I am in then ? And when these men have fallen among infidels, who have furnished them with all their confident cavils, and most subtle arguments against the truth, and make them believe that there is neither heaven nor hell hereafter, and so make them more atheistical than the mere sin of their nature alone could make them; yet still these fears do dwell in their very hearts, and

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in

all the paganish arguments in the world, will not wholly root them out. Especially, when they come to die, how few of these is there but are far more afraid of misery in another world than they are of death itself alone. And are not God's threats of hell, then, to be believed ? Nay, yet let me propound one question more to you: Is there nothing in it, that there is in man's nature such a strange fear of devils, and spiritual enemies, and misery? So that children that have no understanding are afraid at the naming of them; that we are afraid to go in the dark, or into a church among the graves, in the night, upon a conceit that an evil spirit may be there; nay, the fear of these things is far greater than the fear of death itself, and yet not one man of a thousand ever saw the devil

appear any shape, and, it may be, never spoken with any man that did ; and yet he cannot overcome these fears. Yea, if you do but dream in the night that you see the devil in any shape, or that he followeth you, or layeth hands on you, it is a greater terror than to dream that you are beset with thieves, or that you must die. Nay, we have known dying men that have not seemed afraid of death in any extremity, and yet they have thought, shortly after, that they have seen the devil stand by them, and then they have cried out in the greatest amazement and horror; as being far more scared than they were by death itself. It seemeth to me that this natural fear of devils comes from that real captivity that men are in to the devil, from which the saints themselves are not perfectly delivered till the last enemy death be conquered ; though they are so far delivered that they are not his captives, but only have yet some of the effects of his tyranny. “For Christ hath destroyed, by death, him that hath the power of death, that is, the devil, that he might deliver them who through fear of death, all their lifetime, were subject to bondage.” (Heb. ii. 14, 15.) But this deliverance is not perfect in the time of this life. And, indeed, fear of spiritual enemies, and of punishments in the world to come, so deeply rooted in the soul of man, seemeth to me to be even nature's acknowledgment of the truth and justice of everlasting punishments.

Besides all this, yet it is evident that God is just, and the Governor of the world, and therefore must be just in judging, and executing his laws; and it is as evident that in this life there is not that difference made between the righteous and the wicked which their different lives, and God's justice, do

4

cause.

require. It happens to the righteous according to the work of the wicked, and to the wicked according to the work of the righteous. (Eccles. viii. 14.) If there were no punishment for the wicked, nor happiness to the godly, after this life, certainly either God were not the Governor of the world, or else he governs it not in justice; and he that dares imagine either of these, must say next, that there is no God.

I have said thus much more than the main argument in hand, to prove the truth of the torments of hell, because sensual men do look for arguments from sense : arguments which they may see and feel, as well as understand; and because fleshly men think that God should 110t be so merciful, if he should so torment them; self-love makes mien partial judges in their own

There is not the worst murderer, or felon, but thinks the judge unmerciful that sentenceth him to death. Yea, the foolish child thinks his own father unmerciful, for whipping him : silly sinful man is unfit to judge of the proceedings of their God.

Object. But the wicked socinians, and some others, that argue against the necessity of Christ's satisfaction, have taught these men to object thus : that there is no necessity of suffering for sin, and God will not torment his creature without necessity. God can forgive it, say they, in mercy, without any wrong to his justice. For the end of punishment is but to deter men from sini, and preserve obedience, and there will be no use for that in the world to come : and therefore the punishment shall not be continued in the world to come.

Ans. To all this I answer, 1. There is a moral necessity of suffering for sin; for God is necessarily the Governor of the world, and necessarily just : and having made a law which is in its ordination made to be both the rule of men's actions, and of God's judgment, (norma actionum moralium, and norma judicii,) according to the common nature of law, it is therefore gecessary, that God rule according to his law: not that he hath given up his power to dispense with a law; but by making these laws for his instrument, in governing the world, whose use is to be norma judicii, as well as regula actionum, he liath restrained his power as to the exercise, signifying that this shall be the way of his governing and judging; and therefore he will not dispense with them but upon a valuable consideration. 2. And besides, there is yet a further moral necessity ad finem, that he may attain the right ends of government, which by ordinary moral means cannot otherwise be attained; but the law and

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lawgiver would be contemned, and men sin more presumptuously, when they were from under that restraint.

3. Where they say, that these ends require not everlasting punishment, but only punishment here.

I answer, There is no proper government but by law, the engine and instrument of government. These laws must have threats, and constitute the dueness of punishment, in case of disobedience: it is necessary, then, that these laws must be made: and man being a creature that must live for ever, either in joy or misery, it is necessary that the pain threatened be such as may have weight enough in suo genere, in a moral causality, to restrain from sinning. Now, if God should inflict that punishment only which he doth in this life; then, 1. Man should not have been governed as man, that is as a reasonable creature, by hopes and fears of things to come, but as a beast : nor could virtue or vice be differenced or manifested; nor the excellency of the one, or the vileness of the other, appear : for men should live by sense, and not by faith. The thief and the true man will be alike in practice, when the judge stands by, and they know they shall presently be hanged if they steal ; so the murderer and the lover of his brother, the adulterer and the chaste, will be both alike free from the act of sin in the midst of a congregation. This is not properly obedience, or, at least, not obedience fit for a reasonable creature (who is made to be ruled by reason, and not by mere sense) to give to the high God. 2. Besides, it would not be sufficient to restrain inen from sin, if God should only threaten temporal judgments, and not eternal. How would all the world be cast into confusion by this, while every murderer would venture to execute his malice, and every drunkard and adulterer would follow their lusts, and every voluptuous man would take his pleasure, if it were but to endure a short pain at death, and then be happy or free from misery for ever after. We see how thieves will venture a hanging, and every offender venture on the punishment of the law. And some drunkards and adulterers have professed that they had rather live but one year in their pleasure than live to be old without it. So that reason may see, if God did not threaten an everlasting punishment, it would not be rationally sufficient for the government of the world ; except he should execute judgment presently still as they sin, and make the present bitterness greater than the sinful pleasure ; and so govern rational men, like unreasonable brutes. So that it is apparent there is a moral

necessity that God do threaten hell fire. And then, I think, it will easily appear that there is a necessity that he execute these threats : for though the law, as a law, do not oblige God to punish, but man to suffer, and do but constitute the dueness of the punishment, yet this law is also, as I said, norma judicii, and so in the enacting this law, God doth, as it were, say, according to this rule I will govern and judge the world. The law saith, punishment shall be his due; justice saith, let men have their due. Besides, if God had only constituted the dueness of punishment, and not made known to men, that he would eventually execute his threats accordingly, then the hope of impunity would have encouraged men to sin. This is so evident, that we see men will still venture on sin, after God hath foretold them the very event; and say, they hope God will be better than his word. Winat, then, would men have done if God had not declared the event, but only the dueness of punishment ? And, therefore, God hath been pleased, in the new law, to add to the mere threat a peremptory decree, or a prediction, assuring them that this threat shall be executed without remedy, though in the first law he did not so; and reason showeth the moral necessity of so doing. So it is now plain, it was necessary that God make such a law, that should threaten everlasting punishment, and that by such a peremptory threatening, as should leave the sinner no hope of escape. And then it is past doubt that it is as necessary that God execute all such peremptory threatening, for God cannot lie. Though he may alter the dueness constituted by his law, and so dispense with the law, yet he cannot make falsehood become truth, and so dispense with his prediction. Besides the great doubt, whether stante rerum natura, he can dispense with the punishment of all law. So that the punishments in the world to come were a necessary means to govern aright this present world.

And, besides, let me tell these bold men, that as the devils are made a warning to men that they sin not as they, lest they suffer as they; so little do we know whether God will have any other world of creatures, to be continued after our great judgment, who shall be kept in obedience by the consideration of the punishment of these men that now despise the mercy that is offered them.

But they object that God could easily make the creature so perfect as to obey himn without the threats of such punishnient.

Answ. True; but it is apparent he hath not made him such,

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