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CHAPTER XXXIII.
PERFECT GLORIFICATION, INCLUDING THE SECOND ADVENT OF CHRIST, THE RESURRECTION OF THE DEAD, AND THE GENERAL CONFLAGRATION.

IN the twenty-fifth chapter I treated of that imperfect glorification to which believers attain in this life. I now proceed to consider, lastly, that perfect glorification which is effected in eternity.

Before the law this was typified by the translation of Enoch, Gen. v. 24. as it was under the law by that of Elijah, 2 Kings ii. 11.

Its fulfilment and consummation will commence from the period of Christ's second coming to judgment, and the resurrection of the dead. Luke xxi. 28. "when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads, for your redemption draweth nigh." 2 Thess. i. 7. "to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven."

The coming of the Lord to judgment, when he shall judge the world with his holy angels, was predicted, first, by Enoch and the prophets; afterwards by Christ himself and his apostles. Jude 14, 15. <212> "Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousand of his saints, to execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him." Dan. vii. 22. "until the Ancient of days came, and judgment was given to the saints of the Most High." Matt. xxv. 31. "the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him." Acts i. 11. "this same Jesus.... shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven." x. 42. "it is he which was ordained of God to be the judge of quick and dead." xvii. 31. "he hath appointed a day in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained... in that he hath raised him from the dead." 2 Thess. i. 7, 8. "the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels."

The day and hour of Christ's coming are known to the Father only. Matt. xxiv. 36. Mark. xiii. 32. "of that day and that hour knoweth no man." Acts i. 7. "it is not for you to know the times or the seasons which the Father hath put in his own power." Dan. xii. 8, 9. "then said I, O my lord, what shall be the end of these things? and he said, Go thy way, Daniel; for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end." The treatise of Zanchius De fine sæculitom. vii. may be likewise advantageously consulted on this subject.

Hence it will be sudden. Matt. xxv. 6. "at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him." Luke. xvii. 26, &c. <213> "as it was in the days of Noe... likewise also as it was in the days of Lot." xxi. 34, 35, "take heed to yourselves, lest at any time, &c...... and so that day come upon you unawares; for as a snare shall it come upon all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth." 1 Thess. v. 2, 3. "for yourselves know perfectly, that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night: for when they shall say, Peace and safety, then sudden destruction cometh upon them."

Certain signs however are pointed out by Christ and his apostles as indicative of its approach; Matt. xxiv. 3-27. Mark xiii. Luke xxi. These signs are either general or peculiar.

The general signs are those which relate equally to the destruction of Jerusalem, the type of Christ's advent, and to the advent itself; such as false prophets, false Christs, wars, earthquakes, persecutions, pestilence, famine, and the gradual decay of faith and charity, down to the very day itself.[1] Matt. xxiv. 3-27. 2 Tim. iii. 1, &c.

The peculiar signs are, first, an extreme recklessness and impiety, and an almost universal apostasy. Luke xviii. 8. "when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?" 2 Thess. ii. 3. "that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first." Compare also 1 Tim. iv. 1.

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Secondly, the revealing of antichrist, and his destruction by the spirit of the mouth of Christ. 2 Thess. ii. 3. "that man of sin shall be revealed, the son of perdition —." v. 8. "and then shall that wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming."

Some refer to the same event another sign, namely, the calling of the entire nation of the Jews, as well as of the ten dispersed tribes.[2] Isai. xi. 11, 12. "it shall come to pass in that day, that Jehovah shall set his hand again the second time —." xiv. 1. "Jehovah will have mercy on Jacob, and will yet choose Israel, and set them in their own land." xxvii. 12. "Jehovah shall beat off from the channel of the river unto the stream of Egypt." Jer. iii. 12. "return, thou back sliding Israel." v. 18. "in those days the house of Judah shall walk with the house of Israel." xxx. 3. "I will bring again the captivity of my people Israel and Judah." xxxi. 5. "thou shalt yet plant vines upon the mountains of Samaria." v. 36, &c. "if those ordinances depart from before me —." xxxiii. 7. "I will cause the captivity of Judah and the captivity of Israel to return —." Ezek. xx. 42. "ye shall know that I am Jehovah, when I shall bring you into the land of Israel." xxxvii. 21, 22. "I will make them <215> one nation in the land —." Hos. iii. 5. "afterward shall the children of Israel return." Amos ix. 14, 15. " I will bring again the captivity of my people of Israel." Zech. viii. 23. "in those days it shall come to pass that ten men shall take hold... of him that is a Jew," &c. xii. 4, &c. "in that day, saith Jehovah, I will smite every horse with astonishment —." Thus the Jews, on their return from the Babylonish captivity, Ezra vi. 17. "offered for a sin-offering for all Israel, twelve he-goats, according to the number of the tribes of Israel," all which God still accounted as his own, though even to the present day they have not returned out of captivity. Luke xxi. 24. "Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled." Rom. xi. 12, 13. "now if the fall of them be the riches of the world... how much more their fulness?" v. 15. "if the casting away of them be the reconciling of the world, what shall the receiving of them be?" v. 25. "I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery... that blindness in part is happened to Israel until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in: and so all Israel shall be saved."

Christ will delay his coming. 2 Thess. ii. 1-3. "now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him, that ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand: let no man seduce you by any means; for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first —." 2 Pet. iii. 3, 4. &c. "there shall come in the last days scoffers,..... saying, Where is the promise of his coming?" <216> &c. to the end of the chapter; where the reason of his delay is assigned.

His advent will be glorious. Matt. xxiv. 27. "as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be." v. 30. "they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory." See also Luke xxi. 27. Matt. xxv. 31. "when the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory." 1 Thess. iv. 16. "the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God." 2 Thess. i. 10. "when he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe in that day." Tit. ii. 13. "looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God, and our Saviour Jesus Christ." Jude 14. "behold, the Lord cometh, with ten thousand of his saints."

It will be terrible. Isai. lxvi, 15, 16. "behold, Jehovah will come with fire, and with his chariots like a whirlwind, to render his anger with fury, and his rebuke with flames of fire." xiii. 9, 10. compared with Matt. xxiv. 29,30. "immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken." See also Mark xiii. 24, 25. Luke xxi. 25, 26. "there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars, and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity, the sea and the waves roaring, men's hearts failing them for <217> fear." 2 Thess. i. 7, 8. "the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, in flaming fire." Rev. vi. 12. to the end of the chapter; "lo, there was a great earthquake and the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains... hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains."

The second advent of Christ will be followed by the resurrection of the dead and the last judgment.

A belief in the resurrection of the dead existed even before the time of the gospel. Job xix. 25, 26, &c. "I know that my Redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth; and though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh I shall see God." Psal. xvi. 10, &c. "thou wilt not leave my soul in hell." xvii. 14, 15. "from men of the world which have their portion in this life." xlix. 14, 15. "like sheep they are laid in the grave; death shall feed on them," &c. Isai. li. 6, &c. "the heavens shall vanish away like smoke... but my salvation shall be for ever." xxvi. 19. "thy dead men shall live, together with my dead body shall they arise; awake and sing, ye that dwell in dust." Zech. iii. 7. "thus saith Jehovah of hosts; if, &c...... I will give thee places to walk among these that stand by." Dan. xii. 2. "many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake; some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt." Hos. xiii. 14. compared with 1 Cor. xv. 54. "I will ransom thee from the power of the grave, I will redeem thee from death: O death, I will be thy plagues; O grave I will be thy destruction." Acts xxiv. 15. "have hope toward God, which they them <218> selves also allow, that there shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust." xxvi. 6-8. "I stand and am judged for the hope of the promise made of God unto our fathers... why should it be thought a thing incredible with you, that God should raise the dead?" Heb. xi. 10. "he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God."

This expectation was confirmed under the Gospel by the testimony of Christ. Matt. xii. 41. "the men of Nineveh shall rise in judgment with this generation." John v. 28, 29. "the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, and shall come forth, they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life, and they that have done evil unto the resurrection of damnation." See also vi. 39, 40. and 1 Cor. vi. 14. xv. 52. "the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible." 2 Cor. iv. 14. "knowing that he which raised up the Lord Jesus, shall raise up us also by Jesus, and shall present us with you." See also 1 Thess. iv. 14.

To these testimonies from Scripture, may be added several arguments from reason in support of the doctrine. First, the covenant with God is not dissolved by death. Matt. xxii. 32. "God is not the God of the dead, but of the living." Secondly, "if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen." 1 Cor. xv. 13-20. v. 23. "every man in his own order; Christ the first-fruits, afterward they that are Christ's at his coming." John xi. 25. "Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection and the life." Thirdly, were there no resurrection, the righteous would be of all men most miserable, and the wicked, who have a better portion in this life, most happy; which <219> would be altogether inconsistent with the providence and justice of God. 1 Cor. xv. 19. "if in this life only we have hope in Christ-." v. 30-32. "why stand we in jeopardy every hour?"

This resurrection will take place partly through the resuscitation of the dead, and partly through a sudden change operated upon the living.

It appears indicated in Scripture that every man will rise numerically one and the same person. Job xix. 26, 27. "though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God: whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another." 1 Cor. xv. 53. "this corruptible must put on incorruption." 2 Cor. v. 4. "not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of life." v. 10. "that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad." Otherwise we should not be conformed to Christ, who entered into glory with that identical body of flesh and blood, wherewith he had died and risen again.

The change to be undergone by the living is predicted 1 Cor. xv, 51. "behold, I show you a mystery... we shall all be changed." 1 Thess. iv. 15-18. "this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep... and the dead in Christ shall rise first: then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air, and so shall we ever be with the Lord."

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The last judgment is that wherein Christ with the saints, arrayed in the glory and power of the Father, shall judge the evil angels, and the whole race of mankind.[3]

Arrayed in the glory and power of the Father. John. v. 22. "the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son." v. 27. "he hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man;" that is, because he is himself man.[4] So Acts xvii. 31. "he will judge the world in righteousness by that man —." Rom. ii. 16. "in the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ, according to my Gospel."

With the saints. Matt. xix. 28. "ye which have followed me in the regeneration, when the Son of man <221> shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel." See also Luke xxii. 30. 1 Cor. vi. 2, 3. "do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world?...... know ye not that we shall judge angels?"

Shall judge. Eccles. xii. 14. "God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil." Matt. xii. 36, 37. "every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment; for by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned;" that is to say where our actions do not correspond with our words.[5] Rom. xiv. 12. "so then every one of us shall give account of himself to God". 1 Cor. iv. 5. "until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts; and then shall every man have praise of God." 2 Cor. v. 10. "that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad."

The evil angels. 1 Cor. vi. 2, 3, as above.

The whole race of mankind. Matt. xxiv. 31. "he shall send his angels with a great shout of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other." xxv. 32, &c. "before him shall be gathered all nations; and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd <222> divideth his sheep from the goats." Rom. xiv. 10. "we shall all stand before the judgment-seat of Christ." 2 Cor. v. 10. "we must all appear before the judgment-seat of Christ." Rev. xx. 12, 13. "I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God... and the sea gave up the dead which were in it, and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them."

The rule of judgment will be the conscience of each individual, according to the measure of light which he has enjoyed. John xii. 48. "he that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him; the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him at the last day." Rom. ii. 12. "as many as have sinned without law, shall also perish without law; and as many as have sinned in the law shall be judged by the law." v. 14. "when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these having not the law, are a law unto themselves: which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts the meanwhile accusing or else excusing one another; in the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel." James ii. 12. "as they that shall be judged by the law of liberty." Rev. xx. 12. "the books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the book of life; and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works."

Coincident, as appears, with the time of this last judgment (I use the indefinite expression time, as the word day is often used to denote any given period, and as it is not easily imaginable that so many myriads <223> of men and angels should be assembled and sentenced within a single day) beginning with its commencement, and extending a little beyond its conclusion, will take place that glorious reign of Christ on earth with his saints, so often promised in Scripture, even until all his enemies shall be subdued. His kingdom of grace, indeed, which is also called the kingdom of heaven, began with his first advent, when its beginning was proclaimed by John the Baptist, as appears from the testimony of Scripture; but his kingdom of glory will not commence till his second advent. Dan. vii. 13, 14. "behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven..... and there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom;" given him that is, from the time when he came with the clouds of heaven (in which manner his final advent is uniformly described) not to assume our nature as Junius interprets it,[6] (for then he would have been like the Son of man before he became man, which would be an incongruity) but to execute judgment; from the period so indicated, to the time when he should lay down the kingdom, 1 Cor. xv. 24. "then cometh the end," of which more shortly. That this reign will be on earth, is evident from many passages. Psal. ii. 8, 9. compared with Rev. ii. 25-27. "I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession; thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter's vessel." ex. 5, 6. "Jehovah at thy right hand shall strike through kings in the day of his wrath: he shall judge among the heathen, he <224> shall fill the places with the dead bodies, he shall wound the heads over many countries." Isai. ix. 7. "of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David and upon his kingdom." Dan. vii. 22. "until the Ancient of days came, and judgment was given to the saints of the most High, and the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom." v. 27. "the kingdom, and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the most High —." Luke i. 32, 33. "the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David; and he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever, and of his kingdom there shall be no end." Matt. xix. 28. "ye which have followed me, in the regeneration, when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel." Luke xxii. 29, 30. "I appoint unto you a kingdom, as my father hath appointed unto me; that ye may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom, and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel." It appears that the judgment here spoken of will not be confined to a single day, but will extend through a great space of time; and that the word is used to denote, not so much a judicial inquiry properly so called, as an exercise of dominion: in which sense Gideon, Jephthah, and the other judges are said to have judged Israel during many years. 1 Cor. xv. 23-26. "every man in his own order: Christ the first-fruits, afterward they that are Christ's at his coming: then cometh the end —." Rev. v. 10. "thou hast made us unto our God kings and priests, and we shall reign on the earth." xi. 15. "the king <225> doms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever." xx. 1-7. "I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them... and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years: but the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished: this is the first resurrection: blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection; on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years."

After the expiration of the thousand years Satan will rage again, and assail the church at the head of an immense confederacy of its enemies; but will be overthrown by fire from heaven, and condemned to everlasting punishment. Rev. xx. 7-9. "when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, and shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle... and they compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city; and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them." 2 Thess. ii. 8. "then shall that wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming."

After the evil angels and chief enemies of God have been sentenced, judgment will be passed upon the whole race of mankind. Rev. xx. 11-15. "I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it,... and I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead <226> were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works: and the sea gave up the dead which was in it, and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them; and they were judged every man according to their works."

Then, as appears, will be pronounced that sentence, Matt. xxv. 34. Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. v. 41. Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels.

The passing of the sentence will be followed by its execution; that is to say, by the punishment of the wicked, and the perfect glorification of the righteous. Matt. xxv. 46. "these shall go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into life eternal." Rev. xx. 14, 15. "death and hell were cast into the lake of fire: this is the second death: and whosoever was not found written in the book of life, was cast into the lake of fire."

Then will be the end, spoken of, 1 Cor. xv. 24-28. "then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father, when he shall have put down all rule, and all authority, and power; for he must reign till he hath put all enemies under his feet; the last enemy that shall be destroyed is death; for he hath put all things under his feet: but when he saith, all things are put under him, it is manifest that He is excepted, which did put all things under him: and when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all."

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It may be asked, if Christ is to deliver up the kingdom to God and the Father, what becomes of the declarations, Heb. i. 8. "unto the Son lie saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever," (in sæculum sæculi, for ages of ages,) and Dan. vii. 14. "his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed;" Luke i. 33. "of his kingdom there shall be no end." I reply, there shall be no end of his kingdom for ages of ages, that is, so long as the ages of the world endure, until time itself, shall be no longer, Rev. x. 6. until every thing which his kingdom was intended to effect shall have been accomplished;[7] insomuch that his kingdom will not pass away as insufficient for its purpose; it will not be destroyed, nor will its period be a period of dissolution, but rather of perfection and consummation, like the end of the law, Matt. v. 18. In the same manner many other things are spoken of as never to pass away, but to remain eternally; as circumcision, Gen. xvii. 13, the ceremonial law in general, Levit. iii. 17. xxiv. 8. the land of Canaan, Gen. xiii. 15. Jer. vii. 7. xxv. 5. the sabbath, Exod. xxxi. 16. the priesthood of Aaron, Numb. xviii. 8. the memorial of stones at the river Jordan, Josh. iv. 7. the signs of heaven, Psal. cxlviii. 6. the earth, Eccles. i. 4. although every one of these has either already come to an end, or will eventually be terminated.

The second death is so termed with reference to the first, or death of the body. For the three other <228> or preparatory degrees of death, see chap. xiii. on the punishment of sin. The fourth and last gradation is that of which we are now speaking, namely, eternal death, or the punishment of the damned.

Under this death may be included, the destruction of the present unclean and polluted world itself, namely, its final conflagration.[8] Whether by this is meant the destruction of the substance of the world itself, or only a change in the nature of its constituent parts, is uncertain, and of no importance to determine; respecting the event itself, we are informed, so far as it concerns us to know, Job. xiv. 12. "till the heavens be no more." Psal. cii. 26. "they shall perish." Isai. xxxiv. "the heavens shall be rolled together as a scroll, and all their host shall fall down." li. 6. "the heavens shall vanish away like smoke." Matt. xxiv. 35. "heaven and earth shall pass away." 1 Cor. vii. 31. "the fashion of this world passeth away." 2 Pet. iii. 7. "the heavens and the earth, which are now... reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men." v. 10. "in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise." v. 12. "wherein the heavens being on fire —." Rev. x. 6. "he sware by him that liveth for ever and ever... that there should be time no longer." xxi. 1. "the first heaven and the first earth were passed away, and there was no more sea."

The second death, or the punishment of the damned, seems to consist partly in the loss of the chief good, namely, the favour and protection of God, and the beatific vision of his presence, which is commonly <229> called the punishment of loss; and partly in eternal torment which is called the punishment of sense.[9] Matt. xxv. 41. "depart from me, ye cursed, into ever lasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels." Luke xiii. 27, 28. "I know you not whence ye are; depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when ye shall see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob, and all the prophets, in the kingdom of God, and you yourselves thrust out." xvi. 23. "being in torments, he seeth Abraham afar off." 2 Thess. i. 9. "who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power."

The intensity and duration of these punishments are variously intimated. Isai. xxx. 33. "Tophet is ordained of old; yea, for the king it is prepared: he hath made it deep and large; the pile thereof is fire and much wood; the breath of Jehovah, like a stream of brimstone, doth kindle it." lxvi. 24. compared with Mark ix. 44. "where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched." Dan. xii. 2. "to shame and everlasting contempt." Matt. viii. 12. "outer darkness, there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth." See also xiii. 42, &c. Mark ix. 43. "fire that never shall be quenched." Rom. ii. 8, 9. "indignation and Wrath, tribulation and anguish." 2 Thess. i. 9. "who shall be punished with everlasting destruction." Rev. xiv. 11. <230> "the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever, and they have no rest day nor night." See also xix. 3. xxi. 8. "they shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone."

Punishment, however, varies according to the degree of guilt. Matt. xi. 22. "it shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the day of judgment, than for you." Luke xii. 47, 48. "he shall be beaten with many stripes... he shall be beaten with few stripes."

The place of punishment is called Hell; Tophet,[10] Isai. xxx. 33. "hell fire," Matt. v. 22. and still more distinctly x. 28. "outer darkness," viii. 12. xxii. 13. xxv. 30, "a furnace of fire," xiii. 42. Hades, Luke. xvi. 23; and elsewhere; "a place of torment," v. 28. "the bottomless pit," Rev. ix. 1. "the lake of fire," xx. 15. "the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone," xxi. 8. Hell appears to be situated beyond the limits of this universe. Luke xvi. 26. "between us and you there is a great gulf fixed, so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot." Matt. viii. 12. "outer darkness." Rev. xxii. 14, 15. "they may enter in through the gates into the city; for without are dogs." Nor are reasons wanting for this locality; for as the place of the damned is the same as that prepared for the devil and his angels, Matt. xxv. 41. in punishment of their apostasy, which occurred before the fall of man, it does not seem probable that hell should have been prepared within the limits of this world, in the bowels of the earth, on which the curse had not as yet passed.[11] This is said to have been the opinion <231> of Chrysostom, as likewise of Luther and some later divines.[12] Besides, if, as has been shown from various passages of the New Testament, the whole world is to be finally consumed by fire, it follows that hell being situated in the centre of the earth, must share the fate of the surrounding universe, and perish likewise; a consummation more to be desired than expected by the souls in perdition.

Thus far of the punishment of the wicked; it remains to speak of the perfect glorification of the righteous.

Perfect glorification consists in eternal life and perfect happiness, arising chiefly from the divine vision.[13] It is described Psal. xvi. 11. "thou wilt show me the <232> path of life; in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore." xvii. 15. "I will behold thy face in righteousness; I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with thy likeness." Dan. xii. 3. "they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament, and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever." Matt. xiii. 43. "then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father." xxii. 30. "they are as the angels of God in heaven." v. 8. "blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God." 1 Cor. ii. 9. "as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him." xiii. 12. "I now we see through a glass, darkly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then shall I know even as also I am known." xv. 42, 43. "so also is the resurrection of the dead: it is sown in corruption, it is raised in incorruption; it is sown in dishonour, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body." 2 Cor. iv. 17. "a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory." v. 1. "we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens." Eph. ii. 6. "hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus." Philipp. iii. 21. "who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body." 1 Thess. iv. 17. "we shall be caught up together with them into the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air, and so shall we ever be with the Lord." 2 Tim. iv. 8. "henceforth there is laid up <233> for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, shall give me at that day, and not to me only, but to all them also that love his appearing." 1 Pet. i. 4. "an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you." v. 4 "when the chief shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away." v. 10. "who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus." 1 John. iii. 2. "we know that when he shall appear we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is." Rev. vii. 14-17. "these are they... therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple; and he that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them; they shall hunger no more, neither thirst —." xxi. 4. "God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes, and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain." xxii. 1-5. "he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb."

It appears that all the saints will not attain to an equal state of glory. Dan. xii. 3. "they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament, and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever." Matt. xx. 23. "to sit on my right hand and on my left is not mine to give, but it shall be given to them of whom it is prepared of my Father." 1 Cor. xv. 41, 42. "there is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars; for one star differeth from another star in glory: so also is the resurrection of the dead."

<234>

In heaven. Matt. v. 12. "great is your reward in heaven." Luke xii. 33. "provide yourselves... a treasure in the heavens that faileth not." Philipp. iii. 20. "our conversation is in heaven." Heb. x. 34. "knowing in yourselves that ye have a better and an enduring substance."

Our glorification will be accompanied by the renovation of heaven and earth, and of all things therein adapted to our service or delight, to be possessed by us in perpetuity.[14] Isai. lxv. 17. "behold, I create <235> new heavens and a new earth, and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind." lxvi. 22. "as the new heavens and the new earth, which I will make, shall remain before me, saith Jehovah, so shall your seed and your name remain." Acts iii. 21. "whom the heavens must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began." Matt. xix. 29. "every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name's sake, shall receive an hundred-fold, and shall inherit everlasting life." xxvi. 29. "I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father's kingdom." Luke xiv. 15. "one of them that sat at meat with him... said unto him, Blessed is he that shall eat bread in the kingdom of God;" nor is he reproved by Christ for this saying. xxii. 30. "that ye may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom." Rom. viii. 19-24. "the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God... in hope, because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption, into the glorious liberty of the children of God." 2 Pet. iii. 13. "we according to his promise look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness." Rev. v. 10. "thou hast made us unto our God kings and priests, and we shall reign on <236> the earth." xx. 1, &c. "I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea: and I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband."

[1]

..... truth shall retire

Bestuck with sland'rous darts, and works of faith

Rarely be found: so shall the world go on,

To good malignant, to bad men benign,

Under her own weight groaning; till the day

Appear of respiration to the just,

And vengeance to the wicked. Paradise Lost, XII, 536.

[2]

Compare Paradise Regained, III. 433. especially with reference to the passage quoted from Isaiah xxvii,

Yet he at length (time to himself best known)

Rememb'ring Abraham, by some wond'rous call

May bring them back, repentant and sincere,

And at their passing cleave the Assyrian flood,

While to their native land with joy they haste,

As the Red Sea and Jordan once he cleft,

When to the promised land their fathers pass'd.

[3]

When thou, attended gloriously from heav'n

Shalt in the sky appear, and from thee send

The summoning archangels to proclaim

Thy dread tribunal; forthwith from all winds

The living, and forthwith the cited dead

Of all past ages, to the general doom

Shall hasten; such a peal shall rouse their sleep.

Then, all thy saints assembled, thou shalt judge

Bad men and angels; they, arraign'd, shall sink

Beneath thy sentence. Paradise Lost, II. 323.

..... Thence shall come

When this world's dissolution shall be ripe,

With glory and power to judge both quick and dead. XII. 458.

Last in the clouds from heav'n to be reveal'd

In glory of the Father, to dissolve

Satan with his perverted world. Ibid. 545.

[4]

Vicegerent Son, to thee I have transferr'd

All judgment, whether in heaven, or earth, or hell.

Easy it may be seen that I intend

Mercy colleague with justice, sending thee.

Man's friend, his mediator, his design'd

Both ransom and redeemer voluntary,

And destin'd man himself to judge man fall'n. Paradise Lost, X. 56,

[5]

..... only add

Deeds to thy knowledge answerable. Paradise Lost, XII. 581.

'He who from such a kind of psalmistry, or any other verbal devotion, without the pledge and earnest of suitable deeds, can be persuaded of a real and true righteousness in the person, hath yet much to learn.' Answer to Eikon Basilike. Prose Works, II. 406.

[6]

'Veniebat; perfecturus in terris mysterium redemptionis nostræ.' Junius on Dan. vii. 13.

[7]

Then thou thy regal sceptre shalt lay by,

For regal sceptre thou no more shalt need,

God shall be all in all. Paradise Lost, III, 339.

[8]

..... meanwhile

The world shall burn. III. 333.

[9]

'Quidam enim eorum censent peccatum originis puniri tantum pœna damni; alii vero insuper ei pœnam sensus adjungunt.' Dissertatio Secunda de Peccato Originis, Curcell. 61. 'To which two heads, all that is necessary to be known concerning this everlasting punishment may be reduced; and we shall accordingly consider it as it is both pœna damni and pœna sensus, the punishment of loss and the punishment of sense.' Beveridge. Works, Vol. II. 449. See also Taylor, Works IX. 369.

[10]

.....Tophet thence

And black Gehenna call'd, the type of hell. Paradise Lost, I. 404

[11]

In the argument to the first book of Paradise Lost, hell is described as situated 'not in the center (for heaven and earth may be supposed as yet no made, certainly not yet accursed) but in a place of utter' (i.e. outer) 'darkness, fitliest called Chaos.'

[12]

Καὶ ποῦ, φησὶ, καὶ ἐν ποίῳ χωρίῳ αὕτη ἔσται ἡ γέεννα; τί σοι τούτου μέλε; τὸ γὰρ ζηούμενον, δεῖξαι ὄτι ἐστὶν, οὐ ποῦ τεταμίευται, καὶ ἐν ποίῳ..... ἀλλ᾽ ἐν ποίῳ τόπῳ, φησὶν, ἔσται; ἔξω που, ὡς ἔγωγε οἶμαι, τοῦ κόσμου πούτου παντός. καθάπερ γὰρ τῶν βασιλείων τὰ δεσμωτήρια καὶ τὰ μέταλλα πό᾽ρ῾ρω δίεστηκεν, οὕτω δὴ καὶ τῆς εἰκουμένης ταύτης ἔξω που ἔσται ἡ γέεννα. Chrysost. in Ep. ad Rom. Homil. 31.

Milton elsewhere refers to the locality of hell:

Such place eternal justice had prepared

For those rebellious; here their prison ordain'd

In utter darkness, and their portion set

As far removed from God and light of heaven,

As from the center thrice to th' utmost pole. Paradise Lost, I. 70,

Again: 'to banish forever into a local hell, whether in the air or in the center, or in that uttermost and bottomless gulf of Chaos, deeper from holy bliss than the world's diameter multiplied, they thought not a punishment so proper and proportionate for God to inflict, as to punish sin with sin.' Doctrine and Discipline of Divorce. Prose Works, II. 11.

[13]

The distinction which Milton makes between the beginnings of bliss which are attainable in this life, and that perfect glorification which will ensue hereafter, coincides with the expressions in the Hymn on the Nativity:

And then at last our bliss

Full and perfect is,

But now begins, xviii. 165.

[14]

The following quotations will show that Milton took pleasure in frequently recurring to this idea.

The world shall burn, and from her ashes spring

New heav'n and earth, wherein the just shall dwell,

And after all their tribulations long

See golden days. Paradise Lost, III. 334.

Then heav'n and earth renew'd shall be made pure

To sanctity that shall receive no stain. X. 638.

..... To second life

Wak'd in the renovation of the just

Resigns him up with heav'n and earth renew'd. XI. 64.

..... till fire purge all things new,

Both heav'n and earth, wherein the just shall dwell. Ibid. 900.

..... to reward

His faithful, and receive them into bliss,

Whether in heav'n or earth; for then the earth

Shall all be Paradise, far happier place

Than this of Eden, and far happier days. XII. 461.

..... then raise

From the conflagrant mass, purg'd and refin'd,

New heav'ns, new earth, ages of endless date

Founded in righteousness and peace and love,

To bring forth fruits, joy and eternal bliss.Ibid 547.

And again, in a splendid passage near the end of the treatise. On the Reformation in England: 'Thou, the eternal and shortly expected King, shalt open the clouds to judge the several kingdoms of the world, and distributing national honours and rewards to religious and just commonwealths, shall put an end to all earthly tyrannies, proclaiming thy universal and mild monarchy through heaven and earth; where they undoubtedly, that by their labours, counsels, and prayers, have been earnest for the common good of religion and their country, shall receive above the inferior orders of the blessed, the real addition of principalities, legions, and thrones into their glorious titles, and in supereminence of beatific vision, progressing the dateless and irrevoluble circle of eternity, shall clasp inseparable hands with joy and bliss, in over-measure for ever.' Prose Works, I. 58.

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