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vegetation, while it is nourished, has the use of its senses,' is delighted, and acts with pleasure, Whereas, the dead body moves by putrefaction to a state of dissolution, and to the pro duction of lothesome animals. And so in the soul, spiritually alive, there is motion, while it is fed, repasted, and fattened with divine delights, while it takes pleasure in God and true wisdom, while, by the strength of its love, it is carried to, and fixed on that which can sustain the soul, and give it a sweet repose. But a dead soul has no feeling; that is, it rieither understands truth, nor loves righteousness, wallows, and is spent
and tired out, in the sink of concupiscence, breeds and brings forth the worms of impure and abominable thoughts, reasonings, and affections. Men therefore alienated from that spiritual life, which consists in the light of wisdom, and the activity of love, who delight in their own present happiness, are no better than living carcases, 1 Tim. v. 6. dead whilst living: and hence in scripture are said to be spiritually dead.
IX. The word, 522, äppar, which the scripture applies to such, is both emphatical and of a very fertile signification. For, it denotes, 1st. A fool, corrupt in all the faculties of the soul, void of that spiritual wisdom, the beginning of which is the fear of the Lord. “Nabal is his name, and folly is with him," is Abigail's character of her husband, 1 Sam. xxv. 25. This 523 is opposed to bors, wise, Deut. xxxii. 6. “O foolish people and unwise." 2dly. It also denotes a wicked person, Psal. Ixxiv. 18 “the foolish people have blasphemed thy dame.” 3dly, and lastly. It signifies one in a dead and withered state ; the root 599 denoting to wither and die away, Isa xl. 7. “ the flower fadeth :" 15aa is a dead body, Isa. xxvi. 19.“ thy dead men shall live." All which conjointly denote a man devoid of the wisdom of God, overwhelmed with sin, and destitute of the life of God; in a word, faded and breed ing worms, like a dead body. In all which spiritual death consists,
en X. This spiritual death, is both sin and the natural conse quence of the first sin, being at the same time threatened as the punishment of sin. For, as it renders man vile, and entirely incapable to perform those works which alone are worthy of him, as it makes him like the brute creatures, nay, and even like the devil himself, and unlike God, the only blessed being, and consequently renders him highly miserable, so it must be an exceeding great punishment of sin.
XI. Fourthly, and lastly. Eternal death is also here intend. ed. The preludes of which, in this life, are the terrors and
the man of the fruition of that good by which alone he could be happy. And thus, in this punishment of loss there is an exquisite sense of the wrath of God: with which no torments of the body by material fire can be compared.
XVI. Besides, the soul being conscious to itself of having by its sins been the cause of this misery, becomes enraged against itself accases, abhors, tears itself, acts the tormentor against itself, and under this lash more severely smarts, than any criminal under the hands of the most unrelenting executioner. Add that all hope of a happy restitution failing, being racked with horrid despair, it is appointed to eternal misery. All these things are so closely connected, as to make themselves manifest to every conscience, upon the least atteption.
XVII. The same things the scripture expressly teach, when they speak of eternal punishment, Matt. XXV: 46. and torments, Luke xvi. 28, 28. of the worm that dieth not, and the fire that is not quenched," Mark ix. 44. and the like; expressions too strong to be understood of the punishment of loss only, without that of sense.
XVIII. And it is absurd to say, that this punishment is threatened only against the contemners of the gospel, seeing Paul testifies, that Christ is to come in flaming fire, taking vengeance, not only on them that obey not the gospel, but on them that know not God," 2 Thess. 1. 8. compare 1 Thess. iv. 5. "the Gentiles which know not God." Such namely; who would not know God even from the works of creation, and "did not like to retain God in their knowledge," Rom. i. 28. The very power of truth obliged Curcellæus to say, in the place above cited, these are altogether inexcusable before God, and therefore it is not to be wondered, if, hereafter, they be consigned to the punishment of eternal-fire." And our adversaries will not say, that the gospel was preached to those of Sodom and Gomorrah, and the neighbouring cities. And yet, concerning them Jude writes, ver. 7 that “they are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire" Words not to be restricted to that fire wherewith those cities were burnt, but to be extended to the flames of hell, with which the lewd inhabitants of those cities are at this very day tormented. These things are to be distinguished, which the nature of the things teaches to be distinct. Thus, we are to
, understand," giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh," of the inhabitants and not of the towns. But it is true of both, that they were burnt with fire: which, with respect to the towns, may in some measure be said to be
eternal, they being so consumed as that they never shall or can be restored. But it is truly eternal with respect to the iuhabitants, who, by the vengeance of God, were not abnihilated; but at the time, when the apostle) was writing, having been cast headlong into everlasting pain and torment, they suffered the punishment of that fire, of whith * whoremongers shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone," Rev. xxi. 8. So these cities are an emblem or type of eternal fire, but their wicked inhabitants * suffer the vengeance of eternal fire," and so both are for an example (Peter says, 2 Pet. ü. 6. an example,) by which we are reminded, what whoremongers are to expect
XIX: Christ also expressly declares to the same purpose, Matt. xxv. 41. that all who shall be placed on his left hand, and not declared heirs of eternal life, shall by a righteous sentence, be condemned to “everlasting fire, which is prepared for the devil and his angels," which fire, ver: 46.-is explained to be rdhaon drávoon" everlasting punishment. We cannot approve what Curcellæus, in the said dissertation, $ 6. luas written; that in “Matthew is not described a judgment in every respect universal, of all who ever had existed, but only of those who made a profession of the Christian religion; some of whom behaved becoming the gospel, others not." These are expressions not of the best stamp. For, shall not that judgment be universal, which our Lord extends to all nations? Matt. xxv. 82. To all the tribes of the eartb Matt. xxiv. 30. In wbich every eye shall see Cbrist the judge Rev. i7 In which, according to Paul, Acts xvii. $1. " he will judge the world ? Io which both sea, and death, and bell will deliver up their dead to be judged ? Rev. xx. 18. In which shall be accomplished the prediction which God solemnly confirmed by oath, saying, "every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue sball confess to God Rom. xiv. 11. In which even the men of Nineveh and the queen of the south, shall rise to condemn the wicked Jews ? Matt. xii. 41, 42. And their portion of torment be assigned to those of Tyre, and Sidon, and Sodom Pl Matt. xi. 22, 2A. In which shall be inflicted on
that servant who knew not his master's will, and did commit things worthy of stripes, bis due measure of stripes ?. Luke xii. 48. In which, in fine, they who have sinned without law, shall perish without law ? Rom. ü. 12. To restrict all this to those to whom the gospel has been preached, is to make sport with scripture, but God will not be sported with
XX. But should Curcelleus perhaps reply, that he debies