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being those of a friend, kindly seeking bis infinite good, and designing nothing else in the end, but to make bim eternally happy in love and favour, and blessed union with him. God is represented every where as acting the part of an enemy to him, that seeks and designs nothing in the final event but his destruction. The grand work of God's providence, which he is prosecuting from the beginning to the end of the world, viz. the work of redemption, is against him, to bruise or break in pieces his head, to cast him like lightning from heaven, from that height of power and dominion to which he has exalted himself, to tread him under foot, and to cause his people to trample and bruise, or crush bim under foot, and gloriously to triumph over him. Christ, when he conquered him, made a show of him openly, triumphing over him. And, it is evident, that, as it will be with the devil in this respect, so it will be with the wicked. This is reasonable to suppose, from what the Scripture represents of the relation wicked men stand in to the devil as his children, servants, subjects, instruments, and his property and possession. They are all ranked together with him in one kingdom, in one interest, and one company. And many of them are the great ministers of his kingdom, and to whom he has committed authority; such as the beast and false prophet that we read of in the Revelation. Now, how reasonable and natural is it to suppose, that those who are thus united should have their portion and lot together? As Christ's disciples, subjects, followers, soldiers, children, instru. ments and faithful ministers, shall have their part with him, in his eternal glory; so we may reasonably believe, that the devil's disciples, followers, subjects, soldiers in his army, his children, instruments and ministers of his kingdom, should have their part with bim, and not that such an infinite difference should be made between them, that the punishment of the one should be eternal, and that of the other but temporal, and therefore infinitely less, infinitely disproportionate; so that the proportion between the punishment of the latter, and that of the former, is as nothing, infinitely less than an 'unit to a million of millions. This is unreasonable to be supposed in itself, as the difference of guilt and wickedness cannot be so great, but must be infinitely far from it; especially, considering the aggravations of the wickedness of a great part of damned men, as committed against Christ, and gospel grace and love; which exceeding great aggravation the sin of the deyils never had.
$ 28. As the devil's ministers, servants and instruments, of the angelic nature, those that are called the devil's angels, shall have their part with him ; for the like reason we may
well suppose, his servants, and instruments of the human nature, will share with him. And not only is this reasonable in itself, but the Scripture plainly teaches us that it shall be so. In Rev. xix. 20. it is said, “The beast and the false prophet were both cast alive into the lake of fire burning with brimstone." So it is said, chap. xx. 16. “The devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever;"- thus expressing both the kind of misery and the duration. Just in the same manner it is said concerning the followers of the beast. It is said, chap. xiv. 9, 10, 11. “ Saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast, &c.--the same shall be tormented with fire and brimstone, and the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever, and they have no rest day nor night."--And chap. xxi. 8. of wicked men in general, it is said, they shall have their part in the lake wbich burneth with fire and brimstone. --So we find in Christ's description of the day of judg. ment, the wicked are sentenced to everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels. By which it appears most plainly, that they share with the devils in suffering misery of the same kind, and also share with him in suffering misery of the same cverlasting continuance. And, indeed, not only would the punishment infinitely differ as to quantity and duration, if the punishment of the devils was to be eternal, and of wicked men only temporal : but if this were known, it would, as it were, infinitely differ in kind. The one suffering God's hatred and mere vengeance, inflictions that have no pity or kindness in them; the other, the fruit of his mercy and love, and infinitely kind intention: the one attended with absolute despair, and a black and dismal sinking prospect of misery, absolutely endless; the other with the light of hope, and a supporting prospect, not only of an end to their misery, but of an eternal unspeakable happiness to follow. According to the notion which I am opposing, the judgment that shall take place at the end of the world, will be so far from being the last judgment, or any proper judgment to settle all things in their final state, that it will, with respect to the wicked, be no more than the judgment of a physician, whether more sharp and powerful remedies must not be applied in order to the relief of sinners, and the cure of their disease, which, if not cured, will make them eternally miserable !
§ 29. It is evident, that the future misery of the wicked in hell is not to come to an end, and to be succeeded by eternal happiness; and that their misery is not subservient to their happiness, because the Scripture plainly signifies, con
cerning those that die in their sins, that they have all the good and comfort in this life, that ever is designed for them. Luke vi. 24. “ Woe unto you that are rich, for ye have received your consolation.” Luke xvi. 25. “ Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things." Psal. xvii. 13, 14. “ Deliver my soul from the wicked-from the men of the world which have their portion in this life, and whose belly thou fillest with thy hid treasure.”
§ 30. According to the opinion I am now opposing, God will surely at the last deliver all the damned from their misery, and make them happy. So that God will see to it, that the purifying torments shall certainly at last bave their effect, to . turn them from sin. Now, how can this consist with God's treating them as moral agents, and their acting from the freedom of their own wills, in the affair of their turning from sin, and becoming morally pure and virtuous, according to the notions of freedom and moral agency which now prevail, and are strenuously maintained by some of the chief assertors of this opinion concerning hell torments; which notion of freedom implies contingence, and is wholly inconsistent with the necessity of the event ? If after all the torments used to bring sinners to repentance, the consequence aimed at, viz. their turning from sin to virtue, be not necessary, but it shall still remain a contingent event, whether there ever will be any such consequence of those severe, long-continued chastise ments or no; then, how can it be determined, that this will surely be the consequence? How can it be a thing infallible, that such a consequence of means used will follow, when at the same time, it is not a consequence any way necessarily connected with the means used, it being only a thing contingent whether it will follow or not? If God has determined absolutely to make them all pure and happy, and yet their purity and happiness depend on the freedom of their will; then here is an absolute, divine decree, consistent with the freedom of men's will, which is a doctrine utterly rejected by the generality of that sort of men who deny the eternity of hell torments. If it be said, that God has not absolutely determined the duration or measure of their torments, but intends to continue them till they do repent, or to try lesser torments first, and, if these do not answer, to increase them till they are effectual, determining that he will raise or continue them till the effect shall finally and infallibly follow; that is the same thing as to necessitate the effect. And here is necessity in such a case, as much as when a founder puts a piece of metal into a furnace, with a resolution to melt it, and if continuing it there a little while will not dissolve it, that he will keep it there till it does dissolve: and if, by reason of its
peculiar hardness, an ordinary degree of heat of the furnace will not be effectual, that he will increase the vehemence of the heat, till the effect shall certainly follow.
§ 31. If any should maintain this scheme of temporary future punishments, viz. that the torments in hell are not purifying pains, and that the damned are not in a state of trial with regard to any expected admission to eternal happiness, and that therefore they are not the proper objects of divine benevolence; that the dispensation they are under, is not truly a dispensation of mercy, but that their torments are properly penal pains, wherein God displays his vindictive justice; that they shall suffer misery to such a degree, and for so long a time, as their obstinate wickedness in this world deserves ; and that indeed they shall be miserable a very long time, so long that it is often figuratively spoken of in Scripture as being everlasting, and that then they shall be annihilated: On this I would observe, that there is nothing got by such a scheme; no relief from the arguments taken from Scripture, for the proper eternity of future punishment. For, if it be owned, that Scripture expressions denote a punishment that is properly eternal, but that it is in no other sense properly so, than as the annihilation, or state of non-existence to which the wicked shall return, will be eternal; and that this eternal annihilation is that death which is so often threatened for sin, perishing for ever, everlasting destruction, being lost, utterly consumed, &c.; and that tbe fire of hell is called eternal fire, in the same sense that the external fire which consumed the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah is called eternal fire, (Jude 7.) because it utterly consumed those cities, that they might never be built more; and that this fire is called that which cannot be quenched, or at least not until it has destroyed them that are cast into it.-If this be all that these expressions denote, then they do not at all signify the length of the torments, or long continuance of their misery; so that the supposition of the length of their torments is brought in without any necessity, the Scripture saying nothing of it, having no respect to it, when it speaks of their everlasting punishments: and it answers the Scripture expressions as well, to suppose that they shall be annihilated immediately, without any long pains, provided the annihilation be everlasting.
32. If any should suppose, that the torments of the damned in hell are properly penal, and in execution of penal justice, but yet that they are neither eternal, nor shall end in annihilation, but shall be continued till justice is satisfied, and they have truly suffered as much as they deserve, whereby their punishment shall be so long as to be called everlasting,
but that then they shall be delivered, and finally be the subjects of everlasting happiness; and that therefore they shall not in the mean time be in a state of trial, nor will be waited upon in order to repentance, nor will their torments be used as means to bring them to it; for that the term and measure of their punishment shall be fixed, from which they shall not be delivered on repentance, or any terms or conditions whatsoever, until justice is satisfied : I would observe, in answer to this, that if it be so, the damned, while under their suffering, are either answerable for the wickedness that is acted by them while in that state, or may properly be the subjects of a judicial proceeding for it, or not. If the former be supposed, then it will follow, that they must have another state of suffering and punishment, after the ages of their suffering for the sins of this life are ended. And it cannot be supposed, that this second period of suffering will be shorter than the first : For the first is only for the sins committed during a short life, often represented in Scripture, for its shortness, to be a dream, a tale that is told, a blast of wind, a vapour, a span, a moment, &c. But the time of punishment is always represented as exceeding long, called everlasting ; represented as enduring for ever and ever, as having no end, &c. If the sins of a moment must be followed with such punishment, then, doubtless, the sins of those endless ages, must be followed with another second period of suffering, much longer. For it must be supposed, that the damned continue sinning all the time of their punishment; for none can rationally imagine, that God would hold them under such extreme torments, and terrible manifestations and executions of his wrath, after they have thoroughly repented, and turned from sin, and are become pure and holy, and conformed to God, and so have left off sinning. And if they continue in sin, during this state of punishment, with assurance that God still has a great benevolence for them, even so as to intend finally to make them everlastingly happy in the enjoyment of his love, then their sin must be attended with great aggravation; as they will have the evil and ill desert of sin set before them in the most affecting manner, in their dreadful sufferings for it, attended besides with evidence that God is infinitely benevolent towards them, and intends to bestow infinite blessings upon them. But, if this first long period of punishment must be followed with a second as long, or longer, for the same reason, the second must be followed by a third, as long or longer than that; and so the third must be followed by a fourth, and so in infinitum; and, at this rate, there never can be an end of their misery. So this scheine overthrows itself.