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fession they once made, our Lord roundly ascribes it to their having had no root in themselves (a): they had the appearance of grace, but not the truth of grace. Hence he will declare, to those on his left hand, Depart from me, ye workers of iniquity; I never knew you(6): whereas, if any of those that perish had once savingly known him, and been known by him, they might retort, “ Yes, Lord, thou didst know us once, and we knew thee, prior to our making shipwreck of salvation. But this will be impossible forany of them to say. Consequently, the doctrine which affirms the perpetuity of grace, stands immoveable on the pillars of infallible truth. No wonder then, that the church should assert, “ Christ Jesus, the prophets, the apostles, and all the true ministers of his word; yea, every jot and tittle in the holy scripture; have been, are, and shall be for evermore, the savour of life unto eternal life, unto all those whose hearts God hath purified by true faith (c).” Nor does this view of things open (as is falsely affirmed) a door to disobedience and remissness. It no more follows, because a true Christian cannot fall finally from grace, that he may therefore come down from his watch-tower and commit sin with (d) safety; than it will follow, that our Lord might have thrown himself from the battlements of the temple, because it was written that God would give
(a) Mark iv. 17.
(6) Then will I [óworonow] solemnly aver unto them, I never [eden ole ] at any time knew you, Matth. vii. 23. That oμoλofεω is sometimes rendered by adfirmo, testor, voveo, stands in no need of proof. What a shocking tenet, then, must that be, which affirms the defectibility of real grace, in direct contrariety to that public and solemn asseveration, which Christ himself will make, at the last tremendous audit, in the hearing of angels and men.
(c) Hom. on certain places of scripture.
(d) “ He would be mad indeed," says an ingenious and celebrated writer, “ who should wilfully fall down, and break a leg, or an arm, because he knew there was a skilful surgeon at hand to set it.” See the Fourth of Five Letters to the Rev. Mr. F. Printed for Dilly, 1771.
his angels charge concerning him to bear him in their hands. And how can it be thought, that this important truth leads to licentiousness, when we lay down this as a fundamental maxim, that none have any shadow of pretence to consider themselves interested in the blessing of perseverance, but those only, who manifest that interest, by being inwardly conformed to God, and outwardly observant of his commandments ?
XIII. The doctrine of God's unlimited, particular providence, in the support, government, and direction, of all things without exception, makes an eminent branch of the Christian system, as taught by Christ. We find him thanking his Father, as the Lord of heaven and earth (a). We hear him declare, that man liveth not by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God (b). Nay, that the very hairs of our head are all numbered (c) by him who made them. That it is God who maketh his sun to rise, and rain to descend (d): That he feedeth the fowls of the air, and clothes the herbage of the fields (e); and, that a single sparrow falleth not to the ground without our Father's (f) will and direction. Much less can events of a superior kind, and of still more important consequence, come to pass at random or by accident; witness those words of Christ to Pilate: Thou couldest have no power at all against me, except it was given thee from above (g). No less peremptory and explicit is the church in her de nial of chance, and in her recognition of absolute providence. God, says she, “worketh all things, in his secret judgment, to his own pleasure (h).”
Epicures they be, who imagine that he wałkéth about the coasts of the heavens, and hath no respect of these inferior things, but that all these things
(a) Matth. xi. 25. (6) Ibid. iv. 4. (c) Ibid. x. 30.
should proceed either by chance, or at adventure, or else by disposition of fortune ; and God to have no stroke in them: what other thing is this, than to say, as the fool supposeth in his heart, there is no God(a)?” Pursuant to these reflections, she addresses the Supreme Being under the character of him “ whose never failing providence ordereth all things both in heaven and earth (6).”
XIV. The immortality of the human soul, its separate existence, consciousness, and activity, in a state of detachment from the body ; together with its immediate punishment or beatification, as soon as dislodged by death ; were all strongly inculcated by the great author of our faith. Fear not them that kill the body, but who are not able to kill the soul (c). He preached the same doctrine in his expiring moments, when a cross was his pulpit, and when the conversion of a dying malefactor was the last seal of his ministry: To-day shalt thou, i. e. shall thy soul be with me in paradise (d). How clear and forcible is that other declaration of his, God is not the God of the dead, i, e. of the dead only; of the bodies of men, or of that part of man which dies; but of the living : of that also which survives; even their souls: for all live to him(e) in the separate state; either glorified as temples of his grace, or punished as monuments of his displeasure. To add but one more testimony: whether we consider the account of Lazarus and the rich man (f), as a parable, or a fact; the instantaneous conveyance of the former on angels' wings to Abraham's bosom, and the no less instantaneous punishment of the latter-together with the conversation which passed, or was supposed to pass, between the glorified soul of Abraham, and the tormented soul of the agonizing sinner-plainly
(a) Hom. for Rogat. Pt. 2. (6) Coll. for the 8th Sunday after Trin. (c) Matth. X. 28. (d) Luke xxiii. 43. (e) Ib. xx. 38. (f) Ib. xvi.
prove, that the spirit of man is neither extinguished by death, nor reduced to a dormant, insensible state; but either soars directly into the heights of joy, or directly plunges into the abyss of woe. To this, the church subscribes; or she would not pray, “ In the hour of death- -good Lord, deliver us:” nor give it as her stedfast belief, that “the dead, who die in the Lord, are blessed from henceforth (a),” aragai, i. e. ato te vuv, à nunc, from the very instant they expire. In her admirable commendatory prayer, she humbly commits “ the soul” of the dying person into the hands of its Creator and Saviour: and in the funeral office, affirms, that “the souls of the faithful, after they are delivered from the burden of the flesh, are with God in joy and felicity.” I am the more particular in citing these testimonies of the church on this subject, as the equally antiscriptural and unphilosophical doctrine of soul-sleeping has, of late, made great progress among some who yet pass for churchmen.
XV. Lastly, The resurrection of the same identical body that dies, and the final glorification (6) of the elect in soul and body together, close the rear of that creed which Jesus taught. This is the will
(a) Funeral Service, from Rev. xiv. 13.
(6) Hence it follows, that heaven must be a place, as well as a state. Which I farther
thus : I. It is expressly so termed in holy scripture. I go, says Christ, to prepare a place for you; πορευομαι έτοιμασαι ΤΟΠΟΝ υμιν. And when I go and shall prepare a place for you, I will come again and take you to myself, iva OTOU Erju syw, that where (here is the ubi) I am, ye may be also, John xiv. 2, 3. This is several times repeated. Chap. xii. 26. και οπΟΥ ειμι εγω, ΕΚΕΙ και ο διακονος ο' εμος εσαι, and where I am, there also shall the servant, who is mine, be; and chap. xvii. 24. Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me, 'onor ello syw, where I am; and where is that? In the highest heaven; for it follows, that they may behold my glory: even that glory which he had with the Father, before the world was, ver. 5. And, in Rev. xxii. 5. it is said concerning heaven, ruž 87 $50. EKEI, there shall be no night there. Now, setting apart all needless metaphysical distinctions, a place is that, de quo rectè prædicantur ubi et ibi. Whatever has a real existence, must exist some
where; according to the old axiom, “ quod nullibi est, nihil est:” and that somewhere (be it earth, hell, or heaven) is, to speak intelligibly, the place of the thing or person there existing. It may be said, that " the word place seems not to agree with the nature of spirits.” It may not altogether, according to our notion of place; but as I find the Son of God applying the word place to heaven itself, and describing one by the other, I cannot prevail with myself to give up the term place; at least, until I find another more suitable. Shall we exchange it for state ? But this is obscurum per obscurius. Suppose a being to be in a certain state or condition, without at the same time taking in the idea of place, or something analogous to it, and we are more in the dark than before. Alicubitus determinata is a circumstance essential to every finite thing that exists : quà ens, it must be alicubi. Sever these two if you can. Ens nullibi is the grossest of absurdities. The word state, refers to a person's greatness or meanness, happiness or misery, knowledge or ignorance, &c. and can a person, or intelligent subsistence, be either great or mean, happy or miserable, i. e. can he be in any state at all, without being at the same time in aliquo ibi? or can the TO TW5 be predicated of one, concerning whom the To Tir cannot?-Nor is heaven alone termed a place: the region of condemned spirits is likewise so called. Lest they come also into this place of torment, said the departed sensualist, Luke xvi. 28. And Judas is said to have fallen by transgression, that he might go to his own place. Acts i. 25.
II. If heaven be not a place, I would be glad to know where the glorified body of Christ is, with which he ascended. Whither did it ascend to? Where are the bodies of Enoch and Elijah? If in heaven, heaven must be the go ibi, or place, where they are. In short, if we deny the locality of heaven, we must, together with that, deny that Christ resumed his own material body at his resurrection, and that he ascended in it to the right hand of God: i. e. we must commence infidels at once. I would further ask; where will the bodies of the saints be, after the universal judgment? Will they not enter into beaven? and can bodies be in heaven, and heaven not be the place of those bodies ? Nay, I ask, whether even the soul of a believer can, after death, be with Christ (which the scripture assures us it is) without ubiety? How, moreover, could Paul, previous to his death, he caught up sws TALTS sgave, to the third heaven, or 5 TOV Tagaosioon, into paradise (which two expressions are terms synonymous, as appears by the apostle's reciprocating them, 2 Cor. xii. 2. 4.) and that too, perhaps, xv owali
, in his body as well as soul; if the third heaven be not a place, or some determinate ibi? What! a man caught up-nowhither? could he