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Appearance, with Impunity ; committing much Evil, and enjoying much Good. And they, who are punished, are often but lightly punished; and seldom according to the Degree of their Crimes : for the deliberate and artful Sinners, who are the worst, usually fare best here below. As sure therefore as God is just and true, another State remains, in which all this will be set right.
What Sufferings, in particular, the divine Justice will then inflict on unpardoned Sinners, Realon cannot determine: and Revelation hath given us only general and figurative Descriptions of them; but such Descriptions, as are beyond all Things terrible: and I shall lay them before you, not in my own Words, but those of holy Writ. The Judge of all shall say unto them, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting Fire, prepared for the Devil and his Angels : There they Mall drink of the Wine of the Wrath of God, which is poured out, without Mixture, into the Gup of his Indignation, and Mail be tormented with Fire and Brimstone; and the Smoke of their Torment ascendeth_up for ever and ever, and they have ng Reff, Day nor Night': their Worm shall not die, neither, fall their Fire be quenched.
How fevere foever these Denunciations may appear to us, assuredly the Threatenings of God will not be vain Terrors. We are partial and incompetent Judges in our own Case: prone to Aatter and deceive ourselves. But he knows exactly, what Sin deserves, and what the Honour of his Government requires : from his Declarations therefore we are to learn our Fate. He hath set before us Life and Death: and whether we like, shall be given us ". "If therefore the latter be our wilful Choice, in which we obstinately perfıst; what Wonder, if we are left to it? For Sin and Misery muft and will be Companions for ever. Not that, in any case, the Anger of God shall prevail over his Justice: but the Degree of each person's Condemnation fhall be lo ex. Matth. XXV, 14. f Rev. xiv. 10, II.
: 1fa. lavi. 24. Mark ix. 44, 46, 48.
* Ecclus, XV. 17
actly proportioned to that of his Guilt, that when the Eyes of Sinners, which here they endeavour to shut, are opened, as they shall be hereafter, to see what their Deeds have merited; every Mouth shall be stopped', and all Flesh be filent before the Lord*. For every Circumstance, that can either aggravate, or excuse, will be impartially weighed; and some be accordingly beaten with many Stripes, and some with few'. But what the lowest Degree of the Almighty's final Vengeance may amount to, God forbid we thould any of us try: for whoever fins, purposely or carelessly, in Hopes of a small Punishment, will for that very Reason deserve a heavy one.
Let us all therefore make the Use that we ought, both of the Terrors and the Mercies of the Lord : awing ourselves by the former from transgressing our Duty, and encouraging ourselves by the latter to the utmost Diligence in performing it: that so we may pass through Life with Comfort, meet Death with Cheerfulness, and having faithfully served God in this World, be eternally and abundantly rewarded by him in the next.
THE whole Duty of Man confifts in three Points:
what he hath taught us, and doing what he hath required of us : which accordingly are the Things promised in our Name at our Baptism. The two former I have already explained to you. And therefore I proved at present to the third.
Now the Things, which God requires to be done, are of two Sorts : either such, as have been always the Duty of all Men : or such, as are peculiarly the Duty of Christians. And our Catechism very properly treats of the former Sort first, comprehending them under those ten Commandments, which were delivered by the Creator of the World, on Mount Sinai, in a most awful Manner, as you may read in the 19th and 20th Chapters of Exodus. For though indeed they were then given to the Jews particularly,
yet the Things contained in them are such, as all Mankind from the Beginning were bound to observe a. And therefore, even under the Mosaic Dispensation, they, and the Tables on which they were engraven, and the Ark in which they were put, were distinguished from the rest of God's Ordinances by a peculiar Regard, as containing the Covenant of the Lord b. And though the Mosaic Dispensation be now at an End, yet concerning these moral Precepts of it our Saviour declares, that one Fot or one Tittle fall in no wife pass from the Law, till all be fulfilled. Accordingly we find both him, and his Apostles, queting these ten Commandments, as Matter of perpetual Obligation to Christians: who are now, as the Jews were formerly, the Israel of God".
Indeed the whole New Testament, and especially the Sermon of our blessed Lord, on the Mount, instrućts us to carry their obligation farther, that is, to more Points, than either the Jews, a People of gross Understanding and carnal Dispositions, commonly took into Consideration ; or their Prophets were commissioned distinctly to represent to them ; the Wisdom of God foreseeing, that it would only increase their Guilt: and further indeed, than the Words of the Commandments, if taken strictly, express. But the Reason is, that be
a Decem sermones illi in tabulis nihil novum docent, sed quod obliteratum fuerat admonent. Novatian. de lib. Judaicis, c. 3.
• Exod. xxxiv, 28. Deut. iv. 13. ix. 9, 11, 15. Josh. iii. ii. 1 Kings viii. 9. 21 2 Chron. v. fo. vi. 11.
• Matth. v, 18. Gal, vi, 16.
ing visibly intended for a Summary of human Duty, they both may, and must, be understood, by those who are capable of penetrating into the Depth of their Meaning, to imply more than they express. And therefore, to comprehend their full Extent, it will be requisite to observe the following Rules. Where any Sin is forbidden in them, the opposite Duty is implicitly enjoined: and where any Duty is enjoined, the opposite Sin is implicitly forbidden. Where the highest Degree of any thing evil is prohibited; whatever is faulty in the same Kind, though in a lower Degree, is by Confequence prohibited. And where one Instance of virtuous Behaviour is commanded, every other, that hath the same Nature, and fame Reason for it, is understood to be commanded too. What we are expected to abstain from, we are expected to avoid, as far as we can, all Temptations to it, and Occasions of it: and what we are expected to practise, we are expected to use all fit Means, that may better enable us to practise it. All, that we are bound to do ourselves, we are bound, on fitting Occafions, to exhort and affist others to do, when it belongs to them: and all, that we are bound not to do, we are to tempt Nobody else to do, but keep them back from it, as much as we have Opportunity. The tenCommandments,excepting two that required Enlargement, are delivered in few Words: which brief Man. Aer of speaking hath great Majesty in it. But explajaing them according to these Rules; which are natural and rational in themselves, favoured by ancient Jewish Writers, authorized by our blessed Saviour, and certainly designed by the Makers of the Catechism to be ufed in expounding it: we shall find, that there is no Part of the moral Law, but may be fitly ranked under them: as will appear by what shall be said, in speaking separately on each Commandment.
Xpm δε μηδ' εκεινο αγνειν, ότι οι λογοι κεφαλαια νομουν εισι, των εν είδει σαρ' όλην την νομοθεσιαν εν ταις ιεραις βιβλοις αναγραφεντων. Ρhilo de Decal.
. p. 44. Sec also there p. 107.
,Cozri .אמות התורה ושרטית The ten Commandments are
Before them all, is placed a general Preface: expresfing, first, the Authority of him who gave them, I am the Lord thy God: secondly, his Goodness to those whom he enjoined to observe them; who brought thee out of the Land of Egypt, out of the House of Bondage. Now the Authority of God over us Christians, is as great, as it could be over the Jews. And his Goodness is much greater, in freeing us from the Bondage of Sin, and opening to us the heavenly Land of Promise, than it was in leading them, from Egyptian Slavery, to the earthly Canaan : though indeed this Deliverance, having made so fresh and so strong an Impression on them, was the fittest to be mentioned at that Time.
The_ten Commandments being originally written, by the Finger of God himself, on two Tables of Stone; and consisting of two Parts, our Duty to our Maker, and to our Fellow-creatures; which we can never perform as we ought, if we neglect that we owe to ourselves; the four first are usually called Duties of the first Table; the fix lait, of the fecond. And our Saviour, in Effect, divides them accordingly, when he reduces them to these: Thou shalt love the Lord thy God, with all thy Heart; and thy Neighbour, as thyself.
The first Commandment is, Thou shalt have none other Gods, but me.
The same Reasons, which prove, that God is, prove that there is but one God, The Imagination of two or more Beings, each perfect and each infinite, is at first Sight groundless. For one such Being is sufficient to produce and govern every Thing else: and therefore more than one can never be proved by Reason: and yet, if there were more, all Men would furely have had some Way of knowing it: and till we have, we are not to believe it. Indeed we have strong Reasons to believe the contrary. For if there is no Difference between these several supposed Beings, they are but one and the fame. And if there is any Difference, one must be lefs
* Matth. xxii. 37, 39.