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days; he cometh forth like a flower, and is cut down ; he fleeth also as a shadow."
2. When the scriptures speak of the punishment of the wicked, they represent it to be very long, and employ the strongest terms to express its duration. Matt. xxv. 41. Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire ;" 46. “ These shall go away into everlasting punishment.” 2 Thess. i. 9. “ Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction ” Rev. xx. 10. “Shall be tormented day and night forever and ever." Let it be understood that these texts are not introduced in this place to prove endless punishment. This will be attended to in its proper place. The present object is to show that the scriptures represent the punishment of the wicked to be very long, longer than man's entire earthly existence. Men often commit the most atrocious crimes, after which they do not live a year, a month, a week, a day, an hour, and sometimes not a moment. Now do they endure a very long punishment in a very short time? Will “ everlasting fire” burn out in a year? Can "everlasting punishment” be all endured in a month ?-Will the sinner recover from everlasting destruction in a week? Is it possible to “ be tormented for ever and ever” in a day or an hour ? But suppose sinner to live a life of common length, still it follows that he cannot receive in this life, all the punishment which the Bible threatens ; for the punishment is longer than the whole of his earthly existence. It cannot be consistently denied that the terms everlasting, for ever and ever, &c. express longer duration than the terms and figures which are used to express the brevity of life. “ Everlasting punishment” must be longer than a life that “is a vapor that appeareth for a moment and vanisheth away.” “Everlasting destruction" must last longer than the life of a man, whose “ days upon earth are a shadow." He who is “ tormented forever and ever” must suffer longer than the earthly existence of a man who “is of few days.” We say then that the scriptures teach that the punishment of sinners, is longer than the entire earthly existence of man and that punishment which is longer than the life of man must exist in a future state.
X. The scriptures teach that men will possess the same moral character in a future state, with which they leave this,
and if so, those who die sinners will be sinners after death; and if sinners, subjects of punishment. Prov. xiv. 32. “The wicked is driven away in his wickedness, but the righteous hath hope in his death.” In this text, being driven away in wickedness, stands opposed to hope in death. It follows then that the righteous have hope in their death, and that the wicked are without hope in death. Now, hope always relates to the future; hence, in death, amid the pangs of dissolving nature, as the world recedes from our vision, hope must take hold of the realities of a future state ; and as the wicked are driven away in their wickedness, in distinction from the righteous who have hope in their death, their states must be different in the future world. If sin only affects the sinner in this life, he must have as much hope in his death as the expiring saint ; and certainly he has more reason to appreciate that hope, if his punishment is all this side of death, and all is happiness beyond. The peculiar phraseology of the text shows that the sinner's guilt will cleave to him in a state. The wicked is driven away in his wickedness, not driven away from it; hence, his wickedness goes with him into the future world. John v. 28, 29. “ The hour is coming in the which all that are in their 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." Let it be remarked, that a man's character is not reckoned in view of what he may have been, but in view of what he is; hence a man may have done evil, and yet, if he ceases to do evil, and learns to do well, he is not reckoned an evil doer, but a well doer. (see Ezek. xxxiii. 13–16.) Those therefore who die in a state of well doing, will be among those who have done well, when the dead shall be raised; and those who die in a state of evil doing, will be among those who have done evil: the former will be raised to the resurrection of life, and the latter to the resurrection of damnation; and both will possess the same moral character with which they left this world. Ezek. xviii. 26. “When the righteous man turneth away from bis righteousness, and committeth iniquity, and dieth in them, for his iniquity that he hath done shall he die.” This text not only teaches that men will possess the same mor
al character in a future state with which they leave this ; but it proves directly, that moral death will exist after the death of the body. Mark the peculiar language : the apostate is here said, first, to die in his iniquity, and then to die for it. This clearly proves that he who dies a sinner, will be a sinner in the future state, and will there experience that death which is the wages of sin, (see Rom. vi. 23.) That men will possess the same moral character in a future state, with which they leave this, farther appears from the fact that sin attaches itself to the soul. If sin attached itself to the body only, it might be contended that it dies with the body; but having its seat in the soul, it will live with it when the body dies. Death cannot destroy sin, for death itself is an effect of sin, as has been shown in Chap. I. and an effect can never destroy the cause that produced it; hence, if the soul is polluted with sin when it leaves the body, it will be polluted still after it has left the body; and if sin begets misery, those who die in sin will be miserable in a future state; and if sin deserves punishment while it exists, the sinner will deserve punishment in a future state.
XI. The punishment of the wicked is so connected with the existence and punishment of the devils, as to prove it to be in a future state. But universalists, or that class of them who deny future punishment, also deny the existence of a devil or devils: we will therefore attempt to prove
that there are real personal devils. The scriptures abundantly speak of a devil, and of devils; and something must be meant, and what is it? Those who reject the common opinion of the church, that there are real demons who are our invisible foes, are not uniform in their faith on the point. Some suppose
that by the devil is meant the wicked disposition of men, the carnal mind, or evil propensities of human nature ; some suppose that a personified principle of evil is intended by the devil ; some say that any enemy is a devil in a scriptural sense, and that men or any opposer may be intended; and others say that by devils, bodily diseases are intended, especially in those cases where devils are said to have been cast out. To show that the scriptures speak of other devils, not included in this list, real personal devils, shall now be the object of a few remarks.
1. The temptation of such as were not possessed of evil propensities, must go to prove that an evil disposition, or a personified principle of evil cannot be meant, when the devil is spoken of as a tempter. Our first parents as they came from the hand of their creator, could not have been possessed of evil propensities, or propensities to evil, as has been proved in Chap. I. Man in his first state of existence could not have possessed any thing which he did not receive from his creator; and as God is holy, he could not be the author of evil propensities, unholy affections, or sinful lusts : and yet the mother of our race was beguiled and led into sin. Gen. iii. 13. “ The serpent beguiled me and I did eat.” 2 Cor. xi. 3. “But I fear lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtlety, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity of Christ.” 1 Tim. ii. 14. “But the woman being deceived was in the transgression.” The temptation of Christ is another instance to the point, see Matt. iv. 111, inclusive. Jesus Christ was tempted by some being or thing, which could not have been any evil propensity or propensity to evil. This appears from two considerations. First, the tempter came to Christ and departed from him ; secondly, Jesus Christ could not have possessed, in his own nature, any propensity or incentive to evil. If the human nature of Jesus Christ was prone to evil, or contained in itself incentives to evil, it must have been an evil nature, and could not have been an acceptable sacrifice to God.
2. Some persons have been possessed of many devils at the same time. Luke viii. 30. “And he said legion, because many devils were entered into him.” Luke viii. 2. - Ma. ry called Magdalene, out of whom went seven devils."
3. The devil has an existence separately from, and independently of, man. Luke viii. 33. * Then went the devils out of the man and entered into the swine." The devils, then, must have existed after they went out of the man, which could not have been the case, if the devils in question had been evil propensities or diseases. Man's evil propensities cannot exist separately from himself, and disease has no existence separately from the constitution upon which it preys.
4. The devil has attributes and passions ascribed to him which imply personal and intellectual being. Matt. viii. 31.
“So the devils besought him, saying, If thou cast us out, suffer us to go into the herd of swine. * This shows that the devils possessed reason, volition and desire.
1 Peter v.
8. “Your adversary the devil walketh about seeking whom he may devour.” This represents the devil as acting from design. James ii. 19. “ The devils believe and tremble.” This proves that the devils have intelligence, which is implied in believing; and fear, which causes them to tremble.
5. The devil, (the prince or chief of the devils) has angels. If by the devil is meant the evil propensities of our nature, a personified principle of evil, or some malignant disease, who or what are his angels ? Matt. xxv. 31. “ The devil and his angels.”
6. The devil has names and titles ascribed to him, which imply personal being. Eph. ii. 2. “The prince of the power of the air." Eph. vi. 12. “We wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities and against powers, the rulers of the darkness of this world.” John viii. 44. are of your father the devil, he was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie he speaketh of his own, for he is a liar and the father of it.” Such names, titles and epithets must imply a personal being.
7. The devil is an active agent, and has personal actions ascribed to him. Matt. xiii. 39. “ The enemy that sowed them is the devil.” 1. Cor. vii. 5. “That satan tempt you not.” 2. Cor. ii. 11. “ Lest satan should get an advantage of us, for we are not ignorant of his devices.” The devil is represented as a murderer, a liar, a deceiver, &c. Such formances can be ascribed only to personal and active agents.
8. The devil is an accountable agent, and punishable for his misconduct. Matt. viii. 29. “They cried out, saying, what have we to do with thee, Jesus thou Son of God? art thou come to torment us before the time? Matt. XXV. 41. " Punishment prepared for the devil and his angels.” Rev. xx. 10. “And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and false prophets are, and shall be tormented day and night, for ever and ever. Nothing but personal and responsible beings can be subjects of punishment.