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some have absolutely denied it, upon the authority of those texts which universally require faith in Christ; but to this it is answered, that those texts regard only such to whom the Gospel comes, and are capable of understanding the contents of it. The truth, says Dr. Doddridge, seems to be this; that none of the heathens will be condemned for not believing the Gospel, but they are liable to condemnation for the breach of God's natural law : nevertheless, if there be any of them in whom there is a prevailing love to the Divine Being, there seems reason to believe that, for the sake of Christ, though to them unknown, they may be accepted by God; and so much the rather, as the ancient Jews, and even the apostles, during the time of our Saviour's abode on earth, seem to have had but lit'le notion of those doctrines, which those who deny the salvability of the heathens are most apt to imagine, Rom. ii. 10—2.'. Acts x. 34, 35. Matt. viii. 11, 12. Mr. Grove, Dr. Watts. Saurin, and Mr. Newton, favour the same opinion: the latter of whom thus observes: "If we suppose a heathen brought to a sense of his misery; to a conviction that he cannot be happv without the favour of the great Lord of the world; to a feeling of guilt, and desire of mercy, and that, though he has no explicit knowledge of a Saviour, he directs the cry of his heart to the unknown Supreme, to have mercy upon him; who will prove that such views and desires can arise in the heart of a sinner, without the energy of ihat Spirit which Jesus is exalted to bestow? ■Who will take upon him to say, that his blood has not sufficient efficacy to redeem to God a sinner who is thus disposed, though he have ne^erheard of his name r Or who has a warrant to affirm, that the supposition I have made is in the nature of things impossible to be realised?" JVewton s Messiah ,• Dr. Watis's Strength and Weakness of Human Reason, p. 106; Saurm s Sermon*, vol ii. p. 314; Grove's Mor. Phil. vol. i. p. 128; Turrit Loc. vol. i. qua-t. 4. J 1, 2, 17; Doddridge's Lecture*. lee. 240,vol.ii.8vo edit. Bellamy's Ri tigi;n Delineated, p 105; Ridgleu's Bodu of Div. qu. 60; Gale's Court of the Gentiles; Considerations on the Religious Worship of the Heathen; Rev. W. Jones's Works, vol. xii.
HKAVEN is considered as a place in some remo e paitof infinite spare, in wviich the omnipresent Deity is said to afford a nearer and more immediate view of himself, and a more sensible
manifestation of his glory, than in the other parts of the universe.
That there is a state of future hafifilness, both reason and Scripture indicate; a general notion of happiness after death has obtained among the wiser sort of heathens, who have only had the light of nature to guide them. If we examine the human mind, it is also evident that there is a natural desire after happiness in all men; and, which is equally evident, is not attained in this life. It is no less observable, that in the present state there is an. unequal distribution of things, which makes the providences of God very intricate, and which cannot be solved wiihout supposing a future state. Revelation, however, puts it beyond all doubt. The Divine Being hath promised it, 1 John ii. 25. 1 John v. 11. James i. 12; hath given us some intimation of its glory, 1 Pet hi. 4. 22. Rev. hi. 4. declares Christ hath taken possession of it for us, John xiv. 2, 3. and informs us of some already there, both as to their bodies and souls, Gen. v. 24. 2 Kings ii.
Heaven is to be considered as a filace as well as a state: it is expressly so termed in Scripture, John xiv. 2, 3: and the existence of the body of Christ, and those of Enoch and Elijah, is a further proof of it. Yea, if it be not a place, where can these bodies be i and where will the bodies of the saints exist after the resurrection? Where this filace is, however, cannot be determined. Some have thought it to be beyond the starry firmament; and some of the ancients imagined that their dwelling would be in the sun. Others suppose the air to be the seat of the blessed. Others think that the saints will dwell upon earth when it shall be restored to its paradisaical state ; but these supposi ions are more curious than edifying, and it becomes us to be silent where divine revelation is so.
Heaven, however, we are assured, is a filace of inexpressible felicity. The names given to it are proofs of this: it is called fiaradisc, Luke xxiii. 43. Light, Rev. xxi. 23. A building and mansion of God, 2 Cor. v 1. John xiv. 2. A city, Heb. xi. 10, 16. A better country, Heb. xi 16. An inheritance. Acts xx. 32. A kingdom Matt. xxv. 34. A crown. 2 Tim. iv. 8. Glory, Ps. lxxxiv. 11. 2 Cor iv. 17. Peace, rest, and joy of the Lord, Is. lvii. 2. Heb iv. 9. Matt. xxv. 21, 2.;. The felicity of heaven will con-ist in freedom from all evil, both of soul and bodv, Rev. vii. 17; in the enjoyment of God as the
chief good, in the company of angels and saints; in perfect holiness, and extensive knowledge.
It has been disputed whether there are degrees of glory in heaven. The arguments against degrees are, that all the people of God are loved by him with the same love, all chosen together in Christ, equally interested in the same covenant of grace, equally redeemed with the same price, and all predestinated to the same adoption of children; to suppose the contrary, it is said, is to eclipse the glory of divine grace, and carries with it the legal idea of being rewarded- for our works. On the other side it is observed, that if the above reasoning would prove any thing, it would prove too much, viz. that we should all be upon an equality in the present world as well as that which is to come for we are now as much the objects of the same love, purchased by the same blood, &c. as we shall be hereafter. That rewards contain nothing inconsistent with the doctrine of grace, because those very works which it pleaseth God to honour are the effects of his own operation. That all rewards to a guilty creature have respect to the mediation of Christ. That God's graciously connecting blessings with the obedience of his people, serves to show not only his love to Christ and to them, but his regard to righteousness. That the Scriptures expressly declare for degrees, Dan. xii. 3. Matt. x. 41, 42. Matt. xix. 28, 29. Luke xix. 16, 19. Rom. ii. 6. 1 Cor. iii. 8. 1 Cor. xv. 41, 42. 2 Cor. v. 10. Gal. vi. 9.
Another question has sometimes been proposed, viz. Whether the saints shall know each other in heaven?
"The arguments," says Dr. Ridgley, "which are generally brought in defence of it, are taken from those instances recorded in Scripture, in which persons who have never seen one another before, have immediately known each other in this world, by a special immediate divine revelation given to them, in like manner as Adam knew that Eve was taken out of him; and therefore says. This is novi bonr of my bone, and Jicsh of my Jlesh; she shall be called woman, because she was taken out of man. Gen. ii. 23. He was cast into a decfi slecfi, when God took out one of his ribs, and so formed the woman, as we read in the foregoing words; yet the knowledge hereof was communicated to him by God. Moreover, we read that Peter, James, and John, knew Moses and Elias, Matt. xvii. as appears from Peter's making a particular men
tion of them: Let us make three tabernacles; one for thee, one for Moses, and one for Elias, 4th ver. though he had never seen them before. Again , our Saviour, in the parable, represents the rich man, as seeing Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom, Luke xvi. 23. and speaks of him as addressing his discourse to him. From such like arguments, some conclude that it may be inferred that the saints shall know one another in heaven, when joined together in the same assembly.
"Moreover, some think that this may be proved from the apostle's words, in 1 Thess. ii. 19, 20. What is our hofte or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Are not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at his coming ? for ye are our glory and joy; which seems to argue, that he apprehended their happiness in heaven should contribute, or be an addition to his, as he was made an instrument to bring them thither; even so, by a parity of reason, every one who has been instrumental in the conversion and building up others in their holy faith, as the apostle Paul was with respect to them, these shall tend to enhance their praise, and give them occasion to glorify God on their behalf. Therefore it follows that they shall know one another; and consequently they who have walked together in the ways of God, and have been useful to one another as relations and intimate friends, in what respects more especially their spiritual concerns, these shall bless God for the mutual advantages which they have received, and consequently shall know one another. Again; some prove this from that expression of our Saviour in Luke xvi. 9. Make to yourselves friends of the mammon of unrighteousness, that, when ye fail, they may receive you into everlasting habitations; especially if by these everlasting habitations be meant heaven, as many suppose it is; and then the meaning is, that they whom you have relieved, and shown kindness to in this world, shall express a particular joy upon your being admitted into heaven; and consequeiiuy they shall know you, and bless God tor your having been so useful and beneficial to them.
"To this "it is objected that if the saints shall know one another in heaven, they shall know that several of those who were their intimate friends here on earth, whom they loved with very great affection, are not there; and this will Ijave a tendency to give them some uneasiness, and a diminution of their joy and happiness.
• To this it may be replied, that if it be allowed that the saints shall know that some whom they loved on earth are not in heaven, this will give them no uneasiness: since that affection which took its rise principally from the relation which we stood in to persons on earth, or the intimacy, that we have contracted with them, will cease in another world, or rather run in another channel, and be excited by superior motives; namely, their relation to Christ; that perfect holiness which they are ardomed with; their being joined in the same blessed society, and engaged in the same employment, together with their former usefulness one to another in promoting their spiritual welfare, as made subservient to the happiness they enjoy there. And as for others, who are excluded from their society, they will think themselves obliged, out of a due regard to the justice and holiness of God. to acquiesce in his righteous judgments. Thus, the inhabitants of heaven are represented as adoring the divine perfections, when the vials of God's wrath were poured out upon his enemies, and saying, Thou art righteous, O Lord, because thou hast judged thus: true and righteous are thy judgments, Rev. xvi. 5, 7.
"Another question has been sometimes asked, viz. Whether there shall be a diversity of languages in heaven, as there is on earth? This we cannot pretend to determine. Some think that there shall; and that, as persons of all nations and tongues shall make up that blessed society, so they shall praise God in the same language which they before used when on earth; and that this -worship may be performed with the greatest harmony, and to mutual edification, all the saints shall, by the immediate power and providence of God, be able to understand and make use of every one of those different languages, as well as their own. This they found on the apostles words, in which he says, That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord; which they suppose has a respect to the heavenly state, because it is said to be done both by those that are in heaven, and those that are on earth, Phil, ii. 10, 11. But though the apostle speaks by a metonymy of different tongues, that is, persons who speak different languages being subject to Christ, he probably means thereby perions of different nations, whether they shall praise him in their own language io heaven, or no. Therefore some
conjecture that the diversity of languages shall then cease, inasmuch as it took its first rise from God's judicial hand, when he confounded the speech of those who presumptuously attempted to build the city and tower'of Babel; and this has been ever since attended with .manyinconveniences. And, indeed, the apostle seems expressly tointimate as much, when he says, speaking concerning the heavenly state, that tongues shall cease, 1 Cor. xiii 8. that is, the present variety of languages.—Moreover, since the gift of tongues was bestowed on the apostles for the gathering and building up the church in the first ages thereof, which end, when it was answered, this extraordinary dispensation ceased; in like manner it is probable that hereafter the diversity of languages shall cease."
"I am sensible," says Dr. Ridgley, "there are some who object to this, that the saints understanding all languages, will be an addition to their honour, glory, and happiness. But to this it may be answered, that though it is, indeed, an accomplishment, in this world, for a person to understand several languages, that arises from the subserviency thereof to those valuable ends that are answered thereby; but this would be entirely removed, if the diversity of languages be taken away in heaven, as some suppose it will."
"There are some, who, it may be, give too much scope to a vain curiosity, when they pretend to enquire what this language shall be, or determine, as the Jews do, and with them some of the fathers, that it shall be Hebrew, since their arguments for it are not sufficiently conclusive, which are principally these, viz. That this was the language with which God inspired man at first in paradise, and that which the saints and patriarchs spake, and the church generally made use of in all ages till our Saviour's time; and that it was this language which he himself spake while here on earth . and since his ascension into heaven, he spake to Paul in the Hebrew tongue, Acts xxvi. 14. And when the inhabitants of heaven are described in the Revelations as praising God, there is one word used by which their praise is expressed, namely, Hallelujah, which is Hebrew ; the meaning whereof is. Praise ye the Lord. But all these arguments are not sufficiently convincing, and therefore we must reckon it no more than a conjecture."
However undecided we may be as to this and some other circumstances, this we may be assured of, that the hafiftiness of heaven will be eternal. Whether it will be progressive or not, and that the saints shall always be increasing in their knowledge, joy, 8cc. is tiot so clear. Some suppose that this indicates an imperfection in the felicity of the saints for any addition to be made . but others think it quite analogous to the dealings of God with us here , and that, from the nature of the mind itself, it may be concluded. But however this be, it is certain thai our happiness will be complete, 1 Pet v. 10. 1 Pet. v. 4. Heb. xi. 10. Watts's Death and Heaven; Gill's Body of Divinity, vol. ii. p 495; Saurin's Sermons, vol. iii. p. 321; Toftlady's Works, vol. iii. p. 471; Bates's Works; Ridgley's Body of Divinity, ques. 90.
HEBREWS See Jews.
HELL, the place of divine punishment after death. As all religions have supposed a future state of existence after this life, so all have their hell, or place of torment, in which the wirked are to be punished. Even the heathens had their tartara; and the Mahometans, we find, believe the eternity of rewards and punishments; it is not, therefore, a sentiment peculiar to Christianity
There have been manv curious and useless conjectures respecting Iheftlace of the damned: the ancients generally supposed it was a region of fire near the centre of the earth. Mr. Swinden endeavoured to prove that it is seated in the sun. Mr. Whiston advanced a new and strange hypothesis according to him, the comets are so many hell-, appointed in their orbits alterna'ely to carry the damned to the confines of the sun, there to be scorched by its violent heat; and then to return with them beyond the orb of Saturn, there to starve them in those cold and dismal regions. But, as Dr. Doddridge observes, we must here confess our ignorance; and shall be much better employed in studying how we may avoid this place of horror, than in labouiing to discover ■where it is.
Of the nature of this ftunishment we may form some idea from the expressions made use of in Scripture. It is called a place of torment, Luke xvi 21. the bottomless pit, Rev. xx. 3 to 6. a prison, 1 Pet. iii 19. darkness. Matt, viii. 12. Jude 13. fire, Matt. xiii. 42, 50. a worm that never dies, Mark ix. 44, 48, the second death, Rev. xxi. 8. the wrath of God. Rom. ii, 5. It has been debated whether there will be a material fire in hell. On the affirmative side it is observed] that lire and brimstone
are represented as the ingredients of the torment of the wicked, Rev. xiv. 10, 11. Rev. xx. 10. That as the body is to be raised, and the whole man to be condemned, it is reasonable to believe there will be some corporeal punishment provided, and therefore probably matenal fire. On the negative side it is alleged, that the terms above-mentioned are metaphorical, and signify no more than raging desire or acute pain; and that the Divine Beingcan sufficiently punish the wicked, by immediately actlngon their minds, orratherleavingthem to the guilt and stings of their own conscience. According to several passages, it seems there will be different degrees offiunishmrne'mlie]\,Liukex\i.47. Horn. ii. 12. Matt x. 20, 21. Matt. xii. 25, 32. Heb. x. 28, 29.
As to its duration, it has been observed that it cannot be eternal, because there is no proportion between temporary crimes and eternal punishments; that the word everlasting is not to be taken in its utmost extent; and that it signifies no more than a long time, or a time whose precise boundary is unknown. But in answer to this it is alleged, that the same word is u^ed, and that sometimes in the very same place, to express the eternity of the happiness of the righteous, and the eternity of the misery of the wirked; and that there is no reason to believe that the words express two such different ideas, as standing in the same connection. Besides, it is not true, it is observed, that temporary crimes do not deserve eternal punishments, because the infinite majesty of an offended God adds a kind of infinite evil to sin, and therefore exposes the sinner to infinite punishment; and that hereby God vindicates his injured majesty, and glorifies his justice. See articles Destructionists and Universalists. Berry St. Led. vol. ii. p. 559, 562; Daiurg on Hell, ser. x,; Whiston oti ditto; Swinden Drexetius, and JLdwards on ditto. A late popular writer has observed, that in the 35th sermon of Tillotson.every thing is said upon the eternity of hell torments that can be known with any certainty.
HELL, Christ's descent into. That Christ locally descended into hell, is a doctrine believed not only by the papists, but by m*ny among the reformed. 1. The text chiefly brought forward in support of this doctrine is the 1st Peter, iii. 19, " By which he went and preached to the spirits in prison ;" but it evidently appears that the "spirit" there mentioned was not Christ's human soul, but a divin* nature, or rather the Holy