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the justice of God, especially in his calling of mankind, it is much better to allow to man, (whether as a remnant of his primitive state, or as restored through the operation of the grace whereby he is called) some portion of free will in respect of good works, or at least of good endeavours, rather than in respect of things which are indifferent. For if God be conceived to rule with absolute disposal all the actions of men, natural as well as civil, he appears to do nothing which is not his right, neither will any one murmur against such a procedure. But if he inclines the will of man to moral good or evil according to his own pleasure, and then rewards the good, and punishes the wicked, the course of equity seems to be disturbed; and it is entirely on this supposition that the outcry against divine justice is founded. It would appear, therefore, that God's general government of the universe, to which such frequent allusion is made, should be understood as relating to natural and civil concerns, to things indifferent and fortuitous, in a word, to anything rather than to matters of morality and religion. And this is confirmed by many passages of Scripture. 2 Chron. xv. 12, 14. "they entered into a covenant to seek Jehovah the God of their fathers with all their heart, and with all their soul: and they sware unto Jehovah." Psal. cxix. 106. "I have sworn, and I will perform it, that I will keep thy righteous judgments." For if our personal religion were not in some degree dependent on ourselves, and in our own power, God could not properly enter into a covenant with us; neither could we perform, much less swear to perform, the conditions of that covenant.
CHAP. XIII.—OF THE DEATH OF THE BODY.
THE third degree of death is what is called THE DEATH OF THE BODY. To this all the labours, sorrows, and diseases which afflict the body, are nothing but the prelude. Gen. iii. 16. "I will greatly multiply thy sorrow." v. 17. "in sorrow shalt thou eat of it." v. 19. "in the sweat of thy face shalt
2 The classification of things indifferent is well put by Du Bartas.
Besides the same, is selfly, simply, had
269 thou eat bread." Job. v. 7. 66 man is born unto trouble, as the sparks fly upward." Deut. xxviii. 22. "Jehovah shall smite thee with a consumption." Hos. ii. 18. “in that day will I make a covenant for them with the beasts of the field." Rom. ii. 9. "tribulation and anguish upon every soul of man that doeth evil." All nature is likewise subject to mortality and a curse on account of man." Gen. iii. 17. "cursed is the ground for thy sake." Rom. viii. 20, 21. "the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly." Even the beasts are not exempt, Gen. iii. 14. vi. 7. So the first-born of beasts in the land of Egypt perished for the sins of their masters, Exod.
The death of the body is to be considered in the light of a punishment for sin, no less than the other degrees of death, notwithstanding the contrary opinion entertained by some.* Rom. v. 13, 14. "until the law sin was in the world.... death reigned from Adam to Moses." 1 Cor. xv. 21. 66 since by man came death;" that is to say, temporal as well as eternal death; as is clear from the corresponding member of the sentence, "by man came also the resurrection from the dead;" therefore that bodily death from which we are to rise again originated in sin, and not in nature; contrary to the opinion of those who maintain that temporal death is the re
The sun as from Thyestean banquet, turn'd
Corrupt and pestilent.
Paradise Lost, X. 678-695.
4 Pelagius, Socinus, Crellius, &c. 'That Adam should not have died if he had not sinned, is so manifestly the doctrine of the Scriptures, and of the church of God, both before and since Christ our Saviour's appearance in the flesh, that Pelagius of old, and Socinus in this latter age, are justly to be esteemed the most impudent of mortals for daring to call it into question.' Bp. Bull's Discourse on the State of Man before the Fall. See also Hopkins On the Two Covenants.
sult of natural causes, and that eternal death alone is due to sin.5
The death of the body is the loss or extinction of life. The common definition, which supposes it to consist in the separation of soul and body, is inadmissible." For what part of man is it that dies when this separation takes place? Is it the soul? This will not be admitted by the supporters of the above definition. Is it then the body? But how can that be said to die, which never had any life of itself? Therefore the separation of soul and body cannot be called the death of man.
Here then arises an important question, which, owing to the prejudice of divines in behalf of their preconceived opinions, has usually been dismissed without examination, instead of being treated with the attention it deserves. Is it the whole man, or the body alone, that is deprived of vitality? And as this is a subject which may be discussed without endangering our faith or devotion, whichever side of the controversy we espouse, I shall declare freely what seems to me the true doctrine, as collected from numberless passages of Scripture; without regarding the opinion of those, who think that truth is to be sought in the schools of philosophy, rather than in the sacred writings.
5 This opinion is maintained by Curcellæus, Instit. III. 13—21. See also his second dissertation De Peccato Originis, 56.
6 Mors secessio quædam est animæ et corporis.' Ambros. Tom. 4. De Cain et Abel. 1. c. 2. And Athanasius calls death ψυχῆς ἀπὸ σώματος xwpioμós. Tom. I. De Salut. Advent. Jes. Christ. Similar definitions
are given by Tertullian, De Anima, c. 51. Clemens Alexandrinus Stromat. 7. p. 741. Isidore Pelusiota, Epist. 248. lib. 3. Pachymeres in cap. 2. Dionysii Areopagitæ, De Eccles. Hierarch. p. 239. Gregory of Nyssen, Örat. 8. Contra Eraom. Tom. 2. Ames, who was one of Milton's favourite systematic divines, makes death to consist in the dissolving or loosing of that band wherewith the soul was joined with the body.' The royal preacher in my text, assuming that man is a compound of an organized body and an immaterial soul, places the formality and essence of death in the disunion and final separation of these two constituent parts: Death is when the dust returns to the earth as it was, and the spirit returns to God who gave it.' Horsley's Sermons, III. 189. The whole of the masterly discourse from which the preceding extract is taken, deserves to be compared with this chapter, as containing in a small compass the most philosophical, as well as scriptural refutation of its arguments. See also the end of the Sermon on John xi. 25, 26. vol. III. p. 131.
Inasmuch then as the whole man is uniformly said to consist of body, spirit, and soul, (whatever may be the distinct provinces severally assigned to these divisions,) I shall first shew that the whole man dies, and, secondly, that each component part suffers privation of life. It is to be observed, first of all, that God denounced the punishment of death against the whole man that sinned, without excepting any part. For what could be more just, than that he who had sinned in his whole person, should die in his whole person? Or, on the other hand, what could be more absurd than that the mind, which is the part principally offending, should escape the threatened death; and that the body alone, to which immortality was equally allotted, before death came into the world by sin,' should pay the penalty of sin by undergoing death, though not implicated in the transgression?
It is evident that the saints and believers of old, the patriarchs, prophets and apostles, without exception, held this doctrine. Jacob. Gen. xxxvii. 35. "I will go down into the grave unto my son mourning," xlii. 36. "Joseph is not." So also Job, ch. iii. 12—18. " as an hidden untimely birth I had not been; as infants which never saw light." Compare x. 21. xiv. 10. ". man giveth up the ghost, and where is he?" v. 13. so man lieth down, and riseth not, till the heavens be no more." xvii. 13. "if I wait, the grave is mine house." v. 15, 16. "where is now my hope?.... they shall go down to the bars of the pit." See also many other passages. The belief of David was the same, as is evident from the reason so often given by him for deprecating the approach of death. Psal. vi. 5. "in death there is no remembrance of thee; in the grave who shall give thee thanks?" See also lxxxviii.
7 See Bp. Bull's Discourse on the State of Man before the Fall, where this opinion is illustrated. Milton introduces it in the mouth of Raphael in Paradise Lost:
Time may come when men
11-13. cxv. 17. "the dead praise not Jehovah." xxxix. 13. "before I go hence, and be no more." cxlvi. 2. "while I live will I praise Jehovah." Certainly if he had believed that his soul would survive, and be received immediately into heaven, he would have abstained from all such remonstrances, as one who was shortly to take his flight where he might praise God unceasingly. It appears that the belief of Peter respecting David was the same as David's belief respecting himself; Acts ii. 29. 34. "let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulchre is with us unto this day.... for David is not ascended into the heavens." Again, it is evident that Hezekiah fully believed that he should die entirely, where he laments that it is impossible to praise God in the grave. Isai. xxxviii. 18, 19. "for the grave cannot praise thee; death cannot celebrate thee; they that go down into the pit cannot hope for thy truth: the living, the living, he shall praise thee, as I do this day." God himself bears testimony to the same truth. Isai. lvii. 1, 2. "the righteous perisheth, and no man layeth it to heart; and merciful men are taken away, none considering that the righteous is taken away from the evil to come: he shall enter into peace; they shall rest in their beds." Jer. xxxi. 15. compared with Matt. ii. 18. "Rachel weeping for her children, refused to be comforted for her children, because they were not." Thus also Daniel, ch. xii. 2. "many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake." It is on the same principle that Christ himself proves God to be a God of the living, Luke xx. 37. &c. arguing from their future resurrection; for if they were then living, it would not necessarily follow from his argument that there would be a resurrection of the body: hence, he says, John xi. 25. “I am the resurrection and the life." Accordingly he declares expressly, that there is not even a place appointed for the abode of the saints in heaven, till the resurrection: John xiv. 2, 3. "I go to prepare a place for you: and if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also." There is no sufficient reason for interpreting this of the body; it is clear therefore that it was spoken, and should be understood, of the reception of the soul and spirit conjointly with the body into heaven, and that not till the coming of the Lord. So