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that envies there, envies not for the eminence of another that sits a little above him, and excels him in some one good, but he shall envy for all; because the saints have all, and they have none; therefore all their passions are integral, abstracted, perfect passions: and all the sorrow in the world at this time, is but a portion of sorrow; every man hath his share, and yet besides that which all sad men have, there is a great deal of sorrow which they have not, and all the devils' portion besides that; but in hell, they shall have the whole passion of sorrow in every one, just as the whole body of the sun is seen by every one in the same horizon : and he that is in darkness enjoys it not by parts, but the whole darkness is the portion of one as well as of another. If this consideration be not too metaphysical, I am sure it is very sad, and it relies upon this; that as in heaven there are some holy spirits whose crown is all love; and some in which the brightest jewel is understanding; some are purity and some are holiness to the Lord : so in the regions of sorrow, evil and sorrow have an essence and proper being, and are set there to be suffered entirely by every undone man, that dies there for ever.
2. The evils of this world are material and bodily; the pressing of a shoulder, or the straining of a joint; the dislocation of a bone, or the extending of an artery; a bruise in the flesh, or the pinching of the skin ; a hot liver, or a sickly stomach ; and then the mind is troubled because its instrument is ill at ease: but all the proper troubles of this life are nothing but the effects of an uneasy body, or an abused fancy: and therefore can be no bigger than a blow or a cozenage, than a wound or a dream ; only the trouble increases as the soul works it; and if it makes reflex acts, and begins the evil upon its own account, then it multiplies and doubles, because the proper scene of grief is opened, and sorrow peeps through the corners of the soul. But in those regions and days of sorrow, when the soul shall be no more depending upon the body, but the perfect principle of all its actions, the actions are quick and the perceptions brisk; the passions are extreme and the motions are spiritual; the pains are like the horrors of a devil and the groans of an evil spirit; not slow like the motions of a heavy foot, or a loaden arm, but quick as an angel's wing, active
as lightning ; and a grief then, is nothing like a grief now; and the words of a man's tongue which are fitted to the uses of this world, are as unfit to signify the evils of the next, as person, and nature, and hand, and motion, and passion, are to represent the effects of the Divine attributes, actions, and subsistence.
3. The evil portion of the next world is so great, that God did not create or design it in the first intention of things, and production of essences; he made the kingdom of heaven από καταβολής κόσμου, from the foundation of the world; for so it is observable that Christ shall say to the sheep at his right hand, “ Receive the kingdom prepared for you from the beginning of the world P;" but to the goats and accursed spirits, he speaks of no such primitive and original design; it was accidental and a consequent to horrid crimes, that God was forced to invent and to after-create that place of torments.
4. And when God did create and prepare that place, he did not at all intend it for man; it was prepared for the devil and his angels, so saith the Judge himself, “Go ye cursed into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angelsự, ô úroiuaσεν ο πατήρ μου το διαβόλω, which my Father prepared for the devil,” so some copies read it: God intended it not for man, but man would imitate the devil's pride, and listen to the whispers of an evil spirit, and follow his temptations, and rebel against his maker; and then God also against his first design resolved to throw such persons into that place that was prepared for the devil: for so great was the love of God to mankind, that he prepared joys infinite and never-ceasing for man, before he had created him; but he did not predetermine him to any evil; but when he was forced to it by man's malice, he doing what God forbad him, God cast him thither where he never intended him ; but it was not man's portion : he designed it not at first, and at last also he invited him to repentance; and when nothing could do it, he threw man into another's portion, because he would not accept of what was designed to be his own.
5. The evil portion shall be continual without intermission of evil; no days of rest, no nights of sleep, no ease from la
P Matt. xxv. 34.
9 Ver. 41.
bour, no periods of the stroke nor taking off the hand, no intervals between blow and blow; but a continued stroke, which neither shortens the life, nor introduces a brawny patience, or the toleration of an ox, but it is the same in every instant, and great as the first stroke of lightning; the smart is as great for ever as at the first change, from the rest of the grave to the flames of that horrible burning. The church of Rome amongst some other strange opinions hath inserted this one into her public offices; that the perishing souls in hell may have sometimes remission and refreshment, like the fits of an intermitting fever: for so it is in the Roman missal printed at Paris, 1626, in the mass for the dead; “ Ut quia de ejus vitæ qualitate diffidimus, etsi plenam veniam anima ipsius obtinere non potest, saltem vel inter ipsa tormenta quæ forsan patitur, refrigerium de abundantia miserationum tuarum sentiat :” and something like this is that of Prudentius,
Sunt et spiritibus sæpe nocentibus
The evil spirits have ease of their pain, and he names their holiday, then when the resurrection of our Lord from the grave is celebrated :
Marcent suppliciis Tartara mitibus,
They then thought, that when the paschal taper burned, the flames of hell could not burn till the holy wax was spent : but because this is a fancy without ground or revelation, and is against the analogy of all those expressions of our Lord, “ where the worm dieth not, and the fire is never quenched,” and divers others, it is sufficient to have noted it without farther consideration ; the pains of hell have no rest, no drop of water is allowed to cool the tongue, there is no advocate to plead for them, no mercy belongs to their portion, but fearful wrath and continual burnings.
6. And yet this is not the worst of it; for as it is continual during its abode, so its abode is for ever; it is conti
nual, and eternal. Tertullian speaks something otherwise, “ Pro magnitudine cruciatus non diuturni, verum sempiterni ;” not continual, or the pains of every day, but such which shall last for ever. But Lactantius is more plain in this affair: “the same Divine fire by the same power and force shall burn the wicked, and shall repair instantly whatsoever of the body it does consume :” “ Ac sibi ipsi æternum pabulum subministrabit,--and shall make for itself an eternal fuel.”
Vermibus et flammis et discruciatibus ævam
So Prudentius, eternal worms, and unextinguished flames, and immortal punishment, are prepared for the ever-never dying souls of wicked men. Origen is charged by the ancient churches for saying, that after a long time the devils and the accursed souls shall be restored to the kingdom of God, and that after a long time again they shall be restored to their state, and so it was from their fall and shall be for ever; and it may be, that might be the meaning of Tertullian's expression, of “ cruciatus non diuturni sed sempiterni.” Epiphanius charges not the opinion upon Origen, and yet he was free enough in his animadversion and reproof of him; but St. Austin did, and confuted the opinion in his books De Civitate Dei. However, Origen was not the first that said, the pains of the damned should cease; Justin Martyr in his dialogue with Triphon expresses it thus: “Neither do I say that all the souls do die, for that indeed would be to the wicked again unlooked for : what then? The souls of the godly in a better place, of the wicked in a worse, do tarry the time of judgment; then they that are worthy shall never die again, but those that are designed to punishment shall abide so long as God please to have them to live and to be punished.” But I observe, that the primitive doctors were very willing to believe, that the mercy of God would find out a period to the torment of accursed souls ; .but such a period, which should be nothing but eternal destruction, called by the Scripture, “the second death :” only Origen (as I observed) is charged by St. Austin to have said, they shall return into joys, and back again to hell by an
eternal revolution. But concerning the death of a wicked soul, and its being broke into pieces with fearful torments, and consumed with the wrath of God, they had entertained some different fancies very early in the church, as their sentences are collected by St. Jerome at the end of his commentaries upon Isaiah. And Irenæus. disputes it largely, “that they that are unthankful to God in this short life, and obey him not, shall never have an eternal duration of life in the ages to come,” “sed ipse se privat in sæculum sæculi perseverantia,—he deprives his soul of living to eternal ages;" for he supposes an immortal duration not to be natural to the soul, but a gift of God, which he can take away, and did take away from Adam, and restored it again in Christ to them that believe in him and obey him: for the other; they shall be raised again to suffer shame, and fearful torments, and according to the degree of their sins, so shall be continued in their sorrows; and some shall die, and some shall not die: the devil, and the beast, and they that worshipped the beast, and they that were marked with his character, these St. John saith “ shall be tormented for ever and ever;" he does not say so of all, but of some certain great criminals; wç âv Ocòc ofan, all so long as God please,—some for ever and ever, and some not so severely; and whereas the general sentence is given to all wicked persons, to all on the left hand, to go into everlasting fire: it is answered, that the fire indeed is everlasting, but not all that enters into it is everlasting, but only the devils for whom it was prepared, and others more mighty criminals (according as St. John intimates): though also everlasting signifies only to the end of its proper period.
Concerning this doctrine of theirs so severe, and yet so moderated, there is less to be objected than against the supposed fancy of Origen : for it is a strange consideration to suppose an eternal torment to those to whom it was never threatened, to those who never heard of Christ, to those that lived probably well, to heathens of good lives, to ignorants and untaught people, to people surprised in a single crime, to men that die young in their natural follies and foolish lusts, to them that fall in a sudden gaiety and excessive joy, to all alike; 'to all infinite and eternal, even to unwarned peo
s Lib. ii. cap. 65.