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mocked; and to teach us to tremble at his word, to consider the infinity of his justice, and the fierceness of his wrath; to meditate on the power of his menaces, the validity of his threats ; to follow that direction, to embrace that reduplicated advice of our Saviour, “I will forewarn
shall fear; fear him, which, after he hath Killed, hath power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you, fear him," Luke xii. 5. And that exclusively of such fear as concerns the greatest pains of this life, which the martyrs undervalued out of a belief of eternal torments.
Thirdly; this belief is necessary to teach us to make a fit estimate of the price of Christ's blood, to value sufficiently the work of our redemption, to acknowledge and admire the love of God to us in Christ. For he who believeth not the eternity of torments to come, can never sufficiently value that ransom by which we were redeemed from them, or be proportionately thankful to his Redeemer by whose intervention we have escaped them. Whereas he who is sensible of the loss of heaven, and the everlasting privation of the presence of God, of the torments of fire, the company of the Devil and his angels, the vials of the wrath of an angry and never to be appeased God, and
hopeth to escape all these by virtue of the death of his Redeemer, cannot but highly value the price of that blood, and be proportionably thankful for so'plenteous a redemption," Psal. cxxx. 7.
Again; as this Article followeth upon the resurrection of the just, and containeth in it an eternal duration of infinite felicity belonging to them, it is necessary to stir us up. to an earnest desire of the kingdom of heaven, and that righteousness to which such a life is promised. “I will now turn aside and see this great sight,” Exod. üi. 3, said Moses, when he saw the burning bush : Matt. xvii. 4. “ It is good for us to be here,” said St. Peter, when he saw our Saviour transfigured in the mount; how much more ought we to be inflamed with a desire of the joys of heaven, and that length of days which only satisfieth by its eternity, to a careful and constant performance of those commands to which such a reward is graciously promised!
For as all our happiness proceedeth from the vision of
Secondly; this belief is necessary to take off our inclinations and desires from the pleasures and profits of this life; to breed in us a contempt of the world, and to teach us to despise all things on this side heaven; "to set our affections on things above, not on things on the earth, considering we are dead, and our life is hid with Christ in God.” For “where our treasure is, there will our hearts be also." Therefore we must forget “those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus,” Phil. iii. 13,
Thirdly; an assent unto this truth is necessary to encourage us to take up the cross of Christ, and to support us under it, willingly and cheerfully to undergo the afflictions and tribulations of this life, reckoning with the apostle, “that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us;" and knowing that “our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory,” Rom. viii. 18; 2 Cor. iv. 17. And this knowledge is not to be obtained, this comfort is not to be expected, except “ we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal."
And now having thus showed the propriety, proved the verity, and declared the necessity of this Article, we may fully instruct every Christian how to express his belief in the last object of his faith, which he may most fitly thus pronounce-I do fully and freely assent unto this, as unto a most necessary and infallible truth, that the unjust after their resurrection and condemnation shall be tormented for their sins in hell, and shall be so continued in torments for ever, so as neither the justice of God shall ever cease to inflict them, nor the persons of the wicked cease to subsist and suffer them ; and that the just after their resurrection and absolution shall as the blessed of the Father obtain the inheritance, and as the servants of God enter into their Master's joy, freed from all possibility of death, sin, and sorrow, filled with all conceivable and inconceivable fulness of happiness, confirmed in an absolute security of an eternal enjoyment, and so they shall continue with God and with the Lamb for evermore. And thus I believe the life everlasting.