But though this part of our Creed expresses only two things: yet, it implies two more; and so comprehends the four following particulars:

I. That the souls of all men continue after death.

II. That their bodies shall, at the last day, be raised up, and re-united to them.

III. That both souls and bodies of good persons shall enjoy everlasting happiness.

IV. That those of the wicked shall undergo everlasting punishment.

I. That the souls of all men continue after death. We are, every one of us, capable of perceiving and thinking, judging and resolving, loving and hating, hoping and fearing, rejoicing and grieving. That part of us which doth these things, we call the mind, or soul. Now, plainly, this is not the body. Neither our limbs, nor our trunk, nor even our head, is what understands, and reasons, and wills, and likes or dislikes; but something that hath its abode within the head,' and is unseen. A little consideration will make any of you sensible of this. Then, further, our bodies increase from an inconceivable smallness, to a very large bulk, and waste away again; and are changing, each part of them, more or less, every day. Our souls, we know, continue all the while the same. Our limbs may be cut off one after another, and perish; yet the soul not be impaired by it in the least. All feeling and motion may be lost almost throughout the body, as in the case of an universal palsy; yet the soul have lost nothing. And though some diseases do, indeed, disorder the mind, there is no appearance that any have a tendency to destroy it. On the contrary, the greatest disorders of the understand

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(1) In quo igitur loco est [mens]? Credo equidem in capite; & cur credam, ad ferre possum. Cic. Tusc. Disp. 1. 1. c. 29.

ing are often accompanied with firm health and strength of body; and the most fatal distempers of the body are attended, to the very moment of death, with all possible vigour and liveliness of understanding. Since, therefore, these two are plainly different things; though we knew no fur ther, there would be no reason to conclude, that one of them dies, because the other doth. But since we do know further, that it can survive so many changes of the other; this, alone, affords a fair probability, that it may survive the great change of death. Indeed, whatever is once in being, we are to suppose continues in being, till the contrary appears. Now the body, we perceive, becomes at death insensible, and corrupts. But to imagine the same thing of the soul, in which we perceive no change at that time, would be almost as groundless as if, having frequently heard the music of an organ, but never seen the person that played on it, we should suppose him dead, on finding the instrument incapable of playing any more. For the body is an instrument adapted to the soul. The latter is our proper self; the former is but something joined to us for a time. And though, during that time, the connexion is very close, yet, nothing hinders, but we may be as well after the separation of our soul from our present body, as we were before, if not better.

Then consider further: when the body dies, only the present composition and frame of it is dissolved, and falls in pieces; not the least single particle of all that makes it up, returns to nothing; or can do, unless God, who gave it being, thinks fit to take that being away. Now, we have no reason to imagine the soul made up of parts, though the body is. On the contrary, so far as the acutest reasoners are able to judge, what ceives and wills, must be one uncompounded sub


stance. And not being compounded, it cannot be dissolved, and therefore, probably, cannot die."

God, indeed, may put an end to it, when he pleases But since he hath made it of a nature to last for ever, we cannot well conceive that he will destroy it after so short a space as that of this life; especially considering, that he hath planted in our breast, an earnest desire of immortality, and a horror at the thought of ceasing to be. It is true, we dread also the death of our bodies, and yet we own they must die; but then we believe, that they were not at first intended to die; and that they shall live again wonderfully improved. God hath, in no case, given us natural dispositions and hopes, which he purposed, at the same time, to disappoint; much less, when they are such, that the wisest and best men feel the most of them, and are made still wiser and better by them.

Besides, there are plainly in our souls, capacities for vastly higher improvements, both in knowledge and goodness, than any one arrives at in this life. The best inclined, and most industrious, undeniably have not near time enough to become what they could be. And is it likely, that beings qualified for doing so much, should have so little opportunity for it; and sink into nothing, without ever attaining their proper maturity and perfection? But further, not to urge, that happiness here is very unequally divided between persons equally entitled to it, which yet is hard to reconcile with God's impartial bounty; it hath been already observed, in speaking of the judgment to come, that though in general, the course of things in this world, doth bear witness to God's love of virtue, and hatred of sin; yet, in multitudes of particular cases, nothing of this kind appears. Not only good persons often undergo, in common with others, the

(2) See Cic. Tusc. Disp. 1-29.

largest shares of evil in life; and bad persons enjoy, in common with others, the highest degrees of prosperity in it; but the former are frequently sufferers, and sometimes even to death, for the very sake of their duty; and the latter gain every sort of worldly advantages, by the very means of their wickedness. Yet, evidently, there is a difference between right behaviour and wrong; and God must see this difference; and his will must be, that mankind should observe it; and, accordingly, we feel ourselves inwardly bound so to do. Now, is it possible that a Being, of perfect justice and holiness-of infinite wisdom and power, should have ordered things so, that, obeying him and our own consciences, should ever make us miserable; and disobeying them, prove beneficial to us on the whole? We cannot, surely, imagine, that he will permit any such case to happen. And, therefore, since in this world such cases do happen, this world is not our final state; but another will come after it, in which every one will be recompensed according to his works. Without this belief, religion and virtue would often want sufficient motives; with it, they never can; and, therefore, this belief is true.

Strongly as these arguments prove the doctrine of a life after death; yet, it receives a considerable addition of strength from the universal agreement of all mankind in it, with but a few exceptions, from the very beginning. Of the earliest ages, indeed, we have only short accounts; yet enough to judge, what their notions of this point were. What could they be, indeed, when they knew that Abel, with whom God declared himself pleased, was murdered by his brother for that very reason? Surely his brother's hatred did not do him more harm, than God's love of him did him good. That would be thinking lowly, indeed, of the Almighty. And, therefore, since plainly he had not the bene


fit of his piety here, there must be another place, in which he received it. Again, when "Enoch "walked with God, and was not, for God took "him :"3 could this peculiar favour be only depriving him, before his natural time, of the enjoyments of the present state? Must it not be admitting him to those of a future one? When God called himself, in a distinguished sense, "the God "of Abraham" and the Patriarchs, what had they enjoyed in this life, answerable to so extraordinary a manner of speaking? Many, in all likelihood, both equalled and exceeded them in worldly satisfactions. But, therefore, as the Epistle to the Hebrews teaches, "God was not ashamed to be "called their God, because he had prepared for "them a heavenly city." When Jacob confessed himself a "pilgrim, and stranger on earth, he "plainly declared, (as the same Epistle observes,) "that he desired a better country" for his home. Again, when mourning for the supposed death of his son Joseph, he saith, he "will go down to "him" we translate the next word wrongly, "into the grave,' 995 as if he meant to have his body laid by him: that could not be, for he thought him devoured by wild beasts; it means into the invisible state-the state of departed souls. And in this sense it is said of several of the Patriarchs, "that they were gathered unto their people," and of all that generation which liveth with Joshua, that they "were gathered unto their fathers."7

In the time of Moses we find, that even the Heathens had a strong notion of another life. For they had built a superstitious practice upon it, of seeking to the dead, and inquiring of them concerning things to come. A foolish and a wicked custom, indeed; but, however, it shows the belief

(3) Gen. v. 24. (4) Heb. xi. 13, 16.
(6) Gen. xxv. 8. xxxv. 29. xlix. 29.
(8) Deut. xviii. 9, 12.

(5) Gen. xxxvii. 35. (7) Judg. ii. 10.

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