Billeder på siden
PDF
ePub

elothing spiritually,) without the earthly clothing, which is dust, appears not, while the children of the resurrection are equal unto the angels of God in heaven, which are absolutely happy; and the devil and his angels absolutely miserable.

6. We cannot believe that the invisible, infinite God, should be seen with the bodily or fleshly eyes, after dissolution; nor that Job intended he should see God with his flesh, or bodily eyes; it being inconsistent both with his being an invisible, eternal, or infinite spirit, and with the true spiritual sight of him which Job received. Job xlii. 5.

7. That the seed to which God giveth a body as it pleaseth him, (1 Cor. xv,) and the body given to it, should be one and the selfsame earthly body, is a nonsensical doctrine, and an apparent incongruity.

8. That the terrestrial bodies should be so desirable to the souls of the righteous after dissolution, (for the completing their felicity, and perfecting their glory,) appears plainly inconsistent with their desiring here to be dissolved and to be absent from the body, to enjoy and possess a building of God, an house eternal in the heavens.

Or, that the souls of the righteous should be so variable, as to desire to be absent from the body, and presently after dissolution to desire the resuming of the same earthly body, or a reunion to it: this implicitly accuseth the souls of deceased saints, with being in their affections earthly, and variable, and unquiet, as in a kind of purgatory: which we can never assent to.

[ocr errors]

THOMAS VINCENT'S

ILLUSTRATIONS

OF

THE RESURRECTION,

Which we may look upon as the sense of the rest, and as the explication of their doctrines and opinions, who are opposing the spirituality of our testimony about the resurrection.

[Among which some truths are intermixed, though his gross and carnal conceptions about the point we cannot close with.]

HIS ILLUSTRATIONS ARE IN HIS BOOK, ENTITLED “CHRIST'S CERTAIN AND SUDDEN APPEARANCE TO JUDGMENT."

Collected and placed in his own words, as followeth; for the serious and spiritual minded readers to judge of.

T. V. "Give me leave to illustrate the resurrection a little further; and here I shall endeavour to set it forth by an allusion to that notable place, Ezek. xxxvii. and ten first verses, (p. 16.) something like this will the resurrection be at the last day. Now the bones and bodies of all former generations are scattered up and down in the valley of the shadow of death; some are sunk into the deep, others are buried in the earth; the flesh is consumed and resolved into its first elements; and the bones of some remain, of others are mouldered into earth. Now when the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, shall come down from Mount Zion, which is above, into the valley of this inferior world, he will prophesy over all the bodies and bones of all the children of men that are dead, and speak unto them to live; he will say unto them whilst they lie rotting in their graves, Live; he will say, Awake ye that sleep in the dust. And Oh, what a noise and shaking will there be then in the ground! what a clattering of bones together in the coming of bone to his bone! If the body had been quartered and buried, part in one place and part in another, (as the Levite's concubine, who was divided into twelve parts, and sent to the twelve tribes of Israel, and it is likely buried in twelve distinct places.) the bones will fly through the air out of all those places, and meet together in one body. Oh! what a great part of the air, water, and earth will there run into conjunction, by the command of Christ, and be turned into those very bodies which were resolved into them by death, and the corruption of the pit? But with the addition of such new qualities as shall sublimate, spiritualize,* and refine them from all that dreggishness, and ill humour that shall be the foundation of any sick

*Note. Then not the same gross bodies; but as a pure extract.

ness or death forever, then the bones will come together, and be made like stones for strength; then the sinews will be, as it were, iron sinews, and the flesh, brass. Such strength will be put into them, as I conceive, is not to be found in the strongest creatures which hitherto God hath made, that they might be fitted, the bodies of the righteous for an eternal life of happiness, and bearing the glory of heaven; the bodies of the wicked for an eternal life of misery, and bearing the torments of hell. p. 17, 18. But, what a stirring will there be in the earth? Those which are alive, will wonder to see such a strange metamorphosis of the ground-to feel men and women stirring and moving under their feet, arising and crouding for room amongst them? Then will the Lord bring down all the souls of the righteous which have been in paradise with him many years, and they shall find out their own bodies: and he will open the prison of hell, and let out the souls of the wicked for a while, that they also may find out their own bodies. p. 19. The book of God's remembrance will be opened. This we are to understand in a spiritual sense; nott as if there were a real book, which God did make use of for his remembrance of things, as men do who have frail and weak memories. p. 22. The spirits of all the just men and women made perfect, shall then come down, and enter again into their old habitations, (p. 31,) when the soul left the body vile to putrify and corrupt in the grave, and shall find it come forth more bright and glorious than golds after it hath been refined in a furnace. If the love between the soul and the body were so great, when the body was so vile, and the soul so sinful, what will it be when both are glorified? If the conjunction between the soul and body were so sweet when the body was so frail and subject to death, and the soul a spiritual and never-dying substance, what will it be when the body shall be made immortal, and in some sort spiritual. p. 32. No sooner are they awakened, and risen out of their graves, but they are entertained by angels, those holy and excellent creatures, when before in the body they were too low, and unfit for their acquaintance; but they will then know them, and be able to discern the beauty of those lovely spirits. p. 33. They will arise like so many shining suns¶ out of the earth. p. 34. They admired to see the saints, and to see themselves so transformed. p. 36. He will bring the keys of death and hell along with him, and open both these prison doors, not to give liberty and release to the prisoners; but as prisons are opened at assizes, to bring them forth unto judg ment** he will open the prison of hell, and all the souls of the wicked shall come forth like so many locusts out of the bottomless pit. And he will open the prison of the grave, and all their bodies

* Which cannot be this same flesh.

↑ Not? Why are we not then to have as spiritual a sense of the resurrection? Nay, they shall have far better.

SA glory excelling that of these earthly bodies.

Not only as spiritually qualified; but as a spiritual body.

Which excel all terrestrial bodies.

Concerning the judgment of the wicked.

[ocr errors]

:

shall creep like so many ugly toads out of the earth, and then soul and body shall be joined together again. And this meeting will be sad beyond expression. Then the meeting of the souls and bodies of the wicked will be doleful. p. 46, 47. It is said that the vile bodies of the righteous shall be made like unto Christ's body in beauty and glory, but the bodies of the wicked will have another hue and fashion. If it were possible to fashion bodies like devils, those impure and foul spirits, such spiritual bodies the wicked should have. Be sure their bodies shall have no glory put upon them; but as they lay down vile bodies, they shall rise up far more vile.t-The bodies of the wicked, most probably, will be swarthy, black, ugly, monstrous bodies. p. 48.-The blackness and dread of the soul would quickly appear in their countenance; besides the impressions which the fire of hell will have upon them. And if the body be black, how black will the soul be, after so long abode with foul devils in the lower regions of darkness? And when such foul souls and such vile bodies meet, what a meeting, what a greeting will there be! We may fancy a kind of language to be between them at that day the soul to the body, come out of thy hole, thou filthy dunghill, flesh; for the pampering and pleasing of whom, I have lost myself for ever; who hast stolen away my time, and thoughts and heart from God, and Christ, and heavenly things, to feed, and clothe, and cherish thee, and make provision to satisfy thy base deceitful lusts, when I should have been making provision for thine and mine everlasting happiness. Awake, and come forth of the dust, thou bewitching dirty flesh, who didst full me asleep so long in thy pleasing chains, until thou didst suddenly open thy doors and thrust me out, where I was awakened in torments before I was aware; now I must come into thy doors again, that thou mayest share and taste the bitter issue of sinful pleasures and delights: and O how will the body be affrighted, so soon as the soul is entered. p. 49.-The body to the soul-And hast thou found me out, O my enemy ? Couldst not thou have let me alone, to lie still at rest in this sweet sleep? Hast thou used me as a slave, and employed all my members as servants of iniquity and unrighteousness, and art thou come now to torment me? and is this the fruit of all the pleasures we have taken together? shouldst not thou have been more wise, and provided better for thyself and me ? O! what cries and shrieks will the tongue give forth, so soon as it hath recovered its use! p. 50.

2. The second antecedent to the judgment of the wicked, will be their meeting with devils-to entertain them at their resurrection; and then they will not appear unto them like angels of light, as sometimes here they have done : (p. 50,) but they will spit forth their venom and malice then in their faces; possibly they may buffet their bodies, and lay painful strokes upon them: surely they will terrify their souls for those sins they have drawn them unto the commission of. p. 51.-How will they be affrighted at the apparition of so many

* Which is not carnal, but spiritual.

† And who must make so vile and like devils?

devils about them ?-when they shall lash their spirits with horrible Scourges, when they shall seize upon their bodies, and tear them and drag them to the judgment seat, and their is none to rescue and deliver them.

3. The third antecedent to the judgment of the wicked will be their meeting one with another-Ŏ what an innumerable company of rebels, and traitors, and villains will then be got together? How fiercely and horribly will they look one upon another? And if they speak, what language of he will there issue forth of their lips? They may meet with their old companions and fellow-sinners; but it will not be like such as they now call meetings of good fellowship, when they get together in a tavern, and ale-house, or some house of wickedness, to drink, and sing, and dance and sin, and make merry in the pleasing of their flesh; they shall not then have ale, and wine, and women, and music, or any incentives to mirth and sensual pleasures-O the angry countenances the wicked will have on that day!—O the angry speeches! How will they rage and storm at one another. p. 52.-O the horrible noise that will be amongst the damned crew, when they are got together! It may be from words they fall to blows, and tear one another's hair, and spurn at one another's bellies, and bite one another's flesh, and even claw out one another's eyes; we cannot conjecture so much of the misery of the wicked, as will be on that day. p. 53.-Friends will be together at that day as at other times; some will be in churches together, it may be ministers preaching, and people hearing, as you are hearing me this day suppose that the heavens should just now open, and you should hear the sound of the last trumpet, then all you that are believers, would immediately be caught up into the clouds; but all you that are impenitent and unbelievers, would be left behind: what terror would fall upon you, to see us caught away from you ? It may be some of you might come hanging about me and others, when you see us arrayed in shining garments; O take us up along with you! What, will you leave us behind? Alas! what can I do for you then? p. 54.-I came with oil often to sell§ from my Lord and Master; and you might have had it for nothing; you might have bought it without money and without price; but then you slighted and refused all proffers of grace which were made. p. 56. Alas! Why do you hang about me with tears and weeping! What can I do for you now? Can I carry you all up with me in my arms? If all of us together could hand and help some of you up into the air with us, and bring you into the presence of our dear and glorious Redeemer, with what confidence could you stand before him? with what face could you look upon him, when you are so black and filthy? Would not your looks betray you to be none of our number? Would not

* And who must drag the devils to judgment then, if they must be so officious for justice?

What sad work is here?

He thinks of a good place for himself however.
Rather an empty talk to sell at a dear rate.
Presbyters are not wont to be so free.

« ForrigeFortsæt »