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his soul was instantly struck dead, deprived of its moral beauty and excellence, his body froin that moment felt the symptoms of decay and dissolution. These constituent parts of the human person, which might eternally have enjoyed a union the most endearing, each adding to the dignity and happiness of the other, must now be subjected to a painful separation as a curse upon both; while the “ soul returns to God who gave it,' the body goes back to the earth to moulder and mingle with its “mean original.”
It is argued by some that “natural death is no part of the threatening contained in the covenant of works.” They maintain that “the body of man being material in its nature is prone to dissolution by the very laws of matter.” But this supposition is utterly inconsistent with the divine perfections: Can we imagine that a God infinitely wise would erect a fabric so fair as the human body, so dignified in external form, so admirably proportioned in all its parts, and calculated to reflect honor on its author, and demolish it as soon as it was finished ? Man frequently changes his plans of operation; he alters or destroys this day a machine which he constructed yesterday; but this change arises either from want of skill in the contrivance or power in the execution. Who can consistently, or who dare ascribe such imperfection to the Eternal ? “The Lord is a God of knowledge; he is wonderful,” unerring “in counsel, and excellent,”
omnipotent" in working.” But as this
supposition is improbable to reason, it is absolutely contradicted by divine revelation. Life in scripture is uniformly represented as the reward of perfect and perpetual obedience, and dealh as the wages of transgression.*“In the day thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die : The wages of sin is death. By one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin, so that death has passed upon allmen because all have sinned.” The consideration that Adam did not die immediately after his fall; that “he lived” several “ hundred years and begat sons and daughters” is no objection. The criminal is rarely executed when the sentence is passed upon him; the court for particular reasons may, and generally does postpone his execution for weeks, or months, or even years; yet during all this period he is considered dead in law; he is cut off from the privileges of a citizen, and the continuance of his life from day to day is not a matter of right, but depends wholly on the pleasure of others. Such was the condition of our
*"The Jewish Rabbins evidently maintain that if our first parents had persevered in innocence they had lived always. Manasseh Benjamin Israel, in the middle of the last century, asserted that the immortality of the first man is founded on scripture, and that many famous Rabbins, whom he cites, are of this opinion. He shews that this immortality of Adam agrees with reason, since there was no inward cause in him which might produce death, and that he had nothing to fear from external causes, living in a delicious and agreeable place where every thing was subject to him, while the fruit on which he was to feed, encreased his strength and preserved his health."Calmer's Dic. of the Bible on the word Death
first father upon his failure in the covenant of works. The sentence of death was solemnly pronounced upon him; he becaine dead in the estimation of law and justice, and the enjoyment of his natural life another day, or hour, depended purely on the sovereignty of Jehovah his judge. Besides, in postponing for a time the actual execution of the curse, the Lord God contemplated Adam as the parent of a numerous offspring : He also intended to afford him the offers of reconciliation through the infinite surety who had already interposed.
To such reproach and misery is the body of man now subjected on account of transgression: As a partaker with the soul in sin, it must also be a partaker in suffering; it has now become frail and mortal, exposed to innumerable toils and afflictions in life, and is doomed at last to the dreary prison of the grave. “It is appointed for all men once to die."
But there is another death infinitely more awful, and that is,
3. The separation of both soul and body from the fellowship of God, and their endless torment under the most overwhelming expressions of his wrath. « The wicked shall be turned into hell; and all the nations that forget God. These shall go away into everlasting punishment.” The soul and body, being separated from each other under the curse of a broken covenant, shall hereafter be re-united and “come forth to
the resurrection of damnation.” This may be considered as the full and final execution of divine vengeance on impenitent sinners. The miseries of the ungodly in the present state of existence are intermingled with many mercies; the bitterest cup which any are doomed to drink on earth is infused with some ingredient which renders the draught at least tolerable, but in hell “they have judgment without mercy. They shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation, and shall be tormented with fire and brimstone, in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb.” Through the most gloomy cloud which overcasts the sinner in time, some cheering ray occasionally beams forth to revive and support; or if the gloom be impenetrable to day, he hopes that to-morrow's sun will rise more fair, but in hell there is reserved for him “the mist of darkness, the blackness of darkness for ever and ever.” Is the mind now distracted with the horrors of guilt, or forebodings of future wrath, the body is, perhaps, at ease and in health; or if the body is tortured with exquisite pain, the mind may be serene and composed; the one may be instrumental in the support and consolation of the other : but in hell he is tormented to the very uttermost in both soul and body: each, instead of ministering to the support, will inconceivably aggravate the misery of the other, Even after
death, when the soul of the unbeliever “ has gone to its own place,” the body is at rest in the grave; there, if it be excluded fro:n pleasure, it is also exeinpted from pain; but in hell both are awakened to sufferings the most exquisite and unabating, “even the vengeance of eternal fire:" Here the unrighteous are favored with many good things ; they are often distinguished with the greatest share of temporal pleasures, and profits, and preferments: there their pleasures must give way to pain; their honors to shame and everlasting contempt; and their outward affluence to poverty and want, the denial of even a drop of water to ease their anguish in the flames. “The Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels; in flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ; who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his power.” Such is the knowledge of evil which Adam derived from eating the forbidden fruit; he incurred the penalty denounced and became liable to death; death spiritual, natural, and eternal. But this misery was not incurred merely on hinself; the shock is felt by every son and daughter that has sprung from his loins, and will
be felt by all succeeding generations. With more than the lightning's speed it
pervaded the human family and shook the very pillars of the earth. In Adam all died: “All