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death was the original curse to Adam, if he did eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil: had he not done so, he might have eaten of the tree of life, and lived for ever.
My object however in this section is to deal faithfully; there being one place, relating to the time I speak of, that has something of an intimation of mortality to be in these times; viz. Isa. lxv, 20." There shall be no more an infant of days, nor an old man that hath not filled his days; for the child shall die a hundred years old, but the sinner being a hundred years old "shall be accursed." Now as far as I can see into languages and the context, these words (for the child shall die a hundred years old) may be more fitly translated, "that the child should die a hundred years old." For the word in the Hebrew is often used (yea and very often so rendered by our translators) to signify that, as we have here rendered it; and as for turning shall into should, every grammarian knows, that so rendered will necessarily infer that the verb speaks subjunctively. Read then the words thus altered without the least violence to the native acceptance of the Hebrew, and the meaning will be quite contrary to any intimation of the mortality of the saints. There shall be no more thence (or from that time, viz. of the beginning of the thousand years of the new creation, verse 17,)
an infant of days, or an old man that hath not filled his days, that the child (or young man) should die at a hundred years "old." So that here is no mention of the mortality of the saints, but rather of their immortality. For further clearing of the text, this may be made out two ways.
First, he that is a hundred years old in those days, is but a youth, (or young man, as our old translation renders it:) For as a youth hath but the tenth part of that age which many men live in these days, so a hundred years are but the tenth of this millennary term of life to the inheritors thereof. Again, as in the first age of the world, one of a hundred years old was but a young man to one at his full age in those days; (for Adam lived a hundred and thirty years, and begat a son; but Adam after that lived eight hundred years, so all his days were nine hundred and thirty-near a thousand ;s) even so in this millennary age of the new creation, one of a hundred years old, is but a young
s Gen. v, 4.
man, to the thousand years that he shall reign with Christ on earth. So that the sense of the Prophet may fairly be taken to be this that in the time of this new creation, as the : must not have his days cut off, so the old man must fulfil his days. And how are both these accomplished in this new creation, but by their both living on earth a thousand years, old and young? When I speak of old and young, you must understand those saints that are found alive at Christ's coming, which anon after are changed; for all the deceased saints are raised to an equal perfection and absolute maturity of age and nature; even, as the other are changed into the same exactness, though at Christ's first appearance different in age.* Thus we may well understand the Prophet to allude to the age of the first Adam: that if, in a sinful state, his age at a hundred years was but as it were youth; (his whole age amounting to near a thousand years;) how much more shall the saints, by means of the second Adam, live a thousand in a sinless condition?
Secondly, it may be congruously made out, that the Prophet in this text intends rather the immortality of the saints, than their mortality, thus: There shall be no more THENCE an ininfant of days, nor an old man that hath not filled his days; that the child, youth, or young man should die a hundred years old, or the sinner a hundred years old should be cursed. Thus we make the whole verse depend on the word that, as before rendered, turning our English but' in the latter clause into or; the Hebrew being the conjunction 1. The sense will then be,—that at that time of the new creation there shall be neither he that shall naturally die in his infancy; nor he that shall naturally die in his riper age; nor he that shall be a sinner, whereby his days should be violently cut off. Moreover the context bears out my interpretation: for at verse 19 it is written-“ I will rejoice in Jerusalem and joy in my people, and the voice of weeping shall be no more heard in her, nor the voice of crying." Now if weeping and sorrow must be gone, so that it shall be no more, then, I think, there shall be no more death.
*Whatever may be the translation of Isaiah lxv, 20; it is clear that it cannot relate to the mortality of the changed or resurrection saints; for it is expressly said of them, in a passage which the author seems to have overlooked,—" Neither can they die any more." (Luke xx. 36,) In the Appendix, indeed, it will be seen, that he is aware of the distinction between the saints of the resurrection, and those who remain in the flesh,
That I may not seem presumptuous and singular, and withal add something for illustration, give me leave to show you other famous translations to the same effect. First, the Arabic renders this text " Neither shall there be any more a young man "imperfect in age, nor an old man that shall not fulfil his time. For the young man shall fill up a hundred years but the 'sinner, that after a hundred years dies, shall be accursed." Observe, this translation at least casts out mortality from the saints, though it applies it to sinners; which is by not regarding the common pointing of the Hebrew. The Septuagint version is much to the same effect ;-" Neither shall there be any more one that is not ripe (i. e. in age) nor an old man that hath not “fulfilled his time. For the young man shall be a hundred years old; but the sinner that dies a hundred years old, shall be also accursed." The Chaldee Paraphrase also favours our reading, though it a little differs from the Arabic and Greek.-" And there shall not be any more an infant of days, and an old man that fills not his days; because the youth that offends at the age of an hundred years shall die, and he that transgresseth in the age of a hundred years shall be banished :" which reacheth thus far to our purpose, to signify that the sinners, not the saints, shall die at this time of the glorious visible state of the Church. But do I not stretch the sense of the Chaldee Paraphrase? To answer this, and to give a further account of the sense of that place according to the opinion of the Church at Geneva, and of the Rabbins, hear the great critic, Ludovic de Dieu, in his animadversions on it." I see (saith he) they of Geneva do refer this same THENCE to time, translat
ing it from henceforward. But Rabbi D. Kimchi refers it to place, saying, wo thence; that is, from Jerusalem; "whom Vatablus and Junius follow, and I think he ought to be followed. Moreover, they of Geneva translate the rest, as
if the sense of the Hebrew were this: At that time so great shall "be the length of men's lives, that he that is now an old man, shall "then be counted as an infant. And I see the Hebrews (as R. "D. Kimchi, and Sol. Jarchi in their Commentaries, yea and "Jonathan in his Chaldee Paraphrase) take the sense of this
place to be, that no man at that time shall be carried out of Jerusalem to burial, who is but a boy; no nor an old man, unless
"he hath filled up his days; that is, hath lived to that length of "life which men had before the flood, &c." Thus far De Dieu's report of others as to his own opinion on the place; it is true, he looks upon those hopes of the Jews (to use his own words) "to be but dreams, wherein they do imagine such a mar"vellous kingdom of the Messiah, and such a most happy life "of the Jews at that time on earth :" yet, while he himself spiritualizes the sense, he speaks the same in effect, (as to the literal meaning of the words,) as hath been already affirmed. His words are these: "We know that these things are spiritual; "and so we interpret, There shall not exist from thence any more "an infant of days, and an old man that filleth not up his days; that is, at that time there shall be another manner of the state "of the world, than there is at present. For in this world many
die infants; others as it were old men, of sixty or seventy "years of age; few finish their just space of life, to attain to a hundred years old but then there shall be the same condi"tion of all, whether of young or old; for all shall fully make "up their days."*
4. From the three former qualifications there necessarily arise several other particulars. For, first, if this be a sinless condition, then there will be no need of magistracies to punish political offences. In this state shall dwell all righteousness ;t for the wolf shall dwell with the lamb: men and beasts shall be all at peace, and have peace one with another. Every subject of this kingdom shall have the law so perfectly written in his heart, as shall cause him exactly to walk in the same. Kings shall submit, and do homage to New Jerusalem; but not rule over it. Rev. xxi, 24.
* Some make another argument out of a text that speaks no such thing; viz. Heb. ix, 27.-" It is appointed unto men once to die," therefore men in the thousand years must also die, To which we need only answer with the Apostle,
we shall not all sleep." (1 Cor. xv, 51.) Besides, the distinction of times must be noted for though it is true that before the judgement men ordinarily die; yet, when the judgement comes (which begins at this thousand years, as we proved before,) there is no more death. Others object 1 Cor. xv, 26-" The last enemy that is destroyed is death;" as if this text argues for death in the thousand years; but it does not. For though death be the last enemy, yet that is not the last thing done in the seventh trumpet, or thousand years: but death is destroyed to the saints at the beginning of the thousand years; as we have largely shewed before. For at verses 23, 24, it is said, Every one shall rise in his own order: Christ first; afterward (already above 1650 years after) they that are Christ's; after that comes the ultimate end, viz. after a thousand years.
t 2 Peter iii.
By the same rule there shall be no need of church censures. For though the form of this new created state is mostly set forth after the manner of a church state; yet here shall be no defect in love, or want of order, or mistakes in judgement, or any weakness in grace, for these were sin. Besides all that, "There shall in no wise enter any thing that defileth, &c.”u that is, that shall deserve censure.
Further, there shall be no superiority of one saint over another, as to precedency, subjection, or dependence, under any notion. For if Christ shall give to some any pre-eminence of endowments, internal or external, yet will it not thence follow, that they shall have a supremacy of power over the rest. Christ's special manifestation of his presence shall be the only immediate superiority; the saints among themselves being a joint coordinate body. For this cause St. John (as the learned conceive) hath a vision of the saints sitting round the throne; even as they shall all sit on thrones. The subjection even of Eve to Adam came in by sin; therefore when sin goes out, liberty from that subjection comes in. Consult Romans viii, 21: for there is much to this particular, if well extracted, which I leave to the wise Reader; as also the inference of many other particulars deducible under this head.
Secondly, if it be a sorrowless condition, then it will follow, there shall be no fears; "for fear, saith St. John, hath torment:" and how often before have the prophets said, that the heirs of this estate, once possessing it, shall fear no more. There shall be no hunger, nor thirst; neither shall there be want of light, &c. The state is no less, than a new and better Paradise, Nor shall there be any divine desertions, (one of the greatest sorrows ;) for God is extraordinarily present, and manifested in his presence. "The tabernacle of God is with men, and he dwells with them;"z which must be with a speciality above a mere state of grace, or else nothing new is promised to New Jerusalem. Again, there shall be no painful labors: for this was Adam's sorrowful punishment for sin; therefore it must have no being here. In a word, whatsoever is sorrow, or causeth it, cannot be here admitted: if no death, then no sickness, no feeble
u Rev. xx,
Rev. xxi, 4.