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Paul, whether in the body or out of the body, was yet in heaven. To place it in the empyreal, or beyond the tenth sphere, is to forget the world's destruction; for when this sensible world shall be destroyed, allo shall then be here as it is now there, an empyreal heaven, a quasi vacuity; when to ask where heaven is, is to demand where the presence of God is, or where we have the glory of that happy vision. Moses, that was bred up in all the learning of the Egyptians, committed a gross absurdity in philosophy, when with these eyes of flesh he desired to see God, and petitioned his Maker, that is truth itself, to a contradiction. Those that imagine heaven and hell neighbours, and conceive a vicinity between those two extremes, upon consequence of the parable, where Dives discoursed with Lazarus in Abraham's bosom, do too grossly conceive of those glorified creatures, whose eyes shall easily out-see the sun, and behold without perspective the extremest distances : for if there shall be, in our glorified eyes, the faculty of sight and reception of objects, I could think the visible
species there to be in as unlimitable’ a way as now the intellectual. I grant that two bodies placed beyond the tenth sphere, or in a vacuity, according to Aristotle's philosophy, could not behold each other, because there wants a body or medium to hands and transport the visible rays of the object unto the sense; but when there shall be a general defect of either medium to convey, or light to prepare and dispose that medium, and yet a perfect vision, we must suspend the rules of our philosophy, and make all good by a more absolute piece of opticks.
I cannot tell how to say that fire is the essence of hell; I know not what to make of purgatory, or conceive a flame that can either prey upon, or* purify the substance of a soul. Those flames of sulphur, mentioned in the scriptures,
9 all] So MSS. W. 2 & R. ; MS. W. read, “ neither prey upon, nor. and Edts. 1642 read, and. -- Ed.
or conceive a flame, &c.] Upon this 1 when] MSS. W. 2 & R. read, then. ground Psellus ( 1. i, De Energia De-Ed.
monum, c. 7,) holds that angels have bo2 unlimitable ] MS. R. reads, limit- dies (though he grants them to be as pure able.--Ed.
or more pure than air is), otherwise he 3 hand] The Edts. 1642 read, have. could not apprehend how they should be - Ed.
tormented in hell.-K. 4 either prey upon, or] MSS. W.& R.
I take not to be understood of this present hell, but of that to come, where fire shall make up the complement of our tortures, and have a body or subject whereon to manifest its tyranny. Some who have had the honour to be textuary in divinity are of opinion it shall be the same specifical fire with ours. This is hard to conceive, yet can I make good how even that may prey upon our bodies, and yet not consume us: for in this material world, there are bodies that persist invincible in the powerfulest flames; and though, by the action of fire, they fall into ignition and liquation, yet will they never suffer a destruction. I would gladly know how Moses, with an actual fire, calcined or burnt the golden calf into powder: for that mystical metal of gold, whose solary and celestial nature I admire, exposed unto the violence of fire, grows only hot, and liquefies, but consumeth not; so when the consuma- ! ble and volatile pieces of our bodies shall be refined into a more impregnable and fixed temper, like gold, though they suffer from the action of flames, they shall never perish, but lie immortal in the arms of fire. And surely, if this frame must suffer only by the action of this element, there will many bodies escape; and not only heaven, but earth will not be at an end, but rather a beginning. For at present it is not earth, but a composition of fire, water, earth, and air ; but at that time, spoiled of these ingredients, it shall appear in a substance more like itself, its ashes. Philosophers that opinioned the world's destruction by fire, did never dream of annihilation, which is beyond the power of sublunary causes; for the last and proper action of that element is but vitrification, or a reduction of a body into glass; and therefore some of our chymicks facetiously affirm, that, at the last fire, all shall be crystalized and reverberated into glass, which is the utmost action of that element. Nor need we fear this term, annihilation, or wonder that God will destroy the works of his creation : for man subsisting, who is, and will then truly appear, a microcosm, the world cannot be said to be destroyed. For the eyes of
admire,] All the MSS. and Edts. 8 affirm, ] In all the MSS. and Edts. 1642 read, adore.-Ed.
1642, the following clause is here add7 proper ] MS. W. 2 reads, pow- ed, yea, and urge Scripture for it." erfulest.-- Ed.
God, and perhaps also of our glorified selves,' shall as really behold and contemplate the world, in its epitome or contracted essence, as now it doth at large and in its dilated substance. In the seed of a plant, to the eyes of God, and to the understanding of man, though in an invisible way, there exist the perfect leaves, flowers, and fruit thereof; for things that are in posse to the sense, are actually existent to the understanding. Thus God beholds all things, who contemplates as fully his works in their epitome as in their full volume, and beheld as amply the whole world, in that little compendium of the sixth day,” as in the scattered and dilated pieces of those five before.
Sect. LI.--Men commonly set forth the torments of hell by fire, and the extremity of corporal afflictions, and describe hell in the same method that Mahomet doth heaven. This indeed makes a noise, and drums in popular ears: but if this be the terrible piece thereof, it is not worthy to stand in diameter with heaven, whose happiness consists in that part that is best able to comprehend it, that immortal essence, that translated divinity and colony* of God, the soul. Surely, though we place hell under earth, the devil's walk and purlieu is about it. Men speak too popularly who place it in those flaming mountains,
9 selves, ] MSS. W. 2 & R. read, comprehending the one as the other: it senses. --Ed.
is sufficient for the purposes of human I though in an invisible way, &c.] life that we are as well assured of the one “Mon fidèle ami, cet esprit bien exercé, as the other. If the joys of heaven are qu’ou fait l'auteur de l'Interest de la Hol- described as “an exceeding weight of lande, étant en mon jardin, sut bien me glory," an immortal crown, as recumbdire, avec de bonnes raisons, qu'on pouvoit ency in “ Abraham’s bosom,” and singvoir auparavant dans le cæur de l'oignon, ing hallelujahs by the side of the Lamb, quelle fleur il en proviendroit : il parloit the lunguage is as metaphorical as when pour lors des tulipes. J. R.”- Fr. Tr.
the pains of hell are said to consist of 2 little compendium of the sixth day,] "a worm that never dieth," a "fire that i. e. man.-M.
is never quenched,” a “burning lake," 3 Men commonly set forth the torments a bottomless pit, and similar expressions. of hell by fire,] That the punishments If the torment were a worm,” it could of the next world are to consist of mate- not be a fire, or lake, or pit; and if we rial fire, is a position which is ably con- are compelled to admit the figurative lantroverted by the learned protestant Saurin guage in the one case, we need not hesiin one of his Discourses translated by Ro- tate to apply the same mode of interprebert Robinson. The Holy Scriptures no tation to the other.-E. H. B. more unfold to us the precise nature of 4 and colony] In the MSS. W. & R. the punishments, which we may in the there is a blank in place of these words, next world expect for our offences in this which are wanting in Edts. 1642.-E11. world, than they reveal to us what will 5 the soul. ] The remainder of the be the precise nature of the happiness of section is wanting in all the MSS. and the righteous in the next life. Our limited Edis. 1642.- Ed. understandings may be as incapable of
which to grosser apprehensions represent hell. The heart of man is the place the devils dwell in; I feel sometimes a hell within myself; Lucifer keeps his court in my breast; Legion is revived in me. There are as many hells as Anaxagoras conceited worlds. There was more than one hell in Magdalene, when there were seven devils; for every devil is an hell unto himself;' he holds enough of torture in his own ubi; and needs not the misery of circumference to afflict him: and thus, a distracted conscience here is a shadow or introduction unto hell hereafter. Who can but pity the merciful intention of those hands that do destroy themselves? The devil, were it in his power, would do the like; which being impossible, his miseries are endless, and he suffers most in that attribute wherein he is impassible, his immortality.
SECT. LII.- I thank God, and with joy I mention it, I was never afraid of hell, nor ever grew pale at the description of that place. I have so fixed my contemplations on heaven, that I have almost forgot the idea of hell; and am afraid
rather to lose the joys of the one, than endure the misery of the other: to be deprived of them is a perfect hell, and needs methinks no addition to complete our afflictions. That terrible term hath never detained me from sin, nor do I owe any good action to the name thereof. I fear God, yet am not afraid of him; his mercies make me ashamed of my sins, before his judgments afraid thereof: these are the forced and secondary method of his wisdom, which he useth but as the last remedy, and upon provocation ;--a course rather to deter9 the wicked, than incite the virtuous to his worship. I can hardly think there was ever any scared into heaven: they go the fairest way to heaven that would serve God without a
6 flaming mountains, &c.] Ætna and whereby Alexander it seems was brought Vesuvius; which in the popular supersti- out of opinion of his geography, who betion of the country have been supposed fore that time thought there remained the mouths of hell. Ed. 1736.
nothing, or not much, beyond his con7 There are as many hells, &c.] I as- quests.-K. sure myself that this is false printed, and 8 for every devil is an hell unto himself; ] that instead of Anaxagoras it should be So Milton in Paradise Lost, i, 254. Anaxarchus; for Anaxagoras is reckoned
The mind is its own place, and in itself amongst those philosophers that main- Can make a heaven of hell, a hell of heaven. tained the unity of the world, but Anaxarchus (according to the opinion of Epi- 9 deter] MSS. W. f. R. and Edts. curus) held there were infinite worlds. 1642 read, detain.--Ed. This is he that caused Alexander to weep 1 fairest] MSS. W. 2 & R. read, by telling him there were infinite worlds; surest.-Ed.
E. H. B.
hell: other mercenaries, that crouch unto him in fear of hell, though they term themselves the servants, are indeed but the slaves, of the Almighty.
Sect. LIII.—And to be true, and speak my soul, when I survey the occurrences of my life, and call into account the finger of God, I can perceive nothing but an abyss and mass of mercies, either in general to mankind, or in particular to myself._And, whether out of the prejudice of my affection, or an inverting and partial conceit of his mercies, I know not,—but those which others term crosses, afflictions, judgements, misfortunes, to me, who inquire further into them than their visible effects, they both appear, and in event have ever proved, the secret and dissembled favours of his affection. It is a singular piece of wisdom to apprehend truly, and without passion, the works of God, and so well to distinguish his justice from his mercy as not miscall those noble attributes; yet it is likewise an honest piece of logick so to dispute and argue the proceedings of God as to distinguish even his judgements into mercies. For God is merciful unto all, because better to the worst than the best deserve ;* and to say he punisheth none in this world, though it be a paradox, is no absurdity. To one that hath committed murder, if the judge should only ordain a fine, it were a madness to call this a punishment, and to repine at the sentence, rather than admire the clemency of the judge. Thus, our offences being mortal, and deserving not only death but damnation, if the goodness of God be content to traverse and pass them over with a loss, misfortune, or disease; what frenzy were it to term this a punishment, rather than an extremity of mercy, and to groan under the rod of his judgements rather than admire the sceptre of his mercies! Therefore to adore, honour, and admire him, is a debt of gratitude due from the obligation of our nature, states, and conditions: and with these thoughts He that knows them best will not deny that I adore him. That I obtain heaven, and the bliss thereof, is accidental, and not the in
2 inverting and] These words are not R. and Edts. 1642 read, “ because to in MS. R.- Ed.
the worst that the best deserve." In 3 event] MS. W. Edts. 1642 read, MS. W, 2, is a blank in place of the paseffect.-Ed.
4 because better to, fc.] MSS. W.8