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eous shall inherit eternal life; but sinners shall be condemned to eternal punishment.
That eternal life which the righteous shall receive for their stedfastness in the faith, is the most blessed state of endless joy. This joy shall be real, solid, and perfect. It shall flow from two sources, from the state of our understanding and our will. In our understanding there shall be the purest light of the knowledge of God."For now we see through a glass darkly; but then face to face." "And we shall see him as he is." Then the most exalted and ever-blessed Godhead, with all its infinite and amiable: excellencies, shall clearly be: revealed. And in this shining mirror of God's infinite wisdom we shall behold all other things perfectly, in as great a degree as our created faculties shall be able to contain.
Again, in our will, there shall be perfect holi ness, and a calm which nothing shall be able to disturb; for the Saviour has promised that he will present his church" in glory, not having spot or wrinkle, or any such thing," Eph. v. 27. Thus, through these two great bands, the blessed shall be so closely united to God, that he shall be in them, and they in him. They shall be as it were like gods; they shall be deified, or, according to the words of Paul," God shall be all, and in all; 1 Cor. xv.; that is, he shall be light to the under
standing, comfort and peace to the heart, joy to the eyes, sweetness to the taste, harmony to the ears; he shall be beauty to the body, food and raiment he shall be all and in all. Then " the redeemed of the Lord shall return, and come with singing unto Zion; and everlasting joy shall be upon their head; they shall obtain gladness and joy; and sorrow and mourning shall flee away," Isa. li. 11.
In addition to this joy arising from union with God himself, we shall dwell with the most holy angels, with the prophets, with the glorious apos tles, with triumphant martyrs, with all the holy saints, and the righteous spirits. Our intercourse with them shall be with gladness; we shall enjoy ourselves in mutual intercourse, and in the delightful harmony produced by the heavenly worshippers. But all this must be coneluded in the words of Paul; "eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him," 1 Cor. ii. 9.
These are the rewards of the righteous. But sinners who were stubborn, in opposition to the truth, were despisers of the faith, and spent their whole lives in iniquity and in impenitence, shall be cast out for ever from the presence of God their Maker, from all that is infinitely good,
and shall be deprived of all hopes of his mercy; their fall will be into the utmost misery, to a life among devils, in a place of sorrow and wailing, and gnashing of teeth, where the worm never dieth, and the fire is never quenched; a place of continual torment. Then shall the words . of Christ be fulfilled, "These shall go away into everlasting punishment; but the righteous into life eternal." Matth. xxv. 46.
Therefore, being justified by faith, we have peace with God, through our Lord Jesus Christ; by whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in the hope of the glory of God." Rom. v. 1, 2.
Here is concluded all that belongs to faith and hope, the first of Christian virtues.
OF THE LAW OF GOD.
The symbol contains the doctrine of faith and hope; what follows respects love, through which the above mentioned virtues are perfected, for love is the foundation of good works and a godly life. No one will surely be in doubt about this, that the performance of good works by a Christian is absolutely necessary to salvation. For, first, God's own law contains promises to virtue, both temporal and eternal, and threatens punishment for breaking the commandments, which require a life conformable to the holy will of God. "Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven," Matth. vii. 21. Secondly, the gratitude which we owe to our precious Saviour for our deliverance strongly binds us to fulfil his holy command
ments. For this very purpose he descended from heaven, became incarnate, suffered and died, that he might redeem unto himself a people, zealous of good works; and our inducement to be thus zealous is the more powerful, as he hath promised to assist us by his own grace in the performance of these good works.
This consideration is such as Paul has addressed to the Romans, vi. 2, 6, “How shall we that are dead to sin live any longer therein? Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin." Therefore, Christians who lead irregular lives, make their conversion to God doubtful, bring a reproach upon their faith, neglect the grace of Christ, and lay obstacles in the way of their own salvation. And though, according to the sublime doctrine of Paul, "a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ;" yet this by no means lays aside good works, but, on the contrary, renders our obligations to perform them still stronger. For though when a man is turning to God, he presents himself before his bar, without finding any thing in himself that is good; on the contrary, he is obliged to