2 Timothy 1:10
But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Savior Jesus Christ, who has abolished death…
By the plain revelation of this state of immortality —
1. Is most illustriously manifested to us the transcendent goodness and indulgence of our most merciful Creator, in that He will be pleased to reward such imperfect services, such mean performances as the best of ours are, with glory so immense, as that eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, nor can it enter into the heart of man to conceive the greatness of it.
2. By this revelation of immortal life is farther demonstrated the exceeding great love of our blessed Saviour, who, by His death and perfect obedience, not only purchased pardon for all our past rebellions and transgressions, not only redeemed us from hell and destruction, to which we had all rendered ourselves most justly liable, which alone had been an unspeakable favour, but also merited an everlasting kingdom of glory for us, if with true repentance we return to our duty.
3. This especially recommends our Christianity to us, which contains such glad tidings, which propounds such mighty arguments to engage us to our duty, such as no other religion ever did or could.
I. To those who would seem to doubt of this fundamental doctrine of a future life.
II. To those who profess to believe it, but not fully and heartily.
III. To those who do really and constantly believe it.
I. Let us for once be so kind to the sceptical disputers against religion as to suppose what; they are never able to prove — that it is a very doubtful thing whether there will be another life, after this. We ought to believe and live as if all these doctrines of religion were most certainly true; for every wise man will run as little hazard as he can, especially in such things as are of the highest concernment to him, and wherein a mistake would be fatal and undoing.
II. To those who profess to believe this immortal life, but yet do it not really and heartily. And this I fear is the case of the generality of Christians amongst us. Are any of those good things which men here court and seek after so desirable and considerable as the glories and joys of heaven? Or are there any evils in this world that can vie terrors with hell?
III. To those who do heartily and constantly believe this great truth of another life after this; who not only assent to this doctrine with their understandings, but have made this future happiness their ultimate choice and desire. This will fortify our minds against all the temptations we may meet with from this world, or any of its bewitching enjoyments. This faith will inspire us with strength and activity, and carry us out even beyond ourselves; will animate us with such courage and resolution, as that we shall despise all dangers and difficulties, and think eternal happiness a good bargain, whatever pains or trouble it may cost us to purchase it. This conquers the love of life itself, which is most deeply implanted in our natures; for what will not a man give or part with for the saving of his life? Yet they who have been endued with this faith have not counted their lives dear to Him, so that they might finish their course with joy. This faith by degrees moulds and transforms the mind into a likeness to these heavenly objects; it advances and raises our spirits, so that they become truly great and noble, and make us, as St. Peter tells us, partakers of a divine nature. It filleth the soul with constant peace and satisfaction, so that in all conditions of life a good man can feast himself with unseen joys and delights, which the worldly man neither knows nor can relish. Nay, this faith arms a man against the fear of death; it strips that king of terrors of all his grim looks: for he considers it only as God's messenger to knock off his fetters, to free him from this fleshly prison, and to conduct him to that blessed place, where he shall be more happy than he can wish or desire to be, and that for ever.
Parallel VersesKJV: But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel: