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§ 67. (5.) Of Eternal Damnation and Eternal Life.

With the Judgment, a complete and eternal separation takes place between the ungodly and the godly. The former are delivered over to eternal damnation, a condition which in Scripture is also called eternal death (“eternal death, eternal damnation, is a condition most miserable through the aggregation of multitudinous evils, and to last forever.” HOLL., (978).) [1] The Holy Scripture say of them that they are in Hell (αδης, שְׁאֹל, a place of torment, [2] in which they suffer, according to the degree of their ungodliness, [3] in bodily and spiritual pains, [4] for their sins, eternally. [5] The latter, however, the godly, become partakers of eternal life, [6] i.e., they enjoy, according to the degree of their godliness, [7] the highest and completely undisturbed happiness in beholding the face of God. [8] The place of their happiness is in the Scripture called Heaven. [9]

[1] HOLL. (979): “Death eternal is the separation of the unbelieving soul from the beatific sight of God and eternal enjoyment.” 657QUEN. (I, 565): “Death eternal, or damnation, is that most unhappy state in which, from the just judgment of God, men who remain unbelieving to the end, being excluded from the beatific sight of God, and associated in the infernal prison with devils, will be tortured eternally (in soul, immediately after its departure from the body, and in both parts of their composite being, at length when sentence has been passed at the final judgment) with the most severe and ineffable torments, to the praise of the divine truth, and the glory and exultation of the godly.” HOLL. (979): “Death eternal is named likewise the second death, Rev. 2:11; 20:6, because it occasions the forfeiture of that other life which man was able to attain when the present life had been completed; besides it is called corruption, Judge 12; Matt. 7:13; everlasting destruction, 2 Thess. 1:9 — not as though eternal death were an annihilation of substance, but because it is the forfeiture or the want of happiness, and shame and everlasting contempt, Dan. 12:2, since there is nothing more contemptible, in the eyes of God, the angels, and the blessed, than the damned, for they will be an abhorring unto all flesh, Is. 66:24; everlasting punishment, Matt. 25:46; tribulation and anguish, Rom. 2:9.: QUEN. (I, 551) presents scriptural proofs from Ps. 49:15, 20; Is. 66:24; Dan. 12:2; Zach. 9:11; Matt. 3:10; Luke 3:17; Matt. 5:22; 25:46; 8:12; Luke 13:27, 28; Matt. 10:28; 13:40, 42; 22:13; 25:41, 46; Luke 16:23. (GRH. (XX, 169) adds: “Reasons and arguments sought (1) from the condition of divine justice, 2 Thess. 1:6; (2) from the curse of the divine Law, Deut. 27:26; Matt. 19:16; Rom. 4:15; 1 Thess. 1:10; (3) from the deformity and confusion of sin, Rom 6:23; (4) from the witness of one’s own conscience; (5) from the tasting of the pains of hell, 2 Sam. 22:6; Ps. 18:5; 30:3; 49:15; 86:13; 88:4; 116:3; (6) from the article concerning the descent of Christ ad inferos; (7) from the resurrection of the wicked; (8) from the administration of the final judgment.”)

[2] GRH. (XX, 175): “The name, Hell, can be received in a twofold manner: (1) for eternal death; (2) for that place (που), in which they suffer, and to eternity will sustain that most miserable condition and those ineffable tortures. By reason of the former signification, the devils are said to carry about with them their own hell wherever they wander. By reason of the latter, it is said that on the day of judgment they will be cast into hell, and be confined there. In the former signification, the name, hell, is received internally and formally; in the latter, externally, objectively, and locally, the term used in the article being received in a general 658sense, according to the language of Scriptures, Luke 16:28. What hell is, in the former signification, cannot be understood more correctly than by collecting and distributing into certain classes, the descriptions by which, in the Holy Scriptures, the extreme misery of the damned is prefigured. But what hell is, in the latter signification pertains to a question that is extremely difficult and obscure. Some altogether reject the latter signification, and think that hell should not be defined except by the sense of divine wrath, and of the eternal curse and horror of conscience. But there is no apparent reason why a certain place (που), in which the damned suffer their punishments, should be denied.” HOLL. (984): “It is certain that the infernal prison is in a real locality (Luke 16:28; 1 Pet. 3:19), separate from the abode of the blessed (Rev. 22:15; Luke 16:23). It is also probable that the same is outside of this habitable world (2 Pet. 3:10; John 12:31; Matt. 8:12); but where this place definitely is, is unknown to men during the present life.”

[3] HOLL. (990): “The punishments of Hell differ in degree, according to the quality and measure of sins, Matt. 11:24; Luke 12:47; Matt. 23:15.”

[4] HFRFFR. (691): “They are the most exquisite pains of soul and body (for both had sinned), arising from the fear and sense of the most just wrath and vengeance of God against sins, the most sad consciousness of which they carry about with them, the baseness of which is manifest, and of which, likewise, no remission afterwards, and, therefore, no mitigation or end can be hoped for. Whence, in misery, they will execrate, with horrible lamentation and wailing, their former impiety, by which they carelessly neglected the commandments of the Lord, the admonitions of their brethren, and all the means of attaining salvation; but in vain. For in perpetual anguish, with dreadful trembling, ins shame, confusion, and ignominy, in inextinguishable fire, in weeping and gnashing of teeth, amidst that which is eternal and terrible, torn away from the grace and favor of God, they must quake among devils, and will be tortured without end to eternity. These future torments of the damned far surpass all the penetration of the human mind, so that we are not sufficient to ever comprehend in thought their greatness; therefore, what they will be, or of what nature, cannot be at all expressed in words. Scripture, nevertheless, in order to show that these tortures are the greatest and most exquisite, likens them to those things by which, in this life, pain both of soul and body is accustomed to be excited. For this reason they are compared now to the gnashing of teeth, now to the gnawing of 659worms, now to the most sorrowful darkness, and whatever other matters of sadness and of the most complete pain can be mentioned, Is. 66:24; Matt. 5:22; 8:12; Rev. 19:20.” QUEN. (I, 562): “The form (of eternal death) is the entire mass of evils intended for the damned. These are partly privative, and partly positive. The privative are: (1) forfeiture of the beatific sight of God; Matt. 25:41; 22:13; 8:12; (2) separation from the society of all the good, Matt. 8:11, 12; 22:13; Luke 16:23, 26; (3) exclusion from the heavenly light, rest, and happiness, Matt. 8:12; 22:13; 25:30; 2 Thess. 1:6, 8, 9; (4) entire denial of pity, divine as well as human, Prov. 1:26; Ps. 52:6, 7; 58:10; Luke 16:24, 25; (5) despair of every kind Rev. 6:16, 17. Of the positive, some are internal, and others external. The internal are those which the damned experience within themselves viz., the inexplicable pains and tortures of soul, Ps. 18:4, 5; Is. 77:24; Mark 9:44, 46, 48.” (HOLL. (982): “Their intellect will recognize God as the most just judge and the most severe avenger of sins, Ps. 139:7; 2 Thess. 1:9; Wis. 5:3. Their will will be tortured by hatred to God, the greatest sorrow, and raging impatience.”) “The external are those most sorrowful evils, outside of themselves, that they deeply feel, namely, association with devils, Matt. 25:41; a most foul dwelling-place, Matt. 25:30; and most painful burning without being consumed, Luke 16:23, 24; Rev. 14:10, 11; 20:10.” HOLL. (983) answers the question concerning the nature of the fire: “The bodies of the damned will be tortured in infernal fire, properly so called, and, therefore, material. For the sentence of the judge announces a fire, Matt. 25:41, from which smoke ascends, Rev. 14:10, whose flames burn, Luke 16:24. That, therefore, to which the Holy Ghost has ascribed the name, the properties, and the effects of true fire, is not metaphorical, but fire properly so called. But to the infernal fire, etc. Therefore, etc. — But this will not be the element of fire, but that which is altogether peculiar. Ordinary fire burns only bodies; the infernal fire will act also upon souls. The former ceases when fuel fails; the latter does not stand in need of nourishment properly so called. But to desire to explain the nature of infernal fire more explicitly, is a matter of curiosity rather than of profit.”

[5] QUEN. (I, 564): (A property of these evils is) “eternal continuance, which will augment the punishments of the damned beyond any measure. The sufferings will be continuous, i.e., they will have no interval, no interruption; they will be eternal, they will have no end, Is. 34:10; 66:24; Rev. 14:11; 20:10; Dan. 12:2; Matt. 3:12; Luke 3:17.” Of the time in which the sufferings 660will begin, HOLL.: “The tortures of hell will befall the souls of the damned, as soon as they have departed from the body. Luke 16.”

[6] HFRFFR. (695): “Life eternal is the ineffable, greatest, and purest happiness, which believers, when their glorious and spiritual bodies have been received, being freed from every sin and bodily infirmity, will, with the holy and blessed angels, eternally enjoy God Himself, without end, satiety or disturbance. This felicity is called, and is, life eternal.”

GRH. (XX, 340): “What life eternal is can be known, from the revelation of the Word, in a general and obscure (αινιγματικως) manner, viz., that it is the most blessed and felicitous state of the godly, into which being transferred after this life, they will see God face to face, and, free from every trouble, will live and reign in eternal joy and glory, and in ineffable felicity; but, in the infirmity of this life, this cannot be known specifically and exactly, because ‘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,’ Is. 64:4; 1 Cor. 2:9.” Synonymous expressions with eternal life are: simply life, Ezek. 18:9; Matt. 7:14; 18:8; the kingdom of heaven, Matt. 5:20; 7:21; the kingdom prepared from the foundation of the world, Matt. 25:34; an inheritance, Acts 20:32; Gal. 3:18; Eph. 1:14; the joy of the godly, John 16:22. QUEN. (I, 551): “That this life exists, is evident from Job 19:25; Ps. 16:5, 6, 9, 11; 17:15; 36:9; Is. 65:17, 18; Dan. 12:2, 3; Matt. 25:46; John 5:29; 10:28.”

[7] Grades of happiness, therefore are assumed; but what one enjoys, in addition to that enjoyed by others, is described as something accessory, while all alike share in essentially the same salvation. Comp. AP. CONF. III, 234. QUEN. (I, 559): “As to accessory rewards, the harmonious belief of the Orthodox Church is, that in life eternal there will be degrees of not essential but of accidental glory. Moreover, blessedness can be considered in a twofold manner, (1) with respect to its essence, which consists in the clear and intuitive knowledge of God, and thus there is no doubt that it belongs to all the blessed equally; (2) with respect to its accidents, in view of which the blessed are not altogether equal, and thus, while there will be the same essential blessedness to all, there will be, nevertheless, some difference in accidental endowments . . . . But there will be some difference and inequality among the blessed, not only with respect to the brilliancy and splendor of their bodies, but also with respect to their position (sessio) and other accessory rewards. For, in life eternal, in addition 661to essential blessedness, upon some saints there will be conferred various ornaments of soul and body, Dan. 12:2; 1 Cor. 15:41, 42.” But: “The cause of this inequality must be sought, not in human merits, but in the most free distribution and the gratuitous promise of divine kindness.”

[8] HOLL. (456): “Our eternal and highest blessedness consists in the perfect sight and enjoyment of God. The former is an operation of the intellect, the latter of the will. By the former we obtain possession of God as the highest good; by the latter we perfectly enjoy and repose in the same. The beatific sight of God is an act of the intellect illumined with the light of glory, by which it perceives God clearly and immediately, and as He is in Himself. The enjoyment of God is an act of the will, by which the blessed, in the heavenly country, most eagerly embrace God as the highest good, most delightfully comprehend Him, and are most fully satisfied with Him, Ps. 17:15. Inseparably accompanying the beatific sight and enjoyment of God, will be the most ardent love to God, the most complete joy (Matt. 25:23; Ps. 16:11), the eternal celebration of the divine name, Rev. 4:8, αναμαρτησια, or immunity from the danger of sinning, and the most constant holiness, Eph. 5:27; Rev. 19:4.”

QUEN;. (I, 553): “The form” (of life eternal) “consists, generally speaking, in the ineffable, most full, and never-ending reception of incomprehensible blessings. The blessings of life eternal are either privative or positive. The privative blessings are the absence of sin and of the causes of sin, viz., the flesh inciting, the devil suggesting, the world seducing, and of the punishments of sin, such as various calamities, Ps. 116:7-9; Is. 25:8; 49:10; Rev. 21:4; temporal death, Is. 25:8; Hos. 13:14; 1 Cor. 15:26; Rev. 2:7; 21:4; eternal death, Hos. 13:14; 1 Cor. 15:26; Rev. 2:11; 20:14. Here also belongs immunity from the affections and actions of the animal body as such; such are hunger, thirst, eating, drinking, the use of marriage, etc., Rev. 7:16; 1 Cor. 6:13: Matt. 22:30; 1 Cor. 15:42, 42. Some of the positive blessings of life eternal are internal, others are external. The internal blessings belong to the entire composite being, and affect both body and soul of the blessed, among which the beatific and immediate sight of God is prominent. The internal blessings of either part of the composite being, belong either to the soul or to the body. Those of the soul are, (1) the perfect enlightenment of the intellect, 1 Cor. 13:9, 10; (2) complete rectitude of the will and appetite, Ps. 17:15; Eph. 4:24; 5:27; (3) the highest security concerning the perpetual duration of this blessedness, John 16:22. Those of the body are, (1) 662Spirituality, 1 Cor. 15:44, 47; Matt. 22:30; Luke 20:36; Phil. 3:21; (2) Invisibility, 1 Cor. 15:44; (3) Impalpability, 1 Cor. 15:44, 47; (4) Illocality (ib.); (5) Subtilty (ib.); (5) Agility, 1 Thess. 4:17; 1 Cor. 15:44; (7) Impassibility, Rev. 7:16; 21:4; (8) Immortality and incorruptibility, 1 Cor. 15:42-48, 53; 2 Cor. 5:4; Rev. 21:4 (9) Strength and soundness, 1 Cor. 15:43; (10) Brilliance, Dan. 12:3; Matt. 13:43; 1 Cor. 15:41, 42; (11) Beauty, 1 Cor. 15:43; Phil. 3:21. The external blessings are those which the blessed experience deeply outside of themselves. Of these, two are chief; the most delightful intercourse with God (Luke 23:43; John 12:26; 14:3; 17:24; 2 Cor. 5:8; Phil. 1:23; 1 Thess. 4:17; Rev. 14:4; 21:3), and the angels (Heb. 12:22), and all the blessed (Matt. 8:11; Luke 13:28, 29; Heb. 12:23), consisting in mutual presence and the most agreeable conversations, and rendering of mutual honor joined with mutual love; and a most beautiful and magnificent abode.”

Two other questions here naturally follow: “(1) Whether the saints, therefore, will recognize each other in the life to come? (2) Whether the joy of life eternal will be clouded by the fact that the blessed will see many of their most intimate friends tortured in hell?” The first question, HFRFFR. answers (699): “Certainly. Because, the perfect image of God in which we have been created being restored, we will be endowed also with perfect wisdom and knowledge. Hence, if Adam, before the Fall, immediately recognized his rib as Eve, much more, in the life to come, when all these gifts will be far more perfect, we will recognize each other, Luke 16:23; Matt. 17:1.” The second, HUTT. (Comp. Th., 318) as follow: “Not at all, for the will of the blessed shall in all things concur with that of God. Such carnal affections, which are the sign of our weakness in this life, will entirely cease in the life to come, when our love will extend only to those who are beloved of God, and whom He has made heirs of everlasting life. But in the damned, they will supremely admire and eternally praise the exalted justice of God.”

[GRH. (XIX, 498): “God loved the human race far more ardently than in this life any parent can love his own son, because He gave His only begotten Son unto death for the world. Nevertheless, His happiness and joy are in no way disturbed by the sight of the damned, Prov. 1:26.”]

[9] GRH. (XX, 341): “By the name Heaven, that certain place (που) is to be understood, in which the blessed will see God, and perfectly enjoy the heavenly glory and pleasure, Matt. 5:12; 6:20; Luke 6:23; 12:33; 1 Pet. 1:4.”


[On the practical use of this doctrine, GRH. (XX, 528): “The doctrine concerning the Heaven of the blessed and eternal life is set forth in Holy Scripture, not that we may idly dispute as theorists, concerning the locality of Heaven, the beatific visiom, the properties of glorified bodies; but that, as practical men, considering the promised joys of eternal life every day, aye every hour, aye every moment, we may keep closely to the way leading thither, and carefully avoid all that can cause delay or recall us from entrance into life eternal. In 2 Cor. 4:18, the godly are well described by the Apostle as looking not at τα βλεπομενα, but at τα μη βλεπομενα. One of the ancients, who was asked what books he used in his daily studies, answered that he studied every day a book with three pages, one red, one black, one white; that on the red page he read of our Lord’s passion, on the black, the torments of the lost, on the white, the joys of the glorified; and that from this study he derived more profit, than if he were to ponder all the works of the philosophers.”]

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