Catechism


Q. But why might not the ungodly be
punished with this punishment in this world,that we might have seen it and believe?
A. Ifthe ungodly should with punishment have been rewarded in this world, it would in all probability have overthrown the whole order
that God hath settled here among men. For who could have endured here to have seen the flames of fire, to have heard the groans, and to have seen the tears, perhaps, of damned
relations, as parents or children? Therefore as Tophet of old was without the city, and as the
gallows and gibbets are built without the towns; so Christ hath ordered that they who are to be punished with this kind of torment, shall be taken away: ‘Take him away,’ saith he (out of this world) ‘and cast him into outer
darkness,’ and let him have his punishment there ‘there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth’ (Matt 22:13). Besides, faith is not to be
wrought by looking into hell, and seeing thedamned tormented before our eyes, but by ‘hearing the word of God’ (Rom 10:17). For he that shall not believe Moses and the prophets, will not be persuaded should one come from the dead, yea should one come to them in flames to persuade them (Luke 16:27-31).

Q. Are there degrees of torments in hell?
A. Yes, for God will reward every one according to their works. ‘Wo unto the wicked, it shall be ill with him, for the reward of his hands shall
be given him’ (Isa 3:11).

Q. Who are like to be most punished there, men or children?
A. The punishment in hell comes not upon sinners according to age, but sin; so that whether they be men or children, the greater sin, the greater punishment; ‘For there is no respect of persons with God’ (Rom2:11).

Q. How do you distinguish between great sins and little ones?

A. By their nature, and by the circumstances that attend them.

Q. What do you mean by their nature?

A. I mean when they are very gross in themselves (2 Chron 33:2; Eze 16:42).

Advertisements