by William Perkins
a discourse detailing the nature, variations, and types of death; as well as the appropriate way to meet death
Updated to Modern English
For the first point, death is the loss of life as a punishment decreed by God and inflicted on humanity due to its sin. Firstly, it is a loss of life because the very essence of death is the absence or lack of the life that God bestowed upon humans at creation. I would add that death is a punishment to clarify its nature and character, and to highlight that it was ordained as an instrument of God's justice and judgement. Paul distinctly asserts that death is a punishment when he says that sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin. Furthermore, he says that death is the recompense, or wages, of sin. In any punishment, there are three agents: the one who ordains it, the one who procures it, and the one who carries it out. God is the ordainer of this punishment, having established it during the era of human innocence, with the law "In the day that you eat of it, you shall surely die" (Genesis 2:17).
However, one might argue against this, pointing out that the Lord says through the Prophet Ezekiel that He takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked, and therefore He could not have ordained death. The reply to this can be made in various ways. Firstly, the Lord is not speaking to or about all people, but to His chosen people, the Jewish nation. Secondly, the words are not spoken absolutely, but comparatively, indicating that He prefers the repentance and conversion of a sinner over their death and destruction. Thirdly, the accurate meaning of the words suggests that God does not relish the death of a sinner, as it signifies the ruin and destruction of the creature. However, none of this prevents God, in a different context and consideration, from both willing and ordaining death as a fitting and deserved punishment, serving the execution of justice; in which God is as good as He is in His mercy.
Table of Contents
To the Esteemed and virtuous Lady
A Salve for a Sick Man