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thee to make thy distress too terrible for thee to bear. •Besidesgo let fel be remembered, that whatsoever tendencies toward piety, or appearances of goodness, might be found with thee in this world, all these will vanish and be lost, when once thy day of grace is finished, and all the means of grace and salvation are! ended for ever. If thou hast refused the proposals of mercy, and continued in thy sins without repentance, and liast never accepted the salvation of Christ while it was offered, all the good that thou seemed to have shall be taken from thee Mat. XXV. 29. or rather thy heart itself will grow more hard, thy will more obstinate against God, and every evil passion will rise and prevail, and make thee perhaps as very a devild as thy companions in guilt and misery. It is for those who would not part with their beloved sins, which were as dear as right-hands, or as right-eyes, that the never-dying worm and I the unquenchable fire are prepared, as the context itself in forms us in this place.

ja 1982 rozdizaori ai 31. - And as the worm of conscience even for lesser sins, will gnaw thy heart with intense anguish, so the vengeance of divine fire will torment thee with exquisite pain, though thy pain and thy anguish shall not be equal to what greater criminals endure. I But it is wise and kind in the blessed God to denounce the terrors and sanctions of his law in their utmost severity, to guard his law the better against every transgression, and to frighten and secure his creatures from sin and punishment. bloods

** Trifle not therefore, O sinner with the means of mercy, or and venture not upon little sins, in hope of little misery, nors dare to continue in an impenitent state without God, without Christ and his salvation, upon a foolish presumption that thy sins3 are but small, and thy punishment shall be less than others : '11 For the least of those sorrows will be found greater than any mortal creature can bear, and therefore thou shalt be made im-do mortal to suffer them. 21341) iogge oldtiOval Otom bag nisboia via

It is granted, there are many mansions in hell, as well as in heaven, but as the lowest mansion is heaven is happiness, so the easiest place in hell is misery. There is another objection arises here, which it is necessary to give some answer to ; viz, If the punishments of liell are so intense and terrible between * the worm of conscience, the fire of God's anger, and the ma2103 ecstasy and madness it will take away all the regular exercise 2)

natural powers, it will render us perhaps inere passively miserable beings, of keen sensatious without reasoningen This A is certain, that such and so various fortures would have that is influence upon our natures at present, and wisy should it not it hereafter? And will the blessed God continue to punish creatures when their reason is lost! What can such punishments avail?


mahtiI answer, surely God will not continue to punish madmen; therefore none of these torments shall extinguish our reason, or destroy our intellectual powers; for it is as creatures of reason and free willitliat sinners are thus punished, and therefore these powers must remain in their proper exercise ; besides the very operations of these powers in self-condemnation, and self-up braiding, are part of their punishment. But whether God will so fortify the natures of the damned, whicla-probably shall not be made of flesh and blood, and enable them to bear sucla intense pain without distraction, or whether the highest extremes of their torment shall only be inflicted at some certain periods or intervals, 80 that they shall soon return to their reasoning powers again, with bitter remembrance of what passed, this matter is hard to determine ; and because it is unwritten and unrevealed, I am silent. But it still remains that punishment shall be so intense and severe, as becomes a God of holiness and justice to infliet on rebellious and obstinate creatures.

Sect. III.-Reflections on the nature of these punishments. It is time now that we should proceed to form some special reflections on the nature of the punishments of hell, such as they have been described in the foregoing discourse. The first is this, “What dreadful and unknowo evil is contained in the nature of sin which grows up into such misery, which breeds this stinging worm in the conscience, which prepares the creature for such fiery torments, and which provokes a God to inflict them to The vessels of wrath have prepared themselves for it; as the apostle intimates, by their own sios ; Rom. ix. 22. they are fitted for destruction : Nor does all the intense and infinite anguish of this punishment exceed the desert of our sins. , The great God in a way of bounty, may often bestow upon us vastly beyond what our little services can ever pretend to bave deseryed, but he never punishes beyond our deserts.

bb “What a dangerous and pernicious mistake is it in the children of men to sport with sin, as with a harmless thing. It is much safer sporting with a poisonous serpent, or with burning fire-brands. The serpent has many gay and pleasing colours on its iskin, and appears a very chiariping creature, which tempts children and fools to play with it. And the same ignorance in clines them sometimes i to sport with fire, because of its shining brightness And till they are burned with the fire, or bit by the serpent, they will not forsake their foolish choice, nor beiconwinced of their danger: Such is the case and temper of sipfud mortals : Their šepses indulge the pleasing flatteries of sin, land are fond of its tempting amusements, till they feel the smart of the fire raging in their bosons, and the adder stings them to death. Thus the wise man describes thu flatteries of wine in the view of the drunkard, Proy, xxii. 31, 32. But the same wise man pronounces every one a fool that makes a miock-at- sin, or trifles with so formidable a mischief; Prov. xiv. 9. !

“ How vaid are the gay fancies of sinful men in the hour of temptation, and how shocking and dreadful will be their dist appointment! They think the descriptions of sir which are blown up and kindled into such terror by the lips of the preacher are but as mock-fire which never burns; but the great day of vengeance which makes haste toward them, will terribly and eternally convince them of the fatal mischief of it by the rarious plagues that shall seize upon them. The living worm shall gnáty their consciences, and the fire of God will torment their spirits, and spread a raging anguish through their whole natares; and every twinging accent of their pain shall teach thein, but will å terrible and hopeless conviction, what anspeakable evil is contained io siņ. They will then find what a fearful thing it is to fall into the hands of the living God, who has a right, and power, and will to punish ; Heb. x. 31.

“ O that each of us might arrive at this holy wisdom, to learn the dreadful evil of sin from this bible, this book of the divine law and grace, and not provoke the blessed God to teach us so necessary a lesson by the rod of his vetgearice! Otliat we could look upon every unlawful action, and particularly every sin against conscience, as the seed of that worm which will graw our soals in hell with intense pain, as part of that fuel which is kindling into a flame to torment our consciences for ever, and that under the powerful influences of these representations of sin we might fly to the utmost distance from it with horror, and make our safe escape.”

II. If the punishments of hell, appointed by the blessed Goit, carry so much terror in them, “how much inistaken are the sin, ful children of men in the ideas which they form of the great and blessed God?" This representation of the vengeance of the Lord in hell may be of use to refute such mistaken opinions. Some bave framed a God for thencselves"; not such as t/wells in the heavens, not such as he has described himself in huis word, but their vain jinagination has raised up an idol madle of mere goodness and mercy, without holiness and justice: It is their own self-love which forms this idle and foolish image of the God that made them, because they do not like to think of falling under the terror of his power. They venture to affront him to his face, they dare him to vengeance; and as the writer of the book of Job. expresses it, they stretch out their hands against God, they strengthen themselves ogainst the Almighly, they run upon him with insolence, and venture upon the thick bosses of his buckler; Job xv, 25, 26. There are multitudes in our day tlaat are arrived at such a dreadful height of impiety, as to call apon beim for the damnation of themselves, as well as of their friends, in sport and merriment. They will not believe that the blessed God will ever be found so severe and formidable as preachers' describe him: And because judgment is not speedily executed against the men of iniquity, iherefore the sons of men have their hear's set in them to do mischief; Ec. viii. 11. Madness is in their hearts, chapter ix. 3. Because God delays his indignation they will not believe he has any belonging to him, notwithstanding all the terrible words by which he is represented by the prophets, the apostles, and the Son of God himself: And while they rush boldly on those crimes which God has severely forbidden, they are ready to think God is just such an one as themselves, regardless of virtue and government ; Ps. I. 21. And because they make nothing of sin, they imagine God will make nothing of it.

O that the sons of men would once learn to know God bet. ter, for there are many who have not the true knowledge of God, I speak it to their shame, when they faucy he is all made up of gentleness and forbearance, without holiness and justice ! I Cor. xv. 34. Alas, Sirs, these attributes are as necessary in a God as grace and compassion : He is and he must be a wise, a righteous Governor of the world ; and his wisdom requires that impenitent sinners should be punished, to secure the honour of bis law, and to guard his gospel from contempt**These awful perfections of the blessed God are as necessary to vindicate lis authority and his government from insult and rebellion, as his goodness is needful to encourage sinful creatures to repent and return to their duty. The word of God expressly tells us, he is a God of holiness and consuming fire ; Heb. xii. 29. but there is many a sinner that will never learn this lesson till the torments of hell teach it him by dismal experience. They have trifled with his majesty, and mocked at his threatenings all their life, till at the moment of death he awakes like a lion, and tears their spirits with everlasting anguish.

I might take notice also in this place, that there is another mistaken notion of God, into which some persons bave anbappily fallen, as "though God were the cause and author of sin, and have spoken unadvisedly with their lips, in such language as borders too near upon blasphemy. But it is evident, that a God, who will punish the sins of men with sach intense pain and torment, can never be su inconsistent with himself as to be the

* A'Governor made up of these pooddess and mercy could be no Governor aballed for it is absurd to call that a goverom nt, where every suject paydo what iniquity, and mischief be pleases with impunily... The laws of soll A&P98 veromeol would cease to be lars, and become mese rules and directions for licno, wbich every one miglit observe or not, just according tn this inclinationis trat it became the wisdom of God to threaten otteudes,bot-chah is goodusk wille interpose in the cod and binder the punishmeni, is to say, that G dis nou is, for it be were he would certainly have taken care not lo let bose mea iolo tie secret. Bishop loris's Seimops, page 515,

author or cause of those sins. [t is granted, that his universal providence has a concern in every thing that is transacted among men ;

but since he has informed us in what a dreadful manner he will execute his vengeance against sinners in the world to come, it is insolence and indignity against the blessed God to represent him as introducing sin into our world. Let God be true, though every man be a liar ; Rom. iii. 4. let God be pure, and rightoous, and holy, though every man be found guilty and criminal: otherwise how shall God judge the world ? verse 6. How can he inflict such torments on rebellious creatures, if he constrain or influence them to practise this rebellion ? All opinions there, fore, that allow of such an inference, as thougli “God were the author of sin,” must be pronounced false and pernicious to men, as well as injurious to the justice of God; for these no. tions throw a vile imputation on the blessed God, and charge him with heinous insincerity, to forbid the commission of sin by all these terrors, and yet suppose him to influence men to the practice of them.

III.“ How reasonable is it for us to believe, that such a bell as I have described is prepared for impenitent sioners, since there are so many appearances of the beginnings of it here on earth," so many indications and signs, and forerunners of such misery and torment inflicted on sinful meu : Survey the remarkable executions of God's judgments on the world in several ages and nations ; look back to our first parents, who were thrust out of paradise, the garden of pleasure, and banished from the gates of it for ever, upon the account of the first sin, and the entrance of it was guarded by a flaming sword to forbid their return. Behold the flood of watry vengeance in the days of Noah breaking up from the vast caverus of the earth, and pouring down from the windows of heaven to punish sin : Deep calls ünlo deep; Ps. xlii. 7. in the tremendous noise of these water spouts, which spread death and desolation over the face of the whole earth, because all flesh had sinned against God their Creator. Turn your eyes to Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities of the plain, suffering the vengeance of heaven with lightniog and devouring fire bursting from the clouds to punish the unuatural crimes of that country ; Gen. xix. 24, 25. See the fiery flying serpents, as the messengers of divine anger, to punish the rebellion of the Israelites in the wilderness : Mark what multitudes in the camp of Israel received their mortal sting, and were given up to destruction and death. Numb. xxi. 6. Cast your eyes abroad over the nations, and what records have we of all former ages, which do not manifest the vengeance of God pursuing the iniquities of men, by wars, and famines, and pestilences, and every thing that is bitter and dreadful to buman nature? Sce Jerusalem, the city of God all in flames, and the

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