« AnteriorContinua »
eternal banishment! Who can express, who can conceive, what it is to be for ever separated from our God, cur first beginring and last end, our great and sovereign good! Ah! wretches who make so little account now of losing your God by mortal sin, what will you then think, when you shall be sentenced to this eternal banishment from him; doomed to seek him for all eternity, and yet never to meet him in any of his attributes, except his avenging justice, the weight of which you must feel for ever But take notice whither you are to go when you go from God. Alas! into everlasting fire, there to lead an ever dying life, there to endure a never-ending death, In the company of the devil and his angels; to whom you made yourselves slaves, and who shall now without controul exercise their tyranny over you for ever.
Consider, fourthly, that dreadful and universal curse which this just, but dismal sentence involves, Go from me, ye cursed, says the sovereign Judge÷ as if he should say, Go, depart from me, but take my curse with you. I would
would have given you my blessing, but you would not have it; a curse you have chosen, and a curse shall be your everlasting inheritance It shall stick close to you, like a garment, to all eternity; it shall enter into your very bowels, and search into the very marrow of your bones A curse upon your eyes, never to see the least glimpse of comfortable light: a curse upon your cars, to be entertained for all eternity with the frightful shrieks and groans of the damned: a curse on your taste, to be for ever embittered with the gall of dragons: a curse on your smell, to be always tormented with the noisome stench of the pit of hell: a curse on your feeling, and on all the members of your body, to burn and never consume in that fire which shall never be cuenched: a curse upon your understanding, never to be illustrated with any ray of truth : a curse upon your memory, to be always revolving in bitterness upon a late but fruitless repentance, the shortness and vanity of past pleasures: a curse upon your imagination, ever representing present and future miseries: a curse, E v upon
upon your will,obstinate in evil,torn in pieces with a thousand violent, and, withal, opposite desires, and unable to accomplish any of them: a curse, in fine, upon your whole soul, to be a bell to itself for all eternity! Good God let it never be our misfortune to incur this dreadful curse!
Consider, fifthly, how, after sentence given, the elect shall enter without delay into the possession of that everlasting kingdom, which God has prepared for those that serve him where sorrow can have no place, and joy no end. But as for the wicked. the earth shall immediately open and swallow them all down at once, with the devils who seduced them, into the bottomless pit; and the gate shall be shut, never, no nevar, more to be opened. Behold the end of all worldly pride: behold the end of all carnal pleasure. O how horrid a thing it is to fall into the hands of the living Gods Heb
holy that neither eye seen, nor ear heard, nor has it entered into the heart of man what God has prepared for those that serve him, I Cor. ii. 9.; so we may truly say with regard to hell's torments that no mortal tongue can express them,nor heart' conceive them. Beatitude, according to divines, is a perfect and never-ending state, comprising at once all that is good, without any mixture of evil. If then damnation be the opposite to beati tude, it must needs be a complication, an everlasting deluge of all that is evil, without the least mixture of good, the least alloy of ease, the least glimpse of comfort; a total privation of happiness, and a chaos of misery.
Consider, secondly, in a more particular manner, what damnation is, and how many and great are the miseries it involves. A dying life, or rather a Hving death; a darksome prison, a loathsome dungeon; a binding of hand and foot in eternal chains; a land of Horror and misery; a lake of fire and E vi brim
brimstone; a bottomless pit; devouring flames; a serpent ever gnawing; a worm never dying; a body always burning, and never consumed; a feeling always fresh for suffering; a thirst never extinguished; perpetual weeping, wailing, and gnashing of teeth. No other company but devils and damned wretches, all hating and cursing one another, all hating and cursing God; spirits always sick and in agony, yet never meeting with death which they so much desire; cast forth from the face of God into the land of oblivion, none to comfort, none to pity them; wounded to the heart with the sense of lost happiness, and oppressed with the feeling of present misery: and all these sufferings everlasting, without the least hope of end, intermission, or abatement. This is a short description, drawn for the most part from the unerring word of God, of the mi series which eternal damnation imports: this is that bitter cup of which all the sinners of the earth must drink. Psahım lxxiv.
Consider, thirdly, that God in all his attributes is infinite: as in his