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in holy writ, that neither ее har seen, nor ear heard, nor has it entered into the heart of nian what God hus 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 beatitude , it must needs be a coinplication, 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 maily and great are the iniseries it involver. A dying life', or rather a Hiving death; a darksomme prison , a Inathsome dungeon ; a binding of Kand ant foot in eternal' chains ; a land'of korror atid misery; a lake of fire and E vi
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 goashing 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 cblivion, none to confort , none to pisy 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, interinission, or abatement. This is a short deseriptjon, drawn for the most part from the unerring word of God, of the miseries which eternal damnation imports: this is that bitter cup of which all the sinners of the carth inust drink. Psalın Jxxiv.
Consider, thirdly, that God in all, his attributes is infinite : as in his
power, wisdom , goodness , &c so in bis avenging justice also. He is a God as much in hell as in heaven : so that by the greatness of his love , mercy and patience here, we may measure the greatness of his future wrath and vengeance against impenitent sinners hereafter. Ky his infinite goodness he has drawn them out of nothing; he bas preserved and sustained them for a long time
he has even come down from his throne of glory, and suffered himself to be nailed to a disgraceful, cross for their eternal salvation : he has frequently delivered them froin the dangers to which they were daily ex: posed; patiently borne with their in. solence and repeated treasons; still gra, ciously inviting them to repentance. Ah ! how justly does his patience, so long abused , turn at length into fury ! Mercy at last gives place to justice : and a thousand woes to those wret. ches , that must for ever feel the dread ful weight of the avenging hand of the living God!
Consider , fourthly, and in order to understand something better what hell isset before your eyes a poor sick man
On the exterior Pains of Hell.
Onsider, first, the description
Job, X. when he calls it a darksome lond aiod covered with the obscurity of death ; a country of misery and darkness, where no order , but everlasting horror dwells. In this gloomy region , no sun, moon, or stars appear ; no comfortable rays of light, not even the least glimpse , are ever seen. The very
fire flat burnetb there, contrary to the matural property of that element, is bla k and darksome, and affords no light to the wretches it torments , except it be to discover to them such objects as may increase their misery. Christians , wliat would you think, were you to be sentenced to pass the reinainder of your days in some
horrid dungeon , or deep hole under ground, where you could never see the light! Would not death itself be preferable to such a punishment ? And what is this, when compared to that eternal night to wbich the damned are sentenced ! The Egyptians were in a sad condition, when for three days the whole king
sole him, a good conscience to sup. port him, a will resigned to the will of God, and, in fine, a certain knowledge that his pains inust shortly abate, or put an end to his life. But the damned have nothing of all this. Their bed in hell is a lake or pit burning with fire and brirastone , to which they are fastened, down with eternak chains : their companions are merciless devils, or what will be to thein worse than devils, the unhappy partners of their sins: their conscience is ever gnawed with the worm that never dies : their will is averse from God', and continually struggling in vain with his divine will : and what comes in to complete their daination, is a des pair of ever meeting with an endios abatement of their torment's Good God! what would not a prudent' man do to prevent the lying but for one night in torments in this life? And where then is our faith and reason', when we will do so little for escaping the dreadful night of hell's inercilass fames