Imatges de pÓgina
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power, wisdom, goodness, &c so in his 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. By his infinite goodness he has drawn them out of nothing; he has 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 from the dangers to which they were daily ex: posed; patiently borne with their insolence 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 wretches, 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 is, set before your eyes a poor sick man

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Onsider, first, the description which holy Job gives us of hell, Job. x. when he calls it a darksome land and 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 comfort3ble rays of light, not even the least glimpse, are ever seen. The very fire that burneth there 9 contrary to the matural property of that element, is black 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, what would you think, were you to be sentenced to pass the remainder 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 which the damned are sentenced! The Egyptians were in a sad condition, when for three days the whole king

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sole him, a good conscience to support him, a will resigned to the will of Gad, and, in fine, a certain knowledge that his pains must 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 brimstone, to which they are fastened, down with eternal 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 damnation, is a des pair of ever meeting with an end or abatement of their torments: 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 inerciless flames!

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Onsider, first, the description which holy Job gives us of hell Job, x. when he calls it a darksome land and 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 that burneth there, contrary to the natural property of that element, is black 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, what would you think, were you to be sentenced to pass the remainder 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 which the damned are sentenced ! The Egyptians were in a sad condition, when for three days the whole king

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dom was covered with dreadful dark-. caused by such gross exhalations, that they might even be felt by the hand. But this misery was soon over, and they were comforted by the return of light. Not so the damned in hell whose night shall never have a morning, or ever expect the dawning of the day!

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Consider, secondly, that the horror of this eternal night shall be beyond measure aggravated by the dismal music wherewith those poor wretches shall be for ever entertained in this melancholy abode; which shall be no other than the dreadful curses, blasphemies, and insulting voices of the tormentors, and the howlings, groans, and shrieks of the tormented, &c. And that the other senses may also partake in their share of misery, the smell shall be for ever regaled with the loathsome exhalations of those infernal dungeons, and the intolerable stench of half putrified carcases which are broiling there; the taste shall be oppressed with a most ravenous hunger and thirst, and the feeling with an insupportable fire. Consider, thirdly, that of all bodily

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