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lukewarmness in the pursuit of immortal honour and eternal gain. In short, this long-neglected, and now implacably revengeful power, perpetually holds out to their view the glass of God's holy law, which confounds and torments them with a discovery of their filthiness and deformity. Look which way they will, their sins, the offspring of their folly, summoned by conscience, in all their number and aggravations, drest in the most frightful forms, and armed with the most dreadful instruments of torture, stare them in the face with looks of vengeance, and fly upon them with insatiable fury. Thus, like an infernal fiend, she lashes their souls with whips and scorpions, while as a worm she gnaws and consumes their inwards, or like an hungry vulture, preys upon and devours their undecaying vitals.
6. And if the rational faculties, the most noble of our nature, are thus busy in executing upon them the indignation and wrath of an offended God, for their depravation and abuse of those faculties, surely the inferior powers, which are but servants to the superior, will not be suffered to remain unemployed.-The passions have a considerable share in this work of vengeance assigned them, and that justly, for they bear a chief part in soliciting man to sin. Indeed some of the passions which imply happiness in their very nature, such as esteem, and hope, and joy, never visit these dreary regions, but take up their abode in purer climes, and under the influence of a milder sky. But all those which sin hath debauched and made pregnant with wo, are banished to those inhospitable realms, far from the dwellings of light and liberty, where they are continually employed in digging deep into mines of misery, and forming of hellish metal instruments of punishment, wherewith to torture damned spirits.
Thus those unhappy creatures feel insatiable desires after objects infinitely and eternally removed from them, while to objects ever present and before them, they have an unspeakable hatred, and an unconquerable aversion. A deluge of remediless sorrow perpetually overwhelms them on account of the torment they already suffer; but, as if they suffered nothing in comparison of what was yet to come, they are ever terrified with the most dreadful fear of unknown waves of wo, which they see continually rising in tremendous mountains, one behind another, and ready to burst upon their hopeless souls with a fresh flood of affliction!
8. And, ah! what do they suffer from the mortification of their pride, and the everlasting shame and contempt wherewith they are loaded! Proud as Lucifer, they deemed themselves worthy of the
highest dignity, when, behold, they are sunk to the lowest point of degradation, and are only noticed to be hissed and despised. Hence they fret, rave, and tear; they swell with resentment and rage towards God and one another. The rancour which boils in their breasts vents itself in revengeful looks, horrid imprecations, and impotent efforts of disappointed cruelty. Discontent, restless and impatient; anger, loud and boisterous; envy, pale and ghastly; malice, implacable and fierce; in short, all the passions (capable of misery) like so many dogs of hell, let loose and enraged, at the beck of the prince of darkness and his malicious crew, with infernal howling, and barking rage, surround, attack, and rend their wretched souls, crying out for help in vain, with piteous wailings and loud laments! Such is
"Wo's wide empire, where deep troubles toss,
And threat'ning fate wide opens to devour."
9. What hath hitherto been said, refers only to the misery arising from the abused and corrupted faculties of their souls; but I must not forget to mention, on this occasion, the sufferings peculiar to the bodies, wherewith the wicked will be punished at the morn. ing of the resurrection. And here, to say nothing of that fiery lake, to the bottom of which they will be chained by despised mercy, converted into inexorable wrath, and which surrounds their whole body with its scorching flames, and insinuates itself "like water into their bowels, and like oil into their bones." All their senses, which were formerly excitements to lust and inlets to sin, together with all their members, employed on earth as instruments of iniquity, are now, by the appointment of infinite justice, become inlets to misery, and instruments of punishment. Their eyes, accustomed to behold scenes of pleasure and objects of delight, are now terrified with the sight of hideous forms and frightful shapes. Their ears, wont to be entertained with wanton songs and melodious music, are now shocked with doleful groans, lamentable shrieks, and horrible howlings. Their nostrils, formerly revived with fragrant odours and rich perfumes, are now offended with the intolerable stench of sulphur and rottenness; while their taste, used to be regaled with the most generous wines and richest dainties, is now tormented with the nauseousness of brimstone and putrefaction. In the meantime, their hands, their feet, their heads, their
hearts, their whole, body, in short, with all its members, shares in the wo, and contributes to the punishment of these miserable wretches. Thus
"All those powers heaven gave them to supply
10. Such is the destruction wherewith Christ, when he cometh, will recompense those who know not God, and obey not the gospel. I mean, this is a faint picture of it. For as to their misery itself, so far have I been, while attempting to describe it, from dipping my pencil in too deep colours, that the whole creation affords none deep enough to represent a thousandth part of its greatness. For eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither hath it entered into the heart of man to conceive what God hath prepared for those who love him ;" so the same may we affirm concerning the torments reserved for those who hate him."Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither hath it entered into the heart of man to conceive" these: our most enlarged conceptions fall far short of them. However, we see enough of them, (one would suppose) to awaken our fear, and arm our souls with watchful care to avoid them.
This is the end I have had in view, in discoursing on this disagreeable subject. I mean hereby, through the grace of God, to prevent your ever sharing these unknown sufferings, and proving, to your eternal sorrow, how vastly my description falls short of their reality. And that I may not miss my aim, I beg leave to address you a moment by way of application and improvement, before I conclude.
And, 1st. Let me entreat you to recollect what has been proved, and to remember, that while " you know not God, and obey not the gospel," you are perpetually liable to all the unknown and unfathomable horrors of this misery. Yes, this great gulf which Christ and his apostles have unveiled to your view, and advised you to cast a look towards, before you plunge headlong into it; this abyss of misery, beneath your very feet, as it were,
"Expands its jaws, how dreadful to survey!
And roars outrageous for its destin'd prey."
Ah, my friends; be not so childish as to think the bare shutting your eyes against its dismal gloom, pierced with shafted lightning, and streaked with spiry flames, will make it cease to exist, prevent your falling into it, or render it in any degree the more tolerable. As well might you think to extinguish the sun by closing your eyes, or to avoid a cannon-ball by looking another way. You may indeed turn away your sight from this perdition, fix your attention on some more agreeable subject, and so avoid the present pain which such reflections might produce. But alas! you will gain little by this; for to shun the consideration of this misery now, is the way to continue in sin, and suffer it eternally hereafter.
2. And wilt thou then shut thine eyes, and leap wilfully and obstinately into ruin? Ah, sinner, think what thou dost! And hast thou then counted the cost? Canst thou indeed bear this devouring fire, which yet will not consume thee? Canst thou dwell with these everlasting burnings, for which thou wilt be the everlasting fuel, where
"Thy torment must transcend
The reach of time, despair a distant end,
With dreadful growth shoot forward and arise
Where thought can't follow, and bold fancy dies."
Poor, unhappy wretch! how infatuated must thou be!--If thy mind were not blinded by the god of this world, and thy very senses drenched in sensuality, and stupified by the opiates of sin; if thou hast any power of discerning or feeling left, I would ask thee how thou couldst bear to be suddenly stript of all thy earthly possessions, totally deserted of all thy friends, arrested by merciless creditors, confined in a dark dungeon, loaded with heavy irons; and in this condition, starving with hunger and cold, and destitute of every necessary accommodation and attendance, to be visited with torturing pain or some loathsome disease? Surely thou hast love enough for thy money, thy credit, thy friends, thy liberty, thy health, and in fine, thy life, to see that all these calamities befalling thee at once, would be indeed intolerable, to thee (at least) who hast no interest in God and heaven. But surely thou dost not think that all these calamities put together, and ten thousand times more and greater, can give an adequate representation of that doleful place, which infinite wisdom hath contrived, almighty power prepared, and inexorable justice destined for the punishment of incorrigible transgressors?
Believe me, all the evils thou hast ever beheld with thine eyes, heard with thine ears, or conceived in thy heart, nay, all that thou couldst ever conceive, if thou wert to spend an eternity in doing nothing else, but devising forms of wo and changes of misery, if all collected together, and appointed to befall thy wretched self in one moment of time, would not furnish thee with an adequate idea of that future and everlasting rain, in which (if thy speedy repentance prevent not) thou must, ere long, lift up thy ghastly eyes, begging in vain for a drop of water to cool thy tongue, because thou wilt be tormented in that flame.-And then, Eternity! Eternity! ah, to spend a never-ending eternity in such anguish! To be "ages and ages, and succeeding still new ages," in that lake of fire, burning with brimstone, and after millions of ages are past and gone, still to have the wretched consolation of knowing that thy misery is no nearer an end, but all, as it were, to begin again! Ah! who can bear even to think of this! The very thought of such wo is enough to make one's blood run chill, and fill one's soul with horror! It is enough to make one's head giddy with fear, to look down that dark and fiery pit into which poor sinners are perpetually plunging, blinded and insensible, till the penetrating fire makes them feel, and the glaring flames of Tophet open their eyes to behold themselves undone for ever!
4. Ah! flee, sinner! flee from the wrath to come!-But stay, and first falling down on thy knees, solemnly praise God, that it is not yet too late. Thank him from thy inmost soul, that he has not yet cut thee down, and assigned thee thy portion in this place of torment! But oh! dare not, at the peril of thy soul, tempt his longsuffering any longer!-Do not persist to provoke that fierce and almighty wrath which thy sins have already kindled against thee, and which (had not the precious blood of Christ been poured upon the flame) would long, ere now, have utterly consumed thy unholy soul, and made thee a monument of vengeance to others! Do not, I say, persist to provoke an holy God, lest Christ should cease to interpose, and fiery indignation should, in an instant, blast all thy hopes, and devour thee as his adversary! Consider how many years he has already interceded for thy barren soul, "Let him alone this year also." But alas! hitherto he has prevailed in vain for thy reprieve, for to this day thou hast borne no good fruit. Still, still thou art only a cumberer of the ground! And who knows whether he has not already put up the last prayer for thee, and commissioned me, by these terrors of the Almighty, to dig for the last time about thy roots!If thou bear fruit, it is well, but if not, if even