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grace and mercy, and take him for the governor, and Satan is cast out; and then he establishes a firm and lasting peace. If, therefore, thou art yet but in that first peace, and thy heart was never yet either taken by storm, or delivered up freely to Jesus Christ, never think that thy peace will endure. Can the soul have peace which is at enmity with Christ, which thinks his government too severe, and his conditions too hard? What peace can there be, till thou hast cast away thy wickedness, and made thy peace with God through Christ? Read what God himself saith, "There is no peace to the wicked." And hath he said it; and shall it not stand? Sinner, though thou mayst now harden and fortify thy heart against fear, and grief, and trouble, yet as God is true, they will batter down thy proud and fortified spirit, and seize upon it, and drive thee to amazement.
IV. With their loss of heaven, they will lose all their carnal mirth. They will themselves say, as Solomon does, of their laughter, "It is mad ;" and of their mirth, "What doeth it ?" Their witty jests will then be ended, and their merry tales all told. "Their mirth was but as the crackling of thorns under a pot." It made a great blaze and unseemly noise for a little while, but it was presently gone, and will return no more. They scorned to entertain any serious thoughts; to talk of death and judgment was irksome to them, because it damped their mirth; they could not endure to think of their sin or danger, because these thoughts did sadden their spirits. They knew not what it was to weep for sin, or to humble themselves under the mighty hand of God. They could laugh away sorrow, and sing away cares, and drive away melancholy thoughts. They thought, if they should meditate, and pray, and mourn, as the godly do, their lives would be a continual misery, and it would be enough to make them run mad. Alas, poor souls, what a misery then will that life be, where you shall have nothing but sorrow, intense, heart-piercing, multiplied sorrow; where you shall have neither the joys of the saints, nor your own former joys? Do you think
there is one merry heart in hell, or one joyful countenance, or jesting tongue? You now cry, "A little mirth is worth much sorrow;" but surely a little godly sorrow, which would have ended in eternal joy, had been of more worth than a great deal of your foolish mirth, which will end in eternal sorrow.
V. They will lose all their sensual pleasures and delights. That which they esteemed their chief good, their heaven, their god, that they must lose as well as heaven and God himself. They shall then, in spite of themselves, fulfil that command, which here they would not be persuaded to obey," Make no provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof." O! what a fall will the proud ambitious man have from the top of his honours! As his dust and bones will not be known from the dust and bones of the poorest beggars, so neither will his soul be honoured or favoured any more than theirs. How many of the great, and rich, and noble, and learned, will be for ever shut out from the presence of Christ! "Not many wise men after the flesh," says Paul, "not many mighty, not many noble are called ;" and if they be not called, neither will they be glorified. They shall be shut out of their magnificent and sumptuous buildings, their elegant chambers, with their costly hangings, their downy beds, and easy couches. They shall no longer enjoy their spacious walks, their curious gardens, adorned with rich variety of beauteous fruits and flowers; their rich pastures, and pleasant meadows, and plenteous harvests, and flocks and herds. Their tables will no longer be spread and furnished with variety of tempting dishes, to please their appetites to the full. The rich man there fares not deliciously, neither shall he wear his purple and fine linen. The gorgeous well-drest gallants, shall then be in quite a different garb. Surely our voluptuous youths must leave behind them their cards and dice, their theatres and balls, and all their former pleasant sports;-they shall then spend their time, not in such pastimes as these, but in more sad employment. Oh! the doleful meeting that lustful wantons will have with each
other in hell! There they will have no more comfort in each other's company, than lewd companions have in being hanged together on the same gallows. How will it even cut them to the heart, to look each other in the face, and remember the sensual pleasures for which they now must pay so dear! What direful greeting will there then be! What cursing the day that ever they saw the faces of one another, remembering all their lewdness, to the aggravation of their torment! O that sinners would consider this in the midst of their jollity and pleasure. Who would spend so many days and years, and be at so much cost and pains, and all to please the flesh for a moment, and, in the mean time, neglect their precious souls, and that state in which they must exist for ever? Who would be at such pains for that pleasure which dies in the enjoying, and is gone almost as soon as come; and when we have most need of comfort, will be so far from following us as our happiness, that it will be perpetual fuel to the flames which shall torment us?
The Greatness of the Torments of the Damned in Hell.
HAVING thus showed you how great their loss is, who are excluded from the heavenly rest, and how it will be aggravated by those additional losses which will accompany it, I shall next show you the greatness of those positive sufferings which they will have to endure. That there are, besides the loss of happiness, actual sensible torments for the damned, is a matter beyond all doubt; and that they will be exceedingly great, will appear by the following arguments.
I. The principal author of them is God himself. As it was no less than God whom the sinner had offended, so it is no less than God who will punish them for their offences. He has prepared torments for his enemies. The breath of his indignation will
kindle the flames. His continued anger will be ever devouring them. O! if it were but a creature with whom they had to do, they might hear it; for the penalty would correspond with the infirmity of him that inflicted it. But woe to them that fall under the strokes of the Almighty! They shall feel to their sorrow, that "it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God." It were nothing in comparison of this, if all the world were against them, or if the strength of all the creatures were united to inflict the penalty. They had now rather venture on the displeasure of God, than displease a landlord, a master, a friend, a neighbour, or their own flesh; but then they will wish a thousand times in vain, that they had lost the favour of all the world, and been hated of all men, provided they had not lost the favour of God; for as there is no life like his favour, so there is no death like his displeasure. O what a consuming fire is his wrath! If it be kindled here, and that but a little, how do we wither before it, "as the grass that is cut down before the sun!" How soon does our strength turn to weakness, and our beauty to deformity! Churches are rooted up, commonwealths are overthrown, kingdoms depopulated, armies destroyed. Who, in short, can stand before his indignation? Even the "heavens and the earth will melt at his presence ;" and when he speaks the word, at the great day of account, they will be burnt up before him as a scroll in the fire. The flames do not so easily run through the dry stubble, as the wrath of God will feed upon poor sinners. O! they that could not bear a prison, or a gibbet, or fire for Christ,-no, nor scarcely even a few taunts from the mouths of the ignorant,how will they now bear the devouring fire of his anger!
II. The state of torment is purposely ordained for the glorifying of the attribute of God's justice. The glorifying of the two great attributes of mercy and justice, is intended most eminently for the life to come. When God will then purposely glorify his mercy, he will do it in a way that is now incredible, and beyond
the comprehension of the saints who will enjoy it; so also, when he shall then purposely manifest his justice, it will appear indeed to be the justice of God. The everlasting flames of hell will not be thought too hot for rebellious sinners. Oh, woe to the soul that is thus set up as a mark, for the wrath of the Almighty to shoot at; and as a bush that must burn in the flames of his jealousy, yet never be consumed!
1II. The torments of the damned must needs be extreme, because they are the effect of Divine vengeance. Then will he be avenged for every mercy abused, for his creatures consumed in luxury and excess, for every hour of mis-spent time, for the neglect of his word, for the profanation of his ordinances, and the neglect of his worship, for the breaking of his Sabbaths, and the grieving of his Spirit, for the taking of his name in vain, for unmerciful neglect of his servants in distress.
What a doleful case will the wretched creature be in, when he shall thus set the heart of his Creator against him; when "he that made him will not have mercy on him; and he that formed him will show him no favour." How overwhelming a threatening is that in the Book of Proverbs, "Because I have called, and ye refused, I have stretched out my hand, and no man regarded; but ye have set at nought all my counsel, and would none of my reproof, I also will laugh at your calamity, and mock when your fear cometh; when your fear cometh as desolation, and your destruction cometh as a whirlwind; when distress and anguish cometh upon you. Then shall they call upon me, but I will not answer; they shall seek me early, but they shall not find me; for that they hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of, the Lord: they would none of my counsel, they despised all my reproof. Therefore shall they eat of the fruit of their own way, and be filled with their own devices." Oh!
will it not be a terrible thing to wretched souls when they shall cry out for mercy, yea, for one drop of water, and God shall mock them instead of relieving them? I know when the Scripture speaks of God's