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thou be not convinced, wait but a little while, and thou wilt be convinced : God will undertake to do the work which ministers cannot do.-Though judgment against thine evil works be not yet executed, and God now let thee alone, yet he will soon come upon thee with his great power, and then thou shalt know what God is, and what thou art.

Flatter not thyself, that if these things shall prove true, and the worst sball come, thou wilt set thyself to bear it as well as thou canst. What will it signify to set thyself to bear, and to collect thy strength to support thyself, when thou shalt fall into the hands of that omnipotent King, Jehovah? He that made thee, can make his sword approach unto thee. His sword is not the sword of man, nor is his wrath the wrath of man. If it were, possibly stoutness might be maintained under it. But it is the fierceness of the wrath of the great God, who is able to baffle and dissipate all thy strength in a moment. He can fill thy poor soul with an ocean of wrath, a deluge of fire and brimstone; or he can make it ten thousand times fuller of torment than ever an oven was full of fire; and at the same time, can fill it with despair of ever seeing any end to its torment, or any rest from its misery: and then where will be thy strength? What will become of thy courage then? What will signify thine attempts to bear?

What art thou in the hands of the great God, who made heaven and earth by speaking a word? What art thou, when dealt with by that strength, which manages all this vast universe, holds the globe of the earth, directs all the motions of the heavenly bodies from age to age, and, when the fixed time shall come, will shake all to pieces ?–There are other wicked beings a thousand times stronger than thou: there are the great leviathans, strong and proud spirits, of a gigantic stoutness and hardiness. But how little are they in the hands of the great God! They are less than weak infants; they are nothing, and less than nothing in the hands of an angry God, as will appear at the day of judgment. Their hearts will be broken ; they will sink; they will have no strength nor courage left; they will be as weak as water; their souls will sink down into an infinite gloom, an abyss of death and despair.—Then what will become of thee, a poor worm, when thou shalt fall into the hands of that God, when he shall come to show his wrath, and make his power known on thee?

If the strength of all the wicked men on earth, and of all the devils in hell, were united in one, and thou wert possessed of it all; and if the courage, greatness, and stoutness of all their hearts were united in thy single heart, thou wouldst be nothing in the hands of Jehovah. If it were all collected, and thou shouldst set thyself to bear as well as thou couldst, all would sink under his great wrath in an instant, and would be utterly abolished : thine hands would drop down at once and thine heart would melt as wax.— The great mountains, the firm rocks, cannot stand before the power of God; as fast as they stand, they are tossed hither and thither, and skip like lambs, when God appears in his anger. He can tear the earth in pieces in a moment; yea, he can shatter the whole universe, and dash it to pieces at one blow. How then will thine hands be strong, or thine heart endure ?

Thou canst not stand before a lion of the forest; an angry wild beast, if stirred up, will easily tear such a one as thou art in pieces

. Yea, not only so, but thou art crushed before the moth. A very little thing, a little worm or spider, or some such insect, is able to kill thee. What then canst thou do in the hands of God? It is vain to set the briers and thorns in battle array against glowing flames; the points of thorns, though sharp, do nothing to withstand the fire.

Some of you have seen buildings on fire; imagine therefore with yourselves,

what a poor hand you would make at fighting with the flames, if you were in the midst of so great and fierce a fire. You have often seen a spider, or some other noisome insect, when thrown into the midst of a fierce fire, and have observed how immediately it yields to the force of the flames. There is no long struggle, no fighting against the fire, no strength exerted to oppose the heat, or to fly from it; but it immediately stretches forth itself and yields; and the fire takes possession of it, and at once it becomes full of fire, and is burned into a bright coal.—Here is a little image of what you will be the subjects of in bell, except you repent and fly to Christ. However you may think that you will fortify yourselves, and bear as well as you can; the first moment you shall be cast into hell, all your strength will sink and be utterly abolished. To encourage yourselves, that you will set yourselves to bear hell torments as well as you can, is just as if a worm, that is about to be thrown into a glowing furnace, should swell and fortify itself, and prepare itself to fight the flames.

What can you do with lightnings? What doth it signify to fight with them? What an absurd figure would a poor weak man make, who, in a thunder-storm, should expect a flash of lightning on his head or his breast, and should go forth sword in hand to oppose it ; when a stream of brimstone would, in an instant, drink up all his spirits and his life, and melt his sword!

Consider these things, all you enemies of God, and rejecters of Christ, whether

you be old men or women, Christless heads of families, or young people and wicked children. Be assured, that if you do not hearken and repent

, God intends to show his wrath, and make his power known upon you. He intends to magnify himself exceedingly in sinking you down in hell. He intends to show his great majesty at the day of judgment, before a vast assembly, in your misery; before a greater assembly many thousandfold than ever yet appeared on earth; before a vast assembly of saints, and a vast assembly of wicked men, a vast assembly of holy angels, and before all the crew of devils. God will before all these get himself honor in your destruction ; you shall be tormented in the presence of them all.-Then all will see that God is a great God indeed; then all will see how dreadful a thing it is to sin against such a God, and to reject such a Saviour, such love and grace, as you have rejected and despised. All will be filled with awe at the great sight, and all the saints and angels will look upon you, and adore that majesty, and that mighty power, and that holiness and justice of God, which shall appear in your ineffable destruction and misery.

It is probable that here are some, who hear me this day, who at this very moment are unawakened, and are in a great degree careless about their souls. I fear there are some among us who are most fearfully hardened : their hearts are harder than the very rocks. It is easier to make impressions upon an adamant than upon their hearts. I suppose some of you have heard all that I have said with ease and quietness : it appears to you as great big sounding words, but doth not reach your hearts. You have heard such things many times : you are old soldiers, and have been too much used to the roaring of heaven's cannon, to be frighted at it. It will therefore probably be in vain for me to say any thing further to you; I will only put you in mind that erelong God will deal with you. I cannot deal with you, you despise what I say ; I have no power to make you sensible of your danger and misery, and of the dreadfulness of the wrath of God. The attempts of men in this way have often proved vain.

However, God hath undertaken to deal with such men as you are. It is his manner commonly first to let men try their utmost strength: particularly to let ministers try, that thus he may show ministers their own weakness and

impotency; and when they have done what they can, and all fails, then God takes the matter into his own hands.-So it seems by your obstinacy, as if God intended to undertake to deal with you. He will undertake to subdue you;

he will see if he cannot cure you of your senselessness and regardlessness of his threatenings. And you will be convinced ; you will be subdued effectually; your hearts will be broken with a witness; your strength will be utterly broken, your courage and hope will sink. God will surely break those who will not bow.-God, having girded himself with his power and wrath, hath beretofore undertaken to deal with many hard, stubborn, senseless, obstinate hearts; and he never failed, he always did his work thoroughly.

It will not be long before you will be wonderfully changed. You who now bear of hell and the wrath of the great God, and sit here in these seats so easy and quiet, and go away so careless; by and by will shake, and tremble, and cry out, and shriek, and gnash your teeth, and will be thoroughly convinced of the vast weight and importance of these great things, which you now despise. You will not then need to hear sermons in order to make

order to make you sensible ; you will be at a sufficient distance from slighting that wrath and power of God, of which you now hear with so much quietness and indifference.

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SERMON XI.

THE ETERNITY OF HELL TORMENTS.

MATTHEW XIV. 46.-These shall go away into everlasting punishment.

In this chapter we have the most particular description of the day of judgment, of any that we have in the whole Bible. Christ here declares, that when he shall hereafter sit on the throne of his glory, the righteous and the wicked shall be set before him, and separated one from the other, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats. Then we have an account how both will be judged according to their works; how the good works of the one and the evil works of the other will be rehearsed, and how the sentence shall be pronounced accordingly. We are told what the sentence will be on each, and then in the verse of the text, we have an account of the execution of the sentence on both the righteous and the wicked. In the words of the text is the account of the execution of the sentence on the wicked or the ungodly: concerning which, it is to my purpose to observe two things.

1. The duration of the punishment on which they are here said to enter: it is called everlasting punishment.

2. The time of their entrance on this everlasting punishment ; viz., after the day of judgment, at the end of the world, when all these things that are of a temporary continuance shall have come to an end, and even those of them that are most lasting, the frame of the world itself; the earth, which is said to abide forever; the ancient mountains and everlasting hills; the sun, moon and stars. When the heavens shall have waxed old like a garment, and as a res. ture shall be changed, then shall be the time when the wicked shall enter on their punishment.

DOCTRINE. The misery of the wicked in hell will be absolutely eternal.

There are two diverse opinions that I mean to oppose in this doctrine. One is, that the eternal death that wicked men are threatened with in Scripture, signifies no more than eternal annihilation; that men will be the subjects of eternal death, as they will be slain, and their life finally and forever be extinguished by God's anger ; that God will punish their wickedness by eternally abolishing their being, and so that they shall suffer eternal death in this sense, that they shall be eternally dead, and never more come to life.

The other opinion which I mean to oppose, is, that though the punishment of the wicked shall consist in sensible misery, yet it shall not be absolutely eternal; but only of a very long continuance.

Therefore to establish the doctrine in opposition to these different opinions, I shall undertake to show,

I. That it is not contrary to the divine perfections to inflict on wicked men a punishment that is absolutely eternal.

II. That the eternal death which God threatens, is not annihilation, but an abiding sensible punishment or misery.

III. That this misery will not only continue for a very long time, but will be absolutely without end.

IV. That various good ends will be obtained by the eternal punishment of the wicked.

I. I am to show that it is not contrary to the divine perfections to inflict on wicked men a punishment that is absolutely eternal.

This is the sum of the objections usually made against this doctrine, that it is inconsistent with the justice, and especially with the mercy of God. And some say, if it be strictly

just, yet how can we suppose that a merciful God can bear eternally to torment his creatures ?

1. Then I shall briefly show, that it is not inconsistent with the justice of God to inflict an eternal punishment. To evince this, I shall use only one argument, viz., that sin is heinous enough to deserve such a punishment, and such a punishment is no more than proportionable to the evil or demerit of sin. If the evil of sin be infinite, as the punishment is, then it is manifest that the punishment is no more than proportionable to the sin punished, and is no more than sin deserves. And if the obligation to love, honor, and obey God be infinite, then sin, which is the violation of this obligation, is a violation of infinite obligation, and so is an infinite evil. Again, if God be infinitely worthy of love, honor, and obedience, then our obligation to love, and honor, and obey him is infinitely great. So that God being infinitely glorious, or infinitely worthy of our love, honor, and obedience; our obligation to love, honor, and obey him, and so to avoid all sin, is infinitely great. Again, our obligation to love, honor, and obey God being infinitely great; sin is the violation of infinite obligation, and so is an infinite evil. Once more, sin being an infinite evil deserves an in. finite punishment, an infinite punishment is no more than it deserves : therefore such punishment is just; which was the thing to be proved. There is no

evading the force of this reasoning, but by denying that God, the sovereign of : the universe, is infinitely glorious; which I presume none of my hearers will adventure to do.

2. I am to show, that it is not inconsistent with the mercy of God, to inflict an eternal punishment on wicked men. It is an unreasonable and unscriptural notion of the mercy of God, that he is merciful in such a sense that he cannot bear that penal justice should be executed. This is to conceive of the mercy of God as a passion to which bis nature is so subject that God is liable to be moved, and affected, and overcome by seeing a creature in misery, so that he cannot bear to see justice executed; which is a most unworthy and absurd notion of the mercy of God, and would, if true, argue great weakness. It would be a great defect, and not a perfection, in the Sovereign and Supreme Judge of the world, to be merciful in such a sense that he could not bear to have penal justice executed. It is a very unscriptural notion of the mercy of God. The Scriptures everywhere represent the mercy of God as free and sovereign, and

not that the exercises of it are necessary, so that God cannot bear justice should i take place. The Scriptures abundantly speak of it as the glory of the divine

attribute of mercy, that it is free and sovereign in its exercises ; and not that it is so, that God cannot help but deliver sinners from misery. This is a mean and most unworthy idea of the divine mercy,

It is most absurd also as it is contrary to plain fact. For if there be any meaning in the objection, this is is supposed in it, that all misery of the creature, whether just or unjust, is in itself contrary to the nature of God. For if his misery be of such a nature that a very great degree of misery, though just, is contrary to his nature; then it is only to add to the mercy, and then a less degree of misery is contrary to his nature; again to add further to it, and a still less degree of misery is contrary to his nature. And so, the mercy of God being infinite, all misery must be contrary to his nature; which we see to be contrary to fact; for we see that God in his providence, doth indeed inflict very great calamities on man. kind even in this life.

However strong such kind of objections against the eternal misery of the

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