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up my part in glory!” O that sinners would think of this, when they are swimming in the delights of the flesh, and studying how to be rich and honourable in the world! When they are desperately venturing upon known transgression, and sinning against the checks of conscience.
$ 17. It will add yet more to their torment, when they consider that they most wilfully procured their own destruction. Had they been forced to sin, it would much abate the rage of their consciences; or if they were punished for another man's transgressions; or any other had been the chief author of their ruin. But to think it was the choice of their own will, and that none in the world could have forced them to sin against their wills; this will be a cutting thought.“ Had I not enemjes enough in the world, (thinks this miserable creature,) but I must be an enemy to myself? God would never give the devil, nor the world, so much more power over me as to force me to commit the least transgression. They could but entice; it was myself that yielded, and did the evil.–And must I lay hands upon my own soul; and imbrue my hands in my own blood ? Never had I so great an enemy as myself. Never did God offer any good to my soul, but I resisted him. He hath heaped mercy upon me, and renewed one deliverance after another, to draw my heart to himn; yea, he hath gently chastised me, and made me groan under the fruit of my disobedience; and though I promised largely in my affliction, yet never was I heartily willing to serve him.” Thus will it gnaw the heart of these sinners, to remember that they were the cause of their own undoing; and that they wilfully and obstinately persisted in their rebellion, and were mere volunteers in the service of the devil.
18. The wound in their consciences will be yet deeper, when they shall not only remember it was their own doing, but that they were at so much cost and pains for their own damnation. What great undertakings did they engage in to effect their ruin; to
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resist the Spirit of God; to overcome the power of inercies, judgments, and even the word of God; to subdue the power of reason, and silence conscience! All this they understood and performed. Though they walked in continual danger of the wrath of God, and knew he could lay them in the dust, and cast them into hell, in a moment; yet would they run upon all this. O the labour it cost sinners to be damned! Sobriety, with health and ease, they might have had at a cheaper rate; yet they will rather have gluttony and drunkenness, with poverty, shame, and sickness. Contentment they might have, with ease and delight; yet they will rather have covetousness and ambition, though it cost them cares and fears, labour of body, and distraction of mind. Though their anger be self-torment, and revenge and envy consume their spirits; though uncleanness destroy their bodies, estates, and good names; yet will they do and suffer all this rather than suffer their souls to be saved. With what rage will they lament their folly, and say, “ Was damnation worth all my cost and pains ? Might I not have been damned on free cost, but I must purchase it so dearly? I thought I could have been saved without so much ado; and could I not have been destroyed without so much ado? Must I so laboriously work out my own damnation, when God commanded me to work out my own salvation? If I had done as much for heaven as I did for hell, I had surely had it. I cried out of the tedious way of godliness, and the painful course of selfdenial; and yet I could be at a great deal more pains for Satan, and for death. Had I loved Christ as strongly as I did my pleasures, and profits, and honours, and thought on him as often, and sought him as painfully, O how happy had I now been! But justly do I suffer the flames of hell, for buying them so dear, rather than have heaven when it was purchased to my hands!”
19. O that God would persuade thee, Reader, to take up these thoughts now, for preventing the inconceivable calamity of taking them up in hell as thy own tormentor! Say not, that they are only imaginary. Read what Dives thought, being in torments.(y) As the joys of heaven are chiefly enjoyed by the rational soul in its rational actings, so must the pains of hell be suffered. As they will be men still, so will they feel and act as men.
The Misery of those, rcho, besides losing the Saint's Rest,
lose the Enjoyments of Time, and suffer the Torments of Hell.
§ 1. The comexion of this with the preceding chapter. $ 2. (I.)
The enjoyments of time which the damned lose: § 3. (1) Their presumptuous belief of their interest in God and Christ; § 4. (2) All their hopes ; $ 5. (3) All their peace of conscience; $ 6. (4) All their carnal mirth; § 7. (5) All their sensual delights. $ 8. (II.) The torments of the damned are exceeding great: § 9. (1) The principal author of them is God himself; § 10.,(0) The place or state of torment: § 11. (3) These torments are the effects of divine vengeance; § 12. (4) God will take pleasure in executing them ; § 13. (5) Satan and sinners theniselves will be God's executioners: $ 14. (6) These torments will be universal; § 15. (7) without any mitigation; $ 16. (8) aud eternal. § 17. The obstinale sinner convinced of his folly in venturing on these tornients; § 18 and entreated to fly for safety to Christ.
§ 1. As godliness hath the promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come; and if we seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, then all meaner things shall be added unto us: so also are the ungodly threatened with the loss both of spiritual and temporal blessings; and because they sought not first God's kingdom and righteousness, therefore shall they lose both it and that which they did seek, and there shall be taken from them
(y) Luke xvi.
that little which they have.-If they could but have kept their present enjoyments, they would not have much cared for the loss of heaven. If they had lost and forsaken all for Christ, they would have found all again in him: for he would have been all in all to them. But now they have forsook Christ, for other things, they shall lose Christ, and that also for which they forsook him; even—the enjoyments of time besides suffering the torments of hell.
§ 2. (I.) Among the enjoyments of time, they shall particularly lose their presumptuous belief of their interest in the favour of God, and the merits of Christ ;-all their hopes ;-all their false peace of conscience;-all their carnal mirth, and all their sensual delights.
§ 3. (1) They shall lose their presumptuous belief of their interest in the favour of God, and the merits of Christ. This false belief now supports their spirits, and defends them from the terrors that would otherwise seize upon'them. But what will ease their trouble, when they can believe no longer, nor rejoice any longer? If a man be near to the greatest mischief, and yet strongly conceit that he is in safety, he may be as cheerful as if all were well. If there were no more to make a man happy, but to believe that he is so, or shall be so, happiness would be far more common than it is like to be. As true faith is the leading grace in the regenerate, so is false faith the leading vice in the unregenerate. Why do such multitudes sit still, when they might have pardon, but that they verily think they are pardoned already? If you could ask thousands in hell, what madness brought them thither? they would most of thein answer, “ We made sure of being saved, till we found ourselves damned. We would have been more earnest seekers of regeneration, and the power of godliness, but we verily thought we were Christians before. We have flattered ourselves into these torments, and now there is no remedy.” Reader, I must in faithfulness tell thee, that the confident belief of their good state, which the careless, unholy, unhumbled multitude, so
commonly boast of, will prove in the end but a souldamning delusion. There is none of this believing in hell. It was Satan's stratagem, that being blindfold they might follow him the more boldly; but then he will uncover their eyes, and they shall see where they are.
$ 4. (2) They shall lose also all their hopes. In this life, though they were threatened with the wrath of God, yet the hope of their escaping it bore up their hearts. We can now scarce speak with the vilest drunkard, or swearer, or scoffer, but he hopes to be saved for all this. O happy world, if salvation were as common as this hope! Nay, so strong are men's hopes, that they will dispute the cause with Christ himself at judgment, and plead their having eat and drank in his presence, and prophesied in his name, and in his name cast out devils; they will stiftly deny that ever they neglected Christ in hunger, nakedness, or in prison, till he confutes them with the sentence of their condemnation. O the sad state of those men, when they must bid farewell to all their hopes! When a wicked man dieth, his expectation shall perish; and the hope of unjust men perisheth.(z) The eyes of the wicked shall fail, and they shall not escape, and their hope shall be as the giving up of the ghost.(a) The giving up the ghost is a fit, but terrible, resemblance of a wicked man giving up his hopes. As the soul departeth not from the body without the greatest pain; so doth the hope of the wicked depart. The soul departs from the body suddenly, in a moment, which hath there delightfully continued so many years ; just so doth the hope of the wicked depart. The soul will never more return to live with the body in this world ; and the hope of the wicked takes an everlasting farewell of his soul. A miracle of resurrection shall again unite soul and body, but there shall be no such miraculous resurrection of the damned's hope. Methinks it is the most pitiable sight this world affords, to see such an ungodly person dying, and to think of his soul and his hopes departing
(z) Prov. xi. 7. (a) Job xi. 20