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be undone ; this is worthy of the name of destruction. This
; sinking of the soul under an infinite weight, which it cannot bear, is the gloom of hell. We read in scripture of the black
. ness of darkness ; this is it, this is the very thing. We read in scripture of sinners being lost, and of their losing their souls; this is the thing intended; this is to lose the soul : they that are the subjects of this are utterly lost.
This subject may be applied in an use of awakening to impenitent sinners.--What hath been said under this doctrine is for thee, O impenitent sinner, O poor wretch, who art in the same miserable state in which thou camest into the world, excepting that thou art loaded with vastly greater guilt by thine actual sins. These dreadful things which thou hast heard are for thee, who art yet unconverted, and still remainest an alien and stranger, without Christ and without God in the world. They are for thee, who to this day remainest an enemy to God, and a child of the devil, even in this remarkable season, when others both here and elsewhere, far and near, are flocking to Christ; for thee who hearest the fame of these things, but
t knowest nothing of the power of godliness in thine own heart.
Whoever thou art, whether young or old, little or great, if thou art in a Christless unconverted state, this is the wrath, this is the death to which thou art condemned. This is the wrath that abideth on thee; this is the hell over which thou hangest, and into which thou art ready to drop every day and every night.
If thou shalt remain blind, and hard, and dead in sin a little longer, this destruction will come upon thee: God hath spoken, and he will do it. It is in vain for thee to flatter thyself with hopes that thou shalt avoid it, or to say in thine heart, perhaps it will not be; perhaps things have been represented worse than they are. If thou wilt not be convinced by the word preached to thee by men in the name of God, God himself will undertake to convince thee. Ezek. xiv. 4, 7, 8.
Doth it seem to thee not real that thou shalt suffer such a dreadful destruction, because it seems to thee that thou dost not deserve it? and because thou dost not see any thing so horrid in thyself, as to answer such a dreadful punishment ?Why is it that thy wickedness doth not seem bad enough to deserve this punishment? The reason is, that thou lovest thy wickedness; thy wickedness seems good to thee; it appears lovely to thee; thou dost not see any such hatefulness in it as to answer such misery.
But know, thou stupid, blind, hardened wretch, that God doth not see, as thou seest with thy polluted eyes: thy sins in
his sight are infinitely abominable. Thou knowest that thou hast a thousand and a thousand times made light of the majesty of God. And why should not that majesty, which thou hast thus despised, be manifested in the greatness of thy punishment ?Thou hast often heard what a great and dreadful God Jehovah is : but thou hast made so light of it, that thou hast not been afraid of him, thou hast not been afraid to sin against him, nor to go on day after day, by thy sins, to provoke him to wrath, nor to cast his commands under foot, and trample on them. Now, why may not God, in the greatness of thy destruction, justly vindicate and manifest the greatness of that majesty which thou hast despised ?
Thou hast despised the mighty power of God; thou hast not been afraid of it. Now, why is it not fit that God should show the greatness of his power in thy ruin. What king is there who will not show his authority in the punishment of those subjects that despise it! and who will not vindicate his royal majesty in executing vengeance on those that rise in rebellion ? And art thou such a fool as to think that the great King of heaven and earth, before whom all other kings are so many grasshoppers, will not vindicate his kingly majesty on such contemptvous rebels as thou art! Thou art very much mistaken if thou thinkest so. If thou be regardless of God's majesty, be it known
. to thee, God is not regardless of his own majesty ; he taketh care of its honour, and he will vindicate it.
Think it not strange, that God should deal so severely with thee, or that the wrath which thou shalt suffer should be so great. For, as great as it is, it is no greater than that love of God which thou hast despised. The love of God, and his grace, condescension, and pity to sinners, in sending his Son into the world to die for them, is every whit as great and wonderful as this inexpressible wrath. This mercy hath been held forth to thee, and described in its wonderful greatness hundreds of times, and as often hath it been offered to thee; but thou wouldst not accept Christ; thou wouldst not have this great love of God; thou despisedst God's dying love; thou trampledst the benefits of it under foot. Now why shouldst not thou have wrath, as great as that love and mercy which thou despisest and rejectest? Doth it seem incredible to thee that God should so harden bis heart against a poor sinner, as to destroy him, and to bear him down with infinite power and merciless wrath ? and is this a greater thing than it is for thee to harden thy heart, as thou hast done, against infinite mercy, and against the dying love of God ?
Doth it seem to thee incredible, that God should be so utterly regardless of the sinner's welfare, as to sink him into an infinite abyss of misery? Is this shocking to thee? And is it not at all shocking to thee, that thou shouldst be so utterly
regardless as thou hast been of the honour and glory of the infinite God?
It arises from thy stupidity, and because thou hast a beart of stone, that thou art so senseless of thine own wickedness, as to think that thou hast not deserved such a punishment, and
a that it is to thee incredible that it will be inflicted upon thee. But if, when all is said and done, 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 thy 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 shall 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 ? 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 sball come, will shake all to pieces? There are other wicked beings a thousand times stronger than thou: there are strong and proud spirits of 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. 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 an one as thou art in pieces. Yea not only so, thou art crushed before the moth. A 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 briars and thorns in battlearray 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 i immediately stretches forth itself and yields; and the fire takes possession of it, and at once it becomes full of fire. Here is a little image of what you will be in hell, except you repent and fly to Christ. 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 flash 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 and women, Christ. less beads 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.
intends to magnify himself exceedingly in sinking you down in hell. He intends to show his great majesty at the day of judg. ment, before a vast assembly, in your misery ; before a greater assembly many thousand-fold than ever yet appeared upon 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 honour 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, that mighty power, and that holiness and justice of God, which shall appear in your ineffable destruction and misery
It is probable that some who hear me, are at this very moment 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 sounding words, but doth not reach your hearts. You have heard such things many times : You have been too much used to the roaring of heaven's cannon to be frightened 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 ere long 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 bath 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 strength will be utterly broken, your courage and hope will sink. God will surely break those who will not bow.
Having girded himself with his power and wrath, he hath heretofore undertaken to deal with many hard stubborn, senseless, obstinate hearts; and he never failed, he always did his work thoroughly.