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glad then, if every member were a dead mem- | is the enjoying of all, so the loss of God is the ber, that it might not feel the punishment in- loss of all. flicted on it; and if the whole body were a rot- 5. (3.) They also lose all delightful affections ten carcass, or might lie down again in the dust. towards God. That transporting knowledge; Much more do they want that moral perfection those delightful views of his glorious face; the which the blessed partake of; those holy dispo- inconceivable pleasure of loving him; the appresitions of mind ; that cheerful readiness to do the hensions of his infinite love to us; the constant will of God; that perfect rectitude of all their joys of his saints, and the rivers of consolation actions ; instead of these, they have that per- with which he satisfies them—Is it nothing to verseness of will, that loathing of good, that love lose all this? The employment of a king in to evil, that violence of passion, which they had ruling a kingdom, does not so far exceed that of on earth. It is true, their understandings will be the vilest slave, as this heavenly employment exmuch cleared by the ceasing of former temptation, ceeds that of an earthly king. God suits men's and experiencing the falsehood of former delu- employments to their natures. Your hearts, sinsions; but they have the same dispositions still, ners, were never set upon God in your lives, and fain would they commit the same sins, if they never warmed with his love, never longed after could: they want but opportunity. There will the enjoyment of him; you had no delight in be a greater difference between these wretches, speaking or hearing of him; you had rather have and the glorified Christians, than there is betwixt continued on earth, if you had known how, than a toad and the sun in the firmament. The rich to be interested in the glorious praises of God. man's purple and fine linen, and sumptuous fare, Is it meet, then, that you should be members of did not so exalt him above Lazarus while at his the celestial choir ? gate full of sores.
6. (4.) They shall be deprived of the blessed 4. (2.) They shall have no comfortable rela-society of angels and glorified saints. Instead tion to God, nor communion with him. "As of being companions of those happy spirits, and they did not like to retain God in their know- numbered with those triumphant kings, they ledge,' but said unto him, Depart from us, for must be members of the corporation of hell, we desire not the knowledge of thy ways;' so where they shall have companions of a far difGod will abhor to retain them in his household. ferent nature and quality. Scorning and abusHe will never admit them to the inheritance of ing the saints, hating them, and rejoicing in his saints, nor endure them to stand in his pre- their calamities, was not the way to obtain their sence, but • will profess unto them, I never knew blessedness. Now you are shut out of that you; depart from me ye that work iniquity' company from which you first shut out yourThey are ready now to lay as confident claim to selves; and are separated from them, with whom Christ and heaven, as if they were sincere be- you would not be joined. You could not endure lieving saints. The swearer, the drunkard, the them in your houses, nor towns, nor scarce in whoremonger, the worldling, can say, Is not God the kingdom. You took them, as Abab did Eliour Father as well as yours? But when Christ jah, for the troublers of the land,' and, as the separates his followers from his foes, and his apostles were taken, for men that turned the faithful friends from his deceived flatterers, where world upside down. If any thing fell out amiss, then will be their presumptuous claim ? Then you thought all was owing to them.
When they they shall find that God is not their Father, be- were dead or banished, you were glad they were cause they would not be his people. As they gon and thought the country well rid of them. Fould not consent that God by his Spirit should They molested you by faithfully reproving your dwell in them, so the tabernacle of wickedness sins. Their holy conversation troubled your shall have no fellowship with him, nor the wicked consciences, to see them so far excel you. It inhabit the city of God. Only they that walked was a vexation to you to hear them pray, or with God here, shall live and be happy with him sing praises in their families.
And is it any in heaven. Little does the world know what a wonder if you be separated from them hereafloss that soul hath who loses God. What a dun- ter ? The day is near, when they will trouble geon would the earth be, if it had lost the sun! you no more. Betwixt them and you will be What a loathsome carrion the body, if it had a great gulf fixed. Even in this life, while the lost the soul! Yet all these are nothing to the saints were mocked, destitute, afflicted, tormenloss of God. As the enjoyment of God is the ted, and while they had their personal imperfecheaven of the saints, so the loss of God is the tions; yet, in the judgment of the Holy Ghost, hell of the ungodly; and as the enjoying of God they were such of whom the world was not
worth. Much more unworthy will the world and they that would not see, shall then see and be of their fellowship in glory.
be ashamed. 7. (II.) I know many will be ready to think, 9. (2.) As their understanding will be cleared, they could spare these things in this world well so it will be more enlarged, and made more capaenough, and why may they not be without them cious to conceive the worth of that glory which in the world to come ? Therefore, to show them they have lost. The strength of their apprehenthat this loss of heaven will then be most torment- sions, as well as the truth of them, will then be ing, let them now consider—their understandings increased. What deep apprehensions of the will be cleared to know their loss, and have wrath of God, the madness of sinning, the more enlarged apprehensions concerning it—their misery of sinners, have those souls that now enconsciences will make a closer application of it dure this misery, in comparison with those on to themselves—their affections will no longer earth, that do but hear of it. What sensibility be stupified, nor their memories be treacherous. of the worth of life has the condemned man that
8. (1.) The understanding of the ungodly is going to be executed, compared with what he will then be cleared, to know the worth of that was wont to have in the time of his prosperity! which they have lost. Now they lament not Much more will the actual loss of eternal blessedtheir loss of God, because they never knew his ness make the damned exceedingly apprehensive excellence; nor the loss of that holy employment of the greatness of their loss: and as a large vesand society, for they were never sensible what sel will hold more water than a shell, so will their they were worth. A man that has lost a jewel, more enlarged understandings contain more matand took it but for a common stone, is never ter to feed their torment, than their shallow troubled at his loss; but when he comes to know capacity can now do. what he lost, then he laments it. Though 10. (3.) Their consciences also will make a the understanding of the damned will not be truer and closer application of this doctrine to sanctified, yet they will be cleared from a mul- themselves, which will exceedingly tend to intitude of errors. They now think that their crease their torment. It will then be no hard honours, estates, pleasures, health, and life, are matter to them to say, “ This is my loss! and this better worth their labour, than the things of is my everlasting remediless misery! The want another world; but when these things have left of this self-application is the main cause why them in misery, when they experience the things they are so little troubled now. They are hardly which before they did but read and hear of, they brought to believe that there is such a state of will be of another mind. They would not be- misery; but more hardly to believe that it is like lieve that water would drown, till they were in to be their own. This makes so many sermons the sea ; nor the fire burn, till they were cast lost to them, and all threatenings and warnings into it; but when they feel, they will easily be- in vain. Let a minister of Christ show them lieve. All that error of mind which made them their misery ever so plainly and faithfully, they set light by God, and abhor his worship, and will not be persuaded they are so miserable. vilify his people, will then be confuted and re- Let him tell them of the glory they must lose, moved by experience. Their knowledge shall and the sufferings they must feel, and they be increased, that their sorrows may be increased. think he means not them, but some notorious Poor souls ! they would be comparatively happy, sinners. It is one of the hardest things in if their understandings were wholly taken from the world, to bring a wicked man to know them, if they had no more knowledge than idiots, that he is wicked, or to make him see himself or brute beasts; or if they knew no more in hell, in a state of wrath and condemnation. Though than they did upon earth, their loss would less they may easily find, by their strangeness to the trouble them. How happy would they then new-birth, and their enmity to holiness, that they think themselves, if they did not know there is never were partakers of them; yet they as verily such a place as heaven! Now, when their know- expect to see God, and be saved, as if they were ledge would help to prevent their misery, they the most sanctified persons in the world. How will not know, or will not read or study that they seldom do men cry out, after the plainest dismay know; therefore, when their knowledge will covery of their state, I am the man ! or acknowbut feed their consuming fire, they shall know ledge, that if they die in their present condition, whether they will or not. They are now in a dead they are undone for ever! But when they sudsleep, and dream they are the happiest men in denly tind themselves in the land of darkness, the world; but when death awakes them, how feel themselves in scorching flames, and see they will their judgments be changed in a moment! | are shut out of the presence of God for ever, then the application of God's anger to themselves then they shall have nothing else to do: their will be the easiest matter in the world; they will memories shall have no other employment. God then roar out these forced confessions, • O my would have had the doctrine of their eternal misery! O my fully ! O my inconceivable, irre- state written on the posts of their doors, on coverable loss!
their hands and hearts :' he would have had them 11. (4.) Then will their affections likewise be mind it, “and mention it when they lay down and more lively, and no longer stupified. A hard rose up, when they sat in their houses, and when heart now makes heaven and hell seem but trifles. they walked by the way ;' and seeing they reWe have showed them everlasting glory and jected this counsel of the Lord, therefore it shall misery, and they are as men asleep; our words be written always before them in the place of are as stones cast against a wall, which fly back their thraldom, that, which way soever they look, in our faces. We talk of terrible things, but it is they may still behold it. It will torment them to dead men; we search the wounds, but they to think of the greatness of the glory they have never feel us: we speak to rocks rather than to lost. If it had been what they could have spared, men ; the earth will as soon tremble as they. or a loss to be repaired with any thing else, it But when these dead souls are revived, what had been a smaller matter. If it had been health, passionate sensibility! what working affections ! or wealth, or friends, or life, it had been nothing. what pangs of horror! what depth of sorrow will But, O! to lose that exceeding eternal weight there then be! How violently will they fly in of glory!—It will also torment them to think of their own faces? How will they rage against the possibility they once had of obtaining it. their former madness! The lamentations of the Then they will remember, · Time was, when I most affectionate wife for the loss of her husband, was as fair for the kingdom as others. I was set or of the tenderest mother for the loss of her upon the stage of the world: if I had played my children, will be nothing to theirs for the loss of part wisely and faithfully, I might now have had heaven. O the self-accusing and self-torment possession of the inheritance. I, who am now ing fury of those forlorn creatures ! How will tormented with these damned fiends, might have they even tear their own hearts, and be God's been among yonder blessed saints. The Lord executioners upon themselves! As themselves did set before me life and death ; and having were the only meritorious cause of their suffer- chosen death, I deserve to suffer it. The prize ings, so themselves will be the chief executioners. was held out before me; if I had run well, I Even Satan, as he was not so great a cause of might have obtained it; if I had striven, I might their sinning as themselves, he will not be so have had the victory ; if I had fought valiantly, great an instrument of their torment. How happy I had been crowned.'— It will yet more torment would they think themselves then, if they were them to remember, that their obtaining the crown turned into rocks, or any thing that had neither was not only possible, but very probable. It will passion nor sense! How happy, if they could wound them to think, “I had once the gales of then feel, as lightly as they were wont to hear! if the Spirit ready to have assisted me. they could sleep out the time of execution, as they proposing to be another man, to have cleaved to did the time of the sermons that warned them of Christ, and forsake the world. I was almost reit! But their stupidity is gone; it will not be. solved to have been wholly for God. I was
12. (5.) Their memories will, moreover, be as once even turning from my base seducing lusts. large and as strong as their understandings and I had cast off my old companions, and was assoaffections.
Could they but lose the use of their ciating with the godly—yet I turned back, lost memory, their loss of heaven being forgot, would my hold, and broke my promises. I was almost litle trouble them. Though they would account persuaded to be a real Christian, yet I conquered annihilation a singular mercy, they cannot lay those persuasions. What workings were in my aside any part of their being. Understanding, heart, when a faithful minister pressed home the conscience, affections, memory, must all live to truth! O how fair was I once for heaven! I torment them, which should have helped to their almost had it, and yet I have lost it. Had I fol. happiness. As by these they should have fed lowed on to seek the Lord, I had now been blesupon the love of God, and drawn forth perpetu- sed among the saints.' ally the joys of his presence, so by these must 13. It will exceedingly torment them to rethey feed upon his wrath, and draw forth con- member their lost opportunities. How many tinually the pains of his absence. Now they weeks, and months, and years, did I lose, which have no leisure to consider, nor any room in if I had improved, I might now have been happy. their memories for the things of another life ; but I wretch that I was! could I find no time to study
the work, for which I had all my time? no time tains, nor conquer kingdoms, nor fulfil the law to among all my labours, to labour for eternity ? the smallest tittle, nor satisfy justice for all their Had I time to eat, and drink, and sleep, and none transgressions. The yoke was easy, and the burto save my soul ? Had 1 time for mirth and den light, which Christ would have laid upon vain discourse, and none for prayer ? Could I them. It was but to repent, and cordially accept take time to secure the world, and none to try my him for their Saviour ; to renounce all other haptitle to heaven? O precious time! I had once piness, and take the Lord for their supreme good; enough, and now I must have no more. I had to renounce the world and the flesh, and submit once so much, I knew not what to do with it; and to his meek and gracious government; and to now it is gone, and cannot be recalled. Othat forsake the ways of their own devising, and I had but one of those years to live over again ? walk in his holy delightful way. "Ah,' thinks How speedily would I repent! How earnestly the poor tormented wretch, how justly do I would I pray! How diligently would I hear! suffer all this, who would not be at so small pains How closely would I examine my state! How to avoid it! Where was my understanding, strictly would I live! But it is now too late, when I neglected that gracious offer; when I alas! too late!
called the Lord a hard master, and thought his 14. It will add to their calamity to remember pleasant service a bondage, and the service of the how oft they were persuaded to return. • Fain devil and the flesh the only freedom ? Was I would the minister have had me escape these tor- not a thousand times worse than mad, when I ments. With what love and compassion did he censured the holy way of God as needless prebeseech me! and yet I did but make a jest of it. ciseness ; when I thought the laws of Christ too How often did he convince me! and yet I stifled strict, and all too much that I did for the life to all these convictions. How did he open to me come? What would all sufferings for Christ and my very heart! and yet I was loathe to know the well-doing have been, compared with these sufferworst of myself. O how glad would he have ings that I must undergo for ever? Would not been, if he could have seen me cordially turn to the heaven, which I have lost, have recompensed Christ! My godly friends admonished me: they all my losses ? And should not all my sufferings told me what would become of my wilfulness and have been there forgotten? What if Christ had negligence at last ; but I neither believed nor re- bid me to do some great matter; whether to live garded them. How long did God himself con- in continual fears and sorrows, or to suffer death descend to entreat me! How did the Spirit strive a hundred times over: should I not have done it? with my heart, as if he was loathe to take denial! How much more, when he only said, “ Believe How did Christ stand knocking, one Sabbath and be saved. Seek my face, and thy soul shall after another, and crying to me, · Open, sinner, live. Take up thy cross, and follow me, and I open thy heart to thy Saviour, and I will come will give thee everlasting life.' O gracious offer! in, and sup with thee, and thou with me, Why
O cursed wretch, that would dost thou delay? How long shall thy vain not be persuaded to accept them! thoughts lodge within thee? Wilt thou not be 16. This also will be a most tormenting conpardoned, and sanctified, and made happy? sideration, to remember what they sold their eterWhen shall it once be?'— how the recollection of nal welfare for. When they compare the value such divine pleadings will passionately transport of the pleasures of sin, with the value of the rethe damned with self-indignation! “Must I tire compense of reward,' how will the vast disproout the patience of Christ ? Must I make the portion astonish them! To think of the low deGod of heaven follow me in vain, till I had lights of the flesh, or the applauding breath of wearied him with crying to me, Repent! return ! mortals, or the possessing heaps of gold, and O how justly is that patience now turned into then to think of everlasting glory. This is all fury, which falls upon me with irresistible vio- I had for my soul, my God, my hopes of blessedlence! When the Lord cried to me, Wilt thou ness! It cannot possibly be expressed how these not be made clean? when shall it once be? my thoughts will tear his very heart. Then will he heart, or at least my practice, answered, Never. exclaim against his folly—'O miserable wretch ! And now when I cry, How long shall it be till I Did I set my soul to sale for so base a price ? am freed from this torment? how justly do I Did I part with my God for a little dirt and receive the same answer, Never, never! dross; and sell my Saviour, as Judas, for a little
15. It will also be most cutting to remember silver ? I had but a dream of delight, for my on what easy terms they might have escaped their hopes of heaven; and now I am awakened, it is misery. This work was not to remove moun- | all vanished. My morsels are now turned to
gall, and my cups to wormwood. When they knew he could lay them in the dust, and cast were past my taste, the pleasures perished. And them into hell in a moment; yet would they run is this all that I have had for the inestimable upon all this. O the labour it costs sinners to treasure? What a mad exchange did I make! be damned! Sobriety, with health and ease, they What if I had gained all the world, and lost my might have had at a cheaper rate ; yet they will soul ? But, alas ! how small a part of the world rather have gluttony and drunkenness, with was it for which I gave up my part in glory!'| poverty, shame, and sickness. Contentment they O that sinners would think of this, when they might have, with ease and delight: yet they will are swimming in the delights of the flesh, and rather have covetousness and ambition, though it studying how to be rich and honourable in the costs them cares and fears, labour of body, and world! When they are desperately venturing distraction of mind. Though their anger be upon known transgression, and sinning against self-torment, and revenge, and envy consume the checks of conscience !
their spirits; though uncleanness destroy their 17. It will add yet more to their torment, when bodies, estates, and good names ; yet will they they consider that they most wilfully procured do and suffer all this, rather than suffer their their own destruction. Had they been forced to souls to be saved. With what rage will they lasin, it would much abate the rage of their con- ment their folly, and say, “ Was damnation worth sciences; or if they were punished for another all my cost and pains ? Might I not have been man's transgressions; or any other had been the damned on free cost, but I must purchase it so chief author of their ruin. But to think it dearly? I thought I could have been saved was the choice of their own will, and that without so much ado, and could I not have been none in the world could have forced them to sin destroyed without so much ado? Must I so against their wills; this will be a cutting thought. laboriously work out my own damnation, when * Had I not enemies enough in the world, (thinks God commanded me to work out my own salthis miserable creature) but I must be an enemy vation ? If I had done as much for heaven, as to myself? God would never give the devil, I did for hell, I had surely had it. I cried out nor the world, so much power over me, as to of the tedious ways of godliness, and the painful force me to commit the least transgression. They course of self-denial ; and yet I could be at a could but entice; it was myself that yielded and great deal more pains for Satan and for deathi. did the evil. And must I lay hands upon my Had I loved Christ as strongly as I did my own soul, and imbrue my hands in my own blood ? pleasures, and profits, and honours, and thought Never had I so great an enemy as myself. Never on him as often, and sought him as painfully, O did God offer any good to my soul, but I resis- how happy had I now been! But justly do I ted him. He hath heaped mercy upon me, and suffer the flames of hell, for buying them so dear, renewed one deliverance after another to draw rather than have heaven, when it was purchased my heart to him; yea, he hath greatly chastised to my hands! me, and made me groan under the fruit of my 19. O that God would persuade thee, reader, disobedience; and though I promised largely in to take up these thoughts now, for preventing my affliction, yet never was I heartily willing to the inconceivable calamity of taking them up in serve him.' Thus will it gnaw the hearts of hell as thy own tormentor! Say not that they these sinners, to remember that they were the are only imaginary. Read what Dives thought, cause of their own undoing, and that they wil. being in torments. As the joys of heaven are fully and obstinately persisted in their rebellion, chiefly enjoyed by the rational soul in its rational and were mere volunteers in the service of the actings, so must the pains of hell be suffered. devil.
As they will be men still, so will they feel and 18. The wound in their consciences will be act as men. 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 resist the Spirit of God; to ofercome the power of mercies, judgments, and even the word of God; to subdue the power of feason, and silence conscience. All this they undertook and performed. Though they walked in continual danger of the wrath of God, and