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ling of holy water is to expel a raging devil' from a possessed person. Those who in their pride and jollity, have despised serious religion, either as a fond transport and ecstacy towards God, or a dull melancholy and dejection about the soul, or an idle scrupulosity about indifferent things, yet when God has set their sins with all their killing circumstances in order before their eyes, how changed, how confounded are they at that apparition ? How restless, with the dreadful expectation of the doom that attends them! Belsbazzar in the midst of his cups, and herd of concubines, by a few words written on the wall, containing his process and judgment, was so terrified by his guilty jealous conscience, that his joints were loosed, nature sunk under the apprehension. Now all these troubles of mind are but the beginnings of sorrows, but the smoke of the infernal furnace, but earnests of that terrible sum which divine justice will severely exact of the wicked in hell.
Indeed these examples are rare, and not regarded by the most, and by some looked on as the effects of distraction : but to convince the bold and careless sinners, who never felt the stings of an awakened.conscience, what extreme terrars seize upon the wicked in the other world, consider,
(1.) The apprehension shall be more clear and enlarged than in the present state. Now the soul is oppressed with a weight of clay, and in drowsiness and obscurity. The great things of eternity are of little force to convince the conscience, or persuade the affections. But then the soul shall work with the quickest activity. The mind shall by an irresistible light take a full view of all afflicting objects. The most stupid and unconcerned sina ners shall then see and feel their ruined state, what a glorious felicity they have lost, what a misery they are plunged into, without any possibility of lessening it by false conceits, and receiving any relief by the error of imagination.
(2.) The mournful thoughts shall be always fixed upon what is tormenting. The soul in conjunction with the body, cannot always apply itself to one sort of objects. For the ministry of the sensible faculties is requisite to its operations. And the body must be supported by eating and drinking and rest, which interTupts troublesome thoughts. Besides, the variety of objects and accidents here avert the mind sometimes from what is afflicting, But the separate soul is in no dependance on the body, and after their reunion, there shall be no necessity of food or sleep, or any other animal actions to support it, but it shall be restored to a new capacity for new tormeits, and preserved in that miserable state by the power of God. There will be nothing then to divert the lost soul from sad reflections upon its misery. There are no lucid intervals in hell.
(3.) All the tormenting passions will then be let loose at once upon the guilty creature. And if there be no single passion so weak, but heightened, will break the spirit, and render life so miserable, that a man will take sanctuary in the grave to escape; how miserable is the condition, when the most fierce and united passions war against the soul ? This is signified by the " never-dying worm” that gnaws on the tenderest parts, and of quickest sense.
Shame, sorrow, despair, fury, hatred and revenge, are some of that brood of vipers that torment the damned.
Shame is a passion of which human nature is very sensible, and this in the highest degree of confusion shall seize on the wicked. Dan. 12. 2. For all the just causes of shame shall then meet. The inward source of it is the consciousness of guilt, of turpitude and folly in the actions; and all these are the inseparable adjuncts of sin. * The guilty soul by a piercing reflection upon its crimes, has a secret shame of its degeneracy and unworthiness. The passion is increased, when a discovery is made of vile practices that defile and debase a man, expose to contempt and infamy, before persons of high quality and eminent virtue, whom we admire and reverence, and whose esteem we value. To be surprised in an unworthy action by such a person, disorders the blood, and transfuses a colour into the face, to cover it with a veil of blushing, And the more numerous the spectators are, the more the disgrace is aggravated. And if derision be joined with the ignominy, it causes extreme displea
O the universal confusion, the overpowering amazement that will seize on sinners in the great day of discovery, when all the works of darkness, all their base sensualities shall be revealed before God, angels and saints! When all the covers of shame shall be taken off, the excuses and denials, to extenuate or conceal their sins, shall vanish, and their breasts be transparent to
* Tacita sadant præcordia culpa, Juv.
the eyes of all! How will they be ashamed of their foul and permanent deformity in the light of that glorious presence ? How will they be astonished to appear in all their pollutions before that bright and immense theatre? How will they be confounded to stand in all their guilt before that sublime and severe tribunal ? How will they endure the upbraidings for all the sins which they have so wickedly committed, and the derision for the punishment they so deservedly suffer? The holy Judge will “ laugh at their calansity, and mock when their fear comes. The righteous also shall see, and shall laugh at them;" lo these are the men that made pot God their portion, but perishing vanities, that preferred sweet folly before severe wisdom. The devils will reproach them for that scornful advantage they had over them, that as children are seduced for things of lustre to part with real treasures, so they were easily persuaded for the trifles of time to exchange eternal happiness. “ Whither will they cause theit shame to go?” Jer. 14. 12. Those black sinners that here never change colour for their filthiness, that hardened by custom in sin, are impenetrable to shame, as the brute beasts that are absolutely destitute of reason; nay, that have not only overcome all tenderness, but “ glory in their shame," shall glow at the manifestation of their sordid lusts, their vile servilities, and be covered with confusion, and the sense of it shall be revived in their minds for ever.
To open shame is joined the greatest inward sorrow. This passion, when violent, penetrates the soul in all its faculties, and fastens it to the afflicting object. When it dwells in the bosom, it gives an easy entrance to whatever cherishes and increases it, and rejects what might assuage and lessen the sense of the evil. The most pleasant things do not excite desire or joy, but exasperate grief. Like those animals that convert the best nourishment into their own poison ; so deep sorrow receives mournful impressions from all things, and turns the sweetest comforts of life into wormwood and gall. The causes of sorrow are either the loss of some valued good, or the sense of some present evil. And the sorrow is more violent, as the cause is great in itself, and in the apprehension and tenderness of the sufferers. Now both these causes, with all the heavy circumstances that can multiply and aggravate sorrow, meet in hell the centre of misery,
The loss is inconceivably great. If Cain, when banished from the society of the saints, where God was publicly worshipped, and by spiritual revelations and visible apparitions, graciously made himself known, cried out in anguish of soul, “ my punish
, ment is greater than I can bear; from thy face shall I be hid, and I shall be a fugitive upon the earth :” how intolerable will the final separation from his glorious and joyful presence be ? In the clear and transforming vision of his glory, and the intimate and indissoluble union with him by love, consist the perfection and satisfaction of the immortal soul. The felicity resulting from it, is as entire and eternal, as God is great and true, who has so often promised it in scripture. Now the damned are for ever excluded from the reviving presence of God. It is often seen how tenderly and impatiently the human spirit resents the loss of a dear relation, Jacob for the supposed death of Joseph, was so overcome with grief, that when all his sons and daughters rose up to comfort him, he refused to be comforted, and said, “ I will go down mourning to the grave.” Indeed this overwhelming sorrow is both a sin and a punishment. * It is ordained by the righteous and unchangeable decree of God, that every. inordinate affection in man should be his own tormentor. But if the loss of a poor frail creature for a short time be so afflicting, how insupportable will the sorrow be for the loss of the blessed God for ever ? Who can fully conceive the extent and degrees of that evil? For an evil rises in proportion to the good of which it deprives us : it must therefore follow, that celestial blessedness being an infinite eternal good, the exclusion from it is proportionably evil. And as the felicity of the saints results from the fruition of God in heaven, and from comparison with the contrary state : so the misery of the damned arises both from the thoughts of lost happiness, and from the lasting pain that torments them.
It may be replied, if this be the utmost evil that is consequent to sin, the threatening of it is likely to deter but few from the pleasing their corrupt appetites : for carnal men have such gross and vitiated affections that are careless of spiritual happiness, “ They cannot taste and see how good the Lord is.”
* Jussisti Domine, & sic est, ut pæpa sit sibi omnis inordinatus affectus
To this a clear answer may be given : in the next state, where the wicked shall be for ever without those carnal objects that here deceive and delight them, when deprived of all things that please their voluptuous senses, their apprehensions will be changed; they shall understand what a happiness it is to enjoy God, and what a misery to be expelled from the celestial paradise. Our Saviour tells the Jews, “ there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when ye shall see Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, and you yourselves thrust out.” Luke 15. 28. How will they pine with envy at the
” sight of that triumphant felicity, of which they shall never be partakers ? To see that blessed company entering into the sacred mansions of light, will make the loss of heaven infinitely more discernible and terrible to the wicked, who shall be cast into “ outer darkness," and for ever be deprived of communion with God and his saints. “ Depart from me,” will be as dreadful a part of the judgment, as “ eternal fire."
With the loss of the most excellent good, the suffering of the most afflicting painful evil is joined. The sentence is, “ depart ye cursed into everlasting fire,” And if an imaginary sorrow conceived in the mind without a real external cause, as in melancholy persons, when gross vapours darken and corrupt the brightness and purity of the spirits that are requisite for its cheerful operations, is often so oppressing, that nature sinks under it; how insupportable will the sorrow of condemned sinners be, un, der the impression and sense of God's almighty and avenging hand, when it shall fully appear how pure and holy he is in his anger for sin, how just and dreadful in punishing sinners? It may be, the indulgent sinner may lessen his fear of hell, by fancying the number of sufferers will assuage the sense of their misery. But this is a foolish mistake; for the number of sufferers shall be so far from affording any relief, that the misery is aggravated by the company and communication of the miserable. Every one is surrounded with sorrows, and by the sights of woe about him, feels the universal grief. The weeping and wailing, the cries and dolorous expressions of all the damned, increase the torment and vexation of every one. As when the wind conspires with the flame, it is more fierce and spreading,
The concomitant of sorrow will be fury and rage against themdelves, as the true causes of their misery. For God will make