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and that “ from the presence of the Lord by the glory of his power.” Than which piece I have no need to add more; for, as much as can be said of men and angels is fully comprehended in it. The apostle terms this a “ fearful thing indeed,” whereon if a man but think, if he hath his wits about him, he would for fear “ of it be all his life long subject to bondage.” He would scarce draw any free breath, but would still be in bondage and drudgery, till he were delivered. Thus I have declared the nature of the place, and of this second death.
That I may now go farther, know that this lake and this place is the place that the Lord hath provided for his enemies: it is the Lord's slaughter-house; it is called “al place of torments," a place wherein God will shew the accomplishment of his wrath, and revenge upon his enemies. “Thosem mine enemies that would not have me to reign over them, bring them forth, and slay them before my face." Those vessels of wrath, those rebels; the King is enraged, and his wrath is as the “ roaring" of a lion,” which makes all the beasts of the forest to tremble: “ And where there is the wrath of such a king, the issue thereof must needs be death. The wrath of a king is a messenger of death.” How much more fearful is the wrath of the King of kings. God hath sharp arrows, and he sets a wicked man as his butt to shoot at, to shew his strength, and the fierceness of his wrath. See the expression of Job in this case : “ The arrows of the Almighty stick fast in me, and the venom thereof hath drunk up my spirits :" in so few words there could not be an higher expression of the wrath of God. First, that God should make thee a butt, and that thou shouldst be shot at, and that by God's arrows: and then they are not shot by a child, but as the man is, so is his strength) by the Almighty, by his bow, wherein he draws the arrow to the head. And then again these arrows are poisoned arrows, and such poison as shall drink up all thy soul and spirit : Oh, what a fearful thing is it to fall into the hands of such a God: it is a saying of Moses, for it is Moses's psalm: “ Whop knoweth the power of thine anger? The power of God's anger is unknown.” And so in his song, Deut. chap. XXXII. ver. 22. he sets it out in some measure.
i 2 Thess. chap. 1. ver. 9.
k Heb. chap. 2. ver. 15.
- A fire is kindled in mine anger, which shall burn unto the lowest hell," &c. So that the King being thus provoked, is provoked to curse theel. It is put into the form of thy sentence; this cursing shall be thy lot in hell, it shall be thy very sentence,“ Go ye cursed into everlasting fire.” There is nothing but cursing: as Job cursed himself, and the day of his birth, so then shall cursing be all thy song: thou wilt curse thyself, that thou didst not hearken to the preacher, that thou wouldst not accept of Christ, and the means of mercy and grace, when it was offered thee: and thou wilt curse the time thou wert acquainted with this man, and that man, and others will curse thee for drawing them to sin: God curses thee, and man curses thee; and God curses not in vain when he curses : others will curse thee, and thou thyself and others; and think then how cursed will be thy condition? All the curses that cannot be thought on, shall rest on the head of an impenitent sinner, to shew God's terrible and just indignation against him. O beloved to deliver us from this curse, Christ the Son of God was
" made curse for us :" the curse is so great, nought else can free us from it. But now that I may rank these punishments of the damned, and bring them for memory's sake into some order, although there be no order there, for it is a place of confusion', you may consider that the penalties of God's enemies are penalties partly of loss, and partly of sense.
1. Of loss. And that consists in the deprivation of every thing that might administer the least comfort to him; and for this cause hell is termed utter darkness.
9 Matth. chap. 25. ver. 41.
p Psalm 90. ver. 11.
Job, chap. 11. ver. 22.
Now darkness is a privation of all light, so is hell of all comfort, to shew that there is not the least thing that may give thee content, nor is the poorest thing thou canst desire to be had there. Darkness was one of the plagues of Egypt, though there were no kind of sense in it, yet we may think what a plague and vexation it was to them, to sit so long in darkness. The darkness of hell is darker than darkness itself. “They shall never see light,” saith the Scripture, they shall not have so much as a glimpse of it: to be cast into this utter darkness, where shall be nothing to administer the least comfort, what an infinite misery will that be? Were it only the loss of the things we now possess and enjoy, of all which death robs us, as pomp, honour, riches, and preferment, this were grievous to a wicked man: these are things death dispossesses a man of, these cannot follow him, nought but thy works accompany thee: thy friends may follow thee to the grave, but there they shall leave thee. To have been happy, and to be miserable, is the greatest woe; to have lived in good fashion, and to be wretched, is the greatest grief. How will this add to the sinner's misery, when he shall say to himself, I had once all good things about me, but have now for my portion nothing but woe: I had a bed of down, but it is now exchanged for a bed of fire: I was once honourable, but now I am full of shame and contempt; this will greatly add to his misery. But all this is nothing, these are but the beginnings of his sorrow in regard of loss : for a man to be rich and wealthy to-day, and to-morrow to be stript of all, and left not worth a groat, to have all swept away, this is a woful case.
2. But if this be so grievous, what is it to lose heaven? Certainly, to lose the highest and greatest good, is the greatest evil, and punishment, that can be inflicted upon a creature. Which makes many divines think, that the penalties of loss are far greater than those of sense, though they seem not to make that impression. It is another thing to judge of things by sense, than by loss: as for example, a man is greatly troubled with the toothache, and he thinks his case more miserable than
t Psalm 49. ver. 19.
and thinks no man ever endured so much misery as himself, he judges of his misery by sense : another man is in the consumption, and he hath little or no pain at all; yet if a man come with a right judgment, he will judge his condition far worse than the other's. So take all the pains in hell, though sense may say they are the greatest that can be, yet discreet judgment can say, that the loss of God, the greatest good, is the worst of evils. Now, if thou be a firebrand of hell, thou must be for ever banished from God's presence. Thou base wretch, dost thou think heaven a place for thee? Not so. It is: “ without" are dogs and sorcerers," &c. Thou art a damned dog, therefore thou must out from God, and from the company of the blessed saints and angels. When Peter saw Moses and Elias with Christ in his transfiguration, though he had but a glimpse of glory, yet he saith, “It is good for us to be here." But oh, how infinite good it will be to be in heaven? How shall we be then rapt up with glory, when we shall “bey for ever with the Lord, in? whose presence is fulness of joy, and at whose right hand there are pleasures for evermore.” On the contrary, how exceeding terrible will it be to be shut out from the presence of God? When God shall say, Avaunt hence, whip out this dog, what doth he here? Let him not defile this room, this is no place for a filthy dog. Oh, the unspeakable horror and dread! Oh, the infinite shame of that man, who is in such a case! But this is not all.
3. There is yet one thing more, the wicked shall not only be banished from God's gracious presence, and cast into hell, but this shall be done in the sight of heaven.” The glorious saints of God have continually a sight of God's justice upon sinners, that they may glorify his mercy the more. The Scripture runs much to this purpose: “Ifa any man worship the beast and his image, the same shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of God and of his holy angels." This in the ninth verse is “ the portion of them that worship the beast,” that is the pope," and receive the mark of his name.” That is, if any will be an express public or private papist, if any one will be a slave to the pope, see his portion; he shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, and be banished from the society of holy angels, and be tormented with hell fire in their presence. Oh, what a vexation will this be to the damned, when they shall see others in heaven, and themselves shut out of door? This will cause “weeping, and wailing, and gnashing of teeth.” It will go to their very heart, when they shall see Moses and Aaron, and the prophets, and holy saints in joy and glory, and shall consider and remember, that if they had made use of those means and opportunities of grace, they might have lived in heaven too, whereas now they must be everlastingly tormented in that lake which burneth with fire and brimstone, and that without any hope of recovery, “ Punished with everlasting destruction, from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his power.” You know that by the law of Moses, whensoever an offender was to receive his strokes, judge was to cause him to lie down, and to be beaten before his face, and he himself was to see it done." So when God comes to give the damned their strokes in hell, (for hell is the place of execution, wherein he " that knows his master's will, and doth it not, shall be beaten with many stripes,") he himself will see them beaten in the presence of all his holy angels, and if so, how shameful will their punishment be? when there shall be so many thousand witnesses of it, when they shall be made, as we say, the world's wonder. These are they that shall “ rised to everlasting contempt.” So in Isaiah, it is said of the damned, “ theire worm shall not die, nor their fire be quenched,
u Rev. chap. 22. ver. 15.
* Matth. chap. 17. ver. 14.