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world; but God shall manifest himself in his strict justice inwardly, to the immediate view of the soul, and to the sense and apprehension of the conscience: This particular judgment probably will not hinder, but that the soul shall be cast into hell immediately when it goes from the body; as soon as ever the soul departs from the body, the soul shall know what its state and condition are to be to all eternity. As long as there is life, there is hope. The man, while he lived, though his case was exceedingly dreadful, yet had some hope; when he lay dying, there was a possibility of salvation. But when once the union between soul and body is broken, then that moment the case becomes desperate, and there remains no hope, no possibility. On their death-beds, perhaps, they had some hope that God would pity them and hear their cries, or that he would hear the prayers of their pious friends for them; they were ready to lay hold on something which they had at some time met with, some religious affection or some change in their external conduct, and to flatter themselves that they were then converted; they were able to indulge some degree of hope from the moral lives that they had lived, that God would have respect to them and save them; but as soon as ever the soul parts from the body, from that moment the case will be absolutely determined. there will then be an end for ever to all hope, to every thing that men hang upon in this life; the soul then shall know certainly that it is to be miserable to all eternity, without any remedy. It shall see that God is its enemy; it shall see its Judge clothed in his wrath and vengeance. Then its misery will begin, it will that moment be swallowed up in despair; the great gulf will be fixed between it and happiness, the door of mercy will be for ever shut up, the irrevocable sentence will be passed. Then shall the wicked know what is before them. Before, the soul was in distress for fear how it would be; but now, all its fears shall come upon it; it shall come upon it as a mighty flood, and there will be no escaping. The soul was full of amazement before through fear; but now, who can conceive the amazement that fills it that moment when all hope is cut off, and it knows that there never will be any deliverance. !
When a good man dies, his soul is conducted by holy angels to heaven. Luke xvi. 22. "And it came to pass that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom: the rich man also died and was buried." So we may well suppose that when a wicked man dies, his soul is seized by wicked angels; that they are round his bed ready to seize the miserable soul as soon as it is parted from the body. And with what fierceness and fury do those cruel spirits fly upon their prey; and the soul shall be left in their hands. There shall be no good angels to guard and defend it. God will take no merciful care of it, there is nothing
to help it against those cruel spirits that shall lay hold of it to carry it to hell, there to torment it for ever. God will leave it wholly in their bands, and will give it up to their possession, when it comes to die; and it shall be carried down into hell, to the abode of devils and damned spirits. If the fear of hell on a death-bed sometimes fills the wicked with amazement, how will they be overwhelmed when they feel its torments, when they shall find them not only as great but far greater than their fears! They shall find them far beyond what they could conceive of before they felt them; for none know the power of God's anger, but they that experience it. Psalm xc. 11. "Who knoweth the power of thine anger? even according to thy fear, so is thy wrath."
Departed spirits of wicked men, are doubtless carried to some particular place in the universe, which God has prepared to be the receptacle of his wicked, rebellious, and miserable subjects; a place where God's avenging justice shall be glorified; a place built to be the prison, where devils and wicked men are reserved till the day of judgment.
2. Here the souls of wicked men shall suffer extreme and amazing misery in a separate state, until the resurrection. This misery is not indeed their full punishment; nor is the happiness of the saints before the day of judgment their full happiness. It is with the souls of wicked men, as it is with devils. Though the devils suffer extreme torment now, yet they do not suffer their complete punishment; and therefore it is said, that they are cast down to hell, and bound in chains. 2 Peter ii. 4. "God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment." Jude 6. "And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left, their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness, unto the judgment of the great day." They are reserved in the state they are in; and for what are they reserved, but for a greater degree of punishment? and therefore are they said to tremble for fear. James ii. 19. "Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe and tremble." Hence when Christ was on earth, the devils were greatly afraid that Christ was come to torment them. Matth. viii. 29. "And, behold, they cried out, saying, what have we to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God? Art thou come hither to torment us before the time?" Mark v. 7. "And cried with a loud voice, and said, what have I to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of the Most High God? I adjure thee by God, that thou torment me not."
But yet they are there in extreme and inconceivable misery; they are there deprived of all good, they have no rest nor comfort, and they are subject to the wrath of God; God there executes wrath on them without mercy, and they are swallowed up in
wrath. Luke xvi. 24. "And he cried, and said, father Abraham, have mercy on me; and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame." Here we are told that, when the rich man died, he lift up his eyes being in torment, and he tells Abraham that he is tormented in a flame; and it seems that the flame was not only about him, but in him; he therefore asks for a drop of water to cool his tongue. This doubtless is to represent to us that they are full of the wrath of God as it were with fire, and they shall there be tormented in the midst of devils and damned spirits; and they shall have inexpressible torment from their own consciences. God's wrath is the fire that never shall be quenched, and conscience is the worm that never dies. How much do men suffer from horror of conscience sometimes in this world, but how much more in hell! What bitter and tormenting reflections will they have concerning the folly they have been guilty of in their lives, in so neglecting their souls, when they had such an opportunity for repentance; that they went on so foolishly to treasure up wrath against the day of wrath, to add to the record of their sins from day to day, to make their misery yet greater and greater; how they have kindled the fires of hell for themselves, and spent their lives in gathering the fuel! They will not be able to help revolving such thoughts in their minds, and how tormenting will they be! And those who go to hell, never can escape thence, there they remain imprisoned till the day of judgment, and their torments remain continually. Those wicked men who died many years ago, their souls went to hell, and there they are still; those who went to hell in former ages of the world, have been in hell ever since, all the while suffering torment. They have nothing else to spend their time in there, but to suffer torment, they are kept in being for no other purpose; and though they have many companions in hell, yet they are no comfort to them, for there is no friend, no love, no pity, no quietness, no prospect, no hope.
3. The separate souls of the wicked, besides the present misery that they suffer, shall be in amazing fear of their more full punishment at the day of judgment. Though their punishment in their separate state be exceedingly dreadful, and far more than they can bear, though it be so great as to sink and crush them, yet this is not all; they are reserved for a much greater and more dreadful punishment at the day of judgment; their torment will then be vastly augmented, and continue in that augmentation to all eternity. Their punishment will be so much greater then, that their misery in this separate state is but as an imprisonment before an execution; they, as well as the devils, are bound in chains of darkness to the judgment of the great day. Separate spirits are called "spirits in prison." 1 Peter iii. 19. "By which also he
went and preached unto the spirits in prison." And if the imprisonment be so dreadful, how dreadful indeed will be the execution! When we are under any great pain of body at any time, how do we dread the least addition to it! its continuance is greatly dreaded, much more its increase. How much more will those separate spirits that suffer the torments of hell dread that augmentation and completing of their torment which there will be at the day of judgment, when what they feel already, is vastly more than they can support themselves; when they shall be as it were begging for one drop of water to cool their tongues, when they would give ten thousand worlds for the least abatement of their misery! How sinking will it be to think that instead of that, the day is coming when God shall come forth out of heaven to sentence them to a far more dreadful degree of misery, and to continue them under it for ever! What experience they have of the dreadfulness of God's wrath convinces them fully how terrible a thing his wrath is; they will therefore be exceedingly afraid of that full wrath which he will execute at the day of judgment; they will have no hope of escaping it, they will know assuredly that it will come.
The fear of this makes the devils, those mighty, proud and stubborn spirits, to tremble: they believe what is threatened, and therefore tremble. If this fear overcomes them, how much more will it overwhelm the souls of wicked men! All hell trembles at the thoughts of the day of judgment.
4. When the day of judgment comes they shall rise to the resurrection of damnation. When that day comes, all mankind, that have died from off the face of the earth shall arise; not only the righteous, but also the wicked. Dan. xii. 2. "And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth, shall awake; some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt." Rev. xx. 13. "And the sea gave up the dead which were in it, and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged, every man according to his works." The damned in hell know not the time when the day of judgment will be, but when the time comes it will be made known, and it will be the most dreadful news that ever was told in that world of misery. It is always a doleful time in hell; the world of darkness is always full of shrieks and doleful cries; but when the news is heard, that the day appointed for the judgment is come, hell will be filled with louder shrieks and more dreadful cries than ever before. When Christ comes in the clouds of heaven to judgment, the news of it will fill both earth and hell with mourning and bitter crying. We read that all the kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him, and so shall all the inhabitants of hell, and then must the souls of the wicked come up to be united to their bodies, and stand before
the Judge. They shall not come willingly, but shall be dragged forth as a malefactor is dragged out of his dungeon to execution. They were unwilling when they died to leave the earth to go to hell; but now they will be much more unwilling to come out of hell to go to the last judgment. It will be no deliverance to them, it will only be a coming forth to their execution. They will hang back, but must come; the devils and damned spirits must come up together. The last trumpet will then be heard, this will be the most terrible sound to wicked men and devils that ever was heard; and not only the wicked, that shall then be found dwelling on the earth, shall hear it, but also those that are in their graves. John v. 28, 29. "Marvel not at this; for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice and shall come forth; they that have done good unto the resurrection of life, and they that have done evil unto the resurrection of damnation ;" and then must the souls of the wicked enter their bodies again, which will be prepared only to be organs of torment and misery. It will be a dreadful sight to them when they come to their bodies again, those bodies which were formerly used by them as the organs and instruments of sin and wickedness, and whose appetites and lusts they indulged and gratified. The parting of soul and body was dreadful to them when they died, but their meeting again at the resurrection will be more dreadful. They shall receive their bodies loathsome and hideous, agreeably to that shame and everlasting contempt to which they shall arise. As the bodies of the saints shall arise more glorious than when on earth, and shall be like unto Christ's glorious body, so we may well suppose that the bodies of the wicked will arise proportionably more deformed and hideous. Oftentimes in this world a polluted soul is hid in a fine and comely body, but it will not be so then when things shall appear as they are; the form and aspect of the body shall be answerable to the hellish deformity of the soul. Thus shall they rise out of their graves, and shall lift up their eyes, and see the Son of God in the clouds of heaven, in the glory of his Father, with all his holy angels with him. Then shall they see their Judge in his awful majesty, which will be the most amazing sight to them that ever they saw, and will still add new horrors. That awful and terrible majesty in which he will appear, and the manifestation of his infinite holiness, will pierce their souls. They shall come forth out of their graves all trembling and astonished; fearfulness shall surprise them.
5. Then must they appear before their judge to give up their account. They will find no mountains or rocks to fall upon them, that can cover them, and hide them from the wrath of the Lamb. Many of them will see others at that time, who were formerly their acquaintance, who shall appear with glorious bodies, and with joyful countenances and songs of praise, and mounting