« SebelumnyaLanjutkan »
worldlings, swearers, unclean, persecutors, mockers, hypocrites, &c. And the more means of reformation any had, and the greater height of impiety they went to under these means, the more miserable will their case be there, Luke xii. 47, 48. Matth. xxiv. ult.
6. Their misery will be eternal there, and they will know that it will be so, Matth. xxv. 41. “ Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire." Prov. xiv. 32. “ The wicked is driven away in his wickedness." It will be everlasting, without intermission, Rev.xiv. II, “ The smoke of their torment ascendeth
for ever and ever; and they have no rest day nor night.” No breathing time will be allowed there, but the floods of wrath will be incessantly flowing in upon them. There will be no clearning of the storm that blows there, for ever so short a while. It will be eternal, without ending, Rev. xx. 10. “ They shall be tormented day and night, for ever and ever.” There is no end to be for ever expected of the easeless torments here. And the damned knowing this, will be cut for ever with despair, and rage, like wild bulls in a net.
Lastly, And thus God will be glorified passively, in those who now will not actively glorify him, Prov. xvi. 4." The Lord hath made all things for himself; yea, even the wicked for the day of evil.” God made man for his glory, capable of enjoying him for ever; he cannot fall short of his end, and therefore he will be glorified upon those who now refuse to answer the end of their creation.
Inf: 1. Sin is a most dreadful evil. Here is a looking-glass wherein you may see it fo. How great must the filthiness of it be, that provokes a gracious holy God, to bury the finner in such a horrible pit out of his fight! How deep must the guilt be, that cannot .be washed out with such fearful punishment, so as to have an end!
2. God is a God of terrible justice, a severe avenger of sin. O correct your mistakes of God by this, Pfal. 1. 21. He gave a demonstration of his justice, R
in the burning of Sodom; here he gives an eternal de monftration of it.
Laily, There is nothing that possibly can make the life of an impenitent finner in this world defirable which has such a miserable end.
The Doctrine of the other World applied. And now, after having viewed this present world, we have given you some description of the other world, to let you into a necessary view of it; it remains to shut up that weighty subject with some application of the whole.
FIRST, Believe the report from the word concerning the other world firmly; and let it have deep impression on your souls. Consider of it timely with all earnestness, stretch your views beyond this present world, look into the world to come, with the prospect of the word which has been cleared in some measure unto you. There are two things very prevalent in this world, with reference to the other world.
First, Thoughtlessness about it. Men spend their days as in a dream, going through this world with the other world feldom coming into their view, never entering into
any suitable thoughtfulness about it. The reasons hereof are,
1. The reigning vanity of the minds of men, Eph. iv. 17, 18. The light and frothy mind cannot find entertainment in any thing that is not like itself, light and vain. Therefore thoughts of the other world are shunned, as a bird delighting to kip from bush to bush, would fun the tying of a stone to its foot. But alas! what avails that, since going into that world cannot be shunned that way?
2. Throng of the cares of this life, Matth. xiii. 23. Meas hearts are so stuffed and perplexed with these, that the concerns of another world cannot getentrance into their hearts; cumbered about many things, the one thing needful is forgot. Hence death surprises many in such a throng, and hurries them away. into another, when they were not at all thinking on it, Psal. cxlvi. 4. Luke xii. 20.
3. An averseness of heart to the other world. The hearts of most men are so wedded to this world, that for as great a hell as it is, they would defire no better heaven
than what they could make here. They are in no cafe content to leave it, and go into another world. And their aversion to it makes them thoughtless about it, that they really shun the thoughts of it as much as they can, since they can have no pleasure in them.
4. A fond conceit of coming in time enough after to think of the concerns of the other world, when they come near the borders of it; though alas! they know not how near they are to it, and their foot may slip, and they pass into it ere ever they are aware.
Lastly, Satan has a great hand in it, who endeavours to hoodwink finners, and to be continually buzing into their ears other things, that may keep them · from serious thoughts about it; and all to compass their ruin.
Secondly, Unbelief of it. Men are not only thoughtless about it, not turning their thoughts that way; but when the report of it is brought to them, they do not believe it. There is a root of Atheism and infidelity in the minds of men, as to things not seen, so that they hear these things as idle tales. The evidences of this are,
1. The little impression these things make on the minds of men, when they hear them. How many do hear the report of the other world with as little concern as they could hear an idle story, which they had no manner of concern about? The account of the joys of heaven does not move them, and that of the terrors of hell makes no suitable impression.
The supine negligence and carelessness about our part in the other world. If in the time of hearing
men are somewhat moved, yet they are like the fieve taken out of the water when they go away, they lose
They are not effeétually stirred up to take some course whereby they may fee from the wrath to come, and may become heirs of heaven. If it were but a cot house they had, in case they were to remove out of it, they would be careful to secure another for themselves. But they know they must die, yet they are quite careless as to where they are to lodge next.
Lastly, The unaccountable mispending of time, either trifling or doing evil; doing nothing or what is worse than nothing. Did men believe, that now they are sowing for eternity, that what they now do in this world, they are to eat the fruit of in the other world; would they be fo barren in good works, and fo lavish in finful courses and actions?
Wherefore I beseech you consider seriously of the world to come, and believe the report about it.
1. About the being of it. O to believe firmly, that there is another world, a heaven and a hell; a receptacle of joy for the departed souls of the godly, whereinto their bodies also are to be received after the refurrection; and a receptacle of horror for the fouls and bodies of the wicked.
2. About the state of men in it, as held forth in the word; how that there they arrive either at the highest pinnacle of happiness or misery; and to continue unchangeable for ever and ever. To inforce the exhortation I offer the following motives.
1. Consider ye have by the providence of God heard much of it from the word of God. The Lord of the other world has appointed his mefsengers to speak of it to us in this world, that we may make ready for it in time. When the Lord has been founding the alarm, let us not be deaf to his call, but know and be. lieve that we are to march into the other world. It will be an aggravated guilt to be thoughtless about it, after hearing so much of it, or to entertain the report as idle tales.
2. The world we have been hearing of, we will all see at length; and see it not afar off, but being in it. We might be the less concerned about it, if we were never to go there; but thither we must all go. And it may well apologize for our infifting so much on it, that we are to be inhabitants there, eternal inhabitants there. It must be infatuation to be thoughtless or unbelieving about it.
3. It will not be long ere we will be there. We have but a hand-breadth of days to pass, and then we are there; our age, which is as nothing before the Lord, being once run through, we pass into that other world. Our life here is but a short preface to a long eternity; a skip from the womb to the grave, and we have made confiderable progress in it already. And we are not far from the entrance of the passage into the other world, and in a little we will be in one of the parts of it, join the inhabitants thereof, and be settled in the state of it..
4. We know not how foon we may be there. The journey to the other world is not alike long to all. It is but a short journey the longest of it; but God brings some there by a short cut, and they are at the end when they think there is a great part of the way, before them.
Lastly, A happy part there will never be reached without serious thoughts about it, and a firm faith ofit.
SECONDLY, Improve the believed report of the other world suitably. If there is really another world, a world to come, and such as from the Lord's word it has been reported of to you ; without controversy it is a matter of the greatest concern to us, and ought to influence our whole life. And it is not a true faith of it, that does not influence our conduct accordingly. Now if we would improve it suitably,
First, Improve it to a speedy choice of the way to the happy part of it, and entering upon it without delay, We are all going to the other world; but as