« ΠροηγούμενηΣυνέχεια »
Vol. II. obstinately rejected, as he is, when the
Condition suppos’d is complied with, as in the Case of the Ninevites; yet can I not see what Ground Men have to hope he will. Is there any room for Sacrifice or Mediation beyond the Day of Judgment, when the Son shall have resign'd up his Mediatory Kingdom to the Father? Or if there be, is there a greater Sacrifice to be found than the Son of God? Will the Spirit of God enlighten the Darkness of Hell, and will he dwell in the Bosoms of Devils and Fiends, when he has been resisted, . chas'd away and defpitefully us’d by them, when they were Men? Why then, should any think God will not fulfil his Threats upon the Damned ?
If Sinners would speak out, they would fay, that those Threats in this sense are severe, nay unjust. But, I am sure, 'it can neither become the Wisdom nor the Goodness of God to threaten, what it can never become his Justice to execute, If therefore this be their meaning, they had better keep to their first Shift, and resolve, that God neither has, nor can threaten the Sinner with exquisite and Eternal Pụnishment; But how likely this is to be true, you may easily judge by what I have said before.
I have under this Head had my Eye Serm, continually on the Holy Scriptures, being VIII. fully satisfied, that if we deviate from m these to follow pur-blind Reason, we shall only run Riot after our own vain Fancies and Imaginations. And this is what they are guilty of, who start
many strange Notions on this Occasion; for instance, the love of God is boundless, and therefore, Love must triumph over all Opposition at the last, and convert his Wicked into Holy, and his Miserable in, to Happy Creatures. But what Warrant have we to extend the Love of God, further than himself has done? What ground have we to expect more glorious Manifestations of Love than we meet with in the Gospel, which contains the Riches, the Glory, the Fullness, the Treasure of Divine Grace and Goodness?
Others will have the Words Eternal and Everlasting signify a longer or shorter Duration according to the Nature and Condition of that State or Person it relates to. But who can prove, that the Impenitent shall rise in a Mortal Corruptible Body ? For if they should, what would become of the Immortal and Incorruptible Soul ? Or, how does it appear that that state of Misery does naturally tend to an End, and is necessarily
Vol. II.to be fucceeded by a great and happy
Some again think, that God cannot
God not be the Author of Sin.
them, and consequently where no Law is, Rom. iv.
there is no Transgression: The Actions of such will be Evil, but strictly speaking they will not be Sins.
There is but one Imagination more Serm. that I can think of, by which a wretched VIII. Sinner may deceive himself into a Perswasion that Hell is not Eternal : He
may be willing to hope, that the Justice of God may in some time be satisfied with his Punishment, but in what time he is never able to determine, whether a Hundred, a Thousand, or a Million of Years; nor is there any Countenance for such an Opinion in Scripture, but rather the contrary, as appears from all that I have said. Nor will such a one ever be able to prove, that a miserable Eternity is not partly the natural result as well as judicial Effect of a sinful and impenitent Life.
I will conclude with beseeching every Sinner not to suffer himself to be deceiv'd with vain Words. We have to do with a God, a Holy God, who is Light, and in Joha sv. him is no Darkness at all, a God to whose Eyes all things are naked, who searcheth the Heb.iv.13 Heart and trieth the Reins, even to give Jer. xvii. every Man according to his Ways, and accor. 1o. ding to the Fruit of his Doings. He is indeed a Gracious Father, but a terrible Judge; God is indeed Love, but he is too a Consuming Fire. Knowing therefore, Cor. r. the Terrour of the Lord, we perswade Men 10. to break off their Sins, and to serve him with Reverence and Godly Fear.