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season of mercy cheers them with its light; their day is ended, and a horrible night of eternal darkness has begun. Once they might have prayed; but then they would not; and in hell they cannot. God calls on them no more; but has forgotten to be gracious. Jesus pities them no more; nor will his blood ever wash away one of their sins; though once it might have cleansed them from all. The Spirit strives with them no more. Once they would not turn; and now they cannot. No one will ever more pray for them. No friendly voice will ever say to them, Sinner, turn, there is mercy for you. The sermons of ministers shall no longer weary them; the admonitions of pious friends shall no longer trouble them; in hell they are fixed beyond the reach of hope, or prayer, or admonition, or mercy.
Then, too, all the blessings of the next world, as well as those of this, will be for ever lost in them. God will never, for one moment, cheer them with his smile. They are for ever shut out of the heavenly city. No crown of glory will ever be theirs. Their tongues shall never join the heavenly anthems of praise, for victory and salvation, God will never wipe one tear from their eyes; or remove one pain from their hearts;
nor Jesus ever lead them to fountains of hea venly pleasure.
In hell too all that is evil will meet. unhappy creature that sinks into that dreadful prison, will have no companions but tor menting devils, and the spirits of the damned. Hardened infidels, profane blasphemers, ferocious murderers, swearers, adulterers, drunkards, with Satan and his angels, will compose the dreadful society of hell. There, alas ! must they dwell, hateful, and hating one another, ever tormenting and ever tormented, with every hellish passion, and every devilish disposition, augmented by the madness of despair. O, could you endure in this world such com pany for a single day? How dreadful is their lot, who must dwell with devils and the damned for ever!
Besides all this misery, that of the fire that never shall be quenched, is added. And O, who can dwell with devouring fire? who can endure everlasting burnings? All the torments which martyrs have suffered would be easy, compared with the torments of dam nation. Many of those faithful servants o God yielded up their lives, in the midst of dreadful burnings; but these were not an everlasting fire. If merely a finger be burnt, or one limb he scorched, how tormenting is
the pain! yet what is this, compared with sinking in the flaming waves of hell, tormented in every part, with nothing to give a momentary relief! yet this must be the careless sinner's dreadful portion. The Son of God himself has declared the awful truth; and it is an awful cruelty to an immortal soul to disbelieve it through a delusive hope that God's threatenings will not be fulfilled. Can you then, O young sinner! "dwell with everlasting burnings?" you must, if you do not repent. If your hand were thrust into a flaming furnace, the torment would be great, but more supportable, if you were assured that in a minute it should be taken out again but if your hand were capable of suffering so long, and you were assured that it should continue burning for life, how intolerable would your misery seem! how would you wish for death to end it! yet it would be as nothing compared with what the spirits of the damned must feel in hell. There all the soul, and, after the resurrection, all the immortal body, must endure indescribable misery, and no easy part be within or without. How dreadful is the state of those, who, dying in their sins, are dragged down by devils to infinite despair! how would they shrink back from the mouth of the infernal dungeon! but they cannot, for the wrath of an incensed
God drives them in. Alas! how infernal the society how doleful the abode! Oh, the dread torments of eternal fire! Oh, the horrid company of hellish fiends! Where can they turn their affrighted eyes? Alas! it is every where the same sad spectacle; blackness, and darkness, and misery for ever. 0, could they die again; but die they cannot. Roll on, ye everlasting ages! but why roll on! ye will never be nearer to an end.
"Tempests of angry fire shall roll
How dreadful a change is this for the careless sinner! Here he has many comforts, and, what he esteems, pleasures; there not one. Here tender friends are his companions by day; but there are no kind companions there. By night an easy bed refreshes his weary limbs; and in calm sleep, even his sorrows are forgotten; but there he will sleep no more, to forget his misery; but writhe and toss his wretched form for ever on the ake of fire. Here, even the most distressed have something remaining to lessen their wretchedness; but it is not so there. Human kindness cannot enter; and devils cannot love. Misery will reign in every heart;
despair will scowl on every face; rage and remorse distract every soul. Ah! it will be so. To the fire that never shall be quenched, is added, the worm that will never die. The lost sinner will feel a hell within, as well as hell without. Infernal passions, like so many ravenous vultures, will tear his wretched soul. Then will he discern, for what he lost the fair inheritance of heaven. Then will he see, for what poor trifles he sunk his soul to hell. Oh! how will it wound his soul, to think of grace refused, and Christ neglected! Oh! while he blasphemes his God, how will he curse his own self-destroying folly, in choosing the way to hell, instead of that to heaven, and sin instead of religion! Oh! how bitter now will be the remembrance of sabbaths wasted! of mercy rejected! of the calls to which he would not hearken! and the admonitions he
would not regard! "Is this the hell," may the unhappy creature say, "that I was choosing, when I turned a deaf ear to the advice of God? Is this the fruit of my fancied wisdom? and this eternal flame, the end of all my pleasures? Is even this damnation my own choice? Ah! why have some with whom I once met, risen to glory, while confusion covers me? why are they happy, and I miserable? they in heaven, and I in hell?