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come: but then they shall be driven away from him, when they would gladly abide with him. Although the quellion, " What is

thy beloved more than another beloved?” is frequent now - amongst the despisess of the gospel, there will be no luch question

among all the damned crew; for then they will fee that inan's

happiness is only to be found in obe enjoyment of God, and that the i loss of him is á fors that can bever be balanced. (2) It will allo

be a total and utter separation. Albeit the wicked are in this life feparated from God, yet there is a kind of intercourse berwixt them : he gives them many good gifts, and they give him, at least, some good words: so that the peace is not altogerher hopeless. But then there shall be a total separation; the damned being caft into utter darkes, where there will not be the least gleam of light or favour from the Lord: the which will put an end unto all their fair words to him. Lastly, It shall be a final feparation; they will part with him, never more to mect, being shut up under everlasting horror and despair. The match betwixt Jesus Christ and unbelievers, which has so often been carried forward, and put back again, thall chen be broken op for ever: and never shall one message of favour or good will go bet wist the parties any more.

This punishment of lofs, in a total and final separation from God, is a misery beyond what mortals can conceive, and which the dreadful experience of the damned can only fufficiently unfold,

But that we may have some conception of the horror of it, let the į following things be considered.

Ift, God is the chief good, and therefore to be separated from himy must be the chief evil. Our native country, our relations, and i our life, are good: and therefore, to be deprived of them, we

reckon a great evil: and the better any thing is, so much the e greater evil is the loss of it: wherefore God being the chief good,

and no good comparable to him, there can be no lofs to great as į the loss of God. The full enjoyment of him is the highest pinacle pi of happiness the creature is capable of arriving at: to be fully and

finally separated from him mult then be the lowest step of misery which the rational creature must be reduced to. To be cast off by men. by good men, by the best of men, is heavy: what must it then be, co be rejected of God, of goodness itself!

2dly, God is the fountain of all goodness, from which all goodnefs flows into the creatures, and by which it is continued in them, and to them., Whatever goodness or perfection, natural as well as moral/is in any creature, it is from God, and depends upon hiin, as the light is from, and depends on the fun: for every created being, as such, is a dependent one Wherefore a total feparation from God, wherein all comfortable communication betwixt God and a racional creature is ab.

folutely blocked up, muit of necessity bring along with it a total eclipse i of all light of comfort and ease whatsoever. If there is but one win.... dow, or open place, in a house, and that be quite thut up; it is evident

there

there can be nothing but darkness in that house. Our Lord tells us, (Matth. xix. 17.) There is none good but one, that is God. Nothing good or comfortable is oriz indlly from the creature : whatever good or comfortable thing one finds in one's' self, as health of body, peace ef mind'; whatever sweetness, rest, pleasure, or delight, one finds in other creatures, as in meat, drink, arts and sciences: all these are but fome faint rays of the divine perfections, communicate from God unto the creature, and depending on a constant influence from him, for their conversation, which failing they would immediately be gone; for it is 'impossible that any created thing can be to us more or better than what God makes it to be. All the rivulets of comfort we drink of, within or without ourselves, come from God as their spring head: the course of which toward is being stopt, of necessity they must all dry up. So'that when God goes, all that is good and comfortable goes with him : all ease and quiet of body or mind, Hof. ix. 12. Woolfo 10 them, when I depart from them. When the wicked are totally and finally separated from him, all that is comfortable in them, or about them, returns to its fountain, as the light goes away with the fin, and darkness succeeds in the room thereof. Thus, in their fepuration from God, all peace is'removed far away from them, and pain in body and anguiso of foul {ucceed to it: all joy goes, and unmixed forrow settles in them : all quiet and rest separate from them, and they are filled with horror and rage: hope flées away, and despair seizeth them, common operations of the Spirit, which now restrain them, are withdrawn for ever, and sin comes to its utmost heighth. And thus we have a disinal view of the horrible spectacle of fin and misery, which a creature proves, when totally separated from God, and left to itself; ! and one may fee this separation to be the very hell of hell. :

Being separated from God, they are deprived of all good. The good things, which they set their heart upon in this world, are beyond their reach there. The covetous man cannot enjoy his wealth there, nor the ambitious man his honours, nor the sensual man his pleasures, no not a drop of water to cool his tongue, Luke xyi. 34, 35. No meat nor drink there to strengthen the faint; no sleep to refresh the weary; and no musick, nor pleasant company, to comfort and chear up the forrowful. And as for these good things they despised in the world, they fhall never more hear of theni, nor see them. No offers of Chrift there, no pardons, no peace; no wells of salvation in the pit of destruction. In one word, they shall be deprived of whatsoever might comført then, being totally and finally separated from God, the fountain of all goodness.

3dly, Man naturally desires to be happy, being withal conscious to · himself that he is not self-sufficient; and therefore has ever a defire.

of something, without himself, to make him happy: and the foul being, by its natural make and constitution,capable of enjoying God,and nothing 1 else being cominenfiurable to its delires; it can never have true and folid rest, till it rest in the enjoyment of God. This desire of happi

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ness the rational creature can never lay aside, no it in hell. Now , while the wicked are on earth, they seeking their fatisfaction in the creature; and when one fails, they go to another : thus they put of their time in the world, deceiving their own souls, and luring them on with vain hopes. But, in the other world, all comfort in the crea. tures having failed together at once; and the shadows they are now pursuing, having all of them eyanished in a moment; they shall be totally and finally leparated from God, and see they have thus lost him. So the doors of earth and heaven both are shut against them at once. This will create them unspeakable anguish, while they shall live under an eternal gnawing hunger after happiness, which they certainly know fall never be in the least measure satisfied, ali doors being closed on them. Who then can imagine how this fepuration from God shall cut the damned to the heart! How will they rore and rage under it, and how it will sting them and gnaw them through the ages of eternity!

4thly, The damned shall know that some are perfectly happy in the enjoyment of that God, from whom they, themselves are Jeparate: And this will aggravate the sense of their loss, that they can never have any share with these happy ones. Being separated from God, they are separated from the society of the glorified saints and angels. They may see Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom, (Luke xvi. 23.) but cat never come into their company : being, as'unclean lepers, thrust out without the camp: and excommunicated from the presence of the Lord, and of all his holy ones. It is the opinion of some, that every person in heaven or hell, fhall hear and see all that passeth in either state. Whatever is to be said of this, we have ground from the word to conclude, that the damned shall have a very exquisite knowledge of the happiness of the saints in heaven; for what elfe can be meant by the rich man in hell his feiing Lazarus in Abraham's bofom? One thing is pain in this case, that their own torments will give them such notions of the happiness of the saints, as a fick man has of health, or a prisoner has of liberty. And as they cannot fail of reflecting on the happiness of those in heaven more than they can attain to 'contentment with their own lot: so every thought of that happiness will aggravate their loss. It would be a mighty tors ment to a hungry man, to see others liberally feasting, while he is so chained up, as he cannot have one crumb to stay his gnawing appetite. To bring music and dancing before a man labouring under extreme pains, would but increase his anguith; how then will the songs of the blessed, in their enjoyment of God, make the damned rore under their feparation from him! Sthly, They will remember that tiine was, when they might have been made partakers of the blessed state of the saints, in their enjoy. ment of God: and this will aggravate their sense of the loss. All may remember, there was once a poril lity of it; that sometime they were in the world, in some corners of which the way of falvation was laid open to mens view; and may wish they had gone round the world,

till they had found it o’t. Despisers of the gospel will remeinber with bitterness, that Jesus Christ'with all his benefits was offered to them; that they were exhorted, intreated, and pressed to accept, but would not; and that they were warned of the mifery they feel, and obteft. ed to flee from the wrath to come, but they would not hearken. The gospel-offer sighted, will make a hot hell, and the loss of an offered heaven will be a sinking weight on the spirits of unbelievers in the pit. Some will remember that there was a probability of their being eternally happy; that sometime they seemed to stand fair for it, and were not far from the kingdom of God; that they had once almost consented to the blessed bargain, the pen was in their hand (as it were) to sign the marriage-contract betwixt Christ and their souls; but un. happily they dropped it, and turned back from the Lord to their lufts again. And others will remember that they thought themselves fure of heaven, but, being blinded with pride and self-conceit, they were alove ordinances, and beyond instruction,' and would not examine their state, which was their ruin: but then they fhall in vain with, they had repuied themselves the worst of the congregation in which they lived : and curse the fond conceit' they had of themselves, and that others had of them too. Thus it will iting the damned, that they might have escaped this lo{s.

Liftly, They will see the loss to be irrecoverable; that they must eternally ly under it, never, never to be repaired. Might the damned, after millions of ages in hell regain what they have loit, it would be fonie ground of hope: but the prize is gone, and can never be recov. ered. And there are two things here, which will pierce them to the heart. (1.) That they never knew the worth of it, till it was irrecover. ably lost. Should a man give away an earthen pot full of gold for a frifle, never knowing what was in it till it were quite gone from him, and past recovery: how would this foolish action gall him, upon the discovery of the riches in it! fuch a one's case may be a faint resem. blance of the case of despilers of the gospel, when in hell they lift up their eyes, and behold that, to their torment, which they will not see now, to their falvation. (2.) That they have lost it for loss and dung: fold their part of heaven, and not inriched themselves with the prize. They lost heaven for earthly profits and pleasures, and now both are gone together from thein. The drunkard's cups are gone, the covet.. ous man's gain, the voluptuous man's carnal delights, and the flug gard's ease: nothing is left them to comfort them now. The happi. ness they loft remains indeed, but they can have no pårt in it for ever,

USE. Sinners, be persuaded to come to God through Jesus Christ, uniting with him through a Mediator: that ye may be preserved from this fearful separation from hiin. O be afraid to live in a fiate of fepa, ration from God, left that which ye now make your choice, become your eternal punishment hereafter! Do not reject communion with God, cəít not off the coinmunion of saints; for it will be the misery of the danıned to be diiven out from that communion. Cease to build

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up up the wall of separation betwist God and you, by continuing in your sinful-courses: repent rather in time, and so pull it down; left the cape-stone be laid upon it, and it stand for ever between you and happi. ness. Tremble at the thoughts of rejection and feparation from Gd: By whomsoever men are rejected on the earth, they ordinarily find fome pity to them; but if yé be thus separated from God, ye will find all doors fhut againft you.' Ye will find no pity from any in heaven : neither saints nor angels will pity them whom God has utterly cast off: none will pity you in hell, where there is no love but lothing; all being lothed of God, lothing him, and lothing one another. This is a day of losses and fears. I lhew you a loss, ye would do well to fear in time; be afraid left you lose God: if ye do, a long eternity will be spent in roring out lamentations for this loss. O horrid stupidity! men are in a mighty care and concern to prevent worldly losses: but they are in hazard of losing the enjoyment of God for ever and ever, in hazard of losing heaven, the communion of the blessed, and all good things for foul and body in another world: yet as careless in that matter, as if they were uncapable of thought. 0! compare this day with the day our text aims at. This day is heaven opened to them, who hitherto have rejected Christ, and yet there is room, if they will come: but that day the doors thall be shut. Now Christ is saying unto you, Come: then he will say, Depart: seeing ye would not come, when ye were bidden. Now pity is shown: the Lord pitiès you, his servants

pity you, and tell you, that the pit is before you, and cry to you, that . ye do yourselves no harm : but then ye thall have no pity from God nor man.

Secondly, The damned Niall be punished in hell (with the punishment of sense) they must depart from God'into everlasting fire. I am not in: a mind to dispute, what kind of fire it is which they shall depart into, and be tormented by for ever, whither a material fire, or not? Expe. rience will more than satisfy the curiosity of those who are disposed rather to dispute about it, thai to seek how to escape it Neither will I meddle with that question. Where it is? It is enough, that the worm which never dieth, and the fire that is never quenched, will be found somewhere by impenitent linners. But (1.) I Mall evince that, whatever kind of fire it is; it is more vehement and terrible than any fire, we, on earth, are acquainted with. (2.) I thall condescend on loine properties of these fiery torments.

As to the ift, of thefe ; burning is the most terrible punifhment, and brings the most exquifile pain and torment with it. By what reward could a man be induced to hold but his hand in the flame of a candle for an hour? All imaginary picalurcs on earth would never prevail with the most voluptuons man, to venture to lodge but one half hour in a burning fiery furnace; nor would all the wealth in the world prevail with the most covetous to do it., Yet, on much lower terins, do most men, in eff ct, expose themselves to evirlafing fire in hell, which is more vehement and terrible

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