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would quickly shew they were not in earnest; and that if they go, they must be driven away against their wills. (2) When they are brim-full of despair, they nay be willing to die. Thus Saul murdered bimself: and Spira wished to be in hell, that he might know the actermost of what he believed he was to suffer. In this manner men may seek after death, while it flies froin them. But fearful is the violence thi se do undergo, whom the terrors of God do thus drive. (3.) When they are dreaming of happiness after death. Foolith virgins, under the power of delusion, as to their state, may be willing to die, having no fear of lying down in forrow. How many are there, who can give no scripture ground for their hope, who yet have no bands in their death! Many are driven to daske nels Neeping; they go off like lambs, who would rore like lions, did they but know what place they are going to: though the chariot, in which they are, drive furiously to the depths of hell; yet they fear not, because they are fait asleep.
Lastly, The unregenerate man is taken away irresistibly. He must go, though sore against his will. Death will take no refusal, nor admit of any delay; tho' the man ba's not lived half bis days, according to his own computation. If he will not bow, it will break him. If he will not come forth, it will pull the house down about his ears; for there he must not stay. Although the phyficiin help, friends groan, the wife and children cry, and the man.binself ule bis utmost efforts to retain the Spirit, bis foul is required of him; yield he mult, and go where he shall never more lee light.
SECONDLY; Let us consider, whence they are driven, and whither.' Wheq the wicked die, (1.) They are driven out of this world, where they sinned; into the other world, where they'must be judged, and receive their particular fentences, Heb. ix. - It is
appointed unto men once io die, but after this the judgment." They shall no more return to their beloved eatth. Tho' their hearts are wędded to their earthly enjoyments, they must leave thein; they can carry nothing hence. How forrowful must their departure bé; when they have nothing in viey, so good as that which they leave behind them! (2.) They ale driven out of the society of the saints on earth; into the soci/ty of the damned in hell, Luke xvi 22. 64. The rich man allo djed and was buried.”
"And in hell he lift up his eyes." What a multitude of the devil's goats do now 'take place among Christ's Sheep! but at death they shall be led forth with the worker of iniquity, Pfal.cxxv.5. There is a mixed multitude in this world, but no mixture in the other; each party is there fet ly themselves. Though hypocrices grow here as tares among me wheat, death will root them up : and they fhall be bound ih bundles for the fire. (3.) They are driven out of time into ternity. While time lafts with them, there is hope; but when tjne goes, all hope goes with it . Precious time is now Javishly Speat: it lies so hcavy upon the
hands of many, that they think themselves obliged to take several ways to drive away time. But beware of being at a loss wirat to do in life: improve time for eternity, whillt you have it : for ere long death will drive it from you, and you from it, so as ye thall never meet again. (4.) They are driven out of their specious pre. tences to piety. Death frips them of the fplended robes of a fair profetion, with which some of them were'adorned; and turns then off the stage, in the rags of a wicked heart and life. The word hypocrite properly lignities a flage.player, who appears to be what indeed he is not. This world is the stage on which these children of the devil perforate the children of God. Their fhew of religion is the player's coat, under which one must look, who will juulge of them aright. Now death turns them out of their coat, and then they appear in their native dreis: it unveils them, and takes off their mask. There are none in the other world, who pretend to be better than they really are. Depraved nature acts in the regions of horror, unallayed, and undirguiled. Lastly, They are driven away from all means of grace: and are set beyond the line, quite out of all prospect of morcy. There is no more an opportunity to buy oil for the lamp; it is gone out at death, and can never be lighted again. There may be offers of mercy and peace made after they ale gone; but they are to others, 'not to them; there are no fuch offers in the place, to which they are driven ; thcle offers are only made in that place, from which they are driven away.
LAST\x, In what reipect may they be said to be driven away in their wickedness? Anf. (1.) In respect of their being driven away in their firfit inconveriid jaie. Having lived enemies to God, they die in a lateof emniy to him: for none are brought into the eternal late of consummate happiness, but by the way of the Ilare of grace, or begun recovery in this life. The child that is dead in the womb, is born dead, and is calt out of the womb into the grave: he who is dead, while he liveth, or is fpiritually dead, is call forth of the womb of time, in the same state of death, into the pit of uttr mifery. O miserable death, to die in the gall of bitterncis and bend of iniquity! it had been incomparably better for such as die thus, that they had never been born. "(2.) In regard they die finning, acting wickedly against God, in condrradiction to the divine law; for th y can do nothing bus fin while they live. So death takes them in the very act of linning; violently draws them from the embraces of their lufts, and drives them away to the tri. bunal to receive their fentence. It is a remarkable expreflion, Job xxxvi. 14. They die in youth: the marginal reading is, their soul dieth in youth; their julls beinglively their desires vigorous, and expectations big, as is common in youth. And their life is among
the clean : or, aral the company (or berd) f them dieth among the Sedesmites, i. e. is taken away * the lieat of their lin and wickedness, as the Sodaruites were, Gen. xix. Luke xi. 28, 29. (3) 'n as much as they are driven away, loaded with the guidt- of all their fins : this is the winding Sheet, chas shell ly down with them in the duft. Job xx. 11. Their works follow them into the other world; they go away with the yoke of their transgreflions wreathed about their necks. Guilt is a bad companion in life, but how terrible will in be ia death! it lies now, perhaps, like cold brimitone on their benum'd coufciences; but, when death opens the way for sparks of divine vengeance, like fire, to fall upon it; it will make dread. ful Games in che conscience in which the soul will be as it were wrapt up for ever. Lastly, The wicked are driven away in their wickedness, in so far as they die under the absolute power of their wickedness. While there is hope, there is fome restraint on the worst of men: and these moral endowments, which God gives to a nusiber of men, for the benefit of mankind in this fit, are fo many allays and restraints upon the impetuous wickedness of human nature. But all hope being cut off, and thefe gifts withdrawal, the wickedness of she wicked will then arrive at its perfection. As the seeds of grace fown in the hearts of the elect, come to their full maturity at death: (o vicked and hellithi dispositions in the reprobate come then to their highest pitch. Their prayers to God will then be turned to horrible ourles; and their praises to hideous blafphemies, Matth. xxii. 13. There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. This gives a dismal but genuine view of the state of the wicked in another world.
II. I shall discover the hopelefizess of the state of unrenewed men, at death. It appears to be very hopeless, if we consider these four things :
First, Death cuts off all their hopes and prospecis of peace and pleasure in this life, Luke xii. 19. “ Soul, thou hast much goods laid - up for many years, take thine eafe, eat, drink and be merry. " Ver. 20. But God said unto hiin, Thou fool, this night thy soul « shall be required of thée ; then whose thall those things be, which * thou haft provided?” They look for great matiers in this world, they hope to increase their wealth, to see their families prosper, and to live at ease; but death comes like a stormy wind, and Thakes off all their fond hopes, -like green fruit from off a tres. 66 When he is “about to fill his belly, God shall cast the fury of his wrath upon him," Job xx. 23. He may begin a web of contrivances, for advancing his worldly interest: but before he gets it wrought out, death comes and Cuts it out. “ His breath goeth forth, he returneth to his earth: in " that very day his thoughts perish,” Pfal.cxlvi. 4.
Secondly, When deach comes, they have no solid grounds to hope for eternal happiness. “ For what is the hope of the hypocrite, tho' "he hath gained, when God taketh away his soul?" Job xxvii. 8. Whatever hopes they fondly entertain, they are not founded on God's word, which is the only sure ground of hope: if they knew their own cafe, they would see theinselves only happy in a dream, Aud indeed what hope can they have? The law is plain against them, and condemns them. The curses of it (these cords of death) are about them already. The Saviour, whom they slighted, is now their Judge; and their Judge is their enemy. How then can they hope? They have bolted the door of mercy against themselves by their unbelief. They have despifed the remedy, and therefore must die without mercy. They have no saving interest in Jesus Christ, the only channel of conveyance, in which mercy flows;'and therefore they can never taste of it. The sword of justice guards the door of mercy, so as none can enter in, but the members of the mystical body of Christ, over whose heads is a covert of atoning blood, the Mediator's blood. These indeed may pass without harm, for justice has nothing to require of them. But others cannot pass, since they are not in Chrift: death comes to them with the sting in it, the sting of unpardoned guilt. It is armed against them with all the force the sanction of a holy law can give it, 1 Cor. xv. 56. “ The sting of death is sin, and the strength of “ fin is the law." When that law was given on Sinai, “ the whole “ mount quaked greatly,” Exod. xix. 18. When the Piedeemer was making satisfaction for the elect's breaking of it, “ the earth did quake, " and the rocks rent," Matth. xxvii. 51. What possible ground of hope then is there to the wicked man, when death comes upon
him armed with the force of this law? How can he escape that fire, which « burnt unto the midst of heaven?" Deut. iv 11. How shall he be able to stand in that smoke, that “ascended as the sinoak of a furnace?' Exod. xix. 18. How will he endure the terrible “ thunders and “ lightnings," ver. 16. and dwell in “ the darkness, clouds and thick “ darkness?" Deut. iv. 11. All these resemblances heaped together, do but faintly represent the fearful tempest of wrath and indignation, which shall pursue the wicked to the lowest hell: and for ever abide on them, who are driven to darkness at death.'
Thirdly, Death roots up their delusive hopes of eternal happiness: then it is their covenant with death, and agreement with hell is broken. They are awakned out of their golden dreams, and at length lift up their eyes : Job viii. 14. “Whose hope shall be cut off, and whose “ trust shall be a spider's web.” They trust all shall be well with them after death : but this their trust is but a web woven out of their own bowels, with a great deal of art and industry. They wrap themselves up in this their hope, as the spider wraps herself in her web. But it is but a weak and sender defence ; for however it may withstand the threatnings of the word of God; death, that belom of destruction, will sweep them and it both away, so as there shall not be the least shred of it left them; but he, who this moment will not let his hope go, shall next moment be utterly hopeless Death overturns the house built on the sand : it leaves no man under the power of delusion.
Lastly, Death makes their state absolutely, and for ever hopeless. Matters cannot be retrieved and amended after death. For (1) Time once gone can never be recalled. If cries or tears, price or pains, could bring time back again; the wicked man might have hope in his death. But tears of blood will not prevail; nor will his roaring for millions of ages, fause it to return. The sun will not stand still until the sluggard awake, and enter on his journey; and when once it is gone down, he needs not expect the night to be turied into day for his Jake; he must lodge thro' the long night of eternity, where his time left him. (2.) There is no returning to this life, to amend what is amiss : it is a state of probation and trial, which terminates at death; and therefore we cannot return to it again : it is buť once we thus: live, and once we die. Death carries the wicked inan to his own place, Acts i, 25. This life is our workiog-day: death closeth our day and our work together. We may readily imagine the wicked might have fome hope in their death; if, after death has opened their eyes, they could return to life, and have but the trial of one Sabbath, one offer of Christ, one day, or but one hour more, to make up their peace with God: but, man lieth down, and riseth not till the heavens be no "more; they fhall not awake, nor be raised out of their sleep,” Job xiv. 12. Lastly, In the other world, men have no access to get their ruined state and condition retrieved, if they never fo fain would. " For there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom in " the grave, whither thou goest,"' Ecclef. ix. 10. Now, a man may flee from the wrath to come ; now he may get into a refuge : but when once death has done its work, the door is fout: there are ng more offers of mercy, no more pardons: where the tree is fallen, there it must ly.
Let what has been said, be carefully pondered, and that it may be of use, let me exhort you,
First, To take heed that ye entertain no hopes of heaven, but what are built on a solid foundation : tremble to think what fair hopes of happiness death sweeps away like cobwebs; how the hopes of many are cut off, when they seem to themselves to be on the
threshold of heaven; how, in the moment they expected to be carried by angels into Abraham's bosom, into the regions of bliss and peace, they are carried by devils into the society of the dainned in hell, into the place of torment, and regions of horror. I beseech you to beware, (1.) Of a hope bnilt op, where the ground was never cleared. The wise builder digged deep, Luke vi. 48. Were your hopes of heaven never shaken; but ye have had good hopes all your days? Alas for it; you may see che mystery of your case explained, Luke xi. 21.“ When “a strong man armed keepeth his place, his goods are in peace.” But if they have been shaken, take heed left there have only some breaches been made in the old building, which you have got repaired again, by ways and means of your own I affure you your hope (howsoever fair a building it is) is not to trust to; unleis your old hopes have been razed, and you have built on a foundation quite new. (2) Beware of that hope which looks brisk in the dark; but loseth all its luftre, when it is set in the light of God's word, when it is