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mind in reference to the object that grieves and ought most solicitously to seek forit; it will produce hatred to sin, and a giveness, yet he may go on offending resolution to forsake it. And there will against God, trampling under foot every be no true repentance where there is not one of his precepts, caring nothing about connected with it faith in the Lord Jesus the matter; as if Jehovah were that only Christ, as the only way by which sin can be being in the universe whom it should not forgiven.
grieve us to offend. It is a great contempt Now, my hearers, this is penitence ; and of the law of God, that, after we have impenitence means, of course, the oppo- trampled it under foot, and accounted it site to this. The man who is not con- an unholy thing—that then we should vinced of sin—the man who is not alarmed have no grief for the injury we have done -who does not see that he is under the it. And, moreover, a want of penitence wrath of God, and deservedly exposed to marks a total rejection of the whole scheme eternal misery–who does not grieve ove of mercy in the gospel. If we have no his sin—who does not hate and forsake it brokenness of heart, if we are not brought —who does not depend on the Lord Jesus to humble ourselves in the sight of God, Christ for salvation such a man is im- we are not in a state of mind that at all penitent; he is hard-hearted towards God, prepares us to receive the gospel ; we are and every thing connected with religion. neglecting the great salvation; and are
Now, there may be this impenitence, adding to all our other sins contempt of this hardness of heart, where there is the Son of God in his mediatorial capacity much that is morally amiable in the con- and work. duct of those to whom I am now referring. My friends, you will perceive, then, Towards their fellow-creatures there may that the want of penitence is a most awfu} be much genuine pity, much tenderness crime; it comprehends every aggravation of spirit, much benevolence towards men, of iniquity. The impenitent man is goand yet not one spark of penitence in the ing on, adding sin to sin; and this is the sight of God. We have heard of many link that binds him to an unconverted and of the most lovely of their species who sinful state. It is of great importance yet appear to be altogether in the dark that I represent this matter, because the with respect to their spiritual condition latter part of the subject is to state to you who have no conviction of sin, no the punishment, THE CONSEQUENCES THAT genuine penitence; but are living in the will FOLLOW UPON IMPENITENCE ; and, as most confirmed hardness of heart. Per- they are very terrible, it should be mania haps you may not see the guilt of this fest that the sin that will bring them is want of penitence-this hardness of heart; equally great. but it really contains in itself every ag Now turn your attention first to the time gravation that sin admits of. There is, when the punishment will be inflicted. And for instance, rebellion against the authority before we proceed, let me entreat you, of God, who commands men every where my dear hearers, to ask yourselves the to repent. There is great insult offered to question, “ Have I yet been brought by God: for in proportion to the excellence the Spirit's teaching and grace to true of any being whom we may offend, should penitence, or am I still impenitent? Is be the promptness of our mind to confess not my heart hardened, insensible to abidthe offence and mourn over it. How ing impressions on religious subjects ? prompt, then, should we be to hasten to If so, I am the very person whose punishthe footstool of the divine throne, and ment the preacher is about to describe.” confess the sins we have committed Just so: you are the man-you, whoever against the infinitely blessed, glorious, you are, who are still destitute of “repentand holy God! So that the man without ance towards God, and faith in our Lord penitence is living in a state of aggravated Jesus Christ.” insult against Jehovah; as if, though he The time when this punishment will be ought to be very sorry for the very small- inflicted. It is very true that the moment est offence against his fellow-creatures, we die we enter into heaven or hell. I
am not quite sure that mankind consider of Jesus Christ.” There shall be at that this so frequently as they ought: they stop day not only a revelation of God and of at the article of death. Death is the most Jesus Christ, but there shall be a revelaawful catastrophe that can happen to us tion of man. Millions of saints shall come in this world; but the most awful event out from their obscurity, and shine forth that can happen in this world is as no- as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. thing compared with what is to follow. Millions of flaming but hypocritical proWe are all just as near to heaven or hell fessors shall stand at that day unmasked. as we are to death : if this night we die, Silent and unheeded goodness shall be we sink to the torments of lost souls, or brought tolight; secret and enormouswickrise to the felicities of redeemed ones. edness shall be exposed. Oh, the deeds But neither the happiness of the righteous that shall then be brought to light! Oh, the nor the punishment of the wicked is com- secrets that shall be made manifest in the plete at death. At the morning of the day of revelation! God grant, my hearers, resurrection the body is to be reassociated that there may come out nothing in that with the spirit; and then the whole man day that shall fill you and me with disis to enter on his endless career of torment may! God grant that we may have noor of bliss.
thing to be brought from behind the veil Observe how it is spoken of: “ The of secrecy which we shall blush to hear day of wrath.” The day of judgment will in that awful day! There will be a revebe to the wicked nothing but a day of lation of secrets then—all the secrets of wrath ; all they see, all they hear, all they men's history. Sinner, thou that art now feel, all they anticipate, will be unmixed screening thyself from public gaze, carrywrath. It will be to them as the deluge ing on thy career of iniquity behind a diswas to the impenitent and unbelieving in guise most dexterously wrought—that the time of Noah. They saw the foun- mask shall serve thee nothing in the day tains of the great deep breaking up, and of revelation ; it shall be torn away, and the windows of heaven thrown open; they thou shalt appear as thou art. neard the strange uproar, and felt them- But the text speaks particularly of one selves in the midst of the wild confusion kind of revelation—the revelation of rightof a dissolving world, as it must have ap- cous judgment that shall come on the wicked, peared to them; and in every thing around There will be a revelation of judgment ihem, in all they saw and heard, they be- itself. The punishment of the wrath of held nothing but awful justice, fearful and God is now revealed partially on the page indescr able vengeance. So will it be of Scripture against all ungodliness and with the wicked, the impenitent, in the unrighteousness of men: but it is only a day of judgment: it will be a day of partial revelation. Ah! we must go to wrath.
eternity to know the secrets of eternity. It is called a day of revelation : and so it Never, Christian, will the greatness of will be in every view we take of it. There thy felicity be revealed-never, impewill be a revelation of God, in the wisdom nitent sinner, never till the day of judg. of his plans, in his mercy to his people, ment will the greatness of thy iniquity be in his justice of the punishment of the revealed. wicked. There will be a revelation of But this is not all : it is the revelation Jesus Christ. The long-agitated question of righteous judgment; a complete maniwill then be finally and for ever settled. festation of the justice of God in the puThere will be no question who he is : no nishment of the wicked. Now we know, more shall it be doubted that he is the that terrible as the curse of the wicked great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ. will be we know, that though there is a No Socinian in that day shall question lake that burneth with fire and brimstone his divinity: no blaspheming infidel shall -we know, that though profane men and deride then. He shall be revealed in infidels mock at the justice of God in the power and in great glory; and it is ex- punishment of the wicked-we know that pressly called “the day of the revelation God is just; and the men that mock now
shall see that it is a righteous thing with it is threatened, and the wicked sport God to punish sinners. There shall be with the threat; but then it will be felt no infidels in hell: there shall none go wrath that shall reach the spirit. This, from the judgment-seat impeaching the this will be the state of the torment of the justice of God. Every man, however wicked in eternity. God has access to terrible his sentence, will carry with the the mind; he can make his displeasure to seed of his punishment, the conviction be felt; he can rack the roul, he can torthat it is not more than his transgressions ment the spirit. We are told it will be deserve. It will be manifested before the wrath inflicted to manifest the greatness world. So that, while the righteous shall of the divine power in the way of punishbe honoured before the world, while the ment. Kings sometimes give unusual righteous shall be exalted to glory before solemnity to executions, to strike terror the universe when Christ shall come to into the hearts of their enemies, and to be glorified in his saints; so shall the show what stores of vengeance are at wicked be punished before the universe: their command. The punishment of the and while men admire the power and the impenitent will show God's power in the mercy of God in the salvation of the right- way of wrath. eous, they will admire-yes, sinner, they It will be everlasting wrath. It is a will admire—the power and the justice of quenchless fire, a worm that never dies. that same God in thy punishment, as thou What must it be to endure the unmitigated shalt sink beneath the wrath of him that wrath of God for a moment, for an hour, dooms thee to perdition.
for a week, for a year, for a century, for a Next, we are to consider the nature of thousand years, for a million of ages! the punishment. “ After thy hardness and But if, at that distance, there should be impenitent heart, thou treasurest up one gleam of hope appearing through the wrath." Whose wrath! If it were the vista of darkness, hell would cease to be wrath of an angel, or of an archangel, hell; hope would spring up; and the very there would be something tremendous in idea of the termination of torment would it. But it is the wrath of God. Oh! sustain the soul under it. But oh, eternat there is something in that idea more ter- wrath! Everlasting vengeance! To look rible than the imagination can compass ! through eternity, and see no resting-place Solomon tells us that the “ wrath of a under the extremity of torture! To be king is as the roaring of a lion." But obliged to cry out, How long ? and to rewhat is the wrath of a king to the wrath ceive no answer but "for ever!” And of God? What is the wrath of Nebu- after millions of ages have past, and the chadnezzar, with his heated fiery furnace, question is again asked, How long ? still seven times hotter for the Hebrew mar- to receive no answer but "for ever!" Oh, tyrs that were cast in, to the wrath of my hearers, my hearers ! you know what God? What is the wrath of Darius, or it is in this world to have the heaviest the counsellors of Darius, and the den of affliction lightened by the influence of hungry roaring lions, compared to the hope, the darkest scene cheered by a ray wrath of God? But, perhaps, it may be of hope. But think, I beseech you, think said that it is only a taste of his wrath-of a state of suffering where hope will go not a drinking deep of the bitter cup. The out, and leave you to the bitterness of Scripture says wrath will come on the despair for ever ! wicked to the uttermost: it will be un This wrath is said to be wrath to come, mixed wrath. Now God, even in the and because it is to come, sinners will not case of the wicked, blends mercy with believe it; because it is to come they think judgment: then mercy will retire; the cup it never will come. But do take God's will be all vengeance, unsweetened by one word; do believe it will come. It is perdrop of mercy. Oh! let the impenitent petually drawing near. It is nearer to consider that it is the wrath of Omnipo- those who are impenitent this day than it tence, the wrath of Omniscience! It will was last Sabbath-day : it wil} be nearer be wrath felt, not merely threatened. Now I to
morrow than it is to-day. It is com
ing: I beseech you take warning! And he lies down at night, he is richer (if I then, when it does come it will be unpitied may apply the term) in vengeance in suffering. Divine compassion now stands another world, than when he arose in the by you; the Saviour stands with his grace. morning. He is continually deepening If he was here he would be ready to drop and darkening his hell; he is continually tears of compassion over the impenitent adding to the weight of the fetters which and unbelieving. But in the day of your will sink him down into the bottomless punishment there will be no pity : “ he pit. It is no hyperbole, it is no forced will laugh at your calamity, and mock expression, to say, that there will be mulwhen your fear cometh.”—This, then, is titudes who will lament in eternity that the punishment that shall come on the they had not been in hell sooner, before wicked and impenitent.
they had been permitted to go such But there is another circumstance yet lengths in sin. And then, as this proporto be mentioned, and that is, the propor- tion will be according to the sin committion of the punishment. In the Hebrew ted, so it will be according to the mercies Scriptures the idea of hope is set forth by abused and neglected. The rich man comtreasure: we use the word generally only mits greater sin than the poor man, the in reference to what we account precious; wise than the unlearned: they sin against but in the Hebrew writings any thing that more light; they abuse greater means of is accumulative is accounted treasure. doing good. But of all the men with Hence, we read of the treasures of wicked- whom God will deal most severely in ness. The expression “ treasurest up judgment, and in reference to whom there wrath," seems to be put in opposition to will be more accumulation of wrath, is the expression in the foregoing verse— the man that has lived all his days under “the riches of his goodness.” What an the preaching of the gospel, and been faidea! Treasures of love! Heaps of wrath! voured with religious advantages. The And you will observe, the sinner is repre- sins of the poor heathen are light comsented as the author of his own punish- pared with his; and the punishment will ment; there is nothing arbitrary, nothing be light too. Every broken Sabbath adds capricious; he is the author of it himself. something to the weight of wrath; every The idea conveyed is this—that there is neglected sermon adds something to the an accumulation continually going on as weight of punishment; all the checks of long as he sins. Do let me again entreat conscience, all the remonstrances of you to think of this—that whatever an friends, all the advice and prayers of paimpenitent man is doing, he is heaping up rents, will be taken into account in that wrath. He may be getting wealth, but he day, and will all tend to increase the heap is treasuring up wrath. He may be getting of wrath. fame, but he is treasuring up wrath. He Now, my hearers, do consider the may be formingpleasing connexions, but he misery that will come on the impenitent. is treasuring up wrath. Every day he is And there is great reason to fear, to use adding something to the heap. Every oath the striking language of a distinguished the swearer utters, there is something more American preacher--there is great reason gone to the heap of wrath. Every lie the to fear that there are many in this assemliar tells, there is something more gone bly, and listening to this discourse, who to the treasure of wrath. Every act of will be the subjects of deep misery to all uncleanness that the lewd man commits, eternity. Who they are, where they sit, there is something more gone to the ac- what they may be thinking about, we do cumulation of wrath. Every day he lives not know. They may be at ease; they in sin, the book of God's remembrance may be flattering themselves they shall debits to his account. There is a weigh-escape; that matters are safe with them; tier treasure of wrath for the impenitent but they are hastening on to this miserato-day, than there was yesterday; there ble state. If we knew, said he, that there will be more to-morrow, if he continues was but one such soul in this assembly, impenitent, than there is to-day. When what an awful thought! If we could see
him, what an awful sight it would be ! then, believe the awful threatening! Is A man whom we knew was going to eter- it true, or is it not true, that God has said, nal misery, and would certainly endure “ The wicked shall be turned into hell ?" it! Well might the whole congregation Is it true, or is it not true, that Jesus Christ set up a bitter and a lamentable cry over will say to the wicked, in the last day, him. But, alas ! instead of there being “ Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlastonly one, there are doubtless many who ing fire, prepared for the devil and his will remember this sermon, to all eter- angels ?” Is it true, or is it not true, that nity, in hell. It would be a wonder if Jesus Christ has said, “ Their worm dieth some of the congregation were not there not—their fire is not quenched ?" Oh, if before this year were out: and it would it be true, believe it! Turn from the be no wonder if some, now in health and profane men who would convert the energy, were there before to-morrow morn- threatenings of Scripture into matters of ing. And let the impenitent heap up as ridicule. Close your ear against the long as they may, if they continue im- sceptic, who would throw a doubt on the penitent, they will soon be there: their reality of the threatenings of God's word. damnation lingereth not; their destruction Will he not punish the wicked? Then will come swiftly and perhaps suddenly why has he said it? Is there no hell ? upon them. Some, doubtless, that you Then the Bible is a fiction-Christ was once knew, and who were as likely to an impostor, and the apostles partakers live as yourselves, and deserved perdition of the delusion. Is there no hell ? Then no more than yourselves, are already past there is no heaven-no hereafter-no hope: their agony is begun, their despair-judgment-seat. I entreat you believe the ing course commenced. But you are to-threatenings. Oh, the madness, the madnight in the land of the living—in the ness—I will not give up the term, and house of God-within the reach of mercy use a milder—the madness of that man -within the reach of hope. Oh, what that spends all the time that God's mercy would those poor, despairing, lost crea- has given him to flee from hell, by pera tures give for one such opportunity of suading, or attempting to persuade, himsalvation as you enjoy this night! self there is none! I say, attempting
And now, my hearers, what shall I say to persuade himself, for he has not done to you? Reflect, I beseech you, on your it. Is there no trembling? Is there no condition. Disprove the fact that you are midnight voice, no spectral fear? Is there sinners, and the subject has nothing to do no palpitation of heart at the sound of the with you. You may go carelessly away knell, or the sight of an open grave ? to-night: you may say, these terrors ap- Why tremble at death? Why that ply not to me; the thunders of the law anxiety of mind to persuade yourself that roar harmless over me. But, I beseech there is no hell ? Because in spite of all you, consider that you are sinners. I do thy bravado thou fearest that there is. not say that any of you are profligates; I Oh, believe that there is ! for this is the do not say that you are immoral ; but I first step towards escaping it. Go home say that you have broken the law of God. to-night believing that God is as true in You are sinners; you are under the con- his threatenings as he is true in his prodemnation of the law, and are in danger of mises. It is yet wrath to come. No fearperishing. Do take up that
cry, “I am a ful portents are in the sky; no gloomy lost, a miserable sinner." Then believe comet glares upon it with portentous the threatenings of God's word denounced light, from the upper regions of the atagainst sin. You must have faith-you mosphere; no convulsive throes heave must believe it. You must first believe the ground beneath thy feet. There is the law, before you can believe the gos- mercy-Christ waits to be gracious—his pel. You must believe you are a con- blood cleanseth from all sin. To-night, demned sinner, before you can believe in to-night betake thyself, 0 sinner, to Christ, as a Saviour of the lost; or you prayer! Begin to-night-bow thy knees can never believe to salvation. Oh, do, to-night. Thy heart is hard; I know it;