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darkness, not a drop of sweet in all that vast ocean of gall and wormwood; but it is all misery, sharp and exquisite misery, without the least mixture of ease, or hope of mitigation. Can we then be so stupid as to imagine the enjoying this world's goods, which are all such compositions of good and evil, worth the enduring such pure and abstracted miseries for ever? Would you for the pleasure of an intemperate draught, that will quickly end in a qualm or an headach, be contented to endure the torment of being impaled ? or provided you might spend this night in your lascivious enjoyment, which after a few moments will conclude in shame and remorse, would you be willing to roar upon the rack all the night after ? Doubtless you would not. And yet, God knows, these pleasures are not comparably so disproportionate to those pains, as the pleasures of this world are to the pains of eternity. How then is it possible that such bitter-sweets as these are, sweets that are chequered with so many cares, and allayed with so many discontents and disappointments, should be sufficient to countervail those intolerable miseries which the loss of our souls implies !

5thly, The good that is in the gain of this world is full of intermissions ; but the evil that is in the loss of a soul is continual. If I were lord of all the world, I should never be able to live in a constant enjoyment of it. For such wretched counterfeits are all the pleasures of sense, that they will not endure the test of a long fruition; for at the best they are but frolics of delight, that never seize us but when we are turned up to them in moods and fits; and all the complacences we have in them are nothing but the little starts of our appetite, which, as soon as it hath done craving, grows aweary of them, and so enjoys and loathes them by turns; for they can dwell no longer upon the appetite than while the necessities of nature do continue; and every fresh morsel after the hunger is satisfied, is but a new labour to a tired digestion, and so, instead of being a pleasure, becomes an oppression. So that it is but a very little while that the pleasure of any outward enjoyment continues : for till it hath pleased us, it is not a pleasure; and when it hath, it ceases to be so: and so it dies as soon as it is born, and its nativity is only a prelude to its funeral. Thus all our enjoyments are stinted by our appetites, which are naturally incapable of a continued fruition. But then besides this, our enjoyments are liable to a thousand other interruptions, which are not in our power to prevent or avoid; for whether we will or no, we must be sometimes out of humour, and then all the pleasures in the world are most tedious impertinences; and sometimes we must sleep, and then we are insensible of them; and sometimes be sick, and then they are as tasteless as a cork; and sometimes be griped with guilty thoughts and ill-aboding reflections, and then, instead of pleasures, they are our horrors and vexations. Thus our enjoyment, like an ague, is full of intermissions ; now we are pleased, and anon we are displeased, and immediately after the hot fit is over, the cold one returns: and thus it would be, if we had all the world in our possession. And indeed the intervals of our enjoyment of these terrestrial goods are usually longer than the enjoyment itself, and the hot fits of our pleasure and fruition are generally sooner over, than those cold ones of displeasure and


dissatisfaction that succeed them. So that if I could command all the goods in the world, they would be so far from yielding me a continued happiness, that in all probability the interruptions of my happiness would take up a greater part of my life than the enjoyment of it; and perhaps for every one moment of fruition, I should spend two either in pain or in nonperception of pleasure. How then is it possible that such a broken and discontinued happiness as this, should ever make us amends for those miseries that are included in the loss of our souls? For to lose our souls is to be miserable without any interruption, to be eternally grieved and tortured without any intervals of ease or refreshment. For the state of perdition is a continual torment spun out into an endless duration, wherein there are no days of rest, nor nights of sleep, nor intermediate pauses of ease; where the fire never ceases burning, nor the worm gnawing, but woe succeeds woe without intermission, and miseries, like the nimble minutes of time, follow miseries, and tread close upon one another's heels. Hence, Rev. xx. 10. those that are cast into this lake of perdition are said to be tormented day and night for ever; which plainly implies that their miseries are all but one uninterrupted torment, or continued succession of dolorous perceptions for ever. And if so, O blessed God! what a poor compensation for it are the broken joys of this world! For if the misery of hell were to last no longer than the happiness of this world, yet if for one week's happiness here I were to endure another week's misery there, I should have a miserable bargain of it; because the happiness being so interrupted, and the misery so continued, I must in the same space undergo at least double the misery that I enjoyed happiness. And what man would be contented to live all the next week in a caldron of boiling oil, wherein he knows he shall be continually tormented, provided he may spend this week in an uninterrupted enjoyment of the most grateful luxuries, which he knows he must be as often and as long insensible as he can be sensible of?

6thly and lastly, The good that is in the gain of this world is fading and transitory; but the evil that is in the loss of the soul is eternal. For so impotent are all this world's goods, that they cannot ensure us of one moment's enjoyment of them. It may be, as soon as ever we have filled our bags and barns with the wages of iniquity, and have a plentiful provision for many years' ease and luxury, we may be snatched away upon the very brinks of enjoyment, and hurried into a woful eternity, there to consume those years in misery and torment, which we promised to spend in pleasure and voluptuousness. This you know was the case of the rich epicure in the gospel : how did the jolly wretch congratulate and applaud himself in the golden purchase of his frauds and oppressions! how did he vannt of his own prudence and good conduct, and strut and swell with munificent conceits of the happy condition he was now arrived to, when all of a sudden his unprepared soul was surprised with a summons to eternity! And then how blank did the fool look upon the fatal news, that that night must put an end to all his hopes and pleasures, and deprive him of all those future enjoyments with which he had promised to recompense all his past toils and labours! with what regret and reluctancy was he dragged from the dear purchase of his sweat and sin! and in what agonies of horror



did he groan out his wretched spirit, when, instead of enjoying the goods he had laid up for many years, he felt himself sinking into a woful eternity, and lie weltering there in unquenchable flames, whilst he hoped to have been wallowing here in ease and voluptuousness! But suppose we should enjoy the many years' ease which this vainglorious fool was disappointed of, alas ! those years will quickly expire, and threescore and ten, or fourscore at most, is the utmost period we can hope to arrive to; but then from thence commences an eternity of misery, which millions of millions of ages can neither shrink nor exhaust, and compared with which the longest life of pleasure hath not the proportion of one single moment. So that if, in exchange for our souls, we could purchase a lease of life as long as Methuselah's, and a lease of happiness parallel to that life, yet in the conclusion we should find it a most woful bargain; because when both these leases are expired, as they must at last, though it be long first, we must remove into a state of intolerable misery, whose duration will be always equally, because it will be always infinitely, distant from a period ; and when we are there, all that long train of happiness that is past will seem but a minute's dream in comparison of that eternity of misery that is to come. But, O good God! when for thirty or forty years' pleasure upon earth I have suffered a thousand years' torment in hell, and after that have endless thousands of thousands more to suffer, how dearly shall I rue my own folly and madness, that for the sake of a few moments' pleasure have run myself headlong into such an endless misery! Consider therefore, O my soul! within a little while all these outward goods which I have

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