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As to you who had awakenings the last time of the outpouring of the spirit, and bave quenched them, and remain to this day in a natural condition, let me call upon you also, now that God is giving you one more such opportunity. If passing in impenitence through one such opportunity bath bardened you, and bath been such a great disadvantage to you, bow sad will your case be, if you shall now miss another! Will you not now thoroughly awake out of sleep, bestir yourselves for your salvation, and resolve now to begin again, and never leave off more? Many fled for refuge from the devouring fire before, and you were left behind. Others have fled for refuge now, and still you are left behind; and will you always remain behind? Consider, can you dwell with devouring fire? can you dwell with everlasting burnings ? Shall children, babes and sucklings, go into the kingdom of God before you?
How will you hereafter bear to see them coming and sitting down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of God, when yourselyes are thrust out, and are surprised with fearfulness at the sight of that devouring fire, and those everlasting burnings, into which you are about to be cast ? Take heed lest a like threatening be fulfilled upon you with that which we have in Numb. xiv. 22, 23. Because all those men which have seen my glory, and my miracles which I did in Egypt, and in the wilder. ness, and have tempted me now these ten times, and have not hearkened to my voice ; surely they shall not see the land which I sware unto their father's ; neither shall any of them that provoked me see it. Together with vers. 31. But your little ones, which ye said should be a prey, them will I bring in, and they shall know the land which ye have despised.
END OF THE WICKED
THE TORMENTS OF THE WICKED IN HELL, NO OCCASION OF
GRIEF TO THE SAINTS IN HEAVEN.
END OF THE WICKED, ,
Rev. xviii. 20.
Rrjoice over her, thou heaven, and ye holy apostles and prophets,
for God hath avenged you on her.
In this chapter we have a very particular account of the fall
of Babylon, or the anti-christian church, and of the vengeance of God executed upon her. Here it is proclaimed, that Babylon the Great is fallen, and become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird; that her sins had reached unto heaven, and that God had remembered her iniquity; that God gave commandment to reward her, as she had rewarded others, to double unto her double according to her works ; in the cup she had filled, to fill to her double, and how much she had glorified herself, and lived deliciously, so much torment and sorrow to give her. And it is declared, that these plagues are come upon her in one day, death, mourning, and famine; and that she should be utterly burnt with fire; because strong is the Lord who judgeth her.
These things have respect partly to the overthrow of the anti-christian church in this world, and partly to the vengeance of God upon her in the world to come. There is no necessity to suppose, that such extreme torments as are here mentioned will ever be executed upon Papists, or upon the anti-christian church, in this world. There will indeed be a dreadful and visible overthrow of that idolatrous church in this world. But
The substance of two posthumous discourscs, dated March, 1773
we are not to understand the plagues hete mentioned as esclusive of the vengeance which God will execute on the wicked upholders and promoters of anti-christianism, and on the cruel anti-christian persecutors, in another world.
This is evident by ver. 3. of the next chapter, where, with reference to the same destruction of antichrist which is spoken of in this chapter, it is said, “ Her smoke rose up for ever and ever ;” in which words the eternal punishment of antichrist is evidently spoken of. Antichrist is here represented as being cast into hell, and there remaining for ever after ; he hath no place any where else but in hell. This is erident by ver. 20. of the next chapter, where, concerning the destraction of antichrist, it is said, And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone.
Not but that she wicked anti-christians have in all ages gone to hell as they died, and not merely at the fall of antichrist; but then the wrath of God against antichrist, of which damnation is the fruit, will be made eminently visible here on earth, by many remarkable tokens. Then antichrist will be confined to hell, and will have no more place here on earth; much after the same manner as the devil is said at the beginning of Christ's thousand years reign on earth, to be cast into the bottomless pit, as you may see in the beginning of the twentieth chapter. Not but that he had his place in the bottomless pit before; he was cast down to hell wlien he fell at first: 2 Pet. ii. 4. Cast theni down to hell, and deliver them into chains of darkness. But now, when he shall be suffered to deceive the nations no more, his kingdom will be confined to hell.
In this text is contained part of what John heard uttered upon this occasion; and in these words we may observe,
1. To whom this voice is directed, viz. to the holy prophets and apostles, and the rest of the inhabitants of the heavenly world. When God shall pour out his wrath upon the antichristian church, it will be seen, and taken notice of by all the inhabitants of heaven, even by holy prophets and apostles. Neither will they see as unconcerned spectators.
2. What they are called upon by the voice to do, viz. to rejoice over Babylon now destroyed, and lying under the wrath of God. They are not directed to rejoice orer her in prospe.