THE Righteous Mans VVeal AND THE VVicked Mans VVoe: By THOMAS WATSON. Being the last Sermon he preached at Clements-Danes, London, the 19th August, 1662. the Tuesday after his Farewell Sermon to his people at Stephens-Walbrook.

LONDON, Printed in the Year, 1662.

To the Christian Reader.

Good Reader,

THe Title of this Sermon tells the Preacher of it: this short Epistle is, to apologize for its publi­cation: 'tis more then suspected there is another im­pression of this Sermon (taken by another hand) in­tended to be published.

Now least the Reverend Author should receive that prejudice that others of late have (by printing of ve­ry imperfect notes) making him speak what he did not, and not to speak what he did, is this pains taken in transcription, from the accurate Pen of a ready Writer, and cost laid out in printing.

'Tis hoped, though this Sermon be remo [...]ed from the Pulpit to the Press, and from thence into the World, without its Parents knowledge (and therefore wants that beautifying it would have had if exposed to this pub­lick and crittical view by himself) yet when met with by him, will be looked upon as litigitimate, excepting Errata's in printing and pointing.

Reader, though, as one saith, there i [...] [...] much diffe­rence between Sermons preached and printed, as be­tween milk in the warm breast and in a sucking bottle: yet when the first is wanting, the other may very often [Page] be had: the Book may be had at hand, when the▪ Preacher cannot. Audible words are transient, visible works are more permanent, therefore here is one in the want of the other.

Woe and Weal, are the subjects of the Reverend Author in this his last Sermon. The last words of dy­ing persons take deep impression, much more should the words of a dying Minister, who is now, as to the main of his ministerial work, dead; hoping that none will be offended that it is printed, and all will be advantaged by its reading; then hath he his end, who subscribes himself,

Your Friend and Servant S. T.
Isaiah 3. 10, 11.

Say ye, surely it shall be well with the just, for they shall eat the fruit of their works.

Woe be to the wicked, it shall be evil with him: for the reward of his hands shall be with him.

THis Text is like Israels pillar or cloud: it hath a light side, and a dark side; it hath a light side unto the Godly: say unto the righteous it shall be well with him; and it hath a dark side un­to the wicked: woe unto the wicked, it shall be ill with him; both you see are rewarded; righteous and wick­ed; but here's a vast difference: the one hath a re­ward of mercy, the other a reward of justice.

I begin with the first of these, Say unto the righte­ous it shall be well with him.

This Scripture was written in a very sad and ca­lamitous time, as you may read in the beginning of the chapter. The mighty man, and the man of war shall cease; the prudent and the ancient, both Iudge and Prophet shall be taken away; this was a very sad time with the Church of God in Ierusalem.

If the Judge be taken away where will be any [Page 2] equity? if the Prophet be removed, where will be any Priests? the whole body Politick was running to ruine, and almost in the rubbish; now in this sad junctture of time God would have this Text to be written: and it is like a rainbow in the clouds; God would have his people comforted in the midst of all afflictions. Say unto the righteous it shall be well with him.

The great proposition that lies in the words is this: that howsoever things go in the world, it shall be well with the righteous man; this is an Oracle from Gods own mouth, and therefore we are not to dispute it: it is Gods own Oracle, Say unto the righteous, it shall be well with him.

I might multiply Scriptures, but I will give you one instance, in the 8 of Ecclesiastes 12. Surely I know that it shall be well with them that fear God.

I know it: it is as a golden Maxime not to be dis­puted: it shall be well with them that fear God.

For the illustration of this consider two things.

  • 1. What is meant by the Righteous man.
  • 2. Why, howsoever things go, it shall be well with the righteous.

1. Who is meant here by the righteous man?

There is a three-fold righteousness, a legal righteous­ness: [Page 3] and so Adam in this sense was said to be righte­ous when he did wear the Robe of innocency: Adams heart did agree with the law of God exactly as a well made Diall goes with the Sun: but this righte­ousness is forfeited and lost.

2. There is a morall righteousness, and thus he is said to be righteous, who is adorned with the mo­ral vertues: who is prudent, and just, and tempe­rate, who is [...] with the jewel of morality: but

3. There is an Evangelical righteousness, and this is meant here: This Evangelical righteousness is two­fold▪

1. There is a righteousness of imputation: and that is when Christs righteousness is made over to us: and Beloved this righteousness is as truly ours to justifie us, as it is Christs to bestow upon us.

2. There is a righteousness of implantation, which is nothing else but the infusing of the seed and ha­bit of Grace into the heart: a planting of Holiness in a man, and making him partaker of the Divine nature; this is to be righteous in the sight of God: a righteousness of imputation, and a righteousness of implantation.

The second thing is to show you why howsoe­ver things go in the world, yet it shall be well with this righteous man. It must be thus for two reasons.

1. Because he who is righteous, hath his greatest evils removed, his sin pardoned, and then it must [Page 4] needs be well with him: sin is the thorne in a mans conscience; now when the thorne is pluckt out by forgiveness and remission, then it is well with that man.

Forgiveness in Scripture is called a lifting off of sin, Iob. 7. Lord, why dost not thou lift off my sin? so the Hebrew word carrys it, it is a Metaphor taken from a weary man that goes under a burden, he is ready to sink under it: now [...] man comes and lifts off this burden; even so do [...] the great God: when the burden of sin is ready to sink the consci­ence: God lifts off this burden from the conscience and lays it on Christs shoulder, and he carrys it now; he that hath this burden thus carried, it is well with him howsoever things go.

Forgiveness of sin and pardon it is a crowning blessing, it is the jewell of a believers Crown; par­don of sin, st a multiplying mercy, it brings a great many mercyes along with it: whom God pardons, he adopts; whom [...]od pardons, he invests with Grace and Glory.

So that this is a multiplying mercy: it is such a mercy that it is enough to make a sick man well. Isai. 33. 24. The Inhabitants shall not say I am sick, the people shall be forgiven their iniquity: the sense of pardon takes away the sense of pain, and then it, must needs be well with the righteous, for his greatest evil is removed.

[Page 5]2. However things go, it is well with the righteous because that God is his portion, Psal. 16. 5. The Lord is the portion of my inheritance; the lines are fallen unto me in pleasant places: in Godthere are all good things to be found; and all that is in God is enga­ged for the good of the righteous; his power is to help, and his wisdom is to teach, and his Spirit is to sanctifie, and his mercy is to save.

God is the righteous mans portion, and can God give a greater gift [...]nto us than himselfe?

God is a rich portion, for he is the Angels riches; God is a safe and sure portion, for his name is a strong Tower; he is a portion that can never be spent, for he is infiniteness; he is a portion can never be lost, for he is eternity: Thou art my portion for ever, Psal. 72. 26. and surely it iswell with the righteous that hath God for his portion; is it not well with that man that is happy? why, if God be our portion, we are happy, Psal. 144. 15. Happy is the people whose God is the Lord.

Thus I have cleered up the Doctrinal part; for the use of this;

Here is abundance of comfort for every Godly man, for every person serving God in this Congrega­tion; God hath sent me this day with a Commission to comfort you.

O that I might drop in the Oyl of gladnesse into [Page 9] every broken heart and rejoyce every troubled spirit. O here is good news from Heaven, Say unto the righteous it shall be well with him.

But here is a question must be answered. You'l say to me, but how doth this appear that it shall be well with the righteous? for we often see ti is worst with them in this world; he is deprived of his comfort many times, he loses his very life in that quarrel, he is made the very reproach of the world often times; how them is it well with the righteous?

To this I answer, Yet still it is well with the righte­ous, though he meet with trouble in the world, and one follows on the neck of another, yet it is well with the righteous, as will appear in these three or four particulars.

1. The troubles that the righteous man meets with they turn to his good: and so it is well with him. That is a most famous Scripture in the 24. of Ier. the 5. Whom I have sent out of this place unto the Land of the Caldeans for their good. Gods own Is­rael were transported into Babylon, among their e­nemies: but it is for their good, saith the Lord; the troubles of the righteous are a means to purge out their sin: I have read a story of one who running at another with a sword to kill him; by accident his sword run into an impostume and broke the im­postume: thus all the evils and troubles of the righteous serve but to cure them of the impostume of pride, to make them more humble: when that [Page 7] the body of a Saint is afflicted, his soul that re­vives and flourishes in Grace.

At Rome there were two Lawrel-trees, and when one withered, the other did flourish; so when the the body is afflicted, yet the soul that Lawrel doth revive and flourish.

God doth distill out of the bitterest drink his Glo­ry & our Salvation. Saith Ierome, that that the world looks on it as a punishment, God makes a medicine to heal the sore: why then it is well with the righ­teous. The rod of God upon a Saint is but onely Gods pencil whereby he draweth his Image more lively on the soul; God never strikes the strings of his Viol, but to make the Musick the sweeter. Then it is well with the righteous.

2. In the midst of all the trouble that doth be­fall the righteous, yet still it is well with them: in regard of those inward heart revivings that God doth give them.

We see a Godly mans misery, but we do not see his comfort: we see his prison-grates, but we do not hear the Musick that is within in his conscience; God doth sweeten to his people outward trouble with inward peace; it is the title that is given to God, 2 Cor. 6. 7. God that comforteth them that are cast down: the Bee can gather honey aswell from the thistle and from the bitter herb, as from the sweet flower; a child of God can gather joy out of [Page 8] his sorrow: out of the very carkass sometimes the Lord gives honey: when the body is in pain, the soul may be at ease; as when a mans head akes, yet his heart may be well, thus it is well with the righteous: God gives him that inward comfort; that revives and sweetens his outward pain.

3. In the time of trouble and calamity, yet still it is well with the righteous, because God doth co­ver his people in time of trouble, he hides them in the storm; God hath a care to hide his jewels, and will not let them be carried away, and thus he makes good that Scripture litterally. Psal 91. 4. He shall co­ver them with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust; no evil shall touch thee.

God oftentimes verifies this Scripture litterally; he makes his Angels to be his peoples Life-guard to hide them and defend them: when a Flood was comming upon the world, God provided an Ark to hide Noah; when Israel is carried and transported into Babylon, God hid Ieremiah and gave him his life for a prey. Ier. 39. 11. and in this sense the Saints of God are called hidden ones. Psal. 83. 3. Why so? not onely because they are hid in Gods decree, and hid in Christs wounds: but often times God hides them in a time of common danger and calamity: they are hidden ones; he reserved to himselfe seven thousand that had not bowed the knee to Baal. The Prophet knew not where there was one, but God knew where there were seven thousand. In this sense [Page 9] it is well with the righteous in time of publick mi­sery.

I, but you'l say sometimes it fares yet worse then all this: sometimes the righteous they dye and perish: they are carried away with a tempest; why? yet still it is well with the righteous; and that in a twofold sense.

1. Many times God doth take away the righte­ous by death, and that in great mercy; he takes them away that they shall not see the misery that comes upon a Nation. Virgil the Heathen Poet saith, they are happy that dye before their Countrey: his meaning was, they dye before they see the ruine of their Countrey; and truly God many times takes away his people in mercy, that they may not see the ruine that is coming on a Land: you have a Scripture for this, 1 Kings 14. 13. He onely of Ie­roboam shall come to the Grave in peace, because in him there is found some good things towards the Lord God of Israel. God puts him in this Grave betimes in mercy, because he should not see the e­vil coming on the Land; and there's a parallel to this the 2 Kings 12 last. it is spoken of Iosiah. I will gather thee unto thy Fathers, thou shalt be gathered unto thy grave in peace, and thine eyes shall not see the evil I will bring upon this place. Iosiah he dy­ed in battle: how then was it said he went to the grave in peace: We must understand the meaning of it is this; Iosiah went to his Grave in peace, because he was a holy man, and he has made his [Page 10] peace with God, and so he went to his grave in peace, and because he should not see the evil ap­proaching, God gathered him to his grave in peace.

Ierom. speaking of his friend Nepotian (you must observe Ierom lived to see. some troubles be­fore he dyed) saith he, O how happy is my friend Nepotian, that sees not these troubles but is got out of the storm, and is arived safe in the Ha­ven.

Luther dyed in mercy before the troubles in Germany broke forth, and thus you see the righte­ous, though they dye, yet it is well with them; God takes them away in mercy, that they may not see approaching evils.

2. Though the Righteous dye and are taken a­way, yet it is well with them, because death can­not hurt them. Death can neither hurt their bo­dies, nor yet their souls, and then it is well with them.

1 Death cannot hurt their bodies, the body of a Saint it doth not perish, though it dye; the bo­dies of the Saints are very precious dust in Gods account: precious dust; the Lord locks up these Jew­els in the grave as in a Cabinet; the bodies of the Saints lye mellowing, and ripening in the grave till the blessed time of the resurrection: Oh how pre­cious is the dust of a Believer! though the world [Page 11] mind it not, yet it is precious unto God. The Hus­bandman he hath some Corn in his Barn, and he hath other Corn in the ground; why? the Corn that is in the ground, is as precious to him as that that is in the Barn: the bodies of the Saints in the grave are Gods Corn in the ground, but the Lord makes very precious account of this Corn: the bodys of the Saints shall be more glorious and blessed then ever [...] were at the resurrection. Turtullian he calls them Angellical bodies in re­gard of that beauty and lustre that shall be upon them. As it is with your silks when they are dy­ed of a purple or scarlet colour, they are made more bright and illustrous then they were before; thus it is with the bodies of the Saints, they shall be dyed of a better colour at the resurrection, they shall be made like a glorious body, Phil. 3. 20. thus it shall be well with the righteous, their bodys shall not perish.

2. It wall be well with the righteous at death as to their souls too. Oh it will be a blessed time! me thinks it is with a Saint at the time of death just as it was with St. Paul in his voyage to Rome, we read that the Ship did break, but though there were so many broken pieces, yet he got safe to shore, so though the ship of the Believers bo­dy break by death, yet it is safe with the pas­sengers, his soul, that gets safe to the Havenly har­bour: let me tell you, the day of a Believers death, it is the birth-day of his blessednesse, it is his a­scention [Page 12] day to Heaven, the day of his death, it is hi marriage day with Iesus Christ. Faith doth but con tract us, here in this life is but the contract, but at death then the Nuptials shall be solemnized in glory, they shall see God face to face; it will be Heaven enough to have a sight of God, saith Austin: when the Saints shall enter into joy here, joy enters unto them, but then they shall enter into it. T [...]y shall drink of those pure Rivers that run from the [...]rlasting Fountain.

And thus you see it will be well with the righteous. However things go, though trouble come, though death come, yet it will go well with the righteous. And oh let those that are the people of God comfort themselves with these words, oh what an incourage­ment is this to all you that hear me to begin to be righteous: this Text may tempt us all to be Godly; Say unto the righteous it shall be well with him; when things are never so ill with him yet it is well with him.

We would be glad to have things go well within our relations, and in our estates; why? when the righteous things go well with us, thy person is sealed, thou art heir of all Gods promises, thou art Christs fa­vourite, thou hast heaven in revertion, and is it not now well with thee: if you would have happiness you must espouse holiness. Say unto the righteous it shall be well with them; and thus much of their first proposition, the Godly mans comfort in life and death; it is well with him.

[Page 13]But now if all this will not prevail with you to make you leave your sins and become righteous, I must passe in a few words to the next branch of the Text to scare men out of their sins, to affright men out of their wickednesse, woe unto the wicked it shall be ill with him.

This my beloved is the dark side of the cloud.

It may cause in every wicked man that hears me a trembling at the heart.

Woe unto the wicked it shall be ill with him.

The proposition that doth result out of the words is this.

Doct. When things seem to be well with the wick­ed men, it shall be ill with them at last though, they have more then heart can wish, yet it shall be ill with them at last, Ecclesiast. 8. 13. It shall not be well with the wicked, nor shall he prolong his dayes which are as a shadow, because he fears not God it shall not be well with the wicked, the God of truth hath pronounced this.

It is as true as God is true, it shall not be well with the wicked.

[Page 14]Now that I may a litle clear this to you; I shall demonstrate this to you in these four particulars.

  • 1. It is ill with the wicked in this life.
  • 2. It is ill with them at death.
  • 3. It is ill with them at the day of judgement.
  • 4. It is ill with them after judgement, it shall be ill with the wicked.

1. It is ill with the wicked in this life; a wicked man that hears me will hardly think so, when he hath the affluence, and confluence of outward comforts; when he eates the fat and drinkes the sweet; He will hardly beleive the Minister that shall tell him it shall be ill with him, but it is so.

For is it not ill with that man that hath a curse? Yea, the curse of God entailed upon him; can that man ever thrive that lives under the curse of God?

Floods of blood and wrath hang over the head of [Page 15] awicked man, he is heir to all the Plagues written in the Book of God.

All Gods curses are the sinners portion, and if he dy­eth in his sin, he is sure to have his portion paid him.

Woe unto the wicked; every bit of bread he hath he hath it with a curse; 'tis like poison'd bread given to a dog; Every drop of wine he drinketh swallows down a curse with it. Woe unto the wicked; there is a curse in his cup, and a curse upon his table. God saith, Woe unto him. We read of Belshazer. Daniel 5. 4. 5. that he, did take the wine, and commanded to bring the gold and silver Vessels out of the Tem­ple: Then they brought the Golden Vessels that were taken out of the Temple, out of the house of God, that was at Ierusalem; and the King and his Princes, and his Wives, and Concubines drank in them.

Belshazer was very jovial, in the midest of his cups he was merry, but Wo unto the wicked; For in the same hour came forth the finger of a mans hand, and reacht over the Candlestick upon the plaister of the wall of the Kings Palace, and the Kings countenance changed, and he was troubled; There was a hand and a Wo written on the wall; let a sinner live till he [Page 16] come to an hundred years of age yet he is cursed. Isa. 65. 20. his gray hairs they have a curse upon them.

2. Tis ill with the wicked, not onely in this life, but tis ill with them at the hour of death; and that in these two respects.

  • 1. Death puts an end unto all his comforts.
  • 2. Death is the begining of all his miseries.

1. Death puts an end unto all his comforts, no more indulging and pompering the flesh, then no more cups of Wine, then no more Musick. Revel. 18. 22. The fruites thy Soul lusteth after are departed from thee. All things that are dainty, and good are depar­ted from thee, the voice of the Harper, Musitian, and Trumpeter shall be heard no more in thee.

'Tis spoken of the destruction of Rome, so you may say of the wicked man, no more joy and gladness, no more Mirth and Musick, all a sinners sweet spices his Scarlet Robes, his sparkling Diamonds, they all at death depart from him.

[Page 17]Secondly, as death puts an end to a sinners mirth, so it lays a foundation for all his sorrow; alas, be­fore death begins to close a sinners eyes, the eye of his conscience is first opened, every sin at the hour of Death, stands with its drawn Sword in its hand; those sins that did in life delight him, now they affright and terrifie him, all his joy and mirth turns into sadness: as sometimes you have seen Sugar lying in a damp place, it doth dissolve and run to Water, thus all the sugared joys of a wicked man at the hour of death turns into Wa­ter, into the Water of Tears, into the Water of sorrow.

Thirdly, It shall be ill with the wicked man at the day of judgment, when he is seated before Gods tribunal, then be shall leave judging of others, and shall stand at Gods Bar and be tryed for his life.

I Read concerning Felix when he heard Paul speak of judgment, that Felix tro [...]bled. Iosephus observes that Felix he was a wicked man, and she that lived with him, her name was Drusilla, whom he intised from her Husband, and lived in un­cleanness with her, now when Felix heard Paul Preaching of judgement he trembled. Now if he trembled to hear of judgment, what will he do when judgment comes, when all his secret sins shall be made manifest, all his Midnight wick­edness shall be Written on his fore-head, [...] with the point of a Diamond▪ At the day of judgment shall be these two things.

[Page 18]First, there shall be a legal Tryal,

Secondly the sentence,

First, A legal tryal; God will call forth a sin­ner by name, and say stand forth, hear thy charge see what thou canst answer to this charge.

What canst thou say for thy Sabbath-breaking, for thy murthers and drunkenness, and perjury? for all thy revenge and malice? for all the perse­cuting of my Members? what dost thou say, Guil­ty, or not Guilty?

Thou wretch thou darest not say thou art not guilty; for have not I been an eye witness to all thy wickedness? Do not the books agree, the book of thy Conscience, and the book of my Om­niscience, and darest thou offer to plead Not Guil­ty? How will the sinner be amazed with hor­ror, and run into desparation!

Secondly, After this legal process or trial fol­lows the sentence, Go ye cursed into everlasting fire. What, to go from the presence of Christ, in whose presence is fulness of joy, to go from Christ with a curse. Why, saith Chrysostom, that very word Depart, is worse then the torment it self▪ And remember this▪ you that go on in your sins, When once this sentence is past it can never be re­versed; this is the most supreme Court of Judi­cature, from which is no appeal. Here on earth men remove their causes from one Court unto an­other; from the Common-Law▪ unto the Chan­cery; [Page 19] oh but at the last day of Judgement no ap­peals, no removing the sentence, for this is the highest Court.

4 It will be ill with the wicked that dye in their sins after the day of Judgement; oh then there is but one way, and they would be glad they might not go that way; any way but to prison. Oh but there is no way but to Hell, Luk. 16. 23. in hell he lifted up his eyes. Hell, tis the very cen­ter of misery, tis the very spirits of torments di­stilled out: The Scripture tells us that in Hell there are these three things: There is Fire, there is darkness, there are chains.

1. Hell is called a place of darkness, Iude 13. To whom is reserved blackness of darkness: Dark­ness you know is the most uncomfortable thing in the world; a man that goes in the dark, he trem­bles every step he goes.

Hell is a black Region, nothing but blackness of darkness; and it must needs be a dark place where they shall be separated from the light of Gods presence. Indeed Augustine he thinks there shall be some little sulpherous light there, but suppose it be so, that light will serve only that the damned may see the tragedy of their own misery, and see themselves tormented.

2. In Hell, as there is darkness, so there is fire, it is called a burning lake, Rev. 2. 15. Who was not found written in the book of life was thrown into [Page 20] the Lake of fire. You know that fire is the most torturing Element, it makes the most dreadful impression on the flesh: Now Hell is a place of fire.

It is disputed amongst the Learned what kinde of fire it is, and I wish we may never know what kind of fire it is. Augustine and others af­firm, that it is material fire, but far hotter then any fire upon your hearths, that is but painted fire compared with this. But I do rather think that the fire of the Damned it is partly mate­rial and partly spiritual: partly material to work on the body, and partly spiritual, which is the wrath of God to torment the soul, that is the lake, the burning fire. Oh who knows the power of Gods anger! Who can dwell with these burnings! it is intollerable to endure them, and impossible to escape them.

3. In Hell there are chains, chains of dark­ness. Those sinners that would not be bound by any Law of God, such shall have chains of dark­ness to bind them.

Quest. What should be the meaning of that phrase chains of darkness.

Answ. I suppose it may be this, to intimate un­to us, that the wicked in Hell shall not have power to walk up and down, which perhaps might be a little ease, though very little; but they shall be chained down fast, not to stir; they [Page 21] shall be fastned to that stake with chains of dark­ness. Oh this will be terrible indeed. Suppose a man should lye always on a Down-bed and might not stir out of the place it would be ve­ry painful unto him; Oh but to lie as the damn­ed upon the wrack, always under the torturing scorchings of Gods wrath, and to be tyed and not to move, how dreadful are the thoughts of this? and this is the condition of the wicked, they are under fire, and darkness, and chains.

And to add unto the torment of Hell, there are these two things more to shew you, that it shall be ill with the wicked, let them die when they will.

  • The first is the Worm,
  • The second is the Serpent.

First, There is the Worm to torture the dam­ned spirits, and this is no other but the Worm of Conscience, the 9th. of Mark▪ the 44. verse, Where there worm never dieth. Oh how dreadful will it be to have this worm.

Melancthon calls the tormenting Conscience A hellish Furie. Conscience will be just as if a worm full of poyson were feeding on the heart of a man. Those sinners that would never hear the voyce of Conscience, they shall feel the worm of Conscience. And then

Secondly, As there is the worm to torment, so there is the Serpent that is the Devil, who [Page 22] is called the old serpent. Revel. 9. As there i [...] the biting of the worm, so there is the stinging of the Old Serpent.

First of all, The damned shall be forced to behold the Devil. I remember what Anselm saith, saith he, I had rather endure all the tor­ments of this life, then to see the Devil with bodi­ly eyes. But now this sight the wicked shall see whether they will or no, and not onely see▪ but they shall feel the stinging of this old Ser­pent the Devil.

Satan is full of rage against mankind, and will show no mercy; As he puts forth all his subtil­ty in tempting of man, so he puts out all his cruelty in tormenting of mankind. And this is not all▪

There are Two things more to set out the tor­ments of hell.

First, These agonies, and hell-convulsions they shall be for ever: take that Scripture for proof, Revel. 14. 11. And the smoak of their torment ascendeth for ever and ever; and they have no rest day nor night. Thus it is in Hell, they would die but they cannot; the wicked shall be always dying but never dead; the smoak of the furnace ascends for ever and ever. Oh who can endure thus to be ever upon the wrack? This word ever breaks the heart. Wicked men now think the Sabbaths long, When will the Sabbath be over; and [Page 23] they think a Sermon long, and think a prayer long, but Oh how long will it be to lye in Hell for ever and ever? After millions of years their torments are as far from ending as at the first hour they began.

Secondly, Which is another aggravation of Hell torment, the damned in hell have none to pity them; it is some comfort, some ease, to have our friends to pity us in our sickness and want, I but they have no friends.

Mercy will not pity them, mercy is turned in­to fury▪ Christ will not pitty them, he is no more an Advocate for them. The Angels will not pitty them; but they rejoyce when they see the vengeance, they insult and glory when they see the Justice of God executed upon his Ene­mies. O how sad is this, to lye in the scald­ing Furnace of Gods Wrath, and none to pity them! When thy cry out, God will laugh at them, O hear this all ye that go on in sin, it will be ill with the Wicked; O therefore turn from your sins, least God tear you in peices as a Lyon, and there be none to help you.

Now for Application.

O what an affrighting Word is this to all wicked men that go on desperately to sin, to add drunkenness to thirst▪ never such an inunda­tion of Wickedness as now▪ men sin as if they would spight God, and dare him to punish them, [Page 24] men sin so greedily as if they were affraid Hell Gates would be shut up ere they got thither. Oh how manfully do many sin, they go to Hell strongly in their wickedness? O these are in a sad condition; is it not sad at the hour of death and at the day of judgment, and after judgment with them? Wicked men Live Cursed, and they Dye Damned. Sinners are the very mark that God will shoot at, his standing mark, and he never misses this mark; you know what the Scripture saith, there shall be weeping, and there shall be gnashing of toeth. And saith Latimer, that is sad fare where weeping is the first course, and gnashing of teeth is the second course.

Quest. Whence is it that there is this gnashing of teeth?

Answ. First, it doth arise from the extremity of torment the wicked suffer, they are not able to bear it, and know not how to avoid it.

Secondly, the wicked gnash their teeth in Hell at the godly to see them in Heaven, them whom they persecuted, and scoffed, and jeared to see them in Heaven and themselves in Hell, they are mad at it, Luk. 13. 28. When they shall see Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and all the Pro­phets in the Kingdom of God, and they themselves shut out, they shall gnash their teeth at this. How may this amaze a wicked man, if all the curses in the Bible will make a man miserable, he shall be made so▪

[Page 25] The Second Use is This,

Take heed that none of you here be found among the number of the wicked; take heed of being of this black regiment that wears the De­vils colours, and fight under his banner; the sin­ner and the furnace shall never be parted. Oh take heed of those sins which will bring you to Hell-fire.

There are, saith Bernard, fiery sins, that bring men to hell fire.

What are those fiery sins? why, the fire of ma­lice, the fire of Passion, and the fire of lust and con­cupiscence, and the fire of revenge; these fiery sins bring men to fiery plagues, to Hell fire.

When thou art tempted to any wickedness think with your selves, Oh how can I bear the fierceness of Gods wrath for ever? how can I lye in the winepress of Gods wrath for ever? Oh take heed of those sins that will bring you into this place of torment.

I have read a story of a Virgin, who being tempted by a young man to commit folly, saith she unto him, Grant me but one request, and I will do what thou desirest; What is that, saith he, Do but hold your finger one hour in this burning candle. No, he would not do that. Saith she, will not you for my sake hold your finger an hour in the candle and will you have my soul lye burn­ing in hell for ever. Thus she rebuked the tem­ptation.

[Page 26]Doth Satan tempt thee to wickedness, hold out this text as a shield to the Devil to quench his fiery Darts.

Say thus; Oh Satan, do I embrace thy tem­ptations, I must be under thy tormentings to all eternity. O therefore labour to be righteous; it shall be well with the righteous.

But take heed of sin, It shall be ill with the sinner.

I will conclude all with that saying of Austin, When a man hath been vertuons the labour is gone but the pleasure remains; when a man hath been wicked, the pleasvre is gone, but the sting re­mains.


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