How is it possible to preach of the awful realities of heaven and hell, of the soul and the everlasting ages, and of the death of Christ for the salvation of the lost, without the deepest emotion? Hell is a terrible reality. The prospect of its unutterable anguish, of its eternal torments, is dreadful. Then the thought that all the unconverted are posting on steadily and surely to its woes is appalling. But it might be escaped through the blood of the Son of God, and then would come a heaven of indescribable bliss and everlasting glory. Can we think of these things and not be overwhelmed at the thought? Can we speak of them without our hearts and words burning with the very deepest feeling?”
The doctrine of the day of judgment, in which men are taught that Christ will come with glory, majesty and mighty power on the clouds of heaven to judge the quick and dead, and that all, both small and great, must stand before him to give an account, is a very awful and awakening doctrine, tending very much to rouse both saints and sinners, and excite to watchfulness and diligence that they may be ready for such a day. But this doctrine has been preached in the world now for many ages, but men see nothing of the accomplishment of it; and many that hear of it are the less moved by it, because they look upon [it] as at a great distance. They hear that there are many things yet to be accomplished in the world before the day of judgment, and they never expect to see it while they live, nor till a great while after they are dead.
He feeds on ashes: a deceived heart has turned him aside, that he cannot deliver his soul, nor say, Is there not a lie in my right hand?” Isaiah 44:20.
We have another class of persons, living in our midst, who pretend to have no religion at all, but who, in fact, have a superstition of their own—I mean the men who generally class themselves amongst Freethinkers, the people who will not believe the Bible, and who cannot walk in the narrow way in which their grandmothers walked, because it would imply a sort of slavery if they were to walk in the way of the truth. They think they are bold and brave men, who glory in dashing away the fetters of right, and doing wrong, because of the freedom of it.
Let none of these things move you; for, though you are thus treated here, consider, you shall in heaven have no discouraging company, nor any but what will be an assistance to you; you will have no scoffer there, all will be ready to join with heart and voice in your everlasting joy and praises.
Revelation 19:15 And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.
Preached April 1734
Sermon manuscript text is here. http://edwards.yale.edu/archive?path=aHR0cDovL2Vkd2FyZHMueWFsZS5lZHUvY2dpLWJpbi9uZXdwaGlsby9nZXRvYmplY3QucGw/Yy40NzoxMi53amVv
Introduction: the word Revival defined. The Connecticut Evangelical Magazine. The authors Heman Humphrey, Bennet Tyler, Ashbel Green, and other key pastors in this history. Authentic narratives from numerous first-hand accounts.
If you will be like the world, you must take the world’s lot. It will go with you as it goes with the world. Inquire and see, in the whole book of God, how it will go with the world, — what God’s thoughts are of the world, — whether it saith not, “If it lies in wickedness, it shall come to judgment,” and that “the curse of God is upon it.” If, therefore, you will be like the world, you must have the world’s lot; God will not separate.
It is a woeful thing to consider what slight thoughts the most have of this thing. So men can keep themselves from sin itself in open action, they are content, they scarce aim at more; on any temptation in the world, all sorts of men will venture at any time. How will young men put themselves on company, any society; at first, being delighted with evil company, then with the evil of the company! How vain are all admonitions and exhortations to them to take heed of such persons, debauched in themselves, corrupters of others, destroyers of souls!
Now, how reasonable is it to suppose, that God, when he shall come and put an end to the present state of mankind, will in an open, public manner, the whole world being present, rectify all these disorders! And that he will bring all things to a trial by a general judgment, in order that those who have been oppressed may be delivered; that the righteous cause may be pleaded and vindicated, and wickedness, which has been approved, honored, and rewarded, may receive its due disgrace and punishment; that the proceedings of kings and earthly judges may be inquired into by him, whose eyes are as a flame of fire; and that the public actions of men may be publicly examined and recompensed according to their desert! How agreeable is it to divine wisdom thus to order things, and how worthy of the supreme governor of the world!