Brethren, I believe that most of those in this congregation who will finally perish, their destruction will be sudden. It is written, ‘And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares’
I believe, again, it is so with all you who die without finding Christ, you will perish suddenly. ‘Upon the wicked, he shall rain snares, fire and brimstone, and a horrible tempest; this shall be the portion of their cup.’
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.
You need not tell me there is no God for I know there is one, and that I am in His presence! You need not tell me there is no hell. I feel myself already slipping. Wretches, cease your idle talk about there being hope for me! I know I am lost forever! Oh, that fire! Oh, the insufferable pangs of hell!
Francis Newport, 1st Earl of Bradford PC (23 February 1620 – 19 September 1708)
I have been just a dying now for more than a week; and all around me have thought me so. I have had clear views of eternity; … oh, what anguish is raised in my mind, to think of an eternity for those who are Christless, for those who are mistaken, and who bring their false hopes to the grave with them! The sight was so dreadful I could by no means bear it: my thoughts recoiled, and I said, (under a more affecting sense than ever before,) “Who can dwell with everlasting burnings?” Oh, methought, could I now see my friends, that I might warn them to see to it, that they lay their foundation for eternity sure.
IT has often occurred to me as something wonderful, that, amongst the vast variety of books, which are to be met with, on the important subject of Religion, there should still be wanted a manual for the information and direction of the Minister in his daily intercourse with sick persons and other members of his flock. There are indeed plenty of excellent theoretical treatises upon this branch of the Minister’s duty; and much also might be learnt from the biography of Clergymen, who have been eminently active in their parochial labours.
Jonathan Edwards – They That Are In Hell Are In Despair
Isaiah 38:18King James Version (KJV)
18 For the grave cannot praise thee, death can not celebrate thee: they that go down into the pit cannot hope for thy truth.