Imágenes de página
PDF
ePub

him; but all have sinned, and the sinner is God's debtor. Some owe fifty pence, some five hundred, and some ten thousand talents; and such are bound over to punishment, unless these debts be cancelled, which they cannot be but by the blood of Christ; for without shedding of blood there is no remission. But then Christ died for his sheep, not for the goats; he redeemed his people from among men, he did not redeem all men: as a surety he did not pay their debts; the book debt, the hand writing, is still against them; it is not taken out of the way; it is not nailed to the cross; their sins are not blotted out of the book of God's remembrance; and God has sworn by his excellency that he never will forget any of their works. The unrighteous shall not enter the kingdom of heaven; imputed righteousness is not on them; and they have no righteousness of their own; and without righteousness they cannot stand in the judgment, nor shall they ever stand in the congregation of the righteous. Moses says, This shall be our righteousness, if we observe to do all the things that are written in this law; but here they have all failed. And, if a man contracts a debt of fifty thousand pounds, can his lying in jail be called discharging it? Or is there any law in being which allows that lying in jail fifty years is equivalent to the discharge of a lawful debt of fifty thousand pounds sterling? If this be laughed at, what becomes of Mr. Winchester's doctrine? If a man's carcass suffering in jail cannot be called

VOL. XII.

[ocr errors]

Ice

paying his just debts; can weeping, wailing, gnashiing of teeth, lamentation, mourning, and wo, be called obedience to the moral law? If justice once imprison the sinner, “I tell thee thou shalt not depart thence till thou hast paid the very last mite.” Mark that, till thou hast paid: Christ is not the surety of such; the debt is their own. And can looking up, and cursing both their King and their God, be called fulfilling all righteousnéss, or loving God with all the heart, and soul, and mind, and strength? or can sinners cursing, accusing, and tormenting, one another in hell, be called loving their neighbour as themselves? No: the sufferings of a finite creature cannot atone for sins declared to be infinite. All obedience produced in hell is extorted, not drawn; it is eye service, not obedience; dead works, not spiritual service: “The grave cannot praise thee, death cannot celebrate thee; they that go down into the pit cannot hope for thy truth.”

14. Strict justice forbids this universal reprieve. The flaming sword of justice was sheathed in the very soul of the good Shepherd, in behalf of the sheep: and by the blood of the covenant the elect are sent forth out of the prison, wherein is no water; and to the strong hold, which is Christ crucified, the prisoners of hope turn themselves. But this ransom does not, cannot, redeem from the pit: therefore the sword bathed in heaven must come down on Idumea, and on the people of God's curse to judgment. And wherewithal shall such

rses

sinners come before God, or bow themselves before the Most High! Will the Lord be pleased with their crying to the rocks and mountains tợ fall on them? Shall they bring their oaths and curses for their transgression, and their just torments for the sin of their souls? Perfect holiness, perfect obedience, and atoning blood, shall be found upon every soul that enters the kingdom of heavens without these no man shall ever see it; therefore “ they that go down into the pit cannot hope for thy truth.”

15. The order of the Almighty prohibits this restoration. God is not the author of confusions but of peace and order. And sure I am that the restoration of devils and reprobates would breed more discord and confusion in heaven, if possible, than it has in the brains of Mr. Winchester. Some would be with Christ that are called, chosen, and faithful; and others in the same company that are rejected, reprobated, and faithless. Whatever brings a man to heaven and glory, that will be his theme and the subject of his song when he comes there. But this would make sad discord: some would triumph in God's eternal love; some would celebrate his wrath; some his election of them, and others his reprobation; some would hymn his mercy, others his anger; some would sing his blessing, and others his curse; some would praise his faithfulness and truth, others his perjury and falsehood; some would be ascribing salvation to the 'Lamb, and others to the torment of devils; some praising their Surety, and others their own

sufferings; some ascribing all to free grace and others to their suffering the penalty of the law; some would glory in the blood of Christ that has cleansed them, and others in the damnation of hell that has purged them. This would be all discord, but no concord; and this must be the case when the sheep and goats, the seed of Christ and the seed of the serpent, when the persecuted and the persecutors, when they "who bore the burden and heat of the day and they who stood all their days idle in the market-place, get together. But this shall never be; the children of God and the children of the devil shall never dwell in one mansion; nor shall the Lamb's wife and the whore of Babylon ever sit together upon one throne. “Shall the throne of iniquity have fellowship with thee, which frameth mischief by a law?" No, never; therefore “ they that go down into the pit cannot hope for thy truth.”

16. The never-dying worm of the sinner's guilty conscience is another impediment in the way of this deliverance from purgatory Contracted guilt is the sting of death, and the strength of sin is the law of God, which will bind the sinner over and hold him fast, and will never let himgo. The just wages of sin is death spiritual; temporal, and eternal; and sin and guilt, when revived and stirred up by the curse and wrath of God, will ever exist, and ever torment; and of sin conscience will ever accuse upon every bitter reflection of past rebellion; and nothing can ever silence or quiet it, purge from it, kill, or bury it, but the atoning blood of Christ; which never was, and which never will be, applied in hell; but in Mount Zion, in Jerusalem, and in the remnant whom the Lord shall call. Those that die under the wrath of God, a great ransom cannot deliver them; therefore their worm shall never die, Isa. lxvi. 24. “ They that go down into the pit cannot hope for thy truth.”

17. The unquenchable fire of hell torments militates hard against this recovery of the damned. The wrath of God, revealed in the law against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, is a fire kindled in his anger, and shall burn unto the lowest hell, and shall consume the earth with her increase, and set on fire the foundations of the mountains, Deut. xxxii. 22. And what shall appease an angry God, or quench this unextinguishable flame? Nothing can do it but the blood of Christ. But for the reprobate this was never shed, and in hell it shall never be applied. Neither shall the fire of the wicked ever be quenched; as it is written, " Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting [mwov] fire, prepared for the Devil and his angels.” The wicked are cast into everlasting [aswor] fire, Matt. xviii. 8. And it is a fire that is not quenched, so bévvulan. It is a fire that never shall be quenched, tò ŽOCESOV, Mark ix, 43, 44. Let not him that is deceived trust in vanity, for vanity shall be his recompence. Lies

« AnteriorContinuar »