Page images
PDF
EPUB

ßher Love, "that every time he looked toward Italy he fell a weeping; and if Demosthenes took his banishment from Athens so heavily, that every time he looked that way, he fell a weeping; if this did grieve them so much, how will the thoughts of this, that you are banished from heaven grieve you, if ever it should be your dismal lot to be cast into hell?” To this add what Jeremy Taylor says, " What a grief it will be to see themselves deprived of the palaces of heaven, the society of saints,and that happy country of the living, where all is peace, charity and joy; where all shines, all pleases, and all parts resound with hallelujahs! If the damned had no other punishment than to see themselves banished amongst devils, into a place not far distant from heaven, dark as night, without the sight or comfort of sun or moon for all eternity, it were a torment insufferable."

10. The pains arising from a guilty conscience.

“ There is another hell," says Mr. Swinden, * in the midst of hell. : , There the wicked shall be exposed to the intolerable anguish of an enrag. ed conscience, the remorse of which shall contin. ually prey upon them for what they have done in their lives-time.” “Wherefore, miserable consciences,” says Calvin, “find no reposé, bat are harrassed and agitated with a dreadful tempest, feel themselys torn asunder by an angry God, and

transfixed and penetrated by mortal stings; are terrified by the thunderbolts of God, and broken by the weight of his hand, so that to sink into any gulfs and abysses would be more tolerable than to stand for a moment in these terrors.” Dr. Duight maintains that “sin, in the world of misery, will be viewed as it is" ; so that the damned them. selves shall both see and acknowledge the heinousness of their guilt, and the infinite rectitude of the divine procedure. He says, also, that the “impenitent in the future world will be subjects of extreme remorse of conscience.

The character of every such man, being seen by himself as it is, will of course be loathed, abhorred and despised”; while the view he takes of his own conduct, in connexion with the divine goodness and government, “ will overwhelm him with self-condetrination, and pierce his soul with the anguish of selfreproach." "Besides these miseries and calamities," says Jeremy Taylor, " in this power of the soul (the understanding] is engendered the worm of conscience ; which is so often proposed unto us in the holy Scripture, as a most terrible torment, and greater than that of fire. Only in one sermon, Christ, our Redeemer, three times menaces us with the worm which

the consciences,and tears in pieces the hearts of the damned, admonishing us that their worm shall never die, and their fire be quenched! For as the worm which breeds in dead flesh, or that which breeds in woods, eats and gnaws that substance of which they are engendered ; so the worm which is bred from sin is in perpetual enmity with it, gnawing and devouring the heart of the sinner with raging and desperate grief. ... It is a hell in hell worse than a thousand hells ! !"

gnaws

But of all authors, Pollock has, perhaps, best succeeded in describing the horrors of a guilty conscience.

“I paused and looked;
And saw, where'er I looked upon that mound,
Sad figures traced in fire; not motionless,
But imitating life. One I remarked.
Attentively; but how shall I describe
What pought resembles else my eye

hath seen

7 Of worm or serpent kind it something looked, But monstrous with a thousand snaky heads, Eyed each with double orbs of glaring wraih ; And with as many tails, that twisted out In horrid conyoluiion, ripped with sings; And all its mouths, that wide and darkly gaped, And breathed most poisonous breath, had each a

sting, Forked, and long, and venomous, and sharp. And in its writhings infinite it grasped, Malignanıly what seemed a heart, swollen, black, And quivering with torture most intense. And still the heart with anguish throbbing high, Made effort to escape, but could not, for However it turned, and oft it vainly turned, These complicated foldings held it fast. And still the monstrous beast, wiib sting of head Or tail transfixed it, bleeding evermore. What this could image, much I searched to know, And while I strove, and gazed, and wondered loog, À voice, from whence I knew not, for no one

1 saw, distinctly whispered in my ear These words : This is the worm that never dies!"

11. Pains inflicted on the damned by their own malevolent passions.

The damned in hell are represented as being filled with all evil passions, such as envy, malice, etc. which shall almost infinitely aggravate their miseries. These passions, we are told," will be exceedingly powerful in the future world," and increase perpetually in strength. Besides, there will be nothing in the world of wo to restrain such passion's, or mitigate in the least degree their pernicious influence. In hell the damned will be filled with the greatest envy. They will behold the happiness of the righteous in heaven, and this shall greatly increase their own misery. When the Rich Man sees poor Lazarus in Abraham's bosom enjoying its comforts and beatitude, it will add immeasurably to his own torments in hell.“The sight of the saints' glory," says Matthew Henry, " will be a great aggravation of the sinner's misery." "The envy, also," says Jeremy Taylor, " which they bear towards those who have gained heaven by as small matters as they have lost it, shall much add to their grief." “ What a mass of wo," says Dr. Dwight, " must exist in the pangs of immortal envy!”

But it is not envy alone that shall torment the wicked in hell. They will also be filled with the

us,

deepest malice. Hatred, without losing its character or its effect upon him who indulges it, will in a manner become the element of their life.They will hate universally. They will hate God, they will hate the blessed in heaven, and the damned in hell. Hence they will become, as Dr. Dwight tells 6 the means of extreme suffering to each other, . . . None will have favors to bestow, nor a native amiableness of character, to invite esteem or love. Nor will

any
restraint

operate so as to prevent the heart from emptying out all its wickedness in the open day. Contempt, therefore, deceit and hatred will occupy the whole soul, and dictate all the conduct. ...

The rage which here persecutes an enemy to the grave, and laments that it cannot follow him into the invisible world, may there pursue him through eternity.” I need not add that from “ these consid. erations," as Dr. Dwight concludes, “it is evident that there can be no confidence in the regions of misery. The wretched inhabitants of these regions will know all around them to be enemies and deceivers. Amid the vast multitudes, not an individual will be found, possessed of either natural affection, or benevolence, or sincerity. This will probably be one of the most painful and wearisome, among all the ingredients of future wo. ... The miserable inhabitants of hell have no God, no Savior, no virtuous friends, no parents, no relatives, before whom they may spread their

« PreviousContinue »