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that is, the thin thread of an uncertain life between their souls and a miserable eternity! Good God! deliver us from this unfortunate blindnessfrom this desperate folly and madness.
In the interior Pains of Hell.
Onsider, first, that the fire of hell, with all the rest of the exterior torments, which are endured there, are terrible indeed; but no ways compara. ble to the interior pains of the soul: the pæna damni, or eternal loss of God, and of all that is good-the extremity of anguish which follows from this loss -the rueful remorse of a bitter but
fruitless repentance, attended with everlasting rage and despair-the complication of all those racking tortures in the inward powers and faculties of the soul, are torments incomparably greater than any thing that can be suffered in the body.
Consider, secondly, in particular that pain of loss which, in the judgment of divines, is the greatest of all the torments of hell; though worldlings here have difficulties of con ceiving
ceiving how this can be possible. Alas! poor sinners, so weak is their notion of eternal goods, and so deeply are they immersed in the goods of this world, amusing themselves with a variety of created objects, which divert their thoughts from Gods sovereign goodness, that they cannot conceive how the loss of God can be so great and dismal a torment, as his saints and servants, who are guided by better lights, agree it to be. But the ca e will be altered when they find themselves in hell. There they shall be convinced, by woful experience, what a misery it is to have lost their God; lost him totally; lost him irrevocably; lost him eternally; lost him in himself; lost him in all his creatures; and to be eternally banished from him, who was their only happiness, last end, sovereign good, nay, the overflowing fountain of all good: and in losing him to have lost all that is good, and that for ever. As long as sinners are in this mortal life, they many ways partake of the goodness of God, who makes the sun to rise on the good and bad, and rains upon the just and
anjust. All that is agreeable in this world, all that is delightful in creatures, and all that is comfortable in life, is all in some measure a participation of the divine goodness. No wonder then, that the sinner, whilst he so many ways partakes of the goodness of God, should not in this life be sensible of what it is to be totally and eternally deprived of him. But in hell alas! those unhappy wretches shall find, that in losing God, they have also lost all kind of good or comfort which any of his creatures heretofore afforded; instead of which they find all things now conspiring against them, nor any way left of diverting the dreadful thought of this loss, which is always present to their minds, and gripes them with inexpressible tor
Consider, thirdly, that every damned soul shall be a hell to herself, and all and every one of her powers and faculties shall have their respective hells. Her memory shall be for ever tor mented, by revolving without ceasing on her past folly, stupidity and madness, in forfeiting the eternal joys F of
of heaven, that ocean of bliss, which she might have obtained at so cheap a rate, and which so many of her acquaintance are now in possession of, for an empty, trifling pleasure, that lasted but for a moment, and left nothing behind but the stain of sin, and the remorse of a guilty conscience; or, for some petty interest, or punctilio of honour, by which she was then robbed of all her treasures and honours; and, upon account of which, she is now so miserably poor and despicable, eternally trodden under foot by insulting devils. Oh! what will her judg ment then be of this transitory world, and all its cheating vanities, when after having been millions of ages in hell, looking back from that immense eternity, and scarce being able to find out in that infinite duration, this little point of her mortal life, she shall compare time with eternity, past plea sures with present pains, virtue with vice, and heaven with hell?
Consider, fourthly, that the under standing of the damned shall also have its proper hell, in being for ever depri ved of the light of truth, always em. ployed
ployed in false and blasphemous judgiments and notions concerning God and his justice, to the great increase of its own misery; and ever dwelling upon the thoughts of present and future torments, without being able for a moment to think of any thing else: so that all and every one of the torments which the darnned endure, and are to endure for eternity, are every moment before the eyes of their understanding; and thus in every moment they bear the insupportable load of a miserable eternity.
Consider, fifthly, that as the obsti
nate will of the sinner has been the most guilty, so this power of the soul shall suffer in proportion the greatest torment; always seeking what she shall never find, ever flying from what she shall for ever endure. Ah! what fruitless Jongings, what vain wishes, shall be her constant entertainment, whilst she is doomed for eternity
attain to any one, even the least thing which she desires! O! who can express that violent impetuosity, with which the will of these wretches is now carried towards God: sensible as Fii