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J\o. 34. 



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SINNERS 



IN THB 



<HANDS OF AN ANGRY GOD. 



1 



BY THE 



Rev president EDWARDS 



PHILADELPHIA: 
PRESBYTERL\N BOARD OF PUBLICATION, 

No. 821 CiriiSTNUT STUKET. 



a 



Digitized by the Internet Archive 
in 2011 with funding from 
Brigham Young University 



http://www.archive.org/details/sinnersinhandsof1920edwa 



Ofv^'^-. SINNERS 



in THE 



HANDS OF AN ANGEY GOD 



BT TBI 



Rbv. president EDWARDS. 



PHILADELPHIA; 
TRESBITERIAN BOARD OF PUBLICATION. 



A2 



SINNERS 



IN THE 



HANDS OF AN ANGRY GOD, 



There is nothing that keeps wicked men at any one moment •, 
out of hell, but the mere pleasure of God, ' 

By the mere pleasure of God, I mean his sovereign pleasuro^ | 
his arbitrary will, restrained by no obligation, hindered by iio 
manner of difficulty, any more than if nothing else but God's 
mere will had, in the least degree, or in any respect whatso- 
ever, any hand in the preservation of wicked men one moment. 

The truih of this observation may appear by the following 
considerations : 

1. There is no want of power in God to cast wicked men 
into hell at any moment. Men's hands cannot be strong^ 
when God rises up. The strongest have no power to resij^ 
him, nor can any deliver out of his hands. > 

He is not only able to cast wicked men into hell, but he carf ' 
most easily do it. Sometimes an earthly prince meets with a 
great deal of difTiculty in subduing a rebel, who has found 
mrans to fortify himself, and has made himself strong by th^ 
numb<jrs of his followers. But it is not so with God. There 
is no Ibrtress that is any defence from the power of God. 
Though hand join in hand, and vast multitudes of God's ene- 
mies combine and associate themselves, they are easily broken 
in pieces. They are as great heaps of light chaff before the 
whirlwind; or large quantities of dry stubble before devouring 
flames. We find it easy to tread on and crush a worm thai 
we see crawling on the earth ; so it is easy for us to cut or 
singe a slender thread that any thing hangs by: thus easy is 
it for God, when he pleases, to cast his enemies down to he''- 
VVIiaf an; we, that we should think to stand before Ilim, at 
whose rebuke the earth trembles, and before whonv the rockt 
are thrown down? 

2. They deserve to be cast into hell ; so that divine justica 
never stands in the way ; i< makes no objection against God's 

' i 

HAROLD B. IJ'.-: inr^ARY ' 



SINNERS IN TflR FUNDS OF AN ANGRY GOD. S 

mjing his power at any motnent to destroy t**?!m. Jf c i. on tlie 
1 Cc ntrary, justice calls aloud for anfinfinite punrah m U\p f their 
{ sins. Divine justice says of the tree that brih X Jorth such 
^apesofSotJom, "Cut it flown, why cuml>ercth * the ground?" 
luke ^iii. 7. The, sword of divine justice is every moment 
jandishcd over their heads; and it is nothing but the hand of 
(l)itrary mercy, and God's mere will, (hat holds it hack. 

3. They are already under a sentence of condemnation to 
» ,11. They do not only justly deserve to be cast down thither, 
^m the sentence of the law of God, that eternal and immutable 
Mic of righteousness that God has fixed between him and man- 
|Vid, is gone out against (hem, and stands against them; so 
^t they are bound over already to hell. John iii. 18. ** He 
Wi believeth not is condemneil olreadyc" So that every un- 
Aivertcd man properly [belongs ^o hell ; Ihalis^his^jilasg » 
fSm (hence he is. John viii.^9r " Ye areTrmTTbcn^^ :" 
and thither he is bound; it is (he place that justice, and God's 
word, and the sentence of his unchangeable law, assign to 
him. 

4. They are now (he objects of that very same anger and 
"g*a(h of God, that is expressed in the torments of hell : and 
t^jfa reason why they do not go down to hell at each moment, 
i ^Inot because God, in whose power they are, is not at present 
y iry angry wi(h them; as he is with many miserable crea- 
' kin now tormented in hell, who there feel and bear the fierce- 
K«9 of his wrath. Yea, God is a great deal more angry with 
|rf?at numbers (hat are now on earth, yea doubtless with some 
w!io may read (his bdok, who, it may l)e, are at case, than he 
is with many of (hose (hat are now in the flames of hell. 

So (ha( iuis not because God is unmindful of their wicked- 
ness, and dofes not re8cn( i(, that he does not let loose his hand, 
and cut (hem off. God is not al(oge(her such a one as them- 
«»lves, though they may imagine him to be so. The wrath 

• of God burns against (hem, their damna(ion does not slumber; 
'^Jj^pil «8 prepared, the^ fire is made, _igadvt^the furnace is now 
i!S*^?^y Tor cceive (hem ; (he flanries do now rao^e and_glow. 
g1rftnierifi|' sword is whetted, and held overThem7 and the' pil 
ffRth opened its mouth under them« 

^•/Tho devil stands ready to fall upon them, and seize them 
?\^ Q^g> «t what moment God shall permit him. The y 

| p7ong lq]Kim ; he hns their souls in his possession, and under 
ins dominion. The Scripture represents them as his goods, 
Luke xi. 2!. The devils watch them; they are ever by them, 



91SiiEH6 IN THE HANDS 



i?^^J' • ?' ^'^ *^ ^^^^^'' ^hey Stand waiting for them, like grcn-dv 

ri'/} ^^ hungry lions, th^i ^lee their prey, apd ex|>ect to havcTurKf Oi^ , 
UQsf\ ibr tlie present ke^hdck, rt^Saf iliB^d wTHiHTim lii^ hSna, \ 
by which they are restrained, they would in one moment i^y 
upon their poor souls. The old serpent is ga|)ing for theiii; 
hell opens its mouth wide to receive them ; and if God shoii 
permit it, they would be hastily swaHowed up and lost. \ 

6. There are in the souls of wicked m^n those hellish prL 
.ciples reignmg, that would presently kindle and flame out hi 
lieil fire, if it were not for God's restraints. There is laid |j 
the very nature of carnal men, a foundation for the tormeiP 
^ hell. There are those corrupt principles, in reigning pou 
w them, and in full possession of thooi, that are seeds^f h 
fire. These principles are active and powerful, exceeding 
Violent m their nature; and if it were not for the restrainii 
hand of God upon them, they would soon break out; tliby 
would flame out after the same manner as the same corruption, 
Xhe same enmity, does in the hearts of damned souls, and 
\ would beget the same torments as they do in them. The souf$ 
(1a1^' X ?^ fhe wicked are in Scripture compared to the ti:oublsij|l^. 
^^^^ J^aiah Ivii. 20. For the present, God restrains their wick<£^ 
^Ht\^^\ pess by his mighty power, as he does the raging waves of qfe 
p. troubled sea, saying, *» Hitherto shalt thou come, and no fJf 

^K ther;" but if God should withdraw that restraining power Jst 

would soon carry all before it. Sin is the ruin and inisSL 
ftf the 8oul;(it i^ destructive in its nature); and if God shoi?^ ' 
leave it without restraint, there would need nothing else ' to 
piake the soul perfectly miserable. The corruption of the 
neart ol man is immoderate and boundless in its fury; and 
while wicked men live here, it is like fire pent up by God's 
restraints; whereas if it were let loose, it would set on fire the 
^ course of nature ; and as the heart is now a sink of sin, so, 
, if sm wa? not restrained, it would immediately turn the soul 

si J^to a fieixovep, or a fiirnace of fire and brimstone. 

. 7. It is no security to wicked men for one moment, iLut 
there are no visible means of death at hand. It is no secuFy 
to a natural man, that he is now in health, and that he d(jjP^ 
not see which way he should now immediately go out of tihe 
world by any accident, and that there is no visible danger, in 
any respect, in his circumstances. The manifold and vr.ix^ 
tinual experience of the world, in all ages, shows this is 
evidence that a man is not on the very brink of eternity, u 
Uiat the next step will not Ijo into another world The unseen 
8 



AN ANGRY fJOD. 



(fM 



•dt- 



jfitbouglit of ways and moans of persons going snrldnrly out x 
of ♦.he world are innumerable and inconc(Mva!>lc. IJ n con v erted _ 
n^evi walk over the pit of liclj on a ro!ten covering, and there 
iirtTihnumerabfe^plares in this covering so weak that they will ^ 
/ "ir^tfiar their w(nght, and these places are not. s^'cn. The^ .„"" 
- "^ rows of S^^^lhJJx "^^^'^"^ Jil _.Dopn-dajj the sliarpest sight " - 
not dTscernuiem. God has so many diflerent unsearch- 
ni.»le ways of taking wicked men out of the world, and sending 
them to hell, that there is nothing to make it appear, that God 
had need to he at the expense of a miracle, or to go out of the 
ordinary course of his providence, to destroy any wicked man, 
at any moment. All the means that there are of sinners going 
out of the world, are so in God's hands, and so universally 
and absolutely subject to his power and determination, that it 
does not depend at all tlie less on the mere will of God, whether 
siijiners shall at any moment go to hell, than if means were 
never made use of, or at all concerned in the case. 

8 Natural men's prudence and care to preserve their own 
lives, or the care of others to preserve them, do not secure 
thpm a moment. To this, divine providence and universal 
eyperience do bear testimony. There is this clear evidence 
U It men's own wisdom is no security to them from death ; 
thdt, if it were otherwise, we should see some difference be- 
fwleen the wise and politic men of the world and others, with 
retard to their liableness to early and unexpected death ; but 
hej\v is it in fact 1 ** How dieth the wise man ? even as the 
fo6\:' Eccles. ii. 16. fn()\V £ ry^p h.T^ V ^ ^ 

jo. All wicked men's pains and contrivances which they use 
tr escape? hell, while they continue to reject Christ, and so re- 
n lin wi(!ked men, do not secure them from hell one moment. 
Almost every natural man that hears of hell, flatters himself 
thftit he shall escape it; he depends upon himself for his own 
» curity; he flatters himself in what he has done, in what hb 
1^ now doing, or what he intends to do; every one lays out 
n itters in his own mind, how he shall avoid damnation, and 
Wtters himself that he contrives well for himself, and that his 
themes will not fail. They hear indeed that there are but 
"*w saved, and that the greater part of men that have died 
%retofore, are gone to hell; but each one imagines that ho 
'M)rins plans to viTrct his escape better than others have done. 

\ does not intend to go to that place of torment ; he says 
^ithin himself, that he intends to take effectual care, and to 
ojrder matters so for himself as not to fail. 

1* 9 



SINNKKS l^ lin: HANDS 

But the foolish children of men miserably dchide Ihcmselve* 
in their own schemes, and in confidence in their own strength 
and wisdom ; they trust to nothing but a shadow. The gi'^^t 
er part of those who heretofore have Hved under the sai 
means of grace, and are now dead, are undoubtedly gone 
hell; and it was not because they were not as wise as the 
who are now alive; it was not because they did not lay (i 
matters as well for themselves to secure their own escape. \f 
we could come to speak with them, and inquire of them, one 
by one, whether they expected, when alive, and when they 
used to hear about hell, ever to be the subjects of that misery , 
we, doubtless, should hear one and another reply, " No, I never 
intended to come here : 1 had arranged matters otherwise in 
my mind; I thought I should contrive well for myself; I 
thought my scheme good. I intended to take effectual cbly^ 
^ but it came upon me unexpectedly; I did not look for it ^t 
Sir that time,-^ and in that manner; it came as a thief. Dedkh 
^ outwitted me: Gods wrath was too quick for me. O Wiy 
cursed foolishness! I was flattering myself, and pleasing mr 
self with vain dreams of what 1 would do hereafter; and whi 

1 was saying peace and safety, then sudden destruction can 
upon me. ' 

10. God has laid himself under no obligation, by any pi 
mise, to keep any natural man out of hell one moment. GJ 
certainly has made no promises either of eternal life, or of aifly 
deliverance or preservation from eternal death, but what alB 
contained in the covenant of grace, the promises that a|^ 
given in Christ, in whom all the promises are yea and amcHw 
But surely they have no interest in the promises of the covjh 
nant of grace, who are not the children of the covenant, wfi> 
do not believe in any of the promises, and have no interest fii 
the Mediator of the covenant. 

So that, whatever some have imagined anvi pretended al>oi 
promises made to natural men's earnest seeking and knockini 
it is plain and manifest, that whatever pains a natural mq 
takes in religion, whatever prayers he makes, till he believe 
in Christ, God is under no manner of obligation to keep him 
moment from eternal destruction. 

So that thus it is that natural men are jield in the hand ol 
^ K * ^^^ ^^^'^ ^'^^ P*^ of hell ; they have deserved the fiery^pTt, anc 
^^ ''^' are already sentenced to it; and (lod is dreadfully provokedj 
his anger is as great towards them as to those that are actuall; 
suffering the execution of the fierceness of his wrath in hell 



OF AN ANORV GOD. • 

•liiiil thoy hnvc doiin notliing in the least to appease or abate tliat 
i?nf^or, iieilhcr is Ciod in the least !x)und by any promise lo hold 
yni up one moment. The dOvii is wailing for thorn, Ik II is 
Lrong lor them, the flames gather and Hash about th(Mn, and 
wfuld fain lay hold on them, and swallow them up; the fire 

.vylit up in their own hearts is struggling to break out; and they 
hive no interest in any Mediator; there are no means within 
rSich that can be any security to them. In short they have 

^refuire, nothing to take hold of; all that preserves them 
evfry moment is the mere arbitrary will, and uncovenanted, 

^unobliged forbearance of an incensed God. 



APPLICATION. 



The use of this awful subject may be for awakening uncon- '^ 

v:.rted persons to a conviction of their danger. This that you 

^.ive heard is the case of every one out oi Christ. That world 

'c»f miser;:, that lake of burning brimstone, is extended abroad 

^S?aeryou. There is the dread^^ of the glowing flames 

p(the wrath of God; there is hell's wjda^ga^ing mouth open; 

' li/d you have nothing to stand upon, nor any thing to take 

■ •• Id of ; there is nothing between you and hell but the air; 

o is only the power and mere pleasure of God that holds 

you up. 

rYou prol>ably are not sensible of this; you find you are 

kept out of hell, but do not see the hand of God in it, but 

look at other things, as the good state of your bodily constitu- 

ti6n, your care of your own life, and the means you use for 

Dur own preservation. But indeed these things are nothing; 

God should withdraw his hand, they would avail no mors 
..' keep you from falling, than the thin air to hold up a person 
1»flio is suspended in it. 

Your wickedness makes you, as it were, heavy as lead, and y 
to tend downwards with gjeat^jveight and pr^suiVtowards <'^ 
hell ; and if God should leF you go, you wouISHmmediately ^v:^^ 
rf»k, and swiftly descend and j)lu|ige into the bottomless gulf; -^ 

S'Tii3ryour healthy constitution^and your own care and pru 
ence, and l)est contrivance, and all your righteousnef^s, would 
f lave no more influence to uphold you, and keep you out of 

:^ll, than a spifler's web would have to stop a falling rock^W^); y 
|Were it nor'n>Mbe sovereign pleasure of God, the earth wouIrT ^(^A 
bot Ix3ar you cmo moment, for you are a burden to it; the ^^£j^ ^ 
creation groans with you; the creature is made subject to the 

11 ' 



6 



SINNERS IN THh HANDS 












bondage of your corruption, not willingly; the sun loes iiif»; 
willingly shine upon you, to give you light to serve sin r n(^ 
Satan; the earth doe^ not willingly yield her increase, to sa^ia| 
fy your lusts; nor is it willingly a stage for your wickedn^oji 
to be acted upon; the air does not willingly serve you fc^ 
breath to maintain the flame of life in your vitals, while yLt^ 
fipend your life in the service of God^s enemies. God's cr£ik 
tures are good, and were made for men to serve God wi||^ 
and do not willingly subserve any other purpose, and gM(fcw' 
when they are abused to purposes so directly contrary to t^n^ 
nature and end. And the world would spew you out, weri |;V 
not for the sovereign hand of Him who hath subjected it *in ^ 
hope. There are the bjack clouds of God's \y rath now hah j^^^ 
ing directlyTover your heads, full of the dreadful storm, i.^^^' 
big with thunder ; and were it not for the restraining hand of 
God they would immediately burst forth upon you. Tft^ 
sovereign pleasure of God, for the present, stays his rouiill 
wind, otherwise it would come with fury; and your destruc* *L 
tion would come like a whirlwind, and you would be like iUa * 
chaff of the summer threshing-floor. j: 

; The wrath of God is like ^^rea t waters that are restrair^i ^ 
tor the present; but they increase more and more, and rM:/ 
higher and higher, till an outlet is given; and the longer tS& 
Uream is stopped, the more rapid and mighty is its coui^Ji' 
ivheri once it is let loose. It is true, that judgment agaiitSf 
your evil works has not Ix^en executed hitherto ; the flprxls oil 
God's vengeance have been withheld ; but your guilt in" tko 
mean time is constantly increasing, and you are every daj^ f 
treasuring up more wrath ; the waters are constantly rising 
and waxing more and more mighty; and there is nothing h\. ' , 
the mere pleasure of God that holds the waters back, that ap*^ 
unwilling to be stopped, and press hard to go forward. If 
God should only withdraw his hand from the flood-gate, u 
would immediately fly open, and the fiery floods of the fiorctiji 
hess and wrath of God, would rush forth with inconceivabte 
fury, and would come upon you with omnipotent power ; and 
if your strength were ten thousand times greater than it i$«i 
yea, ten thousanrl times greater than the strength of the stout* 
est, sturdiest devil in hell, it would be nothing to withstand ol- 
endure it. 

TIk; bow of God's wrath is bent, and the arrow made ready 
on the siring; and jiistic^e directs the arrow to youT heart, an< 
strains the bow; and it is nothing but the mere pleasure o( 
12 



i 



J 



OF AN ANGRY OOD. 



5 ./vi, a; i that of an angry God* without any promise or obli* 

^^ yJoiWat all, that keeps the arrow one moment from being 

^ ide (t|iunk with your blood. 

I ^ThuiJ all you that never passed under a great change of 

I eart, l^y the mighty power of the Spirit of God upon your 

^)^ls; ^11 you that were never born again, and made new ^/y,i\//\ 

^uturea, and raised from being dead in sin, to ai state of new, ' U' 

J id before altogether unexperienced light and life, are in thefYnY^": 

^^nda of an angry God. However you may have reformed r)iO(}d 

i ur life in many things, and may have had religious alfec- 

I aJJs, and may keep up a form of religion in your families and 

[ *'9sqts, and in the house of God, it is nothing but his mere 

k^'easure that keeps you from being this moment swallowed up 

eyerlasting destruction. 

However unconvinced you may now be of the truth of what 
ill hear, by and by you will be fully convinced of it. Those 
^»t are gone from l)eing in the like circumstances with you, 
fr-r that it was so with them; for destruction came suddenly 
UDon most of them; when they expected nothing of it, and 
Vjiile they were saying, Peace and safety. Now they see, 
that those things on which they depended for peace and safety, 
M'^re nothing but thin air and empty shadows. i \ ^ 

The God that hQlcls_you over t^e pit of hell, much an tho W » H 
f.yfliejrtLayjis one holds a spider, or some loathsome insect^ \ j^^ 
L^/cr„ the fire, abhors you, and is dreadfully provokcni ; his .<{tr 
-*rath towards you burns like fire ; he looks upon you as wor- ' * 
of nothing else but to be cast into the fire; he is of purer 

es than to bear to have you in his sight; you are ten thou- 
Sif^nd times more abominable in his eyes than the most hateful 
Ti^Qomous serpent is in ours. You have offended him infinitely 
4ni^e than ever a stubl>orn rebel did his prince: and yet, it is 
IK>thing but his hand that holds you from falling into the fire 
^€ry moment. It is to be ascribed to nothing else, that you 
T<1 ^^*^ 6^^ ^^ hell the last night; that you were suffered to 
aN^ake again in this world, aQcr you closed your eyes to sleep; 
aril there is no other reason to he given, why you have not 
dropped into hell since you arose in the morning, but that 
Cod's haiul luis held you up. There is no other n^ason to be 
given, while you have In-en reading this address, but his mercy; 
yea, no other reason can \yc given why you do not this very 
nicrnent drop down into bell. 

P sinui^r, consider the fearfid danger you are in ! It is a 
V *at furnace of wrath, a wide and bottomless pit, full of tha 
i B 13 



^0 SIXNIOKS IN THE IIAXDm I 

\\^\\(a ^irc ofwrntli, Mint you arc hold over injihc hand nf fJKit ,vo' 
whoso wrath is provoked and incensed as mnrh a,^ain?f^^^ 
as against many of the damned in hell. Yon han^"hy(a sleh^ 
\i (fiXC| der threax], with the flames of divine wrath /lashiniy r^hoiTri tt ^ 
VfHtW«"^'/r ^"^ n^idy every moment to s'j^g^ J ni T ?^"^ burn it_asmi (lbr; aTij 
Q you have no inf» rest in any fflcdlatorTan^^ holt 

of to save yourself, nothing to keep off the flames of wrHiY 
nothing of your own, nothing that you ever have done, nothin' 
that you can do, to induce God to spare you one moment. 
And consider here more particularly, 

1. Whose wrath it is. It is the wrath of the infinite G\a 
If it were only the wrath of man, though it were of the m^;^ 
potent prince, it would be comparatively little to be regarden 
The wrath of kings is very much dreaded, especially of abscv ] 
lute monarchs, who have the possessions and lives of their sul)r 
jects wholly in their power, to be disposed of at their me v*! 

-^ will. Prov. XX. 2. "The fear of a king is as the roaring v 

^ ^ a lion ; whoso provoketh him to anger, sinneth against his owrt^, 

~ soul." The subject who very much enrages on arbitrary 

c^S prince, is liable to sufl'er the most extreme torments that humailr^ 

^^ art c^m invent, or human power can inflict. Butjhe ^great est 

e&rthly potentates, in their greatest majesty and strength, and 

y- when clothed in their greatest terrors, are but feeble, despicably 

DMfV^^ worms of the dust, in comparison with the great and almighty 

Creator and King of heaven and earth. It is but little thri 

they can do, when most enraged, and when they have exert ej 

the utmost of their fury. All the kings of the earth, bcfo 

God, are as grasshoppers; they are nothing, and less ih 

^ nofh^iffg:" hoftrtteif love and their hatred are to be despised^ 

The wrath of the great King of kings, is as much more terrible 

^ than theirs, as his majesty is greater. *' And I say unto you/ 

my friends, Re not afraid of them that kill the body, and afler 

that, have no more that they can do. But I will forewarn your 

whom you shall fear ; Fear him, which afler he hath killedl 

^ \ hath power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you. Fear him.'^ 

\ Luke xii. 4, 5. F 

2. It is the fierceness of his wrath that you are exposed to. 
/We oQen read of the fury of God ; as in Isaiah lix. 18. "Ac- 
cording to their deeds, accordingly he will repay, fury to his 
adversaries." So Isaiah Ixvi. 15. "For, l)ehold, the ly-rd 

:■*'' ^V will come witli fire, and with his chariots like a whirlwind, to 
\ render his anger with fury, and his rebuke with flames of firf^ 
And so also in many other places. Thus we read of ** tl 
14 



•- — ''^^l^ Oh' AS A Mi Mr 0<)U. 11 



^i^.prcss of the fierceness and' wrath of Armighty CmmI." 
ky xix. 16- 1'*^^ words arc exceedingly teriihie. If it had 
nly h^en said, *Mhe wrath of God,'' the words would have 
IJnplied thai which is imspeakahly dreadful; but it is sr' 
t'lhe ficrcenesa and wrath of God:" the fury of (jod!^ 
fierceness of Jeliovahl O how dreadful nnust that he» ^ 
can utter or conceive what such expressions carry in them i 
But it is also, "the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.'* 
As though there would be a very great manifestation of his 
ulnii^hty power in what the fierceness of his wrath should 
Ifiliicti as though Omnipotence should be, ns it were, enraged, 
iij^ exerted, as men arc wont to exert their strength in the 
6orceness of their wrath. O! then, what will be the conse- 
ilience? what will l)ecome of the ^Qai;jffo^^m that shall suffer ^Jl^ ** '^ 
il ? whose hands can be strong; and whose heart can endure? 
To what a dreadful, inexpressible, inconceivable depth of mis- 
ery must the poor creature be sunk, who shall be the subject 
tflhisi 

Consider this, you that yet remain in an unregenerate state. 

That God will execute the fierceness of his anger, implies, that 

he will inflict wratli without any pity. When God beholds the 

•lii^fllible extremity of your case, and sees your torment to bo 

•0 vastly disproportioned to your strength, and sees how your 

poor soul is crushed, and sinks down, as it were, into an infi- 

otte gloom ; he will have no compassion upon you, he will not 

l^^bear the execution of his wralh, or in the least lighten his 

t M: there shall be no moderation or mercy, nor will God 

!li€n at all stay his rough wind: he will have no regard to 

your welfare, nor be at all careful lest you should suffer too 

much in any other sense, than only that you shall not suffer 

l^^yond what strict justice requires: nothing shall bo withheld, 

because it is so hard for you to bear. ** Therefore will I also » 

'!ealinfury; mine eye shall not spare, neither will I have ^|^Vi|^ ' ^ 

wfy; and though they cry in mine ears with a loud voice, yet ^ 

I will not hear them." Ezek. viii. 18. Now, God stands ready 

o pity you; this is a day of mercy; you may cry now with 

^ome encouragement of obtaining mercy. Hut when once the 

, <ay of mercy is passerl, your most lamentable and dolorous 

, ztits and shrieks will be in vain; you will be wholly lob^t and 

I 'Uv6Wi\ away of God, as to any regard to your weirhre. God 

•'^jl have no other use to put you to, but to sutler misery; you 

•^wall be contirnifd in b(?ing to no other end ! for you will be a 

''esscl of wrath fitted to destruction; and there will 1x3 no <^ther 

15 



12 



8INNBBS IN THK HAND? 



use of Ihis vessel, but only lo be filled full of wnitb. God will 
l)e so far iVoni pitying you when you cry to hi;n, that it is said 

fhe will only "laugh and mock;'' "Because I have called, 
>%d ye leiUsed; I liave stretched out my hand, and np man 
irded; but ye have set at nought all my counsel, and would 
TVJi'my reproof; I also will laugh at your calamity; I will 
.nock -yhen your fear cometh» When your fear cometh as 
desolation, and your destruction comelh as a whirlwind ; when 
. distress and anguish cometh upon you ; then shall they call 
^ 1 upon me, but I will not answer ; they shall seek me early, but 
— > ithey shall not find me: for that they hated knowledge, and did 
"^^ Inot choose the fear of the Lord: they would none of my coun- 
— 5el ; they despised all my reproof: therefore shall they eat of 
-■"^^ the fruit of their own way, and be filled with their own devices. 
C -^ For the turning away of the simple shall slay them, and the 
prosperity of fools shall destroy them." Prov. i. 24 — 32. 
How awful are those words of the great God, " I will tread 
\ I them in mine anger, and will trample them in my fury, and 
^ I their blood shall be sprinkled upon my garments, and I will 
stain all" my raiment." Isaiah Ixiii. 3. It is, perhaps, impossi- 
b!e to conceive of words that carry in them greater manifc^sta- 
tions of these three things, namely, contempt, hatred, and 
fierceness of indignation. If you cry to God to pity you, h© 
will be so far from pitying you in your doleful case, or showing 
you the least regard or favour, that instead of that, he will only 
tread you under foot: and though he will know that you can- 
not bear the weight of Omnipotence treading upon you, yet he 
will not regard that, but hejvill crush you under his feet with- 
out mercy; he will crusTTbut your blood, and make it fly, and 
it shall be sprinkled on his garments, so as to stain all his rai- 
ment. He will not only hate you, but he will have you in the- 
utmost contempt ; no place shall be thought fit for you, but 
under his feet, to be trodden down as the mire of the streets. ' 
3. The misery you are exposed to is that which God wilL 
inflict, to the end that he might show what that wrarh of Je- 
hovah is. God hath had it on his heart to show to angels 
and men, both how excellent his love is, and also how terrible 
his wrath is. Sometimes earthly kings have a muid to sho^ 
how terrible their wralh is, by the extreme punishments iheXj 
would execute on those that provoke them. Nebuchadnezzar;- 
that mighty and haughty monarch of the Ghaldean empnet 
was willing to show his wrath, when enraged with Shadrach,\ 
Meshach, and Abednego ; and accordingly gave order that' 
16 



•■^i 



OF AN AM.KY noh 



13 



tho l)Uirrn<y, fiery furnace sliould be heated seven times lititter 

' ' U was'lH3fore; doubtless, it was raised to the utmost dc- 

"t^ of fierceness thai human art could raise it. But the ^reat 

^ is also wilhng to show his wrath, and magnify liis awful 

ojesty and mighty power in the extreme suflerings of his ene- 

inies. ** What if God, wilhng to show his wrath, and lo make 

his power known, endured with much long-suffering the ves- 

eels of wralh fitted to destruction T' Rom, ix. 22. And seeing 

this is his design, and what he has determined, even to show 

how terrible the unmixed, unrestrained wrath, the fury and 

fierceness of Jehovah is, he will do it to effect. There will bo 

'something accomplished and brought to pass that will be 

/dreadful with a witness. When the great aiid angry God 

Ahaih risen up and executed his awful vengeance on the poor 

sinner, and the wretch is actually suffering the infinite weight 

and power of his indignation, then will God call upon the 

Vhole universe to behold the awful majesty and mighty power 

Ihat is to be seen in it. "And the people shall be as the^ 

^burnings of lime, as thorns cut up shall they be burnt in the 

fire. Ilear ye tliat are afar ofl*, what I have done ; and ye 

that are near, acknowledge my might. The sinners in Zion 

are afraid j fearfulness hath surprised the hypocrites. Who 

ainong us shall dwell with the devouring fire? who among 

us shall dwell with everlasting burnings?'' Isaiah xxxiii. 12 

—14. 

Thus it will be with you that are in an unconverted state, 
if you continue in it; thelinfinite might, and majesty, and ter- 
ribTeness, of the omnipotent tjod,^hall be magnified u|)on you^ 
in the ineffable strength of your torments. You shall be tor- 
mented in the presence qf the holy angels, and in the presence 
of the Lamb ; and when you shall be in this state of suffering, 
the glorious inhabitants of heaven shall go forth and look on 
the awful spectacle, that they may see what the wrath and 
fierceness of the Almighty is; and when they have seen it, 
they will fall down and adore that great power and majesty. 
"And it shall conie to pass, that from one new moon to an- 
other, and from one Sabbath to another, shall all flesh come 
to worship before me, saith the Lord. And they shall go 
forth and look upon the carcasses of the men that have trans- 
l^ressed against me; for their worm shall not die, neither shall 
•^heir fire be quenched, and they shall be an abhorring unto all 



'A 



t\p^ 



4lesh." Isaiah Ixvi 
4. It is 

m 




Ft would be dreadful 



2 



to suffer 
17 



J 



^ 



It siNNKiis IN rm: ifVM»i< 

this ficrconcss r\\M\ wrnfli of Almighty (lod ono moinC.»?l; J>ul 
you must sii(?rr it to all eternity. 'J'lu rn will bn no end f^ 
this exquisite Jionihie nnsery. \Vheii you look forward, ya . 
shall sec a long forever, a boundless duration, bf^forc yoiK 
which will swa How up y.o ur thouglits, and amaze your soulsV- 
nnd you wi 1 1 ^ bsolut elyj despai r of ever having any deliver- ' 
ance, any end, any mitigation, any rest at all; you will know , 
certainly that you must wear out long ages, millions of mil- I 
lions of ages, in wrestling and conflicting with this almighty ! 
merciless vengeance ; and then when you have so done, when 
so many ages have actually l>een spent by you in this manner^ 
you will know that all is but a pointy towhat remains. Sc* 
that your punishment will indeed be^ immitcl O, who cari 
express what the state of a soul in sucTi~circumslances is i 
All that we can possibly say about it, gives but a very feeble? 
faint representation of it; it is inexpressible and inconceivable* 
for, "Who knoweth the power of God's anger?'* 

flow dreadful is the state of those who are daily and hourly 
in danger of this great wrath and infinite misery! But this i§ 
the dismal case of every soul that has not been born again, 
however moral and strict, sober and religious, they may other- 
wise be. O ! that you would consider it, whether you be 
young or old I There is reason to fear that there are many 
who will read this book, or who have heard the gospel, who 
will actually be the subjects of this very misery to all eternity. 
We know not who they are, or what thoughts they now have. 
It may be they are now at ease, and hear all these things 
without much disturbance, and are now flattering themselves 
that they are not the persons, promising themselves that they 
shall escape. If we knew that there was one person, and but 
one, of those that we know, that was to be the subject of this 
misery, what an awful thing would it be to think of! If we 
knew who it was, what an awful sight would it be to see such a 
person! How might every Christian lifl np a lamentable and 
bitter cry over him! But, alas! instead of one, how many is 
it likely will remember these solemn reflections in hell!' And 
some may be in hell in a very short time, before this year is 
out. And it would be no wonder if some readers, whb.j are 
now in health, and quiet and secure, may be there before to- 
morrow morning. Those of you who finally continue in '.^ 
natural condition, who may keep out of hell longest, will l)f^^ 
there in a little time! your damnation does not slumber;; i& 
will come swifllv, and, in all probability, very suddenly, unoif 



,0 

or AN ANOKV (JOI). 15 

many of you. You have reason to wonder tliat you are not 
already in hell, it is doubtless the case of some^ whom you 
huve seen and known, that never deserved hell more than you, 
and that heretofore appeared^ as likely to have been now alive 

fas you. Tlieir case isij ^astajl ho (^^ they are crying in ex- 
trernelnisery and perfect despair y hut here you are in tlie land 
of the living, blessed^ wifK Bibles and sabbaths, and ministers, 
^ and have an oppoxtunity to ol^tain salvation. What would 
\ not those poor damned, hi^peless )souls give for one day's op- 
portunity such as you now enjoy I 
' And now you have an extraordinary opportunity, a day 

; wherein Christ has thrown the door of mercy wide open, and 
stands calling, and crying with a loud voice to poor sinners; 
a day wherein many are flocking to him, and pressing into 
the kingdom of God ; many are daily coming from the east, 
west, north, and south ; many that were very lately in the 
sanje miserable condition that you are in, are now in a happy 
state with their hearts fdled with love to Him who has loved 
them, and washed them from their sins in his own blood, and 
rejoicing in hope of the glory of God. Ilow awful is it to be 
left behind at such a day! to see so many others feasting, 
while you are pining and perishing I To see so many rejoic- 
mg and singing for joy of heart, while you have cause to mourn 
for sorrow of heart, and to howl for vexation of spirit 1 How 
can you rest one moment in such a condition 1 Are not your 
souls as precious as the souls of those who are flocking from 
day to day to Christ? 

Are there not many who have lived long in the world, who 
are not to this day born again, aiuJ so are ahens from the com- 
monwealth of Israel, and have done nothing ever since they 
have lived, but trejisure up wrath against the day of wrath? O 
sirs ! your case, in an especial manner, is extremely dangerous. 
Your gJiilt and hardness of heart are extremely great. Do not 
you see how generally |)ersons of your years are passed over 
and led, in the dispensations of God's mercy? You had need 
to consider yourselves, and wake thoroughly out of sleep : you 
<"mnof Ixiar the fierceness and wrath of the infinite (lod. 

A. id you, young men, and yt)ung women, will you neglect 

(this precious season which you now enjoy, when so many 
others of your age ar(i renouncing all y<»uth('ul vanities, and 
Hocking to Christ? You especially have now an op|)ortunity, 
hut if you m^gleet it, it will soon bci with you as it is with those 
persons who spent all the precious days of youth in sin, an J 

10 



I'S SINNERS IN TlfF! HANDS OF AN AN^'RY OOD. 

arc now come to such a dreadful pass in blindness and hard- 
ness. 

And you, children, who are unconverted, do not you kno\f 
that you^are going down to hell, to bear lhclTiread(ul wraHii 
of that God, who is now angry with you every SrtTiy"aM"eve~rv 
night] Will you be content to be the children of (he dovlD 
when so many of the children of the land"irr(r'cMvFrTeH71ui 
are become the holy and happy children of tlie King of kings? 

And let every one that is yet out of Christ, and hanging 
over thejit of Jiell, whether they be old men and women, or 
nlicldle aged, or young people, or little children, now hearken 
to the loud calls of God's word and providence. This accept- 
able year of the Lord, a day of great mercy to some, will 
doubtless be a day of as remarkable vengeance to others. 
Men's hearts harden, and their guilt increases apace at such a 
day as (his, if they neglect their souls. Never was there a 
period when so many means were employed for the salvation 
of souls, and if you entirely neglect them, you will eternnlly 
cur.se the day of your birth. Now, undoubtedly it is, as it was 
in the days of John the Baptist, the axe is laid at the root of 
the trees, and every tree which brings not forth good fruit, may 
be hewn down, and cast into the fire. 

Therefore, let every one that is out of Christ, now awake 

and flee from the wrath to come. The wrath of Almighty 

if God is now undoubtedly hanging over evfiry unregenerate 

4\) sinner. Let every one flee out of Sodomy "Haste, and escape 

Y "^ for your lives, look not behind you, escape to the mountain 

^ ^ lest you be consumed." 



THB SlfD. 



20 




nio. 34. 

"WILT THOU NOT REVIVE US AGALN?' 



■V 



This was the fervent prayer of the Psalmist in behalf of himself and 
Israel. How sadly and yet solemnly appropriate it now is, to the numerous 
churches of our land, and to the thousands of their members 1 How impor- . > 

tant that we all at once adopt it as our own — ^that we cry earnestly and * | 

mightilj to Qod, ** Wilt thou not revive us again P* * * 

Wilt thou not revive usf We all know what is meant by a revival. It is a x 
time when the Holy Spirit is poured out on individuals and communities; ( 
when with many, and often with multitudes, the mind is thoughtful, the C 
conscience tender, the heart serious ; when the sanctuary is filled, and truth ( 
is powerful, and prayer frequent and earnest; when Christians are refreshed ', , 

and quickened, and backsliders restored, and sinners are converted to Christ jj [ 

It is a time when the power of the world is broken, and angels in heave' \ |' 

rejoice, and the church on earth is blessed. A revival 1 It is the riche'^ 
blessing we can ask or God bestow, whether for ourselves, our children, fan' - \ 

lies, friends, neighbours, for the church, or for the world. A revival, with & 
its hallowed influences, we should most earnestly desire, and for it importi i 
nately plead. Not for riches, honors, pleasures — not even for worldly comfort 
further than God sees them needful and best for us ; but for the special infl' 
ences of the Holy Spirit — that God would revive us. 

WUt THOU not revive us f It is ^od, and only he can do it. All our depen* • it 

ence — all our hope is in him. Vain is the help of man. Means are in vai^ '• ,f- 

if he does not quicken; truth powr^rless if he does not apply; effort idle, ii 

he does not prosper it Paul may plant, or ApoUos water, but God giveth tl , || 

increase. Deeply, then, let us feel our dependence, and that all our help muo*, j \f 

come from him. Realizing that our strength is but weakness, let us look unt'> { 't. 

the hills whence our help cometh — to the Lord which made heaven and earth. i] 

Unto him let us cry, "Wilt Uwu not revive us again ? *; 

WiU tftou not revive us again? It is the thought of past mercies that { 

quickens the Psalmist to plead for more. And so the remembrance of past T 

revivals should rouse i^s to pray for the same blessedness again. Most of us ^ 

have known, by delightful experience, what it is to enjoy an outpouring of j '^ 

the Holy Spirit. In such a season, how have we witnessed the union, joy, t] l'^- 

humility, prayerfulness of Christians — their re'newed fidelity and zeal; the ) | 

conviction and conversion of the impenitent; the addjtion of multitudes to the . I 

church ; the salvation of many from the world 1 In some such season, it may S ^^: 

be, that mo were first converted, or that we have been refreshed from on \ .j» 

high, or that oar children, or friends, hare been brought to Jesus, to learn of ( \* 

him, and find rest to their souls. Sacredly hallowed, soul-cherished season! '' | 

Every thought of it inspires the heartfelt prayer, Wilt thou not revive us r i 
again/ ( 

Wilt thou not revive us again / The blessing is indeed great. Let vlb plead ( r 

and plead earnestly with God, that he will grant it. Let us " wrestle like / ; f 

Jacob, that we may prevail like Israel." For Zion's sake, let us not rest — for f 

Jerusalem's sake, let us not hold our peace, till the righteousness thereof go forth ;% 

as brightness and the salvation thereof as a lamp thatburnelh. Deeply do we ( 
need spiritual blessings ; and God is their only source, and pi-ayer the divinely / 
appointed means of obtaining them. " For tdl this," the Most High expressly; 
declares, "will I be inquired of by the house of Israel, to do it for them."| ^ 
0, then, let us ask, that we may receive — let us seek that we may find them.L/ 
From every heart, let the prayer, in faith, ascend, WiU thou not revive usrV 
again? ' fe ; 

Wilt thou not revive us again? Let this be the prayer of every churcl* 1,^ 

and of every disciple. Let it rise from the closet, the family, the praycr^F ' 

meeting, the sanctuary. Let us oifer it humbly — with a deep sense of ou'i 

unworthiness ; earnestly — in full view of our necessities; penitently — sincere). I 

\ mourning our past remissness, and each one searching out, and putting awi^-* 

his own sins; evangelically — in the name of Christ; perseveringly — giving tl \ 

Most High no rest, till he come and build up his kingdom, and glorify hit*! 

name in the salvation of many souls. f 

J PRESDYTEKIAN BOAKD OF PU13L1CATI0N. )' f 

/ ( 

I 

" i.. 



BRIGHAM YOUNG UMIVFRSITN 



31197 20205 2376 



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