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Then shall he answer them, saying, verily I say unto you, in as much as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me. And these shall go away illto everlasting punishment ; but the righteous into life eternal.”
How clear, how pofitive, and how important is this fentence, which will at the last day be pronounced on all who, at that time are found enemies of the King of glory!
What is here called everlasting fire, is in Rev. xx. cal. led the lake of fire ; this, with the second death, I shall speak upon in the following Sermons.
The particulars treated upon in this Sermon, viz. the judgment, raising and judging the dead, call for the ferious attention of every reader. Ask yourselves the alt important question; have I an evidence that it will be well with me in that great day? Give all diligence that you may be found of him in peace, so the appearing of the judge of all the earth will increase your joy. Amen.
"WE HAVE ALSO A MORE SURE WORD OF
I shall now attend to the third particular mentioned in the
Sermon before this....viz.... The lake of fire into which the: wicked will be cast after they are judged out of the books.
IT is faid, Rev. xx. 14, 15, « And death and
, hell were cast into the lake of fire ; this is the second death; and whosoever was not found written in the books of life, was cast into the lake of fire.”
The lake of fire, hell, and the earth on fire, all mean one thing. In one place we are told that the wicked “shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone, which is the second death," Rev. xxi, 8, And that they shall be commanded into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels. In another place it is said, “The wicked shall be turned into hell, with all the nations that forget God.” In another place it is said, “ But the heavens and the earth, which are now by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire a gainst the day of judgment, and perdition of ungodly men,"
2 Peter iii. 7. If all these do not mean one: thing, the scriptures are a contradiction and cannot be depended on. That this earth at the day of judgment, after the sentence is passed upon the wicked, will be fet on fire, and they burnt up, is plain from the scriptures. 2 Peter üii. 7, 10, 11, 12,
66 But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and per
dition of ungodly men. But the day of the Lord wilt come as a thief in the night ; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also, and the works that are therein, shall be burnt up. Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be, in all holy conversation and godliness, looking for, and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat ?" Here is a plain declaration that this whole globe shall at the day of judgment become a lake of fire,
where the wicke ed will be destroyed without remedy.
How easily will the world be set on fire at the com mand of the Creator ; what are all the burning moun. tains in different parts of the world, but for magazines referved against that day. How eafiy is it for him who rained fire and brimstone on Sodom, to rain the same on the whole earth, and take away all the wicked, from off the earth, as he then consumed the inhabitants of Sodom. and the cities round about.
As the wicked at the day of judgment are to be cast into hell, or the lake of fire ; and as many appear very ignorant of what is called HELL, in the scriptures, I shall here describe, what is called hell among men, and what the scriptures call it.
There are four descriptions of hell, or four hells mentioned by men, and one mentioned in fcripture.
1. The Pagans' bell....2. The Mahometan's bell....3. The Papiftshell....4. The Protestants hell...5. The fcripture hell, or that which is mentioned in the bible.
1. The hell which the Pagans, or idolatrous worlip, pers believe in.
It is described as a wide dark cave under ground, The passage to it, is a steep rocky descent first, then a gloomy grove, after that a lake called Avernus, from which arises such poisonous vapours, that if birds fly over it they are poisoned and die. At the entrance of
hell beyond the grove and lake, several monsters are placed who bring men to death and destruction. These are said to increase the inhabitants of hell. Their names are Care, Sorrow, Disease, Old-age, Frights,'Famine, Want, Labour, Sleep, Death, Sting of conscience, Force, Fraud, Strisë, and War.
At the side of the lake an old man named Charon, which signifies a ferry-man, stands in his boat, to carry the fouls across the lake ; on the shore the souls appear in flocks; those whose bodies were buried, go over when they die; the others wander about the shore an hundred years, and then are caried over. Charon is considered the god of that dreary coast. They all pay him a half. penny for carrying them across the lake Givernus.
The heathens say, there are four rivers which run through hell. The river Acheron; this they say was the son of Tera, born in a cave, and because he could not endure the light, he run down into Hell, and was
changed into a river of bitter water. The second river. is called Styx, which is rather a lake than a river. This is said once to be the daughter of Oceanus. This is called the Stygian lake, by which the gods fwear, and keep their oath. The third river is called Cocytus, and runs out of the Stygian lake ; they say it groans, laments, imitates the howling of the damned, and increases the exclamations of the damned. There is another river called Plegethon, fo called because it swells with waves. of fire, and all its streams are flames. All these rivers. they say the souls must pass over; then they come to the palace of Pluto, the god of Hell. They say the gate of Pluto is guarded by Cerebus, a dog with three heads, whose body is covered over with snakes instead of hair. He is considered the
of HELL. The heathens say that Pluto, the king of hell, was the son of Saturn ;-that his father gave him this infernal dominion, because he invented buryings, and funeral mourning, and that he reigns over death as well as hell. They say he sits on his throne in the dark, holding a key instead of a fceptre, crowned with ebony. They fay he is called Pluto, which fignifies wealth. The Greeks call him Hades; dark, gloomy, or melancholy; they call him Agesilaus, because he leads people to the infernal reigons. He is called Agelaflus, because he was never known to laugh. He is called Summanus, that is, cheif of all the infernal deities.
It is said that this king of hell has a queen, named Proferpine, who enjoys the infernal dominion with him.
They tell of three old women in hell, called the Fates. They are called Fatum, fate. There are three, because they order the past, present, and to come. They fix every thing, so that nothing can be altered to eternity. Their names are Clotho, Lachesis, Atropos. To them is entrusted by Pluto the management of the fatal thread of life. Clotho gives us life, and brings us into the world ; Lachesis, determines what shall befal us here ; and Atropos concludes our lives. In the heathen's hell, they say there are three furies. They are described as three vir. gins, who punish the wicked, torment the consciences of secret offenders. In their hell, they have an inferior god called Nox; this god is represented as a skeleton with black wings. The name of one of the gods of hell is
Somnus. This means fleep ; he is thought useful to men. They tell of three judges in hell, to judge the fouls which come there. They mention those who are condemned in hell. Some are giants, and fome are kings. They are all doomed to eternal existence in misery. Phlegyus a king, burnt the temple of Apollo; he is condemned to remain in hell forever ; a great stone is hung over his bead, which he expects every mo. ment to fall on him, and crush him to pieces. So he is to fit eternally fearing that which will never come to pass. Ixion, for his crime, was struck down to hell with thunder, and tied fast to a wheel which is to be eternally turning him round. Sisyphus, a robber, was condemned in hell, to roll a great stone to the top of a hill which 1lides down again just before he rollş it to the top. This is to be his eternal employment. In the pagan hell, they had a place called the Elyfi.
This place was confidered in the infernal domin.