Heaven Collection BV4831 .B4 1765

96 THE GREAT MISERY OF THOSE commonly boast of, will prove in the end but a soul' damning delusion. There is none of this believing in hell. It was Satan's stratagem, that being blindfold they might follow him the more boldly ; but then he will uncover their eyes, and they shall see where they are. t. (2) They shall lose also all their hopes. In this life, though they were threatened with the wrath of God, yet the hope of their escaping it bore up their hearts. We can now scarce speak with the vilest drunkard, or swearer, or scoffer; but he hopes to be saved for all this. O happy world, if salvation were as common as this hope ! Nay, so strong are men's hopes, that they will dispute the cause with Christ himself at judgment, and plead their having eat and drank in his presence, and prophesied in his name, and in his name cast out devils ; they will stiffly deny that they ever neglected Christ in hunger, nakedness, or in prison, till he confutes them with the sentence of their condemnation. O the sad state of these men, when they must bid farewell to all their hopes! When a wicked man dieth, his expectation shall perish; and the hope of unjust men perisheth.(z) The eyes of the wicked shall, fáil, and they shall not escape, and their hope shall be as the giving up of the ghost.(a) The giving up the ghost is a fit, but terrible, resemblance of a wicked man giving up his hopes. As the soul eparteth not from the body without the greatest pain ; so doth the hope of the wicked depart. The soul departs from the body suddenly, in a moment, which hath there delightfully continued so many years ; just so doth the hope of the wicked depart. The soul will never more return to live with the body in this world; and the hope of the wicked takes an everlasting farewell of his soul. A miracle of resur- rection, shall again unite soul and body, but there shall be no such miraculous resurrection of the damned's hope. Methinks it is the most pitiable sight this world affords, to see such an ungodly person dying, and to think of his soul and his hopes departing (z) Prov. xi. 7. (a) Job xi. 20.