72 THE CHARACTER OP TIHOSE righteousness.(;) The Lord Jesus shall come in flam- ing fire, to take vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ ; who shall be punished with everlasting de- struction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power. "(a) Had the ungodly returned before their life was expired, and been heartily will- ing to accept of Christ for their Saviour and their King, and to be saved by him in his way, and upon his most reasonable terms, they might have been saved. God freely offered them life, and they would not accept it. The pleasures of the flesh seemed more desireable to them than the glory of the saints. Satan offered them the one, and God offered them the other, and they had free liberty to choose which they would, and they chose the pleasures of sin for a season, before the everlasting rest with Christ. And is it not a righteous thing, that they should be denied that which they would not accept? When God pressed them so earnestly, and persuaded them so importu- nately to come in, and yet they would not ; where should they be but among the dogs without? Though man be so wicked, that he will not yield, till the mighty power of grace prevail with him, yet still we may truly say, that he may be saved, if he will, on God's terms. His inability, being moral, and lying in wilful wickedness, is no more excuse to him than it is to an adulterer, that he cannot love his own wife; or to a malicious person, that he cannot but hate his own brother: is he not so much the worse, and deserv- ing of so much the sorer punishment? Sinners shall lay all the blame on their own wills in hell for ever. Hell is a rational torment by conscience, according to the nature of the rational subject. if sinners -could but then say, " It was long of God, and not of us," it would quiet their consciences, and ease their tor- ments, and make hell to them to be no hell. But to remember their wilfulness, will feed the fire, and cause the worm of conscience never to die.(b) (z) 2 Thess. ii. 12. (a) 2 Thess. i, 7--9. (b) Mark ix. 41.