Baxter - BV4831 84 F3 1830

86 MISERY op THOSE WHO [Chap. 6, will be an intolerable burden to their souls. If it were but a creature they had to do with, they might better bear it. Wo to him that falls under the strokes of the Almighty ! " It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God." It were nothing in comparison to this, if all the world were against them, or if the strength of all creatures were united in one to inflict their penalty. They had now rather venture to displease God than displease a landlord, a customer, a master, a friend, a neighbor, or their own flesh ; but then they will wish a thousand times in vain, that they had been hated of all the world, rather than have lost the favor of God. What a consuming fire is his wrath! If it he kindled here but a little, how do we " wither like the grass !" How soon doth our strength decay, and turn to weakness, and our beauty to deformity! The flames do not so easily run through the dry stubble, as the wrath of God will consume these wretches. They that could not bear a prison, or a gibbet, or a fire for Christ, nor scarce a few scoffs, howwill they now bear the devouring flames of divine wrath ? 2. The place or state of torment is purposely ordained to glorify the justice of God. When God would glorify his power, he made the worlds. The comely order of all his creatures declareth his wisdom. His providence is shown in sustaining all things. When a spark of his wrath kindles upon the earth, thewhole world, except only eight persons, are drowned; Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah, and Zeboim, are burnt with fire from heaven; the seashuts her mouth upon some, the earth opens and swallows up others; the pesti- lence destroys by thousands. What a standing witness of the wrath of God is the present deplorable state of the Jews ! Yet the glorifying the mercy and justice of God is intended most eminently for the life to come. As God will then glorify his mercy in a way that is now beyond the comprehension of the saints that must enjoy it; so also will he manifest his justice to be indeed the justice of God. The everlasting flames of hell will not be thought too hot for the rebellious; and, when they have there burned through millions of ages, he will not repent him of the evil which has befallen them. Wo to the soul that is thus set up as a butt for the wrath of the Almighty to shoot at!