The wrath of God burns against them, their damnation does not slumber; the pit is prepared, the fire is made ready, the furnace is now hot, ready to receive them; the flames do now rage and glow. The truth of this observation may appear by the following considerations. They not only justly deserve to be thrown down there, but the sentence of the law of God, that eternal and unchangeable rule of righteousness that God has fixed between Him and mankind, is gone out against them, and stands against them; so that they are already bound over to hell. Church historians refer to it as one of the most influential sermons in North American Christianity. You will know certainly that you must wear out long ages, millions of millions of ages, in wrestling and conflicting with this almighty merciless vengeance; and then when you have so done, when so many ages have actually been spent by you in this manner, you will know that all is but a point to what remains.
Yes, God is a great deal more angry with the great numbers that are now on earth; yes, doubtless with the many that are now sitting in this congregation, who feel completely at ease, than He is with many of those who are now in the flames of hell. Hear ye that are far off, what I have done; and ye that are near, acknowledge my might. The manifold and continual experience of the world in all ages, shows this is no evidence, that a man is not on the very brink of eternity, and that the next step will not be into another world. The sword of divine justice is every moment brandished over their heads, and it is nothing but the hand of arbitrary mercy, and God's mere will, that holds it back. There are those corrupt principles, in reigning power in them, and in full possession of them, that are seeds of hell fire.
And they shall go forth and look upon the carcasses of the men that have transgressed against me; for their worm shall not die, neither shall their fire be quenched, and they shall be an abhorring unto all flesh. How might all the rest of the congregation lift up a lamentable and bitter cry over him! It implies, that they were always exposed to sudden unexpected destruction. Ultimately, his focus was on the mercy of God. You shall be tormented in the presence of 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. So that your punishment will indeed be infinite. Listen to more sermons by this speaker. Were it not for the sovereign pleasure of God, the earth would not bear you for one moment; for you are a burden to it: the creation groans with you; the animal is made subject to the bondage of your corruption, not willingly; the sun does not willingly shine upon you to give you light to serve sin and Satan; the earth does not willingly yield her fruits to satisfy your lusts; nor is it willingly a stage for your wickedness to be acted upon; the air does not willingly serve you for breath to maintain the flame of life in your vitals, while you spend your life in the service of God's enemies.
He is considered by many to be the greatest theologian America has ever produced. Twas three years ago, the week before. Everyone in the congregation is subject to this—even those who have made earnest moral reforms and who keep strict religious practice—unless they have been born again into Christ. But the foolish children of men miserably delude themselves in their own schemes, and in the confidence of their own strength and wisdom; they trust in nothing but a shadow. What will become of the poor worms that shall suffer it! So that, thus it is that natural men are held in the hand of God, over the pit of hell; they have deserved the fiery pit, and are already sentenced to it; and God is dreadfully provoked, his anger is as great towards them as to those that are actually suffering the executions of the fierceness of his wrath in hell, and they have done nothing in the least to appease or abate that anger, neither is God in the least bound by any promise to hold them up one moment; the devil is waiting for them, hell is gaping for them, the flames gather and flash about them, and would fain lay hold on them, and swallow them up; the fire pent up in their own hearts is struggling to break out: and they have no interest in any Mediator, there are no means within reach that can be any security to them.
Oh, who can express what the state of a soul in such circumstances is! The wrath of Almighty God is now undoubtedly hanging over a great part of this congregation. It would be dreadful to suffer this fierceness and wrath of Almighty God one moment; but you must suffer it to all eternity. But this is the dismal case of every soul in this congregation that has not been born again, however moral and strict, sober and religious, they may otherwise be. I was flattering myself, and pleasing myself with vain dreams of what I would do hereafter; and when I was saying, Peace and safety, then suddenly destruction came upon me. You had need to consider yourselves, and awake thoroughly out of sleep. John Stoddard Ezekiel 19:12 Her strong rods were broken and withered.
Therefore, the only thing keeping the sinners out of Hell is the fact that God's chosen time for them to enter Hell has not yet arrived. Edwards was known for being an intellectual and profound…. The wrath of kings is very much dreaded, especially of absolute monarchs, who have the possessions and lives of their subjects wholly in their power, to be disposed of at their mere will. You have reason to wonder that you are not already in hell. Many are daily coming from the east, west, north and south; many that were very lately in the same miserable condition that you are in, are now in a happy state, with their hearts filled 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. 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 the less on the mere will of God, whether sinners shall at any moment go to hell, than if means were never made use of, or at all concerned in the case. I was flattering myself, and pleasing myself with vain dreams of what I would do hereafter; and when I was saying, Peace and safety, then sudden destruction came upon me.
God seems now to be hastily gathering in His elect in all parts of the land; and probably the greater part of adult persons that ever shall be saved, will be brought in now in a little time, and that it will be as it was on the great outpouring of the Spirit upon the Jews in the apostles' days, the election will obtain, and the rest will be blinded. If God should only withdraw his hand from the flood-gate, it would immediately fly open, and the fiery floods of the fierceness and wrath of God, would rush forth with inconceivable fury, and would come upon you with omnipotent power; and if your strength were ten thousand times greater than it is, yea, ten thousand times greater than the strength of the stoutest, sturdiest devil in hell, it would be nothing to withstand or endure it. You had need to consider yourselves, and awake thoroughly out of sleep. The glittering sword is whet, and held over them, and the pit hath opened its mouth under them. To this, divine providence and universal experience do also bear testimony. It may be they are now at ease, and hear all these things without much conviction, and are now flattering themselves that they are not the persons, promising themselves that they shall escape. This appears particularly by the 15th and fol.
The content is studied world-wide at seminaries, Bible colleges and universities. Sin is the ruin and misery of the soul; it is destructive in its nature; and if God should leave it without restraint, there would need nothing else to make the soul perfectly miserable. Are not your souls as precious as the souls of the people at Suffield, where they are flocking from day to day to Christ? However unconvinced you may now be of the truth of what you hear, by and by you will be fully convinced of it. Rather, it is found in different understandings of man. What would those poor damned, hopeless souls give for one day's opportunity such as you now enjoy! But this is the dismal case of every soul in this congregation that has not been born again, however moral and strict, sober and religious, they may otherwise be. You have reason to wonder that you are not already in hell. The last example provided is the place of hell.
Discover for yourself the reality and far-reaching implications of this message and its impact on current Christian culture. Edwards certainly seems to imply this. I realized that Edwards powerful sermon was something sorely needed by the world of the 21st century. God's animals are good, and were made for men to serve God with and do not willingly serve any other purpose, and groan when they are abused to purposes so directly contrary to their nature and end. Once again, the sinner is helpless to avoid judgment. But it is not so with God.