A most dreadful condition!
The following is from Edwards' sermon,
"Natural Men In A Dreadful Condition"
Natural men are in a dreadful condition
because of the misery to which they are
exposed in the future world.
The torment and misery, of which natural
men are in danger, are exceedingly great
beyond any of our words or thoughts.
When we speak of them, our words are
swallowed up. We say they are great, and
exceedingly great, and very dreadful. But
when we have used all the words we can
to express them, how faint is the idea that
is raised in our minds in comparison with
God will exercise no pity towards them, no
regard for their welfare. Cut off from all the
comforts of this life, they will be shut out of
heaven, turned away from God and from all
good, into the blackness of darkness, into the
pit of hell, into that great receptacle, which God
has provided on purpose to cast into it the filthy,
and polluted, and abominable of the universe.
They will be in a most dreadful condition!
They will have no friends. God will be their
enemy, angels and the spirits of the just will
be their enemies, devils and damned spirits
will be their enemies. They will be hated with
perfect hatred, will have none to pity them,
none to bemoan their case, or to be any
comfort to them.
It appears that the state of the damned will
be exceedingly dreadful in that they will suffer
the wrath of God, executed to the full upon them,
poured out without mixture.
They shall bear the wrath of the Almighty!
They shall then know how dreadful
the wrath of an Almighty God is.
Now none knows, none can conceive.
"Who knows the power of your anger?"
Then they shall feel the weight of God's wrath.
In this world they have the wrath of God abiding
on them, but then it will be executed upon them.
Now it hangs over them, but then it shall fall
upon them in its full weight without alleviation,
or any moderation or restraint.
Their souls and their bodies shall then be filled full
with the wrath of God. Wicked men shall be as full
of wrath as anything that glows in the midst of a
furnace is of fire. The wrath of God is infinitely
more dreadful than fire. Fire, yes the fiercest fire,
is but an image and shadow of it.
The vessels of wrath shall be filled up with wrath
to the brim. Yes, they shall be plunged into a sea
of wrath. And therefore hell is compared to a lake
of fire and brimstone, because there wicked men
are overwhelmed and swelled up in wrath, as men
who are cast into a lake or sea, are swallowed up
O who can conceive of the dreadfulness
of the wrath of an Almighty God!
How dreadful will it be, when all God's mighty
waves and billows of wrath pass over them!
Every faculty of the soul shall be filled with wrath,
and every part of the body shall be filled with fire.
In this furnace shall the bodies of the wicked lie
to all eternity, and yet live, and have their sense
of pain and torment not all diminished.
O, how full will the heart, the vitals, the brain,
the eyes, the tongue, the hands, and the feet
be of fire; of this fire of such an inconceivable
fierceness! How full will every member, and
every bone, and every vein, and every sinew,
be of this fire!
Surely it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands
of the living God. Who can bear such wrath?
A little of it is enough to destroy us. But how
will men be overwhelmed, how will they sink,
when God's wrath is executed in so dreadful
How dreadful is the punishment to which they
are exposed, in which all their sins shall be
punished according to their desert, and the
uttermost farthing shall be exacted of them!
Hell may well be called the bottomless pit,
if the misery is so unfathomably great.
Well may the kings of the earth, and the great
men, and rich men, and chief captains, and
every bond man, and every free man, hide
themselves in the dens, and in the rocks of
the mountains, at Christís second coming;
and cry and say to the mountains and rocks,
"Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him
who sits on the throne, and from the wrath
of the Lamb; for the great day of his wrath is
come, and who shall be able to stand?"
Well may there be weeping and gnashing
of teeth in hell, where there is such misery.
This misery is not only amazingly great, and
dreadful, but of long continuance; yes, of
infinitely long continuance. It never will have
any end. There will be no deliverance, no rest,
no hope. But they will last throughout all eternity.
The wicked, after they have suffered millions of
ages, will be, as it were, but in the first point,
only setting out in their sufferings. It will be no
comfort to them that so much has past, for
they will have none the less to bear.
The damned in hell in their misery will be in
absolute despair. They shall know that their
misery will have no end, and therefore they
will have no hopes of it.
O, who can conceive the dreadfulness of such
despair as this in the midst of such torment!
Who can express, or think anything how
dreadful the thought of eternity is to them,
who are under so great torment!
To what unfathomable depths of woe will it
sink them! With what a gloom and blackness
of darkness will it fill them! What a boundless
gulf of sorrow and woe is the thought of eternity
to the damned, who shall be in absolute and
utter despair of any deliverance!