(by Jonathan Edwards, edited)
O sinner! The God that holds
you over the
pit of hell, much as one holds a spider, or some
loathsome insect over the fire, abhors you, and
is dreadfully provoked. His wrath towards you
burns like fire. He looks upon you as worthy of
nothing else, but to be cast into the fire. He is
of purer eyes than to bear to have you in his sight.
You are ten thousand times more abominable in
His eyes, than the most hateful venomous serpent
is in ours.
O sinner! You have offended
Him infinitely more
than ever a stubborn rebel did his prince; and yet
it is nothing but His hand that holds you from falling
into the fire every moment.
O sinner! It is to be ascribed
to nothing else, that
you did not go to hell the last night; that you were
allowed to awake again in this world, after you
closed your eyes to sleep. And there is no other
reason to be given, why you have not dropped
into hell since you arose in the morning, but
that God's hand has held you up.
O sinner! There is no other
reason to be given why
you have not gone to hell, since you have sat here
in the house of God, provoking His pure eyes
by your sinful wicked manner of attending His
O sinner! Yes, there is nothing
else that is to be
given as a reason why you do not this very moment
drop down into hell.
O sinner! Consider the fearful danger you are in!
O sinner! It is a great furnace
of wrath, a wide
and bottomless pit, full of the fire of wrath,
that you are held over, in the hand of that God
whose wrath is provoked and incensed as
much against you, as against many of the
damned in hell.
O sinner! You hang by a slender
the flames of divine wrath flashing about it,
and ready every moment to singe it, and burn
it asunder. And you have no interest in any
Mediator, and nothing to lay hold of to save
yourself, nothing to keep off the flames of wrath,
nothing of your own, nothing that you ever have
done, nothing that you can do, to induce God
to spare you one moment!