Perish! What is that?
(James Smith, "The Way of Salvation Set Forth")
"Unless you repent, you shall all likewise perish!" Luke 13:3
Perish! What is that?
It is for hope to forever depart — and despair take eternal possession of the soul!
It is to be banished from God forever — and to be shut up with devils and damned spirits!
It is to be excluded from Heaven — and to be confined in Hell!
It is to be driven from the rivers of pleasure which are at God's right hand — and to be doomed to the lake of fire to dwell in everlasting burnings!
It is to be thrust into blackness, darkness, and eternal woe!
If therefore you live impenitent, then you are condemned already; your destiny is fixed, and fixed by yourself. Hell is your eternal abode! And in Hell, you will be forever deprived of the glorious presence of God. There you will be shut up in prison with all the enemies of God — shut up in a prison where there is . . .
no order — but horror;
no voice — but of blasphemers cursing God, themselves, and each other;
no sounds — but the dismal howlings of the tortured;
no society — but devils and the damned! And these being tormented themselves — will eternally torment you!
In Hell, you must experience . . .
punishment, without pity;
misery, without mercy;
sorrow, without support;
crying, without comfort;
mischief, without measure;
torment, without ease!
There the worm never dies — and the fire is never quenched. The wrath of God like flames of liquid brimstone, will seize upon your soul and body; and in that flame you will be . . .
forever burning — but never consumed;
ever dying — but never dead;
ever writhing in the pangs of the second death — and never for one moment be free from those pangs, nor know an end of those pains.
Your torments will be always beginning! Your cutting reflections will be:
"All this I procured by my sin! All this I chose in preference to Heaven! To this dreadful place, I forced my way — though warned, invited, and entreated by the servants of God! I despised the solemn warnings — but now I feel the dread reality! I slighted the invitation to embrace the Savior — and now I am banished forever from His presence! My destruction is of myself! I chose the path, I pursued the road — and now I am lost! Lost! Lost forever!
Justice condemns me,
holiness punishes me,
mercy and grace pass me by without pity,
all around curse me,
all within condemns me, and
I am obliged to confess that in this tremendous punishment, that God as fully just!"
"Jesus, who rescues us from the coming wrath!" 1 Thessalonians 1:10