Brimstone (Earth Air Fire and Water Book 1)
Clouds of sand shoot upward into the air and then collapse with incredible force on your enemy. Whoever survives this attack faces a long struggle to climb out from under the layers of sand. An enormous rock falls to the earth, burying everything under a mountain of stones. A stream of venom capable of dissolving even metal is a dangerous weapon. Having this weapon is extremely useful. Clashing with it is highly undesirable. Just like the other elements, nature can create and it can destroy.
Even a vortex of beautiful flowers can become a formidable weapon in the hands of someone who knows how to use it. A swarm of poisonous insects is a hazardous foe that is nearly impossible to escape. Nothing can save you from a thousand sharp stingers jabbing violently from all sides. Hard, knotty roots tear up through the earth and instantly ensnare your enemy. Nobody will want to be in his shoes when these wooden tentacles begin to tighten their grip.
The silvan spirit is a huge blind force that can sweep away any obstacle in your path. Anyone who can control it is a formidable opponent indeed. Under the influence of an unseen power, water twists into a tight whip and rushes toward your enemy, destroying everything in its path.
The water whip's blow can split even the strongest stone! Icy spikes charge your enemy from all sides, crashing with an awful cracking sound. Only chunks of ice and a small snow drift will remain where the ice ring passed! Water currents emerge from the air and surround your enemy. But the greatest danger is not from the water, but rather from the instantaneous drop in temperature and icy explosion that occurs in the center of the whirlpool. This giant wave can crush any obstacle. Nothing can stand before the onslaught of the water element in the form of an enormous tsunami!
The water spirit is an unembodied, invisible substance. But when summoned, it becomes a dangerous foe - even for a dragon. Indeed, it is the element itself! A gust of icy wind whips up and vanishes in an instant. But it's enough time for the cold to lock up muscles like a vise. A fireball rapidly expands, gaining strength, and then explodes with a full cascade of striking flashes. A fireball attack can instantly incinerate a giant tree! A fast-flying threat brings a piercing cold wind and flawlessly accurate lightning. Nobody can escape the wrath of this element!
A charge of electricity passing through a dragon is multiplied and then rushes your enemy to explode into a shower of biting lightning. A tempestuous hurricane lifts rocks, trees, and the remains of buildings it has destroyed into the air and hurls them with unthinkable speed.
The tornado pulverizes everything it hits. Charges of pure magical energy can fly over any distance before finding their target. And when they do, it's best to keep your distance! A phantom sword woven from threads of pure magic - it can cut through every layer of reality. Wounds from this weapon are much more dangerous than they may appear at first glance. This magical charge masquerades as an ordinary dragon.
While your enemy prepares to repel attacks from the legs or tail, the charge zooms forward and explodes in a cloud of stinging sparks. Ancient runic magic embodied in three-dimensional spirals turns inside out everything that comes between them. There are some who can resist this power. A ray of pure magical energy bursts through a gap in the universe and incinerates every speck of reality in its path. Only kinship with the elements allows dragons to withstand this attack. Even a small charge of light's energy is a threatening weapon in skilled hands. Many vanquished foes have underestimated it until it was too late.
The sun's light is pleasant and warm only at a great distance. A direct attack from this light mercilessly burns everything it touches. An elemental sphere filled with a solar wind.
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It releases beams of light containing a concentrated form of pure energy. Getting in their way is a very bad idea.
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A pillar of light is a most powerful charge of elemental energy that rushes from the sky to the earth. Wherever it strikes, it leaves only a patch of scorched earth and melted rock. When a star falls it releases a spectacular amount of elemental energy. Toxic sulfur fumes gather into whole clouds of caustic gas. Whoever suddenly finds himself enveloped by the cloud must quickly think of something to breathe.
The dark touch is an extremely dangerous skill. It drains the life force from any dragon in its path. Defending against this dark magic is very difficult. A huge flock of ravens assaults your enemy. Their stony beaks can pierce even dragon scales. Only a very powerful dragon can hold out in this uneven fight. Few can endure it. A hole in the fabric of reality opens a direct channel to the dark element, which begins to devour everything that happens to be nearby.
The only chance of escaping destruction is to - run away! Invisible tendrils sap the enemy's life force, weakening him and driving him to despair. This happens so quickly that the enemy barely has time to realize what happened. A reflection of the future shows what might happen to the dragon.
But only a select few are ready to learn what awaits them in the future. The sands of time fall upon the dragon, aging and weakening it, sapping its strength and clouding its mind. The pendulum of fate deals massive damage to the dragon's very being. This is a very powerful skill. It should be used with great care. The dragon sinks into oblivion and is transported to the time when it first hatched. When it comes back to reality it takes heavy damage.
A powerful plasma charge strikes the dragon, literally cleaving through space. Very few dragons could stay on their feet after such a blow. Asteroids spin furiously around the dragon and, once they reach the speed of light, shatter into tiny particles, dealing massive damage to the enemy. A white-hot comet flies at enormous speed through layers of the atmosphere, striking the enemy with incredible force.
The blow is so powerful that few dragons have scales tough enough to withstand it. Tiny stellar fragments combine to form an enormous beam of light that becomes a dazzling flash. Fourthly, Who are the persons that shall eternally burn in these flames. Fifthly, The reason of the eternal torment of the wicked by these flames. Sixthly, And lastly, And chiefly I shall endeavour to improve this doctrine in some uses. Chapter 2 That there is such a place as hell, where the wicked shall be tormented The blind heathen were persuaded of this; for however they were ignorant of Christ, and his first coming to redeem the world, as also of the resurrection, and his second coming to judge the world; yet by the light of nature and reasonings from thence, they arrived at the understanding of a Deity, who was both just and good, as also that the soul was immortal, and that both rewards and punishment were prepared for the souls of men after this life, according as they were found, either virtuous or vicious; and therefore as they did feign such a place as Elisian Fields, where the virtuous should spend an eternity in pleasures: So also a place called Tartarus, or hell, where the vicious and impious should be eternally tormented.
This Tartarus the poets did set forth with many fictions, to frighten people from vicious practices, such as of the four Lakes of Acheron, Stix, Phlegethon, and Cocytus, over which Charon in his Boat did ferry over the departed souls; of the three Judges Aeacus, Minos, and Rhadamanthys, who were to call the souls to an account, and judge them to their state; of the three furies Tisiphone, Megaera, and Alecto, who lashed guilty souls to extort confession from them: of Cerberus the dog of hell with three heads, which would let none come forth, when once they were in; and of several sorts of punishment inflicted, iron chains, horrid stripes, gnawing of vultures, wheels, rowling great stones, and the like.
And Virgil described this place, which he feigneth Aeneas to have visited Lib. Although most of these things which we may find in many poets, and other heathen authors are fictions of their own brains, yet that there is such a place as hell is real, and the punishment real, and far beyond whatever any of the heathens could imagine it to be. Therefore let us consult the Scripture, which will give clearer light in this thing, where God, who has made and prepared hell for the wicked, has made known the thing, and threatened to punish the wicked there everlastingly. Look into the Old Testament, Psalm The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all nations which forget God.
I know that the original word for hell signifies the grave; but here it must have a further signification than that of the grave, since it is appropriated unto the wicked, and such as forget God, otherwise, it might as truly be said, that the righteous shall be turned into hell, and those that remember and fear, and love, and serve God, for they shall be turned into the grave. So Isaiah , 13, How art thou fallen from heaven speaking of the king of Babylon, O Lucifer son of the morning, thou hast said in thine heart I will ascend into heaven, and exalt my throne above the stars of God; yet thou shalt be brought to hell, to the sides of the pit.
That hell here is not to be understood of the grave only, but of the place also where the wicked shall be tormented will appear, if you compare this place with Isaiah , where the prophet speaking of the same king of Babylon says, Tophet is ordained of old, yes for the King it is prepared, he has made it deep and large, the pile thereof is fire and much wood, the breath of the Lord like a stream brimstone does kindle it.
Which description is applicable unto no place, but that place of everlasting burnings, which the Lord has prepared for the wicked. Indeed Tophet was a real place upon the earth, where some idolatrous Israelites did offer up their children in sacrifice to Molech; but here hell is called Tophet, in allusion to that place, because of the shrieks and cries which the damned shall make there are worse than the children did in Tophet, when they were sacrificed by their cruel parents.
In the New Testament it is most clear that there is such a place as hell prepared both for the soul and body of the wicked to be tormented in, Matthew , And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out and cast it from thee; it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell, and if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off and cast it from thee, for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.
That this hell is not meant of the grave, into which the body shall be thrown is evident, because those who do cut off the right hand, and pluck out the right eye which offend, that is mortify those offensive lusts, which are as dear and as hard to be parted with as the members of the body shall be exempted and delivered from this hell, whereas none shall be exempted, though never so holy and mortified from the grave.
Yes, and in this hell it is said that both soul and body shall be destroyed. Matthew , Fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. Now the soul is not destroyed with the body in the grave, as they both shall be if they are wicked after the resurrection in hell. To go into hell into that fire which never shall be quenched, where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.
By the unquenchable fire we are to understand the fire which shall burn the body; by the never-dying worm, the worm of conscience, which shall eternally gnaw the soul. This hell is called a prison, I Peter , By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison, which sometime were disobedient, when once the long-suffering of God waited in the days of Noah. By the spirits in prison, we are to understand the souls in hell, the souls of those wicked and disobedient persons in the old world, who would not give ear to the preaching of Christ by his spirit in Noah, and therefore a whole world of them were sent into the prison of hell together, unto whom are gathered the souls of all that since have died in their sins, where they are bound up in chains of darkness, and reserved unto the judgement of the great day.
Hell is also called a place of outer darkness, where there is weeping and wailing, and gnashing of teeth, Matthew It is called a furnace of fire, where all those that offend and do iniquity shall be thrown, Matthew , It is called the great wine-press of God's wrath, where all the wicked shall be crushed to pieces under the exceeding and eternal weight of his wrath, Revelation , But especially it is set forth as a place of fire of which in the next particular.
Many have been the conjectures of divines, concerning the place where hell is. Some have thought it to be in the bowels of the earth, because it is spoken of as a place below, and called by the name of a pit, the bottomless pit, out of which the smoke and locusts did arise, Revelation ; and in which Satan was bound and held as in a prison, Revelation , 2, 3, 7. And they have thought the pit spoken of in Numbers , into which, Korah, Dathan, and Abiram went down alive, when the earth clave asunder and swallowed them up, was the pit of hell into which both their soul and body together were immediately conveyed; and that which has the rather established such in this opinion has been, the vast quantity of subterranean fire, which they imagine to be in the bowels and caverns of the earth: others have rather thought it to be beyond this visible world; which will pass away at the last day, and removed at the greatest distance from the place where the righteous shall eternally inhabit.
But the Scripture being silent as to this, whatever is spoken on this subject where hell is, must needs be only by conjecture, the Lord grant that none of us may know by experience. Our chief care should be that we may escape the punishment, and not be inquisitive about that which the Lord has not thought fit to reveal. Let it suffice us to know that there is such a place as hell, where the wicked shall be tormented. Chapter 3 That hell is a place of fire and brimstone There is nothing that hell is described by in the whole book of the Scripture so much as by fire, and sometimes by fire mingled with brimstone.
It is called fire, Matthew Every Tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down and cast into the fire; hell-fire, Mark , It is better for thee to enter the Kingdom of God with one eye, than having two eyes, to be cast into hell-fire; a furnace of fire, Matthew And shall cast them into the furnace of fire. It is called a place where the wicked shall be tormented with fire and brimstone, Revelation And he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone, in the presence of the holy angels.
A lake which burns with fire and brimstone, Revelation And shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death. I know that it is a great question amongst divines, whether the fire of hell, which shall burn the wicked will be a real fire, or a metaphorical fire. There are men of great name, who assert it to be a metaphorical fire only, and that because it is called a fire, prepared for the devil and his angels, who cannot be hurt by a real fire; because the worm which never dies is metaphorically taken for the everlasting gnawings of conscience; because the New Jerusalem, which is above is metaphorically described to be of pure gold, clear like glass, the foundations to be garnished with all manner of precious stones, and the gates to be pearls, Revelation , And by the same reason, they say the description of hell in the Scripture is metaphorical: those that thus affirm the fire of hell to be metaphorical, are so far from lessening the torment hereby, which this fire will inflict, that they so much the more aggravate it, because that metaphorical fire, they say, will afflict more than if it were real fire; for as the glory of the New Jerusalem, that building of God made without hands eternal in the heavens, does far surpass all metaphors, whereby it is set forth.
These metaphors are made use of only to help our understanding in the conceiving of it's glory. So also the pain and torture of the damned in hell, will be more horrible and intolerable, than if they were to be cast into Nebu-chadnezzar's fiery furnace, when it was heated seven times more than it was wont to be heated; insomuch as the metaphor does come far beneath the thing, which it is used to set forth.
Others are of the judgement that hell-fire will be real fire, it being so positively, so plainly, and so frequently asserted to be fire, fire with flames, fire which shall burn, and because nothing will put to greater pain than fire, and because it is proper for the body to be tormented with some real material substance. And when the holy Ghost tells us it shall be fire, why should he turn this fire into a metaphor, which may tend rather to weaken our conceptions of it's horrour than to heighten them. And therefore in answer to that great objection, that it is said to be prepared for devils, they are ready to say, it shall be such fire as will not only torment the soul, but also devils too, God having power to make such a fire.
The other metaphors are made use of but once, this of fire is the almost constant expression in Scripture, where hell is described. I confess that I do not judge these answers to be fully satisfactory, for however the souls of wicked men and women may by sympathy with the body be tormented by real fire, yet God having made devils to be wholly spirits which are wholly incorporeal, I don't apprehend how any fire or bodily substance can have any impression upon them, but that fire, air, earth, or water, are all the same things to them and that they are incapable of suffering by any of them, that as water cannot drown them, so neither can fire burn them, that as air cannot refresh them, so neither can fire afflict them.
Indeed were the opinion of some ancients true that devils have bodies, but more pure and refined, such as cannot be seen any more than the air, a real fire might be made so pure by God as to torment the devils. But I am altogether of the judgement that devils are wholly spirits, the Scripture asserting it, and many reasons I might give of it, but that it would be too large a digression. Moreover the fire of hell I believe will be such as immediately to afflict the souls of the wicked, and not only by sympathy with the body, because otherwise the torture of the body would be greater from it's immediate object, than the anguish of the soul by sympathy, when the soul's desert of punishment is greater, being more highly guilty of sin than the body which is made use of only as an instrument.
Yet I cannot be of the opinion that the fire of hell will wholly be metaphorical for the reasons before given. Therefore I judge that both the opinions may be reconciled with themselves and the truth, by asserting that this fire of hell will be partly metaphorical and partly real. First, I conceive that the fire of hell will be in part metaphorical, and that this also will be the most grievous and tormenting, though not to the sense, yet to the soul and to the devils, who can be tormented by no other fire. My meaning is that the fire which will be metaphorical, is to be understood of the fierce anger and wrath of the sin-revenging God, who himself is called a consuming fire, Hebrews , and whose anger is often expressed by the metaphor of fire in the Scripture.
And so that everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels, and for the souls of wicked men and women, which will be accompanied also with a real fire, prepared for their bodies, of which in the next particular is the everlasting wrath of God, which he has treasured up against the day of wrath, when he will open and bring forth those treasures, and make immediate impressions thereof upon all damned spirits, which shall burn worse than fire, and cause greater anguish to the spirit, than any fire can do to the sense. Hence it is said, Hebrews , It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God, and that because the immediate strokes of God's vengeance, which damned spirits shall fall under, when he takes them into his own hands to punish them in hell, will above all things be most intolerable.
The Apostle says in II Thessalonians , that the wicked shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power. This is to be understood causally; as if he should have said, that the destruction of the wicked shall arise from God's presence and glorious power, which shall put forth itself so mightily, as to glorify itself in the punishment of them in hell. God will appear in heaven to the angels and saints, in a flame of love, and make immediate and most sweet impressions thereof upon them, which will be their chief happiness.
And God will appear in hell to devils and damned spirits in a flame of wrath, as a consuming fire, and make immediate impressions of his wrath upon them, which will be their chief misery. For sinners to be taken thus into the hands of God, and punished by the fire of his wrath will be more dreadful, than if the most furious creatures in the world were mustered up together, and let loose upon them to tear them in pieces and devour them.
If they were tormented with the most exquisite torments, which can possibly proceed from any second causes, it would be no more than the biting of a flea, or the prick of a pin in comparison with these immediate strokes of God's vengeance, and the burning under the fire of his indignation. Secondly, The fire of hell I believe will be in part real, I mean that fire whereby the body shall be afflicted, I judge that as the torture will be real, so that the fire whereby it will be tortured will be real too.
Of all senses the feeling is most capable of being cruciated and afflicted, and of all the objects of this sense fire is most afflictive and painful, and therefore God has appointed fire to be for the punishment of the body. Indeed other senses will be afflicted too, the ear with hideous noises, shrieks, and yellings of fellow damned sinners; the eye with fearful ghastly and horrible spectacles; the smell with suffocating odious and nasty stench, worse than of carrion, or that which comes out of an open sepulchre.
But the feelings will be most afflicted by the devouring and eternally burning fire, which the wicked shall be thrown into. I shall not, I cannot determine in this case; but am most inclinable to think this fire will be immediately created by God, differing from all fires that ever have been in the fierceness of it, which by the word of God's power will be made, and by the breath of his indignation will be kindled, and kept alive to eternity without any fuel to feed it, except the bodies of the wicked, which though they shall be tormented by it, shall never be consumed by it.
Chapter 4 Concerning the properties of hell-fire There are seven properties of hell-fire. First, It will be a great fire. Secondly, It will be a dark fire. Thirdly, It will be a fierce fire.
Wild and Confident
Fourthly, It will be an irresistible fire. Fifthly, It will be a continual fire. Sixthly, It will be an unquenchable fire. Seventhly, It will be an everlasting fire. First, The fire of hell which shall burn the wicked will be a great fire. We have seen some great fires, which have burned many houses together, such as that in which burned down the greater part of London. But this fire of hell will be so great, as to burn all wicked persons together, all the wicked will be in flames at the same time. The greatness of this fire is set forth, Isaiah Tophet is prepared of old, he hath made it deep and large, the pile thereof is fire and much wood, the breath of the Lord, like a stream of brimstone doth kindle it.
Tophet does signify hell, the place where the damned shall be tormented, of which before. God has made it deep and large. The depths of the earth, or the depths of the sea are nothing in comparison with the depths of hell; for those depths have a bottom, but this is called the bottomless pit, Revelation It is deep and large, of vast capacity. It will be sufficient to contain all the sinners of the old world, and all the sinners of this world who have lived or shall live in every generation until the time of the world's dissolution.
The pile thereof is fire and much wood. As much wood being kindled does make a great fire, so this fire though it have no real wood, but that which will be equivalent, will be very great, especially being kindled by the breath of the Almighty. As the breath of the Lord kindled those showers of fire and brimstone, which came down from heaven upon Sodom and Gomorrah, so the breath of the Lord will kindle those streams of fire and brimstone which shall be in hell. Secondly, Hell-fire will be a dark fire.
There will not be the least glimmering of light in that doleful place, which will add to the horrour thereof. Hell is called by the name of outer darkness, Matthew It is called blackness of darkness forever, Jude There will be no light of God's countenance, not the least smothering of his brow. His wrath will be poured forth without mixture into the cup of his indignation which they must drink of, Revelation There will not be the least light of comfort, nothing but weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth; there will not be the light of the sun, or the moon, or the candle, and the fire itself will give no light, all will be dark and black, black devils, black bodies, black souls, and they may without light have perceivance one of another, as devils have now unto whom light is of no use; or if there be a duskish light there, to represent one another's rueful countenances, and other frightful spectacles.
Be sure there will be no refreshing light. There the damned will be in a place and state of darkness forever. Thirdly, Hell-fire will be a fierce fire. The fire of Sodom, of Aetna, yes, of London in the day of it's burning was fierce, but no fire burns so fierce as hell-fire will do. The fire of God's anger and wrath will burn fiercely. Now it does but smoke against sinners, then it will break forth into a flame. Tongue cannot express how fiercely the wrath of God will burn, when hereafter it shall seize upon the ungodly, Psalm Who knoweth the power of thine anger?
The power of the anger which any creature may have, may be known. It is finite. It is limited. It reaches no further than the body; but who knoweth the power of God's anger? According to thy fear so is thy wrath, that is according to the fear which we may have of thee. The wrath of man is not proportionable unto the fear which we may have of it. We often fear that men can do more than they are really able; but the wrath of God is commensurate and proportionable unto the greatest fears thereof, yes does far exceed them.
He can afflict more than our fears are able to conceive, and that because of the infinite power of his wrath. God will hereafter make the power of his wrath known, as Romans and how fiercely then will it burn? The fire also which will torment the bodies of the wicked will be very fierce. It will be so fierce, as to torment every part from the crown of the head unto the foot, and every part in extremity, in the utmost extremity, and that beyond the present capacity. Fourthly, Hell-fire will be an irresistible fire. All the power of hell with their combined forces, shall not be able to make the least resistance against the fire of God's anger, Nahum Who can stand before his indignation?
Isaiah , Who would set the briers and thorns against me in battle? I would throw them, I would burn them together. Briers, thorns, dried stuble, chaff cannot resist a consuming fire, so neither shall the wicked be able to resist the fire of God's jealousy. And the real fire prepared in hell for the body, will burn with that fierceness that it will master and prevail over all. None shall be able to keep off it's force. It will pierce through and through every part of the body. We read of the three children which were preserved in the midst of the fiery furnace, so that not so much as the smell of the fire was upon their garments; but none shall be preserved from burning in this fiery furnace.
Indeed, the wicked shall not be burned up and quite consumed, but they shall be always burning. For Fifthly, Hell-fire will be a continual fire. Other fires sometimes are in, and sometimes out, but this fire will be always in, always burning without any intermission, and always burning in the same high degree of intention.
There will be no assuagement of the flames of God's anger, no abatement of the fire of hell. This fire will be always alike hot, and always hot in the highest degree. Sixthly, Hell-fire will be an unquenchable fire. Matthew , But will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire. Mark , Where their worm dieth not and the fire is not quenched.
Now the fire of God's anger before it breaks forth into so vehement a flame may be quenched by the blood of Jesus Christ; and the fire of hell may be prevented.
But hereafter it will be too late. No sacrifice will be accepted then to appease God's wrath, and if all the waters of the sea could be poured upon the flames of hell-fire, they would not put them out, And therefore, Seventhly, Hell-fire will be an everlasting fire. Matthew , Depart from me ye cursed into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels. Revelation , And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever. This fire will be ever burning, and the damned will be ever tormented therein. Extremity and eternity are the two most bitter ingredients of the damned's torments.
Who can set forth the eternity of the wicked's punishment in hell-fire? This eternity is immeasurable. It is incomprehensible. All the rays of the sun may more easily be comprehended in a small room, and all the waters of the sea contained in a small nutshell, than boundless eternity be conceived by our finite and shallow understanding.
None have shadowed eternity, and set it forth better than those who have shown how infinitely short all measures and numbers do fall, when they are applied to the space of it's duration. One expresses himself thus on this subject in another language: suppose ten thousand years past, after that an hundred thousand millions of years past, after that ten hundred thousand million of millions of years past, and yet you are not come to the end of eternity, no nor to the middle of eternity; yes, you are but at the beginning of it.
Add unto this the number of all the thoughts of angels and men, of all the motions in every creature, of all the grains of sand which would fill ten thousand worlds; gather all the minutes of time, from the beginning of the creation of the world, all the numbers of arithmetic that can possibly be conceived, and all this is but the beginning of eternity. How long will eternity last? When will eternity end?
As long as heaven shall continue to be heaven, and God shall continue to be God, and the saints shall be happy in the enjoyment of God, so long shall the wicked be tormented in the fire of hell. We may apprehend the everlastingness of this fire of hell, but we cannot comprehend it. Chapter 5 Concerning the persons that shall burn eternally in the flames of hell It is upon the wicked that the Lord will rain this horrible tempest of fire and brimstone in hell. All the workers of iniquity, all that live and die in their sins, must suffer the vengeance of eternal fire.
These are the chaff which shall be cast into the unquenchable fire, Matthew These are the tares which shall be bound up in bundles to be burned, Matthew These are the goats which shall be condemned to everlasting fire, Matthew Look into a few places where in the plain letter of the Scriptures, the persons are described, that shall be the subject of everlasting torment in hell-fire. Matthew , 42, The Son of Man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his Kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity; and shall cast them into a furnace of fire, there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.
Romans , 8, 9, Who will render to every man according to his deeds, to them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath, tribulation and anguish upon every soul of man, that does evil of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile.
II Thessalonians , 8, 9, The Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels in flaming fire, taking vengeance on them that know not God, and obey not the Gospel; who shall be punished with everlasting destruction, from the presence of the Lord and the glory of his power.
Take one place more among many, Revelation , But the fearful and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake, which burns with fire and brimstone. I shall speak more of the persons when I come to the application which I would chiefly insist upon, the Doctrine being so well known, and therefore I shall but briefly touch upon the reason, why the wicked shall be eternally tormented in the flame of hell, and so come to the Use, which I mainly intend.
The torment of the wicked in hell is a punishment, and therefore has a respect unto sin, the guilt of which does lay the wicked under an obligation hereunto, and lays God under an obligation to inflict this punishment upon them. Sin is the violation of a holy and righteous law; and an offence of an Infinite Majesty, whose justice requireth infinite satisfaction, which it can receive no other way from sinners themselves, than by their undergoing the punishment of hell.
Although this punishment is not infinite in regard of the quality, yet it is infinite in regard of it's duration, and therefore the torments of the wicked shall have no end. Chapter 6 Application Use of Examination When you had the relation of Sodom and Gomorrah's burning, you might think this was done long ago, and look upon yourselves as unconcerned.
When you had the relation of Aetna's burnings, you might think this was done afar off, and look upon yourselves as unconcerned. But when you come to discourse of hell-burnings, here you all are concerned. Those burnings are past, these are burnings to come. Those were burnings for a while, these will be burnings forever. The greatest part of the children of men will be cast into these burnings, and very few comparatively will escape.
Oh, what a vast number of all kindreds, and nations, and languages will there be tormented forever in hell! What a vast number of Christians, yes, of professors of the Gospel! You had need to look to it, that none of you be found in the number. The dreadfulness of these everlasting burnings, I think should stir you up with all solicitousness and utmost diligence, to enquire whether you are in danger, and what you might do to escape.
The most men and women that live this day upon the face of the earth are in danger of being thrown into the flames of hell. The whole world may be divided into two parts, they are either such as are in a state of nature, or such as are in a state of grace. The former are many thousand times the greater number, and the Apostle tells us expressly that such are children of wrath, Ephesians And if children, then heirs; the children of God are heirs of heaven; the children of wrath, who also are called the children of the devil, are heirs of hell. The latter only I mean such as are in a state of grace are in a state of salvation, they only are free from all obligation to the punishment of hell, having interest in Christ's satisfaction.
There are two ways, in one of which all the sons and daughters of men may be found, Matthew , One is a narrow way, which has a strait gate, and very few are to be found therein, and that is the way of holiness, of self-denial, of mortification and Gospel-obedience, and although this is the way of life and salvation, the way to glory and honour and everlasting happiness, yet it has but few passengers, few take this course.
The other is a broad way, which has the greatest crowd and throng although it leads unto destruction. And this is the way of sin, the way of profaneness, licentiousness, unrighteousness, disobedience. This is the course of the world. This way has a wide gate, and many there be that go in thereat. And the reason our Savior gives, because the other way has so strait a gate, because of the difficulty of it's passage; namely, the wicket of regeneration. Few attempt to go through this strait passage, or if they do attempt, they are quickly discouraged with the difficulty, and so let it alone, taking the broader, because the easier way of sin, the steps of which will certainly take hold of death and hell.
I beseech you all with the greatest seriousness to examine yourselves, whether you be in a state of nature, or in a state of Grace? You have been all born once, have you been born again? You have been born of the flesh, have you been born of the spirit? You have born the image of the earthly Adam, do you bear the image of the heavenly Adam? You are partakers of the human nature, are you partakers of the Divine nature?
Have you new and clean hearts? Are they changed?
Brimstone (Earth, Air, Fire and Water , #1) by Alan Skinner
Do you lead new and holy lives? Are they reformed? I beseech you examine which of the two ways you are walking in: is it the broad way of sin and wickedness, or is it the narrow way of faith and holiness? These are questions of great moment to be resolved in, your everlasting weal or woe, your salvation or damnation does depend upon them. If you be brought into a state of grace, and are got in through the strait gate, into the narrow way, you are made men and women happy you that ever you were born, you not shall perish with the wicked, but most assuredly attain eternal life and glory.
But if you are in a state of nature, if you are in the broad way, and continue therein to the end of your lives, you are undone men and women, woe be to you that ever you were born, heaven will be shut upon you, and hell will be opened unto you, where you shall be unconceivably and eternally tormented in the flames of that unquenchable fire. Take heed that you do not mistake your state and way.
Thousands have gone to hell through a mistake. It is very easy to mistake. It is difficult not to mistake, and no mistake is worse than this mistake. All is not gold that glitters. All is not grace, that has the show of it. All are not in the way to heaven that pretend to it. Many deceive others much and deceive themselves much more. Nothing is likely to hinder you more effectually from attaining grace than ungrounded conceits that you already have it.
If you should nourish in yourselves a false faith, and false hope, they would be so far from saving you, that they would fasten you the more strongly in Satan's chains, whereby he will the more unperceivably and inevitably drag you into hell. And think if you should go out of the world, under a mistake with fair, but groundless hopes of heaven, and shall find yourselves unalterably judged by God unto hell, how this will render the loss of heaven the more bitter, and the pains of hell the more grievous; the disappointment of happiness, especially so great happiness, and to be overtaken with misery, especially so great misery, and that when all means are cut off forever, of attaining the one or avoiding the other, this will be unspeakable vexations.
And let me tell you, that it is better to be mistaken on the other hand than on this. It is better to fear when you are gracious, than to hope when you are ungracious. A dangerless fear is better than a fearless danger. The former may cause you to go droopingly for a while towards heaven.
The latter if it cause you to go merrily, it will also cause you to go securely and surely to hell. I need not spend time neither may I lest this volume swell to big in telling you that idolaters, and adulterers, and drunkards, and swearers, and blasphemers, and scoffers of religion, and persecutors of God's people, and thieves, and murderers, and liars, and apostates, and profane persons, and all the more notorious workers of iniquity shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone; amongst whom if any of you who cast your eyes upon these lines be numbered, and your conscience with a slight reflection do accuse you herein, give me leave to hold you a little by the arm and ask you why so fast?
What means this hurry? Why so furious? What means this eager pursuit of lust? Do you know whom you serve and do you think what your wages will be? Do you know what is before you? Do you see the end of a sinful course? Do you know what hell is? Is it desirable to dwell with devouring fire? Do you think to escape in this way? But the awakening Use is afterward. But let me beseech you that are more sober, and although professors of religion, to examine your state.
Take heed you do not deceive yourselves, and thereby undo yourselves irrecoverably. Have you been under convictions of sin? And these followed with contrition! Have you had conviction of Christ's righteousness! Have you received the spirit enabling you to pray, mortify sin, and quickening you unto all the duties of new obedience? Hereby you may know the change of your estate. If your hearts remain unhumbled, unbroken for sin; if you are strangers unto the work of faith, and never truly closed with Jesus Christ; if you are without the spirit of Christ, and under the power, the reigning power of any sin; if you live in the neglect of prayer secret and with others, and of the great salvation, which the Lord Jesus has purchased, if you have a form of godliness but are without the power thereof, you will be found foolish virgins at last, which will have no admittance into the bride-chamber.
You will be found hypocrites, whose portion is the burning lake, and it will be impossible for you to escape the damnation of hell. Hebrews , How shall we escape if we neglect so great salvation? Chapter 7 Use of admiration at the security the wicked, showing the cause thereof Are the burnings of hell so certain, being threatened by God!
And are they indeed prepared for the wicked, and all graceless, Christless persons as their deserved portion? And are most of the children of men wicked, ungracious, unrighteous, unregenerate, unbelievers, who are already condemned to this place of torment John ? And by consequence every moment are such in danger of being dragged forth to execution? Here then we may sit down, and wonder at the senselessness and carnal security of such persons, especially of those who sit under the light of the Word, which does make discovery of all this most plainly unto them, whatever their danger be, whatever their sins which have deserved hell, whatever God's threatenings of everlasting burnings, whatever execution there is, and has been upon other sinners like themselves, yet they are without any fear, they are fast asleep in sin and very secure.
Though their conscience be full of guilt, their hearts full of lust, their lives full of sin, though their steps are carrying them forward in the broad way, which leads unto destruction; though death has them upon the chase, and is at their heels, though the wrath of God pursues them hard, and is at their backs, though the day, wherein they must give an account, and be punished for their iniquity hastens greatly, and the Judge stands at the door; yet they care not, they fear not, none of these things do move them, none of these things do trouble them.
They eat and drink, and sleep, and buy and sell, and plant and build, and go on in a sinful course, as if they should live here eternally, or as if their soul should perish with their body, and all these things foretold in the Word, concerning future retributions were but nicer fables. First, Some are thus secure, through an atheistical persuasion that there is no God.