The souls of the wicked in Scripture are compared to the tossing sea, Isaiah 57:20. Nothing can certainly be determined concerning the nature of the affections, by this, that comforts and joys seem to follow awakenings and convictions of conscience, in a certain order. We could be squished or dropped to our doom in a mater of seconds. But surely they have no interest in the promises of the covenant of grace who are not the children of the covenant, who do not believe in any of the promises, and have no interest in the Mediator of the covenant. In response, a new movement called the Great Awakening or the First Great Awakening sought to revive religion in England and the British colonies in America.
If God should withdraw his hand, by which they are restrained, they would in one moment fly upon their poor souls. God is not altogether such an one as themselves, though they may imagine him to be so. Natural men's prudence and care to preserve their own lives, or the care of others to preserve them, do not secure them a moment. We find it easy to tread on and crush a worm that we see crawling on the earth; so it is easy for us to cut or singe a slender thread that any thing hangs by: thus easy is it for God, when he pleases, to cast his enemies down to 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. Every one lays out matters in his own mind how he shall avoid damnation, and flatters himself that he contrives well for himself, and that his schemes will not fail.
When they understood what I said, they saw Edwards in a new light. You probably are not sensible of this; you find you are kept out of hell, but do not see the hand of God in it; but look at other things, as the good state of your bodily constitution, your care of your own life, and the means you use for your own preservation. The wrath of the great King of kings, is much more terrible than theirs, as His majesty is greater. What problem is so serious that men require saving? How can you rest one moment in such a condition? 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 out-pouring of the Spirit upon the Jews in the apostles' days; the election will obtain, and the rest will be blinded. The wrath of the great King of kings, is as much more terrible than theirs, as his majesty is greater.
As we, in trying to call the lost to Christ cover over the wrath of God, we in turn cover over the one thing they need to grasp. Yea, on the contrary, justice calls aloud for an infinite punishment of their sins. To what a dreadful, inexpressible, inconceivable depth of misery must the poor creature be sunk who shall be the subject of this! That God will execute the fierceness of his anger, implies, that he will inflict wrath without any pity. However, most of those who are now in hell which is most people who die also believed this, so a sense of security should not be a comfort. He used imagery and figurative language so the wrath of God is more fearsome and gave you a mental picture of hell in your head. Your wickedness makes you as it were heavy as lead, and to tend downwards with great weight and pressure towards Hell; and if God should let you go, you would immediately sink, and swiftly descend and plunge into the bottomless gulf.
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. We know not who they are, or in what seats they sit, or what thoughts they now have. The last enemy that shall be dest. Unbeliever's prudence and care taken to preserve their own lives, or the caring concern of others to preserve them, does not give them a moment's security. There are those corrupt principles, in reigning power in them, and in full possession of them, that are seeds of hell fire. Jonathan Edwards can be an example to Christians of what God can accomplish through someone so devoted to sharing salvation through Christ alone. God has so many different unsearchable ways of taking wicked men out of the world and sending them to hell, that there is nothing to make it appear, that God had need to be at the expense of a miracle, or go out of the ordinary course of his providence, to destroy any wicked man, at any moment.
Consider the fearful danger you are in: 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. But when once the day of mercy is past, your most lamentable and dolorous cries and shrieks will be in vain; you will be wholly lost and thrown away of God, as to any regard to your welfare. Yea, there is nothing else that is to be given as a reason why you do not this very moment drop down into hell. Justification By Faith Alone Dated November, 1734 - Prepared from 2 Sermons Romans 4:5 But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness. Who among us shall dwell with the. We know not who they are, or in what seats they sit, or what thoughts they now have. And many people do not understand the urgency of their need of salvation 2 Corinthians 6:2.
The use may be of awakening unconverted persons in this congregation. We were reading the works of men who poured their lives into striving for change, to save souls, and to shape a culture. God is holding us over the fire rather than dropping us into the fire. The Sabbath after the seating of the New Meeting House. Edwards also mentored Gideon Hawley, Joseph Bellamy, and Samuel Hopkins, who later developed the missionary movement in America. All the options of taking sinners out of the world, are in God's hands, and so universally and absolutely subject to His power and determination, that it depends merely upon the will of God, whether sinners shall at any moment go to hell.
The misery you are exposed to is that which God will inflict to that end, that He might show what the wrath of Jehovah is. This that you have heard is the case of every one of you that are out of Christ. In these revivals, some people were gripped so deeply with the reality of their situation that they would shake uncontrollably. 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. And the reason why they do not go down to hell at each moment, is not because God, in whose power they are, is not then very angry with them; as he is with many miserable creatures now tormented in hell, who there feel and bear the fierceness of his wrath.