Tuesday, September 08, 2009

O, Eternity

How long shall God and his Saints reigne? How long shall the damned
burn in Hell? For ever. How long is that? Imagine an hundred thousand
yeares. Alas! That is nothing in respect of Eternitie. Imagine ten
hundred thousand yeares, yea so many ages? Yet that is nothing:
Eternitie is still as long as it was. Imagine a thousand millions of
yeares. And yet that is nothing. Eternitie is not a whit shortened.
Imagine yet more, 1000000000000000000000000000000, a thousand,
thousand, thousand, thousand, thousand, thousand, thousand, thousand
Millions of yeares. Imagine, I say, the damned should burn in Hell so
many yeares, and yet thou hast not found the very beginning of
Eternitie. Imagine once more so many millions of millions of yeares as
there are drops in the sea, and yet thou art not come to the beginning
of Eternitie.

Let the consideration of the immortality of that precious soul, that
lies in thy bosom, curb thy corruptions at the very first sight of
sin, and make thee step back as though you wer ready to tread upon a
serpent. Not all the men upon earth, or devils in hell, can possibly
kill the soul of any man. It must needs live as long as God himself,
and run parallel with the longest line of eternity. Only sin wounds
mortally that immortal spirit, and brings it into that cursed case,
that it had infinitely better never have been, shall be for ever. For
by this means, going on impenitently to that last tribunal, it is ever
in the pangs of death, and never dead; not able to die, nor endure the
pain; pain exceeding not only all patience, but all resistance: there
being no strength to sustain, nor ability to bear, that which, whilst
God is GOD, for ever must be borne. What a prodigious cruelty is it
then for a man, by listening to the Syren songs of this false world,
or the devil's desperate counsel, to imbrue his hands in the blood of
his own everlasting soul, and to make it die eternally? For some
fleeting vanity, to bring upon it in the other world, torments without
end, and beyond all compass of conception? And his madness is the
more, because, (besides its immortality,) his soul is incomparably
more worth than the whole world.

Robert Bolton