Yet four things I will propound to the consideration of Mr. Badmans friends, before I turn my back upon them.
1. Suppose that there be an Hell in very deed, not that I do question it, any more than I do whether there be a Sun to shine; but I suppose it for argument sake, with Mr. Badmans friends; I say, suppose there be an Hell, and that too, such an one as the Scripture speaks of, one at the remotest distance from God and Life eternall, one where the Worm of a guilty Conscience never dyes, and where the fire of the Wrath of God is not quenched.
Suppose, I say, that there is such an Hell, prepared of God (as there is indeed) for the body and soul of the ungodly World after this life, to be tormented in: I say, do but with thy self suppose it, and then tell me, Is it not prepared for thee, thou being a wicked man? Let thy conscience speak, I say, is it not prepared for thee, thou being an ungodly man? And dost thou think, wast thou there now, that thou art able to wrestle with the Judgment of God? Why then do the fallen Angers tremble there? thy hands cannot be strong, nor can thy heart endure, in that day when God shall deal with thee: Ezek. 22. 14.
2. Suppose that some one that is now a soul in Hell for sin, was permitted to come hither again to dwell; and that they had a grant also, that upon amendment of life, next time the dye, to change that place for Heaven ant Glory; what sayest thou, O wicked man? would such an one (thinkest thou) run again into the same course of life as before, and venture the damnation that for sin he had already been in? Would he choose again to lead that cursed life that afresh would kindle the flames of Hell upon him, and that would bind him up under the heavy wrath of God? O! he would not, he would not; the sixteenth of Luke insinuates it: yea Reason it self, awake, would abhorr it, and tremble at such a thought.
3. Suppose again, that thou that livest and rollest in thy sin, and that as yet hast known nothing but the pleasure thereof, shouldst be by an angel conveyed to some place where with convenience, from thence thou mightest have a view of Heaven and Hell; of the Joyes of the one, and the torments of the other; I say, suppose that from thence thou mightest have such a view thereof, as would convince thy reason, that both Heaven and Hell, are such realities as by the Word they are declared to be; wouldest thou (thinkest thou) when brought to thy home again, chuse to thy self thy former life, to wit, to return to thy folly again? No; if belief of what thou sawest, remained with thee, thou wouldest eat Fire and Brimstone first.
4. I will propound again. Suppose that there was amongst us such a Law, (and such a Magistrate to inflict the penalty,) That for every open wickedness committed by thee, so much of thy flesh should with burning Pincers be plucked from thy Bones: Wouldest thou then go on in thy open way of Lying, Swearing, Drinking and Whoring, as thou with delight doest now? Surely, surely, No: The fear of the punishment would make thee forbear; yea, would make thee tremble, even then when thy lusts were powerfull, to think what a punishment thou wast sure to sustain, so soon as the pleasure was over. But Oh! the folly, the madness, the desperate madness that is in the hearts of Mr. Badmans friends, who in despite of the threatnings of an holy and sin revenging God, and of the outcries and warnings of all good men; yea, that will in despite of the groans and torments of those that are now in Hell for sin, (Luk. 16. 24. 28.) go on in a sinfull course of life; yea, though every sin is also a step of descent, down to that infernal Cave. O how true is that saying of Solomon, The heart of the sons of men is full of evil, and madness is in their heart while they live, and after that they go to the dead, Eccles. 9. 3. To the dead! that is, to the dead in Hell, to the damned dead; the place to which those that have dyed Bad men are gone, and that those that live Bad men are like to go to, when a little more sin, like stollen waters, hath been imbibed by their sinful souls.