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(3.) The third thing I take notice of from hence is, That a sinful life, and quiet death annexed to it, is the ready, the open, the beaten, the common highway to hell: There is no surer sign of damnation, than for a man to die quitely after a sinful life. I do not say that all wicked men that are molested, at their death with a sense of sin and fears of hell, do therefore go to heaven, for some are also made to see, and are left to despair, (not converted by seeing,) that they might go roaring out of the world to their place : But I say, there is no surer sign of a man's damnation, than to die quitely after a sinful life; than to sin and die with his eyes shut; than to sin and die with an heart that cannot repent : “He hath blinded their eyes, and hardened their hearts, that they should not see with their eyes, nor understand with their hearts; (no, not so long as they are in this world ; ) lest they should see with their eyes, and understand with their heart, and should be converted, and should heal them."
God has a judgment for wicked men ; God will be even with wicked men: God knows how to reserve the ungodly to the day of judgment to be punished : and this is one of his ways by which he coth it. Thus it was with Mr. Badman.
(4.). It is said in the book of Psalms concerning the wicked. “There are no bands in their death, bot their strength is firm." By no bands, he means no troubles, no gracious chastisements, no such corrections for sin as fall to the lot of God's people for theirs ; yea, that many times fall to be theirs, at the time of their death;
Therefore he adds concerning the wicked, “They are not troubled (then) like other men, neither are they plagued like other men; but go as securely out of the world, as if they had never sinned against God, and put their own souls into danger of damnation: " There are no bands in their death.”
They seem to go 'unbound, and set at liberty out of this world, though they have lived' notoriously wicked all theic days in it. The prisoner that is to die at the
gallows gallows for his wickedness, must first have his irons knocked off his legs; so he seems to go most at liberty, when indeed he is going to be executed for his transgressions. Wicked men also have no bands in their death, they seem to be more at liberty when they are even at the wind up of their sinful life, than at any time besides.
Hence you shall have them boast of their faith and hope in God's mercy, when they lie upon their deathbed: yea, you shall have them speak as confidently of their salvation, as if they had served God all their days: when the truth is, the bottom of their boasting is, because they have no bands in their death.
Their sin and base life comes not into their mind to correct them, and bring them to repentance: but presumptuous thoughts, and an hope and faith of the spider's (the devil's) making, possesseth their soul, to their own eternal undoing.
Hence wicked men's hope is said to die, not before, but with them; they gave up the ghost together. And thus did Mr. Badman. His sins and his hope, went with him to the gate, but there his hope left him, because it died there ; but his sins went in with him, to be a worm to gnaw him in his conscience for ever
The opinion, therefore, of the common people, concerning this kind of dying, is frivolous and vain ; for Mr. Badman died like a lamb, or as they call it, like a chrisom-child, quietly, and without fear. not this with reference to the struggling of the conscience with the judgment of God. I know that nature will struggle with death: I have seen a dog and sheep dic hardly: And thus may a wicked man do, because there is an antipathy betwixt nature and death. But even while, even then, when death and nature are struggling for mastery, the soul, the conscience, may be as besotted, as benumbed, as senseless and ignorant of its miserable state, as the block or bed on which
the sick lies: And thus they may die like a crisomchild in shew, but indeed like one who by the judgment of. God is bourd orer to eternal damnation; and that also by the same judgment is kept from seeing what they are, and whither they are going, till they plunge down among the flames.
And as it is a very great judgment of God on wicked men that so die, (for it cuts them off from all possibillty of repentance, and so of salvation,) so it is as great a judgment upon those that are their companions that survey them ; for by the manner of their death, hey dying so quietly, so like 'unto chrisoin-children, as they call it, they are hardened, and take courage to go on in their course.
For comparing their life with their death, their sinful cursed lives with their child like, lamb-like death, they think that all is well, that no damnation is happened unto them; though they lived like devils incarnate, yet they died like harmless ones:
There was no whirlwind, no tempest, no band, nor plague in their death; They died as quietly as the most godly of them all, and had as great faith and hope of salvation, and would talk as boldly of salvation, as if they had assurance of it. But as was their hope in life, so was their death: Their hope was without trial, because it was none of God's working, and their death was without molestation, because so was the judgment of God concerning them,
But, I say, at this their survivors take heart to tread their stops, and to continue to live in the breach of the law of God; yea, they carry it stately in their villanies; for so it follows in the psalın: “There are no bands in their death, but their strengih is firm," &c. “Therefore pride compasseth ihem (ihe survivors) about as a chain, violence covereih chem as a garment." Therefore they take courage to do evil; therefore they pride :hemselves in their iniquity.
Wherefore Why, because their fellows died, afrer they had lived long in a most profane and wicked life, as
quietly, and as like to lambs, as if they had been innocent.
Yet, they are bold, by seeing this, to conclude, that God either does not, or will not take notice of their
They speak wickedly, they speak loftily." They speak wickedly of sin, for that they make it birter than by the word it is pronounced to be. They speak wickedly concerning oppression, that they commend, and count it a prudent act. “They also speak loftily: “They set their mouth against the heavens, &c. " And they say, How doth God know ? and is there knowledge in the Most High ?" And all this, so far as I can see, ariseth in their beholding of the quiet and lamb-like death of their companions,
“Behold these are the ungodly that prosper in the world, (that is, by wicked ways,) they increase in riches."
This, therefore, is a great judgment of God, both upon that man thai dieth in his sins, and also upon his companions that beholdeth him so to die. He sinneth, he dieth in his sins, and yet dieth quietly. What shall his companions say to this? What jndgment shall he make how God will deal with him, by beholding the lamb-like death of his companions ? But sure, he cannot, as from such a sight, say, Wo be to me, for judgment is before him : He cannot gather that sin is a dreadful and a bicter thing, by the child like death of Mr. Badman ; but must rather, if he judgeth according to what he sees, or according to his corrupted reasón, conclude with the wicked ones of old, " That every one that doth evil, is good in the sight of the Lord, and he delighteth in them; or where is the God of judgment?”
Yea, this is enough to puzzle the wisest man. David himself was put to a stand, by beholding the quiet death of ungodly men:
• Verily," says he, “ I have cleansed my heart in vain, and have washed my hands in innocency,". Psal. Ixxiii. 13. They, to appearance,
fare better by far than I : “Their eyes stand out with fatness, they have more than heart can wish; but all the day long have I been plagued, and chastened every morning.” This, I say, made David wonder ; yea, and Job and Jeremiah too: But he goeth into the sanctuary, and then he understands their end; nor could he understand it before : I went into the sanctuary of God."
What place was that? Why, there where he might inquire of God, and by him be resolved of this matter : “Then," said he, " understood I their end." Then, I saw, that “thou hast set them in slippery places ;” and that “thou casteth them down to destruction.” Casteth them down, that is, suddenly, or, as the next words say, “as in a moment, they are utterly consumed with terrors:" Which terrors did not seize them on their sick-bed, for they had no bands in their death. The terrors therefore seized them there, where also they are holden in them for ever. This he found out, I say, but not without great painfulness
, grief, and pricking in the reins : So deep, so hard, and so difficult did he find it, rightly to come to a determination in this matter.
And indeed this is a deep judgment of God towards ungodly sinners ; it is enough to stagger a whole world, only the godly that are in the world have a sanctuary to go to, where the oracle and word of God is, by which his judgment, and a reason of many of them, are made known to, and understood by them.
Atten. Indeed that is a staggering dispensation; it is full of the wisdom and anger of God: and I believe, as you have said, that it is full of judgment to the world. Who would have imagined, that had not known Mr. Badman, and yet had seen him die, but that he had been a man of an holy life and conversation, since he died so still, so quietly, so like a man or chrisomchild : Would they not, I say, have concluded, that he was a righteous man? Or that if they had known him and his life, yet to see him die so quietly, would