Chapter 5: The Wages of Sin

Abridged from “The Other Side of Death”

An Appalling Belief – From Two Theologians

In the second volume of “Sermons” by Jonathan Edwards, he says: “Those wicked men who died many years ago, their souls went to hell, and there they are still. Those who went to hell in former ages of the world have been in hell ever since, all the while suffering torment. They have nothing else to spend their time in there, but to suffer torment; they are kept in being for no other purpose.”

Spurgeon, the great Baptist evangelist in his sermon on “The Resurrection of the Dead,” says: “When thou dies, thy soul will be tormented alone. That will be a hell for it; but at the day of judgment thy body will join thy soul and then thou wilt have twin hells, thy soul sweating drops of blood, and thy body suffered with agony. In fire exactly like that which we have on earth, thy body will lie, asbestos, like, forever unconsumed, all thy veins roads for the feet of pain to travel on, every nerve a string on which the devil shall forever play his diabolical tune of hell’s unutterable lament.”

Master of language as he was, Spurgeon could not surpass the following, taken from a sermon on-“The judgment,” by Rev. Ebenezer Erskine: “Think now, o sinner, what shall be thy reward when thou shall meet thy judge? How shall the adulterer satisfy lust when he lies on a bed of flames? The swearer shall have enough of wounds and blood when the devil shall torture his body and rack his soul in hell. The drunkard shall have plenty of his cups when scalding lead shall be poured down his throat, and his breath draw flames of fire instead of air. Oh! What a bed is this! No feathers, but fire; no friends, but furies; no case, but fetters; no daylight, but darkness; no clocks to pass the time away, but endless eternity; fire eternal always burning, and never dying. Oh! Who can endure everlasting flame? It shall not be quenched night nor day; the smoke thereof shall go up forever and ever. The wicked shall be crowded together like bricks in a fiery furnace. What woes and lamentations shall be uttered when devils and reprobates and all the damned crew shall be driven into bell never to return! Down they go, howling, shrieking, and gnashing their teeth. What wailing, weeping, roaring, yelling, filling both heaven, earth, and hell!”

Terrible Teaching

Nor have we yet reached the limits of absurdity. In the following quotation the God of love is turned into a monster who is said to take delight in the woes of the lost. Is it any wonder men should be driven into infidelity when such as this is called Christianity? It is taken from a sermon by Rev. William Davidson:

“It is an unspeakably terrible thing for any one to be lost. Even to those who suffer least, it is not only the loss of all, and a horrible lake of ever-burning fire; but there are horrible objects filling every sense, and horrible engines and instruments of torture. Nor is this all. Unfulfilled appetites, hungry as death, insatiable as the grave, are so many springs of excruciating and ever-increasing agonies, so many hot and stifling winds, tossing the swooning soul on waves of flame. And there will be terrible companions; and every one utterly selfish, malignant, fierce, and devilish. There will be terrible sights and sounds. Fathers and sons, pastors and people, husbands and wives, brothers and sisters, with swollen veins and bloodshot eyes, straining towards each others’ throats and hearts. Upon such an assembly, God, who is of purer eyes than to behold iniquity, cannot look but with utter detestation. His face shall be red in his anger, his eyes shall not pity, nor his soul spare for their crying. The day of vengeance is in his heart. It is what his heart is set upon. He will delight in it. He will tread that rebel crew in his anger, and trample them in his fury, and will stain his raiment with their blood. The cup of the wine of his fierce wrath shall contain no mixture of mercy. All this, and more and worse do the Scriptures declare; and that preacher who hesitates to proclaim it has forsworn his soul, and is a traitor to his trust. And all this shall be forever. It shall never, never end. The wicked go away into everlasting torment. If after enduring it all for twice ten thousand times ten thousand years, they might have a deliverance, or, at least, some abatement, it were less terrible. But this may never, never be. There is a great gulf fixed, and they cannot pass from thence. Or if after suffering all this as many years as there are sand grains in the globe, they might then be delivered, there would be some hope. Or, if you multiply this sum, too infinite to be expressed in figures, and too limitless to be comprehended by angels, by the number of atoms that compose the universe, and there might be deliverance when they had passed those abysmal gulfs of duration, then there would be some hope. But no! When all is suffered, and all is past, still all beyond is eternity.”

Another Quotation

Surely, you exclaim, the limits of blasphemy are reached. But not yet. Just one more quotation to show to what lengths men who follow false teachings to their logical ends will go. And this is the worst of all. Here it is declared that it is the burning of the wicked throughout eternity which will constitute the entertainment of the righteous, and that it is the fires of hell which constitute the light of heaven, and if hell is brought to an end heaven would be in darkness. I take it from pages 457 and 458 of the “Works of Samuel Hopkins, DD”. It reads as follows:

“The smoke of their torment shall ascend up in the sight of the blessed forever and serve as a most clear glass always before their eyes to give them a constant, bright, and most affecting view. This display of the divine character and glory will be in favor of the redeemed, and most entertaining, and give the highest pleasure to those who love God, and raise their happiness to ineffable heights. Should this eternal punishment and this fire be extinguished, it would in a great measure obscure the light of heaven and put an end to a great part of the happiness and glory of the blessed.”

I know that it will be a relief to those who read this chapter to turn away from these wild ravings of men who are lost in the mazes of their own speculation, to the blessed truth which is contained in God’s Word. To this we shall go, and sitting at the feet of the One who spoke as never man spoke, we shall learn the truth on this subject.

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