To Ponder:

They hope that they shall not have two Hells!
Because men suffer in this world–they assume they shall be freed from sufferings in the world to come. Because they have a Hell here–they imagine that they shall escape Hell hereafter. They hope that they shall not have two Hells! Poor, deluded soul! You may and must have two Hells. Cain, and Judas, and millions of reprobate men and women, have two Hells–one in this life, in torments of body–and another in the life to come, in unquenchable fire. You may have a prison on earth–and a dungeon in Hell. You may now lack a crumb of bread–and hereafter lack a drop of water. You may now be the reproach of men–and hereafter the scorn of God Himself. Affliction alone is not enough to evidence a man to be a saved man. Blows may sooner break the neck, than the heart! Afflictions are in themselves, the fruit of divine wrath–and therefore cannot possibly of themselves make the least argument of God’s love to the soul. God forbid that a man should take that for his security from Hell–which may be but the foretaste of Hell! Present afflictions, may be the pledge of endless misery. In many cases it is to be feared that the cup of affliction, is a vial of wrath–and that the plagues of this life, are but some drops of that coming storm of fire and brimstone, wherein impenitent sinners shall be scorched and tormented forever! (Thomas Case, “The Rod and the Word, A Treatise on Afflictions” 1653)

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