by Thomas Vincent
"Upon the wicked He shall rain snares, fire and brimstone, and a horrible tempest—this shall be the portion of their cup." Psalm 11:6
The flames and fiery streams, which were rained down from heaven upon Sodom and Gomorrah formerly, and which issued forth from the earth in the eruptions of Mount Aetna lately, are but shadows of the future flames, and like painted fire in comparison, with the streams of fire and brimstone, which in Hell shall burn the wicked eternally. For as the glory of heaven (while we are in the dark vale of this world) does far exceed all conception, and therefore cannot be set forth in full by any description; but as one says, whoever attempts to speak of an heavenly state, while himself is upon the earth, his discourse of that must needs be like the dark dreams and imaginations of a child, concerning the affairs of this world, while itself is yet swaddled and cradled in the womb; and the Apostle Paul himself, though he had been taken up unto the third heaven, and had such discoveries made unto him there, that he lacked words to utter what they were, as 2 Corinthians 12:2-4, yet acknowledges that he understood like a child, and had but dark views of this glory, even as through a glass, 1 Corinthians 13:11-12.
So also the torment of Hell through that fire and brimstone, which shall burn the wicked, is beyond all thought to imagine, or words to express. And when we have strained our conceptions unto the highest pitch, when we have made use of the most dreadful and tremendous things that ever came to our eyes or ears, or any way to our understanding to help us in forming notions to ourselves of the horrible punishment, which the damned shall endure in the unquenchable flames of Hell-fire; all does fall beneath and far short of the thing, all our views hereof by any representations, being like our sight of colors in the night, which if not in whole, yet in the greatest part do fly from our sight and disappear.
Yet since we are capable of understanding such future things only by shadows and representations, and nothing can represent future burnings in Hell so well, as the greatest burnings that have been upon the earth, therefore we may receive some help by the relation of Sodom and Aetna's storms and streams of fire and brimstone, to conceive something of those, whereby the wicked in Hell shall eternally be tormented. Doctrine. That an horrible tempest of fire and brimstone, God will rain upon the wicked in Hell, as their deserved portion. In treating of this great subject, I shall show,
First, That there is such a place as Hell, where the wicked shall be tormented.
Secondly, That it is a place of fire and brimstone.
Thirdly, What are the properties of this fire.
Fourthly, Who are the people that shall eternally burn in these flames.
Fifthly, The reason of the eternal torment of the wicked by these flames.
Sixthly, And lastly, And chiefly I shall endeavor to improve this doctrine in some uses.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1. Introduction
Chapter 2: That there is Such a Place as Hell
Chapter 3: That Hell is a place of fire and brimstone
Chapter 4: Concerning the Properties of Hell-fire
Chapter 5: Concerning the people that shall burn eternally in the flames of Hell
Chapter 6. Application
Chapter 7: Astonishment at the security the wicked, showing the cause thereof
Chapter 8: Use of reproof and terror for the awakening of the wicked and ungodly, out of their carnal security
Chapter 9: Use of comfort to the righteous
Chapter 10: Use of exhortation both to the wicked and righteous