Jonathan Edwards Collection: Edwards, Jonathan - Natural Men in a Dreadful Condition: Natural Men in a Dreadful Condition cont'd

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Jonathan Edwards Collection: Edwards, Jonathan - Natural Men in a Dreadful Condition: Natural Men in a Dreadful Condition cont'd



TOPIC: Edwards, Jonathan - Natural Men in a Dreadful Condition (Other Topics in this Collection)
SUBJECT: Natural Men in a Dreadful Condition cont'd

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3. They have no security from the most dismal horrors of mind in this life. They have no security, but their stupidity. A natural man can have no comfort or peace in a natural condition, but that of which blindness and senselessness are the foundation. And from what has been said, that is the very evil. A natural man can have no comfort in anything in this world any further, than thought and consideration of mind are kept down in him. As you make a condemned malefactor senseless of his misery by putting him to sleep with opium, or make him merry just before his execution by giving him something to deprive him of the use of reason, so that he shall not be sensible of his own circumstances. Otherwise, there is no peace or comfort, which a natural man can have in a natural condition. Isa_57:21, "There is no peace, says my God, to the wicked." Job_15:20, "The wicked man travails with pain all his days. A dreadful sound is in his ears." The doleful state of a natural man appears especially from the horror and amazement to which he is liable on a death-bed. To have the heavy hand of God upon one in some dangerous sickness, which is wasting and consuming the body, and likely to destroy it, and to have a prospect of approaching death, and of soon going into eternity, there to be in such a condition as this: to what amazing apprehensions must the sinner be liable! How dismal must his state be, when the disease prevails, so that there is no hope that he shall recover, when the physician begins to give him over, and friends to despair of his life; when death seems to hasten on, and he is at the same time perfectly blind to any spiritual object, altogether ignorant of God, of Christ, and of the way of salvation, having never exercised one act of love to God in his life, or done one thing for his glory; having then every lust and corruption in its full strength; having then such enmity in the heart against God, as to be ready to dethrone him, if that were possible; having no right in God, or interest in Christ; having the terrible wrath of God abiding on him; being yet the child of the devil, entirely in his possession and under his power; with no hope to maintain him, and with the full view of never-ending misery just at the door.

What a dismal case must a natural man be in under such circumstances! How will his heart die within him at the news of his approaching death, when he finds that he must go, that he cannot deliver himself, that death stands with his grim countenance looking him in the face, and is just about to seize him, and carry him out of the world. And that he at the same time has nothing to depend on! How often are there instances of dismal distress of unconverted people on a deathbed! No one knows the fears, the exercise and torment in their hearts, but they who feel them. They are such that all the pleasures of sin, which they have had in their whole lives, will not pay them for. As you may sometimes see godly men go triumphing out of the world full of joy, with the foretastes of heaven, so sometimes wicked men, when dying, anticipate something of hell before they arrive there. The flames of hell do, as it were, come up and reach them, in some measure, before they are dead. God then withdraws, and ceases to protect them. The tormentor begins his work while they are alive. Thus it was with Saul and Judas; and there have been many other similar instances since; and none, who are in a natural condition, have any security from it. The state of a natural man is doleful on this account, though this is but a prelude and foretaste of the everlasting misery which follows.

Thus I have, in some measure, shown in what a doleful condition those are who are in a natural condition. Still I have said but little. It is beyond what we can speak or think.

They who say most of the dreadfulness of a natural condition, say but little.

And they who are most sensible, are sensible of but a small part of the misery of a natural state.