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There is nothing that keeps wicked men at any one moment out of hell, but the mere pleasure of God

Their foot shall slide in due time (Deut. Xxxii. 35).

The observation from the words that I would now insist upon is this. “There is nothing that keeps wicked men at any one moment out of hell, but the mere pleasure of God.” By the mere pleasure of God, I mean his sovereign pleasure, his arbitrary will, restrained by no obligation, hindered by no manner of difficulty, any more than if nothing else but God’s mere will had in the least degree, or in any respect whatsoever, any hand in the preservation of wicked men one moment.

The truth of this observation may appear by the following considerations.

1. There is no want of power in God to cast wicked men into hell at any moment. Men’s hands cannot be strong when God rises up. The strongest have no power to resist him, nor can any deliver out of his hands.—He is not only able to cast wicked men into hell, but he can most easily do it. Sometimes an earthly prince meets with a great deal of difficulty to subdue a rebel, who has found means to fortify himself, and has made himself strong by the numbers of his followers. But it is not so with God. There is no fortress that is any defence from the power of God. Though hand join in hand, and vast multitudes of God’s enemies combine and associate themselves, they are easily broken in pieces. They are as great heaps of light chaff before the whirlwind; or large quantities of dry stubble before devouring flames. We find it easy to tread on and crush a worm that we see crawling on the earth; so it is easy for us to cut or singe a slender thread that any thing hangs by: thus easy is it for God, when he pleases, to cast his enemies down to hell.

Jonathan Edwards- Sinners In The Hands Of An Angry God

That the reason why they are not fallen already, and do not fall now, is only that God’s appointed time is not come

Their foot shall slide in due time (Deut. xxxii. 35).

4. That the reason why they are not fallen already, and do not fall now, is only that God’s appointed time is not come. For it is said, that when that due time, or appointed time comes, their foot shall slide. Then they shall be left to fall, as they are inclined by their own weight. God will not hold them up in these slippery places any longer, but will let them go; and then at that very instant, they shall fall into destruction; as he that stands on such slippery declining ground, on the edge of a pit, he cannot stand alone, when he is let go he immediately falls and is lost.

Jonathan Edwards- Sinners In The Hands Of An Angry God

Another thing implied is, that they are liable to fall of themselves

Their foot shall slide in due time (Deut. xxxii. 35).

3. Another thing implied is, that they are liable to fall of themselves, without being thrown down by the hand of another; as he that stands or walks on slippery ground needs nothing but his own weight to throw him down.

Jonathan Edwards- Sinners In The Hands Of An Angry God

It implies, that they were always exposed to sudden unexpected destruction

Their foot shall slide in due time (Deut. xxxii. 35).

2. It implies, that they were always exposed to sudden unexpected destruction. As he that walks in slippery places is every moment liable to fall, he cannot foresee one moment whether he shall stand or fall the next; and when he does fall, he falls at once without warning: Which is also expressed in Psalm lxxiii. 18, 19. “Surely thou didst set them in slippery places; thou castedst them down into destruction: How are they brought into desolation as in a moment!”

Jonathan Edwards- Sinners In The Hands Of An Angry God

They were always exposed to destruction

Their foot shall slide in due time (Deut. xxxii. 35).

1. That they were always exposed to destruction; as one that stands or walks in slippery places is always exposed to fall. This is implied in the manner of their destruction coming upon them, being represented by their foot sliding. The same is expressed, Psalm lxxiii. 18. “Surely thou didst set them in slippery places; thou castedst them down into destruction.”

Jonathan Edwards- Sinners In The Hands Of An Angry God

The vengeance of God on the wicked unbelieving Israelites

Their foot shall slide in due time (Deut. xxxii. 35).

In this verse is threatened the vengeance of God on the wicked unbelieving Israelites, who were God’s visible people, and who lived under the means of grace; but who, notwithstanding all God’s wonderful works towards them, remained (as ver. 28.) void of counsel, having no understanding in them. Under all the cultivations of heaven, they brought forth bitter and poisonous fruit; as in the two verses next preceding the text. The expression I have chosen for my text, Their foot shall slide in due time, seems to imply the following doings, relating to the punishment and destruction to which these wicked Israelites were exposed.

Jonathan Edwards- Sinners In The Hands Of An Angry God

Of Suffering

OF SUFFERING.

IT is not every suffering that makes a martyr, but suffering for the word of God after a right manner: that is, not only for righteousness, but for righteousness’ sake; not only for truth, but out of love to truth; not only for God’s word, but according to it; to wit, in that holy, humble, meek manner, as the word of God requireth.

It is a rare thing to suffer aright, and to have thy spirit in suffering bent only against God’s enemy, sin; sin in doctrine, sin in worship, sin in life, and sin in conversation.

The devil, nor men of the world, can kill thy righteousness, or love to it but by thy own hand; or separate that and thee asunder without thy own act. Nor will he that doth indeed suffer for the sake of it, or out of love he bears thereto, be tempted to exchange it for the good will of all the world.

I have often thought, that the best of Christians are found in the worst of times; and I have thought again, that one reason why we are no better is because God purges us no more. Noah and Lot, who so holy as they in the time of their afflictions? And yet who so idle as they in the time of their prosperity?

Mr. John Bunyan’s Dying Sayings

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