Puritan Sermons, 1659-1689, vol. 4, Sermon #26, “How We Should Eye Eternity, that it May Have its Due Influence Upon Us in All We Do”
My trembling heart is still solicitous as to what other word this word ‘eternal’ might be prefixed. This regarding myself, or those that hear me this day, when they and I, who, through the long-sufferance of God are yet in this present and temporal world, but shall be in that eternal world? Shall it be ‘eternal damnation’ in that eternal world? How? After so many pleadings of Christ, strivings of the Spirit, tenders of mercy, wooings of grace, calls of ministers, warnings of conscience, admonitions of friends, waitings of patience? All of which offered us a fair probability of escaping eternal damnation. Oh dreadful words! Can more terror be contained, can more misery be comprehended in any two words, than in ‘eternal damnation’?
Do you in your conscience think that God has appointed you no higher things to mind, no more lasting things to get [than temporal things]? Reason will convince you, and conscience will prove it to your face, and the immortality of your own souls, considered, does undeniably argue, that God has made you for more noble ends, higher employments, and greater concerns. Why then, do you not mind the end of your creation, and do the work that God has set you in time to do, and look after that eternal state that God has made you for?…
2. God does give you your time in this world to prepare for eternity.—You have time to repent, to get an interest in Christ, to mortify sin, to pray for grace, to make your peace with God, to get the pardon of your sins; and all this, that you might be fitted for eternity. Why, then, do not you do in time that which God has given you time for?… And if God has given you time in order to eternity, why do you spend your time in getting things that are but for a time, and not for eternity? O the years that you have had! The months, the weeks, that God has given you, to be improved for eternity!
8. God does give you all the helps and means you have, that you should make ready for eternity.—Have not you had sermons and Sabbaths? Have not God’s ministers preached to you, and warned you from God of the wrath to come, and charged you in the name of God to repent, believe, and turn, and told you [that] you must turn from sin, or burn in hell? And will you go from hearing on earth to howlings in hell? From the light of the gospel, to utter darkness? With the sound of the voice of mercy in your ears? After a thousand calls to mind your souls, to accept of Christ and remedying grace? Do you mean to have the hottest place in that infernal lake, the heaviest load of wrath in that eternal furnace? Read, and tremble when you read, Matt 11:20-24.
This life [in comparison to eternity] is a middle place betwixt heaven and hell; and here we partake of some good and some evil. [There is] No judgment on this side hell upon the worst of men but there is some mercy mixed with it… While they be in time, they are pitied; God does pity them, and Christ does pity them, and good men do pity them; their friends and relations do pity them, pray for them, and weep over them: but when time is past, all pity will be past, and they [will be] in misery without pity to all eternity… Then, for the Lord’s sake, for your soul’s sake, as upon my knees I beseech you, if you have any dread of God, any fear of hell, any desire of heaven, any care whither you must go, take no rest night or day in time, till you have secured your everlasting happy state…
A Treatise Concerning the Lord’s Supper
p. 3-4, ‘Epistle to the Reader’
To get assurance of the love of God and eternal life, should be your great work and business in this world…
For this end [purpose] God has given to fallen man his word, whereby he might understand his misery, and how he came into it: the remedy, and how he might get out of it, by making known the conditions and terms, upon which He is freely willing to receive sinners into his love and favor, and confer upon them gospel privileges here, and eternal glorious life hereafter; and has set to his seal, for a firm conveyance of these great eternal blessings, upon such reasonable, free and holy terms as are propounded in the gospel.
But after such love and grace of God to man appeared, for his happiness and comfort, how great an enemy is man to his real happiness, and well grounded comfort? one to his happiness, when he will not come up to the terms of his salvation…
Love to Christ, Necessary to Escape the Curse at His Coming (London: Printed for Tho. Cockerill, at the Three Legs in the Poultrey, over against the Stocks-Market, 1692), 113–114. This quote was compiled by Tony Byrne
[Note that Doolittle defines below what he means by Christ dying and suffering for the unconverted person, namely that, “if you will hearken to Him, you might be saved by Him”. Christ’s love is displayed, says Doolittle, in Christ dying to give unbelievers an offer of salvation, and sincerely desiring them to receive it by his revealed will.]
Poor Sinner! Will the Devil save you? Christ would. Will he help you into the favor of God, or up to Heaven? Tell me, what do you in your conscience think, does Christ or the Devil most desire your real good? Did the Devil suffer for you? Christ did. Did the Devil die for you? Christ has. Has the Devil any love unto you? Christ had so much as to shed his blood, that if you will hearken to Him, you might be saved by Him. Why then, when Christ, the World and Satan, are striving for your heart and love, do you open to the World and Satan, and shut it against the Lord Jesus Christ?