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Why will ye die ?— Ezekiel xviii. 31.

Why will ye die ?— Ezekiel xviii. 31.

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Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on Jun 11, 2014
Copyright:Traditional Copyright: All rights reserved


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WHY WILL YE DIE? BY B. C. CUTLER, D.D., Why will ye die ?— Ezekiel xviii. 31. The divine speaker cannot be supposed here to in- quire of men, wliy they will sink into the slumber of the grave ; for it is appointed unto men thus to die. The body must return to the earth as it was, and the spirit must return to God who gave it. The death here spoken of is eternal death ; called elsewhere the second death. It is the judgment of God upon sin. " The soul that sinneth it shall die." It shall be condemned and driven from the presence of God, and be sent into pun- ishment under his everlasting curse. The very words in which the sentence will be passed by the Judge, have already been transmitted to us. "Then shall he say also to them on his left hand. Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels." ow I would have you remark, at the outset, that this death or punishment was not originally prepared for men ; for you or for me ; it was prepared for the devil and his angels. This leads to some highly impor- tant reflections. God would not say to the devil and his angels, " Why will ye die ?" Eor they cannot now escape that which eternal justice has decreed for them. 61 62 THE EW YORK PULPIT. But God can with reason inquire of men, of yon, my un- converted hearers, " Why will ye dief Why enter an abode of darkness, and weeping, and gnashing of teeth,
where the worm never dies, and the fire is never quenched; a place not prepared for you; where, of right, you should not be ; vv^here the decent transgressor will be horribly shocked by the exhibition of brutal, Satanic, and demoniacal blasphemy, hatred, rebellion, and fixed and eternal despair ? God may well stop you, as you are rushing madly along the broad road to ruin, and inquire " Why will ye die ?" Where is the neces- sity that you should enter into that place of torment ? You have been redeemed by the blood of the Lamb. You have been taught by the gospel of my grace. You have had line upon line, and precept upon precept. You have seen clearly the beauty of holiness, and the profitableness of piety. Why should you involve your- selves in the ruin of apostate spirits ? Why go to the grave, and proceed to the eternal world, to taste the bitter cup of " the wine of the wrath of Almighty God?" This is the simple meaning of the text ; and I intend to argue the matter with you this evening. Why, when you were born to so high a destiny, and have so fair an opportunity to enjoy it, you should be willing — for willing you are — to barter all this for a trifle; nay, more, to yield yourselves up to what must certainly come upon you, the chains of eternal death, the irrevo- cable doom of demons and apostate spirits. Oh, why will you die ? ow, that I may argue the matter more fairly, I begin by showing you what is here meant by dying We know little, if anything, about this matter, but what we learn from the Scriptures. In reflecting upon the pangs of a guilty conscience, or the painful feelings of remorse, we may picture to ourselves something of the WHY WILL YE DTE? 63 snfferings wMcli a condemned soul will experience ; bnt
all this must result in a very feeble apprehension of the wrath to come. I have often endeavored to discover the reason why the term death was employed in this connection ; why pnnishment, or torment, or everlasting burning, or some other term, not associated in our minds with so common an event as death, was not employed ; and the only reason which I could frame was this : that the future suffering of the wicked is to be a mixture of living and dying agony ! He is not dead ; for he is suffering, and conscious of suffering. He is not living, in our sense of the word; but his fate is sealed — ^his work is done. Death was the word ; for he was to experience something like the death struggle, and that of the severest kind ; and that protracted for ever and ever! " He is to be banished for his Hfe, And yet forbid to die, — To hnger in eternal pain, Yet death for ever fly." IS'ow, this is a dreadful thought. The vagueness of it does not diminish, it rather increases the force and intensity of the term. " "Why will ye die f Why be for ever dying ? Men often beg to be put out of the misery of mere corporeal death. But " Oh, what eternal horrors hang Around the second death !" Oh, what a pall does not this throw over the futurity of the sinner ! Amidst the dusky shades beneath its folds what anguish do we not discern, and where, in the vast, illimitable creation of God, is the sun which is to rise upon this darkness ? Death is the word which God

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