Prisoners of Hell: Doom

Michael Wigglesworth (1631—1705)


With dismal chains, and strongest reins,
like Prisoners of Hell,
They’re held in place before Christ’s face,
till He their Doom shall tell.
These void of tears, but fill’d with fears,
and dreadful expectation
Of endless pains and scalding flames,
stand waiting for Damnation.

The Saints cleared and justified.


All silence keep both Goats and Sheep
before the Judge’s Throne;
With mild aspect to his Elect
then speaks the Holy One:
“My Sheep draw near, your Sentence hear,
which is to you no dread,
Who clearly now discern and know
your sins are pardonéd.


“’Twas meet that ye should judgéd be,
that so the World may spy
No cause of grudge, when as I judge
and deal impartially.
Know therefore all both great and small,
the ground and reason why
These Men do stand at my right hand
and look so cheerfully.


“These Men be those my Father chose
before the World’s foundation,
And to me gave, that I should save
from Death and Condemnation;
For whose dear sake I flesh did take,
was of a Woman born.
And did inure myself t’ endure
unjust reproach and scorn.


“For then it was that I did pass
through sorrows many a one;
That I drank up that bitter Cup
which made me sigh and groan.
The Cross’s pain I did sustain;
yea more, my Father’s ire
I underwent, my Blood I spent
to save them from Hell-fire.


“Thus I esteeméd, thus I redeeméd
all these from every Nation,
That they may be (as now you see)
a chosen Generation.
What if ere while they were as vile
and bad as any be.
And yet from all their guilt and thrall
at once I set them free?


“My grace to one is wrong to none;
none can Election claim;
Amongst all those their souls that lose,
none can Rejection blame.
He that may choose, or else refuse,
all men to save or spill,
May this Man choose, and that refuse,
redeeming whom he will.


“But as for those whom I have chose
Salvation’s heirs to be,
I underwent their punishment,
and therefore set them free.
I bore their grief, and their relief
by suffering procur’d.
That they of bliss and happiness
might firmly be assur’d.


“And this my grace they did embrace,
believing on my Name;
Which Faith was true, the fruits do shew
proceeding from the same;—
Their Penitence, their Patience,
their Love and Self-denial,
In suff’ring losses and bearing Crosses,
when put upon the trial;—


“Their sin forsaking, their cheerful taking
my Yoke, their Charity
Unto the Saints in all their wants,
and in them unto me;—
These things do clear, and make appear
their Faith to be unfeignéd,
And that a part in my desert
and purchase they have gainéd.


“Their debts are paid, their peace is made,
their sins remitted are;
Therefore at once I do pronounce,
and openly declare,
That Heav’n is theirs, that they be Heirs
of Life and of Salvation;
Nor ever shall they come at all
to Death or to Damnation.


“Come blessed Ones and sit on Thrones,
judging the World with me;
Come and possess your happiness,
and bought felicity;
Henceforth no fears, no care, no tears,
no sin shall you annoy,
Nor any thing that grief doth bring:
Eternal Rest enjoy.

They are placed on Thrones to join with Christ in judging the wicked.


“You bore the Cross, you suffer’d loss
of all for my Name’s sake;
Receive the Crown that’s now your own;
come, and a Kingdom take.“
Thus spake the Judge: the wicked grudge
and grind their teeth in vain;
They see with groans these plac’d on Thrones,
which addeth to their pain:

Alehouse Haunters & Fiends: Doom

Michael Wigglesworth (1631—1705)


Blasphemers lewd, and Swearers shrewd,
scoffers at Purity,
That hated God, contemn’d his Rod,
and lov’d Security;
Sabbath-polluters, Saints-persecutors,
presumptuous men and proud,
Who never lov’d those that reprov’d;
all stand amongst this crowd.


Adulterers and Whoremongers
were there, with all unchast;
There Covetous and Ravenous,
that riches got too fast:
Who us’d vile ways themselves to raise
t’ Estates and worldly wealth,
Oppression by or knavery,
by force, or fraud, or stealth.


Moreover, there together were
children flagiti-ous.
And Parents who did them, undo
by nurture vici-ous.
False-witness-bearers and self-forswearers,
Murd’rers and Men of Blood,
Witches, Enchanters, and Ale-house haunters,
beyond account there stood.


Their place there find all Heathen blind
that Nature’s light abus’d,
Although they had no tidings glad
of Gospel grace refus’d
There stand all Nations and Generations
of Adam’s Progeny,
Whom Christ redeem’d not, whom he esteem’d not,
through Infidelity;


Who no Peace-maker, no undertaker,
to shroud them from God’s ire.
Ever obtain’d; they must be pain’d
with everlasting fire.
These num’rous bands, wringing their hands,
and weeping all stand there.
Filléd with anguish, whose hearts do languish,
through self-tormenting fear,


Fast by them stand at Christ’s left hand,
the Lion fierce and fell.
The Dragon bold, that Serpent old,
that hurried Souls to Hell.
There also stand, under command,
legions of Sprites unclean.
And hellish Fiends, that are no friends
to God, nor unto Men.

The Imminent Danger (Pt 22)

V. Those Without Christ

There may be some persons in this assembly who are little concerned for their own sins, and are, of course, incapable of taking a proper part in the service of the day. Yet I am glad that you are here; I pity you, I warn you. If you should live to see a time of public distress, what will you do? To whom will you look, or to where will you flee for help? All that is dear to you may be torn from you, or you from it. Or, if it please God to prolong our tranquility, you are liable to many heavy calamities in private life. And if you should be exempted from these, death is inevitable, and may be near. My heart wishes you the possession of those principles which would support you in all the changes of life, and make your dying pillow comfortable. Are you unwilling to be happy? Or can you be happy too soon?

The Imminent Danger (Pt 21)


You who have access to the throne of grace, whose hearts are concerned for the glory of God, and who lament not only the temporal calamities attendant upon war, but the many thousands of souls who are yearly precipitated by it into an eternal, unchangeable state—you, I trust, will show yourselves true friends to your country by bearing your testimony and exerting your influence against sin, the procuring cause of all our sorrows; and by standing in the breach, and pleading with God for mercy, in behalf of yourselves and the nation. If ten persons, thus disposed, had been found even in Sodom, it would have escaped destruction!


John Newton:
The Imminent Danger and Only Sure Resource of Our Nation