Tag Archives: Samuel Davies

The conflagration of the world!

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The conflagration of the world!

(Samuel Davies, “The Universal Judgment!“)

“The present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men. The day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare!” 2 Peter 3:7, 10 

The present state is but the infancy of the world. All the events of time, even those which make such great noise to us, and determine the fate of kingdoms—are but as the trivial games of little children. But if we look forward and trace events to maturity, we meet with vast, significant and majestic events! To one of those scenes I would direct your attention this day; I mean the solemn, tremendous, and glorious scene of the universal judgment!

You have sometimes seen a stately building in ruins; come now, and view the ruins of a demolished world! Come now, and view the whole universe severely laboring and agonizing in her last convulsions, and her well-ordered system dissolved! 

You have heard of earthquakes here and there which have laid huge cities in ruins; come now, and feel the tremors and convulsions of the whole globe, which blend cities and countries, oceans and continents, mountains, plains and valleys—in one giant heap!

You have a thousand times beheld the moon walking in brightness, and the sun shining in its strength; come now, look and see the sun turned into darkness, and the moon into blood! 

It is our lot to live in an age of war, blood, and slaughter; an age in which our attention is engaged by the dubious fate of kingdoms. Draw off your thoughts from these trifling objects for an hour, and fix them on more solemn and vital objects. Come view this dread scene!
“The world alarmed, both earth and heaven o’erthrown, 
 And gasping nature’s last tremendous groan; 
 Death’s ancient scepter broke, the teeming tomb,
 The Righteous Judge, and man’s eternal doom!”

Let us now enter upon the majestic scene! But alas! what images shall I use to represent it? Nothing that we have ever seen, nothing that we have ever heard, nothing that has ever happened on the stage of time—can furnish us with proper illustrations. All here is low and groveling—when compared with the grand phenomena of that day!

We are so accustomed to trifling earthly objects, that it is impossible that we should ever raise our thoughts to a suitable pitch of elevation. But before long, we shall be amazed spectators of these majestic wonders—and our eyes and our ears will be our instructors! 

But it is now necessary we should have such ideas of them—as may affect our hearts, and prepare us for them. Let us therefore present to our view, those representations which divine revelation—our only guide in this case—give us . . .
of the person of the Judge, and the manner of His appearance; 
of the resurrection of the dead, and the transformation of the living; 
of the universal gathering of all men before the supreme tribunal; 
of their separation to the right and left hand of the Judge, according to their characters; 
of the judicial process itself; 
of the decisive sentence; 
of its execution, 
and of the conflagration of the world!


The annals of hell—or the biography of devils!

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The annals of hell—or the biography of devils!

(Samuel Davies, “The Universal Judgment!”)

Though we are too apt to think that we are not accountable for our words—He who is to be our Judge, has plainly told us that “for every careless word which men speak, they shall give an account in the day of judgment.” Matthew 12:36

“For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil.” Ecclesiastes 12:14

What astonishing discoveries will this trial of every hidden thing make! 

On the one hand—what noble dispositions which never shone in full beauty to mortal eyes! What generous purposes crushed in embryo for lack of power to execute them! What pious and noble actions concealed under the veil of modesty, or misconstrued by ignorance and prejudice! What affectionate aspirations, what devout exercises of heart, which lay open only to the eyes of Omniscience, are now brought to full light, and receive the approbation of the Supreme Judge before the assembled universe”!

But on the other hand—what works of shame and darkness are then revealed! What hidden things of dishonesty! What dire secrets of treachery, hypocrisy, lewdness, and various forms of wickedness—all artfully and industriously concealed from human sight! What horrid exploits of sin now burst to light in all their hellish colors—to the confusion of the guilty, and the astonishment and horror of the universe!

Surely the history of mankind must then appear like the annals of hell—or the biography of devils! Then the mask of deceit will be torn off—and men will appear in their true characters. Their hearts will be, as it were, turned outwards—and all their secrets exposed to full view!

The design of this judicial inquiry will not be to inform the omniscient Judge—but to convince all worlds of the justice of His proceedings. And this design renders it necessary that all these ‘secret things’ should be laid open to their sight, that they may see the grounds upon which He passes sentence.

Does not the prospect of such a ‘revealing’ fill some of you with horror? For many of your actions, and especially of your thoughts—will not bear the light. How would it confound you, if all your secret thoughts were now all published, even in the small circle of your friends! How then, can you bear to have them all fully exposed before God, angels, and the universe! Will it not confound you with shame, and make you objects of everlasting contempt to all worlds!

If you dare!

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If you dare!

(Samuel Davies, “The Universal Judgment!“)

“Then I saw a great white throne—and HIM who was seated on it. Earth and sky fled from His presence, and there was no place for them. And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened  . . . If anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life—he was thrown into the lake of fire!” Revelation 20:11, 12, 15

What an astonishing scene is this! The stable earth and sky cannot bear the majesty and terror of His look; they fly away affrighted! This is the Judge before whom we must stand; and this is the manner of His appearance!

But is this the babe of Bethlehem—who lay and wept in the manger? 

Is this the supposed son of the carpenter, the despised Galilean? 

Is this the man of sorrows? 

Is this He who was . . .
  arrested, 
  condemned, 
  buffeted, 
  spit upon,  
  crowned with thorns, 
  executed as a slave and a criminal, upon the cross? 

Yes, it is Him! The very same Jesus of Nazareth! 

But oh how changed! How deservedly exalted! Heaven and earth flee before Him! 

Now let his enemies appear and show their contempt and malignity!

Now, Pilate—condemn the King of the Jews as a usurper!

Now, you Jews, raise the clamor, “Crucify Him, crucify Him!” Now bow the knee in scorn, spit in His face, and buffet Him! Now tell the scourged impostor that He must die!

Now despise His grace, 
now laugh at His threatenings, and 
now make light of His displeasure—if you dare!

Ah! now their courage fails, and terror surrounds them! Now they try to hide in caves and among the rocks of the mountains. Now they call to the mountains and the rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of Him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb! For the great day of their wrath has come, and who can stand?”

But, alas! That LAMB who once bled as a sacrifice for sin—now appears in all the terrors of a LION! Oh! could they hide themselves in the bottom of the ocean, or in some rock that bears the weight of the mountains—how happy would they think themselves!

Where shall you find a rock?

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Where shall you find a rock? 

(Samuel Davies, “Jesus Christ, the Only Foundation” 1757)

“The present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men! The day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be burned up!” 2 Peter 3:7, 10

The fiery deluge of divine vengeance, which has been gathering and swelling for thousands of years; but has been, as it were, restrained and kept within bounds by divine patience—shall then rise so high as to burst through all restraints, and overwhelm the guilty globe, and turn it into a universal ocean of liquid fire! This resistless torrent shall sweep away all the refuges of lies, and those who trusted in them—into the gulf of remediless destruction!

Well my friends, where shall we find a support to bear us up in this tremendous day? Where shall we find a rock to build upon, that we may be able to stand the shock, and remain safe and unmoved—in the wreck of dissolving worlds? What can uphold us—when this vast machine of our world, formed with so much skill and strength by the hands of a divine Architect, shall be broken up and fall to pieces?

Now, now is the time for us to find the refuge; it will be too late when all created supports are swept away, and this solid globe itself is dissolved beneath our feet into a sea of fire!

And where will you look? Where will you turn? This earth, and all its riches, honors, and pleasures—will prove to be but a quicksand in that day! Your friends and relations, were they ever so great or powerful—can then afford you no support! Therefore, think—where shall you find a rock on which you may build a happiness that will stand the shock in that dreadful day?

Everything else besides Christ . . .
  is sliding sand,
  is yielding air,
  is a breaking bubble! 

In that dread day . . .
  wealth—will prove to be a vain shadow, 
  honor—will prove to be an empty breath, 
  pleasure—will prove to be a delusive dream, 
  your own righteousness—will prove to be a spider’s web!
If we rely on these, disappointment and doom are inevitable!

Nothing but Christ, nothing but Christ, can stably support us in that dread day! “He alone is my rock and my salvation; He is my fortress—I will never be shaken!” Psalm 62:2

His righteousness is infinitely perfect, equal to the highest demands of the divine law—and therefore a firm, immovable ground of trust. We may safely venture the weight of our eternal all—upon this rock! It will stand forever, without giving way under the heaviest pressure; without being broken by the most violent shock. Let thousands, let millions, with all the mountainous weight of guilt upon them, build upon this foundation, and they shall never be moved!

The firm foundations, the stately columns, the majestic buildings of Nineveh, Babylon and Persia, and all the magnificent structures of antiquity, though formed of the most durable stone, and promising immortality—are now shattered into ten thousand fragments, or lying in ruinous heaps! 

But here in Christ—is a foundation for immortal souls—a foundation that will remain the same to all eternity! His righteousness is an everlasting righteousness, His strength an everlasting strength, and Himself the everlasting Father. He ever lives forever to make intercession for His people, and therefore he is able to save to the uttermost, to the uttermost point of duration—all who come unto God by Him!

Millions and millions of depraved, wretched, ruined creatures, have always found Him perfectly able, and as perfectly willing—
  to expiate the most enormous guilt;
  to deliver from the most inveterate corruptions;
  and to save to the very uttermost! 

Ten thousand times ten thousand, have built their hopes upon this rock—and it has never failed so much as one of them! Manasseh, Paul, and Mary Magdalen, and thousands more atrocious sinners—have ventured upon this all-sufficient rock with all their load of sin upon them, and found it able to sustain them!

Your conscience will not always sleep!

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Your conscience will not always sleep! 

(Samuel Davies, “Divine Mercy to Mourning Penitents“)

“They show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts now accusing, now even defending them.” Romans 2:15

The principal means which God uses in conversion, is that of conscience; and indeed without this, all the rest are in vain. Outward afflictions are of service—only as they tend to awaken the conscience from its lethargy to a faithful discharge of its duty. It is conscience which makes the sinner sensible of his misery and scourges him. The lashes of a guilty conscience are intolerable; and some under them have chosen strangling and suicide, rather than life.

Conscience is a serpent in his breast, which bites and gnaws his heart; and he can no more avoid it, than he can fly from himself! 

Let not such of you as have never been tortured with its remorse, congratulate yourselves upon your happiness, for you are not innocents! Your conscience will not always sleep! It will not always lie torpid and inactive, like a snake benumbed with cold, in your breast! 

It will awaken you either to your conversion—or condemnation!

Either the fire of God’s wrath flaming from His law will enliven it in this world—to sting you with medicinal anguish; or the unquenchable fire of His vengeance in the lake of fire and brimstone will thaw it into life—and then it will horribly rage in your breast, and diffuse its tormenting poison through your whole frame! And then it will become a never-dying worm, and prey upon your hearts forever!

Who is this amazing spectacle of woe and torture?

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Who is this amazing spectacle of woe and torture?

(Samuel Davies, “The Preaching of Christ Crucified, the Means of Salvation”)

“Christ died for the ungodly!” Romans 5:6

In the cross of Christ—God’s hatred to sin is manifested in the most striking light! The evil of sin is exposed in the most dreadful colors! Now it appears, that such is the divine hatred against all sin, that God can by no means forgive sin, without punishment; and that all the infinite benevolence of His nature towards His creatures cannot prevail upon Him to pardon the least sin—without an adequate satisfaction.

Nay, now it appears that when so malignant and abominable a thing is but imputed to His dear Son, His co-equal, His darling, His favorite—that even He could not escape unpunished—but was made a monument of vindictive justice, to all worlds! 

What can more strongly expose the evil of sin
—than the cross of Christ? 
Sin is such an intolerably malignant and abominable thing, that even a God of infinite mercy and grace—cannot let the least instance of it pass unpunished!

It was not a small thing that could arm God’s justice against the Son of His love. Though He was perfectly innocent in Himself—yet when He was made sin for us—God spared not His own Son—but delivered Him up unto death—the shameful, tormenting, and accursed death of the cross!

Go, you fools, who make a mock at sin! Go and learn its malignity and demerit—at the cross of Jesus! 

WHO is it that hangs there writhing in the agonies of death
—His hands and feet pierced with nails, His side with a spear, His face bruised with blows, and drenched with tears and blood, His heart melting like wax, His whole frame racked and disjointed; forsaken by His friends, and even by His Father; tempted by devils, and insulted by men? Who is this amazing spectacle of woe and torture? It is Jesus, the eternal Word of God; His Elect, in whom His soul delights; His beloved Son, in whom He is well pleased!

And WHAT has He done? He did no wickedness; He knew no sin—but was holy, harmless, undefiled, and separate from sinners. And WHY then, all these dreadful sufferings from heaven, earth, and hell? Why, He only stood in the law-place of sinners; He only received their sin by imputation. And you see what it has brought upon Him! You see how low it has reduced Him! What a horrid evil must that be—which has such tremendous consequences, even upon the Darling of heaven!

Oh! what still more dreadful havoc would SIN have made, if it had been punished upon the sinner himself in his own person! Surely all the various miseries which have been inflicted upon our guilty world in all ages, and even all the punishments of hell—do not so loudly proclaim the terrible desert and malignity of sin—as the cross of Christ!

The infinite malignity of sin, and God’s hatred to it, appear nowhere in so striking and dreadful a light—as in the cross of Christ! Let a reasonable creature take but one serious view of that cross, and surely he must ever after tremble at the thought of the least sin! 

~  ~  ~  ~  ~

The unsearchable riches of Christ!

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The unsearchable riches of Christ!

(Samuel Davies)

The unsearchable riches of Christ!” Ephesians 3:8

Consider what rich blessings Christ has purchased for His people; purchased not with corruptible things such as silver and gold—but with His own precious blood! The purchase price recommends and endears the blessings, though they are so great in themselves, as to need no such recommendation! What can be greater or more suitable blessings to hell-bound sinners, than . . .
  pardon for the guilty,
  redemption for slaves,
  righteousness and justification for the condemned,
  sanctification for the unholy,
  rest for the weary,
  comfort for mourners,
  the favor of God for rebels and exiles,
  strength for the impotent,
  protection for the helpless, and 
  everlasting happiness for the heirs of hell! 
And, to sum up all—grace and glory, and every good thing, and all the unsearchable riches of Christ—for the wretched and miserable; for the poor, the blind, and naked!

These are blessings indeed, and, in comparison with them—all the riches of the world are impoverished, and vanish to nothing!

The only effectual reformer of the world!

The only effectual reformer of the world!

(Samuel Davies, “Serious Reflections on WAR” 1757)

“When He comes—He will convict the world about sin, righteousness, and judgment!” John 16:8

The Holy Spirit is the only effectual reformer of the world! If He is absent—

legislators may make laws against crime;
philosophers may reason against vice;
ministers may preach against sin;
conscience may remonstrate against evil;
the divine law may prescribe, and threaten hell;
the gospel may invite and allure to heaven;

but all will be in vain!

The strongest arguments, the most melting entreaties, the most alarming denunciations from God and man, enforced with the highest authority, or the most compassionate tears—all will have no effect—all will not effectually reclaim one sinner, nor gain one sincere convert to righteousness!

Paul, Apollos, and Peter, with all their apostolic abilities, can do nothing, without the Holy Spirit.

Paul may plant the seed—and Apollos may water it; but God alone can make it grow! “So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything—but only God, who makes things grow!” 1 Corinthians 3:6, 7.

Never will peace and harmony be established in this jangling world—until this Divine Agent takes the work in hand.

It is He alone—who can melt down the obstinate hearts of men into love and peace!

It is He alone—who can soften their rugged and savage tempers, and transform them into mutual benevolence!

It is He alone—who can quench those lusts that set the world on fire, and implant the opposite virtues and graces. Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control, are mentioned by Paul, as the fruit of the Spirit, because the Spirit alone is the author of them. And if these dispositions were predominant in the world—what a serene, calm, peaceful region would it be, undisturbed with the hurricanes of human passions!

Oh, how much do we need the influence of the blessed Spirit . . .

to break the heart of stone,
to enlighten the dark mind, and
to comfort the desponding soul!

Where is there a more sinful spot to be found upon our guilty globe?

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“When disaster comes to a city—has not the LORD caused it?” Amos 3:6

It concerns us all to seriously reflect upon our own sins, and the sins of our land—which have brought these calamities upon us.

We and our countrymen are sinners, aggravated sinners! God proclaims that we are such—by His judgments now upon us: by withering fields and scanty harvests, by the sound of the trumpet and the alarm of war!

O my country, is not your wickedness great, and your iniquities infinite? Where is there a more sinful spot to be found upon our guilty globe? Pass over the land, take a survey of the inhabitants, inspect into their conduct—and what do you see? What do you hear?

You see the gigantic forms of vice bidding defiance to the God of heaven—while true religion and virtue are forced to retire, to avoid public contempt and insult!

You see herds of drunkards swilling down their cups, and drowning all morality within them!

You hear the swearer venting his fury against God—trifling with that Name which prostrate angels adore, and imprecating that damnation, under which the hardiest devil in hell trembles and groans!

You see avarice hoarding up her useless treasures, dishonest craft planning her schemes of unlawful gain, and oppression unmercifully grinding the face of the poor!

You see prodigality squandering her stores! You see luxury spreading her table!

You see vanity laughing aloud and dissolving in empty, unthinking mirth; regardless of God, of time and eternity!

You see sensuality wallowing in carnal pleasures, and aspiring, with perverted ambition—to sink as low as her four-footed brethren in the stalls!

You see cards more in use than the Bible; the backgammon table more frequented than the table of the Lord; novels and romances more read—than the history of the blessed Jesus!

You see trifling, and even evil diversions and amusements, become a gigantic business! The outcome of a horse-race is more anxiously attended to—than the concerns of eternity!

And where these grosser forms of vice do not shock your senses—you often meet with the appearances of a more refined impiety, which is equally dangerous!

You hear the conversation of reasonable creatures, of candidates for eternity— engrossed by trifles, or vainly wasted on the affairs of time! These are their important subjects of conversation, even at the threshold of the house of God!

You see swarms of prayerless families all over our land! You see ignorant, wicked children, unrestrained and untaught by those to whom God and nature have entrusted their souls!

You see the holy religion of Jesus—abused, neglected, disobeyed, and dishonored by its professors!

You see crowds of professed believers, who are in reality, practical atheists! These nominal Christians are really unholy heathens! They are abandoned slaves of sin—who yet pretend to be the servants of the holy Jesus!

You see multitudes lying in a deep sleep in sin all around us! You see them eager in the pursuits of the vanities of time—but stupidly unconcerned about the important realities of the eternal world just before them! So few are concerned what shall become of them—when all their connections with earth and flesh must be broken, and they must take their flight into strange, unknown regions! So few lamenting their sins! So few crying for mercy and a new heart! So few flying to Jesus!

(Samuel Davies, “The Justice of God—and the Sins of Our Country” 1755)

If You Dare!

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“Then I saw a great white throne—and HIM who was seated on it. Earth and sky fled from His presence, and there was no place for them. And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened . . . If anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life—he was thrown into the lake of fire!” Revelation 20:11, 12, 15

What an astonishing scene is this! The stable earth and sky cannot bear the majesty and terror of His look; they fly away affrighted! This is the Judge before whom we must stand; and this is the manner of His appearance!

But is this the babe of Bethlehem—who lay and wept in the manger?

Is this the supposed son of the carpenter, the despised Galilean?

Is this the man of sorrows?

Is this He who was . . .

arrested,
condemned,
buffeted
,
spit upon,
crowned with thorns,
executed as a slave and a criminal, upon the cross?

Yes, it is Him! The very same Jesus of Nazareth!

But oh how changed! How deservedly exalted! Heaven and earth flee before Him!

Now let his enemies appear and show their contempt and malignity!

Now, Pilate—condemn the King of the Jews as a usurper!

Now, you Jews, raise the clamor, “Crucify Him, crucify Him!” Now bow the knee in scorn, spit in His face, and buffet Him! Now tell the scourged impostor that He must die!

Now despise His grace,
now laugh at His threatenings, and
now make light of His displeasure—if you dare!

Ah! now their courage fails, and terror surrounds them! Now they try to hide in caves and among the rocks of the mountains. Now they call to the mountains and the rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of Him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb! For the great day of their wrath has come, and who can stand?”

But, alas! That LAMB who once bled as a sacrifice for sin—now appears in all the terrors of a LION! Oh! could they hide themselves in the bottom of the ocean, or in some rock that bears the weight of the mountains—how happy would they think themselves!

(Samuel Davies, “The Universal Judgment!”)


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