The gist of the message by Jefferson’s pastor is that before a holy God, sinful man is in trouble. That’s why Jesus came to be our Savior.
Rev. Charles Clay
God, The Adversary of the Sinner [continued]
Agree with thine adversary quickly whiles thou art in the way with him, lest at any time the Adversary deliver thee to the Judge, and the Judge deliver thee to the Officer, and thou be cast into prison. Verily I say unto thee, thou shalt by no means come out thence till thou hast paid the utmost farthing.
This Judge is the Lord Jesus Christ himself. He is appointed to be the judge of quick and dead. God hath appointed a day in which he will judge the world by that man whom he hath ordained the man Christ Jesus. Before his tribunal we must all appear. The Father hath committed all judgment to the Son. the same Jesus who came into the world attended by a few poor fishermen will then appear with legions of angels and archangels and all the celestial hosts. He who had no where to lay his head, will then have the Kingdom of heaven at his disposal, to give to whomsoever he will. He who came meek and lowly into Jerusalem riding on an ass, will then apear in tremendous majesty riding on the clouds of Heaven. His crown of thorns will be exchanged for a crown of glory; and he will display all the majesty and fulness of the Godhead.
That Redeemer whom you now reject with scorn, will then Oh Sinner be thine angry judge. Be not therefore secure and easy; for although you may escape a temporal punishment; die you must. Die you must and appear at the judgement seat of heaven. Then every thought of thy heart will be disclosed: all the pains you have taken to hide your wickedness and deceit from man will then be too slender a covering. Offended Justice will then throw it open, and you shall be exposed and confounded before men and angels. Now you are invited to come to Jesus Christ. As a merciful Savior but if you will not hear; if you are still resolved to harden your heart, remember God will most assurredly bring thee into judgment. Thy Redeemer then may justly say, ungrateful wretch, what can you plead in excuse for thyself? Thou hast crucified me afresh. Thou has acted my sufferings over again; thou hast refused the offer of mercy; now thou hast nothing to expect but the fiery indignation of God; Now thou shalt find the wrath of an Almighty God not so trifling as thou hast thought it. Then will that same Jesus, who now pleads with his Father for mercy for returning sinners, then will he plead for justice to his adversaries. Then will he deliver them to a most cruel officer. This leads us to consider, in the last place who the Officer is, what is here spoken of, and the consequence of being delivered into his power. “And the Judge deliver thee to the Officer, and thou be cast into prison, verily I say unto thee, thou shalt by no means come out thence till thou hast paid the uttermost farthing.”
This officer is the devil the grand enemy of souls; with whom hardened and impenitent sinners shall be tormented for ever. He will be the minister of God’s eternal vengeance. At the awful tribunal of Heaven all those whose name shall not be found written in the book of life, will then be delivered to this infernal Officer, who will cast them out into the prison of damnation and hell. Verily I say unto thee (saith Our Redeemer) thou shalt by no means come out thence till thou hast paid utmost farthing; i.e. never. The sinner shall never be freed from the torments of hell till he has satisfied the whole law of God in every particular which will be impossible. If it cannot be done here, hell is a very improper place to begin it. the torments of the damned in hell will last as long as eternity itself. Some people indeed will not believe the eternity of hell torments; but then they must not believe the Bible. If God be true hell torments will endure forever. Go ye accursed into everlasting fire, saith our Savior where the worm dieth not and the fire is not quenched. I allow it is the interst of many to disbelieve this truth; but they oughts to remember that the decrees of God are not to be altered as their fancies shall suggest. Men will not believe this, because they cannot reconcile it to themselves. I would ask them how they can reconcile any one of the attributes of God? They may remember that a God of all mercy is a God unjust. But supposing they may not be mistaken that the torments of the damned may have an end; act they not very absurdly in hazarding their souls upon this issue, because there is a bare possibility that their torments may have an end after an 1,000,000 years? Do not imagine my brethren that it is in your power to alter the decrees of God. He has denounced eternal torments against all impenitent sinners.
Let this then prevail with you to make the Lord Jesus Christ your Friend; for although you may escape here, yet if you die in your present state, eternal vengeance will be sure to overtake you. And if you would avoid the horid company of the damned in hell; if you would avoid the company of the devil and his angels; if you would not be blaspheming the name of Jesus with the internal crew; if you would not be banished the presence of God, and be tormented for ever in seas of liquid fire, come humbly to the Lord Jesus Christ and entreat him to be merciful unto you.
The sum of what has been said is this, the eternal God is an Adversary to every man in a state of nature; and every man that is not born again of the Spirit of God, is in a state of nature consequently in a state of enmity with God. To this Adversary it is every man’s interest to be reconciled, as he would avoid eternal misery The only way to be thus reconciled, is to turn from sin, and be united to the Lord Jesus Christ by faith. This is the work of the Spirit of God whos assistance I would entreat you to implore. Let me beseech you to call on the Lord Jesus while he may yet be found. For ( ) upon if you refuse and rebel, and die without the knowledge of Jesus Christ in your hearts, nothing can save you from the damnation of hell at the day of judgment. God will not pity you, I will not spare you, hell and satan will have full dominion over you. This is what you must expect. Remember eternal misery is the consequence of refusing God’s gracious call; and if that consideration will not move you nothing will.
My brethren your souls, your precious souls are at stake; you hang by a very slender thread over the bottomless pit. O call upon God while it is time; Harden not your hearts against him. Let what I have said have its due weight. Do not steel your breath against what I have offered. Do not refuse a blessing at my hands, but come to the Lord Jesus Christ and be at peace with him. Remember it is not I, but the Lord Jesus Christ himself that speaks, and says unto thee, agree with thine Adversary quickly whiles thou are in the way with him.