Fate of Those Who Reject The Gospel
It is God’s invariable rule of proceeding to deal with his creatures, in some measure, as they deal with him. Hence we are told that, with the upright, he will show himself upright; with the merciful, he will show himself merciful; and with the froward, he will show himself froward. When, therefore, persons come to him with a pretended desire to know their duty, but, in reality, with a view to find some excuse or justification for their errors and sins, he will suffer them, as a punishment, to find something which will harden them in their wickedness. Thus he will suffer the obstinate believer in universal salvation, to deceive himself with his delusive dreams, till he wakes in torments. He will suffer the proud, self-righteous opposer of his gospel, to trust in his moral duties, till it is too late to discover his mistake. He will suffer the self-deceived hypocrite to please himself with his false hopes of heaven, till he finds the door forever shut against him. All these persons did, in effect, wish to be deceived; they hated the light, shut their eyes, and would not come to it; they leaned to their own understandings, instead of trusting to the Lord; they never prayed him to keep them from self-deception and from false paths; they chose to believe Satan rather than God, and therefore are justly left to feel the effects of it.