If God would take the covering off the mouth of Hell!

(Joseph Alleine, "Alarm to the Unconverted" 1671)

O unbeliever! Look down into the bottomless pit! Do you see how the smoke of their torment ascends forever and ever? What do you think of those chains of darkness? Can you be content to burn forever? Do you see how the worm gnaws — how the fire rages? Do you see that great gulf of perdition? Will you take up your habitation there?

O lay your ear to the door of Hell! Do you hear the curses and blasphemies, the weepings and wailings? How they lament their follies, and curse their day! How do they roar and gnash their teeth! How deep their groans! How inconceivable their miseries!

O how fearful would the cry be —
if God would take the covering
off the mouth of Hell, and let the cry of the damned ascend in all its terror among men! And of their moans and miseries — this is the piercing, killing emphasis and theme: "Forever! forever!"

As God lives, you are but a few hours away from all this — unless you are converted! If there is anything that may be called madness and folly, and anything that may be counted absurd, brutish, and unreasonable, it is this — to go on in your unconverted state!

O sinners, see what a God you have to deal with. If you will but turn, "He will have compassion on you — He will subdue your iniquities, and cast all your sins into the depths of the sea!"