(Ralph Venning, “The Plague of Plagues!” 1669)
Sin is worse than Hell!
Hell is only a punishment–but sin is a crime! The crime is more evil than the punishment. Hell is the punishment for the crime of sin. The very greatness of this punishment–argues the greatness of the crime, and the sinfulness of sin. That God is glorified on men in such a way–is a clear and full proof what an evil thing it is to sin against and dishonor God. Consequently Hell itself does not inflict so much hurt–as sin does. Hell, indeed, is a dismal place of horror and torment, the extremity of suffering–but it never had any existence until sin came. Nor could Hell have such extreme torments as it does–if sin were not there.
It is reported as a saying of Anselm, that if sin and Hell were set before him and he must go through one of them–he would choose to go through Hell, rather than sin!
Sin is the worst of Hell–and worse than Hell! Sin is what makes sinners cry out for the torment of devouring fire and everlasting burnings–which are no terror to righteous and upright souls (Isaiah 33:14,15). It is sin which makes Hell to be Hell. God was never angry–until sin made Him so. His wrath was never kindled–except by sin.
Now just as sin made Hell, so the more sin–the worse the Hell!
“These shall receive greater damnation!” Mark 12:40