By Martin Knapp
Did you ever stop to think about Eternity? How long is it?
I imagine I hear some one say, "Why, it is so long that if you should begin now, and countevery drop of water there is in every river, lake, and ocean on this globe, when the last drop iscounted it would only be just begun."
I imagine I hear another say: "If you would take every particle of sand and dirt of whichthis earth is made, and count them all, and stop an hundred years between the counting of eachparticle, then, when all were' finally counted, Eternity would be just as long as when you firstbegan."
Both of these answers are true. Eternity means never-ending duration.
Time, with its six thousand years that have passed away, is simply a little comma in theinfinite' volumes of the great Eternity. It is but a small drop in the boundless Ocean of the greatForever.
As sublime as the thought of Eternity is, it becomes all the more majestic when weremember that every soul is to exist through all its ages. "We are, and we can never cease to be."
Where you and I shall spend that Eternity moves all Heaven and stirs all hell.
Satan is determined that we spend it with him, and through demons and wicked men, andour own carnal natures, is doing all that lies in his power to allure us into the fatal Streams of theseRivers and over the Falls of Eternal Despair, into an Eternity of the lost, where we will behopeless and Christless for ever and ever. There, amid the billows of that burning sea, whose firesemit no light, and whose flames never tire nor cease, there will be Eternal separations from Godand all the good. Heaven, with all its infinite and eternal joys, will be lost forever.
There will be no music there; but weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth.
Those who have been hated and wronged here' on earth, doubtless there will wreak theirvengeance upon the lost forever.
Wicked men and devils, superintended by Satan himself, doubtless will "torment both dayand night, for evermore."
One of the hottest flames which then will torture the despairing soul doubtless will be thatthis doom was self-chosen. The memory of sins committed, of Christ rejected, of prayers spurnedand duties neglected, like a scorpion, doubtless will sting the soul and deepen its agony ageswithout end.
It is a fearful thing to be lost in outer darkness; lost from God; lost from Heaven; lost fromloved ones, who interceded by their prayers and tears to save us; lost in a black burningwilderness, so far from God's Heaven and His millions of shining, shouting worlds that not one rayof their combined light can even pierce the outer darkness; lost amid the howls of demons, thesarcasm and ridicule of fallen spirits, the fightings and anguish of lost men! All this is awfulbeyond description; but add to this the word Eternal, and remember that this means FOR EVERAND EVER, and there is no language that can express the awfulness of such a loss.
O, Eternity of the lost! May thy infinite horrors and everlasting anguish of despair moveevery reader to drop the sins that may be bearing him to thy murderous bosom, and heed the call ofmercy before it is too late!
"Lo, on a narrow neck of land
'Twixt two unbounded seas we stand,
A breath of time, a moment's space,
Removes us to that heavenly place,
Or shuts us up in hell."
Reader, remember that your decision this very hour may determine where you will spendETERNITY.
"Then shall He say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from Me, ye cursed, into theeternal fire which is prepared for the devil and his angels." -- Matt. xxv, 41.
"And if any was not found written in the book of life, he was cast into the lake of fire." --Rev. xx, 15.
But, thank God! there is another picture!
When Jesus threw back the curtain that intervenes between this and the unseen world, Heshowed us a painting, not only of the Eternity just named, but of a glorious Eternity from which sinwill have been banished forever; an Eternity where there is no pain nor sorrow, nor sickness, norsighing, nor tears; an Eternity where Jesus and His angels, and loved ones who delight to do Hiswill, dwell; an Eternity whose music will thrill, and whose joys will fill increasing capacitieswith inexpressible delights; an Eternity where we may fly on errands of light and love, forevermore doing the bidding of Him whom we adore; an Eternity amid the mansions whosefoundations are sapphire and other priceless jewels; whose gates are pearls; whose temple' is theLord God Almighty, and the light of which is Jesus, our Elder Brother; an Eternity where there isno more curse, and we need "no light of moon, neither light of sun, for the' Lord God shall givethem light, and they shall reign for ever and ever;" a welcome Eternity; a blessed Eternity; avictorious Eternity; an Eternity where usefulness, and honor, and enjoyment, all unite to bear itspeople to heights undreamed of here.
How foolish to barter such an Eternity for earth's honors or pleasures or sins! Is it anywonder that Jesus represents the rich man who sold his soul for money as a fool? He sold anEternity of bliss and purchased a ticket to an Eternity of woe for a little property and a few briefhours of sensuous enjoyment. Let us choose an Eternity where it may be ours to speed on ministriesof love and light from world to world and universe to universe, magnifying the grace of God thatrescued us from the River of Death, and thus transforms. Thank God such an Eternity is real andnear, and may be ours!
Reader, may we not meet there? Whatever else we do, may we live every moment readyfor the ETERNITY of those who are enrolled above.
"And there shall in no wise enter into it anything unclean, or he that maketh an abominationand a lie: but only they which are written in the Lamb's book of life:" -- Rev. xxi, 27.
RESCUED FROM THE RIVER
V. E. M.
When a child I had a dread of three things, Death, Hell, and the Judgment-day of God.
Of these divine truths I often thought, and the questions would arise -- how am I going toavoid their terror? Where is a place of refuge? Where can I find a ladder of escape when thisworld shall be on fire, and the elements melting with fervent heat?
Through the conversation of my elder sisters, I learned one day that Christ will come in theclouds with power and great glory; but this fact did not in the least allay my fears, but added terrorto my deep consternation, for something in my heart told me I was not prepared to stand beforeHim.
From the day I heard my sisters say Jesus would come again, I resolved to do good, keepGod's Commandments, and live in such a righteous way that I would not be afraid to meet Him.
With conscientious earnestness of purpose I set about watching my words lest I should tella falsehood, or in jest take the' name of God in vain; with rigorous care I did whatever deed ofkindness came in my way towards others, vainly attempting by good works to obtain Salvation, notthen knowing "that by grace we are saved through faith, and that not of ourselves, it is the gift ofGod."
Several years I stumbled on trying to build upon the sand, until one Sunday in theSabbath-school I learned this truth, that "Jesus died not for our sins only, but for the sins of thewhole world."
Doubtless I had read that text of Scripture before, but had not paused to consider carefullythe wonderful importance of those words, "the sins of the whole world."
Who could accurately compute their number, or rightly discern their degree of guilt? How Ibegan to wonder, what ratio my own sins we're to the transgressions of the whole world?
After much perplexing thought, I came to see that my own were but as a drop in the ocean,to the sum total committed by other souls, and yet so great was my condemnation, as I drifted downthe awful River of Death, that I felt that the blood of Jesus must have wonderful efficacy to washaway the sins of the world.
For who can reckon up the oaths, curses and blasphemies, the lying and evil speaking, theSabbath breaking, drunkenness, frauds, injustice, cruel oppression, and much other wickedness thatabound in the lives of the children of men?
Surely, thought I, although my own heart is unclean through sin, since on "Jesus was laidthe iniquities of us all," my own soul is not too hard a subject for the blessed Christ to makewhole.
Although I at last came to comprehend these facts, my attention at that time in life was somuch taken up by my studies in school and the practice of music at home, I drifted along, fullyintending some day to seek the Lord.
But how indefinite was that period of time, and what a risk for my immortal soul to run!What assurance could I claim that God would not permit Death to come and bear me over the Fallsof Eternal Despair towards which I was drifting? For now that I had been brought to a knowledgeof His Word of Divine truth, I was in peril of Hell and the coming Judgment every hour I livedwithout a saving faith in Christ.
But God was merciful unto me, or I could never have been permitted to write this testimonyof Jesus' saving power.
Of late the cares of every-day life had engaged my attention to that extent I but seldomthought of the perils which had seemed so very real to me when a child.
The last time those haunting fears had arisen with all the power of their convicting mightwas while standing beside the casket of one whom God had called away to Heaven in the' days ofher innocent youth. As I looked for the last time on that still, white face, about which clung suchbeautiful curls of auburn hair, I realized, as never before, that the sentence of death, which anoffended God had pronounced upon all flesh, would sooner or later be executed; and so surely ashis Word of truth held good in regard to our frail tenements of clay, I felt convinced it would alsoprove true of our souls having to appear before Him in the Judgment.
As I took my last farewell of dear Katie, a hope sprang up in my heart that we should oneday meet again. That comforting thought stayed my tears, for did not Jesus say, "I am theresurrection and the life. He that believeth in Me, though he were dead, yet shall he live?"
By a saving faith in Christ, Katie now possessed this promised inheritance of eternal life. Itonly remained for me to decide whether I would accept of it, and come at last to be with her again.
This I earnestly resolved to do while I turned and walked away; but imperceptibly to meSatan obtained the controlling power over my heart, and led me for a few months to believe I hadno need of being in a hurry about seeking salvation.
Who can rightly estimate the patient forbearance of the Lord? With what longsuffering didHe await my lagging footsteps? Truly His mercy and goodness were great towards me, else mysoul would not have found Him at all.
Time hastened on until when sixteen years of age I attended a revival meeting in the Stateof Ohio. Not with the expectation of benefiting my soul did I go up unto the sanctuary. I thoughtmore of seeing the multitude, than I did of God and His way of salvation.
One night, after the benediction had been pronounced, I stood waiting for my friends to getready to return home; while standing within a few seats of the altar a schoolmate accosted me with,"Come, Jennie, join the Church tonight." I emphatically replied: "No, I am not ready! Some othertime I will, but not now. But instead of accepting no for a decided refusal, my friend, who hadlately found Christ, persisted in her determination that I should set my face heavenward at once, asthough I had no more time to lose.
Seeing she would not let me go away without heeding her request, with a feeling ofdesperation I walked up to the pulpit and gave the minister my hand. Then and there the Holy Ghostsealed conviction on my heart, and to my soul I heard a voice speaking: "Jennie, you can not live inthe Church without being a Christian, and you can not be a Christian unless you get your heart rightwith God."
As I turned and walked homeward I began to be persuaded, more than ever, that Hell was aplace of writhing torment, for I was aware that it had suddenly opened before my soul.
What difference to me now, the fact that I had been born and reared in a good home,surrounded all through life with the Christianizing influence which only a godly mother and kindsisters can give; the searchlight of the Holy Spirit discovered to me that unless I found Christ, andmade Him for evermore my place of refuge, I would be lost.
For one long, long night and a day I felt the condemning wrath of God resting on my heart.Turn where I would I could not find comfort in anything, I could think of nothing but how to findrest from the heavy burden of sin that I felt was oppressing my heart. Alone in my room, after muchmeditation I discovered that good morals and works of righteousness which I had tried to dowould not save me from becoming a companion of the vilest wretch who would ever go to Hell.For although there may be degrees of suffering in that place of eternal fire, our Savior taught thereis but one place of punishment to which lost souls will be banished.
Has He not declared "that the Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gatherout of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity, and shall cast them into afurnace of fire."'
For one night and a day, a day that seemed to be the longest of all my life, I felt the awfulcondemnation of God resting on my heart. What wonder our Savior cried when He came to die'with the guilt of the whole world resting on Him: "My God? my God? why hast thou forsakenMe?"
What agony can surpass the knowledge that your soul is helpless and alone, forsaken ofGod amid the avalanche of sin that has fallen with sudden fury upon you?
Who could endure the ordeal, only that the Word of truth bids us, "Arise! call upon thyGod, if so be thy God will think upon thee, that thou perish not."
I knew there was but one way of obtaining relief, and that was to "believe upon the LordJesus Christ" -- but, O! who was to teach me how to trust Him for the safety of my soul?
My sorrow of heart was too great for words; I could not voice it to others. Prayer was myonly solace. But the more I tried to pray, the farther off from God I seemed to go. "O! hath He notloved me?" I cried. "Hath He not suffered and died to redeem such a lost rebel as I?" But true asthis fact was, I could not by faith step out on the promises of God-they were so very broad andhigh my soul staggered at them.
As the weary day wore away, and the lengthening shadows of evening came on, how Ilonged to hear the sound of the church-bell!
At last its tones pealed out in sweetest music to my ear, it seemed to call to me of
"Peace, sweet peace, that passeth understanding,
Peace, sweet peace, that has no ending,"
until my heart took courage to believe I would find Jesus by going up again to the house of God.
That never-to-be-forgotten night the minister preached from the text, "Yet a little' sleep,a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep."
Never did words of Divine truth so accurately portray the condition of a lost soul as thosedid my own, for had I not for years been slumbering on, intending at some future day to arise andseek Jesus, but had still delayed, until aroused by my friend insisting that I had need to turn to Godjust now?
What gratitude at this distant day wells up in my heart to Jesus that He did not allow myheart to resist the call of the Holy Spirit, for had I refused to hearken then, I must have diedunsaved, for
"There is a lime we know not when, a point we know not where,
That make the destiny of man to glory or despair;
There is a line by us unseen, that crosses ev'ry path,
The hidden boundary between God's patience and his wrath.
How far may we go on in sin, how long will God forbear?
Where does hope end, and where begin the confines of despair?
An answer from the skies is sent, Ye that from God depart,
While it is called 'today' repent, and harden not your heart."
"A little more sleep;" how like dagger strokes did every word drop on my quivering heartas that man of God went on to speak truths analogous to this:
In a comparative sense there are but few who come to a knowledge of the gospel thatintend to be lost.
At some future time they purpose to lay hold by faith upon Christ, but not just now; not untilI see that necessity compels me to make a leap for eternal life, then I hope to make sure of afoothold on the Rock of Ages.
But know ye not, O! slumbering soul, your days on earth may be numbered, and thephantom of death may even now attend your footsteps? Why sleep on, only to find a rudeawakening when your immortal spirit is sinking down, down, over the Falls of Eternal Despair andouter darkness?
Awake! Leap for your life! Stay not to look around you! Do not, as you value your soul,listen to the voice of Satan bidding you to longer delay.
Just then, above the noise of the rising congregation, I heard the words in melodious songof
"Come, ye sinners, poor and needy,
Weak and wounded, sick and sore;
Jesus ready stands to save you,
Full of pity, love and power."
As the first verse of this beautiful invitation hymn rolled away, I became conscious of thefact that much as I knew I needed Christ, there was another force which held me for a timespellbound where I stood.
Presently I heard deep down in my soul: "Time enough, no need to be in a rush aboutstarting for Heaven; wait until another meeting comes round."
But over and above all this at length spoke the blessed Master, "Come unto Me all ye thatlabor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." Rest, O! how had I earnestly sought it, andfound it not! All that long, long weary day my heart still cried out for that peace which Christ alonecould give.
To halt between "two opinions" now, was to be lost forever. Realizing this, I began tothink I would give a great deal to be kneeling at the altar just at that moment, calling to God to havemercy upon me. But, O! what a distance I would have to walk up the aisle before all that crowd offriends! Was there no other way I could find Jesus?
Just then the third verse of the hymn rang out in painful distinctness:
"Let not Satan make you linger;
Nor of fitness fondly dream;
All the fitness Christ requireth
Is to feel your need of Him."
As these melting words fell upon my burdened heart, I felt the Holy Spirit striving again inmighty power with my soul; but just as I was on the point of yielding, Satan -- seeing his grasp onme was broken -- suggested, "Do not kneel at that altar, but go to the front bench."
This quite decided me, and I started up the aisle feeling I would sink down at every step;but when. I drew near the front bench, I found Satan had prevailed upon other souls also to go alittle ways toward God, and what was my dismay to find all the place's occupied.
But the devil found he had overshot his mark, for the Lord prevailed, and I never stoppedgoing until I fell down at His feet, kneeling inside the altar with my face toward the audience.
While I tried to lift my heart to God in prayer, I realized that I was indeed
Bruised and mangled by the
fall;Had I tarried until better,
I would not have come at all."
What darkness settled down like a thick cloud upon my soul! Not a ray of light could I see.Out of the surrounding gloom to my heart there was a voice speaking, "Look unto Me, and be ye'saved."
But just how to take hold upon Jesus and appropriate to my soul, by faith, the sacrifice Heoffered on Calvary's cross, I knew not, and the more I struggled to find Him, the deeper I plungedinto despair.
Ere long the devil threw his power over me until my sins arose like a towering mountainabove my head, and I was tempted to believe there was no mercy for me.
At this my courage gave way. Helpless, I quailed before Satan's overwhelming charge; butwhile he was following up the great advantage he had gained over my drooping heart, my dearSabbath-school teacher came to my relief. Her tidings of comfort were:
"Jennie, so long as Satan can keep your mind fastened upon your sins, you can not think ofJesus. If you are willing to give up sin, you have nothing more to do with it-God will see tothat-but go to believing upon the Lord Jesus Christ as a personal Savior, and He will set you free."
Finding at length my sorrow too great for words, she went on:
"As you by faith look to the cross, believe those dear hands were nailed there for you;believe those feet were spiked down to save your own from slipping into Hell; believe the bloodflowed from that wounded side to wash your sins away."
While my teacher thus encouraged me to take hold by faith upon Jesus, the light of Godbegan to break upon my benighted soul, the power of Satan was broken, and for a few moments
"I saw One hanging on a tree,
In agonies and blood,
Who fixed His languid eyes on me,
As near His cross I stood.
Sure, never till my latest breath,
Can I forget that look;
It seemed to charge me with His death,
Though not a word He spoke.
My conscience felt and owned the guilt,
And plunged me in despair;
I saw my sins His blood had spilt,
And helped to nail him there.
A second look He gave which said,
I freely all forgive;
This blood is for thy ransom paid
I die, that you may live."
When at last I reached the point that I could, and did, that moment trust in the blood ofChrist, instantly I felt the crushing burden lifted, and I knew my heart had been "washed" and made"whiter than the snow."
As the saving power of the Holy Spirit fell upon me, I arose to my feet rejoicing in Jesus'forgiving love.
What a transformation had been wrought t My friends never looked so beautiful, and a newlight -- the light of Heaven -- appeared to glow upon the walls of the church and everything aroundme.
How much I loved everybody, and Jesus most of all! O that I could bring every sinner in allthe wide world to seek Him for his own!
Now all fear of Death, Hell, and the Judgment Day of God vanished away. Jesus had comeinto my heart and taken away all dread of the law.
How I rejoiced that I had been led of the Spirit to humble my pride and kneel at that altar!Now it had become the most sacred spot on earth to me, for there I found my Savior. Rightjoyfully did I join in singing:
"O happy day that fixed my choice
On Thee, my Savior and my God;
Well may this glowing heart rejoice,
And tell it. raptures all abroad.
'Tis done, the great transaction's done,
I am my Lord's, and He is mine;
He drew me and I followed on,
Charmed to confess the voice Divine.
High Heaven that heard the solemn vow,
That vow renewed shall daily hear:
Till in life's latest hour I bow,
And bless in death a bond so dear."
CARRIED OVER THE FALLS.
[We copy the following warning incidents from many similar cases given in "RevivalKindlings" of many persons who have neglected salvation, and been swept over the Falls ofEternal Despair.]
TELL THEM MY SOUL IS IN HELL
A merchant once went to the Eastham Camp-meeting with his pious wife, who was veryanxious for his conversion. The spirit of the meeting troubled him, and, after one day, he resolvedto leave his wife on the ground and return home.
"Do stay, my dear husband," entreated his wife; you will be better pleased today, may be,than you were yesterday."
"No; my partner may need me in his business. I shall go," he replied.
"But you made arrangements to be away a week; do stay, husband ' and may be you willfind salvation," rejoined his wife.
"No, I must go; I will go. Indeed, I hate the place so much that if my soul would beeternally damned for going home, I wouldn't stay here," was his awful answer.
His horror-struck wife stood silent. Then, turning on his heel, he hurried to the shore andsailed away from the camp-ground.
On his arrival home he entered his store tired and hungry. Seeing a piece of bread andbutter on the counter, he ate it. Fifteen minutes later his partner came in, and, after the usualsalutation, looked round, and with a perturbed manner asked:
"What has become of the piece of bread and butter I left here?"
"I ate it," replied the merchant.
"Ate it! Dear me! It was poisoned for the rats. You are a dead man! Hurry home in yonderhack, while I go for the doctor."
The alarmed merchant was borne to his home. The doctor was soon with him. Antidoteswere administered, but they were powerless to save. The poison was fiercely assailing the seat oflife. The pains of death soon got hold upon him. He was in agony, both of mind and body.
"Have you any message for your wife?" inquired his distressed partner.
This question recalled the camp-ground and the awful words he had spoken when leavinghis wife. Gathering his remaining strength as for a last effort, he fixed his glaring eyes upon hisfriend, and said in piercing tones:
"Carry my body to the camp-ground, and tell them my soul is in hell!"
He sank back exhausted. The struggle was over. His life in the body had ended. His life inhell had begun!
Reader, are you in the habit of trifling with eternal things? If so, let the horrible end of thismerchant teach you that it is a "fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God." Remember,"God is a consuming fire." It is not safe to mock at Him or at His truth. Beware!
MISSED IT AT LAST
Some time ago a physician called upon a young man who was ill. He sat for a little by thebedside, examining his patient, and then he honestly told him the sad intelligence that he had but avery short time to live. The young man was astonished; he did not expect it would come to that sosoon. He forgot that death comes "in such an hour as ye think not." At length he looked up into theface of the doctor, and, with a most despairing countenance, repeated the expression, "I havemissed it-at last."
"What have you missed?" inquired the tenderhearted, sympathizing physician.
"I have missed it -- at last," again he repeated.
"Doctor, I have missed the salvation of my soul."
"O, say not so! it is not so! Do you remember the thief on the cross?"
"Yes, I remember the thief on the cross. And I remember that he never said to the HolyGhost, 'Go thy way.' But I did. And now He is saying to me, 'Go your way."' He lay gaspingawhile, and, looking up with a vacant, staring eye, he said: "I was awakened and was anxiousabout my soul a little time ago. But I did not want to be saved then. Something seemed to say tome, 'don't put it off; make sure of salvation.' I said to myself, 'I will postpone it.' I knew I ought notto do it. I knew I was a great sinner and needed a Savior. I resolved, however, to dismiss thesubject for the present. Yet I could not get my own consent to do it until I had promised to take itup again, at a time not remote and more favorable. I bargained away, resisted, and insulted theHoly Spirit. I never thought of coming to this. I meant to have made my salvation sure, and now Ihave missed it -- at last."
"You remember," said the doctor, "that there were some who came at the eleventh hour."
"My eleventh hour," he rejoined, "was when I had that call of the Spirit. I have had nonesince-shall not have. I am given over to be lost. O, I have missed it! I have sold my soul fornothing -- a feather -- a straw-undone forever!" This was said with such indescribabledespondency that nothing was said in reply. After lying a few moments, he raised his head, andlooking all around the room as if for some desired object, buried his face in the pillow, and againexclaimed in agony and horror, "O! I have missed it at last!" and died.
Reader, you need not miss your salvation, for you may have it now. What you have read isa true story. How earnestly it says to you, "Now is the accepted time!"
"Today, if ye will hear His voice, harden not your hearts."
AN AWFUL JUDGMENT
The following incident from the pen of Sister M. A. Sparling, Claremont, N. H., is anillustration of the words of Holy Writ, that "the wicked is snared in the work of his own hands."She writes: "While reading 'Echo from the Border Land' something said, You have an echo fromthe 'lower region.' If it were father's will I 'd love to stand up in your congregation and deliver themessage; I can only write'. A few years ago I was at a camp-meeting in Rockingham, Vt., and agang of rowdies got together to set a time to break up the whole meeting. They lived eight milesaway. So on Thursday evening they came on the ground to accomplish their fiendish work andhave their 'fun,' as they told some of their friends. Their plan was to lay trains of powder intoevery tent, under the beds, and when the town clock struck twelve, all were to touch fire to thepowder and run to a distance, and see the frightened women and children run and scream. At ten, adistant thunder was heard, and while they were waiting for the hour to set fire, God sent one of themost terrific thunder and hail storms I ever witnessed. It had been a hot day, and these young menhad no overcoats to put on; and as their last resort, after seeing their powder all wet and theirplans all defeated, they were compelled to ride back to their homes, eight miles, all drenched withrain and chilled through. The ringleader had to be carried into the house benumbed. His mothertried for hours to get him warm. Then came a burning fever, and then he called his dear motherand told her what he had done, saying: 'Mother, I've got to die! Do pray! Do pray! What shall I do?O, how can I die?' She said: 'I never prayed.' 'Then call father,' cried the dying man. He could notpray. Then he cried: 'What shall I do? O, how can I die!' Then he would clutch his hands and wringthem in agony, crying, 'I can't die so! I can't die! Mother, mother, do pray! do pray!'
"The father went for a Baptist minister, but before he arrived the boy was insane; and withdistorted eyes, hands uplifted over his head, and writhing in agony, he died raving, and among hislast words were: 'I 'm going to hell; I 'm lost! Lost! Lost! I can't die so! I can't! I can't! Mother, 'tisawful to go to hell this way.'"
This seems a fulfillment of the Word which declares of the wicked that "distress andanguish make him afraid; they prevail against him, as a king ready to the battle." Job xv, 24.)
I AM NOT PENITENT
The following scene is described by Evangelist Caughey:
Upon the bed of his last sickness lay a dying infidel. He was asked a question, to which hiscountenance replied, before he had uttered a word: "Are your principles sufficient to sustain you inthis trying hour?" He answered sternly, "No;" and after a pause, unable to restrain his feeling, heexclaimed, "Surely, I am the greatest fool in the world to have become the dupe of wicked anddesigning men; I am justly consigned to that hell, the idea of which I once laughed at." Offers ofpardon through the Blood of the Lamb were freely presented, and sadly and sullenly put away. Heheard the exhortation with patience, till "penitent sinner" was mentioned, when he cried:
"Penitent sinner! I am not penitent. It is the fear of eternal damnation that is at work uponmy guilty soul; this is nothing else but a pledge and foretaste of the misery of the damned. Eternalfire! eternal fire! who can dwell with everlasting burnings? My body can not live, and my souldare not die. O, that I had another day! But this would be of no use; I must perish, and reconcilemyself to my lot; I am dying! I am dying!"
A second attempt was made to turn his despairing conscience to the cross, which he heardwith more than usual patience. When the individual ceased, he became very restless, and at lastshrieked fearfully, crying, "See! see'! do you not see them? They are come for me; I must go to myplace." The horror on his countenance was infernal. His last words were, "Damned, damned,forever damned!"
HOW A YOUNG LADY GAINED A DRESS, BUT LOST HER SOUL
The following incident was told me by a friend who was acquainted with thecircumstances:
A young lady who used to sing in operas and fashionable concerts, was walking along thestreets with a young gentleman one' afternoon, and they came to a church in which revival meetingswere being held. They were not in the habit of attending such meetings, but the singing so attractedthe lady's attention, that she spoke to the gentleman about it, and said, "Let us go inside and listen.""You don't want to go in there," said he, "they are having revival-meetings." But the longer shelistened to the music the more she was impressed with the thought of going where she could hearbetter, and at last said ' "I am going in the church." So they both went in and took seats. Theminister soon arose, and after reading his text, preached to the unconverted. It seemed to the younglady that every word he said was intended for her. She was convicted, and left the church with theintention of living a different life. On reaching home, where her unconverted mother was, thedaughter said, "Mother, I am going to be a better girl."
"What do you mean?" asked the parent.
"I mean I am going to be a Christian."
"Daughter, you don't know what you are talking about. You are too young to be a Christian.Religion is all right for old people; but you are just the age to enjoy yourself, and don't want tothink of such things."
The words of the mother did not change the good resolutions of the daughter. She still said,"I am going to live for God." A few days after this she was called on to sing in a worldlyentertainment, and refused because she had made up her mind to sing for God. As soon as hermother heard what she had done, she was angry, and reproved her very severely. Seeing this didnot accomplish her aim, she scoffed at her. Then she tried coaxing, and at last promised her a newsilk dress if she would do the required singing.
This was a great temptation to the young lady, for she had been very fashionable and likedto dress so. After studying over the matter for a while, she said, "I will sing just once more to getthe dress, but it will be the last time." She at once commenced preparation for the singing. As soonas she began to associate with her old friends the desire for religion left her, and she said toherself: "I believe mother is right; I guess I am too young to be a Christian. I will enjoy myself fora while yet, and when I get older I will seek God." How long did she enjoy herself? A week afterthis she was taken very ill. Then she wanted Christ. The minister she heard preach a short timeago was sent for. He and a few Christian friends came and prayed for her. She, too, pleaded forsalvation, but finally said: "It is no use, I have put off serving God too long-I can see the very gatesof hell open to receive me." She then spoke to her mother, and said, "Get me my new silk dress."After hesitating a few minutes the mother did so, and as she brought it near, the daughter said,"Hang it up there," pointing to a hook near the bed. After the dress was hung on the hook, shepointed to it, and said, "Mother, that is the price of my soul," and passed into an endless eternity.
"What doth it profit a man to gain the whole world, and forfeit his life?" (Mark viii, 36.)
WHY WILL YE DIE?
W. H. S. -- Arranged
When the cold, clammy hand of your enemy Death
Has silenced your heart and suspended your breath;
When friends, bowed in grief, your dead body surround,
O where, careless one, will your poor soul be found?
Deep down in the HELL where all Christless ones go,
Immersed in DESPAIR and surrounded with woe,
Your soul will be wailing, and joining its cry
With the groans of the lost as they bitterly sigh.
In HELL, where the flames will FOREVER be fierce;
In HELL, where the fangs of the worm EVER pierce;
In HELL, where the torments have NEVER an end;
In HELL, where the wicked in anguish descend.
Then hurried along on the fiery wave,
No eye to take pity, and NO ONE TO SAVE;
Fierce fiends will attend as you go wailing by,
And laugh at your anguish, and mock your sad cry.
FOREVER AND EVER deep down in the fire,
Your woes will increase and your moans will rise higher,
The smoke of your torment will mount like a cloud,
And will wrap you around in its terrible shroud.
Then thinking of folly that merits your doom,
Of Christ who once knocked, but was given NO ROOM,
You'll PRAY, in despair by agony driven,
But prayer said in Hell can never reach Heaven.
The flames WILL NOT SLACK, growing hotter and fierce,
And the tooth of the worm still DEEPER will pierce;
Your cry WILL NOT RISE from the caverns of Hell,
But echo around where the dark demons dwell.
Salvation was FREE, but you clung to your sin;
And God WOULD HAVE SAVED had you yielded to Him.
His Spirit oft strove, but you said to Him, "Go,"
And now you're in Hell, 'mid its anguish and woe'.
But WHY should you perish, SINCE JESUS HAD DIED--
Since life has flowed out from His spear-pierced side?
Your vast load of guilt was all LAID UPON HIM.
Who finished the work and atoned for your sin?
There's naught can avail that you ever can do,
But repent and believe in His promise so true.,
O, COME AS A SINNER, deserving of Hell,
Trust Christ as YOUR Savior, and all will be well.
Yes, still there is MERCY, and wide stands the gate,
While Jesus implores and continues to wait:
"O come UNTO Me; quickly come and be blest;
In ME there is safety, in ME there is rest."
Refuse not this message; 'tis sent you from Heaven,
It MAY BE THE LAST that to you will be given!
O LOOK to the Savior; yes, look to Him now;
Accept Him at once, and in penitence bow.