Sermon 146. The Good Man's Life and Death
Delivered on Sabbath Morning, August 16, 1857, by the
REV. C.H. SPURGEON
at the Music Hall, Royal Surrey Gardens.
"For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain."-Philippians 1:21.
HOW OMINOUSLY these words follow each other in the text-"live," "die." There is but a comma between them, and surely as itis in the words so is it in reality. How brief the distance between life and death! In fact there is none. Life is but death'svestibule, and our pilgrimage on earth is but a journey to the grave. The pulse that preserves our being beats our death march,and the blood which circulates our life is floating it onward to the deeps of death. To-day we seeour friends in health, to-morrow we hear of their decease. We clasped the hand of the strong man but yesterday, and to-daywe close his eyes. We rode in the chariot of comfort but an hour ago, and in a few more hours the last black chariot mustconvey us to the home of all living. Oh, how closely allied is death to life! The lamb teat sporteth in the field must soonfeel the knife. The ox that loweth in the pasture is fattening for the slaughter. Trees do but grow that they may be felled.Yea,and greater things than these feel death. Empires rise and flourish, they flourish but to decay, they rise to fall. Howoften do we take up the volume of history, and read of the rise and fall of empires. We hear of the coronation and the deathof kings. Death is the black servant who rides behind the chariot of life. See life! and death is close behind it. Death reachethfar throughout this world, and hath stamped all terrestrial things with the broad arrow of the grave. Stars die mayhap; itis said that conflagrations have been seen far off in the distant ether, and astronomers have marked the funerals of worlds,the decay of those mighty orbs that we had imagined set for ever in sockets of silver to glisten as the lamps of eternity.But blessed be God, there is one place where death is not life's brother, where life reigns alone; "to live," is not the firstsyllable which is to be followed by the next, "to die." There is a land where deathknells are never tolled, wherewinding-sheets are never woven, where graves are never digged. Blest land beyond the skies! To reach it we must die. Butif after death we obtain a glorious immortality, our text is indeed true: "To die is gain."
If you would get a fair estimate of the happiness of any man you must judge him in these two closely connected things, hislife and his death. The heathen Solon said, "Call no man happy until he is dead; for you know not what changes may pass uponhim in life." We add to that-Call no man happy until he is dead; because the life that is to come, if that be miserable, shallfar outweigh the highest life of happiness that hath been enjoyed on earth. To estimate a man'scondition we must take it in all its length. We must not measure that one thread which reacheth from the cradle to thecoffin. We must go further; we must go from the coffin to the resurrection, and from the resurrection on throughout eternity.To know whether acts are profitable, I must not estimate their effects on me for the hour in which I live, but for the eternityin which I am to exist. I must not weigh matters in the scales of time; I must not calculate by the hours, minutes and secondsof the clock, but I must count and value things by the ages of eternity.
Come, then, beloved; we have before us the picture of a man, the two sides of whose existence will both of them bear inspection;we have hi life, we have his death: we have it said of his life, "to live is Christ," of his death, "to die is gain;" and if the same shall be said of any of you, oh! ye may rejoice! Ye are amongst that thrice happy number whom the Lord hathloved, and whom he delighteth to honor.
We shall now divide our text very simply into these two points, the good man's life, and the good man's death.
I. As to HIS LIFE, we have that briefly described thus: "For me to live is Christ." The believer did not always live to Christ.When he was first born into this world he was a slave of sin, and an heir of wrath, even as others. Though he may have afterwardsbecome the greatest of saints, yet until divine grace hath entered his heart, he is "in the gall of bitterness and in thebonds of iniquity." He only begins to live to Christ when God the Holy Spirit convinceth him ofhis sin, and of his desperate evil nature, and when by grace he is brought to see the dying Saviour making a propitiationfor his guilt. From that moment when by faith he sees the slaughtered victim of Calvary, and casts his whole life on him,to be saved, to be redeemed, to be preserved, and to be blest by the virtue of his atonement and the greatness of his grace,from that moment the man begins to live to Christ.
And now shall we tell you as briefly as we can what living to Christ means.
It means, first, that the life of a Christian derives its parentage from Christ. "For me to live is Christ." The righteous man has two lives. He has one which he inherited from his parents; he looks backto an ancestral race of which he is the branch, and he traces his life to the parent stock; but he has a second life, a lifespiritual, a life which is as much above mere mental life, as mental life is above the life of the animal or the plant; andfor the source ofthis spiritual life he looks not to father or mother, nor to priest nor man, nor to himself, but he looks to Christ. Hesays, "O Lord Jesus, the everlasting Father, the Prince of peace, thou art my spiritual parent; unless thy Spirit had breathedinto my nostrils the breath of a new, holy and spiritual life, I had been to this day "dead in trespasses and sins." I owemy third principle, my spirit, to the implantation of thy grace. I had a body and a soul by my parents, I have received thethirdprinciple, the spirit from thee, and in thee I live, and move, and have my being. My new, my best, my highest my mostheavenly life, is wholly derived from thee. To thee I ascribe it. My life is hid with Christ in God. It is no longer I thatlive, but Christ that liveth in me." And so the Christian says, "For me to live is Christ," because for me to live is to livea life whose parentage is not of human origin, but of divine, even of Christ himself. Again he intended to say, that Christwasthe sustenance of his life, the food his newborn spirit fed upon. The believer hath three parts to be sustained. The body, which must have its propernutriment; the soul, which must have knowledge and thought to supply it; and the spirit which must feed on Christ. Withoutbread I become attenuated to a skeleton, and at last I die; without thought my mind becomes dwarfed, and, and dwindles itselfuntil I become the idiot, with a soul that hath just life, but little more. And withoutChrist my newborn spirit must become a vague shadowy emptiness. It cannot live unless it feeds on that heavenly mannawhich came down from heaven. Now the Christian can say, "The life that I live is Christ," because Christ is the food on whichhe feeds and the sustenance of his new-born Spirit.
The apostle also meant, that the fashion of his life was Christ. I suppose that every man living has a model by which he endeavors to shape his life. When we start in life, we generallyselect some person, or persons, whose combined virtues shall be to us the mirror of perfection. "Now," says Paul, "if youask me after what fashion I mould my life, and what is the model by which I would sculpture my being, I tell you, it is Christ.I have no fashion, no form, nomodel by which to shape my being, except the Lord Jesus Christ. Now, the true Christian, if he be an upright man, cansay the same. Understand, however what I mean by the word "upright." An upright man mean" a straightt up man-a man that does not cringe and bow, and fawn to other men's feet; a man that doesnot lean for help on other men, but just stands with his head heavenward, in all the dignity of his independence, leaningnowhere except on the arm of the Omnipotent. Such a man willtake Christ alone to be his model and pattern. This is the very age of conventionalities. People dare not now do a thingunless everybody else does the same. You do not often say, "Is a thing right?" The most you say is, "Does so-and-so do it?"You have some great personage or other in your family connection, who is looked upon as being the very standard of all propriety;and if he do it, then you think you may safely do it. And oh! what an outcry there is against a man who dares to besingular, who just believes that some of your conventionalities are trammels and chains, and kicks them all to piecesand says, "I am free!" The world is at him in a minute; all the ban-dogs of malice and slander are at him, because he says,"I will not follow your model! I will vindicate the honor of my Master, and not take your great masters to be for ever mypattern." Oh! I would to God that every statesman, that every minister, that every Christian were free to hold that his onlyform, andhis only fashion for imitation, must be the character of Christ. I would that we could scorn all superstitious attachmentsto the ancient errors of our ancestors; and whilst some would be for ever looking upon age and upon hoary antiquity with veneration,I would we had the courage to look upon a thing, not according to its age, but according to its rightness, and so weigh everything,not by its novelty, or by its antiquity, but by its conformity to Christ Jesus and his holy Gospel; rejectingthat which is not, though it be hoary with years, and believing that which is, even though it be but the creature of theday, and saying with earnestness, "For me to live is not to imitate this man or the other, but 'for me to live is Christ.'"
I think, however, that the very center of Paul's idea would be this: The end of his life is Christ. You think you see Paul land upon the shores of Philippi. There, by the river-side, were ships gathered and many merchantmen. There you would see the merchant busy with his ledger, and overlooking his cargo, and he paused and put his hand uponhis brow, and said as he griped his money-bag, "For me to live is gold." And there you see his humbler clerk, employed insomeplainer work, toiling for his master, and he, perspiring with work mutters between his teeth, "For me to live is to gaina bare subsistence." And there stands for a moment to listen to him, one with a studious face and a sallow countenance, andwith a roll full of the mysterious characters of wisdom. "Young man," he says, "for me to live is learning." "Aha! aha!;"says another, who stands by, clothed in mail, with a helmet on his head, "I scorn your modes of life, for me to live is glory."Butthere walks one, a humble tent-maker, called Paul; you see the lineaments of the Jew upon his face, and he steps intothe middle of them all and says, "For me to live is Christ." Oh! how they smile with contempt upon him, and how they scoffat him, for having chosen such an object! "For me to live is Christ." And what did he mean! The learned man stopped, and said,"Christ! who is he? Is he that foolish, mad fellow, of whom I have heard, who was executed upon Calvary for sedition?" Themeekreply is, "It is he who died, Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews." "What?" says the Roman soldier, "and do you livefor a man who died a slave's death? What glory will you get by fighting his battles?" What profit is there in your preaching,chimes in the trader. Ah! and even the merchant's clerk thought Paul mad; for he said, "How can he feed his family? how willhe supply his wants if all he liveth for is to honor Christ?" Ay, but Paul knew what he was at. He was the wiser man of themall. He knew which way was right for heaven, and which would end the best. But, right or wrong, his soul was wholly possessedwith the idea-"For me to live is Christ."
Brethren and sisters, can you say, as professing Christians, that you live up to the idea of the apostle Paul? Can you honestlysay that for you to live is Christ? I will tell you my opinion of many of you. You join our churches you are highly respectablemen; you are accepted among us as true and real Christians; but in all honesty and truth I do not believe that for you tolive is Christ. I see many of you whose whore thoughts are engrossed with the things of earth; themere getting of money; the amassing of wealth, seems to be your only object. I do not deny that you are liberal, I willnot dare to say that you are not generous, and that your cheque-book does not often bear the mark of some subscription forholy purposes, but I dare to say, after all, that you cannot in honesty say that you live wholly for Christ. You know thatwhen you go to your shop or your warehouse, you do not think, in doing business, that you are doing it for Christ; you darenot besuch a hypocrite as to say so. You must say that you do it for self-aggrandisement, and for family advantage. "Well!"says one, "and is that a mean reason?" By no means; not for you, if you are mean enough to ask that question, but for theChristian it is. He professes to live for Christ; then how IS it he dares to profess to live for his Master, and yet doesnot do so, but lives for mere worldly gain? Let me speak to many a lady here. You would be shocked if I should deny your Christianity.You move in the highest circles of life, and you would be astonished if I should presume to touch your piety, after yourmany generous donations to religious objects; but I dare to do so. You-what do you do? You rise late enough in the day: youhave your carriage out, and call to see your friends, or leave your card by way of proxy. You go to a party in the evening;you talk nonsense, and come home and go to bed. And that is your life from the beginning of the year to the end. It is justoneregular round. There comes the dinner or the ball, and the conclusion of the day; and then Amen, so be it, for ever. Nowyou don't live for Christ. I know you go to church regularly, or attend at some dissenting chapel; all well and good. I shallnot deny your piety, according to the common usage of the term, but I deny that you have got to anything like the place wherePaul stood when he said, "For me to live is Christ." I, my brethren, know that with much earnest seeking I have failed torealize the fullness of entire devotion to the Lord Jesus. Every minister must sometimes chasten himself and say, "AmI not sometimes a little warped in my utterances? Did I not in some sermon aim to bring out a grand thought instead of statinga home truth? Have I not kept back some warning that I ought to have uttered, because I feared the face of man?" Have we notall good need to chasten ourselves, because we must say that we have not lived for Christ as we should have done? And yetthereare, I trust, a noble few, the elite of God's elect, a few chosen men and women on whose heads there is the crown and diadem of dedication, who can truly say,"I have nothing in this world I cannot give to Christ-I have said it, and mean what I have said-
'Take my soul and body's powers,
All my goods and all my hours,
All I have, and all I am.'
Take me, Lord, and take me for ever." These are the men who make our missionaries; these are the women to make our nursesfor the sick, these are they that would dare death for Christ; these are they who would give of their substance to his cause;these are they who would spend and be spent, who would bear ignominy, and scorn, and shame if they could but advance theirMaster's interest. How many of this sort have I here this morning? Might I not count many of these benchesbefore I could find a score? Many there are who do in a measure carry out this principle; but who among us is there (Iam sure he standeth not here in this pulpit) that can dare to say he hath lived wholly for Christ, as the apostle did? Andyet, till there be more Pauls, and more men dedicated to Christ, we shall never see God's kingdom come, nor shall we hopeto see his will done on earth, even as it is in heaven.
Now, this is the true life of a Christian, its source, its sustenance, its fashion, and its end, all gathered up in one word,Christ Jesus; and, I must add, its happiness, and its glory, is all in Christ. But I must detain you no longer.
II. I must go to the second point, THE DEATH OF THE CHRISTIAN. Alas, alas, that the good should die; alas, that the righteousshould fall! Death, why dost thou not hew the deadly upas? Why dost thou not mow the hemlock? Why dost thou touch the treebeneath whose spreading branches weariness hath rest? Why dost thou touch the flower whose perfume hath made glad the earth?Death, why dost thou snatch away the excellent of the earth, in whom is all our delight? If thouwouldest use thine axe, use it upon the cumber-grounds, the trees that draw nourishment, but afford no fruit; thou mightestbe thanked then. But why wilt thou cut down the cedars, why wilt thou fell the goodly trees of Lebanon? O Death, why dostthou not spare the church? Why must the pulpit be hung in black; why must the missionary station be filled with weeping? Whymust the pious family lose its priest, and the house its head? O Death, what art thou at? touch not earth's holy things; thyhands are not fit to pollute the Israel of God. Why dost thou put thine hand upon the hearts of the elect? Oh stay thou,stay thou; spare the righteous, Death, and take the bad! But no, it must not be; death comes and smites the goodliest of usall; the most generous, the most prayerful, the most holy, the most devoted must die. Weep, weep, weep, O church, for thouhast lost thy martyrs; weep, O church, for thou hast lost thy confessors, thy holy men are fallen. Howl, fir tree, for thecedarhath fallen, the godly fail, and the righteous are cut off. But stay awhile; I hear another voice. Say ye thus unto thedaughter of Judah, spare thy weeping. Say ye thus unto the Lord's flock, Cease, cease thy sorrow thy martyrs are dead, butthey are glorified; thy ministers are gone, but they have ascended up to thy Father, and to their Father, thy brethren areburied in the grave, but the archangel's trumpet shall awake them, and their spirits are ever now with God.
Hear ye the words of the text, by way of consolation, "To die is gain." Not such gain as thou wishest for, thou son of themiser, not such gain as thou art hunting for, thou man of covetousness and self-love; a higher and a better gain is that whichdeath brings to a Christian.
My dear friends, when I discoursed upon the former part of the verse, it was all plain. No proof was needed; ye believed it,for you saw it clearly. "To live is Christ," hath no paradox in it. But "To die is gain," is one of the Gospel riddles whichonly the Christian can truly understand. To die is not gain if I look upon the merely visible, to die is loss, it is not gain.Hath not the dead man lost his wealth? though he had piles of riches, can he take anything with him?Hath it not been said, "Naked came I out of my mother's womb, and naked shall I return thither." "Dust thou art, and untodust shalt thou return." And which of all thy goods, canst thou take with thee? The man had a fair estate and a goodly mansion;he hath lost that. He can no more tread those painted halls, nor walk those verdant lawns. He had abundance of fame and honor;he hath lost that, so far as his own sense of it is concerned, though still the harp string trembles at his name. He haslost his wealth, and buried though he may be in a costly tomb, yet is he as poor as the beggar who looked upon him inthe street in envy. That is not gain, it is loss and he hath lost his friends: he hath left behind him a sorrowing wife andchildren, fatherless, without his guardian care; he hath lost the friend of his bosom, the companion of his youth. Friendsare there to weep over him, but they cannot cross the river with him; they drop a few tears into his tomb, but with him theymust notand cannot go. And hath he not lost all his learning, though he hath toiled ever so much to fill his brain with knowledge?What is he now above the servile slave, though he hath acquired all knowledge of earthly things? Is it not said,
"Their memory and their love are lost
Alike unknowing and unknown?"
Surely death is loss. Hath he not lost the songs of the sanctuary and the prayers of the righteous? Hath he not lost the solemnassembly, and the great gathering of the people? No more shall the promise enchant his ear, no more shall the glad tidingsof the gospel wake his soul to melody. He sleeps in the dust, the Sabbath-bell tolls not for him, the sacramental emblemsare spread upon the table, but not for him. He hath gone to his grave, he knoweth not that which shallbe after him. There is neither work nor device in the grave, whither we all are hastening. Surely death is loss. WhenI look upon thee, thou clay-cold corpse, and see thee just preparing to be the palace of corruption and the carnival for worms,I cannot think that thou hast gained. When I see that thine eye hath lost light, and thy lip hath lost its speech, and thineears have lost hearing, and thy feet have lost motion, and thy heart hath lost its joy, and they that look out of the windowsare darkened, the grinders have failed, and no sounds of tabret and of harp wake up thy joys, O clay-cold corpse, thanhast lost, lost immeasurably. And yet my text tells me it is not so. It says, "To die is gain." It looks as if it could notbe thus, and certainly it is not, so far as I can see. But put to your eye the telescope of faith, take that magic glass whichpierces through the veil that parts us from the unseen. Anoint your eyes with eyesalve, and make them so bright that theycanpierce the ether and see the unknown worlds. Come, bathe yourself in this sea of light, and live in holy revelation andbelief, and then look, and oh how changed the scene! Here is the corpse, but there the spirit; here is the clay, but therethe soul, here is the carcase, but there the seraph. He is supremely blest; his death is gain. Come now, what did he lose?I will show that in everything he lost, he gained far more. He lost his friends, did he? His wife, and his children, his brethreninchurch fellowship, are all lea to weep his loss. Yes, he lost them, but, my brethren what did he gain? He gained morefriends than e'er he lost. He had lost many in his lifetime, but he meets them all again. Parents, brethren and sisters whohad died in youth or age, and passed the stream before him, all salute him on the further brink. There the mother meets herinfant, there the father meets his children, there the venerable patriarch greets his family to the third and fourth generation,there brother clasps brother to his arms, and husband meets with wife, no more to be married or given in marriage, butto live together, like the angels of God. Some of us have more friends in heaven than in earth. We have more dear relationsin glory, than we have here. It is not so with all of us, but with some it is so; more have crossed the stream than are leftbehind. But if it be not so, yet what friends we have to meet us there! Oh, I reckon on the day of death if it were for themerehope of seeing the bright spirits that are now before the throne; to clasp the hand of Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob,to look into the face of Paul the apostle, and grasp the hand of Peter; to sit in flowery fields with Moses and David, tobask in the sunlight of bliss with John and Magdalene. Oh how blest! The company of poor imperfect saints on earth is good;but how much better the society of the redeemed. Death is no loss to us by way of friends. We leave a few, a little band below,and sayto them, "Fear not little flock," and we ascend and meet the armies of the living God, the hosts of his redeemed. "Todie is gain." Poor corpse! thou hast lost thy friends on earth; nay, bright spirit, thou hast received a hundred fold in heaven.
What else did we say he lost? We said he lost all his estate, all his substance and his wealth. Ay, but he has gained infinitelymore. Though he were rich as CrÃ¾sus, yet he might well give up his wealth for that which he hath attained. Were his fingersbright with pearls, and hath he lost their brilliancy? The pearly gases of heaven glisten brighter far. Had he gold in hisstorehouse? Mark ye, the streets of heaven are paved with gold, and he is richer far. The mansions ofthe redeemed are far brighter dwelling places than the mansions of the richest here below. But it is not so with manyof you. You are not rich, you are poor. What can you lose by death? You are poor here, you shall be rich there. Here you suffertoil, there you shall rest for ever. Here you earn your bread by the sweat of your brow but there, no toil Here wearily youcast yourself upon your bed at the week's end, and sigh for the Sabbath, but there Sabbaths have no end. Here you go to thehouseof God, but you are distracted with worldly cares and thoughts of suffering; but there, there are no groans to minglewith the songs that warble from immortal tongues, Death will be gain to you in point of riches and substance.
And as for the means of grace which we leave behind, what are they when compared with what we shall have hereafter? Oh, might I die at this hour, I thinkI would say something like this, "Farewell Sabbaths,-I am going to the eternal Sabbath of the redeemed. Farewell minister;I shall need no candle, neither light of the sun, when the Lord God shall give me light, and be my life for ever and ever.Farewell ye songs and sonnets of the blessed; farewell, I shall notneed your melodious burst; I shall hear the eternal and unceasing hallelujahs of the beatified. Farewell, ye prayers ofGod's people; my spirit shall hear for ever the intercessions of my Lord, and join with the noble army of martyrs in crying,'O Lord, how long?' Farewell, O Zion! Farewell, house of my love, home of my life! Farewell, ye temples where God's peoplesing and pray; farewell, ye tents of Jacob, where they daily burn their offering!-I am going to a better Zion than you, toabrighter Jerusalem, to a temple that hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God!" O my dear friends, in the thoughtof these things, do we not, some of us, feel as if we could die!
"E'en now by faith we join our hands
With those that went before,
And greet the blood-besprinkled bands
Upon th' eternal shore.
One army of the living God,
At his command we bow,
Part of the host have crossed the flood,
And part are crossing now."
We have not come to the margin yet, but we shall be there soon: we soon expect to die.
And again, one more thought. We said that when men died they lost their knowledge, we correct ourselves. Oh, no, when therighteous die they know infinitely more than they could have known on earth.
"There shall I see and hear and know
All I desired or wished below;
And every power find sweet employ,
In that eternal world of joy."
"Here we see through a glass darkly, but there face to face." There, what "eye hath not seen nor ear heard" shall be fullymanifest to us. There, riddles shall be unravelled, mysteries made plain, dark texts enlightened, hard providences made toappear wise. The meanest soul in heaven knows more of God than the greatest saint on earth. The greatest saint on earth mayhave it said of him, "Nevertheless he that is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he." Not ourmightiest divines understand so much of theology as the lambs of the flock of glory. Not the greatest master-minds ofearth understand the millionth part of the mighty meanings which have been discovered by souls emancipated from clay. Yes,brethren, "To die is gain." Take away, take away that hearse, remove that shroud; come, put white plumes upon the horse'sheads and let gilded trappings hang around them. There, take away that fife, that shrill sounding music of the death march.Lend me thetrumpet and the drum. O hallelujah, hallelujah, hallelujah; why weep we the saints to heaven; why need we lament? Theyare not dead, they are gone before. Stop, stop that mourning, refrain thy tears, clap your hands, clap your hands.
"They are supremely blest,
Have done with care and sin and woe;
And with their Saviour rest."
What! weep! weep! for heads that are crowned with coronals of heaven? Weep, weep for hands that grasp the harps of gold? What,weep for eyes that see the Redeemer? What, weep for hearts that are washed from sin, and are throbbing with eternal bliss!What, weep for men that are in the Saviour's bosom?-No, weep for yourselves, that you are here. Weep that the mandate hasnot come which bids you to die. Weep that you must tarry. But weep not for them. I see themturning back on you with loving wonder, and they exclaim, "Why weepest thou?" What, weep for poverty that it is clothedin riches? What, weep for sickness, that it hath inherited eternal health? What, weep for shame, that it is glorified; andweep for sinful mortality, that it hath become immaculate? Oh, weep not, but rejoice. "If ye knew what it was that I havesaid unto you, and whither I have gone, ye would rejoice with a joy that no man should take from you." "To die is gain." Ah,thismakes the Christian long to die-makes him say,
"Oh, that the word were given!
O Lord of Hosts, the wave divide,
And land us all in heaven!"
And now, friends, does this belong to you all? Can you claim an interest in it? Are you living to Christ? Does Christ livein you? For if not, your death will not be gain. Are you a believer in the Saviour? Has your heart been renewed, and yourconscience washed in the blood of Jesus? If not, my bearer, I weep for thee. I will save my tears for lost friends; there,with this handkerchief I'd staunch mine eyes for ever for my best beloved that shall die, if those tearscould save you. O, when you die, what a day! If the world were hung in sackcloth, it could not express the grief thatyou would feel. You die. O death! O death! how hideous art thou to men that are not in Christ! And yet, my hearer, thou shalt soon die. Save me thybed of shrieks, thy look of gall, thy words of bitterness! Oh that thou couldst be saved the dread hereafter! Oh! the wrathto come! the wrath to come! the wrath to come! who is he that can preach of it? Horrors strike theguilty soul! It quivereth upon the verge of death; no, on the verge of hell. It looketh over, clutching hard to life,and it heareth there the sullen groans, the hollow moans, and shrieks of tortured ghosts, which come up from the pit thatis bottomless, and it clutcheth firmly to life, clasps the physician, and bids him hold, lest he should fall into the pitthat burneth. And the spirit looketh down and seeth all the fiends of everlasting punishments, and back it recoileth. Butdie it must. Itwould barter all it hath to coin an hour; but no, the fiend hath got its grip, and down it must plunge. And who can tellthe hideous shriek of a lost soul? It cannot reach heaven; but if it could, it might well be dreamed that it would suspendthe melodies of angels, might make even God's redeemed weep, if they could hear the wailings of a damned soul. Ah! you menand women, ye have wept; but if you die unregenerate, there will be no weeping like that, there will be no shriek like that,no waillike that. May God spare us from ever hearing it or uttering it ourselves! Oh, how the grim caverns of Hades startle,and how the darkness of night is frighted, when the wail of a lost soul comes up from the ascending flames, whilst it is descendingin the pit. "Turn ye, turn ye; why will ye die, O house of Israel?" Christ is preached to you. "This is a faithful saying,and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners." Believe on him and live, ye guilty,vile, perishing; believe and live. But this know-if ye reject my message, and depise my Master, in that day when he shalljudge the world in righteousness by that man, Jesus Christ, I must be a swift witness against you. I have told you-tat yoursoul's peril reject it. Receive my message, and you are saved; reject it-take the responsibility on your own head. Behold,my skirts are clear of your blood. If ye be damned, it is not for want of warning. Oh God grant, ye may not perish.