Sermon 130. Regeneration
Delivered on Sabbath Morning, May 3, 1857, by the
REV. C.H. SPURGEON
at the Music Hall, Royal Surrey Gardens.
"Except a man be born again, he can not see the kingdom of God."-John 3:3.
In daily life our thoughts are most occupied with things that are most necessary for our existence. No one murmured that thesubject of the price of bread was frequently on the lips of men at a time of scarcity, because they felt that the subjectwas one of vital importance to the mass of the population? and therefore they murmured not, though they listened to continualdeclamatory speeches, and read perpetual articles in the newspapers concerning it. I must offer the sameexcuse, then, for bringing before you this morning the subject of regeneration. It is one of absolute and vital importance;it is the hinge of the gospel; it is the point upon which most Christians are agreed, yea, all who are Christians in sincerityand truth. It is a subject which lies at the very basis of salvation. It is the very groundwork of our hopes for heaven; andas we ought to be very careful of the basement of our structure, so should we be very diligent to take heed that we arereally born again, and that we have made sure work of it for eternity. There are many who fancy they are born again whoare not. It well becomes us, then, frequently to examine ourselves; and it is the minister's duty to bring forward those subjectswhich lead to self-examination, and have a tendency to search the heart and try the reins of the children of men.
To proceed at once, I shall first make some remarks upon the new birth; secondly, I shall note what is meant by not being able to see the kingdom of God if we are not born again; then I shall go further on to note why it is that "except we are born again we can not see the kingdom of God;" and then expostulate with men as God's ambassador before I close.
I. First, then, THE MATTER OF REGENERATION. In endeavoring to explain it, I must have you notice, first of all, the figure that is employed. It is said a man must be born again. I can not illustrate this better than by supposing a case. Suppose that in Englandthere should be a law passed, that admission to royal courts, preference in office, and any privileges that might belong tothe nation, could only be given to persons who were born in England-suppose thatbirth in this land was made a sine qua non, and it was definitely declared that whatever men might do or be, unless they were native born subjects of England they couldnot enter into her majesty's presence, and could enjoy none of the emoluments or offices of the state, nor any of the privilegesof citizens. I think if you suppose such a case I shall be able to illustrate the difference between any changes and reformsthat men make in themselves and the real work of being born again. Wewill suppose, then, that some man-a red Indian, for instance-should come to this country, and should endeavor to obtainthe privileges of citizenship, well knowing that the rule is absolute and can not be altered, that a man must be a born subject,or else he can not enjoy them. Suppose he says, "I will change my name, I will take up the name of an Englishman; I have been called by my high-sounding title among the Sioux; I have been calledthe son of the Great West Wind, or some suchname; but I will take an English name, I will be called a Christian man, an English subject." Will that admit him? Yousee him coming to the palace gates and asking for admission. He says, "I have taken an English name." "But are you an Englishmanborn and bred ?" "I am not," says he. "Then the gates must be shut against you, for the law is absolute; and though you mayhave the name of even the royal family itself upon you, yet because you have not been born here you must be shut out." Thatillustration will apply to all of us who are here present. At least, nearly the whole of us bear the professing Christianname; living in England, you would think it a disgrace to you if you were not called Christian. You are not heathen, you arenot infidel; you are neither Mohammedans nor Jews; you think that the name, Christian, is a creditable one to you, and youhave taken it. Be ye quite assured that the name of a Christian is not the nature of a Christian, and that your being bornin aChristian land, and being recognized as professing the Christian religion is of no avail whatever, unless there be somethingmore added to it-the being born again as a subject of Jesus Christ.
"But," says this red Indian, "I am prepared to renounce my dress, and to become an Englishman in fashion; in fact, I will go to the very top of the fashion; you shall not see me in any thingdiffering from the accepted style of the present day. May I not, when I am arrayed in court dress, and have decorated myselfas etiquette demands, come in before her majesty? See, I'll doff this plume, I will not shake this tomahawk, I renounce thesegarments. The moccasin Icast away for ever; I am an Englishman in dress, as well as name." He comes to the gate, dressed out like one of our owncountrymen; but the gates are still shut in his face, because the law required that he must be born in the country; and withoutthat, whatever his dress might be, be could not enter the palace. So how many there are of you, who do not barely take theChristian name upon you, but have adopted Christian manners; you go to your churches, and your chapels, you attend the houseofGod, you take care that there is some form of religion observed in your family; your children are not left without hearingthe name of Jesus! So far so good; God forbid that I should say a word against it! But remember, it is bad because you donot go further. All this is of no avail whatever for admitting you into the kingdom of heaven, unless this also is compliedwith-the being born again. O! dress yourselves never so grandly with the habiliments of godliness; put the chaplet of benevolenceupon your brow, and gird your loins with integrity; put on your feet the shoes of perseverance, and walk through the earthan honest and upright man; yet, remember, unless you are born again, "that which is of the flesh is flesh," and you, not havingthe operations of the Spirit in you, still have heaven's gates shut against you, because you are not born again.
"Well," but says the Indian, "I will not only adopt the dress, but I will learn the language; I will put away my brogue and my language that I once spoke, in the wild prairie or in the woods, far away from my lips.I shall not talk of the Shu-Shuh-gah, and of the strange names wherewith I have called my wild fowl and my deer, but I willspeak as you speak, and act as you act; I will not only have your dress, but precisely your manners, I will talk just in thesamefashion, I will adopt your brogue, I will take care that it shall be grammatically correct; will you not then admit me?I have become thoroughly Anglicized; may I not then be received?" "No," says the keeper of the door," there is no admittance,for except a man be born in this country, he can not be admitted." So with some of you; you talk just like Christians. Perhapsyou have a little too much cant about you; you have begun so strictly to imitate what you think to be a godly man, that yougoa little beyond the mark, and you gloss it so much that we are able to detect the counterfeit. Still you pass currentamong most men as being a right down sort of Christian man. You have studied biographies, and sometimes you tell long yarnsabout divine experience; you have borrowed them from the biographies of good men; you have been with Christians, and knowhow to talk as they do; you have caught a puritanical twang, perhaps; you go through the world just like professors; and ifyou were tobe observed, no one would detect you. You are a member of the church; you have been baptized; you take the Lord's Supper;perhaps you are a deacon, or an elder; you pass the sacramental cup round; you are just all that a Christian can be, exceptthat you are without a Christian heart. You are whitewashed sepulchres, still full of rottenness within, though garnishedfairly on the outside. Well, take heed, take heed! It is an astonishing thing, how near the painter can go to the expressionoflife, and yet the canvas is dead and motionless; and it is equally astonishing how near a man may go to a Christian, andyet, through not being born again, the absolute rule shuts him out of heaven, and with all his profession, with all the trappingsof his professed godliness, and with all the gorgeous plumes of experience, yet must he be borne away from heaven's gates.
You are uncharitable Mr. Spurgeon. I do not care what you say about that, I never wish to be more charitable than Christ.I did not say this; Christ said it. If you have any quarrel with him, settle it there ; I am not the maker of this truth,but simply the speaker of it. I find it written, "Except a man be born. again, be can not see the kingdom of God." If yourfootman should go to the door, and deliver your message correctly, the man at the door might abuse him neverso much, but the footman would say, "Sir, do not abuse me, I can not help it; I can only tell you what my master toldme. I am not the originator of it." So if you think me uncharitable, remember you do not accuse me, you accuse Christ; youare not finding fault with the messenger, you are finding fault with the message; Christ has said it-"Except a man be bornagain." I can not dispute with you, and shall not try. That is simply God's Word. Reject it at your peril. Believe it andreceive it, Ientreat you, because it comes from the lips of the Most High.
But now note the manner in which this regeneration is obtained. I think I have none here so profoundly stupid as to be Puseyites I can scarcely believe that I have been the means of attractingone person here, so utterly devoid of every remnant of brain, as to believe the doctrine of baptismal regeneration. Yet Imust just hint at it. There be some who teach that by a few drops of water sprinkled on an infant's brow the infant becomesregenerate. Well, granted. Andnow I will find out your regenerate ones twenty years afterward. The champion of the prize ring is a regenerated man.O! yes, he was regenerated, because in infancy he was baptized; and, therefore, if all infants in baptism are regenerated,the prize-fighter is a regenerated man. Take hold of him and receive him as your brother in the Lord. Do you hear that manswearing and blaspheming God? He is regenerate; believe me, he is regenerate; the priest put a few drops of water on his brow,and heis a regenerated man. Do you see the drunkard reeling down the street, the pest of the neighborhood, fighting every body,and beating his wife, worse than the brute. Well, he is regenerate, he is one of those Puseyite's regenerates-O! goodly regenerate!Mark you the crowd assembled in the streets! The gallows is erected, Palmer is about to be executed; the man whose name shouldbe execrated through all eternity for his villainy! Here is one of the Puseyite's regenerates. Yes, he is regeneratebecause he was baptized in infancy; regenerate, while he mixes his strychnine; regenerate while he administers his poisonslowly, that he may cause death, and infinite pain, all the while he is causing it. Regenerate, forsooth! If that be regeneration,such regeneration is not worth having; if that be the thing that makes us free of the kingdom of heaven, verily, the gospelis indeed a licentious gospel; we can say nothing about it. If that be the gospel, that all such men are regenerate andwill be saved, we can only say, that it would be the duty of every man in the world to move that gospel right away, becauseit is so inconsistent with the commonest principles of morality, that it could not possibly be of God, but of the devil.
But some say all are regenerate when they are baptized. Well, if you think so, stick to your own thoughts; I can not helpit. Simon Magus was certainly one exception; he was baptized on a profession of his faith; but so far from being regeneratedby his baptism, we find Paul saying, "I perceive that thou art in the gall of bitterness, and in the bond of iniquity." Andyet he was one of those regenerates, because he had been baptized. Ah! that doctrine only needs to bestated to sensible men, and they will at once reject it. Gentlemen that are fond of a filigree religion, and like ornamentand show; gentlemen of the high Beau Brummel school will very likely prefer this religion, because they have cultivated theirtaste at the expense of their brain, and have forgotten that what is consistent with the sound judgment of a man can not beconsistent with the Word of God. So much for the first point.
Neither is a man regenerated, we say, in the next place, by his own exertions. A man may reform himself very much, and that is well and good; let all do that. A man may cast away many vices, forsakemany lusts in which he indulged, and conquer evil habits; but no man in the world can make himself to be born in God; thoughhe should struggle never so much, he could never accomplish what is beyond his power. And, mark you, if he could make himselfto be born againstill he would not enter heaven, because there is another point in the condition which he would have violated-"unlessa man be born of the Spirit, he can not see the kingdom of God." So that the best exertions of the flesh do not reach this high point, the being bornagain of the Spirit of God.
And now we must say, that regeneration consists in this. God the Holy Spirit, in a supernatural manner-mark, by the word supernaturalI mean just what it strictly means; supernatural, more than natural-works upon the hearts of men, and they by the operationsof the divine Spirit become regenerate men; but without the Spirit they never can be regenerated. And unless God the HolySpirit, who "worketh in us to will and to do," should operate upon the will and the conscience,regeneration is an absolute impossibility, and therefore so is salvation. "What!" says one, "do you mean to say that Godabsolutely interposes in the salvation of every man to make him regenerate?" I do indeed; in the salvation of every personthere is an actual putting forth of the divine power, whereby the dead sinner is quickened, the unwilling sinner is made willing,the desperately hard sinner has his conscience made tender; and he who rejected God and despised Christ, is brought to casthimself down at the feet of Jesus. This is called fanatical doctrine, mayhap; that we can not help; it is scriptural doctrine,that is enough for us. "Except a man be born of the Spirit he can not see the kingdom of God; that which is born of the fleshis flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit." If you like it not, quarrel with my Master, not with me; I do butsimply declare his own revelation, that there must be in your heart something more than you can ever work there. Theremust be a divine operation; call it a miraculous operation, if you please; it is in some sense so. There must be a divineinterposition, a divine working, a divine influence, or else, do what you may, without that you perish, and are undone; "forexcept a man be born again, be can not see the kingdom of God." The change is radical; it gives us new natures, makes us lovewhat we hated and hate what we loved, sets us in a new road; makes our habits different, our thoughts different, makes usdifferent in private, and different in public. So that being in Christ it is fulfilled: "If any man be in Christ he isa new creature; old things are passed away, behold all things are become new."
II. And, now I must come to the second point. I trust I have explained regeneration, so that all may see what it is. Now,WHAT DOES THE EXPRESSION, "SEEING THE KINGDOM OF GOD," MEAN? It means two things. To see the kingdom of God on earth is tobe a member of the mystical church-it is to enjoy the liberty and privileges of the child of God. To see the kingdom of heavenmeans to have power in prayer, to have communion with Christ, to have fellowship with the Holy Ghost; andto bring forth and produce all those joyous and blessed fruits which are the effect of regeneration. In a higher sense,"to see the kingdom of God," means to be admitted into heaven. Except a man be born again, he can not know about heavenlythings on earth, and he can not enjoy heavenly blessings for ever-"he can not see the kingdom of God."
III. I think I may just pass over the second point without remark, and proceed to notice, in the third place, WHY IT IS THAT"UNLESS A MAN BE BORN AGAIN, HE CAN NOT SEE THE KINGDOM OF GOD." And I will confine my remarks to the kingdom of God in theworld to come.
Why, he cannot see the kingdom of God, because he would be out of place in heaven. A man that is not born again could not enjoy heaven. There is an actual impossibility in his nature, which prevents himfrom enjoying any of the bliss of Paradise. You think, mayhap, that heaven consists in those walls of jewels, in those pearlygates, and gates of gold; not so, that is the habitation of heaven. Heaven dwells there, but that is not heaven. Heaven isa state that ismade here, that is made in the heart; made by God's Spirit within us, and unless God the Spirit has renewed us, and causedus to be born again, we can not enjoy the things of heaven. Why, it is a physical impossibility that ever a swine should delivera lecture on astronomy; every man will clearly perceive that it must be impossible that a snail should build a city; and thereis just as much impossibility that a sinner unmended, should enjoy heaven. Why, there would be nothing there for him toenjoy; if he could be put into the place where heaven is, he would be miserable; he would cry, "Let me away, let me away;let me away from this miserable place!" I appeal to yourselves; a sermon is too long for you very often; the singing of God'spraises is dull, dry work; you think that going up to God's house is very tedious. What will you do where they praise Godday without night? If just a short discourse here is very wearying, what will you think of the eternal talkings of the redeemedthrough all ages of the wonders of redeeming love? If the company of the righteous is very irksome to you, what will betheir company throughout eternity? I think many of you are free to confess that psalm singing is not a bit to your taste,that you care naught about any spiritual things; give you your bottle of wine, and set you down at your ease, that is heavenfor you! Well, there is no such a heaven yet made; and therefore there is no heaven for you. The only heaven there is, isthe heavenof spiritual men, the heaven of praise, the heaven of delight in God, the heaven of acceptance in the beloved, the heavenof communion with Christ. Now, you do not understand any thing about this; you could not enjoy it if you were to have it;you have not the capabilities for doing so. You, yourselves, from the very fact of your not being born again, are your ownbarrier to heaven, and if God were to open the gate wide, and say, "Come in," you could not enjoy heaven, if you were admitted;forunless a man be born again, there is an impossibility, a moral impossibility, of his seeing the kingdom of God. Supposethere are some persons here who are entirely deaf, who have never heard sounds; well, I say they can not hear singing. DoI when I say it, say a cruel thing ? It is their own disability that prevents them. So when God says you can not see the kingdomof heaven, he means that it is your own disability for the enjoyment of heaven, that will prevent you ever entering there.
But there are some other reasons; there are reasons why
"Those holy gates for ever bar
Pollution, sin, and shame."
There are reasons, besides those in yourselves, why you can not see the kingdom of God, unless you are born again. Ask yon spirits before the throne: "Angels, principalities and powers, would ye be willing that men who love not God, who believe not inChrist, who have not been born again, should dwell here?" I see them, as they look down upon us, and hear them answering,"No! Once we fought the dragon and expelled him because he tempted us to sin; we must not and wewill not, have the wicked here. These alabaster walls must not be soiled with black and lustful fingers; the white pavementof heaven must not be stained and rendered filthy by the unholy feet of ungodly men. No!" I see a thousand spears bristling,and the fiery faces of a myriad seraphs thrust over the walls of Paradise. "No, while these arms have strength, and thesewings have power, no sin shall ever enter here." I address myself moreover to the saints in heaven, redeemed by sovereigngrace:"Children of God, are ye willing that the wicked should enter heaven as they are, without being born again? Ye love men,say, say, say, are ye willing that they should be admitted as they are?" I see Lot rise up, and he cries, "Admit them intoheaven! No! What! must I be vexed with the conversation of Sodomites again, as once I was?" I see Abraham; and he comes forward,and he says, "No; I can not have them here. I had enough of them while I was with them on earth-their jests and jeers, theirsilly talkings, their vain conversation, vexed and grieved us. We want them not here." And, heavenly though they be, andloving as their spirits are, yet there is not a saint in heaven who would not resent with the utmost indignation the approachof any one of you to the gates of paradise, if you are still unholy, and have not been born again.
But all that were nothing. We might perhaps scale the ramparts of heaven, if they were only protected by angels, and burstthe gates of paradise open, if only the saints defended them. But there is another reason than that-God has said it himself-"Except a man be born again, he not see the kingdom of God." What sinner, wilt thou scale the battlements of paradise whenGod is ready to thrust thee down to hell ? Wilt thou with impudent face brazen him out? God has saidit, God hath said it, with a voice of thunder, "Ye shall not see the kingdom of heaven." Can ye wrestle with the Almighty?Can ye overthrow Omnipotence? Can ye grapple with the Most High? Worm of the dust! canst thou overcome thy Maker? Tremblinginsect of an hour, shaken by the lightnings when far overhead they flash far athwart the sky, wilt thou dare the hand of?Wilt thou venture to defy him to his face? Ah! he would laugh at thee. As the snow melteth before the sun, as wax runnethat thefierceness of the fire, so wouldst thou, if his fury should once lay hold of' thee. Think not that thou canst overcomehim. He has sealed the gate of Paradise against thee, and there is no entrance. The God of justice says, "I will not rewardthe wicked with the righteous; I will not suffer my goodly, godly Paradise to be stained by wicked ungodly men. If they turnI will have mercy upon them; but if they turn not, as I live, I will rend them in pieces, and there shall be none to deliver."Now,sinner, canst thou brazen it out against him! Wilt thou rush upon the thick bosses of Jehovah's bucklers? Wilt thou tryto scale his heaven when his arrow is stringed upon the bow to reach thine heart? What! when the glittering sword is at thyneck and ready to slay thee ? Wilt thou endeavor to strive against thy Maker? No potsherd, no; contend with thy fellow potsherd.Go, crawling grasshopper; go, fight with thy brothers; strive with them, but come not against the Almighty. He hath said it,and you never shall, you never shall enter heaven, unless you are born again. Again, I say, quarrel not with me; I havebut delivered my Master's message. Take it, disbelieve it if you dare; but if you disbelieve it, rail not at me, for it isGod's message, and I speak in love to your soul lest, lacking it, you should perish in the dark, and walk blindfold to youreverlasting perdition.
IV. Now, my friends, A LITTLE EXPOSTULATION WITH YOU, and then farewell. I hear one man say, "Well, well, well, I see it.I will hope that I shall be born again after I am dead." O, sir, believe me, you will be a miserable fool for your pains. When men die their state is fixed.
"Fixed as their everlasting state,
Could they repent, 'tis now too late."
Our life is like that wax melting in the flame; death puts its stamp on it, and then it cools, and the impress never can bechanged. You to-day are like the burning metal running forth from the cauldron in the mold; death cools you in your mold,and you are cast in that shape throughout eternity. The voice of doom crieth over the dead, "He that is holy let him be holystill; he that is unjust let him be unjust still; he that is filthy, let him be filthy still." The damnedare lost forever; they can not be born again; they go on cursing, ever being cursed ; ever fighting against God, and everbeing trampled beneath his feet; they go on ever mocking, ever being laughed at for their mockery; ever rebelling and everbeing tortured with the whips of conscience, because they are ever sinning. They can not be regenerated because they are dead.
"Well", says another, "I will take care that I am regenerated first before I die." Sir, I repeat again, thou art a fool in talking thus; how knowest thou that thou shalt live ? Hast thou taken a lease ofthy life, as thou bast of thy house? Canst thou insure the breath within thy nostrils? Canst thou say in certainty that anotherray of light shall ever reach thine eye? Canst thou be sure that, as thine heart is beating a funeral march to the grave,thou wilt notsoon beat the last note; and so thou shalt die where thou standest or sittest now? O, man! if thy bones were iron, andthy sinews brass, and thy lungs steel, then mightest thou say, "I shall live." But thou art made of dust; thou art like theflower of the field; thou mayest die now. Lo! I see death standing yonder, moving to and fro the stone of time upon his scythe,to sharpen it; to-day, to-day, for some of you he grasps the scythe-and away, away, be mows the fields, and you fall one byone.You must not. and you can not live. God carries us away as a flood, like a ship in a Whirlpool; like the log in a current,dashed onward to the cataract. There is no stopping any one of us; we are all dying now! and yet you say you will be regeneratedere you die! Ay sirs, but are you regenerated now? For if not, it may be too late to hope for to-morrow. To-morrow you maybe in hell, sealed up for ever by adamantine destiny, which never can be moved.
"Well," cries another, "I do not care much about it; for I see very little in being shut out of Paradise." Ah, sir, it is because thou dost not understand it. Thou smilest atit now; but there will be a day when thy conscience will be tender, when thy memory will be strong, when thy judgment willbe enlightened, and when thou wilt think very differently from what thou dost now. Sinners in hell are not the fools theyare on earth ; in hell they do not laugh ateverlasting burnings; in the pit they do not despise the words "eternal fire." The worm that never dieth, when it is gnawing,gnaws out all joke and laughter; you may despise God now, and despise me now, for what I say, but death will change your note.O, my hearers, if that were all, I would be willing. You may despise me, yes, you may; but O! I beseech you, do not despiseyourselves; O! be not so fool-hardy as to go whistling to hell, and laughing to the pit; for when you are there, sirs, youwill find it a different thing from what you dream it to be now. When you see the gates of Paradise shut against you,you will find it to be a more important matter than you judge of now. You came to hear me preach to-day, as you would havegone to the opera or playhouse; you thought I should amuse you. Ah! that is not my aim, God is my witness, I came here solemnlyin earnest, to wash my hands of your blood. If you are damned, any one of you, it shall not be because I did not warn you.Men andwomen, if ye perish, my bands are washed in innocency; I have told you of your doom. I again cry, repent, repent, repent,for "unless ye repent ye shall all likewise perish." I came here determined this morning, if I must use rough words, to usethem; to speak right on against men, and for men too; for the things we say against you now are really for your good. We dobut warn you, lest you perish. But ah! I hear one of you saying, "I do not understand this mystery; pray explain it to me."Fool,fool, that thou art; do you see that fire ? We are startled up from our beds, the light is at the window; we rush downstairs; people are hurrying to and fro; the street is trampled thick with crowds: they are rushing toward the house, whichis in a burst of flame. The firemen are at their work; a stream of water is pouring upon the house; but hark ye! hark ye!there is a man up stairs; there is a man in the top room; there is just time for him to escape, and barely. A shout is raised-"Aho!fire! fire! fire! aho!"-but the man does not make his appearance at the window. See, the ladder is placed against thewalls; it is up to the window sill-a strong hand dashes in the casement! What is the man after, all the while? What! is hetied down in his bed? Is he a cripple? Has some fiend got hold of him, and nailed him to the floor? No, no, no; he feels theboards getting hot beneath hit, feet, the smoke is stifling him, the flame is burning all around, he knows there is but oneway ofescape, by that ladder! What is he doing? He is sitting down-no, you can not believe me-he is sitting down and saying,"The origin of this fire is very mysterious; I wonder how it is to be discovered; how shall we understand it?" Why, you laughat him! You are laughing at yourselves. You are seeking to have this question and that question answered, when your soul isin peril of eternal life! O! when you are saved, it will be time then to ask questions; but while you are now in the burninghouse, and in danger of destruction, it is not your time to be puzzling yourselves about free will, fixed fate, predestinationabsolute. All these questions are good and well enough afterward for those that are saved. Let the man on shore try to findout the cause of the storm; your only business now is to ask, "What must I do to be saved? And how can I escape from the greatdamnation that awaiteth me?"
But ah! my friends, I can not speak as I wish. I think I feel, this morning, something like Dante, when he wrote his "Il Inferno." Men said of him that he had been in hell; he looked like it. He had thought of it so long, that they said, "He has been inhell," he spoke with such an awful earnestness. Ah! I if I could, I would speak like that too. It is only a few days more,and I shall meet you face to face; I can look over the lapse of a few years, when you and Ishall stand face to face before God's bar. "Watchman, watchman," saith a voice, "didst thou warn them? didst thou warnthem?" Will any of you then say I did not? No, even the most abandoned of you will, at that day, say, "We laughed, we scoffedat it, we cared not for it; but, O Lord, we are obliged to speak the truth; the man was in earnest about it; he told us ofour doom, and he is clear." Will you say so? I know you will.
But yet this one remark-to be cast out of heaven is an awful thing. Some of you have parents there; you have dear friendsthere; they grasped your hand in death, and said, "Farewell until we meet you." But if you never see the kingdom of God, youcan never see them again. "My mother," says one, "sleeps in the graveyard; I often go to the tomb and put some flowers uponit, in remembrance of her who nursed me; but must I never see her again?" No, never again; no, never,unless you are born again. Mothers, you have had infants that have gone to heaven; you would like to see your family allaround the throne; but you will never see your children more, unless you are born again. Will you bid adieu this day to theimmortal? Will you say farewell this hour to your glorified friends in Paradise ? You must say so, or else be converted. Youmust fly to Christ, and trust in him, and his Spirit must renew you, or else you must look up to heaven, and say, "Choir oftheblest! I shall never hear you sing; parents of my youth, guardians of my infancy, I love you, but between you and myselfthere is a great gulf fixed; I am cast away, and you are saved." O, I beseech you, think on these matters; and when you goaway, let it not be to forget what I have said. If you are at all impressed this morning, put not away the impression; itmay be your last warning; it will be a sorrowful thing to be lost with the notes of the gospel in your ears, and to perishunder theministry of truth.