32552 Hell for you.
The redeemed on earth are peculiarly interested in unconverted souls. They pray for them night and day, many of them with tears; many a child of God wets his pillow with tears in behalf of perishing souls. Jeremiah wept in secret places for their pride. David says, Rivers of water run down mine eyes. They seek your conversion more than any personal benefit. Ministers are set apart to seek after lost and perishing souls. "Go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel." If ministers are like their Master, this will be their great errand—that by all means we may save some. But when the day of grace is past, all holy creatures will cast you away. Reprobate silver shall men call them, for the Lord hath rejected them.
The angels will no longer take any interest in you. They will know that it is not fit they should pity you anymore. You will be tormented in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb.
The redeemed will no longer pray for you, nor shed another tear for you. They will see you condemned in the judgment, and not put in one word for you. They will see you depart into everlasting fire, and yet not pray for you. They will see the smoke of your torments going up forever and ever.
Ministers will no more desire your salvation. It will no more be their work. The number of the saved will be complete without you; the table will be full. Ministers will bear witness against you in that day.
Even devils will cast you off. As long as you remain on earth, the devil keeps you in his train; he flatters you, and gives you many tokens of his friendship and esteem; but soon he will cast you off. You will be no longer pleasant to him; you will be a part of his torment; and he will hate you and torment you, because you deceived him, and he deceived you.
Wicked men shall be cast away by themselves.—It is said, they shall wish to die, and shall not be able. They shall seek death, and death shall flee from them. I believe that some suicides experience the beginnings of hell. I believe that Judas did; he could not bear himself, and he tried to cast himself away. This will be the feeling of lost souls. They will not be able to bear the sight of themselves; they will be weary of being; they will wish they had never been.
At present, unconverted men are often very self-complacent. They love to employ their faculties; the wheels of their life go smoothly; their affections are pleasant. Memory has many pleasant green spots to look back upon. How different when the day of grace is done! The understanding will be clear and fill to apprehend the real nature of your misery. Your mind will then see the holiness of God, His almightiness, His majesty. You will see your own condemned condition, and the depth of your hell.
The will in you will be all contrary to God's will, even though you see it add to your hell; yet you will hate all that God loves, and love all that God hates. Your conscience is God's vice-regent in the soul. It will accuse you of all your sins. It will set them in order and condemn you. Your affections will still love your kindred. "I have five brethren," you will say. Earthly fathers who are evil know how to give good gifts to their children. Even in hell you will love your own kindred; but ah! What misery it will cost you, when you hear them sentenced along with you.
Your memory will be very clear. You will remember all your misspent Sabbaths—your sermons heard, as if you did not hear—your place in the house of God—your minister's face and the voice—the bell—through millions of ages after this, you will remember these, as if yesterday our anticipations.—Everlasting despair. O how you will wish you had never been! How you will wish to tear out your memory, these tender affections, this accusing conscience! You will seek death, and it will flee from you. This, this is to be lost! This is everlasting destruction! This is to be a castaway.
Hell will be intolerable.—I have not spoken of the lake of fire, of the utter darkness, and the worm that never dies. I have spoken only of the mental facts of hell; and yet these by themselves are intolerable. O who can tell what it will be when both meet, and meet eternally? "Who knows the power of Thine anger?" O do not keep away from Christ now. Now He says, Come ; soon, soon He will say, Depart. O do not resist the Holy Spirit now. Now He strives, but He will not always strive with you. Soon, soon He will leave you. O do not despise the word of ministers and godly friends. Now they plead with you, weep for you, pray for you. Soon, soon they will be silent as the grave, or sing hallelujah to see you lost. O do not be proud and self-admiring. Soon you will loath the very sight of yourself, and wish you had never been.
But, just about one hundred years ago, it pleased God to open the eyes of certain men, and they invented steam-engines. Then they could pump the mines, then they could discover and use the vast riches of our coal-mines. Then, too, sprung up a thousand useful arts and manufactures; while the land, not being wanted for charcoal and firewood, as of old, could be cleared of wood, and thousands of acres set free to grow corn. Population, which had been all but standing still, without increasing, has now more than doubled, and wealth inestimable has come to this generation, of which our forefathers never dreamed.
Now what have we to boast of in that? What, save to confess ourselves a very stupid race, who for twelve hundred years could not discover, or at least use the boundless wealth which God had given us, because we had not wit enough to invent so simple a thing as a steam-engine.
All we should do, instead of boasting, is to bless God that he revealed to us just what we needed, and at the very time at which we needed it, and confess that it is he that giveth us power to get wealth. It is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves.
Look again at another case, even more extraordinary, which has happened during our own times indeed within the last ten years the discovery of gold in Australia.
There had been rumours and whispers of gold for years before; and yet no one looked for gold, cared for it, hardly believed in it. God had dulled their understanding and blinded their eyes for some good purpose of his own. That is what the Bible would have said of such a matter, and that is what we should say.
And at last some man finds lying out upon the downs a huge lump of gold by accident (as men call it; by the special providence of God, as they ought to call it); and at that every one starts up and awakes, and begins looking for gold. And now that their eyes are opened, behold! the gold is everywhere. Not merely in lonely forests and unexplored mountains, but on farms where the sheep have been pastured for years past; ay, even Melbourne streets were full of gold, under the feet of the passengers and the wheels of the carriages; there had the gold been all along, but men could not see it till God opened their eyes. Verily, verily, God is great, and man is small. I do not say that this was a miracle in the common meaning of the word; but I do say that this was a striking instance of that everlasting and special providence of the living God, who ordereth all things in heaven and earth, from the rise of a nation to the fall of a sparrow; and does so, not by breaking his own laws, but by making his laws