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have I been deceived! When I was in health, I delayed repentance from time to time! O that I had my time to live over again! O that I had obeyed the gospel! but now I must burn in hell for ever. Oh! I cannot bear it, I cannot bear it." Not long before she died, she said, "Eternity, eternity. Oh to burn throughout eternity!"
Perhaps you think such cases, though dreadful, not frequent; but, it is to be feared, they are by no means rare. Within a few days, several awful instances of the danger and misery of an irreligious state have been mentioned to the writer. One unhappy creature, in his dying hours, among a number of dismal expressions, used such as the following. "Oh that hell! Why must I leave this earth? Oh that hell!"
A young woman, who had occasionally attended the writer's ministry, though, alas! in vain, was laid upon the bed of death. In that solemn situation, her lamentations and bitter grief were most affecting. She confessed that she had neglected the great salvation. "Oh!" she exclaimed, "Oh my hard heart; I find no softness in it. It will not relent. Is there no forgiveness for me? Am I not to be saved, Lord ?" Her most frequent cry was, "Lord, break my hard heart!" In a few hours after this she died.
Another young woman, who had also attended the writer's ministry, but who continued a careless, worldly girl, was hurried, by a sudden disease, into the eternal world. It was stated that not many hours before her death, she warned one of her relatives, not to walk in the ways in which she had walked, declaring that they led to hell, and that she was going thither.
Is such the conclusion of a life of sin? are such the consequences of making light of Christ? O then, as you would avoid the awful end of transgressors, forsake their destructive path! Alas! what madness is it to choose damnation, if you may but go, what is to corrupt nature, a pleasant way to hell.
Listen not to the voice of seducers who would lead you to ruin. Their artifices to lead you into sin, or to keep you in your present state, are stratagems of Satan to engulf you in eternal misery. When the insidious but smiling seducer would tempt you astray, think with yourself, "Can I bear my Creator's anger? Can I endure my Judge's frown? Can I dwell with everlasting burnings? Shall I neglect eternal life, and choose eternal death, for things that perish in the using?"
The terrors, and fearful consequences of death and judgment, to the unconverted, a reason for early piety.
HAS what I have already urged on your attention produced, under God, the desired effect? or has all been urged in vain? if it have, let me, before I leave you for ever, entreat you to consider those awful scenes to which you are hastening so fast.
Should you love the world ever so well, should you enjoy it ever so much, and even live in it through the longest term allowed to man, yet short is the longest, and when past a nothing. You must die. How thoughtless soever you may be of death and eternity, they are nearer to you every hour, and you, even you, must die. If you continue to live without God, you must die without him. Imagine yourself leaving the world in that awful state. You must leave it thus, unless you repent and remember your Creator. Imagine your last day arrived. This scene of vanity is ending. The world you loved
is leaving you for ever.
wish for mercy and for time again. Weeping friends commit your body to the grave, friends who little imagine where the wretched soul is fixed. There must the body lie, till it rise to the resurrection of damnation.
Oh how dreadful a change is this! Oh when they who trifle with salvation have breathed their last, how may they shrink back from the scene which opens before them! how may their terrified souls wish to creep into their dead bodies again! but wish in vain. Oh what terrible dismay must seize upon them, when the sight of the majesty and glory of that God, whose threatenings and invitations they equally disregarded, bursts upon them! and no place is found to hide their souls; no way to escape the terrifying sight. Oh miserable immortals! how terrible are their feelings, while they stand trembling and despairing before the great and dreadful God; and see him, who is love itself to his children, denouncing nothing but vengeance and terror on them! O could they shrink back for one year more to life! What worlds, if they had them, would they give to gain this boon! O could they have but one month's mercy more! or could they die a second time and never live again! Oh how distressing, beyond the impassable gulf, to see the blessed heaven, but themselves