Delivered on Sunday Morning, December 4th, 1864 by
C. H. SPURGEON,
At the Metropolitan Tabernacle, Newington
"For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation."—2 Corinthians 6:2.E FREQUENTLY HEAR the question discussed as to which are the best times. Some are perpetually singing the praises of the "good old times;" though, if one reads the page of history, it does not appear that the old times deserve any very special praise, unless oppression, ignorance, persecution, and abundant suffering deserve to be the theme of song.
It is the common habit of the fathers, with tears in their eyes, to say, "The former days were better than these," but we have the wisdom of Solomon on our side when we tell them they do not enquire wisely Concerning this. "Say not thou, What is the cause that the former days were better than these? for thou dost not enquire wisely concerning this." (Ecclesiastes 7:10.) Others there be who are always boasting of the present eventful period.
There was none like it: this is the era of invention and of progress, the age of liberty and of light, when slavery must cast away her fetters, and superstition must hide herself among her congenial associates, the moles and bats. But I cannot perceive that this century is so much the age of gold as to need any very enthusiastic praises. Its greatest virtues are counterbalanced by greater sins; and the progress which has been made towards liberty, has scarcely kept pace with its advance towards licentiousness: the barriers have been broken down, it is true, but in some places the bulwarks have fallen too.
Many there be who with bright eyes are looking forward to the future, and their declaration is, that the "good time is coming," if we but "wait a little longer;" if we will but look ahead, till this beast shall have been slain, that vial shall have been poured out, and the other seal shall have been broken, then it is that we shall arrive at halcyon times. We agree with these watchful waiters: the age of gold is yet to come; the Advent is the world's best and brightest hope, insomuch that every lover of his kind, may importunately cry out, "Come quickly; yea, come quickly, Lord Jesus."
CLOSING REMARKS OF MESSAGE -
Some of my hearers who listened to me last year, and in the years that are past, are now—now—in hell!
Now, where no hope can come;
now, where no gospel shall ever he preached;
now, where they bitterly regret their wasted Sabbaths and despised opportunities;
now, where memory holds a dreadful reign, reminding them of all their sins;
now, "Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched;" where they gnaw their fire-tormented tongues in vain;
now, where God's fury is manifested to the full in Tophet's hideous fire;
now, where devils, once their tempters, become their tormentors;
now, where sinners, who kept jovial company, help to increase the doleful miserere of sighs, and groans, and weeping, and gnashing of teeth;
now, accursed of God, accursed for ever and ever! And within a moment, that may be the lot of every sinner here.
Within the twinkling of an eye, there is not a man or woman among us out of Christ who may not know this. One drop of blood goes wrong—a thousand chances, as we say, may cause it, and hell is your portion. Every anatomist knows that hundreds of times in an hour, through the internal economy of the human frame, our life is in danger; nay, there is not a second in which it is not so. "Great God! on what a feeble thread hang everlasting things!"
And dies if one be gone;
Strange! that a harp of thousand strings
Should keep in tune so long."
While we are in this danger, we are passing on to our doom—
A day's march nearer home."
But where is that home to be with you, unconverted ones?
When the express trains first began to run to Scotland, there was seen at the station, one evening, a gentleman tall and thin, whose cheek had the consumptive mark upon it. The porters asked him several questions about his luggage, of which there was a good deal, and when he had been asked several times by different persons, another came up and said, "Where are you going, sir?" Being of short temper, and in great haste, he said, "To hell!"
A servant of Christ passed by that moment, and heard the answer. He sought to get in the same carriage, and did so, but at the other end of it; and this gentleman was talking very freely to different persons upon common topics, and the man thought, "I will get a word in if I can." So he joined in the general tenor of the conversation till they alighted at a refreshment station, when, taking the opportunity, he said to the gentleman, "When do you expect to get to the end of your journey?" "Oh," said he, "I am going to cross at such-and-such a town by the boat to-night, and hope to get to my journey's end about twelve o'clock to-morrow morning." The man said, "I think you misunderstand my question. You said when the porter asked you just now where you were going to, that you were going to a very different place." "Ah! yes, I recollect I did," said the gentleman, "but I am sometimes very hasty." The other said to him, " Was it true? Are you going to hell? If so, when do you expect to get there?" And he began to talk to him about that sickness which he could see so certainly in his cheek, and warned him that unless he sought another road, and fled to Christ, the only refuge, he would certainly reach that dreadful end. There are some in this place, who if they were labelled this morning as to where they are going, would have to be directed "to hell."
You know that this is the case. And when will you get to your journey's end?
Some here may live another fifty years. I pray God that that question of mine may haunt you, and if it be never blessed to you before, may it be then, "When will you yet to your journey's end?"
When will you arrive in hell? This morning may some of you in your hearts say, "I am journeying thither, but, by the grace of God, I have come to a dead halt, and not another inch will I go.
Lord, make me ready to go to heaven, give me now to trust the Savior that I may live." May God bless these feeble words of mine to his glory and your profit. Amen.