It is a woeful thing to consider what slight thoughts the most have of this thing. So men can keep themselves from sin itself in open action, they are content, they scarce aim at more; on any temptation in the world, all sorts of men will venture at any time. How will young men put themselves on company, any society; at first, being delighted with evil company, then with the evil of the company! How vain are all admonitions and exhortations to them to take heed of such persons, debauched in themselves, corrupters of others, destroyers of souls.
Samuel Davies died 35 days after preaching this sermon at the age of just 37. ” Jeremiah 28:16
You must learn to think, to think seriously and solemnly upon your danger, and the necessity of a speedy escape. You must retire from the crowd, from talk, business, and amusement, and converse with yourselves alone in pensive solitude. You must learn to think seriously upon the most melancholy and alarming subjects: your present guilt and depravity, and your dreadful doom so near at hand, if you continue in your present condition.
The mind, fond of ease, and impatient of such mortifying and painful thoughts, will recoil, and fly off, and seek for refuge in every trifle! But you must arrest and confine it to these disagreeable subjects; you must force upon it this necessary discomfort—just as you may sometimes take bitter medicines when your health requires it. There is not any moroseness in this advice; no ill-natured design upon your pleasure and happiness. On the other hand, it is intended to procure you more pleasure and happiness than you can possibly obtain any other way! It is intended to prevent many sorrowful days and years, nay, a complete eternity of misery!
She was much weaker from the loss of blood, and her countenance bespoke the dreadful horror of her mind, which no doubt hastened her speedy dissolution. Oh asking her how she felt, she answered, ‘Miserable! miserable!’ I then repeated some encouraging passages of Scripture to backsliders, but alas! all in vain; her soul labored under the greatest agonies: she exclaimed, ‘ O! how I have been deceived! When I was in health I delayed repentance from time to time; O ! that 1 had my time to live over again. O! that I had obeyed the Gospel; but now I must burn in hell forever. O! I cannot bear it, I can not bear it.’ ” In this manner, she continued breathing outmost horrible expressions.
The people of Judah and Jerusalem were followed with the most terrible judgments. They were beset by their enemies, the Chaldeans. They were besieged in their cities and there were to suffer the utmost difficulties so as to be brought to kill and eat the flesh of their own children, and many perished with famine. The tongues of the sucking children stuck to the roof of their mouth for thirst. The young children asked for bread and no man gave it to them. Their flesh became black like an oven because of the terrible famine.
You see multitudes lying in a deep sleep in sin all around us! You see them eager in the pursuits of the vanities of time—but stupidly unconcerned about the important realities of the eternal world just before them! So few are concerned what shall become of them—when all their connections with earth and flesh must be broken, and they must take their flight into strange, unknown regions! So few lamenting their sins! So few crying for mercy and a new heart! So few flying to Jesus, or even sensible of the importance of a Mediator, in a religion for sinners!
From the sermon, ” Wrath will come upon them without any restraint or moderation in the degree of it. God doth always lay, as it were, a restraint upon himself. He doth not stir up his wrath. He stays his rough wind in the day of his east wind. He lets not his arm light down on wicked men with its full weight. But when sinners shall have filled up the measure of their sins, there will be no caution, no restraint. His rough wind will not be stayed nor moderated. The wrath of God will be poured out like fire. He will come forth, not only in anger, but in the fierceness of his anger; he will execute wrath with power, so as to show what his wrath is, and make his power known. There will be nothing to alleviate his wrath. His heavy wrath will lie on them, without anything to lighten the burden, or to keep off, in any measure, the full weight of it from pressing the soul. — His eye will not spare, neither will he regard the sinner’s cries and lamentations, however loud and bitter. Then shall wicked men know that God is the Lord. They shall know how great that majesty is which they have despised, and how dreadful that threatened wrath is which they have so little regarded.”
Readings from the book, Dying Testimonies of the Saved and Unsaved, Solomon B Shaw 1898.
The title I have given this chapter is one of a number of chapters in a book from 1850 called God Speaking by Facts. This chapter is from a book called Persuasives to Early Piety, John Gregory Pike – 1829. But the other tracts in this collection are also very moving. Especially “The Praying Mother” and “The Danger of a Death Bed Repentance.” This was the first book that I gave to my wife the year we got married. Now, 22 years later, I drew her attention to it again as the Praying Mother chapter will give her hope. – The Narrator.
From the chapter, ” Having thus begun with tolerably good omens, I proceeded to inquire about his sickness, expressing my fears that it was both painful and dangerous. In answer he was very communicative; and it appeared that his disorder was distressing in the extreme; a vast mass of water collecting perpetually, and discharging itself through every pore of his body; and his respiration being at times so much impeded, that he had scarcely breath enough to tell me his own story. He had been at the nearest hospital, in an early stage of his complaint, when it seemed to be within the reach of art; but had unwisely returned home, before the proper system was tried, because he was deprived of many little things which he considered essential to his comfort. Since this the disorder had increased rapidly; yet he would not admit any idea of danger. In fact, he was manifestly afraid to die”
Ye men of business and of might, in the high meridian of your
course. What is your life ? Were we to make up an estimate from your daily conversation, from the eagerness of your worldly pursuits, from your extensive plans, and far-reaching expectations,we must suppose you exempted from the common lot of mortality. But no estimate can be more delusive. Strip your life then of these fictitious and imposing circumstances, and what is it but a vapor ? What obstacle does your fine constitution oppose to the ravages of disease ?—to the stroke of death? How many firmer have fallen in a few days, or hours?