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yet known God, who is not yet saved? Could the very “ least even in the kingdom of Heaven” say, that your experience and theirs coincided? It is true, indeed, that many may come much nearer the kingdom of heaven than you now do, and yet never enter into it; but it is just as true, that those so far off as you are, must certainly be out of it. This conclusiou is a very sad and serious one to arrive at; it is not easy for the proud heart to admit it: but if it is the truth, you are safer with truth the most alarming, than with lies the most pleasing. It is surely much better to know the truth, however painful, in time, than to know it only in eternity. It is surely safer to hear it told you by the ambassador of peace before the throne of grace, where the “not saved” may be plucked as brands from the burning, than to hear it from an angry God before the throne of judgment, where your destruction is certain, and your salvation impossible ?
And now, consider seriously the alarming condition of those who are not saved! It is a subject to meditate upon more than to hear about. One hour spent in truthful thought, is more profitable than a lifetime spent in hearing sermons and reading books without it. In the secret of your own chamber, or in the silent watches of the night, think on those words—" not saved.” Try and feel their meaning. I know, indeed, that they speak of a destruction which none living have yet experienced of a state the consequences of which none living have yet beheld. But, nevertheless, by solemn thought, accompanied by prayer for light, and for an upright and understanding heart, you may by faith, in God's Word,
obtain such a sense of danger, as will make you ask in deepest earnestness, “what shall I do to be saved ?" The food is not yet come; you may be now standing on dry land ; but you may have some notion of how terrible a thing that flood of destruction must be when it does come. It saddens and softens your heart, when you hear of a noble ship, with all her crew, perishing in the hurricane which hardly disturbed your sleep of peace with its wild and fitful howlings. And when some accident has laid an acquaintance suddenly with the dead, you look with pity on the mangled corse, and gaze with a shudder upon the pale and well-known countenance; you cannot choose but feel the death of the body to be a solemn thing ; but what is this to the death of the soul ? The destruction of the whole material universe is nothing to the loss of the soul of the poorest man who totters in rags through life's weary pilgrimage. How can we measure such a loss as this,—the loss of what is immortal ? How acquire even a glimpse of an evil so vast, a destruction so infinite? That is no little evil, no small amount of misery, the production of which, would occupy the thoughts, and gratify the fiendish desire of Satan and his angels-yet, the destruction of the soul does this! That loss must be dreadful, to prevent which, the Son of God himself, left heaven; dwelt on earth as a man of sorrows; endured sore agony in Gethsemane ; submitted to cruel scourgings and mockings before Pilate; and bled, and died, on the cross, while the sun was darkened, and the rocks were rent, as He cried “My God, why hast thou forsaken me!" Yet
all this Jesus did to prevent the loss of the soul! You cannot think that any deliverance, but a great and wonderful one, would make-not the whole inhabitants of the earth, poor worms of the dust—but the mighty angels in heaven, rejoice? Yet they do rejoice, when the news spreads through heaven, that one soul is saved ! Do not such considerations as these, when seriously entertained, help to make you perceive how frightful a calamity it is to be “not saved;" although men themselves, who are most concerned in the matter, may in many cases care little whether they be saved or not !
And what mean these words "the harvest is past, the summer is ended ?” Do they allude to the change of seasons merely? Then, they may remind you, that spring with its buds and blossoms, summer with its fruit and flowers, harvest with its crops, and winter with its storms, have in rapid succession come and gone, that much precious time has been given in vain, and passed for ever away, without its being redeemed—for you are not saved! Are different seasons of life here spoken of? If so, they will remind you, that the spring-time of your life came with its warm affections, fresh hopes, and keen feelings—and it may be with a parent's advices, and a parent's prayers—but you did not seek God early," you “ did not remember your Creator in the days of your youth,” and soon the season passed, and you were not saved. Then came summer, the heyday of manhood, bringing more matured experience—a stronger mind, and riper judgment—but you sought the things of time alone—everything but the one thing needful—and manhood came and went in vain, for you were not saved! The
sober harvest, when manhood exchanged all the fading features of youth, for the looks of old age, arrived, when you should have been gathering the good fruit from the seed sown in spring, and matured in summer. And some
you did gather; perhaps the fruit of industry in the comforts of life, or the fruit of honourable dealing, in the respect of the world, or the fruit of study in “much learning;"_but not having sown to the Spirit, no spiritual fruit was gathered-and so the season passed, and you were not saved ! And what! has the winter come? the winter of life, with its hoary locks and tottering steps, and body bent towards the open grave—and is it true of the old man, as it was of the young man, that he is not saved !
If this season passes like the rest, in vain remember, no spring time can return to you. But it is possible, and this is our last supposition, that these expressions may refer to different past seasons of grace. If so, how solemn the reflection, that peaceful sabbaths, holy sacraments, faithful preachings, and earnest prayers, serious advices and stirring warnings, domestic afflictions, sick-beds, deaths, and burials, have all been given and sent to you in vain — for these seasons have passed, and yet you are not saved ! Add to all this the reflection, that while these seasons passing, you were going further from God, and becoming more sinful and more guilty hour carried by the stream (against which you never earnestly struggled, nearer and nearer the gulf where there is no salvation and
will not wonder that, in contemplating a state so bad, a condition so alarining, the Prophet should exclaim,—" For the hurt of
my daughter I am hurt: I am black; astonishment hath taken hold of me."
This is the language of sorrow,—the sorrow of one who knows the value of salvation, and the loss incurred by those who are not saved. It is the same kind of grief which filled the heart of Paul, when, speaking of the unbelief of his brethren, he said, “I have great heaviness and continual sorrow in my heart.” It was this sorrow for lost souls, which made the Saviour weep over impenitent Jerusalem, saying, “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, how often would I have gathered thy children together, as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, but ye would not.” And if you believed God, would not sorrow fill your hearts too, for those who are not saved? If. an angel came down from heaven, and in your presence put a mark upon some one you knew, saying, “ As God liveth and is true, this man is not 3aved,”—would you not tremble for that lost sinner ? would you not gaze with fear at the lost man ? would his state not give you concern, and occupy your thoughts? If an earnest advice—if
up by you in his behalf—if affectionate entreaties could be the means of bringing him to Christ, and so of saving his soul-would you withhold the advice, or neglect the prayer, or grudge the entreaty? And what if that sinner was a brother or sister, father or mother what if that sinner were yourself! How would
you then feel at hearing such an announcement made by one who knew the truth, and would not deceive you? But tell
believed the Word of God who cannot lie,” might you not be as certain, that there are many-perhaps yourselves among the