A man came to me the other
day and said: "I like your preaching. You don't preach hell, and
I suppose you don't believe in one." Now I don't want any one to rise
up in the Judgment and say that I was not a faithful preacher of the Word
of God. It is my duty to preach God's Word just as He gives it to
me; I have no right to pick out a text here and there, and say, "I don't
believe that." If I throw out one text I must throw out all, for in the
same Bible I read of rewards and punishments, Heaven and hell.
No one ever drew such a picture
of hell as the Son of God. No one could do it, for He alone knew
what the future would be. He didn't keep back this doctrine of retribution,
but preached it out plainly; preached it, too, with pure love, just as
a mother would warn her son of the end of his course of sin.
The Spirit of God tells us
that we shall carry our memory with us into the other world. There
are many things we would like to forget. I have heard Mr. Cough say he
would give his right hand if he could forget how badly he had treated
his mother. I believe the worm that dieth not is our memory.
We say now that we forget, and we think we do; but the time is coming
when we shall remember, and cannot forget. We talk about the recording
angel keeping record of our life. God makes us keep our own record.
We won't need any one to condemn
us at the bar of God; it will be our own conscience that will come up
as a witness against us. God won't condemn us at his bar; we shall
condemn ourselves. Memory is God's officer, and when He shall touch
these secret springs and say, "Son, daughter, remember" - then tramp,
tramp, tramp will come before us, in a long procession, all the sins we
have ever committed.
I have been twice in the jaws
of death. Once I was drowning, and was about to sink, when I was
rescued. In the twinkling of an eye every thing I had said, done,
or thought of flashed across my mind. I do not understand how every
thing in a man's life can be crowded into his recollection in an instant
of time, but it all flashed through my mind at once. Another time
I was caught in the Clark street bridge, and thought I was dying.
Then memory seemed to bring all my life back to me again. It is
just so that all things we think we have forgotten will come back by and
by. It is only a question of time. We shall hear the words,
"Son, remember" - and it is a good deal better to remember our sins now,
and be saved from them, than to put off repentance till it is too late
to do any good.
The scientific men say that
every thought comes back again, sooner or later. I heard of a servant
girl whose master used to read Hebrew in her hearing, and some time afterward,
when she was sick of a fever, she would talk Hebrew by the hour.
Do you think Cain has forgotten
the face of his murdered brother, whom he killed six thousand years ago?
Do you think Judas has forgotten that kiss with which he betrayed his
Master, or the look that Master gave him as he said, "Betrayest thou the
Son of man with a kiss?" Do you think these antediluvians have forgotten
the Ark, and the flood that came and swept them all away?
My friends, it is a good thing
to be warned in time. Satan told Eve that she should not surely
die; and there are many men and women now who think that all souls will
at last be saved in spite of all their sins.
Do you suppose those antediluvians
who perished in Noah's day - those men too vile and sinful for the world
- do you think God swept those men right into Heaven, and left Noah, the
only righteous man, to struggle through the deluge? Do you think
when the judgment came upon Sodom that those wicked men were taken right
into the presence of God, and the only righteous man was left behind to
There will be no tender, loving
Jesus coming and offering you salvation there - no loving wife or mother
to pray for you there. Many in that lost world would give millions,
if they had them, if they had their mothers to pray them out of that place,
but it will be too late. They have been neglecting salvation until
the time has come when God say, "Cut them down; the day of mercy is ended."
You laugh at the Bible; but
how many there are in that lost world today who would give countless treasures
if they had the blessed Bible there! You may make sport of Ministers,
but bear in mind there will be no preaching of the Gospel there. Here
they are God's messengers to you - loving friends that look after your
soul. You may have some friends praying for your salvation today;
but remember, you will not have one in that lost world. There will be
no one to come and put his band on your shoulder and weep over you there
and invite you to come to Christ.
There are some people who ridicule
these revival meetings, but remember, there will be no revivals in hell.
There was a man in an insane
asylum who used to say over to himself in a voice of horror, "If I only
had." He had been in charge of a railway drawbridge, and had received
orders to keep it closed until the passage of an extra express train;
but a friend came along with a vessel, and persuaded him to open the bridge
just for him, and while it was open the train came thundering along, and
leaped into destruction. Many were killed, and the poor bridge tender
went mad over the result of his own neglect of duty. "If I only
A good man was one day passing
a saloon as a young man was coming out, and thinking to make sport of
him he called out, "Deacon, how far is it to hell?" The deacon gave no
answer, but after riding a few rods he turned to look after the scoffer,
and found that his horse had thrown him to the ground and broken his neck.
I tell you, my friends, I would sooner give that right hand than to trifle
with eternal things.
Tonight you may be saved.
We are trying to win you to Christ, and if you go down from this building
to hell you will remember the meetings we had here. You will remember
how these Ministers looked, how the people looked, and how it has seemed
sometimes as if we were in the very presence of God himself. In
that lost world you won't hear that beautiful hymn, "Jesus of Nazareth
Passeth By." He will have passed by. There will be no Jesus passing
that way. There will be no sweet songs of Zion there. No little
children either to pray for their impenitent fathers and mothers.
It is now a day of Grace and
a day of Mercy. God is calling the world to Himself. He says,
"I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn
from his way and live; turn ye, turn ye, for why will ye die?"
O, if you neglect this salvation,
how shall you escape? What hope is there? May your memories
be wide awake today, and may you remember that Christ stands right here!
He is in this assembly, offering salvation to every soul. He is
not willing that any should perish, but turn to him and live.
When I was at the Paris Exhibition
in 1867 I noticed there a little oil painting, only about a foot square,
and the face was the most hideous I had ever seen. It was said to
be about seven hundred years old. On the paper attached to the painting
were the words, "Sowing the tares." The face looked more like a demon's
than a man's, and as he sowed these tares, up came serpents and reptiles.
They were crawling up on his body; and all around were woods with wolves
and animals prowling in them. I have seen that picture many times
since. Ah! The reaping time is coming. If you sow to the flesh you
must reap corruption. If you sow to the wind you must reap the whirlwind.
God wants you to come to him and receive salvation as a gift. You
can decide your destiny today if you will. Heaven and hell are set
before this audience, and you are called upon to choose. Which will
you have? If you will take Christ He will receive you to his arms;
if you reject him He will reject you.
Now, my friends, will Christ
ever be more willing to save you than He is now? Will He ever have
more power than He has now? Why not make up your mind to be saved
while mercy is offered to you?
I remember a few years ago,
while the Spirit of God was working in my Church, I closed the meeting
one night by asking any that would like to become Christians to rise,
and to my great joy, a man arose who had been anxious for some time.
I went up to him and took him by the hand and shook it, and said, "I am
glad to see you get up. You are coming out for the Lord now in earnest,
are you not?"
"Yes," said he, "I think so.
That is, there is only one thing in my way."
"What's that?" said 1.
"Well," said he, "I lack moral
courage. I confess to you that if such a man [naming a friend of
his] had been here tonight I should not have risen. He would laugh
at me if he knew of this, and I don't believe I have the courage to tell
"But," said I, "You have got
to come out boldly for the Lord if you come out at all."
While I talked with him he
was trembling from head to foot, and I believe the Spirit was striving
earnestly with him. He came back the next night, and the next, and
the next; the Spirit of God strove with him for weeks; it seemed as if
he came to the very threshold of Heaven, and was almost stepping over
into the blessed world. I never could find out any reason for his hesitation,
except that he feared his old companions would laugh at him.
At last the Spirit of God seemed
to leave him; conviction was gone. Six months from that time I got a message
from him that he was sick and wanted to see me. I went to him in
great haste. He was very sick, and thought he was dying. He
asked me if there was any hope. Yes, I told him, God had sent Christ to
save him; and I prayed with him.
Contrary to all expectations
he recovered. One day I went down to see him. It was a bright,
beautiful day, and he was sitting out in front of his house.
"You are coming out for God
now, aren't you? You will be well enough soon to come back to our
"Mr. Moody," said he,
"I have made up my mind to become a Christian. My mind is fully
made up to that, but I wont't be one just now. I am going to Michigan
to buy a farm and settle down, and then I will become a Christian."
"But you don't know yet that
you will get well."
"O," said he, "I shall be perfectly
well in a few days. I have got a new lease of life."
I pleaded with him, and tried
every way to get him to take his stand. At last he said, "Mr. Moody,
I can't be a Christian in Chicago. When I get away from Chicago,
and get to Michigan, away from my friends and acquaintances who laugh
at me, I will be ready to go to Christ."
"If God has not Grace enough
to save you in Chicago, he has not in Michigan" I answered.
At last he got a little irritated
and said, "Mr. Moody, I'll take the risk," and so I left him.
I well remember the day of
the week, Thursday, about noon, just one week from that very day, when
I was sent for by his wife to come in great haste. I hurried there
at once. His poor wife met me at the door, and I asked her what
was the matter.
"My husband," she said, "has
had a relapse; I have just had a council of physicians here, and they
have all given him up to die."
"Does he want to see me?" I
"Then why did you send for
"I cannot bear to see him die
in this terrible siate of mind."
"What does he say?" I asked.
"He says his damnation is sealed,
and he will be in hell in a little while."
I went in, and he at once fixed
his eyes upon me. I called him by name, but he was silent.
I went around to the foot of the bed, and looked in his face and said,
"Won't you speak to me?", and at last he fixed that terrible deathly look
upon me and said:
"Mr. Moody, you need
not talk to me any more. It is too late. You can talk to my
wife and children; pray for them; but my heart is as hard as the iron
in that stove there. My damnation is sealed, and I shall be in hell
in a little while."
I tried to tell him of Jesus'
love and God's forgiveness, but he said, "Mr. Moody, I tell you
there is no hope for me." And as I fell on my knees, he said, "You need
not pray for me. My wife will soon be left a widow and my children
will be fatherless; they need your prayers, but you need not pray for
I tried to pray, but it seemed
as if my prayers didn't go higher than my head, and as if Heaven above
me was like brass. The next day, his wife told me, he lingered until
the sun went down, and from noon until he died all he was heard to say
was, "The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and I am not saved." After
lingering along for an hour he would say again those awful words, and
just as he was expiring his wife noticed his lips quiver, and that he
was trying to say something, and as she bent over him she heard him mutter,
"The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and I am not saved." He lived
a Christless life, he died a Christless death - we wrapped him in a Christless
shroud, and bore him away to a Christless grave.
Are there some here that are
almost persuaded to be Christians? Take my advice and don't let any thing
keep you away. Fly to the arms of Jesus this hour. You can
be saved if you will.
(Mr. Moody closed by
reading the following piece of poetry, which, he said, had affected him
I sat alone with my conscience,
In a place where time was o'er.
And we talked of my former living,
In the land of the evermore.
And I felt I should have to answer,
The question it put to me.
And to face the answer and question,
Throughout an eternity.
The ghosts of forgotten
Came floating before my sight.
And things that I thought had perished,
Were alive with a terrible might.
And the vision of life's dark record,
Was an awful thing to face.
Alone with my conscience sitting,
In that solemnly silent place.
And I thought of a far
Of a sorrow that was to be mine.
In a land that then was the future,
But now is the present time.
And I thought of my former thinking,
Of the Judgment day to be.
But sitting alone with my conscience,
Seemed Judgment enough for me.
And I wondered if there
was a future,
To this land beyond the grave.
But no one gave me an answer,
And no one came to save.
Then I felt that the future was present,
And the present would never go by.
For it was but the thought of a future,
Become an eternity.
Then I woke from my timely
And the vision passed away.
And I knew the far away warning,
Was a warning of yesterday.
And I pray that I may not forget it,
In this land before the grave.
That I may not cry in the future,
And no one come to save.
I have learned a solemn
Which I ought to have known before.
And which though I learned it dreaming,
I hope to forget no more.
So I sit alone with my
In the place where the years increase.
And I try to fathom the future,
In the land where time will cease.
And I know of the future judgment,
How dreadful soe'er it be.
That to sit alone with my conscience,
Will be Judgment enough for me.