It is too often a vain unrealized dream!

(John MacDuff, "The Prophet of Fire" 1877)

And Elijah said to the king, "This is what the Lord
says: Is it because there is no God in Israel for you
to consult that you have sent messengers to consult
Baalzebub, the god of Ekron? Because you have done
this, you will never leave the bed you are lying on.
You will certainly die!"  So he died, according to the
word of the Lord that Elijah had spoken. 2 Kings 1:16-17

Alas! how much it takes to humble the proud heart.

Apart from divine grace no outward trial can do it.

Impending death itself; that hour when, we might
suppose, all false confidences and illusions might
well be shaken, finds the hardened and impenitent
impervious as ever to saving conviction.

Hence the miserable delusion of those who think that
they will have penitential feelings in their last hours.

It is too often a vain unrealized dream!

As men live, so do men die!

The scorner in life, is a scorner at the last; the
blasphemer in life, is often a wilder blasphemer
at the last. The unjust remain "unjust still" and
the filthy remain "filthy still."

Oh, it is the saddest picture of moral apostasy; the
saddest exponent of the enmity of the unregenerate
heart; when even DEATH, the 'king of terrors' brings
no terror to the seared conscience and the unfeeling,
stubborn, and obdurate soul; the banner of proud
defiance against Christ waved, even when the dreadful
gloom of mortal darkness is closing in all around!