Where am I bound for? For heaven—or for hell?
(Samuel Davies, "A New Year's Gift" January 1, 1760)
"Knowing the TIME, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep!" Romans 13:11
Consider the SHORTNESS of your time! That part of time which is parceled out to you, is not only uncertain—but extremely short! It is uncertain when it will end, but it is absolutely certain that it will end very soon!
In a short time—death will convey you from this world—to heaven or hell.
And is it not high time then for you to awake out of sleep! Your work is great—and your time is short! You have no time to spare—none to trifle away!
Methinks it would shock a man to enter upon a new year, without knowing whether he will be in heaven or hell before the end of it!
We are all standing upon the slippery brink of eternity!
This day let us put this question to our hearts: "What really am I? Am I an humble, dutiful servant of God? Or am I a disobedient, impenitent sinner? Am I a disciple of Christ in reality? Or do I only wear His name, and make an empty profession of His religion? Where am I bound for? For heaven—or for hell? Which am I most fit for in my disposition? For the region of perfect holiness—or for that region of sin and impurity? Shall I stupidly delay the determination, until it is passed by the irrevocable sentence of the Supreme Judge, before whom I may stand before this year is at a close? Alas, if it should then be against me—then my doom will be remediless!"
There is none of this salvation work in hell! They no sooner enter into the eternal world—than their state will be unchangeably and eternally fixed!
All are ripe for eternity, before they are removed into it!
The godly are ripe for heaven—and the wicked are ripe for hell!
The godly are vessels of mercy, prepared for glory; the wicked are vessels of wrath, fitted for destruction, and for nothing else!
And therefore they must remain forever in their respective lodgings!
Sinners do indeed repent when in hell—but their repentance is their punishment, and has no tendency to amend or save them. They mourn and weep—but their tears are but oil to increase the flame! They cry, and perhaps pray in hell—but the hour of acceptance with God is past—past forever! The means of grace are all gone! The sanctifying influences of the Spirit are all withdrawn forever! And hence, they will corrupt and putrefy into mere masses of pure unmingled wickedness and misery!
Sinners, realize this thought—and surely, it must rouse you out of your lethargy and sleep!
Trifle on a little longer—and it is all over with you!
Spend a few days more as you have spent your time past—and you will be engulfed in as hopeless a misery—as any devil in hell!