by Archibald Alexander

You are placed in solemn circumstances. Eternity rolls its boundless waves just before you! Every year, every month, every week, every day, every hour lessens the distance between you and the unchangeable state to which you are hastening. The precise moment of your entrance into this untried, unknown world is hidden from you. Death often comes and knocks at the door at a time when least expected. At a time when men think not--they receive the awful summons. And often they are hurried away, little time being allowed for preparation. Many, while they know they must die at some time, never in their lives think seriously of the matter. When the summons reaches them, they are taken by surprise. It is practically a new subject; they are alarmed, and filled with consternation. They cling to hope as long as there is a ray of hope that they may be spared a little longer. But when it is announced to the unhappy sufferer that there is no hope of recovery—that the physician has given him up, O what a poignant anguish pierces the soul! Who can describe the horror by which the guilty sinner is overwhelmed?

Are you prepared for death? Some one is perhaps ready to say, "I am no worse than my neighbors. I have never done anything very bad. I have tried to live a good life; I hope that I shall find favor of the Lord when I come to die." And is this all the ground of hope you have? Are you willing to appear before the solemn judgment with no better righteousness than this? Though you may have lived a decent moral life, yet you have failed to love God with all your heart. His service you have habitually neglected. The offers of mercy made in the gospel you have rejected. Unless you obtain a better preparation, your soul will be lost, and your misery will be great. And though you may be in no worse a condition than many of your neighbors, yet it will be small alleviation, when enduring the torments of the damned, that many others are in the same condemnation. No doubt they that perish will have company enough, but this will be no alleviation, but perhaps an aggravation of their misery. "Wide is the gate and broad is the way which leads to destruction, and many there be that go in thereat." The Judge is at the door. Be therefore ready.