James Smith

We are too much taken up with the things of time. We think too little, too seldom of eternity and its solemn realities. No word is more vast, no subject is more serious than ETERNITY! Eternity is existence without limit no commencement, no succession of periods, no end. In this sense, God only is eternal. He is eternal in his nature, perfections, and purposes.

As God is eternal, the believer has an eternal FATHER who ever lives, ever loves, and ever cares for him.

He has an eternal PORTION . . .
the limits of which he can never reach,
the fullness of which he can never exhaust,
and of the variety in which he can never weary.

He has an eternal INHERITANCE which he can never lose, of which He can never be deprived, and which shall never pass from him into the possession of another.

Eternity is duration without cessation, a point towards which we are tending, a state in which we shall soon be placed. In eternity, there will be no mixtures as here . . .
in this world the wheat and the chaff;
in the church both saints and sinners;
in the believer
  sin and holiness,
  fear and confidence,
  the old man and the new.

There is no mixture in HELL there all are bad, and there is . . .
wrath without mercy,
justice without grace,
holiness without love.

There are no mixtures in HEAVEN there all are good, and there is . . .
pleasure without pain,
joy without sorrow,
and holiness without sin.

There are no trials either in Heaven or Hell. Here we are tried by providence, by the gospel, by ordinances; we are tried to prove or improve us. God tries our faith, our fervor, and all our principles.

There are no changes in eternity. Here we change from bad to good, from good to better, and sometimes from good to bad. But in Hell all are wicked; in Heaven all are good. In eternity all is fixed, permanent, and enduring.

Once in Hell in Hell forever!

Once in Heaven in Heaven forever!

Eternity, O how affecting the thought!

Eternity, O how ponderous the idea!

Time introduces to eternity.

Every moment brings it nearer.

A moment may plunge us into it!

How trifling time would be if eternity did not follow it. But living once, we exist forever. Exist we must, but how and where? O how terrible the idea of eternity, to a thoughtful sinner! O how glorious the prospect of eternity, to the happy believer! Life is a preparation for eternity. The only preparation for it. We may now escape the bitterness of eternal death. We may now secure the happiness of eternal life. We shall now fit ourselves for Hell, and for association with devils and the damned; or, we must yield ourselves to God, to make us fit to he partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light.

Life! O how important is life!

Death is our entrance upon eternity. We then pass into a fixed and immutable state. After death, we shall hear no gospel preached, we shall receive no loving messages from a gracious God, there will be no place for repentance, no work for faith.

If lost we shall be lost forever.

If we die in sin we shall lie under the power and condemnation of sin forever.

If saved our salvation is eternal.

If we die in Jesus we shall never know condemnation, or suffer pain.

Holiness alone, can qualify us to enjoy it. Without holiness no one can . . .
see the Lord with comfort,
stand before him with acceptance,
or enjoy the unveiling of his glory.

We must be cleansed from sin.

We must be renewed in the spirit of our minds.

We must be born again. For as we were born into the world of nature so we must be born into the world of grace. And as our first birth qualified us for the employments and enjoyments of time so our second birth qualifies us for the employments and enjoyments of eternity.

We were never so near to eternity as at this moment. Solemn thought, we never had so little time to prepare for it. Soon, very soon we must enter upon it! Time hurries us forward, and eternity as with slow and solemn tread, comes forward to receive us. Before another day we may be in eternity. Many will we may. Before another day! Yes, before another hour! Accidents are not infrequent. Sudden death is not uncommon. If I should fall suddenly would I fall safely? If I should die without a warning would I be found ready for the separating stroke? O my soul, look to it, that you are prepared for eternity look to it, that you are in Christ be sure that you are born of God. If you are not in Christ you have no title to Heaven; and if the Holy Spirit is not in you you have no fitness for it!

Eternity, stupendous theme!
Compared herewith, our life's a dream;
Eternity, O, solemn sound,
A deep, where all our thoughts are drowned!

Eternity, the dread abode
And habitation of our God!
His glory fills the vast expanse,
Beyond the reach of mortal sense.

But an eternity there is
Of endless woe or joyful bliss;
And, swift as time fulfills its round,
We to eternity are bound!

And is eternity so near?
And must we all, and soon, be there?
Prepare our souls, O blessed God,
To meet our long, our last abode!