Spurgeon, "A Blow at Self-Righteousness"
I think I see that day of fire,
that day of wrath.
You are gathered as a great multitude before the eternal throne.
Those who are robed in Christ's fine linen, which is the
righteousness of the saints, are caught up to his right hand.
And now the trumpet sounds; if there be any that have kept the
law of God, if there be faultless ones, if there be any that have
never sinned, let them stand forth and claim the promised reward;
but, if not, let the pit engulf the sinner, let the fiery
thunder-bolt be launched upon the impenitent offenders.
Now, stand forth, sir, and clear yourself!
Come forth, my friend, and claim your reward.
What! what! does your tongue lie dumb in your mouth?
Come forward, come forward- you who said you had been a
good citizen, had fed the hungry, and clothed the naked-
come forward now, and claim the reward.
What! what! is your face turned to whiteness?
Is there an ashy paleness on your cheek?
Come forward, you multitudes of those who rejected Christ,
and despised his blood.
Come now, and say,
"All the commandments have I kept from my youth up."
What! are you seized with horror? Has the better light of
judgment driven out the darkness of your self-righteousness?
Oh! I see you, I see you, you are not boasting now; but you,
the best of you, are crying, "You rocks, hide me; you mountains,
open your stony bowels; and let me hide myself from the face of
him that sits upon the throne!"
Why, why such a coward?
Come, face it out before your Maker.
Come up, infidel, now, tell God there is no God.
Come, while hell is flaming in your nostrils; come, and say
there is no hell; or tell the Almighty that you never
could bear to hear a hell-fire sermon preached.
Let me not mock you in your misery; but let me picture
to you how devils shall mock you--
"Aha!" say they "where is your courage now?
Are your ribs of iron and your bones of brass?
Will you dare the Almighty now, and dash yourselves upon the
bosses of his buckler, or run upon his glittering spear?"
See them, see them as they sink!
The gulf has swallowed them up; the earth has closed again,
and they are gone; a solemn silence falls upon the ear.
But hark below, if you could descend with them, you would hear
their doleful groans, and hollow moans, as they now feel that
God omnipotent was right and just, and wise, and tender, when
he bade them to forsake their righteousness, and flee to Christ,
and lay hold on him that can save to the uttermost
them that come unto God by him.