WHERE ARE YOU GOING?

WHERE ARE YOU GOING ?
One Sabbath evening, just before the hour for the closing
religious service of the day, a group of young men had come
together on a corner of the city streets. Their hearts were
intent upon what they called ” having a good time.” And as
those passed by who regarded the Sabbath as a day of peace,
of Christian works and worship, and who were on their way
to the place of prayer, the question was heard proposed m
that group, ”Where are you going?” It was to decide in
what place of amusement or dissipation the evening of the
Sabbath should be spent, and those young men answered it in
a manner to suit their purpose: but it is also a question full
of interest to us all, and one which, if truly answered, will indicate
our destiny for eternity.

We are all going, as fast as time can carry us, into the future,
to us unknown; but there are some for whom this inquiry
points with fearful significance toward that future. Dear
reader, how is it with you?

We will suppose you have never yet attended to the concerns
of your soul; that you have cared for none of these
things. How then shall this question be answered so as to
meet your case? Where are YOU going? May eternal truth
be impressed upon your heart as it never yet has been, while
we answer for you as for one who must give account at last.

1. You are going to the grave. Have you ever seriously
thought of this? Man of business, while buried as you are
in the cares of this world, — while so eagerly striving for
gold,—have you ever stopped to reflect, ” Though I am doing
my own will and seeking my own profit now, and putting tar
from me thoughts of dying, yet there is a grave in my path,
and my next step may be into it?” Man of pleasure, have
you ever thought of this? While seeking happiness in dissipation,
in all the vain things which belong to this life only, do
you ever think of a time, which will surely come, when you
shall say, “I can enjoy these things no more; I am about to
lie down in the grave?” Impenitent, thoughtless man, old or
young, whoever you may be, whose supreme love and desires
are limited to this*life, does the thought ever enter your mind,
“The grave is before me; every day brings me nearer to it;
there my worldly pleasures will be ended?”
But your acknowledgement that this is true is not a full answer
to our question. You admit that your body will soon be
in the grave; but will you rest there ? Where are you going
then?

2. You are going to the judgment. Open the word of God,
and in the light that beams from the sacred page into the future,
look upon that solemn scene. Imagine yourself there.
You are no uninterested spectator. You are the prisoner at
the bar. Look up and see upon the great white throne, Him
who was once crucified for you; who loved you with a boundless
love; who graciously invited you, urged you to come to
him and be forgiven and saved. Now, He is your judge. Oh,
how gladly you would see rocks and mountains falling upon
you to hide you from his face! But you must await your
sentence here.
Once you were in a world where pardon and peace were freely
offered to you in the gospel. There you became familiar with
the story of the cross, and while you saw others penitently
going to Christ, confessing their sins and finding mercy, you
turned away and hardened your heart.
You cannot say with truth, “While there was a possibility
of my salvation, ‘no man cared for my soul.'” You were
often warned of your danger. Many prayers were offered for
you, and you were entreated to make your peace with God.
All the efforts of those who loved your soul were unavailing.
The Holy Spirit pleaded with your heart. You would not
listen, and at length He was grieved away for ever.
Therefore do you stand here self-condemned. You are able
now to comprehend the awful meaning of the words which
once you read so thoughtlessly, and now you make personal
application of them; they seem addressed to yourself alone:
” Because I have called, and ye refused; I have stretched out.
my hand, and no man regarded; but ye have set at naught
all my counsel, and would none of my reproof; I also will
laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your fear cometh:
when your fear cometh as desolation, and your destruction
cometh as a whirlwind ; when distress and anguish cometh
upon you.” Prov. 1 : 24-27.
Listen to your sentence, already pronounced against you by
your own conscience — Depart. But where, reader? What
shall be the end of this sad journey? for that has not yet been
reached. The sentence sends you further on. Where are you
going now?

3. From the very gate of heaven you are going away into
despair. No more shall you hear the precious words of promise
to the penitent. No more will Christ invite, or his faithful
ministers warn, or Christians pray. You have at last
reached your journey’s end. You have found your own place,
and in it you will spend eternity.

Reader, as you contemplate such an answer to the question
we have started, are you not constrained to cry out, with
thanks to God that you are yet in a world of probation; that
the truth of our answer has not yet been verified by your
bitter experience; that you can pray, with the assurance that
the prayer of the broken and contrite heart shall be heard?
Are you not constrained to cry for mercy to that Saviour whom
you have so long rejected; who has been knocking at the door
of your heart so long, and who is still waiting to be gracious?
Once more you are reminded, earnestly and affectionately, of
your duty, and warned of your danger. Once more you are
invited to come to the “Lamb of God which taketh away the
sin of the world,” and be relieved of the burden of your own
sin, and receive the peace which is not of this world. To every
soul there is a last time for all such offers and invitations.
As you read, remember that this may be the last warning
which shall ever meet your eye. You are moving forward in
the path already indicated, the end of which is so appalling,
whether you are conscious of it or not.
Awake, then, from this fearful state, before it becomes a
sleep of death ! No longer put off the care of your immortal
soul. Listen to the words of Jesus—” Him that cometh unto
me I will in no wise cast out;” and as you hear, make haste
to come.

Then shall your answer to our inquiry be, ” I am going forward
in the path of duty as my Father shall reveal it while I
live, humbly trusting in my Redeemer; and then I am going
according to his promise, to enter upon the inheritance which
he has purchased for me with his precious blood—an inheritance
‘ incorruptible, undefiled, and that fadeth not away,'”

ORIGINAL HYMN.
BY REV. J.H. MARTIN.
Ye guilty sinners, turn,
The downward road forsake :
Lest you in hell forever burn,
That fiery, dreadful lake.
In vain shall you implore
Your Maker’s favor there;
He’ll close against you mercy’s door,
And leave you to despair.
Now is th’ accepted day,
Salvation’s offered now:

Then come to Christ, without delay,
And to his Sceptre bow.
Your sins will be forgiven,
Your stains be washed away ;
And you’ll be made the heirs of heaven,
Then come, without delay.