A Policeman’s Experience

Some years ago a young policeman left the station to take up his lonely night beat. A few minutes after leaving the station he was brought up most suddenly by a thought! It was a strange and a most momentous thought. It presented itself so vividly before him that it escaped from his lips in these striking words:
"What a mercy that I am out of Hell!”
After he had thus exclaimed, he stood still and reconsidered the awful import of the words he had given expression to. He owned that if he then had his deserts he would have been in Hell. He owned that the "counsel of God against himself" (Luke 7:3030But the Pharisees and lawyers rejected the counsel of God against themselves, being not baptized of him. (Luke 7:30)) was perfectly justified. He knew he was a sinner—that is, an unconverted sinner, and that the unconverted, when they die, wake up where there is weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth. Where the worm of a gnawing conscience dieth not, and the fire is not quenched! (Mark 9:4444Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched. (Mark 9:44)).
He had heard men "explaining away" Hell, but he did not believe them, and probably no one else does in the depth of their hearts. It is a most unsafe belief, and it is foolish to accept it unless absolutely certain of the fact. But meanwhile, God, who cannot lie, has declared that there is an eternal lake of fire which Christ rejecters and Christ neglecters must share with the Devil and his angels (Matt. 25:4141Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: (Matthew 25:41)). All this our friend the young policeman knew—knew to be true—and trembled!
"What a mercy I am out of Hell!" His beat that night was lonely and quiet, as regards his duty. But a tumult was going on within him. He could not shake the thought off, because it was an arrow of conviction shot from God's bow. The Spirit of God was arguing with him. He wondered if he would finish that eight hours' beat out of a deserved Hell. It was a memorable beat to him. At its close, however, he had come to the conclusion, though naturally a little vaguely, that whatever the cost he would yield to God. It was a wise decision, not to be repented of forever! He at once sought men who were well known to be "converted." They told him of Jesus, how He loved him, how He came from the glory to seek and to save that which was lost—himself a lost sinner. They told him further how Christ died for him in shame on Calvary's Cross—for him! How the Lord Jesus was "made sin" that he, the policeman, might be clothed in a righteousness which was of God, and that His blood blots out all sins, and finally how to appropriate all these eternal benefits to himself, was just to believe! He did believe there and then and so was converted. He now is secured from ever being in Hell, and it is simply through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
"God commendeth His love toward us, in that, 'while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”