Dead and Done With

He was very old, ninety-seven years of age. He wore no glasses, and had all his faculties in a remarkable degree, and looked the very picture of health! When I visited him, he asked me to be seated. Then he inquired as to the object of my visit, as I was a perfect stranger to him. I at once informed him that I had come to read the Word of God to him, to speak to him about God, about Christ, and His precious blood, about his own soul, and ETERNITY.
He looked steadfastly at me and said in the most determined manner that I might save my breath and time. He did not believe in anything of the sort, and was not in the slightest troubled about the future.
"I am ninety-seven years of age," he said, "and no thanks to anybody but myself. I have lived a most careful and abstemious life, and I mean to live three more years, until I am a hundred years old. Then I think I shall have seen and had enough of life, and shall quietly lay myself down and die."
"It is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment," I rejoined.
"All fudge and nonsense," he said; "when a man is dead he is done with. There is no hereafter for him at all." Then for the space of nearly an hour he quoted to me the most blasphemous passages from his favorite infidel authors.
Through his recital, it was difficult to keep my seat. My blood seemed to curdle in my veins as I listened unwillingly to his awful conversation, and looked at him and thought of his nearness to eternity. What a dread future awaited him if he died as he was! I felt God had sent me to him with a message from Himself, and I must bide my opportunity to deliver it.
At last I told him that I had listened to him for nearly an hour. Now he must listen to me for ten minutes. To reason with the old man was useless, a waste of precious time. Besides, I had and have no faith in argument either, so I began quoting the Scriptures. This I knew was the sword of the Spirit, and God would honor His Word.
"The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God." Psa. 9: 17.
"He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned." Mark 16: 16.
"For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life." John 3: 16.
"He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life; and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him." John 3:3636He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him. (John 3:36).
I then fell on my knees, and asked God to bless His word just quoted to the old man, to open his eyes to his danger, to deliver his precious soul from the diabolical grip of the fiend of hell, and let me meet him as a brand plucked from the burning, and washed from all his sins in the blood of the Lamb, in heaven.
As I rose from my knees our eyes met, full of tears. As I took my leave of him he grasped my hand, and said, "If there is a heaven, I hope I shall meet you there. If you are wrong and I am right, you are as right as I am. But, oh, if you are right and I am wrong, I am wrong indeed. You have two strings to your bow, while I have only one to mine."
I was unable to call again until two weeks later, when I found myself again knocking at his door. His wife, who was a Christian, answered my knock, and to my first question, "How is your husband?" bade me follow her. She ushered me into the old man's bedroom, and there before my gaze was the mortal remains of her husband!
She said he had complained of a spot on one of his feet giving him pain, which rapidly grew worse. Soon inflammation set in, followed by mortification, which closed his long career on earth. Thus had God summarily cut the impious old boaster down, three years less in this world than he had planned.
His wife informed me that the doctor who attended him in his last brief illness was also an infidel. He had urged the old man to "stick to his guns and to die like a brick!" But her husband found no comfort from his miserable, guilty adviser. No wonder! What had he to stick to in infidelity? No God, no Christ, no Holy Spirit, no precious blood, no hereafter! What was there in the baseless myth of infidelity—the thin, cold shadow of a fool's heart—to stick to?
I asked the sad, weeping wife to tell me her husband's last words. She said, "He took my hand in his, and looking earnestly at me, he said as loud as his remaining bit of strength would allow him, 'Wife, I believe in God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost, heaven and hell,' and then he breathed his last."
Dark, cold infidelity! Nothing can cheer its deluded votaries in the hour of death. Christianity has everything to rejoice its happy followers in sickness and in health, in poverty and plenty, in life and in death, in time and in eternity. There is everything to cheer and nothing to chill in Christianity. "What think ye of Christ?"
"For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." Rom. 8:38, 3938For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, 39Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:38‑39).