The Way That Seems Right

 •  7 min. read  •  grade level: 10
There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death." (Prov. 14:1212There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death. (Proverbs 14:12) and 16:25,) Such, dear reader, are the inspired words of the royal preacher, and the statement is so true, and withal so important, that it is twice repeated. It is so common, nay so universal among the erring sons of Adam, for us to leave the good and the right way, the way of truth and peace and happiness, and to run like silly sheep, every one to his own way, just because it seemeth right tons, and in entire disregard of what the end thereof shall be, that it surely is not without occasion that we are thus warned to consider what lies before us, at the foot of that way we have chosen, and in which we are so swiftly hastening. It seemeth right: it is broader and more pleasant to our feet; there are more to travel with us in it than in that narrow path with the strait gate at the bead of it. Most of our companions are with us here and beckon us on, and on, and we follow, but oh whither? The end of these things is.—But never mind the end: that will not come yet; it is not long that we have been in this glittering path, and for awhile at least we will enjoy it. To-morrow stall be as this day, and much more abundant; and the third day, and the following days, and the last doll! No, no, we dare not think of that; it is an unpleasant subject, and must not be allowed to intrude upon our mirth. It startles us as the funeral knell of all our pleasures, and its sound must be stifled, or else "even in laughter the heart is sorrowful, and the end of that mirth is heaviness." Ah dear reader, the end will be heaviness, and that so heavy that the soul will sink into endless, endless woe. Would you fain forget that it will have an end? Would you fain occupy yourself with the way that seemeth right, and with the empty mirth you love, and banish from your mind the unwelcome truth that the end of one is the "ways of death," and of the other, heaviness with blank despair? I ask you, is this wise? Should it not rather be left to witless sheep to wander they know not whither, and should not you, as a rational and responsible being, possessing an undying soul, consider the end of the path you take, as well as the path itself? Have you not heard who has said, "O that they were wise, that they understood this; that they would consider their latter end," and will you give no heed to it? Pray do not toss this aside as unworthy your attention: do not treat with indifference or contempt, the words of your Omnipotent Creator. Dear fellow-sinner, He is stronger than thou: oh, beware of trifling with Him. Be wise now, therefore, be instructed from these words; how possible it is for even the way that seems so right in Mine eyes, to have at its end the ways of eternal misery, the second death.
Thoughtless young man, what is the way you are treading, and what is its end? Does it seem right to you? Do you pride yourself upon being a real good fellow, and at any rate doing no harm to any one but yourself? (and why, prithee, shouldst thou be an enemy to thyself?) You spend your money freely, and attend to your business regularly, and keep up a fair character; you do not go to the same excess of riot as some whom you know, and if you are not quite so particular about reading your bible and similar things, you do not openly scoff at religion, or stand in the way of others who wish to improve themselves and lead a religious life. You make no profession yourself, and so nobody can call you a hypocrite; you hate hypocrisy, and this serves you well as an excuse for not confessing the name of the blessed Jesus, and taking up your cross to follow after that lowly Savior, who as a despised stranger, traveled this weary world: but on the whole you do not feel that you can find much fault with yourself, and this is the way that seemeth right unto you. Now my friend, you may be very sincere in thinking yourself right in pursuing the way I have traced, but, I ask you again is it wise to rest content with what seems right, when the thing in question is one of such infinite importance to you as the eternal welfare of your undying soul? We are told how a young man shall cleanse his way, by taking heed thereto according to the Word of God: are you following the infallible directions of that Word? Such, and such only, is the unerring chart by which to shape our course; have you for yourself consulted it Have you found from it that you are a sinner, and have urgent, pressing need of a Savior? If you have you will never rest satisfied with the way that seemeth right unto you; you will find it gives you no relief from the burden of your sins; no release from the fear of death; and, although it be a way of seeming happiness and transient pleasure, you must, while in it, number yourself with those of whom it is said, "the way of peace have they not known." You may have a treacherous peace with yourself, and the world, and your associates in folly, but "peace with God" you know not, and unless by His mercy arrested, and turned out of the path of darkness into His marvelous light, you never can know that rest of heart which attends faith in His beloved Son Jesus Christ. But, oh! if still content to tread the path of disobedience and departure from Him, be assured you will find ere long and to your eternal cost, that the end of the way that seemed so right, leads only to endless, hopeless misery.
Dear reader, whoever you may be, old and feeble, or young and vigorous; surrounded by circumstances of ease and comfort, or compelled to labor wearily for the bread that perish eth; be entreated to ponder well the path of thy feet, yea, to examine it in the full blaze of divine light, never resting satisfied with the way that seemeth right, lest by-and-bye, when too late to retrace thy steps, thou find it as "the way of the wicked, which is as darkness; they know not at what they stumble." There is a way that "leadeth into life;" that leads to God in whose presence is "fullness of joy," and at whose right hand are "pleasures for evermore." Jesus is the Way: His precious blood "cleanseth from all sin," and makes poor hell-deserving sinners meet to tread that holy path. It is the "way everlasting," and it "shineth more and more unto the perfect day." It is a narrow path now, having been tracked by One "despised- and rejected of men," but presently, when He receives His honors, and goes forth, conquering -and to conquer, till all in heaven and earth be subdued into Him, He will not be ashamed to own as His brethren, before assembled worlds, those who have confessed His name in this scene of His humiliation, and then in rapturous joy and bliss unspeakable they shall know- how infinitely better it was to take the narrow path that leadeth unto life, and choose to suffer afflictions as followers of Jesus, than to "enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season," in that path which might have seemed right, but the "end of which are the ways of death." W. T.