Charles Spurgeon – The sin of unbelief

“And that officer answered the man of God and said, Now, behold, if the Lord should
make windows in Heaven might such a thing be?
And he said, Behold, you shall see it with your eyes but shall not eat thereof.”
2 Kings 7:19.

ONE wise man may deliver a whole city. One good man may be the means of safety to a thousand others. The holy
ones are “the salt of the earth,” the means of the preservation of the wicked. Without the godly as a buffer, the race
would be utterly destroyed. In the city of Samaria there was one righteous man—Elisha, the servant of the Lord. Piety
was altogether extinct in the court. The king was a sinner of the blackest dye, his iniquity was glaring and infamous. Jehoram
walked in the ways of his father, Ahab, and made unto himself false gods. The people of Samaria were fallen like
their monarch—they had gone astray from Jehovah. They had forsaken the God of Israel—they remembered not the
watchword of Jacob, “The Lord your God is one God.” And in wicked idolatry they bowed before the idols of the Heathens.
Therefore the Lord of Hosts suffered their enemies to oppress them until the curse of Ebal was fulfilled in the
streets of Samaria, for “the tender and delicate woman who would not adventure to set the sole of her foot upon the
ground for delicateness,” had an evil eye to her own children and devoured her offspring by reason of fierce hunger (Deut
28:56-58). In this awful extremity the one holy man was the medium of salvation. The one grain of salt preserved the
entire city—the one warrior for God was the means of the deliverance of the whole beleaguered multitude. For Elisha’s
sake, the Lord sent the promise that the next day food which could not be obtained at any price, should be had at the
cheapest possible rate—at the very gates of Samaria. We may picture the joy of the multitude when first the Seer uttered
this prediction. They knew him to be a Prophet of the Lord. He had Divine credentials. All his past prophecies had been
fulfilled. They knew that he was a man sent of God and uttering Jehovah’s message. Surely the monarch’s eyes would glisten
with delight and the emaciated multitude would leap for joy at the prospects of so speedy a release from famine.
“Tomorrow,” would they shout, “tomorrow our hunger shall be over and we shall feast to the full.”

 

However, the officer on whom the king leaned expressed his disbelief. We hear not that any of the common people,
the plebeians, ever did so. But an aristocrat did it. Strange it is that God has seldom chosen the great men of this world.
High places and faith in Christ do seldom agree. This great man said, “Impossible!” And, with an insult to the Prophet,
he added, “If the Lord should make windows in Heaven, might such a thing be”? His sin lay in the fact that after repeated
proofs of Elisha’s ministry, he yet disbelieved the assurances uttered by the Prophet on God’s behalf. He had, doubtless
seen the marvelous defeat of Moab—he had been startled at tidings of the resurrection of the Shunamite’s son. He knew
that Elisha had revealed Benhadad’s secrets and smitten his marauding hosts with blindness. He had seen the bands of
Syria decoyed into the heart of Samaria. And he probably knew the story of the widow, whose oil filled all the vessels and
redeemed her son. Of all events, the cure of Naaman was common conversation at court. And yet, in the face of all this
accumulated evidence, in the teeth of all these credentials of the Prophet’s mission, he yet doubted and insultingly told
him that Heaven must become an open casement before the promise could be performed. Whereupon God pronounced his
doom by the mouth of the man who had just now proclaimed the promise—“you shall see it with your eyes but shall not
eat thereof.” And Providence—which always fulfils prophecy—just as the paper takes the stamp of the type—destroyed
the man. Trod down in the streets of Samaria, he perished at its gates beholding the plenty, but tasting not of it! Perhaps
his carriage was haughty and insulting to the people. Or he tried to restrain their eager rush. Or, perhaps, as we would
say, it might have been by mere “accident” that he was crushed to death. But he saw the prophecy fulfilled and never
lived to enjoy it. In his case, seeing was believing, but it was not enjoying.

 

I shall this morning invite your attention to two things—the man’s sin and his punishment. Perhaps I shall say but
little of this man, since I have detailed the circumstances, but I shall discourse upon the sin of unbelief and the punishment
thereof.

 

I. And first, the SIN. His sin was unbelief. He doubted the promise of God. In this particular case, unbelief took the
form of a doubt of the Divine veracity, or a mistrust of God’s power. Either he doubted whether God really meant what
He said, or whether it was within the range of possibility that God should fulfill His promise. Unbelief has more phases
than the moon and more colors than the chameleon. Common people say of the devil that he is seen sometimes in one
shape and sometimes in another. I am sure this is true of Satan’s first-born child—unbelief, for its forms are legion. At
one time I see unbelief dressed out as an angel of light. It calls itself humility and it says, “I would not be presumptuous. I
dare not think that God would pardon me. I am too great a sinner.” We call that humility and thank God that our friend
is in so good a condition. I do not thank God for any such delusion! It is the devil dressed as an angel of light—it is unbelief
after all! At other times we detect unbelief in the shape of a doubt of God’s immutability. “The Lord has loved me,
but perhaps He will cast me off tomorrow. He helped me yesterday and under the shadows of His wings I trust. But perhaps
I shall receive no help in the next affliction. He may have cast me off. He may be unmindful of His Covenant and forget
to be gracious.” Sometimes this infidelity is embodied in a doubt of God’s power. We see every day new straits we are
involved in—a net of difficulties—and we think, “surely the Lord cannot deliver us.” We strive to get rid of our burden
and finding that we cannot do it, we think God’s arm is as short as ours and His power as little as human might. A fearful
form of unbelief is that doubt which keeps men from coming to Christ, which leads the sinner to distrust the ability of
Christ to save him, to doubt the willingness of Jesus to accept so great a transgressor. But the most hideous of all is the
traitor, in its true colors, blaspheming God and madly denying His existence. Infidelity, deism and atheism are the ripe
fruits of this pernicious tree. They are the most terrific eruptions of the volcano of unbelief. Unbelief has become of full
stature, when quitting the mask and laying aside disguise, it profanely stalks the earth, uttering the rebellious cry, “No
God,” striving in vain to shake the Throne of the Divinity, by lifting up its arm against Jehovah and in its arrogance
would—

 

“Snatch from His hand the balance and the rod,
Rejudge His justice—be the god of God.”

 

Then, truly, unbelief has come to its full perfection. And then you see what it really is—for the least unbelief is of the
same nature as the greatest.

 

I am astonished and I am sure you will be, when I tell you that there are some strange people in the world who do not
believe that unbelief is a sin! Strange people I must call them, because they are sound in their faith in every other respect.
Only to make the articles of their creed consistent, as they imagine, they deny that unbelief is sinful. I remember a young
man going into a circle of friends and ministers who were disputing whether it was a sin in men that they did not believe
the Gospel. While they were discussing it, he said, “Gentlemen am I in the presence of Christians? Are you believers in the
Bible, or are you not?” They said, “We are Christians, of course.” “Then,” he said, “does not the Scripture say, of sin,
‘because they believed not on Me?’ And is it not the dawning sin of sinners, that they do not believe on Christ?” I could
not have thought that persons should be so foolhardy as to venture to assert that, “it is no sin for a sinner not to believe
on Christ.” I thought that however far they might wish to push their sentiments, they would not tell a lie to uphold the
Truth and, in my opinion, this is what such men are really doing! Truth is a strong tower and never requires to be buttressed
with error. God’s Word will stand against all man’s devices. I would never invent a sophism to prove that it is no
sin on the part of the ungodly not to believe, for I am sure it is. I am taught in the Scriptures that, “This is the condemnation,
that light is come into the world and men love darkness rather than light.” And when I read, “He that believes not
is condemned already, because he believes not on the Son of God,” I affirm and the Word declares it, unbelief is a sin.
Surely with rational and unprejudiced persons, it cannot require any reasoning to prove it. Is it not a sin for a creature to
doubt the word of its Maker? Is it not a crime and an insult to the Divinity, for me, an atom, a particle of dust, to dare to
deny His words? Is it not the very summit of arrogance and extremity of pride for a son of Adam to say, even in his heart,
“God I doubt Your Grace. God I doubt Your love. God I doubt Your power”? Oh, Sirs believe me, could you roll all
sins into one mass—could you take murder, blasphemy, lust, adultery and fornication and everything that is vile and
unite them all into one vast globe of black corruption, they would not equal, even then—the sin of unbelief! This is the

monarch sin, the quintessence of guilt, the mixture of the venom of all crimes. The dregs of the wine of Gomorrah. It is
the A-1 sin, the masterpiece of Satan, the chief work of the devil!

 

I shall attempt this morning, for a little while, to show the extremely evil nature of the sin of unbelief.

 

1. And first the sin of unbelief will appear to be extremely heinous when we remember that it is the parent of every
other iniquity. There is no crime which unbelief will not beget. I think that the Fall of man is very much owing to it. It
was in this point that the devil tempted Eve. He said to her, “Yes, has God said, you shall not eat of every tree of the garden?”
He whispered and insinuated a doubt, “Yes, has God said so?” As much as to say, “Are you quite sure He said so?”
It was by means of unbelief—that thin part of the wedge—that curiosity, the other sin entered, and the rest followed.
She touched the fruit and destruction came into this world. Since that time, unbelief has been the prolific parent of all
guilt. An unbeliever is capable of the vilest crime that ever was committed. Unbelief, Sirs! Why it hardened the heart of
Pharaoh—it gave license to the tongue of blaspheming Rabshakeh—yes, it became a deicide and murdered Jesus. Unbelief!
It has sharpened the knife of the suicide! It has mixed many a cup of poison. Thousands it has brought to the halter
and many to a shameful grave who have murdered themselves and rushed with bloody hands before their Creator’s tribunal
because of unbelief! Give me an unbeliever—let me know that he doubts God’s Word—let me know that he distrusts
His promises and His threats. And with that for a premise, I will conclude that the man shall, by-and-by, unless there is
amazing restraining power exerted upon him, be guilty of the foulest and blackest crimes. Ah, this is a Beelzebub sin!
Like Beelzebub, it is the leader of all evil spirits. It is said of Jeroboam that he sinned and made Israel to sin. And it may
be said of unbelief that it not only sins, itself, but makes others sin. It is the egg of all crime, the seed of every offense. In
fact everything that is evil and vile lies couched in that one word—unbelief!

 

And let me say here that unbelief in the Christian is of the same nature as unbelief in the sinner. It is not the same in
its final issue, for it will be pardoned in the Christian. Yes, it is pardoned—it was laid upon the scapegoat’s head of
old—it was blotted out and atoned for. But it is of the same sinful nature! In fact, if there can be one sin more heinous
than the unbelief of a sinner, it is the unbelief of a saint. For a saint to doubt God’s Word—for a saint to distrust God
after innumerable instances of His love, after ten thousand proofs of His mercy—exceeds everything. In a saint, moreover,
unbelief is the root of other sins. When I am perfect in faith I shall be perfect in everything else—I should always
fulfill the precept if I always believe the promise. But it is because my faith is weak that I sin. Put me in trouble and if I
can fold my arms and say, “Jehovah-Jireh the Lord will provide,” you will not find me using wrong means to escape from
it. But let me be in temporal distress and difficulty, if I distrust God, what then? Perhaps I shall steal, or do a dishonest
act to get out of the hands of my creditors. Or if kept from such a transgression, I may plunge into excess to drown my
anxieties. Once take away faith, the reins are broken. And who can ride an unbroken steed without rein or bridle? Like
the chariot of the sun with Phaeton for its driver, such would we be without faith. Unbelief is the mother of vice. It is the
parent of sin—and, therefore, I say it is a pestilent evil—a master sin!

 

2. But secondly—unbelief not only begets, but fosters sin. How is it that men can keep their sin under the thunders
of the Sinai preacher? How is it that, when Boanerges stands in the pulpit and, by the Grace of God, cries aloud, “Cursed
is every man that keeps not all the commands of the Law”—how is it that when the sinner hears the tremendous threats
of God’s Justice, still he is hardened and walks on in his evil ways? I will tell you. It is because unbelief of that threat prevents
it from having any effect upon him. When our sappers and miners go to work around Sebastopol, they could not
work in front of the walls if they had not something to keep off the shots. So they raise earthworks, behind which they
can do what they please. So with the ungodly man. The devil gives him unbelief. He thus puts up an earthwork and finds
refuge behind it. Ah, Sinners, when once the Holy Spirit knocks down your unbelief—when once He brings home the
Truth in demonstration and in power—how the Law will work upon your soul! If man did but believe that the Law is
holy, that the Commandments are holy, just and good, how he would be shaken over Hell’s mouth. There would be no
sitting and sleeping in God’s House. No careless hearers. No going away and straightway forgetting what manner of men
you are! Oh, once get rid of unbelief, how would every ball from the batteries of the Law fall upon the sinner and the
slain of the Lord would be many. Again, how is it that men can hear the wooing of the Cross of Calvary and yet come not
to Christ? How is it that when we preach about the sufferings of Jesus and close up by saying, “yet there is room”—how
is it that when we dwell upon His Cross and Passion, men are not broken in their hearts? It is said—

 

“Law and terrors do but harden

All the while they work alone
But a sense of blood-bought pardon
Will dissolve a heart of stone.”

 

I think the tale of Calvary is enough to break a rock. Rocks did rend when they saw Jesus die. I think the tragedy of Golgotha
is enough to make a flint gush with tears and to make the most hardened wretch weep out his eyes in drops of penitential
love. But yet we tell you and repeat it often, but who weeps over it? Who cares about it? Sirs, you sit as unconcerned
as if it did not have any meaning to you! Oh, I bellow and see all you that pass by. Is it nothing to you that Jesus
should die? You seem to say, “It is nothing.” What is the reason? Because there is unbelief between you and the Cross! If
there were not that thick veil between you and the Savior’s eyes, His looks of love would melt you. But unbelief is the sin
which keeps the power of the Gospel from working in the sinner—and it is not till the Holy Spirit strikes that unbelief
out—it is not till the Holy Spirit rends away that infidelity and takes it altogether down, that we can find the sinner
coming to put His trust in Jesus.

 

3. But there is a third point. Unbelief disables a man for the performance of any good work— “Whatever is not of
faith is sin,” is a great Truth of God in more senses than one. “Without faith it is impossible to please God.” You shall
never hear me say a word against morality. You shall never hear me say that honesty is not a good thing, or that sobriety
is not a good thing. On the contrary, I would say they are commendable things. But I will tell you what I will say afterwards—
I will tell you that they are just like the Dowries of India. They may pass current among the Indians, but they
will not do in England. These virtues may be current here below, but not above. If you have not something better than
your own goodness, you will never get to Heaven! Some of the Indian tribes use little strips of meat instead of money and
I would not find fault with them if I lived there. But when I come to England, strips of meat will not suffice. So honesty,
sobriety and such things, may be very good among men—and the more you have of them, the better. I exhort you, whatever
things are lovely and pure and of good report, have them—but they will not do up there. All these things put together,
without faith, do not please God! Virtues without faith are whitewashed sins. Obedience without faith, if it is
possible, is a gilded disobedience. Not to believe nullifies everything. It is the fly in the ointment. It is the poison in the
pot. Without faith all the virtues of purity, all the benevolence of philanthropy, all the kindness of disinterested sympathy,
all the talents of genius, all the bravery of patriotism and all the decision of principle—“without faith it is impossible
to please God.” Do you not see, then, how bad unbelief is? It prevents men from performing good works. Yes, even in
Christians, themselves, unbelief disables them. Let me just tell you a tale—a story of Christ’s life. A certain man had an
afflicted son, possessed with an evil spirit. Jesus was up in Mount Tabor, transfigured. So the father brought his son to
the disciples. What did the disciples do? They said, “Oh, we will cast him out.” They put their hands upon him and they
tried to do it. But they whispered among themselves and said, “We are afraid we shall not be able.” By-and-by the diseased
man began to froth at the mouth, he foamed and scratched the earth, clasping it in his madness. The demoniac spirit
within him was alive. The devil was still there. In vain their repeated exorcisms—the evil spirit remained like a lion in
his den—nor could their efforts dislodge him. “Go!” they said. But he went not, “Away to the pit of Hell!” they cried.
But he remained immoveable. The lips of unbelief cannot affright the Evil One, who might well have said, “Faith I know,
Jesus I know, but who are you? You have no faith.” If they had had faith, as a grain of mustard seed, they might have cast
the devil out! But their faith was gone and therefore they could do nothing. Look at poor Peter’s case, too. While he had
faith, Peter walked on the waves of the sea. That was a splendid walk. I almost envy him treading upon the billows. Why,
if Peter’s faith had continued, he might have walked across the Atlantic to America. But presently there came a billow
behind him and he said, “That will sweep me away.” And then another and he cried out, “That will overwhelm me.” And
he thought—how could I be so presumptuous as to be walking on the top of these waves? Down goes Peter! Faith was
Peter’s life buoy. Faith was Peter’s charm—it kept him up. But unbelief sent him down. Do you know that you and I, all
our lifetime, will have to walk on the water? A Christian’s life is always walking on water—mine is—and every wave
would swallow and devour him but faith makes him stand. The moment you cease to believe, that moment distress comes
in—down you go! Oh, Why do you doubt, then? Faith fosters every virtue—unbelief murders every one! Thousands of
prayers have been strangled in their infancy by unbelief. Unbelief has been guilty of infanticide. It has murdered many an
infant petition, many a song of praise that would have swelled the chorus of the skies, has been stifled by an unbelieving
murmur! Many a noble enterprise conceived in the heart has been blighted by unbelief before it could come forth. Many a

man would have been a missionary, would have stood and preached his Master’s Gospel boldly—but he had unbelief.
Once make a giant unbelieving and he becomes a dwarf—Faith is the Samsonian lock of the Christian—cut it off and
you may put out his eyes—and he can do nothing.

 

4. Our next remark is—unbelief has been severely punished. Turn to the Scriptures! I see a world all fair and beautiful—
its mountains laughing in the sun and the fields rejoicing in the golden light. I see maidens dancing and young men
singing. How fair the vision! But lo, a grave and reverend sire lifts up his hand and cries, “A flood is coming to deluge
the earth—the fountains of the great deep will be broken up and all things will be covered. See yonder ark! One hundred
and twenty years have I toiled with these my hands to build it—flee there and you are safe.” “Aha, old man—away with
your empty predictions! Aha, let us be happy while we may! When the flood comes, then we will build an ark—but there
is no flood coming—tell that to fools. We believe no such things.” See the unbelievers pursue their merry dance. Listen,
Unbeliever! Do you not hear that rumbling noise? Earth’s bowels have begun to move, her rocky ribs are strained by dire
convulsions from within. Lo, they break with the enormous strain and from between them, torrents rush, unknown since
God concealed them in the bosom of our world! Heaven is split in sunder! It rains. Not drops, but clouds descend. A cataract,
like that of old Niagara, rolls from Heaven with mighty noise! Both firmaments, both deeps—the deep below and
the deep above—do clasp their hands. Now Unbelievers, where are you now? There is your last remnant. A man—his
wife clasping him round the waist—stands on the last summit that is above the water. See him there? The water is up to
his loins even now. Hear his last shriek! He is floating—he is drowned. And as Noah looks from the ark he sees nothing.
Nothing! It is a profound void. “Sea monsters whelp and stable in the palaces of kings.” All is overthrown, covered,
drowned. What has done it? What brought the Flood upon the earth? Unbelief. By faith Noah escaped from the flood.
By unbelief the rest were drowned!

 

And, oh, do you not know that unbelief kept Moses and Aaron out of Canaan? They honored not God—they struck
the rock when they ought to have spoken to it. They disbelieved—and therefore the punishment came upon them—that
they should not inherit that good land, for which they had toiled and labored.

 

Let me take you where Moses and Aaron dwelt—to the vast and howling wilderness. We will walk about it for a
time. Sons of the weary foot, we will become like the wandering Bedouins, we will tread the desert for a while. There lies
a carcass whitened in the sun—there another and there another! What means these bleached bones? What are these bodies—
there a man and there a woman? What are all these? How came these corpses here? Surely some grand encampment
must have been here cut off in a single night by a blast, or by bloodshed. Ah, no, no. Those bones are the bones of Israel.
Those skeletons are the old tribes of Jacob! They could not enter because of unbelief. They trusted not in God. Spies said
they could not conquer the land. Unbelief was the cause of their death. It was not the Anakims that destroyed Israel. It
was not the howling wilderness which devoured them. It was not the Jordan which proved a barrier to Canaan—neither
Hivite or Jebusite slew them. It was unbelief, alone, which kept them out of Canaan. What a doom to be pronounced on
Israel, after forty years of journeying—they could not enter because of unbelief!

 

Not to multiply instances, recollect Zechariah. He doubted and the angel struck him dumb. His mouth was closed
because of unbelief. But oh, if you would have the worst picture of the effects of unbelief—if you would see how God has
punished it—I must take you to the siege of Jerusalem. The worst massacre which time has ever seen, when the Romans
raised the walls to the ground and put the whole of the inhabitants to the sword, or sold them as slaves in the marketplace.
Have you never read of the destruction of Jerusalem by Titus? Did you never turn to the tragedy of Masada, when
the Jews stabbed each other rather than fall into the hands of the Romans? Do you not know, that to this day the Jew
walks through the earth a wanderer, without a home and without a land? He is cut off, as a branch is cut from a vine—
and why? Because of unbelief. Each time you see a Jew with a sad and somber countenance—each time you mark him like
a denizen of another land, treading as an exile in this, our country—each time you see him, pause and say, “Ah, it was
unbelief which caused you to murder Christ and now it has driven you to be a wanderer. And faith alone—faith in the
crucified Nazarene—can fetch you back to your country and restore it to its ancient grandeur.” Unbelief, you see, has
the mark of Cain upon its forehead. God hates it—God has dealt hard blows upon it—and God will ultimately crush it.
Unbelief dishonors God. Every other crime touches God’s territory. But unbelief aims a blow at His Divinity, impeaches
His veracity, denies His goodness, blasphemes His attributes, maligns His Character. Therefore, God of all things, hates
first and chiefly, unbelief, wherever it is.

 

5. And now to close this point—for I have already been too long—let me remark that you will observe the heinous
nature of unbelief in this—that it is the dammed sin. There is one sin for which Christ never died. It is the sin against the
Holy Spirit. There is one other sin for which Christ never made Atonement. Mention every crime in the calendar of evil
and I will show you persons who have found forgiveness for it. But ask me whether the man who died in unbelief can be
saved and I reply there is no atonement for that man. There is an Atonement made for the unbelief of a Christian, because
it is temporary, but the final unbelief—the unbelief with which men die—never was atoned for! You may turn over this
whole Book and you will find that there is no Atonement for the man who died in unbelief. There is no mercy for him.
Had he been guilty of every other sin but had believed, he would have been pardoned. But this is the damning exception—
he had no faith. Devils seize him! O fiends of the pit of Hell, drag him downward to his doom! He is faithless and
unbelieving and such are the tenants for whom Hell was built. It is their portion, their prison—they are the chief prisoners,
the fetters are marked with their names. Forever shall they know that, “He that believes not shall be damned.”
II. This brings us now to conclude with the PUNISHMENT. “You shall see it with your eyes, but shall not eat
thereof.” Listen, Unbelievers! You have heard this morning your sin, now listen to your doom—“you shall see it with
your eyes, but shall not eat thereof.” It is so often with God’s own saints. When they are unbelieving, they see the mercy
with their eyes, but do not eat it. Now, there is corn in this land of Egypt. But there are some of God’s saints who come
here on the Sabbath and say, “I do not know whether the Lord will be with me or not.” Some of them say, “Well, the
Gospel is preached, but I do not know whether it will be successful.” They are always doubting and fearing. Listen to
them when they get out of the Chapel. “Well, did you get a good meal this morning?” “Nothing for me.” Of course not.
You could see it with your eyes, but did not eat it because you had no faith! If you had come up with faith, you would
have had a morsel. I have found Christians who have grown so very critical that if the whole portion of the meat they are
to have, in due season, is not cut up exactly into square pieces and put upon some choice dish of porcelain they cannot eat
it. Then they ought to go without. And they will have to go without, until they are brought to their appetites. They will
have some affliction which will act like quinine upon them—they will be made to eat by means of bitters in their mouths.
They will be put in prison for a day or two until their appetite returns. Then they will be glad to eat the most ordinary
food, off the most common platter, or no platter at all. But the real reason why God’s people do not feed under a Gospel
ministry is because they have not faith. If you believed, if you did but hear one promise that would be enough! If you only
heard one good thing from the pulpit, here would be food for your soul. It is not the quantity we hear, but the quality we
believe that does us good—it is that which we receive into our hearts with true and lively faith—that is our profit.

 

But let me apply this chiefly to the unconverted. They often see great works of God done with their eyes, but they do
not eat thereof. A crowd of people have come here this morning to see with their eyes, but I doubt whether all of them
eat. Men cannot eat with their eyes, for if they could, most would be well fed. And, spiritually, persons cannot feed simply
with their ears, nor simply with looking at the preacher. And so we find the majority of our congregations come just
to see. “Ah, let us hear what this babbler would say, this reed shaken in the wind.” But they have no faith. They come
and they see. And see. And see and never eat. There is someone in the front there, who gets converted. And someone down
below who is called by Sovereign Grace—some poor sinner is weeping under a sense of his blood-guiltiness. Another is
crying for mercy to God—and another is saying, “Have mercy upon me, a sinner.” A great work is going on in this
Chapel, but some of you do not know anything about it. You have no work going on in your hearts—and why? Because
you think it is impossible. You think God is not at work. He has not promised to work for you who do not honor Him.
Unbelief makes you sit here in times of revival and of the outpouring of God’s Grace, unmoved, uncalled, unsaved! But,
Sirs, the worst fulfillment of this doom is to come! Good Whitefield used sometimes to lift up both his hands and shout,
as I wish I could shout, but my voice fails me—“The wrath to come! The wrath to come!” It is not the wrath now you
have to fear, but the wrath to come—and there shall be a doom to come, when “you shall see it with your eyes, but shall
not eat thereof.” I think I see the Last Great Day. The last hour of time has struck. I hear the bell toll its death knell—
time was, eternity is ushered in—the sea is boiling. The waves are lit up with supernatural splendor. I see a rainbow—a
flying cloud and on it there is a Throne—and on that Throne sits One like unto the Son of Man. I know Him. In His
hand He holds a pair of balances—just before Him the books—the Book of Life, the Book of Death, the Book of Remembrance.
I see His splendor and I rejoice at it. I behold His pompous appearance and I smile with gladness that He is
come to be “admired of all His saints.” But there stands a throng of miserable wretches, crouching in horror to conceal

themselves and yet looking—for their eyes must look on Him whom they have pierced. But when they look, they cry,
“Hide me from the face.” What face? “Rocks, hide me from the face.” What face? “The face of Jesus, the Man who died,
but now is come to judgment.” But you cannot hide from His face. You must see it with your eyes—but you will not sit
on the right hand, dressed in robes of grandeur—and when the triumphal procession of Jesus in the clouds shall come,
you shall not march in it. You shall see it, but you shall not be there! Oh, I think I see it now, the mighty Savior in His
chariot, riding on the rainbow to Heaven! See how His mighty coursers make the sky rattle while He drives them up
Heaven’s hill. A train girded in white follow behind Him and at His chariot wheels He drags the devil, death and Hell.
Hark! How they clap their hands. Hark, how they shout, “You have ascended up on high—You have led captivity captive.”
Hark! How they chant the solemn lay, “Hallelujah, the Lord God Omnipotent reigns.” See the splendor of their
appearance. Mark the crown upon their brows—see their snow-white garments—mark the rapture of their countenances!
Hear how their song swells up to Heaven while the Eternal joins therein, saying, “I will rejoice over them with
joy, I will rejoice over them with singing, for I have betrothed you unto Me in everlasting loving kindness.” But where
are you all the while? You can see them up there but where are you? Looking at it with your eyes, but you cannot eat
thereof. The marriage banquet is spread. The good old wines of eternity are broached. They sit down to the feast of the
King. But there you are, miserable and famishing. And you cannot eat thereof. Oh, how you wring your hands. Might
you but have one morsel from the table—might you but be dogs beneath the table? You shall be a dog in Hell, but not a
dog in Heaven!

 

But to conclude. I think I see you in some place in Hell, tied to a rock, the vulture of remorse gnawing your heart.
And up there is Lazarus in Abraham’s bosom. You lift up your eyes and you see who it is. “That is the poor man who lay
on my dunghill and the dogs licked his sores. There he is in Heaven, while I am cast down. Lazarus—yes, it is Lazarus!
And I who was rich in the world of time am here in Hell. Father Abraham, send Lazarus that he may dip the tip of his
finger in water, to cool my tongue.” But no! It cannot be. It cannot be. And while you lie there, if there is one thing in
Hell worse than another, it will be seeing the saints in Heaven! Oh, to think of seeing my mother in Heaven while I am
cast out! Oh, Sinner, only think—to see your brother in Heaven—he who was rocked in the same cradle and played beneath
the same roof—yet you are cast out! And, husband, there is your wife in Heaven and you are among the damned!
And see you, father! Your child is before the Throne. And you, accursed of God and accursed of man, are in Hell. Oh, the
Hell of hells will be to see our friends in Heaven and yourselves lost! I beseech you, my Hearers, by the death of Christ—
by His agony and bloody sweat—by His Cross and Passion—by all that is holy—by all that is sacred in Heaven and
earth—by all that is solemn in time or eternity—by all that is horrible in Hell, or glorious in Heaven—by that awful
thought, “forever”—I beseech you lay these things to heart and remember that if you are damned, it will be unbelief that
damns you. If you are lost, it will be because you believed not on Christ! And if you perish, this shall be the bitterest drop
of gall—that you did not trust in the Savior!

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