Rejoice, O young man, in thy youth; and let thy heart cheer thee in the days of thy youth, and walk in the ways of thine heart, and in the sight of thine eyes: but know thou, that for all these things God will bring thee into judgment.
~ Ecclesiastes 11:9
Then I beheld all the work of God, that a man cannot find out the work that is done under the sun: because though a man labour to seek it out, yet he shall not find it; yea further; though a wise man think to know it, yet shall he not be able to find it.
~ Ecclesiastes 8:17
And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame. But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented.
~ Luke 16:23-25
The Awful Death of an Infidel Son, by Solomon Benjamin Shaw. The following contains an excerpt from his work, “Dying Testimonies of the Saved and the Unsaved”.
“I will never be guilty of founding my hopes for the future upon such a compiled mess of trash as is contained in that book (the Bible), mother. Talk o] that’s being the production of an Infinite mind; a boy ten years of age, if he was half-witted, could have told a straighter story, and made a better book. I believe it to be the greatest mess of lies ever imposed upon the public. I would rather go to hell (if there is such a place) than have the name of bowing to that impostor — Jesus Christ — and be dependent on his merits for salvation.”
“Beware! Beware! my son, ‘for God is not mocked,’ although ‘He beareth with the wicked long, yet he will not keep His anger forever.’ And ‘all manner of sin shall be forgiven men, except the sin against the Holy Ghost, which has no forgiveness.’ And many are the examples, both in sacred and profane history, of men who have been smitten down in the midst of their sinning against that blessed Spirit.”
“Very well, father, I’ll risk all the cutting down that I shall get for cursing that book, and all the agonies connected therewith. Let it come, I’m not at all scared.”
“O Father, lay not this sin to his charge, for he knows not what he does.” “Yes, I do know what I’m about, and what I say — and mean it.”
“John, do you mean to drive your mother raving distracted? Oh, my God! what have I done that this dreadful trial should come upon me in my old age?”
“Mother, if you don’t want to hear me speak my sentiments, why do you always begin the subject? If you do not want to hear it, don’t ever broach the subject again, for I shall never talk of that book, in any other way.”
The above conversation took place between two fond parents and an only son, who was at home on a visit from college, and now was about to return. And the cause of this outburst was, the kind-hearted Christian parents had essayed to give him a few words of kind admonition, which, alas! proved to be the last. And the above were his last words which he spoke to them as he left the house.
How anxiously those fond parents looked after him as though something told them that something dreadful would happen. What scalding tears were those that coursed their way down these furrowed cheeks! Oh! that they might have been put in the bottle of mercy! Poor, wretched young man, it had been better for him had the avalanche from the mountain crushed him beneath its deadly weight ere those words escaped his lips. Little did he think that He who said, “Honor thy father and mother,” and, “He that hardeneth his heart, and stiffeneth his neck, shall suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy,” was so soon going to call him to give an account for those words, so heart-rending to his aged parents, and so dreadful in the sight of a holy God. He had imbibed those dreadful principles from an infidel room-mate at college. Beware, young men, with whom you associate, lest you fall as did this unfortunate young man.
John B. left his home and hastened to the depot where he took the cars which were to bear him to M. where he was in a few months to finish his studies. The whistle blew, and away swept the cars “across the trembling plain.” But alas! they had gone but a few miles, when the cars, coming round a curve in a deep cut, came suddenly upon an obstruction on the track, which threw the engine and two of the cars at once from the rails.
As fate would seem to have it, the wicked son (John B.) was that moment passing between them. He was thrown in an instant from the platform, his left arm being “broken, and his skull fractured by the fall; and in an instant one of the wheels passed directly over both his legs near the body, breaking and mangling them in the most dreadful manner. Strange as it may seem, no one else was injured. The dreadful news soon reached his already grief-stricken parents; and ere long that beloved, yet ungrateful son, was borne back to them; not as he left, but lying upon a litter a poor, mangled, raving maniac. Why these pious parents were called to pass through this dreadful trial, He “whose ways are in the deep and past finding out,” only knows; except that by this sad example of His wrath many might be saved. Many skillful physicians were called, but the fiat of the Almighty had gone forth, and man could not recall it. When the news reached the college, his classmates hastened to see him. When they came, nature was fast sinking, but the immortal part was becoming dreadfully alive. Oh! that heart-rending scene. His reason returning brought with it a dreadful sense of his situation. His first words were, and oh, may never mortal hear such a cry as that again upon the shores of time:
“Mother! I’m lost! lost! lost! damned! damned! damned forever!” and as his class- mates drew near to the bed, among whom was the one who had poisoned his mind with infidelity, with a dreadful effort he rose in the bed and cried, as he fixed his glaring eyes upon him: “J, you have brought me to this, you have damned my soul! May the curses of the Almighty and the Lamb rest upon your soul forever.”
Then like a hellish fiend, he gnashed his teeth, and tried to get hold of him that he might tear him in pieces. Then followed a scene from which the strongest fled with horror. But those poor parents had to hear and see it all, for he would not suffer them to be away a moment. He fell back upon his bed exhausted, crying, “O mother! mother, get me some water to quench this fire that is burning me to death”; then he tore his hair and rent his breast; the fire had already begun to burn, the smoke of which shall ascend up for ever and ever. And then again he cried, “O mother, save me, the devils have come after me. O mother, take me in your arms, and don’t let them have me.” And as his mother drew near to him, he buried his face in that fond bosom which had nourished and cherished him, but, alas, could not now protect or shield from the storm of the Almighty’s wrath, for he turned from her, and with an unearthly voice he shrieked, “Father! mother! father, save me; they come to drag my soul — my soul to hell.” And with his eyes starting from their sockets, he fell back upon his bed a corpse. The spirit had fled — not like that of Lazarus, borne on the wings of a convoy of angels, but dragged by fiends to meet a fearful doom. May his dreadful fall prove a warning to those who would unwittingly walk in the same path.