Thursday, March 20, 2008

The Last Census

Personal matters alone will come into the great census paper of eternity. There is no truth which we need more frequently to hold up before the eyes of our people than the truth that nothing but personal godliness will ever avail. If you could trace your pedigree through a line of saints up to the apostles, nay, up to Mary herself, the mother of the Savior, yet, unless you did yourself believe in Christ and had yourself been the subject of the personal change, which is called regeneration you should in no wise enter into the kingdom of heaven. No connections, however admirable; no relations, however desirable, no proxies, however excellent, shall ever avail for any dying man. We must ourselves stand before God, each man for himself to be acquitted, or to be condemned to hear, “Come, thou blessed,” or “Depart, thou cursed one.”

There may be and there always must be, when we take men in the mass, (and God often in his providence deals with men in the mass) there may be innocent persons who suffer in the common calamity. There are likewise wicked men who rejoice in common mercies. But at the last the evil shall be unto the evil, and the good shall be unto the good. The wheat shall be unmixed with chaff; the wine shall no more be mingled with the water, the gold shall not become dimmed through alloy. God’s people, each of them personally accepted, and the wicked, each of them personally condemned, shall meet their final doom. See to it, sire, each one of you, that you personally have an interest in the blood of the Lamb.

From a sermon entitled "The Last Census," delivered April 14, 1861. Flickr photo by Louise Docker; some rights reserved.

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