“What shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole word, and lose his own soul?”—Mark 8:36.
Spiritually man is a great trader—he is trading for his own welfare; he is trading for time and for eternity; he keeps two shops: one shop is kept by an apprentice of his, a rough unseemly hand, of clayey mould, called the body; the other business, which is an infinitely more vast concern, is kept by one that is called “the soul” a spiritual being, who does not traffic upon little things, but who deals with hell or heaven, and trades with the mighty realities of eternity.
Look to your soul, as well as to your body; to the life, as well as to that by which you live. Oh that men would take account of the soul’s vast concerns, and know their own standing before God.
I found a text once, which said, ”The love of money is the root of all evil;” but as for the money itself, I can see very little evil in it. If a man will but rightly use it, I conceive that it is a talent sent from heaven, bestowed by God for holy purposes, and I am quite sure God’s talents are not bad ones.
This world is like the boy’s butterfly—it is pretty sport to chase it; but bruise its wings by an over-earnest grasp, and it is nothing but a disappointment.
Oh! I sometimes think, what poor fools we are to value ourselves by what our fellow-creatures think of us; but oh! when we come to die, we shall not care about the din and noise which have followed us all our lives.
The soul is a thing worth ten thousand worlds; in fact, a thing which worlds on worlds heaped together, like sand upon the sea shore, could not buy. It is more precious than if the ocean had each drop of itself turned into a golden globe, for all that wealth could not buy a soul. Consider! The soul is made in the image of its Maker; “God made man,” it is said, “in his own image.” The soul is an everlasting thing like God; God has gifted it with immortality; and hence it is precious. To lose it, then, how fearful!
Consider how precious a soul must be, when both God and the devil are after it.
The soul is precious again, we know, by the price Christ paid for it. “Not with silver and gold,” but with his own flesh and blood did he redeem it. Ah! it must be precious, if he gave his heart’s core to purchase it. What must it be to lose your soul?
Now, if a man’s soul be lost, let me advertise what he has lost. He has lost a crown, he has lost a harp, he has lost a throne, he has lost a heaven, he has lost an eternity.
Oh! sirs, because the soul is capable of heaven, its loss is a dreadful and terrific thing.
There is a place, as much beneath imagination as heaven is above it; a place of murky darkness, where only lurid flames make darkness visible; a place where beds of flame are the fearful couches upon which spirits groan; a place where God Almighty from his mouth pours a stream of brimstone, kindling that “pile of fire and of much wood,” which God has prepared of old as a Tophet for the lost and ruined. There is a spot, whose only sights are scenes are fearful woe; there is a place—I do not know where it is; it is somewhere, not in the bowels of this earth, I trust, for that were a sad thing for this world to have hell within its bowels—but somewhere, in a far-off world there is a place where the only music is the mournful symphony of damned spirits; where howling, groaning, moaning, wailing and gnashing of teeth, make up the horrid concert. There is a place where demons fly, swift as air, with whips of knotted burning wire, torturing poor souls; where tongues, on fire with agony, burn the roofs of mouths that shriek for drops of water—that water all denied. There is a place where soul and body endure as much of infinite wrath as the finite can bear; where the inflictions of justice crush the soul, where the continual flagellations of vengeance beat the flesh; where the perpetual pourings out of the vials of eternal wrath scald the spirit, and where the cuttings of the sword strike deep into the inner man. AH! sirs, I cannot picture this; within an hour some of you may know it. If you curtain of life be rent in twain, some of you may soon find yourselves face to face with lost souls. Then, sirs, you will know what it is to lose your souls; but you will never know it till then, nor can I hope to set it forth to you. Vain are these words; light are the things I utter. They are but the daubings of a painter who cannot portray a scene so dreadful, for earth hath not colours black enough or fiery enough to depict it. Ah! sinners, if you knew what hell meant, then might ye tell what it is to lose your own souls.
© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible