By Richard Baxter
Reprinted from: The Puritans, Edited by Randall J. Pederson, Christian Focus Publications
How shall I give thee up, Ephraim? how shall I deliver thee, Israel? how shall I make thee as Admah? how shall I set thee as Zeboim? mine heart is turned within me, my repentings are kindled together.
I beseech you all that love your souls that instead of quarreling with God, and with His Word, you will presently stoop to it, and use it for good. All you that are unconverted take this as the undoubted truth of God; you must ere long be converted or condemned; there is no other way, but to turn or die. When God that cannot lie has told you this; when you hear it from the Maker and Judge of the world, it is time for him that has ears to hear.
By this time you may see what you have to trust to. You are but dead and damned men, except you will be converted. Should I tell you otherwise, I should deceive you with a lie. Should I hide this from you, I should undo you, and be guilty of your blood, as “When I say to the wicked, O wicked man, you shalt surely die if thou dost not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thy hand” (Ezekiel 33:8) — You see then, though this be a rough and unwelcome doctrine, it is such as we must preach, and you must hear. It is easier to hear of hell than feel it. If your necessities did no require it, we would not gall your tender ears with truths that seem so harsh and grievous.
Hell would not be so full if people were but willing to know their case and to hear and think of it. The reason why so few escape it is because they strive not to enter in at the strait gate of conversion, and go the narrow way of holiness while they have time; and they strive not, because they are not awakened to a lively feeling of the danger they are in.