For years he was a happy Christian and a successful worker in getting souls saved. He went into politics. During the excitement preceding election he neglected prayer meetings to attend political meetings.
He became cold and formal. He obtained an office. Before his term of office expired he gave up religion entirely. He took to smoking, and then to drinking beer. We went to see him. He received us cordially. We reminded him of former days and urged him to get back to the Lord. He laid his hand on our shoulder and with great emphasis said, “Brother, I have not a single doubt but that if I die as I am I shall be damned. But I have not a single desire to be otherwise.” He had grieved away the Spirit.
“There is a line, by us unseen,
That crosses every path;
The hidden boundary between
God’s patience and his wrath.”
A few mornings after our conversation, he went out from his home apparently as well as usual. In the heart of the town he suddenly fell in the street. A crowd gathered around him. They tried to lift him up, but he was dead. The inexorable summons had come, and all unprepared as he was, he was ushered into eternity. Beware of the beginnings of backsliding.