Heaven and Hell
Delivered on Tuesday Evening, September 4, 1855, by the
REV. C. H. Spurgeon
In a field, King Edward’s Road, Hackney.
“And I say unto you, That many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven. But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”—Matthew 8:11-12.
is a land where plain speaking is allowed, and where the people are willing to afford a fair hearing to any one who can tell them that which is worth their attention. To-night I am quite certain of an attentive audience, for I know you too well to suppose otherwise. This field, as you are all aware, is private property; and I would just give a suggestion to those who go out in the open air to preach—that it is far better to get into a field, or a plot of unoccupied building-ground, than to block up the roads and stop business; it is moreover, far better to be somewhat under protection, so that we can at once prevent disturbance.
To-night, I shall, I hope, encourage you to seek the road to heaven. I shall also have to utter some very sharp things concerning the end of the lost in the pit of hell. Upon both these subjects I will try and speak, as God helps me. But, I beseech you, as you love your souls, weigh right and wrong this night; see whether what I say be the truth of God. If it be not, reject it utterly, and cast it away; but if it is, at your peril disregard it; for, as you shall answer before God, the great Judge of heaven and earth, it will go ill with you if the words of his servant and of his Scripture be despised.
My text has two parts. The first is very agreeable to my mind, and gives me pleasure; the second is terrible in the extreme; but, since they are both the truth, they must be preached. The first part of my text is, “I say unto you, that many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven.” The sentence which I call the black, dark, and threatening part is this: “But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”
I. Let us take the first part. Here is a most glorious promise. I will read it again: “Many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven.” I like that text, because it tells me what heaven is, and gives me a beautiful picture of it. It says, it is a place where I shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob. O what a sweet thought that is for the working man! He often wipes the hot sweat from his face, and he wonders whether there is a land where he shall have to toil no longer. He scarcely ever eats a mouthful of bread that is not moistened with the sweat of his brow. Often he comes home weary, and flings himself upon his couch, perhaps too tired to sleep. He says, “Oh! is there no land where I can rest? Is there no place where I can sit, and for once let these weary limbs be still? Is there no land where I can be quiet? Yes, thou son of toil and labor,
“There is a happy land
Far, far away—”