The Mountain Top Of Sin
We have been talking of the mountain-top of the saint, and it is surely beautiful. Nothing on earth to be compared to the life of full salvation. The life of the sinner is like the dark, rainy, drizzling night, and the life of the justified is like the beautiful moonshine on a lovely moonlight night, but the sanctified life is like the noon hour of a bright, sunshiny day.
But for a little while we want to look at the mountain-top life of sin. If there is a life of faith and love that God could compare to a mountain top of glory, and of love, and of peace, and of joy, and of rest, the other has a mountain of sorrow, and sadness, and misery, and woe, and dissatisfaction, and unrest, and his condemnation is piled up around him like a mountain.
He can look back over his past life and see many sins that he has committed that look like hills, and others that look like great mountains to him. At another time his sins look like an ocean of black ink, and as he sees them he gives up all hope and sinks down into dark despair. At another
time he looks at his sins and they look like a herd of savage beasts, every one of them with fiery eyes just ready to tear him to pieces. As he listens to their awful growls the blood will almost freeze in his veins, and the devil will tell him that there is no hope for him in the world. At another time his sins are like a flock of vultures, and they flap their black, skinny wings in his poor face by day and by night, and when he works all day they will sit over his bed at night, and as he tries to sleep the devil will give him a few horrible nightmares. As he wakes out of his awful stupor the devil will tell him that the thing he needs is some more drink and that if he will get on one more big drunk his troubles will all disappear. Under the delusion of the devil he goes out to get on another drunk in order to drown his troubles. Then as he sobers up his sins will crawl around him and over him and entwine themselves about him like a herd of awful serpents, and while the doctor tells him that it is not real snakes but only the tremens, the poor man can feel a thousand awful snakes crawling up his back, and over his bare body, and while he groans in awful agony, the Methodist stewards and Baptist deacons and the Presbyterian elders have voted to one of their neighbors what they call high license, and the bartender sends word up to the poor fellow with the tremens that he has a fine supply of the best whiskey that was ever in town, and that if he could just get down to his place of business he could fix him up all O. K. They don’t seem to know that the poor fellow is already fixed up for a home in the pit.
As the poor fellow sobers up, his sins take another turn on him, and now they are like lead balls around his neck and are about to pull him into an awful hell. He sees no way out of his sins, and up comes the devil and says to him, “You are mine anyhow and if I were you I would just go in to have a good time while I did live; I have got you bound and you know it, and everybody else knows it. What is the use of ever trying to reform? You won’t hold out a month. You know that you can’t live a Christian if you were to try.” And the poor fellow listens to the devil and says, “Well, that is so and I will never try again to do the right thing.”
So he goes a little deeper into the life of sin, and now his sins are more like worlds than they are like mountains. He can’t even see over the top of them. He can see over the top of a mountain, but here is a pile of sins that rises so high that no living man can see over the top of them. Now despair seizes him, and the next thing you hear of that man will be a funeral over in one end of the town. His sins were like a mountain, and at the last his sins were greater than all the others put together. He dies a murderer at his own hand, and goes out without one ray of hope.
A life of sin is like the awful storm cloud; it rises higher and higher and becomes blacker and blacker, and darker and darker, and at last it will burst through on the poor victim and sweep him off his feet, and sweep away every ray of hope and every vestige of manhood. Now love is gone, and honor is gone, and family is gone, and salvation is gone, and God is gone, and Christ is gone, and there is nothing in sight but the Judgment Day, and he is not ready for that. And the men who voted the license will give fifty cents each to bury him.