“As the madman at Athens challenged all the ships that came into the harbor for his own, so carnal men claim an interest in heavenly things which are none of theirs. Deceived hearts believe they are running to heaven when they are posting to hell; like rowers in a boat, they look one way, and go contrary.”
Religious delusions may be very comfortable while they last, but what will be the misery of their breaking up! To have all your fancied godliness vanish like the mists before the sun will be grievous indeed. In proportion to the confidence inspired will be the despair involved. The poor madman in Bedlam in the olden time placed a straw crown upon his head, and issued orders like a Caesar; it was his madness which made such a farce a comfort to him. In the next world the sinner’s madness will be over, he will be sobered by his despair : what then will he think of his former fancies and fond self flatteries! What an awaking, from the dreams of bliss to the realities of hell!
O my soul, see thou to it that all thy hopes are well grounded! Call not Christ thine, and heaven thine, if they are not so. Do not play the fool with eternal things, but get a sure title to everlasting blessedness.
Flowers From A Puritan’s Garden (Metaphor by Thomas Manton, devotion follow-up by C.H. Spurgeon)