Another thought which should here impress us is that God has given us two eyes, two ears, two hands, and two feet, so that if we lose one of these members we still have one left. But He has given us only one soul, and if we lose that we have no other with which to enjoy eternal happiness.
Our first care, therefore, should be to save our soul, which is to share with the body either eternal happiness or eternal woe.
It will avail no man at this supreme tribunal to urge: “I was dazzled by the glitter of wealth; I was deceived by the promises of the world.” The inexorable Judge will answer: “I warned you against these. Did I not say: ‘What doth it profit a man if he gain the whole world and suffer the loss of his own soul’?”
Nor can you plead that the devil tempted you. He will remind you that Eve was not excused when she urged that the serpent had tempted her.
The vision of Jeremias teaches us what our Lord’s treatment of us will be. The prophet beheld first “a rod watching,” and then “a caldron boiling.” This is a figure of God’s dealings with men.
First He warns them, and if they do not heed He punishes them; for he who will not submit to the correction of the rod will be cast into the caldron of fire.
As you read of God’s punishments in Scripture, have you ever observed that no one pleads for those whom God condemns?
Father does not plead for son, nor brother for brother, nor friend for friend.
Yes, even God’s privileged servants, Noe, Daniel, Job, would seek in vain to alter the sentence of your Judge.
At the wedding-feast no voice is raised to intercede for him who is driven from the banquet.
No one pleads for the slothful servant who buried the talent entrusted to him by his Master.
No one makes intercession with the Bridegroom for the five foolish virgins who, after despising the pleasures of the flesh and stifling in their hearts the fire of concupiscence, nay, after observing the great counsel of virginity, neglected the precept of humility and became inflated with pride on account of their virginity.
You know the history of the avaricious man of the Gospel, and how vainly he pleaded with Abraham for a drop of water to quench his burning thirst.