Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?
What is the world, but the means of having food and raiment and ease, in greater variety and abundance than others have them — a distinction which, if viewed narrowly, is not worth half the pains and labour by which only it can be obtained. But what is the sold? It is the immortal and everlasting principle of all thought and feeling in man's nature — the subject in which abide all hope and fear, all joy and sorrow, all happiness and all misery. It is that part of our intellectual frame which cannot die, forget, cease to be conscious, or fly from itself; but which lives forever, either beloved and cherished by its Almighty Creator, or expelled from His presence in horror and despair. If threescore years and ten were to bring it to an end, and make all its thoughts perish; if, after death, there were no judgment; if the worm of remorse were to become extinct on the bed where the last breath goes forth, and to cease its gnawings with the mortal pains of the body, — then might we hesitate between the interests of the present and the future, and adopt the maxim of the atheist, "Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die." But, as these things cannot be; as the soul, which sinneth and repenteth not, has to die a death which will never be completed, a death of horror and despair, of which the sighs and agony and groaning ascend up perpetually; the question which should now interest us the most is, "What shall we give in exchange for our souls?" We must, in the first place, present before God, on the altar of faith, the Atonement which He Himself has provided, the sole procuring cause of human salvation; we must offer up to Him a broken and contrite heart, weaned from the world, and devoted to His service; we must solicit His mercy with the tears of penitence and vows of reformation, entreating that His grace may be sufficient for us, and His strength made perfect in our weakness; — and these are the things which the Lord will accept in exchange for our souls.
Parallel VersesKJV: Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?