This story is taken from a gospel tract called ‘The Strange Story of Archibald Boyle’ published by Bible Truth Publishers in the USA.
In the city of Glasgow, over 100 years ago, there was a club favored by wealthy young men which was devoted to the pursuit of popular pleasures. It soon became so notorious that is was called “The Hell Club.”
One of the club’s special events each year was the annual banquet. On this occasion it was expected that each member would endeavor to “outdo all his former doings” in drunkenness, blasphemy and licentiousness. A leader in these events was a brilliant young man named Archibald Boyle, who, before he was 25, had distinguished himself by his vices.
Terms like “hell,” “heaven,” or “eternity” to him were merely words with which to lace his filthy wit or to spice his curses! He enjoyed being “the life of the party.”
But one night he had a horrible dream. It was the night after the club’s annual banquet. As he slept, he dreamed that he was riding home on his famous black horse to his country house outside the city.
Suddenly he was confronted by a mysterious person who seized the bridle reins and, in a heart-chilling voice, commanded, “You must go with me.”
“And who are you?” exclaimed Boyle, struggling to regain control of the reins.
“That you will see by-and-by,” replied his unwelcome companion.
Boyle dug his spurs into the sides of his horse, which reared, and darted forward so quickly that it nearly left Boyle behind—but not the ghastly guide. Again Boyle furiously spurred his gallant horse. The frightened animal reared and plunged. Boyle was thrown from the saddle, expecting to be dashed to the earth.
But no, he continued to fall—down, down, down. Finally the falling sensation ceased, and to his horror he saw that his mysterious visitor was still beside him.
“Where are you taking me?” he demanded. “To hell,” replied the same iron voice.
Onward they hurried until they reached a huge arched entrance. Beyond this was a scene too awful to describe. Multitudes were gnashing their teeth in the hopelessness of despair. Boyle suddenly realized that he was surrounded by some whom he had known on earth, but who now had been dead for some time. Observing that his unearthly conductor had vanished, he tried to speak with one of his former friends.
“Delighted to see you,” he said to her, “for old times’ sake stop for a moment and rest.”
But with a shriek that seemed to cut through his very soul, she exclaimed, “THERE IS NO REST IN HELL!”
He rushed away; but as he fled, he saw those whom he knew must have been dead for thousands of years, still absorbed in recollections of their sinful pleasures on earth and toiling through their eternity of woe. Boyle tried to shut his eyes, but he found he could not. He was compelled to gaze with still increasing horror at the ever-changing yet ever steady torrent of eternal torment of souls suffering for their guilty lives and godless deeds.
So this was hell—the scoffer’s jest—the by-word of the fool! All at once he perceived that his ghostly conductor was again beside him.
“Take me from this place,” cried Boyle, “By the living God, whose name I have so often outraged, I demand of you, take me out of here!”
“Can you still name His Name?” said the fiend. “Go then. But in a year and a day, we meet to part no more.”
Boyle awoke from his dream, feeling as if the parting words of the fiend were traced in fire upon his brain. He resolved utterly and forever to forsake the Hell Club. Above all, he determined that nothing on earth should tempt him to join in the next annual banquet.
But the Hell Club members flocked around him, curious to learn the cause of his depression, and why he refused to take further part in their accustomed orgies. They became alarmed at the idea of losing “the life of the club,” and they swore never to quit until they discovered what was bothering Boyle.
One evening, one of the club members entered a room and saw Boyle hastily hiding a Bible. Had Boyle possessed sufficient true moral courage and dignity NOT to have hidden the Bible, how different might have been his future! But, like many men, he was ashamed to admit his convictions, and to take his stand for God. His ruin was the result. The efforts of his fellow club members to regain his active support were all too successful. Eventually, he told them his dream. They ridiculed it and his feeling of repentance. He who had tried to hide the Bible did not have the strength to withstand his “friends” mockery. His good resolutions were broken. His prayers were voluntarily called back, by sin, from the throne of heaven. All was lost—but not without a terrific struggle between his conscience and the spirit of evil. His friends watched him turn gray and haggard within the year. With horror, he shrank from the annual meeting. Well aware of his resolutions, his tempters made sure that he should have no choice. So, despite his strong resolve, Boyle found himself once more seated at the very table where he had sworn to himself a thousand times that nothing on earth should make him sit.
At the president’s opening remarks: “Gentlemen, this is leap year; therefore it is just a year and a day since our last annual meeting,” Boyle’s first impulse was to rise and fly; but then, the sneers! How many have sold their souls to avoid a sneer, and so dared the wrath of almighty God! He drank heavily, and his laugh sounded hellish even to the evil ears that heard it. The night was gloomy when Boyle, with a reeling brain, mounted his horse to go home. The following morning, the well-known black horse with saddle and bridle, was found quietly grazing on the roadside. A few yards away lay the lifeless body of his master.
Reader, this dream of Archibald Boyle is a well-authenticated historical fact. God, who has all power to communicate with the human mind, spoke to this young man. And through the same dream God now speaks to you.
“Prepare to meet thy God.” Amos 4:12
Jesus said, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.” John 5:24