The causes of the stupid unconcernedness
(Samuel Davies, "Unseen Things to Be Preferred to Seen Things")
"So we fix our eyes not on what is seen—but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary—but what is unseen is eternal." 2 Corinthians 4:18
Among all the causes of the stupid unconcernedness of sinners about true religion, and the feeble endeavors of saints to improve in it—there is none more common or more effectual, than their not forming a due estimate of the things of time—in comparison to those of eternity!
Our present affairs engross all our thoughts, and exhaust all our activity—though they are but transitory trifles; while the solemn realities of the future world are hid from our eyes by the veil of flesh and the clouds of ignorance. Did these unseen eternal realities break in upon our minds in all their tremendous importance, they would . . .
annihilate the most desired vanities of the present state,
obscure the glare of all earthly glory,
render all its pleasures insipid, and
give us a noble resignation under all its sorrows.
A realizing view of these eternal realities, would . . .
shock the worldling in his thoughtless career,
tear off the hypocrite's mask, and
inflame the devotion of the languishing saints!
The concern of mankind would then be how they might make a safe exit out of this world—and not how they may live happy in their earthly state. Present pleasure and pain—would be swallowed up in the prospect of everlasting happiness—or misery hereafter! Eternity, solemn eternity, would then be our serious contemplation. The pleasures of sin would strike us with horror—as they issue in eternal pain! And our present afflictions, however tedious and severe, would appear but light and momentary—if they work out for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory!