How long will you love vanity?
(James Smith, "Important Questions" 1858)
"How long will you love vanity?" Psalm 4:2
Vanity represents the light, changeable, carnal, and fading things of time. Upon these things, the natural heart is set; around them, the unsanctified affections gather. What a vanity it is to prefer . . .
human friendship — to divine friendship,
earthly riches — to Heavenly riches,
carnal honors — to spiritual honors, and
the pleasures of a day — to the joys of eternity!
Vanity appears in the intoxicating cup, the mirthful and costly attire, and trifling with God. Surely every worldly man walks in a vain show, like an actor on the stage — and displays the most consummate folly!
Reader! are you in love with vanity? Do you love that which leads from God, keeps Him out of the thoughts, and binds you down to earth? This is vanity! How long will you love it? You have been doing so for years — though warned, convinced, and having promised to reform. You are doing so now, though . . .
mortality is at work within you,
death is very near you,
Hell is open before you, and
eternity is within a step of you!
You love vanity, when you may . . .
obtain divine mercy,
enjoy peace with God,
receive sanctifying grace, and
walk in the way to Heaven.
"How long will you love vanity?" Until . . .
some sudden stroke takes you away;
or some affliction puts you beyond the reach of mercy;
or God's Spirit ceases to strive with you;
or Satan fills your heart as he did the heart of Judas;
or God laughs at your calamity?
How long? God your Creator would ask you. "Why will you die?"
Will you carefully consider this question, and give the Lord an answer? Will you tell Him why you prefer . . .
eternal death — to eternal life,
sin — to holiness, and
Satan — to Himself?
"They who observe lying vanities, forsake their own mercy!" Jonah 2:8