My mind is like a piece of ground, which, being overrun
with weeds, no diligence can render quite clean; and no care can keep them
from appearing again—even after they have been plucked away. Surely so it
fares with me and my sinful anxieties. They are ever springing up
anew and troubling me, and nothing will utterly and entirely destroy
them—until the ground be turned up by the plough of death, and left fallow
until the resurrection. Yet that I be not altogether barren and unfruitful
in the work of the Lord, let the busy hand of faith be ever plucking up
the base weeds of noxious unbelief!
Again, why am I so much concerned about a world which I
am so soon to leave? I am but a stranger, a sojourner, and a pilgrim; here
today—but gone tomorrow, to return no more. Yes; this night, what dare I
boast of tomorrow, not knowing what the silent watches of the night may
bring forth? And if I am not sure of one day, far less of many, may I boast.
It is but a look—and I have lost sight of this world eternally! Why then set
my heart on that which shall one time or other so terribly deceive me? A few
moments, and my eternal state is begun, and I am forever in the eternal
world—and dashed out of the roll of the sons of Adam; yes, out of the
remembrance of all my nearest relations!
Should I then, mind much what kind of entertainment I
meet with on the way—if I may make a happy journey's end? The traveler ought
to think more on his home—than how he fares on his way home.
Surely, one would be ready to think, that men carried
their riches to eternity with them, yes, and were more welcome on that
account—or why these unwearied endeavors—to obtain them? O folly! O fear! O
faithlessness! Folly, that I concern myself with moments—and neglect
eternity! Fear, that I should be distressed about a day, which scarce
has dawned until done—and dwell not with joy on ages to come!
Faithlessness, that I should doubt the promise, yes, the addendum to the
promise; for salvation from sin, and eternal life, is the promise; and all
things that respect this life are only addendums thereto; as if he who is
faithful in salvation from sin, could falsify in trifles.
Now, though my whole life were one continued scene of
affliction, yet the very shortness of it might sweeten it. Though my life
is—a vapor, a shadow, a wind that passes away—surely the attending
calamities can be of no longer continuance, than that duration upon which
they attend. Nothing can pass from this world to that; but my immortal soul.
Yes the painful remembrance of my troubles and present distresses, shall
cease when I am swallowed up of everlasting joy. I see, then, that my
concern turns on a wrong hinge—and my care terminates on a trifle. All my
concern should be—not to provide for the few moments of a transient life—but
to improve for the glorious ages of endless eternity! And that care
which in despondency I expend on the vanities of time, and how to obtain
them—I should lay out in piety, on the treasures of eternal glory—how to
prepare for the divine possession. Well may I commit to him the sustaining
of my necessities along the way—who has adopted me for his son, and made me
an heir of his kingdom—to which l am traveling home!
My time has become less since I began to write—and soon
it will be wholly gone! How foolish, then, to worry and fret myself about
time to come—which I may never see! But I am certain of eternity!
Therefore, into grateful admiration at those approaching glories which I
shall there possess, I should convert my ungoverned lamentations over the
present gloomy aspects of time, and keep silence in the composing exercise
of faith; remembering that he had never a bad day—who had a good night; nor
a miserable life—who died the death of the righteous; nor his time full of
agony and grief—which ended in an eternity of glory!