The Weaver!s Shuttle
James Smith, 1865
The weaver's trade is ancient and important. It employs a multitude of people, and adds greatly to our comfort. Weavers are, therefore, a useful and valuable class of men. They increase the wealth of the nation, and add to its prosperity. They ought to be cared for, and their welfare, both spiritual and temporal, should be sought. Let us, therefore, say a few words to weavers. Come, brother, sit down, and for five minutes hear what I have to say. Let me speak to you in love, and try to interest your mind on an important subject. You know more about the shuttle than I do, you are well acquainted with its use, and constantly observe its rapidity. Job had seen it at work, and when speaking of the brevity of life, and the rapidity of time, he said, "My days are swifter than a weaver's shuttle!" (Job 7:6.)
Life is short! Time soon flies away. We are hastening to an unseen and unchangeable state. Time is given us to prepare for eternity. Life in this world — is only introductory to life in another world. How many weavers die every year. How many die without hope. They live thoughtless lives. If they have plenty of work, good wages, and jolly companions — they care for nothing more. They are careless about their souls — they trifle with eternity! This betrays the greatest folly. They ought to "seek first the kingdom of God," they should "strive to enter in at the strait gate," they should "lay up for themselves treasures in Heaven." Time flies like the shuttle; the last month, the last week, the last day, the last hour, the last minute — will soon come; and "after this the judgment." "Now is the accepted time, behold, now is the day of salvation." But it will soon be said to every one of us, to you "there shall be time no longer." As time leaves us — eternity finds us! Oh, then, every time you think of the shuttle — think of the brevity of life, and the rapidity of time!
The swiftness of the shuttle, preaches activity. Let us not sleep as do others. Let us be active in securing the salvation of our own souls, and then in doing good to all that are about us. It is no time to loiter. There is much to be done, and few hands to do it. Trade is brisk — and wages are high. Let us therefore be up early and be diligently employed. Let us not rest for one day, while there is any doubt about our own personal salvation — but "let us labor to enter into gospel rest." Let us "give all diligence to make our calling and election sure." Let us rather make assurance doubly sure, than be satisfied with insufficient evidence. And having made our own salvation sure, let us be active, and never lie down to mental slumber, while there is an unconverted weaver in the town, in the county, in Great Britain, or in the world. Up, brother weavers, and show yourselves men. Work while it is called today, for "the night comes when no man can work."
The shuttle preaches energy, energetic action. Just such as the Savior recommends for ourselves. "Agonize to enter in at the strait gate." Put forth all your strength, throw all your energy into it. Wrestle with God. Resist Satan. Strive against the spirit, maxims, and customs of the world. "Lay hold on eternal life."
Just such, too, as the Apostle put forth for others. "I labor for this, striving with His strength that works powerfully in me." (Colossians 1:29.) Weavers should be men of energy, and so should Christians. The times require energetic men. The church calls for energetic men. The world will only be moved by men of energy. You godly weavers, go forth among your fellows. Speak for Christ. Set your hearts upon winning their souls for the Savior. By kindness and gentleness, by activity and energy, by perseverance and prayer, by benevolence and generosity — strive to bring them to the Savior; and as a stimulus often read over the apostle's words, "Let him know, that he who converts a sinner from the error of his way, shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins."
My friend, are you a thoughtless weaver? Let me beg of you for once to think, to think seriously for a few moments. If you persevere in your present course — you will perish, you must he lost forever; but you may be saved. No power under Heaven can hinder your being saved. No one can ruin you — but yourself. Only take the right direction, and persevere in the good old way, and you, a poor weaver, shall shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of your Heavenly Father. You shall exchange the loom — for a harp of gold; the workshop — for a mansion; the dirty streets of the manufacturing town — for the streets of the New Jerusalem, which are of pure gold like unto transparent glass; the company of your work-fellows, whether pleasant or disagreeable — for the company of the Son of God himself. You shall have an inheritance for your own, which "is incorruptible, undefined, and that fades not away," which is reserved in Heaven for all that believe in Jesus and live for his glory.
A poor weaver may be exalted above the greatest monarch. What do you say? Will you rise from poverty — to plenty, from toil — to pleasure, from thraldom — to liberty, from what you now complain of — to the possession of what will fully and eternally satisfy you? You may; you are invited to do so. Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ. Acquaint yourself with God in Christ, and be at peace. All the bliss of Heaven, all the glories of eternity — are before you; up and possess the good land. Believe, repent, pray, obey the Savior and all is yours, and yours forever!