A bubble, a shadow,
(Thomas Brooks, "Apples of Gold" 1660)
"My life passes more swiftly
than a runner. It flees away."
TIME is a precious talent which
we are accountable for.
Cato and other heathen held that account must be given,
not only of our labor--but also of our leisure. At the
day, it will appear that those who have spent their time in
mourning over sin--have done better than those who have
spent their time in dancing; and those who have spent
many days in pious humiliation--better than those who
spent many days in idle recreations.
I have read of a devout man who, when he heard a clock
strike, he would say, "Here is one more hour past, which
I have to answer for!" Ah! as time is very precious--so
it is very short. Time is very swift; it is suddenly gone.
The ancients emblemed time with wings, as it were, not
running--but flying! Time is like the sun, which never
stands still--but is continually a-running his race. The
sun did once stand still--but time never did. Time is still
running and flying! It is a bubble, a shadow,
Sirs! if the whole earth whereupon we tread were turned
into a lump of gold--it would not be able to purchase one
minute of time! Oh! the regrettings of the damned for
misspending precious time! Oh! what would they not give
to be free, and to enjoy the means of grace one hour!
Ah! with what attention, with what intention, with what
trembling and melting of heart, with what hungering and
thirsting--would they hear the Word!
Time, says Bernard, would be a precious commodity in hell,
and the selling of it most gainful, where for one day a man
would give ten thousand worlds, if he had them.
Ah! as you love your precious immortal souls, as you would
escape hell--and come to heaven; as you would be happy in
life--and blessed in death, and glorious after death; don't
spend any more of your precious time in drinking and gabbing,
in carding, dicing, and dancing! Don't trifle away your time,
because time is a talent that God will reckon with you for.
Ah! you may reckon upon years,
many years yet to come;
when possibly you have not so
many hours to live! It may
be this night you will have
your final summons--and then,
in what a sad case will
you be! Will you not wish that you
had never been born?
Sirs! Time let slip--cannot be recalled!