The dregs of old age!
(Thomas Brooks, "The
Crown and Glory of Christianity,
HOLINESS, the Only Way to Happiness", 1662)
"Let me die the death of the righteous, and may my
end be like theirs!" Numbers 23:10
Many desire to repent when old age comes—when . . .
their wits are cracked,
their souls distracted,
their senses stupefied,
their hearts astonished,
their minds darkened, and
their bodies diseased and distempered.
Oh, then they think that they will be able to leap into
heaven, with a "Lord have mercy upon me" in their
mouths. Even though they have lived like devils
—yet they hope they shall die like saints!
Do you think, O vain man—that after you have spent your
time, and wasted your strength, and exhausted your energies
in the work of Satan, and in the service of your lusts—that
God will receive you to His grace and favor? If you do thus
flatter yourself—it is ten thousand to one—that you will
deceive yourself! Though true repentance is never too
late—yet late repentance is seldom true. Ah, how many
millions are now in hell—who have thought, and resolved, and
said that they would repent hereafter—but that hereafter
You say "Tomorrow, tomorrow I will repent," when you know
not what a tomorrow will bring forth. Alas! how many thousand
ways may death surprise you before tomorrow comes! Though
there is but one way to come into the world—yet there are a
thousand thousand ways to be sent out of the world. Oh, the
diseases, the hazards, the dangers, the accidents, the deaths
—which daily—which hourly attend the life of man!
Ah friends! it is a dangerous thing to make repentance to be
the task of old age. The longer any man defers his repentance,
the more difficult it will be for him to repent:
his heart will every day grow more and more hard, and
his will more and more perverse, and
his judgment more and more corrupted, and
his affections more and more disordered, and
his conscience more and more benumbed or enraged, and
his whole life more and more defiled and debauched.
Friends, do not deceive yourselves! Old age is but a tottering
and sinking foundation for you to build your eternal hopes
and happiness upon—your eternal making or marring upon!
Are the dog-days of old age—are the trembling hands, the
wrinkled face, the failing eyes, the gasping lungs, the fainting
heart, the feeble knees, and the broken down legs—are these
a sacrifice worthy of a majestic God? Is a body
full of sores,
aches, and diseases—and a soul full of sin—an offering
of a holy God? Surely not!
Oh, what madness, what wickedness is this—to serve Satan,
your lusts, and this world with full dishes—and to
put off God
with scraps! To serve Satan, your lusts, and this world
flower, in the prime and primrose of your days—and to put
off God with the dregs of old age! Oh,
do not let Satan
deceive you, do not let your own hearts delude you!