(Horatius Bonar, "Christ and the World")
"Let us eat and drink—for tomorrow we die!"
1 Corinthians 15:32
Worldly people seem to be well aware, that it is only
in this life that they will be able to give vent to their
worldliness. They know that death will put an end to it
all; and this is one of the main reasons for their dread
of death, and their dislike even of the thoughts of it.
They know that there will be no "worldliness" in "the
world to come;" that there will be no money-making,
nor pleasure-finding, nor feasting, nor reveling; no
dances, nor races, nor theaters—in heaven or in hell.
Hence their eagerness to taste "life's glad moments,"
to take their fill of mirth, to make the best of this life
while it lasts. Hence the origin of their motto, "Let
us eat and drink—for tomorrow we die!" Such are . . .
the out-and-out "lovers of pleasure,"
the worshipers of the god of this world,
the admirers of vanity,
the indulgers of the flesh.
They do not profess to be "pious;" but rather take
pains to show that they are not so, and boast that
they are not hypocrites.
But pleasure won't last always;
and this world will not last forever;
and vanity will soon pass away;
and the flesh will cease to satisfy.
And when all these things come to an end, what
will be the condition of those whose gods they were?
Cheated, befooled, despairing, they shall lie down in
sorrow. Their idols are broken in pieces, and they find
at last that they have trusted in a lie. They are left
without a god, without light, without help, without
even so much as the hope of a hope, or the faintest
glimmer of a dawn—in that long night which, after
their merry day of pleasure, has fallen so thickly
They will find too late that, in gaining the world—they
have lost their souls; that, in filling up time with vanity
—they have filled eternity with misery; that, in snatching
at the pleasures of earth—they have lost the joys of
heaven, and the glories of the everlasting inheritance.
O man, dying man, dweller on a dying earth, living amid
sickbeds and deathbeds, and funerals and graves—the
sport of broken hopes, and fruitless joys, and empty
dreams, and fervent longings, and never-healing, never
-ending heartaches—O man, dying man, will you . . .
still follow vanity and lies;
still chase pleasure and gaiety;
still sow the wind—and reap the whirlwind?
After all that has been told you of earth's weariness,
and pleasure's emptiness; after all that you yourself
have experienced of the vanity of all things here
below; after having been so often disappointed,
mocked, and made miserable by that world which
you worship—will you still pursue the lusts of the
flesh, the lust of the eye, and the pride of life?