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suffer time to slide away in a thousand impertinen: cies, and neglect the one thing necessary?'
2. · A fruitless and bitter mouruing for the waste and abuse of time' will be another consequence of your folly. Whatsoever satisfaction you may take now in passing time away merrily and without think. ing, it must not pass away so for ever. proaches of death do not awaken you, yet judgment will do it. Your consciences will be worried with terrible reflections on your foolish conduct.
O could we but hear the complaints of the souls in hell, what multitudes of them would be found groaning out this dismal note, “How hath my time been lost in vanity, and my soul is now lost for ever in distress: How might I have shone among the saints in heaven, had I wisely improved the time which was given me on earth, given me on purpose to prepare for death and heaven?' Then they will for ever curse themselves, and call themselves eter. nal fools, for hearkening to the temptations of flesh and sense, which wasted their time, and deprived them of eternal treasures.
3. Another of the terrors which will seize upon impenitent sinners at the end of time, will be . endless despair of the recovery of lost time, and of those blessings whose hope is for ever lost with it.' There are blessings offered to sinful miserable men in time, which will never be offered in eternity, nor put within their reach for ever. The gospel hath no calls, no invitations, no encouragements, no promises for the dead, who have lost and wasted their time, and
are perished without hope. The region of sorrow, whither the Judge shall drive impenitent sinners, is a dark and desolate place, where light and hope can never come: But fruitless repentance, with horrors and agonies of soul, and doleful despair reign through that world, without one gleam of light or hope, or one moment of intermission. Then will despairing sinners gnaw their tongues for anguish of heart, and curse themselves with long execrations, and curse their fellow sinners, who assisted them to waste their time, and ruin their souls.
4. The last terror I shall mention which will attend sinners at the end of time, is an “eternal suffering of all the painful and dismal consequences of lost and wasted time. Not one smile from the face of God for ever, not one glimpse of love or mercy in his countenance, not one word of grace from Jesus Christ who was once the chief messenger of the grace of God, not one favourable regard from all the holy saints and angels; but the fire and brimstone burn without end, " and the smoke of this their torment will ascend for ever and ever before the throne of God and the Lamb."
Who knows how keen and bitter will be the agonies of an awakened conscience, and the vengeance of a provoked God in that world of misery? How will you cry out, • what a wretch have I been to renounce all the advices of a compassionate father, when he would have persuaded me to improve the time of youth and health! Alas, I turned a deaf ear to his advice, and now time is lost, and my hopes of
mercy for ever perished. How have I treated with ridicule among my vain companions the compassionate and pious counsels of my aged parents who laboured for my salvation? How have •I scorned the tender admonitions of a mother, and wasted that time in sinning and sensuality which should have been spent in prayer and devotion? And God turns a deaf ear to my cries now, and is regardless of all my groanings.' This sort of anguish of spirit with loud and cutting complaints would destroy life itself, and these inward terrors would sting their souls to death, if there could be any such thing as dying there. Such sighs and sobs and bitter agonies would break their hearts, and dissolve their being, if the heart could break, or the being could be dissolved: But immortality is their dreadful portion, immortal. ity of sorrows to punish their wicked and wilful abuse of time, and that waste of the means of grace they were guilty of in their mortalState.
I proceed in the last place to consider what reflections may be made on this discourse, or what are some of the profitable lessons to be learnt from it.
Reflect. I. We may learn with great evidence the inestimable worth and value of time, and particularly to those who are not prepared for eternity.' Every hour you
live is an hour longer given you to prepare for dying, and to save a soul. If you were but ap. prized of the worth of your own souls, you would better know the worth of days and hours, and of every passing moment, for they are given to secure your immortal interest, and save a soul from ever
lasting misery. And you would be zealous and importunate in the prayer of Moses, the man of God, upon a meditation of the shortness of life, Psal. xc. 12. " So teach us to number our days as to apply our hearts to wisdom," i. e. So teach us to consider how few and uncertain our days are, that we may be truly wise in preparing for the end of them.
It is a matter of vast importance to be ever ready for the end of time, ready to hear this awful sentence confirmed with the oath of the glorious angel, that • Time shall be no longer.' The terrors or the com . forts of a dying bed depend upon it: The solemn and decisive voice of judgment depends upon it: The joys and the sorrows of a long eternity depend upon it: Go now, careless sinner, and in the view of such things as these, go and trifle away time as you have done before; time, that invaluable treasure : Go and venture the loss of your souls, and the hopes of heaven and your eternal nappiness, in wasting away the remnant hours or moments of life: But remember the awful voice of the angel is hastening towards you, and the sound is just breaking in upon you, that · Time shall be no longer.'
Reflect. II. “A due sense of time hastening to its period will furnish us with perpetual new occasions of holy meditation.
Do I observe the declining day and the setting sun sinking into darkness : So declines the day of life, the hours of labour, and the season of grace : O may I finish my appointed work with honour, before the light is filed! May I improve the shining hours of
grace before the shadows of the evening overtake me, and my time of working is no more!
Do I see the moon gliding along through midnight, and fulfilling her stages in the dusky sky? This planet also is measuring out my life, and bring. ing the number of my months to their end. May I be prepared to take leave of the sun and moon, and bid adieu to these visible heavens and all the twinkling glories of them! These are all but the measurers of my time, and hasten me on towards eternity.
Am I walking in a garden and stand still to observe the slow motion of the shadow upon a dial there? It passes over the hour lines with an imperceptible progress, yet it will touch the last line of day-light. shortly': So my hours and my moments move on. ward with a silent pace; but they will arrive with certainty at the last limit, how heedless soever I am of their motion, and how thoughtless soever I may be of the improvement of time, or of the end of it.
Does a new year commence, and the first morning of it dawn upon me? Let me remember that the last year was finished, and gone over my head, in order to make way for the entrance of the present: I have one year the less to travel through this world, and to fulfil the various services of a travelling state: May my diligence in duty be doubled, since the number of my appointed years is diminished.
Do I find a new birth-day in my survey of the ka. lendar, the day wherein I entered upon the stage of mortality, and was born into this world of sins, frailties and sorrows, in order to my probation for a bet