Thursday, February 21, 2008

Our life is a vapor

Note: Spurgeon preached a message on the uncertainty and fragility of life, from which this excerpt is taken, eight days after a mining disaster in the Welsh town of Risca took the lives of 146 men.

I stayed but a week or two ago with an excellent Christian man, who was then in the halest and most hearty health. I was startled indeed when I heard immediately after that he had come home, and sitting down in his chair had shut his eyes and died. And these things are usual, and in such a city as ours we cannot go down a street without hearing of some such visitation. Well, our turn must come. Perhaps we shall die falling asleep in our beds after long sickness, but probably we shall be suddenly called in such an hour as we think not to face the realities of eternity. Well, if it be so, if there be a thousand gates to death, if all means and any means may be sufficient to stop the current of our life, if really, after all, spiders’ webs and bubbles are more substantial things than human life, if we are but a vapor, or a dying taper that soon expires in darkness, what then? Why, first, I say, let us all look upon ourselves as dying men, let us not reckon on tomorrow Oh! let us not procrastinate, for taken in Satan’s great net of procrastination we may wait, and wait, and wait, till time is gone and the great knell of eternity shall toll our dissolution. Today is your only time. O mortal men, the present moment is the only moment you may call your own, and oh! how swift its wings! This hour is yours; yesterday is gone; tomorrow is with God, and may never come. “Today if ye will hear his voice harden not your hearts.”

From a sermon entitled "The Wailing of Risca," delivered December 9, 1860. Flickr photo by Mel; some rights reserved.

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