Wednesday, December 17, 2008
The folly of the backslider
Is it not a gross mistake to attach so much importance to this poor body of clay, and forget the priceless jewel of the immortal soul? Why think so much of a world in which we only tarry for a few evil years, and neglect the world where we must dwell for ever? Such folly is most shameful in one who was once a professed Christian, because he knew, or professed to know, somewhat of the superiority of the eternal over the temporal; of the vanity of things earthly and the glory of things heavenly.
Yet because things go well with him - because his wife is in health, his children blooming, his house well furnished, his property increasing, he saith, “Soul, take thine ease,” and disturbs not himself though heaven is black with lowering tempest, and the light of God’s countenance is hidden from him. The loss of God’s presence the man thinks to be a trifle, because he is succeeding in the world; as though a man should count it nothing to lose his life if he may but
keep his raiment whole to be buried in. O fools, thus to put the last things first, and the first things last.
From a sermon entitled "The Backslider's Way Hedged Up," delivered September 18, 1864. Image by Jack Wolf under Creative Commons License.