Tuesday, November 8, 2011

It is precious (part 2)

(This is a follow up post on the preciousness of time from the post I put up yesterday - here)
The End of Time is Uncertain. Time must be esteemed precious because we are uncertain of it's length. We know that time is very short, but we do not know how short. We do not know how little of it remains, whether a year or several years, or only a month, or week, or a day. Every day, we are uncertain whether that day will be the last, or even if we will live the entire day. There is nothing that experience verifies more than this. 
If a man had some provisions stored up for a journey or a voyage, and knew that if his provisions failed he would perish by the way, he would be very careful in stocking up. How much more would people prize their time, if they knew they had only a few months or a few days left to live!
A wise people prize their time, because they do not know when it will run out. This is the case with multitudes now in the world, as they enjoy good health and see no sign of approaching death. Nevertheless, many will die the next month, many the next week, many will die tomorrow, and some even tonight. Yet these same persons know nothing of it, and perhaps think nothing of it. Neither they nor their neighbors can say that they are more likely to be sooner taken out of the world than others. This teaches us how we must prize our time, and how careful we must be that we lose none of it.
Time Can't Be Recovered. Time is very precious, because when it is past, it cannot be recovered. Men possess many things which, if they part with them, would be lost forever. If a man loses something, though not knowing the worth of it or his need of it, he can often regain it with effort and some cost. 
However, this is not true with respect to time. When time is gone, it is gone forever, and no effort or cost will recover it. Though we are filled with remorse and repent that we let time pass without properly using it, it is to no avail.  Every part of time is successively offered to us, so that we may choose whether we will make it our own or not. But time does not delay. It will not wait on us to see whether or not we will comply with the offer. If we refuse, it is immediately taken away, and never offered again. As to that part of time that has passed, however we have neglected to use it, it is out of our possession and out of our reach. 
If we have lived fifty, sixty, or seventy years, and have not properly used our time, it cannot be helped. That time is eternally gone from us, and all that we can do is to properly use the little that remains, If one has spent all his life with but a few moments unused, all that is past is lost and only those few remaining moments can possibly be made his own. Likewise, if the whole of a man's time has passed and is all lost, it is irrecoverable. 
Eternity depends on the proper use of time. When once the time of life is gone and death is come, we have not more to do with time. There is no possibility of obtaining the restoration of time, nor is there another realm in which to prepare for eternity.  
If a man loses his entire worldly substance and becomes bankrupt, it is possible that his loss may be regained, and he may have another estate as good. But when the time of life is gone, it is impossible to obtain another such time. All opportunity to obtain eternal welfare is utterly and everlastingly gone.
~ from "The Preciousness of Time and the Importance of Redeeming It" a sermon by Jonathan Edwards

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