Redeeming the Time

“Consider, any day may be thy last day, and therefore every day should be a holy day with thee. God’s eye is all the day long upon thee, and therefore thou hadst need to be all the day long in his awe. Remember that time is given thee, not to squander away in needless visits, or idle talking, or long meals, or unnecessary sleeping, but to get thy person justified, thy nature sanctified, to secure thine interest in Christ, and the covenant of grace and heaven… Reader, the time of thy life goeth post, thou art hastening to thy last stage. Whether thou art eating or drinking, walking or sitting, buying or selling, waking or sleeping, death is always making speed towards thee… shouldst thou waste thy time upon toys and trifles, as if thou hadst nothing to do, no God to make peace with, no Redeemer to lay hold on, no soul to take care of?... Oh affect my soul thoroughly how eternity rides upon the back of time, that I may prize time highly, redeem it carefully, and improve it so faithfully, that eternity may be my friend, and when time shall have an end, I may enjoy that joy which hath no end… Finally, I wish that every day of my life may be spent as if it were the day of my death, and all my time employed in adorning my soul, in trimming my lamp, and in a serious preparation for eternity. Whilst I am living I am dying; every moment my sand is running, and my sun is declining. I am as stubble before the wind, and as chaff that the storm carrieth away. I fly away as a dream, and shall not be found. My life is chased away as a vision of the night. The eyes which have seen me shall see me no more, neither shall my place any more behold me. I must live now or never; if I die, I shall not live again. Oh that all the days of my appointed time, I could wait till my change cometh.” 
–– George Swinnock (1627-1672)
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