« PreviousContinue »
Pillow where, lying,
Love rests its head;
Life of the dead ;.
Path of the lowly,
Prize at the end,
Savior and Friend!
DECEMBER 30: EVENING.
So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.—Psalm xc., 12.
Have you ever seen in the harvest-field how the loaded wagons moved off? Methinks that months are sheaves of wheat, that days are separate stems, that hours are kernels, and that the year
is the loaded wain. When the time comes, sheaf after sheaf is pitched up, and the cattle draw them to the barn from the field, and then the grain is threshed and winnowed. The growing is done, the crop is reaped and gathered, and the result can not be changed. This year is nearly reaped, and you have thrown up your bundles upon God's coursers of time, and the stars draw the load and sweep it toward the eternal granary. You can throw no tears back upon the year. It is gone, it is registered, and what the account is God knows. You may know in part, but not wholly. Oh! it is a solemn thing to bid farewell to the contents of a year—all that your reason has done, all that your secular feelings have done, all that your religious feelings have done, all that your sentiments have done, all that your affections have done, all that your passions and appetites have done. What you have written on this year is now ineffaccable. It has gone to the judgment day, and it awaits you there. That can not be changed.
But the coming year is before you an unwritten book, an unsullied tablet. See to it that you profit by the mistakes of the past and take heed for the future. I beseech of you, when the knell of the old year shall have sounded and the new year shall have come on, by God's grace, and under the influence of his Spirit, begin to walk upon a higher plane, with purer aspirations and in the discharge of nobler duties. And as it was with the prophet that saw the ladder that touched the earth and ascended into heaven, so let it be with you; and let each year be as one added step, the bottom of the ladder beginning with time and the top ending with eternity, and you with the angels ascending thereon to the very glory of God.
'Tis not for man to trifle. Life is brief,
And sin is here.
A dropping tear.
One, only one;
That narrow span!
DECEMBER 31: MORNING. . We spend our years as a tale that is told.—Psalm xc., 9. ANOTHER year has passed. Its months and its weeks already are buried. Only days and hours remain. These are passing. One more sunrise only hath this year. To-morrow morning shall shine upon the face of a new year.
Let us turn and bid farewell to the past and passing; farewell to its cares, to its burdens, to its troubles; farewell to fears, and hopes, and griefs; farewell to its yearnings, to its aspirations, its wrestlings. They are gone. Farewell to many who waked the year with us--to the companion that was to us as an angel of God, and is now an angel with God. Farewell to the babe that was ours, and is God's, and therefore more than ever ours, though beyond the reach of our arms. But the heart tends it yet, and cradles it more vigilantly than ever. Farewell to our Christian brethren who have heard the trumpet before we have, and have gone forward. Year, thy march is ending; thy work is done. Pass! disappear! We shall see thee no more until we behold thy record in the All-judging Day.
DECEMBER 31: EVENING.
Be ye therefore ready also, for the Son of man cometh at an hour when yo think not.- Luke xii., 40.
I CARE not what the approaching year brings if it only results in good. I care not though it may be undriven like a chariot whose driver has been thrown to the ground, if God only sits and holds the coursers of Time. If God is in the chariot, I care not what else is in it or around it. If God will take care of my thoughts and feelings; if he will mark out my ways and lead me in them; if he will appoint my burdens; if he will send me stores sweetened with his love; if he will give to my faith the vision of eternal life; if he will touch and refine my affections; if he will direct my aspirations toward the heavenly estate-if he will do these things I shall be content, and shali rejoice in whatever scenes I may be called to pass through. I submit to the divine will. I take myself, my person, my life, my hope, my household, my companions in trouble and in labors of love, my children, my time, my influence, my relations to every work of God in the body-I take them all up, and say, “By thy grace, O God, in the past, I have been what I have been, and by thy grace I desire, in the future, to be what thou wilt have me to be. Glorify thyself, and I shall be satisfied.”
My dear Christian friend, can you take up every thing so ? Come! bear your cradle, and set it down before God, and say, “Lord, I resign it to thee.” Come! carry your store, and lay it at God's feet, and say, “Here, Lord, is what thou hast given me as steward; it is all thine.” Come! bring your palpitating heart, with all its affections, and open them before the bleeding heart of Christ, and say, “Lord, for another year I carry these in trust of thee.” Come! take your joys, and hopes, and aspirations, and bring them to the Savior, and say, “Lord, I received these from thee, and I will trust in thee in days to come. Though thou slayest me, yet will I trust in thee."
Can you so trust in Christ to-day? Can you so surrender yourself and all you have to him? There is perhaps but a year for you to do it in. This may be your final victory or defeat. What you are to do for yourself, for your household, and for the cause of God, you must do quickly. Settle your
your life's labors and your eternal interests. You will soon be called to bid adieu to the scenes of this world. Of this one thing you may be sure—that line of conduct which will best prepare you to die will best prepare you to live. Live, therefore, so that, at whatever hour the Son of man may come, you shall be found ready.