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THE

CHRISTIAN SPECTATOR;

CONDUCTED

BY AN ASSOCIATION OF GENTLEMEN.

FOR THE YEAR

1825.

VOLUME VIL

NEW-HAVEN':

PRINTED AND PUBLISHED BY S CONVERSE.

PUBLIC LIBS

113531

ASTOR, LENOX AND TILDEN FOUNDATIONS. 1299

THE

CHRISTIAN SPECTATOR.

No. 1.]

JANUARY 1, 1825.

[VOL. VII.

The Shortness of Time:

A SERMON.

RELIGIOUS.

But this I say, brethren, the time

is short-1 Cor. vii. 29.

THE Preacher, in the Old Testa ment, tells us that "for every thing there is a season; and a time for every work under the sun." It may, with equal propriety, be added, that for every season there is a duty, and work enough to occupy all our time. Our Creator has made us active beings, and placed us here, to tarry our appointed time, and to prepare for another life. It would be an impeachment of his wisdom and foresight, if he had not provided us with sufficient employment for our active powers. We have business enough to occu py every moment of our lives. When time hangs heavy upon our hands, it is not for the want of something to do, but for the want of inclination to our proper business.

The terms short and long, when applied to time, are words of comparison. They naturally refer us to some measure, or some other duration. We regard time as short, if it appears so, when compared with other duration that is contemplated; with the portion allotted to other beings, or with other modes of existence. We regard it as short, if we view it in reference to the difficulty and importance of the works we have allotted to it. We feel its shortness still more, if we have ourselves curtailed our opportunities. We are convinced of it when we look forward, but we

realize it only when we think of what is past. Every successive portion appears shorter than that which preceded it. We are admonished that we shall soon bid adieu to the cares, pleasures, and trials of life; that every moment is precious; and is of peculiar value, as it is allowed us to prepare for an unchanging eternity.

The Apostle, in the text, is evidently speaking of the duration of human life, the season of action and suffering in the present world.

Lord, make me to know mine end, and the measure of my days, what it is, that I may know how frail I am.”

I. The time of our life appears short, if we compare it. with other duration.

The age of the Antediluvians-extended to nearly a thousand years. The general object of existence was the same to them, as to og; to pass away the present life, and to prepare for a state of retribution. Yet how much longer time had they, to accomplish the end of their being! Say ye, who have laid your plans of enterprise too wide to be finished in the little space of threescore years and ten; is not your life short, when compared with theirs? Yet we have no reason to believe that length of days added any thing to their hap piness. Ye whose grey hairs still find you delaying the care of your souls; would you not feel a more confident hope that you could enjoy the pleasures of sin for a long season, and yet by repentance secure the rewards of virtue, if your probation

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