He who trifles with it is a fool!
(J.A. James, "The Practical Believer Delineated")
"Show me, O LORD, my life's end and the number of my days; let me know how fleeting is my life!" Psalm 39:4
If the man who trembles at death is a coward—then he who trifles with it is a fool!
There is a thousand times more rationality in the trembler—than in the trifler!
There is a phenomenon in the rational world well worthy of consideration, inquiry and solution—the strange and fatal insensibility of men to the grand fact that they are mortal! Since it is infallibly certain that they must and will die, and since death is so solemn an event—how does it happen that so few ever seriously think of it or really prepare for it?
One would think that so grand and solemn a fact as death, especially viewed in connection with the events which are to immediately follow it—Heaven, Hell and eternity—along with the uncertainty how soon it may be realized—might operate with an unlimited and altogether overpowering influence upon men's minds and hearts!
But men wish to forget death—and alas, too often succeed in accomplishing this fatal oblivion! Yet we can scarcely wonder at this, when we consider what their spiritual condition is—and what death is!
It is the commonness of death, which deprives it of its extreme dreadfulness. If death happened in our world only once in a century, it would be felt like the shock of an earthquake—and would hush the inhabitants of earth into a breathless silence, while the echoes of the knell of the departed soul were reverberating around the globe!
Death is . . .
the moment of destiny;
the seal of eternity;
the cessation of probation;
the commencement of retribution and judgment!
The accompaniments of death are solemn, and so are the consequences!
To every sense—death is revolting!
To every social affection—death is harrowing!
To reason—death is perplexing!
To everything but saving faith—death is overwhelming!
"Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom!" Psalm 90:12