I am fast borne along the stream of time!
(John MacDuff, "Evening Incense" 1856)
"It is appointed unto all once to die—and after death, the judgment!" Hebrews 9:27
O my Father, You are daily loading me with Your benefits—giving me unnumbered causes for gratitude and thankfulness. No earthly friend could have loved and cared for me like You. Oh may the life You are thus preserving by Your unceasing bounty—be unreservedly dedicated to Your praise.
O my Father, keep me mindful that I am soon to be done with this fleeting world; that I am fast borne along the stream of time—to the ocean of endless futurity!
May I be living in a constant state of preparedness for that solemn hour when small and great shall stand before You, and the books shall be opened. Train me for eternity! Let me not be frittering away these fleeting, but precious moments. Impress on me the solemn conviction . . .
that as men live—so do men die;
that as death leaves me—so judgment will find me;
and that as judgment finds me—so eternity will keep me.
Oh let death leave me falling asleep in Jesus, united to Him by a living faith—so that judgment may find me seated at His right hand, listening to the joyous welcome, "Come, you who are blessed by My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world!"
Blessed Jesus, all my hope of a glorious resurrection centers in You. I look to You as the strong tower which cannot be shaken. I flee anew to the holy sanctuary of Your covenant love. Sheltered there, amid a dissolving earth, and burning worlds—I shall be able joyfully to utter the challenge, "Who shall separate me from the love of Christ?"
Keep me from all negligence and unwatchfulness. Trim my flickering lamp. Let me live with Your Judgment-throne in view. May I ever remember—that I must soon give an account of myself to You, the infallible searcher of all hearts. May I feel that all the talents and means which You have given me—are trusts to be laid out for You. When you come to demand a reckoning, may I not be among the number of those who have hidden their talent in the earth, and have the cheerless retrospect of a misspent life.
May every providential voice sound loud in my ears, "Arise and depart—for this is not your rest, because it is defiled—it is ruined, beyond all remedy!"
Make me more heavenly-minded. Give me more of a pilgrim attitude—and a pilgrim spirit. May I ever feel that my true home is above—and that I am here on earth, but a wayfarer and sojourner, as all my fathers were. May I attain, as I advance nearer to Heaven, the blessed habit of a holy life, declaring plainly that I am seeking a heavenly home.
I delight often to anticipate that happy time, when I shall suffer no more—and sin no more!
"Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom." Psalm 90:12