What shadows we are—and what shadows we pursue!

(Octavius Winslow)

"We were born only yesterday and know nothing, and our days on earth are but a shadow!" Job 8:9

"He springs up like a flower and withers away; like a fleeting shadow, he does not endure." Job 14:2

"What is your life? You are a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes." James 4:14

All is shadow here below!

The world is a shadow—and is passing away!

The creature is a shadow—and the loveliest and the fondest may be the first to die!

Health is a shadow—fading, and in a moment gone!

Wealth is a shadow—today upon the summit of affluence, tomorrow at its base, plunged into poverty and dependence!

Human friendships and creature affections are but shadows—sweet and pleasant while they last; but, with a worm feeding at the root of all created good, the sheltering gourd soon withers, exposing us to the sun's burning heat by day, and to the frost's cold chill by night!

Oh, yes! "Passing Away!" is indelibly inscribed upon everything here below!

Yet how slow we are to realize the solemn lesson: "What shadows we are—and what shadows we pursue!"

Unconverted reader, what is your life—but a vapor that passes away?
And what are your pursuits, but shadows—unreal, unsatisfying, evanescent?

Your rank, your wealth, your honors, your pleasures, are but phantoms which appear but for a little while, and then are lost in the deeper shadow of the grave, and the still deeper and longer shadow of eternity!

Oh, turn from these dreams and hallucinations, and, as a rational, accountable, immortal being, on your way to judgment—fix your mind upon your solemn, endless future! You are going to die! And, oh, when that dread hour comes, so real and appalling—how then will your past trifling life appear?

"As for man, his days are like grass, he flourishes like a flower of the field; the wind blows over it and it is gone, and its place remembers it no more." Psalm 103:15-16

"My days are like the evening shadow; I wither away like grass." Psalm 102:11

"Man is like a breath; his days are like a fleeting shadow." Psalm 144:4

"So teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom."
Psalm 90:12