Quote for Today
“And as it is appointed unto men once to die,
but after this the judgment”
“The practical bearings of this appointment to die. It teaches us our highest work in this life. We live that we may prepare to die. There are four lines of preparation.
(1) There is the discipline of resignation. It may seem hard to part with so many friends, so many interests, so much work, so many hopes, so many enthusiasms. But there is no help for it, and it is better, for our own sakes, and still more for the honour of our God, that we should bow to the inevitable.
(2) There is the discipline of repentance.
(3) There is the training of prayer — I should speak more accurately — of worship. When we pray, really shutting out the things and thoughts of time, cleansing the inner temple of the soul; when we behold the realities over which death has no power, the realities which have no relation to time — the everlasting throne, the unceasing intercession — we are not only insensibly suffused with the light which streams down from that other world; we learn here upon earth how to behave ourselves in that majestic presence; we learn the manners of another climate, the habits of another society, before our time. And this worship is a training for death.
(4) There is the discipline of voluntary sacrifice. By sacrifice man does not merely learn to await death; he goes out to welcome it. He learns how to transfigure a stern necessity into the sublimest of virtues. His life is not simply to be taken from him: he will have the privilege of offering it to God; for each true act of sacrifice, each surrender, whether in will or in act, of self, carries with it the implied power of controlling the whole being, not merely on ordinary occasions, but at the crisis, at the trial time of destiny. Like his Lord, the Christian must, by many a free surrender of that which he desires, or of that which he loves, prepare himself for the last great act which awaits him when, anticipating, controlling the final struggle, the last agony, the rent, the pang of separation between his body and his soul, he will exclaim with the Redeemer, “Into Thy hands, O Father, I commend my spirit”; but he will add, because he is a sinner — a redeemed sinner — “for Thou hast redeemed me, O Lord God of Truth.”