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Remainder of Life

Remainder of Life

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St. James, I v. 15.
" If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this or that."

St. James, I v. 15.
" If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this or that."

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Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on Oct 08, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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REMAIDER OF LIFEREV. GEORGE BURGESS, D. D.St. James, I v. 15." If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this or that."Every man is the possessor of a life, as of any other blessing within his power of employ-ment. He will seem to himself to hold it as tohimself he seems to hold all the others, whe-ther without a cause beyond his own nature,or through some accidental allotment, or fromhis Supreme Creator and Governor. If he for-get the Lord of all, he may still, taught hy aconstant and sad experience, forbear to speak of the future, except with the express or im-plied condition, that his life be not shortened.But if he be at once irreligious, and eager orthoughtless, he will probably disregard all pos-sible contingencies, and say, with those whomthe Apostle addressed, " to-day, or to-morrow,we will go into such a city, and continue there26Hosted byGoogle302 REMAIDER OF LIFE.a year, and buy and sell, and get gain. 77 St.James reproves such confidence in so frail a
thing as our mortal life, and such neglect of theProvidence of God. He gives, in the text, theform, which, whether incorporated into our cus-tomary speech, or silently and reverently inti-mated by our evident sense of the uncertaintyof all events, shall yet denote the habitual atti-tude of our minds, waiting upon the hand of theLord, and feeling that we are pilgrims here.Still, life is, even in that form of words, ourpossession : only it is held from God, and heldby the tenure of his will alone. So long as hegives it, so long it is ours ; and as such it mustbe regarded and employed. The mind cannever limit its view to the present moment :while it attempts it, that moment is passed. Itnever was designed, that, because we cannotknow that another clay will be allowed us, weshould have no scheme or purpose for the timeto come. Any effort so to live would issue in amost criminal waste of our best earthly treasures.The scriptural injunction, on the contrary, ex-pressly permits that, when we have acknow-ledged the entire dependence of all upon thegood pleasure of our God, we should think, wishand determine, for the days which, whetherthey be more or fewer, are our own. " If theHosted byGoogleREMAIDER OF LIFE. 303
Lord will/' we ought to say; and then we mayand should add, " we shall live, and do this orthat." For, none are called to live withouthopes or fears or ends.Let me "beseech you, then, to contemplate,the first great fact of our knowledge ; the factthat we live, and shall live, here upon earth.If the Lord will, we shall rise w T ith the light of to-morrow; and accordingly we prepare ourselvesfor its duties, and retire to rest, which is a partof the preparation. If the Lord will, we shalllive to complete various enterprises, to gather inharvests, nay, to train up families ; and it isright to follow, in our actions, the probabilitywhich, as reasoning beings, we cannot despise.We must leave no weighty interests at thehazard of a probability, if it may be renderedcertain ; but we must do many things for thesake of that which can be no more than proba-ble, though it rise to the utmost height of suchevidence.A period of time, be it what it may, is theallotted inheritance of every one of us. The journey has soon its end; but the way must betrodden till then. To sever the thread of life,by violence, is made by the law of God thechief of crimes, when it is done in malice ; asit is the very highest prerogative of humanauthority, when it is done in the administrationHosted byGoogle

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