1 Corinthians 7:29
What I am saying, brothers, is that the time is short. From now on those who have wives should live as if they had none;
Sermons
Marriage and CelibacyFrederick W. Robertson1 Corinthians 7:29
Celibacy and MarriageE. Hurndall 1 Corinthians 7:1, 2, 7-9, 25-35
Concerning Virgins and WidowsH. Bremner, B. D.1 Corinthians 7:25-40
Concerning Virgins and WidowsH. Bremner 1 Corinthians 7:25-40
How to Give AdviceJ. Lyth, D. D.1 Corinthians 7:25-40
How to Judge in Difficult MattersJ. Lyth, D. D.1 Corinthians 7:25-40
Works of Supererogation and Counsels of PerfectionPrincipal Edwards.1 Corinthians 7:25-40
A Drama in Five ActsC. H. Spurgeon.1 Corinthians 7:29-31
Brief Life is Here Our PortionC. H. Spurgeon.1 Corinthians 7:29-31
Christian ModerationJ. J. S. Bird, M. A.1 Corinthians 7:29-31
Christian UnworldlinessF. W. Robertson, M. A.1 Corinthians 7:29-31
How to Use the World So as not to Abuse ItJ. Venn, M. A.1 Corinthians 7:29-31
Length of LifeBp. Burgess.1 Corinthians 7:29-31
Life, its Shadows and its SubstanceH. W. Beecher.1 Corinthians 7:29-31
Life's BrevityJ. Vaughan, M. A.1 Corinthians 7:29-31
Moderation is EverythingJ. Lyth, D. D.1 Corinthians 7:29-31
Only a Little WhileM. R. Vincent, D. D.1 Corinthians 7:29-31
Religion in its Relation to Common LifeJ. Lyth, D. D.1 Corinthians 7:29-31
The Marriage State, Right Views OfR. Sibbes, D. D.1 Corinthians 7:29-31
The Message of the Closing YearW. M. Taylor.1 Corinthians 7:29-31
The Narrowed OpportunityS. Cox, D. D.1 Corinthians 7:29-31
The Shortness of LifeBp. Phillips Brooks.1 Corinthians 7:29-31
The Shortness of the TimeH. Bremner 1 Corinthians 7:29-31
The Shortness of TimeW. C. Wilson, B. A.1 Corinthians 7:29-31
The Time is ShortD. Thomas, D. D.1 Corinthians 7:29-31
The Time is ShortE. Blencowe, M. A.1 Corinthians 7:29-31
The Time is ShortR. Sibbes, D. D.1 Corinthians 7:29-31
The Time is ShortJ.R. Thomson 1 Corinthians 7:29-31
Time: Flight OfMadame de Gasparin.1 Corinthians 7:29-31
Time: How to Use ItJ. Taylor, D. D.1 Corinthians 7:29-31
Time: its Rapid Flight1 Corinthians 7:29-31
An Argument from the Shortness of the TimeR. Tuck 1 Corinthians 7:29-40
Apostolic Counsels for the TimesC. Lipscomb 1 Corinthians 7:29-40
Some minds are so organized as to be peculiarly open to those impressions which the local and circumstantial produce on thought and feeling. If these become excessive, they are almost sure to trench on principles. Such persons are devotees of sectionality; their prudence is shrewd, but not sagacious; intelligence is narrowed down to time, place, and immediate results; and expediency is with them "the previous question." St. Paul was not one of these men. Other minds, fond of abstractions and habituated to cloistered thinking, lose the helps of the senses and especially that very important culture, derived from contact with the open world, which teaches us to adjust principles to measures and measures to occasions. Expediency is seldom in their view. St. Paul was not one of these men. A marked fact about his conversion to Christianity was that he ceased to be an intellectual extremist; not only his opinions and convictions were radically changed, but likewise his method of looking at all things. We see in this chapter a man who adheres firmly to his ideal of the Christian Church, and, at the same time, a man who is thoroughly sensible of the uses of expediency. With him, nothing that Christ had settled could be unsettled. Nothing wrong could be expedient, and, in every case, expediency was to render homage to fundamental principles, so that the Spirit of Christ should manifest its purity and beauty. Such an expediency is always morally safe, because it rests, not on self gratification, but on self denial. This is the temper of his argument in the paragraph now under notice. "No commandment of the Lord;" and yet "my judgment" as an apostle is entitled to respect and confidence; the truth none the less a truth, and worthy of this consideration because the utterance of one who had "obtained mercy of the Lord to be faithful." That great transparency was not then glowing as in special hours with the resplendency behind it; but the same Divine illumination was there, and every line, touched by the almighty hand, faithfully represented the original. "Mercy to be faithful;" fidelity to truth just as much in advice and counsel as in direct and authoritative command; ay, this is "mercy" indeed, since it shows the dignity of spiritual intellect, and what importance men should attach to its daily offices in life. "The time is shortened:" here is his starting point; and this abridged time is applied instantly to a certain state of mind, which St. Paul would have his converts to cultivate with regard to the world and its relations. Future time is not ordinary future time. It has been narrowed, in order that you Corinthians and all other believers may have an intenser conception of opportunity, a deeper sense of Christ in time, and so learn to look upon human existence under this aspect of its solemnity. First of all, the domestic relation; this most beautiful, tender, and noble of all earthly relationships, whose spirit refuses to be limited by what its loving arms embrace, and is ever reaching towards a loftier ideal, and even when its arms are paralyzed still symbolizes alike in memory and hope the immortality of affection, - this holy relation must be made holier by the fact, the time is shortened. If true of this, it is true of all else. Sorrow may be, to some extent, pure and noble, and yet, unawares to ourselves, it may contain a selfish element, and, in the degree this is present, we mourn over ourselves as losers rather than over the object lost. A sorrow truly pure and noble hides its tears from the world, takes up the cross of daily work, feels its loneliness and bears it silently, and toils on with serene patience. To be a Divine discipline - the most purifying and exalting of which we are capable - it must loosen us from earthly things and raise our hearts to God. The death of others, even of our dearest friends, is thus overruled by Providence, as the death in some measure of our pleasure loving nature. "Perfect through suffering" was said of Christ, and in so far as we realize perfection, it is only attained in this way. Our joy must not engross us so as to impair our lively sense of things spiritual. Business must leave us free for meditation and devout exercises. And in whatever way we use the world, whether the world of home, of culture, of trade and commerce, or of professional activity, it must be used in moderation and with due regard to its moral significance. "The earth hath he given to the children of men," that they may be more than earthly. "All things are yours." that ye may thereby be richer in Christ Jesus. Viewed in this light, it may not be proper to say that these things are "means of grace," but they are helpers and auxiliaries to goodness, and give us no small furtherance in the life Divine. Much, very much, in this worm is capable of a most blessed utility. Much of it will live forever, not in itself, but taken into us and assimilated and glorified. Bodily, how much that is bodily, is ever becoming eternally mental and spiritual! It is the immortal soul, born of God, redeemed by Christ, sanctified by the Holy Ghost, that saves material nature from being a picturesque show and a deceptions sham. Plentifully, indeed, she meets our physical wants, quite as lavishly our wishes, generously too our tastes, and yet, while guaranteeing her economic and intellectual uses with a royal magnificence, she is looking beyond and a far, and her thought is of the blessings that are imperishable. "The body is... for the Lord," and through the pathways of the body, the gates of the senses, the "vaults," the galleries," and passage ways that physiology assures us exist beneath the grey matter of the upper brain; - through these as highways what vast processions are daily moving heavenwards! Beauty and sublimity have not terminated their offices when they have flashed to the canvas of the painter or breathed themselves into the marble of the sculptor. Poetry has not finished her task when she has found a Dante, a Shakespeare, a Milton. Music has not been exhausted in the act of creating Mozart and Beethoven and Mendelssohn. Every one of these influences is what it is in itself, because of man's immortality. The training we get in the body and through the body, such as the subjugation of the material organization to the organism of the man, the clear common sense won by experience from toil and enterprise, the swift energy, the mastering will of achievement, the patience of endeavour, the heroism that works and waits, and the discipline of the social and rational man, - all this complicated training, which suffers no constituent of manhood to evade its grasp, has a reference distinctly providential to the future man. The idea of a Christian probation as altogether different from other conceivable probations, and as standing specifically by itself in the dispensations of the universe, runs through all the economic arrangements of our world. And hence the words of St. Paul, "Use this world as not abusing it," using it not to the full of the senses and the intellect and the sensibilities as if it were all, but using it as a world even now moving from beneath your feet, and which has no permanency except in the moral and spiritual impressions left by it upon your souls. "The fashion of this world passeth away;" the whole structure, the modes of existence, the relations of existence in their variety and multiplicity, all present objects, the totality which no mind can compute, - all this is in motion, the duration has been shortened, and the end is near at hand. Reviewing this argument of the apostle, may we not claim that it presents time in a light altogether new, that its estimate of duration is something intrinsically different from that measured by the time keeper of the heavens, and that it inspires our sense of successional moments in a way peculiar to itself? Nothing in us is more closely connected with the external framework of the universe than our sensibility to time. Yet, while this natural capacity is subjected to an outward machinery, it is also dominant over that machinery, so that an instant may be expanded into an hour or an hour into days. In this respect, moods assert a mastering force, emotions are well nigh omnipotent, and the heavenly orbs take their motions from our pulses. If Christianity took no knowledge of this phenomenon of experience, it would be strangely exceptional to its method of operating on man, which allows no recess of his being to remain unvisited by its light and warmth. Its teaching is, "The time is shortened," and it makes its doctrine available to practise us in the highest moral wisdom, using the world without abusing its relations. Now, it is worthy of notice that the civilization of our century has advanced in no direction more remarkably than in victory over time. The era opened with the steam engine, and has progressed with the telegraph and telephone, and, in each case, the triumph has been in a fuller control of time. Time has been shortened and yet lengthened, so that we do in weeks what our grandfathers required years to accomplish. Time has been intensified. Today in Europe is today in the backwoods of America, and the yesterday of China and Egypt is a part of the breakfast table talk of this morning. Obviously, sensuous life, in its connections and sympathies, gets the most, at present, of this stimulation. One, however, who takes a broad view of providence, cannot think that the tendency of this increased sensuousness is necessarily downwards into sensualism. For, indeed, Christianity is often most active where we least suspect its presence, since the "kingdom of God," in civilization as in all else, "cometh not with observation." This enhanced sensuousness, if we read aright the signs of the times, is gathering together a vast fund of raw materials for transformation into a more capacious and robust Christian manhood. Within the realm of natural law, Christianity is signalizing its power more and more, and the day is not distant when "uniformity," "evolution," "homologies," will have a wider and profounder interpretation than they have now. "The earth helped the woman;" it still helps the woman; and age by age the apocalyptic wonder reveals fresh wonders. Silently, unobserved by the multitude, hidden even front scientific thinkers, God is reclaiming nature for his Son; and he who, eighteen hundred years age, multiplied bread for the hungry, healed diseases, and established his claim as the Lord of nature, is making ready to reaffirm that sovereignty in a manner more resplendent than by miracles. And as to this matter of shortened and intensified time, who but the Lord Jesus as Son of man was the first sublime instance of ascendancy over the limitations of time? Thirty years of seclusion, three years of work, young manhood cut short in its prime, and yet those three years giving birth to centuries which, amid manifold evils, have yet steadily progressed in the direction of a regenerated humanity. For him, indeed, time was shortened, and his is the perfect example of using the world without the slightest abuse. And just in the proportion we have his Spirit, shall we feel that the soul has a calendar of days unknown in the chronometry of the material universe. - L.







But this I say, brethren, the time is short: it remaineth that both they that have wives be as though they had none.
I. FOR THE DOMESTIC CONNECTIONS OF THE WORLD (ver. 29).

1. Man is the creature of the family. He is nursed and trained under its influence. When called to leave his first home the domestic instinct impels him to become the head of a family himself. And then amidst the infirmities of old age he becomes again the subject of domestic solicitude and sway. A well-organised family is earth's chief nursery and highest type of heaven.

2. But this relationship "is short." Few husbands and wives are allowed to climb the hill together, and fewer still hand-in-hand "to totter down."

3. If family connections are thus so transient, how ought the members to live in vital connection with that gospel which immortalises all human friendships.

II. FOR THE SORROWS AND JOYS OF THE WORLD (ver. 30).

1. There are a weeping and rejoicing that will never end. The lost sinner will weep for ever; and the joy of a commending conscience will never end.

2. But there is a sorrow and a rejoicing that will end with life — the tear of worldly anxiety, and the joy of worldly success. This transitoriness is —(1) A consolatory thought to the good man; for all his sorrows end here, and all unsatisfactory joys.(2) A terrible thought to the wicked. Many of the sorrows he has now will make way for greater ones, and all the pleasures he has now will end for ever.

III. FOR THE MERCANTILE TRANSACTIONS OF THE WORLD. "They that buy," &c.

1. The principle of commerce is adapted to unite men together; and by the exchange of the material commodities, to exchange kind and improving thoughts. Were London tradesmen all religious, they could export religion with their goods — the market would be the best Missionary Society for converting the world.

2. This material commerce will soon be over, but mental and spiritual commerce may go on for ever. Make, then, this temporary business subservient to your spiritual welfare; make the market a means of grace. In all your getting get that "wisdom which is the principal thing."

IV. FOR THE RIGHT USING OF THE WORLD (ver. 31).

1. The world is abused when it is used chiefly —(1) With a sensuous end. To the brute, indeed, the world has no relation but to the senses.(2) With a secular end. When men value it on account of its fruit and minerals, i.e., so far as it can be turned into money, then they abuse it.(3) With an intellectual end. The world teems with Divine thoughts, which it is our duty and interest to study. But to make this the end is to abuse it.

2. To "use" it rightly is to use it chiefly with a religious end. Religion warrants us to use it sensuously, for we have senses; secularly, for we need worldly good; intellectually, for we require truth; but it demands that we should subordinate it to the salvation of the soul — make it the means of grace — the temple of worship.

3. This religious use of the world makes it ours. The difference between the world to the worldly and to the Christian is, that the former is possessed by it, the other possesses it.

V. FOR THE FASHION OF THE WORLD.

1. The world literally has a "fashion" that is passing away. The phenomena and forms of the world are ever shifting.

2. The fashion of the human world passeth away.(1) The political world has its fashions which get out of fashion, and others appear on the stage to meet the times.(2) The social world has its fashions, &c., they become obsolete, and others take their place.(3) The religious world has its fashions. Now one ism is in vogue, and now another. Now one popular preacher, and then another. Thus, there is nothing fixed. Conclusion: Let us not, then, put our confidence in forms, but in substances. You know that though the world changes, there are certain principles that remain for ever. It is for ever true, that without virtue there is no happiness, and that without Jesus there is no virtue; that "A man's life consisteth not in the abundance of the things he possesses."

(D. Thomas, D. D.)

I. "THE TIME IS SHORT." All things tell us so.

1. The year tells it in its rapid flight. The seasons, how they come and go!

2. Life tells it. Look back, you who can remember many years! What seem they now? As a dream when one awaketh.

3. The grave tells it, opening for one after another of our friends.

4. Sickness and weakness, the body's gradual decay, tell it.

5. Every day, stealing by us so quickly and imperceptibly, giving us warning. We go forth in the morning; and in a few brief hours our work is done, and we lie down again to rest.

II. WHAT GIVES TO THIS TRUTH ITS VAST IMPORTANCE?

1. Because time is the entrance to eternity. If we were formed for this world only, we might as well join with those who say, Let us have a short time and merry one. But this life has dread responsibilities, when viewed in relation to a life which is to come. To every one of us is committed the solemn trust, to have this immortal being prepared for its appearance before God.

2. And how may this be done? The way is revealed to us in the gospel.

III. WHAT PRACTICAL LESSONS DOES IT ENFORCE?

1. Use this world as not abusing it.(1) To live in sin is an abuse of this life. Sin is a horrible disorder, brought into the world which God made good.(2) All who care only for the body, are abusing this life; who work, and eat, and drink, and sleep, and do no more. Why! the horse and the ass are as good as they — nay, better; for the brutes fulfil the purpose of God.(3) If we set our affections on the things of this world, we are abusing them.

2. Be not weary in well doing: for in due season ye shall reap, if ye faint not.

3. Whatever good "thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might."

(E. Blencowe, M. A.)

I. THE TIME OF THE WORLD. Christ is at hand to judge the quick and the dead.

II. THE TIME OF OUR LITTLE WORLD; our particular judgment is near at hand. It shall be with us at the latter day as it is when we die.

III. THE SEASON OF THE TIME. The opportunity of time is shorter than the time of life; for we have not opportunity of time all our life.

1. The time is short for doing and taking good.

2. It is uncertain; we cannot tell how short. If it were told any that within two days he shall die, it would make us look about us: but who of us all knows certainly that he shall live two hours?

3. It is irrecoverable when it is gone. It is a precious thing, given for great purposes; let us take heed what we do in it. We may do that in a little time that we may rue for eternity. We may do and get that good in a little time that may stand by us world without end.Conclusion: There are three main parts of this little time.

1. The time that is gone; let us repent of it, if it have not been spent well.

2. The time present is to do good in.

3. For the time to come, it is out of our power.

(R. Sibbes, D. D.)

When young, our years are ages; in mature life, they are three hundred and sixty-five days; in old age, they have dwindled to a few weeks. Time is, indeed, the 'messenger with wings at his feet. Yesterday, he took my wife; to-day, my son; to-morrow, he will take me.

(Madame de Gasparin.)

I. KNOW THE USE OF TIME; that it is a seed-time, wherein thou must go forth and sow, though in tears and showers. An husbandman will not lose his seed-time whatever weather it prove, True, our life is a moment, but on which eternity dependeth. And it is a time of traffic till the Master come: and is the Master's absence for eating, drinking, or smiting the fellow-servants?

II. KNOW THE WORTH OF TIME, before the want of time. It is a very folly to be misers of wealth and prodigal of time. It is the great sin of some that they cast away their short time in doing evil, or doing nought to the purpose: as little children who spend their candle in play, and are glad to go to bed by dark, and never perceive their childish folly till it be too late. But Christian wisdom is to set such a price on time as not to let it slip without making ourselves gainers of something better than itself.

(J. Taylor, D. D.)

A Chinese preacher, wishing to impress upon his hearers the idea that time seems to pass more swiftly as we get older, used a telling illustration drawn from the incense-pan. The incense-pan is an article of furniture familiar to every Chinaman, young and old. It is a stand made to hold a great length of incense, coiled up like a clock-spring. The outer coils are by far the largest, the outermost being fifteen or eighteen inches in circumference; while the inner coils get gradually shorter, the innermost of all not being more than, perhaps, three inches in circumference. This spiral incense being fixed on the frame and lighted, the first round takes a long time to burn; the second round, being shorter, is completed quicker; the third round is completed more quickly still; and so, with accelerated pace, the smoking point courses round the shortening coils till the last is reached, which, being the shortest of all, is travelled round in a fraction of the time that was taken to consume the first. In the same way, said the Chinaman, our years seem to go, flying more swiftly the nearer we get to the end of our life.

1. The tone in which a man speaks often helps us to understand his meaning. "Brethren, the time is short," writes St. Paul, and there is no tremor of dismay or sadness in his voice. He was in the midst of work, full of the joy of living, and he quietly said, "This is not going to last long." It is what men often say to themselves with terror, clutching the things they hold all the more closely, as if they would hold them for ever. There is nothing of that about St. Paul. And on the other hand, there is no hatred of life which makes him want to be away. There is no mad impatience for the things which lie beyond.

2. It does not matter what St. Paul was thinking of. He may have had his mind upon death or the coming of Christ. And perhaps the very vagueness helps us to his meaning. For he is not, evidently, dwelling upon the nature of the event which is to limit the "time," only upon the simple fact that there is a limit.

I. WHAT IS THE SHORTNESS OF LIFE? To the ephemera it looks like an eternity; to God it looks like an instant. How shall human life seem, then, to man? It depends upon where he stands to look at it. If he stands with the ephemera, his life looks long; if with God, his life looks short. If a man is able, that is, to conceive of immortality, he thinks his life on earth is short — and that we can do so is the pledge and witness of our nobility.

II. THE SHORTNESS OF LIFE IS BOUND UP WITH ITS FULNESS. The day crawls to the idler, and flies to the busy worker. The shortness of life is closely associated, not merely with the greatest hopes of the future, but with the real vitality of the present. What then? If you and I complain how short life is, how quick it flies, we are complaining of that which is the necessary consequence of our vitality. And does not then the shortness of life cease to be our lamentation and become our privilege and glory?

III. SUPPOSE A MAN HAS ACCEPTED THE SHORTNESS OF LIFE AS A CONVICTION, WHAT EFFECT WILL THAT CONVICTION HAVE UPON HIS LIFE?

1. Must it not make a man try to sift the things that offer themselves to him, and try to find out what his things are? Epictetus said that for each of men there is one great classification of the universe, into the things which concern him and the things which do not concern him. To how many men that classification is all vague. Many men's souls are like omnibuses, stopping to take up every interest or task that holds up its finger and beckons them from the side walk. Such indiscriminateness is almost legitimate and necessary in childhood. Then life seems endless. Then the quick experimenting senses are ready for whatever strikes them. But as the course goes on, as its limit comes in sight and we see how short it is, the elective system must come in. Out of the mass of things which we have touched, we must choose these which are ours — books, friends, pleasures, usefulness, &c., before we go. We come to be like a party of travellers left at a great city railway station for a couple of hours. All cannot see everything in town. Each has to choose according to his tastes what he will see.

2. It brings a power of freedom in dealing with the things which we do take to be our own (vers. 29-31). Not that they should not marry, &c. The shortness of life was not to paralyse life like that. But they were to do these things with a soul above their details, and in the principles and motives which lay beyond them. He who has only an hour to stay m some great foreign city will not puzzle himself with the intricacies of its streets or the small particulars of its life. He will try simply to catch its general spirit, to see what sort of town it is, and learn its lessons. He must tread its pavements, talk with its people, &c.; but he will not do these things as the citizens do them. He will do them as if he did them not. Just so he who knows he is in the world for a very little while, is not like a man who is to live here for ever.

3. In the shortness of life the great emotions and experiences assume their largest power and act with their most ennobling influence. Think, e.g., of a great bereavement coming to a man. It comes in two forms. One is in the change of circumstances; the other is in the mystery of death and the distress of love. Now if the man who is bereaved sees nothing in the distance, but one stretch of living, it is the first of these aspects that is the most real. He multiplies the circumstances of his bereavement into all these coming years. But if, when we stand to watch the spirit which has gone away to heaven it seems but a very little time before we shall go too, then our grief is exalted to its largest form. Men's griefs are as different as men's lives. To the man who is all wrapt up in this world, grief comes as the ghosts come to the poor narrow-minded churl — to plague and tease him. To him to whom life is but an episode, grief comes as angels came to the tent of Abraham. The soul takes the grief in as a guest, and listens reverently for what it has to say about the God from whom it came.

4. The criticalness of life is bound up with its shortness. That thought belongs to every limited period of being which opens into something greater. A boy feels the probation character of his youth just in proportion as he vividly realises the approach of his majority. And man is made so that some sense of criticalness is necessary to the best life always. Let me feel that nothing but this moment depends upon this moment's action, and I am very apt to let this moment act pretty much as it will. Let me see the spirits of the moments yet unborn watching it anxiously, and I must watch it also for their sakes. And it is in this that the strongest moral power of life is found. Now ask yourself, Could this have been if life had seemed so long to men as never to suggest its limits? It is when the brook begins to hear the great river calling it, and knows that its time is short, that it begins to hurry over the rocks and toss its foam into the air and make straight for the valley. Life that never thinks of its end lives in a present, and loses the flow and movement of responsibility.

5. When we know that our time of intercourse is short with any man, our relations with that man grow true and deep. Two men who have lived side by side for years, with business and social life between them, with a multitude of suspicions and concealments, let them know that they have only an hour more to live together, and, as they look into each other's eyes, do not the suspicions and concealments clear away? Oh, you who are letting miserable misunderstandings run on from year to year, meaning to clear them up some day; or letting your friend's heart ache for a word of appreciation or sympathy, which you mean to give him some day — if you could only know, all of a sudden, that "the time is short," how it would break the spell! How you would go instantly and do the thing which you might never have another chance to do.

(Bp. Phillips Brooks.)

No Christian will receive this as a sad announcement, or who has lost those whom he loves, and has a good hope beyond the grave. His only ground of regret is that the work he has to do is too great for the space in which he has to do it. And this is the thought which the word "short" most literally conveys. It means "shut in," "straitened for room." And this thought was natural to a mind like Paul's — so full, so busy, with large undertakings.

I. THERE ARE THREE REASONS WHY TIME IS SHORT.

1. To the eye that has been dwelling on eternity, all time, everything we can measure, must be short.

2. Good occupations make shortness. There is a great deal to do. Alas! for the man who finds any day of his life too long.

3. No happy man complains that the hours run sluggishly; and happiness is every man's duty. To those who are infinitely happy there is no time at all.

II. I SPEAK TO THOSE WHO WISH IT TO BE SHORT.

1. "This I say, brethren, the time is short," before the Elder Brother comes. The time is short for all your earthly brotherhood; and soon will be the heavenly brotherhood, when the whole family will meet in their Father's house. Already Jesus is on His way, and He travels quickly.

2. What makes time longer than it is, is to clog it with the past or encumber it with the future. If you desire that time should feel short, live straight to the present; the present duties, joys, trials. You have nothing to do but with the passing moment. Don't be long about anything. What is to be said, say it; what is to be done, do it; what is to be thought, think it; what is to be prayed, pray it; what is to be suffered, suffer it. Concentrate. Many persons are too long in their religious duties; they may do better by more condensation.

3. The time is too short —

(1)To trifle with.

(2)To be speculative; what we want is to be exceedingly practical.(3) For fretting about little things. The future we care about may never come; and if it comes will be only for a little while.(4) To hoard up, when "this night thy soul may be required of thee."(5) To quarrel, when we are all about to go in together to stand before His judgment seat.(6) To mourn for those who are gone when they will so soon come back again.(7) To weep — when God is so soon to "wipe away all tears from our eyes."

4. But it is not too short —(1) To pause and feel its shortness.(2) To do something for God before we "finish the work which He has given us to do."

(J. Vaughan, M. A.)

The text does not say that time is short. That were very true. Compared with eternity, time at the very longest is but as a point. But the text says "The time is short," i.e., the time of our life and opportunity. This is a truth which everybody believes; yet how few of us act as if we believed it! "All men think all men mortal but themselves." Ask the angel what he thinks of the life of a mortal, and he will tell you "Like the grass, scarcely have I gazed upon them ere they are cut down, withered, and gone." Or if you interrogate the oak or the elm they will tell you that man is but an infant of to-day. Or take counsel of the old man and he will tell you that when he was a boy he thought he had a wealth of time before him. Yet now he remembers when, as it were but yesterday, he was himself a little child, and his grandsire clasped him to his bosom. And yet, perhaps, some of you hoary veterans need to be reminded that the time is short. Should five, or even ten years more be granted you, how quickly they must pass when seventy so rapidly have fled! Be parsimonious of minutes now, though you may have been once prodigal of years. But to estimate this oracle truly we must turn to the years of the right hand of the Most High. "A thousand years in His sight are but as yesterday," &c. "The time is short."

I. IT WARNS. If ye knew the sterling worth of time ye would shrink from the smallest waste of so precious an article. It is too short —

1. To squander upon unprofitable amusements. While recreation is needful to keep the mental and physical powers in working order, we can give no countenance to such gambols and gamblings as rather tend to enervate than to invigorate.

2. To lose it in senseless talk, idle gossip, or domestic scandals.

3. To plan a round of empty frivolities to while away an afternoon or an evening, as the manner of some is. It is said of Henry Martin that he never wasted an hour. I wish it could be said of us, that we wasted neither an hour of our own time, nor of other people's.

4. For indecision and vacillation. Your resolving and retracting, your planning and scheming, your sleeping and dreaming, are a mockery of life, and a wilful murder of time. If God be God, serve Him. Decide quick, speak sharp. If not, take the alternative — serve Baal.

5. For speculating upon nice points of controversial theology. You know how the school-men used to debate how many angels could stand on the point of a needle. There is a little of the spirit abroad now. Ministers will devote whole sermons to the discussion of some crotchet. I have generally noticed that the less important the point is, the more savagely will some persons defend it. I would sooner be able to proclaim the Cross and explain the Gospels than decipher the imagery of Ezekiel, or the symbols of the Apocalypse.

II. IT SUGGESTS. Surely, then, I have some opportunity to follow out the work of faith, the patience of hope and the labour of love, though not the opportunity I once had. Some of you can never hope to receive the greeting that awaits such a faithful servant. You have lost the golden opportunity. But are there not children here to whom this is possible? I solemnly charge each young man to foster this aspiration. Prepare for the good fight of faith. Live to the utmost possible consecration of your entire manhood. "Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might."

III. IT INSPIRES. Now is the accepted time. The time to do the deeds that thou must do, or leave them undone, flies swiftly past.

1. Are your children converted? Pray with them to-night. "The time is short" for others as well as yourself. Do not wait, young man, to preach Jesus till you have had more instruction. You that mean to do something for the poor when you have hoarded up some more money, spend your money now. Be your own executors. "The time is short." Let it inspire you to pray for immediate conversions.

2. Seeing the time is short, let us bear with patience the ills that vex us. Are we very poor? Is consumption beginning to prey on our trembling frame? Have we to bear evil treatment from an ungenerous world? Why trouble yourselves about what you will do a month or two hence? You will probably not be here; you will be in heaven. Worldly-mindedness ill becomes us who have confessed that we are strangers and pilgrims on the earth.

IV. IT ALARMS. And well indeed it may. It is a dismal knell I have to toll for the unconverted man, to whom life has been a joy, for he has prospered in the world. But what have you not done? You have not found salvation. How few the opportunities that remain!

(C. H. Spurgeon.)

Ten thousand human beings set forth together on their journey. After ten years, one-third, at least, have disappeared. At the middle point of the common measures of life but half are still upon the road. Faster and faster, as the ranks grow thinner, they that remain till now become weary, and lie down, and rise no more. At three-score and ten, a band of some four hundred yet struggle on. At ninety, these have been reduced to a handful of thirty trembling patriarchs. Year after year, they fall in diminishing numbers. One lingers, perhaps, a lonely marvel, till the century is over. We look again, and the work of death is finished.

(Bp. Burgess.)

The attitude of people towards a temporary state of affairs is very different from their attitude towards something permanent. No man fits up his room at an hotel as he does his home. When one is waiting in the vestibule of a public hall he does not give much thought to the inconveniences of his situation. The thing for which he has come is behind those doors. When a man rides in a street-car he would rather have a seat and less crowding; but he never thinks of making a serious matter of that. His object is to get down to business. Now do we recognise the larger applications of the same principle? Suppose we set this life of sixty or seventy years over against the eternal life of the future. The two spaces are related to each other as the vestibule to the hall, the transit on the car to the day's business. But remember that Paul does not use the fact of the shortness of life to encourage a sense of indifference to life's duties. There may be in the ante-chamber some beautiful pictures and sculptures, &c. These things are for us: we may and ought to enjoy them. We are not excused from the courtesies of life, even on a street-car. The other world may be, and is, the prime fact; but this world is a fact, too, though a secondary one. If Paul says, "It remaineth that those who have wives be as though they had none," we are not to conclude that because a man expects to depart for heaven in a short time, he is therefore to treat his wife as though she were not. This being premised, note the bearing of this fact on —

I. OUR DOMESTIC RELATIONS (ver. 29). These are the nearest and dearest of all earthly ties; they call out our deepest affections, our best energies. And God Himself instituted them, and Christ sanctified them at Cans; and Paul chooses them to illustrate the love of Christ for the Church. Yet it remaineth, that they that have wives be as though they had none.

1. If our earthly homes crowd out the attractions of the heavenly home, we are misusing them. When home ceases to be the nursery of consecrated power, a scene of preparation for heaven, and becomes, instead, a base for fashion and shallow pleasure, then it is time to face the hour when a voice shall call us forth from these beloved doors, to return no more.

2. And then, too, we know that often the family relation is not the type of heaven. We know how men make it the instrument of fostering their pride of birth, and how, for the sake of preserving a family name, loveliness and innocence are allied with senility and debauchery.

3. On the contrary, in the New Testament domestic life is always treated with special reference to the life to come. The institution of the family, beyond any human institution, points up to God. God Himself. takes the name of the family head; marriage is to be in the Lord; children are to be trained in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.

II. THE SORROW OF THIS WORLD (ver. 30).

1. Let us confine ourselves to one element — injustice. The innocent suffer; the bad prosper. Away back in the far past we find Job wrestling with the question. On the one hand, the reasoner asks, "How did it come to pass? Why is it allowed?" On the other hand, the man who is trying to live rightly asks, "What shall I do with it? How shall I adjust myself to it?"

2. Note the answers which are given to the latter question.(1) Rousseau tells us it is all the result of false training. Human nature is good; and, if you only educate it properly, its evil will be checked, and we shall have a reign of liberty, equality, and fraternity. The value of Rousseau's answer may be estimated in the lurid light of the French Revolution.(2) The communist says, "Only do away with all private interest, and merge all in the public, and all will be well." But, unfortunately, the history of Nihilism has some significant stories to tell of that experiment.(3) There was the Stoic, who steeled himself against injustice, and cultivated insensibility to pain, anger, and pity alike.(4) There was the Epicurean, saying, "I will keep out of all such relations with men as will engender injustice or cruelty."

3. All these views are strictly bounded by this life, and are opposed by that which is represented in our text. For the New Testament —(1) Shows no sympathy with Rousseau's view. It treats injustice as an evil that will exist so long as human society is not under the power of Divine love.(2) Does not give us a picture of any favoured man who escapes the world's injustice. On the contrary, the better its men the more they suffer at the world's hands.(3) Gives us no men of iron, insensible to suffering. The victims of the world's cruelty are real sufferers.(4) Puts every Christian in a positive attitude towards this fact. He cannot evade it; he must feel towards it in the right way. And if, as the gospel everywhere assumes, this state of things is passing away to give place to a better and more permanent one, then let the injustice and cruelty and sorrow be measured by the proportions of that larger life (2 Corinthians 4:17). We can be as though we wept not; i.e., we can be as useful and as kindly as if we had no cause to weep. We may have lost what is ours; but the time is short, and heaven will give it back with interest.

III. OUR JOYS (ver. 30). Not that we are to pass this life in gloom and sullenness because it is short. When the train goes through the tunnel let us be all the more cheerful because the sunlight will pour in by and by. But if there is grander joy in the life beyond this, it is not the part of wisdom to be too much absorbed in earthly joy.

IV. THE BUYING AND SELLING, THE POSSESSING AND USE OF THE WORLD IN GENERAL (ver. 31). All these things, in New Testament thought, have their value determined by two facts — the shortness of this life, and the overshadowing, transcendent grandeur of the life to come. Does it not become us to hold this world lightly in view of these two truths — so little time left, and eternity approaching? An old woman sat one day beside her apple-stand in a great thoroughfare. A well-known judge walked up and stopped for an apple. "Well, Molly," said he, "don't you get tired of sitting here these cold, dismal days?" "It's only a little while, sir," was the answer. "And the hot, dusty days?" "Only a little while, sir." "And the rainy, drizzly days, and your sick, rheumatic days?" "It's only a little while, sir." "And what then, Molly?" "Then, sir, I shall enter into that rest which remains for the people of God; and the troublesomeness of the way there don't pester nor fret me. It's only a little while." "But," said the judge, "what makes you so sure, Molly?" "How can I help being sure, since Christ is the way., and I am His? Now I only feel Him along the way; I shall see Him as He is in a little while, sir." "Ah!" said the judge, "you've got more than the law ever taught me." "Yes, sir, because I went to the gospel." "Well," said he, as he took up his apple, and began to walk off, "I must look into these things." "There's only a little while, sir."

(M. R. Vincent, D. D.)

Is it, then, the aim of Christianity to turn this world into a dream-land? Are we to undervalue life's sweetest affections and deepest sentiments as if they were but appearances? Surely no! Such an interpretation misconceives this passage alone and the whole Bible teaching; for no other book is more intensely realistic than the Word of God, and nothing places more value on common life.

I. LET US LOOK AROUND AND RECALL SOME OF OUR EXPERIENCES TO SEE WHETHER WE MAY NOT FIND A CLUE TO THIS REMARKABLE PASSAGE.

1. When, on some summer afternoon, parents watch the sports of their children and perceive their realisation of the game, do they not feel that to the child there is value in these things? And yet, when they consider the after-life of the child, do they not smile at his dream-land? It is to the parents as if it were not. And when the children grow up they feel that, when compared with the larger experience into which they have entered, that early joy was unsubstantial. In like manner, it is in the power of the ripened mind to look forward toward a coming state whose glory and perfectness shall cast all present realisations into such relative inferiority that they shall seem to be but shadows.

2. There are two states of mind in which men have an experience in business. The reality and importance of business is solemnly to be affirmed. And yet there are times when men feel disgust at wealth, and at all the means by which it is sought. But there are hours in which men feel, not that earthly treasure is despicable, but that there is a kind of treasure with which that which the earth affords bears no comparison.

3. He who has built a palace for his affections knows two experiences of the like kind. The earnest reality of heart-life — nothing can take from its importance. But there are times when there is a vision of the coming love in comparison with which all that we here knew in respect to heart-love is but a germ, or a plant in its early years.

4. Some there are who will tell you that in sorrow there is a like experience. The reality, the power, and the dominion of sorrow no man disputes. Yet, as in storms, sometimes there are moments when the clouds part and let through the whole gush of the sun; so, out of anguish, often, the soul rises to a vision of the work which sorrow does for men. "No chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous," &c. And in these higher moods we look back upon sorrows as if they had been no sorrows. Who remembers, when once his feet are upon land again, those weary storms that well-nigh rocked the life out of him but yesterday?

5. Thus in joy too we learn to rejoice as though we rejoiced not. We learn, blessed and beautiful as is the present, to wait for the more glorious disclosure that is just beyond. Have we not, then, in these and like experiences, the interpretation of this sublime truth of the sacred Scriptures? In another way John comes at the same truth, where he says, "Beloved, now are we the sons of God. and it doth not yet appear what we shall be." You are to live as if all things here below were transient. You are not to rest in them as though you were satisfied with them. Let us live as though all these symbols of the life to come were but shadows and dreams.

II. IN VIEW OF THESE ILLUSTRATIONS CONSIDER HOW THE DEEPENING AND ENNOBLING OF HUMAN LIFE DEPENDS, NOT ON THE IDOLATRY OF ITS PRESENT LOW ESTATE, BUT ON SO EMPLOYING ITS EARTHLY LETTER AS TO DESCRY WHAT IT IS GOING TO BE.

1. Take love, the finest feeling. We are to lift up our conceptions to a state in which our character will turn on this feeling, not occasionally, but as an ordinary experience. And when we have thus raised the ideal that ideal comes back to teach us how pure and noble it ought to be.

2. Nothing else is a better guard against immoderation and the vulgarising tendencies of business than that habit of mind which the apostle here indicates. We take business too often as an ultimate end. We do not let it prophesy anything to us. The wickedness of this world is not that men are addicted to business, but that they look at it only on the earth side; that they fail to hear its testimony of higher things. So soon as a man is satisfied that there is higher wealth than this world affords; that his life consists not of the abundance of the things which he possesses, he is fitted to acquire wealth and administer it.

3. All the experiences which we have in our varied life of this habit of mind which the apostle enjoins, will tend, not to destroy our conscious enjoyment in the present sources of innocent good, but to give us a finer joy. Men, for the most part, do not know how to find the honey in the things of this world. You will never suspect where the honey of a flower is; or, if you did, too large is your hand to be thrust in to get it. But the bee draws out the hidden stores. Its very fineness gives to it what your coarseness withholds from you. We are not fine enough to discover the joy that is hidden in many of the relations of this life.

4. So, too, cares and disappointments, such as waste life, are forestalled and resisted by this habit of mind. "For I would have you without carefulness." Not without occupation, but without corrosive anxieties. He that feels that his life here is but transient, and that his true life is craning to him. lives above those annoyances. The higher our conception of life the easier will life become.

5. This view lifts us above those fluxes and refluxes of pain and suffering that come from death. What is death? When the apple-tree blossoms you laugh, and you do not cry when you pick the apple; but when man blossoms man laughs, and then, when God picks the fruit, he cries. In winter I planted under glass, and depended upon artificial heat, and waited for the time when I might remove my early plants. But now, in these June days, I have taken them into the broad, exposed garden, and put them where they are to blossom, and they did not weep when I put them there. Now God has raised us under glass, and nurtured us there, that we might bear transplanting into another and better sphere, and when He comes, and takes us, and plants us out in His open garden, is that the time for us to cry? Now let us thank God, not that men die, but that they live. Let us mourn as though we mourned not.

(H. W. Beecher.)

"The time is short." To the serious Christian there is much of consolatory as well as exhortatory nature in this solemn declaration. There is much that meets the anxious sorrows of the weary and heavy laden; and much that meets the circumstances of a sleeping, loitering pilgrim on the road to Zion.

I. IT REMAINETH THAT THEY THAT HAVE WIVES BE AS THOUGH THEY HAD NONE. The apostle would here caution Christians against the undue encroachment of domestic cares. We must take care that our affection does not degenerate into idolatry; that we love our partners and our children with a subordinate regard; fearing lest our hearts should be overcharged with the cares of this life, and so the day of our departure come upon us unawares. We must only sip at the stream as we hasten through the valley, and beware how we linger on its banks.

II. THE SHORTNESS OF TIME SHOULD LEAD THOSE THAT WEEP TO BE AS THOUGH THEY WEPT NOT. There must be weeping of one kind or other in such a world as this. We must weep over the death of relatives: we must mourn the failure of our favourite projects, the treachery of professed friends, the pains and diseases of a corruptible body, the weariness and helplessness of old age. And however free we may be from immediate causes of distress, we must often mourn from sympathy, "weep with those that weep." But the most fruitful source of a Christian's tears is his sin. But the time is short; and it remaineth that those that weep be as though they wept not. I might well weep rivers of tears on the very possibility of losing my immortal soul and an eternity of bliss; but for the loss of everything in this world, surely there should be a sorrow commensurate with the narrow limits of its duration. What though we witness the departure of friends? They are only called home a little before ourselves, and soon we shall be for ever with each other and the Lord. What though we feel the adversities of life? Who can fret over a momentary privation, who has a good hope through grace of an inheritance in heaven? What though we feel the earthly house of this tabernacle dissolving? We have a building of God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens, where the inhabitants no more say, I am sick.

III. THE SHORTNESS OF TIME SHOULD LEAD THOSE THAT REJOICE TO BE AS THOUGH THEY REJOICED NOT. To a certain extent many have a real enjoyment of human life. There is a temporary absence of disturbance, and a considerable competence of what nature relishes. Things wear a prosperous and a pleasurable aspect; and for a season at least men seem at liberty to rejoice, and to let their hearts cheer them. But let us pause and be sober-minded. What is it that we are so fondly handling? Perhaps the cockatrice's egg. The object of our endearment is filled with the seeds of misery, and vanity, and corruption. We are leaning on a feeble reed. The longest season of earthly pleasure is, after all, but a fleeting summer's day. Let us rejoice with trembling, and only suffer our unrestrained elevation of spirit to be given to these objects, which will never fail us. Rejoicing in Christ Jesus — rejoicing in hope — rejoicing in the testimony of our conscience — here is a wide and satisfying field — here we may fearlessly rejoice, even with a joy unspeakable and full of glory.

IV. THE SHORTNESS OF TIME SHOULD LEAD THOSE THAT BUY TO BE AS THOSE WHO POSSESSED NOT. Suspect something seriously wrong if you begin to think yourselves at home in this world. After all, you are but tenants of a day, and here have no continuing city. Let your loins then be girded about, and your lights burning, and ye yourselves like unto men that wait for their Lord.

V. THE SHORTNESS OF TIME SHOULD LEAD US TO USE THIS WORLD AS NOT ABUSING IT. Such is the depraved propensity of human nature, that it turns into a curse what was intended for a blessing, Riches are abused to the purposes of covetousness or extravagance. The advantages of talents and education are abused to the furtherance of infidelity and error on the one hand, or pride and self-conceit on the other. Time, health, and every other possession are liable to the same alienation from its proper service. It is the fault and the misery of our nature that it is always making the creature the object of idolatrous regard. But we must watch against this propensity. We must reflect upon our situation. The time is short. We are hastening on our journey. We are travelling to our home. And shall we be unduly pleasing ourselves with the comforts of the inn of this world? or wantonly and excessively partaking of its provision, or longing to abide in it:

(W. C. Wilson, B. A.)

If a woman take leaven and hide it in meal, the meal will be changed into bread; but the meal must work before the bread can be made. The end is a good end, but the process by which it is reached is not pleasant and seemly. The meal will heave and labour, and must. In like manner, when a new principle of life is infused into human society, when, for example, the gospel of Christ is brought into vital contact with a society like that of ancient Corinth, the new quickening principle must work in and upon it before it can be changed, and in order that it may be changed, into more wholesome and happier forms. To hasten the process, and to make the bread all the sweeter when it came, St. Paul threw in the salt of his good counsel. He answers the questions by which the Corinthians were troubled, and which they were not able to answer for themselves. A grown man, who is governed solely by maxims and rules, not by reasons and principles, is a pedant or a slave rather than a man.

I. USE THE WORLD, BUT DON'T ABUSE IT. This is the broad general principle which covers, modifies, sanctifies all the details of practical life. Christ had said, "Be not of this world"; He had revealed a larger, fairer, more enduring world than the outward set of phenomena and conditions by which we are surrounded. And when the gospel came to the Corinthians, that spiritual world, which in its perfection is also a future world, seemed so attractive to some of them, so near, so momentous, that they heartily despised this present world and all that had once endeared it to them. This was one view of the case. And the other was: "If time be so short, and the world so near its end, let us make the most of them while they last, and take our fill of pleasure as long as we can. Let us eat and drink, for to-morrow we die." Both these conclusions, opposite as they are, were drawn from the same premises; and each of them is equally remote from the true conclusion. St. Paul rebukes them both. To the Stoic conclusion, "Renounce the world," he replies, "Nay, but use the world"; to the Epicurean conclusion, "Live only to enjoy this world," he replies, "Nay, do not abuse the world." To all who held them he says, "All things are yours. You may use and enjoy them all. But give the best things the best place in your thoughts. Let that which is largest, fairest, most enduring, take the deepest, strongest hold upon your hearts."

II. THE APOSTLE ASSIGNS TWO REASONS FOR THUS USING THE WORLD AS NOT ABUSING IT.

1. The brevity of time. "This I say, brethren, the time is short in order that henceforth... we may use the world as not abusing it." Time is a word whose value wholly depends on our construction of it. It is variable as a chameleon, and takes its hue from the moods in which we regard it. An hour is much to a child, little to a man. To the same man an hour at a merry Christmas feast is one thing, and an hour on the rack of pain or expectation is a very different thing. Nay, so purely relative is time, that its length contracts or expands according as we look before or after. It is of little use talking to you of the brevity of the time to be; but look back on the years that have gone, and confess that "the time is short," that now, if ever, you must bring your life under law to God.

"The Bird of Time has but a little way

To flutter — and the bird is on the wing."But the words rendered "the time is short" mean literally "the season is contracted, the opportunity lessened." Every year, every season of life, brings its own opportunities with it, and these, once neglected, never return. Every day, moreover, carries off with it an indelible record of how you have either used or abused it — a record which can never be obliterated, or even modified. As an old Persian poet finely says —

"The moving finger writes; and having writ,

Moves on: nor all your piety and wit

Shall lure it back to cancel half a line,

Nor all your tears wash out a word of it."

2. The second reason which the apostle assigns for a wise use of life is the transitoriness of the world. In the Pauline vocabulary the word "world" includes nature, human society, and ecclesiastical forms, or, rather, it denotes all the visible and perishable elements of them. And all these change, and live by change. The more delicate and sensitive phenomena of nature vary even as we look upon them. The bare boughs put forth ]eaves of a tender green; the green shifts into yellows, browns, and crimsons; then the leaves fall, and the boughs are bare again. The birds come and go. The clouds shift and fly. The wind veers from point to point. The very rocks crumble. The sea eats away the land. The ice splits the mountains. And men change. The boy grows up into the man, the man marries and has children, sickens, dies. One generation goeth and another cometh. Modes of thought and government and the customs of society are for ever on the flux; "the old order changeth, giving place to the new." And we ourselves change. Our deepest impressions are fleeting unless they are continually recalled and retouched. Our most intense delight, whether drawn from some beautiful scene in nature, or from sacred human affections, or from fellowship with God, loses its edge and keenness as the months go by. There is no affection so sharp, there is no joy so pure, but that time dulls it. Let us, therefore, use the world as not abusing it. To-morrow becomes to-day so fast, and to-day yesterday, that we dare not attach ourselves to the present moment, and should not fail to avail ourselves of whatever grace or opportunity it may bring. We, changeful as we are, have an abiding life beneath all our changes, and though the world be changeful too, yet its various phenomena are the passing forms of an external substance. And the question for us is — Which shall we care most for, for which shall we most habitually and earnestly provide, that which is changeful and perishable in us and in the world around us, or that which liveth and abideth for ever?

(S. Cox, D. D.)

Like the traveller who goes to sleep in the course of a long journey, and awakes astonished to find that he has traversed such a distance, so have we felt, when the approach of the year's end roused us to give attention to the matter. Here are two statements, and a series of practical inferences drawn from them.

I. The first statement is pre-eminent for its brief point and solemn suggestiveness: "THE TIME IS SHORT." Time, as every one knows, is simply duration; but it may be either the duration of the world itself, or the brief space of an individual's life on earth; or it may be employed to specify the precise date of some important occurrence.

1. It is short, in itself considered; for, as the Psalmist sings, "The days of our years are threescore years and ten"; and this is rather the outmost limit than the general average of life.

2. It is short in comparison with the duration of the material universe.

3. The time of our life, again, is short as compared with the years of those who lived in the days before the flood, or even with those of the patriarchs immediately thereafter. They reckoned by hundreds; we do now, at most, by scores.

4. Again, the time of our life is short in comparison with the work we have to do in it. The old painters had an adage, which they derived from Hippocrates, the father of medicine, "Art is, long, and life is brief." They felt in their pursuits what our great lexicographer has expressed, when he declares, in reference to some matters about his dictionary, "that a whole lifetime might be devoted to them, and even a whole lifetime would not be sufficient." And so every true Christian feels regarding the work that is set before him.

5. But once more here, the time of our life is brief in comparison with eternity.

II. The second statement here made is, that "THE FASHION OF THIS WORLD PASSETH AWAY?" The figure has been taken, as is commonly supposed, from theatrical exhibitions. How rapidly, in a drama, does scene follow scene, and act succeed to act! Battles are fought and won, empires lost and gained, sudden elevation followed by swift misfortune, and the events of many years compressed into a few short hours; and then, after the foot-lights are extinguished, the place where, shortly before, there have been pomp and pageantry, is hushed in the silence of complete desertion; while, if you follow the actors to their homes, you may discover that he who stalked across the stage with the port of an emperor, ties down to sleep in an empty attic, or on the cold damp floor of a cheerless cellar. And such, indeed, is life: its changes as rapid, its possessions as fleeting, its joys as transient, and after it is over, there may be seen many contrasts far more striking than that between the actor in his sparkling finery on the stage, and the same man shivering in the cold nakedness of his home. In the estimation of others, however, the figure here is taken, not from the theatre, but from a public profession. But such a procession the whole race of mankind upon the earth has been. On the page of history men pass on and on in ceaseless motion; the costumes vary as the times do change; yet still we gaze, and still they pass: and then, when we come down to the day in which we live, we too fall in and follow them, joining thus "the innumerable caravan that moves" to the pale realms of shade. Thus it has ever been, thus it shall ever be. In solemn procession the race is moving on to death. "Passing away" — let us affix these words to the ornaments we delight to look upon, and the works of art we love to see. Briefly let us pass on now to the consideration of the practical inferences which are here drawn from these two solemn truths.

1. The first has respect to the relationships of life — "It remaineth that they who have wives be as though they had none." But let us not misunderstand our apostle. He does not mean that a man should desert his wife and children, and leave them to the cold cheer of the workhouse, or to the still more uncertain mercy of precarious charity. That is one way in which a man — nay, let me rather call him a human brute — having a wife, may be as though he had none; but that is not obeying the apostle's precept. Neither does he menu that a man should spend all his time out of his own house — whether in the fashionable club-room, or the genteel hotel, or the low public-house. That is another way in which he who has a wife may be as though he had none; but that is not obedience to the apostle's precept. Neither does he mean that a man should come to his home after business cross, testy, and cantankerous, so that he cannot be spoken to; and should sit down to his newspaper or book, with a foot on either side the fire, utterly oblivious that there is one by his side whom he has solemnly sworn to love. The meaning is that wife, and children, and earthly relationships in general, must all be subordinated to God. We must not build ourselves upon them, as if they were to be always with us, or we always with them. We must build thus on God alone.

2. The next inferences have respect to the sorrows and the joys of earth — "They that weep, as though they wept not; and they that rejoice as though they rejoiced not." Here, again, we must beware of supposing that Paul means to inculcate that stoical indifference to which all things come alike, and which can neither be melted to tears nor won into a smile. This was not the example which the Saviour set; for He joined in the mirth of a marriage feast, dropped a tear over the grave of Lazarus, and wept over the lost Jerusalem. He means that we must not allow ourselves to be swallowed up of sorrow, we must not nurse our grief until it become too strong for us to rise above it, nor brood over our sadness until it become murmuring.

3. The next inference has respect to the business of life — "They that buy, as though they possessed not." This, of course, does not mean that possessions impose no obligation, or involve no responsibility. The vastness of their possessions is to cause no pride; for what is it, after all, to the infinitude of God? The smallness of their earthly portion is to cause no envy; for, having God, what cause have they to complain?

4. Finally, these truths have an influence on the enjoyment of this world's goods — "They that use this world, as not abusing it." There is thus a legitimate use of the world. I have no sympathy with those who cry out against a proper employment and enjoyment of the good things of this life. No man has so good a right to enjoy these things as a Christian. The things of the world are not in themselves evil. They become so only when, by the deceitfulness of our hearts, we seek to put them in an improper place; when we derive our entire enjoyment from them, or find our entire happiness in them. But, on the other hand, our noblest use of them is to employ them in the service of the Lord. If you have money, use it; do not let it lie rotting in idleness, but let it be employed in the promotion of God's glory, and the well-being of your fellows. If you have position, or rank, do not throw its weight into the scale of evil, neither seek to denude yourself entirely of it; but abide in it, and employ all the influence it gives you on the side of God.

(W. M. Taylor.)

1. Holy Scripture gives not a special rule for each particular case, but rather instructs us by general principles applicable to all cases, otherwise a library would be required rather than a volume. The apostle had to answer several questions with regard to marriage. These he answers with an "I suppose," or again, "Howbeit, for this speak I, not the Lord"; as if he felt himself quite unequal to meet every case; but he lands here on sure ground, and seems to say, "Of this one thing I am quite sure; that the time is short, and therefore, whether ye are married or not, &c., &c., ye should act in all these things as knowing their temporary character."

2. This morning we shall go to a play, for the word "fashion" is borrowed from the changing scenes of the drama.

I. THE DRAMA AS WITNESSED BY THE WORLDLING.

I. Act I. introduces those that have wives.Scene 1. is a wedding.Scene 2. Domestic happiness and prosperity.Scene 3. Children climbing the father's knee and lisping their mother's name. "Now," says our companion, "I crave for nothing more than this." He is right in valuing the blessing, but wrong in making it his all. Will he see his error before the curtain falls?Scene 4. A cemetery, and the headstone, with "Here he lies." Alas, deluded wordling! Where hast thou now a home? What family hast thou now to care for? The first act is over; "This also is vanity."

II. Act II. introduces "they that weep." The cloudy and dark days have come. A beloved child dies. Anon, the merchant suffers a tremendous loss. Then the wife is smitten. Our man of the world, much moved, foreseeing his own sorrows therein, cries, "Surely this is real; you cannot call this a fleeting sorrow or a light affliction. Everything worth living for is gone!" Sympathising deeply, we nevertheless venture to say that these trials to the Christian are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. Let the curtain drop — let us enter into an eternal state, and what and where are these temporary griefs?

III. Act III. presents us with a view of those who rejoice. The first-born son has come of age, or it is the daughter's wedding, or it is a gain in business, and the man is full of rejoicing. Our friend is smiling at this sunny picture. "There," says he, "is not that real? What more do you want?" If we gently hint to our friend that all this passes away he laughs us to scorn.

IV. In Act IV. they that buy demand our attention. The merchant is neither a mourner nor a man of mirth; he is attending to the one thing needful, the most substantial of all concerns. There are his money-bags, the rolls of bonds, the banker's books, the title-deeds, &c. He has made a good thing of life, and still he adheres to business, and is still piling up his heap, adding field to field and estate to estate. "Is that all a shadow?" says our friend. "It will satisfy me at any rate." Alas, poor fool, the snow melts not sooner than the joy of wealth, and the smoke of the chimney is as solid as the comfort of riches.

V. In Act V. the rich man whom lately we saw married, then saw in trouble, then rejoicing and then prospering in business, has entered upon a green old age; he has retired, and has now come to use the world. Now he keeps a liberal table, excellent horses, and many servants, &c., and our friend says, "Ay, there is something very real here; what do you think of this?" When we hint that the grey hairs of the owner of all these riches betoken that his time is short, and that if this be all he has he is a very poor man, our friend replies, "Ah! ah! you are always talking in this way." O world, thou hast line actors, to cheat men so well. The whole matter is a mere show, but yet men give their souls to win it. "Wherefore do ye spend money for that which is not bread?"

II. THE CHRISTIAN VIEW OF THIS DRAMA. Life is real; life is earnest to the Christian for activity for God; in the solemn responsibility which it brings; in the gratitude which we owe to God. The unreality of this world to him is found in the fact that time is short. This is the wand which touches the substance and makes it, before the eye of wisdom, dissolve into a shade.

1. When the apostle declares that they that have wives should be as though they had none, he does not teach us to despise the married state, but not to seek our heaven in it, nor let it hinder our serving the Lord. It is supposed that a man without a wife —(1) Can give his time to the cause of God: the man with a wife should do the same, and so he will if God hath blessed him with one who will second his holy endeavours.(2) Has no care: a man with a wife Should have none, for he should cast all his cares on God who careth for him.(3) Will find it easier to die, for there will be none of that sorrow at leaving his beloved family: the man with a wife and family should, by faith, find it just as easy since the promise runs, "Leave thy fatherless children, and let thy widows trust in Me."

2. Every Christian man must weep; but the apostle says that our sorrows are to be regarded by us, because time is short, as though they were no sorrows at all. A man who knows that his trials will not last long, can be cheerful under them.

3. The Christian has his rejoicings, indeed, he is commanded to rejoice. But still, believer, in all thy joys, remember to hold them with a loose hand.

4. So, too, in the matter of buying and possessing. It is not wrong for a Christian to trade and to trade well. But, still, while we buy and sell it should always be thus — "This is not my real trade; for my treasure is beyond the skies, where moth devours not, and where rust cannot consume."

5. The creatures of God are given us to be used, but the Christian must use them as though he did not use them, and learn in whatsoever state he is to be content. That man is the full-grown and true Christian whom circumstances cannot alter!

III. THE CURTAIN WHICH IS SOON TO DROP bears the device, "Time is short." At what a rate we whirl along! Childhood seems to travel in a waggon, but manhood at express speed. As we grow older the speed increases till the grey-headed old man looks back upon all his life as but a day. We heard of one who had seen Wesley preach, and he knew others in his youth who told him of the yet older time, and going through the history of some ten or twelve persons you are carried back to the days of the Conqueror. But while time is thus short its end is absolutely sure. That curtain yonder must fall soon! It must fall; it is inevitable, and it may be very near. How soon it may be we cannot tell! And to those who have no God, death, while inevitable and very near, will be most awful. When men buy property on a short lease they will not give much for it; wherefore spendest thou thy soul to buy this world? What will it profit thee, if thou gain it, if thy soul be lost?

IV. LET US WALK OUT OF THIS THEATRE OF UNREAL SHOW AND SEE SOMETHING REAL AND LASTING. There is —

1. The soul. Then let me see to it and make my calling and election sure; for I shall have been of all fools the most mad if I shall have trifled with these things and yet have neglected my soul. The Roman emperor, Claudius, invaded Britain, but his performance only consisted of gathering pebbles and shells from the sea-coast. This shall be my triumph, if here in this world I live only to gather wealth.

2. Other men's souls. What am I doing for them? Dig up your buried talents and work while it is called day.

3. Christ's Church. The Church that is to shine like the stars in heaven for ever, what am I doing for her? As a member, do I contribute to its strength?

4. Christ Himself. Am I glorifying Him here on earth?

(C. H. Spurgeon.)

Men are often carried away by the desire for things inferior and insignificant, while they fail to realise the true value of things all-important. Note —

I. THE OBJECTS SPECIFICALLY MENTIONED.

1. Social attachments. These are not to be despised. The relationship of husband and wife was sanctified even by our Lord Himself. The apostle was no ascetic. But even domestic love must not interfere with preparation for eternity.

2. Worldly sorrows. There is nothing more thoroughly wrecks a man than this. Hence the apostle saw it necessary to specify it as a special ground of danger against which the Christian man must guard. It manifests a worldliness which is incompatible with true piety, an idolatry which is inconsistent with one who fully worships God.

3. Worldly joy. There are many legitimate sources of joy. But if these are to be the only motive-powers of life, they will lead to a sorry end. It is quite possible to use them and not to be so engrossed by them. A man in a railway carnage enjoys the scenery, but he is not of it as is the owner or the farmer who is cultivating the fields.

4. Worldly business. This, perhaps, engrosses men's thoughts more intensely than anything else. It is engrossing in itself, and more particularly in its results; in many cases it is a sort of gaming for large stakes. This is not the Christian's view of trade.

5. The use of the world. There is no obligation to give up our use of the world as citizens, &c. For whom was this beautiful earth created if not for the Christian? But he must not prostitute it for his own pleasures or: debasement. It is his. "All things are yours," but only in the higher sense.

II. THE ARGUMENTS BY WHICH THIS COURSE IS ENFORCED. —

1. The brevity of life. It is short in comparison with the age of the world and with the development of earthly things. It is more particularly short in comparison with eternity. The average duration of life is only thirty-five years. A retrospect of life shows us painfully bow terribly brief is its duration.

2. The changeableness of temporal things. The world is only a play. One after another the scenes pass away. What madness, then, to give our love and energies to that which must pass away from us when we step out of the doors of the playhouse, and we shall retain nothing more than the remembrance! Our duty is to attend to that real business of our existence — the eternal interests of our soul.

(J. J. S. Bird, M. A.)

I. WHAT IT IMPLIES.

1. That our affections are subordinated to the love of God.

2. That our sorrow does not interrupt our joy in Him.

3. That our earthly joy is controlled by a consciousness of His presence.

4. That our transactions are governed by His will.

5. That our use of the world is regulated by His law.

II. HOW IT IS TO BE ATTAINED. By remembering —

1. That the world is evanescent.

2. That it is not the end of our existence.

3. That it must be used for the glory of God.

4. That it will soon come to an end, when every man will have to give an account before the judgment seat of Christ.

(J. Lyth, D. D.)

1. Christ had said of His disciples, "They are not of the world." It was a question therefore, Can a Christian lawfully enter the married state? Can he remain a slave and be a Christian too? &c. The apostle says in effect, You may, but I cannot judge for you; you must judge for yourselves. All that I lay down is, you must in spirit live above the love of earthly things.

2. Christianity is a spirit; it is not a mapping out of the chart of life, with every shoal and rock, and the exact line of the ship's course laid down. It does not say, Do not go to this, abstain from that, wear this, &c., &c. A principle is announced; but the application of that principle is left to each man's own conscience.

3. Herein Christianity differed from Judaism. Judaism was the education of the spiritual child, Christianity that of the spiritual man. You must teach a child by rules, but a man governed by rules is a pedant or a slave. Note —

I. THE MOTIVES FOR CHRISTIAN UNWORLDLINESS.

1. The shortness of time. That mysterious word "time," which is a matter of sensation, dependent on the flight of ideas, may be long to one and short to another. The butterfly's life is long compared with the ephemeron's, short compared with the cedar's. An hour is long to a child, a year little to a man. Shortness a term relative —(1) To the way in which we look on Time. Time past is a dream, time to come seems immense; the longest night, which seemed as if it would never drag through, is but a speck of memory when it is gone. At sixty-five a man has on an average five years to live; yet his imagination obstinately attaches stability to them, though the sixty-five seem but a moment. To the young life is an inexhaustible treasure. But ask the old man what he thinks of the past.(2) To opportunities. Literally these words mean — "The opportunity is compressed — narrowed," i.e., every season has its own opportunity, which never comes back. The autumn sun shines as brightly as that of spring, but the seed of spring cannot be sown in autumn. The work of boyhood cannot be done in manhood. There is a solemn feeling, in beginning any new work, in the thought, shall I ever complete it?(3) To eternity. The great idea brought out by Christianity was immortality. With-this the Corinthian Church was struggling. The thought arose, "Oh! in comparison of that great Hereafter, this little life shrivels into nothingness!" All deep minds have felt this at some period or other of their career. Let but a man possess his soul with this idea of Time, and then unworldliness will be the native atmosphere he breathes.

2. The changefulness of the external world: "The fashion of this world passeth away." The word refers here to all that has form, and shape, and scenery; the visible in contradistinction to the invisible.(1) God has written decay on all around us. On the hills their outlines changing within the memory of man. On the sea-coast. On our own frames. Even in the infant the progress of dissolution has visibly begun. We stand amidst the ruins of other days, and as they moulder before our eyes they tell us of generations which have mouldered before them, and of nations which have crossed the theatre of life and have disappeared. We join in the gladness of the baptism, and the years roll on so rapidly that we are almost startled to find ourselves standing at the wedding. But pass on a few years more, and the young heart for which there was so much gladness in the future drops silently into the grave to make way for others. One of our deepest thinkers has told us, "All the world's a stage," &c. Look at our own neighbourhood. Those with whom we walked in youth are gone and others have filled their places. Every day new circumstances are occurring which call upon us to act promptly; for the past is gone.(2) "The fashion of the world" passes away in us. Our very minds change. All except the perpetually repeated sensations of eternity, space, time, alters. There is no affliction so sharp, no joy so bright, no shock so severe, but Time modifies and cures all. Our memories are like monumental brasses: the deepest graven inscription becomes at last illegible. Of such a world the apostle seems to ask, Is this a world for an immortal being to waste itself upon?

II. ITS NATURE.

1. The spirit or principle of unworldliness; to use this world as not abusing it. The worldly spirit says, "Time is short; take your fill; live while you can." The narrow religious spirit says, "All pleasure is a snare; keep out of it altogether." In opposition to the one, Christianity says, "Use the world," and to the other, "Do not abuse it." Unworldliness is not to put life and God's lovely world aside with self-torturing hand. It is to have the world, and not to let the world have you; to be its master, and not its slave.

2. The application of this principle —(1) To domestic life. The idea was just then beginning to be discussed, which was the higher state, the single or the married. In after ages this question was decided in a very disastrous way; for it was taught that celibacy was the only really pure and angelic life. Marriage was regarded as earthly and sensual, unfit for those who were to serve as priests. Now observe the apostolic wisdom. He does not say celibacy is the saintly, and marriage the earthlier state. He says, "In whatever state you can most undistractedly serve God, that is the unworldly one to you." God made man for domestic life, and he who would be wiser than his Maker is only wise in appearance. He is not the highest Christian who lives alone and single, but he who, whether single or married, lives superior to this earth.(2) To sorrow. This unworldliness consists of two parts:(a) The duty and the right of sorrow. "Weep?" Christianity does not sear the human heart; it softens it. If joy be felt in the presence of the loved object, grief must be felt in its absence. Christianity destroys selfishness, makes a man quick and sensitive for others. Moreover, it imparts something of its own infinitude to every feeling.. The Master wept. We may admire the stern old Roman heart; but we must not forget that the Roman stoicism is not of the spirit of Christianity.(b) The limitation of sorrow, "as though they wept not"; that is, as though God had already removed their grief. Familiarity with eternal things subdues grief, gives it a true perspective. Have you lost a dear relative? Well, you may weep; but even while weeping Christ comes to you and says, "Thy brother shall rise again."(3) To joy — earthly joy; for, if it had been spiritual joy, the apostle could not have put any limitation to it. Therefore Christians may have earthly joy. Christ had no sympathy with that tone of mind which scowls on human happiness: His first manifestation of power was at a marriage feast. Look round this beautiful world of God's. You cannot, except wilfully, misread its meaning. God says, "Be glad!" But now everlasting considerations are to come in, not to sadden joy, but to moderate its transports. We are to sit loose to all these sources of enjoyment, masters of ourselves. Respecting worldly amusements, the apostle does not say, You must avoid this or that, but he lays down broad principles. If your enjoyments are such that the thought of passing Time and coming Eternity presents itself as an intrusive thought, which has no business there; if you become secularised, excited, and artificial; then it is at your own peril that you say, All is left open to me, and permitted. Unworldly you must become — or die.(4) To the acquisition of property. Unworldliness is not measured by what you possess, but by the spirit in which you possess it. It is not said, "Do not buy," but rather "Buy — possess." You may be a large merchant, &c., if only your heart be separate from the love of these earthly things, with God's love paramount within. The amount of property is purely a relative consideration. You go into a regal palace, and perhaps, unaccustomed to the splendour, you say, "All this is worldliness." But the poor man comes to your house, and to him this seems worldliness too. No! we must take another test. The Christian is one who, if a shipwreck or a fire were to take all luxury away, could descend, without being crushed, into the valley. He wears all this on the outside, carelessly, and could say, "My all was not laid there." Conclusion:

1. Let there be no censoriousness. How others live, and what they permit themselves, judge not. It is work enough for any one of us to save his own soul.

2. Let there be no self-deception. This subject gives large latitude, and any one may abuse it if he will. "Remember, however, that worldliness is a more decisive test of a man's spiritual state than even sin. Sin may be sudden, the result of temptation, yet afterwards hated — forsaken. But if a man be at home in the world's pleasure and pursuits, happy if they could but last for ever, is not his state, genealogy, and character clearly stamped? Therefore does St. John draw the distinction — "If any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father"; — but "If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.

(F. W. Robertson, M. A.)

Let those that have wives be as though they had none.
"Let those that have wives be as though they had none." What! to use them as if they had none? To care for them as if they had none? No; "but to be as if they had none." That is, let them be as resolute for God's truth as if they had no wives to hinder them; as willing to suffer crosses, as ready to good duties. Let them avoid distracting cares and worldly incumbrances, as if they had none; let them not pretend their marriage for baseness and worldliness, and for avoiding of afflictions when God is pleased to call them unto them; let them not pretend marriage for their doubling in religion and dissembling, "I shall undo my wife and children," "Let them be as if they had none," for Christ hath given us direction to hate all for Christ. A man is not worthy of Christ that undervalues not wife and children and all, for the gospel. If things stand in question, whether shall I stick to them or to Christ, my chief husband; I must stick to Christ. The reason is, the bond of religion is above all bonds. And the bond that binds us to Christ it abides when all bonds cease; for all bonds between husband and wife, between father and children, end in death; but the bond of Christ is eternal. Every bond must serve the main bond. We must so labour to please others, that we displease not our chief Husband. For the time will be when we shall neither marry, nor be given in marriage, but we shall be as the angels (Matthew 22:30); and that time shall be without bounds and limits, for eternity; and we must look to that. You know how it fared with him in the gospel, that pretended this, for his not coming to Christ; he that was married saith, "I cannot come." His excuse was more peremptory than the rest, "he could not."

(R. Sibbes, D. D.)

I. I begin with remarking the wisdom of the apostle in teaching us now TO BEAR THE LOSS OF FRIENDS, BY FIRST TEACHING US HOW TO ENJOY THEM. These two points are very closely connected. If a man has enjoyed prosperity in a proper Christian manner, he will be prepared to suffer adversity with the least degree of distress. As he will not rejoice, like one intoxicated, with extravagant joy, so he will not be depressed by a grief that overwhelms him with intolerable anguish. On the other hand, I would remark also, that the proper use of adversity teaches us to bear prosperity aright. The Christian principle, then, to which I have alluded as equally enabling us to bear prosperity and adversity, is faith. By this we are taught to feel the vanity, the shortness, the emptiness of everything in this world, and to realise the views of eternal things which are given us in Scripture. A Christian is one who looks not at things which are seen, but at those which are unseen. But in order that this view of eternal things should have any considerable influence upon the mind, it is necessary that it should have two qualities.

1. It should be abiding. However vivid our impression of eternal things may be for a time, yet we know that such is the nature of the human mind that the very strongest impression will soon wear away if not repeated. Nay, a very slight impression, frequently repeated, will have more effect upon us than any single impression, however strong. New the things of this life are perpetually before our eyes. They are, in this respect, like a force which is constantly acting. Will not the consideration of eternal things, therefore, require to be often set before the mind in order to counteract this force? From this constitution of things arises ,the necessity of continually hearing and reading the Word of God. It is therefore of the utmost importance to keep up a lively impression of eternal things on the soul; and this cannot be done without daily retirement, meditation, and prayer.

2. But in order that the things of the eternal world may become frequently the objects of contemplation, it is absolutely necessary that the view of them should be pleasant to us. No man loves to dwell upon painful or unpleasing objects: no man loves to meditate upon the shortness of life, whose prospects of happiness terminate here below. A man must therefore have a good hope beyond the grave before he can accustom himself to extend his view to this close of his earthly, hopes. He that is afraid of God will not often meditate upon His power and His omnipresence. Now it is the business of the gospel, and of the gospel alone, to render the thoughts of death, of eternity, and of God, pleasing to the soul. Christ is there held up to our view as having made atonement for our sins and procured reconciliation with the Father, in order that "whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have eternal life." But it will be asked, What has the consideration of the next world to do with our concerns in this? I answer, Much. The proper use of this world depends wholly upon our "views of that which is to come.

II. THIS PRINCIPLE, THEN, RIGHTLY FELT, WILL TEACH US HOW TO USE THE WORLD WITHOUT ABUSING IT; HOW TO ENJOY THE SOCIETY OF OUR NEAREST CONNECTIONS, AND HOW TO SORROW IN THEIR LOSS. In the enjoyment of domestic relations, the rule laid down, "Let those who have wives be as though they had none," is not to be understood as if it excluded the gratification of social feeling, the pleasures of tenderness, or the indulgence of domestic happiness. But how, then, are we to be preserved from worldliness of mind, and from misery when we are deprived of our comforts? I answer, By the principle already laid down; by a deep and abiding impression of the superiority of things spiritual and eternal. Let me, therefore, while I enjoy all my domestic and temporal comforts with pleasure, and with additional pleasure because I receive them from Thee; let me still consider them as but subordinate and inferior to the blessings which Christ has purchased. While I have them, let me consider well their nature: they are transitory and vain; let the chief desire of my soul, therefore, be towards those things that are above. Apply the same principle to the losses we must expect to meet with in life. Let me address your feelings. You know that you hold all your temporal enjoyments by a precarious tenure. You that have wives, and in them all that gives enjoyment to life, consider how soon the stroke of death may tear them from you.

(J. Venn, M. A.)

And
I. TO ITS SORROWS.

1. It prepares for them.

2. Moderates their effect.

3. Mixes them with hope.

II. TO ITS JOYS. It teaches us —

1. To regard them as the gilt of God.

2. To use them moderately.

3. To employ them as a means to invigorate us for the more serious business of life.

III. TO BUSINESS. It inculcates —

1. Diligence.

2. Contentment.

3. The vanity of earthly gain.

(J. Lyth, D. D.)

Links
1 Corinthians 7:29 NIV
1 Corinthians 7:29 NLT
1 Corinthians 7:29 ESV
1 Corinthians 7:29 NASB
1 Corinthians 7:29 KJV

1 Corinthians 7:29 Bible Apps
1 Corinthians 7:29 Parallel
1 Corinthians 7:29 Biblia Paralela
1 Corinthians 7:29 Chinese Bible
1 Corinthians 7:29 French Bible
1 Corinthians 7:29 German Bible

1 Corinthians 7:29 Commentaries

Bible Hub
1 Corinthians 7:28
Top of Page
Top of Page