Is there not an appointed time to man on earth? are not his days also like the days of an hireling?…
I. THE NATURE OF THE FACT WHICH IS HERE AFFIRMED.
1. That the existence of man will be terminated by death. When sin was committed, the order and harmony of the universe was disturbed, and then the solemn and awful sentence was pronounced. What is the world itself, but a vast charnel house, to be filled with the ashes of innumerable dead?
2. The existence of man is confined to a narrow compass. There has been a serious abridgment of the average length of life. All the Scripture representations describe the extreme brevity of human life. We are pushed on by the hand of time, from the various objects we meet with in our course, wondering at the swiftness with which they are taken from our vision, and astonished at the destiny which winds up the scene and ratifies our doom.
3. The existence of man is, as to its precise duration, uncertain and unknown. We know not the day of our departure. There is an impervious gloom about our final departure which no man can penetrate. But all is well known to the wisdom of God. With Him all is fixed — to us, all is uncertain.
4. Our departure from this world is for the purpose of our mingling in scenes which are beyond the grave. We do not depart and sink into the dulness of annihilation. This life is but the threshold of eternity; we are placed here as probationers for eternity.
II. THE FEELINGS WHICH ARISE FROM THE CONTEMPLATION OF IT. There is a universal inclination to avoid these truths; they are regarded in general as merely professional; and there is much in the world to counteract their influence. All this can only be removed by the Spirit of God.
1. We ought to make our final departure the subject of habitual contemptation.
2. We should be induced to moderate our attachment to the world, from which we shall so soon be separated.
3. You should be induced to seek an interest in that redeeming system by which you may depart in peace, with the prospect of eternal happiness.
4. We should be induced to pursue with Christian diligence those great employments which the Gospel has proposed.
Parallel VersesKJV: Is there not an appointed time to man upon earth? are not his days also like the days of an hireling?