I loathe it; I would not live always: let me alone; for my days are vanity.
The love of life is natural to all men. For the wisest purposes it has been implanted within us. But the Gospel has brought life and immortality to light, and has shown us that the valley of the shadow of death forms a passage for the believer to a world of light and glory everlasting. The reception of this Gospel into the heart changes both the scenes of mortality and the state of the mind, so as to regulate the love of life, produce a subjection to the will of God, and lead to a certain and cheery prospect of felicity beyond the grave.
I. THE REASONS WHICH LEAD THE CHRISTIAN TO DESIRE A CONTINUANCE IN LIFE. There are some who, through fear of death, are all their lifetime subject to bondage. This may be owing to the natural character and habit of the mind, to bodily indisposition, or to the power of temptation; or it may arise from a consciousness that they are destitute of the necessary meetness for heaven. Some desire life that they may yield themselves to Satan as servants. The Christian's desire for continuance may arise —
1. From our relative connection with others. We are all bound by strong and tender ties.
2. It may arise from a sense of former slothfulness, or backslidings from the ways of God. Then, when death appears to be approaching, fear is excited.
3. It may arise from love to the Redeemer's cause.
II. THE REASONS WHICH LEAD GOOD MEN, NOTWITHSTANDING THEIR NATURAL LOVE OF LIFE, TO DESIRE A DEPARTURE FROM THE PRESENT STATE. They know that there is a state of immortality and glory actually in existence beyond the grave.
1. A prospect of perfect freedom from suffering leads believers to entertain this desire.
2. So does a sense of the evil of sin.
3. The believer longs to quit this mortal state, because death will introduce him to a better Sabbath, and a perfect society.
4. The anticipated enjoyment of God and the Lamb is a strong reason why the righteous would not live alway. Learn what gratitude is due to God for His Gospel. Hence all our hopes arise; and by its cordial reception the believer is delivered from the love of life, and from the fear of death.
Parallel VersesKJV: I loathe it; I would not live alway: let me alone; for my days are vanity.