In his work “Human Nature in Its Fourfold State,” Thomas Boston has some sobering words about how the vanity of the world should help us prepare to depart it, once for all. Are we ready to stand before an infinite, eternal, holy and just God and answer for your life? Be assured that, outside of Christ, there is no safe place to be on that great and terrible day (Revelation 6:17 & 7:9-10).
“Much of our short time is over already; and the youngest of us all cannot assure himself, that there is as much of his time to come, as is past. Oh! shall we not double our diligence, when so much of our time is spent, and so little of our great work is done?
The present time is flying away; and we cannot bring back time past, it has taken an eternal farewell of us: there is no kindling the fire again that is burned to ashes. The time to come is not ours– and we have no assurance of a share in it when it comes. We have nothing we can call ours: but the present moment; and that is flying away. How soon our time may be at an end, we know not. Die we must: but who can tell us when? If death kept one set time for all, we were in no hazard of a surprise; but daily observation shows us, that there is no such thing. Now the flying shadow of our life, allows no time for loitering. The rivers run speedily into the sea, from where they came; but not so speedily as man to dust, from whence he came. The stream of time is the swiftest current, and quickly runs out to eternity!
If once death carries us off, there is no coming back to mend our matters, Job xiv. 14, “If a man die, shall he live again?” Dying is a thing we cannot get a trial of; it is what we can only do once, Heb. ix. 27, “It is appointed unto men once to die.” And that which can be but once done, and yet is of so much importance that our all depends on our doing it right, we have need to use the utmost diligence that we may do it well. Therefore prepare for death.”
1. Boston, Thomas. Human Nature in Its Fourfold State. Evansville, Indiana: The Sovereign Grace Book Club, 1957, page 234.