July 3rd On the good employment of time
Consider first, how great a treasure time is when well employed. Every hour of it is of far greater value than all the kingdoms of the earth; because in every hour of it, if well employed, we may purchase an eternal kingdom in heaven; but all the kingdoms of the earth put together are not able to purchase for the dying sinner one hour of time in his greatest want of it. Ah! ’tis then that sinners will begin to be convinced of the value of time and of the infinite importance of employing it well when they shall see themselves upon the brink of eternity, and when there shall be no more time for them. But O! what would not the damned in hell give for one of these hours? And how well would they employ it if it could be allowed them? But alas! they would not work whilst the time was, whilst they had the daylight before them; and now the dismal and eternal night has overtaken them in which there is no time to work, and in which they shall, with bitter but fruitless repentance, eternally condemn their past folly and madness in misemploying and squandering away during life so much precious time. O Christians, let us learn to be wise at their expense!
Consider 2ndly, the strict obligation incumbent upon us all of employing our whole time to the best advantage. Our time is not our own; it belongs to our maker, it is lent us by our Lord and master. The servant is strictly bound to employ his time in the service of his master; he is both an idle and a wicked servant if, being hired to work, he spends his time in play. What must we, than, think of ourselves if, being made and sent into this world by our great master for nothing else but to spend the short time of our mortal life in serving him and doing his will, we squander it all away in empty amusements, worldly diversions and vanities, or in doing our own will rather than his? Ah! Christians, deceive not yourselves; such a crying injustice as this calls to heaven for vengeance; the wasting and destroying so much of your master’s precious time (more precious by far than all the goods of the world) will never pass unpunished. If you are to be accountable for every idle word, how much more for every idle hour? O! reflect how much it cost your dear redeemer to purchase for you this time. By sin you had forfeited your life, and consequently your time, and incurred the guilt of a double death; and whatsoever time God has allowed you since your sin has been purchase for you by the blood of Christ, in order to your repentance and a new life. It has cost him an infinite price, it belongs to him, the alienating it from him is a robbery; it is a sacrilege, it is perverting to your greater damnation what he purchased for your salvation.
Consider 3rdly, the immense treasures of grace, and the everlasting glory, that may be continually stored up by a good employment of time. There is not one moment of all the time of this mortal life in which if well employed, we may not purchase a new degree of eternal bliss. Now, every degree of eternal bliss is something infinitely more precious and more desirable than all the riches and all the kingdoms of the earth. What a loss is it then to lose any of these happy moments! it is losing so many immense and eternal treasures. A loss so great that if the happy state of the blessed in heaven could admit of any such thing as grief, they would certainly regret, to all eternity, all those moments of the time of their mortal pilgrimage which they had not employed to the best advantage; when they shall clearly see, in the light of God, what an immense increase of eternal glory and happiness they might have acquired by the due employment of all those precious moments.
Conclude to have ever before thy eyes the infinite advantages that are to be found in employing well thy time, and the strict obligation thou hast of spending it all in the service of thy maker; and his according to his ordinance, and agreeable to the end for which he sent thee hither, and for which he gives thee all thy time. And ever remember that in his account all that time will be considered as idly spent, and quite squandered away, that has not been dedicated to the doing his will.