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Joseph A. Benton Collection
III It follows therefore that the getting of such wisdom, proves that a man loves his own soul.
1 For it shows that his love is not partial & defective.
2 That it is not selfish.
3 That it is not cold & inoperative.
4 Not a more heroic or passionate love.
3 It is asserted in the Scripture.
Ecc'l [Ecclesiastes]. Be not overmuch wick. [wicked] & why sh'dst [shouldest] thou die before| thy time. – Prov. [Proverbs] The years of t. [the] w. [wicked] shll [shall] be shortened.
Job Hast thou marked the old way wh. [which] w. [wicked] men have trodden? Wh. [which] were cut down out of time, whose foundation was overflown with a flood? –
– Vanity shall be his recompense – He shall be cut off before his time – his branch shall not be green ~
II The Process by which the fact becomes such in actual life.
1 By over-indulgence
(a) Undermines the constitution.
(b) Breaks down this organ & that & damages.
(c) Deadens Susceptabilities & so makes larger & larger demands – till nature reels ~
2 By the violence of passion in its recoil.
(a) A machine can't always stand it [its] hardest strain
"So Christian when thy Strength grows faint, Amid the toils that throng the Saint, Ask God that thou may'st peace impart Unto some other human heart; And thou thy Master's joy shalt share, E'en [Even] while his cross thy shoulders bear ~
3 On the other hand – as in the sight of men – being dishonest –
(a) We lose every thing, but their re-proach, & their ill-will.
No language will be too vile to characterize us – no denunciation too violent to be heaped upon us. No man can show any decent regard for those who willfully cheat him – who knowingly injure him.
4 As in the sight of God, we shall be frowned on, in soul, body & estate –
(a) Our personal good will be thwarted. Happiness destroyed.
(b) Our plans & enterprises frustrated – Our Godless hopes all crushed ~
(c) Society will become a hell. Cheats, frauds, robberies, strifes,
But if we ought to be always pre-pared to meet God when he speaks in judgment [judgement] & comes in power - much more ought to be when he calls us away from any longer mingling with Earth & men.
Text implies that in order to meet God - i.e. [that is] without shame and confusion - with compos-ure & joy - we need to make some preparation.
1 Consider this need ~
Springs from the relation twixt [between] wr [wrong]- -doing & rights [righteousness] ~
it can not [cannot] bear to be known - Especially where it is frowned on.
Need to be ready also to make reparation as far as poss. [possible].
Thus need prepar. [preparation] - to meet man how much more to meet God !!
Prepar. [Preparation] of condition and prepar. [preparation] of atonement. Look at them ~
Needs it then for his own Sake - his fellow's [fellows'] sake - & for the honor of God.
2. When do we need this preparation ?
Whenever we are liable to meet God, i.e. [that is] - now - always ~
Ought to see & meet God Every where [Everywhere] - , To love to meet him in the wide creation - in the search of truth - in the place of prayer - in the hour of sorrow & pain - in the house of mourning - in the coming of death. Now is only safe.
Not only wiser & proper - but nobler to prepare now.
Something very mean, not to say
wicked in giving God only the merest of days saved from the wreck of sin & worldliness.
Don't say 11th [eleventh] hour is in vain - but it is mean to calculate on it. Needed now to keep us from panic.
3. In what shall this prepar-ation consist ?
Not in striving to make any atonement as it respects God. That He has done Not in trying to merit favor by a profusion [of] good deeds - But by accepting the con-ditions of fitness wh. [which] God &
Repentance - faith - renun-ciation.
These begin now & con-tinued - so as to give us character.
Best prepar. [preparation] consists not in much prayer & heart-rendings in the home, when Death comes with its alarms - but in an Every day [Everyday] life of right doing & holy service of one God & our kind.
Who lives best will die best - & is best prepared to die. He lives not well who does
not treat his fellows well, & his Maker also - & without living well - it is not common to be at last prepared to meet God in peace.
"The Sting of death is sin" - Evil-doing plants a dying-pillow with thorns. Conscious sin makes men cowards in times of calamity & in the presence of Death. Death is "King of Terrors" only to the guilty. Victory over him comes thro. [through] C. [Christ. ~
Prepare now - & you will not need to make one when you have no time.
We are daily admonished - "Be ye also ready" Steele - Durham. "Life is real"