Ephesians 5:16
redeeming the time, because the days are evil.
Sermons
Admonitory Counsels for the Closing YearJ. Burns, D. D.Ephesians 5:16
Definition of TimeRichter.Ephesians 5:16
Economy of TimeE. P. Hood.Ephesians 5:16
Employment of TimeKnowles.Ephesians 5:16
Fragments of TimeJ. Stoughton.Ephesians 5:16
Improvement of TimeS. Coley.Ephesians 5:16
On Redeeming the TimeEssex Congregational RemembrancerEphesians 5:16
On Redeeming TimeJ. Benson, D. D.Ephesians 5:16
OpportunityJ. Flavel.Ephesians 5:16
Reasons for Redeeming the TimeJ. J. S. Bird, B. A.Ephesians 5:16
Redeeming and Improving of TimeJohn Edwards, D. D.Ephesians 5:16
Redeeming the TimeEphesians 5:16
Redeeming the TimeBishop Dehon.Ephesians 5:16
Redeeming the TimeMemoirs of Bishop Morton.Ephesians 5:16
Redeeming the TimeG. T. Dunney, M. A.Ephesians 5:16
Redeeming the TimeJ. G. Angley, M. A.Ephesians 5:16
Redeeming the TimeW. H. Lewis, D. D.Ephesians 5:16
Redeeming the TimeC. Girdlestone, M. A.Ephesians 5:16
Redeeming the TimeJ. B.C. Murphy, B. A.Ephesians 5:16
Redemption of TimeJ. Lathrop, D. D.Ephesians 5:16
Redemption of TimeCharles Bridges, M.A.Ephesians 5:16
Redemption of TimeHervey.Ephesians 5:16
That the Wisdom of a Christian is Eminently Discovered in Saving and Improving All Opportunities in This WorldJ. Flavel.Ephesians 5:16
The Flight of TimeLife of Rochester.Ephesians 5:16
The Mystery of TimeCarlyle.Ephesians 5:16
The Purchase of OpportunitiesS. Cox, D. D.Ephesians 5:16
The Redemption of TimeBishop Horne.Ephesians 5:16
The Season of MercyJ. Flavel.Ephesians 5:16
The Shortness of TimeQuarles.Ephesians 5:16
The Use of OpportunityA. T. Pierson.Ephesians 5:16
The Value of TimeT. Watson.Ephesians 5:16
The Value of TimeJ. Stoughton.Ephesians 5:16
The Worse the Times are the Better Should We BeJohn Edwards, D. D.Ephesians 5:16
Thrift of TimeChristian AgeEphesians 5:16
Time and its LossThain Davidson.Ephesians 5:16
Time as Seen in Old AgeBishop Atterbury.Ephesians 5:16
Time LengthenedEphesians 5:16
Time not to be Spent in Frivolous AmusementsEphesians 5:16
Time Saved from SleepEphesians 5:16
Time to be Seized and UsedEphesians 5:16
Time VeiledChristian AgeEphesians 5:16
Time, a TreasureDr. Johnson.Ephesians 5:16
Time, its Loss, and its RedemptionG. Brooks.Ephesians 5:16
Value of TimeJ. Mason.Ephesians 5:16
Value of TimeSmiles.Ephesians 5:16
Value of TimeSunday at Home.Ephesians 5:16
Value of TimeEphesians 5:16
Value of TimeEphesians 5:16
Wasted OpportunitiesAnon.Ephesians 5:16
The Love and the Wrath of God Enforcing MoralityR.M. Edgar Ephesians 5:1-16
The Circumspect WalkT. Croskery Ephesians 5:15, 16
Exhortation to Exercise Wisdom in Regard to Our Manner of WalkR. Finlayson Ephesians 5:15-21
Two Worlds of One RaceD. Thomas Ephesians 5:15-21


I. ITS NECESSITY. The duty of reproof involved the necessity of circumspection in those who were bound to administer it. It may be a small thing to Christians "to be judged of man's judgment" (1 Corinthians 4:3), yet they cannot afford to disregard the force of public opinion. They ought to "have a good report of them which are without" (1 Timothy 3:7). It is evidently with reference to onlookers that the counsel of the apostle is given. "Walk m wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time" (Colossians 4:5). When we consider the number of our enemies, the inconstancy of our minds, the strictness of the Divine requirements, and the jealousy our Divine Master cherishes over his people, it is impossible to walk acceptably unless we walk circumspectly.

II. THE NATURE OF THIS WALK. We are to "walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise."

1. We are to have knowledge of the true way (Jeremiah 6:16; Matthew 7:14), not as the fool, who misses the path.

2. We are to follow the light that falls upon our path, not like the fool, who turns aside to darkness, only to stumble in it (Proverbs 4:27).

3. We are to foresee the dangers of the way and provide against them, not like "the simple, who pass on and are punished" (Proverbs 22:3).

4. We are to have the Lord for our Companion by the way, like "Enoch, who walked with God" (Genesis 5:22). The fool seeks the company of the foolish.

5. We are to keep in view the end of our walk. "Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls" (1 Peter 1:9).

III. THE APPLICATION OF THIS PRINCIPLE TO THE PROFITABLE USE OF OPPORTUNITY. "Redeeming the time, because the days are evil." There can be no wise or careful walking without a due consideration both of the value of time and of the importance of using our opportunities for doing good.

1. The nature of this redemption of time. It is not the mere effort to rescue the fleeting hours of our life from idleness, vanity, distraction, or excessive devotion to business, but an effort to lay hold of opportunities for doing good, to make the most of them, to allow no distractions of pleasure or life to stand in the way of their right employment. Jesus, in his extreme youth, was eager to be "about his Father's business" (Luke 2:49). We are to do good unto all men "as we have opportunity" (Galatians 6:10). We are to do good to our very enemies, after the example of that Father who "maketh his sun to rise upon the evil and the good" (Matthew 5:45). We are to use our opportunities also for receiving good, giving all diligence to make our calling and our election sure (2 Peter 1:10).

2. Reasons for redeeming the time. "Because the days are evil." It is not because our days are few, though that is also a very good reason.

(1) We have lost much time already (1 Peter 4:3);

(2) we do not know how much time yet remains to us (James 4:14);

(3) we have to give an account of all our time and opportunities.

The reason assigned by the apostle is the evil of the days. Time must not be lost if the evil is to be quickly and effectively counteracted. The apostle does not hint the nature of the evil. Yet it is allowable to suppose that the days were evil, not in themselves, but by reason of man's wickedness and folly.

(1) It is the evil of sin, rather than the evil of punishment, that is meant.

(2) It is part of the evil that men do not see it at all.

(3) It is part of the evil that they do not mourn over it.

(4) It is part of the evil that they will do nothing to remove it.

There is, therefore, all the more reason for Christians bestirring themselves in all seasons and spheres of action to counteract the evil of the days. - T.C.









Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.
Essex Congregational Remembrancer.
I. DIRECTIONS.

1. We must redeem time by sincerely repenting of sin and devoting ourselves immediately to the great business of life.

2. We must redeem time by considering the various ways in which we have wasted it, and avoiding them for the future.

3. We must redeem time by forming a wise and judicious plan for the regulation of our conduct, and firmly and conscientiously adhering to it. The immortal Alfred, one of the best of kings that ever filled the British throne, divided his time into three portions, allotting eight hours to sleep, recreation, and meals, eight to public business, and eight to private study and devotion; and by constantly adhering to his plan, he accomplished the works and acquired the wisdom which have excited the admiration of posterity. Dr. Doddridge adopted nearly the same plan, and by that means he was enabled to educate so many young men, to preach so frequently, and to leave the world those various writings which have enlightened the minds and aided the devotion of multitudes. Colonel Gardiner always set apart two hours in the morning for devotion, and if his troops had to march at six o'clock he rose at four to commune with God, and like his Divine Master prepare for arduous duties by fervent prayer.

4. We must redeem time by forming habits of activity and diligence. It requires great labour to improve time as it comes — what then must it require to redeem it? Should a husbandman or mechanic have lost any time in his work, he redeems it by extra exertion; in like manner should we redeem the time which we ought to have spent in serving God and preparing for eternity.

II. REASONS.

1. The merciful purpose for which time is granted, and the greatness of the work which we have to perform.

2. Because the period in which we can redeem time is not only very uncertain, but may be extremely short. The goldsmith gathers up every particle of gold. The very least which he can discern he deems too valuable to be lost. Can you, then, willingly suffer the loss of your precious moments, when worlds on worlds cannot buy one of them back again? Many who are now on the bed of death or passing into eternity, would part most gladly with all the wealth they have amassed, and all the fame they have acquired, for another year, or another month. While time lingers for you, improve it. Conscientiously set apart its hours as they come to the highest purposes.

3. We should redeem time because of the eternal consequences which will result from the use we make of it. As our time is given us by God, He will call us to account for the way in which we have spent it. Every day therefore brings with it an awful responsibility.

(Essex Congregational Remembrancer.)

To redeem is to reclaim by price, or recover by labour, that which has been lost or alienated; or to preserve by prudence that which is in danger. A metaphor taken from the practice of merchants, who observe the favourable seasons of buying and selling, of making profits and repairing losses, who keep regular accounts of their expenses and gains, and often inspect their affairs, to know whether their interest is in progress or decline.

I. It is here supposed that TIME IS PRECIOUS.

1. It is precious, because we have much business on our hands; business which relates, not to our bodies only, but to our souls; not merely to this life, but to the whole duration of our existence.

2. It is precious, because it is short and uncertain; and our work must be done soon, or it never can be done at all.

3. It is precious, because part, and with many, the greater part of it is gone already. What remains is increased in value, as it is contracted in length. We had none to waste at first; we have need to be frugal now.

II. WE MUST REGAIN THE TIME WHICH IS LOST. Time past, indeed, cannot be recalled. Each moment, which flies off, is gone forever, and will return no more. Like the wind, it passeth away and cometh not again. But we do the best we can toward the recovery of lost time, when we reflect with sorrow on follies past, and resolve to be wise in future.

III. WE MUST USE PRUDENCE TO SAVE, AND DILIGENCE TO IMPROVE, THE TIME THAT REMAINS. In vain you pretend to lament your past folly, unless you apply your heart to wisdom. Godly sorrow will work in you carefulness.

1. Enter on your work speedily.

2. Attend to your work with diligence.

3. Guard against the things which rob you of your time.(1) An indolent habit is inconsistent with laudable actions. It creates imaginary, and magnifies real, difficulties arid dangers. It enervates the powers of the body, and stupefies the energy of the mind.(2) A versatile humour is active, but wants patience. It flies from object to object too rapidly to appropriate or retain any. Time is lost, because nothing is prosecuted to effect.(3) An excessive fondness for company and amusement is the cause of much waste of time. Diversions may be innocent: but then they must be

(a)well chosen;

(b)wisely timed;

(c)moderately used.(4) Do every work in its season. Attend with discretion to the calls of duty, and you will save much time and prevent much loss. It is so in your worldly business. Make a good arrangement of its parts, and take up each part in its order, and you will execute the whole with facility and success; while your improvident neighbour, who leaves all his matters in confusion, and takes hold of his business as it happens, and usually at the wrong end, is always embarrassed with cares, straitened for time, and disappointed in the result.This attention to seasons is no less necessary in the work of your salvation.

1. Youth is the most promising season. Then the work is most easy, and attended with fewest obstructions; and then there is the fairest prospect of Divine concurrence. If that season is past with you, take the present; for the future is uncertain, and the difficulty of your work and the indisposition to attempt it will increase by delay.

2. The time of health is more favourable than a time of sickness; for you are now more capable of intense thought and persevering application, and better able to prove your sincerity.

3. There are some tender seasons, when the conscience is awakened, serious sentiments impressed, and good resolutions excited. Improve these seasons.

4. There are seasons friendly for particular duties. For your daily devotions, choose the hours when your mind can be most free from the occupations of the world, that you may attend on God without distraction. If you would advise or reprove a friend, take a time when you can speak to him in private; when you feel your own mind affectionate, and think his to be calm and tender; when you can address him inoffensively, and he may hear you dispassionately. Also in doing works of charity, observe opportunities.

5. Wisely divide your time among your various duties. Lawful things will become criminal in you, if they occupy your time so far as to exclude other things of greater importance. The duties of religion are consistent with each other, and may be made to harmonize in practice. If they interfere, it is because you throw them into confusion, and your time into disorder. Distribute your seasons properly, and arrange your works prudently, and you will find there is a time for everything.

(J. Lathrop, D. D.)

First: In the duty there is the act and the object. Both must be explained.

1. The act, buying; or, as we render it, "redeeming." Well, then, what is the meaning of "redeeming the time," or buying the time? The term is proper to civil contracts, but is here applied morally.(1) In buying there is some price paid; we part with one thing to obtain another; so we must part with anything less than it rather than lose time; as Proverbs 23:23, "Buy the truth, and sell it not." As merchants stand upon no rate or price if they may get such wares into their hands as they may make benefit of, so time is such a precious commodity, and so useful to us in order to eternity, that we should not stand upon ease, carnal pleasures, and worldly conveniences, that we may purchase it.(2) That which is bought belongeth to the buyer; and so buy time to make it your own for spiritual advantages. But our translation useth the word "redeem," which implieth another metaphor — namely, the recovery of a mortgage, or the redeeming of what hath been lost or pawned out; and so it noteth our former improvident misspence of time. We have, as it were, mortgaged it to Satan, to the world, and to vanity, and now should redeem it out of the hands of these engrossers, and by future diligence recover our former neglect.

2. The object — "the time." The word properly signifieth the season and opportunity, but yet it is the usual word for time in Scripture, for to a Christian all time is season. Time in general is but short: "But this I say, brethren, the time is short" (1 Corinthians 7:29). But the season or opportunity, which is the flower of time, is shorter; therefore this must not be slipped: "As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men" (Galatians 6:10).Secondly: The reason by which this duty is enforced — "Because the days are evil."

1. For the meaning of the phrase.(1) It may be understood of the whole course or race of man's life: (Genesis 47:9). Time in itself is neither good nor evil, but in regard of the accidents of time, as it is encumbered with variety of vexations, cares, and miseries, so our days may be called evil. And in this sense we must take that of our Saviour (Matthew 6:34). Every day bringeth evil enough and sorrow enough to exercise us. Therefore you had need to lay up for a better life, for you have but sorry evil days here.(2) More properly and specially it relateth to the times the apostle wrote in, which were hard and calamitous, and full of danger, because of the wickedness of those among whom they lived. There were many enemies then, both to Christian verity and piety.

2. The force of the consequence.(1)Because others vainly misspend time, Christians should be more careful to redeem it. The worse the times are, the better should we be, as fountain water is hottest in the coldest weather, and stars shine brightest in the darkest night.(2) Adversity makes men serious.(3) With relation to the heathen among whom they lived, he advised them to redeem the time (Colossians 4:5).(4) Some are so bad and froward, that they would take away liberty, estates, yea, life itself from you, and with it all occasions of doing and receiving good. You carry your own lives in your hands, and the lives of many of God's precious instruments are in danger; and therefore, before means and opportunities be wholly lost, redeem the time. That it is the duty of Christians to look to the due improvement of the time and season. I shall draw out the force of the apostle's exhortation in this method.

I. The commodity or thing to be bought. The word signifieth time and season, the general and particular opportunity.

1. Time.(1) If you have not begun already by conversion, it must not be delayed and left to uncertainties. The sooner you begin to buy time, the better bargain you will have; for every man would have as much for his money as possibly he can, therefore take the market while it is at the best (Ecclesiastes 12:1).(2) After you are once admitted into the evangelical estate, your whole time should be redeemed and spent for God (Luke 1:75; Romans 6:10).

2. The season: buy it, whatever it cost you. The season of receiving good and of doing good.

II. The use we must put it to when we have gotten this commodity into our hands. It is a precious commodity; you should never let it go but for something better than itself. There are two great ends, the glorifying of God, and the saving of our own souls. Thirdly: I shall now proceed to the encouragements to the bargain to redeem time and season. First: Let me press you to redeem the time.

1. Too much time hath been spent already (1 Peter 4:3).

2. We are to be accountable to God for time.

3. That time is only yours which is spent well, in pleasing God, and doing good; for that time is bought and redeemed which otherwise is lost to you. We lose all that time which is not spent in the love and service of God.

4. Time is not ours to dispose of at pleasure. A Christian, when he giveth up himself to God, he giveth up everything that is his to God. My time is not mine, but Christ's. It is sacrilege to rob God of what is consecrated to Him.

5. Time is a precious commodity, worth the looking after. The devil values it; if he can cheat you of your time, he can cheat you of your souls; for when conviction is strong, and all your prejudices are borne down, and his outworks taken, excuses and self-flatteries vanish. The last thing that he is loath to let go is time; his game is to cheat you of today, and so of the next day. God saith, "Today" (Hebrews 3:13); and the devil saith, Not today, but at a more convenient season; as Felix put off Paul (Acts 24:25).

6. The present time is the best: "I made haste, and delayed not to keep Thy commandments" (Psalm 119:60). Ludovicus Cappellus telleth us of a Jewish rabbin, who being asked when a man should repent, answered, One day before his death; that is, presently, this day; it may be your last in the world: "Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation" (2 Corinthians 6:2).

7. You have no time bug what may be serviceable for some good use. There is no time wherein thou dost not enjoy some blessing to provoke thee to thankfulness, or hast not some sin to be mortified, or some good work to be done. We have a great deal of work to do in a short time.

8. We have much work to do, therefore let us spend it in matters that most concern us. We all complain of the shortness of time, and yet everyone hath more time than he useth well. We should rather complain of the loss of time than the want of time. In the general, use time well. If it be short, do not make it shorter by your negligence and improvident misspending of it. A thing that is hired for a while, it is a loss to us if it be not used and employed; as a horse that is bargained for if he be kept idle, or money taken up at interest. So it is with time lent us by God for a while; we pay dear for it if we use it not, and improve it not for God. It is good to see what advantage we make of time daily. One could say when he heard the clock strike, Now I have another hour to answer for.

9. The slight price we are to give for time. You part with nothing but what is better lost than kept; with a little ease of the flesh, vain pleasure which passeth away as the wind, a little worldly profit, which at death will be of no use to thee. Now these are of no worth in comparison of time. 10. The necessity should quicken us, because there are many things which are apt to steal away and engross our time, and therefore must be redeemed; as —

(1)Sloth and idleness.

(2)Vain and sinful pleasures, and carnal sports.

(3)Worldly distractions.

(4)Vain company; they steal a jewel from us they can never restore, which is our precious time.Secondly: Why we must redeem the season.

1. Because all things are beautiful in their season. It is said that the good man "is like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season" (Psalm 1:3). Now, fruit in its season is a carriage answerable to all providences (Matthew 9:15).

2. Because the season may soon slip out of our hands (Galatians 6:10). Take and seek all occasions of doing good. To take the season relates to the necessities of others; to seek the season relates to our own capacity and ability; both together bind the duty stronger on us. We must not defer a benefit. Some are like hogs, good for nothing till they are dead; they will not part with anything till they are incapable of the use of it any longer. So for exhorting (Hebrews 3:13). So for serving public good (Acts 13:36). They that mind to do good in the world engage themselves in a warfare, and the loss of our season is no small part of the enemy's conquest.

3. This is wisdom. Some are wise in time, others too late; as the foolish virgins; they saw a necessity of getting oil into their vessels, but it was too late (Matthew 25:10). But the godly make much of time before it is lost.

4. The foresight and provision of the creatures may shame us. God will not only teach careless men by His prophets and messengers, but by His creatures. There is a great deal of morality lieth hid in the bosom of nature if we had the skill to find it out. In this business of redeeming the time we are sent to the pismire (Proverbs 6:6-8).

5. Most of the calamities of the world come for not observing and improving the season (Ecclesiastes 8:6).

I. Reproof of several sorts of men.

1. Of them that wilfully spend their time vainly, either in doing nothing, or doing what they should not, or in doing evil.

2. It reproveth them that delay their conversion and return to God; as those invited to the marriage supper did not deny, but delay (Matthew 22).

3. Reproof to fallen believers, who do not take the next advantage of recovering themselves by repentance. The longer sin continueth unmortified or unpardoned, the more dangerous is your case. A candle, as soon as the flame is blown out, sucketh light and is re-enkindled; but when it is grown cold and stiff, it requireth more ado.

4. It reproveth those that withstand the special seasons of grace, when God's arms are most open to receive us.

(T. Manton, D. D.)

Literally to comply with this exhortation of the apostle, is not in our power. Sooner may we stop the revolutions of the orbs of heaven, and arrest the sun in his course, than recall the years that are past, the days that are gone, or even the moment which but now is vanished. But by quickening our pace in our Christian course, and increasing our industry in every good work, we may, in some sort, retrieve the losses of past time, and make up for our former tardiness and waste of life. This is the duty to which the apostle exhorts; and a very solemn duty it is upon us erring and accountable beings. To the discharge of it, we have as strong motives as can affect the human mind. Time in itself is the gift of God, produced for us by His continual agency; and, therefore, not to be wasted or abused. It is by the power of the Deity that we are upheld in being. Again: The importance and magnitude of the business of life gives infinite value to every moment of it. Evidently, to exercise faith and exhibit obedience, to purify our nature and to acquire Divine habits, with a view to an immortal existence beyond the grave, is the primary object of our present being. Once more: We should be moved to obey the apostle's exhortation by the solemn consideration that we are accountable for our time. Life is the first, the greatest, and most wonderful talent with which we are entrusted. Nor is it given to us merely for our sport. It is something which we are to use for our own benefit and our Maker's glory. And this leads me to observe, further, that we should be engaged to this duty, and excited to very great fidelity in it, by a sense of the goodness of God in yet prolonging our days. Finally, we should be induced to an immediate compliance with this apostolic exhortation, by reflecting upon the uncertainty of life; and that the longer we defer the duty, the more complicated and arduous will be the task.

(Bishop Dehon.)

Bishop Morton, of Durham, lived to a great age (ninety-eight), and few men made better use of their time, for he was never idle. He was often up at his devotions and study before four o'clock, even after he had reached fourscore years; yet he seldom went to bed till after ten, and then had always a man servant to read some book to him till such time as sleep overtook him. When he travelled in his coach, he took care not to lose that time from study, carrying with him always some portion of his library.

(Memoirs of Bishop Morton.)As you cannot overtake Time, the best way is always to be a few minutes before him.

I. THE VALUE AND POWER OF TIME. God's estimate of it very high. The one gift He gives His creatures sparingly. Millions of flowers, gems on the fingers of Nature, burning on every landscape. But not so does God give time: only one moment at a time, and never that until the previous one has been taken back. Also, we may see the power of time from the lives of men who have carved their way from obscurity to fame. They achieved their success entirely from perseveringly employing spare moments wasted by others. And time is irreparable; once gone you cannot recall it, be your grief never so deep and your regret never so unfeigned.

II. THE IMPORTANCE OF REDEEMING AND HOW TO DO IT. Time equally given to all; so all have the same responsibility. He that has a soul to be saved from eternal death need not have one idle moment. He that has a heaven to win, has enough to do to occupy all his time. They redeem their time who employ it —

1. In gaining useful knowledge.

2. In doing good to others.

3. In employing it for the purpose of gaining an honest livelihood.

4. In prayer and self-examination to make the heart better.

5. In seeking salvation, and endeavouring to do the will of God.There are several temptations to waste time which we should avoid.

1. The allurements to sinful pleasures and amusements.

2. Novel reading.

3. Temptations to ambition, spending time in self-aggrandisement.

4. Dissipation.

5. In wild and visionary plans.

6. Luxurious indulgence in dressing, eating, drinking, and overmuch sleep.Determine, then, to redeem your time by —

1. Usefully employing it.

2. Methodically employing it.

3. With an eye to God's judgment day employing it, rescuing each opportunity from the chains of sloth, ease, and listlessness.

(G. T. Dunney, M. A.)

What is the "time" meant there? How can we in any way "redeem" this "time"? The question may be answered by considering our state and relation to the present, and the invisible worlds. "Time" has been defined as "the consideration of duration, the measure of it, as set out by certain periods, and marked by certain measures." Time is but a fragment of eternity, and we obtain the best idea of it, perhaps, from the revolutions of heavenly bodies, as the sun, moon, and stars, although it is difficult to make clearer by philosophy the intuitive idea we all have of its relations and fleeting nature. The clearest idea may be given of time, to a thoughtful mind, by one standing on the banks of a mighty river; he beholds the flowing waters glide along in a powerful volume, taking complexion from all things round; he views the floating bubble, the fallen leaves, the scattered branches of trees, or various boats or living beings constantly borne away; he stands rapt in contemplation, not knowing what is above or what is below his vision, but he finds all life and time hero imaged, vividly, and all rapidly pass away into the vast ocean of eternity. Time, however, has only reference to man. To the omniscient God all periods, beings, circumstances, and seasons, are present and alike. This results from the perfection of the Divine nature. But time has an important relation and bearing to man. It means the period of his life; his opportunities of doing evil or good; a trust and a talent confided to his care. In the apostle's exhortation there is embodied a fine metaphor, taken from the practice of enterprizing merchants, who diligently look for the proper season of buying and selling; and who deny them. selves, or readily part with their own mere pleasure for the sake of gain or property. Wisdom and skill thus combine with perseverance in obtaining the best goods for the best market and profit. Thus the Christian seizes old Father Time by the forelock, and uses every lawful opportunity for promoting his own spiritual happiness and the eternal welfare of his fellow men: this is what Christianity positively demands; and this is what the true Christian delights to do.

I. The MERCHANT redeems or improves the time. We behold him employ his capital wisely, and find him sedulously attentive to all his worldly interests, so arranging all his business and regulating all the affairs of traffic that he knows how he stands in the world. What a lesson may the Christian learn from him I Ought he not to know in what state he stands before God? Ought he not to examine carefully whether his spiritual concerns are safe — declining or improving?

II. The FARMER redeems or improves the time. See how carefully he prepares the seed and the ground, early and late in season. His watchfulness is ever alive, his cares never cease, while he looks for the dew and air and light of heaven to bless his fields with abundance and joy. Here, again, is a lesson for the Christian. For sowing Divine truth in the mind and doing good in the world is but acting as the farmer does in his fields. Sow broadcast and constantly the seeds of holy truth. Seize upon time, and redeem it from the world to God.

III. THE PHILOSOPHER, STUDENT, OR STATESMAN redeems or improves the time. No man ever rose to any eminence who did not wisely employ time. Our narrow space of days is so brief, that we must treasure well its moments. It is prime wisdom to use time as the gift of God. Behold the pale student with his books; often by the midnight lamp he ransacks tomes of the ancient or illustrious dead: see, though the sober light of thought settles on his cheek, though hectic fever fills his veins, and may flush his damp brow, yet he never tires in the pursuit of important knowledge. Thus the philosopher tests, by science and reason, the mysteries of nature, and with noble perseverance he draws forth some secret into the full daylight of knowledge; and thus the wise statesman studies the complicated webs of political or moral life, and penetrates with the keen eye of sagacity the undercurrents of human government, and the bearings of moral action. No student of books, nature, or men, is satisfied unless he adds daily to his stores of knowledge. Hence he is an economist of time. If even one day has borne no fruit of advancement to his hope, he sighs over lost opportunity, and exclaims, with the Roman Emperor, "I have lost a day!" And yet he has only tasted, not exhausted, the springs of knowledge! Other fields possess intellectual treasure; other Alps command a purer heaven! The purest philosophy, the noblest study, the highest statesmanship, are those which the Christian is invited to spend his life in mastering and acquiring!

IV. The CHRISTIAN redeems or improves the time. We can behold this from the life of a consistent child of God. He lives not for himself, but for Him who died for him and rose again. All his thoughts and actions are regulated by the standard of Divine truth. The discipline of his heart and the duties of life are referred to this sacred test.

(J. G. Angley, M. A.)

I. THE SUBJECT TO WHICH WE ARE DIRECTED. That is to "time."

1. Consider its true character.

2. Consider its value.

3. Consider the brief portion which is allotted for our service.

4. Consider the right application of time.

II. THE COURSE RECOMMENDED. Redeem — recover, buy back. This we may do in a certain sense —

1. By saving all the time we can.

2. By cherishing activity and diligence.

3. By regarding first the most momentous subjects.

III. THE MOTIVES ASSIGNED — "Because the days are evil."

1. They are uncertain in their number.

2. They are days of temptation and sin.

3. They are liable to be interrupted by infirmity and sickness.

(J. Burns, D. D.)

1. Redeem the time, for time is very precious. Nothing is so valuable as time. Not all the gold in the universe — not all the hoards of ages — can purchase a single moment.

2. Redeem the time on account of the momentous consequences which depend on our use of it. These consequences are an eternity of woe, or an eternity of bliss.

3. Redeem the time, for the time is short. What are the longest lives? "My days," says Job, "are swifter than a post: they are passed away as the swift ships; as the eagle that hasteth to her prey." "What is your life?" says St. James; "It is but a vapour which appeareth for a time and then vanishes away." Time is short, and the work we have to do is great. How important it is to "redeem the time."

4. Redeem the time, for when it is once past it cannot be recovered. If we chance to lose a valued treasure, is may be found again though it be buried in the depths of the sea. It is not so with time. Not all the entreaties of eternity will bring back a single moment of time. It is a vessel dashed in a thousand pieces which can never be repaired; it is as water spilt upon the ground which can never be gathered up again.

5. The last reason I shall urge why we should redeem the time, is that it is not our own. Woe to that idle servant who neglects to improve and to trade with the talents given him to traffic with.

(J. J. S. Bird, B. A.)

The apostle bids us "buy up" out of the market what we can never purchase so cheaply again — what, in fact, we can never buy again at any price. The lesson is — use opportunity, and use it thoroughly while you have it. Go read the old weird myth of the Cumaean Sibyl. She wrote her predictions upon leaves, and laid them at the entrance of her cave. Those who consulted her were compelled to exercise the greatest care and caution, lest the wild wind should take up the leaves, and scatter and displace them, destroy their arrangement, break their connection, and turn the clear oracles into inexplicable enigmas. That was a mythological lesson on seizing opportunity. Again, according to the familiar Roman legend, a Sibyl came to the palace of Tarquin II bearing nine volumes, for which she demanded a high price. Her offer being declined, she went away, and burned three of the precious books. Returning, she offered the remaining six, but asked for them the same price which she had demanded for the nine. Again her proposition was rejected, and again she departed and committed to the flames three more volumes. Once more she came back, bearing the last three, and refusing any less sum for them than that by which all might once have been bought. Tarquin, startled by this strange conduct of the merciless Sibyl, advised with his augurs, and bought the books, which proved the invaluable "Sibylline Verses"; but the chance of purchasing those priceless sister volumes was forever lost. Buy up opportunity!" Your privileges will never be offered so cheaply again. Each time life's Sibyl comes to us her precious treasures are diminished in number, and relatively increased in value. Each time she has less to offer, and asks a higher price for each opportunity that remains. So comes Time's stern, relentless Sibyl, until she herself finally disappears, and Time and her opportunities are no morel

(A. T. Pierson.)

1. In the first place we may be exhorted to redeem our time from the power of indolence. Those who have accomplished much in the world have learned the happy art of redeeming these fragments, just as the goldsmith spreads his apron and saves all the filings of gold, which, little in themselves, when ran together form something of great value.

2. Again, we may be exhorted to redeem time from its misapplication. It is said of a wise man that, being in company with some learned friends and philosophers, from whose society he had expected great profit, but finding that their occupation was gaming and their discourse trifling, he took out his tablets, and for an hour or two noted down their words, which he afterwards read to them, whereat they were so ashamed that they threw aside their cards and sought to pass their time more profitably.

3. But a third point for our consideration is the redeeming a larger portion of our time for the immediate concerns of the soul and the service of our God.

(W. H. Lewis, D. D.)

I. In these words we have a figure most expressive, BOTH OF THE CONDITION IN WHICH OUR HOURS BY NATURE ABE, AND OF THAT IN WHICH BY GRACE THEY SHOULD BE. Time is represented as in captivity. We are bidden to redeem it as from bondage. Those hours which are given us for the trial of our hearts, for the exercise of our souls through grace unto salvation; those hours are too commonly enslaved to the pursuit of mere worldly objects. They are devoted to the service of Mammon, laden with the fetters of tormenting care, dishonoured in the base indulgence of sensual pleasure, or in the vain pursuit of frivolous amusements.

II. MANY REASONS MIGHT BE URGED WITH FORCE FOR OUR THUS REDEEMING THE TIME. We might argue that it is scarce, dealt out to us in single moments, poured forth as it were drop by drop, like a precious gift, of which it would be too much for us to possess more than one particle at once. But the special reason given by St. Paul is that "the days are evil." Bad times are not times for indolence, extravagance, or amusement. "The days are evil." Therefore work harder in your spiritual work. "The days are evil." Therefore enjoy less of earthly pleasure, that you may enjoy more of bliss in heaven hereafter.

III. You have now seen how time is in captivity, and what is meant by redeeming it. You have heard also the force of the apostle's argument why you should ever labour so to do. In what remains, I shall set forth SOME PLAIN PRACTICAL RULES FOR SO DOING.

1. One very important rule towards redeeming the time is this, that you avoid all waste of it, and so make the most of what time you have.

2. Next to a diligent frugality of time comes the right allotment of its parts, the due proportioning of its several employments.

3. And observe further, that these things, however proper in their place, must not engross, as they are apt to do, too much of our time.

4. Lastly, in all these holy offices, and in all the duties of life, be watchful. Time steals on smoothly, but swiftly. If you would stay it for good, watch.

(C. Girdlestone, M. A.)

I. WHAT WE ARE TO REDEEM. Time.

1. Its nature. It differs from eternity as space differs from infinity.

2. Its value.

II. WHAT IS IMPLIED IN REDEEMING TIME AND HOW THIS MAY BE DONE. The word used alludes to the custom of merchants and traders, who buy up the articles they know to be of value, and what they know they can turn to good account. But where may we buy up time? Where is it to be met with? In the hands of sin, wickedly and madly employed. At what price may we buy it? To buy it out of the hands of sin, we must part with our sins, our lusts, and passions; out of the hands of amusements, pleasures, worldly ambition.

III. FOR WHAT PURPOSE TIME SHOULD BE REDEEMED. Not to hoard it up as misers do their gold, nor to spend upon ourselves; but that we may use it for our spiritual and eternal profit, for our instruction, conversion, renovation, for the glory of God, and the good of others.

IV. THE REASON OF THIS ADVICE, AND THE WISDOM OF TAKING IT.

(J. Benson, D. D.)

I. WHAT MAKES IT SO SUPREMELY IMPORTANT TO REDEEM TIME?

1. Its connection with eternity. Time is the seed of eternity.

2. So much time has gone by, and cannot be recalled. A dying English queen cried, "A world of money for an inch of time!"

3. Because of the worth of the work that is given us to do in it. What would be said of a farmer idling his time while his fields lay uncultivated, or a general occupied with trifles when the enemy was in the camp?

4. The special reason given in the text — "Because the days are evil."

II. MARK HOW THIS REDEMPTION OF TIME CAN BE ACCOMPLISHED.

1. Take the exercise of the responsibility to God. Begin with heartfelt prayer. Seek to know the value, and to obtain strength for performing the duty. We must begin with God if we are to prosper. Even all our strength put to the wheel will not move it; the work will break down because the power is insufficient. But God will give what we need (Deuteronomy 33:25; 2 Corinthians 12:9; Philippians 4:13-19).

2. Having begun to lead a new life in the exercise of prayer, and in the life that prayer brings out for us to live, remember another important rule, viz., to keep the great end of life before us. We are either sinners lost in sin or saved by grace. If lost in sin, the work given us to do is, "Believe," etc. We look to the Saviour as the object of our love, and we go to Him as the source of our strength. One brings the brightness and the other brings the power.

3. Another rule for us to remember as redeemed and saved sinners, is our responsibility, and the one object of our life, viz., "To me to live is Christ," etc. Let us turn our eyes on Him. If we suffer our hearts to wander from that centre we immediately become palsied creatures, living for no earthly object or value at all. In conclusion, let us remember, in the exercise of this life, that He who died for us has a claim on the best of our time and the whole of our heart.

(Charles Bridges, M.A.)

It was a saying of Charles V, "I have spent my treasure, but that I may recover again; I have lost my health, but that I may have again; but I have lost a great many brave soldiers, but them I can never have again." So other temporal blessings may be lost and recovered again; but, if the term of life wherein you should work for heaven be once lost, it is past all recovery; you can never have another season of grace for your soul.

(T. Watson.)

I. HOW TIME IS LOST.

1. By idleness.

2. By excessive amusements.

3. By unprofitable talk.

4. By exclusive attachment to worldly pursuits.

5. By positive wickedness.

II. HOW IS TIME TO BE REDEEMED?

1. By guarding against its loss.

2. By acting according to rule or method.

3. By specially attending to the parts of our time that are most precious.

4. By being habitually engaged in doing good.

III. WHY IS TIME TO BE REDEEMED?

1. Because it is short and uncertain.

2. Because the work to be done in it is important.

3. Because the days are evil.

(G. Brooks.)

I. WHY TIME SHOULD BE REDEEMED.

1. It is the most choice and precious thing in the world.

2. When once passed, it never returns.

3. It must be one day accounted for.

4. The shortness and uncertainty of human life.

5. Because of the work we have to do, and the difficulty of doing it.

6. Because we have already lost so large a proportion of the time allowed us.

II. HOW IT MAY BE REDEEMED.

1. Observe a method in the distribution of your time.

2. Be moderate in your recreations.

3. Cut off, as much as may he, unnecessary visits.

4. Examine, every evening, how you have spent the day.

(Bishop Horne.)

There was once a young shoemaker, who became so much interested in politics, that his shop was filled with loungers, talking, and discussing, and disputing about one thing and another from morning till night; and he found it often necessary to work till midnight to make up for the hours lost in talk during the day. One night, after his shutters were closed, and he was busy on his bench, a boy, passing along, lout his mouth to the keyhole, and mischievously piped out, "Shoemaker, shoemaker, work by night, and run about by day." "Had a pistol been fired off at my ear," he said, "I could not have been more startled. I dropped my work, saying to myself, 'True, true; but you never shall have that to say of me again.' I never forgot it. To me it was the voice of God, and it has been a word in season throughout my life. I learned from it not to leave till tomorrow the work of today, or to be idle when I ought to be working. From that time I turned over a new leaf." This shoemaker was Samuel Drew, who subsequently wrote on the "Immortality and Immateriality of the Soul." Wise investments: — From the year 218 to the year for ancient Rome the days were evil. A fierce and warlike invader was in the land; the army of the Commonwealth had been twice defeated by him with terrible loss; and, finally, there came a day in which the proud Roman people suffered the humiliation of seeing their very capital reduced to a state of siege. Hannibal's army lay encamped against it. Outside the walls, where the children had played and the citizens had lounged, foreign standards were waving in the breeze. On the very spot where, in days of security and peace, the busy fair had been held, and the gay booths had plied their brisk trade, foreign sentinels challenged the passer-by. It was while affairs were in this state that the Roman senate took a remarkable step. They put up to public auction a piece of ground outside the walls on which at that very moment the invading general's tent was standing, and the ground was forthwith purchased by a senator. Now you will see at once the wisdom of the senate's action. You will perceive that no more politic or statesmanlike stroke could have been played. For what would the immediate result of such action be? Why, to give heart and hope to every man, woman, and child within the city walls. Their leaders, the people would argue, were evidently but little disturbed by what had happened. Evidently they regarded Hannibal's action as mere bravado. The enemy would never set foot within the gates — very soon he would be compelled to raise the siege and retreat in haste. As a matter of fact, this is exactly what did happen. But why do I speak of it now, and what has all this to do with "redeeming the time"? Well, it furnishes us with a very good illustration of what the apostle means when he uses these words. For the expression, "redeeming the time," may more accurately be rendered, "buying up the opportunity, because the days are evil." Now this is just what the senate did. The opportunity (a very great opportunity) was in the hands of the foe. The prestige of the victor in two bloody engagements; of the besieger of a strong, proud city, was all on his side. Then, by a master stroke, the Roman Fathers "bought up the opportunity," so to speak, from Hannibal; wrested it out of his hands, and secured a moral victory.

(J. B.C. Murphy, B. A.)

A better rendering would be, "Buying up the opportunity, because the times are hard." But no mere translation can fully convey the idea St. Paul had in his mind. The picture or parable suggested by the Greek is this. Here stands a wise and wary merchantman, keen for spiritual traffic and gain. Like Milton, he has fallen on evil times; on "bad times," as men of business would say. The days drag slowly by, bringing him few means of moral culture, rare occasions in which he can trade with his talents and make them more. But, at last, as the caravan of Time moves tardily by, among the captives in its train he espies an opportunity such as his heart has long craved. He leaps at it, seizes it, redeems it, i.e., pays a price for it, and makes it his own. This seems to have been the conception, the picture, in the apostle's mind. And thus he defines the Christian attitude toward Time. Its days and hours are for the most part in bondage to vanity and corruption. We are to watch them as they pass by, keen and prompt to rescue them from their bondage, to set them free by devoting them to the service of God and man, to purchase any precious opportunity they may bring with them, whatever it may cost us. There are many reasons why we should take and maintain this attitude.

1. Opportunities are only too apt to slip by unrecognized. Even the wisest of us is hardly wise enough to recognize his opportunities till they are past. As a rule our days are samely and monotonous. There is not sufficient difference between them to awaken attention and inspire hope. Our days, moreover, come to us masqued for the most part, so that even when they bring us a great opportunity, we do not recognize its greatness at the time, and therefore do not seize upon it and improve it as we should if we knew its worth. The current of our life is often turned by seeming trifles, which we assume to be quite incapable of seriously affecting it. When the crises of our life occur, when the great opportunities come to us, which come so seldom, they are hidden from us by a multitude of subsidiary accidents and occurrences. If there were no God above us, ruling even the accidents of life for our good, and working out the counsels of His will even when we let our wills drift on the tide of chance or drive before the waves of impulse, what would become of us all?

2. These opportunities, critical as they are, when once they are gone, can never be recalled. The occasion once lost, can never be recalled. Says Plato, "It is quite clear, quite clear, that if a person lets the right moment for any work go by, it never returns. For the thing to be done does not choose, I imagine, to tarry the leisure of the doer." Our past neglects should lend new force and urgency to the apostolic injunction, "Redeem the time," and make our obedience to it more prompt and vigorous. Today we may listen to the Divine voice to which yesterday we were deaf. Today we may renounce those hurtful passions and lusts which ought to have been renounced long ago. Today we may begin to grasp occasions as they rise, and to do the duty we have often thought of doing, and even talked of doing, but have not done.

3. But if we set ourselves to seize and redeem present opportunities, we shall need to remember that they are only to be redeemed at a certain cost. In St. Paul's view these opportunities were as captives which the days led by in chains; and to redeem a captive we must pay a price. We can avail ourselves of no occasion of serving God and man except as we rouse ourselves to labour and self-sacrifice. And these sacred opportunities, like the Sibylline books, both rise in price and grow fewer every time we refuse to purchase them. If it be hard to subdue passion and the cravings of irregular desire today, it will be harder tomorrow, should we leave the hours of today unimproved. If it would cost us much to do what we know to be the will of the Lord today, it will cost us more every day we neglect our duty.

4. Finally, the apostle warns us that when the times are hard, we should be the more eager to redeem the opportunities they bring us. Hard and evil times, indeed, bring opportunities of a special value, not only because they are scarce, but also because they have a great intrinsic worth. Nay, more, hard times, sorrowful times, times of temptation and difficulty, are themselves opportunities of preeminent value. Then, if ever, we have a chance of showing of what stuff we are made, of testing and proving the sincerity, the genuineness, of our religious life. Too often we forget that every provocation, wrong, loss, hardship, is an opportunity to be redeemed; that it is sent by God even though it comes from men; that He tasks our strength to test our character, to teach us what we really are, to wake us up from any delusion into which we have fallen about ourselves.

(S. Cox, D. D.)

Christian Age.
It is the counsel of reason, as well as of inspiration, which bids men do with their might whatsoever their hand findeth to do. The value of time is what few men ever adequately learn; and the number is still smaller of those who ever learn to improve it to the best possible advantage. Dr. Johnson was once asked how it was that the Christian fathers, and other voluminous authors of former days, ever found leisure to fill so many large folios with the productions of their pens. "Nothing is easier," said he; and then he proceeded to make a calculation, by which he showed that an author who should write no more than one octavo page in a day would easily be able, in thirty or forty years, to produce works as extensive as those of , , , Luther, Calvin, or Baxter. Mr. Gladstone is one of the best living illustrations of the truth of his own words, addressed to the students of Edinburgh University as its Lord Rector. He said to them: "Thrift of time will repay you in after life with a usury of profit beyond your most sanguine dreams; while the waste of it will make you dwindle, alike in intellectual and moral stature, beyond your darkest reckoning."

(Christian Age.)

Christian Age.
One's vocation is never some far-off possibility. It is always the simple round of duties that comes with the passing hour. Someone has pictured the days as coming to us with their faces veiled, bearing only the commonest gifts in their hands; but when they have passed beyond our recall the draped figures became radiant, and the gifts we rejected are seen to be treasures fit for kings' houses. No day is commonplace, if we only had eyes to see its splendour. There is no duty that comes to our hand, however homely, but brings to us the possibility of kingly service. There is opportunity for the most ordinary people to make their years beautiful. There is room in life's common relations for noblest heroism.

(Christian Age.)

If a girl who had been strolling in the parks or pastures before breakfast came in laden with bunches of primroses and violets, with cowslips for bracelets, with daisies for brooches, and dandelions for earrings, you would not reprove her, or consider that she had forfeited a splendid chance: what was there better than these fair blossoms? But now, if every pebble in her ramble had been a diamond, or a topaz, or an amethyst, and yet she came in with nothing but these fading blossoms, what would you say to her then? Would you not; exclaim, "Silly, stupid girl! you have missed a fortune; you have despised treasures"? And what shall we say of ourselves if we occupy ourselves with worldly vanities, or scramble on anyhow in idleness, when God has strewn our path with what should enrich us for heaven? We might have gathered wisdom, which is above riches: we might have gained God's favour; we might have adorned ourselves with virtues and graces; we might have imitated Mary in her choice; but we let the whole train glide by us without seizing on a single gem.

(Anon.)

Time is a continual over-dropping of moments, which fall down one upon the other, and evaporate.

(Richter.)

How many minutes have you to spare? Five, ten, fifteen? Much may be done with them. We have heard of a young man who perused a History of England while waiting for his meals in a boarding house; we have heard of a mathematician who is said to have composed an elaborate work when visiting with his wife, during the interval between the moment when she first started to take leave of her friends, and the moment she had finished her last words.

(E. P. Hood.)

"We all complain," says the philosopher Seneca, "of the shortness of time; and yet we have more than we know what to do with. Our lives are spent either in doing nothing at all, or in doing nothing to the purpose, or in doing nothing that we ought to do. We are always complaining that our days are few, and acting as though there would be no end of them." Alfred the Great was one of the wisest, the best, and most beneficent monarchs that ever swayed the sceptre of this realm; and his example is highly memorable. Ever hour of his life had its peculiar allotted business. He divided the day and night into three portions of eight hours each; and though much afflicted with a very painful disorder, he assigned only eight hours to sleep, meals, and exercise; devoting the remaining sixteen, one half to reading, writing, and prayer, and the other to public business. So sensible was this great man that time was not a trifle to be dissipated, but a rich talent entrusted to him, for which he was accountable to the great Dispenser of it! We are told by historians that Queen Elizabeth, except when engaged by public or domestic affairs, and the exercises necessary for the preservation of her health and spirits, was always employed either in reading or writing; in translating from other authors, or in compositions of her own. Gassendi, the celebrated philosopher, was perhaps one of the hardest students that ever existed. He generally rose at three o'clock in the morning, and read or wrote till eleven, when he received the visits of his friends. He afterwards at twelve made a very slender dinner, at which he drank nothing but water, and sat down to his books again at three. There he remained till eight o'clock; and after having eaten a very light supper, he retired to bed at ten. Among the ancient Indians there were a set of men called gymnosophists, who had a great aversion to sloth and idleness. When the table were spread for their repasts, the assembling youths were asked by their masters in what useful task they had been employed from the hour of sunrise. One, perhaps, represented himself as having been an arbitrator, and succeeded by his prudent management in composing a difference between friends. A second had been paying obedience to his parent's commands. A third had made some discovery by his own application, or learned something by another's instruction. But he who had done nothing to deserve a dinner was turned out of doors without one, and obliged to work while the others enjoyed the fruits of their application.

(Knowles.)

Neglect not the seasons of mercy, the day of grace, because opportunity facilitates the great work of your salvation; it is much easier to be done in such a season than it can be afterwards: an impression is easily made on wax, when melted, but stay till it be hardened, and if you lay the greatest weight on the seal it leaves not its impression upon it. Much so it is with the heart, there is a season when God makes it soft and yielding, when the affections are thawed and melted under the Word; conscience is full of sense and activity, the will palpable: now is the time to set in with the motions of the Spirit; there is now a gale from heaven, if you take it, and if not, it tarries not for man, nor waits for the sons of men: neglect of the season is the loss of the soul.

(J. Flavel.)

Time is deservedly reckoned among the most precious mercies of this life; and that which makes it so valuable are the commodious seasons and opportunities for salvation which are vouchsafed to us therein. Opportunity is the golden spot of Time. If time be a ring of gold, opportunity is the rich diamond that gives it both its value and glory.

(J. Flavel.)

God hangs the great things of eternity upon the small wires of times and seasons in this world: that may be done, or neglected in a day, which may be the groundwork of joy or sorrow to all eternity. There is a nick of opportunity which gives both success and facility to the great and weighty affairs of the soul, as well as body; to come before it is to seek the bird before it be hatched; and to come after it, is to seek it when it is fled.

(J. Flavel.)

That great mystery of Time, were there no other; the inimitable, silent, never-resting thing called Time, rolling, rushing on, swift, silent like an all. embracing ocean tide, on which we and all the universe swim like exhalations, like apparitions which are and then are not. This is forever very literally a miracle — a thing to strike us dumb; for we have no word to speak about it.

(Carlyle.)

An Italian philosopher expressed in his motto, "that time was his treasure"; an estate, indeed, which will produce nothing without cultivation, but which will always abundantly repay the labours of industry, and satisfy the most extensive desires, if no part of it be suffered to lie waste by negligence, to be overrun with noxious plants, or laid out for show rather than use.

(Dr. Johnson.)

Our moments slip away silently and insensibly; the thief steals not more unperceived from the pillaged house. And will the runagates never stop? No: wherever we are, however employed, time pursues his incessant course. Though we are listless and dilatory, the great measurer of our days presses on, still presses on, in his unwearied career, and whirls our weeks, and months, and years away. Is it not, then, surprisingly strange to hear people complain of the tediousness of their time, and how heavy it hangs upon their hands? To see them contrive a variety of amusing artifices to accelerate its flight, and to get rid of its burden? Ah! thoughtless mortals! Why need you urge the headlong torrent? Your days are swifter than a post, which, carrying despatches of the last importance, with unremitted speed scours the road. They pass away like the nimble ships, which have the wind in their wings, and skim along the watery plain. They hasten to their destined period with the rapidity of an eagle, which leaves the stormy blast behind her, while she cleaves the air, and darts upon her prey. Now the day is gone, how short it appears! When my fond eye beheld it in perspective, it seemed a very considerable space. Minutes crowded upon minutes, and hours ranged behind hours, exhibited an extensive draught, and flattered me with a longer progression of pleasures. But upon a retrospective view, how wonderfully is the case altered! The landscape, large and spacious, which a warm fancy drew, brought to the test of cool experience, shrinks into a span, just as the shores vanish, and mountains dwindle to a spot, when the sailor, surrounded by skies and ocean, throws his last look on his native land. How clearly do I now discover the cheat! May it never impose upon my unwary imagination again! I find there is nothing abiding on this side eternity. A long duration, in a state of finite existence, is mere illusion. Hark! what sound is that? In such a situation every noise alarms. Solemn and slow it breaks upon the silent air. 'Tis the striking of the clock — designed, one would imagine, to ratify all my serious meditations. Methinks it says, Amen, and sets a seal to every improving hint. It tells me that another portion of my appointed time is elapsed. One calls it, "the knell of my departed hours." 'Tis the watchword to vigilance and activity. It cries in the ear of reason, "Redeem the time. Catch the favourable gales of opportunity. Oh! catch them while they breathe; before they are irrecoverably lost. The span of life shortens continually. Thy minutes are all upon the wing, hastening to be gone. Thou art a borderer upon eternity, and making incessant advances to the state thou art contemplating." May the admonition sink deep into an attentive and obedient mind! May it teach me that heavenly arithmetic, of numbering my days; and applying my heart unto wisdom!

(Hervey.)

Refusing to hear anything from me, or take anything from the physician, he lay silent, as far as sudden darts of pain would permit, till the clock struck. Then he with vehemence cried out, "Oh! Time! Time! it is fit thou shouldst thus strike thy murderer to the heart. How art thou fled forever! A month! Oh, for a single week! I ask not for years, though an age were too little for the much I have to do. So much the worse. 'Tis lost! 'Tis gone forever!"

(Life of Rochester.)

As every thread of gold is valuable, so is every minute of time.

(J. Mason.)

As in money, so in time, we are to look chiefly to the smallest portions. Take care of the pence, and the pounds will take care of themselves. Take care of the minutes, and the hours and years will take care of themselves. Gold is not found in California for the most in great masses, but in little grains. It is sifted out of the sand in minute particles, which, melted together, produce the rich ingots that excite the world's cupidity. So the spare pieces of time, the shreds, the odds and ends of time put together, may form a very great and beautiful work. Hale wrote his "Contemplations" when on his circuits. Dr. Mason Good translated Lucretius in his carriage, while, as a physician, he rode from door to door. One of the chancellors of France penned a bulky volume in the successive intervals of daily waiting for dinner. Doddridge wrote his "Exposition" chiefly before breakfast. Kirke White studied Greek, went over the nouns and verbs, as he was going to and from a lawyer's office. Burney learned French and Italian while riding on horseback. Franklin laid the foundation of his wonderful stock of knowledge in his dinner hours and evenings, while working as a printer's boy. In the Palace of Industry there were several curious specimens of art, wrought by humble individuals out of such fragments of time as they could secure from their regular occupations. Oh, the preciousness of moments! no gold or gems can be compared to them. Yet all have them; while some are thereby enriched, and others leave themselves in poverty. The wealth of time is like gold in the mine — like the gem in the pebble — like the diamond in the deep. The mine must be worked; the pebble ground and polished — the deep fathomed and searched.

(J. Stoughton.)

Time is life's freightage, wherewith some men trade and make a fortune; and others suffer it to moulder all away, or waste in extravagance. Time is life's book, out of which some extract wondrous wisdom; while others let it lie uncovered, and then die fools. Time is life's tree, from which some gather precious fruit, while others lie down under its shadow, and perish with hunger; Time is life's ladder, whereby some raise themselves up to honour, and renown, and glory; and some let themselves down into the deeps of shame, degradation, and ignominy. Time will be to us what, by our use of the treasure, we make it; a good or an evil, a blessing or a curse.

(J. Stoughton.)

I who squandered whole days heretofore, now husband hours and minutes; thus, when the glass begins to run low, I will not spend what remains in trifles. At the end of the lottery of life, our last minutes, like tickets left in the wheel, rise in their valuation; they are not of so much worth, perhaps, in themselves, as those which preceded, but we are apt, with great reason, to prize them more.

(Bishop Atterbury.)

Time's a hand's breadth; 'tis a tale;

'Tis a vessel under sail;

'Tis an eagle in its way,

Darting down upon its prey;

'Tis an arrow in its flight,

Mocking the pursuing sight;

'Tis a short-lived fading flower;

'Tis a rainbow on a shower;

'Tis a momentary ray

Smiling in a winter's day;

'Tis a torrent's rapid stream;

'Tis a shadow; 'tis a dream;

'Tis the closing watch of night,

Dying at the rising light;

'Tis a bubble; 'tis a sigh;

Be prepared, O man, to die.

(Quarles.)

I. TO SHOW IN GENERAL WHAT IT IS TO REDEEM THE TIME.

II. TO SET BEFORE YOU THE PARTICULAR MANNER OF REDEEMING THE TIME.

III. To offer you THE REASONS OF IT. And as to that particular reason or motive adjoined here by the apostle, I will treat of that by itself, when I have dispatched this part of my discourses on the words.

IV. I will present you with those practical inferences which this doctrine affords.

I. The first thing I undertake is, to give you a more general account of this apostolical injunction, AND TO ACQUAINT YOU WHAT IT IS TO REDEEM THE TIME.

II. I am to propound to you THE PARTICULAR MANNER OF REDEEMING THE TIME; and this cannot be said in fewer and more comprehensive words than these, that we take care to spend every day well; and if you ask me how this is to be done, I answer, It may most effectually be done these three ways.

1. By beginning every day well.

2. By proceeding in it accordingly.

3. By concluding it in a like manner.

4. Remember to be cautious in respect of your recreations.No man can pretend to redeem his time who is not exceeding careful here. Wheat a great portion of time is spent by some persons in foolish sports and pastimes, as they call them.

5. I add this as another excellent way of redeeming the time; see that you retire from the world very often, abandon all company, and be alone. Company devours time excessively, and your greatest company keepers are the worst managers of time.

6. When you go abroad take care of this, that you do not mix yourselves with evil companions; be very circumspect as to the persons you converse with; never think you can redeem time, if you be careless as to this particular, for a wonderful deal of time is lost (and the person too often) in unprofitable and sinful society.

7. If you would redeem the time, busy not yourselves about mean and trifling matters, but mind those things which are great and worthy.

8. To sum up all in few words, make it your great care to employ all the time you have, and that very well. Let no opportunity of doing good be omitted. As I have showed you how you ought to begin, and to continue every day of your life; so it remains, that I let you know what it is to conclude the day well.And this must be done —

1. By serious reflection and meditation. Sit down in good earnest, and recollect the passages of the past day. Let every evening be the audit of the day's actions.

2. Conclude the day with solemn acts of repentance.

3. Endeavour, as much as in you lieth, to make your peace with the offended Majesty of heaven, by humbly begging forgiveness of your sins through the satisfaction and atonement of Christ Jesus the Redeemer. And yet now it will be requisite to tell you that the work is not yet at an end. Religion takes care of the night as well as the day. It is not to be thought that the night was made altogether for sleep. It may sometimes be improved to the same pious ends which the day is. The holy psalmist is our pattern here, he "remembered God upon his bed, and meditated on Him in the night watches" (Psalm 63:6). And he professes thus of himself, "When I awake, I am still with Thee" (Psalm 139:18). But I would give you a further view of this duty by acquainting you with this, that there are some particular seasons and opportunities of our lives, which are more especially to be improved and redeemed. Thus the days of youth are to be secured with a more than ordinary diligence, because the whole sequel of a man's life doth very often depend upon them. Also, the days of bodily health are another special season, which we are engaged to improve to the utmost. This also I commend to your thoughts, that the day of peace and prosperity and the fruition of the good things of this life is another seasonable opportunity of doing our duty with great alacrity and vigour, and of omitting nothing that may tend to our everlasting welfare. But, above all, the day of grace, and of God's offering the means in order to it, is a season which you are to attend to with the greatest care. How do you know but that this holy Dove, like that of Noah, if you let it go from you once and again, may never return back to you? Jerusalem missed her day, she let pass her opportunity, and that caused the merciful Jesus to weep over her, and to lament her destruction.

III. According to my propounded method I PROCEED TO SHOW YOU HOW REASONABLE IT IS THAT WE SHOULD REDEEM THE TIME. You will find this to be a most rational performance when you have considered of these following things.

1. The inestimable value of time.

2. The brevity and uncertainty of it.

3. The impossibility of recalling it.

4. The end and design of God's intrusting us with it.

5. The account we must give for it.I read of Amasis, an Egyptian king, that he made an order, that every man should once a year give a particular account how he spent his time, and in what way he lived. My brethren, there is a day coming, when you must all give an account of your time; all your time must be reckoned for at the great and general audit of the world.

IV. I PROCEED TO THE APPLICATION OF ALL THAT HATH BEEN SAID; TAKE IT IN THESE THREE PARTICULARS.

1. Those are to be rebuked who have misspent their time.

2. Let us beg of God to forgive us the misspente of our time.

3. Be exhorted for the future to redeem it.

(John Edwards, D. D.)

1. The reasonableness of this proposition will appear, in regard of God, who is pleased to stand by us in the worst times, and therefore we are obliged to stand up for Him.

2. In regard of those whom we live amongst, we are concerned in the worst times to look most carefully to our lives and conversations. For in such a season as this we may light on a happy opportunity of converting others, and of reforming the world by our exemplary behaviour.

3. In regard of ourselves, it is our concern in evil times to walk strictly and circumspectly, and to be very exact in our lives. Because(1) hereby we evidence to ourselves, that we have in us the truth and life of grace. Yea, true goodness and virtue are always exalted and made more vigorous by the corruption and wickedness of the times. There is a moral or religious antiperistasis as well as a physical one. There is a repulse in bodies, whereby either heat or cold are made more strong and active by the restraining of the contrary on every side. So there is something like this to be seen in those that are truly and sincerely good, when they are encompassed with contraries, when they live in the midst of vice, and are environed with evil men; their virtue grows more vigorous and strong; the true spirit of zeal and fire of love are hottest in them in the sharpest and coldest seasons; their graces are more inflamed and increased by opposition, which is as great a testimony as can be of the true vital energy of saving grace in them.(2) When the days are evil, that is perilous and calamitous, we know not how long we may be permitted to appear for religion, we know not how soon we may be cut off by its implacable adversaries, at least be deprived of the opportunity of doing that good which at present it is in our power to do. Therefore we ought to be more than ordinary stirring, and to muster up all our forces, and to make our last effort as it were, because we cannot tell but that it may really prove to be so.(3) This is the only way to provide for yourselves an ark, a refuge, a sanctuary in the days of God's indignation. When the times are not only sinful, but calamitous, when God's judgments are abroad in the earth, you must prepare yourselves to receive them by a blameless life and conversation. In this you may be encouraged by the example of the most eminent servants of God, who have striven to be signally virtuous and good in times of general impiety; and this their singular practice is taken notice of and commended by the Holy Ghost in Scripture. Lot lived in a great city, and very populous, but where there were very few righteous men to be found, and yet he was not corrupted by those wicked people amongst whom he sojourned. Job was perfect and upright in the land of Uz. The place of his habitation is remarkable. It is no wonder to be good in good company, but Job feared God and eschewed evil in a country where there were but few that had the true knowledge of God, and walked in His ways, which redounds to the eternal honour of this holy man. Elias stood firm and unshaken amongst a people that were almost overspread with idolatry; he had as great a zeal for the true God as they had for their false one, which was very great indeed. We read of Joseph and Moses in Pharaoh's Court (for all the Egyptian kings in those times were Pharaohs). We read of Obadiah in Ahab's court, of Daniel in Nebuchadnezzar's, and of believers in Herod's house, and even saints in Nero's palace. Joseph of Arimathaea, though a counsellor belonging to the high priest's consistory, would not consent to the counsel and deed of the other counsellors and chief priests that contrived our Saviour's death (Luke 23:51).

(John Edwards, D. D.)

Boyle remarks "that sand grains are easily scattered, but skilful artificers gather, melt, and transmute them to glass, of which they make mirrors, lenses, and telescopes. Even so vigilant Christians improve parenthetic flagments of time, employing them in self-examination, acts of faith, and researches of holy truth; by which they became looking glasses for their souls, and telescopes revealing their promised heaven." Jewellers save the very sweepings of their shops because they contain particles of precious metal. Should Christians, whose every moment was purchased for them by the blood of Christ, be less careful of time? Surely its very minutiae should be more treasured than grains of gold or dust of diamonds.

(S. Coley.)

Melancthon noted down the time lost by him that he might thereby reanimate his industry and not lose an hour. An Italian sculptor put over his door an inscription intimating that whosoever remained there should join in his labours. "We are afraid," said some visitors to. Baxter, "that we break in upon your time." "To be sure you do," replied the disturbed and blunt divine. Time was the estate out of which these great workers, and all other workers, carved a rich inheritance of thoughts and deeds for their successors.

(Smiles.)

It is related of the Duke of Wellington that he made an appointment with a city dignitary to meet at a certain hour on London Bridge. The dignitary was five minutes late, and finding the Duke watch in hand and angry, pleaded, "It is only five minutes, your grace." "Only five minutes!" he replied; "five minutes unpunctuality would have, before now, lost me a battle." Next time the city magnate took care, as he thought, to be on the safe side. When the Duke appeared he greeted him rather triumphantly, "You see, your grace, I was five minutes before you this time." "Shows how little you know time's value," said the old Field Marshal. "I am here to the moment. I cannot afford to waste five minutes."

(Sunday at Home.)

A venerable lady was once asked her age. "Ninety-three," was the reply. "The Judge of all the earth does not mean that I shall have any excuse for not being prepared to meet Him."

On the outer wall of one of the towers of Beverley Minster is a quaint old dial with the pregnant legend, "Now, or When?" A simple question it asks, silently, yet continuously — in the morning, at noon, at the setting of the sun — of all the dwellers in that place, of all the strangers that come there, of all the passers-by; a simple question, yet one deep in its suggestiveness.

"You have made us lose a whole hour," said a gentleman to a lad as he came into a room where an important committee was meeting. "Beg pardon, sir, that is impossible," said the youth, taking out his watch; "I am only five minutes late." "Very true," replied the other, "but there are twelve of us here, and each one of us has lost five minutes; so that makes an hour."

(Thain Davidson.)

On his way to Marengo Napoleon stopped at the door of the barber's shop and asked his former hostess if she remembered a young officer named Bonaparte once quartered in her family. "Indeed I do, and a very disagreeable inmate he was. He was always either shut up in his room" (at study), "or if he walked out he never condescended to speak to anyone." "Ah! my good woman," Napoleon rejoined, "had I passed my time as you wished to have me, I should not now have been in command of the army of Italy."

General Henry Lee once observed to the chief, "We are amazed, sir, at the vast amount of work that you accomplish." Washington replied, "Sir, I rise at four o'clock, and a great deal of my work is done while others are asleep."

One morning, when Benjamin Franklin was busy preparing his new paper for the press, a lounger stepped into the store and spent an hour or more looking over the books, etc. Finally taking one in his hand, he asked the price. "One dollar." "One dollar!" said he. "Can't you take less than that? No, indeed; that is the price." Another hour was nearly passed, when the lounger said, "Is Mr. Franklin at home?" "Yes, he is in the printing office." "I want to see him." The boy immediately informed Mr. Franklin that there was a gentleman in the store waiting to see him. Franklin was soon behind the counter, when the lounger, book in hand, addressed him thus, "Franklin, what is the lowest you can take for this book?" "One dollar and a quarter." "One dollar and a quarter! Why, your boy here said I could have it for one dollar. True," said Franklin, "and I could have better afforded to take a dollar than to have been taken out of the office." The lounger seemed surprised, and wishing to end the parley of his own making, said, "Come, Mr. Franklin, what is the lowest you can take for it?" "One dollar and a half." "A dollar and a half! Why you offered it yourself for a dollar and a quarter!" "Yes," said Franklin, "and I had better have taken that than a dollar and a half now!" The lounger paid down the price and went about his business (if he had any), and Franklin returned to the printing office.

Mr. W.M.F. Round relates how, in 1871, being engaged in a series of sketches of eminent Frenchmen, he wrote to Carlyle, asking for the name of an authority, and requested a single line to be enclosed in a directed envelope. In reply he received four pages of valuable information. Some time after, Mr. Round was in London — or, rather, in Cheyne Row — and saw his benefactor for the first time. He was in company with a friend who knew Carlyle, and who told him that Mr. Round was too modest and grateful to trespass on his time, upon which Mr. Carlyle made the following characteristic remark: "No man can trespass on my time who comes for anything, or who can take anything of use away. Only those who come for the less than nothing of looking at me are unwelcome. Come in."

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