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EVERY “NOW” THE DAY OF SALVATION.
SUPPOSE we have all heard earnest sermons I
preached, the object of which was to prove the importance of the particular "now" in which we then chanced to be. “It is the end of the year,” said the preacher; “perhaps we shall never see another year. Now is the only time we have for repentance.” Or perhaps he said, “ You are now serious; you now feel the importance of a religious life; this may be the last time God may move your heart. Begin, therefore, to obey and love him now.” Or he may have said, if he were a revival preacher, “This season of religious awakening is possibly your only opportunity. Use it now.” It was this particular now which was the day of salvation.
But let us go further, and consider a larger doctrine concerning “the now.” Not any particular “now," but all “nows,” are days of salvation. Every now; now everywhere; now always, is the important moment. All that is interesting and vital is concentrated in the present hour. Not by dwelling on the past, not by living in the future, but by bringing the past and the future into the present, do we accomplish anything real, gain any true satisfaction.
Religious people formerly believed that it was their duty to desert the present life and dwell in meditation on the world to come. This was carried furthest by the monks and anchorites of former days. But even yet the same state of mind is sometimes taught as a duty. We are told to fix our mind on the future life; to cousider our last end; to meditate on immortality and heaven and the world to come. No doubt it is interesting to speculate on the nature of a future state ; but I doubt if there is much religious profit therein. I do not think it was intended that we should think much about death or the hereafter while we are here. God has separated the future life from this by an impenetrable veil, to show that he means us, while we are here, to think of this world, not of that one. All our duties are here and now. We are to be interested in these, not in what is to come by and by. To try to meditate on a world of which we can know scarcely anything cannot be a duty. It leaves the mind empty. It is evident that God does not mean to have us think much about the other world while we are in this one. It would take off our attention too much from present interests and duties.
More than that, we do not enter immortality by thinking of a future life, but by communing with