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9 Surely men of low degree are vanity, and men of high degree are a lie: to be laid in the balance, they are altogether lighter than vanity.
Spiritual decay potently prevails where the reading of the word is neglected.
A lamentable mistake is made by those who conclude they have no time to read. What should we say of persons concluding they had no time to take their food? No more insane would this be than the other hallucination in its ultimate effect. Man lives not by bread alone. He may live an animal life by bread alone: but animal life is a brief affair.
There comes a life afterwards that springs from the word now stored into the heart; and deceived is the individual who excludes the Word of God from his daily consumption on the plea that he has "no time." What is he so busy about? What should we say of a man in the cabin of a sinking ship, who should neglect preparations for the lifeboat on the plea that affairs in the cabin left him no time?
This is a dying life -- dying, dying, dying; and slaves of death are those who allow its transient concerns so to fill their heads and hearts as to shut out the "one thing needful." A wise man will not be found perishing so. He will not be cheated on any pretext, out of that bread which shall be unto him "life everlasting."
If he is ever so poor, or ever so close-worked, he will find twenty minutes a day, at least, to sit at the shrine of God, and be taught by the voice that speaks to him as from over the mercy-seat of the ancient tabernacle of the testimony. And if rich, he will smite the golden beast with the rod of his authority, and order it to be in the corner for a time every day, while he listens to the Maker and Possessor of heaven and earth.
The man -- poor or rich -- who acts not thus, is a fool; for what does the struggle of life amount to, apart from the attainment of that good which shall not be taken away? To a complete vanity. The poor man sweats out his three-score and ten, and lies down to be no more remembered.
The rich man, by much contrivance, draws the coin from his neighbour's pockets, and, having scraped much to his corner, comes to his weary end, closes his eyes in disappointment, and dies like the fool with his barns, with a fearful awakening in store, when God, whom he has cheated, will mete out his portion of judgment and fiery indignation which shall devour the adversary.
Let us, in these days, be wise; and we shall at last see the glorious harvest in joy unspeakable, in the ranks of the blessed company who shall sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of God.
Bro Roberts - The Lord is at hand - Seasons 1:30.