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Folly of Delay Illustrated

by C. H. Spurgeon
From the August 1884 Sword and Trowel


A    CERTAIN man had a long journey before him, which must needs be made in one day; for it would be impossible for him to journey a mile in that country after nightfall, neither was there any place wherein he could lodge on the road. He knew right well that this journey was appointed him, and that it was his duty to perform it; and, moreover, he told his best friends that he was fully determined to set out thereon; but he thought the matter was easier than they seemed to imagine. In his stable there was a fine stud of strong and swift horses suitable for the road, and a carriage stood ready for his riding. The traveler did not set out in the early morning, for he said that there was time enough. Meanwhile, by a certain custom of the country, two of his best horses were taken for the king's service, and this caused the traveler to look about him; but he soon quieted down, sat down to his dishes and his cups, and cried, "What's the good of haste?" While thus engaged, more of his horses were lost, or stolen, or else they strayed, and had he then set out and kept well to his journey, he had scarce the means left to accomplish it. Still he waited with his boon companions till one way or another his horses were gone, and he had nothing left to ride upon but a single wretched jade. Then he made much ado about setting out, and meant to fly along the road at a great rate; only it so happened that while he was resolving the sun went down, and he never reached the place where he would have been rewarded with honor and profit.
    The explanation of the riddle is easy. A man in his early days, with his best years before him, is so foolish as to put off the concerns of his soul till he is older. Years follow years, and yet he delays—delays even when his last, worn, and feeble age is all that remains to him, and death comes before it is welcome. Alas, that men should think to perform the most important business of all at a time when all their powers and faculties are failing! God's service requires all our abilities in the prime of their strength, and it is wicked as well as foolish to put him off with our leavings, and endeavor to reach heaven on a worn-out steed at the fag-end of the day.


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