“Ungodly men are too impatient to wait for solid and eternal pleasures, but snatch at the pleasures of sin, which are but for a season. These resemble children who cannot tarry till the grapes are ripe, and therefore eat them sour and green.”
Pleasure lies mainly in hope, and yet some men will not give space for hope to grow in: it must be now or never; all to-day, and to morrow may starve. In business, men put out their money, foregoing its use themselves, that it may, after a while, return to them with increase; but carnal men are all for keeping the bird in the hand, and cannot wait for joys to come.
Yet these hasty delights are not satisfying. Man was not made to find his heaven upon earth, nor can he do so, even though he labors after it. The grapes plucked in this untimely season cause ere-long a griping of the heart, and a gnawing within the soul. We are not ready for fulness of joy, nor is the joy ready for us. Our wisdom is to be preparing for eternal bliss by present holiness, believing that he who is making us ready for heaven is making heaven ready for us. This is the surest way to present satisfaction, which must always be found in careful obedience to the divine will from day to day, and in a believing expectation of glory to be revealed.
O thou who art “the God of hope,” grant that, by thy hope which thou hast wrought in us, we may be daily purified, and set free from the defilement of this present evil world.
—Charles H. Spurgeon
Flowers from a Puritan’s Garden (Passmore & Alabaster, 1883).