“Consider what labor and pains worldlings take to obtain the vain things of this life. Ah! what riding, running, plotting, lying, swearing, stabbing, and poisoning, is used by men of this world—to obtain the poor things of this world, which are but shadows and dreams, and mere nothings! How do many with Samson lay heap upon heap, to make their crowns and kingdoms sure, to make the tottering glory of this world sure to themselves! what bloody butchers do they prove! they will have the crown, though they swim to it through the blood of innocent men. Men will venture life and limb to obtain those things which hop from man to man, as the bird hops from twig to twig.
Oh! how should this stir and provoke us to be up and doing, to labor as for life—to make sure of spiritual and eternal things! Is earth better than heaven? Is the glory of this world greater than the glory of the world to come? Are these riches more durable than those which corrupt not, which ‘are laid up in heaven, where neither moth nor rust corrupt, and where thieves do not break through, nor steal?’ Matt 6:19-20. No! Oh then be ashamed, Christians, that worldlings are more studious and industrious to obtain pebbles, than you are to obtain pearls! They labor to obtain those things which at last will be their burden, their bane, their plague, their hell. You are to labor to obtain those things which will be your joy and crown in life, in death, and in the day of judgement.
The laborious, the active Christian, is tempted but by one devil; but the idle, slothful Christian, is tempted by all devils. It is very sad, when worldlings are a-reaping; that saints as to spirituals, should be slumbering and sleeping.
Pambus wept when he saw a harlot dressed with much care and cost, partly to see one take so much pains to go to hell, and partly because he had not been so careful to please God, as she had been to please her sluttish lovers. Ah, Christians! what great reason have you to sit down and weep bitterly—that worldlings take so much pains to make themselves miserable, and that you have taken no more pains to get assurance, to get a pardon in your bosoms, to get more of Christ into your hearts!”
– Thomas Brooks (1608-1680), Heaven on Earth, 4.6