Dr. Samuel Johnson liked very much a poem of Philip Doddridge, the writer of the hymns, 'O God of Bethel', and `O happy day'. The poem was—
Live while you live, the epicure would say,
And seize the pleasures of the perfect day.
Live while you may, the sacred preacher cries,
And give to God each moment as it flies.
Lord, in my life let faith united be:
I live to pleasure as I live to Thee.
A modern version of the above is—
The worldling says—live to Pleasure as I die to God.'
The ascetic says—'I live to God as I die to Pleasure.'
The Christian says—'Lord, in my life, let both united be;
I live to Pleasure as I live to Thee.'
(1 Tim. 4. 4, 5; Heb. 11. 25)
In the West Indies there grows a beautiful and attractive flower, but on being plucked it ceases to be beautiful, and emits a most unpleasant odor. It is called by the natives 'the dead horse'—about the best name that could be given it.—J. T. Mawson
Another illustration of sin's pleasure is the sugar-coated pill our mothers used to give us when we became sick in childhood days. We loved those pills at first —they were so sweet—but when we had sucked the sugar off, they were so bitter that we wanted to spit them out. Sin's pleasures first, then the remorse and pain.
(Heb. 11. 25)
At the foot of the Kaylass Mountains there is a district which is full of sweet-scented flowers. Once I had to walk through an area which contained a garden of these flowers several miles long. The beauty and fragrance of the flowers gave me great pleasure. Just then a man came out of the jungle and said in great haste, 'You must not stand here; this is a place of danger; many have died here.' I was taken by surprise and asked him, 'Is this place poisonous, or are poisonous creatures to be found here?' The answer he gave me was full of meaning. 'I don't know anything about that,' he said, 'but if you take in the scent of these flowers for a little while, sleep will overpower you. And once asleep there is no waking you out of this sleep. Some have been known to sleep in this way for ten or twelve days, and this ends in death. Since I live in the forest near by I endeavour to let people who are ignorant of this danger know all about it.' When I heard this I thought as follows. This flower cannot hurt of itself. But when its aroma is inhaled, there is no longer any desire for food or aught else. God wishes us to use the world and the blessings around us for our good but if we allow these things to draw us aside and to allure and stupefy us we will suffer great spiritual loss. Not only so, we will be robbed of the desire for spiritual sustenance and the lust for money and other things will in the end result in death.—Sadhu Sundar Singh
(Mark 4. 19; Heb. 3. 13)
Pleasures are like poppies spread:
You seize the flower, the bloom is shed;
Or like the snowfall in the river,
A moment white—then melts for ever;
Or like the borealis race,
That flit ere you can point their place;
Or like the rainbow's lovely form,
Evanishing amid the storm.—Robert Burns
(Heb. 11. 25)
Who after wisdom flies must guard both foot and wing
From pleasure's honey, or therein he'll stick and cling.—Oriental
The mirage has lured many to ruin by presenting false pictures of trees and streams in the desert; but the pleasures of the world have lured and cheated many more by visions of false happiness.—Selected
BILLY—"Huh! I bet you didn't have a good time at your birthday party yesterday."
WILLIE—"I bet I did."
BILLY—"Then why ain't you sick today?"
Winnie had been very naughty, and her mamma said: "Don't you know you will never go to Heaven if you are so naughty?"
After thinking a moment she said: "Oh, well, I have been to the circus once and 'Uncle Tom's Cabin' twice. I can't expect to go everywhere."
In Concord, New Hampshire, they tell of an old chap who made his wife keep a cash account. Each week he would go over it, growling and grumbling. On one such occasion he delivered himself of the following:
"Look here, Sarah, mustard-plasters, fifty cents; three teeth extracted, two dollars! There's two dollars and a half in one week spent for your own private pleasure. Do you think I am made of money?"
Here's to beauty, wit and wine and to a full stomach, a full purse and a light heart.
A dinner, coffee and cigars,
Of friends, a half a score.
Each favorite vintage in its turn,—
What man could wish for more?
The roses of pleasure seldom last long enough to adorn the brow of him who plucks them; for they are the only roses which do not retain their sweetness after they have lost their beauty.—Hannah More.