Gleanings from Biographies (part five)

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They Spent their Time Wisely

Edwards knew the preciousness of time in fact he wrote a treatise on “The Preciousness of Time and the Importance of Redeeming it.” Why is time valuable and precious? Edwards answers, “Because a happy or miserable eternity depends on the good or ill improvement of it” for you and for others. “Things are precious in proportion to their importance or to the degree wherein they concern our welfare”[1] and thus time is extremely precious. Edwards knew well that, unlike many things, “time was infinitely valuable and utterly irreplaceable when lost.”[2] “He refused to be content with mere existence, simply going through the motions of meaningless activities.”[3] He “did not let himself be seduced into spending excessive time in books written by men to the neglect to the Word of God.”[4] Edwards led by spending his time for the glory of God. He would even diet and watch what he ate to maximize his energy so that he would be better able to study the things of God.[5]

Spurgeon and Lloyd-Jones too knew the preciousness of time. This is shown by their tremendous output both literary and organizationally, as well as through the many sermons that they preached each week. It was said that “As far as reading was concerned [Lloyd-Jones] never did relax”[6] and this could certainly be said of Spurgeon as well. We to must seek to be faithful with the time that God has entrusted to us, we would do well to consider Edwards’ words, “If God, that hath given you your time, should now call you to an account, what account could you give to him?”[7]



[1]Jonathan Edwards, The Works of Jonathan Edwards:2 Volume Set, ­(Peabody, Massachusetts: Hendrickson Publishers, 2005), 233.

[2] George M. Marsden, A Short Life of Jonathan Edwards (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2008), 94.

[3] Ibid., 106.

[4] Ibid., 114.

[5] He even made the most use of all the time he spent on horseback (Murray, Edwards, 54).

[6] Murray, The Fight of Faith, 375 see also idem, The First Forty Years, 195-96.

[7]Edwards, The Works of Jonathan Edwards, 234 see also Murray, Edwards, 390, 392.