The Heavenly Footman by John Bunyan


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Page 1

Solomon saith, that "the desire of the slothful killeth him;" and if
so, what will slothfulness itself do to those that entertain it? The
proverb is, "He that sleepeth in harvest is a son that causeth shame:"
and this I dare be bold to say, no greater shame can befall a man,
than to see that he hath fooled away his soul, and sinned away eternal
life. And I am sure this is the next way to do it; namely, to be
slothful; slothful, I say, in the work of salvation. The vineyard of
the slothful man, in reference to the things of this life, is not
fuller of briers, nettles, and stinking weeds, than he that is
slothful for heaven, hath his heart full of heart-choking and
soul-damning sin.

Slothfulness hath these two evils: first, to neglect the time in which
it should be getting heaven; and by that means doth, in the second
place, bring in untimely repentance. I will warrant you, that he who
should lose his soul in this world through slothfulness, will have no
cause to be glad thereat, when he comes to hell. Slothfulness is
usually accompanied with carelessness; and carelessness is for the
most part begotten by senselessness; and senselessness doth again put
fresh strength into slothfulness; and by this means the soul is left
remediless. Slothfulness shutteth out Christ; slothfulness shameth the
soul.

Slothfulness is condemned even by the feeblest of all the creatures.
"Go to the ant, thou sluggard, consider her ways and be wise." "The
sluggard will not plow, by reason of the cold;" that is, he will not
break up the fallow ground of his heart, because there must be some
pains taken by him that will do it; "therefore he shall beg in
harvest;" that is, when the saints of God shall have their glorious
heaven and happiness given to them; but the sluggard "shall have
nothing;" that is, be never the better for his crying for mercy;
according to that in Matthew xxv. 10-12.

If you would know a sluggard in the things of heaven, compare him with
one that is slothful in the things of this world. As 1. He that is
slothful is loath to set about the work he should follow; so is he
that is slothful for heaven. 2. He that is slothful, is one that is
willing to make delays: so is he that is slothful for heaven. 3. He
that is a sluggard, any small matter that cometh in between, he will
make it a sufficient excuse to keep him off from plying his work; so
it is also with him that is slothful for heaven. 4. He that is
slothful doeth his work by the halves: and so it is with him that is
slothful for heaven. He may almost, but he shall never altogether,
obtain perfection of deliverance from hell; he may almost, but he
shall never (without he mend) be altogether a saint. 5. They that are
slothful do usually lose the season in which things are to be done:
and thus it is also with them that are slothful for heaven; they miss
the seasons of grace. And therefore, 6. They that are slothful have
seldom, or never, good fruit; so also it will be with the
soul-sluggard. 7. They that are slothful, are chid for the same: so
also will Christ deal with those that are not active for him. 'Thou
wicked and slothful servant! out of thine own mouth will I judge thee.
Thou saidst I was thus, and thus; wherefore then gavest thou not my
money to the bank? &c. Take the unprofitable servant, and cast him
into utter darkness, where there shall be weeping and gnashing of
teeth.'

What shall I say? 1. Time runs; and will ye be slothful? 2. Much of
your lives are past; and will you be slothful? 3. Your souls are worth
a thousand worlds; and will ye be slothful? 4. The day of death and
judgment is at the door; and will ye be slothful? 5. The curse of God
hangs over your heads; and will you be slothful? 6. Besides, the
devils are earnest, laborious, and seek by all means every day, by
every sin, to keep you out of heaven, and hinder you of salvation; and
will you be slothful? 7. Also, your neighbors are diligent for things
that will perish; and will you be slothful for things that will endure
for ever? 8. Would you be willing to be damned for slothfulness? 9.
Would you be willing the angels of God should neglect to fetch your
souls away to heaven, when you lie a dying, and the devils stand by
ready to scramble for them? 10. Was Christ slothful in the work of
your redemption? 11. Are his ministers slothful in tendering this unto
you? 12. And lastly, If all this will not move, I tell you God will
not be slothful or negligent to damn you, (their damnation slumbereth
not, 2 Pet. ii. 3;) nor will the devils neglect to fetch thee, nor
hell neglect to shut its mouth upon thee.

Sluggard! art thou asleep still? Art thou resolved to sleep the sleep
of death? Will neither tidings from heaven nor hell awake thee? Wilt
thou say still, yet a little sleep, a little slumber, and a little
folding of the arms to sleep? Wilt thou yet turn thyself in thy sloth,
as the door is turned upon the hinges? O that I was one that was
skilful in lamentation, and had but a yearning heart towards thee, how
would I pity thee! how would I bemoan thee! O that I could with
Jeremiah let my eyes run down with rivers of water for thee! Poor
soul, lost soul, dying soul, what a hard heart have I that I cannot
mourn for thee! If thou shouldst lose but a limb, a child, or a
friend, it would not be so much; but poor man, it is THY SOUL! If it
was to lie in hell but for a day, but for a year, nay, ten thousand
years, it would (in comparison) be nothing; but O it is FOR EVER! What
a soul-amazing word will that be, which saith, "Depart from me, ye
cursed, into EVERLASTING FIRE!" &c.

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Books | Photos | Paul Mutton | Mon 20th May 2019, 18:49