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Works of Jonathan Edwards, Volume Two
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PROCRASTINATION,

OR

THE SIN AND FOLLY OF DEPENDING ON FUTURE TIME. 229229    Not dated.

PROV. xxvii. 1.

Boast not thyself of to-morrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth.

The design of the wise man in this book of Proverbs, is to give us the precepts of true wisdom, or to teach us how to conduct ourselves wisely in the course of our lives. Wisdom very much consists in making a wise improvement of time, and of the opportunities we enjoy. This is often in Scripture spoken as a great part of true wisdom; as Deut. xxxii. 29. “O that they were wise, that they understood this, that they would consider their latter end!” And Psal. xc. 12. “So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.” So the wisdom of the wise virgins is represented as consisting much in this, that they improved the proper season to buy oil.

Therefore the wise man in these books of Proverbs and Ecclesiastes, agreeably to his design, insists on this part of wisdom. He tells us the advantage of seeking Christ early; Prov. viii. 17. And advises us “to do what our hand findeth to do, with our might;”Eccles. ix. 10. advises young people to remember their Creator in the days of their youth, while the evil days come not, in which they shall say they have no pleasure; Eccles. xii. 1. So here he advises us to a wise improvement of the present season.—In the words are two things to be particularly observed.

1. The precept, not to boast of to-morrow; i.e. not to speak or act as though it were our own. It is absurd for men to boast of that which is not theirs. The wise man would not have us behave ourselves as though any time were ours but the present. He that boasts of to-morrow, acts as though he had to-morrow in his possession, or had something whereby he might depend on it, and call it his own.

2. The reason given for this precept; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth. It is a good reason why we should not behave ourselves as though the morrow were our own, that indeed it is not; we are not sure of it; we have no hold of future time; we know not whether we shall see the morrow: or if we do know that we shall see it, we know not what we shall see on it.—Hence, we ought to behave ourselves every day, as though we had no dependence on any other.


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