The Danger of Spiritual Slumber
1 Thessalonians 5:6
Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober.

There was, a paragraph in a local newspaper tells us, a foreign sailor at Cork, who, having been late for his train, lay down to sleep during the short summer night on the first broad fiat wall he came to. After a time, in his sleep, he rolled over the edge, for it was — though he had not noticed the fact — the boundary wall which separated the road from a precipice fifty feet in depth. He would have been instantly killed, had he not, as he fell, instinctively grasped at the ivy which clothed the wall. Here for three-quarters of an hour he hung, clinging with all his strength, and shouting as loud as he could for aid. At last he was rescued, but so soon as he was in safety the strong man fainted, so terrible had been his position. Thus is it with many a soul. Men sleep thoughtlessly on the brink of eternity. They dream of earthly joys; but suddenly, by some unexpected crisis, by some dangerous illness, they are awakened, and made to feel their danger. They perceive that they must expect to meet that God whom they have forgotten. The great fault of modern preaching is its soothing and sugary character. There is a tendency always to be putting forward the mercy and pardoning character of God, whilst His justice and His needful severity as a moral Ruler is kept out of sight. The difficulties of repentance, the awful doom of sin when persisted in, are matters unnoticed. Away with this twaddle and prattle about the simplicity of faith; the easiness of "being saved"; the empiric remedies of the "only believe" school; the supply of comfortable pillows to induce spiritual slumber. Away with the sweet but fatal syrup which suggests that men may at any time with the greatest facility become eminent Christians! How much more vigorous and robust was the piety of olden days. For instance, St. Hugh of Lincoln, refusing to hurry over a poor man's funeral, though he received a message that the king was waiting dinner for his arrival. "In God's Name," said the enthusiastic prelate, "let the king go to dinner. Better that he dine without my company, than that I leave my Master's work undone."

(J. W. Hardman, LL. D.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober.

WEB: so then let's not sleep, as the rest do, but let's watch and be sober.

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