Let your moderation be known to all men. The Lord is at hand.
As an illustration of that, let the gay young man think of Belshazzar's feast. There is the gorgeous oriental palace, with its massive architecture, its huge columns, its gigantic figures, its pictured halls; and there are the thousand lords in their rich robes, and the king, in the pomp of an eastern despot, drinking wine before the thousand. And in the same hour there came forth the fingers of a man's hand, and they wrote over against the candlestick upon the plaister of the wall of the king's palace; the mysterious hand moves and writes — moves and writes — and there are letters, words burnt into the wall, as with a pen of flame. The king knows not what they mean till the prophet comes to tell; and then their import is found to be, that the miserable man who wears the crown is "weighed in the balances and found wanting," and his kingdom is torn from him. So, though not visibly, yet really, there is over against the intemperate young man, the sensual young man, an omniscient Eye beholding his deeds, and an unerring Hand recording his doom, opposite him in the casino, and in other haunts of dissipation and vice. Here it is: conscience at times makes you tremble, and the minister of the gospel interprets the Divine revelation, and tells you of the wrath to come. "The Lord is at hand;" and as an illustration of that let every man of business read the parable of the rich fool, in the twelfth chapter of St. Luke, and the sixteenth verse. There you have epitomized the history of many a London tradesman: the goods are laid up, not that the soul may take its ease, but that there may be a grand funeral, and much excitement at the reading of the will, and perhaps quarrelling over the property, and a gorgeous tomb in one of the suburban cemeteries, and a scattering of the huge gold heap by some profligate son; and the poor, careful soul who toiled and saved, and made others toil and save, who was at his books till midnight, and grudged the hours of sleep and rest to his poor shopman, where is he? — where is he? To think that men can go on as they do, digging, and delving, and scraping together money, money, money, while death is at the door, and the judgment is at hand, and hell is opening its mouth to swallow up the worldly! "The Lord is at hand." Read as an illustration of that in another way — "And being in the house of Simon the leper, as He sat at meat, there came a woman having an alabaster box of ointment of spikenard, very precious, and she brake the box, and poured it on His head. And Jesus said, She hath wrought a good work on Me; she hath done what she could." And so, whatever you do from love to Jesus in the way of helping men, in the way of checking sin, in the way of saving souls, in the way of lightening misery, He is at hand to notice, to record, to approve, to bless.
(J. Stoughton, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand.