One of Charles Spurgeon’s more interesting projects was to write a volume of illustrations, all of which were borrowed from the writings of Thomas Manton. Essentially, he would quote a short illustration from Manton, then expand it into a kind of devotional. The result was called Flowers from a Puritan’s Garden. Here is one of them, beginning with Manton’s original quote and then continuing with Spurgeon’s reflection on it.
“The ship holds on her course, and makes for the desired port, whether they on board sit, lie or walk, eat or sleep.”
Thus time is at all times bearing us onward to the land where time shall be no more. There is never a pause in our progress toward eternity, whether we trifle or are in earnest. Even while we read these lines the great ship is still speeding onward at the same rapid and unvarying rate. We shall soon see the shore of eternity; far sooner than we think! It becomes us to be ready for the landing, and for the weighty business which will then engage us, namely, judgment at the hands of Christ.
If we could lie becalmed a while and make no movement toward eternity we could afford to sport; but if we look over the ship’s stern we may see by her shining wake how she is cutting through the waves. Past time urges us to diligence, for it has reported us in heaven; and future time calls us to earnestness, for it must be short, and may end this very day. And then!