Have you ever heard of Whitmore Winslow? Probably not. He was the son of Octavius Winslow. His family found his journals, after his unexpected death in 1856 at the age of 21 years old.
He wrote the following journal entry at 14 years of age. As you read it, keep in mind he was 14 years old when he wrote this!:
"How frail the thread! How short is time, and what a small portion is allotted to man to prepare for another world! And yet how careless is he of that time! How frail the thread upon which life hangs! A few hours' illness may carry him away into a world of endless happiness or of endless woe!
What a vain world it is! What a fallen creature is man! Day by day calls forth more hidden depravity of his heart; and yet his whole affections are set upon the very object which is fostering and encouraging that depravity. His great ambition is to win the approbation of the world; a world that slew the King of kings; a world full of sin and sorrow, the medium by which Satan endeavors to blind the eyes of the children of men. And yet, after all, what a vain world it is!
It promises much, but realizes nothing. The more we expect pleasure, the more are we disappointed in it. Oh, what would man be, if instead of seeking the friendship and the love of a dying world, he would seek that of Jehovah! And yet how prone are we to lament when we are frowned upon by the world. If we did not seek its smiles, we would not mind its frowns. But the more we are delighted at the world's praise, the more are we discomforted and made unhappy by its disapprobation.
But take the world as a whole; what is it? A speck in the universe; a ball floating in the air, surrounded by other worlds greater and more magnificent than itself. Shall we love the world which hated and scorned, and ultimately slew our beloved Redeemer?
That ever promising, yet ever deceiving world? How little have appearances to do with realities! The outward show has often the effect of deceiving.
Deceit is, indeed, one of the prominent features in man; he deceives others, he deceives himself. The world is truly a false world. And does it not show the depravity of man's heart when after tasting its bitters, feeling its pains, and experiencing its disappointments and sorrows, he should still cling to that ever promising, yet ever deceiving world?"
Since, for a believer, “to die is gain”--is it any wonder that God ushered him into Glory at such an early age? I know I am sounding really old when I say, "Times have truly changed". But let's face it, most 14 year olds, in the church today, wouldn't want to stop "text messaging" long enough to ever even have these thoughts, let alone, actually articulate them in writing. What am I saying--the truth is--most 45 years olds wouldn't have these thoughts either.