The phrase “eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow you die” is a biblical description of the common philosophies amongst worldly people. Though it was originally describing ancient societies, this belief is very common in these days.
In Areopagitica, John Milton describes a similar type of people “… who, when they hear that all things shall be ordered, all things regulated and settled, nothing written but what passes through the custom-house of certain publicans that have the tonnaging and poundaging of all free-spoken truth, will straight give themselves up into your hands, make ’em and cut ’em out what religion ye please.“
These types of people are they who, when their political representatives and elected officials fabricate some new law or regulation, comply without any form of resistance. They do this because “… there be delights, there be recreations and jolly pastimes that will fetch the day about from sun to sun, and rock the tedious year as in a delightful dream.” These pleasures are not any better than bread and circuses.
Milton also argues that “… [t]hese are the fruits which a dull ease and cessation of our knowledge will bring forth among the people.” If we don’t use our vast intellects, and we remain idle, we will begin to lose our virtue and our liberty, both of which require a state of constant vigilance.
However, many people seem to believe that they shouldn’t bother with anything else, for “… [w]hat need they torture their heads with that which others have taken so strictly and so unalterably into their own purveying?” If my government will take care of it, what need do I have to bother with it? Why should I care?
Because ultimately, the bread and the circuses will lead to vice, which will lead to chains — chains that will drag you down into the depths of Hell, all while the devil laugheth. That vicious fruit, which smells so delightful, and appears so appealing, is poison. So turn away. Strive for virtue. Maintain a constant vigil, all while lighting a beacon of truth so that others may see the way clearly. Heed not the gluttonous cries that call you to come down, and to “eat, drink, and be merry,” for though tomorrow we may die, we shall die free, rather than in chains.
~ Jonas Francis