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divide the pursuits and passions of mankind-God and Mammon share the world between them. Pity! that there should be so great a disproportion as it will appear there is, when we consider,
I. Who are on the Lord's side ? To which I answer: 1. Those who are “ come out” from the world,
I do not mean that we should shut up ourselves in monasteries and convents, and sullenly refuse all intercourse with our fellow-creatures. Christianity is a social religion: it requires that every man abide in the calling whereunto he is called; it recommends and enforces relative duties ; it enables its professors to shine as “ lights in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, and, by an amiable, upright, heavenly conversation, to 66 adorn the doctrine of God their Saviour in all things.” When I say, therefore, that those who are on the Lord's side have come out from the world, I mean only, that they are no longer conformed to the world: they have separated themselves from the follies and vices of the world, and resolved to have no more fellowship“ with the works," or workers, “ of iniquity :" they have “ renounced the hidden things of dishonesty; they have denied all ungodliness and worldly lusts;” and “ the grace of God, bringing salvation, hath taught them to live soberly, righteously, and godly.” What they know not, they pray God to teach them ; and wherein they have done iniquity, they resolve to do so no more. They differ from the rest of the world in their language and behaviour, in their apprehensions and views, in their desires and pursuits, in their original and
tendency.-Differ from the world, did I say? They have nothing worldly in them. Once, indeed, they did bear " the image of the earthly,” but now they bear
“ the image of the heavenly." They are born again, born from above; are children of God; partakers of a divine nature; their treasure is in heaven; their friends are in heaven; their conversation is in heaven ; their eyes, their hearts, their hopes, are fixed on heaven; nor can this world, this vain, trifling, despicable world, furnish an object worthy their attention. They “ look not at the things which are seen, and temporal :" and pity the short-sighted sensualist that can look no further; but they look at the things which“ are not seen and eternal.” Neither the vail of the flesh, nor the valley of death, intercepts their view : they pierce through both, and see “ glory, honour, and immortality ;' and scorn the inconsiderable, perisbing toys of time. They look and live above it; and, as was said of Gideon's brethren, “ each one resembles the children of a king,"—Where this is the case, it is no hard matter to distinguish who are on the Lord's side.
What mean ye, then, ye worldly Christians ! (forgive the contradiction,) who vainly strive to reconcile light and darkness, Christ and Belial, God and Mammon; who mind “ earthly things,” and with restless anxiety, are seeking after corn, and wine, and oil ! who freely indulge yourselves in worldly pursuits and sensual gratifications all the week, and then, because common decency obliges you to lay them aside on the Sabbath, come before him as bis people, and sit before him as his people --though even now, perhaps, your hearts are gone
after your covetousness !-yet, I say, for this “ form of godliness to” flatter yourselves that you are on the Lord's side, and cry out, with much self-approbation, “ The temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord, are we!"-Sirs, God loves no such half-hearted worshippers. If you entreat his favour with your whole heart; if you love the Lord “ with all your heart, and all your soul, and all your mind, and all your strength;” then he will look upon you as his friends, and honour you with his confidence and favour. But if you halt between two opinions; if God and Baal be alternately uppermost, and you this day profess to serve God, and to-morrow are servants to “divers lusts and passions;" if with one hand you pretend to grasp at holiness, and with the other draw iniquity as “ with a cart-rope;"—in short, if you are not
holy in all munner of conversation ;" you are nothing: you are still in “ the gall of bitterness, and in the bonds of iniquity;" strangers to the life and power of godliness; and are no friends to God, nor friends of God, por any way related to him whose name you presume to wear.-—“ Wherefore, let him that nameth the name of Christ depart from all iniquity.”
2. They who are on the Lord's side exert themselves with peculiar resolution for the support of his cause and kingdom.
It is not enough that they be not conformed to the world ; they must oppose the world: they must not only avoid sin, but they inust hate sin, and declare war against it, and vow and endeavour its destruction. The friends of God, the “ good soldiers of Jesus Christ,” will not be content to be
always upon the defensive; but will carry the war into the enemy's country, and make warm and vigorous attacks upon the kingdom and subjects of Satan. “ Do not I hate them, O Lord, that hate thee; and am not I grieved with them that rise up against thee? I hate them with perfect hatred; I count them mine enemies.” This will be their language and conduct: they will “ teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know ye the Lord :” and will weep over those whom they cannot reclaim. The “ zeal of God's house hath eaten them up.” Whatever their heads, or their hearts, or their hands, find to do, they do it“ with all their might.” They are zealously affected” in the best cause. It is " meat and drink" to them to be doing “ the will of their heavenly Father :” and, while they rejoice in every instance or prospect of success, they find “the joy of the Lord to be their strength.” To them, “ to live is Christ:" all their aim, and desire, and endeavour is, that Christ may be magnified; that his kingdom may come, and that his will may be done, on earth, as it is done in heaven. They neglect not proper worldly business, but are rather more diligent and industrious therein, that they may have an opportuvity of honouring the Lord with their substance: but, then, they “ seek first the kingdom of God;" and have learned the happy art of being “ not slothful in 'business, and yet fervent in spirit, serving the Lord.” In short, by their conversa- . tions, examples, and prayers, they endeavour,' to the utmost of their power, to adorn and spread religion, and compel as many as they can to come
in and partake of the rich and free provision of the Gospel.
Such characters as these carry God's mark on their foreheads. It admits not of a moment's hesitation on which side to place them,
But, what shall we say of those lukewarm professors;-those cold, those frozen-hearted formalists, who call private duties, superstition; public zeal, enthusiasm ; and close walking with God, being righteous overmuch ;-who are all for a rational, an unaffected, an unaffecting, religion ?- Alas! languid devotion ! Offer it now unto thy governor; will he be pleased with thee, or accept thy person saith the Lord of hosts.” How much more hateful must such a lethargic religion be to the ever-living God! Wherefore," stir up the gift that is in you :" consider your characters, your circumstances, your privileges, your obligations, your prospects;-consider the world around you, consider the world above you ;-consider the angels, those “ flames of fire,” who are constant observers of your work and worship;" consider Him who endured the contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in
your minds :"_ and, above all, consider the infinite purity and jealousy of that all.pervading, all-perceiving, all-powerful · Being, with whom you have to do: whose goodness deserves, and whose greatness challenges, your liveliest services ; who has conferred favours which you can never requite, and therefore has claims you can never answer ; insomuch that, when you have sacrificed your health, your strength, your time, your friends, your substance, and even your life, for His sake and the Gospel's, you must still say, “ Of