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through the revelation of Jesus Christ in us, and by faith in his blood; whereby alone we obtain the remission of our sins, and an inheritance among those that are sanctified.
23. “Seck ye first [this] kingdom of God” in your hearts ; this righteousness, which is the gift and work of God, the image of God renewed in your souls; “and all these things shall be added into you ;” all things needful for the body; such a measure of all, as God sees most for the advancement of his kingdom. These shall be added, they shall be thrown in, over and above. In seeking the peace and the love of God, you shall not only find what you more immediately scek, even the kingdom that cannot be moved; but also what you seek not, not at all for its own sake, but only in reference to the other. You shall find, in your way to the kingdom, all outward things, so far as they are expedient for you : this care God hatb taken upon himself: cast you all your care upon Him. He knoweth your wants; and whatsoever is lacking, he will not fail to supply.
24. “Therefore take no thought for the morrow." Not only, take ye no thought how to lay up treasures on earth, how to increase in worldly substance; take no thought bow to procure more food than you can eat, or more raiment than you can put on, or more money than is required from day to day, for the plain reasonable purposes of life;—but take no uneasy thought, even concerning those things which are absulutely needful for the body. Do not trouble yourself now, with thinking what you shall do at a season which is yet afar off. Perhaps that season will never come: or it will be no concern of yours ;-before then you will have passed through all the waves, and be landed in eternity. All those distant views do not belong to yon, who are but a creature of a day. Nay, what have you to do with the morrow, more strictly speaking ? Why should you perplex yourself without need ? God provides for you today what is needful to sustain the life which he hath given you. It is enough: give yourself up into his hands : if you live another day, he will provide for that also.
25. Above all, do not make the care of future things a pretence for neglecting present duty. This is the most fatal way of “ taking thought for the morrow.” And how common is it among men! Many, if we exhort them to keep a conscience void of offence, to abstain from what they are convinced is evil, do not scruple to reply, 'How then must we live ? Must we not take care of ourselves and of our families ?' And this they imagine to be a sufficient reason for continuing in known, wilful sin. They say, and perhaps think, they would serve God now, were it not that they should, by and by, Iose their bread. They would prepare for eternity; but they are afraid of wanting the necessaries of life. So they serve the Devil for a morsel of bread; they rush into hell for fear of want; they throw away their poor souls, lest they should, some time or other, fall short of what is necdful for their bodies !
It is not strange that they who thus take the matter out of God's hand, should be so often disappointed of the very things they seek; that while they throw away hcaren, to secure the things of carth, they lose the one, but do not gain the other. The jealous God, in the wise course of his Providence, frequently suffers this. So that they who will not cast their care on God, who, taking thought for temporal things, have little concern for things eternal, lose the very portion which they have chosen. There is a visible blast on all their undertakings; whatsoever they do, it doth not prosper; insomuch that, after they hare forsaken God for the world, they lose what they sought, as well as what they souglıt not: They fall short of the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; nor yet are other things added unto them.
26. There is another way of “taking thought for the morrow,” which is equally forbidden in these words. It is possible to take thought in a wrong manner, even with regard to spiritual things; to be so careful about what may be by and by, as to neglect what is now required at our hands. How insensibly do we slide into this, if we are not continually watching unto prayer? How casily are we carried away, in a kind of waking dream, projecting distavt schemes, and drawing fine scenes in our own imagination! We think what good we will do when we are in such a place, or when such a time is come! How useful we will be, how plenteous in good works, when we are casier in our circumstances ! How earnestly we will serve God, when once such an hinderance is out of the way!
Or perhaps you are now in heariness of soul: God, as it were, hides his face from you. You see little of the light of his countenance: you cannot taste his redecming lovc. In such a temper of mind, how natural is it to say, 'O how will I praise God, when the light of his countenance shall be again lifted up upon my soul! How will I exhort others to praise him, when his lore is again shed abroad in my heart! Then I will do thus and thus : I will speak for God in all places: I will not be ashamed of the Gospel of Christ. Then I will redeem the time. I will use to the uttermost every talent I baye received.' Do not believe thyself. Thon wilt not do it then, unless thou doest it now. “He that is faithful in that which is little," of whatsoever kind it be, whether it be worldly substance, or the fear or love of God, “will be faithful in that which is much.” But if thou now hidest one talent in the earth, thou wilt then hide fivc: that is, if ever they are given; but there is small reason to expect they ever will. Indeed “ unto him that hath,” that is, uses what he hath, “shall be given, and he shall have more abundantly. But from him that hath not," that is, uses not the grace which he hath already received, whether in a larger or smaller degree, “shall be taken away even that which he hath."
27. And take no thought for the temptations of tomorrow. This also is a dangerous snare. Think not, "When such a temptation comes, what shall I do? how shall I stand ? I feel I have not power to resist: I am not able to conquer that enemy. Most true: you have not now the power which you do not now stand in need of. You are not able at this time to conquer that enemy; and at this time he does not assault you. With the grace you have now, you could not withstand the teinptations which you have not. But when the temptation comes, the grace will come.
will come. In greater trials you will have greater strength. When sufferings abound, the consolations of God will, in the same proportion, abound also, So that in every situation, the grace of God will be sufficient for you. He doth not suffer you to be tempted” today, “above that ye are able to bear:” and “in every temptation he will make a way to escape,” “ As thy days, so thy strength shall be.”
28. “Let the morrow," therefore, “take thought for the things of itself;" that is, when the morrow comes, then tbink of it. Live thou today. Be it thy carnest care to improve the present hour. This is your own; and it is your all. The past is as nothing, as though it had never been, The future is nothing to you: it is not yours; perhaps it never will be. There is no depending on what is yet to come; for you “know not what a day may bring forth.” Therefore, live today: lose not an hour: use this moment; for it is your portion. “Who knoweth the things which have been before him, or which shall be after him under the
sun?” The generations that were from the beginning of the world, where are they now?' Fled away: forgotten. They were; they lived their day; they were shook off the carth, as leaves off their trees : they mouldered away into common dust! Another and another race succeeded ; then they “ followed the generation of their fathers, and shall never more sce the light." Now is thy turn upon the earth. Rejoice, O young man, in the days of thy youth !” Enjoy the very, very noir, by enjoying Him; “whose years fail not." Now let thine eye be singly fixed on Him, “ with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning! Now give Him thy heart; now stay thyself on Him : now be thou holy, as he is holy! Now lay hold on tlic blessed opportunity of doing his acceptable and perfect will! Now “ rejoice to suffer the loss of all things, so thou mayest in Christ!”
29. Gladly sufier today, for his name's sake, whatsoerer he permits this day to come upon thee. But look not at the sufferings of tomorrow. “ Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof." Evil it is, speaking after the manner of men ; whether it be reproach or want, pain or sickness; but in the language of God, all is blessing: it is a precious balm, prepared by the wisdom of God, and variously dispensed among his children, according to the rarious sicknesses of their souls. And he gives in one day, suflicient for that day ; proportioned to the want and strength of the patient. If, therefore, thou snatchest today, what belongs to the tomorrow; if thou addest this to what is given tlice already, it will be more than thou canst bear : this is the way not to heal, but to destroy thy own soul. Take, therefore, just as much as he gives thee today : today, do and suffer his will! Today, give up thyself, thy body, soul, and spirit to God, through Christ Jesus; desiring nothing, but that God may be glorified in all thou art, all thou doest, all thou sufferest; seeking nothing, but to know God, and his Son Jesus Christ, through the cternal Spirit; pursuing nothing, but to love him, to serve him, and to enjoy him at this hour, and to all eternity!
Now unto God the Fatlıcr, who hath made me and all the world; unto God the Son, who hath redeemed me and all mankind; unto God the Holy Ghost, who sanctilieth me and all the elect people of God; be honour and praise, majesty and dominion, for ever and ever! Amen.
UPON OUR LORD'S SERMON ON THE
« Judge not, that ye be not judged. “ For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged : and
with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you
again. " And why beholdest thou the mote that it is in thy brother's
eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? “ Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the
mote out of thine eye ; and, behold, a bean is in thine own
eye? “ 'Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye ;
and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of
thy brother's eye. “ Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your
pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend
you. “ Ask, and it shall be given you ; seek, and ye shall find;
knock, and it shall be opened unto you : * For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh
findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. * Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread,
will he give him a stone ? • Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent ? “ If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your
children, how much more shall your Father which is in
heaven give good things to them that ask him ? “ Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should
do to you, do ye even so tu them: for this is the Law and the Prophels.” Matt. vii, 1-12.