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Ser m. have been Faithful in a small and temXVI. porary Truft, committed to them Here ;
may bereafter be put in Poffeffion of a never-fading Inheritance, which shall be their Own for ever. As our Saviour has largely and distinctly set forth this matter, in his Parable of the Unjust Steward, Luke' xvi.
MISTAKING this True End and Design of Religion, men have fallen into Two contrary Extremes : Some having framed to Themselves such a notion of
Religion, as is confiftent with the Vices of w this present World; and Others, on the
contrary, such a one as is not consistent with some of the most considerable and important Duties of Life. Some have placed the highest Excellency of Religion in retiring wholly from the World, so as to render themselves altogether ufeless in it: And Others, on the contrary, imagining Religion principally to confift,
in certain Forms and Ceremonies, or in the · Profession of certain Systems of empty 0
pinions ; indulge themselves in the Practice of known Immoralities, at the same time that they are most zealously reli
gious. The proper Remedy for Both Se r M. these Mistakes, is to endeavour to give XVI. men a just idea of the Nature of True Religion; and of the Influence it ought to have upon mens whole Behaviour, with regard to the World, and to the things that are in it. For which Purpose I have chosen these words of the Apostle : Love not the World, neither the things that are in the World; If any man love the World, the Love of the Father is not in him.
In discoursing upon which words, I shall endeavour to show, ift, What the Apostle here means by the World, and the Things that are in it; which he exhorts us, not to love. 2dly, What That Love of the Father is, with which the Love of the World is inconsistent. And 3dly, What are the principal Reasons and Motives, upon which the Apostle here so earnestly cautions men against That Love of the World, which he thus describes as inconsistent with the Love of God.
1. WHAT the Apostle here means by the World, and by the Things that are inte it, which he exhorts us Not to love, he himself expressly and distinctly explains
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Ser m. in the words next following the Text : XVI. For all that is in the World, faith hé,
t he Lult of the Flesk, and the Luft of the Eyes, and the Pride of Life, is not of the Father, but is of the World. That is to say: Not That World which God has created; or any of the things that he has made in it: but That world which Sina ners have fashioned to themselves, and which is entirely the Work of their own Invention. Everji Creatire of God is Good; and everything that he has made may be made use of with Thanksgiving : But there is an imaginary World, which corrupt Minds have framed to themselves in Perverseness, by Abuse and Misapplication of the good Creatures of God. And concerning the World in Tbis sense of the word, this Wicked Form and Fashion of à World, it may very well and properly be faid, what the Author of the Book of Wisdom says concerning Death, ch. i. 13, that God made it not : 'Tis made entirely through Enmity to Him, and in direct Opposition to His Commands. The Particulars of which the World in This sense consists; the wicked and corrupt World, which is not of the Father, which is no Serm. part of the creation of God; all the XVI. things that are in it, as the Apostle here expresses himself, are reducible under Three Heads. . .
THÉ First, is the Desire of unlawful Pleasures ; all Intemperance and Debauchery, Luxuriousness, Drunkennefs and Uncteamefs. And These are styled by the Apoftle, the Luft of the Flesh, because they are the things into which men are hurried by Passion and Appetite, which is what the Scripture styles Flesh; in opposition to the Dictates of Reason and Religion, which is what the Scripture calls being led by the Spirit. All the Good things of Life, which God has created to . be injoyed with Temperance and Thanksgiving, according to the Ends and Measures of Nature, within the Limits of Reason, Sobriety and Good manners, and consistent with the more Noble Views and Improvements of Religion : All These things, I say, are the Gifts and Blessings of God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy, 1 Tim. vi. 17. But when men, instead of governing their Passions and Ap
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Ser M.petites by Reason, do on the contrary fufXVI. fer their Reason to be over-ruled by Pafo hons and Appetites; subverting the natu
ral Order of God's Creation, and giving no attention to those Superiour Faculties, which were designed to distinguish men from the Beasts that perish : their Injoyments in This case are of Such a nature, that they can neither pray for them beforehand, nor return Thanks for them af terwards, as Blesings of God; but are forced to reflect upon them with Shame, whether they will or no; as being conscious that these things proceed not from the Father and Creator of the Universe, but from what the Apostle here styles the World by way of opposition; That World, which is an Enemy to God; and concerning which St Paul speaks, when he says of Wicked men, that the God of This World bas blinded their minds, 2 Cor,
This is the First Particular ; the Luft of the Flesh. The Second Head, under which the Apostle here reduces all the things that are in the World, in the wicked and corrupt World, is the unlaw