Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

Se R M.have been Faithful in a small and temX-VI. porary Trusts committed to them Here;

'"'^^may hereafter be put in Pofleflion 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 consistent with the Vices of . this present World j and Others, on the contrary, such a one as is not consistent with some of the most considerable and v important Duties of Life. Some have placed the highest Excellency of Religion in retiring wholly from the World, so as to render themselves altogether useless in it: And Others, on the contrary, imagining Religion principally to consist, in certain Forms and Ceremonies, or in the Profession of certain Systems of empty 0pinions; indulge themselves in the Practice of known Immoralities, at the fame time that they are most zealously religious.

gious. The proper Remedy for BothSerM. these Mistakes, is to endeavour to give XVI. men a just idea of the Nature of True vy"V"Nj Religion; and of the Influence it ought to have upon mens whole Behaviour, with regard to the Worlds 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 mow, ist, What the Apostle here means by the World, and the Things that are in it; which he exhorts us, not to love, idly, What That Love of the Father is, with which the Love of the World is inconsistent. And ^dly, 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.

I. What the Apostle here means by the World, and by the Things that are iff -it, which he exhorts us Not to love, he himself expressly and distinctly explains

Vol. IIL A a in

SERM.in the words next following the Text: XVI. por au ^ is ^ fa World, faith he,

V^^the Lust of the Flesh, and the Lust of the Eyes, and the Pride of Life, is not of the Father, but is of the World. That fe to fay: Not That World which God has created; or any of the things that he has made in it: but That world which Sin-ners have fashioned to themselves, and which is entirely the Work of their own Invention. Every Creature of God is Good; arid every thing that hi has made may be made use of with Thanksgiving: , But there is an hnaginary World, whiefi corrupt Minds have framed to themselves in Perversenefs, by Muse and Misapplication of the good Creatures of God' And concerning the World in This fense of trig word, this Wicked Form and Fashion bf a World, it may Very well and properly be faid, what the Author of the Book of ^ Wisdom fays concerning Death, ch. i. 13, that God made it not: 'Tis made entirely through Enmity to Htm, and in direct Opposition to His Commands. The Particulars of which the World in This fense consists; the wicked and corrupt World,

which which r& not of the Father, which is Doseru. part of the creation of God; all the XVI. things that are in it, as the Apostle here ^^sl expresies himself, are reducible under Three Heads.

T if E First, is the Desire of unlawful Pleasures; all Intemperance and Debauchery, Luxurioufnefs, Drunkenness and Unthamefs. And These are styled by the Apostle, the Lujl of the Flesh, because they are the things into which men are hurried by Faffion 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. AU 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 fay, 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 Fajjions and JlpA a 2 petites

Ser M.petites by Reason, do on the contrary sufXv*' fer their Reason to be over-ruled by Pas

^^^fons and Appetites; subverting the natural Order of God's Creation, and giving no attention to those Superiour Faculties, which were designed to distinguish men from the Beasts that perim: their Injoyments in This case are of Such a nature, that they can neither pray for them beforehand, nor return Thanh for them afterwards, as BkJJings 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 fays of Wicked men, that the God of This World has blinded their minds, 2 Cor, iv. 4.

This is the First Particular; the Lust 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

ful

« AnteriorContinuar »