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soul on the only object that can fill discontent, envy, pride, and avarice, and satisfy them, is such a religion are the appropriate operations of a an enemy to human happiness ? Does selfish spirit, as that spirit is excited it bring disorder into the affections of and put in action by the world.the soul or defeat the end of our be- Counteract that influence of the ing, or does it prescribe to us that world which excites the spirit of selfvery estimate of the world, and that ishness, and none of these passions very use of it, which will alike con would invade the breast of man. tribute to our happiness here and That the indulgence of these pashereafier ? If then we would not per- sions are necessary to the present vert the world by direct and palpable well being of man,
any condition abuse, if we would use it for the end in which he can be placed, none will designed by the Creator, let us yield affirm. Will anger make him hapimplicitly to the authority of that re py? Will discontent or fretfulness, ligion, whose demands conform so or an open contest with God under exactly with the real good of man. adverse events, make him happy ?
3. Another remark closely allied Will pride, or envy, or revenge, make with the former, is that if we would him happy? Will avarice which use this world as not abusing it, we hoards or desires useless wealth, must not make it the occasion of ex- make him happy? Will any one, or eiting or gratifying our animal appe. all of these selfish passions as contintites or selfish passions. That the ual or occasional inmates of the botrue and proper use of the world is not som of man, secure the soul's calm to pamper the body with food, or sunshine ?” Every one's own heart drink, or other sensual indulgence, is tells him, that the real sacrifice is not obvious in its effects on the present to renounce these tempers, but to well being of man. Contemplate the cherish them, that to use the world as drunkard, wasting by the poison that the occasion of their excitement is to he loves ; listen to the oaths and blas- abuse it, and that in all the diversifiphemies he utters, and_mark the ed conditions of man, there is no way crimes he perpetrates. Follow him of deriving an equal measure of ento his home, witness his broken heart. joyment from the world as by cultied wife, and his starving children, vating meekness, humility, forgivesee them terrified by his fury, or ness, submission, compassion, benevoverwhelmed in anguish by his vices, olence. What then, in this departbehold his bloated visage, his trem- ment of life, are the requisitions of bling hands, bis enfeebled frame; true religion? Are we ill-treated by see his remorse and conscious degra- our fellow men, we are to think of dation in the moments of sobriety, or the bright example of him, who when what is more common, his restless- he reviled, reviled not again; and ness to repeat his brutal indulg nce; are to render good for evil, blessing consider thus minutely any course of for cursing. Are we called to endure sensual indulgence, and say, is this to adversity and affliction, we are to reus the world as not abusing it? Con- flect on the vanity of the world, resider these things again, and say, is minded that all that befalls us is of the religion which proscribes intem. God's appointment, summoned to a perate indulgence, incompatible with cheerful submission to his will, made that use of the world, which reason to reflect that we need correction, and approves ? Surely he who was form- urged to profit by the strokes of our ed to be the companion of angels, is heavenly Father's hand. Are we pot doomed so to use the world in blessed with prosperity, we are which he is placed, as to sink him- check our expectations from it, to self below the beasts that perish. consider of how little consequence is
Similar remarks apply to the self- all earthly good, to guard against its ish passions of man. Auger, revenge, power on our hearts, to awaken grat
itude to our divine Benefactor, and and of the wants of those who are deto be quickened in pursuit of that pendant upon us, cannot be rationalhigher and nobler good, which is ly denied. secured by the covenant of his prom Tosay nothing then, of the incongruise. Are we applauded and caressed ity of supposing that God shouid reby the world, we must see to it, quire a portion of time to be allotted to that we are not overcome by this prayer and other exercises of devomost dangerous temptation, and cher- tion, and that he should place us iu a ish a higher regard for the favour of world, where our own comfortable God than for the honour that cometh subsistence, necessarily prevents obefrom man. Do we possess wealth, dience to his requirements; the point talents, influence, or other means of of enquiry now is, whether a true doing good in this world of sin and and proper use of the world, necessuffering, we are taught that these are sarily occupies the whole of our proentrusted to us by that God whose bation. If the only proper use of stewards we are, to be used for the glo- the world, is to pursue with insary of him who has said, “occupy till I tiable eagerness, its honours and its come;" that we are not to bury one riches, to despise a low situation talent, lest we incur the doom of that though amply comfortable, and to servant, who ventured on the awful grasp at all the possessions that the experiment; that neither pride nor utmost effort can accumulate, then avarice nor sensuality, are to measure indeed man has no time for religion. our beneficence, nor appropriate our But to justify such a use of the world possessions; that we are not to amass the plea of necessity cannot be made. useless wealth, for posthumous dis- Indeed reason and experience both tioction, or as the means of indul- decide that a moderate indulgence of gence and ostentation to our children, the good things of this lise, is the part that we are to open our hand wide to of true wisdom. To sit loose to the the poor, to be rich in good works, world in our affections, is the surest willing to distribute, ready to com way to derive from it the highest municate, and that it is more blessed measure of good. All beyond is the to give than to receive. These in- vexation of care, and the torment of stances are sufficient to shew, what anxiety: and having food and raiare the demands of Christianity, in ment, and the ordinary portion of all the conditions in which men are pla- other worldly comforts, we have not ced in the world, and to enable us to de- only reason for contentment, but for cide whether its claims come into com- gratitude. petition, with any real interest which
“ Man wants but little here below, the world creates. They shew us
Nor wants that little long." that if we can be satisfied to use the world as not abusing it, to use it in It becomes every one who pleads such a manner as to derive from it the press of occupation, the calls of under every condition of life, the business, and the cares of life, to enhighest measure of good which it can quire, why his time is thus engrossed. afford, we shall instead of finding our Is it a matter of absolute necessity? path crossed by the requisitions of If not, it is a matter of choice without religion, find ourselves walking in the necessity; and what right has any very path which God has marked out man to involve himself in a multiplifor us.
city of useless cares, to bind around 4. It is to be enquired how far the him the chains of incessant occupa-, necessary business of the world is tion, and plead that he cannot exempt compatible with the devotional duties himself from the bondage, which neiof religion. That much care and la- ther God nor nature has created ?--bour are necessary to provide for the Let him farther enquire, does he find comfortable supply of our own wants, no time for unnecessary relaxation of
Vol. 3- Ne. I. 2
amusement? Let him ask how many ing without whose care, we sink to of his precious moments are actually hopeless perdition, without whose devoted unnecessarily to sleep, to promise, our hopes for eternity vajsloth, to the gaieties and pleasures of ish in empty dreams; without whose life? Let him ask what is the result power creation dies. How preposof his entire absorption in the busi- terous, how impious then the plea, ness of the world? Is it barely a that the cares and business of time, competent and comfortable liveli leave no moments to devote to the hood? Is it not wealth, more than great purpose of learning his will and enough for the supply of every rea of seeking his mercy and his grace. sonable want? Can he shew this re Finally, it only remains to enquire, sult of his occupied hours and days, whether the necessary business of the as that which dire necessity obliged world, can be pursued under the conhim to secure? Can the eye of rea staut influence and control of relison, can the eye of God be imposed gious principle. It is easy to see how upon by the display of useless treas a direct reference should be had to ures, as proof that no time has been the will and glory of God, in acts of wasted? And to place the enquiry on religious worship, but how this can its true ground, does he honestly be- be the constant state of the mind, in lieve that he has a real desire for the the ordinary and necessary business duties of devotion ? Is he well satis- of the world, is of more difficult apfied, liad ample time been furnished, prehension. The compatibility of that he should have found himself ai- religious principle with the ordinary tracted to communion with God by business of the world, as that business prayer and devout reading and medic is actually pursued by the great body tation ? Would it bot even then have of mankind, may be doubted. If the been a tasteless occupation; and af- business in which we are engaged be ter all, is not the real reason that he unlawful in itself, if it be pursued by has found no time for devotional ex unlawful means, if the loose maximis ercises, that he wished to find none of trade which are prevalent, and Surely in all these cases, (and it is which are real maxims of dishonesty, believed that yone can be found, are adopted; if our object be to which are not virtually comprised in overreach by falsehood, or decoy by them,) the plea of vecessity drawn deception; if we are aiming 10 sefrom the occupations of life must be cure a large portion on earth as our utterly unavailing. No man who highest good, and using every advanknows what it is to use this world as tage in our power to reach the objeci not abusing it, can say without a of our desires, then it must be conblush, that he has no time for inter fessed, that our business is utterly incourse with his God.
compatible with the purity and dominIt might be shewn indeed, that as ion of religious principle. But if we dependant on the divine bounty for are willing in the business of life, to use every degree of wordly prosperity, the world as not abusing it, if we we can devote no portion of our time are willing to pursue a lawful calling 10 the object with better advantage, by lawful means; if we are as willing than to thank him for the past slice to be governed by the principles, as cess with which he may have crown to enjoy the reputation of strict honed our efforts; and to supplicate his esty; if we are willing to limit our guidance and liis blessing op our fu- desires, to be moderate in our purture toils. lic is the being whose suit of the world, then why may we goodness lengthens out the britule not yield ourselves to the influence thread of life, and draws around us of holy motives ? There are not a our circle of blessings : he is the be- few who must labour for a subsistence ing whom we have offended, and and who must, for this purpose, dewhose mercy we need; he is the be. vole by far the greater portion of their
time to worldly concerns. Not a few ry; then shall we glorify God, not submit to their lot as a mere maiter of only when in the sanctuary, not only necessity, and go through withi a daily when we bow our knees before him in course of honest toil, from oo higher the closet, but while occupied in the motives than to supply their wanis, to common business of lite. And is this procure the bumble comforts of life, or impossible? Does the very nature to improve their earthly condition. of worldly avocations preclude all Why may not a similar course be pur- thoughts of God? Can we keep consued from higher and purer motives ? stamly on the mind, our own worldly If God has made it not only a matter of interest or reputation, or the wishes necessity but of duty, that we should of an earthly parent or friend, and be diligent in business, then surely do nothing inconsistent with this when occupied in that business, we end of our conduct, and is it utterly may serve and glorify him. As saints impossible to regard in like manner and angels in heaven, by the circum- the glory of our heavenly Father, the stances of their condition, are called pleasure of an Almighty Friend ?10 glorify God in songs of adoration The plea is vain. It is a practicable and praise, so 100 may the husband- duty, it is a reasonable service that we man, the mechanic, or the servant should always move about under a glorify God in his humble and labori- controling influence of the will and ous calling. Each performs in such glory of that God who is always with a case the duties of his condition, and Thus such an impression, reno less truly does he who keeps in duced to a settled principle of action, view the honour and glory of God would sanctify all our conduct. It in the ordinary concerns of lite, act woulil set a sacred stamp of moral under the intluence of religious prin. excellence even on the minutest parts ciple, than he who unites in the songs of human action. In the bold imageof heaven. It is not the nature of ry of the Prophet,“ holiness would be the employment, by which the ques- written on the bells of the horses." tion whether God may be glorified by In the industrious and active business it, is to be decided, but the fact that he of the world, in all the necessary rehas or has not made it our duty. It laxation from its toils, when we eat is not that in the business of the and drink or retire to rest, no less than world we propose to ourselves our in prayer and praise, all we do would own well-being as a subordinate flow from the purest and noblest moend, that duty towards God is not per- tives that move the activity of angels, formed ; that we do not propose his or the energies of God. glory as our ultimate end, and yield Thus between the true use of this to it as our governing motive. Let world and the holy duties of religion, the aim, the ultimate object, be some there is an exact and a divine cointhing beyond all that sense or worldly cidence. Say not, reader, to excuse prudence, or selfish feelings, or natur- your disobedience to the divine real atiection, would suggest; let there quirements, that propriety authorises be that habitual regard to the will of this, law ulness justifies that, and neGod, which shall lead us in all suitable cessity demaods another thing, and measure to practice seli-denial, and to that these are inconsistent with an haact as we should not act merely for bitual !egard 10 religion; nothing is our own gratification ; let us propose propei, nothing is lawful, nothing is an end above that of worldly men, necessary, from which religion must even when the action as distinct from be, or is actually separated. Noththe principle might be the same ; let ing is proper, nothing is lawful, nothus be ever looking to God for support, ing is necessary, which cannot be thaoking him for success, acting als done, which is not done, to glorify ways under his eye, as bound to con- God. There are no conflicting claims sult his will, and to promote his glo. between God and the world, between
the well being of man here and his with God, and to the advancement of blessedness hereafter, except what a his cause.
Instead of talents perworldly heart creates. Learn the verted to increase the guilt and misetrue end for which the world was ries of men, instead of wealth squanmade, and the proper manner of using dered in luxury, or hoarded by avait, and cherish a practical estimate of rice and pride, we should witness their its true value, and all will be right. application in the relief of temporal cae You will then go through the world, lamities, and in the flight of the mesglorifying God in your body and sengers of grace to every heathen land. spirit which are God's. You will be in a word, the anxieties and cares actuated by the same pure and holy and activity of this would centre in principles that prompt the activity of this one object, the glory of God. those before the throne above, and God would rejoice, man would be thus prepared will at length, through blessed, and the groans of the curse the mercy of God in Christ, be admit- be changed into the voice of praise te ted to their employments and their a reigning God and Saviour. joys.
Finally, the subject furnishes solWere that view of the use of the emn cautions against abusing the world which has now been given, world, and powerful motives, to use universally adopted, how greatly it in conformity with the designs of would it change the pursuits of men. its Maker. To abuse the world is Not merely would their employments to dishonor God, to forfeit the happiin a great degree be changed, but still ness of his presence and favour, and more their objects. How would it a. to incur his wrath. Consider man as bate their ardour with respect to things accountable to the judge of quick and now dee med of the utmost impor- dead; qualified by his faculties to act tance, and make them earnest in re here on earth in concert with God, spect to objects seldom in their and all holy beings in advancing thoughts. The glory of God and t!ie divine purposes and glory, and to with it the welfare of the soul, would rise hereafter to their society and engross those thoughts and affections, their bliss; placed for a few days in which are now given to the world. this school of discipline and trial, Instead of entering on the business where by using the world and the of this world without a thought of things of it, according to their obvithe world to come, every morning ous design, he becomes restored to would witness them prostrate before the image of God and meet for an inGod, to ask of him right principles and heritance in his kingdom; passing on a right frame of mind to carry them with the rapid moments of time to through the day. They would enter in- his final trial, and to unchangable retto the business and events of the world ribution, and yet acting as if his presas occasions of trial, in which their ent state were eternal, and cherishgrowth in grace was to be promoted ing no ideas of happiness beyond it; Instead of sloth, and idleness, and laying all his plans to acquire what worldliness, and fraud, we should find the world can give; forgetting that he an universal activity prompted, by cannot secure the accomplishment of pure, and just, and holy principles. a single purpose, nor the enjoyments Instead of the cooflicting interests of of another day; and thus perverting selfishness, which excite and pour the world from the glorious end for ish the worst passions of the heart, which its Maker designed it, to the meekness, kindness, and beueficence single purpose of present sin and ewould pervade and bless every com- ternal destruction !-Oh ye who thus munity Instead of time wasted in use the world as abusing it, what estigaiety and ostentation, in vain pleas- mate will you form of it when the fashures and amusements, we should wit- ion thereof shall have passed away ? ness its consecration to communion What will you think of that sensual