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It implies (what is nearly allied to the other) to trust in God as our End; to have an eye to Him in all things; to use all things only as means of enjoying Him; wheresoever we are, or whatsoever we do, to see Him that is invisible, looking on us well pleased, and to refer all things to him in Christ Jesus.
5. Thus to believe, is the first thing we are to understand by serving God. The second is, to love Him.
Now to love God, in the manner the Scripture describes, in the manner God himself requires of us, and by requiring engages to work in us,-is to love him as the ONE GOD; that is, “ with all our heart, and with all our soul, and with all our mind, and with all our strength;”-it is to desire God alone for his own sake ; and nothing else, but with reference to him ;-to rejoice in God ;-to delight in the Lord; not only to seek but find happiness in Him; to enjoy God as the chiefest among ten thousand; to rest in Him, as our God and our all;- in a word, to have such a possession of God, as makes us always happy.
6. A third thing we are to understand by serving God, is, to resemble, or imitate Him.
So the ancient Father: Optimus Dei cultus, imitari quem colis : “It is the best worship or service of God, to imitate him you worship.”
We here speak of imitating or resembling him in the spirit of our minds : For here the true christian imitation of God begins. God is a Spirit; and they that imitatc or resemble him, must do it in spirit and in truth.
Now God is Love: therefore they who resemble him in the spirit of their minds, are transformed into the same image. They are merciful, even as He is merciful. Their soul is all love. They are kind, benevolent, compassionate, tenderhearted; and that not only to the good and gentle, but also to the froward. Yea, they are, like Him, loving unto every man, and their mercy extends to all his works.
7. One thing more we are to understand by serving God, and that is, the obeying him; the glorifying him with our bodies, as well as with our spirits; the keeping his outward commandments; the zealously doing whatever he hath enjoined, the carefully avoiding whatever he hath forbidden ; the performing all the ordinary actions of life with a single eye and a pure heart, offering them all in holy, fervent love, as sacrifices to God, through Jesus Christ.
8. Let us consider now, What we are to understand, on the other hand, by Serving Mamnion. And, first, it implies, the trusting in riches, in money, or the things purchascable thereby, as our strength,—the means whereby we shall perform whatever cause we have in band; the trusting in them as our help, — by which we look to be comforted in, or delivered out of, trouble.
It implies the trusting in the world for happiness; the supposing that “a man's life [the comfort of his life) consisteth in the abundance of the things which he possesseth; the looking for rest in the things that are seen ; for content in outward plenty; the expecting that satisfaction in the things of the world, which can never be found out of God.
And if we do this, we cannot but make the world our t'nd; the ultimate end, if not of all, at least of many, of our undertakings, many of our actions and designs; in which we shall aim only at an increase of wealth, at the obtaining pleasure or praise, at the gaining a larger measure of temporal things, without any reference to things cternal.
9. The serving mammon implies, sccondly, loving the world ; desiring it for its own sake; the placing our joy in the things thereof, and setting our hearts upon them; the secking (what indeed it is impossible we should find) our happiness therein; the resting, with the whole weight of our souls, upon the staff of this broken reed; although daily experience shows it cannot support, but will only “ enter into our hand and pierce it."
10. To resemble, to be conformed to the world, is a third thing we are to understand by serving mammon; to have not only designs, but desires, tempers, affections, suitable to those of the world ; to be of an earthly, sensual mind, chained down to the things of carth; to be self-willed, inordinate lovers of ourselves ; to think highly of our own attainments; to desire and delight in the praise of men ; to fear, shun, and abhor reproach; to be impatient of reproof, casy to be provoked, and swift to return evil for evil.
11. To serve mammou, is, lastly, to obey the world, by outwardly conforming to its maximis and customs; to walk as other men wall, in the common road, in the broad, smooth, beaten path ; to be in the fashion; to follow a multitude; to do like the rest of our neighbours; that is, to do the will of the flesh and the mind, to gratify our appetites and inclinations ; to sacrifice to ourselves; aim at our own
ease and pleasure, in the general course both of our words and actions.
Now what can be more undeniably clear, than that we cannot thus serve God and mammon ?
12. Does not every man see, that he cannot comfortably serve both ? That to trim between God and the world, is the sure way to be disappointed in both, and to have no rest either in one or the other? How uncomfortable a condition must he be in, who, having the fear, but not the love of God,--who, serving him, but not with all his heart,-has only the toils and not the joys of religion ? He has religion enough to make him miserable, but not enough to make him happy: his religion will not let him enjoy the world; and the world will not let him enjoy God. So that by halting between both, he loses both; and has no peace either in God or the world.
13. Does not every man sec, that he cannot serve both, consistently with himself? What more glaring inconsistency can be conceived, than must continually appear in his whole behaviour, who is endeavouring to obey both these masters, striving to serve God and mammon?” He is indeed " a sioner that goeth two ways ;” one step forward and another backward. He is continually building up with one hand, and pulling down with the other. He loves sin, and he hates it: be is always seeking, and yet always fleeing from, God. He would and he would not. He is not the same man for one day; no, not for an hour together. He is a motley mixture of all sorts of contrarieties; a heap of contradictions jumbled in one. O be consistent with thyself one way or the other! Turn to the right hand or to the left. If mammon be God, serve thou him; if the Lord, theu serve Him. But never think of serving either at all, unless it be with thy whole heart.
14. Does not every reasonable, every thinking man sce, that he cannot possibly serve God and mammon ? Because there is the most absolute contrariety, the most irreconcileable enmity between them. The contrariety between the most opposite things on earth, between fire and water, darkness and light, vanishes into nothing, when compared to the contrariety between God and mammon. So that, in whatsoever respect you serve the one, you necessarily renounce the other. Do you believe in God through Christ? Do you trust in Him as your strength, your help, your shield, and your exceeding great reward ?-as your happiness ?
your end in all, above all things? Then you cannot trust in riches. It is absolutely impossible you should, so long as you have this faith in God. Do you thus trust in riches? Then you have denied the faith. You do not trust in the living God. Do you love God ? Do you scck and find happiness in him? Then you cannot love the world, neither the things of the world. You are crucified to the world, and the world crucifice to you. Do you love the world? Are your atlections set on things beneath? Do you seck happiness in carthly things? Then it is impossible you should love God. Then the lore of the Father is not in you. Do you resemble God? Are you merciful, as your father is merciful ? Are you transformed, by the renewal of your mind, into the image of him that created you? Then you cannot be conformed to the present world. You have renounced all its affections and lusts. Are you conformed to the world ? Does your soul still bear the image of the earthly? Then you are not renewed in the spirit of your mind. You do not bear the image of the heavenly. Do you obey God? Are you zcalous to do bis will on earth, as the angels do in heaven ? Then it is impossible you should obey mammon. Then you set the world at open defiance. You trample its customs and maxims under foot, and will neither follow nor be led by them. Do you follow the world? Do you live like other men? Do you please men? Do you please yourseif? Then you cannot be a servant of God. You are of your master and father, the Devil.
15. Therefore, thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and Him only shalt thou serve. Thou shalt lay aside all thoughts of obeying two masters, of serving God and mammon. Thou shalt propose to thyself no end, no help, no happiness, but God. Thou shalt scck nothing in carth or heaven but Him : thou shalt aim at nothing, but to know; to love, and enjoy Him. And because this is all your business below, the only view you can reasonably have, the one design you are to pursue in all things,-“ Therefore 1 say umto you," (as our Lord continues his discourse,] “ Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drinki; por yet for your body, what yo sball put on :"-A deep and weighty direction, which it imports as well to consider, and thoroughly to understand.
16. Our Lord does not here require, that we should be utterly withont thought, even touching the concerns of this life. A giddy, careless temper, is at the farthest remove from the whole Religion of Jesus Christ. Neither docs he require us to be “slothful in business,” to be slack and dilatory therein. This, likewise, is contrary to the whole spirit and genius of his Religion. A Christian abhors sloth as much as drunkenness; and flees from idleness as he does from adultery. He well knows, that there is one kind of thought and care, with which God is well pleased; which is absolutely needful for the due performance of those outward works, unto which the Providence of God has called him.
It is the will of God, that every man should labour to eat his own bread; yea, and that every man should provide for his own, for them of his own household. It is likewise his will, that we should “owe no man any thing, but provide things honest in the sight of all men.” But this cannot be done, without taking some thought, without having some care upon our minds; yea, often, not without long and serious thought, not without much and earnest care. Consequently this care, to provide for ourselves and our household, this thought how to render to all their dues, our blessed Lord does not condemn. Yea, it is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour.
It is good and acceptable to God, that we should so take thought concerning whatever we have in hand, as to have a clear comprehension of what we are about to do, and to plan our business before we enter upon it. And it is right that we should carefully consider, from time to time, what steps we are to take therein ; as well as that we should prepare all things beforehand, for the carrying it on in the most effectual manner. This care, termed by some, care of the head,” it was by no means our Lord's design to condemn.
17. What he here condemns, is, the care of the heart; the anxious, uneasy care; the care that hath torment; all such care as does hurt, either to the soul or body. What he forbids, is, that care which, sad experience shows, wastes the blood and drinks up the spirits; which anticipates all the misery it fears, and comes to torment us before the time. He forbids only that care which poisons the blessings of to day, by fear of what may be tomorrow; which cannot enjoy the present plenty, through apprehensions of future want. This care is not only a sore disease, a grievous sickness of soul, but also an heinous offence against God, a sin of the deepest dye. It is an high affront to the gracious Governor and wise Disposer of all things; necessarily implying, that