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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, lose their bread. They would prepare for eternity; but they are afraid of wanting the necessaries of life. So they serre 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 cho thus take the matter out of God's hand, should be so often disappointed of the very things they seck; 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 cternal, 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 have forsaken God for the world, they lose what they sought, as well as what they sought not: They fall short of the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; nor yet are other things added into 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 distant 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 easier 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 liis countenance shall be again lifted up upon my soul! How will I exhort others to praise him, which his love is again shed abroad in my heart! Theu 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 five: 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 staud 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 temptations which you have not. But when the temptation comes, the grace 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 think 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 werc 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 now, 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 Bold on the blessed opportunity of doing his acceptable and perfect will! Now “ rejoice to suffer the loss of all things, so thou marest win Christ!”.
29. Gladly sutier today, for his name's sake, whatsoever he permits this day to come upon thee. But look not at the sufferings of tomorroir. “Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof."' Evilit 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 various sicknesses of their souls. And he giros in one day, sufficient for that day; proportioned to the vant and strength of the patient. If, therefore, thou snatchest today, what belongs to the tomorrow; if thou addest this to what is given thee 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 lie 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 bc glorified in all thou art, all thou doest, all thou sufferest; seeking nothing, but to know God, and his Son Jesus Christ, through the eternal 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 Fatlicr, who hath made me and all the world; unto God the Son, who hath redeenied me and all mankind; unto God the Holy Ghost, who sanctificth me and all the elect people of God; be honour and praise, wajesty 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 oxun'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 ? 6. 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.
J. Our blessed Lord, living now finished his main design, having first delivered the sum of true Religion, carefully guarded against those glosses of men, whercby they would make the Word of God of mone effect; and having next laid down Rules touching that right intention, which we are to preserve in all outward actions; now proceeds to point out the main Hinderances of this religion, and concludes all with a suitable application.
2. To the fifth chapter, our great Teacher has fully described inward religion in its various branches. He has there laid before us those dispositions of soul, which constitute real Christianity; the tempers contained in that holiness, “ without which no man shall see the Lord;” the affections, which, when flowing from their proper fountain, from a living faith in God through Christ Jesus, are intrinsically and essentially good, and acceptable to God. In the sixth he hath shown low all our actions, likewise, cren those that arc indifferent in their own nature, may be made holy, and good, and acceptable to God, by a pure and holy Intention. Whatever is donc without this, he declarcs is of no value with God: whereas, whatever outward works are thus consccrated to God, are, in his sight, of great price.
3. In the former part of this chapter, he points out the most common and most fatal linderances of this holiness : in the latter, he exhorts 11s, by various motives, to break through all, and secure that prize of our high calling.
4. The first Hinderance he cautious iis against is Judging. “ Judge not, that ye be not judged.” Judge not others, that ye be not judged of the Lord; that ye bring not vengeance on your own heads. “For with what judgment ye judgc, ye shall be judged, and with wbat measure ye mete, it shall be nicasured to you again :”-a plain and cquitable rule, whereby God permits you to determine for yourselves, in what manner he shall deal with you in the judgment of the great day.
5. There is no station of life, nor any period of time, from the hour of our first repenting and believing the Gospel, till we are made perfect in love, wherein this caution is not needsul for every child of God. For occasions of judging can never be wanting; and the temptations to it are innumerable, many whereof are so artfully disguised, that we fall into the sin, before we suspect any danger. And unspeakable are the misChiefs produced hereby, always to him that judges another; thus wounding his own soul, and exposing himself to the