페이지 이미지

may be changed in many other respects, yet in Christ Jesus, that is, according to the christian institution, nothing will avail, without the whole mind that was in Christ, enabling you to walk as Christ walked. Nothing is more sure than this, "If any man be in Christ," a true believer in him, "he is a new creature: old things in him are passed away, all things are become new."

14. From hence we may clearly perceive, the wide difference there is between christianity and morality. Indeed nothing can be more sure than that true christianity cannot exist, without both the inward experience, and outward practice of justice, mercy, and truth, and every other branch of morality. But it is equally certain, that all morality, all the justice, mercy, and truth, which can possibly exist without christianity, profiteth nothing at all, is of no value in the sight of God, to those that are under the christian. dispensation. Let it be observed, I purposely add, to those that are under the christian dispensation, because I have no authority from the Word of God, "to judge those that are without;" nor do I conceive, that any man living has a right to sentence all the Heathen and Mahometan world to damnation. It is far better, to leave them to him that made them, and who is "the Father of the spirits of all flesh;" who is the God of the Heathens as well as the Christians, and who hateth nothing that he hath made. But mean time, this is nothing to those that name the Name of Christ: all those being under the law, the christian law, shall, undoubtedly, be judged thereby. And of consequence, unless they be so changed as was the the animal above mentioned, unless they have new senses, ideas, passions, tempers, they are no christians! However just, true, or merciful they may be, they are but Atheists still.

15. Perhaps there may be some well-meaning persons, who carry this farther still: who aver, whatever change is wrought in men, whether in their hearts or lives, yet if they have not clear views of those capital doctrines, the Fall of Man, Justification by Faith, and the Atonement made by the Death of Christ, and of his righteousness


transferred to them, they can have no benefit from his death. I dare in no wise affirm this. Indeed I do not believe it. I believe the merciful God regards the lives and tempers of men more than their ideas. I believe he respects the goodness of the heart, rather than the clearness of the head and that if the heart of a man be filled, (by the grace of God, and the power of his Spirit,) with the humble, gentle, patient love of God and man, God will not cast him into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels, because his ideas are not clear, or because his conceptions are confused: "without holiness," I own, "no man shall see the Lord:" but I dare not add, or "clear ideas."

16. But to return to the text. Let me intreat all of you who are still" without God in the world," to consider that with all your humanity, benevolence, and virtue, you are still

Inclusi tenebris, & carcere cœco:

"Inclos'd in darkness and infernal shade."

My dear friends, you do not see God. You do not see the Sun of Righteousness. You have no fellowship with the Father, or with his Son Jesus Christ. You never heard the voice that raiseth the dead. Ye know not the voice of your Shepherd. Ye have not received the Holy Ghost. Ye have no spiritual senses. You have your old, natural ideas, passions, joys, and fears: you are not new creatures. O cry to God, that he may rend the veil which is still upon your hearts! And which gives you occasion to complain,

"O dark, dark, dark! I still must say,

Amidst the blaze of gospel-day!"

O that you may this day hear his voice, who speaketh as never man spake, saying, “Arise, shine, for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee!" Is it not his voice that crieth aloud, "Look unto me, and be thou saved!" He saith, "Lo, I come!"

Lord Jesus: Come quickly!"

ROTHERHAM, July 6, 1790.

"Even so,




"If Riches increase, set not thine Heart upon them."

1. FROM that express declaration of our Lord, "It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of heaven," we may easily learn, that none can have riches, without being greatly endangered by them. But if the danger of barely having them is so great, how much greater is the danger of increasing them? This danger is great even to those who receive what is transmitted to them by their forefathers; but it is abundantly greater to those who acquire them by their skill and industry. Therefore nothing can be more prudent than this caution, "If riches increase, set not thine heart upon them."

2. It is true, riches and the increase of them, are the gift of God. Yet great care is to be taken, that what is intended for a blessing, do not turn into a curse. To prevent which, it is highly expedient to consider seriously,

I. What is meant by Riches, and when they may be said to increase.

II. What is implied in setting our Hearts upon them, and how we may avoid it.

I. Consider, first, What is here meant by Riches. Indeed some may imagine, that it is hardly possible to mistake the meaning of this common word. Yet in truth, there are thousands in this mistake: and many of them quite innocently. A person of note hearing a sermon preached upon this subject several years since, between surprise and indignation broke out aloud, "Why does he talk about riches here? There is no rich man at Whitehaven, but Sir James L-r." And it is true, there was none but he that had forty thousand pounds a year, and some millions in ready money. But a man may be rich that has not a hundred a year, nor even one thousand pounds in cash. Whosoever has food to eat and raiment to put on, with something over, is rich. Whoever has the necessaries and conveniences of life for himself and his family, and a little to spare for them that have not, is properly a rich man. Unless he is a miser, a lover of money, one that hoards up what he can and ought to give to the poor. For if so, he is a poor man still, though he has millions in the bank : yea, he is the poorest of men; for

"The beggars' but a common lot deplore :

The rich poor man's emphatically poor."

2. But here an exception may be made. A person may have more than necessaries and conveniences for his family, and yet not be rich. For he may be in debt; and his debts may amount to more than he is worth. But if this be the case, he is not a rich man, how much money soever he has in his hands. Yea, a man of business may be afraid, that this is the real condition of his affairs, whether it be or not : and then he cannot be so charitable as he otherwise would, for fear of being unjust. How many that are engaged in trade, are in this very condition! Those especially that trade to a very large amount: for their affairs are frequently so entangled, that it is not possible to determine, with any exactness, how much they are worth, or indeed whether they are worth any thing or nothing. Should we not make a fair allowance for them?

3. And beware of forming a hasty judgment concerning

the fortune of others. There may be secrets in the situation of a person, which few but God are acquainted with. Some years since, I told a gentleman, "Sir, I am afraid you are covetous." He asked me, What is the reason of your fear? I answered," A year ago, when I made a collection for the expense of repairing the Foundery, you subscribed five guineas. At the subscription made this year you subscribed only half a guinea." He made no reply: but after a time asked, "Pray, Sir, answer me a question. Why do you live upon potatoes?" (I did so between three and four | years.) I replied, "It has much conduced to my health." He answered, "I believe it has. But did you not do it likewise to save money?" I said, "I did, for what I save from my own meat, will feed another that else would have none." "But, Sir," said he, "if this be your motive you may save much more. I know a man that goes to the market at the beginning of every week. There he buys a pennyworth of parsnips, which he boils in a large quantity of water. The parsnips serve him for food, and the water for drink the ensuing week. So his meat and drink together cost him only a penny a week." This he constantly did, though he had then two hundred pounds a year; to pay the debts which he had contracted, before he knew God!" And this was he, whom I had set down for a

covetous man!

4. But there are those who are conscious before God that they are rich. And, doubtless, some among you are of the number. You have more of the goods of this world than is needful either for yourself or your family. Let each consider for himself. Do your riches increase? Do not you understand that plain expression? Have you not more money or more of money's worth, than you had ten or twenty years ago? Or at this time last year? If you keep any account, you can easily know this. Indeed you ought to know; otherwise you are not a good steward, even in this respect, of the mammon of unrighteousness. And every man, whether engaged in trade or not, ought to know, whether his substance lessens or increases.

« 이전계속 »