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of securing a mansion or inheritance Sn heaven; fhfey must save houses and lands on eafth. It is heedless to tell them of providing; sor their souts; they have their samilies to provide for: Or to tell them of heavenly manna to their fouls, they mud have bread to their mourns. It is to no purpose tii tell thefn of a way to get justice satissied, or the debt cf sin paid; they must have their debts paid to their earthly creditors, it is iii vain to press them to seek the savour and ftiendthip of God; all their care is to get the countenance of this ot the other man, that can do them kindness. And so, upon these worldly considerations, Christ the pearl of price is slighted, the precious soul neglected, and Sabbaths and sermons are quite lost.
Again, it is a gross prosanation of this holy day, for people to allow themselves to think upoh thiir tradesand worldly commerce, when they are in God's house. As Christ whipped the buyers and sellers out of the tend. pie when he was on earth, so he will not susser you to make the public assemblies of his people a place of mer. chandize, by thoughtsulness about worldly gain and pro. sits. Your business in God's house this day h with the great God only, and theresore you must attend to nothing but his wotk and service: But, if you indulge worldly thoughts, you will provoke God, and mar all your publie persormances.
Be not like Martha this day, " caresul and troubled about many things," things that will not avail you at the dying hour, or through eternity; but imitate Mary this day, sit at Christ's seet, mind the one thing necessary, and chuse th- good part which shall not be taken from you.
Moreover, consider how dangerous this evil is to the salvation of your souls. It may be said of worldliness, compared with other sins, as was said of Saul and David, when any one sin " kills its thousands this flaya its ten thousands:" O what havock makes it in the visible church! What Pharaoh said of the Israelites, Esod. xiv. 3. may well be applied to many prosesied Christians; they arc intangled in the land, the wilderness hath Ihut them in. The world, like bird lime, clogs the
foul's soul's wings, that it cannot mount up to heaven; Many, like Lot's wise, set out fairly for the Zoar of heaven; but their heart* hanker aster the Sodom of this earth, which causeth them to look still back, back> till they perish in the way. . . ''• .'. ..' .'~' > '.~\t fcyiuL
Again, consider what a vain and empty thing the world is, though obtained. It suits not the naruare*4ior satissies the d. sires of the immortal soul: It deceives all its lovers, and in midst of sufsiciency leaves them in straits; so that we ought rather to pity than envy a worldling, whose portion is so small, happiness su short, mistake ib great, and misery eternal. .'• '" ''a•'
Think what folly it is to dig for dross with mattocks of gold, to bestow the precious asssections of our suuls on white and yellow clay. How monstrous is it to see a man with his head and heart where his seet should be! to see the world in the heart and on the throne, and Christ at the soot- stool! to see the world possessing God's room both week day and Sabbath-day, and getting the service which is due to him alone! How many 3re they, who, even on the Sabbath-day, worship the trinity of this world, mentioned 1 John ii. 16. more than the Trinity of heaven? . . ".u^.n o.sil IV. Forgetsulness of God and Christ is a great evil, and greatly hinders Sabbath-sanctisication. How can these sanctify the Sabbath, who never mind the Author nor the end of it? And, alas! there are too many who have nothing of God in their thoughts, either Sabbathday or week-day, Psal. x. 4. Though the heart be still thinking, and hundreds of thoughts pass through it every hour of the day, yet God is in none of them. Strange! that every worldly trifle should sind room in the heart, and God can sind no place in it! What is the reason of this i You may see it, Rom. i. 28. " They did not like to retain God in their knowledge." Surely there is nothing in the world that we have to frequent mementos of, as of God: How can we look to the heavens, earth, flowers, or grass, without minding him? A very heathen could say, " Præsentem resert quælibet herba Deum." Or, how can we look to our bodies, but their curious structure should presently mind us of
God? God? Yea, every time we breathe, every motion of our lungs, and beating of our pulse, should be a prick or spur to us to mind our Preserver; and in a special manner, on the Sabbath day, every ordinance, every duty, every sentence, every word spoken by the minister, mould mind us of God: But the matter is, the thoughts of God are burdensome to all that live careles* and ungodly lives; they cannot think upon him, but they mind their Judge. . i . t
But, O Christian, consider what a sin it is to forget God, especially on his own day. If we ought to spend every day in the sear of God, Prov. xxiii. 17. much more the Sabbath-day. What ingratitude is it to forget him this day that minded us in our low estate, yea, minded U6 when we could not mind ourselves? The love of God in Christ should swallow up all our thoughts this day. When we seriously consider what Christ hath done for his people, one might think that Christ would never be one whole hour together out of their minds, but that they fhould carry him up and down in their thoughts and desires, that they fhould lie down with thoughts of Christ at night, and have him like a " bundle of myrrh lying all night betwixt their breasts," that is, in their hearts; and, when they awake, " they should be still with him:" That their very dreams in the night should be sweet visions of Christ, and all their words should savour of him.
'V. • Aversion to duty is another heart evil, that hinders the sanctisication of the Sabbath. O how backward do we sind our hearts to the duties of the Sabbath! how glad to put them by with any frivolous excuse! how unwilling to pay God a visit on his own day J We are flow to begin, and in haste to make an end; we are heavy whiie the duty is a doing, and glad when it is done. Many are driven to their closets, as • if-they were going to the rack, or as if prayer 'were a penance rather than a privilege; they are constrained to it, to satisfy a natural conscience. It is rather a servile than a son- like persormance. If conscience, like a task-master, did not lain them to their ducy, they would never peitorm it. Many, they would rather toil their bodies whole days and week* at the sorest labour, than spend one hour in secret upea theirknee* on the Lore's day. How sad and lamentable a thing is this? Is not God's company most desireable h in it not God's admirable condescension, and our highest honour, that such poor worms.as we should be admitted into his presence t Are we not naturally desirous of acquaintance with great persons, awd why so backward to acquaintance with the King of heaven? fe not- thh Sabbath a delight to God's people? and shall the woik cf it be a drudgery to us? . v •a'j!« .}.u•.
Qbjeft. " The duties requisite on. thi6 day ar* so many, they coll much dissiculty and pains to- persorm them'.'' .!—:.•-. '? jr...- is
Ans, It is better to take pains, than susser pains; better be bound with the cords- of duty, than with the chains cf darkness. The bonds cf duty are notgrier* ous ; nay, they aæ cur ornarnsnt and greatest freedom,. Fsal. cxix. 45. whereas satan and the world's service is the greatest drudgery; there is sin in the work, amd hell in the wages. Alas, that many will be at. no pains for that which will bring eternal glory, but are content to be at great pains sor that which will cost eternal pains! Tbe drunkard, thies, and adulterer, run many hazards to serve the devil, and win damnation; they susser bodily pains, want deep and rest, and wearythemselves to commit iniquity;, " They draw iniquity with cords, and sins as with cart ropes," Isa. v.. 18. They are yoked as it were, in the devil's plough or cart, and he makes them sweat and draw in his service. What bad work, sad wages, and a terrible mas* ter have they? Who would be hired by any wages to. serve lions and tygers? Is not the devil a roaring lion? and, will you serve him that will devour and tear his servants both soul and body, after they have served him never so saithsully? Oh! shall the devil's servants outstrip Christ's servants in diligence and activity? Is there any master like Christ I Is there any work or wages like his? Was there ever any of his ser- , vants a loser at his hands ?• Will not his experienced servants tell us, that " wisdom's ways are. pleasant.
ness," and that Sabbath-days work is the sweetest recreation? Here they have the most pleasant walks, the most lightsome prospects, the choicest company, and the sweetest sellowship, Psal xxiii. 2. 3. Psal. 1. 23. There is heaven in holiness, and gain in godliness; no such gain or delight to be sound elsewhere. Godliness is the most enriching trade in the world; God's people sometimes gain more by it on a Sabbath-day in one hour, in one sermon, one promise, one prayer, one communion-table, one spiritual breathing, than all the rich men of the shire are worth, put all their estates together. The world will not believe this; but sure I am, one return of prayer, one smile of Christ'6 face, one look of saith, one grape of Canaan, one glimpse of the promised land, the head of one Goliath, the death of one lust, the strengthening of one grace, which may be obtained in the duties of the Sabbath; any of these is an abundant recompence for all the pains we can be at in God's service this day; they yield more sweetness and content to the soul, than all the pleasures the world can assord: The smallest gleanings of spiritual joy are better than a whole vintage of carnal delights.
But what is all this to that eternal weight of glory which is treasured up in heaven, for rewarding the laborious servants of Christ? What can we do for so vast a reward > Had the Lord said to us, unless you be content to spend your days in some howling wilderness, quit all worldly riches and pleasures, pine away with poverty and want, give the fruit of your bodies, susser martyrdom, or take a dip in hell, you stall never see my face in glory; surely there is none that knows what it is to escape eternal misery, and inherit endless happiness above, but would have been willing to accept of these conditions. How much more then, when he only requires us to accept of his Son as our Surety, and love him, part with those sins that would damn us, and follow him in the pleasant ways of holiness; and to do all this in his grace and strength, for he sends none a warsare on their own
Vol. IV. K k s charges?