Imágenes de páginas

3. You may hence learn the difficulty of the duty; to be crucissied to the world, and yet to live in the world; to be crucissied to the world, and yet to possess the world j to be crucissied to the world, and yet to have a great part of our thoughts and love necessarily employed about the world. The temptation is ever present, and, through the corruption and treachery 9s our own hearts, satally strong. Ought we not hence to infer the absolute neceslity of continual vigilance, and continual prayer? continual vigilance in our duty, and jealousy of every tempLation that may be in danger of diverting us from it? continual prayer to the Father of lights, in the name of Christ, for supernatural strength? Every exercised Chi istian knows from experience the danger of the world as an enemy, and how hard it is to keep such clear views of the things of eternity, as to be preserved from an undue and sinful attachment to the things of time. The world is dangerous even to those who maintain an habitual jealousy of it, and bold it as an enemy: how much more must it be ruinous and satal to those who love and prosecute it as the object of their chief desire!

4. I shall now conclude, by improving this subject for the purpose of Lelf-examination. And surely no serious hearer will be backward to bring himself to the trial. My beloved hearers, I speak to all of every rank, high and low, rich and poor, learned and unlearned, who profess to bear the name of Christians: Are you,

T 3 ot or are you not, crucisied to the world, and the world to you \ All real believers are so. If you are not, your riches or your poverty, your honour or your shame, your regular behaviour, or even your zeal for public duties, will avail you nothing in the day of Christ's appearance. I am sensible, that the decision of the question, Whether you are, or are not, crucisied to the world? may often be attended with no little dissiculty. I will therefore, as sar as I am able, endeavour to assist you in the trial. For which purpose, I beg your attention to the following observations.

1. You are crucisied to the world, if you do not habitually allow your thoughts to dwell upon it, and your desires to run out after it. The cross was an abhorred object, which no body could look upon with delight. Worldliness is often as much discovered by our desires after what we have not, as by the use or employment of what we have. There are many whose great deJight seems to arise from the fond expectations they entertain of worldly happiness to come: nay, there are many who are so flotHful as not to pursue the world, and yet feed themselves with the very imagination of it. Their thoughts, and even their language, constantly runs upon idle sancies, and romantic suppositions of the happiness they should enjoy, were they in such or such a state. Now, my brethren, he that is crucisied to the world will make conscience of restraining these irregular defires'; and; from a deep conviction of the ranity

of of the world, will sind little pleasure in the contemplation of it.

2. Your being crucisied to the world will appear in the moderation of your delight and complacency in what you possess of it. You will not, if I may speak so, give yourselves up to it, but will always qualify the enjoyment of it by a reflection upon its vanity in itself, and its short duration as to any connection we shall have with it. We are ready to pity the weakness of children, when we fee them apply themselves with so much eagerness to trifles, and so greatly delighted with their amusements and enjoyments. A parent, looking on them when hotly engaged at play, will be at once pleased to lee them happy, and at the same_ time silled with a tender commiseration of their want of reflection. Something of the same view one crucisied to the world has of all earthly enjoyments. Many a grown person will smile at the play of children, while he himself is perhaps as eagerly engaged in the schemes of ambition, in political struggles, and contests for power; which are often as great trifles as the play-things of children, only that they are the play-things of men.

3. You are crucisied to the world if you have low hopes and expectations from ir. It is hope that stirs us up chiesly to action in all our pursuits. And so long as we entertain high thoughts of what the world will afford us in some after-season, we are not crucisied to it.


r There is a common proverbial faying,' If it were 'not for hope, the heart would break:' just so, when our hopes from the world are destroyed, the heart of the old man is broken. We are exceeding ready to think, that were such or such a dissiculty or uneasiness removed, could we obtain such or such an advantage in view, we would be happy. But there is always a deception at bottom. We vainly think, that happiness arises from the creature; but he that is crucisied to the world judges, by past experience, that it hath little comfort to give; and therefore he will place but little dependence upon it.

4. He is crucisied to the world who hath truly subdued all invidious dispositions towards the posiession of it. There are many who seem to have little comfort from their own enjoyments; but there is reason to fear, that it arises not so much from self-denial, as from discontent. The world may be said to be crucisied to them, but they are Dot crucisied to the world. It is by this that worldliness expresses itself chiefly in the lower ranks of life. Those who are obliged to live moderately and hardly, from mere penury, often (he*, by their carriage and language, that they have as much sensuality in their hearts, as ihosc who indulge their irregular desires to the greatest excess. But he that is crucisied to the world, not only sees all its pomp and splendour in others without repining, but will often bestow a thought of compassion upon the grear, for the insiiariDg circumstances in which-they are placed with regard to their fouls. And surely they are of all others most to be pitied. May the Lord, in mercy, convince them of their danger; and, in the mean time, preserve his own people from being led astray by their influence and example.

[ocr errors][ocr errors]
« AnteriorContinuar »