you really suppose that this is a state of mind which ought to be cherished? Be assured that your impenitence and hardness of heart is the most alarming symptom of your case. There is not the slightest movement betokening the effort of a living power. You are dead, utterly, and to all appearance irretrievably dead. If nothing has hitherto availed to rouse you, will not the very thought that you are thus apparently given over to hopeless impenitence and unbelief, lead you to cry from the very depths of your inmost soul, “Cast me not away from thy presence, take not thy holy Spirit from me?”




MAT. VI. 19-24.

The Redeemer has been illustrating the important principle of His kingdom, that God is the all in all of our religious duties, that in all our attempts to serve Him, our supreme anxiety must be to approve ourselves to Him, and to Him alone. And having shewn the necessity of this principle, by a reference to three different acts of service, alms-deeds, prayer, and fasting, He proceeds to lay down the equally important principle that God must be the all in all of the believer's heart. His demand admits of no compromise, "My son, give me thine heart." "He is a jealous God, and will not give his glory to any other." Jesus therefore fixes the attention of His hearers upon those objects which were too liable to engage the desires and feelings of the heart in preference to God,

and warns His hearers against all such spiritual idolatry as offensive in the sight of the Holy One.

Vv. 19 and 20. "Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal."

The desire of amassing wealth of one kind or another is a strong principle in the unrenewed mind. It is not necessary that the treasure be always of silver and gold, though an apostle warns us that "the love of money is the root of all evil; which, while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows." The treasures to which our Lord refers in the passage before us include all those objects on which the heart of man is wont to pride itself. We must not for a moment imagine that the Redeemer is here forbidding His people to make any provision for the future comfort of themselves and their families. His design is of a higher nature. He uses the word treasure to denote that which chiefly occupies the thoughts and engages the heart. And accordingly He follows up His exhortation by setting forth the reason:

V. 21. "For where your treasure is, there will heart be also."


It is on this ground that our gracious Redeemer calls upon all His people to be on their guard against the engrossing love of wealth. God must be the treasure of the soul, its chief desire, its highest good. He must have the whole heart, or He will have none of it. If, then, any worldly object whatever comes between us and our God, if it prevents our affections from flowing forth with free, and intense, and exclusive regard to our Father in heaven, that object must be viewed as impiously usurping the place in our hearts which belongs to God alone.

The doctrine which our Lord teaches His people on this occasion, is identical in all respects with that of the First Commandment, "Thou shalt have no other gods before me," or, indeed, the sum of the whole of the first table of the law, "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God, with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind." No created object, no earthly enjoyment, ought to occupy the room of the true and living God. To admit of this, would be in the highest sense

King of Kings, and the Lord of Lords.

treason to the He claims the

hearts of His people as His rightful throne, and before Him every usurper must be cast down. If, then, we are conscious that, in our calm unguarded moments, our thoughts more frequently and more naturally rise to any other object than to God, let our earnest fervent prayer be,

"The dearest idol I have known,

Whate'er that idol be,

Help me to tear it from Thy Throne,

And worship only thee."

The exhortation of the Redeemer is expressed, first

in a negative, then in a positive form. "Lay not up for yourselves treasures on earth." "But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven." He presumes that there must be an object, either on earth or in heaven, on which the heart of man must be set. Our affections must go forth towards one object or another. And the whole essence of our Christianity turns upon this one point, On what is our heart supremely set? There are two grand claimants for the throne of our affections-earth and heaven,—the world and God. The Redeemer exhibits them before us. He knows the fearful danger of the one choice, and the eternal safety of the other. The one is death, but the other life; the one is hell, but the other heaven. Where, then, reader, is your treasure? Is it on earth, or is it in heaven? Momentous question!

If the treasure of the soul be on earth, our Redeemer warns us that it is exposed to change, decay, and even destruction, "for moth and rust may corrupt, and thieves break through and steal;" but if the treasure of the soul be in heaven, it is beyond the reach of injury, in a place where no time, no change can destroy, "where neither moth nor rust doth cor

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