fession, while there is not a single drop of the oil of grace in the heart. This is all very easy in the meantime; but it is not so easy to be a Christian with the heart given to God, and our worldly all, without a single reserve, laid at the feet of Jesus, and the whole soul, and body, and spirit, with singleness of purpose, devoted to the service and the glory of God. This, and no other, is true religion; any other is a divided service, which God abhors,-a wavering between the service of God and the service of the world; and if any man be in such a state, "let not that man think that he shall receive anything of the Lord."

You cannot serve

Here Jesus sets before you, reader, the two claimants for your heart-God and the world. Choose you, then, which you will serve. If God be God, follow him; if the world be God, follow it. But do not halt between two opinions. God and Mammon. One or the other must be surrendered. Let your decision be made now, once for all; the blessing or the curse, life or death, heaven or hell. Do not imagine that you can please both the world and God. You cannot love the world and love God; you cannot be the friend of the world and the friend of God; you cannot live to the service of the world and live to the service of God. Renounce either the one or the other. Be honest, be decided. Take your stand either for God or for the world.


The world presents itself before you in the most inviting aspect. It offers you many deceitful promises, many lying vanities, many disappointing hopes, many unsatisfying joys. O believe it not! The world's ways, the world's maxims, the world's pleasures lead down to death. Enrol yourselves, then, among the friends of the Most High God.

But are there not many who are so pleased with the service of the world, that, like the madman, they sport with their chains? They are slaves and they know it not. They are degraded idolaters, and they flatter themselves that they are worshippers of the true God. Think for a moment, deluded worldling, what religion is. It is not the stated observance on the Sabbath of a few outward forms; it is not the daily repetition of a few unmeaning words on your bended knees. It is the unconditional surrender of the heart to God. Have you made this surrender, and are your affections now centred upon the everlasting and unchangeable Jehovah? Nothing short of this is religion. You must rise like Levi from the receipt of custom— you must leave all and follow Christ. This is a hard saying, who can bear it? Yet it is the solemn truth of God.

Perhaps the reader may be saying to himself, I may enjoy the pleasures of the world now, and afterwards I shall enjoy the blessedness of heaven. Strange delusion! Has not Jesus said, "Ye cannot

serve God and Mammon ;" and yet you deceive yourself by the thought, that however busily and perseveringly you may spend your strength in the service of the world, you will at last receive the reward which remaineth for the servants of God. It cannot be. If you serve sin and the world, for they are one and the same master, justice and righteousness require that you should receive the wages, and the wages of sin is death.


In conclusion, we would solemnly urge on every child of God to strive earnestly after that singleness of heart and oneness of purpose, which Jesus requires of all His people. Look not back to the world. Forget thine own people, and thy father's house. So shall the King greatly desire thy beauty." Let your heart be fixed upon God; let your steps proceed steadily along the way to Zion, with your face heavenward, looking neither to the right hand nor to the left; and though now you may often be called to walk in comparative darkness, yet at eventide it shall be light, and at last you shall be privileged to enter the regions of eternal day, where you shall dwell for ever with Him who is light, and in whom is no darkness at all.


MAT. VI. 25-34.

In the previous section we found the Redeemer laying down the great principle, that God must be the only treasure of the Christian's soul, and that all the earthly objects on which our affections are liable to be set, are not to be compared, either in intrinsic value or in durability, with Him who is the Covenant God, the unchangeable, the everlasting portion of His people. And if God be infinitely worthy to occupy the supreme place in our hearts, Jesus warns us, that in taking God as our treasure, there must be a firm resolution, a decided choice. We cannot serve God and Mammon. But the objection has been often raised against the doctrine of Christ upon this subject-If I neglect my worldly interests, lest, in pursuing them, I should endanger my soul, am I not in danger of plunging both myself and my family into poverty and wretchedness? The Redeemer knew well that such an objection was liable to occur to the mind, and, therefore, with the utmost kindness and condescension, he hastens to meet it.


V. 25. "Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought your life what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink,

Is not

nor yet for your body what ye shall put on. the life more than meat, and the body than raiment ?” There is peculiar force, we conceive, in the introductory expression, "I say unto you," as if Jesus wished at the outset of this remarkable passage to assure His disciples, that the pointed exhortations and reasonings which follow were to be received as coming from the mouth of one who was possessed of full authority to speak in reference both to the bodies and to the souls of men. He was about to speak as the proprietor and Lord of all, who had the whole resources of the universe at His command, and any assurance, therefore, which He might give as to the temporal support of His people might be listened to with the utmost confidence.


What, then, is the exhortation that issues from the lips of Him who is "the heir of all things?" is couched in these emphatic words, "Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat or what ye shall drink, nor yet for your body what ye shall put on." The words here translated, "Take no thought," might far more truly have been rendered, "Be not over anxious, or, "do not perplex yourselves." Our Lord must not be understood as implying that we are to take no thought at all about worldly matters, that we are to be indifferent and unconcerned about the temporal support of ourselves and our families. Such a doctrine is nowhere inculcated in the Word of God.

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