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, when their corn and wine increaseth. What forrow, what tormenting grief are they haunted with, when they lose the world! Then they say, with Micah, “ They have taken away my gods, and what have I more ?”
They think nothing of God, or Christ, or heaven, if they want the world. .
4. It appears from this, they will not stand to commit the greatest sin, to make a purchase. If they can any way in the world purchase an estate, or a fun of money, even with the loss of their foul, they think they have made a good bargain. Judas thought he had made a good bargain, when he had fold the Prince of life for thirty pieces of silver. “ Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world.”
[3.] We proposed next to enquire, whence is it, that wicked, carnal persons have such a defire after the world.
1. Man hath no felf-sufficiency; he cannot, in the . enjoyment of himself, be happy : hence he reckons himself miserable to be alone. Aristotle said, “ A man " that could live alone, was either a God, or an idiot.” Now, man seeks to be happy in the enjoyment of something besides himself : but he misses the true mark, and so seeks it in the world, where it cannot be found.
2. God, who only can satisfy the soul, is out of sight: he is to them an unknown God; “ The world by wil. dom knew not God.” They are destroyed for lack of knowledge, saving knowledge.
3. The world is at hand, and a well-garnished world: this little ball, full of wind and vanity, blown up in the air, it sparkles and shines with a lustre and beauty, in their eye; and they are, like children, mightily taken with it.
4. Because of the vanity of the heart. There is a world within them, answering the world without them: the lust of the eye within, answering the riches of the world without; the luft of the flesh within, answering the fordid pleasures of the world without; the pride of life, answering to the honours and grandeur of
the world. And thus the world within them draws out the desire after the world without them.
[4.] We would next shew the evil of this, to have the desire running only out after the world. Why,
1. It is idolatry; hence covetousness is called idolatry, and ranked, by the apostle, amongst the other things which are to be mortified, Col. iii. 5. Many worship gold in the coin, that will not worship it in the image : “ They say to fine gold, Thou art my confidence.”
2. It is sacrilege. The heart and affections of a man are like the royal mines that are annexed to the crown. The heart of a man, his love and delight, should be devoted to God, and confecrated to him. Why hath God given him such vast defires? Was it to throw them out upon the world? No surely.
3. It is monstrous folly to let the foul run out upon the world: “ Be astonished, O heavens!” Why? what is the matter? “ My people have committed two great evils; they have forsaken me, the fountain of living wa. ters, and hewed out to themselves cisterns, broken cif. terns, that can hold no water,” Jer. ii. 12, 13. It is the height of folly to conclude, that there is more excellency in the stream, than in the fountain; in the creature, than in the Creator, .
4. It is a degrading of the soul. If you saw an angel licking the dung-hill, would you not say, that is not food for such a glorious creature ? It is far below it. Our souls are the younger brethren of angels, if we may be allowed the expression. Who can tell the dif. ference exactly between the nature of angels and the souls of men ? Now, for that heaven-born foul to lick the dust of the cursed ferpent; what a degrading of it is this! Is not all this then matter of lamentation, that Christ is defpised, and the world embraced ?
Ule 4. The next use that we make of the doctrine, may be for examination. Try then whether you be weaned from the vain world, yea or not.
· 1. Are you content and satisfied with a little of the world's good? And can you bear much of the world's evil ? Have you got a discovery of Christ, even such as
darkens darkens all the glory and excellency of the world; and been brought to consider, that you have a better porti. on than the vanity of time? Can you consider, that the Heir of all things; the Son of God, had no place to lay his head, had not a penny in his purse? Women came and minillered unto him; a fish came and gave him as much as paid his tribute to Cælar. Are you deaf to the reproaches of the world, so as the loss of its applause doth not break your heart ? Are you deaf to the profits and honours of the world, so as the want of them dota pot afflict you ?
2. If you be weaned from the vånity of the world, then you will bear the want of the world with profound submisfion. I God; in providence, takes your houses, your lands, your children, your riches, your loving friends and dear relatives; you will lay your hand on your mouth, and your mouth in the dust, and justify God; - In all this Job finned not.” You will see your all in God and Christ; “ My God liveth, he is mine inheritance:” for you cannot be disinherited, if God be alive. Whereas the wicked faith, in this case, “ They have taken away my gods, and what have I more? Their all is gone.
3. If weaned froni the world, your affections will not ebb and flow with the world. There are some fountains that have immediate communication with the sea : whene ever the sea flows, they flow; when the sea ebbs, they ebb and dry up. If it be thus with you, when the candle of providence shines upon your tabernacle, then vou rejoice at it, and dance to it; and when it is remov. ed, then you roar, and weep, and pay a tribute of tears: this is a token you are not weaned fri in the world. As for the believer, when the world goes out, the Lord comes in its room, and makes him joyful and cheary: and this has such an effect upon him, that he would be content to lose a wife, a child, a worldly comfort every day, upon condition he got God in the room of them.
4. If you be weaned from the world, you will know what it is to carry your closet-frame to your worldly af. fairs with you. There are fome people who have more. VOL. I.
of God upon their spirit, more fellowship with heaven in their shop, selling their wares,' or when they are about secular work, than others have in their closet upon their knees: more of God fitting at their trade, than others in the house of God, hearing a good fermon. Some will have more intercourse with Heaven, at their own table, than ever the worldling had at a communion table. They carry a heavenly frame to their worldly and earthly employment. . As for others, they bring the world still along with them; they bring it to the church, as well as to the market; they are glued to it.
Ule 5. We mall improve the doctrine in an use of Exhortation. If all be vanity, then, O seek to have your hearts disengaged from all things in the world; be persuaded to forsake lying vanities, Jonah ii. 8. If it be enquired, What is it to forsake the world? We might give both a negative and a positive reply to this.Negatively, It is not to go out of the world. It is not to forsake perfonal society; though a vitious fociety must be forsaken. It is not to vow a voluntary poverty, with the Papists. It is not to be idle and improvident. But, positively, we are to forsake it in the four following refpe&ts.
i. In respect of the inzmoderate use of the enjoyment of the world, i Cor. vii. 29, 30, 31. We are to use it as stewards, tirat are to give an account.
2. In respect of fervice.' Be not servants or flaves to it ; for you cannot both serve God and nammon.
3. In respect of confidence; trust not to it. Although you have worldly advantages, make them not your staff, your say, your choice jewels.:
4. In respect of adherence ; be not glued to the world. Let not the world be like the skin on the hand, that will not easily come off; but like the glove on your hand, or the hat on your head, that you can easily part with.
Try your repentance by tltis doctrine, which was the evidence of Solomon's repentance. Such as fee nothing but glory and goodness, in these outward things, Satan
hath bewitched them, Matth. iv. 8.; but such as see the extreme vanity of them, have repented with Solomon
We lhall now conclude the fubject, by layirig before you the following remedies against a worluly dispolia tion. Consider, for this end, the fix following para ticulars :
1. These vanities will not yield you pleasure in the time of the greatest trouble ; they cannot ease you of the least pain. When you make a gash in your con. science, and wound your fpirit, and so expose yourselves to the wrath of God; what will the things of the world avail you? Wuo loved the world better than Judas did? But when God burnt his fingers with it, if we may be allowed the expreffon, then he threw it away with a fury: What will become of you at death; man? Will it be any comfort to you, that you die in a well-hung room ? or that your chamber-floor is laid with silver? or that you die poffeffed of such a large estate; or ample fortune? Will not the man then cry out; “ O if I had 36 but spent some of this time in securing an interest in 56 Christ, that I have bestowed in hunting after the world, 6. that can now tland me in ho stead "
2. Seek a law-work; something of it is absolutely necessary to shake the world out of its place: " He will shake heaven and earth;” Heb. xii. 26. People will never le ive the world till God shake it out of their heart.
3. Be conversa:it with your own sensible experience of the world. Have you never found the vanity and einptiness of it? Nay, hath it never been a sling and gall to your poor foul, that the world hath got all your time, thought, and care?
4. Be persuaded, that God in Christ is the only good. Seek the discovery of the glory of God in Christ. Pera. fons may harangue never so long about the world's emptiness and vanity; but they will never part with it till they get something better in the room of it. Some. thing the man must have to let his heart upon : There. fore, till the unsearchable riches of Chriit be discovered to the soul; so as your soul's desire run out after him,