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father's house ; so shall the King greatly desire thy beauty,” Psal. xlv. 10, II. The child of God is made to forsake the world, and to come up from this world leaning on the Beloved : this seems to be the import of that call to the church, Song iv. 8, “ Come with me from Lebanon : look from the top of Amana, from the top of Shenir and Hermon: from the lions dens, and the mountains of leopards.” We profess to renounce the devil, the world, and the flesh; to forsake the world, and follow Christ. Now, this forsaking of the world, viewed negatively, it is not to go out of the world by a hasty death, that were double iniquity ; nor is it to vow a voluntary poverty, as the Papists do ; nor is it to be idle and improvident about the things of the world : but, affirmatively, to forsake the world, is to do it in point of use: to use this world as if we used it not; that is, moderately : to forsake it in point of service; we are not to be slaves to it; for, we cannot serve God and Mam, mon: to forsake it in point of confidence; we are not to trust in, or depend upon outward enjoyments : and we are to forsake it in point of adherence, so as not to be glewed to it; it should not be like the hair upon the head, or skin of the hand, which cannot be pulled off without pain; but like a hat on the head, or a glovon the hand, that we can take off when we please: we muit keep a loose grip of it. And,
4. This disconformity to the world imports, an actual crucifying of the world: “God forbid, that I should glory, faith the apostle, fave in the cross of the Lord Jesus Chrift; by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.” The world cares not for me, and I care not for the world; the world is dead to me, and I am dead to the world, But I insist not, and therefore proceed,
- IV. To the fourth thing, which was, To enquire why, or for what reasons, the people of God must not be conformed to the world. Why, in general, because they are of another world : they are subjects of another kingdom ; they are people of another state ; they are persons of another principle; they are recipients of ano. ther spirit; they are directed by another rule; and they
are aiming at another world, than the rest of the world: but concerning there, and other things of this nature, we will have occasion to speak upon more fully afterwards. · We shall only, in the meantime, obierve, that there are two great contending parties, that powerfully draw all men after them; namely, God and the world; and there is an irreconcilable enmity between them : those who are on God's side, are against the world ; and those that are on the world's fide, are against God : and therefore, it is che duty of all the followers of Christ, pot to take the world's part against him; and confe. quently, not to be conformed to the world. When the three children, Dan. iii. 12. refused to fall down and worship Nebuchadnezzar's image, he was full of fury, and the form of his visage was changed against them, ver. 19. It is so with the men of this world; if the friends of Christ will not bow down and worship this golden image, and join in with the vanities and follies thereof, why then the worldlings run mad at them. It is true, the world would agree with the godly, if they would bow down to them: but that they cannot do, they dare not do; because the Lord forbids it; “ Be not confornied to the world."
Now the reasons of the doctrine may be clafled under these four heads. The children of God must not be conformed to this world, I. In respect of God. 2. In respect of the world. 3. In respect of their brethren, And, 4. In respect of themselves.
ift, In refpect of God; there are many reasons might be given, why the people of God are not to be conformed to the world. For,
1. By being conformed to the world, you tempt God, and lead yourselves into temptation : if any of God's. people entertain unnecessary communion with the wick, ed of the world, like. Peter in the high-priest's hall, they tempt God, to let them fall into mischief, contrary to his express command, “Thou shalt pot tempt the Lord thy God.” They run upon a dangerous precipice, where, if God take away his hand, they may fall and break all their bones. 2. By being conformed to the world, they so far for.
fake God, and so forsake their own mercies, and run into idolatry : hence covetouinels is called idolatry; for it is making the world our God. Whatever we love moit, and serve moit, and depend upon molt, that we make our God; and so do we, when we love, serve, and depend upon the world so as to juftle God out of doors: But, why do we dote upon the creature, cr upon the world ? For, whatever the world hath of good, it hath it from God. Your food, raiment, comforts, and con: veniencies in the world, as they are any way good to you, it is from God: and therefore, if you forsake God, and follow the world, from a desire after these things, you forsake the full fountain, and follow the fading streams; you depart even from the true good, that is in the world itself, while you go to the world for it. “My people have committed two great evils; they have forsaken me, the fountain of living waters; and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water,” Jer. ii. 13.
3. God and the world are at odds ; there is a dif. agreement between God and the world, between Christ and the world: all the time that Christ was in the world, it mocked, reviled, opposed, and persecuted him, and at last killed him ; and Christ, by his life and death, did fight against the world, and overcome it: and he hath put enmity between his people and the world. All the prophets, and apostles, and faints, in all ages, have been at hot war with the world, and contended with all the wicked in it; “ They that forsake the law, praise the wicked; but such as keep the law, contend with them," Prov. xxviii. 4. They have been men of contention in the world: Why? the world is in arms against their God; therefore the Lord hath sworn that he will have war with it, as with Aonalek, unto all generations; and with all who shall join it; yea, or stand neutral: they are cursed, becaule they rise not up to the help of the Lord against the mighty, Judges v. 23. Christ hath given encouragement to his people, that they shall be more than conquerors, through him who hath overcome the world.
4. The love of God, and the love of the world, are contrary : “ He that loveth the world, the love of the Father is net in hi.n." God's work is, to draw our affecti.
ons from the world; the world's work is, to draw our affections from God: and both God and the world feek the whole man. If a man desire to be religious, God must have his whole heart : and he through grace muit give it, and make a continual trade of religion : if a man desire to be rich, the world will oblige him to rise early, and sit up late, and eat the bread of carefulness; yea, and employ his head and heart, and all about the world. And therefore God and the world cannot be ferved by one and the same man. Yea, the love of the world leads to the hatred of God: because there is a contrary nature between God and the world ; the Lord is pure, the world is polluted; the Lord is good, the world is evil : the Lord hates the world, though not as his creature, but as it is our Lord's rival, usurping his room in our hearts.
2dly, In respect of the world itself, many reasons may be given, why the people of God are not to be conformed to it. And here if we view the men of this world, the god of this world, and the whole complex frame of it, we will see grounds and reasons why we ought not to be conformed thereto.
1. The men of this world is a reason, why the people of God should not be conformed to this world, or to the practice of the men that are in it. Why? it hardens the wicked in their wickedness; when they see professors of religion, and those that have the reputation of godly persons, join with them, or too familiarly converse with them : and so this their conformity to the world, is hurtful to the wicked of the world ; they will applaud themselves in their wicked courses, when such as are applauded for godly persons do associate with them. Thus, after Saul had spared Agag, Samuel refused to return with him; “ And Samuel said unto Saul, I will not return with thee; for thou hast rejected the word of the Lord, and the Lord hath rejected thee from being king over Israel,” 1Sam. xv. 26. So should the godly say to the wicked, Ye have rejected the word of the Lord; there. fore I will not return with you, I will not join with you. If you join with the vitious, you do vice too much ho. nour. If you join with the finner, you give sin too much
encouragement. And therefore, it is sometiines the greatest act of love towards wicked men, to deny theni our countenance, and withdraw from their fociety; yea, to refuse to keep company with them, may sometimes be a means to reform them.
2. The god of this world is another reason why the people of God ought not to be conformed to it. The god of this world is the devil; and to be conformed to this world, is conformity to the devil; and to love the world, is to worship the devil; therefore, as covetouf. nels is called idolatry; fo the devil tempted Christ to worship him, by offering the world to him, Mat. iv. 9. This world is the devil's walk where he goes to and fro; yea, goes about as a roaring lion, seeking whom he may
devour; and like a crooked serpent, whom he may de. · ceive: and when we are upon the devil's ground, among
the wicked of the world, joining in fellowship with the wicked, in their unfruitful works of darkness, it is one to a thousand, if Satari do not cheat us through his sub. tilty; and, by little and little, captivate us. As thieves usually first put in a little one at the window to open the door to all the rest; fo Satan presents us an apple, a wedge of gold to the eye; or a whispering tale, a pollut. ing word, or suspicion to the ear; these are the doors of the house; and these little thieves will open the door, and let in adultery, whoredom, theft, malice, murder, &c. Satan's request seems mannerly and modest at first. As Semiramis desired of Ninus only to reign one day, and that day to do what the pleased, what she lilled; which being granted, behold in that day she cut off his head : even so, the devil, the god of this world, will defire only to reign a day, or to have you dedicate a day to him and to the world, and the vanities, and follies, and vices thereof; but, behold, in that very day he may cut off your head, cut off your soul, by drawing away your heart and affections froin God.
3. The whole complex frame of this world, and things thereof, affords a complex reason why we are not to be conformed to this world. Why, the whole world lieth in wickedness: for, All that is in the world, the lufts of the flesh, the lusts of the eye, and the pride of life, are