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to righteoufnefs. And no man can ferve two mafters, for either he will hate the one "and love the other, or elfe he will hold to "the one and love the other; ye cannot ferve "God and Mammon."

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2dly, We love the world to excefs, when, in the enjoyment of its good things, we are ready to fay, with the rich man reprefented in our Lord's parable, "Soul take thine ease, "thou haft goods laid up for many years, eat, drink, and be merry.' Too much complacency, in what we poffefs, is no lefs an evidence of a worldly mind than an exceffive defire of more. Examine yourfelves, then, with regard to the fource whence you derive your pleasures-from heaven or from earth-from the abundance of corn, and wine, and oil-or from the light of God's reconciled countenance? Can you furrender yourselves to the relish of earthly enjoyments, without any acknowledgment of him who bestows them? When riches increase, do you yield yourselves to the fatisfactions arising from them, without confidering the true ftate of your fouls, whether they be growing in the favour of God, and in meetness for the heavenly

heavenly inheritance? If fo, the world has deceived you, and God has little room in your affections.

3dly, The world predominates in our hearts, when it engroffes the principal train of our thoughts, when it is the laft idea that poffeffeth us when we lie down, and the first when we arife; when it diftracts us in our attendance on the duties of religion, interrupts our devotion in prayer, diverts our attention in hearing, and fetters out minds in meditation, I mean not to affert, that every degree of influence which it has in these respects, betrays its abfolute afcendency over the mind; for who then could free himself of this charge? -But when thefe worldly thoughts engrofs the mind by its own confent, when they maké us grudge the time beftowed on religion, and eager to refume our earthly occupations, as foon as we have lulled our confciences with an unmeaning attendance on its ordinances when, like the Jews of old, we fay of the Sabbath," what a wearinefs! when "will it be over, that we may fell corn."This is not only a preferring of the world to God, but in reality a folemn mockery of him,

not

not less provoking than open profanity itself.

The

4th and last mark of a worldly mind which I shall mention, is unmercifulness to the poor. Those who have a large measure of temporal goods bestowed on them, ought certainly, in proportion to their abundance, to contribute to the neceffities of their fellow creatures.

This is evidently the defign of providence in permitting, or rather appointing, such extreme diverfities of condition in the world. But too many of the opulent seem to think no fuch duty required of them. They flatter themselves that they do all that is incumbent on them in this refpect, if, by the plenty of their tables, the splendour of their dwellings, the sumptuousness of their equipage, and other articles of their luxury, they find employment for the poor in providing for their confumption. This, indeed, is an eventual benefit to fociety, but is far from abfolving them from the obligation they owe to it, much less does it acquit them of their duty to him who favoured them with fuch diftinguished bleffings: For what mark of gratitude to God is it, that we confume his bounty

ty upon our own pleasures, although, in fo doing, we cannot avoid diftributing a part of it to our fellow creatures?

Such perfons, whatever they may think of themselves, how remote foever they may think a worldly character from being applicable to them, are in fact deeply chargeable with it. Perhaps they even do give a part of their fuperfluity for the relief of their brethren, and eftimating that by its proportion to what others give, and not to the extent of their own means, think themselves uncommonly bountiful. But this is a grofs deception, and will be found fo in the day when every falfe pretence fhall be detected before. the judgment feat of Chrift. Then fhall the be found among those who loved the world, and in whose heart the love of the Father had no place.

These fymptoms, if properly attended to, may be of confiderable use towards difcovering the true state of your characters in this refpect. But as the heart is deceitful, and as we are extremely prone to flatter ourselves that we are free of this criminal difpofition, it may be proper to endeavour, before clofing

this head of discourse, to dete& some of those falfe apologies upon which men flatter themselves that they are not chargeable with it.

One concludes thus in his own favour, because he is poor, and neceffity obliges him to work for his daily bread. How (fays he) fhould I be suspected of a criminal love to the world, when I poffefs fo little of it, and can, by all my labour, procure fo few of its advantages? But this is a very deceitful ground of reafoning. He who lacks riches, may love them as well as he who poffeffes them: And therefore if you be difcontented with your ftate-if you envy those above you—if, in your habits of thought, you confider wealth and happiness as infeparable—and if your diligence to prepare for another world be not fuperior to your induftry in endeavouring to obtain a fhare of this-the world is ftill your idol, " and the love of the Father is not in "you."

Another flatters himfelf that he has no undue attachment to the world, because he does not project for himself any great or extensive acquifitions in it, very fmall matters would fatisfy him, and a moderate competence is all

that

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