« PredošláPokračovať »
can attain on earth, is but “ vanity and vexation of spirit.”. And above all things, let me earnestly beseech you not to delay, or propose to take time to consider the matter; say not to conscience,
go thy way for this time, when I have a convenient season, I will call for thee;" be assured, this is the most convenient season, because God only knows whether he will grant you another; “ behold now is the accepted time, behold now is the day of salvation.” The day admonishes you to hasten, the revolving year begins its course anew, let your new course begin with it. I say to each of you, as the prophet said to Hezekiah, “Set thine house in order, for thou shalt die and not live.” I say it with no prophetic spirit, for you all know as well as myself, that the event is certain, nor can you, with that king, by prayer obtain an assurance from God that
your life shall be prolonged ; it may very soon come to a close; much time has been already wasted, and can never be recalled; little may remain, but however much, the whole is so much the more due to God, and to the welfare of your own souls, because both have been hitherto neglected. Oh! be as merciful to yourselves, as God is merciful to you, in vouchsafing you the opportunity of repentance and amendment, and you will, through his gracious help, henceforth so “ num
ber your days, as to apply your hearts unto wisdom.”
Most merciful God, teach us all that true wisdom of devoting our whole hearts, and strength, and time, to thy glory, and to the serious work of our own salvation, and when thou shalt think fit to conclude this our short day of trial, take us, we beseech thee, to thine everlasting kingdom, for the sake of Jesus Christ, our only Saviour and Redeemer. Amen.
GOD AND MAMMON.
MATT. vi. 24.
No man can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.
It is our blessed Saviour's express and positive assertion, that “a man cannot serve two masters,” cannot be faithful to both : that, if he loves and is attached to the one, he will necessarily hate and disregard the other. quires a little explanation. For why might there not be two persons, so united in the bonds of friendship, so agreeing with each other in sentiment and purpose, that the same individual might be able to serve them both? Why might not their wishes be in many cases the same, and
therefore the obedience which is rendered to the one, be effectual to promote the views of the other? And if they should at any time have separate designs to execute, why might they not mutually accommodate each other, by suffering their common servant occasionally to employ himself about their distinct concerns ?
It is plain therefore that this is not the sort of case which our Saviour had in contemplation; he must have meant that no man can serve two masters, whose characters, and dispositions, and purposes are opposed to each other, and each of whom requires a faithful, undivided service; for whatever he should do for the one must of necessity be contrary to the wishes of the other; it would be impossible to please them both; it would be equally impossible for him to esteem them both with an equal affection; he must give a preference to one, and, in obeying him, he cannot avoid the consequence of disobeying the other.
This is clear enough; you cannot fail to acknowledge the truth of the general remark; it is impossible to serve, or to love two such masters; the authority of the one must be shaken off, and his interests neglected, if a ready obedience and faithful devotion be exhibited towards the other. But now for the particular application of