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and perpetually dread the detection of your real character ? Thirdly, you may serve two malters unequally. While devoted to the one, you may occasionaldy attend the other ; but you cannot be engaged to him also, you cannot serve him constantly, you cannot make his service your business, cannot be entirely at his disposal. But nothing less than this does God require of all those who serve Him. Fourthly, you may serve two masters when they are on the same side, and differ only in degree. Thus you obey parents and magistrates, and God too; for in obeying them, you obey him ; he has commanded it. But it is otherwise when two parties hostile to each other, require you to espouse their jarring interests, and each says, “ My son, give me thy heart.” Now this is the case with the masters here mentioned. For mammon is not subordinate to God, nor does it enjoin the same things. Their orders are diametrically opposite. The one commands you to walk by faith ; the other, to walk by sight; the one, to be proud, the other to be humble; the one, to cleaye to the dust, the other to have your conversation in heaven ; the one, to be all anxiety, the other, to be careful for nothing; the one, to be content with such things as you have, the other, to enlarge your desire as hell ; the one, to 'withhold, the other, to give, to be ready to distribute, willing to communicate. Now what is to be done in a case like this? If the mind be full, it can hold no more, Human faculties are not infinite. The operations of the soul are limited. We cannot remain in a state of equillibrium between contrary attractions, without preferring one to the other. Hence we always take a
. XXIII, part ; and the part chosen becomes the master of the heart, and obliges us to separate from the rest as much as they oppose each other or interfere. Here then, my dear Hearers, you are furnished with a criterion, by which to judge of your state and your character, The conclusion is obvious and undeniable. If you love and serve the world, you cannot love and serve God. And the exclusion is serious and dreadful ; for you are here reminded that worldly attachments, dependencies, and pursuits, are not only injurious to real religion, but entirely incompatible with it ; that they are not some of those inferior mistakes and infirmities which we deplore in good men ; but a deadly evil which overspreads all the powers of the foul, infects all the principles of action, gives the whole life a wrong bias, the whole man a direction towards hell. “ Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye “ separate, faith the Lord, and touch not the unclean “ thing ; and I will receive you." “ Love not the “ world, neither the things of the world ; for if any “ man love the world, the love of the Father is not “ in him.” “ Ye adulterers and adultrefses, know “ ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity “ with God? Whosoever therefore will be a friend of “ the world is the enemy of God ?” “ No man can “ ferve two masters : for either he will hate the one, “ and love the other ; or else he will hold to the one, 6 and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and “ mammon.”
II. You cannot serve both ; but one of these you will unavoidably serve. The second propofition is as XX111.] Religion Exposed. true as the first. It is as impossible for a man to be without some master, as to serve more masters than one. Man is an active being, and must be employed ; he will always be engaged in the pursuit of some thing either by exertion or desire. Man is a depend. ant creature. Like the vine he mult lean for support; and if the elm be not near, he will embrace the bramble. He thirsts; and if he has forsaken the Fountain of Living Waters, he will repair to broken cifterns, or kneel down to the filthy puddle. A sense of his wants and weaknesses produces an uneasiness which urges him to seek after aslistance and relief. Hence man cannot be without attachment. Not finding in himself
erns him ; for it is the very nature of love to subject us to that which we love ; and it fastens us by various ties ; for desire and aversion, hope and fear, joy and sorrow, zeal and revenge, are only modes of affection.
There is nothing of which men are fo tenacious as independence and liberty ; and even when they are destitute of the substance they glory in the shad. ow. The Jews are an example. In reply to our Lord they said, “ We are Abraham's seed, and were “ never in bondage to any man.” What ! Have you forgotten the land of Egypt ? did you never serve the Philistines, the Moabites, the Ammonites ? were you not seventy years in Babylon ? Whose foldiers are these stationed among you ? Bring me a piece of money, “ whose image and superscription is it ?” Are you not even now wearing the yoke of Cæsar? Yes; and
you are wearing another yoke far more disgraceful than even this, and which enslaves the mind; for “he " that committeth sin is the servant of sin.”
And does not this exemplify the folly and delusion of sinners? They imagine themselves to be their own masters, especially when they have shaken off what they deem the prejudices of education and the scruples of superstition. Then they are free indeed ; they live without controul ; and with affected pity confider Christians as subject to the most humiliating restraints.
be found flaves themselves, and all their boastings of freedom be only great swelling words of vanity ? “ While they promise them liberty, they themselves « are the servants of corruption; for of whoma man is " overcome, of the fame is he brought into bondage.” “ Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves ser“ vants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey, " whether of fin unto death, or of obedience unto righ66 teousness.” What is there no other master than God? Because you refuse allegiance to your lawful sovereign, does it follow that you are your own ? May there not be usurpers ? Instead of being under the government of one, may you not be under the tyranny of many, “ each seeking his gain from his quar6 ter ?” Instead of paying a regular and reasonable tribute, may you not become the victims of illegal ex. action, and the tools of arbitrary power ? Hear what Shemaiah said to Rehoboam and the princes of Judah ; 6. Ye have forsaken the Lord; therefore have I left you (s in the hand of Shishak king of Egypt; and they shall "be his servants, that they may know my service, and
" the service of the kingdoms of the countries." To the fame purpose is the language of God by Moses to the Ifraelites ; " Because thou servedst not the Lord thy “God with joyfulness, and with gladness of heart, " for the abundance of all things ; therefore fhalt
46 thou serve thine enemies which the Lord shall send .“ against thee, in hunger, and in thirft, and in naked“ ness, and in want of all things ; and he shall put a " yoke of iron upon thy neck until he have destroyed " thee." All this is fulfilled in the unhappy experience of every transgressor. For his rebellion he is doomed by a law of inevitable necessity to serve divers tyrants. Yes, if you are not the subjects of humility, you will be the vafsáls of pride ; and what a life will ambition lead you ! If you are not the servants of meekness, you will be the slaves of passion; and is the man to be envied, who is governed by the impulses of such a fury ? See a man who has sold himself to covetoufness ; what African slave ever drudged for such a taskmaster as he, compelling him to rise early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows, to assume every form of falsehood, to stoop to every instance of meanness, forbidding him the luxury of refreshing the bowels of the poor and of blessing the orphan and the widow, often denying him the accommodations and sometimes the neceffaries of life, and thus forcing him to live in beggary, to die in wealth! Disclaiming the service of God you serve the devil, who employs you in drudgery and rewards you with damnation, “for " the wages of fin is death.” Discarding the Saviour's yoke, which is easy, and his burden which is light, you wear the galling and heavy chains of vice,