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ourselves this hope, as to love and adore Him, who is able to destroy both body and soul to all eternity?
Thus we see, then, that it is our interest, as well as our duty, to love and serve God. We cannot be happy, unless we are sure of a safe asyluin against all the dangers of life : we cannot be easy, unless we are able to quiet our conscience; when it is full of remorse from the remembrance of our past sins: we cannot enjoy life, unless we can comfort our hearts against the fear of death by a sure and well-grounded hope of immortality. · Now it is God alone who can be the author of all these blessings : it is he alone who can preserve the life which he has given us: he only can pardon our sins: and he only can quicken our mortal bodies at the last day. Since then God is all-powerful and allmerciful; since he has neither rival nor equal, who, like himself, is able to save and to destroy, to kill and to make alive; to God alone we owe all our worship, love, and service, in so full a manner, that they cannot be given to any other créature or being without sin : -" Ye cannot ** serve God and mammon.”
“We may observe, that our Saviour has chosen mammon from among all the false deities of the v3
heathen, to shew us that nothing ought to be put in competition with the living and true God. He does not say, Ye cannot serve God and Jupiter, or Saturn, or Mars, or any of the numerous tribe of heathen idols ; but he chuses mammon, the god of the world. And the reas son of this will be obvious to an attentive minda There were two sorts of idols, to whom the heathen world directed their service and adorar tion: the one were the deities of a mistaken mind; the others were the idols of a blind and corrupted heart: they served the one by outward rites and ceremonies, through fear and ignot rance; the other they worshipped out of a prin: ciple of love and interest. ; Now the forner, which owed their existence to superstitious ignorance, and had no other being but in men's dez luded imaginations, would naturally be abolished, when the scales were removed from their eyes, and men began to reflect upon the folly of such vanities; because they had no foundation in reason. Our Saviour, therefore, without laying any stress upon these vain idols, which were only the creatures of superstitious ignorance; and therefore would of themselves fall. to the ground, applies himself wholly to guard us against that other species of service, which was paid to the idols of a blind and corrupted heart : these are the temptations and delusions of the
world : these, he knew, would ever remain as: snares, to draw, men from the worship of the onei true God: he knew that every thing was to be feared from their wiles and seductions, and tliereri fore declares in the most solemn manner the utter impossibility of serving both:-“ Fe cannot « serve God and manmon.”:
Thus our Saviour puts God and the world in opposition : God, as the author of heavenly bless.. ings, and of that happy life which he promises to us in eternity; and the world, as the apparente cause of the happiness and pleasures of the pres sent life. And knowing that they were too com trary to each other in their maxims and princi ples, ever to be unitedrin the same desire of our heart, or acquired by the sable means, le there: fore forewarns 'us to be upon our guard, and so to govern our affections, that the love of this life may not destroy our hopes of a better : 4 Yo “cannot serve God and mammono")"; 4711032
But though the Redeemer of the world thus kindly sets before us our choice between Gotland the world, between momentary and eternal happiness, yet there are too many who reject the gracious offer, who forsake God and cleave to the world. For what else can we think of those unhappy numbers, who indulge themselves in U 4
the habitual sins of drunkenness, profane swearing, neglect of the Sabluath, and other heavy crimes. If they believe the Gospel, they can hope for nothing after this life, and consequently can have no other God but this world. What, again, shall we say of those, who devote their whole strength to the pursuit of worldly honours and riches : who say unto their gold, Thou art my hope; and to fine gold, Thou art my confidenėé? As their hopes must end with their lives, so it is plain, that the god they worship is mammon: this is the god that goes before them, and, as they falsely think, can supply all their wants, and satiate all their desires. But we need not look far to see the folly of such a conduct. Our reason will tell us, that man is more excellent than the beasts, and that the immortal soul is preferable to a gross and material body: that life is frail' and uncertain, and bears no proportion to eternity: that peace of mind and a quiet conscience are of more value than ten thousand worlds: that God, the Creator, can alone fill and satisfy the capacities of an immortal soul, and therefore qught alone to be served and adored.'
Besides, even if eternal happiness were out of the question, we should still be much mistaken, if we thought to find solid and constant happi, ness in any of the enjoyments of the god of this world. The experience of all ages and of all ipen will tell us, that they are false and deceitful; that they fill our hearts with continual fears and anxieties, and are not capable of assisting us in any of the pressing necessities and storms of life.' Wisely, therefore, did our Saviour admonish us not to lay up treasures upon earth, (if any of the perishable things of this world can' be called treasures,) but to lay up treasures in heaven, which no power or chance can destroy or take from us.
· Let us consider, then, that there is a happiness to be enjoyed after this life, which the world, with all its treasures, cannot give; which intimately and immediately affects our 'souls. Let us, therefore, possess our souls in patience and expectation of eternal happiness. And of this happiness let us remember that God is the only author: he, therefore, only ought to be served and adored... .. . ..
Let us farther consider, that the world is a dangerous and subtle enemy, and that it is very difficult to withstand its' attacks: we ought, therefore, to live in the world, as if we were in an enemy's country, and always to be upon our guard, that it may have no access to our hearts. For many are the advantages which the world