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And what receives the love that is due to him,
Tenth Day.--EVENING. in the following after which men are seen so occupied, so hurried, and so earnest and eager?
· For the love of money is the root of all eril; It is gold. They are seen bending their souls
which while some coveted after, they hace erred to the idol. Nothing else has such a place in
from the faith, and pierced themselves through their heart. The outward forms of idol-worship
with many sorrows,' 1 Tim. vi. 10. may be wanting, as they happily are; but the This testimony of God is not easily credited by spirit of idolatry marches forth undisguised on those who see not into their own hearts, who our streets, penetrates into every privacy, and is know not their deceitfulness, and their exceeding seen marking our places of business for itself, and earthliness, and subjection by nature to the things stamping them with its seal.
that are earthy. It is trial that makes manifest God sees the heart, and to it he is looking that which is in the heart. The believer bimself And surely, the heart occupied with its plans of may frequently in this be deceived. He may gain, with projects of wealth and of riches, with judge himself to have overcome this love of its hopes of gold as the hire of its devotion, and money, and he thinks that there are still sorer as its own highest enjoyment to possess it-surely evils, which have yet to be overcome in his soul. this heart is the very seat of an idol-worship-it But when he is tried, alas, how unlike that which is the temple of mammon, where the idol reigns. he hoped himself to have been. DisappointMy son, give me thine heart,' is the gracious ments in the matters of this world's business commandment of God in Christ. It is the word affect him more deeply, than even the consciousof his own invitation. But when pursuing the ness of sin, the very sin of loving money. When world, its profits, its benefits, its advancements, he has many mercies left, and many benefits still its dreams of honour, of aggrandizement, and remaining to him untouched, does not, too often, luxury, how fallen, how cast down from its excel- a slight worldly loss, occasion more disturbance lency the immortal spirit which God has given, to his mind, than the loss of communion with how dishonoured the Creator who gave this God? It throws him back from the seeking and spirit to man.
relishing of that communion. It makes him to It is indeed the grace of God which alone can look more upon that which is lost, than upon
all deliver the soul from these entangling snares with the mercy of God, and all the goodness which which our path is so beset on every side. yet follows him, and makes him, alas, practically
Let my soul seek this grace, so abundantly to undervalue and slight the eternal inheritance provided, and so freely offered in Christ the to which he is called, and for which it is his chief Redeemer. If I profess to know the Lord, am business here to prepare. I not denying him if I seek not this grace at And how gentle and mild are the reproofs his own gracious and bountiful hand? Let the of our Father in heaven, when often he, in fine gold not enter into my soul as its idol. Let the dispensations of his all-wise providence, is the Lord of glory come to his place, and reign- but demonstrating to us, the evil of our seeking over me by the manifestation of his own ing the living among the dead-blessing, or glory and goodness, let my soul be kept from peace, or security in that which is but vanity the idolatrous sin and pollution. Divine grace in itself, and vexation of spirit to those who can keep the world in its place. Let gold be follow and pursue it with their heart. And my servant, but not my master, my idol, my while the love of money is seen producing the confidence. The good Lord direct my goings, sore evil of separating man from his God, transand manifest himself to my soul, that I may be gressing the first and the great commandment, kept from the pollutions that are in the world producing all manner of spiritual evil in the through lust, this lust of the eye, this vain pride blinded devotee of money, hardening the heart of life, this boasting in my shame—my subjection against the voice of God in his providence and to that which perisheth with the using. May in his grace, despising that grace, and making I live in holy dread of the contaminating power, gold his idol-equally numerous indeed are the and may my resort be the God of salvation, who constantly occurring violations of the second comgiveth strength to his people.
mandment, which is like unto the first, that are soon produced by the love of money.
Those who dwelt in unity are separated, and made enemies the one to the other, by the desolating power of this evil affection. Very brothers are turned into mutual foes. What quarrels
hostilities, what bitter enmities, and wraths, and impressions had been made, have, by the love of strifes, and evil speakings, the love of money money, “erred from the faith. The mind has produces!
been turned aside from every impression of good These are evils which extend their influences, made upon it, by the power of this evil affection. like the infection of deadly disease, far and The light that would have conducted to everlastwide. The individual mind is debased and pol- ing salvation, in the soul, has been extinguished. luted by them. It cannot have access to God, There is no excellency, no reality now, seen, in while under the power of these evil affections. any thing spiritual or eternal, by the mind where It spurns the offers of his grace—it spurns the the love of money has obtained the ascendancy. counsels of his redeeming love. It seeks not It is drawn back, into a course of backsliding to itself the pardoning mercy of God, and it first, then of hardening, then of defiance to the desires not that the sins of others should be for counsels of God, and of his truth; and this issues given.
into practical infidelity, and then, perdition! 0, There is no manner or measure of actual how piercing indeed to the soul, when the world sin, but the love of money will lead to. It is turns upon the wretched sinner—the devotee of not, of course, meant here to be said or implied, ungodly gain, of inordinate desires and ambition, but there are many evils' in the world, not pro- and shows its own real emptiness, perhaps riches duced by the love of money as the immediate doated upon taking to themselves wings and flymoving cause. But it is distinctly meant, that ing away, how piercing to the soul, the reflecthis evil and earthly passion, which bears in its tions of its own blindness, its own maddened very essence a denial of God, and a rejection of career of earthliness and ungodliness! Indeed him as our God, will become, and does really without any of those vicissitudes occurring to become the root of all evil, to that soul, which is which every thing worldly is so continually ensnared by this unholy affection. If we look to the exposed—what can come into the heart where history of individuals, and in whatever rank or the love of money reigns, but sorrows, piercing sphere of life—when this lust obtains power, it sorrows, when the futility of acquired gains is ruins every religious principle, yea, every moral experienced—the total insufficiency of these to affection. It withdraws the soul, it turns it away bestow the simplest blessing or benefit upon the from the love of God, and from the love of men very body itself of the individual who has given also. The foul idol is reared in the mind, and like his body and soul to the vain and profitless purMoloch of old, it devours and consumes all that suit. Must he not feel the wretchedness of the comes within its reach.
choice he has made? What is he profited? And if we extend the survey, to the his- What can he grasp? All that he grasps is but tory of families, of communities, of nations; increasing his torment, his anxieties, his cares, are there any evils, which have not really been his burden—and hardened as he may have become, produced by the love of money? The Lord the thoughts of a coming eternity will force themof glory himself, when on earth, was he not selves upon his earthly mind—and terrors will betrayed by it—this lust in the heart of an seize him. A voice within will still testify, that earthly-minded, an unfaithful disciple? And for that which he now knows to be nothing but how numerous and sore are the evils now pro- truly vexation of spirit, he has forsaken God, duced by it daily! And when we see it working and turned his back upon the counsels of the its fearful consummation of practical and hard- Eternal. He has no enjoyment in the life that ened ungodliness in the minds and character of now is; and the very idea of a life to come, is an those who have never been seriously impressed announcement of indescribable and unsupportable at all with the truths of religion—may we not terror to his guilty, abject mind, piercing it trace the evil to this passion in the minds of their through, and the wretched soul made thus the parents, and guardians, and relatives, who per- victim of its own idol. The conviction of sin has haps, from love of money, neglected the souls of returned upon the soul that erred from the faith those committed to their ?
-the truth of what has been despised and rejected For the love of money,youth is exposed to every is now renewedly seen, but the heart is hardened temptation; and placed, every day in circumstances, against it, and the abuse of multiplied mercies and devoted to pursuits and associations, where God and long-suffering is felt to incur the righteous is forgotten, denied, and blasphemed, and every wrath of that God who hath declared, that divine ordinance trampled under foot. But it covetousness is idolatry, and that the covetous appears, and, alas, how frequently realized, that cannot inherit his kingdom. those on whose minds, salutary and promising Let me ponder my own danger, in a world filled with this destroying and deadly lust. Shall spurn the spiritual demands of God's holy lawI pursue, shall I cherish the soul-destroying evil? it does spurn them—the claims of God, as the God forbid! The grace of God teacheth to deny God of salvation by Jesus Christ are also despised. worldly lusts—and here is one of these, the root This is fearful. And the movements of his Holy of all evil. Blessed be God, to me that grace is Spirit, upon the conscience and heart, by the offered. O, my soul, wait thou upon the Lord! truth, these are quenched—the mind loving pleaMay his grace enable me to see the reality and sure, occupied with the pleasures of this world, the excellency of things divine and eternal: may is ennity against God! In very deed, and to it quicken my soul to follow after them, labour- the full extent of its own consciousness, it is not ing not for that which perisheth with the using, subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be, but for the bread that came down from heaven. in this state. This carnality is the bitter fruit And as the love of money is the root of all evil, of the inordinate love of worldly pleasures. It let the proof of that love being crucified in my is bitter indeed. The awakened soul is thrown soul be manifested, in my using this world as not by this into a backsliding, a hardened state. It is abusing it, but caring for the great end of my being, rendered unfit for communion with God, yea, and the glorifying of God here, and to be fitted for unwilling to seek it. The throne of grace is forthe enjoying of his kingdom for ever. May my saken; prayer is restrained; its spirit is quenched treasure be in heaven, that my heart may be in the soul. there also. And may I ever consider every mercy This matter requires close and faithful searchreceived from God truly as his own, and myself ing of the heart. as his steward of whom he shall require an If you keep away from such searching, and account.
be unfaithful in prosecuting it—if such searching of the heart have become distasteful to thee; tremble for thy safety; the love of plea
sure more than the love of God hath already ELEVENTH DAY.-Morning.
seized thee, and is carrying thee away. Think, * Locers of pleasures, more than lovers of Gol, 2 God is supreme. Lay to heart what it is that
O think, endangered soul, and consider that Tim. ii. 4.
he offers thee; to be to thee—thine own God; to The pleasures of the world are here meant. rule supreme in thy heart, and in all thy affecWhat are these? Ask thyself what are those plea- tions. Hast thou closed with the offer—the sures derived from worldly objects, associations, gracious offer—of himself in all his fulness to be and pursuits, which draw thine own heart from thy God, in the fulness of his own love, in the the remembrance and from the love of God. fulness of all the spiritual and eternal blessings We need no detailed descriptions of what those which that love can bestow? And wilt thou be pleasures are. We have all gone astray from a lover of pleasure more than a lover of God? God, ' each in his own way. Let me ask my Is he now supreme in thy affections ? And if own soul, what is my special way, in which I am thy heart now condemn thee—what, alas, excludes so led astray from God day by day, in my thoughts God from the throne of thy heart's affections? and words—yea, am I not too in my deeds, by Is it not the love of pleasure? Look to it wellthe pleasures of this world ? Surely, when I and be faithful—make no slight work of this. cherish these pleasures, to the exclusion of God Search out thine idols. Carry them forth to be from my mind, I am a lover of pleasures more consumed by the power of divine grace in thy than a lover of God. This sad love in my earthly soul, the baptism of the Spirit, the baptism of heart sets up its own idol, in the pleasure it seeks fire, consuming them, and drawing thy soul to enjoyment from, and God is denied by me then, him who loved it with an everlasting love, and as my God. Alas, does not this love of pleasure who gave himself for the souls of sinners, to purify unfit the mind for the serious, the solemn, the them from all this spiritual uncleanness and idoltruly profitable duties of godliness and religion? atry. Have I not experienced this? And shall I con- O! shelter not thyself in vain boastings of tinue to yield obedience to this fearful tendency? thy outward correctness of deportment, of thy This is not giving the heart to God. It is refus- habitual acts of formal worship, of thy consistent ing to give him the heart. Whenever this love of and careful outward profession, which may secure pleasures seizes the soul, the mind at once becomes to thee thy good name among professing Chriscarnal. There is much exercise in it then, which tians. This will not avail thee in the day of is very fearful to contemplate. It is ready to accounts. The great work to be wrought by
divine grace in the soul, is, to bring the heart to could have been any unsound professors of ChrisGod, and to bring God into the heart, to reign tianity at all. But when we consider the matter there supreme, as is most justly due. Here is more carefully, and brief as is the record of outthe soul's true and most real enjoyment. And ward events and circumstances which the New while the love of pleasures prevails, that enjoy- Testament history affords, it does clearly disclose ment can never be known, and the soul is deceiv- to us, that there were circumstances even in those ing itself, when satisfied with having a name to times, when gain could be made of an appearance live.
of godliness. The church had its periods of outAh, the tendencies of the heart are all towards ward peace and security. Then, it was easy to those pleasures. The power of sin knits the make an outward profession. And how much very soul to them; and it is alone the divine more easy still, it is become in our own day! power that can ‘loosen thy bonds.' The power And it appears that many in the apostle's days, of God the Spirit works that faith in the soul, urged by selfish, earthly, base considerations, which reveals to it the glory of God in the maintained such a consistent outward profession, face of Jesus Christ, drawing the heart to him, as to impose upon real believers. And how is and glorifying him in the heart. This divine this, that one can maintain outward consistency principle, while it reveals the glory of God, of Christian character, and be yet an enemy of will enlighten the mind to behold the vanity, and the cross of Christ? How can any one be said the criminality of pleasures which an unbeliev: to be an enemy of the cross of Christ? ing world call innocent, harmless, allowable, Let this be understood as a matter of the most and refined.
vital importance. We have only to inquire what Harmless! when they withdraw the heart from was the grand design of that most marvellous of all God—when they render man the very enemy of transactions—of all the works of God, the cruGod! My soul, come not thou into their secret, cifixion and death of the Saviour; and if any one who reason in this way; unto their assembly, be practically opposing that design, then he is an mine honour, be not thou united. Seek the faith enemy of the cross of Christ. - The Word was which overcometh the world. Flee formalities, made flesh'-Christ took to him our nature. He by which God is dishonoured; yea, mocked, while suffered and died in our nature, that by his doing pleasure is the idol—the god that receives homage this, God might declare his everlasting righteousfrom the heart. Draw near to God—wait upon ness, his eternal hatred of sin, that he might show him according to his word, his grace will quicken forth the excellency of his own perfect law, and thee; and will enable thee to say, I am crucified the exceeding sinfulness of sin ; while in the sufto the world. Without this, God is not yet be- ferings and death of the Redeemer, a way might come thy God.
be perfected for delivering sinners from the eternal punishment which their sins deserved, and for bringing them back to God, from out of their
sinful and alienated state, and making them heirs ELEVENTH DAY.-EVENING.
of his kingdom. God declares to us in the cross
of Christ, in his beloved Son suffering once for For
many walk, of whom I have told you often, sin, suffering the anger and wrath due to it, that and novo tell you even weeping, that they are he hates sin with a perfect hatred. the enemies of the cross of Christ: whose end is
Now, if we receive not this intimation concerndestruction, whose god is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly hearts, if we persist in cherishing those affections
ing our own sinfulness, if we regard iniquity in our things,' Phil. iii. 18, 19.
and habits which are contrary to the divine law, It appears by the writings of inspiration, that in notwithstanding of this manifestation, we are enethe very first
ages of Christianity, yea in the very mies of the cross of Christ. The Saviour's suffertimes of the apostles themselves, many made ings, the accursed death which he endured—these profession of believing in Christ, whose profession proclaim, and with a voice more loud, a manifeswas most unsound.
And if such was then the tation more clear, than if countless thousands of state of the visible church, how much more so worlds had been in one moment consumed because must it now be! At that time, the profession of of sin—that God will by no means clear the the Christian name, generally, carried with it guilty, that the violation of his holy law cannot reproach, shame, danger, and the loss of all things go unpunished; when he who is the brightness temporal, even of life itself. It may appear of the Father's glory, and the express image of strange to us, that in such circumstances, there his person, standing in the room of sinners, could
not escape the infliction upon him of the divine | by the cross of Christ against all unrighteousness anger. And surely he is an enemy of the cross of men. of Christ, who rejects this testimony, and is Should one not be sensible of having assumed found going on in his trespasses, disregarding the name of Christian from any such base mothe work of God wrought by the Saviour, acting tives as are here named, though it is to be as if this manifestation had never been made or feared there are persons who do so, yet if the given.
soul remains under the power of unholy affecBut here is the love of God to perishing, tions, while naming his name, they are the eneguilty sinners, also made known. Here is the mies of his cross. "offer of perfect redemption from sin conveyed And what a scandalous idol is sensual appeand brought nigh to the sinner. The Son of God tites! How wretched and fallen a state for the endures the chastisement of iniquity, that by his rational and immortal soul to be fallen into stripes we might be healed. The gracious design -to have the satisfying of these as the great of his cross, while manifesting the holiness of object of desire, that in which the highest enGod, the majesty of his law, is, that he might bring joyment is sought! This is brutish. Sin has sinners to God, that he might draw them to indeed made base fools of men, when it so rebim. And they are the enemies of the cross of duces them to the level of the beasts that perChrist, who oppose this most gracious design, ish. How insulting to the Majesty of heaven, with respect to themselves; and who refuse to to that God, who by the cross of Christ, is showseek that grace, which through the sufferings and ing forth his everlasting love, to thy perishing death of the Saviour on the cross, is now freely soul, and offering to make thee an heir of eternal offered, that they might be redeemed from all glory in heaven, if thou be found thus denying iniquity, and purified, and consecrated to God, a God, and even forgetting that thou hast a soul! peculiar people, zealous of good works. They The language of inspiration is clear, and decisive, are the enemies of the cross of Christ, who are and plain. And it is true as it is plain, and simnot in, the exercise of their souls, closing with ple, and forcible. And if deaf to the gospel's the offers of this abounding and most marvellous voice and entreaties, to the manifestations of his grace.
glory and love, who died on the cross to purchase How easy is it to name the name of Christ, salvation for thee, and thou seeking thy good, and to be called a Christian, to be a member of rest, and enjoyment, in the pleasures of sense, in the visible church of Christ, and to be esteemed the satisfying of thy bodily appetites from day a Christian in the world! But if we be not to day—then, thy god, miserable soul, is thy brought to the cross of Christ, through faith; if bely. Thou art not serving the Lord Jesus; we do not there learn righteousness; if we be thou art not reconciled to God, but an enemy of not, in the believing view of it, truly made will- the cross of Christ. O, how wretched an idol is ing to follow the Saviour in the regeneration, to this, which thou hast set up to thyself in oppotake up our cross and to follow him, who by his sition to God, even the God of salvation revealed own death on the cross purchased for sinners sal- by the cross of Christ! The end of this must be vation in all its blessings, and now freely offers destruction. that salvation to us each one-then are we the And yet, when we consider this subject, enemies of the cross of Christ. And it appears, when we see many calling themselves Christhat the most earthly and low considerations can tians, and esteemed in the world as Christians, prompt and induce men, to assume the name of taking no delight or pleasure in spiritual obChristians! Many, it is to be feared, know not jects or duties, but glad and rejoicing in their why, or how they have assumed the name at all. earthly—their bodily gratifications,—alas, is not It is customary, it is creditable among men; it is the description here given sadly realized. Do discreditable not to have our name among those they not glory in their indulgences, and pride who are esteemed Christians. But in the absence themselves on their power of gratifying them, of true faith, there are other motives which have in and on their success in doing so! It is too true. fluence in the heart. O, my soul, learn thou thine The world may gloss over this manner of life by own, and see to them; lest thou too be found an names of fancied and proud refinement; but these enemy; and while naming the name, the glorious are God-denying glosses, which cannot bear inspecname of the Saviour, remaining under the power tion, even in the sight of men; and how infinitely of the most unholy, the most debasing sins, which less in the eyes of an omniscient and holy God. alienate the soul from God, and which incur his Men are seen valuing themselves, yea, and valudispleasure-yea, that anger and wrath revealed ling others too, by the extent to which they can