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carry this indulgence of their bodily appetites. | power and dominion over the soul, the more secret They will like the Pharisee of old, even thank its dwelling-place in the heart. Such an idol is God that they are not as other men, drunkards, the love of self, and self-seeking. This evil prinprofane swearers, sabbath breakers, dishonest in ciple is most deeply rooted in the human heart. their dealings,—that they are men of honour, Not more natural to us is it even to breathe, in worthy citizens, benefactors to their poorer bre- a bodily sense, than it is to seek honour to ourthren by their own luxurious living. But the selves, self-exaltation, and to seek it the one living God judgeth righteously—and while it from the other. Sin has cast out from the soul belongs not to men to judge each other, the pre- the knowledge of God. We act, even in all rogative is his, who seeth the heart, and judgeth things, following our natural dispositions, even as not by the outward appearance. And when the if there were no God. It is very awful to conindividual soul is not really engaged in seeking sider the extent of rebellion against God, to which the salvation of Christ, through his cross, not sin has led us. It has made us desirous and intent

upon that greatest and highest end—that eager to grasp to ourselves the honour which is one thing needful, as its own highest and most due to him alone. We put ourselves in the place Labitual aim ; but intent on these sepsual ends, it 1 of God! God indeed is gracious. Through Jesus may escape one idol, it may even resist the love Christ, by him crucified, he offers to raise us up, of money as its immediate object, but devoting to bring us to true honour, by delivering us from worldly gains to the satisfying of the flesh, ful our sins, by renewing us in the spirit of our filling the lusts thereof—and glorying in that end, minds, by sanctifying us to himself, and by fitting it glories in its shame—in that which degrades, us for glory, and honour, and eternal life withı and stupifies, and pollutes the soul even here- himself in heaven. For this end Christ came. this other idol the satisfying of the flesh, is set For this end he is freely offered to each one in up, it receives the homage due to God; and thus the gospel. But, alas, the heart seeks honour in continuing to walk, the end must be destruction. a very different way. We seek and receive Learn, O my soul, in the believing view of the honour one of another, and rest in that as if it cross of Christ, to flee such lusts, such base idola- were our chief good. This is idolatry of selftry, such soul-destroying habits, and to live above it is self-worship. It is the most insidious form the world in communion with the glorious Re- of a spiritual idolatry. IIow wide-spread, how deemer, even in things lawful, but which are not powerful, in its operation is this idolatry of self! expedient. Learn, that the friendship of the How extensively are the customs, and manners, world in this spirit of mind, is enmity with God. and fashions of this world, and its maxims, based The soul cannot prosper, unless overcoming such upon this, as their very principle. What are all snares of the wicked one, whereby he lies in wait the maxims, and what men call their laws of hon. to deceive.

our and of fashion, but a practical and wide-spread May divine grace enable me to walk circum- manifestation of this sin; not indeed a willing spectly.

confession of it, but a stout-hearted avowal, that men prefer their own honour, and the receiving of it, one from another, to the honour that cometh

from God only. Twelfth Day.—MORNING,

Did we look to this in the exercise of a spiritHow can ye believe, which receive honour one of the spiritual leprosy of the soul, separating those

ual understanding, we could not but see it as another, and seek not the honour that cometh who are under its power from the communion of from God only?' John v. 44.

saints, and from all true communion with God. Here is another idol set up, and demanding, alas, The Lord Jesus proclaims what the spiritual receiving, the honour and glory due to God alone. homage is, which is due to God. Ile was himself, The individual soul may escape many of the out- in his own spotless and perfect life upon earth, ward pollutions that are in the world through a perfect example of what it is to render this lust. It may imagine itself, to have overcome many homage, and love, and obedience to God. Ile of these, or under impressions and belief of the sought not, he received not, honour from men. truth as it is in Christ, to be contending against He took all that honour at its true value-esteemthem, while still there may be another idol, very ing it as nothing, and as worse than vanity. He close-shrouded in the soul, lying concealed in the showed this example to men. Ile propounded secrecy of the heart, and yet the more reserved, and taught the truth-the principles upon which that it is the more secret, and exercising more this is the true honour of the creature, to be sub

so, yet if the

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 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 rehim. 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 belly. 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 / ing others too, by the extent to which they can carry this indulgence of their bodily appetites. | power and dominion over the soul, the more secret They will like the Pharisee of old, even thank its dwelling-place in the heart. Such an idol is God that they are not as other men, drunkards, the love of self, and self-seeking. This evil prinprofane swearers, sabbath breakers, dishonest in ciple is most deeply rooted in the human heart. their dealings,—that they are men of honour, Not more natural to us is it even to breathe, in worthy citizens, benefactors to their poorer bre- a bodily sense, than it is to seek honour to ourthren by their own luxurious living. But the selves, self-exaltation, and to seek it the one living God judgeth righteously—and while it from the other. Sin has cast out from the soul belongs not to men to judge each other, the pre- the knowledge of God. We act, even in all rogative is his, who seeth the heart, and judgeth things, following our natural dispositions, even as not by the outward appearance. And when the if there were no God. It is very awful to conindividual soul is not really engaged in seeking sider the extent of rebellion against God, to which the salvation of Christ, through his cross, not sin has led us. It has made us desirous and intent upon that greatest and highest end—that eager to grasp to ourselves the honour which is one thing needful, as its own highest and most due to him alone. We put ourselves in the place habitual aim ; but intent on these sensual ends, it of God! God indeed is gracious. Through Jesus may escape one idol, it may even resist the love Christ, by him crucified, he offers to raise us up, of money as its immediate object, but devoting to bring us to true honour, by delivering us from worldly gains to the satisfying of the flesh, ful- our sins, by renewing us in the spirit of our filling the lusts thereof—and glorying in that end, minds, by sanctifying us to himself, and by fitting it glories in its shame—in that which degrades, us for glory, and honour, and eternal life with and stupifies, and pollutes the soul even here- himself in heaven. For this end Christ came. this other idol the satisfying of the flesh, is set For this end he is freely offered to each one in up, it receives the homage due to God; and thus the gospel. But, alas, the heart seeks honour in continuing to walk, the end must be destruction. a very different way. We seek and receive Learn, O my soul, in the believing view of the honour one of another, and rest in that as if it cross of Christ, to flee such lusts, such base idola- were our chief good. This is idolatry of selftry, such soul-destroying habits, and to live above it is self-worship. It is the most insidious form the world in communion with the glorious Re- of a spiritual idolatry. How wide-spread, how deemer, even in things lawful, but which are not powerful, in its operation is this idolatry of self! expedient. Learn, that the friendship of the How extensively are the customs, and manners, world in this spirit of mind, is enmity with God. and fashions of this world, and its maxims, based The soul cannot prosper, unless overcoming such upon this, as their very principle. What are all shares of the wicked one, whereby he lies in wait the maxims, and what men call their laws of honto deceive.

our and of fashion, but a practical and wide-spread May divine grace enable me to walk circum- manifestation of this sin; not indeed a willing spectly.

confession of it, but a stout-hearted avowal, that men prefer their own honour, and the receiving of it, one from another, to the honour that cometh

from God only. TWELFTH DAY.-MORNING.

Did we look to this in the exercise of a spiritIhre can yo beliere, which receive honour one of the spiritual leprosy of the soul, separating those

ual understanding, we could not but see it as another, and seek not the honour that cometh

who are under its power from the communion of from God only?' John v. 44.

saints, and from all true communion with God. TIERE is another idol set up, and demanding, alas, The Lord Jesus proclaims what the spiritual poceiving, the honour and glory due to God alone. homage is, which is due to God. He was himself, The individual soul may escape many of the out- in his own spotless and perfect life upon earth, *ard pollutions that are in the world through a perfect example of what it is to render this inst. It may imagine itself, to have overcome many homage, and love, and obedience to God. Ile of these, or under impressions and belief of the sought not, he received not, honour from men. truth as it is in Christ, to be contending against He took all that honour at its true value-esteemthem, while still there may be another idol, very ing it as nothing, and as worse than vanity. lle cime-shrouded in the soul, lying concealed in the showed this example to men. He propounded RECTECY of the heart, and yet the more reserved, and taught the truth—the principles upon which that it is the more secret, and exercising more! this is the true honour of the creature, to be subject to the Father of spirits, and to live for ever. upon all right perception of spiritual truth, and But those to whom he came, with his doctrines spiritual realities. And into every sphere and conand example, despised and rejected him. They dition of life this vain and guilty idolatry enters. believed him not. They were so shut up from the It is the prevailing sin of the age we live in—the knowledge of the true God, so hardened in their god of this world blinding the eyes of them who own unbelief and earthliness of mind, in their own believe not, and making them to seek this honour carnal pride and self-seeking, that his heavenly to themselves, by some mode of self-exaltation, and docrines were repugnant to their souls, and his conforming themselves to those immediately above heavenly, his meek, his holy example, repulsive to them. It is alone the powerful revelation of their pride; altogether contrary to their desires of faith, that can overcome this in the heart—this self-exaltation.

evil power of worldliness and of vanity, and that If he had undertaken and offered to raise will bring the soul to see the truth and reality of them into worldly honour in the presence of their all that which is brought to light by Jesus Christ, fellow-men, in the esteem of the world, then and to follow after that honour that cometh from would they have gladly received and followed God, by him—that restoration of the soul to the him. But their hearts being set in them on that favour of God, which his righteousness bestows, self-exaltation only, he informs them, that that that deliverance from condemnation which his principle in their souls, prevailing with them, sufferings have purchased, that restoration to ruling over them, blinded them to the truth, and purity of heart, to the love and true filial obeprevented them from believing in him, who dience of God, to which his grace can restore the showed and declared the truth in his own doc- alienated, earthly, and polluted soul. This pretrines, and person, and life.

pares the soul for eternal honour and glory with Now, what are professing Christians better than God himself in his kingdom. O! how high the those who are here addressed by the Saviour, while privileges of the children of God. Behold what this worldly principle remains unsubdued in the manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon soul? And O how obviously this self-seeking and us, says the church, that we should be called the pride, proclaim itself to have all the vanity and guilt sons of God! Were we truly realizing this in it, of real idolatry! What could an idol do to through faith, it would conform us practically to bless its blinded worshipper? And what will it the example of the meek and lowly Jesus. It avail the soul at death, that we have stood well would bring us to self-denial—a practical denywith the world, with our fellow-men--that they ing of this self-seeking. The true believing view respected, or even honoured us in life, should they of Christ would reprove this sad, this heinous have even exalted us to the very summit of spirit of self-idolatry in the soul, and would bring earthly glory and praise?

in the love of God into our own hearts; and would Do I bear about with me an immortal spirit, crucify us to the world, and the world to us. which is soon to return to God who gave We would see the vanity of the creature in the it, the God who only can bless it? And when knowledge of the Creator's glory, and our heart this my spirit does so return to him, what would be brought to seek the honour that comes then avails all the honour that has been rendered from him only. It is dishonour to the soul, it is to me by mortal men like myself? Will this the worst bondage, to be under the power of make my soul acceptable to God? Nay, that this deceiving and false spirit, which puts the I have been seeking honour to myself, and from creature in the Creator's place. It subjects the men—exalting myself—this shall abase my soul soul to eternal shame and ruin. O! may my in his sight, shall condemn me at the judg- soul realize this day, what I am, and what are ment, shall leave me there, carrying tlre mark of all the objects to which my natural heart would God's enemy upon my very spirit, and shall procure lead me—may I wait upon God for his saving the sentence against me of eternal condemnation. grace and strength, that I may truly seek the And yet, great, deadly, fearful is the power of honour that cometh from him only, as my only and this destroying idol in the world—what worship my all-sufficient portion; and may the knowledge of the great, of the noble, of the rich in this of Christ the Redeemer prevail in my soul, by world—what seeking of honour to self, by ob- the ministration of his Spirit with the truth, that sequiousness to them! What seeking of some- I may walk in his light, and feeling myself the thing like equality with them, that they should creature of God, fallen, indeed, by sin, and become honour us, that we should be honoured by them ! rebellious, yet, invited by the abundance of his This does blind the mind, it hardens the heart, it tender mercies to be an heir of his kingdom, may lays an arrest on the faith of the gospel in the soul, I honour him in his sovereignty and his love.

from man.

Let me render honour to whom honour is due sider it. Time is on the wing, its conclusion is in the world, as his appointment; but realizing nigh-eternity is at hand, when the proud and myself as less than the least of his mercies hardened sinner must appear at the judgmentbestowed upon me, may I seek to be conformed seat of God—that God to whom he refused to to his will, and not to this world, and as the one submit, over whom the sinner presumed in his thing needful, transformed by the renewing madness to exalt himself, taking to himself the of my soul through his grace, to be found in the glory due to God alone. These men were found Saviour, made meet for the inheritance of the robbing God, to please Herod. It is God who saints in light.

rules over all, and over the princes of the earth, the high and the exalted of this world. He turneth their hearts as the rivers of water.

Herod's clemency was of great worldly conseTwelfth Day.—EVENING.

quence to those men. It was God who disposed, * And the people gave a shout, saying, It is the Herod, to be kindly and forbearing, or perhaps "And the people gave a shout, saying, It is the for his own sovereign purposes

, the heart of voice of a god, and not of a man. And immediately the angel of the Lord smote him, because God the glory. They gave it to Herod. He

merely just, in this instance. They gave not he gare not God the glory: and he was eaten of worms, and gave up the ghost; Acts xii. 22, scrupled not to take it to himself. He encouraged of worms, and gave up the ghost," Acts xii. 22, them by this in their blindness and blasphemy. 23.

They robbed God. He accepted their robWhat a practical and awful illustration of the bery. His sin is in a spiritual sense, what sin reproved by the Saviour in last morning's is termed in human laws reset of theft. He exercise! Herod sought the honour that cometh received the applause--it was grateful incense to

His sottish and impious flatterers his lofty pride. He was willing to be worshipped sought honour or profit, or both, to themselves, as God! How fearful is the issue! by rendering to Herod this stupid and blasphem- How plain and forcible the declaration herein ous tribute of their praise. Behold the end!- implied, that God will not give his glory to another wretched Herod!—the most insensible of men that he sees and marks the sins in which this is can understand thy misery- the wrath of the done, and that he will not let them go unpunished. Eternal has laid hold on thy very body, and it is It is a most unbelieving misimprovement of such miserably consumed. The wrath of God is intimations as this, to think of them, as if God were revealed against thee!

changeable, yea, as if he were such a one as ourYet what are even the bodily torments of the selves, who may do such acts as this, inflict such wretched Herod, but an indication and sign sent punishments as this, in particular instances, or at from heaven of that anger due from a righteous certain times, or upon certain persons, and not God to those who seek their own glory, and who upon all, guilty of the same sin :--that though refuse to glorify God? It is in the eternal world, he so punished Herod, he will deal more leniently that this wrath, this infinite wrath, is poured forth with us, and with others. He is the righteous, on the soul, and on the body too, when again at the the holy, the unchangeable God. And these judgment-day they shall yet be united. The sin intimations are made to us, as proofs of his hatred of Herod cherished in the heart deserves that of sin, and the certainty of that punishment, wrath. It is committed against an infinite God. which though delayed for a time, is yet sure to It involves infinite guilt. It must be visited with an overtake it. infinite punishment. Pride goeth before destruc- And in all the terribleness of Herod's puntion. God resists the proud. And in the dispen- ishment, what do we see, what ought we to learn, sations of his holy providence, God thus warns im- but just the consequences of pride, ambition, penitent sinners of the end that must await them and vain-glory. His body is eaten of worms. in their course of rebellion against him. “Because How sad and revolting the spectacle to flesh and sentence against an evil work is not executed blood! Yet what do all the objects of a worldly speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men ambition, what do all the gratifications of sense, is fully set in them to do evil. This is largely what do all the idols of the worldly and ungodly manifested in the world. It is not in this instance mind, but turn upon the soul, upon the mind and only that God by signal judgments from heaven, spirit, and their presence consume its peace,

its has rebuked the pride and vain-glory of men. health, its soundness, and corrode and devour it He is lovg-suffering in his dispensations for most with bitterness of anguish, when the wretched part. But the respite is short, if we duly con- soul subject to them in life, mad upon its idols,

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