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through all the waves, and be landed in eternity. All those distant views do not belong to you, who are but a creature of a day. Nay, what have you to do with the morrow, more strictly speaking? Why should you perplex yourself without need? God provides for you to-day what is needful to sustain the life which he hath given you. It is enough give yourself up into his hands: if you live another day, he will provide for that also.
25. Above all, do not make the care of future things a pretence for neglecting present duty. This is the most fatal way of "taking thought for the morrow. And how common is it among men? Many, if we exhort them to keep a conscience void of offence, to abstain from what they are convinced is evil, do not scruple to reply, "How then must we live? Must we not take care of ourselves and of our families?" And this, they imagine to be a sufficient reason, for continuing in known, wilful sin. They say, and perhaps think, they would serve God now, were it not that they should, by and by, lose their bread. They would prepare for eternity; but they are afraid of wanting the necessaries of life. So they serve the devil for a morsel of bread: they rush into hell, for fear of want; they throw away their poor souls, lest they should, some time or other, fall short of what is needful for their bodies.
It is not strange, that they, who thus take the matter out of God's hand, should be so often disappointed of the very things they seek; that while they throw away heaven, to secure the things of earth, they lose the one, but do not gain the other. The jealous God, in the wise course of his providence, frequently suffers this. So that they who will not cast their care on God, who taking thought for temporal things, have little concern for things eternal, lose the very portion which they have chosen. There is a visible blast on all their undertakings: whatsoever they do, it doth not prosper. Insomuch, that after they have forsaken God for the world, they lose what they sought, as well as what they sought not. They fall short of the kingdom of God and his righteousness; nor yet are other things added unto them.
26. There is another way of "taking thought for the morrow," which is equally forbidden in these words. It is possible to take thought in a wrong manner, even with regard to spiritual things: to be so careful about what may be by and by, as to neglect what is now required at our hands. How insensibly do we slide into this, if we are not continually watching unto prayer? How easily are we carried away, in a kind of waking dream, projecting distant schemes, and drawing fine scenes in our own imagination! We think, what good we will do, when we are in such a place, or when such a time is come! How useful we will be, how plenteous in good works, when we are easier in our circumstances! How earnestly we will serve God, when once such a hinderance is out of the way!
Or, perhaps, you are now in heaviness of soul: God, as it were, hides his face from you. You see little of the light of his countenance; you cannot taste his redeeming love. In such a temper of
mind, how natural is it to say, "O how will I praise God, when the light of his countenance shall be again lifted up upon my soul! How will I exhort others to praise him, when his love is again shed abroad in my heart! Then I will do thus and thus: I will speak for God in all places: I will not be ashamed of the gospel of Christ. Then I will redeem the time. I will use to the uttermost every talent I have received." Do not believe thyself. Thou wilt not do it then, unless thou dost it now. "He that is faithful in that which is little," of whatsoever kind it be, whether it be worldly substance, or the fear or love of God, "will be faithful in that which is much." But if thou now hidest one talent in the earth, thou wilt then hide five: that is, if ever they are given; but there is small reason to expect they ever will. Indeed "unto him that hath," that is, uses what he hath, "shall be given, and he shall have more abundantly. But from him that hath not," that is, uses not the grace which he hath already received, whether in a larger or smaller degree, "shall be taken away even that which he hath."
27. And take no thought for the temptations of to-morrow. This also is a dangerous snare. Think not," When such a temptation comes, what shall I do? how shall I stand? I feel I have not power to resist: I am not able to conquer that enemy." Most true; you have not now the power which you do not now stand in need of. You are not able at this time to conquer that enemy; and at this time he does not assault you. With the grace you have now, you could not withstand the temptation which you have not. But when the temptation comes, the grace will come. In greater trials you will have greater strength. When sufferings abound, the consolations of God will, in the same proportion, abound also. So that in every situation, the grace of God will be sufficient for you. He doth not suffer you" to be tempted" to-day, "above that ye are able to bear." And in every temptation he will make a way to escape." "As thy day, so thy strength shall be."
28. "Let the morrow," therefore, "take thought for the things of itself;" that is, when the morrow comes, then think of it. Live thou to-day. Be it thy earnest care to improve the present hour. This is your own; and it is your all. The past is as nothing, as though it had never been. The future is nothing to you: it is not your's; perhaps it never will be. There is no depending on what is yet to come; for you "know not what a day may bring forth." Therefore, live to-day: lose not an hour: use this moment for it is your portion. "Who knoweth the things which have been before him, or which shall be after him under the sun?" The generations, that were from the beginning of the world, where are they now? Fled away: forgotten. They were; they lived their day; they were shook off the earth, as leaves from off their trees. They mouldered away into common dust. Another and another race succeeded; then they "followed the generation of their fathers, and shall never more see the light." Now is thy turn upon the earth. "Rejoice, O young man, in the days of thy youth." Enjoy the VOL. 5.-Ss
very, very now; by enjoying Him, "whose years fail not." Now let thine eye be singly fixed on Him, "in whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning." Now give him thy heart; now stay thyself on Him: now be thou holy, as He is holy. Now lay hold on the blessed opportunity of doing his acceptable and perfect will. Now "rejoice to suffer the loss of all things, so thou mayest win Christ."
29. Gladly suffer to-day, for his Name's sake, whatsoever he permits this day to come upon thee. But look not at the sufferings of to-morrow. "Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof." Evil it is, speaking after the manner of men; whether it be reproach or want, pain or sickness. But in the language of God, all is blessing: it is a precious balm, prepared by the wisdom of God, and variously dispensed among his children, according to the various sicknesses of their souls. And he gives in one day, sufficient for that day; proportioned to the want and strength of the patient. If, therefore, thou snatchest to-day, what belongs to thee to-morrow; if thou addest this to what is given thee already, it will be more than thou canst bear this is the way not to heal but to destroy thy own soul. Take, therefore, just as much as he gives thee to-day: to-day, do and suffer his will. To-day, give up thyself, thy body, soul, and spirit to God, through Christ Jesus: desiring nothing, but that God may be glorified in all thou art, all thou dost, and all thou sufferest : seeking nothing, but to know God, and his Son Jesus Christ, through the eternal Spirit: pursuing nothing, but to love him, to serve him, and to enjoy him at this hour, and to all eternity!
Now unto God the Father, who hath made me and all the world; -unto God the Son, who hath redeemed me and all mankind ;unto God the Holy Ghost, who sanctifieth me and all the elect people of God: be honour and praise, majesty and dominion, for ever and ever! Amen.
ON OUR LORD'S SERMON ON THE MOUNT.
"Judge not, that ye be not judged.
“For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.
“And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?
“Or, how wilt thou say to thy brother, let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and behold, a beam is in thine own eye?
“Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then
shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye. " Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine; lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.
“Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.
“For every one that asketh, receiveth; and he that seeketh, findeth; and to him that knocketh, it shall be opened.
"Or, what man is there of you, who, if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone?
"Or, if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent?
"If ye, then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father who is in heaven, give good things to them that ask him?
"Therefore, all things whatsoever you would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them; for this is the Law and the Prophets." MATTHEW vii. 1—12.
1. OUR blessed Lord, having now finished his main design, having first delivered the sum of true religion, carefully guarded against those glosses of men, whereby they would make the word of God of none effect: and having next laid down rules touching that right intention, which we are to preserve in all outward actions: now proceeds to point out the main hinderances of this religion, and concludes all with a suitable application.
2. In the fifth chapter, our great Teacher has fully described inward religion in its various branches. He has there laid before us
those dispositions of soul, which constitute real Christianity; the tenpers contained in that holiness, "without which, no man shall see the Lord;" the affections, which, when flowing from their proper fountain, from a living faith in God through Christ Jesus, are intrinsically, and essentially good, and acceptable to God. In the sixth he hath shown how all our actions, likewise, even those that are indifferent in their own nature, may be made holy, and good, and acceptable to God, by a pure and holy intention. Whatever is done without this, he declares is of no value with God: whereas, whatever outward works are thus consecrated to God, are, in his sight, of great price.
3. In the former part of this chapter, he points out the most common, and most fatal hinderances of this holiness. In the latter, he exhorts us by various motives, to break through all, and secure that prize of our high calling.
4. The first hinderance he cautions us against is judging. "Judge not, that ye be not judged." Judge not others, that ye be not judged of the Lord, that ye bring not vengeance on your own heads. "For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged, and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again:" a plain and equitable rule, whereby God permits you to determine for yourselves, in what manner he shall deal with you in the judgment of the great day.
5. There is no station of life, nor any period of time, from the hour of our first repenting and believing the gospel, till we are made perfect in love, wherein this caution is not needful for every child of God. For occasions of judging can never be wanting. And the temptations to it are innumerable: many whereof are so artfully disguised, that we fall into the sin, before we suspect any danger. And unspeakable are the mischiefs produced hereby, always to him that judges another: thus wounding his own soul, and exposing himself to the righteous judgment of God: and frequently to those who are judged, whose hands hang down, who are weakened and hindered in their course, if not wholly turned out of the way, and caused to draw back even to perdition. Yea, how often, when this "root of bitterness springs up, are many defiled thereby:" by reason whereof the way of truth itself is evil spoken of, and that worthy name blasphemed whereby we are called.
6. Yet it does not appear, that our Lord designed this caution only, or chiefly for the children of God: but rather for the children of the world, for the men who know not God. These cannot but hear of those, who are not of the world, who follow after the religion above described; who endeavour to be humble, serious, gentle, merciful, and pure in heart: who earnestly desire such measures of these holy tempers, as they have not yet attained: and wait for them in doing all good to all men, and patiently suffering evil. Whoever go but thus far, cannot be hid, no more than "a city set upon a hill." And why do not those, who "see their good works, glorify their Father who is in heaven?" What excuse have they, for not treading. in their steps? For not imitating their example, and being followers of them, as they are also of Christ? Why, in order to provide an ex