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Samaritan, Arise, go thy way, thy faith hath made thee whole. Let the penitent sinner, the sinsick soul, apply to Him for healing, and it will not be denied. By faith in Christ, pardon is brought home to the guilty conscience. By faith in Christ reconciliation with God is enjoyed. By faith in Christ the sanctifying influences of the Holy Spirit are received. And thus every blessing which is needed for this life is enjoyed; and a good hope is obtained with regard to the life to come. Let us then humble ourselves at the mercy-seat, and implore those blessings which we need at His hands; and we shall find that He is able to do for us exceeding abundantly above all that we can ask or think , 27 and shall have cause to praise His holy name as the Hearer of prayer; and we shall also be enabled to look forward with a good hope through grace to that abode of the blessed, where prayer shall be turned into praise unceasing and eternal; where those who have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb, shall be before the throne of God, and serve Him day and night in His temple,28 and rejoice in His salvation for evermore.
27 Ephesians iii. 20.
28 Revelation vii. 14, 15.
BUT SEEK YE FIRST THE KINGDOM OF GOD
AND HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS, AND ALL THESE
THINGS SHALL BE ADDED UNTO YOU.
The things that relate to this present life are those which occupy the attention of mankind, and excite their chief anxiety. In the Sermon on the mount, our Lord Jesus Christ repressed all such anxiety in His disciples, and directed them how to live without distraction from the cares of this world. If the advice here given by our blessed Saviour were followed by those who call themselves Christians, it would save them from much uneasiness, and
cause them to enjoy inconceivable happiness. The children of this world are the servants of the mammon of unrighteousness.29 Worldly riches are the object of their pursuit. To gain these they spare no pains; for these they are ready to compass sea and land; they rise up early, and sit up late, and eat the bread of sorrows 930 and think themselves well rewarded, if they can obtain their desire at last.
In reference to this matter, our Saviour observes in the Gospel for this day, No man can serve two masters : for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon. These two masters are diametrically opposed the one to the other. What the invisible God commands, the world that lieth in wickedness forbids; and what this present evil world sanctions and approves, is opposed to the will of God. Self-gratification is what the world pursues. Self-denial is that which the word of God enjoins. The inquiry of the worldling is, Who will show us any good, in the things of time and sense, that may gratify the desires of the flesh and of the mind ?31 The prayer of the child of God is, Lord, lift Thou up the light of Thy countenance upon me; for that shall put gladness in my heart32 more than is to be derived from the
29 Luke xvi. 9. 30 Psalm cxxvii. 2. 31 Eph. ii. 3. 32 Psalm iv. 6,7. increase of worldly substance. Our hearts or affections cannot be set upon these two opposite things at the same time. If we truly love the Lord our God, and hold to Him, with purpose of heart cleaving unto the Lord, 33 things earthly sensual, and devilish, 34 will not be those in which we shall seek our gratification. We shall fear to have our portion in this life. We shall avoid the practice of what God has forbidden. We shall hate the garment spotted by the flesh,35 and not clothe ourselves with it. We shall despise or think ill of every thing that is condemned in the word of God, and not allow ourselves in it. We shall not be eager in our pursuit of the riches of this world; we shall not set our hearts upon them.
Our blessed Lord, having stated the impossibility of serving both God and mammon at the same time; or of having the affection set both on things above and on things on the earth, proceeded to caution His disciples against being overwhelmed with earthly anxiety. Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. The word rendered Take no thought, rather means Be not anxious. Do not disturb yourselves with anxious cares about obtaining what is needful for your bodily sustenance. But while you fulfil the duties of the station in life in which you are placed, being not slothful in business, 36 cast all your care upon God, and believe that He will graciously provide the supply that is requisite for your support. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? He that has given the greater, will He not give the less? The Creator of the body and soul will, by His overruling Providence, supply those who wait upon Him with what is necessary for their subsistence ; and this as surely as He provides for the birds of the air. Behold, the fowls of the air : for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? The birds of the air are utterly unable to lay up any store for futurity. They cannot by any means provide beforehand a supply for their necessities; and yet they are maintained by the providence of God. And will not He, who provides for the wants of those inferior animals, take care of His people that call upon Him? Giving way to anxiety of mind will not at all events afford relief; since nothing can be thereby obtained.
83 Acts xi. 23.
34 James iii. 15.
85 Jude 23.