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can only bestow his favours as they fall into hand; wben any one who will pimp for him, swear false, assassinate, write lies, and act them, shall bid fairer for his favours, than one who should speak with the tongue of men and angels, and have charity besides. Any one in short who will contribute to the vanity and false ambition, the sin and folly which it is his delight to propagate shall have a commanding station for the purpose, if the devil can procure it: but, as thousands more than he can satisfy are daily gaping for his favours, he avails himself of the opportunity, like an old serpent as he is, by cramming them with vain expectations, to enjoy at once their disappointment and the crimes by which it is incurred.
Such is the Prince of this world” (John xii. 31); an ambulatory fiend, “ going to and fro in the earth, and walking up and down in it” (Job i. 7); an out-of-door subject, yet every where at home; an universal plague, yet no where particularly apprehended as he is. The Lord of Heaven, and earth, and hell; who made the evil one, but not his evil, make an hedge about us, and about our house, and about all that we have on every side. For the wily captor will have his emissaries in the hearts of the holiest, and illusions too subtle for the heads of the wisest: much more in the hearts and heads of the worst and weakest; attacking at the same time those whom he marks for victims by the victims who are marked as adherents, and never better pleased than with such work, when once fairly enlisted in his baneful service.
2. But previously to adherents, or derivatives, the three principal allies in every sort of wickedness will deserve to be mentioned, two still remaining; of which the first is named, the World collectively in Scripture, and severally or disjunctively, the “men” or " children of this world! (Ps. xvii. 14; Luke xvi. 8), with their fashions, follies and prepossessions; composing altogether a most repudiable body of some five or six thousand years' growth, as they reckon it. For however complex the body, or however many its members, its general life or substance will still be simply one, as well as the evil spirit above mentioned by which it is animated. Yet we may imagine
1: 2, A distinction of the World into constant and periodical by its constant and periodical existence; as in nature between the constant and monthly existence of the moon : which we consider to be in one respect as old as the creation; but in the other as an existence of eight and twenty days or thereabout, and as many times twenty-eight as there have been periods of that length ever since the beginning
3, So we may consider the World likewise as a creature of two lives; one beginning with its subject's expulsion from Paradise, the other with every generation that has since occurred. Or we may consider the World as two creatures in one; that the World, and this the Age. And besides these three distinctions of the World, namely into constant, periodical, and exiled or expelled, it is also not unusual to notice two other cases or conditions of the same; being the World before the flood, and after.
4, Of the World, before the flood, or the human part of it however, there is nothing to be known with certainty more than we read in Scripture; which seems very little, and that little more creditable to the ingenuity of the subject than to its morals, the wicked as well as the useful arts being generally due to its invention, and the pastoral and the civil life (Gen. iv, 17, &c.) not more than the life of sin (Ib. vi. 5). But leaving this artificial race—the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil," there are in nature, which is the biggest part of the world and was bigger then namely before the flood, than now, data known to those who study such matters, which discover a good deal of the then state of the world in that department: while of artificial matters or the business of the world," as it is generally said, whether before the flood or after, the students of nature are no better informed sometimes than students of divinity, or mere churchmen; who never seem so much at home in the world, as when retired from its sight and influence they devote themselves to the spiritual concerns of their flock.
5, Consequently of the phases, revolutions and interests of the Present World it is not to be expected that a mere churchman should have any thing like a perfect information: but such as the Present World appears to him he may naturally be expected to indicate something of it on the present occasion.
And here it would be idle to deny the superiority of the world over those who are not of the world in several polite accomplishments; as in sporting, dancing and diplomacy, for example,---also, as more skilled in passing occurrences, and how to take advantage of the same, beyond the more retired. So much as this it will be necessary to admit: and what more? Why if some of the children of this world and of the present generation are wiser than the children of light were long ago likewise in some more important respects, as before observed *, -the generality, it is to be feared, are still only wiser in matters of no consequence, in matters of mischievous consequence, or in matters that the parties might well be ashamed of.
And another distinguishing feature of the Present World is that of having wit enough to outwit not only others but himself, according to the apostle's prediction, But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse ; DECEIVING AND BEING DECEIVED” (Tim. II. iii. 13). "O how suddenly do they consume, perish and come to a fearful end!” (Ps. lxxiii. 18) says the Psalmist. Another feature of the world is their fribble and falsehood. “They talk of vanity every one with his neighbour: they do but flatter with their lips, and dissemble in their double heart” (Ib. xii. 2). But still they thrive, “they are waxen fat, they shine; yea, they overpass the deeds of the wicked. They judge not the cause, the cause of the fatherless; yet they pros, per, and the right of the needy do they not judge” (Jer. v.
# P. 129.
28). “They are inclosed in their own fat, and their mouth speaketh proud things ... Up, Lord, disappoint him and cast him down : deliver my soul from the ungodly, which is a sword of thine: from the men of thy hand, O Lord; from the men, I say; and from the evil world, which have their portion in this life, whose bellies thou fillest with thy hid treasure ” (Ps. xvü. 10, &c.).
One might be thought presumptuous on venturing thus to shew the Present World in his true colours, if one: could not shew good authority for it at the same time: wherefore the best authority being that of Scripture, it seemed advisable to let Scripture speak for itself. Supposing likewise the possibility of some who have renounced the world by vows after baptism more strictly, though it could not be more solemnly nor effectually--repenting of that unnatural and oppressive as well as extra-official ob- . ligation, it may be thought, whether they do not speak the language of disappointment sometimes in declaiming furiously against the cause which they have so renounced. But that cannot be thought so reasonably of others who renouncing all that is amiss in the World, and once for all, at their baptism, can still esteem the better part of it, and mingle with the worst unhurt-men of the fields, too perhaps ! In truth the World can have no greater friends in all its extent than they who have renounced it sincerely in their hearts, and but for the sake of the World would be glad to get away from it. If one could only geta “in the wilderness a lodging place of wayfaring men” (Jer, a ix. 2), or even a cell or a cave in a mountain remote from: all the World with, for company, that Blessed Spirit which is worth a thousand worlds, one might think it a blessed exchange : much more when one remembers the peace of God, which is his spiritual dwelling, and carries one's thoughts back to the undisturbed tranquillity of Eden only from the sweetness and serenity of rural shades, such as one is allowed to enjoy sometimes,--would one give if it were possible to get away, not only from the World but from one's very self. How different are the odours, sights and sounds; how different is the effect of every sense in the fields from what either the splendid square or noisy thoroughfare presents, though even cultivated fields are not out of the world entirely, nor out of the way of its craft and violence,-as every trifling remove from the pomps and vanities of this wicked world may be thought some improvement. For if such as this be indeed the face of the World, and such the voice of the World too crying without and uttering his voice in the streets,—in the name of temperance, soberness and chastity, what must it be within doors ?
It may be said that the World altogether whether in town or country, within doors, or without, is a very proper habitation for its own spirit; that is, for the Prince of “this World,” “ Who (says our Saviour) hath nothing in me” (John xiv. 30). He has several departments to boast; "the last of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life” (John I. ii. 16): but he cannot boast one honest subject: for no honest subject will ever own his authority. As fast as he approaches, every honest principle and every virtuous feeling will fly before him. Therefore it is not necessary to suppose, that our righteous and humane feelings can only and immediately be destroyed by sin;
; as the PRESSURE of too much business or worldly concern, with his direction, may answer the same purpose. And indeed this is the most Christian-like way of accounting for such an unlucky revolution as happens between the freedom of infancy and our subjugation to the World so often denounced by our Saviour in his sayings and
parables, as in that of the sower (Matt. xiii. 3) for example.
For it is not on neutral ground only, nor in any foreign territory either, that the World endeavours to usurp a paramount influence: it is the same at home. Even within itself the World is all discord and combustion, like an house divided against itself; the plan of its components, men of the World, as they are called, being for each to domineer