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world, which we are in scripture warned against, seem to take it for granted, that the gentile world was primarily intended, and that these warnings must therefore be applied to what is called the Christian world with several limitations-mutatis mutandis.
But is this the real fact? Was not the Jewish world so to speak, intended in very many of these passages? I do not mean the Mosaic dispensation, as some would generally interpret, "this present "world,” and similar phrases: I mean the nation of the Jews in the times of Christ,-as much the professed church and people of God, at least, as any Christian nation now is; yet generally formalists in religion, and worldly-minded in their spirit and conduct; "children of this world," not "children of the light." When the brethren of our Lord said to him, "If thou do these things, "shew thyself to the world;" and when he answered, "The world cannot hate you, but me it "hateth, because I testify of it, that the works of "it are evil; " was the gentile world, or the Jewish intended? Again; "If the world hate you, ye "know that it hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his "own; but, because ye are not of the world, but "I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the "world hateth you."2
Were the Jews, or the gentiles, the world which thus hated Christ; and out of which he had "chosen" the eleven apostles, whom it hated for
' John vii. 4, 7. See John viii. 26. xiv. 17.
2 John xx. 18, 19.
his sake? Again; "When the Comforter is come, he will convince the world of sin-; because they believe not in me." "Verily, verily, "I say unto you, that ye shall weep and lament, "but the world shall rejoice." Were idolatrous gentiles here meant by the world? Were not the Jews in general, and especially the elders, priests, and scribes, intended?
Again; "I have given them thy word, and the "world hath hated them; because they are not "of the world, as I am not of the world." Was that world, which had hated the disciples of Christ, constituted of gentiles, or of Jews? of idolaters, or of the professed worshippers of JEHOVAH ?
James, when he said, " Pure religion and unde"filed before God and the Father is this, to visit "the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and
to keep himself unspotted from the world," 2 was writing" to the twelve tribes that were scattered abroad," and not either to gentiles or gentile converts. And his strong language; "Ye adul"terers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God?"3 Whosoever, therefore, will be the friend of the world, is the enemy of God;" was addressed to Jews and the Jews were not much disposed to the friendship of idolatrous gentiles, or indced of any gentiles.
When St. John says, "Love not the world, "neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not
'John xvi. 8, 10, 20.
* Jam. i. 27.
3 Jam. iv. 4.
"in him;" he speaks of no other idolatry than that which is common to nominal Christians as well as heathens; "For all that is in the world, "the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eye, and "the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of "the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of "God abideth for ever." I All then who are lovers of money, pleasure, honour, pomp, power, and worldly things, rather than of God, belong to "the world," whether called Jews, Pagans, Mohammedans, or Christians: nor can I see any ground to conclude, that, in the admonitions of the other apostles on this subject, although addressed to churches chiefly constituted of gentile converts, any distinction between the gentiles and the worldly-minded Jews around them was intended. In general, I suppose, that all who are not of the true church," the church of the first-born "whose names are written in heaven," are of the world, whether called Gentiles, Mohammedans, Jews, or Christians; and, under one form or other, are the servants of "the god of this world; "2 and that we must know who are not of the world, and who are, not by names, or titles, or profession, but by the spirit which they manifest, and the conduct which they adopt, connected with the doctrine of God our Saviour, which they profess, and adorned by the "spiritual "mind" and the "fruits of the Spirit." Of these
1 John ii. 15. 17. See also iii. 14; iv. 4, 5.
22 Cor. iv. 4. Comp. John viii. 44; xiii. 31.; xiv. 30; xv. 11; 1 John iii. 8-10; v 4.
we must judge, as well as we can, with fairness, candour, and humble cautiousness, according to the sacred scriptures. And wherever the spirit, maxims, fashions, and conduct of a world lying "in wickedness," are predominant, thence we must separate ourselves, avoiding all needless intimacy, and having no further intercourse than that of relationship and necessary worldly concerns, or such as appear to us, on mature consideration, more likely to benefit them than to injure ourselves or mislead our brethren. Indeed, I cannot conceive that any thing, except a mind greatly imbued with "love of the world," can induce a man to go, except at the call of duty, into any company or place of concourse, for the sake either of good cheer, or agreeable, or genteel, or learned company, or mere recreation, where it would be deemed an outrage on decorum to introduce a peculiarly Christian topic, even in the most prudent and unexceptionable manner. 1
ON THE INSTITUTION AND OBLIGATION OF THE
12 Cor. vi. 14-18.
I learn, in my retired situation, with great regret, that the hallowing of the Lord's Day is
considered by increasing numbers, even of persons not unfavourable to the cause of religion, rather as a matter of expediency than of moral obligation. I am deeply convinced, however, that such an opinion is very injurious to the cause of true godliness; both in respect of the individuals who entertain it, and of the circle, more or less extensive, to which their influence extends. I shall therefore arrange a few thoughts both on the original institution of the sabbath-the sabbath, I mean, as a part of the Mosaic dispensation— and on the obligation of the Christian Sabbath, or, more properly speaking, THE LORD'S DAY.
It is evident, even from the fourth commandment, that the sabbath was instituted in commemoration of the creation. "In six days the "Lord made heaven and earth, the sea and all "that in them is, and rested the seventh day;
wherefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day, " and hallowed it." Now what reason can be assigned, why this intended commemoration should never be intimated to mankind till above two thousand five hundred years after the creation? Had the rational creatures of God no cause or reason to remember that event during these revolving ages? Had God no worshippers all this time? Were none under obligations to worship him? Would the sabbath be less needful, useful, or expedient, in order to the worship of God, before the days of Moses, than it was afterwards? Or why should that at length be given to a very small portion of the human race,
'Exod. xx. 11.