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go in and possess the Land, whither you go to possess it.
The Gospel is quite of another Nature, and is a Call to a very different State, it lays its first Foundation in the Renunciation of the World, as a State of false Goods and Enjoyments, which feed the Vanity and Corruption of our Nature, fill our Hearts with foolish and wicked Passions, and keep us separate from God, the only Happiness of all Spirits.
My Kingdom, faith our blessed Saviour, is not of this World; by which we may be assured, that no Worldlings are of his Kingdom.
We have a farther Representation of the Contrariety, that there is betwixt this Kingdom and the Concerns of this world. A certain Man, faith our Lord, made a great Supper, and bade many, and sent his Servant at supper-time, to say to them that were bidden, come, for all Things are now ready; and they all with one Consent began to make Excuse. Tbe first said, I have bought a Picce of Ground, and I must needs go and see it; another said, I have bought five Yoke of Oxen, and I go to prove them, I pray thee have me excused; another said, I have married a Wife, and therefore I cannot come.
We find that the Master of the House was angry, and said, None of those Men
which were bidden, shall taste of my Supper (a).
Our Saviour a little afterwards applies it all in this Manner, Whosoever he be of you, that forsaketh not all that he hath, be cannot be my Disciple. We are told, that oben the Chief Priests and Pharisees heard our Saviour's Parables, they perceived that he Spoke of them (b).
IF Christians hearing the above-recited Parable, are not pricked in their Hearts, and don't feel that our Saviour speaks of them, it must be own'd that they are more hardened than Jews, and more unsincere than Pharisees.
This Parable teaches us, that not only the Vices, the Wickedness and Vanity of this World, but even its most lawful and allow'd Concerns, render Men unable mal to enter, and unworthy to be received into the true State of Christianity.
THAT he who is busied in an honest and lawful Calling, may on that Account be as well rejected by God, as he who is vainly employ'd in foolish and idle Pursuits.
THAT it is no more pardonable to be noch less affected to the Things of Religion, for
(1) Luke xiv. 16.
(6) Mat, xxi. 45.
the Sake of any worldly Business, than for the Indulgence of our Pride, or any other Passion, iç farther teaches us, that Christianity is a Calling that puts an End to all other Callings; that we are no longer to consider it as our proper State, or Employment, to take care of Oxen, look after an Estate, or attend the most plausible Affairs of Life, but to reckon every Condiţion as equally trifling, and fit to neglected, for the sake of the one thing wedful.
MEN of serious Business and Management, generally censure those who trifle away their Time in idle and impertinent Pleasures, as vain and foolish, and unworthy of the Christian Profession.
But they don't consider that the Bufiness of the World, where they think they fhew such a manly Skill and Address, is as vain as Vanity it self; they don't consider that the Cares of an Employment, an Attention to Business, if it has got hold of the Heart, renders Men as vain and odious in the Sight of God, as any other Gratification,
For though they may call it an honest Care, a creditable Industry, or by any other plausible Name, yet it is their particular Gratification, and a Wisdom that can no niore recommend it self to the Eyes of God, than the Wisdom of an Epicure.
For it fhews as wrong a Turn of Mind, as false a Judgment, and as great a Contempt of the true Goods, to neglect any Degrees of Piety, for the Sake of Bufiness, as for any the most trifling Pleasures of Life.
The Wisdom of this world gives an Importance, and Air of Greatness to several Ways of Life, and ridicules others as vain and contemptible, which differ only in their kind of Vanity ; but the Wisdom from above condemns all Labour, as equally fruitless, but that which labours after everlasting Life. Let but Religion determine the Point, and what can it signify, whether a Man forgets God in his Farm, or a Shop, or at a Gaming-Table ? For the World is full as great and important in its Pleasures, as in its Cares ; there is no more Wisdom in the one, than in the other; and the Christian that is govern'd by either, and made less affected to Things of God by them, is equally odious and contemptible in the Sight of God.
AND though we distinguish betwixt Cares and Pleasures, yet if we would speak exactly, it is Pleasure alone that governs and moves us in every State of Life. And the Man, who in the Business of the World would be thought to pursue it, because of its Use and Importance, is as much
govern'd governed by his Temper and Taste for Pleasures, as he who studies the Gratification of his Palate, or takes his Delight in running Foxes and Hares out of Breath.
For there is no Wisdom or Reason in any thing but Religion, nor is any Way of Life less vain than another, but as it is niade serviceable to Piety, and conspires with the Designs of Religion to raise Mankind to a Participation and Enjoyment of the Divine Nature.
THEREFORE does our Saviour equally call Men from the Cares of Employments, as from the Pleasures of their Senses, because they are equally wrong Turns of Mind, equally nourish the Corruption of our Nature, and are equally nothing when compared to that high State of Glory, which by his Sufferings and Death he has merited for us.
PERHAPS Christians who are not at all asham'd to be devoted to the Cares and Business of the World, cannot better perceive the Weakness and Folly of their Designs, than by comparing them with such States of Life, as they own to be vain and foolish, and contrary to the Temper of Religion.
Some People have no other Care, than how to give their Palate some fresh Pleasure, and enlarge the Happiness of Tasting,