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** In his light

“know God, and Jesus Christ whom he hath sent,"to know him with suitable affections, loving him as he hath loved us; to please God in all things; to serve God (as we love him) with all our heart, and mind, and soul, and strength; and to enjoy God in all, and above all things, in time and in eternity.

3." If thine eye be [thus) single,” thus fixed on God,"thy whole body shall be full of light." "Thy whole body:"-all that is guided by the intention, as the body is by the eye: all thou art; all thou dost ; thy desires, tempers, affections; thy thoughts, words, and actions. The whole of these " shall be full of light;" full of true divine knowledge. This is the first thing we may here understand by light. thou shalt see light."

.“ He who of old commanded light to shine out of darkness, shall shine in thy heart:" he shall enlighten the eyes of thy understanding with the knowledge of the glory of God. His Spirit shall reveal unto thee the deep things of God. The inspiration of the Holy One shall give thee understanding, and cause thee to know wisdom secretly. Yea, the anointing which thou receivest of him “shall abide in thee, and teach thee of all things.”

How does experience confirm this! Even after God hath opened the eyes of our understanding, if we seek or desire any thing else than God, how soon is our foolish heart darkened! Then clouds again rest upon our souls. Doubts and fears again overwhelm us. We are tossed to and fro, and know not what to do, or which is the path wherein we should

go. But when we desire and seek nothing but God, clouds and doubts vanish away. We" who were sometimes darkness, are now light in the Lord.” The night now shineth as the day; and we find "the path of the upright is light." God showeth us the path wherein we should go, and maketh plain the way before our face.

4. The second thing which we may here understand by light, is holiness. While thou seekest God in all things, thou shalt find him in all,—the fountain of all holiness continually filling thee with his own likeness, with justice, mercy, and truth. While thou lookest unto Jesus, and him alone, thou shalt be filled with the mind that was in hiin. Thy soul shall be renewed day by day, after the image of him that created it. If the eye of thy mind be not removed from him, if thou endurest “ seeing him that is invisible," and seeking nothing eise in heaven or earth, then as thou beholdest the g/cry of the Lord, thou shalt be transformed " into the same image, from glory to glory, by the Spirit of the Lord."

And it is also matter of daily experience, that“ by grace we are thus] saved through faith.” It is by faith that the eye of the mind is opened, to see the light of the glorious love of God: and as long as it is steadily, fixed thereon, on God in Christ, reconciling the worid uşcó himself, we are more and more filled with the love of God and pân; with meekness, gentleness_long suffering ; with all the fruits q holiness which are through Christ Jesus, to the glory of God the Facher,

5. This iight, which fills him who has a single eye, implies, thirdly, happiness, as well as holiness. Surely'" light is sweet, and a pleasant thing it is to see the sun :" but how ruch more to see the Sun of Righteousness, continually shining upon the soul! And if there be any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any peace that passeth all understanding, if any rejoicing in hope of the glory of God, they all VOL. I.


belong to him whose eye is single. Thus is his “whole body full of light.” He walketh in the light as God is in the light, rejoicing evermore, praying without ceasing, and in every thing giving thanks, enjoying whatever is the will of God concerning him in Christ Jesus.

6.“ But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness." “If thine eye be evil :"-We see there is no medium between a single and an evil eye. If the eye be not single, then it is evil. If the intention, in whatever we do, be not singly to God, if we seek any thing else, then our

mind and conscience are defiled.” Our eye therefore is evil, if, in any thing we do, we aim at any other end than God; if we have any view, but to know and to love God, to please and serve him in all things; if we have any other desigu than to enjoy God, to be happy in him both now and for ever.

7. If thine eye be not singly fixed on God, “thy whole body shall be full of darkness.” The veil shall still remain on thy heart. Thy mind shall be more and more blinded, by“ the god of this world,” “ lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ should shine upon thee.” Thou wilt be full of ignorance and error touching the things of God, not being able to receive or discern them. And cven when thou hast some desire to serve God, thou wilt be full of uncertainty as to the manner of serving him; finding doubts and difficulties on every side, and not seeing any way to escape.

Yea, if thine eye be not single, if thou seek any of the things of earth, thou shalt be full of ungodliness and unrighteousness; thy desires, tempers, affections, being all out of course; being all dark, and vile, and vain. And thy conversation will be evil, as well as thy heart; not“seasoned with salt,” or “meet to minister grace unto the hearers," but idle, unprofitable, corrupt, grievous to the Holy Spirit of God.

8. Both destruction and unhappiness are in thy ways; “ for the way of peace

hast thou not known." There is no peace, no settled, solid peace, for them that know not God. There is no true nor lasting content for any, who do not seek him with their whole heart. While thou aimest at any of the things that perish, “all that cometh is vanity;" yea, not only vanity, but' vexation of spirit," and that both in the pursuit and the enjoyment also. Thou walkest indeed in a vain shadow, and disquietest thyself in vain. Thou walkest in darkness that may be felt. Sleep on; but thou canst not take thy rest. The dreams of life can give pain; and that thou knowest: but ease they cannot give. There is no rest in this world or the world to come, only in God, che centre of spirits. “ If the light which is in thee be darkness, how great is that dark

!" If the intention, which ought to enlighten the whole soul, to fill it with knowledge, and love, and peace, and which in fact does, so long as it is single, as long as it aims at God alone,--if this be darkness; if it aim at any thing beside God, and consequently cover the soul with darkness instead of light, with ignorance and error, with sin and misery ; oh how great is that darkuess ! It is the very smoke which ascends out of the bottomless pit! It is the essential night, which reigns in the lowest deep, in the land of the shadow of death!

9. Therefore, " !ay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where mo h and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal." ; If rou do, it is plain your eye is evil; it is pot singly fixed on God.


With regard to most of the commandments of God, whether relating to the heart or life, the heathens of Africa or America stand much on a level with those that are called Christians. The Christians observe them (a few only being excepted) very near as much as the heathens. For instance: the generality of the natives of England, commonly called Christians, are as sober and as temperate as the generality of the heathens near the Cape of Good Hope. And so the Dutch or French Christians are as humble and as chaste as the Choctaw or Cherokee Indians. It is not easy to say, when we compare the bulk of the nations in Europe with those in America, whether the superiority lies on the one side or the other. At least, the American has not much the advantage. But we cannut affirm this, with regard to the command now before us. Here the heathen has far the pre-eminence. He desires and seeks nothing more than plain food to eat, and plain raiment to put on; and he seeks this only from day to day: he reserves, he lays up, nothing ; unless it be as much corn at one season of the year as he will need before that season returns. This command therefore the' heathens, though they know it not, do constantly and punctually observe. They “lay up for themselves no treasures upon earth ;" no stores of purple or fine linen, of gold or silver, which either “moth or rust may corrupt, or thieves break through and steal.” But how do the Christians observe what they profess to receive as a command of the most high God? Not at all; not in any degree; no more than if no such command had ever been given to man. Even the good Christ tians, as they are accounted by others as well as themselves, pay no manner of regard thereto. It might as well be still hid in its original Greek, for any notice they take of it. In what Christian city do you find one man of five hundred, who makes the least scruple of laying up just as much treasure as he can,- of increasing his goods just as far as he is able ! There are indeed those who would not do this unjustly: there are many who will neither rob nor steal; and some, who will not defraud their neighbour ; nay, who will not gain either by his ignorance or necessity. But this is quite another point. Even these do not scruple the thing, but the manner of it. They do not scruple the ” laying up treasures upon earth;” but the laying them up by dishonesty. They do not start at disobeying Christ, but at a breach of heathen morality. So that even these honest men do no more obey this command, than a highwayman or a house breaker. Nay, they never designed to obey it. From their youth up, it never entered into their thoughts. They were bred up by their Christian parents, masters, and friends, without any instruction at all concerning it; unless it were this, To break it as soon, and as much, as they could, and to continue breaking it to their lives' end.

10. There is no one instance of spiritual infatuation in the world, which is inore amazing than this. Most of these very men read, or hear the Bible read,-many of them every Lord's day. They have read, or heard, these words a hundred times, and yet never suspect that they are themselves condemned thereby, any more than by those which forbid parents to offer up their sons or daughters unto Moloch. Oh that God would speak to these miserabie self deceivers, with his own voice, his mighty voice; that they may at last awake out of the snare of the devil, and the scales may fall from their eyes!

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11. Do you ask what it is to “ lay up treasures on earth ?" It will be needful to examine this thoroughly. And let us, first, observe what is not forbidden in this command, that we may then clearly discern what is.

We are not forbidden in this command, first, to provide things honest in the sight of all men,” to provide wherewith we may render unto all their due,-whatsoever they can justly demand of us. So far from it, that we are taught of God to owo no man any thing.” We ought therefore to use all diligence in our calling, in order to owe no man any thing; this being no other than a plain law of common justice, which our Lord came not to destroy, but to fulfil.”

Neither, secondly, does he here forbid the providing for ourselves such things as are needful for the body; a sufficiency of plain, wholesome food to eat, and clean raiment to put on. Yea, it is our duty, so far as God puts it into our power, to provide these things also; to the end we may eat our own bread, and be burdensome to no man.

Nor yet are we forbidden, thirdly, to provide for our children, and for those of our own household. This also it is our duty to do, even upon principles of heathen morality. Every man ought to provide the plain necessaries of life, both for his own wife and children; and to put them into a capacity of providing these for themselves, when he is gone hence and is no more seen. I say, of providing these; the plain necessaries of life ; not delicacies; not superfluities ;-and that by their diligent labour ; for it is no man's duty to furnish them, any more than himself, with the means either of luxury or idleness. But if any man provide not thus far for his own children, (as well as for the widows of his own house, of whom primarily St. Paul is speaking, in those well known words to Timothy,) he hath practically " denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel,” or heathen.

Lastly: We are not forbidden in these words, to lay up, from time to time, what is needful for the carrying on our worldly business, in such a measure and degree, as is sufficient to answer the foregoing purposes ;--in such a measure, as, first, to owe no man any thing; secondly, to procure for ourselves the necessaries of life; and thirdly, to furnish those of our own house with them while we live, and with the means of procuring them when we are gone to God.

12. We may now clearly discern, (unless we are unwilling to discern it,) what that is which is forbidden here. It is, the designedly procuring more of this world's goods, than will answer the foregoing purposes. The labouring after a larger measure of worldly substance, a larger increase of gold and silver ; the laying up any more than these ends require ;-is what is here expressly and absolutely forbidden. If the words have any meaning at all, it must be this: for they are capable of no other. Consequently, whoever he is, that, owing no man any thing, and having food and raiment for himself and his household, together with a sufficiency to carry on his worldly business, so far as answers these reasonable purposes; whosoever, I say, being already in these circumstances, seeks a still larger portion on earth ;-he lives in an open, habitual denial of the Lord that bought him. He hath practically denied the faith, and is worse than an African or American infidel.

13. Hear ye this, all ye that dwell in the world, and love the world wherein

ye dwell! Ye may be “highly esteemed of men;" but ye are on abomination in the sight of God !" How long shall your souls cleave to the dustHow long will ye load yourselves with thick clay? When will ye awake and see, that the open, speculative heathens are nearer the kingdom of heaven than you ? When will ye be persuaded to choose the better part; that which cannot be taken away from you ? When will ye seek only to “lay up treasures in heaven ;" renouncing, dreading, abhorring all other? If you aim at “laying up treasures on earth,” you are not barely losing your time, and spending your strength for that which is not bread; for what is the fruit if you succeed ?You have murdered your own soul! You have extinguished the last spark of spiritual life therein! Now indeed, in the midst of life, you are in death! You are a living man, but a dead Christian! “For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” Your heart is sunk into the dust : your soul cleaveth to the ground. Your affections are set, not on things above, but on things of the earth; on poor husks, that may poison, but cannot satisfy, an everlasting spirit made for God. Your love, your joy, your desire, are all placed on the things which perish in the using. You have thrown away the treasure in heaven. God and Christ are lost! You have gained riches,-and hell fire !

14. Oh“ how hardly shall they that have riches, enter into the kingdom of God!" When our Lord's disciples were astonished at his speaking thus, he was so far from retracting it, that he repeated the same important truth in stronger terms than before. “ It is easier for a camel to yo through

the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God." How hard is it for them, whose every word is applauded, not to be wise in their own eyes! How hard for them not to think themselves better than the poor, base, uneducated herd of men! How hard not to seek happiness in their riches, or in things dependant upon them; in gratifying the desire of the flesh, the desire of the eye, or the pride of life! Oh ye rich, how can ye escape the damnation of hell ? Only with God all things are possible ! 15. And even if you do not succeed, what is the fruit of your

endeavouring to lay up treasures on earth ? “ They that will be rich," (os Bxhuevos exter, they that desire, that endeavour after it, whether they succeed or no,) “ fall into a temptation and a snare,”—a gin, a trap of the devil ; " and into many foolish and hurtful lusts;"—-Striduusas avong85, desires, with which reason hath nothing to do; such as properly belong not to rational and immortal beings, but only to the brute beasts, which have no understanding ;" which drown men in destruction and perdition," in present and eternal misery. Let us but open our eyes, and we may daily see the melancholy proofs of this,-men, who, desiring, resolving to be rich, coveting after money, the root of all evil, have already pierced themselves through with many sorrows, and anticipated the hell to which they are going !

The cautiousness with which the apostle here speaks, is highly ubservable. He does not affirm this absolutely of the rich : for a man may possibly be rich, without any fault of his, by an overruling Providence, preventing his own choice: but he affirms it of or Brouevos Astev, those who desire, or seek, to be rich. Riches, dangerous as they are, do not always “ drown men in destruction and perdition :" But the desire of riches does. Those who calmly desire and deliberately seek, to attain them, whether they do, in fact, gain the world or no, do infallibly lose their own souls. These are they that sell him who bought them

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