Sunday, December 18, 2016

David's Digest: Love of the World, Part 5 - Worldliness in Much

1 John 2:15 - "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 in him."

This regards sermon 9 on love of the world from a set of sermons on Mark 10:17-27 from Puritan Thomas Manton, where the rich young ruler asks Christ what he must do to inherit eternal life. I found it very interesting, beneficial and challenging.

Here is a link to the entire set of sermons on the topic:
http://quod.lib.umich.edu/e/eebo/A51840.0001.001/1:17?rgn=div1;view=fulltext

And here is a link to this individual sermon 9 on love of the world:
http://quod.lib.umich.edu/e/eebo/A51840.0001.001/1:17.9?rgn=div2;view=fulltext

And here are the previous parts from our blog:
Part 1 - Cooling Zeal
Part 2 - Truth in Trials
Part 3 - The Evil of Worldliness
Part 4 - Heaven My Way


The below is part 5 of just some of the main snippets from the sermon. I hope you will take the time to go through the entire thing as it has many more rich explanations and many scriptural proofs.


From Thomas Manton:

Mark 10:22 - "And he was sad at that saying, and went away grieved, for he had great possessions."

The last point is taken from the reason of his heavy and sorrowful departure, 'For he had great possessions'. He had them, is that a fault? Here is no note of crime put upon him, as to his getting of them: he is not taxed with an insatiable desire of riches, nor with unconscionable means to get them; only it is said, that he was marvelously rich, and had great possessions, and therefore he went away sorrowful; so that the point will be this,

Doctrine 5: That the disease of worldliness is very incident to great persons, and men of quality.

If we have not a mortified heart, the very having an estate may prove a snare to us. I observe this, because many please themselves in this, that they have not got what they have by extortion, or cousinage [relational favoritism?], or by any fraudulent or unlawful means, that their heritage comes to them lawfully, in the fair way of providence; but if they have it, and they look not to their hearts, it will enchant them. It is not the means of gathering wealth, but the deceitfulness of it however gathered that chokes the Word. The very possession and presence, though it be not greedily sought for, nor unlawfully purchased, may enchant our minds, and render us unapt to obey Christ's commandments. Take three propositions.

(1.) Proposition: That it is possible, yea very likely that our hearts may be inordinately set upon wealth lawfully gotten;

The mind may be enchanted with a secret delight and desire to retain and increase riches, lawfully gotten. A man may be a slave to his wealth, and loathe to part with it upon religious reasons: it is very likely it will be so when men have any thing in the world.

I do not know how it comes to pass, but so it is, there is more danger in possessing wealth than in getting it; this young man went away sad, for he had great riches: and it is one thing (saith he) to refuse that we have not, another thing to part with what we have;

Covetousness is not to be determined by a greedy thirst only, but also by complacency, delight, and acquiescence of soul in worldly enjoyments. Though we would not desire more, yet if our hearts be glued to that we have already, we are unapt for the kingdom of God,

In short, it is the corruption of our nature, that we are very prone to affect worldly goods too much, and so much the more by how much the more plenty and abundance of them is enjoyed.

They that have much flax and gunpowder in their houses, had need be careful to keep fire from it; so a Christian that enjoys a great store of wealth, had need look to his heart, that corruption do not meet with it; that aversion from God, and conversion to the creature is so natural to us, that when we have great store of the world's goods, we are ready to set our hearts too much on them.

(2.) Proposition: That the gathering of a spiritual disease is very secret and insensible. Bad humours breed in the body, and are not discovered till a strain; much more distempers breed in the soul ere we are aware, and therefore the more caution is necessary:

Man is afraid of want [lack] and poverty, but who is afraid of riches?

Our greatest learning is to learn how to abound. The worldly-minded judge riches and abundance a happy condition, O blessed is the man, they will say, that is in such a case! It is the sum of every man's wish; but to be shy of the world, to suspect danger in plenty, it can never enter into their hearts: but alas! as a rank soil is apt to breed weeds, so many snares are incident to this condition, and this sort of life. Alas, they that have great and plentiful estates, how apt are they to pamper the flesh, to grow forgetful of God, slight in holy things, to be wedded to worldly greatness!

As soon as men have any thing in the world, their heads are lifted up above their brethren, and they grow proud, scornful of God's Word, slighting of holy things, and we are wholly enchanted with pleasures of such an estate, but consider not the snares that secretly are laid for their souls.

(3.) Proposition: There is no means to prevent the danger, but by the continual exercise of good works, and a prudent carefulness to improve our substance for God's glory, and helpfulness to others...your business should be how you should honour God,

A man's care should be for contracting and cutting short his desires, and how to make use of it in order to eternal life. Unless there be this constant solicitude upon the heart, it is impossible for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of heaven.


Stay tuned for part 6, if the Lord wills!

May God grant we have a desire and ability to always be on the watch for the snares of the world, especially if we abound!

-- David

No comments: