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Christianity, in effect renounces the world, with afl the affections, Iusts, and vanities of it. He enters his name as a citizen of another place; and if he be a true christian, he will socner yielt úp his life to the rage of persecution, than rencunce his interest in his own proper country. Nothing here below, not even life itself, is so dear to him, as that he would not readily part with it, rather than forfeit his title to an inheritance which he thinks to be infinitely more valuable than any earthly possession. Neither, says the apostle, do I account my life dear to me, so that I might finish my course with joy, that is, that I might live and die a chris. tian, and enjoy the noble rewards of christianity.
These hints I propose, in discoursing upon these words, to enlarge upon, by considering, in the first place, on what account it is that christians have their citizenship in heaven, and then make some inferences, for the application of this doctrine. * I. In the first place christians may be said to have their citizenship in heaven, and not to be of this world, because their Lord and master was not of it. It is evident from the whole of our Lord's history, from his discourses, and from his conduct, that he was a person who absolutely renounced all
the pleasures and profits of this world. For though it was in his power to have enjoyed all these things, in the greatest abundance and perfecí tion, he chose to pass through life in comparativelv indigent circumstances. When he might have supplied himself with every convenince of life, he was content frequently to want the very necessar ries of it. For, as he himself said, the foxes had holes, and the birds of the air had nests, when the son of man had not where to lay his head. When he might have made himself acceptable to the rich and great, and his society was courted by some persons of rank and distinction, he declined their acquaintance, and for wise and benevolent purposes, rather chose the company of some of the low's est of mankind; insomuch that his enemies taking a malicious advantage of this circumstance, called him a friend of publicans, and sinners.
Thus lived our Lord and master, as the prophet says, despised and rejected of men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief and his death was a. greeable to the texor of his life. He might have prayed to his father, who, as he said, would have sent legions of angels, to rescue him from the hands of his inveterate and bloody persecutors; but he chose, rather to submit to all the cruelties
and indignities which their implacable- malice made hitn undergó, till his hour was come, wlien he ended a laborious life with a painful and ignominious death upon the cross...!
Is not this life and character agreeable to his cwn declaration, that his kingdom was not of this world? None of this world's goods, nothing that we short sighted creatures are so passionately fond of, and that we pursue with so much eagerness and constancy, was at all the object of his choice or pursuit, and notwithstanding his tempter exhibited them to him, in all their charms and glory, he saw nothing in them so desirable as the execu-, tion of the important, though painful, mission or which he was sent. He had much greater expec. tations, and for the hope that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is now set down at the right hand of God; Angels, principalities and powers, being on that account made subject to him.!:. .:03.0;!'seen, üzer? - Such, my brethren, was the life and uniform character of Christ, and such should ours also be, in all respects, if we be christians. For what is it to be a christian, in the most obvious sense of the word, but to be a follower of Christ'; to have the same všews and designs, arising from the same
inward temper of mind, the same expectations, and the same hopes, so as to be ready to take part with him in all that he met with. For il we have quite other dispositions of mind, and other pur. suits, how can we pretend to be followers of him." It would be as if in travelling, we should profess' to follow some particular-guide, and yet should chuse a contrary road to that which he took. By such conduct as this we could not expect to arrive at the same place. In like manner, if we be not followers of Christ in this world, we must not ex-, pect to sit down with him in glory and happiness. hereafter. t. If we deny him, he also will deny usque
All To be a follower, or disciples of Christ, is to submit to his directions and commands. For to disobey the commands of Christ is to reject his authority; and if we reject the authority of Christ where is our christianity. Now hath not our Lord expressly said that whosoeven will come after him, he must take up his cross and follow him? Hath he not, in the most peremptory manner, forbidden qur attachment to any thing in this world, when it is in danger of interfering with our obedience to him ? Has he not said, he that loveth house or land, father or mother, wife or friend, more than me, is not worthy of me?, od 14. . ; I4. .
* Let us bewâréthen how we set our affections upon any things here below, and become anxibus sboutz any earthly enjoyntent: 1. Fór in so doing we both cease to follow the examples of Chtist and likewise disregard his most express commands Consequentlyiq we renounce out discipleship to kimy, and that happiness which is reserved for his proper disciples and followers inria.future staté. For with what justice can we plead to share with kem the lotour and the happiness to which he is advanced, if we both rejecti his aà thority, and are usiwilling to share with him in the difficulties and trials through which he passed to attain themă It is, therefore, only a cheaftdistšlmmissiớn to the authority of Christ, and a conformity of our lives and tempers to his, that can giverussa titld to the happiness, of hčaven, of in the langaage of non text,la: right of citizenship there to v III. Cliristians have their citizenship in heat ven, and are not properly of this world, because is is implied in the very nature of their cliristianoprou fession'; and the more attention we give to its the more sensible' we shall be how inconsistent it is with our principal attachment beingi tə this world! and the things of it. For only consider what is christianity, what was the desigri of Christ being