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are addressed to the dead and the unexpect. ing. The world, too, being crucified unto me, its appearances are as little inviting as the aspect of one that has undergone crucifixion; and instead of admiring a crucified world, I shrink from its embrace, and stand back from the contact of so unsightly an object.
Were we to show instances of the world overcome, and of the world overcoming, we might often find them in the same family, and sometimes in the same individual, as viewed at different periods of his life. Were we to produce a most signal example of either kind, we might find it in yonder stately bark, bearing away to far distant shores. Among others, see on board a gay and ardent youth, flushed with expectation of lucrative appointments and posts of honour on the shores of India; from which, having gathered in a productive harvest of gain and glory, he purposes to return, and live not undistinguished in his native land. See another, nearer the prime of life, sober, thoughtful, and intent on good; he, too, is bound for the same coasts; but on quite a different object is he bent, he goes to live and die among the heathen-to labour without worldly recompence to suffer hard
ships, celebrated with no worldly fameto be disesteemed and persecuted of many, and seeking honour to himself from none; for he hath devoted himself to Christ, to preach his truth, proclaim his grace, and win human souls from hell to heaven. Here we behold the world overcoming, and the world overcome. In a few years, says the one, I shall return, with ample means to make a figure in the world. I go forth, says the other, not knowing the things which shall befal me, to spend and be spent for Christ; resigning friends and country, and“ counting all things but loss, for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord.” Follow them a little farther; we observe the fortunate man, as he deems himself to be, returning in splendid affluence, more enslaved to the world than before, and in subjection to which he lives and dies: while the other goes forth with magnanimous fortitude, treading the world under his feet, and dies a conqueror in a glorious self-denying cause. Which has chosen the better part? ! Other instances might be selected from ordinary life, but they are obvious to the notice of all. We only observe, that he who overcomes the world is a free man, ex-.. ercising a noble mastery over all that is in
the world, emancipated from the thraldom of sense, and place, and passion ; and not living for the world, the world wants power to imbitter death to such an one; for, hav. ing overcome the world, death is spoiled of half his terrors; and if the victory is won on right principles, the last enemy will not appear a formidable foe; for it is the world's power over a man, and the world's spirit and character in him, that make death so terrible and so despairing.
How miserable is the slave of the world, and how mean, compared with him who overcomes it! He need not envy the laurelled warrior, returning to a nation's applause for deeds of heroism. Let him march at the head of conquering legions, emblazoned with distinctions of human glory; his glory and his fame are great, and the world resounds with the report of his victories : But having conquered others, he himself is the very slave of the world, and is most servile to “ the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eye, and the pride of life.” He braved death to win the world's admiration and renown; and having won them, he finds the acquisition insecure and worthless. If the world frown, he is miserable; and even when the beams of secular good and glory
play around him, he is but a worldling still, dependent on the world for peace, and not to be satisfied by its resources. The cares of the world beset him; the pleasures of the world waste him ; its sorrows wound; and even its honours burden and depress the feeble wearers of them.
Whether high or low in the stations of society, whether poor or rich, it matters not, if the world be not overcome; life is but a toilsome, wretched servitude, spent under a most grievous task-master. Our days are consumed in vanity, we live without God, and die without hope ; for no man ever died under the power of this world, but died a grievous and a graceless death.
We may next inquire, Who are they that overcome the world ? And we say, in general, it is not the achievement of the natural man; for in this warfare his wisdom and his fortitude are of little avail, for the brave are as easily vanquished by the world, and the man of prudence as easily beguiled, as the thoughtless and the inconsiderate. As Christ said to the Jews, “ The kingdom of God is within you ;" so is the world within the natural man. “ The lust of the flesh, the lust of the eye, and the pride of life," are elements of depravity from which none,
by nature, are free; and while these maintain an ascendency within us, the world without has only to make its appearance in order to subdue us; for we are willing of ourselves to yield. Flesh and blood are the world's allies. The passions and the propensities of unregenerate nature cry out against resisting the world. Even reason itself becomes corrupted, and argues for surrender. And we may lay it down as certain, that whatsoever is merely the birth of nature, will be overcome by the world ; not indeed exactly in the same way, but all in some way. There is a difference in manner and in degree, but not in principle; for the worldly principle alike prevails in those who sacrifice all to avarice or prodigality, the gratifications of sense or the displays of vanity, the fame of literature or the renown of arms, or the pride of pre-eminence. It is not in the natural man, in any state or circumstance, to overcome the world. It is not the achievement of the old nature, but of the new. For whatsoever is born of God, that, and that only, overcometh the world.
The principles and affections of the new nature are opposed to the world. Whatsoever is born of God is holy and spiritual,