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be gone; your day of repentance over; your doom for ever fixed. What mean you then by delaying to flee from the wrath to come? Awake, thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead." Do you say, We will repent to-morrow? This night your soul may be required of you. "Behold now is the accepted time; behold now is the day of salvation:" While it is called to· day, harden not your heart. Lie not down on your bed this night, till you have begged of GOD to enable you to renounce the service of sin, and to yield yourselves servants to righteousness. So shall you have your fruit here unto holiness, and in the end everlasting
IMPOSSIBILITY OF SERVING GOD AND
MATTHEW, vi. 24.
No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and Mammon.
THERE are few persons who could be brought plainly to say, even in their own hearts, We will not serve God.' Most men would be shocked at avowing such a resolution. But there are numbers who act in the spirit of it; who are resolved to serve the world, and, at all events, to have a portion on earth. And what is this, but, in fact, to give up the service of God? It is true that they do not professedly intend to give it up. They mean to secure a portion in heaven, as well as a portion on earth. But in attempting this, they are attempting an impossibility. Our Saviour in the text strongly condemns the folly of such an
attempt. "No man can serve two masters for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and Mammon." In discoursing on these words let us consider,
I. The meaning and Truth of the Maxim here laid down.
II. Our LORD's Application of it.
I. The Maxim is this, No man can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one, and love the other: or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other." Now the meaning and truth of this maxim may be clearly seen from a very little consideration. Every one understands what is meant by serving a master. It is spending our time, and our talents in his service. It is doing his will and his work, furthering his interests, and obeying his orders. What should we say of the man, who should betray the trust which his master puts in him; who as soon as his master's back is turned, should neglect his business; or who, whenever his own inclination tempts him, should disobey his master's orders, or sacrifice his master's interests to those of some other person? Should we say of such a man, that he served his master? No. The man who serves his master, is one who serves him with faithfulness,
with diligence, with singleness of heart, with a mind ready and willing, and wholly given up to his service. Now for a man thus to serve two masters is utterly impossible. He cannot love them both alike. He cannot be devoted to both of them alike. He must secretly, at least prefer the one to the other; and thus, in truth, must belong to the one, and not to the other. So long, indeed, as both those, whom he calls his masters, may travel the same road, or give the same orders, he may appear to serve them both. He may follow both; he may obey both; and so may deem himself the servant of both. But when they go different ways, or give different orders; when one of them turns to the right hand, and the other to the left; when one of them commands one thing, and the other gives a directly contrary command; then what will be the case? 'It will then be seen which of them the man really serves. It will then be seen to which of them he really belongs. However he may have hitherto hidden his mind from others, or even deceived himself, by calling them both "master,' yet he can now hide the matter no longer: he must now follow one of them, and forsake the other; he must now obey one
of them and disobey the other: he must now clearly shew to which of them, either from interest or from affection, he is bound, and whose service of the two he really prefers. The Meaning and Truth then of the Maxim in the text are clear. "No man can serve two masters." He may intend to do it. He may try to do it. He may, for a time, seem to do it; and may even think that he does it. But when something happens which brings the matter to a trial, then his real mind is discovered: then it is decidedly seen, however ignorant he may have hitherto been of his own heart, that, in fact, he "hates the one, and loves the other; that he holds to, the one, and despises the other.",
II. We consider our LORD's Application of this Maxim; "Ye cannot serve God and Mammon."
Mammon is a word which signifies gain: and it may be understood as meaning honour, riches, pleasures, sensual gratifications, or any thing of a worldly nature, which men account to be gain, and to which they look for happiness. Of this Mammon then our LORD says, "Ye cannot serve it and God." He does not say, "Ye ought not to serve God and Mammon." Your duty, your interest forbid you to serve them both. But you cannot serve them both. To attempt