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every feeling of ill-will, every desire to do any one an injury, everything like pleasure at our neighbour's hurt,-all these are acts of worship and heart-service to the hateful and cruel Moloch. Is Moloch then without worshipers in England, or in any part of England, at this day? Are there none who serve him? none who serve him faithfully, and zealously, and constantly?
Would, my brethren, we were as faithful and zealous and constant in the service of the most high God, as too many are,-as all perhaps have been at some time or other,—in the service of one or other of these idols! Would that we only gave the Lord of heaven and earth as much as the worshipers of Moloch and Belial and Mammon readily give to them! Then should we give God everything that he requires. We should give him our hearts; we should give him our thoughts; we should give him our time; we should give him our labour and diligence. With all these do we serve the idols which dare to rival the God of heaven, the idol of hate, the idol of lust, the idol of covetousness. These gods, these devils rather, have no scant share of service paid to them. For them their votaries are eager to work. To gratify his revenge, to gratify his unlawful passions, to heap up fresh piles of riches, a man will plan, and toil, and risk money, if need be, and will even deny himself in
many things. Who does as much for God? Who toils as much in God's service, and spends as much thought on it, and makes as many sacrifices for it, as the servants of sin will often to pamper their sins? Alas! all the while they are only fattening themselves for the altar of wrath, and gathering the fuel that is to consume them.
But though I have spoken to you of so many idols, I have still to mention the commonest of all, the idol which has the most, the most constant, the devoutest worshipers; which reigns indeed in every heart, unless it has been cast out by the Spirit of God. This idol, my brethren, is self. Self is the great idol of all. He is your idol, and mine, and was the idol of our fathers before us, and I will be the idol of your children after you, when you are sleeping in your graves. Therefore is our Saviour so urgent on us in many places to deny ourselves: because he knows that the traitor, self, has surprised our hearts, and fortified himself within them, as in a stronghold; so that it is almost impossible to get rid of him, unless we starve him out. So long as we feed him and strengthen him by gratifying his wilfulness and whims, so long will he continue in possession. Nor will even starving him out be enough of itself, un... less we add frequent prayer thereto. For this is the spirit of which our Lord said, that it goeth not
out, except by prayer and fasting. Mortify yourselves therefore, brethren: strive to crush every feeling within you, that would lift up its head against the will of God: strive to break the neck of your own will, and to make it bend meekly and patiently under the yoke of Christ. Above all, pray heartily and frequently to God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, that he will come and set up his own image in your heart, and sprinkle it with his purifying blood, and hallow it with his sanctifying Spirit.
THE THIRD AND FOURTH COMMANDMENT.
ACTS X. 15.
What God has cleansed, that call not thou common.
I HAVE chosen this text for the sake of saying a few words to you about the third and fourth commandments, which have this point of agreement, that they both enjoin us to reverence and hallow things appertaining to God. The third commandment teaches us to hallow God's holy name, and not to profane it: the fourth commandment teaches us to hallow God's holy day, and not to profane it. The reason for both is the same, namely, that the things which God has hallowed by uniting them to himself, we are to reckon holy. Be it the day which the Lord hath made, or be it the name which the Lord has chosen, in each case it is the Lord's.
He has been pleased to set it apart for himself: he has made it sacred and cleansed it: therefore we are not to call it common; that is, we are not to make use of it for common purposes; we are not to treat it lightly and as a common thing. We are to set a distinction and a difference between the Lord's name and other words, between the Lord's day and other days.
But if we are to reverence God's name, and not to profane it, because it is the name of God Most High, if we are to keep the sabbath-day holy, and not to profane it, because it is the day which the Lord has hallowed,-we may be sure the principle does not stop here. Everything else which God has in any way set apart for his own, and put his mark on,-everything else which in any way belongs more peculiarly to him,-his word, his ordinances, his house, his people,-all these, you will see after a moment's thought, come under the same rule. They are all things which God has cleansed: therefore we must not call them common. He has set them apart for his own service he has fenced them off, as it were, from the waste of the world, and has enclosed them for his own use. Hence there is the same sort of difference between them and all merely worldly and common things, as there is between a garden and Salisbury Plain. No one who knows how to be