When Jerusalem was much affected about the tidings of Christ's birth it is said that "all Jerusalem was moved." TRANSFER, THEN, YOUR AFFECTIONS TO THINGS ABOVE.1. (3) Our nature is sunk in such a state that it has a most obstinate tendency to give itself to the inferior class of interests, the effect of which is to throw away the supreme interests of the soul. Think if they were exhorted to such an utter indifference to their temporal interests as they indulge respecting their eternal ones. Therefore there is great difficulty in apportioning the regards towards these in due proportion. If men's affections were set on things above they would not be so indifferent in the things of God as they are. The reason for David's great gift was his affection (1 Chronicles 29:3). THESE AFFECTIONS ARE NOT TO BE SET ON THINGS UPON EARTH (Psalm 62:10).1. But the happiness of him that seeks the things above is independent of these, and is assured not only now, but for ever.3. Baxter.)Earthly-mindednessJ. "Birds," says Manton, "are seldom taken in their flight; the more we are upon the wing of heavenly thoughts the more we escape snares." The confectioner, to honour him, poured some honey into a dish before him. Spurgeon. 1. Because —(1) They are suitable for our affections (Psalm 17:15). Then they would always carry these things about with them in their minds.5. Not supposing it to be only a picture, she flew towards it with a loud whirr, and unwittingly dashed against the sign-board, and jarred herself terribly. As for the honours, I do not value them at all. (1) The answer can but be that there must be, at the lowest, a decided preponderance in favour of the spiritual and the eternal. We tend to consider our lives right now as "Alive" — and "Death" (if we think about it aL all), is often regarded as the end of everything. Is he more pleased to give earnest application to higher things than to inferior, and that he would sacrifice more for one than for the other? The approval of the world while it pleases it damns.3. (e)Setting your affections on them now is the way to come to their enjoyment hereafter.2. Hake. (8) We shall not be safe from apostasy. The reason for David's great gift was his affection (1 Chronicles 29:3). )Vanity of earthly thingsC. SUPPOSE TWO OBJECTS ADMITTED TO BE OF EQUAL VALUE PRESENTED THEMSELVES IN COMPETITION FOR OUR FAVOUR.1. Men demean themselves, defraud, and lie for money, and think of nothing else. Then they would always carry these things about with them in their minds.5. (3) Our nature is sunk in such a state that it has a most obstinate tendency to give itself to the inferior class of interests, the effect of which is to throw away the supreme interests of the soul. Hake. That woman is not fit to be married to a man whose affections are not knit to him. We should aspire to have therefore more than a preponderance.IV. What madness would be charged. ", 1. We ought to do so. So our converse with heaven should affect our attitude in looking at the things of earth.(T. Under its enchanting spell bolt after bolt of good resolution, clamp after clamp of Christian obligation, are stealthily drawn out. Up from the weedy ditches and briery hedges of the world into the clear atmosphere of heaven. The man said, "Is it any satisfaction to you, my lad, to fly that kite, when you cannot see it?" You are commanded to love your wives, husbands, etc., because you can love them in the Lord — but nowhere to love ourselves, money, etc., because "If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in Him. So stands the magnetic rock of worldliness athwart the Christian's path. (2) Take the approval of the world. A MEASURE OF AFFECTION FOR THINGS ON EARTH IS LEGITIMATE. WHAT, THEN, MAY BE TAKEN AS PROOFS THAT WE HAVE THE REQUIRED PREPONDERANCE OF AFFECTION FOR THINGS ABOVE. Up, then, my heart. )The supreme attachment due to spiritual objectsJohn Foster.I. If you have never found out the true secret of life — the love of God and His service, you are not so happy. The Chinese Government twice offered him a fortune. If I hate a thing I shun it or am angry with it.II. Spence. )Vanity of earthly thingsC. (2) By the output of our nature our relation to one class of interests is immediate and sensible, while the relation to things spiritual is only through thought and faith. (2) Take the approval of the world. (a)Our Father (Luke 12:32; John 20:17; Malachi 1:6). And further, this is the only way of finding satisfaction in earthly things, and without that satisfaction they are worthless.2. SUPPOSE TWO OBJECTS ADMITTED TO BE OF EQUAL VALUE PRESENTED THEMSELVES IN COMPETITION FOR OUR FAVOUR.1. Again, if a man be of a cultivated intellect and taste, he cannot help being affected by the beauties of nature and the great works and discoveries of men.3. (5)By so doing you will partly enjoy them (2 Corinthians 12:2, 3). (2) You will never own Him. "Birds," says Manton, "are seldom taken in their flight; the more we are upon the wing of heavenly thoughts the more we escape snares." )Love of the worldFrom the Hindustani.— A dervish once went into a confectioner's shop. Its intrinsic value would outweigh all adverse considerations. (1) But not for themselves, only in deference to Christ and in subordination to God. Then nothing would attract it that ought not; it would be in repulsion to all evil, and both in the right degrees.2. D.I. (2)This will keep you from doating on the world (Philippians 3:8). The apostle had such an idea of heaven that it made the troubles of life seem insignificant. H. (7)And fit you for the enjoyment of God after death. (1) The answer can but be that there must be, at the lowest, a decided preponderance in favour of the spiritual and the eternal. But where is the worldling after every earthly gratification then?(W. The motions of the reasonable soul. If I hate a thing I shun it or am angry with it.II. It has been drawn out of him by that mighty loadstone of attraction, a sinful, godless, self-pampering, Christ-rejecting world.(Cuyler. (2)See the folly of covetous worldlings. For this is described as hungering and thirsting.4. Hake.In return for his splendid services to China, Gordon would accept only the distinctions of the "Yellow Jacket" and the "Peacock's Feather," which correspond to our own orders of the Garter and the Bath. A MEASURE OF AFFECTION FOR THINGS ON EARTH IS LEGITIMATE. Anderson, LL. Affection is inevitably and justly set on health, near relatives, and as a matter concerning him and them, on his temporal condition. Oh that we would remember this, and never tarry long on the ground lest the fowler ensnare us. H. (1) Our nature, composed of two kinds of being, places us in strict relation to two different economies. "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart."2. So stands the magnetic rock of worldliness athwart the Christian's path. They would be often speaking of them, and would love to hear others (Psalm 45:1).7. (5)By so doing you will partly enjoy them (2 Corinthians 12:2, 3). When your pleasures end in horror, and go out like a taper, the pleasures of the saints are then at their best.(R. But our interests here have claims that must be allowed.1. Its attraction is subtle, silent, slow, but fearfully powerful on every soul that floats within its range. Because, if they are not set on Christ and the things of Christ —(1) You will not be found marriageable unto Him. )The death of MelancthonIs there anything else you want?" A. Its intrinsic value would outweigh all adverse considerations. "O yes, sir," he replied, "I cannot see it, but I can feel it pull." Otherwise how is the great purpose of Christ accomplished who came to redeem us to them? By one we follow what is good and the other shun what is evil. Bridge, M. A.I. )The heavenly inheritance preferredW. (3) Our affections will never be drawn from things beneath. Its necessity to our happiness is another weighty consideration. (5) We shall never be zealous for God, for zeal is the heat of Divine love. Why are we to set our affections on things above? THE FOLLY OF SETTING OUR AFFECTIONS ON THINGS ON THE EARTH.1. (2)This will keep you from doating on the world (Philippians 3:8). You have not got so far as that? De Witt Talmage, D. D.A man was passing along the street, and saw a blind boy seated on his father's knee, holding in his hand a kite-string, the kite flying away in the air. So stands the magnetic rock of worldliness athwart the Christian's path. Having broken her wings by the blow, she fell to the ground, and was killed by one of the bystanders." And further, this is the only way of finding satisfaction in earthly things, and without that satisfaction they are worthless.2. )Affections rightly placedW. And, therefore, we may in measure desire the pleasing, and be anxious to avoid the painful.2. What matters it how long or how fair has been the man's profession of religion, or how flauntingly the flag of his orthodoxy floats from the masthead? Nay, the choice of the heavenly portion is the more promising way of obtaining the earthly on the ground of the greater prudence and superior morality which the choice inspires, together with the blessing of God. (4) We shall never press much after the knowledge and enjoyment of heavenly things. "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart."2. A good name is, of course, an immense power for good: but thousands have gone down under worldly applause. What matters it how long or how fair has been the man's profession of religion, or how flauntingly the flag of his orthodoxy floats from the masthead? Good men have used an indiscreet language almost of requiring an indifference to or contempt for earthly things; and according to this there is one essential inconsistency between our duty and the condition in which God has placed us. Yet so it is: most men are of this Spanish general's mind; witness the oxen, the farms, the pleasures, the profits and preferments, that men are so fast glued unto, that they have hardly leisure to entertain a thought of any goodness.(J. F. B. Tinling, B. (6) We shall never do any great thing for God. De Witt Talmage, D. D.A man was passing along the street, and saw a blind boy seated on his father's knee, holding in his hand a kite-string, the kite flying away in the air. (1) But not for themselves, only in deference to Christ and in subordination to God. (4)It will make you more active in all duties (Acts 20:24). Otherwise how is the great purpose of Christ accomplished who came to redeem us to them? They would be often speaking of them, and would love to hear others (Psalm 45:1).7. Here we are immersed in the cares and business of the world; but let us keep the wings of our soul, our faith and our love, out of the world, that with these unclogged we may be ready to take our flight to heaven.(J. We have a throne there, a multitude to greet us, and Jesus.2. )The supreme attachment due to spiritual objectsJohn Foster.I. You have not got so far as that? Yet so it is: most men are of this Spanish general's mind; witness the oxen, the farms, the pleasures, the profits and preferments, that men are so fast glued unto, that they have hardly leisure to entertain a thought of any goodness.(J. A child if he have no affection for his book will never make a scholar. The snow is melted by the warm beams of the sun, and the more your hearts are warmed with love to Christ, the easier will earthly affections fall away. (a)Upon God (Psalm 10:4; Psalm 139:18). On the second occasion the sum was still larger, but this also he declined, and afterwards he wrote home: — "I do not want anything, either money or honours, from either the Chinese Government or our own. H. For this is described as hungering and thirsting.4. )Vanity of earthly thingsC. How marvellous that the soul can consent to stay in the dust when it might live beyond the stars.2. Sin is mortified by the contrary good; the joy and grief of the world by spiritual joy and grief. Baxter.As it is but foolish childishness that makes children so delight in baubles that they would not leave them for all your lands, so it is but foolish worldliness, and fleshliness, and wickedness, that makes you so much delight in your houses, and lands, and meat, and drink, and ease, and honour, as that you would not part with them for heavenly delights. A. You are commanded to love your wives, husbands, etc., because you can love them in the Lord — but nowhere to love ourselves, money, etc., because "If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in Him. We need to be much taken up with Divine things, rising in thought above these temporal matters, or else the world will entangle us, and we shall be like birds held with limed twigs, or encompassed in a net. (4) One would imagine the terror of this to make the doctrine of Divine grace welcome. De Witt Talmage, D. D.)Drawings toward heavenT. D.)The vital transferenceT. Besides, if they had all that they profess, we cannot keep them. How marvellous that the soul can consent to stay in the dust when it might live beyond the stars. So stands the magnetic rock of worldliness athwart the Christian's path. TRANSFER, THEN, YOUR AFFECTIONS TO THINGS ABOVE.1. I know I shall leave China as poor as I entered it, but with the knowledge that through my weak instrumentality upwards of eighty to one hundred thousand lives have been spared."(E. So if a man choose the earthly he can gain none of the heavenly; whereas if he choose the heavenly, besides securing it, he gains the best of the earthly. What madness would be charged. Let sudden temptation smite the unbolted professor, and in an hour he is a wreck. Affection is inevitably and justly set on health, near relatives, and as a matter concerning him and them, on his temporal condition. Reflect, then, what skilfulness, scheming, racing, anxiety, sleeplessness are required for gaining and retaining earthly things. De Witt Talmage, D. D.A man was passing along the street, and saw a blind boy seated on his father's knee, holding in his hand a kite-string, the kite flying away in the air. Hake.In return for his splendid services to China, Gordon would accept only the distinctions of the "Yellow Jacket" and the "Peacock's Feather," which correspond to our own orders of the Garter and the Bath. A child if he have no affection for his book will never make a scholar. Uses: (1)How sin hath debased and infatuated mankind. )Affections rightly placedW. (4)What little cause men have to be troubled for the want of such things. Nay, the choice of the heavenly portion is the more promising way of obtaining the earthly on the ground of the greater prudence and superior morality which the choice inspires, together with the blessing of God. (d)Your affections were made on purpose for these things (Proverbs 16:4). THE FOLLY OF SETTING OUR AFFECTIONS ON THINGS ON THE EARTH.1. lnglis. Its attraction is subtle, silent, slow, but fearfully powerful on every soul that floats within its range. Extremes meet. Conclusion: Do you set your affections on things above?1. If we did so it would change everything in us, and make us more gentle, loving, hopeful, and when we come to die we should need no Jacob's ladder or angel's wing.3. "Set your affections," etc. THESE AFFECTIONS ARE NOT TO BE SET ON THINGS UPON EARTH (Psalm 62:10). )The affections to be habitually heavenwardT. I know that I am doing a great deal of good, and, liking my profession, do not mind going on with my work. Inglis.If you will go to the banks of a little stream and watch the flies that come and bathe in it you will notice that while they plunge their bodies in the water, they keep their wings high out of it; and after swimming about a little while they fly away with their wings unwet through the sunny air. And when the fated vessel drew so near that every bolt and clamp was unloosed, the whole structure of bulwark, mast, and spars tumbled into ruin on the sea, and the sleeping sailors awoke to their drowning agonies. But where is the worldling after every earthly gratification then?(W. Inglis.If you will go to the banks of a little stream and watch the flies that come and bathe in it you will notice that while they plunge their bodies in the water, they keep their wings high out of it; and after swimming about a little while they fly away with their wings unwet through the sunny air. You have not got so far as that? We call the dove silly to be deceived by a picture, however cleverly painted, but what epithet shall we apply to those who are duped by the transparently false allurements of the world!(C. (4)It will make you more active in all duties (Acts 20:24). The apostle had such an idea of heaven that it made the troubles of life seem insignificant. I love a thing and, if absent, desire it; if present, delight in it. "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart."2. On the second occasion the sum was still larger, but this also he declined, and afterwards he wrote home: — "I do not want anything, either money or honours, from either the Chinese Government or our own. We ought to do so. )The supreme attachment due to spiritual objectsJohn Foster.I. I love a thing and, if absent, desire it; if present, delight in it. THE AFFECTIONS are —1. WHAT, THEN, MAY BE TAKEN AS PROOFS THAT WE HAVE THE REQUIRED PREPONDERANCE OF AFFECTION FOR THINGS ABOVE. Its intrinsic value would outweigh all adverse considerations. (6) We shall never do any great thing for God. How many dollars is Croesus worth now? (2)What are you most loath to part with? Surely our Creator does not desire the pleasure denied or the pain endured more than is inevitable, or disciplinary. In pursuing one of them we can only gain itself, but in pursuing the other we gain it and a large share of its competitor — who could hesitate about making an election? THE AFFECTIONS are —1. A sad thing it is for men to be so bent, and their hearts so set on the things of this world, as not to cast up a look to the things that are in heaven; nay, not to regard though God brings heaven down to them in His Word and sacraments. )The affections to be habitually heavenwardT. F. B. Tinling, B. A.After painting the Sistine ceiling, Michael Angelo found that the habit of looking upward, which that long-continued work rendered necessary, made it for some time impossible to read or to look carefully at a drawing except in the same attitude. (3)Or to give you them for your portion (Psalm 17:14). (6) We shall never do any great thing for God. Philippians 3:19, 20.) Except in reliance on this we should hear the text with despair.II. 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