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The Children Of The World Are Against Christ, And, Consequently, Their Life And Their Christianity Are Both Alike False.
He that is not with me is against me.—Matt. 12:30.
If the conduct of the generality of men in the present age be examined by the standard of life and doctrine left us by Christ, we must soon come to the conclusion that it is wholly unchristian, and totally repugnant to his example. The lives of men in our day are, in too many cases, made up of insatiable avarice, sordid and self-seeking manners, worldly-mindedness, worldly cares, the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eye, and the pride of life; disobedience, wrath, strife, hatred, malice, contentions, and a violent thirst after human applause, pomps, and dignities. Add to these the jealousies, the revenge, the secret feuds and envyings, the unforgiving spirit, the injustice and hypocrisy, the frauds and calumnies, the lies and perjuries, together with all the impurity and unrighteousness with which the world so exceedingly abounds. In short, the whole life of the children of this generation consists of the love of the world, self-love, self-honor, and self-seeking.
2. To all this the life of Christ is entirely opposed; it can have no sort of communion with it. His life is nothing else but pure and sincere love to God and men. It is composed of humanity and kindness, of meekness and patience, of humility and obedience even unto death, of mercy and righteousness, of truth and simplicity, of purity and holiness, of contempt of the world, its honors, wealth, and pleasures; of self-denial; of the cross, tribulations, and afflictions; of fervent desires after the kingdom of God, and after the fulfilment of the divine will. This is the life of Christ, to which the false Christianity of the present age is so greatly opposed.
3. If, then, it be the truth that he who is not with Christ is accounted as one that is against him; and he that standeth not in the will of God, as he that withstandeth it (and we know that this is the meaning of the language of our Lord himself), it is most evident that the generality of those who make a public profession of the Christian 28 faith, not being with Christ, must be against him. They have no communion with him, but are contrary to him; they are not led by a Christian, but by an antichristian spirit. Scarcely any, indeed, are to be found who are of one soul, one will, one mind, and one spirit with him; and yet only these can be Christ's, or be accounted his disciples. It is in reference to the latter that the apostle speaks when he says, they have “the mind of Christ” (1 Cor. 2:16); and, in another place, “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus.” Phil. 2:5. The children of the world have not this mind, and it is hence certain that they are not with but against Christ. Now whatever any man's profession and doctrine be, he who is thus against Christ in his life and actions, is most undoubtedly an antichrist. 1 John 2:18.
4. Where, alas! shall we now find true Christians, in the midst of so many unchristian disorders that universally abound? How justly may they be termed “a little flock!” (Luke 12:32) as they were called by our Lord himself. How justly has the prophet Isaiah compared the church to a solitary cottage in a vineyard, and to a wasted city! Isa. 1:8. “Woe is me!” exclaims Micah, “I am as when they have gathered the summer fruits, as the grape-gleanings of the vintage: there is no cluster to eat: my soul desires the first ripe fruit. The good man is perished out of the earth; and there is none upright among men.” Micah 7:1, 2. See also Ps. 74:19; 102:7.
5. God alone knows where and who these are: but be they where and who they may, assuredly Christ is with them, yea, in them, “alway, even unto the end of the world.” Matt. 28:20. Nor will he ever leave them without sufficient succor; “I will not leave you comfortless,” he says; “I will come unto you.” John 14:18. For he knoweth them that are his, and those whom he is said to know, he watches over with never-ceasing and distinguishing care. “The foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his.” But who are his? The answer is immediately annexed: “Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.” 2 Tim. 2:19. But let those who are not disposed to obey this injunction, assume some other name that shall better accord with their conduct; and let them not name His name, until they conform to His life by a living faith.
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