This world?

(Thomas Reade, "Christian Experience")

"Do not be conformed to this world." Rom. 12:2

The very admonition implies the danger of
worldly conformity, and the proneness of the
heart to earthly things.

Who can say that he is always raised above the
undue influence of terrestrial objects; that he is
daily passing, as it were, upon tiptoe, across
this world of vanity?

Alas! alas! we too often sink into the mire of
earthly mindedness, and have our thoughts
absorbed amid the trifles of a day!

But what can this world profit us?

This world can neither secure us against temporal
evils, nor save us from eternal misery.

This world cannot, for a single moment, prolong
our existence here, or make that existence peaceful
and happy.

This world is often a clog, but never
a help in moments of spiritual distress.

And yet, we love this world, though, by its
deceitful smile, it robs us of our peace, entangles
us in its snares; and would, if left under its power,
eventually destroy our souls.

This world would no longer sway our affections,
did we daily reflect how quickly it is passing away!

The heavenly mindedness and contempt of this
world which shone so brightly in the lives of the
first Christians may well cause us to blush.

These devoted followers of a crucified Redeemer
did not study those arts of splendor which have
overspread this world.

When the honor of their Divine Master required the
sacrifice, they could trample under foot, those profits
and pleasures which ensnare and enslave mankind.

They looked upon the delights and advantages
of this world, as things not worthy to arrest their
affections in their journey homeward.

Their spirits breathed in too pure an air, to be caught
with the delusive charms of this lower world. It was
their continual regard to dwell within the prospect of
eternity.

"All these faithful ones died without receiving what
God had promised them, but they saw it all from a
distance and welcomed the promises of God. They
agreed that they were no more than foreigners and
pilgrims here on earth." Hebrews 11:13