Bonar, "The Night of Weeping"
There is much worldliness among the saints!
There is worldliness in their motives and
actions; worldliness in their domestic life
and in their interaction with society; there
is worldliness in the arrangements of their
households and in the education of their
families; there is worldliness in their
expenditure, so much being laid out for
self, so little for God; there is worldliness
in their religious schemes, and movements,
and societies; there is worldliness in their
reading, and in their conversation.
There is, in short, too much of the spirit
of fervent worldliness about their whole
deportment, and little of calm, happy
superiority to the things of earth.
They are fretted, disturbed, bustled just like
the world. They grudge labor, or fatigue, or
expense, or annoyance in the cause of Christ,
or in serving their fellow men. They have
much of earth, little of Heaven about them.
They are not largehearted or openhanded;
not willing to spend and be spent, unmoved
and unruffled, as those whose eye is ever set
on the incorruptible inheritance on which they
so soon shall enter. They are low and
unaspiring in the things of God.
Perhaps there are few things against which
we require to be more warned than against
this spirit of worldliness. The Church is very
prone to forget her pilgrim character in this
present evil world and to live as a citizen
of earth. Her dignity as the eternally chosen
of the Father is lost sight of; her hope as
the inheritor of the glory and the kingdom
of the Son is obscured.
God's cure for worldliness is the bringing
before us of another, eternal world, more
glorious than that which He calls on us to
There is no thorough cure for worldliness
but this. It is lack of faith in eternal realities,
that makes us worldlings! When the believing
eye gets fixed on the world to come, then we
learn to set our affections on things above.
So long, however, as all here in our present
sphere of existence is bright, we are content
with this world. We allow ourselves to sink
down and settle quietly among the things of
Why should we whose home and treasure
are above, ever again seek our home or our
treasure here on this poor earth?
Why should we stoop from our heavenly
elevation to mingle again with the company
which we have forsaken? Are we ashamed
of our pilgrim staff and our pilgrim road?
Surely not. To be a pilgrim on earth is to
be divided from sin and sinful appetites,
from the seducing vanities and worthless
mockeries of the world, from the fascinating
beauty and perilous splendor of this decaying
scene. To be a pilgrim on earth is to be a
friend of God, a member of the heavenly
household, an expectant of the kingdom,
an heir of the crown of glory.
The opposite of worldliness is heavenly
mindedness or spiritual mindedness.
This, the new relish which the Holy Spirit
imparts at conversion, in some measure
produces. But it is feeble. It easily gives
way. It is not strong enough to withstand
God's wish is to impart a keener relish for
eternal things, and to destroy the relish
for the things of time.
This He effects by blighting all objects in
which there was earthly sweetness, so
that by being deprived of objects to "mind"
on earth, it may of necessity be led to "mind"
the things above. He dries up all the "nether
springs" of earthly joy, that we may betake
ourselves to the "upper springs" which can
When God unroofs our dwelling, or tears up
its foundation by an earthquake, then we
are forced to look upward and seek a better
and more enduring portion!
Many such shocks, however, are often
needed before our souls are broken off
from their cleaving to the dust.
What are this world's allurements to us?
What to us are the sights and sounds of
earth, who "shall see the king in his beauty,"
and hear His voice, into whose lips grace is
poured? What to us is the green fertility of
earth, who shall enter into the possession
of the new earth? What to us is the gay
glory of a city's wealth and pomp, who shall
be made citizens of the New Jerusalem,
where dwells the glory of God and of the
Lamb, whose foundations are of precious
stones, whose walls are of jasper, whose
gates are of pearl, whose streets and
pavements are of transparent gold?
Be zealous and repent and do your first
works. Come out, be separate, touch not
the unclean thing! Put off the works of
darkness! Put on the armor of light.
Get up to a higher level in the spiritual
life, be done with wavering, indecision,
Church of the living God! Be warned.
Live for Jesus, not for yourself, for Him,
not for the world. Walk worthy of your
name and calling, worthy of Him who
bought you as His bride, worthy of your
Consider the LAMB and
walk in His steps!