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The Deceitfulness of Riches.

The Deceitfulness of Riches.

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Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on Aug 28, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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THE DECEITFULESS OF RICHES.BY THE REV. JOH HUGHES, M.A., MACHYLLETH." He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareththe word ; and the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of richeschoke the word, and he becometh unfruitful."— Matt. xiii. 22.OuB Lord Jesus Christ often in His public ministryrebukes the worldliness of the human heart. or is thereany sin condemned by him more severely than covetous-ness or the love of money. We can easily understandfrom the Gospels that he placed this sin in the front of His preaching, evermore reminding men, through solemnwarnings and plain-spoken parables, of their danger fromthe cares of this life and its delusions to forget God, andthus to imperil the salvation of their souls.We can justly infer, from the marked place whichthis 9in had in the teaching and ministry of our Saviour,that it was one of the public and crying sins of that ageand country. His indignation burns against it, with nodiminished zeal, through the whole of His public life,and His condemnation sounds, like the blast of a trum-pet, through the whole of the four Gospels. So greatwas this pestilence amongst the Jews, that even His owndisciples had caught the infection; now and again itbreaks forth in worldly views of their Master's kingdom.Digitized by VjOOQIC320 THE DBCEITFULESS OF RICHES.and a vain unworthy ambition for the place of honourand wealth therein. They persistently hope even againsthope that their discipleship will be a gain to them in an
earthly sense, and that theirs will be the honours andemoluments of the Messiah's temporal reign. For agreat part of their public life their great question was :" Behold, we have forsaken all and followed Thee ; whatshall we have therefore?" We are not to suppose thatthis is a question of " other- worldliness," so contempt-ible in the eyes of many who are wise in their genera-tion now-a-days ; no, it is a question of this-worldliness,asked by honest fishermen, who had recently abandonedtheir nets for the hopes of discipleship, and whoseimagination carried them forward into scenes of futuregreatness and wealth. More than once they broke forthinto strife about their several positions in the approach-ing kingdom ; they set to dividing the sweets of officeamongst themselves, one in everything except upon thequestion who was to have the lions share; they couldnot agree who was to be accounted the greatest : ** Therewas strife among them which of them should be ac-counted the greatest." These worldly views of theMessiah's kingdom constantly sprouted forth, in spite of their Divine Master's heavenly life and spiritual teach-ing. He took a long time to disinfect them from theplagua or was it until they saw their Lord ascendfrom the brow of Olivet to the right hand of God thatthey were entirely emancipated from their worldlyambitions, and made fit to be sent forth to the world asthe apostles of a spiritual kingdom.One, indeed, of the apostles, remained under the banDigitized by VjOOQICTHE DECEITFULESS OF RICHES. 321of worldliness, loved the rewaxd of unrighteousness, andbecame the son of perdition. It is a solemn warning to
Christians in all generations, that covetousness obsti-nately persevered in its dominion over Judas. ot-withstanding the example and warnings of his blessedLord, this sin became the cruel master of his soul, andthe cause of his terrible fall. It seems as if Alm^htyGod had been pleased to bring out before the eyes of mankind, by the most startling example possible, thefearful guilt of this sin, by placing it in immediate con-flict with the most precious of His gifts, His own dearSon. The discipleship and fall of Judas is one of thesaddest tragedies the world has ever known, and itshould ever be a warning against covetousness and thelove of money.Furthermore, another inference may be drawn from theattention which our Lord gives to this sin in His teach-ing, — and the parable of the sower tends to strengthenthe conclusion, — that it was the chief hindrance to thedue success of our Saviour's ministry. Why was notChrist's ministry more effective in the conversion of theJews ? Why was the most active, loving, solemn minis-try which the world has ever known, so unfruitful invisible results, so barren in souls ? What was the chief reason why the Son of God Himself failed to convert Hisown nation ? You will find an answer in the parable of the sower, and more especially in the words of my text." The cares of this world, and the deceitf ulness of riches,choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful." Bead thehistory of those times, and you will find how easy it wasfor any impostor and false Messiah to convert the JewsXDigitized by VjOOQIC322 THE DECEITFULESS OF RICHES.

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