PASSIG AWAY OF THE WORLD.
BY JOH DURY GEDE
" Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof : but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever." — 1 John ii. 15—17. Worldliness, in the Scripture sense of the term, has always been the sin and temptation of the Church of God. In fact, it is the sin and temptation of man. And our own times are by no means free from the guilt and peril of it. Many discerning men are of opinion, that, while wickedness and vice — the more flagrant forms of worldliness, that is to say — are on the decrease among us, certain other kinds, under favour of circumstances, mul- tiply, and grow more and more active. Be this as it may, no one can deny, that, in this Christian land and age, the thoughts and aims of multitudes are wholly limited by things visible and present. Rank, position, enjoyment — these are, with 'them, the ends of life. To please them- selves is the master idea, and all besides is sacrificed to it. It is eminently timely, therefore, to remind one another of the relations, which worldliness holds towards Christ and the Gospel. And we cannot do this better than under the light of the text, which is a solemn apostolic caution against worldliness — " Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world" — founded upon the 178 PASSIG A WAY OF THE WORLD. double consideration : first, that worldliness is incom- patible with religion — " If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him " — and secondly, that the world is a mockery and a thing of nought — " The world passeth away, and the desire thereof." I.