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P. 1
The Danger of Looking Back.

The Danger of Looking Back.

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Published by glennpease
BY JOB ORTON


Luke ix. G1, 62.

And another also said, Lord, I will follow thee: hut let me first
go bid them farewell, which are at home at my house. And Je-
sus said unto him. No man having put his hand to the jilough,
and loohing back, is fit for the kingdom of God.
BY JOB ORTON


Luke ix. G1, 62.

And another also said, Lord, I will follow thee: hut let me first
go bid them farewell, which are at home at my house. And Je-
sus said unto him. No man having put his hand to the jilough,
and loohing back, is fit for the kingdom of God.

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Published by: glennpease on Nov 18, 2013
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THE DAGER OF LOOKIG BACK.BY JOB ORTO Luke ix. G1, 62. And another also said, Lord, I will follow thee: hut let me first go bid them farewell, which are at home at my house. And Je- sus said unto him. o man having put his hand to the jilough, and loohing back, is fit for the kingdom of God. It is an important part of Christian friendship to point ou( to men the sources of those errors and that misconduct which may be destructive to their souls ; and to warn them of the rocks, on which others have made shipwreck of faith and a good con- science. The principal of these are, not judging of things, and minding them, according to their real importance ; and being too eager in the pursuit and enjoyment of things lawful and innocent in themselves. Against both these our Lord warns us in the text. A person who had heard his doctrine and seen his mira- cles, came to him, and, without being expressly commanded, said, " Lord, I will follow thee," I will become thy disciple and stated attendant ; " but let me first go bid them farewell which are at home at my house. Jesus said unto him. o man having put his hand to the plough, and looking back" (a proverbial expression for a careless, irresolute person) "is fit for the king- dom of God." He is not lit to be one of my disciples ; I sliall DIS. XIV.] THE DAGER OF LOOKIG BACK. Ill not consider and own him as one of them ; and he will liave no title to the blessings of my gospel. ow these words suggest to us the following weighty truths ; I. Many seem disposed to follow Christ, and yet are kept back by their domestic and worldly affairs.
 
II. The concerns of rehgion are so very important, that they admit no excuse nor delay. III. Those who have engaged in, the service of Christ, must be resolute and persevere to the end. I. Many seem disposed to follow Christ, yet are hindered hy their domestic and ivorldly affairs. To " follow" Christ is to become his sincere disciple, to obey his laws, to imitate his example, and to trust in his righteousness and grace. So that it is the character of Christians now, as well as those who attended him from place to place while he was upon earth. Thus he spoke of his disciples in general as his sheep, who " hear his voice and follow him." And, in the Re- velation, true Christians are described as the " followers of the Lamb," whithersoever he goeth. The person in the text saith, *' Lord, I will follow thee ; but let me first bid farewell to my family." Had his meaning been, as our translation intimates, that he would only go and take leave of them, it is probable our Lord would not have opposed it. And in this case, his answer is not a positive prohibition, but a seasonable caution, that he should not suffer his friends to hinder the immediate execution of his good resolution. But the words may be better rendered to " set in order his household affairs." And this might take up a great deal of time, engage his thoughts, divert his attention, and our Lord might foresee, that by the variety of his cares, or the persuasion of his friends, he might be kept at home and never return to him. In whichever sense we take the words, and both may be included, they suggest this important truth ; that domestic affairs are very apt to lead men to neglect religion, to defer it, or pay less regard to it than its importance requires. Many who have been awakened to a sense of their danger by rea- son of sin, and their duty to repent and return to God and mind religion, have been led to neglect these duties entirely, and to go on in their sin, by worldly concerns. They are so much taken up with their domestic affairs, that their serious impressions are worn out. They have no time to think closely of the importance and necessity of religion, and to try and prove what is accept- able to the Lord. They are so entangled with the business of
 
this hfe, and the hurry of their trades and family affairs, that they cannot move towards God and heaven. Though they come to the house of God out of custom and decency, yet the word and prayer make no lasting impression upon their hearts, but " the cares of the world choke the good seed," so that it produceth no 112 orton's tractical works. fruit. They are such slaves to modes and forms and fashions, that they can scarcely entertain any serious thoughts about their souls and eternity. Others have some such thoughts, and are in effect saying, *' Lord, I will follow thee." They seem resolved for God and religion ; yet put off a close attention to these weighty matters. Their language is, " Let me first order my household;" let me be settled in the world; let me have des- patched so much business, and have put my affairs into such a track and method, that I may have less encumbrance from them ; let me get forward in the world, and attain such easy circum- stances, that I may retire from business or lessen it ; and then I shall have more leisure to think of religion. Many an awak- ened youth hath thought with himself. Let me be first free from a state of servitude and dependence, be fixed in a business and family of my own, and then I will follow Christ. Others post- pone this great concern out of what they call civility and com- plaisance. They do not choose to differ from the custom of the times, to separate from some of their companions, or do any thing which would make them look singular, lest they should be laughed at and ridiculed : lest their attention to religion should be censured as idleness, enthusiasm, or vanity. Others, who go a step further than this, may begin to follow Christ, but soon stand still or make no considerable progress ; because they consider their worldly concerns as the main thing, and religion as only a secondary thing ; which is to be minded when nothing else interferes with it, and when they are at leisure from weigh- tier concerns. They see others, and some who make a profession of religion, acting in this manner; and therefore think theymay do so. They seem almost ashamed to have begun to follow Christ, and afraid to show any vigour and resolution in his ser-

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