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Selfishness the Essence of Moral Depravity.

Selfishness the Essence of Moral Depravity.

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Published by glennpease

FOR if ye love tliera -whicli love you, -what thank have ye ? for sinners also love those that love them. — Luee, vi. 32.

FOR if ye love tliera -whicli love you, -what thank have ye ? for sinners also love those that love them. — Luee, vi. 32.

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Published by: glennpease on Feb 06, 2014
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SELFISHNESS THE ESSENCE OF MORAL DEPRAVITY. BY REV. NATHANAEL EMMONS, D. D FOR if ye love tliera -whicli love you, -what thank have ye ? for sinners also love those that love them. — Luee, vi. 32. When Christ first appeared in his public character, he dis-played so much kindness, compassion and benevolence, in healing the sick, relieving the distressed, and preaching the gospel to the poor, that he was almost universally beloved as well as admired. The high and low, the learned and unlearn-ed, the teachers and those that were taught, flocked after him to hear his doctrines and to see and experience his miracles. He appeared to be what it was foretold that he should be, " the desire of all nations." At least, the Scribes and Pharisees and Sadducees, though disunited among themselves, agreed to ad-mire and to follow the long expected Messiah. And to any one less acquainted with the human heart than Christ was, they would have appeared to be his real friends. But he knew what was in man, and was never deceived by any false appearances of love and esteem. As he perfectly knew the characters of all who followed him, so in his addresses to the mixed multitudes, he directed his discourses to the hearts and consciences of both the sincere and insincere. And as he had occasion while his
real enemies wore the mask of love, to point out the distinc-tion between true love and false, so he dwelt much upon this subject in both his public and private discourses. An instance of this we have in the context, where we find a description of his followers, and a summary of his discourse which he deliver-ed to them. " He came down with them and stood in the plain ; and the company of his disciples, and a great multitude of people 542 SERMON XXXIX. out of all Judea and Jerusalem, and from the sea coast of Tyre and Sidon, which came to hear him, and to be healed of their diseases ; and they that were vexed with unclean spirits ; and they were healed. And the whole multitude sought to touch him ; for there went virtue out of him, and healed them all. And he lifted up his eyes on his disciples, and said. Blessed be ye poor ; for yours is the kingdom of God. Blessed are ye that hunger now ; for ye shall be filled. Blessed are ye that weep now ; for ye shall laugh. Blessed are ye when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate yoa from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man's sake. Rejoice ye in that day, and
leap for joy ; for behold your reward is great in heaven." He now turns from his disciples to the multitude, and says, "Bat wo unto you that are rich ! for ye have received your consola-tion. Wo unto you that are full ! for ye shall hunger. Wo unto you that laugh now ! for ye shall mourn and weep. Wo unto you when all men shall speak well of you ! for so did their fathers to the false prophets. But I say unto you which hear. Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you. Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you. And unto him that smiteth thee on the one cheek offer also the other ; and him that taketh away thy cloak, forbid not to take thy coat also. Give to every one that asketh of thee ; and of him that taketh away thy goods ask them not again. And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise. For if ye love them which love you^ what thank have ye ? for sinners also love those that love them^ What could have been more pertinent than this discourse to the multitudes, who united with his disciples in following him, and who practically expressed so much regard for him ? It was suited to make them all see and feel that essential distinction which there is between true love and false, and between saints and sinners. He first describes that pure, disinterested love which forms the character of saints, and then contrasts it with that selfishness which forms the character of sinners ; and finally appeals to

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