God will say to thee, “Take no thought for the morrow, be careful for nothing;” Mammon will say to thee, “Look ahead, be careful for everything;” and when God says to thee, “Give of thy substance to the poor;” Mammon will say, “Hold it tight, it is that giving that spoils everything;” and when God will say unto thee, “Set not thy affections on the things of earth;” Mammon will say, “Get money, get money, get it anyhow;” and when God saith, “Be upright;” Mammon will say, “Cheat thy own father if thou canst win by it.” Mammon and God are at such extreme ends of the earth and so desperately opposed, that I trust, Christian, thou art not such a fool, as to attempt to serve them both. If thou dost thou hast the worldling’s eye, and thou art a worldling thyself. Remember, too, if thou triest to do this we may suspect thee of having the hypocrite’s eye. As Matthew Henry says, “The hypocrite is like the waterman; he pulls this way, but he looks that. He pretends to look to heaven, but he pulls towards his own interest. He says, ‘he looks to Christ,’ but he is always pulling towards his own private advantage. The true Christian, however, is like a traveller; he looks to the goal and then he walks straight on to it; he goes the way he is looking.” Be then not like the hypocrite, who hath this double eye, looking one way and going the other. An old Puritan said, “A hypocrite is like the hawk; the hawk flies upward, but he always keeps his eye down on the prey; let him get up as high as he will, he is always looking on the ground. Whereas, the Christian is like the lark, he turns his eye up to heaven, and as he mounts and sings he looks upward and he mounts upward.”
For meditation: Not looking where you ought to be going can have disastrous consequences (Luke 6:39-42).
Sermon no. 335 17 September (Preached 16 September 1860)