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World, the other, the Children of Light. 2. The Judgment he gives concerning the Wisdom of these two forts, the former is wifer than the latter. 3. The Qualification of this Judgment, or his Right Meaning in it explain'd, they are wiser, but 'tis only in their Generations. And for the right Understanding of this, we are to learn. 1, Who are they who are calld the Children of this World, and who they are who are call’d the Chil. dren of Light. 2. What these words in their Generation signifie. These things understood, the Instructions here to be learn'd will lie open before
First, Who are they who are called the Children of this World? Eph. 1.21. We read of this World, and that which is to come. These two are often mention d together as two Opposites. In this World now we live, buc there is another World wherein we hope to live when we go out of this. By this World we here underftand the Life we here live, and the things, pertaining ro this Life, wherewith this World is furnished. . And then the Children of this VVorld are they whose whole Concern is about this prefent Life, and the Things of this prefent World; not much troubling themselves about the Life to come, or what is to be in the World to come.
Secondly, Who are the Children of Light ? We read of God, that He is Light. i Joh. 1. 5. And the Inheritance of the Saints in Light, Col. ;. 10. And the Word of God is a Light." Pfal. 119. And then the Children of Light are they, who being brough to the Knowledge of God by his
Word, and of the Inheritance which he hath provided for them that serve him in the other World ; profess themselves to be his faithful Servants, and to make that Inheritance their chief aim, and to pursue it by such means as God prescri. bed in his Word.
Thirdly, What mean these Words, in their Generation? It is this, That it is only in their own way, in the Concerns of this World, which they make their Care and Business; in such Things they are wiser, but not in all Things. Our Saviour means not that the Children of this World are simply. or absolutely wiser than the Children of Light, but in fome Respects only, and so far, that in compassing their worldly and carnal Ends, they shew more Wisdom, than the Children of Light are wont to do, in order to the obtaining those much better Things which they pretend to aim at..
These three things thus briefly explained, ler üs now see what Instructions are given us by our Saviour in these words. And to prevent Mistakes, as much as may be, I shall as well show what we are not taught, as some may poffibly imagine weare, as what we are taught. Take all in three Propositions.
1. Our Saviour doch not here affirm, That worldy Men are indeed truly wise. Nor deny that the Children of Light are wise.
2. He doth affirm, That worldly Men however, take a wiser course to attain to their worldly Ends, than the Children of Light do to attain to what they seek after. :
3. He would by this persuade us forvery shame, to take a wiser course in the prosecution of our great Design.
1. Our Saviour doch not here affirm, That worldly Men are indeed truly wise, nor deny that the Children of Light are so. No, the quite contrary to this is the truth which he teachech us. That worldly Men, how wise foever they think themselves, or are esteem'd by others, are indeed Fools; and that Religious Men are the only wise Men, however they are accounted of in the World. The fear of the LORD, that is Wisdom, and to depart from evil, that is Understanding. Job. 28. 28. 'The fear of the LORD is the beginning of Wisdom, and the Knowledge of the Holy is Understanding. Prov. 9. 10. Labour not to be rich (faith the wise Man. Prov. 23.4.) and he adds very properly, Cease from thine own Wisdom. Thou may'st think it great Wisdom, by all means; to get as much as thou canst of this VVorld, but it is not fo, and therefore cease from it. For wilt thou set thine Eyes upon that which is not? Canst thou think it Wisdom to Labour for that which is most uncertain, and thou canst not confidently promise thy self either to get or keep? Thou Fool ( faith our Saviour to the rich Man, who promised himfelf much pleasure and happiness in his Wealth, . . . . . .) This Night shall thy Soul be required of thee, and then whose shall these things be? They that will be rich, fall into Temptation, and a Snare, and fall into many foolish and hurtfub Lufts, which drown Men in Destruction and Perdition. I Tim.9.6. To make it plain, that the Children of this
World World are not here commended as wise Men, the Words themselves are enough, and we have that in them which should make all Wordlings tremble when they hear it. And that, whether we consider the Descriptions of these two sorts of Perfons, or the Limitation of the Judgment Chrilt gives of their Wisdom, when they are compared the one with the other.
Pirlt. The Descriptions of these two forts of Men, evidently fhew, which is indeed wise, and which foolish. The one fort is called the Children of Light, the other as opposite to them, the Children of this World, that is, of Darkness. Now let us consider what these two Descriptions imply. · The Children of this world are so calld, because they are in love with this World, and conform themselves to this world, and think to make themselves happy in this world. And fo Thew plainly, That they are not the Children of God, nor the Children of another World which is to come. If any Man love the World, the Love of the Father is not in him. Joh. 2. 1$. For all that is in the World, the Luft of the Fleshi, and the Luft of the Eyes, and the Pride of Life, (which are the things that worldly Perfons love) is not of the Father, but is of the World. And if they be nor the Children of God, then whose Children are they but che Devils? For fo all Mankind stands divided, into the Children of God, and the Children of the Devil. 1. Joh. 3: 1o. So that the worldly-minded Person having not chofen God for his Pacher whom he loverh, hath made himself a Child of the Devil ? 'Tis he that tempus
Men to love and worship him, with the Kingdoms of this World, and the glory of them. Matt. 4. The Devil is the God of this world. 2 Cor. 4.4. that is, worldly Men make him their God, and live in Subjection to him. Hence 'tis easy to guess at his Wisdom, by the wise Choice he hath made of his God. And as the Children of this World are not the Children of God, so are they not the Children of the other World to come. For our Saviour hach told us, That the World to come is a Kingdom prepar'd to be inherited by the Blessed Children of his father. Matt. 25.34. The Men of the World bave their Portion in this Life. Pfal. 17.14. Thus it befel the Rich Worldling and Voluptuous Epicure in that other Parable, which we read in this Chapter; he was a Child of this World, and Lazarus a Child of Light; therefore when they left this World, Lazarus only was carried inco Abrabam's Bosom, and the Rich Man went to Hell to be tormented in Flames. And Ibrabam bids him there remember his wise Choice. Son remember, that thou in thy Life Time received t thy good Things, and likewise Lazarus evil Things, but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented. v. 25. The Inheritance is provided for them that love God, and not for his Enemies, such as are the Children of this world. For tbe Friendship of the World is Enmity with God. Whosoever therefore will be a Friend of the World, is the Enemy of God. Jam. 42 4.
Again, the Children of this World stand here op. pos'd to the Children of Light ; whence it impli. ech, that they are the Children of Darkness, Having the Understanding darkned through the Ignorance that is in theno. Eph. 4. 18. The God of this