Arise you, and depart; for this is not your rest: because it is polluted, it shall destroy you, even with a sore destruction.
This world is not and never was designed to be the place of our happiness or long abode; and it highly concerns us, whilst we are in it, to raise our hearts above it, and prepare to leave it.
I. AS THIS WORLD IS NOT OUR REST, OR THE SCENE OF OUR HAPPINESS, OUR SOULS SHOULD RISE ABOVE IT.
1. Prove the truth of this proposition. All men profess to believe this proposition, and yet look at their pursuits, views, and cares, and you would think they believed nothing less. The truth is that they do not attend to what they believe, or pursue it into its proper and practical consequences. The proposition is not the less certain for the inattention and disregard which some men pay to it, or for their practical contradiction of it. That this world is not and never was designed to be our state of rest or happiness, appears —
(1) From the certain nature and properties of all our earthly enjoyments.
(2) From the nature and circumstances of our condition in it; which is in every view a state of imperfection and trial.
(3) Setting aside all the distasteful ingredients which the many moral and natural evils of life throw into its cup of pleasures, and suppose them ever so pure and constant, yet they are by no means suited to a soul, an immortal soul, conscious of capacities which such delights can never fill, and of cravings they can never gratify. Objects of sense are ill adapted to the wants of the mind.
(4) Appeal to personal experience for a proof of the proposition before us. Did you ever taste a pleasure of earth that fully satisfied you? If this world is not our rest, we should take care not to be over fond of it. How are we to live above the world? The only way is to get our hearts fixed on heaven.
II. WE MUST BE CONTINUALLY ENDEAVOURING AFTER A HEAVENLY DISPOSITION. To have our minds habitually attempered to that blessed world. The true temper of the blessed consists of love and purity. Then let us seek that the love of God may have a prevailing influence on our hearts. The Divine image, or moral likeness to God, which consists in righteousness and true holiness, does in a degree enter into the character of all true Christians now. The more we are fit for a better world, the more we shall be out of love with this.
(J. Mason, A. M.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Arise ye, and depart; for this is not your rest: because it is polluted, it shall destroy you, even with a sore destruction.