Be more and better acquainted with Jesus Christ; get nearer to him, be more in communion with him, get more tastes of Christ and heaven, and earth will relish the worse for them. Oh! when I look on Christ and consider, That he that was the Lord of heaven and earth, put himself into so poor and low a condition, merely for the redeeming of his elect, how should this but deaden my heart to the world? “I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord; and do count them but dung that I may win Christ,” (Phil. 3:8). If Christ be in view, all the world then is but dung and dross, and loss in comparison; the glory of Christ will darken all other things in the world.
Set, before us the example of such saints, who accounted themselves pilgrims and strangers upon earth. The apostle gives you a catalogue, of such, “who confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth;” and see how they are used, “They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword, they wandered about in sheep-skins, and goat-skins, being destitute, afflicted, tormented:” Who were these? They “were they of whom the world was not worthy,” (Heb. 11:13, 37, 38). Oh! when you read, or hear how joyfully these servants of the most High went through their wilderness-condition, methinks this should take off your hearts, from earthly things.
Go in your meditations to heaven, and keep there a while: the mind that is in heaven cannot attend these earthly things; would a man leave his plough and harvest in the field, to run with children hunting after butterflies? No more will a soul that is taking a survey of heaven and heavenly things, fix his eyes on such poor things below: Non vacat exiguis, (motion to vacate) &c., is the character of a truly prudent man: the children of that kingdom above, have no while for trifles, and especially when they are employed in the affairs of the kingdom. Oh! when a Christian hath but a glimpse of eternity, and then looks down on the world again, how doth he contemn and vilify these things? “How doth he say of laughter, it is mad, and of mirth, what doeth it?” (Eccl. 2:2). Whilst the saints are tasting heaven, they enjoy such sweet, that they care not for other things: Christians how would this meditation wean your hearts? and make you laugh at the fooleries of the world? and scorn to be cheated with such childish toys? If the devil had set upon Peter in the mount, when he saw Christ in his transfiguration, and Moses and Elias talking with him, would he so easily have been drawn to deny his lord? What, with all that glory in his eye! So if the devil should set upon a believing soul, and persuade his heart to profits, or pleasures, or honors of the world, when he is taken up in the mount, with Christ, what would such a soul say? Get thee behind me, Satan: wouldst thou persuade me from hence with many trifling toys! wouldst thou have me sell these joys for nothing! Is there any honor or delight like this? Or can that be profit, which loseth we this? Some such answers would the soul return: Oh! if we could keep the taste of our souls continually delighted with the sweetness of heaven, as a man would spit out aloes after honey, so should we spit out all the baits of the world with disdain.