Matthew 22:6
One to his farm, another to his merchandise. These men, as we have seen, were discourteous from mere wilfulness, mere bad nature; but they turned away from the king's servants to their own private affairs, in order to make a show of reasonable excuse. So while it is true that men often are absorbed in their material concerns, and these may explain their neglect of religion, it is even more frequently true that men make their material interests excuse their bad-heartedness, and are busy with temporal concerns in the hope of hiding their stubborn self-willedness. A man's material interests never need really stand in the way of his religion; but if he is resolutely set against religion, he can easily make his material interests into a stumbling block in his way. A great deal of insincere talk is made about the enticement of things seen and temporal; business and pleasure are supposed to carry away men who would be pious. The honest fact is that men usually do not want to be pious, and throw themselves into their worldly concerns as a blind.

I. MATERIAL INTERESTS REGARDED AS GENUINE TEMPTATIONS. There is, for all men, even for good-willed men, a fascination in things seen and temporal. The sense sphere is attractive. In every man there is the natural ambition to succeed, to rise in, the social scale, and to win the comfort and security of wealth. Fur men with the business faculty, trade and commerce are positively attractive. In these days the range of living is so luxurious, and trade so competitive, that a man is almost compelled to put his whole mind into his business, if he is to succeed. And every man has material claims from those dependent on him. But, held in fair limitations, our material interests are not temptations. The soul's life in God finds expression through them.

II. MATERIAL INTERESTS MADE AN EXCUSE FOR BAD-HEARTEDNESS. This may be opened, illustrated, and enforced, so as to be very searching. Men do not want to be religious; they are stubbornly resolved not to go to the gospel feast. That is the real reason for their extreme interest in their farm and their merchandise. - R.T.







But they made light of it.
I. WHAT IT IS THAT THE SINNERS MAKE LIGHT OF.

1. Of the messenger who brings them the news that the marriage supper is prepared.

2. These people despise the feast.

3. They make light of the King's Son.

4. They make light also of the King.

5. Thou art making light of the great solemnities of eternity.

II. How IS IT THAT MEN MAKE LIGHT OF IT?

1. When men go to hear and yet do not attend.

2. When they attend to something else with it.

3. Who makes a profession of religion, but does not live up to it.

III. WHY THEY MAKE LIGHT OF IT.

1. Because ignorant.

2. Because of pride.

3. Because they did not believe the messenger.

4. Because they were so worldly.

5. Because altogether thoughtless.

6. Out of sheer presumption.

7. Because of the commonness of the gospel.

(C. H. Spurgeon.)

I. THE CAUSES.

1. Ignorance.

2. Insensibility.

3. Indisposition.

4. Worldly-mindedness.

5. All these excuses were derived from things that were lawful in themselves.

II. Substantiate THE PROOFS. Must not bring such a charge without the clearest evidence; that you make light of the gospel proved —

1. From your thoughts.

2. From your words.

3. From your actions.

4. From your anxieties.

III. EXPOSE THIS EVIL.

1. Consider the conduct of other beings. The devil, angels, saints do not make light of it.

2. Consider the truth of the subject.

3. The importance of the subject.

4. The guilt you contract.

IV. REJOICE IN THE CURE OF THIS INDEFFERENCE.

(W. Jay.)

I. WITH WHOM DO THEY TRIFLE?

II. WITH WHAT DO MEN TRIFLE?

1. With the soul.

2. With Jesus Christ.

3. With eternity.

IV. UNDER WHAT CIRCUMSTANCES DO MEN THUS DARE TO TRIFLE?

1. While you thus trifle all beside you are in earnest.

2. While you thus trifle opportunities are passing away.

(T. Raffles, D. D.)

I. Life, with the faculties and powers we possess.

II. Time, with the opportunities which it offers.

III. Duty, with self-denial which it involves.

IV. Sin, with the misery which it entails.

V. Salvation, with the joys which it brings.

VI. Death, with the uncertainty which attends it. VII. Judgment, with the solemnity that surrounds it.

(Seeds and Saplings.)

I. Men are apt to remember and affectionately think of things they highly esteem; but as for those which they disregard, they can easily forget them, and live daily without a single thought of them.

II. The things that men value will be the theme of frequent conversation.

III. Things only talked about, and not reduced to practice, are made light of.

IV. We take pains and labour to secure the things we value.

V. Things that men highly esteem deeply and tenderly affect them.

VI. Our estimate of things may he discovered by the diligence and earnestness of our endeavours after them.

VII. That which we highly value we think it impossible to buy too dearly.

VIII. Those things we highly value we shall help our friends to obtain.

1. Those who make light of the Saviour, make light of Him who did not make light of them.

2. They make light of matters of the greatest excellency and importance.

3. Consider whose salvation it is you make light of — your own.

4. This sin is aggravated by professing to believe that gospel you make light of.

5. Consider what things those are which you prefer to the neglect of these.

6. Making light of Christ and salvation is a certain evidence of no interest in them.

7. The time is hastening when none will make light of these things.

(President Davies.)

1. They made light of their advantages.

2. They made light of their opportunities.

3. They made light of human life.

4. They made light of duty.

5. They made light of sin.

6. They made light of the gospel.

(Dean Vaughan.)

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