Fourteenth Sunday After Pentecost The Gospel Mat.6.v.24 Tuesday Meditation: A Plaine Path-way To Heaven Thomas Hill 1634
TUESDAYGOSPEL Matt. 6:24-33At that time, Jesus said to His disciples: "No man can serve two masters. For either he will hate the one, and love the other: or he will sustain the one, and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon. "Therefore I say to you, be not solicitous for your life, what you shall eat, nor for your body, what you shall put on. Is not the life more than the meat: and the body more than the raiment? Behold the birds of the air, for they neither sow, nor do they reap, nor gather into barns: and your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are not you of much more value than they? And which of you by taking thought, can add to his stature one cubit? "And for raiment why are you solicitous? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they labour not, neither do they spin. But I say to you, that not even Solomon in all his glory was arrayed as one of these. And if the grass of the field, which is to day, and to morrow is cast into the oven, God doth so clothe: how much more you, O ye of little faith? "Be not solicitous therefore, saying: What shall we eat: or what shall we drink, or wherewith shall we be clothed? For after all these things do the heathens seek. For your Father knoweth that you have need of all these things. Seek ye therefore first the kingdom of God, and his justice, and all these things shall be added unto you."
Let no man say (sayth St. James) when he is tempted unto evil, he is tempted of God, for God is not a tempter unto evil; neither doth he tempt any man thereunto, but every man is tempted of his own concupiscence, or desire being carried away and allured thereby: and when his concupiscence, or desire, hath by his lingering therein, conceived, it bringeth forth sin, & sin when it is consummated, begetteth death.
Out of which words it appeareth, that the root and beginning of all sin, is the desire & concupiscence of that which is against the commandment of God; and because money containeth all worldly things (for what is not vendible for money, which a certain Poet calleth, the Queen of the world?) and consequently money is an instrument almost of all sin, if men apply it thereunto, as they do too much, and a great temptation to those that have it to apply it so, therefore it is called here Mammon, and in another place of the Scripture Mammon of iniquity, in these words: Make yee friends to yourself of Mammon of Iniquity, that is to say of money, for so Mammon may signify: and St. Paul calleth Covetousness, or desire of money, the root of all evil.
And though there be many things which if we should serve them, are as repugnant to the service of God as money, or worldly wealth, as Pride, Envy, Anger, and the like; yet Christ would exemplify here only in money, by way of explication of that he said before of money, that we should not lay it up here on earth, where the rust and moth corrupteth, and thieves break in, and steal it away &c saying, Ye cannot serve God and Mammon, that is to say, God and money, or riches, for so Mammon, in his proper language, doth signify.
Where we are to note (& withal to pick out the plain sentence of Christ; yee cannot serve God and use Mammon for our necessary or good uses, but; yee cannot serve God, and Mammon: and what it is to serve God, and use the world, Christ instructeth us in the last words of this Gospel.
After he had forbidden us to be over careful, and solicitous even of worldly necessaries, as of food, and clothing, he concluded thus: Therefore, said he (this word (therefore) importing as much, as if he had said, If yee will know how you must carry yourselves in your worldly cares) seek first and chiefly; (for so the Latin word (Priumum) here used, will yield) the Kingdom of heaven, and the justice or righteousness, thereof, and all other things (to wit that be necessary) shall be added unto it, as if he should say, seek first & principally the kingdom of heaven and that which belongeth thereunto, & al other worldly commodities, no further then will stand with that.
This is to serve God, and use the world; but if we first and principally seek and follow worldly commodities, and that which belongeth to them and the kingdom of heaven, and the things that pertain thereunto, no further then will stand with our worldly commodities, that is to serve the world, and not God, for both we cannot serve.