The Second EVIL.
Yea further, A worldly or an earthly-mind in Scripture phrase, is called Idolatry; in Ephes. 5. 5. speaking of divers sins that should not be so much as named among them as it became Saints, he hath Covetousness among the rest, and he ads this; And Covetousness which is Idolatry. Now what Page 21 is Earthly-mindednesse, but Covetousnesse, which is Idola∣itry? A man, or woman is an Idolater that is of an Earthly mind: Now Idolatry which is a worshiping of stocks and stones, you all account to be a great sin; but do you, and al others take heed of another Idolatry that may be as bad that is, To have your hearts to make the god of this world to be your God, the cursed Mammon of unrighteousnesse, to make the things of the earth to be your Christ, to fall down and worship the golden-Calfe of the world. It's certain, that that thing a mans heart is most taken with, and set upon, that's his God: and therefore here in this verse out of which my Text is, it's said, They made earth∣ly things (their bellies) their God: The Voluptuous, and Drunkard makes their Belly their God; and the Unclean person, makes his Strumpet to be his goddesse and worshp∣peth that; whatsoever thy heart is most upon, that's thy God: therefore, that you must know to be the meaning of the Commandement, Thou shalt have no other Gods before me: That is, thou shalt give me the strength of thy soul, and no∣thing else: So, I am a God to my Creature when I have its strength exercised about me, to lift up me as the highest good; but if there be any thing else that thy soul is set up∣on as thy highest good, that's thy God, and it's worse than bowing the knee, thou bowest thy soul to that thing: now the meaner any thing is that we make a God of to our selves, the more vile is the Idolatry: as when the Egyptians worshiped divers sorts of gods, they were accounted the most vile Idolaters; whereas other Heathens worshipped more excellent things, the Sun, Moon, and Stars; the E∣gyptians worshiped Dogs, Cats, Onions, and vile things; and therefore their Idolatry was vile. So, the viler any thing is that a man or woman sets their hearts upon, the more vile is their Idolatry; as for a man that should set his heart up∣on unclean lusts, now to make that to be a god, the satisfy∣ing of those lusts, that's abominable, and to make any earthly thing to be a god to us, that's most vile; for of all the things of the works of creation that God hath made, the Page 22 Earth is the meanest, 'tis the basest and lowest thing, and hath the least beauty in it in it's self, and it is the most dul and meanest element of all; and to make earthly things to be a God to you, this is most vile.
Object. You will say for this Idolatry, What is there in it?
Answ. There is Two particulars to open the Evil of Ido∣latry, or Earthly-mindednesse.
First. The Evil of your Idolatry, it is in this. You do de∣part from God; in letting out of your hearts to these things, you do (as it were) go off from God, and renounce the pro∣tection of God, the goodnesse and mercy of God, you leave it all by this: In the 4. chap. of Hofea, 12. verse. They are said, To go a whoring from under their God. It's a notable phrase; that is, by going to Idols they did go off from the protection of God; whereas, while they were worshiping the true God, they then were under the protection of God; but when they went to Idols, they went from under their God, from under his protection: So when thou settest thy heart upon God, and liftest up the infinite First being of all things as the chief good to thy soul, thou art under the in∣fluence of this Grace and Mercy: but when thou doest de∣part from him, and makest other things to be thy Cheef good, thou goest from under his protection, and from his good and mercy.
Secondly: God is slighted and contemn'd in this, When thou choosest rather to make the earth to be thy God than the infinit blessed first-being of all things; As a man that doth dispise his wife, and it were abominable sin, if he should choose to go to a Queen though the most beautifullest woman in the world, and forsake his wife; but to leave a Queen, or Em∣press that were the beautifullest woman upon the earth, and to have the heart cleave to a base dunghil-raker, were not this a great contempt to the Queen that were so beautiful? Yet so it is when thou doest forsake the blessed eternal God as thy chief good, and choosest the things of the earth: for the truth is, the earth is the fink of all the creatures of Page 23 Gods making, and for thee to leave the most blessed and Eternal One, and to make that thy god it must needs be a very vile and abominable thing; and therefore the Pro∣phet Jeremiah in speaking of this Idolatry, he cals the Heavens and the Earth to be amazed at it. Jeremiah, 2. 12. Be astonished O ye Heavens at this, and be horrible afraid, be ye very desolate saith the Lord, Why? what's the matter? For my people have committed two evils, They have forsaken me the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out Cisterns, broken Cisterns that can hold no water. So 'tis here; thou forsakest the fountain of living waters, the blessed God, and thy heart cleaves to the dust, and seekest thy contentment and happinesse in cisterns that can hold no water; let the Hea∣vens be astonished at this horrible wickedness.