The Eighth Evil.
Earthly-mindednesse, It is the root of Apostasie. I'le give you but one Scripture, & compare it with another: 2 Tim. 4 10. there's a notable Text, that shews how earthly-min∣dednesse breeds Apostasie; 'tis the example of Demas, For Demas (saies the Apostle) hath forsaken me: what's the mat∣ter? having loved this present world. It was that that made Demas to be an Apostate; why? what was Demas before? compare this Scripture with that you have in the Epistle to the Colossians, and you shal see what he was before this time: he was a forward Disciple of Paul; and the Apostle had some good esteem of him, in the last to the Colossians, 14. vers. mark there in that Epistle, where Paul was directed by the holy Ghost, Luke the beloved Physitian and Demas greet you: Paul doth rank Demas here among the famous Professors of Religion; the Apostle, writing to the Colossians, saith, De∣mas greets you among the rest. When we send to our friends and say, Such a one commends him to you, we use not to name them except they be entire friends. So it appears, and I find that Interpreters severally do think it was the same Demas, and the word gives us some ground for this! for in Timothy you find, that he names Luke there too: It seems that Demas and Luke were two great Assossiates: and Paul mentions them together; when Demas had forsaken him, yet Luke rode with him, and when Paul sends them gree∣ting of Luke that was the beloved Physitian, he sends the greeting of Demas too: But now, one was truly godly, and whatsoever sufferings Paul met withal, one cleaved to him, Page 41 and would not forsake him: But when Paul begins to suf∣fer, and Demas thought, that there's no thriving for me, if I should follow this persecuted Apostle; Demas now would have no more of Paul, he thanks him for his company and fairly departs from him: He hath forsaken me: and what's the root of it? He had imbraced this present world. And that's another note, that though he was a forward Proffessor, yet the heart of Paul was not so much for him, for saith he, Luke the Beloved Phisitian and Demas great you; He doth not say, the Beloved Demas; it's true, Demas was a forward Proffessor, and did seem to wear a cloak of Religion; yet Paul was directed by the holy-Ghost only to speak of him as a Proffessor; but in that the holy-Ghost directs him to speek of two together that were two companions, and gives one an Epethite, Beloved, and the other only his name. By this we may gather, that those that have discerning spirits, may shew some kind of sign in those that are earthly, at least to darken their esteem of them, and to make them somwhat jealous of them: as now, ther's two men, and both very forward, and two companions together; yet those that are godly, old Disciples can savour one more than the other; Indeed they are both Proffessors, and both have excellant parts and gifts, and yet there's more spiritualness, and greater experiences in one than in the other, so it appears there was in Luke rather than in Demas, and indeed, your earthly-minded men, afterwards prove to be Apostates, usually before their grand Apostasy do manifest some dead∣nesse and waywardness of spirit to that that's good. yea, their spirits before discover themselves to be earthly spirits, they smell of the earth. As a man before he dies, his breath will smell very earthly; you will say: Oh! such a one cannot live, his breath is so earthly; so it is with those that are very great proffessors of Religion; that those that have intimate acquaintance with them before they do Apo∣statise they smell their breath to be earthly in their duties, in their conferences: Oh take heed of earthly-mindedness, least it be the root of Apostasie; This may be written upon Page 42 many an Apostates grave, This was an earthly minded man or woman in the midest of their profession. And hence it is that they fell off from the truth in times of danger, when they were brought to the tryal, they were base back sliders from God and his truth.