CCXLI. Demas.

2 TIM. iv. 10. “For Demas hath for-
saken me, having loved this present world.”

WE know very little of Demas, beyond what may be
gathered from the brief and melancholy notice of the text.
It appears, however, that he stood high in the esteem
of St. Paul, and that, too, through services rendered to
Christianity. It seems very remarkable that it should
have been love of the world, not cowardice or fear,
which made Demas forsake Paul on the eve of his martyr-
dom.
I. Consider Demas, an apostate, after having done and
endured much in the cause of Christ. He became a com-
panion of St. Paul at the very time when that apostle was
hunted down by persecution. Every convert then had a
great cost to count, and his profession was a guarantee
that he expected tribulation. Demas was no hypocrite,
he was no hireling, but he suffered the world to tamper
with his affections, and kept not watch over his heart.
Therefore he was gradually seduced from God. It is not
a world in arms—it is a world in smiles, which it is the
hardest to resist. Be not too sure that you are proof
against its baits. We have no security but in constant
prayer, in constant war.
II. Consider Demas, an apostate, though he had to quit
St. Paul when that apostle was on the verge of martyrdom.
Who could have doubted the truth of Christianity, or re-
fused to adhere to its profession, with the prisoner Paul for
his preacher and his evidence? But Demas did this and
forsook Paul, having loved this present world. “If any
man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.”
Such is the authoritative decision of St. John: and what
then can come to pass but that, if you allow the world to
gain the ascendency here, you will make yourselves out-
casts from happiness for ever?
Hugh Macmillan, D.D.

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