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is a sore evil, that in all points as he came, so shall he go; and what profit hath he that hath laboured for the wind? Treasures of wickedness profit nothing. For what is the hope of the hypocrite, though he hath gained, when God taketh away his soul? Will God hear his cry when trouble cometh upon him? The rich man shall lie down, but he shall not be gathered; he openeth his eyes, and he is not. They spend their days in wealth, and in a moment go down to the grave'; with kings and counsellors of the earth, which built desolate places for themselves; or with princes that had gold, who filled their houses with silvers. There the prisoners rest together, they hear not the voice of the oppressor; the small and the great are there, and the servant is free from his master". The rich and the poor meet together; the Lord is the maker of them all1.
The wicked boasteth of his heart's desire, and blesseth the covetous, whom the Lord abhorreth *. He hath said in his heart, I shall not be moved; for I shall never be in adversity'. But they that trust in their wealth, and boast themselves in the multitude of their riches; none of them can redeem his brother, nor give to God a ransom for him"; that he should still live for ever, and not see corruption; for he seeth that wise men die, likewise the fool and the brutish person perish, and leave their wealth to others. Their inward thought is, that their houses shall continue for ever, and their dwelling places to all generations; they call their lands after their own names. Nevertheless, man being in honour, abideth not; he is like the beasts that perish. This their way is their folly; yet their posterity approve their sayings. Like sheep they are laid in the grave, death shall feed on them, and the upright shall have dominion over them in the morning, and their beauty shall consume in the grave from their dwelling". Be not thou afraid when one is made rich, when the glory of his house is
b Eccles. v. 16.
e Job, xxvii. 19.
h Job, iii. 18, 19.
• Prov. x. 2.
' Job, xxi. 13.
Job, xxvii. 8, 9.
increased; for when he dieth, he shall carry nothing away; his glory shall not descend after him°.
Take heed and beware of covetousness; for a man's life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth. And he spake a parable unto them, saying, The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully; and he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits? And he said, This will I do, I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods. And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry. But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee; then whose shall these things be which thou hast provided? So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God". Sell that ye have, and give alms; provide yourselves bags which wax not old, a treasure in the heavens which faileth not; where no thief approacheth, neither moth corrupteth9.
There was a certain rich man, who was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day. And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, who was laid at his gate full of sores, desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man's table. Moreover, the dogs came and licked his sores. And it came to pass that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom. The rich man also died, and was buried. And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments; and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. And he cried, and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame. But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy life time receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things; but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented'. Wo unto you that are rich; for ye have received your consolation. Wo
9 Luke, xii. 33.
• Psal. xlix. 16, 17. P Luke, xii. 15-21.
Luke, xvi. 19-25.
unto you that are full; for ye shall hunger. Wo unto you that laugh now; for ye shall mourn and weep'.
This I say, brethren, the time is short; it remaineth that both they that have wives, be as though they had none; and they that weep, as though they wept not; and they that rejoice, as though they rejoiced not; and they that buy, as though they possessed not; and they that use this world, as not abusing it; for the fashion of this world passeth away. For we brought nothing into this world; and it is certain that we can carry nothing And having food and raiment, let us be therewith content". Let the brother of low degree rejoice in that he is exalted; but the rich in that he is made low; because, as the flower of the grass he shall pass away. For the sun is no sooner risen with a burning heat, but it withereth the grass, and the flower thereof falleth, and the grace of the fashion of it perisheth; so also shall the rich man fade away in his ways. Go to now ye that say, To-day or to-morrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy, and sell, and get gain. Whereas, ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? it is even a vapour that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away'. SECT. 4. A vehement attachment to the enjoyments of this life, stands in direct opposition to a right concern for our greatest interest.
Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you. Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal. But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also". No man can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one, and love the
" 1 Tim. vi. 7, 8.
" Luke, vi. 24, 25.
* James, i. 9, 10, 11.
4. John, vi. 27.
* 1 Cor. vii. 29, 30, 31.
b Matt. vi. 19, 20, 21.
other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon. And Jesus looked round about, and saith unto his disciples, How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God! And the disciples were astonished at his words. But Jesus answereth again and saith unto them, Children, how hard is it for them that trust in riches, to enter into the kingdom of God! It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God. And they were astonished out of measure, saying among themselves, Who then can be saved?. And Jesus looking upon them, saith, With men it is impossible, but not with God; for with God all things are possible.
And he spake many things to them in parables, saying, Behold a sower went forth to sow. And when he sowed, some seeds fell among thorns; and the thorns sprung up and choaked them. He that received seed among the thorns, is he that heareth the word, and the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choak the word, and he becometh unfruitful". Take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting and drunkenness and the cares of this life'. The kingdom of heaven is like unto a certain king, who made a marriage for his son. And sent forth his servants to call them that were bidden to the wedding; and they would not come. Again, he sent forth other servants, saying, Tell them which are bidden, Behold I have prepared my dinner; my oxen and my fatlings are killed, and all things are ready; come unto the marriage. But they made light of it, and went their ways, one to his farm, and another to his merchandise; and the remnant took his servants, and entreated them spitefully, and slew them. But when the king heard thereof he was wroth; and he sent forth his armies, and destroyed these murderers, and burnt up their city*.
Love not the world, neither the things that are in the
world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away and the lust thereof; but he that doth the will of God abideth for ever'. Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatryTM.
SECT. 5. Covetousness often issues in disappointment and sorrow.
When the wicked spring as the grass, and when all the workers of iniquity do flourish; it is that they shall be destroyed for ever. This is the portion of a wicked man with God, and the heritage of oppressors, which they shall receive of the Almighty; though he heap up silver as the dust, and prepare raiment as the clay; he may prepare it, but the just shall put it on, and the innocent shall divide the silver. And the wealth of the sinner is laid up for the just. He hath swallowed up riches, and he shall vomit them up again; God shall cast them out of his belly". That which he laboured for shall he restore, and shall not swallow it down'. In the fulness of his sufficiency shall he be in straits. When he is about to fill his belly, God shall cast the fury of his wrath upon him, and shall rain it upon him while he is eating. Lo this is the man that made not God his strength; but trusted in the abundance of his riches, and strengthened himself in his wickedness". Go to now, ye rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon you. Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are moth eaten; your gold and silver is cankered; and the rust of them shall be a witness against you, and shall eat your flesh as it were fire'.
' 1 John, ii. 15,16,17.
§ 5. Psal. xcii. 7.
Prov. xiii. 22.
m Col. iii. 5.
b Job, xxvii. 13.
⚫ Job, xx. 15.
Job, xxvii. 16, 17.
' Job, xx. 18. James, v. 1, 2, 3.