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Lord than great treasures and trouble therewith. An inheritance may be gotten hastily at the beginning, but the end thereof shall not be blessed. Labor not to be rich; cease from thine own wisdom. Wilt thou set thine eyes upon that which is not for riches certainly make themselves wings and fly away.” There is one alone, and not another, yea’ he hath neither child nor brother; yet there is no end of his labor, neither is his eye satisfied with riches; neither saith he, for whom do I labor and bereave my soul of good; this is also vanity. He that loveth silver shall not be satisfied with silver, nor he that loveth abundance with increase. Woe unto them that join house to house, and lay field to field till there be no place, &c. Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches." He that getteth riches and not by right shall leave them in the midst of his days, and in the end shall be a fool.”f - - , - . . . . . “Lay not up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt and where theives break through and steal. No man can serve two masters; ye cannot serve God and Mammon. Take no anxious thought for your life, what ye shall eat or what ye shall drink, nor yet for your body what ye shall put on. Woe unto you who are rich, for ye have received your consolation. Woe unto you that are full, for ye shall hunger, woe unto you that laugh now, for ye shall mourn and weep. Verily I say unto you that a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of God. What is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world and lose his own soul? Take heed and beware of covetousness. Take heed to yourselves lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting and drunkenness, and the cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares. Labor not for the meat that perisheth, but for that meat which endureth to everlasting life.” “Make no provision for the flesh to fulfil the lusts thereof. The time is short; it remaineth that they who buy, be as though they possessed not, and they that use this world as not abusing it, for the fashion of this world passeth away. Let not covetousness be once named among you, as becometh saints; for this ye know, that no covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Set your affections upon things above, and not on things on the earth. Mortify therefore your members—inordinate affection, evil concupescence, and covetousness, which is idolatry. Let your conversation be without covetousness, and be content with such things as ye have.”f “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. They that will be rich, fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts that drown men in destruction and perdition. ... For the love of money is the root of all evil, which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows, Charge them that are rich in this world, that they trust not in uncertain riches; but in the living God who giveth us richly all things to enjoy. 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 vapor that soon passeth away. , Go to, now, ye rich men, weep and howl for the miseries that shall come upon you. Your riches are corrupted, 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. . Behold, the hire of the laborers which have reaped down your fields, which is of you kept back by fraud, crieth, and the cries of them who have reaped, have entered into the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth. They are enemies of the cross of Christ, whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.” .* Such are a few of those Divine admonitions, interspersed throughout the scriptures, both of the Old and New Testaments, which are addressed to us on the subject of covetous affections and worldly grandeur. They are the solemn and explicit declarations of Him who hath all power and authority in heaven and on earth, and by whom the actions of men are weighed; and, therefore, they ought to sink deep into the heart of every professor of religion, and be pondered with the most profound seriousness and attention. If they produce a suspicion that the covetous principle lurks within, every one of them ought to strike the mind, as if it were spoken from the heavens in a peal of thunder, and to alarm the convicted worldling to flee from the wrath to come. For such declarations not only set before us our duty in the plainest terms, but pronounce the present and everlasting doom of every one who allows his affections to be enthralled with the riches of the world, and who passes into the eternal state under their malign influence. . In such passages of sacred writ, the intimations of our duty and our danger in regard to wealth, are as clear and perspicuous as words can make them, and set aside every doubt in regard to the inconsistency of covetousness and religion. And, therefore, every man who makes a religious profession, if he will but take a moment's leisure to examine his own heart, and his train of affections, and to compare them with the declarations of our Lord and of his holy prophets and apostles, will at once perceive his true state and character before God. Yet it is amazing, how easily men flatter and deceive themselves on this point. Nothing, perhaps, is more difficult than to make an impression upon the minds of those whose affections have been long riveted to earthly objects. In many cases, you might as soon expect to cut through the Alpine rocks with a quart of vinegar or the stroke of a razor, as to cut a passage through the adamantine hearts of the covetous, by any arguments or denunciations which the reason of man, or the word of God can suggest. We have a most striking example recorded in the Gospel of Luke, of the inefficacy of Divine admonition and instruction on this subject, even when delivered by the highest authority. Our Saviour, in the presence of a multitude of Pharisees, publicans, and sinners, spake a parable, intended to convince his hearers, of the necessity of making a right, use of their worldly enjoyments; and he enforced his instructions by the consideration, that if they should employ their wealth in purposes of piety and benevolence, at the hour of death, they would receive their reward, in being introduced “into everlasting habitations.” He concluded his discourse with these emphatic words: “No man can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will hold to the one and despise the other; ye cannot serve God and mammon.” Immediately after which, we are told that, “the Pharisees who were covetous, heard of all these things, and they derided him.” Instead of opening their minds to receive the admonitions of heavenly wisdom, which were so appropriate to their characters, the instructions of the divine Saviour rebounded from their hearts, as an arrow from a wall of adamant. Instead of retiring to commune with their own hearts, and to reflect with seriousness on the admonitions they had received, they sneered with contempt at the Great Instructor, as if he had been a visionary who did not understand the nature of human enjoyments, and who despised wealth only because he could not acquire it. They were as fixed in their avaricious principles and resolutions, as a rock in the midst of the tempest, and were determined to pursue their courses at all hazards, whatever might be the consequence and they are now reaping the rewards of their unrighteousness. We have too much reason to fear that, in the present day, there are in the visible church, multitudes of characters as hardened in their covetousness as the ancient Pharisees. And, therefore, it becomes every one to exercise a holy jealousy over his heart in regard to this deceitful, hardening and soul-ruining propensity. “For many strong men have been wounded and cast down” by it; many who entered on active life, giving high hopes of their Christian attainments, have, through the influence of worldly cares, and worldly grandeur, made shipwreck of faith and of a good conscience, disgraced their profession, conformed themselves to the corrupt maxims and pleasures of the world, and fallen into many snares and temptations which drown men in destruction and perdition. O that every one would ponder aright these emphatic words of our blessed Saviour: “What shall it profit a man if he shall gain the whole world and lose his own soul ? or what shall

* Psalm lii. lxii. Ezek. vii. 19. Prov. xi. xiii. xv. xx. &c. t Eccles. iv. 3; v. 10. Isa. v. 8. Jer. ix. 23; xvii. 11.

* Matt. vi. 19; xvi. 26; xix. 21. Luke vi. 24; xii. 15; xxi. 34;

John, vi. 27... . . . - a - t_Rom. xiii. 14; 1 Cor. vii. 30. Ephes. v. 3. 2 Cor. vi. 10, Col.

iii. 2. Heb. xiii. 5.

/

* 1 John ii. 15. 1 Tim. vi. 9. James iv. 14; v. 1. Philip. iii. 9.

* See Luke xvi. 1–14, compared with chap. xvii.

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