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'em. Seeing Covetousness is the Root of' aU Evil, i Tim. 6. io. What the Original there charges. with all the Wickedness , (Philargury,) is the Love of Silver: And the Root of all Good is the Heavenly Grace of Charity: Which two can never dwell togegether. So that, unless a Man be made truly Poor in Spirit, Till, whether he have much or little of the World, He has not a Heart so set upon it, but he can distribute readily to the Needy; and is not for converting to his own Use any more than's Necessary: He cannot fulfill the Righteousness of the Kingdom of Heaven, so as thereby to Ensure the Kingdom it self.
This is that fame Path to Life Eternal, wherein Christ our Lord first went himself; who for our Sakes made himself Poor; that thro' his Poverty we might be made Rich, 2 Cor. 8. 9. And tho*he wanted not Supplies ; Yet he gave up the Bag to Judas, whom he knew to be a Thief, Jobn 12. 6. Giving us to understand, how clear was his Mind from any Bent to the World. In the fame Path also follow'd him his Apostles; For whom it had been no hard matter, to increase in Wealth, and heap up the greatest Treasures ; When io Conspicuous they were, for the Signs and Wonders which they wrought; and spake in the Language of all Nations, and were admifed throughout the World, for their prodigious Wifdtm. But
they who once had said, Lord we have Left all to follow thee, Mat. 19. 27. and had tasted the heavenly Sweets of Freedom from the Birdlime and bewitching Enchantment of Riches, were content with Food and Raiment , and reckoned Godliness and the Righteousness of God's Kingdom great Gain.
After them followed Kings and many Great ones of the World, Men and Women who stript themselves of their Wealth, to embrace a 'voluntary Want: Tenderhearted, and open-handed to all that were Needy: and Parsimonious and hard only to Themselves. And we never hear of their Throwing away their Money in Gauds and Vanities, in Pomp and Gallantry, in Plays and Banquets, in Pride and Lust, in Riot and Extravagancy ; But only, of their Profusenefs in Alms, and the purposes of Charity. While they went Plain, and sar'd hard, and Liv'd mean: as if they Grudg'd all to Themselves, and were Niggards only for their own proper Uses. Shewing how they spent their great Wealth, and what little or no Regard they had for the Fulness of the World. And no wonder if Persons so Poor in Spirit, and divested of all Secular Cares, made large Strides, and quick Expedition to the Kingdom of Heaven.
* But if this be one fense of the Poverty * of Spirit; yet I am satisfy'd, that it has a
'nother 1 nother Acceptation: And together with
* the Contempt of- Riches, and Living a
* bove the Love of this World's Wealth, ( ( which I must confess is a very needful, 'as well as eminent Attainment ) It must 'also take in thatLowlinesses Mind, which
* makes a Man very Mean in his own Eyes, 'and so think contemptibly of himself, as if 'none were viler and worse than he: None
* more Unworthy and Abject, yea and « Loathsome, before the holy Majesty of
* Heaven. Therefore can he calmly and 'contentedly bear Rebuke, Disgrace and
* Contempt, as his due Desert. So does 'the sense os Sin strip a Man of Pride and 'Self-conceit, that he is very forward to 'Esteem each other better than Himself,- and 'is so sar from Glorying with the Pharisee, 'that .he bewails his own Wretchedness and
* Beggary; Lies low, and earnestly cries 'for Mercy.
'And to be of such an Humble and Contrite 'Spirit, I cannot but take it to be Poor in 'Spirit; and on the surer side too: For 'there may be a Pride even in Throwing 'away one's Wealth, and the Fain-glory of ( Prodigality. Yea, many that are Indigent 'and Beggarly, yet may be very High'minded, great Braggadocio's, and none
* more Self-conceited. While we fee some
* that have all the Fulness of the World, f not value themselves at all upon it; but
ConCondescend to men of Low estate, and put
themselves upon a Level even with the
'Meanest; Inclin'd and ready to serve the
'Poorest body. And such, I cannot but
* think my self oblig'd to reckon some of .' the Poor in Spirit \ tho' Rich in Estate;
* and the more to Honour 'em, for so little 'Infixing upon their Honour. Yea, accord
* ing to the sentence of God's own Word, 'I must count them in the ready way to 'be Exalted, for so Humbling themselves;
* and not far from the Kingdom of Heaven , 'because some of the Humblest upon Earth.
the Third Path to the Kingdom of God.
TH E next Path mark'd out by our Divine Infallible Guide is, Mat. y. 10. Blejsed are they that are Persecuted for Righteousness fake: for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven. Here's the wonderful Wisdom from above: but such as is quite hid from the Wife of this World. For who would ever Believe, were he not God who said it, That 'twere good to be Poor in Money, bnt Rich in Adversity? Yet so indeed we shall find it: and nothing more conducing to the true Riches, (such as are our Qualifications for the Heavenly Kingdom,) than
a Mind a Mind empty of the Love of this World'* Good, and full of Desire to Suffer, as well as to Do, for our Lord. Hear Himself in the Case, Luke 6. 24, and j. Wo to you that are Rich ; for ye have received your Consolation: Wo to you that are Full; for ye shall Hunger. And a little before, Blessed are ye Poot, for yours is the Kingdom of God. Blessed are ye that Hunger and Wees, and are Hated, and Reproached, and Cast out for my fake'. Rejoice ye in that day, and Leap for Joy: For behold your Reward is great in Heaven.
Hear also what his Apostle says of Riches and of Sufferings, Jam. 1. 2, 3, i*. My brethren Count it all Joy, when ye fall into divers Temptations: Knowing that the try al of your Faith worketh Patience. BleJJ'ed is the man that endureth Temptation; For when he is Try ed, he jliall receive the Crown of Life. Where he not only calls to Endure and be Iguiet, but to Rejoyce; yea, and count it all Joy. Take it for the matter of your greatest Gladness. But Chap. f. x, c He * has a sorrowful message for them who 'think they are so well Provided and forti'fy'd, as to put all sorrow sar enough from 'em. Go to now ye Rich ; weep and howl for the-. Miseries that shall come upon you.' And Chap. 4. 9. Be Aflicled, and Mourn, and Weep: Let your Laughter be turnd to Mourning, and your Joy to Heaviness,