Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

RM

ful Desire of Riches; the Desire of Riches Serm by unjustifiable Means, and to no valu. XVI. able Purposes. And these are here styled the Luft of the Eyes; because the Love of Riches, as such, and as it stands here distinguished from Other vitious affections; the Covetous Defire of Riches for Riches sake, without any regard to the True and Beneficial Uses of them ; is but feeding the Eyes with a merę fruitless View of unprofitable Treasure, with the empty Shows of Vanity and Deceit. What Good is there, says the Wise Man, Eccles. v. II, What Good is there to the Owners thereof, saving the beholding of them with their Eyes? There is One alone, says he, and there is not a Second, ch. iv. 8, yea, he hath neither Child, nor Brother ; yet is there no end of all his Labour, neither is his Eye satisfied with Riches ; neither faith be, for whom do I labour. and bereave my soul of good? This is also Vanity. The Phrafé, neither is his Eye satisfied with Riches, is the same as what he elsewhere expresses, Prov. xxvii. 20, Hell and destruction are never full ; so the Eyes of man are never satisfied. And from hence have been de

A a 3

rived

ER

Serm.rived those particular manners of speaking

XVI. in Scripture, where Liberality is styled a Prov. xxii. Bountiful Eye, and a Single (or Open

Eye; and Covetousness, an Evil (or niggardly y Eye; and the like. Whenever Riches are desired and employed as Instruments of Good, they are Then indeed real Blesings of Providence ; Bleffings to the Poffeffors of them, whom they enable to have Great Influence in promoting Juftice, Righteousness, Charity, and every Other good Work in the World; And Blessings to Others, who are Partakers of the Effects of those good Influences. But when they are only what the Apostle here styles the Luft of the Eyes; the Food either of Covetousness merely, without Use; or of Vanity and Folly, in an ill Use of them: The Desire of them, in That case, is not an Appetite of God's creating : "Tis not of the Father, but of the World; "Tis the creature merely of a perverted Imagination. and of a corrupt Will; 'Tis a Desire that will perpetually put men upon obtaining Wealth by ill Methods, and upon employing it in nothing Good. The Temptations that Tkis Appetite ex

poses

poses men to, are the Foundation of great Se r M. Corruption. They that will be rich, (says XVI. the Apostle,) fall into Temptation and ammu Snare, and into many foolish and hurtful Lufts, which 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 : That is, they have exposed themselves to be seduced into fuch corrupt Practices, the avoiding whereof is That Part of true Religion, which St

James calls a man's keeping himself unspotted from the World.

THE Third Head, under which the Apostle here reduces all the things that are in the World, in the wicked and corrupt World, considered as opposite to God; jo Ambition, or the unlawful Desire of Do mirion and Power. And This is here styled by the Apostle the Pride of Life, because both the Depre of obtaining Power by unrighteous methods, and the Pleasure of exercising it in ways of Infolence and Oppresfion, have their whole Foundation in Pride ; in a presumptuous Imagination, that Right and Reason and Equity are things of No

A a 4 reality,

R

SERN.reality, and which may at any time give XVI.

:place to Our Wills and Pleasures. Power,

considered in itself, as derived from God the Fountain of Power, and as being the Great Instrument of securing Right and Justice in the World ; is indeed justly valuable, and most reasonably attended with the Highest Marks of Dignity and Eteem. Upon which account, not only

Angels in Heaven, but Magistrates also upon Earth, are in lome pallages of Scripture called Gods; and God bimself is, upon the same ground, îtyled by Antient Writers the * Fountain of Divinity : Not, the Fountain of the Deity, as the words were in after-times ignorantly mif. applied : (For That, is styling God the Fountain of Himself :) But the Fountain of Divinity, meaning all That Dignity, Authority and Power, which is in Scripture at any time ascribed either to Angels or to Men. Power, I say, in This fense, as derived from God, and exercised to His Glory, and to the Benefit of the World; is indeed greatly valuable, and

* Trin Debinia, not anying tê Osir. Sce, Reply to Dr. Waterland's Defence, p. 5, 48, 49, 219. And, 06fervations on Dr. Waterland's 20 Defence, p. 53. .

most

most justly attended with all possibleSer M. Marks of Honour and Regard. But the De- XVI. fire of Power for the Purposes of Ambition

only, and for the Pleasure of bearing Rule; · is what the Apostle here, with great Pro

priety and strictness calls The Pride of Life; which is not of the Father, but of the World. 'Tis That Pride, or That setting up of Self-Will in opposition to Reafon and Equity, which is the Ground and Foundation of almost every Immorality. The Intemperances and Debaucheries Men are guilty of, for want of Government of Themselves, are most properly indeed included under the First Head, which is the Lult of the Flesh. The Second Head, which is the Lust of the Eyes, or the Covetoys Depre of Riches for Riches fake, is also frequently the occasion of much corruption, of many and great particular Axts of Injustice and Hardship towards Others. But the most general and extensive cause of an babitually injurious and oppressive Temper, is This Pride of Life; this Love of Power, Domination, and Self-Will. From hence usually arise Wars, Desolations, Tyrannies, and all the Great Extensive, and Merciless oppreffions, which totally

extinguish

« AnteriorContinuar »