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rest, till he desperately resolves with him in the Poet,
Flectere si nequeo superos, Acheronta movebo.
If Heav'n be deaf, and will no Pity Mew,
Had the Covetous but a Heart to think with
а himself, Vain, Foolish Man, how loth am I to confess
my self guilty of this Vice! how do I deceive my
self with the fair Names of good Hurbandry and Frugality! But will these Delusions her
Itand the Fire? Will these Paper Walls be proof is against everlasting Burnings? "If there be such a
Sin as Covetousness, and that Sin so odious to God and his Holy Angels, as Christ and his Apostles make it, and so great an Impediment to everlasting Happiness as the Scripture reprefents, it must needs be worth knowing, whether I am infected with this plague, especially since my Behaviour and AAions look as if I were. W Vhy should the Apostle call this Sin Idolatry, but because it makes Men set their Affections on this World, more than upon that which is to come ; and more on their Riches, Estates, or Incomes, than upon God, and everlasting Glory, whereby God is robbed of his Honour, and that high Efteem and Love, which is God's due as he is God, is given co the Creature,which in God's sight is lighter than Nothing and Vanity? And is not this my Case? How is my Soul fixed upon this world? How close doth my Heart Itick to the Profits and Advantages it
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affords? How is my Soul bound up with my
. Corn, and Wine, and Oil? How do I fancy that all my Happiness is gone, when these outward Comforts are gone! Didever Sin grieve me a quarter so much as a Temporal Loss? Did offending a Gracious God ever cost me the Tenth Part of the Tears I shed, for being deprived of a little shining Clay? How hearty is my Joy under the Blessings of God's left hand? How little am I affeted with the Blessings of his right? How far greater satisfaction doth my thriving in the World give me, than my thriving in Grace and in the Knowledge of the Lord Jesus Chrift? How loth am I to honour God with
Substance; How unwillingly, how grudgingly, do I part with any thing considerable for charitable Uses? I find fault with this Sin in another, and shall not I reprehend it in my self? I complain of my Neighbour of being hard-hearted, and unkind to People in distress: And is that a Virtue in me, which is a Vice in another ? Dionysius the Tyrant wondred at his Son, that with all the Gold and Silver he had in his House, he had made no Man his Friend; And may not I justly wonder at my self, who, as long as I have lived, have not made my self Friend of the Mammon of unrighteousness, that at my Death I may be received into everlasting Habitations ? How loth am I to part with any of this World's Goods for God's Service? How happy do I count my self, when Religion doth cost me nothing? How loth am I to be at the least charges for Heaven? How doth it grieve me, when I spend any thing upon Religion? How do I doat upon these sub
lunary Vanities? How far greater Pains do I take to be rich, than to be happy for ever! How can I dispense with a Sin for Profii's sake! How little of my Desires and Breathings hath God, and a bleeding Saviour! How dull am I under the most lively Descriptions of the Joys of Heaven! How dull under the stupendious offers of Grace and Mercy! How dead under the joyful message of Pardon! How dull, when tempted by all the ravishing Arguments of God's Love, to love him above all! What means my unwillingness to take God for my greatest Portion? What means that Quicknels, Sagacity, and Wisdom,when my Riches, Plenty, or worldly Prosperity is concerned, and that strange Dumpishness, when God courts, and beseeches my Soul to lay hold on Eternal Life? Are not these evident Signs, that the World draws and attracts my Heart most powerfully? God sees, my Heart is not upright with him ; he sees, I am afraid to take up with him alone; he sees, how Covetousness hath possessed my Soul; and can I cherish this Root of all Evil in my Breast, and not tremble at the danger my Soul is in ? Am I by the Apostle's verdict an Idolater, and do I make light of so great a Guilt? If no Idolater must expect a Crown of Glory, Alas! what can I look for, but Eternal Darkness ? Could Aristippus throw his Gold into the Sea, and say, It's better I should drown thee, than that thou should'It undo me; And shall I be a Slave to my Wealth? When I read that it's easier for a Camel to enter thorow the Eye of aNeedle, than for a rich Man' who fers his Heart: on his Riches, to enter into Heaven, am not I frighted with the Expression? I find how this Sin deprives me of a Holy Communion with God, and shall I lose my greatest comfort and support and satisfaction for it? How doth the Gold become dim! How is the most fine Gold changed through this peftilential Breath! The Life and Sense I once had of Spiritual Objects, decays and dwindles away in me, and an inlipidness in Holy things succeeds; my relish of them perishes, and they become to me as a curious dish to a Person of a corrupted Stomach, I nau-, seate the very Dainties of my Heavenly Father : This Sin is enough to damp and kill all the good feed God fows in me. If any Man love the World, the love of the Father is not in him; and can I be contented without the love of God? If God be not my friend, what doth the Friendship of the whole World signifie, when
Soul must leave this Tabernacle,and appear before God's Bar? O God, I shall have so many Witnesses against me, that I shall not know what to say, or whither to betake my self for refuge; the poor will accuse me, because I have not 0pened my hand and heart to them; my own Conscience will accuse me, because I have not been a good Steward of the means God gave me; the Ministers of God will accuse me, be. cause whatever was laid out upon my Pride and Luit, was thought too little; and the least kindness I shewed to those that wait at God's Altar, too much : The Devils will accuse me, because having a Soul so great, fo noble, so precious, I did employ it chiefly in scraping a
fittle dross and dung together; nay, the Lord Jefus will accuse me, because his Example of Contentedness, and Heavenly-mindedness, would not allure me into Imitation; God will accuse me,because having furnished me with all the Motives and Encouragements imaginable, to mind Heaven more than Earth; I preferred this Earth before all the joys of Heaven; and how thall I bear up under all this weight?
Would the poor deluded Worldling but let such Thoughts sink into his Heart, what a damp would it strike on his Itrong Desires after the World; and how would ic make hisimmoderate Love to these sublunary Riches, break into Longings after a nobler Inheritance? But neglecting this, he, Serpent-like, feeds on duft,and prepares for anxiety, discontent, and vexation of Spirit,and for a miserable death:Like a Hog, lies rooting in the Earth, and buries his Soul in a Chest of Money ; despises all Admonitions to Charity, and, like the Smith's Dog, can hear the hammering and beating of his Malter, and endure the Sparks flying about his Ears, without being stirr’d or concerned at it.
Hypocrisie is a Sin, which the painted Chriftian does not easily part withal, yet would he reflect, like a Person that hares to sew Pillows under his own Elbows: Can I read Christ's difcourses against the Pharisees and not ask niy own Heart, Whether thePharisees Temper bean emblem of my Complexion? Can I remember that odious Name in the Gospel, and not reflect on the Plagues that are threained them? And do I know these Plagues, and do they dart no