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cipal Sins of the present Age, is spread to a Degree that none of the former ever knew, and daily brings forth Fruits that
fucceeding ones may have Cause to lament.
But suppofing Wealth be neither spent in this, nor any of the gross Vices mentioned before ; yet if it be employed in ministring to a Course of more decent and refined Luxury, or in supporting such a Pomp of Life as nourishes Vanity and Pride, or in filling so much Time with unprofitable Entertainment, that little Room is left in the Mind for Objects of Importance: these Things also the Rich and Great must be charged to amend. For though their Condition will permit Plenty and Elegance, Diversions and Amusements, perhaps Dignity and Grandeur ; yet it will not permit their living to these Things, their being quite taken up with them, and lost in them. . For not only the Transition is too easy from several innocent Pleasures to forbidden ones, and Expensiveness in any way breeds powerful Temptations, both to omit right and to do wrong Things; but supposing these Dangers avoided, yet a Life devoted wholly or chiefly to the Gratifications of Sense, the Enjoyment of Greatness, or Indulgence of Trifles, is not Vol. III.
the Life of a rational Agent; less still of a moral and religious one ; but least of all of a miferable Sinner, who has so very much to account for, and that so very soon.
soon. And what our Account will end in, if we make it our great Business here to delight ourselves, without looking further, St. Paul hath given us a strong Intimation, when he faith, they that live in Pleasure are dead whilst they live" Our Saviour too hath forewarned us at large to the fame Purpose, in that awful Parable of the rich Man, who, being neither charged with Injustice nor Debauchery, but only described as clothing himself in Purple and fine Linnen, faring sumptuously every Day, and receiving these as his good Things, on which he placed his Heart; did notwithstanding after Death lift up his Eyes in Torment, and petitioned in vain for a Mitigation of his Sentenceo: an undeniably just one upon all those who trust in uncertain Riches, or any Thing they can procure with them, instead of the living God, who giveth us all Things richly to enjoy. But this Part of the Text must be referved for the Subject of another Discourse. I would only observe further at present, that our blessed Lord
Luke xvi. 19–31. 3
I Tim. v. 6.
hath cautioned us no less against the Cares than the Pleasures of this Life; and that his Reason to avoid overcharging our Hearts with either, is the most forcible that can be ; left that Day come upon you unawares”. Riches and Greatness no one thinks can secure him from Death ; but they can make many forget it as absolutely as if they did think fo; and please themselves with the Imagination, that they have much Good laid up for many Years, till, when they apprehend it least, their Soul is required of them? Therefore we should often call to Mind the Psalmist's Admonition: They that trust in their Wealth, and boat themselves in the Multitude of their Riches, none of them can redeem his Brother, nor give God a Ransom for himself, that he should live for ever, and not see Corruption : when he dieth, be skall carry nothing away ; his Glory shall not defcend after him. Man that is in Honour, and understandeth not, is like the Beasts that perish" : like them in this World; but will wish in vain to be like them in the next, when all that have lived unmindful of God, the Kings of the Earth, (as St. John foretells) and the Great and the Rich and the Mighty Mall hide themselves in the p Luke xxi. 34.
. Luke xii. 19, 20. 6, 7, 9, 17, 20.
I Pr. xlix.
Dens, and in the Rocks of the Mountains; and fall say to the Mountåins and the Rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the Face of him that htteth on the Throne, and
from the Face of the Lamb: for the great Day of his Wrath is come, and who shall be able to stand* ?
s Rev. vi. 15, 16, 17.
S E R M ON
I TI M. vi. 17, 18.
Charge them that are rich in this World, that
they be not high-minded, nor trust in uncertain Riches, but in the living God, who giveth us cll Things richly to enjoy: that they do good, that they be rich in good Works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate.
Have already, in two Discourses on these
Words, explained and enforced the two Cautions, which St. Paul requires that the Ministers of God's Word shall give to Persons of Wealth and Rank, against the Sins, to which they are peculiarly liable. And now I proceed to the Duties, of which he enjoins they shall be peculiarly reminded. I. The first is, to trust in the living God,
who giveth us all Things richly to enjoy. After warning them against placing their Happiness in the Pre-eminences, the Pof