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that they be not high-minded, nor put their trust in uncertain riches. They are like bad servants, whose shoes are made of running leather, and will never tarry long with one master. As a bird hops from tree to tree, so do the .honours and riches of this world from man to man. Let Job and Nebuchadnezzar testify this truth, who fell from great wealth to great want. No man can promise himself to be wealthy till night. One storm at sea, one coal of fire, one false friend, one unadvised word, one false wit ness, may make thee a beggar and a prisoner all at once. All the riches and glory of this world are but as smoke and chaff that vanish; as a dream and vision of the night that tarrieth not ; as if a hungry man dreamed, and thinks that he eats, and when he awakes his soul is empty; and like a thirsty man, who thinks he drinks, and behold, when he is awaked, his soul is faint, as the prophet Isaiah says. Where is the glory of Solomon? the sumptuous buildings of Nebuchadnezzar? the nine hundred chariots ofSisera? the power of Alexander? the authority of Augustus, that commanded the whole world to be taxed? Those who, have been the most glorious in what men generally account glorious and excellent, have had inglorious ends; as Sampson, for strength; Absalom, for favour; Ahithophel, for policy; Haman, for favour; Asahel, for swiftness; Alexander, for great conquest, and yet after twelve years poisoned. The same you may see in the four mighty kingdoms, the Chaldean, Persian, Grecian, and Roman; how soon were they gone and forgotten! Now rich, now poor; now full, now empty; now in favour, anon out of favour; now honourable, now despised; now health, now sickness; now strength, now weakness. . O let not these uncertain things keep thee from those holy services and heavenly employments, that may make thee happy for ever, and render thy soul eterr nally blessed and,at ease, when all these transitory things shall bid thy soul an everlasting farewell.
Rem. 4. Seriously consider that the great things of this world are very hurtful and dangerous to the outward and inward man, through the corruptions that are in the hearts of men. O the rest, the peace, the comfort, the content, that the things of this world strip men of! O the fears, the cares, the envy, the malice, the dangers', the mischiefs; that they subject men to! They oftentimes make men over confident. The rich' man's riches are a1 strong tower in his imagination. I said in my' prosperity,: I should never be moved'. They often swell the heart with' pride, and make men forget God, and neglect' God, and despise the rock of their salvation. When' Jishxtntri waxed fat, and was grown thick, and covered' with fatness, then' he forgot God, and forsook God that made him, and lightly esteemed the Rock of his1 salvation, as Moses spake. O the time, the thoughts, the spirits, that the things of the world consume and spend! s how do they hinder the actirtgs of faith upon'Gbd! How do they'interrupt our sweet communion with God! how do they1 abate our love to the people of God, and cool our love to the things of God,' and work us to act like those that ate most unlike to God!! O the deadness, the barrenness, that attend' men under great outward mercies! ' O, the riches of the world choak the word; men live under1 the most soul-searching and, soul-enriching means with lean sOuls'; though they have full purses', though their chests are full of silver, yet their hearts are? empty of grace. In Gen. xiii. 2; it is said that Abram was very rich in cattle, in silver, and in gold. According to the Hebrew it is, Abram was very weary; td' shew that riches are a heavy burden, and a hindrance many times to heaven; and happiness:
King Henry the fourth, asked the duke df' Alva, if he had observed the1 great eclipse of the? sun, which had lately happened. 'No,' said the Duke,' I have" so much to do on earth, that I have noleisureto iOokuptdheaveti;' G that this were.ndt true of' most professors in these days! It is very sad to think how their hearts and time' are so much taken up with earthly things, that they have scarcely any leisure to look up to heaven, Or to'look after Christ and the things that belong to1 their everlasting peace.
Riches, though well got, are yet but like to manna; those that gathered less had no want; and those'that ga:thered more found it but a trouble and annoyance to them. The world is troublesome, and yet it is loved ;' what'would it be,"if it were peaceable? You embrace it, "though it is filthy; what would you do if it were beautiful f Yoii Caii
NO. XLII. '1 K
not keep your hands from the thorns; how earnest would you be then in gathering the flowers? The world may be fitly likened to the serpent Scytale, whereof it is reported, that when she cannot overtake the flying passengers, she does with her beautiful colours so astonish and amaze them, that they have no power to pass away, till she have stung them. O how many thousands are there now on earth, who have found this true by experience! who have spun a fair thread to strangle themselves both temporally and eternally, by being bewitched by the beauty and bravery of this world!
Rem. 5. Consider that all the felicity of this world is mixed. Our light is mixed with darkness, our joy with sorrow, pure pleasure with pain, our honour with dishonour, our riches with wants. If our light is spiritual, clear, and quick, we may see in the felicity of this world, our wine mixed with water, our honey with gall, our sugar with wormwood, and our roses with prickles. Sorrow attends worldly joy, danger attends worldly safety, loss attends worldly labours, tears attend worldly purposes. As to these things, men's hopes are vain, their sorrow certain, and joy feigned. The apostle calls this world a sea of glass; a sea for the trouble of it, and glass for the brittleness and bitterness of it. The honours, profits, pleasures, and delights of this world, are true gardens of Adonis, where we can gather nothing but trivial flowers, surrounded with many briars.
Rem. 6. Get better acquaintance and better assurance of more blessed and glorious things. That which raised up their spirits in Heb. xi. to trample upon all the beauty, bravery, and glory of the world, was their acquaintance with and assurance of better and more durable things; they took joyfully the spoiling of their goods, knowing in themselves that they had in heaven a better and a more enduring substance. They looked for a house that had foundations, whose builder and maker is God; and they looked for another country even an heavenly. They saw him that was invisible, and had an eye to the recommence of reward. And this made them count all the glory and bravery of this world, to be too poor and contemptible for them to set their hearts upon. The main reason why men dote upoh the world, and damn their souls to get the world, is, because they are not acquainted with a greater glory. Men ate acorns, till they were acquainted with the use of wheat. O were men more acquainted what union and communion with God mean; what it is to have a new name, and a white stone, that none knows, but he that has it; did they but taste more of heaven, and live more in heaven, and had more glorious hopes of going to heaven; O how easily would they have the moon under their feet!
It was an excellent saying of Lewis of Bavyar, emperor of Germany, ' Such goods are worth getting and owning, as will not sink or wash away, if a shipwreck happen, but will wade and swim out with us.' It is recorded of Lazarus, that after his resurrection from the dead, he was never seen to laugh: his thoughts and affections were fixed on heaven, though his body was on earth; and therefore he could not but slight temporal things, his heart being so bent and set upon eternals.
There are the goods of the throne of grace, as God, Christ, the Spirit, adoption, justification, remission of sin, peace with God, and peace with conscience; and there are goods of the footstool, as honours, riches, the favour of creatures, and other comforts and accommodations of this life. Now he who has acquaintance with, and assurance of, the goods of the throne, will easily trample upon the goods of the footstool. O that you would make it your business, your work, to mind more, and make more sure to your own soul, the great things of eternity, that will yield you joy in life, and peace in death, and a crown of righteousness in the day of Christ's appearing; that will lift up your souls above all the beauty and bravery of this bewitching world; that will raise your feet above other men's heads! When a man comes to be assured of a crown, a sceptre, the royal robes, he then begins to have low, mean, and contemptible thoughts of those things that before he highly prized. So will assurance of more great and glorious things, breed in the soul a holy scorn and contempt of all these poor, mean things, which the soul before did value above God, Christ, and heaven.
Rem. 7. Seriously consider that true happiness and satisfaction are not to be had in the enjoyment of worldly good. True happiness is too big and too glorious.a thing to be found in any thing below that God, who is a Christian's chief good. The blessed angels, those glittering courtiers, have all felicities and blessednesses; and yet they have neither gold, nor silver, npr jewels, nor any of the beauty and bravery of this world. Certainly if happiness were to be found in these things, the Lord Jesus, who is the right and royal heir of all things, would have exchanged his cradle for a. crown; his birth-chamber, a stable, for a royal palace; his poverty for plenty; his despised followers for shining courtiers an$ his mean provisions for the choicest delicacies.
Certainly happiness lies not in those things that a man may enjoy, and yet be miserable for ever. A man may be great and graceless, with Pharaoh; honourable and damnable, with Saul; rich and miserable, with Dives: therefore happiness lies not in these things.
Certainly happiness lies not in those things that cannot comfort a man upon a dying bed. Is it honours, riches, or friends, that can comfort thee when thou comest to die? or is it not rather faith in the blood of Christ, the witness of the Spirit of Christ, the sense and feeling of the love and favour of Christ, and the hope of eternally reigning with Christ,? Can happiness lie in those . things that cannot give us health,,or strength, or ease, or a good night's rest, or an hour's sleep, or a gopd stornach? Why, all the honours, riches, and.delights of this world cannot give these poor things to us; therefore certainly happiness lies not in the enjoyment of them.
And surely happiness is not .to be found in them things that cannot satisfy the sfluls o,f men. Now none of ithes£ things can satisfy the soul of man. He that loveth silver, shall not be satisfied with silver, nor he that loveth abundance, with increase; this is also vanity, said the wise man. The barren womb, the step daughter, the grave, and hell, will as soon be satisfied, as, the soul of man will by the enjoyment of any worldly good. Some one thing or other will be for ever wanting to that soul which has nothing but outward good to live upon. You may as soon fill a bag with wisdom, a chest with virtue, or ,a circle with a triangle, as the heart of man with any