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bers, amongst riotous eaters of flesh: for the drunkard and the glutton shall come to poverty, and drowsiness shall clothe a man with rags "." It is not lawful for any man to feed the greedy appetites of such if they choose a short excess before a longer competency, let them have their choice.

3. Pride also is a most consuming, wasteful sin: it sacrificeth God's mercies to the devil, in serving him by them, in his firstborn sin. Proud persons must lay it out in pomp and gaudiness, to set forth themselves to the eyes of others; in buildings, and entertainments, and fine clothes, and curiosities and poverty is also both the proper punishment and cure of this sin: and it is cruelty for any to save them from it, and resist God, that by abasing them takes the do them good.

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4. Falsehood also and deceit, and unjust getting tend to poverty; for God doth often, even in this present life, thus enter into judgment with the unjust. Ill-gotten wealth is like fire in the thatch, and bringeth ofttimes a secret curse and destruction upon all the rest. The same may be said of unmercifulness to the poor; which is oft cursed with poverty, when the liberal are blest with plenty".

Direct. VIII. Be acquainted with the special temptations of the poor, that you may be furnished to resist them.' Every condition hath its own temptations, which persons in that condition must specially be fortified and watch against ; and this is much of the wisdom and safety of a Christian.


Tempt. 1. One temptation of poverty will be to draw you to think more highly of riches and honours than you ought; to make you think that the rich are much happier than they are. For the world is like all other deceivers; it is most esteemed where it is least known. They that never tried a life of wealth, and plenty, and prosperity, are apt to admire it, and think it braver and better than it is. And so you may be drawn as much to overlove the world by want, as other men by plenty. Against this remember, that it is folly to admire that which you never tried and knew; and mark whether all men do not vilify it, that have tried it to the last dying men call it no better than vanity and deceit.

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• Prov. xxiii. 20, 21.


P Prov. xi. 2. xxix. 23. xvi. 18.1
1. Prov. xi. 24, 25. Isa. xxxii. 8. Psal. lxxiii. 21, 22. 25, 26. 34, 35.

And it is rebellious pride in you so far to contradict the wisdom of God, as to think most highly of that condition, which he hath judged worst for you; and to fall in love with that which he denieth you.

Tempt. 11. The poor will also be tempted to overmuch care about their wants and worldly matters; they will think that necessity requireth it in them, and will excuse them. So much care is your duty, as is needful to the right doing of your work. Take care how to discharge your own duties; but be not too careful about the event, which belongs to God. If you will care what you should be and do, God will care sufficiently what you shall have. And so be it you faithfully do your business, your other care will add nothing to the success, nor make you any richer, but only vex and disquiet your minds. It is the poor as well as the rich, that God hath commanded to be careful for nothing, and to cast all their care on him.

Tempt. III. Poverty also will tempt you to repining, impatience and discontent, and to fall out with others; which because it is one of the chief temptations, I will speak to by itself anon.

Tempt. IV. Also you will be tempted to be coveting after more; satan maketh poverty a snare to draw many needy creatures, to greater covetousness than many of the rich are guilty of; none thirst more eagerly after more; and yet their poverty blindeth them, so that they cannot see that they are covetous, or else excuse it as a justifiable thing. They think that they desire no more but necessaries, and that it is not covetousness, if they desire not superfluities. But do you not covet more than God allotteth you? And are you not discontent with his allowance? And doth not he know best what is necessary for you, and what superfluous? What then is covetousness, if this be not?

Tempt. v. Also you will be tempted to envy the rich, and to censure them in matters where you are incompetent judges. It is usual with the poor to speak of the rich with envy and censoriousness; they call them covetous, merely because they are rich, especially if they give them nothing; when they know not what ways of necessary expence they have, nor how many others they are liberal to,

r Luke x. 41.

Matt. vi. 1 Pet. v. 7. Phil. iv. 6.

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that they are unacquainted with. Till you see their accounts you are unfit to censure them.

Tempt. vi. The poor also will be tempted to use unlawful means to supply their wants *. How many by the temptation of necessity have been tempted to comply with sinners, and wound their consciences, and lie and flatter for favour or preferment, or to cheat, or steal, or overreach! A dear price! to buy the food that perisheth, with the loss or hazard of everlasting life; and lose their souls to provide for their flesh!

Tempt. vII. Also you will be tempted to neglect your souls, and omit your spiritual duties, and as Martha to be troubled about many things, while the one thing needful is forgotten; and you will think that necessity will excuse all this; yea, some think to be saved, because they are poor, and say, God will not punish them in this life and another too. But alas, you are more inexcusable than the rich, if you are ungodly and mindless of the life to come. For he that will love a life of poverty and misery better than heaven, deserveth indeed to go without it much more than he that preferreth a life of plenty and prosperity before it. God hath taught you by his providence to know, that you must either be happy in heaven, or no where;-if you would be worldlings, and part with heaven for your part on earth, how poor a bargain are you like to make? To love rags, and toil, and want, and sorrow, better than eternal joy and happiness, is the most unreasonable kind of ungodliness in the world. It is true, that you are not called to spend so many hours of the week-days, in reading and meditation, as some that have greater leisure are; but you have reason to seek heaven, and set your hearts upon it, as much as they; and you must think of it when you are about your labour, and take those opportunities for your spiritual duties, which are allowed you. Poverty will excuse ungodliness in none! Nothing is so necessary as the service of God and your salvation; and therefore no necessity can excuse you from it". Read the case of Mary and Martha: one would think that your hearts should be wholly set upon heaven, who have nothing else but it to trust to. The poor have fewer hindrances than the rich, in the way to life eternal! And God

u Luke x. 41, 42.

t Prov. xxx. 8, 9. John vi. 27. VOL. IV.


will save no man because he is poor; but condemn poor and rich that are ungodly.

Tempt. VIII. Another great temptation of the poor, is to neglect the holy education of their children; so that in most places, there are none so ignorant, and rude, and heathenish, and unwilling to learn, as the poorest people and their children; they never teach them to read, nor teach them any thing for the saving of their souls; and they think that their poverty will be an excuse for all. When reason telleth them, that none should be more careful to help their children to heaven, than they that can give them nothing upon earth.


Direct. Ix. Be acquainted with the special duties of the poor; and carefully perform them.' They are these,

1. Let your sufferings teach you to contemn the world; it will be a happy poverty if it do but help to wean your affections from all things below; that you set as little by the world as it deserveth.

2. Be eminently heavenlyminded; the less you have or hope for in this life, the more fervently seek a better 1. You are at least as capable of the heavenly treasures as the greatest princes; God purposely straiteneth your condition in the world, that he may force up your hearts unto himself, and teach you to seek first for that which indeed is worth your seeking y

3. Learn to live upon God alone; study his goodness, and faithfulness, and all-sufficiency; when you have not a place nor a friend in the world, that you can comfortably betake yourselves to for relief, retire unto God, and trust him, and dwell the more with him. If your poverty have but this effect, it will be better to you than all the riches in the world.

4. Be laborious and diligent in your callings; both precept and necessity call you unto this; and if you cheerfully serve him in the labour of your hands, with a heavenly and obedient mind, it will be as acceptable to him, as if you had spent all that time in more spiritual exercises; for he had rather have obedience than sacrifice; and all things are

Phil. iii. 18. 20, 21. 2 Cor. v. 7, 8.

y Matt. vi. 33. 19-21.

2 Gal. ii. 20. Psal. lxxiii. 25-28. 2 Cor. i. 10.

pure and sanctified to the pure; if you cheerfully serve God in the meanest work, it is the more acceptable to him, by how much the more subjection and submission there is in your obedience".

5. Be humble and submissive unto all. A poor man proud is doubly hateful: and if poverty cure your pride, and help you to be truly humble, it will be no small mercy to you b

6. You are specially obliged to mortify the flesh, and keep your senses and appetites in subjection; because you have greater helps for it than the rich: you have not so many baits of lust, and wantonness, and gluttony, and voluptuousness as they.

7. Your corporal wants must make you more sensibly remember your spiritual wants; and teach you to value spiritual blessings; think with yourselves, if a hungry, cold and naked body, be so great a calamity, how much greater is a guilty, graceless soul! a dead or a diseased heart? If bodily food and necessaries are so desirable, O how desirable is Christ, and his Spirit, and the love of God and life eternal?

8. You must above all men be careful redeemers of your time; especially of the Lord's day; your labours take up so much of your time, that you must be the more careful to catch every opportunity for your souls! Rise earlier to get half an hour for holy duty; and meditate on holy things in your labours, and spend the Lord's day in special diligence, and be glad of such seasons; and let scarcity preserve your appetites...what about nan prestrel in all

9. Be willing to die; seeing the world giveth you so cold entertainment, be the more content to let it go, when God shall call you; for what is here to detain your hearts?

10. Above all men, you should be most fearless of sufferings from men, and therefore true to God and conscience': for you have no great matter of honour, or riches, or pleasure to lose as you fear not a thief, when you have nothing for him to rob you of.


11. Be specially careful to fit your children also for hea

a Ephes. iv. 28. Prov. xxi. 25. 1 Sam. xv. 22. 2 Thess. iii. 8. 10.

b Prov. xviii. 23.

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