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ven: provide them a portion which is better than a kingdom; for you can provide but little for them in the world.

12. Be exemplary in patience and contentedness with your state for that grace should be the strongest in us, which is most exercised; and poverty calleth you to the frequent exercise of this.

Direct. x. Be specially furnished with those reasons which should keep you in a cheerful contentedness with your state; and may suppress every thought of anxiety and discontent.' As 1. Consider as aforesaid, that that is the best condition for you which helpeth you best to heaven; and God best knoweth what will do you good, or hurt. 2. That it is rebellion to grudge at the will of God; which must dispose of us, and should be our rest. 3. Look over the life of Christ, who chose a life of poverty for your sakes; and had not a place to lay his head. He was not one of the rich and voluptuous in the world; and are you grieved to be conformed to him. 4. Look to all his apostles, and most holy servants and martyrs. Were not they as great sufferers as you? 5. Consider that the rich will shortly be all as poor as you. Naked they came into the world, and naked they must go out; and a little time makes little difference. 6. It is no more comfort to die rich than poor; but usually much less: because the more pleasant the world is to them, the more it grieveth them to leave it. 7. All men cry out, that the world is vanity at last. How little is it valued by a dying man? And how sadly will it cast him off! 8. The time is very short and uncertain, in which you must enjoy it: we have but a few days more to walk about, and we are gone. Alas, of how small concernment is it, whether a man be rich or poor, that is ready to step into another world? 9. The love of this world drawing the heart from God, is the common cause of men's damnation: and is not the world more likely to be over-loved, when it entertaineth you with prosperity, than when it useth you like an enemy? Are you displeased, that God thus helpeth to save you from the most damning sin? And that he maketh not your way to heaven more dangerous? 10. You little know the troubles of the rich. He that hath much, hath much to do with it, and much to care for; and many persons to deal with,

e Phil. iii. 7-9.

and more vexations than you imagine. 11. It is but the flesh that suffereth; and it furthereth your mortification of it. 12. You pray but for your daily bread, and therefore should be contented with it. 13. Is not God, and Christ, and heaven, enough for you? Should that man be discontent that must live in heaven? 14. Is it not your lust, rather than your well-informed reason that repineth? I do but name all these reasons for brevity: you may enlarge them in your meditations.


Directions for the Rich.


I HAVE said so much of this already, Part i, about covetousness or worldliness, and about good works, and in my book of "Self-denial," and that of "Crucifying the World;" th my reason commandeth me brevity in this placea. Direct. 1. Remember that riches are no part of your felicity; or, that if you have no better, you are undone men.' Dare you say, that they are fit to make you happy? Dare you say, that you will take them for your part? and be content to be turned off when they forsake you? They reconcile not God; they save not from his wrath; they heal not a wounded conscience; they may please your flesh, and adorn your funeral, but they neither delay, nor sanctify, nor sweeten death, nor make you either better or happier than the poor. Riches are nothing but plentiful provision for tempting, corruptible flesh. When the flesh is in the dust, it is rich no more. All that abounded in wealth, since Adam's days, till now, are levelled with the lowest in the dust.


Direct. 11. Yea, remember that riches are not the smallest temptation and danger to your souls.' Do they delight and please you? By that way they may destroy you. If they be but loved above God, and make earth seem better for you than heaven, they have undone you. And if God * See more in my Life of Faith.'

recover you not, it had been better for you to have been worms or brutes, than such deceived, miserable souls. is not for nothing, that Christ giveth you so many terrible warnings about riches, and so describeth the folly, the danger, and the misery of the worldly rich. And telleth you how hardly the rich are saved. Fire burneth most, when it hath most fuel; and riches are the fuel of worldly love, and fleshly lust,

Direct. 111. ‘Understand what it is to love and trust in worldly prosperity and wealth.' Many here deceive themselves to their destruction. They persuade themselves, that they desire and use their riches but for necessity; but that they do not love them, nor trust in them, because they can say that heaven is better, and wealth will leave us to a grave! But do you not love that ease, that greatness, that domination, that fulness, that satisfaction of your appetite, eye, and fancy, which you cannot have without your wealth? It is fleshly lust, and will, and pleasure, which carnal worldlings love for itself; and then they love their wealth for these. And to trust in riches, is not to trust that they will never leave you; for every fool doth know the contrary. But it is to rest, and quiet, and comfort your minds in them, as that which most pleaseth you, and maketh you well, or to be as you would be. Like him in Luke xii. 18, 19. that said, "Soul take thy ease, eat, drink, and be merry, thou hast enough laid up for many years." This is to love and trust in riches.

Direct, IV. Above all the deceits and dangers of this world, take heed of a secret, hypocritical hope of reconciling the world to heaven, so as to make you a felicity of both; and dreaming of a compounded portion, or of serving God and mammon.' The true state of the hypocrite's heart and hope is, 'To love his worldly prosperity best, and desire to keep it as long as he can, for the enjoyment of his fleshly pleasures; and when he must leave this world against his will, he hopeth then to have heaven as his reserve; because he thinketh it better than hell, and his tongue can say, It is better than earth, though his will and affections say the contrary. If this be your case, the Lord have mercy

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Luke xii. 17-20. c 1 John ii. 15, 16.

xvi. 19-21, &c. xviii. 21—23, &c.
Rom. xiii. 13, 14.

upon you, and give you a more believing, spiritual mind, or else you are lost, and you and your treasure will perish together.


Direct. v. Accordingly take heed, lest when you seem to resign yourselves, and all that you have to God, there should be a secret purpose at the heart, that you will never be undone in the world for Christ, nor for the hopes of a better world.' A knowing hypocrite is not ignorant, that the terms of Christ, proposed in the Gospel, are no lower than forsaking all; and that in baptism, and our covenant with Christ, all must be designed and devoted to him, and the cross taken up instead of all, or else we are no Christians, as being not in covenant with Christ. But the hypocrite's hope is, that though Christ though Christ put him upon these promises, he will never put him to the trial for performance, nor ever call him to forsake all indeed: and therefore, if ever he be put to it, he will not perform the promise which he hath made. He is like a patient that promiseth to be wholly ruled by his physician, as hoping that he will put him upon nothing which he cannot bear. But when the bitter potion or the vomit cometh, he saith, I cannot take it, I had hoped you would have given me gentler physic.'


Direct. vi. And accordingly take heed lest while you pretend to live to God, and to use all that you have as his stewards for his service, you should deceitfully put him off with the leavings of your lusts, and give him only so much as your flesh can spare.' It is not likely that the damned gentleman, Luke xvi. was never used to give any thing to the poor; else what did beggars use his doors for? When Christ promiseth to reward men for a cup of old water, the meaning is, when they would give better if they had it. There are few rich men of all that go to hell, that were so void of human compassion, or of the sense of their own reputation, as to give nothing at all to the poor: but God will have all, though not all for the poor, yet all employed as he commandeth ; and will not be put off with your tithes or scraps. His stewards confess that they have nothing of their own.

Direct. VII. Let the use of your riches in prosperity shew, that you do not dissemble when you promise to forsake all for Christ in trial, rather than forsake him.' You may know whether you are true or false in your covenant

with Christ, and what you would do in a day of trial, by what you do in your daily course of life. How can that man leave all at once for Christ, that cannot daily serve him with his riches, nor leave that little which God requireth, in the discharge of his duty in pious and charitable works? What is it to leave all for God, but to leave all rather than to sin against God? And will he do that, who daily sinneth against God by omission of good works, because he cannot leave some part? Study as faithful stewards, to serve God to the utmost, with what you have now, and then you may expect that his grace should enable you to leave all in trial, and not prove withering hypocrites and apostates.


Direct VIII. Be not rich to yourselves, or to your fleshly wills and lusts: but remember that the rich are bound to be spiritual, and to mortify the flesh, as well as the poor." Let lust fare never the better for all the fulness of your estates. Fast, and humble your souls never the less; please an inordinate appetite never the more in meat and drink; live never the more in unprofitable idleness. The rich must labour as constantly as the poor, though not in the same kind of work. The rich must live soberly, temperately, and heavenly, and must as much mortify all fleshly desires as the poor. You have the same law and master, and have no more liberty to indulge your lusts; but if you live after the flesh, you shall die as well as any other. O the partiality of carnal minds! They can see the fault of a poor man, that goeth sometimes to an alehouse, who perhaps drinketh water (or that which is next it) all the week; when they never blame themselves, who scarce miss a meal without wine, and strong drink, and eating that which their appetite desireth. They think it a crime in a poor man, to spend but one day in many, in such idleness, as they themselves spend most of their lives in. Gentlemen think that their riches allow them to live without any profitable labour, and to gratify their flesh, and fare deliciously every day: as if it were their privilege to be sensual, and to be damned".

Direct. Ix. Nay, remember that you are called to far greater self-denial, and fear, and watchfulness against sensuality, and wealthy vices than the poor are.' Mortification is as necessary to your salvation, as to theirs, but much

d Rom. viii. 1. 5-9. 13.

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