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cerning the Law, Rom. 7. 7, 13. | Are they fin?or is that which is good made death to themi Godforbid. But fin, that it may appear fin, worketh death by that which is good : because they are carnally sold under fin.]
4. Nor must you cast away your riches, or refuse them when offered by God. But take them as a faithful steward doth his Masters stock, not defiring to be overburdened or endangered with che charge, but bearing what is imposed on you,resolving to improve it all for God. Not loving nor defiring wealth authority or honour, nor yet so lazie, timerows or distruftful as not to accept the burden and charge, when God served by it. To raft away or.hide your talents, is che part of an uyprofitable feruant,
5. Take heed lest under pre tence of contemolog riches and prosperity, you be tempted co
contemn your Governours Speak evil of dignities, or diminish the honour of those that are fer over us, whose honour is necessary to the ends of Government, and therefore to the peoples good. Though famesreprove the Church for partiality in over-honouring a man for a gold-ring or gay apparel, yer doth he not go about to abaté the bonour of authority. Magia strácy, and riches mult be here difinguished.
6. Take heed left while you declaim of the misery of the rich, you think to be saved meerly for being poor. For poor or rich, if you be angodly, you must turnor die. God doch not condemn men for their riches; but their fin: Nor save any for their poverty, but their faith and piety (through Christ.)
But the Uses you should make of the Text are chese. 1. Grudge sot at the prosperity
of ungodly men, but compaffionate them in their danger and misery.
2. Be not afraid of the prosperity of the wicked, Pfal.49.16,17,18, 19. Its they that should be afraid, that have so low to fall.
3. Take heed that you de fire not riches or prosperity : unless you desire that the way to heaven should be made harder to you, that is so hard already. Be contented with food and rayment. Desire but your daily bread, unless as it is needful for your Masters service, and the relief of others.
4. Honour those ever with a double homour, that are great and godly, that are rich and religious ; not because they are rich, but because they are so strong and excellent in grace, as to overcome such great temptations; and to be heavenly in the midst of eartbly.plenty, and to be faithful stewards of To
much. Religious faithful Princes and Magistrates cannot easily be valued and honoured too much. What wonders are they in the most part of the earth what a blessing to the people that areruled by them! Were they not strong in faith, they could not stand fait in such a stormy place. Where is there in the world a more lively resemblance of God, then a boly Prince or Governour, that liveth no more to the flesh then the poorest, for all his abundance of fleshly accommodations, and that devoteth and improvech all his power, and honour,and interest,to the promoting of holiness, love and concord ?
5. Let great men have a double interest in your prayers. They have a double need of grace and help; and we have a double need that they should be gracious. O think how hard it is to save their faith, their
Innocency, and their fouls, and to save the Gospel and the publike peace in the midst of so many and great temptacions. And therefore pray hard, where prayer is so needful.
And () that I were now able to speak fuch
enlightening and awakening words to you, as might shew you at once your worldly prosperity, and the heavenly glory, in their proper value ! and that God would now open your eyes and hearts, accordingly to eftcem and seek them. Gentlemen, will you give this once an impartial hearing, to one that envyeth not your wealth, but foreseeth'the end ofit, and how it will forlake you, and in how deplorable a case you will then be found, if you have no laid up a treasure in heaven, and secured the everlasting riches. I grudge you not your prosperity : for God doth not grudge it you: