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too bitter, they like not to drink thereof. And diyers will magnify his miracles, that are offended at the ignominy of his cross. But, O man, as he, for thy salvation, so thou, for the Inve of him, must humble thyself, and be contented to be of no reputation, that thou mayst follow him, not in a carnal, formal way, of vain man's tradition and prescription, but as the Holy Ghost, by the apostle, doth express it, in the new and living way," which Jesus had confecrated, that brings all that walk in it, to the eternal rest of God: whereunto he himself is entered, who is the holy and only blessed Redeemer.
i Phil. ii. 7. & Heb.x. 19, 20.
CH A P. XIII.
f. 1. Avarice, the second capital lust, its defi
nition and distinction. §. 2. It consists in a desire of unlawful things. $. 3. As irë. David's case about Uriah's wife. §. 4. Alfa Ahab's about Naboth's vineyard. . 5. Next, in unlawful desires of lawful things. §. 6. Covetousness is a mark of false prophets. $. 7. A reproach to religion. . 8. An enemy to government. So 9. Treacherous. Jo 10. Opprelive. $. 11. yudas an example. S. 12. So Simon Magus. S. 13. Lastly, in unprofitable boarding of money. g. 14. The covetous man a common evil. S. 15. His hypocrisy. .16. Gold his god. f. 17. He is fparing, to deai?.
18. Is reproved by Christ and his followers. f. 19. Annanias' and Sapphira's fir and judgment. $. 20. William Tindall's discourse on that subject referred unto. §. 21. Peter Charron's testimony against it. §. 22. Abraham Cowley's witty and sharp satire upon it.
. I. I AM come to the second part of this discourse, which is avarice, or coverousness, an epidemical and a raging distemper in the world, attended with all the mischiefs that can make men miserable in themselves, and in society : fo near a-kin to the foregoing evil, pride, that they are seldom apart: Liberality being almost as hateful to the proud, as to the covetous, I shall define it thus: Covetousness is the love of money or riches; a which, as the apostle hath it, is the root of all evil. It branches itself into these three parts: first, desiring of unlawful things ; fecondly, unlawfully desiring of lawful things; and lastly, hoarding up, or unprofitably with-holding the benefit of them from the relief of private per. fons, or the public. I shall first deliver the sense of scripture, and what examples are therein afforded against this impiety: and next, my own reasons, with some authorities from authors of credit. By which it will appear, that the working of the love of riches out of the hearts of people, is as much the business of the cross of Christ, as the rooting out of any one sin that man is fallen into.
$. II. And first, of desiring, or coveting of | Ephef. v. 3. 5. • Tim. vi. 9, Io.
unlawful things : it is expressly forbidden by God himself, in the law he delivered to Moses upon Mount Sinai, for a rule to his people the Jews to walk by: Thou shalt not covet, faid God, thy neighbour's house: thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's wife, nor his man-servant, nor. his maid-fervant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour's. This God confirmed by thundering and lightnings, and other sensible folemnities, to strike the people with more awe in receiving and keeping of it, and to make the breach of these moral precepts more terrible to them. Micah complains full-mouthed in his time, They covet fields, and take them by violence;d but their end was misery. Therefore was it said of old, Woe to them that covet an evil covetousness : this is to our point. We have many remarkable instances of this in fcripture; two of which I will briefly report.
§. III. David, though otherwise a good man, by unwatchfulness is taken; the beauty of Uriah's wife was too hard for him, being disarmed, and off from his fpiritual watch. There was no dissuasive would do: Uriah must be put upon a desperate service, where it was great odds if he survived it. This was to hasten the unlawful satisfaction of his desires, by a way that looked not like direct murder. The contriyance took; Uriah is killed, and his wife is quickly David's. This interpreted David's covetousness. But went it off fo? No, David had sharp sauce with his meat. His
• Exod. XX. Mic. ii, 2.
pleasure foon turned to anguish and bitterness of spirit: his soul was overwhelmed with for. row: the waves went over his head : he was consumed within him: he was stuck in the mire and clay; he cried, he wept : yea, his eyes were as a fountain of tears. Guiltiness was upon him, and he must be purged; his fins washed white as snow, that were as red as crimson, or he is undone for ever. His repentance prevailed : behold, what work this part of covetousness makes! What evil! What forrow! O that the people of this covetousness would let the sense of David's forrows fink deep into their souls, that they might come to David's salvation! Restore me, saith that good man: it seems he once knew a better state: yes, and this may teach the better fort to fear, and stand in awe too, left they fin and fall. For David was taken at a disadvantage; he was off his watch, and gone from the cross ; the law was not his lamp and light, at that instant; he was a wanderer from his fafety, his strong tower, and so surprised : then and there it was the enemy met him, and vanquished him.
P. IV. The second instance is that of Na. both's vineyard:8 it was coveted by Ahab and Jezebel : that, which led them to such an un. lawful desire, found means to accomplish it. Naboth must die, for he would not sell it. To do it, they accuse the innocent man of blafphemy, and find two knights of the post, sons • Psalm li. lxxvii. xlii. 7. Ibid. lxix. 2. 14. vi. 6. 7.
- 6 1 Kings xxiva
of Belial, to evidence against him. Thus, in the name of God, and in thew of pure zeal to his glory, Naboth must die ; and accordingly was stoned to death. The news of which coming to Jezebel, she bid Ahab arise and take poffeffion, for Naboth was dead. But God followed both of them with his fierce vengeance. In the place where the dogs licked the blood of Naboth, faith Elijah, in the name of the Lord, shall dogs lick thy blood, even thine; and I will bring evil upon thee, and take away thy posterity : and of Jezebel, his wife and partner in his covetousness and murder, he adds, The dogs shall eat her flesh by the walls of Jezreel. Here is the infamy and punishment due to this part of covetousness. Let this deter those that desire unlawful things, the rights of others : for God, that is just, will certainly repay such with interest in the end. But perhaps these are few; either that they do not, or dare not shew it, because the law will bite if they do. But the next part hath company enough, that will yet exclaim against the iniquity of this part of covetousness; and by their seeming abhorrence of it, would excuse themselves of all guilt in the rest : let us consider that.
$. V. The next, and most common part of covetousness is, the unlawful desire of lawful things ; especially of riches. Money is law., ful, but the love of it is the root of all evil, if the man of God say true. So riches are lawful, but they that pursue them, fall into divers temptations, snares, and lusts ; if the same good