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SERMON IV,

Preached at^ t ;, ,.

The SPITTLE.

On the Fourteenth of April, i 680.

1 Tim. vi. 17, 18, 19.

Charge them that are Rich in this World, that they be not high-minded, nor trujl in uncertain Rithes, but in th\Livjng God, who giveth us richly all T'hings fy enjoy.

That they do Good, that they be Rich in good Works, ready to dijlrib Me, willing to communicate. , • 'v..»

Laying us in /losesor themfelpes a good Foundation again/I the Time, to come, that they may lay hold on Eternal Life.

ROtlUS his Note, upon this Text, is this, That St. Paul now having finished this his Epistle to Timothy, iæefcEsI it comes into his Mind, that there was need of some more particular Application to be made, and Admonition to be given to those wealthy Merchants, with which the City

of of Ephesiis (where Timothy resided) did then abound; and upon this Consideration, he inserts- those Words I have. now. read, Charge them that are rich in this World,-He. . -yr,;{

How famous soever the City of Ephejiis was at that Time for Wealth or Trade, there is little doubt to be made, that this City of ours (praised be God for it) doth in those Respects, at this Day j equal, if not much exceed it. And therefore that which St. 'Paul thought of so great Importance, as to give especial Orders to Timothy, to press upon the Ephe/ian Citizens, will always be very fit to be seriously recorn.T mended to you in this Place; and more especially at this Time, since it is the proper Work of the Day. Waving therefore wholly the Argument of our Saviour's RefurreBion, upon which you have before been entertained; I apply myself, without farther Preface, to conclude this Easter Solemnity with that with which St. Paid concludes his Epistle, viz* with a short Discourse of the rich Man's great Duty and Concernment, which is in these Words plainly set forth to us. ■ . -L

In them we.may take notice of these Three Generals, which I- fball make the Heads of my following-Discourse. 1 ... :•; <.

Fitft, The j Duty itself incumbent upon those that are Rich in>thil World, expressed in several Particulars. • • »t~ . 3

Secondly, -The great Obligation that lies upon them to the Performance of.it, which we may gather from the Vehemence and the Authority with which St. 'Paul orders timothy

to to press it; Charge them (faith he) thai arm Rich, that they be not, &c.

thirdly, The mighty Encouragement they have to observe this Charge-, for hereby thi) lay up to themselves in store a good Foundation again/I the Time to come, that they may lay hoU on Eternal Life.

Fir ft, I begin with the Rich Man's Duty, which is here express'd in Four Points; Two of them Negative, teaching What Things he ought to avoid; the other Two To/itive, teaching what he ought to practise. They are these: J

I. 'That he should not be high-minded.

II. That he fhouldnot trust in uncertain Riches.

III. That he Jhould trust in the living GOD.

IV. That he Jhould do Good, be rich in good
Works, oCc.

The First Thing that is given in Charge to all those that are rich in this World, is, that they be not high-minded, ju* u^nAoppoi&v, that they do not think too well of themselves for being rich, and take Occasion from thence to despise others that are in meaner Circumstances than they. They are not to value , themselves a Jot the more, or to think worse of others upon Account of that outward Fortune they are possessed of; but are in all their Conversation to express the fame Moderation, and Humanity, and Easiness, and Obligingness of Temper to those they havd to do with, even the meanest and the poorest, as if they stood with them upon the fame Level.

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And with very great Reason hath St. Taul given this Caution to rich Men. For by the Experience of the "World, it hath been always found, that Wealth is apt to puff up, to make Men look big, and to breed in them a Contempt of others; but what little Ground there is for this, is easily seen by any that will give themselves leave to consider.

For what doth any of these worldly Goods (which make us keep at distance) really add to a Man in point of true Worth and Value? Do they either recommend him more to God or to wife Men, or fcven to himself if he have a Grain os Sense in him, than if he was without them? Certainly they do not. For that for which either God approves us, or wile Men esteem us, or we can speak Peace and Content to ourselves, is not any Thing without us, any Thing that Fortune hath given to us j but something that we may more truly call our own; something that we were neither born with, nor could any Body hinder us of, nor can be taken from us; that is to fay, the Riches of our Minds, our vertuous and commendable Qualities.

A Man is no more a fit Object of Esteem, merely for being rich, than the Beast he rides on {if I may use the old Comparisons is of Commendation for the costly Trappings he wears.

Secondly, Another Caution given to those that are rich in this World, is, that they Jhould not trust in uncertain Riches. This likewise is a Temptation to which they are exposed, and

our our Savioor hath very lively set it forth to us in the Parable.of the Rich Man in theGoipeii who having got mighty Possessions, and filled his Barns, thought of. nothing farther.;' but

i?1*"' •Prcscntly saitst t0 himself, Soul, take thy Eajh, 1' "' eat, drink,, and be merry, sur thou haft-.Goods laid up for many Tears: But the Conclusion of that Parable doth sufficiently sliew the Vanity and R idiculousncfs of this prujling in our Riches; for a Message comes to. hirst from God, Thop Fool, this iiight (hall thy Soul be required of sheet, and then who/e shall all the/e things be that thou hast propped? It is the greatest Madness in the World to please, or fpeaic; Peace to ourselves upon Account of that, which we are ndti sure to enjoy a Day, but we may, for any thing we know, be snatch'd away the next Moment into another World, and so must leave the Joy and Pride of our Hearts to we know not whom. , j .: , .

- : But supposing we had some Certainty of our Iiives,. and could promise ourselves, that we stiould not leave our Wealth for some compc* tent Time, yet we have no Certainty that our Wealth will not leave us. How prosperous soever our present Circumstances be, yes. we cannot ensure the Continuance of them; there arc a Thousand Accidents, may, happen every Day, which may strip us as naked as when we came into the World; and we may be reduced to ,the Extremities of those who arc now the greatest Objects of our Compassion and Charity; and this is that which St. Waul jn the Text insinuates Xi when he calls thent

uncertain

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