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braris, the Devil hath your lives; for it is by the world that he decciveth souls: And do you think then thar you are fit co dwell with God? Know je not that sbe love of tb.wirld, exmity to God? And that if ye will be friends of the world, you are Gods enemies ? James 4. 4.
Object. 4. It is not by any unlawful means tbat I defire ts grua ricb: I wait on God in my lapful labour, and crave bir blefing
Answ. It is not now your getting, but your loving the world that I am speaking of: It your hearts be more sct on your riches or prosperity, than on God, and the world by loving it be made your Idol, you do but turn prayer and labour into tin, (though they be good in themselves) while
abuse them to your ungodly worldly ends.
What wretched muck-worm would not pray, if he believed that praying would make him rich ? I warrant you then their tunc would be turned. They would not cry out, what needeth all this praying? If God would give them money for the asking, they would quickly learn to pray without Book, and long prayers would come into request, upon the Pharisees old account. Can any thing in the world be more unlawful and abominable, than to love the flesh and the world, above God and Heaven?And yet do you say that you get not your wealth by any thing that is unlawful?
Object. 5. But I am contested witb my condition, and defire no mere.
Answo. So is a Swine when his billy is full. But the queftion is, Whether Heaven and Holiness, or that worldly condisim. which you are in frem more lovelyco you.
0.jca. 6. I give Godibanks for all I bave.
Anjw. So would every beggar in the Country give God thanks if he would make them rich. Some drunkards and glurtons, and some malicious people, do give God thanks for satisfying their finful lull. This is but adding hypocrific to your fin, and to aggravate it by prophaning the Name of God, by thanking him
as a cherither of your lasts. But the question is, whether you love God for bimself, and as your fan&ifier bet.. ter than you do the gratifying of your flesh? Obj
. 7. But I give sometbing to tbe poor, and I mean to leave them som sking at my deark,
Ans. So it is like the milerable Gentleman did, in Luke 16. Or elle why would Lazarus lic at his gates, if he used not to give something to the poor? What worldling or hypocrite is there that will not drop now and then an Alms, while he pamprreth his stilh, and satisficth its desires? Do you lock co be lived for doing as a Swine will do, in leaving that which he can neither ear, nor car.y away with him? The question is, whcher Godor the world have your bearis? and what it is that you most delight in as your treasure?
Object. 8. I am fully satisfied tbat Heaven is better than Earıb, and God iban ibe creature, and holiness iban ibe properity , or pleasure of the flesh?
'Arsw. Thousands of miserable worldlings, are satisfied in opinion that this is true : They can say the lame words that a frue Believer doch : And in dispute they can defend them, and call the contrary opinion blasphemy. But all this is but a drcaming speculation : Their bearts never pradically preferred God, and Holincss, and Hcayen, as moft füit able and best foribem : Mark what you love best, and most long after, and molt deligbt in, and what it is that you are lorbest to leave, and what it is that you moft cagerly labour for, and there you may fcc what it is that hath your hearts ?
Object. 9. Worldliness is indeed a beinous fin, and of all people, I most hatetbe covetons; and I use to preacb or talk againjt it, more iban against any fin.
Answ. So do many thousands that are slaves to it themselves, and shall be damned for it. It is calier to talk against it, than to forsake it. And it is cafic ro hate covetousness in anorber, because it will cost you nothing for another to forsake his fin; and perhaps the mosc Covcious he is, the more he standech in your way, and hinderch you from that which you would have your Iclvcs. Of all the multicude of coverous Picachers that be in the world, is there any one that will not preach aguinst covetousness ? Read but the Lives of Cardinals, and Popes, and Popish Prelatos, and you will see the most odiom worldliness set forth without any kind of cloak or Thame : How such a one laid his design at Court, and among the great ones for preferment How ftudiously he prosecuted it, and conformed himself to thc humours & intercft of thosc, from whom
he did feck it? How they first got tbi Living, and then got that Prebendary, and then got tbat Denary, and then got luch a Binoprick, and then got a better(that is a richer) and then
got to be Arcbbishops, and then to be Cardinals, &c. O happy progrels, if they might never die! They blush not openly before Angels and men to own this worldly ambitious course, as their deliga and trade of lisc : And the Devilis grown so impudent, as if he werc now the confessed Master of the world, as to see Divines themselves at work, to write the hiftory of such cursed ambitious worldly lives, with open applause, and great commendations; yca to make Saints of them, that have a chasacter far worse than Christ gave of him in Luke 16. that wania cth a drop of water to cool his tongue : He openly now faith, Al sbin will I give thee ; and they, as impudently boilt, Alltbio. I bave gotten : but they forget or know not how much they have lost. A Judar kiss is thoughe fufficient to prove him true Chriftian and Paftor of the Church, though it be but the fruis of what will you give me? Inftead of a scourge ro whip out these buyers and sellers from Chzists Temple, their moichandize is exposed without lhame, and their signs set forth, and the trade of getting prefermenis openly professed, and it is enough to wipe off all the shame, to put some venerable titles upon
this Den of chicves. But the Lord whom we wait for, will once more custe and cleanse bio Temple : But who may abide ibe day of bis coming ? for be is like a refiners fire, and like fullers Supe, and will tbroughly purgesbe Sons of Levi, Mal. 3:1,2,3,4.
If talking against worldliness, would prove that the world is overcome, and that God is dearest to the soul, then Preachers will be be happiest men on carth. But it's easier to commend God, than to love him above all ; and casier to cry out against the world, than to have a heart that is truly weaned from it, and set upon a better world.
Objca. 10. But all ibis belongetb only to tbem that are in prosperity ; but I am poor, and tberefore it is nosbing to me.
Answ. Many a one lovet b prosperity, that bath it not : And, such are doubly finful, that will love a world which loveth not them : Even a world of poverty, misery and diftress. Something you would have done, if you had had a full estate, and honour, and Acthly delights to love. Nay, many poor men
think better of riches and honour, than thosc that have theon
; because they never tryed how vain and vexatious they are; and if they had trycd them, perhaps would love them less. The world is but a painted Strumpet; admired afar off; but the secret you come to it, and the more it's known, the worfc you will like it. Is it by your own defire that you are poor? or is it against you wills ? Had you not ratber be as great and rich as others ? Had you not rather live at ease and fulness? And do you think God will love you ever the better, for that which is against your wills? Will he count that man to be no worldling, that would fain have more of the world, and cannot ? and chat loveth God and Heaven no better thin the rich? Niy, hat will fin for a shilling, when great ones do it for greater fumams? who can be more unfic for Heaven, chon he that loveth a life of labour, and want, and wifery better? Alas it is but little that the greartit worldlings have for their salvation : But poor worldlings fell it for less than they, and therefore do defpisc it more.
Dirca. 4. Let obetrue nature and aggravations of tbe fine of worldlineß, be still in your eye to make it odious to you. As for inftance :
1. It is true and odicus idolatry, Ephef. 5.5. Col. 3. 5. To have God for our God indeed, is to love him as our God, and to delight in him, and be ruled by him. Who then is an Idolater, if he be not one, who lovech the world, and delighicth in it more than in God, or cftcemcth it ftrer to be the matter of his delight and is ruled by it, and (ceketh it more? Ifa.55.1,2,3.
2. It is a blasphemous contempt of God and Heaven, to prefer a dang bill world before bim: To see more by the provisions and pleafures of the Alch, than by all the blessedness of Heaven: Ir is called prophanenifs in Esau, co fell bis birth-right for onc morsel, Heb. 12. 16. Whar prophaneness is it then to say, as worldlings bearis and lives do, The fatisfying of my fish and fansie for a time, is better tban God and the Jnyes of Hesven to ad! eternity.
3. It is a fin of Interest, and not only of Paffion; and therefore it pofseffeth the very Heart and Love, which is the principal faculty of the foul, and that which God moft referveth for himself. No adual fin, which is but little loved, is so heinous
and mortal, as that which is most loved. Because these do moft exclude the Love of God. Some other fir.s may do more hurt to others, but this is worlt to the finner himself. We justly pitty poor Heathenish Idolaters, and pray for their convertion (and I would we did it more.) But do not you not think tharjous hypocrite-worldlings, do love their ricbes, and their borouts and pleasures, better than the poor Heathens love their Idols? They bow the knee to a creature, and you entertain ic in your beart.
4. It is a fun of deliberation and contrivance, which is much world than a surprize by a sudden temptation. You plot how you may compass your voluptuous, covetous and ambitious ends : Therefore it is a fin chut ftandeth at the furtheft diItance from Repentance, and is both voluntary, and a fecided babit.
5. It is a continued fin. Men be not alwaics lying, though they be never lo great lyars; nor alwaies ftealing, if they bc the moft notorious thicves; nor alwaics (wcuring, if they be the profane (wearers. But a worldly mind is alwaies worldly : He is alwaies committing his Idolatry with the world, and als aies denying his Love to God.
6. Ic is not only a fin about the means to a right end(as mailchosen waies of Religion may be) but it is a fin against the End it self, and a mischufing of a fallo pernicious End. And so it is the perverting, not only of one particular action, but cven of the bent and course of mens lives: And consequently a mil-spending all their time.
7. It is a perverting of Gods creatures, to a ule clean contrary to that which they are given us for ; and an unthankful Curning of all his gifts againtt himfelf. He gave us his creatures to lead us to him, and by their liveliness to thew his greater loveliness, and to taste in their (wectness, the greater sweetness of his love. And will you use them to turn your affc&tions from bine?
8. It it a great dobafing of tbe fowl it felf, to fill that noble Spirit with nothing but dirt and smoak, which was made to know and love ics Gad.
9. It is an irrational vice, and significch not only much unbelief of the unseen ihings which should cake up the foul'; bue