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1 TIM. vi. 17, 18, 19. Charge them that are Rich in this World, that
they be not high-minded, nor trust in uncertain Riches, but in the Living God, who giveth us richly all Things to enjoy. That they 'do Good, that they be Rich in good
Works, ready to distribute, willing to com
municate. Laying up in store for themselves a good Founda
tion against the Time to come, that they may lay bold on Eternal Life.
ROTIUS his Note, upon this Text, is this, That St. Paul now having finished this his Epistle to Timothy,
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 Ephesus (wheté Timothy resided) did then abound; and upon this Consideration, he inferts those words I have now read; Charge them that are rich in this World, &c.
How famous foever the City of Ephesus 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; equal, if not much exceed it. And therefore that which St. Paul thought of fo
great Importance, as to give efpecial Orders to Timothy, to press upon the Ephesian Citizens, will always be very fit to be seriously recommended 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 Resurrection, upon which
you have before been entertained; I apply myself, without farther Preface, to conclude this Easter Solemnity with that with which St. Paul concludes his Epistle, vizi with a short Discourse of the rich Man's great Duty and Concernment, which is in these Words plainly set forth to us.) • In them we may take notice of these Three Generals, which I Shall make the Heads of my following Discourse.
Firft, The Duty itself incumbent upon those that are Rich in this World, expressed in several Particulars.;s.
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
to press it ; Charge them (faith he) that are Rich, that they be not, &c.
Thirdly, The mighty Encouragement they have to observe this Charge; for hereby they lay up to themselves in store a good Foundation against the Time to come, that they may lay hold on Eternal Life.
First, I begin with the Rich Man's Duty, which is here exprefs’d in Four Points; Two of them Negative, teaching what Things he ought to avoid; the other - Two Positive, teaching what he ought to practise. They are these:
I. That he should not be bigh-minded.
And with very great Reafon hath St. Paul 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 Cons tempt of others; but what little Ground there
is for this, is easily seen by any that will give DI 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 wise Men, or even to himself if he have a Grain of Senfe in him, than if he was with out them? Certainly they do not. For that for which either God approves us, or wise Men efteem us, or we can speak Peace and Content to ourselves, is not any Thing without us, any Thing that Fortune hath given to us; 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 say, 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 Comparison) is of Commendation for the costly Trappings he wears.
Secondly, Another Caution given to those that are rich in this World, is, that they should not trust in uncertain Riches. This likewise is a Temptation to which they are exposed, and
our Saviour hath very lively set it forth to us
his Barns, thought of nothing farther ; but Luke 12. presently faith to himself, Soul, take thy Easė, L.
eat, drink, and be merry, for thou hast Goods
But supposing we had some Certainty of our Lives, and could promise ourselves, that we should not leave our Wealth for some competent Time, yet we have no Gertainty that our Wealth will not leave us. How prosperous soever our present Circumstances be, yet we cannot ensure the Continuance of them, there are a Thousand Accidents may, happen eyery 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 are now the greatcst Obje&s of our Compassion and Charity; and this is that which St. Paul in the Text insinuates. When he calls theni