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confidences and satisfactions in respect to worldly wealth ; SERM.

XLVI. to induce us, in Job's language, not to make gold our hope, nor to say to the fine gold, Thou art my confidence ; not to Job xxxi. tejoice because our wealth is great, and because our hand 24. hath gotten much; to extirpate from our hearts that root of all evil, the love of money. For if, as the Preacher thought, the greatest pleasure or benefit accruing from them, is but looking upon them for a while, (what good, Eccl. v. 11. saith he, is there to the owners thereof, saving the beholding of them with their eyes?) if a little will, nay must suffice our natural appetites, and our present necessities; if more than needs is but, as the Scripture teaches us, a trouble, dif- Eccl. v. 19. quieting our minds with care; a dangerous snare, drawing us into mischief and sorrow; if this, I say, be their present quality; and were it better, yet could it last for any certain, or any long continuance; is it not evidently better to enjoy that pittance God hath allotted us with ease and contentation of mind; or if we want a necessary supply, to Simplici employ only a moderate diligence in getting thereof by the ftant neceffairest means, which, with God's blessing promised thereto, saria, in dewill never fail to procure a competence, and with this to rest rarur. content; than with those in Amos, to pant after the dust of State.

Sen. Ep. 89. the earth; to lade ourselves with thick clay ; to thirst insati- Heb. siii. ably after floods of gold, to heap up mountains of treasure, , Tim. vi. to extend unmeasurably our possessions, (joining house to 8. house, and laying field to field, till there be no place, that we Amos ii. 6. may be placed alone in the midst of the earth, as the Pro- Hab. ii. 6. phet Isaiah doth excellently describe the covetous man's humour;) than, I say, thus incessantly to toil for the maintenance of this frail body, this flitting breath of ours? If divine bounty hath freely imparted a plentiful estate upon us, we should indeed bless God for it; making ourselves Luke xvi. 9. friends thereby, as our Saviour advises us, employing it to God's praise and service; to the relief and comfort of our brethren that need: but to seek it earnestly, to set our heart upon it, to rely thereon, to be greatly pleased or elevated in mind thereby, as it argues much infidelity and profaneness of heart, so it fignifies much inconsiderateness

licias labo.

Pral, lv. 26.

II. v. 8.

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SERM, and folly, the ignorance of its nature, the forgetfulness of XLVI. our own condition, upon the grounds discoursed upon.

3. Now in the next place; for pleasure, that great witch, which so enchants the world, and w bich by its milchievous baits so allures mankind into fin and mifery; although this consideration be not altogether neceflary to disparage it, (its own nature fufficing to that; for it is more transitory than the shortest life, it dies in the very enjoyment,) yet it may conduce to our wife and good practice in respect thereto, by tempering the Tweetness thereof, yea souring its relish to us; minding us of its insufficiency and unserviceableness to the felicity of a mortal creature; yea, its extremely dangerous consequences to a soul that muft survive the short enjoyment thereof. Some persons indeed, ignorant or incredulous of a future ftate; presuming of no sense remaining after death, nor regarding any account to be rendered of this life's a&ions, have encouraged themselves and others in the free enjoyment of present sensualities, upon the score of our life's shortness and uncer

tainty; inculcating such maxims as these: Lucr.

-Brevis eft hic fructus homullis ;

-poft mortem nulla voluptas : 1 Cor. iv. Let us eat and drink, for to-morrow we shall die; because

our life is short, let us make the most advantageous use thereof we canf; because death is uncertain, let us prevent its surprisa), and be aforehand with it, enjoying somewhat,

before it snatches all from us. The Author of Wisdom Sap. iii 1, observed, and thus represents these men's discourse: Our

life is short and tedious; and in the death of a man there is no remedy ; neither was there any man known to have teturned from the grave :-Come on therefore, let us enjoy the good things that are present; let us speedily use the creatures like as in youth; let us fill ourselves with costly wine and ointments; and let no flower of the spring pass by us; let us crown ourselves with rosebuds before they be withered;

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&c.

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' Quem Sors dierum cunque dabit, lucro Appone; nec dulccs amores Spernc pua, &c.

Hor. i. 9.

let none of us go without his part of voluptuousness-for SERM. this is our portion, and our lot is this. Thus, and no wonder, XLVI. have some men, conceiving themselves beasts, resolved to live as such; renouncing all sober care becoming men, and drowning their reason in brutish sensualities; yet no question, the very same reflection, that this life would soon pass away, and that death might speedily attack them, did not a little quath their inirth, and damp their pleasure. To think, that this perhaps might be the last banquet they should taste of; that they should themselves shortly become the feast of worms and ferpents, could not but somewhat spoil the gust of their highest delicacies, and disturb the sport of their loudest jovialities; but, in Job's expression, make the meat in their bowels to turn, and be as Jobus, 14. the gall of asps within them. Those customary enjoyments did fo enanjour them of sensual delight, that they could not without pungent regret imagine a necessity of foon for ever parting with thein; and so their very pleasure was by this thought made distasteful and embittered to them. So did the Wife Man observe: O death, how bitter is the Ecclus. xli. remembrance of thee to a man that liveth at rest in his pof- .. Jeffons; unto the man that hath nothing to vex him; and that hath prosperity in all things ; Yea, adds he, unto him, that is yet able to receive meat! And how bitter then must the remembrance thereof be to him, who walloweth in all kind of corporal fatisfaction and delight; that placeth all his happiness in sensual enjoyment! However, as to us, who are better instructed and affected; who know and believe a future state; the confideration, that the time of enjoying these delights will soon be over; that this world's jollity is but like the crackling of thorns under a pot, Eccles. vä. (which yields a brilk found, and a cheerful blaze, but heats 6. Jittle, and instantly passes away ;) that they leave no good fruits behind them, but do only corrupt and enervate our minds; war against and hurt our souls; tempt us to fin, and involve us in guilt; that therefore Solomon was furely in the right, when he said of laughter, that it is mad; and Eccl. ii. 2. of mirth, what doeth it? (that is, that the highest of these delights are very irrational impertinences ;) and of intem

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Heb. xi. 25.

X. 7.

SERM. perance, that, at the last, it biteth like a serpent, and

XLVI. Ningeth like an adder; with us, I say, who reflect thus, Prov. xxiii. that (apócraipos difeseptias, étórauris) enjoyment of fnful

pleasure for a season cannot obtain much esteem and love; but will rather, I hope, be despised and abhorred by us.

I will add only, Δοκοί γεν ή 4. Concerning secular wisdom and knowledge; the copic Javo pasės idoras which men do also commonly with great earneftness and sva9a- ambition seek after, as the most specious ornament, and ριότητι, και To Gobzir. pure content of their mind; this consideration doth allo Arif. Ein. detect the juft value thereof; so as to allay intemperate

ardour toward it, pride and conceitedness upon the having or seeming to have it, envy and emulation about it. For imagine, if you please, a man accomplished with all varieties of learning commendable, able to recount all the stories that have been ever written, or the deeds acted, since the world's beginning; to understand, or with the most delightful fluency and elegancy to speak all the languages, that have at any time been in use among the fons of men; skilful in twisting and untwisting all kinds of subtilties; versed in all sorts of natural experiments, and ready to allign plausible conjectures about the causes of them; studied in all books whatever, and in all nionuments of antiquity; deeply knowing in all the mysteries of art, or science, or policy, such as have ever been devised by human wit, or study, or observation; yet all this, such is the pity, he must be forced presently to abandon; all the use he could make of all his notions, the pleasure

he might find in them, the reputation accruing to him Pl. cxlvi.4. from them, muft at that fatal minute vanilh; his breath

goeth forth, he returneth to his earth, in that very day his Eccl. is. 10. thoughts perish. There is no work, nor device, nor know

ledge, nor wisdom in the grave, whither he goeth. It is Psal. xlix. Jeen, faith the Psalmist, seen indeed every day, and ob

served by all, that wise men die, likewise the fool and lruEccl. ii. 14, tish perfon perisheth; one event happeneth to them both;

there is no remembrance of the wife more than of the foc! for ever; (both die alike, both alike are forgotten;) as the wisest man himself did (not without some distaste) obferve

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1), &c.

and complain. All our subtile conceits and nice criti- SERM. cisms, all our fine inventions and goodly speculations, XLVI. shall be swallowed up either in the utter darkness, or in the clearer light of the future state. One potion of that Lethean cup (which we must all take down upon our entrance into that land of forgetfulness) will probably Pf. Ixxxviii. drown the memory, deface the shape of all those ideas, 12. with which we have here ftuffed our minds 8: however they are not like to be of use to us in that new, so different, ftate; where none of our languages are spoken; none of our experience will suit; where all things have quite another face unknown, unthought of by us; where Aristotle and Varro shall appear mere idiots; Demosthenes and Cicero shall become very infants; the wiselt and eloquentest Greeks will prove senseless and dumb barbarians; where all our authors shall have no authority; where we must all go fresh to school again; must unlearn, perhaps, what in these misty regions we thought ourselves best to know, and begin to learn what we not once ever dreamed of. Doth therefore, I pray you, so transitory and fruitless a good (for itself I mean and excepting our duty to God, or the reasonable diligence we are bound to use in our calling) deserve such anxious desire, or so restless toil; so careful attention of mind, or asliduous pain of body about it? doth it become us to contend, or emulate so much about it? Above all, do we not most unreasonably, and against the nature of the thing itself we pretend to, (that is, ignorantly and foolishly,) if we are proud and conceited, much value ourselves or contemn others, in respect thereto? Solomon, the most experienced in this matter, and best able to judge thereof, (he that gave his heart to seek and search out by wisdom concerning all things, that had been done under heaven, and this with extreme success; even he,) paffeth the same sentence of vanity, vexation, and unprofitableness, upon this, as upon all other subcelestial things. True, he commends wisdom as an excellent and

Την δ 'Ισοκράτες διατριβήν επισκώττων, γηράν φησι παρ' αυτώ της μαθητές, ως in eos xercepires tuis riguais, reà dixes ipõrsas. Care Sen, apud Plut. p. 6the Edit, Steph.

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