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world, nor in that which is to come: and of this solemn truth we are assured, there are three that bear record in Heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost.
May we all sincerely weigh and consider the great evidences of our holy relegion, so as to produce a thorough çonviction of its truth in our minds; and may this conviction operate so' forcibly upon our conduct, as to produce in us holy and virtuous lives. We shall then have no anxious fears about the commission of that heavy sin, which is incapable of for: giveness, both in this world and also in that which is to come. If, in smaller things, human frailty should yield to the power of temptation, we shall renew our strength by prayer and repentance: we shall look up with confidence to the throne of mercy, and rest our hopes of forgive, þess and acceptance on the all-sufficient merits of Christ; and having finished our course through this vale of tears, we shall aspire to the blessed mansions of that city above, whose builder and maker is God.'
Charge them that are rich in this world, that - they be not high-minded, nor trust in un: certain 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 communicate ;--laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.
GIVE me neither poverty nor riches,"
was the language of a wise petitioner, who well knew that both had their peculiar and dangerous temptations, and I 4
therefore wished to avoid them, by being fed with the food that was convenient for
The temptations to which rich men are more particularly exposed, are high-mindedness and confidence in their riches. For, as the Scriptures tell us,
66 riches “and strength lift up the heart;" and again,
66 the rich man's wealth is his ço strong city, and as a high wall in his own conceit.”
1 Against these therefore the Apostle exhorts Timothy, in the words of the text, to level all the powers of his eloquence and authorita vbi who are rich and luxurious 'citizens of Ephesus, where Timothy then resided, that they Wibe not high-minded, nor trust in“ un“ certain riches.” And, to add the greater weight to his instructions, he points" out the true source of this and every other blessing, and therefore the only fit object of our trust and confidence, that is, : “ the living God, who
“ giveth us richly all things to enjoy." He then concludes his exhortation with explaining the proper uses, to which their riches ought to be applied ; “ that they só should do good, that they should be s rich in good works, ready to distribute,
willing to communicate ;": not perhaps exactly according to the original sense of the word, when, in the infancy of Christianity, the disciples “ had all things
common," but at least by communi, cating a share of their good things to the distressed, as every man had need ; at the same time encouraging them to a faithful discharge of these great duties of charity and benevolence, by setting before them the noble rewards with which they will one day, be attended:
laying $ up in store for themselves a good foun" dation against the time to come, that " they may lay hold on eternal life.”.
And indeed there cannot be a more effectual remedy against those corruptions, with which riches are apt to poison and infect the mind, than that generous and diffusive spirit of charity, which arises from a sense of our dependence upon the living God, who giveth us all things richly to enjoy. 11 o;
For 1st. With regard to pride, which consists in entertaining too high an opinion of ourselves, and too low and contemptuous a one of others : What can be a greater check upon this foolish conceit of our own importance, than that mild and gentle temper of charity, which knowing itself dependent on the bounty of heaven, “ vaunteth not itself, is not easily puffed up?" This will teach us a just estimate of ourselves and of others : it will teach us, that all men are formed by the same almighty hand, wear the same divine image, are all heirs of the same hopes; it will teach us that every man's situation in life is the appointment of divine Providence, and that no station therefore is contemptible; it will farther teach us, that the blessings of Heaven' are distributed with so equal a hand, that even the lowest have some advantages, which the highest want; and that no man is without a sufficient share of them to