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wants and troubles. To supply the one and relieve the other, some care is necessary; and all necessary care prudence enjoins and religion allows. So much worldly property as will satisfy our present, and provide for our future exigences, is desirable; and the property which we possess is entitled to our care, that it may not be lost by neglect, nor wasted by folly. Solomon, in the text, concedes, that there are some things, besides wisdom, which we may lawfully acquire. He speaks of wisdom as the principal thing; but admits that there are other subordinate things." Get wisdom, and with all thy gettings get understanding." Our Savior allows us to seek things needful for the body; but enjoins us to seek first the kingdom of God. Our worldly interests are useful in their place; but contrasted with our heavenly interests they appear vain and trifling. The former are uncertain, unsatisfying and transient; the latter are sure, complete and permanent. Those relate to the body and to time; these to the soul and to eternity. The one we must leave behind us when we quit this world; the other we shall find ready for us, when we enter into the future world. Of earthly goods we need and can enjoy but little; of heavenly treasures we cannot possess too much. The increase of the former adds to our perplexity; the increase of the latter will exalt our felicity. What we have here we cannot keep long: what we receive in heaven will be ours forever.

3. Wisdom is the principal thing, as this comprises every thing that is amiable, virtuous and excellent.


To secure our future and eternal interest is our greatest wisdom. But how is this interest to be secured?. Not by a few acts of devotion only, but by attending to every thing which God has commanded. Reading, praying, serious meditation and

religious discourse are, in their place, means of salvation; but these are not our whole work. That benevolence which disposes us to do good to men→→→ that sobriety which preserves our health-that frugality which prevents a waste of our substance that industry which makes us useful in our calling-that prudence which promotes our temporal welfarethat courtesy which renders us agreeable in the various relations of life, all belong to the business. When a regard to our salvation predominates, our worldly cares will be restrained within proper bounds: But this restraint will rather help, than hinder their success. We always pursue our worldly designs to the best advantage, when we are guided in them by the best motives.

The good Christian is as careful of his worldly goods, as the miser. He is careful not to waste, abuse or misapply them. But his care is directed to a higher and nobler end. The miser is careful of his intérest out of love to the world, and for the sake of hoarding and increasing. The Christian is careful of his interest in obedience and gratitude to God and for the sake of doing good. The wisdom of the one makes him sparing in acts of charity; the wisdom of the other prompts him to use his substance for the honor of God and the benefit of mankind. "A good man shews favor and lends ;" and for this noble purpose "he guides his affairs with discretion."

The religious man is as careful of his time, as the most industrious tradesman. But he suffers not the world to occupy all his time. A reasonable part of it he devotes to the more immediate service of God and his soul. While his hands are employed in his secular business, his thoughts and affections are in heaven; and whatever he does, he does it to the glory of God.

The worldly man conducts his business in such a manner, that it excludes religion: The religious man so manages his temporal concerns, as to make them subservient to religion. He is serving God, and promoting the interest of his soul, when he is in his shop or his field, as well as when he is in the closet or the sanctuary. For religion consists not in any particular exercises, but in doing every duty in its proper time and place, and with right views and aims. And the man whose heart is devoted to God, and filled with pious and benevolent affections, as really exercises religion and advances his spiritual interest in his secular, as in his devotional duties. In this sense we may understand the words of our Savior: "Give alms of such things as ye have, and behold, all things are clear to you:" And the similar expression of the Apostle; "To the pure all things are pure." If we are governed by the pure principles of piety and benevolence, our common duties become parts of real religion.

4. Religious wisdom is the principal thing, because, while it secures our main interest, it promotes all our subordinate interests.

Do you desire competence of worldly goods, reputation among men, peace in your own minds, respect from your friends, and quietness among your neighbors? These are best obtained by an attention to all the duties of religion, and the whole work of your salvation. Do you take thought, what you shall eat and drink, and wherewith you shall be clothed? Your heavenly Father knows, that you have need of these things. "Seek first the kingdom of God, and these things shall be added." This is a divine promise. But the promise is never inverted; seek first what ye shall eat and drink, and the kingdom of God shall be added. You need not then fill your heads with devices and your hearts with

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eares, how you shall obtain property, reputation and pleasure in this world, and still secure happiness in the next-how you shall combine your different ends, and unite the interests of both worlds. Your business is plain and simple. Attend to the one thing needful, and other things will follow. Pursue the strait line of duty, and patiently continue in the good work, and all your reasonable wishes will be accomplished; for all your interests are united. If you have any unreasonable ends in view, these you must dismiss, for to succeed in them would be your greatest calamity. But if your aims are honest and virtuous, you need not perplex yourselves about the measures to accomplish them. Only let your con, versation be, as it becometh the gospel of Christ." This one thing you must do, and all is done."Press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus." Set your face for heaven, and go on steadily in the path which leads thither, and you will find by the way every accommodation that you need. You have but one great thing to mind. Regard this as you ought, and smaller things come of course. "Godliness has the promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come."


5. This heavenly wisdom is the principal thing, for without it worldly wisdom will do us no good.

By prudence and diligence in our secular callings we may gain some worldly ends, but shall not obtain heaven-we may be useful in our families and in society, but shall not save our souls. A man cannot accomplish any worldly end, unless he will attend directly to that end. He cannot prosper in any profession, unless he will mind the peculiar business of that profession. How then can we expect to obtain our salvation, unless we will apply ourselves directly to that business, with which it is connected.


Salvation is not a windfall, which drops into our lap accidentally, while we are in quest of something else: We must obtain it by seeking; and we must seek till we find. To think that we shall go to heaven only because we are prudent husbandmen, honest tradesmen, and peaceable members of society, while we never apply ourselves to selfexamination, repentance, prayer, watchfulness, humiliation for sin and the mortification of lust, is as absurd, as it would be for a husbandman or mechanic to expect that he shall grow rich and eminent in his profession, because he is a good horseman, or an expert huntsman.

Now since all our cares and labors for this world, however successful with regard to their immediate cbject, will never save our souls; it may truly be said, that these, without an attention to our salvation, will do us no good; for whatever we gain, if the soul is lost, all is lost, and we are not profited, but undone forever.

Besides: Our worldly goods are no farther valuable, than they contribute to happiness. They contribute nothing to happiness, unless we can use and enjoy them with contentment of mind, thankfulness. to God, charity to men, and hope of heaven. And these tempers belong to religion.

6. Religious wisdom is the principal thing, as it is of universal importance.

There are many worldly acquisitions which are useful in their place; but none of them is alike useful to every man. The state of human society requires various occupations, and every man in his own occupation needs wisdom or skill, that he may pursue his business with reputation and success. It is necessary that some should have knowledge in husbandry, some in law and politics, some in trade and commerce, some in diseases and remedies, and

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