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Take therefore no thought for the morrow, for

the morrow shall take thought for the things of it self: sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.

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UR Lord having fufficiently cautioned

his Disciples against seeking this world's o

praise in an oitentatious performance of religious duties, warns them next against

a desire of the wealth and riches of this world. And here he enters upon a doctrine wholly evangelical, proper to no religion, but to that which he taught; and agreeable only to that spiritual and heavenly kingdom, which he was then erecting. But becaule it must appear a new and strange precept to the Jews, who expected that the kingdom of the Messiah would be founded in the enjoyment of riches and temporal prosperity, he proceeds to argue for the observance of it, by shewing the reasonableness of the duty in several particulars. Thus therefore in effect he speaks to us in the present paragraph.

«' Make it not the business of your lives to get " and hoard up earthly treasures ; “ hearts upon them, they are vain in their own na6 ture: The richest furniture wears away by use 6 and age, and even your gold laid by consumes in 6 rust; and all are but uncertain possessions, which

ye may easily be deprived of by a thousand ac6 cidents. But instead thercof, provide your felves 6 an inheritance in the world to come; a treafure 66 which neither violence nor fraud can take from

you, nor time nor misfortunes can destroy. For a whatever you esteem as your happiness, on that “ will your hearts and affections be set. If your “ judgments be good, ye will rightly discern the “ value of heavenly treasures above earthly, and

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“ direct your aims and your desires accordingly; but “ if your judgments be corrupt and blinded, your “ choice will certainly be wrong, and how fatal “ must such an error prove! Nor will the folly be « less, to think to divide your selves between this 66 world and the other. For it is impoflible to “ obey two masters commanding contrary services; “ to be devoted faithfully to God, and at the same “ time governed by the opposite interests and ma« xims of this world. Be not therefore follicitous

to make a figure, but content your felves with " the necessaries of life according to your conditi

on; and even for these, for your ordinary food « and raiment, be not anxiously thoughtful; but “having employed your industry in the use of hot nest and proper means to obtain them, leave the

event to God, depending always upon his provi06

dence, which will not leave you destitute, and 6 which you see takes care of every other creature. « The birds of the air are incapable of plowing " and sowing, or of the arts of trade and merchan

dize; all they can do is to go out and seek their ૮ “ food, and God provides it for them: and if he " thus feeds them, will he neglect or overlook the " nobler branches of his family? If he will not “ suffer even the birds to want, which only by natural instinct trust in him, much more will “ he take care of you, who trust in him by “ choice, and glorify him by a religious and ra« tional dependance. But if ye will still be trusting

to your own care, and place your only hopes “ therein, consider that how sollicitous soever ye are, " how many and wi

and wise foever your projects are, thcy " are all to no purpose, except the providence of God “ succeed and bless them; without his assistance ye

can no more add one farthing to your estate, than one cubit to your stature. And as for your raiment, observe the flowers of the earth, which


66 have

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“ have no thought of their clothing, no care in “ the providing of it, and yet no furniture in So« lomon's court was so beautiful and glorious. Now 6 if God bestows such ornaments on the short-liv'd “ flowers of the field, which are but of a day's 6 continuance, ye must have little faith indeed to 6 question his concern for you. 'Tis true, the ig6 norant Gentiles, who have gods of wood and “ stone, that cannot help them, and who have “ neither an interest in, nor any just notion of " happiness in a life to come, are with some show “ of reason carking and sollicitous for a provision “ in this present world: but ye that are my Disci“ ples should know better. Ye know that ye “ have in heaven a most compassionate and Al“ mighty Father, who is thoroughly sensible of

your wants, and able and willing to relieve them. “ Ye are born to nobler expectations than this " world can answer ; ye have an inheritance in “ eternal glory, that requires your best affections, « and your greatest diligence. Employ your care " then in the first place by a life of righteousness, " to secure an interest in that future state of glo

ry; and such a care shall be so far from occasi6 oning any want of temporal necessaries (tho' it di“ vert you from an eager and anxious solicitude about " them) that the providence of God will upon

that very account more especially concern it self “ to provide for and supply you with them. Look

not therefore too far forward; every day has its own trouble and molestation, and why should ye anticipate the cares and sorrows of many years to come, which it



ye may never feel, or if ye do, it will be soon enough in its own season; w and to partake of them sooner, is to double your « own burden, and to suffer twice under the same



45 eyil.

In the farther explanation of this paragraph, I shall shew,

I. The full extent of the precept; that we should

not lay up treasures on earth, but lay them up

in heaven. II. The force of all those arguments distinctly,

which our Lord makes use of here to strengthen it.

I. The full extent of the precept ; which will best appear, by considering each branch of it apart: As,

FIRST, What is included in the negative, the thing which is here forbidden us, laying up treasures on earth. And this having in it several degrees of evil; and every one of them by it self being an offence against the precept, as well as all of them together, it will be necessary to trace them step by ftep, if we would be exact in our discovery.

(1.) First then, there may be too great an opinion of the worth and excellency of earthly treasures i a vain notion of the sufficiency of these things to make a man happy; and this either proceeds from, - or produces (for it is necessarily attended with) cold and slightly apprehensions of true fpiritual happiness, the pleasures of religion, and the expectations of a life to come. The worldling has heard indeed of the comforts which pious fouls take in the contemplation of God's love to them, and the exercise of their own to God; he has been told of a most delightful entercourse with heaven in prayer, and praises, and receiving the holy facrament: but these employments being spiritual, and he a stranger to them, it passes all for mere enthusialin; or at least his ideas of the delight that is to be found in them are confused, and faint, and ineffectual. He has been taught, and pretends to believe many glorious


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things of a felicity immense and everlasting, resery'd beyond the grave, for the spirits of just men made perfect; but the futurity and distance of them is such, that even their greatness and eternity do very little move his affections. Whereas this present world and its enjoyments are at hand, the reality, of them is visible, and the impressions they make upon him strong, as they are the objects of sense: the nature of them is suited to a corrupt and carnal heart, at enmity with God, and earnestly seeking happiness in it self, or any thing rather than in him. He finds them in esteem with almost every body, the daily conversation turns upon them, and the common endeavours of mankind are center'd in them: which puts a mighty biass on his judgment, to approve and admire what presents it self under fo many

recommendations. As this is true of the enjoyments of this world in general, fo is it also with regard particularly to riches, the grand instrument of procuring all the rest

. The pomp and hospitality of the great, with the respect and honours that are paid them, cannot but draw a secret veneration to that wealth of which they are the consequents. The ordinary conveniencies and comforts of life, nay even necessaries of it too, being not to be had without money, is a most sensible argument with men to value it. And beside all this, the very precepts of their education prepare them in favour of it: for the father leaves a plentiful portion to his son, and telling a grave story of the labours and hazards he underwent in raising it, gives him strict charge, and many directions for the improvement. The master, together with the mysteries of his trade, instructs his servant in the more fecret ones of unreasonable gain and profit, And thus pofterity falls of course into the vain sentiments of those that went before, and money is become the idol of the world. Now that this over




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