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that it even requires more virtue to manage, as we ought, a great estate, than to acquire it; in the most reputable manner; that affluent, and, still more, enormous wealth secularizes the heart of a Christian too much, indisposes him for the offices of pięty, and too often (though it may seem strange) for those of humanity; that it inspires a sufficiency and selfdependance, which was not designed for more tal man; an impatience of complying with the rules of reason, and the commands of religion; a forgetfulness of our highest duties, or an extreme reluctance to observe them.

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In a word, when we have computed all the advantages, which a flowing prosperity brings with it, it will be our wisdom to remember, that its disadvantages are also great h; greater than surely we are aware of, if it be true, as our Lord himself assures us it is; that a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of Heaveni.

Yet, with God (our gracious Master adds) all things are possible. I return, therefore,

h Ardua res hæc est, opibus non tradere mores, Et cùm tot Croesos viceris, esse Numam.

MARTIAL, XI, vi. i Matth. xix. 23.

to the doctrine with which I set out, and conclude; that riches are not evil in themselves; that the moderate desire of them is not unlawful; that a right use of them is even meritorious. But then you will reflect on what the nature of things, as well as the voice of Solomon, loudly declares, that he who loveth silver, shall not be satisfied with silver ; that the capacity of the human mind is not filled with it; that, if we pursue it with ardour, and make it the sole or the chief object of our pursuit, it never did, and never can yield a true and permanent satisfaction ; that, if riches encrease, it is our interest, as well as duty, not to set our hearts upon them k; and that, finally, we are so to employ the riches, we any of us have, with temperance and sobriety, with mercy and charity, 'as to make ourselves friends of the mammon of unrighteousness (of the mammon, which usually deserves to be so called) that, when we fail (when our lives come, as they soon will do, to an end) they may receive us into everlasting habitations!

k Ps. lxii. 10.

Luke xvi. 9.

SERMON XXVI.

PREACHED FEBRUARY 21, 1773. ·

1 Cor. vi. 20.

Therefore glorify God in your body, and in

your spirit, which are God's.

THE words, as the expression shews, are an inference from the preceding part of the Apostle's discourse. The occasion was this. He had been reasoning, towards the close of this chapter, against fornication, or the vice of impurity; to which the Gentiles, in their believing state, had been notoriously addicted; and for which the Corinthians (to whom he writes) were, even among the Gentiles themselves, branded to a proverb.

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The topics, he chiefly insists upon, are taken, not from nature, but the principles of our holy religion, from the right and property, which God hath in Christians. By virtue of their profession, their bodies and squls are appropriated to him. THEREFORE, says he, glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.

To apprehend all the force of this conclusion, it will be proper to look back to the arguments themselves ; to consider distinctly the substance of them, and the manner in which they are conducted.

This double attention will give us cause to admire, not the logick only, but the address, of the learned Apostle. I say, the address ; which the occasion required : for, notwithstanding that no sin is more opposite to our holy religion, and that therefore St. Paul, in his epistles to the Gentile converts, gives it quarter, yet, as became the wisdom and sanctity of his character, he forgets not of what, and to whom, he writes.

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The vice itself is of no easy reprehension ; noț, for want of arguments against it, which are innumerable and irresistible; but from the

reverence which is due to one's self and others. An Apostle, especially, was to respect his own dignity. He was, besides, neither to offend the innocent, nor the guilty. Unhappily, these last, who needed his plainest reproof, had more than the delicacy of innocence about them, and were, of all men, the readiest to take offence. For so it is, the licentious of all times have seared consciences, and tender apprehensions. It alarms them to hear what they have no scruple to commit.

The persons addressed were, especially, to be considered. These were Corinthians : that is, a rich commercial people, voluptuous and dissolute. They were, besides, wits and reasoners, rhetoricians and philosophers; for under these characters they are represented to us. And all these characters required the Apostle's attention. As a people addicted to pleasure, and supported in the habits of it by abounding wealth, they were to be awakened out of their lethargy, by an earnest and vehement expostulation : as pretending to be expert in the arts of reasoning, they were to be convinced by strict argument: and, as men of quick rhetorical fancies, a reasoner would find his account in presenting his argument to them through some apt and lively image.

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