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which was the Portion of the First Adam, nor yet of That, which is purchased for us by the Second, the Lord from Heaven. The Felicity therefore, and the Dignity of such a state as This must be obvious and plain to every one, who paffeth a Right Judgment upon the Principles of Human Nature, upon the Promises of God to Good men, upon the Effects of Virtue and Religion, and upon the Nature and Conditions of Happiness.
2dly, Riches are oftentimes the Effects of God's Special providence over Good men; which feems evident from Gen. xxxix. 2, 3. Deut. xxviii. 8, 11, 12. Prov. x. 22. and many other Texts. Hezekiah's Riches were exceedingly Increased by the fame Gracious Providence, which Prolonged his Life; And the fame Divine Power and Goodness, which conducted Abraham into a Good Old Age, did supply him with Riches in abundance. And we may Eafily conceive, that when God gives Wealth to his moft Sincere and Faithful fervants, he knows, that the Abundance thus bestowed upon them, will not prove Pernicious to them. Riches
are not Let Loose upon a Good Man, as Enemies to Wound him: Infinite Wif dom firft Guards and Fortifies him against all the Mischief they can do; And ľ then puts them into his Poffeffion and Power, that he may extract all the Good, and Avoid the Poyson of them. And indeed it must be a wonderful Strength and Conftancy of Mind, that can render a Man Impregnable, and able to Hold out, under the many and Violent Temptations, which an Abundance of Wealth is always Playing against him. It must be a vast Weight of Wisdom, that can keep down that Towering Spirit of SelfSufficiency within him, which all his outward Circumftances do confpire in Raifing to the most Dangerous Height. Nothing but the Greatest Mind, and That Supported by the Holy Spirit, can Safely bear the Greatest Fortune. Glorious then and Admirable muft the Endowments of those Faithful and Holy men be, whom God does intruft with Large fhares of Earthly Treafures, because he knows, that they are Qualified to Enjoy them with intire Safety, and Improve
them to the utmost Spiritual Advantage; that they will Teftifie the Generosity of their Souls by the Effects of it; and that they will be fo far from Trusting in their Riches, that they will by proper Dispenfations, render them Inftrumental to the Confirmation of their Truft and Hope in God.
'Tis Remarkable in the Character of a Great Prince, that, when fome of his Friends, obferving his Unbounded Munificence, took the Liberty to ask him, What he would have Left for Himfelf under fuch a Conduct? He anfwer'd, Hope. And if an Heathen could fupport Himfelf, in his Acts of Munificence, upon. the Principle of Hope, how Firm and Lafting Foundations of Satisfaction, and Safety, may be laid by Chriftians, in Their Acts of Liberality and Charity. They have plain and Full Evidence, that Their Good Works are an Unexceptionable and Undoubted Principle of their Affiance in God; and that Affiance in God is a Further, and High Recommendation of Them to His Favour.
What Reason then can be affigned for Vows of Poverty, when fo much Excellent Duty, and fo much True Happiness may be drawn from Riches? When Thofe, whom God first Qualifies, by his Spirit, to Resemble him in his Goodness, may, Providentially, be Qualified to Refemble him in this Bleffed Fruit of it, an Extenfive Beneficence to Mankind?
3dly, and Laftly, Honour is often times allotted to Good men, by the special Providence of God. And this feems Manifeft from 2 Chron. i. 12. PS. xci. 14, 15. and many other places of Scripture. Thus was Daniel advanced to the Honour of being the * First President over the Princes, in Darius's Kingdom; and David to the Throne of Ifrael. And the Excellency of their Virtues bore full Proportion to the Eminency of their Stations, and Titles of Honour. Upon This depended the Completion of their Happiness, and their Glory. 'Tis with Honour, as with every Other Talent, That the Happiness arifing from it
* Dan. vi. 2.
320 SERM SERMON VIII.
confifts in the Use and Improvement of it, and 'tis properly a Bleffing unto Good men Alone; For They Alone can graft upon it, an Affured Expectation of God's Favour. And indeed, They Alone are fecure of This Principal Ingredient in it, the Love and Efteem of Mankind.
Titles of Honour, whether Hereditary, or, Acceffional, when they are not Supported by Virtue, do lose a great part of their Value; and therefore a great Part of the Tribute, which would, Otherwise, be paid to Them, is Generally withheld from them. Wealth, or, Honour, in the Poffeffion of an Unworthy person, hath much the fame effect upon Mankind, as Bribery hath upon Corrupt Witnesses; It Extorts, from fome men, the Outward Teftimonies and Expreffions of a Deference and Respect, which, in their Hearts, they Feel nothing of. It is not in Nature to have a Real, Inward Efteem and Reverence, for Vicious, Profligate, Diffolute, and Therefore Difhonourable Perfons. The Deference paid to Them, is only Forced, and Superficial; Whilft That, which is paid