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SECT. 6. Judgments are denounced against the
Ephraim feedeth on wind, and followeth after the east wind; he daily increaseth lies. For the iniquity of his covetousness was I wroth, and smote him; I hid me, and was wroth, and he went on frowardly in the way of his heart'. O ye sons of men, how long will ye turn my glory into shame? How long will ye love vanity, and seek after leasing? Wo unto them that join house to house, that lay field to field, till there be no place; that they may be placed alone in the midst of the earth". They covet fields, and take them by violence; and houses, and take them away; so they oppress a man and his house, even a man and his heritage. They build up Zion with blood, and Jerusalem with iniquity. The heads thereof judge for reward; and the priests thereof teach for hire, and the prophets thereof divine for money'. The prince asketh, and the judge asketh for a reward; and the great man he uttereth his mischievous desire. Thine eyes and thine heart are not but for thy covetousness". With thy wisdom and with thine understanding thou hast gotten thee riches, and hast gotten gold and silver into thy treasures; and by thy traffic hast thou increased thy riches, and thine heart is lifted up'; behold therefore I will bring strangers upon thee; the terrible of the nations; and they shall defile thy brightness*. The time is come, the day draweth near; let not the buyer rejoice, nor the seller mourn; for wrath is upon all the multitude thereof'. They shall cast their silver in the streets, and their gold shall be removed; their silver and their gold shall not be able to deliver them in the day of the wrath of the Lord; they shall not satisfy their souls, neither fill their bowels; because it is the stumbling-block of their iniquity".
SECT. 7. The society of covetous men is to be shunned.
This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come, for men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous truce-breakers, false accusers, traitors, being filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, covetousness, deceit, from such turn away. For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins. And many shall follow their pernicious ways, by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of; and through covetousness shall they make merchandise of you"; beguiling unstable souls. An heart they have exercised with covetous practices; cursed children; which have forsaken the right way, and are gone astray, following the way of Balaam the son of Bosor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness; yea ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward'. For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are enemies of the cross of Christ; whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly; and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things. Men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness; from such withdraw thyself". For they that are such, serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words, and fair speeches, deceive the hearts of the simple'. But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost; in whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not*. I wrote unto you in an epistle not to company with fornicators. Yet not altogether with the fornicators of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or with idolaters; for then must ye needs go out of the world. But now I have written unto you, not to keep company; if any man that is called a brother, be a fornicator, or covetous, or an
§ 7. 2 Tim. iii. 1—4.
d 2 Pet. ii. 2, 3.
8 Phil. iii. 18, 19.
b Rom. i. 29.
e 2 Pet. ii. 14, 15.
h 1 Tim. vi. 5.
c 2 Tim. iii. 5, 6.
1 Jude, 11.
1 Rom. xvi. 18.
idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner, with such an one no not to eat'. For this ye know, that no unclean person, nor covetous man who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of Godm*
SECT. 8. Dissuasives from covetousness, with exhortations and motives to seek for substantial and lasting good.
A faithful man shall abound with blessings; but he that maketh haste to be rich, shall not be innocent". There is that maketh himself rich, yet hath nothing; there is that maketh himself poor, yet hath great riches". How much better is it to get wisdom than gold? and to get understanding rather to be chosen than silver ©. Better is little with the fear of the Lord, than great treasure, and trouble therewith. Better is a little with righteousness, than great revenues without right. As the partridge sitteth upon eggs, and hatcheth them not; so he that getteth riches, and not by right, shall leave them in the midst of his days, and at his end shall be a fool'. Better is a dry morsel, and quietness therewith, than a house full of sacrifices with strife. Better is the poor that walketh in his uprightness, than he that is perverse in his way though he be rich". Better is a handful with quietness, than both the hands full, with travail and vexation of spirit'. A little that a righteous man hath, is better than the riches of many wicked; for the Lord upholdeth the righteous. For such as be blessed of him shall inherit the earth; and they that be cursed of him, shall be cut off'. A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favour rather than silver and gold". Blessed is the man that feareth the Lord; wealth and riches shall be in his house, and his righteousness endureth for ever".
11 Cor. v. 9, 10, 11.
§ 8. Prov. xxviii. 20.
d Prov. xv. 16. Prov. xvii. 1.
* Psal. xxxvii. 16, 17. "Psalm cxii. 1, 3.
Eph. v. 5.
b Prov. xiii. 7.
e Prov. xvi. 8.
h Prov. xxviii. 6.
1 Psalm xxxvii. 22.
* See 1 Cor. vi. 9, 10.
e Prov. xvi. 16.
Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross and follow me. For whosoever will save his life, shall lose it; and whosoever shall lose his life for my sake, shall find it. For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? The kingdom of heaven is like unto a treasure hid in a field; the which when a man hath found, he hideth, and for joy thereof goeth and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man seeking goodly pearls; who when he had found one pearl of great price, he went and sold all that he had, and bought it". Therefore I say unto you, take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for the body, what ye shall put on; is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? Behold the fowls of the air; for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are not ye much better than they? which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature? And why take ye thought for raiment? consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin. And yet I say unto you, that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of those. Wherefore if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to-morrow is cast into the oven; shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or what shall we drink? or wherewithal shall we be clothed?? But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you. Take therefore no thought for the morrow; for the morrow will take thought for the things of itself; sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof'. The blessing of the Lord, it maketh rich, and he addeth no sorrow with it'. By humility and the fear of the Lord, are riches, and honour, and life'.
0 Matt.xvi. 24, 25, 26. * Matt. vi. 33, 34.
P Matt. xiii. 44, 45, 46.
9 Matt. vi. 25-31. Prov. xxii. 4.
Now it came to pass, as they went, that he entered into a certain village; and a certain woman, named Martha, received him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus' feet, and heard his word. But Martha was cumbered about much serving, and came to him, and said, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? Bid her therefore that she help me. And Jesus answered, and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art troubled and careful about many things; but one thing is needful. And Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her".
If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affections on things above, not on things on the earth. Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not high-minded, nor trust in uncertain 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'. No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier. The Lord is at hand. Be careful for nothing; but in every thing, by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known unto God". And God is able to make all grace abound towards you; that ye always, having all-sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work; and to remember the words of our Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give, than to receive. As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men; especially unto them who are of the household of faith". For all seek their own, not the things which are Jesus Christ's. Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things