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partakes of the nature of idolatry, which necessarily excludes its votaries from the celestial kingdom. 2. That it is extremely difficult for a man who abounds in wealth, and has large possessions, not to trust in such uncertain riches, and to bring his mind to submit to the self-denying requisitions of the gospel, so as to be ready to resign his worldly treasures, when the laws of the gospel kingdom require it. The truth of this is apparent in the comparatively small number of rich men who have devoted themselves to the cause of evangelical religion, as humble and self-denied followers of the meek and lowly Jesus. There are men at this moment in the higher places of society, abounding in riches, ten times more than sufficient for all the lawful purposes of sensitive enjoyment, whom it would be as difficult to induce to give the tenth part of their incomes, for the support and propagation of true religion, as it would be to drain the caverns of the ocean, or to hurl the mountains from their bases, and toss them into the depths of the seas, notwithstanding their pretended zeal for the external interests of the church.

Such is their pride, and their attachment to the pomp and splendours of wealth, that nothing short of Divine power could detach their hearts from trusting in their uncertain riches, and induce them "to count all things but loss that they may win Christ.” Such is the powerful influence of wealth and external grandeur over the human heart, that none but those who have attained a strong and permanent conviction of unseen and eternal realities, can look down upon them with becoming indifference or contempt.

And this consideration should form a powerful argument to the lower ranks of society, to encourage them to submit with contentment to the allotments of Providence, for their circumstances do not expose them to the same temptations as the rich to neglect the gospel and those things which belong to their eternal peace. Were the riches, after which they are sometimes apt to aspire, to be granted them, it might prove, as it has often done, the greatest curse that can befal them, and lay the foundation of their eternal ruin.

“For they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition."

3. Covetousness is inconsistent with the idea of our being redeemed by the blood of Christ.

The apostle Peter declares, in reference to all Christians, that " they are not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot." And he brings forward this consideration as an argument against worldly lusts, and in support of universal holiness, that, “ as obedient children, we ought no longer to fashion ourselves according to the former lusts in our ignorance; but as he who hath called us is holy, so we ought to be holy in all manner of conversation.” And Paul, in his epistle to the Galatians, declares, that one end of the death of Christ is, that he might deliver us from this present evil world,and consequently, from all its covetous affections and lusts. The work of our redemption is one of the most astonishing displays of Divine perfection, and the most glorious manifestation of Divine love towards the sons of men. Preparations for its accomplishment were going on in every preceding period of the world. Prophets, in different ages, were raised up to announce it; the ceremonial law was instituted, and thousands of victims were slain on the Jewish altars to prefigure the sufferings of Messiah and the glory that should follow; the various events of Providence, the rise of empires, the fall of kings, and the revolutions of nations, were all directed in such a manner as to accomplish the purposes of the Almighty, and to bring about that great event—the death of Christ-in all the circumstances in which it actually happened. Celestial messengers descended from heaven to earth to announce the birth of the Saviour to man; a series of august and striking miracles, such as had never before been exhibited, gave attestation of the Divine mission of the promised Messiah; and at length, our great High Priest humbled himself, and became obedient to the death


of the cross, when the sun was darkened in his habitation, the earth did quake, the rocks rent, the vail of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom, the graves were opened, and many of their inhabitants arose to life. Our Redeemer at length burst the bonds of death, arose to an immortal life, ascended to heaven amidst a choir of angels, and is now set down at the right hand of the Majesty on high. The great end of all these solemn preparations in prophecies, in providences, in sacrifices, types, and shadows, and of the astonishing events which have accompanied and followed the death of Christ, was to counteract sin in all its various bearings and aspects—to emancipate the soul from the thraldom of the world and its affections and lusts, and “to purify" for the service of God, “ a peculiar people zealous of good works.”

Now, it is evident, that such noble designs would be entirely frustrated, were a principle of covetousness to hold the ascendency over the human mind, however fair a character its votaries might exhibit in the sight of men. If we are not determined to “mortify the flesh with its affections and lusts," and to make God the supreme object of our desires and affections; if, on the contrary, we are determined to give loose reins to avaricious propensities, to make wealth and grandeur, and worldly honours and distinctions the chief object of our pursuit, then Christ “has died in vain” with respect to us, and we have no interest, and ought to claim no interest in the benefits which he died to procure. It is presumption in the highest degree, for any man, to claim an interest in the blessings of salvation, whose conscience tells him that this world and its enjoyments are uppermost in his affections. For, can we for a moment suppose, that the Most High God would form a design which is the admiration of angels, that the most solemn preparations should be made for its accomplishment, that all the events connected with his moral administration should be so arranged as to have a special bearing upon it, that the laws of nature should be suspended and controlled, and a series of astonishing miracles displayed, that the Prince of Life would suffer the agonies of an accursed death—that He "who thought it no robbery to be equal with God, should take upon him the form of a servant, and become obedient to the death of the cross;" that angelic messengers should take so deep an interest in such transactions, and wing their flight from heaven to earth in embassies connected with such events —can we suppose that such an astonishing train of events would have been arranged and brought into effect, if a principle, which, above all others, has a tendency to estrange the affections from God, were to be permitted to rule in the human heart? The thing is impossible, and, therefore, the covetous, whatever show of religion he may exhibit, cannot, with any consistency, lay claim to any of those eternal blessings which the Son of God came into the world to procure; since those effects which his death was intended to accomplish, have never been produced on his heart.

4. Covetousness is inconsistent with Love to God.

Love to God is the foundation and the first principle of universal holiness. In every renewed soul it reigns triumphant and supreme. This holy affection includes in it reverence, admiration, humility, and gratitude, and is uniformly accompanied with adoration of the perfections of God, and an unlimited dependence upon him, in reference both to our temporal comforts and our eternal destination. It pervades the hearts of all holy beings wherever existing throughout the amplitudes of creation, and inspires them with permanent and rapturous delight. It assimilates us to angels and other pure intelligences, and prepares us for associating with them and bearing a part in their labours of universal benevolence. Hence, we find, that this sacred emotion has formed the distinguishing characteristic of the saints in every age. We find the spirit of the Psalmist, in his devotional exercises, continually rising towards God, as his hope and confidence and the source of his felicity: “Whom have I in heaven but thee, and there is none upon earth that I desire besides thee. As the hart panteth after the brooks of water, so my soul panteth after thee, O God. My heart and my flesh shall fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. He is my refuge and my fortress, my God; in him will I trust. In God is

my salvation and my glory; the rock of my strength, and my refuge is in God. Who in heaven can be compared with the Lord ? who among the sons of the mighty can be likened to Jehovah? Behold as the eyes of servants look to the hands of their masters, so our eyes


the Lord our God. My soul trusteth in thee; yea, in the shadow of thy wings will I make my refuge until these calamities be overpast. Blessed is the man who maketh the Lord his confidence, and whose hope is in the Lord his God.”

Throughout the whole range of Divine revelation such sentiments are expressed, and such affections displayed by the people of God. But is it possible to be conceived, that either the niggardly miser or the vain worldling can enter into the spirit of such sublime sentiments, or elevate his soul to such holy affections, however much he may attempt to mimic the external forms of devotion? Though he should affect humility by bowing down his head like a bulrush, and profess to join in adoration of the Most High, “in the place of the holy,” yet God is not in all his thoughts, " and his heart is still going after his covetousness.

." Those eternal respects which are due to God, and that hope and confidence which his people repose in his perfections, are to him altogether unheeded and unknown. The world, with its riches and splendours, is the deity which he worships, while the attributes of the true God are seldom present to his mind. While the true Christian exclaims with exultation, “ Thou art my portion, O Lord, therefore will I trust in thee,” the worldling overlooks the Eternal Source of felicity, and “trusts in the abundance of his riches." While the Christian hopes in God for every thing requisite to his happiness, both in the life that now is and in the life to come, the worldling makes "gold his hope, and says of the fine gold, Thou art my confidence." While the Christian, in the view of every calamity that may befal him, boldly declares, “God is my refuge and strength, my high tower and fortress, a pre

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