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PREFACE.

The subject of the following treatise, considered in all its aspects, is one which has an important bearing on the happi. ness and improvement both of Christian and Civil society. Impressed with a deep conviction of this truth, the author intended, sometime ago, to address his fellow-men on the subject; but other engagements prevented him from entering on the consideration of the several topics connected with it, till about the month of August last, when a Prize, to be given for the best Essay on the subject, was announced in some of our religious periodicals. Being then engaged in conducting his work “On the Mental Ilumination of Mankind," &c., through the press, and in various other apocations, he could not find leisure to finish the Essay within the time prescribed in the advertisement. It was, however, sent sometime afterwards, and returned unopened, on the ground" that the carriage and porterage of it were not paid;" and had it not been for a particular circumstance, the package might have been lost, as there was no intimation on its exterior as to whom it should be addressed and returned. These circumstances the author was disposed to consider as little short of an exemplification of Covetousness—the very evil which the Essays advertised for were intended to counteract. For, although a hundred Essays had been sent, the carriage of which was two shillings each, the whole sum thus expended would not have amounted to above £10—which could only be a trivial sum to the individuals who offered the Prize. And equity required, that those who had been at the expense of paper and quills, and who had devoted a certain portion of their time to the subject, in compliance with the request of those gentle

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men, should have been freed from the expense of carriage, especially when no intimation of this circumstance was contained in the announcement. But we too frequently find, that it is much easier to laud a virtue than to practise it, and to denounce a vicious principle than to act in opposition to it.

The Essay is now presented to the public by the Author, on his own responsibility, as he originally intended, in the hope that it may not be altogether inefficient, in counteracting the principle of Covetousness, and stimulating the Christian to those noble acts of Beneficence by which physical and moral evil may be prevented, religious society improved, and the world enlightened and regenerated. Having been composed in the course of four or five months, and in the midst of many interruptions and avocations, it is hoped, the critical reader will candidly overlook any slight inaccuracies it may contain.

Should any pecuniary emolument be derived from the sale of this volume, the greater portion of it will be devoted to the purpose of social and religious improvement.

BROUGHTY Apra, 1838. DUNDEE, }

GENERAL CONTENTS.

Remarks on the necessity of giving more particular attention to the

duties of practical Christianity, &c. pp. 9–14. Plan of the Essay, 14.

CHAPTER I.

On the disposition or propensity designated by COVETOUSNESS and the

VARIOUS MODES in which it has operated in the world, and in Christian

society.

General remarks-description of covetousness, 15, 16.

SECTION 1. On the operations and effects of covetousness as displayed

in the world at large, 17.

Historical sketch of its operations and progress in ancient times, 18, 19.

Modern examples—plunder of Mexico and Peru—Slave trade-Coloniza

tion, Piracy, &c. 19-27.

SECTION 2. On the effects of covetousness, and the manner in which

it has displayed itself among those who acknowledge the authority of.

Christianity, and profess to submit to its dictates, 27.

Benevolent dispositions of the first Christians, &c. 28, 29. Progress

of Covetousness in the Christian Church-rapaciousness of the Popes and
Bishops-sale of indulgences-vast quantity of wealth extorted from the

people by the Romish church, on the continent and in England-practices

of the Pope's Nephews-extracts from the writings of an Italian Catholic,

&c. 29–39. Operations of covetousness in Protestant and Evangelical

churches, 40. Miscellaneous remarks. 1. Practice of hoarding money

and acquiring houses and lands, 41. Description of a miser, 44. Various

examples of avarice, 45–48. 2. Gratifying a desire for ostentatious dis.

play, 49. 3. Providing portions for children, 52. 4. Covetousness in the

mercantile transactions of mankind, 55. 5. In cases of bankruptcy, 58.

6. As it sometimes appears in the conduct of ministers of religion, 61-65.

Miscellaneous examples, in people professing evangelical religion, 65.

Covetousness of Great Britain, in a national point of view, 69. Various

instances-Revenues derived from the support of idolatry in India-scenes

of Juggernaut-description of his temple, &c.-Pilgrim hunters General

Teflections; 69-78.

CHAPTER V

On the PRINCIPLES by which Christians should be directed in the ap.

plication of their wealth, 162.

Preliminary remarks-general observations connected with this topic

-God the original source of wealth, 163. Riches a trust to be employed
in his service, 164. Christians bound to such appropriation, from a con.
sideration of the love of Christ, 166. A particular enquiry into the pro.
portion of wealth which should be directly consecrated to the service of
God, 168. General remarks and maxims on this point-considerations to
direct u in this particular. Proportion of wealth dedicated to God,

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