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Let your conversation be without covetousness, and be content with such things as ye have. Heb. xiii. 5. For they that will be rich, fall into temptation and a snare,
and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which droun men in destruction and perdition: for the love of money is the root of all evil, &c.
I Tim. vi. 9, 10. A coverous man is called an Idolater, and has no part in the kingdom
of God; but who believes that he is covetous ? Now here, you see that every one is actually covetous who is not content with what he has. And what says the apostle of such as will be rich ? They fall. Not only they may fall, but they actually do fall: nor can the fall be avoided, if men are determined they will be rich. O reader, be thou frightened : get the covetous desires of thy heart subdued, and kept disentangled from worldly things; for who knows how soon you must go out of this world, and leave every thing behind ? Away from it with thy heart, else thy death will be very hard. The Christian's motto is God and enough; for he that has God is content; and consequently always rich enough, even in poverty: - and that must be a covetous man indeed, who has not enough, having God! O Lord, make me so free by faith from the love of earthly things, that I may equally praise thee, whether thou be pleased to give me something, or take it away from me! and that I may never covetously refuse that to others or to myself, which thou hast given for my own and my neighbour's comfort !
The rich young man whom Jesus lov’d, His love of earthly treasures prov'd
A fatal golden snare. Mark x. 24.
The soul of the diligent shall be made fat. Prov. xiii. 4.
You are concerned for having no more grace.
What is the reason? Perhaps you are indolent, careless, and unfaithful. And though you have no warrant even for an hour to live, yet unreasonably you suppose you have time enough; therefore you are not serious, diligent, and fervent in prayer, for sufficient strength to be always prepared, and have boldness in death. No wonder, if you do not immediately resist sin, that it grows strong, and you always are weak and discouraged. And how can you expect to receive more grace, if you do not faithfully improve what little you have? If you would but dili. gently and faithfully apply yourself to the Word and Prayer, God would certainly not be wanting on his part to fulfil his promises, and give you enough; but not otherwise: for it is well to be observed, and we must know it once for all, that there is no such thing as making any progress in grace and carrying our point, unless we are mindful of ourselves, watching and praying against all sins, and whatever may be an hindrance on one hand; and following with all diligence that which is good, and what may be a furtherance on the other. It is not enough to use some, but we must use all diligence; and according as our grace is increased, our diligence must increase also, since it goes against the stream.
Well to resist the sinful pow'r
Requires a strong restraint;
We must be watchful ev'ry hour,
And pray; but never faint.
In lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than themselves. Phil. ji. 3.
Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ; for if a man think himself to be something, Sc. But let evēry man prove his own work, and then he shall have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another. Gal. vi,
2,3, 4. If we were truly humble, and looked upon ourselves as most mise
rable sinners, we should willingly submit to all adversities, and patiently bear the burdens and infirmities of others, considering that God has borne with us a great deal more. Observing, therefore, the faults of our neighbour, we must not forget our own. Perhaps, in other things we are weaker than he. This will restrain us from judging rashly, or speaking unadvisedly to others; but first, we should speak to God about it, and then try with gentle means to bring them to rights again.' Nay, the best method is to consider our neighbour on the good, and ourselves on the bad side: and to see whether we can excuse him, and accuse ourselves ; - and if his fault could not be ex. cused in any manner, we must not suffer him to stir up our corruption, but come in with prayer between God and him, to plead his cause before his throne in hearty love. It is very easy to find fault with others; but to show love, and restore them by prayer and brotherly correction, is quite another thing,
Thou openest thy hand, and satisfiest the desire of every living thing.
Psal. cxlv. 16.
Who considers these words enough? The hand of God being my
chief provision and store-house, is it not a shame to be anxiously careful for any thing ? Has the Lord all things in his hand ? - then surely I shall receive what he has for me; none will be able to with . hold it. Faith has always a free access to the treasures of God, who is never wanting. Christians have their chests and treasures in such a high place, even in God, that no thief can rob them, and they are sure to have enough in God ; -and though the Lord should try them with want a little while, yet he relieves them in due time: their bread must rain from Heaven, rather than they should be left without. You need not, says Christ, seek these other things, they shall be brought to you, if ye only abide in me. If this does not comfort and strengthen us, nothing else will. Now many rely on their full pockets and purses; but if they had true faith, it would be enough that they believed and had it in God's hand, purse, and chest. If the Lord is pleased to bea stow some provision on his servant, he is very thankful for it, and is careful to apply it well. But if God thinks proper to deny it him, he is content and cheerful. The Lord is good, the Lord is kind; And the whole race of man shall find Great is his grace, his mercy sure;
His truth from age to age endure.
And they withstood Uzziah the king, and said unto him, It appertaineth not unto thee, Uzziah, to burn incense unto the Lord, but to the
priests, the sons of Aaron, that are consecrated to burn incense. Go out of the sanctuary, for thou hast trespassed ; neither shall it be for thine honour from the Lord God,
2 Chron. xxvi. 18. Here is the only blot we find on the name of Uzziah : as long as he sought
the Lord, and worshipped him according to divine appointment, God made him to prosper ; God helped him marvellously till he was strong; but when he was strong, his heast was lifted up to his own destruction. He was not content with the honours God had put upon him, but would usurp those that were forbidden him, like our first parents. The chief priest and other priests were ready to burn incense for the king, according to the duty of their office; and plainly acquainted him, that if, through a mistaken zeal, he offered to do it himself, he would incur the wrath of God, and suffer for it ; but this served only to excite his wrath, till he felt the judgment of God's hand in his punishment. Though he strove with the priests, he would uot strive with bis Maker, but retired as soon as he was smitten with the leprosy. We see in the present instance, as in many others, that “the God we have to do with is a jealous God, who expects ail that serve him shall do it according to his own institutions. Do you, reader, come to him in the way of his appointments ? Take care that you come not wita unhallowed fire before the Lord, lest you be also smitten. Our prayers, our graces, and our duties, must all be put by faith into the hand of our Lord Jesus, the great High Priest of our profession, to be by him presented unto God along with the sweet incense of his merits, else we shall find ourselves deceived, and have 110 acceptance with God. No strange incense let me bring To present unto my King;
I renounce my own desert, 1
Jesus, thou my incense art.