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Bishop: for how can he teach others to deny the world, if he himself is a lover of the things thereof. The Heathens confidered the love of money, and an anxious pursuit after worldly things, as both wicked and mean.-You know, my Lords, that Ovid calls it
-Amor fceleratus habendi;
which is a fentiment big with meaning.
It is a palpable fign of covetousness, for any person who enjoys a fortune of his own, fufficient to make any Christian man live comfortably, to thirst after a Church living, and undertake an office which he is not either qualified to fulfil, or never intends to discharge.——It is a proverb among the common people, that the clergy are always greedy; and, my Lords, I remember a Prophet of the Lord added the epithet of Dogs to a fet of Clergy not unlike yourselves. To
make you understand covetoufnefs a little better, I fhall give the Prophet's opinion at large. His watchmen are blind: they are all ignorant, they are all dumb dogs, they cannot bark; fleeping, lying down, loving to flumber. Yea, they are greedy dogs which can never have enough, and they are Shepherds that cannot underftand: they all look to their own way, every one for his gain, from his quarter. Come ye, fay they, I will fetch wine, and we will fill ourfelves with ftrong drink; and to-morrow fhall be as this day, and much more abundant *.
Thofe Clergymen thus characterised by the Prophet were not mean men, nor infignificant country Curates, as you may imagine. They were High Priests, like you, and the very heads of the national establishment; and the Lord, by the Prophet, calls them dumb Dogs, because they did not fpeak his word to the
* Ifaiah lvi. 10.
the people, but lived at eafe, and neglected their duty, which they were bound to perform for receiving such large perquifites. When they were living in the abfolute neglect of every duty belonging to their office, they could never have enough; and every one of them was zealous in looking after his gain from his quarter. I will be sorry to fay, my Lords, that thefe Jewish Priests were types of you; but there is certainly fome resemblance, in the matter of Covetousness, between you and them. They were fonder of encreafing the revenues of the Church than fulfilling the offices that they were engaged to perform; they tythed every thing, but did nothing, except what they ought not to have done. Instead of watching, they flept; and when they should have fasted and prayed, they rioted in luxury, and drank wine and ftrong drink. Covetoufness is a naughty quality in any perfon, but it is altogether unfeemly for a Bishop.
a Bifhop.But left, by defcribing the vice of Covetoufnefs, I fhould make fome fevere strictures upon your Lordfhips, I fhall conclude this Discourse.
NUMBERS, Ch. xviii. 24.
But the Tythes of the children of Ifrael, which they offer as an heave-offering unto the Lord, I have given to the Levites to inherit: therefore I have faid unto them, Among the children of Ifrael they fhall have no inheritance.
S the Levites were not allowed to buy lands and hereditary poffeffions, they were thereby prevented from being covetous; and as the Tythes were competent for their maintenance, they fought no more, nor aimed any I higher.