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fly, the cedar and the shrub, and, among stones, given the fairest tincture to the ruby, and the quickest light to the diamond; hath also ordained kings, dukes, or leaders of the people, magistrates, judges, and other degrees, among men. honour is left to posterity for a mark and ensign of the virtue and understanding of their ancestors, so seeing Siracides prefereth death before beggary, and that titles, without proportionable estates, fall under the miserable succour of other men's pity; I account it foolishness to condemn such a care, provided that worldly goods be well gotten, and that we raise not our own buildings out of other men's ruins,
SIR WALTER RALEGA.
OF earthly blessings, the meanest is wealth, reputation the chiefest. As for riches, to him that hath and doth nothing with them, they are a contumely.
WE might somewhat marvel what the apostle St. Paul should mean to say, that covetousness is idolatry, if the daily practice of men did not shew, that whereas nature requireth God to be honoured with wealth, we honour, for the most part, wealth as God. Fain we would teach ourselves to believe, that for worldly goods it sufficeth frugally and honestly to use them to our own benefit, without detriment and hurt of others; or if we go a degree
farther, and perhaps convert some small contemptible portion thereof to charitable uses, the whole duty which we'owe unto God herein is fully satisfied. But forasmuch we cannot rightly honour God, unless both our souls and bodies be sometimes employed merely in his service; again, since we know that religion requireth at our hands the taking away of so great a part of the time of our lives, quite and clean from our own business, and the bestowing of the same in his : suppose, we, that nothing of our wealth and substance is immediately due to God, but all our own, to spend and bestow as ourselves think meet? are not our riches as well his, as the days of our life are his ? Wherefore, unless with part, we acknowledge his supreme dominion, by whose benevolence we have the whole, how give we honour to whoni honour belongeth, or how hath God the things that are God's? I would know what nation in the world did ever honour God, and not think it a point of their duty to do him honour with their very goods? So that this we may boldly set down as a principle clear in nature, an axiom that ought not to be called in question, a truth manifest and infallible, that men are eternally bound to honour God' with their substance, in token of thankful' acknowledgment that all they have is from him.
IT is most evident, that a state of mediocrity in externals is to be preferred before an estate of
much wealth, honour, or grandeur, that of the two extremes, poverty on the one side, or very great wealth and glory on the other, the latter is in truth more dangerous and difficult than the former; but that of Agur's prayer, a state of mediocrity, neither poverty nor riches, but food convenient for a man's condition, is the most de sirable state in this life, and that which avoids the difficulty of both extremes.
SIR MATTHEW HALE,
I HAVE found by a strict and diligent observation, that by a due observance of the duty of the Lord's day, hath ever had joined to it a blessing upon the rest of my time, and the week that hath been so begun, hath been blessed and prosperous to me; and, on the other side, when I have been negligent of the duties of this day, the rest of the week hath been unsuccessful and unhappy to my own 'secular employments; so that I could easily make an estimate of my successes, in my own šecular employments, the week following, by the
These excellent directions for the observation of the Sab. bath, are contained in a letter addressed by their pious author to his children
manner of my passing of this day: and this I do not write lightly or inconsiderately, but upon a long and sound observation and experience.
I find in the world much looseness and apostacy from this duty. People begin to be cold and careless in it, allowing themselves sports, and recreations, and secular employments in it, without any necessity, which is a sad spectacle, and an ill presage; I shall therefore set down particularly (and not in generals only) these things: 1. What is the reason and ground of your observation of this day: 2. What things ought not to be done upon this day, which possibly may be lawful upon another day: 3. What things may be done upon this day: 4. What things are either fit or necessary to be done, in order to the sanctification of this day.
I. Touching the first, viz. The reason of the observation and sanctification of this day; and the reasons are these:.
1. It is a moral duty, that since the glorious God gives me my time, I should consecrate and set apart some portion of that time in a special manner to his service,
2. And because the glorious God best knows what portion of time is fit to be peculiarly dedicated to his service, that so the morality of that time might be determined unto some certainty, he hath by his express precept, given to his ancient people the Jews, limited one day of seven to be that special portion of time which he would have peculiarly dedicated to his service, and so to conclude and transfer into it the morality of that duty.
3. This seventh portion of time, under the old law given to the Jews, was determined by the precept and command of God, in the fourth command, and likewise by his own example confined to the seventh day from the creation, upon which the Lord rested from his works of creation.
4. But our Saviour Christ, who is the Son of God, blessed for ever, and is Lord of the sabbath, fulfilling the work of our redemption by his resurrection upon the first day of the week, and by his mission of the Holy Ghost miraculously the first day of the week, and by the secret message of the spirit to the apostles and primitive church, hath translated the observation of the seventh day of the week to the first day of the week, which is our Christian sabbath; that as our Christian baptism succeeds the sacrament of circumcision, and as our Christian Pascha, the sacrament of the Eucharist, succeeded the Jewish passover; so our Christian sabbath, the first day of the week, suce ceeds the sabbath of the seventh day of the week; and that morality, which was by almighty God under that covenant confined to the seventh day, is, by the example of Christ and his apostles, to us Gentiles transferred to the first day of the week; and that which would have been morally a violation of the morality of the fourth command under the Jewish sabbath, is a violation of the same fourth command, if done upon the Christian