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Hadst thou with Solomon chosen Wisdome, posibly thou might'st have sped as well as he, and begging Wisdome only, might'st have had given thee in over and above what thou askedét, as he had, both Riches and Honour. Hadft thou first foughi the Kingdom of God and bis Righteousness, these other good things should bave been added unto thee. Matt. 6. But seeing thou ma dit so unwise a choice for thy self, thou must now abide by thy choice ; take that which thine is, and go thy way, there is no remedy. If thou say'st, thou wouldst have thought thy felf happy enough, and would never have wish'd for better, might'l thou have kept what thou hadft, and have lived for ever, in the fame condition thou wast once in : Let me ask thee this Question, Didst thou nor know before-hand, that it was impossible for thee to do so? Walt thou por sufficiently inform'd of the imperfe&tion and insufficiency of all these good things; how that the goodness of them extended to the body only, and therefore could be no longer good to thee, than whilft ihou livedlt in the body? And didst thou not know, that after a few Years, ar moft, thou must certainly die, and leave thy body to ror in the Earth, and that thy Soul should out-live thy Body, and when it should be separated from it, it could no longer make use of any of these good things. If thou knew'st all this, why wouldlt thou choose these things for thy Portion and Happiness? Why would it . thou choose to be one of those Men of the World who have their portion in this Life, and whose Bela lies God now fills with his bid Treasure? Psal. 17. 14. Thou knew'ft well enough, that these good things would never follow thee into another World. And therefore, all thou hast now to
do, when thou art come thither, is to try if thou canft fatisfy thy self with chewing the Cud, or ruminating on all thy full Meals that thou wast wont to make hererofore. And if thou shalt farther say, that it may seem a Punishment great enough to have for ever lost all these good things, but too much, over and above that to be tormented in those flames: Still it must be answer'd, because it was thine own foolifh choice. Never complain of hard measure, or thar thy punishment either in the pain or duration of it is disproportionable to thy fault; neither by accusing God of too much severity, or injustice, feek to move pitty in the hearts of considering Men; seeing how fad and painful foever thy torments be, 'tis that which thou hast chosen for thy self, and preferred before the unexpressible and everlasting Joys of Heaven. Thou wast often enough told, that there is no Peace to the Wicked, thar a carnal and sen. sual Life is the certain way to everlasting Deftruction; that a holy and spiritual Life is the way to eternal Life and Blessedness. Thou wast told, thar thy Soul was to be immortal; that it must never die, or cease to be; and to be sensible, That so soon as it was departed from the body, it should go into an unchangeable state, either of happiness, or of Misery. Thou wast continually call’d upon, and earnestly intreated to take care of thy felf, and invited most lovingly to partake with the · Saints in endless Rest and Glory; and the Servants
of God begg'd of thee to walk with them in the clean and pleasant Paths of Purity and Righteousness, unto Foy and Blesedness. Thou waft warn'de again and again, to take heed of walking after the Flesh unto death, to fhun all Sensuality and Voluptuousness as a sweet poison, but deadly.
God gave thee time encugh to live, and consider, and repent of thy pak Folly ; Day after Day, and Year after Year, was granted thee to think on thy later end, and to grow wiser for thy felf, Yer all this would not do. Thou wouldīt not believe the report of God's Mesengers, sent early and late to warn thee. Thou wast resolved to hold on still in thine own Way, and to try Experiments on thy felf, to tempt God to the utmost, and to venture all for thy present pleasure. The way thou wentst in was pleasant to thee, and thou waft resolved to try whether, or no, there were any such torments as thou wast told of at the end of thy pleasant Walk. Say then, Was not all the Evil thou complainest of brought upon thee by thy self? Was it not thine own wilful and deliberated Sin that brought thee thither ? Content therefore thy self as thou can't with that State which thou hast chosen. And remember farther yet, that God, the gracious and merciful God, hath ever been so far from dealing hardly and severely with thee, that he hath been not only very patient and long-suffering, but hach dealt very bountifully with thee. He had giyen thee a very liberal and large Portion, whereof thou never defervedft, nor could deserve the least part. Thy wicked Behaviour deserved nothing bur evil Things, and he gave thee good Things, many good Things. Thou abusedst them all to his diThonour, and yet he continued them unto thee for a long time, even as long as thou livedft ; and pro longed thy Life, which thou hadít a Thousand Times forfeited, to such a length; as that thou hadst time enough given thee to provide in for thy eternal State. Thou hadít long the many good Things which Thousands of much better
Men hardly ever were allowed a fmall Taste of; and these were those very good Things, that thou molt desiredst, and esteemedst beft. Remember then, that thou hast-received thy full mare, yea over-measure; thou hast had all thy Portion to a Farthing, and not so much as a drop of cold Water is now behind for chee to receive.
Now this was all a sad hearing to the Rich Man in Hell. O let us all take heed, that we come ncg thither to hear as much said unto our selyes by our own tormenting Consciences, which then will be always awake, and pleading too late a. gainlt qur madness here. Here's a very fair waraing given us all by our holy and loving JESUS, who would have all Men to be saved, and to come to the knowledge of the Truth. Let us beware, how we take up our Happiness in this World; for we cannot have it both here and hereafter too. If we account the Things of this World OUR good Things, we must be content with what is ours; and to leave the Things of the better World to come to those who chose them for theirs. They that are resolved to live a Gentleman's Life of pleasure now, muft resolve too, to live his Life in Hell and Torments. There is nothing more plainly caught us in the Book of God than this, which we are so unwilling to take notice of, and yee would live in hope of being saved, That we must deny our selves, and with our Cross on our Shoulders, follow the Blessed Saviour of the World; we must deny our own Wills; and renounce our carnal pleasures, and fer our Affections on nothing here below. How many good Things foever God gives us in this World, we are to take heed left we inake them Our good Things by loving them too well, or immoderately using them, or gree
dily hunting and gaping after them, or grievously resenting the loss of them. If we make them our chief delight, and comfort, God will make then: in what proportion foever he distributes them, our only Portion and Reward. ,,,
Again, here we fee, That Wordly Prosperity is a Thing which we hould be indifferent for. We ought to be fo far from impatiently defiring it, that we ought rather to be afraid of it, and to grow a little jealous of our felves, when ever we enjoy it. It ħould put us upon a very diligent Enquiry into the State of our Souls, and the Sincerity of our Hearts; and make us very cautious in our Bebaviour, and vigilant over our Selves. We should grow afraid, left we are not indeed so Good as we thou'd be, and left what we now enjoy should prove all our Portion. We have no way but one to assure our Selves that our present Prosperity is not all the Portion we are like to have, and that is, to fit very loolly from all worldly good things in our Affections, and be very indifferent, whether we have them or no; to live as little as may be to the Flesh, and to take as liccle sensual delight and pleasure in any thing that we have; as our present Condition will allow us, to place our whole delight in doing all the good we can with the good Things we have, and to account they do us most good, when, with a truly Christian compassion, we communicate them freely co those who are in wáns, being as well. pleased to fee our good Things on other People's Backs, as on our own, and feeding the Hungry with them, to take more sweetness in their relief, than in all the dainty Rarities wherсwith our Paluces are too well pleased. If we can thus freely dit: pose of them to others, as God gave them to us,