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may be a good Man, tho' he be richly cloathed for ought I know
But this rich Man was an Epicure in his Diet, as well as in his cloaths. He was a Slave to his Palate, and made a God of his Belly; indulging his Genius, he gave hims If wholly up to a voluptuous Life of continual Healting and Meriment. He did not only fare well and plentifully, but richly, fumptuously and deliciously; he did not fare thus fometimes only, as there might be fit occasions for it, but he did so always; he fared sumptuoufy every Day. He did not eat and drink, and use other lawful Delights, oly for the preservation of Life and Health, for Ncurishnient and Strength, with Moderation and Thanksgiving to God, for the Refreshment and Exhilerating, or chearing up of his Spirits and Soul: But for the pleasure of eating, and drinking and merry Company; and this as often as he could, it being his constant and ordiñory way of living, so that when he was not at it, he was out of his Rode, and out of his Element, and knew not what to do with himself, but either to lie down and Sleep, or to call out his Dogs to seek more Provision for his Belly. This it should seem, was the Life of this rich Gentleman, and thus he spent his precious Tiine.
Many such Gentlemen as this we now every where meet with, and with a great many more that would be such, if they knew how. Indeed many of us for want of his Riches are not able to live so fumptuously every Day as he did ; but most of us endeavour it all we can, and strain our Estates for it even till they break. We cannot think our felves People of any Note, or that the People among whom we live, will thew
us any respect, if we come not as near this rich Man's fumptuous way of living, as our Purses will carry us, tho' it may be th y will hold none but other Men's Mon y, and that nor long. If we do not bestow three Tims more cost and pains, and time on our meat and drink, than is needful for our Nour forment, Health, and moderate R freshment; yea, il we be not at all this expence to make our food only more curious for the Eye, which carnot feed on it ; and less whol.jome and ni urishing to the Body; we are even ashamed of our s Ives, and afraid that any Thould see us eat. Cur meat must be as fine and fashionable, as our Cloa'bs; and even the best meat out of fashiin is enough to makt us sick. Ta get a dinner is become an art,' that requires a great deal of Study, and the's no Housewife that is not perfect in it, or sends nor every Dish that comes to the Table with sometting of mystery in it to be admired, and to help the Guests to some idle Discuurses. Indeed almost all that's done in the Kitchin, is what Si. Paul hath forbidden, a making Provision for the Flesh; and almost all that we do in the Parlor, is to fulfil the Lufts thereof. How much pains do we take to incur the woe? Luke 6. 25. Wo unto you tbat are ful, for you shall hunger.
But that which rendered all other Sins of the rich Man more sinful, was his Unmercifulness, apd want of Charity and Comp: lion to the poor and needy, such especially as Lazarus. He had a fine House to feast in, and sumptuously to entertain the rich like himself, or a Company of loose Companions and Spendthrifts, who were wont to spend their time as vainly as he did his Riches; but he had never a poor Lodging for the
towards how this would anel", no mear
good Beggar that lay at his Gates. He had Purple and fine Linnen for his own Pride, but not so much as any course piece of Cloth to cover the Beggar's Nakedness and Sores. He could glut himself and his fawning Parasites, on all manner of costly and d'licious Rarities, even unto fulness and wantonnef ; but hungry Lazarus can hardly obtain the favour to feed with his Dogs on the Crumbs that fell from his Table. No Pbyfician could be found for Lazarus, no Salve for his Sores, 'no Cloarbs for his Nakedness, no meat to allwage his hunger. Would any one now, that saw how this rich Man behaved himself towards his poor Brother, have taken him for a Son o Abraham, or for an Ifraelite, who had heard Mofes and the Prophets ? Was Abraham wont at this rate to entertain the poor that came to his Gare ? Did not Moses in God's Name give this command to the Ifraelites. Deut. 15. 7, 8. If there be among you a poor Man of one of thy Bretbren within any of thy Gates, in thy Land which the LORD thy God giveth thee; thou shalt not harden thy Heart, nor lout thine Hand from tby poor Brother : But shalt open thine Hand wide unto him, and shalt surely lend him sufficient for his need in that which be wanteth. And w. 10. Thou shalt surely give him, and thine Heart shall not be grieved when thou givet unto him; because that for this thing, the LORD thy God shall bless thee in all thy Works, and in all that thou putteft thine Hand unto? Did nor God by the Prophets command, saying, -Deal thy Bread to the bungry, bring the poor that are cast out to thine House; when thou seeft the naked, cover bim; and hide not thy self from thy own Flet. If thou draw out thy Soul to the hungry, and satisfie ibe "aflisted Soul, then shall thy light rise in obfcurity,
and thy darkness be as the noon-day? Ifa. 58. 7, 10. Would not one rather have thought this rich Man to have been bred in Sodom, and to have learn'd perfectly all the Iniquities thereof, which laid it in Ashes by fire from Heaven ? Were not the Sins of Sodom, the Sins of this rich Man, to wit Pride, fulness of Bread, abundance of Idleness, and not strengthening the Hand of the poor and needy ? Exek. 16. 29. Had he believed Mofes and the Prophets, he would haye been more sparing in feeding his own Lufts, and more open-handed to poor Lazarus, and so have laid up for himself treasures in Heaven, and not have laid out all his wealth to purchase Hell. , that we would a'l learn to be wiser for our selves, than this Gentleman was. That we would learn to look beyond this World, and to live above the Vanities of it. Let us not love the World, neither the Things that are in the World, 1 John 11. If riches, increase, set not your Heart upon them, Pfal.62. 10. Let not the rich Man glory in his riches, nor rejoice, because his wealth is great Let him not make Gold bis hope, nor say to the fine Gold, thou art my confidence : For be that trusteth to his riches shall fall, Prov. 11. 28. Charge them that are rich in this world, that they trust not to uncertain riches, i Tim, 6. 17. Wilt theu fet thine Eges upon that which is nor? For. riches certainly make themselves Wings, they flie away as an Eagle towards Heaven, Prov. 23. 5. There's no way to be safely rich; but to be very indifferent, whether we bę rich orno; to use this World as not abusing it, or as if we used it not, as a thing which we cannot use long, for the fashion of this World pajseth away, 1 Cor. 7:31. This in: deed is good advice, but where are they who
. think .
think not themselves too wise to follow it? •What one of a hundred can find any thing else that he thinks worth trusting to but his Wealth? Whar are all the rich Promises of God either for this Life, or that which is to come to most of us, so long as we have not a considerable stock of Riches? If we have not a great love for them, and confidence in then ; why are we so restles and uneasie to our selves, and others too in la. bouring for them? Why do we so much envy those that have thum? Why do we so impatientin want them, and with so much grief and sorrow lose thein? What a Hell upon Earth do most of us account it to be poor? O how many are there, that desire no other Heaven, and would much racher stay here for ever, and enjoy their Riches, than go to Heaven and leave them? It is too fad a truth, that if riches make themselves Wings and flie away; there are not a few that will follow ihem to Hell rather than loose them.
O'that we would learn to be so wise, as to do our felves good with our Wealth whilft we have it, and not as the rich Man here, consume it all on our Lufts! That we had so much wit with our Wealth, as not to undo our selves for ever with it! And yet such Fools are many rich Men, that they make no other use of all that God hath given them, but to destroy themselves with it. So do all thiy, who spend their Estates as the rich Man here did in faring sumptuously every Day, He went Splendidly and merrily to Hell, and how 'many esteem it their honour and their happiness, that they have Wealth enough to follow him thither in the same way? How little do Men of great Estates consider what a price God hath pur into their Hand ? How much good they may