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' wicked life, that you shall continue in his fa'vour, tho' you return again to your old waste

ful, prodigal and swinish course of Life ; as if I had come to grant you a License to live as you please, and to assure you, that you shall never be callid on to give an Account unto God of your behaviour here. Know therefore, that you are to own your felves the Servants of that great 'God, who governeth all the World in Righte:

ousness, who is my God, and your God; my Fa'ther, and your Father; and for my fake it is, who am his beloved Son in whom he is well pleas'd, that he is pleas'd to grant unto you the benefit of Repentance. I have undertaken as Mediator 'between my Father and you Sinners, to make your Peace with him; but you may be sure of it, I am always as tender of his Honour, as of your Salvation. I have, indeed, prevail'd to make your Toke and Burder much easier and lighter than they were before, but I never design’d to exempt you from the reasonable Service that you owe unto God; unto whom the more caly that I have made your Service, and the more 'belps I have allur'd you of, and the clearer

promises of a glorious Reward I have given you; so much the surer are you to be callid to give an Account, and so much the severer Judga ment are you like to meet with if you be found faulty. If then you take not care to walk worthy of the vocation wherewith you are call'd, and to live fo, as to be able to give a good Account of your Behaviour in this world, such as I have told you will, for my fakė, be accepted ? of, how much' short do you come in contemon ? Prudence of the Men of this World, which they ! (hew in their management of the ordinary Af

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fairs of this Life? You will be the better able

to judge of your folly, by considering this Si; militude or Comparison which now. I make use of to illustrate it unto you. i.

"Suppose then (which is a 'ching obvious * enough) That a Rich Man have admitted one ' into his family to serve him therein ; and is

pleas'd to intrust him with the Management of 'Come considerable Portion of his Estate, expect'ving that he thall observe the orders which he gives him, and be faithful to him in improing all things committed to his charge, to his Honour and Use, assuring him of a sufficienc Reward at the end of his Service, as well as of a very plentiful and comfortable livelihood

in the mean time. And now after all this, ' suppose that this Servant proves an unjust and unfaithful Steward to his Master who had shewn him so much kindness, and begins to waste bis Master's Goods, as tho' chey were his own, and he himself were the only Master of them, free to dispose of all according to his own Mind,

and accountable to no body for what he did ' with any thing. Now cho this Man, fo long as his Master feem'd' to 'him to take no Notice

of his Misdemeanour in his Office, nor so much " as once check'd him, or frown'd upon himn for

ic, may be so hurried on by his impetuous lusts, asto go on fecurely in his wicked ways of spending his Lord's Goods, and forget that he hath a Master, to whom he inust give an Account whenever he thinks fic co call him to it;

yet, I believe you cannot think, that his Ma. 'ster will always wink ar his knavery, and never

check him for it. The least that you can think ' fic for him to do, is to call this careless Fellow

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to him, and to threaten him, if he mend not his Manners, and become not more faithful to him, to turn him out of his Service, and to send him to shift for himself as he can. Yea, will he not ( do you chink ) ser hiin a day, commanding him then to bring in his Accounts to be Examined by him, that he may see what Service or Dilservice he hath done him? And if he find him unfit to be trusted any longer with his Goods, will he not bid him deliver

them up, provide for himself, and be gone? "And will not this unfaithful Steward thus

threat'ned by his Lord with the loss of his place,

and in that, of his whole livelihood, if he have 'not quite beforced himself, but have any wit ac

all left him, begin to consider into what a condition he hath now brought himself? Will he nor, chink you, fet all his Wits on Work to contrive some way or other, whereby he may yet hope to live in the World? Yes, you may be sure of it, chat being one, who is in love with the things of this world, and having in him no principles of Justice and Honesty, he will have as many Projects in his Head, as his Wic can help him to; and by all the fetches and Mifts, good or bad, that he can invent, try what may be done, not only to keep himself alive,

but to live as plentifully and pleasantly too as .pollibly he can. If he can find no way to re

gain his Master's favour, and by that to recover his place; wherein he might serve himself, rather than his Master as before ; yer, he will try what he can do to insinuate himself into the Affections of his Master's Debtors, by making them as dishonest as himself, and as cunning too in chearing his Master of his due; that to

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* both be and they may live the more merrily by

the Arts of knavery he hath caught them. * You cannot but observe every where, how wise

and shifry these Worldlings are in ferching a'bout their Worldly Designs; and this is by ma'ny accounted a very wife part in them. What Fools then will you appear, if having so glorious

a design in Hand, as that of obtaining a Crown of Righteousness in Heaven, which you may wear ? for ever ; you use not much more Care, Dili

gence, Contrivance and Industry in pleasing God, by whose Service you must come to that blessed

Scate? What a madness will it be in you, to ' live carelesly, wasting all the Goods he hath given

you a charge to improve ; and to take no care

how to keep in his favour, and to have your .' Accounts always ready ? Especially fecing you . know you must shortly die, and by the Account ' which you shall then be able to give, muft ftand

or fall in the day of Judgment... .....

- The main design of our blessed Saviour in this

Parable being thus opened; we will now consi, der the particulars therein contain'd, as they come

in order. Only this one thing I think fit to be premis'd, That tho' the main cope of the Para

ble is that which we are principally to regard; and • We cannot ground any neceffary Doctrine of - Faitb or Manners, on any expressions herein usd, : or pasages occurring in it, ocherwise than it is · countenanced by that principal. Design: Yer, fee. i ing the chief Scope of this Parable is, to teach us i to be as wise for the things of a better Life, as ibe

Men of this Worlat are for the things of this Life ; I think this to be warrant enough for us, from any one single Paffage or Expresfion to enter on a

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Medication which may be useful to promote our great design of being bappy in a better World. For this, I am sure, is the wisdom of worldly Men, to take all occafions and bints of promoting their worldly Ends.

The beginning of the Parable is this,

Verse 1. There was a certain Rich Man.

Te cannot be Ignorant, That there are

many Ricb. Men in the World, nor that · fuch Rick Men are wont to have Stewards, neither that some of these Stewards are unfaithful in their Office, and waste the Goods of their Mafters. This then is not the principal thing that our blessed Saviour would here commend to our observacion. This Rich Man is here made use of, to put us in mind of a Rich GOD. As a Rich Man hath a great Family, and a great Eftate, whereof he is Lord and Master, and disposerh of them as he pleaseth, and entertains as many Servants as he fees good, alligning every one his

Sracion, and his Work, and his Reward; fo are • We to consider God as the Lord and Master of the

whole Family in Heaven and Earth. His all things · are, and at his disposal they are, and he appoints

unto all Angels and Men their several Ministeries and Offices, and ordereth all things according to the good pleasure of bis Will.i.

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