« PreviousContinue »
map be a goo J Man, tho' he be richly cloathtdiox ought I know.
hut this rich Man was an Epicure in his Dies, 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 ro a voluptuous Lise of continual feasting and Meriment. He did not only fare welland plentifully, but ricÆ/p, fumptuwsty and deliriously; he did not fare thus //'we* only, as there might be fit occasions for it, but he did so always; he fared sumptuously every Day. He did not eat and drink,vcA use other lawful Delights, orily for the preservation of Life and
Health, for Ncurishment and Strength, wirh Æ/oderaticn and Thanksgiving to God, for the Refreshment and Exhihrating, or chearing up of his Sprits and Soul: But for the pleasure of eating, and drinking and wen? Company.; and this as often as he could, it being his constant and »«ry way of living, so that when he was not at ir, 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 tocall out his Degs to seek more Provision for his Belly. This it should seem, was the Life of this rich Gentleman, and thus he spent his precious Time.
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 sumptuously evtry Day as he did j but most of us endeavour it all we can, and strain our Estates for it even till they break. We cannot-think our selves People of any Note, or that the People among whom we live, will shew 1 G 3 us us any respeft, if we come not as near this rich Mans sumptuous w.iy of living, as our Purses wiU carry us, tho' it may be th y will hold none but other Men * Mon y, and that nor long. If we do not bestow three Tim s u^oie cost and pains, and time on our meat ajid drink, than is needful for our AW foment. Health, and moderate R frtjktxetit; yea, if w- be not at all this expence to make our food only more cur. cm for rhe Eye, which cannot feed on ic j and less whoi seme and n-wisa,ng to the bcdy; we are even ashamed of our s lvts, and afraid that any should fee us eat. Cur mtat must be as fine and fashionable, as our Clca h,; and even the best meat out ofs*(bii n is enough to makt us sick To get a dinner is become an art,' that requires a great deal of Study, and /lie's no Housewife .that is not perfect in it, or fends nor every Dim that comes to the Table with fond ' ing ot mystery in it to be admired, and to help the Guests to some idle Discourses. Indeed almost ail that's done in the Knch.n, is what St. haul hath forbidden, a making Prcv.fun for the flcsh^ and almost all that we do in the Pallor, is to fulsil the Lusts thereof How much pains do we take to incur the woe? Lute 6.15. Wo unto you that are full, for you shall hunger.
But that which rendered all other Sins of the rich Man more sinful, was his Unmercifulmss, and want of Charity and Comp.JJion to the poor and needy, such especially as Lazarus. He had a fine House to feast in, and sumptuously 10 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 j but he had never a poor Lodging for the
good Beggar that lay at Ms Gates. He had Purple and sine Linnen for his own Pride, but not so much a> any course piece of Cloth to cover the Beggar's Nakedness and SiJrsi. He could glut himself and his fawning Parasites, on all manner of costly and d . licious Rarities, even unto
fulness and wantmnsfi; but hungry Lazarus can hardly obtain the favour to feed with his Dogs on the Crumbs that fell from his Table. No Physician could be fouid for Lazarus, no Salve for his Seres, no Cloaths for his Nakedness, no meat to asswage his hunger. Would any one now, that saw how this rich Man behaved himself towards his poor Brother, luve taken him for a Son O Abraham, or for an Israelite, who had heard Moses and the Prophets? Was Abraham wont at this rate to entertain the poor that came to his Gate? Did not Moses in God's Name give this command to the Israelites. Deut. Ij. y, 8. If there be among you a poor Man of ont of thy Brethren within any of thy Gates, in thy Land which the LORD thy God giveth thee j thou shalt not harden thy Heart, nsr (hut thine Hand from thy poor Brother: But shalt open thine Hand wide unto him, and shalt surely Itndhim sufficient for his need in that which he wanteth. And v. 10. Thou shalt surely give him, and thine Heart shall net be grieved when thou givejt unto him j because that for this thing, the LORD thy God shall bless thee in all thy Works, and in all that thou futtesi thine Hand unto? Did not God by the Prophets command, saying, —Deal thy Bread to the hungry, bring the poor that are cast out to thine House; when thouseest the naked, cover him; and hide not thy self from thy own Flesh. If thou draw out thy Soul to the hungry, and fatiisit the afflitfed Soul, then shall thy light rife in obscurity, C 4, and
and thy darkness be as the nun-day? Isa. 5S. 7, 1 o. Would not one rather have thought this rich Man to have been bred in Sodom, and to have learn'd perfectly all the Iniquities tHtreof, which laid it in Ashes bv fire from Heaven? Were noc the Sins of Sodom, the Sins of thi; 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 Moses and the Prophets, he would have been more sparing in feeding his own Lusts, and more opei-handid to poor Lazirus, and so have laid up for himself
treasures in Heaven, and no.t.have laid out all his wealth to purchase Hell.
O 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 t® live above the Vanities of it. Let us net love the World, neither the Things that are in the Worlds 1 John 1 1. If riches, increase, set not your Heart upon them, Psal. 62, 10. Let not the rich Man glory in his riches, nor rejoice, because his wealth is great. Let him not make Gold his hope, nor fay to the sine Gold, thou art my considence: For he that trufieth to his riches shall fall, Prov. 11. 18. Charge them that are rich in this World, that they trust not to uncertain riches, 1 Tim. 6. 17. Wilt thvu set thine Eyes upon that which is not? For riches certainly make themselves Wings, they slie away as an Eagle towards Heaven, Prov. 23. 5. There's noway to be safely rich, but to be verv indifferent, whether we be rich or no j tc use this World *s not abusing it, or as if we used it not, as a thing which we cannot use long, 'for the fasten eftint World pasteth away, 1 Cor 7. 3 r. This indeed is good advice, but where are they who
think not themselves too wist to follow it? 'What one of a hundred can find any thing else that he think? worth trusting to but his Wealth? What are all the rich Promises of God either for this Life, or that which is to come to most of us, so long as w e have not a considerable stock of Riches? If we have not a great W for them, and considence in them ; why are we so restless anduneasieto ourselves, and others too in labouring for them? Why do we so much envy those that have thorn? Why do we so impatiently want them, and with so much grief and sorrow lose them? What a Jiellupon Earth do most os us account it to be poor? O how many are there, that desire no orher Heaven, and would much rather stay here forever, and enjoy their Riches, than go to Heaven and leave them ? It is too fad a truth, that if riches make themselves Wings and flieaway; theje are not a few that will follow fhem to Hell rather than loose them.
O that we would learn to be so wife, as to do our selves good with our Wealth whilst we have it, and not as the rich Man here, consume it all on our Lusts! That we had so much wit with our Wealth, as not to undo our selves for ever with.it J 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 allthiy, 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 fame way? How little do Men of great Estates consider what a pria God hath put into their Hand? How much good they may ;--•.< • - do