Page images



pound a year, by only buying and selling of grain here within this realm. Yea, and as I hear say, aldermen now-a-days are become colliers. They be both woodmongers and makers of coals; I would wish he might eat nothing but coals for a while, till he had amended it. There cannot a poor body buy a sack of coals, but it must come through their hands. But this rich man that the gospel speaketh of was a covetous man; God had given him plenty, but that made him not a good man: it is another thing that maketh a good man. God saith, "Si non audieris vocem meam," If thou obey not my voice, &c. And therefore worldly riches do not declare the favor or disfavor of God. The Scripture saith, God hath ordained all things to be good; and the devil laboreth to turn all things to man's evil. God giveth men plenty of riches to exercise their faith and charity, to confirm them that be good, to draw them that be naught, and to bring them to repentance; and the devil worketh altogether to the contrary. And it is an old proverb, The more wicked, the more fortunate. But the unquietness of this covetous rich man, declareth the unquietness of the mind, that riches bringeth with it. First, they are all in care how to get riches, and then are they in more care how

to keep it still. Therefore the Apostle saith, "Qui volunt ditescere, incidunt in tentationes varias," They that study to get great riches, do fall into many divers temptations. But the root of all evil is covetousness. "What shall I do?" saith this rich man. He asked his own brainless head what he should do; he did not ask of the Scripture; for if he had asked of the Scripture, it would have told him, it would have said unto him, "Frange esurienti panem tuam,' &c., Break thy bread unto the hungry. All the affection of men now-a-days is in building gay and sumptuous houses, it is in setting up and pulling down, and never have they done building. But the end of all such great riches and covetousness is this, "This night, thou fool, thy soul shall be taken from thee." It is to be understood of all that rise up from little to much, as this rich man that the gospel spake of. I do not despise riches, but I wish that men should have riches as Abraham had, and as Joseph had. A man to have riches to help his neighbour, is godly riches. The worldly riches, is to put all his trust and confidence in his worldly riches, that he may by them live here gallantly, pleasantly and voluptuously. Is this godly riches? No, no, this is not godly riches. It is a common saying now-a-days

[ocr errors]


among many, "Oh he is a rich man. He is well worth five hundred pounds." He is well worth five hundred pounds that hath given fifty pounds to the poor; otherwise it is none of his. Yea, but who shall have this five hundred pounds? For whom hast thou gotten that five hundred pounds? What saith Solomon ? Ecclesiastes v. "Est alia infirmitas pessima quam vidi


sub sole, divitiæ conservatæ in malum domini sui," Another evil, saith he, and another very naughty imperfection, is riches hoarded up, and kept together to the owner's own harm; for many times such riches do perish and consume away miserably. Such a one shall sometime have a son, said he, that shall be a very beggar, and live in all extreme penury. O goodly riches, that one man shall get it, and another come to devour it! Therefore, "Videte et cavete ab avaritiâ," See and beware of covetousness. Believe God's words, for they will not deceive you nor lie. Heaven and earth shall perish, but "Verbum Domini manet in æternum," the word of the Lord abideth, and endureth forever. O, this leavened faith, this unseasoned faith, beware of this unseasoned faith. A certain man asked me this question, Didst thou ever see a man live long that had great riches? Therefore saith the wise man, If God send thee rich


es, use them. If God send thee abundance, use it according to the rule of God's word, and study to be rich in our Saviour Jesus Christ; to whom, with the Father and the Holy Ghost, be all honor, glory, and praise, for ever and ever. Amen.




« EelmineJätka »