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cessarily be banished from the kingdom of the just, because they are altogether unfit for relishing its pleasures, or engaging in its employments. But exclusion from the society and the joys of heaven, is not the only punishment they will suffer. They will be subjected to positive misery; and, among other sources of misery, they will be tormented with restless and insatiable desires, which will always be raging, and which will never be gratified. In the present life, while covetous desires were raging, they were partially gratified. But, in the future world, gold, and silver, and-splendid possessions, such as are now the object of desire, will be forever beyond their reach; and, consequently, they must suffer all that is included in boundless desires and craving appetites, which are never to be gratified. Besides, all that is included in those striking representations of Scripture_"the worm that never dies; the fire that is never quenched; weeping and wailing, and gnashing of teeth; and the blackness of darkness forever," will be the portion of the ambitious and avaricious sinners, who are banished from the glories of the New Jerusalem. What will it then-avail the covetous sinner, that he had heaped up gold as the dust, and silver as the stones of the field ? or the ambitious sinner, that he rolled on the wheels of splendor, and fared sumptuously every day? Will riches profit in the day of wrath? Will the recollection of bags of gold, and chests of dollars treasured up in this fleeting world for profligate heirs, alleviate the anguish of the miser's soul in the place of punishment ? Will the gay and licentious worldling find his torments assuaged by revolving the idea, that he was transported to hell in a splendid chariot? and that he left his degenerate' offspring to bé conveyed with the same pomp and equipage to the place of misery? Alas! such recollections, instead of alleviating, will only enhance the unutterable anguish of the inhabitants of Tophet, and add new fuel to the fire which is never to be quenched. Oh, that the sonş of avarice and ambition, “were wise, that they understood these things," and that they would consider the eternal consequences of_their present affections and
conduct ? Nothing can be more foolish than to prefer shadows to realities, trifles to the most momentous concerns, fleeting baubles to an enduring substance, riches that perish in the using to “a treasure in the heavens that fadeth not,” the fashion of the world that passeth away, an incorruptible inheritance, and an exceeding great and eternal weight of glory." What is the hope of the hypocrite when God taketh away his soul ? Yea, “ what will it profit a man, though he should gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul ?” It is therefore the dictate of true wisdom, and accordant with every rational principle; to mortify every unholy affection, to despise the vain blandishments of the world, that lieth in wickedness, to exercise contentment under the allotments of Providence, and to aspire after the enjoyment of that inheritance “ which is incorruptible, and that fadeth not away."
ON THE PRINCIPLES BY WHICH CHRISTIANS SHOULD
BE DIRECTED · IN THE APPLICATION OF THEIR
1. THERE are, perhaps, few things connected with the social state, of more importance than the proper distribution and application of wealth ; yet there is no subject about which so many foolish and erroneous conceptions are entertained. Every man seems, in this respect, to consider himself as a kind of independent being, and to imagine, that he has full power, both physical and moral, “ to do with his own as he pleas
That he is invested with a sovereign right, either to give or to withhold his money as he thinks fit, and that no one has authority to say to him, “what dost, thou?". Even Christians, have not yet learned the legitimate use and application of riches, notwithstanding the pointed injunctions, and the specific principles on this subject laid down in the word of God; and hence, it has too frequently been considered as no way inconsistent with the profession of Christianity, for Christians to act, in this respect, in accordance with the maxims of general society, and the common practices of the men of the world.
It is now more than time, that other and nobler views were entertained, and acted upon by those who profess to be followers of the lowly Jesus—views accordant with the instructions of their Divine Master, and the admonitions of his holy prophets and apostles. , In order to a slight elucidation of this subject, I shall in the first place offer a few general remarks, connected
with this topic,—and, in the next place, inquire what proportion of their worldly substance, Christians ought to consecrate to the good of society, and the promotion of religion.
I. In reference to the first department of this subject, the following general principles, among many others, require to be recognized.
1. God is the original source of all the riches we enjoy.
The earth belongs to Jehovah, and the fulness thereof, the world and they that dwell therein. Every beast of the forest is his, and the cattle upon a thousand
“The silver is mine, and the gold is mine, saith the Lord of Hosts." All the treasures of the universe, were brought into existence by his creating power, and distributed, in certain proportions, to all the ranks of sensitive and intellectual existence, which people the amplitudes of creation. To man, he assigned the productions of the field, the wealth of the mineral kingdom, and the treasures of the deep; and it is owing to his benevolent care and overruling Providence, that any one is permitted to procure such riches, and to enjoy those comforts, of which they are the sources. Hence, it is declared by an inspired writer ; “ Thine, O Lord, is the greatness, and the power, and the glory; for all that is in the heavens and in the earth, is thine. Thine is the kingdom, O Lord, and thou art exalted above all. Both riches, and honor come of thee, and thou reignest over all, and in thine hand is power and might; and, in thine hand it is to make great, and to give strength unto all.” These are truths connected with the very idea of the existence of an Eternal and Independent Being, from whom creation derived its origin ; and yet they are overlooked by the greater part of mankind, as if they were a species of independent beings; and as if their own powers alone had procured them the treasures they possess. The full recognition of this fundamental truth, that "God is