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M O ST prudently did our Lord decline the invidious Office of art
I I Arbitrator in Civil Affairs ; and Wisdom will require his Ministers, Luke xii. 13, 14. "3 generally to avoid it likewise. It is more suitable to our Office, like our
Blessed Master, to endeavour to draw off and disengage the Minds of Men from Covetousness, and to pluck up the Root of those eager Contentions, which so often divide even the nearest Relations, and inspire them with mutual Aversions, more invincible than the Bars of a Castle. (Prov. xviii. 19.)
And that a Covetous Defire of the Enjoyments of the World may not create Contentions, and engage us in Pursuits that will be fatal to our Souls, let us seriously consider the true Value of Things, and reflect how little Riches can do to make us happy, if we obtain them; and how very uncertain that Life is, on the Continuance of which our Possession of them
does so evidently depend. But alas, how many are there, who are now Ver. 16, & as deeply engaged in their worldly Schemes, as this Rich Fool in the Pafeq. rable; to whom GOD will, in a few weeks, or Days, if not this very Ver. 20. Night, say by the awful Voice of his irresistible Providence, Thy Soul is
required of thee! And then, what will all these Treasures do, to purchase Life, or to allay the Agonies of Death ? So far will they be found from being capable of this, that they will rather serve to increase and imbitter
the Surprize and Anguilh of those Agonies. Ver. 21. Let it then be our Labour and Care, that we may be rich towards
GOD; rich in Works of Piety and Charity. So fhall we fafely consign over our Treasure to the Bank of Heaven; and shall be inriched by it, when we leave the World as naked as we entered upon it, and lose all but what has been so wisely and happily spent..
Anxious and Covetous Temper, which he had formerly
LUKE XII. 22.
LUKE XII. 22. Sect. 113. "T HUS Jesus cautioned his Followers against AND he said unto his DifI setting their Hearts on Worldly Treasures ;
A ciples, Therefore I fay
unte 11. but as most of them were in such low Circumstances, as to be in greater Danger of immoderate
CHRIST cautions bis Disciples against anxious Care. 115 unto you, Take no Thought Solicitude about the necessary Supplies of Life, Sect. 113. for your Life, what ye shall he proceeded to caution them against this, by w eat; neither for the Body, what ye ihall put on.
repeating some of those Admonitions, which he
ples, For this Cause, i. e, considering the great
charge it upon you, that you be not anxious about
what you fall put on to cover, defend, and adorn
out any Care or Thoughtfulness of yours, is much
proper Manner, without your Anxiety and Soli-
Barn, to lay up any Thing against a Time of
see the Species is still.continued: Now how much
(Compare Mat. vi. 25, 26. Vol. i. pag. 254.)
taking the most solicitous Thought, can add a single
his Age or Stature ? (Compare Mat. vi. 27, and
(a) Repeating some of those Admonitions, &c.] Most of the Thoughts and Expressions uled here, occurred before, Sect. 41. and are, I hope, sufficiently explained there. I content myself therefore with referring the Reader to it. Vol. i. pag. 251, o jeg..
116 GOD clothes the Lillies, and will much more take care of them. Sect. 113. cannot do the least Matter (b), as in this Prover- to do that Thing which is o b ial Expression you grant ; why are you anxious for the rest
least, why take ye Thought Luke XII. 26.
o about the rest, as if you were to hold your Life
by a Kind of perpetual Lease, and were secure
But to pursue the Argument I began before, 27 Consider the Lilies
not, they spin not: and yet the Vegetable Creation : Survey, for Instance, the I say unto you, that Solofair and beautiful Lillies, and reflect how they mon in all his Glory was not grow ; they neither labour to prepare the Materials arrayed like one of thele. of their Dress, nor spin it into that curious Form; and yet Providence clothes them in so elegant and splendid a Manner, that I say unto you, even Solomon, when on some grand Festival he appeared in all his utmost Magnificence, was not arrayed in so beautiful a White as one of these. And if 28 If then God so clothe GOD so clothe and adorn the Gräss of the Field. the Grals, which is To-day
in the Field, and To-moramong which the Lillies grow, tho' it is flourish- row is caft into the Oven: ing] To-day in all its Verdure, and by Tomorrow how much more will he is cut down, and thrown into the Furnace or Still : clothe you, O ye of little (see Note (l) on Mat. vi. 30. Vol. i. pag. 256.) how much more [will be clothe] you, oh ye of little
Faith, that thus suspect his Care ? 29 And do not you then, who are acquainted with 29 And seek not ye what
the Care of Providence, and are particularly in, ye lhall eat, or what ye lhall terested in it, be solicitous to seek what ye mall eat, ful Mind.
drink, neither be ye of doubtor what you mall drink; nor be like Meteors in the Air, that are tossed about by every Blast of Wind,
hurried with anxious Cares, and agitated with a 20 Variety of restless and uneasy Thoughts (c). For 30 For all these Things the Gentile Nations of the World, who know
do the Nations of the World
seek after : and your Father little of Providence, or of a Future State, seek
knoweth after all these lower Things with great Solicitude ; and they are more excusable in doing it : But you are directed to much nobler Objects of Pur
suit, (b) If then you cannot do the least Matter.] This proves, that to add one Cubit to a Thing, was a Proverbial Expression, for making the least Addition to it.
(0) Nor be agitated with reftlefs Thoughts.) After all the various and perplexed Things, which Criticks have said on this Word, uelewpIL Eate, (of which a very large Account may be seen in the learned Wolfius,) the Sense I have taken is the most simple, and especially here, the most natural. The Authorities produced by Elsner, (Obferv. Vol. i. pag. 233, 234.) and several of those mentioned by Raphelius, (Annot. ex Xen. pag. 97, 98.) seem to me to favour this Sense, tho' some of them are produced to establish another. It appears from them, that any Speculations and Musings, in which the Mind fluctuates, or is suspended in an uneasy Hesitation, might well be expressed by such a Word.
They should seek the Kingdom of GOD, and Treasure in Heaven. 117
port against such Anxieties, in that Paternal Rew a
these Things, he will certainly provide them for
uneasy and disquieted about them ; but seek ye
I repeat the encouro
ye little Flock, my dear Property and Charge,
however feeble you may seem ; fear not, I say,
rally imparts even to Strangers and Enemies ?
beautiful and enfurable Acquiescenceed in Scripture, as enjoying he has prepared foreheartb, or
(d) Takes Pleasure in the Thought of making you so great and happy there.] This is the beautiful and wonderful Import of the Word euroznoen in this Connection; which generally lignifies, a pleasurable Acquiescence. And agreeably to this, it is most edifying and delightful to observe, how God is represented in Scripture, as enjoying his own Prescience, as it were, with a peculiar Relish, in the View of those Glories, whieh he has prepared for his people.. Hence those emphatical Phrases of Wisdom's rejoicing in the habitable Parts of the Eartb, or in the Prospect and Idea of them, before they were actually made ; (Prov. viii. 31.) of GOD's knowing the Thoughts he thinks towards his People(Jer. xxix. 11.) and of his rejoicing over them with Joy, and filently resting in his Love to them ; (Zeph. iii. 17.) The Tenderness and Energy of innumerable Scriptures depends on this Remark.; and many of those relating to EleEtion, Predestination, &ci which have been as dry Rods of Controversy, when considered in this View, bud out into a thousand fair Leaves, and fragrant Blossoms of Hope and Joy.
118 Refle&tions on the Reason we have to cast all our Care iipon GOD Sect. u13. already have, and distribute [it] in Charity (e) ; felves Bags which wax not w that so you may make for yourselves Purses which
old, a Treasure in the HeaLuke XII.
vens that failech not, where to do not grow old and wear out (f), even a never- no Thief approacheth, nei
failing Treasure in Heaven, that Region of Secu- ther Moth Corrupteth.
the Moth corrode and spoil the Robes of Glory in :
careful on this Head, because you may depend sure is, there will your Heart
IMPROV E M E N T. Luke xii. A RE we not all conscious to ourselves, that on such Topicks as these, 22, 29. A w e need Line upon Line, and Precept upon Precept, as being too
deficient in our Regard, tho' GOD speak once, yea twice? (Fob xxxiii. Ver. 27, 28. 14.) We see our Heavenly Father crowning the Earth with bis Goodness :
To this Day does he clothe the Grass, and the Flowers, with the same Profusion of Ornament; to this Day does he feed the young Ravens when they
cry; (Pfal. cxlvii. 9.) nor is the meanest Species of Insects perished. Still Ver. 30. does he know our Necessities; and still he addresses us in the same gracious
Language, and avows the same endearing Paternal Relation. The Experience of his Power, Goodness, and Fidelity, is increasing with every succeeding Generation, with every revolving Day. Let us then caft all our
Care on him, as being persuaded that he careth for us. (1 Pet. v. 7.) Feeble Ver. 32. as his little Flock is, it is the Father's good Pleasure to give us the Kingdom ;
and we are unworthy our Share in fo glorious a Hope, if we cannot trust him for inferior Blessings, and refer it to him to judge, in what Manner our present Wants are to be supplied.
(e) Sell what you have, and distribute it in Charity. These Words were probably as a fruitful Seed in the Minds of some who heard them; and the liberal Sale of Estates a few Months after, by which so many poor Christians were subfifted, might be in a great measure the Harvest, which sprung up from it, under the Cultivation of the Blessed Spirit. Nothing is more probable, than that some of the many Myriads now attending our Lord, (ver. 1.) might be in the Number of the Thousands then converted. See Acts ii. 41,-45.
c) Purses which do not grow old, and wear out.] This may be fitly taken as an Allusion, to the Danger of losing Money out of a Hole, worn in an old Purse. Such is frequently the Gain of this World, and so are its Treasures hoarded up: (Compare Hag. i. 6.) And the Rich Men of Judea, so foon ravaged and destroyed by the Romans, particularly found it so.