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which was the Portion of the Ftrfi Adam, nor yet of That, which is purchased for us by the Seconds the Lord from Heaven. The Felicity therefore, and the Dignity of such a state as This must be obvious and plain to every one, who paffeth a Right Judgment upon the Principles of Human Nature, upon the Promises of God to Good men, upon the Effects of Virtue and Religion, and upon the Nature and Conditions of Happiness.
idly, Riches are oftentimes the Effects of God's Special providence over Good men; which seems evident from Gen. xxxix. 2, 3. Deut. xxviii. 8, 11, 12. Prov. x. n. and many other Texts. Hezekiab's Riches were exceedingly Increased by the same Gracious Providence, which Prolonged his Life; And the fame Divine Power and Goodness, which conducted Abraham into a Good Old Age, did supply him with Riches in abundance. And we may Easily conceive, that when God gives Wealth to his most Sincere and Faithful servants, he knows, that the Abundance thus bestowed upon them, will not prove Pernicious to them. Riches
are are not Let Loofe upon a Good Man, as Enemies to Wound him: Infinite Wisdom first Guards and Fortifies him against all the Mischief they can do; And then puts them into his Possession and Power, that he may extract all the Good, and Avoid the Poyson of them. And indeed it must be a wonderful Strength and Constancy of Mind, that can render a Man Impregnable, and able to Hold out, under the many and Violent Temptations, which an Abundance of Wealth is always Playing against him. It must be a vast Weight of Wisdom, that can keep down that Towering Spirit of Selfsufficiency within him, which all his outward Circumstances do conspire in Raising to the most Dangerous Height. Nothing but the Greatest Mind, and That Supported by the Holy Spirit, can Safely bear the Greatest Fortune. Glorious then and Admirable must the Endowments of thofe Faithful and Holy men be, whom God does intrust with Large shares of Earthly Treasures, because he knows, that they are Qualified to Enjoy them with intire Safety, and Improve
them to the utmost Spiritual Advantage^ that they will Testifie the Generosity of their Souls by the Effecls of it; and that they will be so far from Trusting in their Riches, that they will by proper Dispensations, render them Instrumental to 'the Confirmation of their Trust and Hope in God.
'Tis Remarkable in the Character of a Great Prince, that, when some of his Friends, observing his Unbounded Munificence, took the Liberty to ask him, What he would have Left for Himself under such a ConduB? He answer'd, Hope. And if an Heathen could support Himself, in his Acts of Munificence, upon . the Principle of Hope, how Firm and Lasting Foundations of Satisfaction, and Safety, may be laid by Christians, in Their Acts of Liberality and Charity. They have plain and Full Evidence, that Their Good Works are an Unexceptionable and Undoubted Principle of their Affiance in God; and that Affiance in 3od is a Further, and High Recomendation of Them to His Favour.
What Reason then can be assigned for Vows of Poverty, when so much Excellent Duty, and so much True Happiness may be drawn from Riches? When Those, whom God first Qualifies, by his Spirit, to Resemble him in his Goodness, may, Providentially, be Qualified to Resemble him in this Blessed Fruit of it, an Extensive Beneficence to Mankind?
idly, and Lastly, Honour is often* times allotted to Good men, by the special Providence of God. And this seems Manifest from 1 Chron. i. 11.Ps.xci. 14, 15. and many other places of Scripture. Thus was Daniel advanced to the Honour of being the * First President over the Princes, in Darius's Kingdom; and David to the Throne of Israel. And the Excellency of their Virtues bore full Proportion to the Eminency of their Stations, and Titles of Honour. Upon This depended the Completion of their Happiness, and their Glory. 'Tis with Honour, as with every Other Talent, That the Happiness arising from it
* Dan. vi. 2.
consists in the Use and Improvement of it, and 'tis properly a Blessing unto Good men Alone; For They Alone can graft upon it, an Allured Expectation of God's Favour. And indeed, They Alone are secure of This Principal Ingredient in it, the Love and Esteem of Mankind.
Titles of Honour, whether Hereditary , or, Accejsional, when they are not Supported by Virtuet do lose a great part of their Value; and therefore a great Part of the Tribute, which would, Otherwise, be paid to Them, is Generally withheld from them. Wealth, or, Honour, in the Possession of an Unworthy person, hath much the same effect upon Mankind, as Bribery hath upon Corrupt Witnesses'., It Extorts, from some men, the Outward Testimonies and Expressions of a Deference and Respect, which, in their Hearts, they Feel.nothing of. It is not in Nature to have a Real, Inward Esteem and Reverence, for Vicious, Profligate, Dissolute, and Therefore Dishonourable Persons. The Deference paid to Them, is only Forced, and Superficial-, Whilst That, which is paid