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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 ?
3dly, and Lastly, Honour is often. times allotted to Good men, by the fpecial Providence of God. And this seems Manifest from 2 Chron. i. 12. 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 Affured 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, Accesional, when they are not Supported by Virtue, 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, Diffolute, and Therefore Dishonourable Persons. The Deference paid to Them, is only Forced, and Superficial; Whilft That, which is paid
to to Others, those Happy Others, whose Noble Characters and Noble Qualities do confpire to render them Aimiable and Dear to the Societies of Men, is voor luntary and Generous, the effect of Hearts flowing with Love and Zeal towards them.
. When the Highest Titles are thus Joyn'd by the Brightest Virtues, they cannot Fail of raising the Highest Approbation and Eleem in all the Wifest and Best of Men. And Such Honour may well be accounted a Blessing, which hath excited the Great: eft Persons to the Greatest Actions and Enterprizes; in all Ages of the World. So long as the Desire of it does not proceed from Pridey nor Degenerate into Vainglory; fo long as it is not mens Chief, but Subordinate Aim; so long as it is Subfervient to the Love of God, and Bounded by the Laws of Religion; all which Circumstances are Supposed in the Character of a Good man; That Desire of it is a Natural and Juft Affection, as the Attainment of it is a Proper Refreshment and Reward of Pure and Virtuous Minds. And the Stability of this Blessing is
Equal to the Purity and the Excellency of it. Riches, or Life, may be taken away by Force, of, however, Each of them is the Certain Prey of Devouring Time; But Honour is a Blessing too Great to be Destroyed by the most Potent and Bitter Enemies: It riseth the Higher, by the Opposition it meets with, and is so far from yielding to the Cankering Efforts of Time, that it gathers Strength by it's Continuance, and is ever gaining new Degrees of Beauty and Perfection.
Having gone through the Particulars proposed from the Words, I should now briefly Apply them to the Occasion of this Discourse; And yet, such an Application is so Obvious, that it seems almost needless to Offer it.
What hath been observed concerning Length of Days, must Already have affected us with full Joy, under the Thoughts of that Honourable Person, whom we here see attended with the Blessings of Long Life, without the Burthen of it; Whom God is still pleased to Guard against This Great Cause of Complaint, which is Usually Incident to Others, in a much Ear
lier Period, That their strength is Then but Labour and Sorrow; And, who is now as Happy, in being Free from the Infirinities of the Mind, as He hath all along been in that Course of Virtue, which is the · Necessary Provision of fo Valuable a Freedom. I only Mention that Course of Virtue, without Venturing to Offend, by a Particular Account of it; for Good men do Agree with Others of a Quite Different Character, in This Respect, that Neither of them can Easily bear an Account of their Own Lives and Actions.
However; Neither the Fear of Offend. ing the Chaftest ears, even by a Detail of
plain Truths, on the One hand; nor yet an Utter Abhorrence of the Abominable sin of Flattery, on the other, should restrain me from suggesting the Necessity of our Offering up Praises to God, for the Beneficial Use, which this Noble Hand hath made of Riches, the Second Advantage proposed in the Text. His Generous and Lasting Provisions for the Education of Youth, the Advancement of Learning, and the Defence and Propagation of Religion, Cannot be Concealed, and shall never
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