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CHA P. XII.
19 And I will say to my soul,
20 Buc God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul Thall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be which thou haft provided ?
21So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich towards God.
22 And he said unto his disciples, Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat ; neither for the body, what ye shall put on.
23 The life is more than meat, and the body is more than raiment.
24 Consider the ravens : for they neither sow nor reap ; which neither have storchouse nor barn; and God feedech them : How
resolution at last was, to pull the old ones down, and build new ones larger, and lay up all in thein, pleasing himself with the thoughts of being a happy man, as having Wealth enough for himself and his friends to support a voluptuous jolly way of living for many years. But a divine Admonition dalh'd all these airy Projects, by warning him that he was to dy that very night : So unexpected a Summons brought him to his right wits, by making him consider how short a time he was to be Master of all that Wealth, and that in a few hours it would all pass into other hands This is the very case of those who spend their days in amalling Riches, and neglect to lay up a Treafure in Heaven by their good Actions here on Earth.
Then turning to his Disciples, Take care therefore, faid he, not to be over:sollici. tous about the necessaries of this Life, whilst you are imploy'd in my Service, fo as to break any of my Commands by looking out for Food or Raiment. God, who has already bellowed much greater Benefits upon you, will not leave those destitute of what is necessary for their support, who perform their religious Duties as they ought. Reflect upon the condition of the Birds, who neither fow nor reap, nor have any Storehouses for Provisions, and yet the divine Providence has abundantly
CHA P. XII.
much more are ye better than
25 And which of you with
26 If ye then be not able to do that thing which is least, why take ye thought for the rest?
27 Consider the lilies how they grow : They toil not, they spin noc : and yet I say unto you, that Solomon in all his glory, was not arrayed like one of these.
28 If then God so cloche the grafs, which is to day in the field, and to morrow is cast into the oven : how much more will he clothe you, Oye of little faith?
29 And seek not ye what yo fhall eat, or what ye shall drink, neither be ye of doubtful mind.
30 For all these things do the nations of the world seek after: and your Father knoweth that ye have need of these things.
provided for their fubfiftence. By how much you are of greater value, so much greater care will he take of you.
And this you may be convinc'd of by considering, that you are not able with all your thoughtfulness and follicitude to prolong your Lives but for one moment, if God thinks it to take them away. For since you are not able by your own prudence to provide for the conservation of your Life, you have no reason to be anxious about things of less importance, so as to neglect the necessary Duties of your Ministry. Conlider the Lilies and other Flowers, how fast they thrive, and how beautiful they appear : These spin not, nor take any pains to provide themselves this gay Attire, and yet I assure you Solomon in his most magnificent Robes did not equal them. If the Providence of God concerns it self therefore so much for the Plants, which are but of a few days duration, how much rather will it take care to provide you
with neceffaries for Life, if you duly perform the Injunctions I lay upon you, Oye who have such narrow conceptions of the divine Beneficence ? Neglect not therefore the least tittle of your Duty, out of an anxious concern for Food or Raiment. Tis true, the general practice of the ignorant World is against this Doctrin ; but as for you to whom your heavenly Father has reveald himself, rest satisfied that you are under his eye, and rely firmly upon his Providence. Let your main bulinels
CHA P. XII.
31 But rather seek ye the kingdom of God, and all these things shall be added unto you.
32 Fear nor little flock'; for it is your fathers good pleasure to give you the kingdom.
33 Sell that ye have, and give alms; provide your felves bags which wax not old, a treasure in the heavens that faileth not, where no chief approacheth, neither moth corrupteth.
34 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
35 Let your loyns be girded about, and your lights burning;
36 And ye your felves like unto men that wait for their Lord, when he will recurn from * the wedding, that when he cometh and knocketh, they may open unto him immediatiy.
37 Blessed are those servants, whom the Lord, when he cometh, shall find watching : verily i
therefore be, to acquaint Mankind with the good tidings of the approach of the Kingdom of Heaven, and to enlarge its Borders; but as for all other things, they Shall be added to you over and above the Benefits you have already receiv d. Fear not because you are but a handful in respect of the bulk of Mankind; for it is God's good pleasure to make you Denisons of his Kingdom, which he will uphold against all the Attempts of the Wicked.
Those that abound with this World's Goods, let them part with thein, that they may have wherewithal to supply the necessities of the Miserable. In thus doing you will secure your felves a real Treasure, not in Bags that will wear out, or are liable to be stolen ; but in Heaven, where neither Moth nor Rust can consume your Wealth, nor Thieves break in and steal it. If you set your heart upon these never failing Riches, you will be always easy and contented; but if you hanker after these deceitful Goods, your Mind must be continually tormented with endless care and follicitude : for where your good things are plac'd, there will your Heart be also.
Be ye as Servants attending their Masters business, ready whenfoever he commands them any thing, that at my return I may find you diligently imployed in the Offices I intrust you with. Happy are those Servants whom their Master at his return finds intent upon
CHA P. XII.
say unto you, that he shall gird
38 And if he shall come in
39 And this know, that if che good man of the house had known what hour the chief would come, he would have watched, and not have suffered his houle to be broken through.
40 Be ye therefore ready also: for the son of man cometh at an hour when ye think not.
41 Then Perer said unto him, Lord, speakest thou this parable unto us, or even to all ?
42 And the Lord said, who then is that faithful and wise fteward, whom his lord shall make ruler over his houshold, to give them their portion of meat in due season ?
their business; such men may be assur'd their Diligence fall not be unrewarded; nay, he will not refuse upon occasion to perform the most servile Offices in their behalf, if he finds them not unprepar'd against his arrival, tho he surprises them in the second or third watch of the night, at never so unexpected an hour. Like as a Master of a Family, if he be forewari'd of the Thief's coming at a certain time to break open his House, will secure it against the danger he is threatned with ; so also it behoves you to be continually imploy'd in your religious Duties, as having bin foretold that I shall return in a short time, tho you know not withal the very moment in which I thall be with you.
Peter then ask'd him whether that Similitude did respect his Apostles only, or all his Disciples. Jesus represented to him in another similitude, that he had respect to all the Disciples, tho in a more especial manner to his Apostles. Whom think you will the Matter make choice of out of all his Servants, on whole Fidelity and Prudence he may rely, to see that the rest of his Servants do not neglect their Task, or want their necessary allowance in his absence ? Him doubtless whom he
CHA P XII.
44. Of a truch I say unto you,
45 Bucand if that servant fay in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming and shall begin to beat the men-servants, and maidens, and to eat and drink, and to be drunken :
46 The lord of that servant will come in a day when he lookech not for him, and at an hour when he is not aware, and will cut him in sunder, and will appoint him his portion with the unbelievers.
47 And chat servanc which knew his lords will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many ftripes.
48 But he that knew not, and did commic things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few Stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required : and to whom men have committed much, of chim they will ask the more.
has experienc'd faithful and diligent in his Imployment. But if this Steward in the absence of his Master Shall fancy to himself that it will be a long time before he returns again, and upon that presumption act imperiously over his Fellow-servants, cruelly misusing them, whilft "he indulges himself in all manner of Sensuality; the Master will surprize him in an hour he is not aware of, and take exemplary vengeance on him. ' He shall be bound with Chains, and reserv'd to suffer thole Punishiments that are appointed for Servants who betray their trust. Certainly that man who knew the care and fidelity his Master expected from him, and yet neglected to perform his duty, shall be more severely punish'd than he that is unacquainted with what is expected from himn : So that if any other Servant, ignorant of his Master's will, fall fail in some particular, he shall be much less severely punish'a. For as it is vulgarly said, Unto whomsoever much is given, of him fall be much requir'd; and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more.