Imatges de pÓgina

fo utequally, that one was hungry, to wit, the poor, and another was druoken, to wit, the rich; this made the .. postle to ask them, What! have ye not houses to eat

and drink ia? or despise ye the church of God, and shame • them that have not ?' i Cor. xi. 21, 22, so the origioal

, them that are poor. The very cafe also of the Christiad Jews in general, and therefore faith James in his generale piltle to them, My brethren, have not the faith of our Lord Jefus Christ with respect of persons; for if there come unto your affembly a man with a golden riog, in goodly apparel, and there come in also a poor man io vile

raiment, ye have respect to him that weareth the gaj * clóathing, and ye say to him, Sit thou here in a good * place, but ye fay to the poor, Stand thou there, or fit * under my footstool: Are ye not partial in yourselves,

and judges of evil thoughts,' James xii. 3, 4. I fall not deny, but that there is a holy and warrantable respect of persons, in respect of their age, calling, gifts, greatBefe is the world, but when great revertáće is newed to the rich, and our poor brethren are under contempt, as if they were udworthy our company and converse, when we go lo far as to effeem thie wicked rich above the godly poor; that when we fo debase the godly poor we consider them not at all according to their eminency in grace, and high fation in Christianity; but we pass by the appearance of God in them, without any mark or notice; furely this is a fin, and this is a temptation of Satan, can it be of any thing that's ought, that a respect should be had to a worldly lustre rather than to a spiritual grace? That a gold riog should be preferred before a rich faith, doth this favour of Chriftianity? Or rather doth it not fatour of the order of thefe principalities, and powers, and rulers, and spiritual wickedneffes here in my text? I believe devils do thus in opposition to God and his ways; they despise the poot and prefer the rich; but hearken my beloved brethren, hath not God chosen the poor of this

world, rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom ?' James 11. 5. God and the devil are as contrary as may be; God * bath respect to the lowliness of his handmaiden, he exalteth them of low degree, be filleth the hungry with

good good things, and the rich he fends away empty,' Luke i, 48, 49. But Sataa prefers wicked worldlings, and ac, cordingly tempts others to exalt, advance and honour them, whilst the godly poor must be neglected, contemned, der pressed, and it may be perfecuted, because of their outward despicableness; to this fin are they most prone that are great, and rich, and prosper in this world, what care shey for the image of God Thiding in mean Christians? If they be pot of their rank, they will scarce look on them as men, muca dels as godly, and as David calls them, The excellent of the tarth, Pfal. xvi. 3.

SECT. XVII. of our Wrestling with Satan in this refpeci. F this be one of Satan's stratagems for the up-setting

and upholding of his own kingdom, then you whom God hath blessed with outward eftates, it concerns you toarn yourselves against this temptation,and to wreftle thus:

1. Own them that fear God, be they never fo poor; are they not the glory of God, the treasure of God, the portion of God, the peculiar people of God, and what? are you athamed of them who are gracious, because they are odtwardly mean? What is this but to be ashamed of. Chrilt himself? He was poor in the world, and be preached the gospel to the poor, aod he accounts of the poor as bis members, and at the last day he will ackbowlege that what is done to the poor, it is all one as if done to himfelf. then be not allzamed of them, as you would not have Christ to be ashamed of you at the last day; menace williog enough to own their treafure, I must tell you that the godly poor are the church's treasure, and upon that account who would dot own them? I remember when Laurence vas to suffer martyrdom, the grant that perfecuted him, understanding him to be a deacon of the church, and fo a distributer of the church's riches, he promised AD himself a double prey by the apprehension of one fogle fidly foul; thereupon he demanded of Laurence where was the substance of the church; Laurence craving three days tespite, he promised to declare to him where the treasure might be had: la the mean time, he caufed a number of poor Christians to be gathered together, when the day of • La


his answer was come, the perfecutor strictly charged him to stand to his promise; then valiant Laurence stretching out his arms over the poor, faid, These are the precious treasure of the church, these are the treasure indeed, in whom the faith of Christ reigneth, in whom Jesus Chrift hath his manfion place: What more precious jewels can Christ have than those in whom he hath promised to dwell? for so it is written, I was hungry, and ye gave me to eat, I was thirsty, and ye gave me to drink, &c. and look what ye have done to one of these, the same ye have done me.

Indeed this answer vexed the cyrant, but the poor martyr stood to it, tho' he died for it a most cruel death: O do ye own them who are godly poor! now for hame be not you ashamed of them.

2. Clofe with them, vouchsafe to be much in their for ciety: This was the apostle's rule, Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate, Rom. xii. 16. Jerome in his epistle to Pamachius, bade him to equal himself with the poor, and now and then to go into the cells of the needy. I can easily observe how the rich associate them. felves with the rich, and many times with the poor or in. ferior forts of men, but they are with the most vile, pro• fane, and debauched of all the poor in the country. In the mean time, the godly poor are strangers to them, and strange they must be; unless they will drink, swear, ram. ble, and applaud them for their kindness and hospitality to all the rabble with whom they, converse and live, Alas! this is not the life of Christians, but of heathens. I shall never forget the common sayiog of a grave, antient, and godly divine in this country, who is now with God, A leg of a lark, said he, is more worth than the whole body of a kite. One poor foul, be it never so poor, if it have but the breathings of God's Spirit in it, he is of more va lue than a village, or a whole towa full of wicked, de bauch'd, atheistical boon companions, as we usually call them: God's people (whether poor or no) are the glory of the world, yea, the glory of God himself; bat as for others, God speaks of them as dirt and dross, Thou puttes away all the wicked of the earth like dross, Plal.cxix. 119. God's people are usually in {cripture called his 'portion,


The Lord's portion is bis people, Deut. xxxii. 9. His plea. fant portion, They have made my pleasant partion a desolate wilderness, Jer. xii. 10. His treasure, his peculiar treafore, re fall be a peculiar treasure to me abave all people, for all the earth is mine, Exod. xix. 5. His glory, the crown of his glory, Thou shalt also be a crown of glory in the hand of the Lord, and a royal diadem in the hand of thy God, Ira. lxii. 3. What! is it thus? are poor faints in such esteem with God, and he looks upon them as his portion, his pleasant portion, his treasure, his peculiar treasure, his glory, the crowo of his glory? Othea how Mould you bend yourselves to close with them, and to be much in their fociety, whose very society is indeed the communion of saints !

3. Delight in them, as those in whom God himself de. lights.. David, cho'a king, could stoop thus far: I believe he was upon the point of charity, when he spake thus of them, but whom id nis charity benefit? Not God, but his poor faipts. “O my soul, thou hast said unto the ' Lord, Thou art my Lord, my goodness extendeth noc

unto thee, but to the saints that are in the carth, and to the excellent in whom is all my delight,' Pial. xvi. 2, 3. It feems the poor faints were a king's delight; kings have their delights, and this was all the delight king Da. vid had, In them is all my delight. And no wonder, for herein he conformed to God, the poor faints are God's delight; it is God's judgmeot of men, That the righteous is more excellent than his neighbour, Prov. xii. 26. Hence some observe, that the lion and eagle were not offered in facrifice to God, but the poor lamb and dove were; great and brave spirits of the world, high as the eagle, and los, ty as the lion, God regards them not, but poor humble spirits that are contemptible in the eyes of the world, those are precious to God; he delights in them as in his own darlings. Why thus ? do you delight in them, as those in whom God himself delights.

4. Do them good, as the best and chief objects of chasity. It is the apostle's advice, As we have opportunity, ' let us do good upto all men, but especially upto them. who are of the houshold of faith,' Gal, vi ro. You fee. ... 3



aere is an especially put upon them: Let me tell you of a deal of miltaken chatity amongst you: You think to do offices of love, or of kiádaess, or of alms, promiscuous. ly to all is brave, and gets a good report of the country, and the praise of men; and you shall never have the praise of God for this. If you will do any office of love, kind. ress, alms, or the like, be sure to set an especially on the Houthold of faith. These are they that represent Christ, atid indeed are the members of Christ, and stand in Cbrill's Stead; fo tie will tell you at the fåst day, 'For I was an • Hungry, and ye gave the meat, I was thirsty, and ye

gave me driak, I was a stranger, and ye took me in, Daked, atid ye clothed me, fick, and ye visited me, in

prison, and ye came unto me. -In as much as ye have • done it unto the least of these my brethren, ye have done it uoto me,' Mat. xxv. 35. 36. Mark, tbofe who are Christ's brethren, (which the wicked are bot) yea, those who are the least of Christ's brethren, (which the proud, high lofty ones are not) why these are they whom Christ reckops on his owo account, so that whatsoever ye do to them, you do it onto him. Oh that this plea of Christ wete writ on your doors, that you might better kBow whom to welcome in, and whom to entertain and do good unto, as you would bid welcome, and give entertainment iò Jesus Christ himself.

SÉCT. XVIII. Of the Afaults of Satan to the Use of unlawful Means. F ye are in adversity, Satan usually tempts us to the

use unlawful means. Thus when Christ had no of dinary means of getting bread, Satan tempts him to provide for himself by extraordinary. When Efau came out of the field weary, and hungry, and almost dead for want of meat, then sell thy birth-right, faid Satan, and so he did. When Peter was in great dadger in the high priest's hall, then dety thy master, faid Satan, forswear him, and curse thyfelf. When we are in adversity and in waat, then faith Satan, Thou must live, thou must not put forth thy family to beg, thou must utter thy wares, tho' by ly. iog, swearing, exacting, deceiving. Wapt and necessity is the devil's opportupliy to set upon us; fowlers usually set

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