Sidor som bilder

and upon all who believe. This is the turn-character. The particular reformation that ing point of your acceptance with the Law- we have now been urging will be one of a giver. And at this step, also, in the history crowd of other reformations ; and, in the of your souls, will there be applied to spirit of him who pleased not himself

, but you a power of motive, and will you be en- gave up his life for others, will you forego dowed with an obedient sensibility to the all the desires of selfishness and vanity, and influence of motive, which will make it the look not merely to your own things, but turning point of a new heart and a new I also to the things of others.


On the Love of Money.

" If I have made gold my hope, or have said to the fine gold, Thou art my confidence; If I rejoiced because

my wealth was great, and because mine hand had gotten much: If I beheld the sun when it shined or the moon walking in brightness; and my heart hath been secretly enticed, or my mouth hath kissed my hand; this also were an iniquity to be punished by the judge ; for I should have denied the God that is above."-Job xxxi. 24–28.

What is worthy of remark in this pas- | dowed him with the organs, of every gratisage is, that a certain affection only known fication,--that he should thus lavish ail his among the votaries of Paganism, should desires on the surrounding materialism, be classed under the same character and and fetch from it all his delights, while the have the same condemnation with an affec- thought of him who formed it is habitually tion, not only known, but allowed, nay absent from his heart—that in the play cherished into habitual supremacy, all over of those attractions that subsist between Christendom. How universal is it among him and the various objects in the neighthose who are in pursuit of wealth, to bourhood of his person, there should be the make gold their hope, and among those same want of reference to God, as there is who are in possession of wealth, to make in the play of those attractions which subfine gold their confidence ? Yet we are here sist between a piece of unconscious matter told that this is virtually as complete a re- and the other matter that is around it nunciation of God as to practise some of that all the influences which operate upon the worst charms of idolatry. And it might the human will should emanate from so perhaps serve to unsettle the vanity of those many various points in the mechanism of who, unsuspicious of the disease that is in what is formed, but that no practical or their hearts, are wholy given over to this ascendant influence should come down world, and wholly without alarm in their upon it from the presiding and the preservanticipations of another,-could we con- ing Deity? Why, if such be man, he could vince them that the most reigning and re- not be otherwise, though there were no sistless desire by which they are actuated, Deity. The part he sustains in the world stamps the same perversity on them, in the is the very same that it would have been sight of God, as he sees to be in those who had the world sprung into being of itself, are worshippers of the sun in the firma- or without an originating mind had mainment, or are offering incense to the moon, tained its being from eternity. He just puts as the queen of heaven.

forth the evolutions of his own nature, as We recoil from an idolater, as from one one of the component individuals in a vast who labours under a great moral derange- independent system of nature, made up of nent, in suffering his regards to be carried many parts and many individuals. In huniway from the true God to an idol. But, gering for what is agreeable to his senses, s it not just the same derangement, on the or recoiling from what is bitter or unsuitart of man, that he should love any cre- able to them, he does so without thinking ted good, and in the enjoyment of it lose of God, or borrowing any impulse to his ight of the Creator-that he should delight own will from any thing he knows or beimself with the use and the possession of lieves to be the will of God. Religion has gist, and be unaffected by the circum- just as little to do with those daily moveance of its having been put into his hands ments of his which are voluntary, as it has y a giver-that thoroughly absorbed with to do with the growth of his body, which le present and the sensible gratification, is involuntary; or, as it has to do, in other ere should be no room left for the move- words, with the progress and the phenoonts of duty or regard to the Being who mena of vegetation. With a mind that rnished him with the materials, and en-lought to know God, and a conscience that

ought to award to him the supreme juris- | as the animal beneath him. In other words, diction, he lives as effectually without him his atheism, while tasting the bounties of as if he had no mind and no conscience; Providence, is just as complete, as is the and, bating a few transient visitations of atheism of the inferior animals. But theirs thought, and a few regularities of outward proceeds from their incapacity of knowing and mechanical observation, do we behold God. His proceeds from his not liking to man running, and willing, and preparing, retain God in his knowledge. He may and enjoying, just as if there was no other come under the power of godliness, if he portion than the creature--just as if the would. But he chooses rather that the world, and its visible elements, formed the power of sensuality should lord it over all with which he had to do.

him, and his whole man is engrossed with I wish to impress upon you the distinc- the objects of sensuality. tion that there is between the love of mo But a man differs from an animal in beney, and the love of what money pur- ing something more than a sensitive being. chases. Either of these affections may He is also a reflective being. He has the equally displace God from the heart. But power of thought, and inference, and antithere is a malignity and an inveteracy of cipation, to signalize him above the beasts atheism in the former which does not be- of the field, or of the forest; and yet will long to the latter, and in virtue of which it it be found, in the case of every natural may be seen that the love of money is, in- man, that the exercise of those powers, 50 deed, the root of all evil.

far from having carried him nearer, has When we indulge the love of that which only widened his departure from God, and is purchased by money, the materials of given a more deliberate and wilful characgratification and the organs of gratification ter to his atheism, than if he had been withare present with each other-just as in the out them altogether. enjoyments of the inferior animals, and In virtue of the powers of a mind which just as in all the simple and immediate en- belong to him, he can carry his thoughts joyments of man; such as the tasting of beyond the present desires and the prefood, or the smelling of a flower. There sent gratification. He can calculate on the is an adaptation of the senses to certain visitations of future desire, and on the external objects, and there is a pleasure means of its gratification. He cannot arising out of that adaptation, and it is a only follow out the impulse of hunger that pleasure which may be felt by man, along is now upon him ; he can look onwards to with a right and a full infusion of godli- the successive and recurring impulses of

The primitive Christians, for exam- hunger which await him, and he can deple, ate their meat with gladness and sin- vise expedients for relieving it. Out of that gleness of heart, praising God. But, in the great siream of supply, which comes direct case of every unconverted man, the plea- from Heaven to earth, for the sustenance sure has no such accompaniment. He car- of all its living generations, he can draw off ries in his heart no recognition of that and appropriate a separate rill of conreyhand, by the opening of which it is, that ance, and direct it into a reservoir for himthe means and the materials of enjoyment self. He can enlarge the capacity, or he are placed within his reach. The matter can strengthen the embankments of this of the enjoyment is all with which he is reservoir. By doing the one, he augments conversant. The Author of the enjoyment his proportion of this common tide of is unheeded The avidity with which he wealth which circulates through the world, rushes onward to any of the direct gratifi- and by doing the other, he augments his cations of nature, bears a resemblance to securiiy for holding it in perpetual possesthe avidity with which one of the lower sion. The animal who drinks out of the creation rushes to its food, or to its water, stream thinks not whence it issues. But or to the open field, where it gambols in man thinks of the reservoir which yields all the wantonness of freedom, and finds to him his portion of it. And he looks no a high-breathed joy in the very strength further. He thinks not that to fill it, there and velocity of its movements. And the must be a great and original fountain, out atheism of the former, who has a mind for of which there issueth a mighty flood of the sense and knowledge of his Creator, is abundance for the purpose of distribution often as entire as the atheism of the latter, among all the tribes and families of the who has it not. Man, who ought to look world. He stops short at the secondary to the primary cause of all his blessings, and artificial fabric which he himself hath because he is capable of seeing thus far, is formed, and out of which, as from a spring, often as blind to God, in the midst of en- he draws his own peculiar enjoyments; ioyment, as the animal who is not capable and never thinks either of his own pecuof seeing him. He can trace the stream to liar supply, fluctuating with the variations its fountain; but still he drinks of the of the primary spring, or of connecting stream with as much greediness of plea- these variations with the will of the great sure, and as little recognition of its source, but unseen director of all things. It is true,


that if this main and originating fountain | abundance among our habitations, and all be, at any time, less copious in its emis- the subordinate magazines formed beside sion, he will have less to draw from it to the wonted stream of liberality, would re his own reservoir; and in that very pro- main empty. But all this is forgotten by the portion will his share of the bounties of vast majority of our unthoughtful and unProvidence be reduced. But still it is to reflecting species. The patience of God is the well, or receptacle, of his own striking still unexhausted ; and the seasons still roll out that he looks, as his main security for in kindly succession over the heads of an the relief of nature's wants, and the abun- ungrateful generation; and that period, dant supply of nature's enjoyments. It is when the machinery of our present sysupon his own work that he depends in this tem shall stop and be taken to pieces has matter, and not on the work or the will of not yet arrived ; and that Spirit, who will him who is the author of nature; who not always strive with the children of men, giveth rain from heaven, and fruitful sea- is still prolonging his experiment on the sons, and filleth every heart with food and powers and perversities of our moral nagladness. And thus it is, that the reason ture; and still suspending the edict of disof man, and the retrospective power of solution, by which this earth and these man, still fail to carry him, by an ascend- heavens are at length to pass away. So ing process to the First Cause. He stops that the sun still shines upon us; and the at the instrumental cause, which, by his clouds still drop upon us; and the earth own wisdom and his own power, he has still puts forth the bloom and the beauty put into operation. In the man's of its luxuriance; and all the ministers of understanding is over-run with atheism, as heaven's liberality still walk their annual well as his desires. The intellectual as well round, and scatter plenty over the face of as the sensitive part of his constitution an alienated world; and the whole of naseems to be infected with it. When, like ture continues as smiling in promise, and the instinctive and unreflecting animal, he as sure in fulfilment, as in the days of our engages in the act of direct enjoyment, he forefathers; and out of her large and uniis like it, too, in its atheism. When he versal granary is there, in every returning rises above the animal, and, in the exercise year, as rich a conveyance of aliment as be. of his higher and larger faculties, he en- fore, to the populous family in whose begages in the act of providing for enjoyment, half it is opened. But it is the business of he still carries his atheism along with himmany among that population, each to erect

A sum of money is, in all its functions, his own separate granary, and to replenish equivalent to such a reservoir. Take one it out of the general store, and to feed himyear with another, and the annual con- self and his dependants out of it. And he sumption of the world cannot exceed the is right in so doing. But he is not right annual produce which issues from the in looking to his own peculiar receptacle, storehouse of him who is the great and the as if it were the first and the emanating bountiful Provider of all its families. The fountain of all his enjoyments. He is not money that is in any man's possession re- right in thus idolising the work of his own presents the share which he can appro- hands-awarding no glory and no confipriate to himself of this produce. If it be dence to him in whose hands is the key a large sum it is like a capacious reservoir of that great storehouse, out of which on the bank of the river of abundance. If every lesser storehouse of man derives its it be laid out on firm and stable securities, fulness. He is not right, in labouring after still it is like a firmly embanked reservoir. the money which purchaseth all things, to The man who toils to increase his money avert the earnestness of his regard from is like a man who toils to enlarge the ca- the Being who provides all things. He is pacity of his reservoir. The man who sus- not right, in thus building his security on pects a flaw in his securities, or who appre- that which is subordinate, unheeding and hends, in the report of failures and fluctua- unmindful of him who is supreme. It is Lions, that his money is all to flow away not right, that silver, and gold, though unfrom him, is like a man who apprehends a shaped into statuary, should still be doing, flaw in the embankments of his reservoir. in this enlightened land, what the images

Meanwhile, in all the care that is thus of Paganism once did. It is not right, that expended, either on the money or on the they should thus supplant the deference magazine, the originating source, out of which is owing to the God and the governor which there is imparted to the one all its of all things-or that each man amongst real worth, or there is imparted to the other us should in the secret homage of trust and all its real fulness, is scarcely ever thought satisfaction which he renders to his bills, of. Let God turn the earth into a barren and his deposits, and his deeds of property desert, and the money ceases to be con- and possession, endow these various artivertible to any purpose of enjoyment; or cles with the same moral ascendency over let him lock up ihat magazine of great and his heart, as the household gods of antigeneral supply, out of which he showers I quity had over the idolaters of antiquity

making them as effectually usurp the both for himself and for his children. It place of the Divinity, and dethrone the matters not for him, that all his enjoyment one Monarch of heaven and earth from comes from a primary fountain, and that that pre-eminence of trust and of affection his wealth is only an intermediate reservoir. that belongs to him.

It matters not to him, that, if God were to He who makes a god of his pleasure, set a stal upon the upper storehouse in renders to this idol the homage of his heaven, or to blast and to burn up all the senses. He who makes a god of his wealth, fruitfulness of earth, he would reduce, to renders to this idol the homage of his the worthlessness of dross, all the silver mind; and he, therefore, of the two, is the and the gold that abound in it. Still the more hopeless and determined idolater. gold and the silver are his gods. His own The former is goaded on to his idolatry, fountain is between him and the founby the power of appetite. The latter cul- tain of original supply. His wealth is betivates his with wilful and deliberate per-tween him and God. Its various lodging severance; consecrates his very highest places, whether in the bank, or in the place powers to its service ; embarks in it, not of registration, or in the depository of Wills with the heat of passion, but with the and title deeds—these are the sanctuaries coolness of steady and calculating princi- of his secret worship—these are the highple; fully gives up his reason and his time, places of his adoration; and never did the and all the faculties of his understanding, devout Israelite look with more intentness as well as all the desires of his heart, to towards Mount Zion, and with his face the great object of a fortune in this world; towards Jerusalem, than he does to his makes the acquirement of gain the settled wealth, as to the mountain and strong hold aim, and the prosecution of that aim the of his security. Nor could the Supreme settled habit of his existence; sits the be more effectually deposed from the ho whole day long at the post of his ardent mage of trust and gratitude than he acand unremitting devotions; and, as he la- tually is, though this wealth were recalled bours at the desk of his counting-house, from its various investments; and turned has his soul just as effectually seduced into one mass of gold; and cast into a from the living God to an object distinct piece of molten statuary; and enshrined from him, and contrary to him, as if the on a pedestal, around which all his houseledger over which he was bending was a hold might assemble, and make it the obbook of mystical characters, written in ho- ject of their family devotions; and plied nour of some golden idol placed before every hour of every day with all the him, and with a view to render this idol fooleries of a senseless and degrading Papropitious to himself and to his family. ganism. It is thus, that God may keep up Baal and Moloch were not more substan- the charge of idolatry against us, even after tially the gods of rebellious Israel, than all its images have been overthrown. It is Mammon is the god of all his affections. thus that dissuasives from idolatry are still To the fortune he has reared, or is rearing, addressed, in the New Testament, to the pufor himself and his descendants, he ascribes pils of a new and better dispensation; that all the power and all the independence of little children are warned against idols; and a divinity. With the wealth he has gotten all of us are warned to flee from covetousby his own hands, does he feel himself as ness, which is idolatry. independent of God, as the Pagan does, To look no further than to fortune as the who, happy in the fancied protection of an dispenser of all the enjoyments which moimage made with his own hands, suffers no ney can purchase, is to make that fordisturbance to his quiet, from any thought tune stand in the place of God. It is to of the real but the unknown Deity. His make sense shut out faith, and to rob the confidence is in his treasure, and not in King eternal and invisible of that supreGod. It is there that he places all his macy, to which all the blessings of human safety and all his sufficiency. It is not on existence, and all the varieties of human the Supreme Being, conceived in the light condition, ought, in every instance, and in of a real and a personal agent, that he every particular, to be referred. But, as places his dependence. It is on a mute we have already remarked, the love of moand material statue of his own erection. It ney is one affection, and the love of what is is wealth, which stands to him in the purchased by money is another. It was place of God-to which he awards the at first, we have no doubt, loved for the sake credit of all his enjoyments--which he of the good things which it enabled its poslooks to as the emanating fountain of all sessor to acquire. But whether, as the rehis present sufficiency-from which he sult of associations in the mind, so rapid as gathers his fondest expectations of all the to escape the notice of our own consciousbright and fancied blessedness that is yet ness-or as the fruit of an infection running before him-on which he rests as the firm- by the sympathy among all men busily enest and stablest foundation of all that the gaged in the prosecution of wealth, as the heart can wish or the eye can long after, I supreme good of their being-certain it is

that money, originally pursued for the sake will undergo all the fiercer tortures of the of other things, comes at length to be prized mind; and, instead of employing what they for its own sake. And, perhaps, there is no have, to smooth their passage through the one circumstance which serves more to liken world, will, upon the hazardous sea of adthe love of money to the most irrational of venture, turn the whole of this passage into the heathen idolatries, than that it at length a storm-thus exalting wealth from a serpasses into the love of money for itself; and vant unto a lord, who in return for the hoacquires a most enduring power over the mage that he obtains from his worshippers, human affections, separately altogether from exercises them, like Rehoboam his subjects the power of purchase and of command of old, not with whips but with scorpionswhich belongs to it, over the proper and ori- with consuming anxiety, with never-sated ginal objects of human desire. The first desire, with brooding apprehension, and its thing which set man agoing in the pursuit frequent and ever-flitting spectres, and the of wealth, was that, through it, as an inter- endless jealousies of competition with men vening medium, he found his way to other as intently devoted, and as emulous of a enjoyments; and it proves him, as we have high place in the temple of their common observed, capable of a higher reach of an- idolatry, as themselves. And, without going ticipation than the beast of the field, or the to the higher exhibitions of this propensity, fowls of the air, that he is thus able to cal- in all its rage and in all its restlessness, we culate, and to foresee, and to build up a have only to mark its workings on the walk provision for the wants of futurity. But, of even and every-day citizenship; and mark how soon this boasted distinction of there see, how, in the hearts even of its his faculties is overthrown, and how near most commonplace votaries, wealth is folto each other lie the dignity and the debase- lowed after for its own sake; how, unassoment of the human understanding. If it ciated with all for which reason pronounces evinced a loftier mind in man than in the it to be of estimation, but, in virtue of some inferior animals, that he invented money, mysterious and undefinable charm, opeand by the acquisition of it can both secure rating not on any principle of the judgment, abundance for himself, and transmit this but on the utter perversity of judgment, moabundance to the future generations of his ney has come to be of higher account than family-what have we to offer, in vindica- all that is purchased by money, and has attion of this intellectual eminence, when we tained a rank co-ordinate with that which witness how soon it is, that the pursuit of our Saviour assigns to the life and to the wealth ceases to be rational ? How, instead body of man, in being reckoned more than of being prosecuted as an instrument, either meat and more than raiment. Thus making for the purchase of ease, or the purchase of that which is subordinate to be primary, enjoyment, both the ease and enjoyment of and that which is primary subordinate; a whole life are rendered up as sacrifices at transferring, by a kind of fascination, the its shrine? How, from being sought after affections away from wealth in use, to as a minister of gratification to the appetites wealth in idle and unemployed possessionof nature, it at length brings nature into insomuch, that the most welcome intellibondage, and robs her of all her simple de- gence you could give to the proprietor of lights, and pours the infusion of wormwood many a snug deposit, in some place of seinto the currency of her feelings ?-making cure and progressive accumulation, would that man sad who ought to be cheerful, and be, that he should never require any part that man who ought to rejoice in his pre- either of it or of its accumulation back sent abundance, filling him either with the again for the purpose of expenditure-and cares of an ambition which never will be that, to the end of his life, every new year satisfied, or with the apprehensions of a dis- should witness another unimpaired addition tress which, in all its pictured and exagge- | to the bulk or the aggrandizement of his rated evils, will never be realised. And it is idol. And it would just heighten bis enjoywonderful, it is passing wonderful, that ment could he be told, with prophetic cerwealth, which derives all that is true and tainty, that this process of undisturbed augsterling in its worth from its subserviency mentation would go on with his children's to other advantages, should, apart from all children, to the last age of the world ; that thought about this subserviency, be made the economy of each succeeding race of the object of such fervent and fatiguing descendants would leave the sum with its devotion. Insomuch, that never did Indian interest untouched, and the place of its sancderotee inflict upon himself a severer agony tuary unviolated; and, that through a series at the footstool of his Paganism, than those of indefinite generations, would the magnidevotees of wealth who, for its acquire. tude ever grow, and the lustre ever brighten, ment as their ultimate object, will forego of that household god which he had erected all the uses for which alone it is valuable for his own senseless adoration, and be. will give up all that is genuine or tranquil in queathed as an object of as senseless adorathe pleasures of life; and will pierce them- tion to his family. selves through with many sorrows; and i We have the authority of that word which

« FöregåendeFortsätt »