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will have a bad name with God, and if he does not approve you, it matters not who does.
These things are required of all; but to render our good name compleat, there are some things belonging to our character and situation, peculiarly expected of us.
As of children; humility, a readiness to learn, a willingness to obey. Of those grown higher in youth; industry, care, and close attention to business is expected. In young women, above all things, chastity is looked for; the least blot ruins their good name for ever. From servants we expect quietness, diligence, faithfulness and good nature. Among brothers and sisters, we look for peace, love, and mutual assistance. These are required from our several characters; our various situations require others. If we are at work, let us be diligent; if at play, moderate; if at church, quiet, attentive, serious; if at school, be early, careful, and still. In quarrels be meek, and forgiving. In poverty laborious and humble. In prosperity, thankful, liberal, and prudent. Strive in every state of life, to act as under the eye of, and desirous to please God, and you will be sure to get a good name with
Now a good name is better and more to be chosen than riches many ways. 1. It is more easily attained. always in our own power. Riches are not. A man may strive all his life to be rich, and never succeed: but a good name any one may get, who will try for it. If our ways are holy, we shall be respected. Neither sickness, nor poverty, can hinder us of reputation. Job, when striped of all things, was a good man still. Joseph, even in prison and in a strange land, found favor in the eyes of all who knew him; because he was humble, faithful, diligent, and holy.
2. A good name is more honorable than riches. Wealth often makes a man highly esteemed and caressed; yet if a man is a rascal, riches only disgrace him, and give him opportunities of shewing how vile he is, by forcing him into public view: thus a plated shilling, if it be often passed, wears at the edges and discovers its baseness, which had never been known if it had lain private: but a good character, like a sterling guinea, passes and is esteemed every where, in public or in private, and the more it circulates the better. Nabal, with all his riches, was de
spised, even by his own family on the contrary, David, though only a shepherd, because wise and worthy, was seated near the king, and revered by the whole nation of Israel, and at last placed upon
If a good name is more honorable than riches among men, surely it is so with God, who giveth grace to the humble, and sendeth the proud empty away.
3. A good name is better than riches, because it is more pure. Riches are often gotten by sin, and, most commonly, lead to greater sin. If Nebuchadnezzer had not been so great, his heart would not have been so lifted up with pride, nor would his punishment have been so awful. Those who will be rich pierce themselves through with many sorrows, and fall into temptation and a snare. But a good reputation is a pure and holy enjoyment. It is not sinful in itself; it does not lead to sin, but on the contrary, it prompts us to holiness, by which only it can be retained. Having such hopes, the natural consequence is, that we endeavour to purify ourselves from every filthiness.
4. Reputation excells wealth, because it is more valuable. The worth of a thing
may be known by the opinion of those who have it, and who know its value. Now Moses knew well what riches were; all the treasures of Egypt were in his power, yet he despised them, and had rather be among the people of God, than be called the son of Pharoah's daughter. Solomon, the greatest of kings, says, they "are vanity and vexation of spirit. And God accounts riches of so little value, that he throws them away on the most wicked and vilest of men. But a good name is of great value. "Get wisdom," says Solomon, "and with all thy gettings, get understanding." And when you have got it, take care of it. It is a jewel worth all your attention, hold fast that no one take thy crown. Do not give up your good name for the sake of diversion, or a good bargain. Let not pleasure cheat you of it. There is no pleasure equal to a good name, and a good conscience.
5. A good name should be chosen before riches, because it is more useful. It is true, "money answereth all things," and there is no doing in the world without it: but a good name will do as much often, and sometimes more. It will procure us pity when in affliction, which
It will prompt
riches frequently will not. persons to help us, "for a good man some will even dare to die." So Lot was delivered, when Sodom was destroyed, he being found righteous. So Ruth found favor in the eyes of rich Boaz, and at last became his wife, because she had a good character. Ruth ii. 11.
Useful as money is, it is not always at hand, but a good name is never forgotten. When our own riches are gone, it will bring the riches of others to our assistance, and will gain the pity and protection of all the good, the noble, and the generous among mankind.
6. A good name is better to us than riches, because it is more satisfying. We are ready to say if we were so rich, we should be happy but those who enjoy the very circumstances we desire, do not feel that happiness arising from them, which we suppose they must. Eccl. v.
10. 11. "He that loveth silver shall not be satisfied with silver, nor he that loveth abundance with increase: this also is vanity. Where goods increase, they are increased that eat them, and what good is there to the owners thereof, save the beholding them with their eyes?" There