English Index


"They that will be rich fell into temptation and a snare, and into

many foolish and hurtful desires, which drown men in destruction

and perdition." 1 Timothy 6:9.

1. HOW innumerable are the ill consequences which have followed from

men’s not knowing, or not considering, this great truth! And how few are

there even in the Christian world, that either know or duly consider it!

Yea. how small is the number of those, even among real Christians, who

understand and lay it to heart! Most of these too pass it very lightly over,

scarce remembering there is such a text in the Bible. And many put such a

construction upon it, as makes it of no manner of effect. "They that will

be rich," say they, "that is, will be rich at all events; who will be rich, right

or wrong; that are resolved to carry their point, to compass this end,

whatever means they use to attain it; ‘they fall into temptation’ and into

all the evils enumerated by the Apostle." But truly if this were all the

meaning of the text, it might as well have been out of the Bible.

2. This is so far from being the whole meaning of the text, that it is no part

of its meaning. The Apostle does not here speak of gaining riches unjustly,

but of quite another thing: His words are to be taken in their plain obvious

sense, without any restriction or qualification whatsoever. St. Paul does

not say, "They that will be rich by evil means, by theft, robbery,

oppression, or extortion; "they that will be rich by fraud; or dishonest

art;" but simply, "They that will be rich:" These, allowing, supposing the

means they use to be ever so innocent, "fall into temptation and a snare,

and into many foolish and hurtful desires, which drown men in destruction

and perdition."

3. But who believes that? Who receives it as the truth of God? Who is

deeply convinced of it? Who preaches this; Great is the company of

preachers at this day, regular and irregular; but who of them all, openly.10

and explicitly, preaches this strange doctrine? It is the keen observation of

a great man, "The pulpit is the preacher’s strong-hold." But who even in

his stronghold has the courage to declare so unfashionable a truth? I do not

remember that in threescore years I have heard one sermon preached upon

this subject. And what author, within the same term, has declared it from

the press? at least, in the English tongue? I do not know one. I have neither

seen nor heard of any such author. I have seen two or three who just touch

upon it; but none that treats of it professedly. I have myself frequently

touched upon it in preaching, and twice in what I have published to the

world: Once in explaining our Lord’s Sermon on the Mount, and once in

the discourse on the "Mammon of unrighteousness;" but I have never yet

either published or preached any sermon expressly upon the subject. It is

high time I should; — that I should at length speak as strongly and

explicitly as I can, in order to leave a full and clear testimony behind me,

whenever it pleases God to call me hence.

4. O that God would give me to speak right and forcible words; and you to

receive them in honest and humble hearts! Let it not be said, "They sit

before thee as my people, and they hear thy words; but they will not do

them. Thou art unto them as one that hath a pleasant voice, and can play

well on an instrument; for they hear thy words, but do them not!" O that

ye may "not be forgetful hearers, but doers of the word," that ye may be

"blessed in your Need!" In this hope I shall endeavor,

I. To explain the Apostle’s words. And,

II. To apply them.

But, O! "who is sufficient for these things?" Who is able to stem the

general torrent? to combat all the prejudices, not only of the vulgar, but of

the learned and the religious world? Yet nothing is too hard for God! Still

his grace is sufficient for us. In his name then, and by his strength, I will



To explain the words of the Apostle..11

1. And, First, let us consider, what it is to be rich. What does the Apostle

mean by this expression?

The preceding verse fixes the meaning of that: "Having food and raiment,"

(literally coverings; for the word includes lodging as well as clothes,) "let

us be there with content." "But they that will be rich;" that is, who will

have more than these; more than food and coverings. It plainly follows,

what ever is more than these is, in the sense of the Apostle, riches;

whatever is above the plain necessaries, or at most conveniences, of life.

Whoever has sufficient food to eat, and raiment to put on, with a place

where to lay his head, and something over, is rich.

2. Let us consider, Secondly, What is implied in that expression, "They

that will be rich?" And does not this imply, First, they that desire to be

rich, to have more than food and coverings; they that seriously and

deliberately desire more than food to eat, and raiment to put on, and a

place where to lay their head, more than the plain necessaries and

conveniences of life? All, at least, who allow themselves in this desire,

who see no harm in it, desire to be rich.

3. And so do, Secondly, all those that calmly, deliberately, and of set

purpose, endeavor after more than food and coverings; that aim at and

endeavor after, not only so much worldly substance as will procure them

the necessaries and conveniences of life, but more than this, whether to lay

it up, or lay it out in superfluities. All these undeniably prove their "desire

to be rich," by their endeavors after it.

4. Must we not, Thirdly, rank among those that desire to be rich, all that,

in fact, "lay up treasures on earth?" a thing as expressly and clearly

forbidden by our Lord, as either adultery or murder. It is allowed,

(1.) That we are to provide necessaries and conveniences for those of

our own household:

(2.) That men in business are to lay up as much as is necessary for the

carrying on of that business:

(3.) That we are to leave our children what will supply them with

necessaries and conveniences after we have left the world: And,.12

(4.) That we are to provide things honest in the sight of all men, so as

to "owe no man anything:" But to lay up any more, when this is done,

is what your Lord has flatly forbidden.

When it is calmly and deliberately done, it is a clear proof of our desiring

to be rich. And thus to lay up money is no more consistent with a good

conscience, than to throw it into the sea.

5. We must rank among them, Fourthly, all who possess more. of this

world’s goods, than they use according to the will of the Donor: I should

rather say, of the Proprietor; for he only lends them to us as Stewards;

reserving the property of them to himself. And, indeed, he cannot possibly

do other wise, seeing they are the work of his hands; he is, and must be,

the possessor of heaven and earth. This is his unalienable right; a right he

cannot divest himself of. And together with that portion of his goods

which he hath lodged in our hands, he has delivered to us a writing,

specifying the purposes for which he has intrusted us with them. It;

therefore, we keep more of them in our hands than is necessary for the

preceding purposes, we certainly fill under the charge of "desiring to be

rich:" Over and above, we are guilty of burying our Lord’s talent in the

earth; and on that account are liable to be pronounced wicked, because

unprofitable, servants.

6. Under this imputation of "desiring to be rich," fall, Fifthly, all "lovers

of money." The word properly means, those that delight in money; those

that take unpleasure in it; those that seek their happiness therein; that

brood over their gold or silver, bills or bonds. Such was the man described

by the fine Roman painter, who broke out in that natural soliloquy: —

Populus me sibilat, al mihi plaudo

Ipse domi simul ac nummos contemplor in arca. f1

If there are any vices which are not natural to man, I should imagine this is

one; as money of itself does not seem to gratify any natural desire or

appetite of the human mind; and as, during an observation of sixty years, I

do not remember one instance of a man given up to the love of money, till

he had neglected to employ this precious talent according to the will of his

Master. After this, sin was punished by sin; and this evil spirit was

permitted to enter into him..13

7. But beside this gross sort of covetousness, the love of money, there is a

more refined species of covetousness, mentioned by the great Apostle, —

pleonexia — which literally means, a desire of having more; more than

we have already. And those also come under the denomination of "they

that will be rich" It is true that this desire, under proper restrictions, is

innocent; nay, commendable. But when it exceeds the bounds, (and how

difficult is it not to exceed them!) then it comes under the present censure.

8. But who is able to receive these hard sayings? Who can believe that

they are the great truths of God? Not many wise not many noble, not

many famed for learning; none, indeed, who are not taught of God, And

who are they whom God teaches? Let our Lord answer: "If any man be

willing to do His will, he shall know of the doctrine whether it be of God."

Those who are otherwise minded will be so far from receiving, it, that they

will not be able to understand it. Two as sensible men as most in England

sat down together, some time since, to read over and consider that plain

discourse on, "Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth." After

much deep considerations one of them broke out, "Positively, I cannot

understand it. Pray do yet understand it, Mr. L.?" Mr. L. honestly replied,

"Indeed, not I. I cannot conceive what Mr. W. means. I can make nothing

at all of it." So utterly blind is our natural understanding touching the truth

of God!

9. Having explained the former part of the text, "They that will be rich,"

and pointed out, in the clearest manner I could, the persons spoken of; I

will now endeavor, God being my helper, to explain what is spoken of

them: "They fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and

hurtful desires, which drown men in destruction and perdition."

"They fall into temptation." This seems to mean much more than simply,

they are tempted. They enter into the temptation: They fall plump down

into it. The waves of it compass them about, and cover them all over. Of

those who thus enter into temptation, very few escape out of it. And the

few that do are sorely scorched by it, though not utterly consumed. If

they escape at all, it is with the skin of their teeth, and with deep wounds

that are not easily healed.

10. They fall, Secondly, into "a snare," the snare of the devil, which he

hath purposely set in their way. I believe the Greek word properly means.14

a gin, a steel trap, which shows no appearance of danger. But as soon as

any creature touches the spring, it suddenly closes; and either crushes its

bones in pieces, or consigns it to inevitable ruin.

11. They fall, Thirdly, "into many foolish and hurtful desires;" anohtouv,

silly, senseless fantastic; as contrary to reason, to sound understanding,

as they are to religion: Hurtful, both to body and soul, tending to weaken,

yea, destroy, every gracious and heavenly temper: Destructive of that

faith which is of the operation of God; of that hope which is full of

immortality; of love to God and to our neighbor, and of every good word

and work.

12. But what desires are these? This is a most important question, and

deserves the deepest consideration.

In general, they may all be summed up in one, the desiring happiness out

of God. This includes directly, or remotely, every foolish and hurtful

desire. St. Paul expresses it by "loving the creature more than the Creator;"

and by being "lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God." In particular,

they are, (to use the exact and beautiful enumeration of St. John,) "the

desire of the flesh, the desire of the eyes, and the pride of life;" all of

which, the desire of riches naturally tends both to beget and to increase.

13. "The desire of the flesh" is generally understood in far too narrow a

meaning. It does not, as is commonly supposed, refer to one of the senses

only; but takes in all the pleasures of sense, the gratification of any of the

outward senses. It has reference to the taste in particular. How many

thousands do we find at this day, in whom the ruling principle is, the

desire to enlarge the pleasure of tasting! Perhaps they do not gratify this

desire in a gross manner, so as to incur the imputation of intemperance;

much less so as to violate health or impair their understanding by gluttony

or drunkenness: But they live in a genteel, regular sensuality; in an elegant

epicurism, which does not hurt the body, but only destroys the soul;

keeping it at a distance from all true religion.

14. Experience shows that the imagination is gratified chiefly by means of

the eye: Therefore, "The desire of the eyes," in its natural sense, is, the

desiring and seeking happiness in gratifying the imagination. Now, the

imagination is gratified either by grandeur, by beauty, or by novelty:.15

Chiefly by the last; for neither grand nor beautiful objects please any

longer than they are new.

15. Seeking happiness in learning, of whatever kind, falls under "the desire

of the eyes;" whether it be in history, languages, poetry, or any branch of

natural or experimental philosophy: Yea, we must include the several

kinds of learning, such as Geometry, Algebra, and Metaphysics. For if our

supreme delight be in any of these, we are herein gratifying "the desire of

the eyes."

16. "The pride of life" (whatever else that very uncommon expression, h

alazoneiz tou biou, may mean) seems to imply chiefly, the desire of

honor; of the esteem, admiration, and applause of men; as nothing more

directly tends both to beget and cherish pride than the honor that cometh

of men. And as riches attract much admiration, and occasion much

applause, they proportionally minister food for pride, and so may also be

referred to this head.

17. Desire of ease is another of these foolish and hurtful desires; desire of

avoiding every cross, every degree of trouble, danger, difficulty; a desire of

slumbering out life, and going to heaven (as the vulgar say) upon a

feather-bed. Every one may observe how riches first beget, and then

confirm and increase, this desire, making men more and more soft and

delicate; more unwilling, and indeed more unable, to "take up their cross

daily;" to "endure hardship as good soldiers of Jesus Christ," and to "take

the kingdom of heaven by violence."

18. Riches, either desired or possessed, naturally lead to some or other of

these foolish and hurtful desires; and, by affording the means of gratifying

them all, naturally tend to increase them. And there is a near connection

between unholy desires, and every other unholy passion and temper. We

easily pass from these to pride, anger, bitterness, envy, malice,

revengefulness; to an headstrong, unadvisable, unreprovable spirit: Indeed,

to every temper that is earthly, sensual, or devilish. All these, the desire or

possession of riches naturally tends to create, strengthen, and increase.

19. And by so doing, in the same proportion as they prevail, they "pierce

men through with many sorrows;" sorrows from remorse, from a guilty

conscience; sorrows flowing from all the evil tempers which they inspire.16

or increase; sorrows inseparable from those desires themselves, as every

unholy desire is an uneasy desire; and sorrows from the contrariety of

those desired to each other, whence it is impossible to gratify them all.

And, in the end; "they drown" the body in pain, disease, "destruction,"

and the soul in everlasting "perdition."


1. I am, in the Second place, to apply what has been said. And this is the

principal point. For what avails the clearest knowledge, even of the most

excellent things, even if the things of God, if it go no farther than

speculation if it be not reduced to practice? He that hath ears to hear, let

him hear! And what he hears, let him instantly put in practice. O that God

would give me the thing which I long for! that, before I go hence and am no

more seen, I may see a people wholly devoted to God, crucified to the

world, and the world crucified to them; a people truly given up to God, in

body, soul, and substance! How cheerfully should I then say, "Now

lettest thou thy servant depart in peace!"

2. I ask, then, in the name of God, Who of you "desire to be rich?" Which

of you (ask your own hearts in the sight of God) seriously and deliberately

desire (and perhaps applaud yourselves for so doing, as no small instance

of your prudence) to have more than food to eat, and raiment to put on,

and a house, to cover you? Who of you desires to have more than the plain

necessaries and conveniences of life? Stop! Consider! What are you doing?

Evil is before you! Will you rush upon the point of a sword? By the grace

of God, turn and live!

3. By the same authority I ask, Who of you are endeavoring to be rich? So

procure for yourselves more than the plain necessaries and conveniences

of life? Lay, each of you, your hand to your heart, and seriously inquire,

Am I of that number? Am I laboring, not only for what I want, but for

more than I want?" May the Spirit of God say to every one whom it

concerns, "Thou art the man!"

4. I ask, Thirdly, Who of you are, in fact, "laying, up for yourselves

treasures upon earth?" increasing in goods? adding, as fast as you can,

house to house, and field to field! As long as thou thus "doest well unto.17

thyself, men will speak good of thee." They will call thee a wise, a prudent

man! a man that minds the main chance. Such is, and always has been, the

wisdom of the world! But God saith unto thee, "Thou fool!" art thou not

‘treasuring up to thyself wrath against the day of wrath, and revelation of

the righteous judgment of God!’"

5. Perhaps you will ask, "But do not you yourself advise, to gain all we

can, and to save all we can? And is it possible to do this, without both

desiring and endeavoring to be rich? nay, suppose our endeavors are

successful, without actually, laying up treasures upon earth?"

I answer, It is possible. You may gain all you can, without hurting either

your soul or body; you may save all you can, by carefully avoiding every

needless expense; and yet never lay up treasures on earth, nor either desire

or endeavor so to do.

6. Permit me to speak as freely of myself as I would of any other man. I

gain all I can (namely, by writing) without hurting, either my soul or

body. I save all I can, not willingly wasting anything, not a sheet of paper,

not a cup of water, I do not lay out anything, not a shilling, unless as a

sacrifice to God. Yet by giving all I can, I am effectually secured from

"laying up treasures upon earth." Yea, and I am secure from either desiring

or endeavoring, it, as long as I give all I can. And that I do this, I call all

that know me, both friends and foes, to testify.

7. But some may say, "Whether you endeavor it or no, you are undeniably

rich. You have more than the necessaries of life." I have. But the Apostle

does not fix the charge, barely on possessing any quantities of goods, but

on possessing more than we employ according to the will of the Donor.

Two-and-forty years ago, having a desire to furnish poor people with

cheaper, shorter, and plainer books than any I had seen, I wrote many

small tracts, generally a penny apiece; and afterwards several larger. Some

of these had such a sale as I never thought of; and, by this means, I

unawares became rich. But I never desired or endeavored after it. And now

that it is come upon me unawares, I lay up no treasures upon earth: I lay

up nothing at all. My desire and endeavor, in this respect, is, to "wind my

bottom round the year. — I cannot help leaving my books behind me.18

whenever God calls me hence; but, in every other respect, my own hands

will be my executors.

8. Herein, my brethren, let you that are rich, be even as I am. Do you that

possess more than food and raiment, ask, "What shall we do? Shall we

throw into the sea what God hath given us?" God forbid that you should!

It is an excellent talent: It may be employed much, to the glory of God.

Your way lies plain, before your face; if you have courage, walk in it.

Having gained, in, a right sense, all you can, and saved all you can; in spite

of nature, and custom, and worldly prudence, give all you can. I do not

say, "Be a good Jew giving a tenth of all you possess." I do not say, "Be a

good Pharisee; giving a fifth of all your substance." I dare not advise you

to give half of what you have; no, nor three quarters; but all! Lift up your

hearts, and you will see clearly, in what sense this is to be done. If you

desire to be "a faithful and a wise steward," out of that portion of your

Lord’s goods which he has for the present lodged in your hands, but with

the right of resumption whenever it pleaseth him,

(1.) Provide things needful for yourself; food to eat, raiment to put on;

whatever nature moderately requires, for preserving you both in health

and strength:

(2.) Provide these for your wife, your children, your servants, or any

others who pertain to your household.

If, when this is done, there is an overplus left, then do good to "them that

are of the household of faith." If there be an overplus still, "as you have

opportunity, do good unto all men." In so doing, you give all you can;

nay, in a sound sense, all you have. For all that is laid out in this manner,

is really given to God. You render unto God the things that are God’s, not

only by what you give to the poor, but also by that which you expend in

providing things needful for yourself and your household. f2

9. O ye Methodists, hear the word of the Lord! I have a message from

God to all men, but to you above all. For above forty years I have been a

servant to you and to your fathers. And I have not been as a reed shaken

with the wind: I have not varied in my testimony. I have testified to you

the very same thing, from the first day even until now. But "who hath

believed our report?" I fear, not many rich: I fear there is need to apply to.19

some of you those terrible words of the Apostle, "Go to now, ye rich

men! weep and howl for the miseries which shall come upon you. Your

gold and silver is cankered, and the rust of them shall witness against you,

and shall eat your flesh, as it were fire." Certainly it will, unless ye both

save all you can, and give all you can. But who of you hath considered

this, since you first heard the will of the Lord concerning it? Who is now

determined to consider and practice it? By the grace of God, begin to day!

10. O ye lovers of money, hear the word of the Lord. Suppose ye that

money, though multiplied as the sand of the sea, can give happiness? Then

you are "given up to a strong delusion to believe a lie;" — a palpable lie,

confuted daily by a thousand experiments. Open your eyes! Look all

around you! Are the richest men the happiest? Have those the largest

share of content who have the largest possessions? Is not the very reverse

true? Is it not a common observation, that the richest of men are in general,

the most discontented, the most miserable? Had not the far greater part of

them more content, when they had less money? Look into your own

breasts. If you are increased in goods, are you proportionably increased in

happiness? You have more substance; but have you more content? You

know that in seeking happiness from riches, you are only striving to drink

out of empty cups. And let them be painted and gilded ever so finely, they

are empty still.

11. O ye that desire or endeavor to be rich, hear ye the word of the Lord!

Why should ye be stricken any more? Will not even experience teach you

wisdom? Will ye leap into a pit with your eyes open? Why should you

any more "fall into temptation?" It cannot be but temptation will beset

you, as long as you are in the body. But though it should beset you on

every side, why will you enter into it? There is no necessity for this: It is

your own voluntary act and deed. Why should you any more plunge

yourselves into a snare, into the trap Satan has laid for you that is ready

to break your bones in pieces? to crush your soul to death? After fair

warning, why should you sink any more into "foolish and hurtful

desires?" desires as inconsistent with reason as they are with religion

itself; desires that have done you more hurt already than all the treasures

upon earth can countervail..20

12. Have they not hurt you already, have they not wounded you in the

tenderest part, by slackening, if not utterly destroying, your "hunger and

thirst after righteousness?" Have you now the same longing that you had

once, for the whole image of God? Have you the same vehement desire as

you formerly had, of "going on unto perfection?" Have they not hurt you

by weakening your faith? Have you now faith’s "abiding impression,

realizing things to come?" Do you endure, in all temptations, from

pleasure or pain, "seeing Him that is invisible?" Have you everyday, and

every hour, an uninterrupted sense of his presence? Have they not hurt

you with regard to your hope? Have you now a hope full of immortality?

Are you still big with earnest expectation of all the great and precious

promises? Do you now "taste the powers of the world to come?" Do you

"sit in heavenly places with Christ Jesus?"

13. Have they not so hurt you, as to stab your religion to the heart? Have

they not cooled (if not quenched) your love to God? This is easily

determined. Have you the same delight in God which you once had? Can

you now say,

I nothing want beneath, above;

Happy, happy in thy love?

I fear not. And if your love of God is in anywise decayed, so is also your

love of your neighbor. You are then hurt in the very life and spirit of your

religion! If you lose love, you lose all.

14. Are not you hurt with regard to your humility? If you are increased in

goods, it cannot well be otherwise. Many will think you a better, because

you are a richer, man: And how can you help thinking so yourself?

especially, considering the commendations which some will give you in

simplicity, and many will a design to serve themselves of you.

If you are hurt in your humility, it will appear by this token: You are not

so teachable as you were, not so advisable; you are not so easy to be

convinced, not so easy to be persuaded; you have a much better opinion of

your own judgment and are more attached to your own will. Formerly, one

might guide you with a thread; now one cannot turn you with a cart rope.

You were glad to be admonished, or reproved; but that time is past. And

you now account a man your enemy because he tells you the truth. O let

each of you calmly consider this, and see if it be not your own picture!.21

15. Are you not equally hurt, with regard to your meekness? You had once

learned an excellent lesson of him that was meek as well as lowly in heart.

When you were reviled, you reviled not again. You did not return railing

for railing, but contrariwise blessing. Your love was not provoked, but

enabled you on all occasions to overcome evil with good. Is this your case

now? I am afraid, not. I fear you cannot; "hear all things" Alas, it may

rather be said, you can bear nothing; no injury, nor even affluent! How

quickly are you ruffled! How readily does that occur, What! to use me so!

What insolence is this! How did be dare to do it? I am not now what I was

once. Let him know, I am now able to defend myself." You mean, to

revenge yourself. And it is much, if you are not willing, as well as able; if

you do not take your fellow-servant by the throat.

16. And are you not hurt in your patience too? Does your love now

endure all things? "Do you still in patience possess your soul," as when

you first believed? O what a change is here! You have again learned to be

frequently out of humor. You are often fretful; you feel, nay, and give way

to, peevishness. You find abundance of things go so cross, that you cannot

tell how to bear them.

Many years ago I was sitting, with a gentleman in London, who feared

God greatly, and generally gave away, year by year, nine tenths of his

yearly income. A servant came in and threw some coals on the fire. A puff

of smoke came out. The baronet threw himself back in his chair and cried

out, "O Mr. Wesley, these are the crosses I meet with daily!" Would he

not have been less impatient, if he had had fifty, instead of five thousand,

pounds a year?

17. But to return are not you who have been successful in your endeavors

to increase in substance, insensibly sunk into softness of mind, if not of

body too? You no longer rejoice to "endure hardship as good soldiers of

Jesus Christ." You no longer "rush into the kingdom of heaven, and take it

as by storm." You do not cheerfully and gladly "deny yourselves, and take

up your cross daily?" You cannot deny yourself the poor pleasure of a

little sleep, or of a soft bed, in order to hear the word that is able to save

your souls! Indeed, you cannot go out so early in the morning; besides it is

dark, nay, cold, perhaps rainy too. Cold, darkness, rain, all these together,

— I can never think of it." You did not say so when you were a poor man..22

You then regarded none of these things. It is the change of circumstances

which has occasioned this melancholy change in your body and mind you

are but the shadow of what you were! What have riches done for you?

"But it cannot be expected I should do as I have done. For I am now

grown old." Am not I grown old as well as you? Am not I in my

seventy-eighth year? Not, by the grace of God, I do not slack my pace

yet. Neither would you, if you were a poor man still.

18. You are so deeply hurt, that you have nigh lost your zeal for works of

mercy, as well as of piety. You once pushed on, through cold or rain, or

whatever cross lay in your way, to see the poor, the sick, the distressed.

You went about doing good, and found out those who were not able to

find you. You cheerfully crept down into their cellars, and climbed up into

their garrets,

To supply all their wants,

And spend and be spent in assisting his saints.

You found out every scene of human misery, and assisted according to

your power:

Each form of woe your generous pity moved;

Your Savior’s face you saw, and, seeing, loved.

Do you now tread in the same steps? What hinders? Do you fear spoiling

your silken coat? Or is there another lion in the way? Are you afraid of

catching vermin? And are you not afraid lest the roaring lion should catch

you? Are you not afraid of Him that hath said, "Inasmuch as ye have not

done it unto the least of these, ye have not done it unto me?" What will

follow? "Depart, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and

his angels!"

19. In time past, how mindful were you of that word, "Thou shalt, not

hate thy brother in thy heart: Thou shalt in anywise reprove thy brother,

and not suffer sin upon him!" You did reprove, directly or indirectly, all

those that sinned in your sight. And happy consequences quickly

followed. How good was a word spoken in season! It was often as an

arrow from the hand of a giant. Many a heart was pierced. Many of the

stout-hearted, who scorned to hear a sermon,.23

Fell down before his cross subdued,

And felt his arrows dipt in blood.

But which of you now has that compassion for the ignorant, and for them

that are out of the way? They may wander on for you, and plunge into the

lake of fire, without let or hindrance. Gold hath steeled your hearts. You

have something else to do.

Unhelp’d, unpitied let the wretches fall.

20. Thus have I given you, O ye gainers, lovers, possessors of riches, one

more (it may be the last) warning. O that it may not be in vain! May God

write it upon all your hearts! Though "it is easier for a camel to go through

the eve of a needle than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of

heaven," yet the things impossible with men are possible with God. Lord,

speak! and even the rich men that hear these words shall enter thy

kingdom, shall "take the kingdom of heaven by violence," shall "sell all for

the pearl of great price:" shall be "crucified to the world, and count all

things dung, that they may win Christ!"