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Chap. XIV. like-minded, to live in temperance and moderation, as knowing the Lord is at hand. Sumptuous apparel, rich unguents, delicate wafhes, ftately furniture, coftly cookery, and fuch diverfions as balls, mafques, mufic-meetings, plays, romances, &c. which are the delight and entertainment of the times, belong not to the holy path that Jefus and his true difciples and followers trod to glory. No, Through many tribulations, fays none of the leaft of them, muft we enter into the kingdom of God. I do earnestly befeech the gay and luxurious, into whofe hands this difcourfe fhall be directed, to confider well the reafons and examples here advanced against their way of living; if happily they may come to see how remote it is from true Chriftianity, and how dangerous to their, eternal peace. God Almighty, by his grace, foften their hearts to inftruction, and fhed abroad his tender love in their fouls, that they may be overcome to repentance, and to the love of the holy way of the cross of Jefus, the bleffed Redeemer of men. For they cannot think that he can be nefit them, while they refuse to lay down their fins for the love of him, that laid down his life for the love of them. Or that he will give them a place in heaven, that refuse him any in their hearts on earth. But let us examine luxury in all its parts.
S. II. Luxury has many parts, and the first that is forbidden by the self-denying Jefus, is the belly Take no thought, fays he to his dif
• Acts xiv. 22.
ciples, faying, What fhalt we eat, or what fhall we drink?-for after these things do the Gentiles feek: as if he had faid, The uncircumcifed, the Heathen, fuch as live without the true God, and make a god of their belly, whose care is to please their appetite, more than to feek God and his kingdom: you muft not do fo, but feek ye firft the kingdom of God, and his righteoufnefs, and all these things fhall be added unto you. That which is convenient for you, will follow: let every thing have its time and order.
This carries a ferious reprehenfion to the luxurious eater and drinker, who is taken up with an exceffive care of his palate and belly, what he fhall eat, and what he fhall drink: who being often at a lofs what to have next, therefore has an officer to invent, and a cook to drefs, difguife, and drown the species, that it may cheat the eye, look new and strange; and all to excite an appetite, or raise an admiration. To be fure there is great variety, and that curious and coftly; the fauce, it may be, dearer than the meat; and fo full is he fed, that without it he can fearce find out a ftomach; which is to force an hunger, rather than to fatisfy it.-And as he eats, fo he drinks; rarely for thirst, but pleasure; to pleafe his palate. For that purpose he will have divers forts, and he must taste them all: one, however good, is dull and tirefome; variety is more delightful than the beft; and therefore the whole world is little enough to ◆ Mat. vi. 31, 32.
fill his cellar. But were he temperate in his proportions, his variety might be imputed rather to curiofity than luxury. But what the temperate man ufes as a cordial, he drinks by full draughts, till inflamed by excefs, he is fitted to be an inftrument of mischief, if not to others, always to himfelf; whom perhaps at laft he knows not; for fuch brutality are fome come to, they will fip themselves out of their own knowledge. This is the luft of the flesh, that is not of the Father, but of the world: for upon this comes in the mufic and dance, and mirth, and the laughter, which is madnefs; that the noife of one pleasure may drown the iniquity of another, left his own heart fhould deal too plainly with him. Thus the luxurious live; they forget God, they regard not the afflicted. O that the fons and daughters of men would confider their wantonnefs and their iniquity in these things! How ill do they requite the goodness of God in the use and abuse of the plenty he yields them? How cruel are they to his creatures, how lavish of their lives and virtue, how thanklefs for them; forgetting the Giver, and abufing the gift of their lufts; and defpifing counfel, and cafting inftruction behind them? They lofe tenderness, and forget duty, being fwallowed up of voluptuoufnefs; adding one excefs to another. God rebuked this fin in the Jews by the prophet Amos: Ye that put far away the evil day, and cause the feat of violence to come near; that lie upon beds of ivory, and
Eccl. ii. 2.
ftretch themselves upon their couches, and eat the lambs out of the flock, and the calves out of the ftall; that chant to the found of the viol, and invent to themselves inftruments of mufic, like David; that drink wine in bowls, and anoint themselves with the chief ointments; but they are not grieved for the affliction of Jofeph.-Thefe, it seems, were the vices of the degenerate Jews, under all their pretence to religion; and are they not of Christians at " this day? Yea, they are, and these are the great parts of luxury ftruck at in this discourse. Remember the rich man, with all his fumptuous fare, went to hell: and the apostle pronounces heavy woes upon thofe whofe god is their belly for fuch glory in their fhame.
Chrift places these things to the courts of worldly kings, not his kingdom; making them unfeemly in his followers: his feast therefore, to the multitude, which was his miracle, was plain and fimple; enough, but without curiofity, or the art of cookery: and it went down well, for they were hungry; the best and fittest time to eat. And the apostle, in his directions to his much-beloved Timothy, debafes the lovers of worldly fulnefs; advifing him to godlinefs and content, as the chiefest gain: adding, and having food and raiment, let us therewith be content. Behold the abstemious, and moft contented life of thofe royal pilgrims, the fons of heaven, and immortal offspring of the great power of God; they were in fafts and perils often, and eat what was fet before Amos vi. 3, 4, 5, 6. Phil. iii. 19. f 1 Tim. vi. 6. 8.
them; and in all conditions learned to be contented. O bleffed men! O bleffed fpirits! Let my foul dwell with yours for ever.
§. III. But the diseases which luxury begets and nourishes, make it an enemy to mankind: for befides the mifchief it brings to the fouls of people, it undermines health, and fhortens the life of man, in that it gives but ill nourishment, and fo leaves and feeds corrupt humours, whereby the body becomes rank and foul, lazy and fcorbutic; unfit for exercise, and more for honeft labour. The fpirits being thus loaded with ill flesh, and the mind effeminated, a man is made unactive, and fo unufeful in civil fociety; for idleness follows luxury, as well as diseases. These are the burdens of the world, devourers of good things, felf-lovers, and fo forgetters of God: but, which is fad, and yet juft, the end of those that forget God, is to be turned into hell."
§. IV. But there is another part of luxury, which has great place with vain man and woman, and that is the gorgeousness of apparel, one of the foolishest, because most costly, empty, and unprofitable excefs people can well be guilty of. We are taught by the fcriptures of truth to believe, that fin brought the first coat; and if confent of writers be of force, it was as well without as within: to those that fo believe, I direct my difcourfe, because they, I am fure, are the generality. I fay, if fin brought the first coat, poor Adam's offspring have little reafon to be proud or curious in their clothes;
Pfalm ix. 19.
Gen. iii. 21.