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and therefore ought most necessarily to have recourse to him for our salvation. As for us, beloved Christians, if we must needs rejoice, let us rejoice, let us rejoice in our infirmities ; let our glory be our shame, and let us lift up our eyes and behold, a Who is this that cometh from Edom, with dyed garments from Bozrah? this that is glorious in his apparel, travelling in the greatness of his strength ? And Christ will say, It is I that speak in righteousness, mighty to save. But, wherefore, Lord, art thou red in thine apparel, and thy garments like him that treadeth in the winefat? He will answer, I have trodden the winepress alone, and of the people there was none with me; for which reason I am now crowned with glory and honour, and immortality: I alone am mighty to save, and besides me there is none other.
67. And good luck have thou with thine honour, O Lord; ride on, because of thy word of truth, of meekness, and of righteousness; and thy right hand shall teach thee terrible things b; terrible things for the king's enemies, for them which would not have thee to rule over them. And good luck have we with thine honour, O Lord; ride on, because of thy word of truth, of meekness, and of righteousness; and thy right hand shall teach thee gracious and comfortable things for us thy servants, and sheep of thy pasture, who dare not exalt a weak arm of flesh against thee. Thy right hand shall mightily defend us in the midst of all our enemies. Thy right hand shall find us out, and gather us up, though lost and consumed in the grave; though scattered before the four winds of heaven: and, thy right hand shall exalt us to glory and immortality for ever with thee in thy heavenly kingdom, where all the days of our life, yea, all the days of thy glorious enda Isa. Ixiii. 1, 2.
b Psalm xlv. 4.
less life, we shall, with angels and archangels, say, Glory, and honour, and power, and immortality be unto him which sitteth on the throne, and to the Lamb, and to the Holy Spirit, for ever and for ever. Amen, Amen,
LUKE XVI. 9.
Make to yourselves friends of the mammon of unrighteous.
ness; that, when ye fail, they may receive you into ever
lasting habitations. THE children of this world, saith Christ, are wiser in their generation than the children of light. To make which good, our Saviour, in so much of the chapter as goes before my text, brings in a story, or, as they call it, a parable, of a cunning fellow, yet no great projector neither, no very subtile politician; notwithstanding, one who being in an extremity, turned out of his office for mispending his master's goods, had found out a shift, and that by mere cozenage, to procure so much as would serve to keep him, indeed not according to the port and fashion after which before he had lived, but only to maintain him in meat and drink, out of danger of starving, or, which was more fearful, because more full of trouble or dishonour, hard labour or begging
2. Surely it had been no hard matter for our Saviour, who knew all whatsoever was in man, to have discovered more subtile projects, plots of a finer and more curious contrivance than this fellow's; but this, it seems, would serve his turn well enough for the purpose for which he made use of it: and to say the truth, there cannot be imagined an example more exactly suiting, more closely applicable to his intent; which was, first, not to discredit and dishearten his followers, by com
paring and preferring the cunning of an ordinary fel. low, a mere bailiff, or steward, before that spiritual, heavenly wisdom, to which they pretend; nor, secondly, to instruct them by indirect and unwarrantable courses to provide for themselves hereafter; but chiefly this:
3. To teach us, by objecting to our view a man, who, by his own negligence and carelessness being brought to an extremity, (for there was no necessity he should be brought to these plunges; a little timely care and providence, even ordinary honesty, would easily have warranted and preserved him,) had upon the sudden found out a trick of his office, namely, by proceeding in his old courses of wasting his master's substance to the enriching of his fellowservants, and thereby gained their good-wills, that for the time following they might preserve him from perishing.
4. Our Saviour, I say, by this example, would teach us, that since God hath placed us here in this world as his stewards, has put into our hands his goods, his riches, to be dispensed for his use and advantage : and such stewards (we are) who have advantages infinitely more urgent and pressing us to an honest, faithful discharge of our office, than this man in the parable ever had: as first, we must of necessity fail and be cashiered of our office: all the power of heaven and earth cannot procure us a perpetuity in it: the case did not stand so with this man, for it was merely his own fault to deserve discarding; and besides, having deserved
: that censure, it was his misfortune too that his lord should come to the knowledge of it; for it is no impossible thing, that a steward should thrive by his lord's loss, and yet never be called to an account for it; and, secondly, upon our behaviour in this our office depends the everlasting welfare of our souls and bodies ; we shall for ever be disposed of, according to the honest or unfaithful discharge of our place: if ill, Lord, what shall become of us ? where shall we appear in that great day of account ? I dare not almost tell you the issue of it: but if we have carried ourselves as faithful servants; propose to yourselves your own conditions, give your thoughts license and scope to be excessive and overflowing in their desires ; if the whole extension and capacity of your thoughts be not satisfied and filled to the brim, with measure pressed down and running over, God himself (which is impossible to imagine) will prove a deceiving, unfaithful Master.
5. These things therefore considered, without question it doth infinitely concern us to consult and project what we mean to do with our riches; to what employment we intend to put those honours and that power which God hath conferred on us in this life : whether to receive them as our good things, to go away contented with them as our rewards, our final rewards, expecting no other good things from God after them; or, which is our Saviour's advice, use them as means and helps of attaining blessings above all conceivable proportion exceeding them; so dispensing and providently scattering them abroad, that against our time of need (which sooner or later will undoubtedly come) we may oblige to ourselves such friends, so gracious, and prevailing with our Master, who, either by their prayers and intercessions, or some other way which we know not, may procure for us admission into our Master's joys, to be no longer stewards and servants, but friends and sons: thus by the help and benefit of this mammon of unrighteousness in my text, these little things, even the least blessings that God has to bestow upon us, so called in