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The Deceitfulness of Riches

The Deceitfulness of Riches

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Published by glennpease
BY EDWARD IRVING


I Tim. VI. 9, lo.

But they that will he rich fall into temptation^ and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destrtution and perdition. For the love of money is the root of all evil; which while some coveted after, they have erred from thefaithf and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.
BY EDWARD IRVING


I Tim. VI. 9, lo.

But they that will he rich fall into temptation^ and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destrtution and perdition. For the love of money is the root of all evil; which while some coveted after, they have erred from thefaithf and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.

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Published by: glennpease on Oct 02, 2013
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THE DECEITFULNESS OF RICHES.BY EDWARD IRVINGI Tim. VI. 9, lo.But they that will he rich fall into temptation^ and a snare, and intomany foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destrtution andperdition. For the love of money is the root of all evil; which while somecoveted after, they have erred from thefaithf and pierced themselvesthrough with many sorrows.TXT'E come now to discourse against the love and pursuitof riches, the mainspring of this age of the world inwhich we live, in which assuredly this evil passion hathreached a height which it never heretofore obtained in Chris-tendom, and perhaps nowhere obtained, except in PaganRome from the time of our Lord's birth until the destructionof Jerusalem, — a period rendered signal by the unboundedlicentiousness of men and the terrible judgments of God.Whenever I look upon human society, especially as it existsamongst ourselves, I find the same unhallowed thirst of gold,the same earnest devotion to obtain it by any and everymeans, the same profusion and waste in expending it, andthe same hungering after more. In the government of king-doms this spirit of profusion hath raged to such excess duringthe last thirty years, that uncounted debts weigh them like amillstone to the earth, yea, threaten to sink them in thedepths of the sea. The nobles of the land, saving a few,cannot reap from their broad domains wherewithal to keeptheir place in the gay concourse of extravagance and follywhich the spirit of the times annually assembleth to hold theirrevels in this our lordly city. Our noble merchants, whosehonest word was heretofore guarantee for untold treasures,who were the guardians of religion and liberty and civil orderin their several municipalities, have, by universal confession of 
 
Digitized by VjOOQ IC392 MISCELLANEOUS DISCOURSES.themselves, become speculators, gamblers, usurers, hasten-ing to be rich, and setting their heaits upon a fortune, whichheretofore would have contented ten or even a hundredhonourable men. Our tradesmen also, little contented withthe slow but sure increase of honest industry, and countinglittle upon the ancient dignity of a well-educated familyhonestly set out in the world, and the other noble offices of an honest and upright religion, have likewise caught the in-fection of the times, and set their heart upon a certain style,and even equipage, upon the luxuries of the table, and thevanities of dress, and the imitation of all the follies and ex-travagances of those above them. Nay, but the same spirithath seized the lowest classes of the people, who, within thelast thirty years, have been tried with such extremes of highand 6f low wages, and in both cases have manifested thesame spirit of the love of gain : in good times, by their ex-travagance and utter recklessness of the future, by theirenslaving to labour their yet immature children, and by allmanner of riot and wicked excess ; in bad times by theirconfederacies and combinations, and most violent proceedingsagainst their masters, whom it is their duty to honour and tothank, and against their brethren if they will not submit topartake in their outrageous violence. From the highest tothe lowest classes of society, there is a high and feverishpulse, arising from the inflamed passion of gain, which is soredispleasing to the Lord, which He hath rebuked by the chas-tisement of many months, which He hath sought to cure bydenying it its wonted nourishment, and which, if it be not .cured by the medicine of God's present dispensation, willweaken the strong constitution of this kingdom, and at lengthdestroy it' altogether.* For ii we consult the history of God*s judgments, we shall find that they always come upon a peoplefull of wealth, and luxury, and pride, and self-sufficiency.This was the case with Judah and Jerusalem, when Isaiah
 
prophesies against them speedy judgment : *' Their landis also full of silver and gold, neither is there any end of * This sermon was preached in the autumn of 1826, at the time of agreat com-mercial crisis.Digitized by VjOOQ ICTHE DECEITFULNESS OF RICHES, 393^heir treasures; their land is also full of horses, neither isthere any end of their chariots." And the luxury of Israel,before its utter destruction, is described throughout thewhole prophecy of Hosea and likewise of Amos ; as it iswritten, "That lie upon beds of ivory, and stretch them-selves upon their couches, and eat the lambs out of theflock, and the calves out of the midst of the stall ; thatchant to the sound of the viol, and invent to themselvesinstruments of music, like David ; that drink wine in bowls,and anoint themselves with the chief ointments : but theyare not grieved for the affliction of Joseph." Whereforesaith the Lord, " I will smite the winter-house with thesummer-house ; and the houses of ivory shall perish, and thegreat houses shall have an end." And it is prophesiedof the latter times, when the Lord shall come in judgmentupon the Gentiles, by the apostle James : " Go to now, yerich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall comeupon you. Your riches are corrupted, and your garmentsare moth-eaten. Your gold and silver is cankered ; and therust of them shall be a witness against you, and shall eatyour flesh as it were fire. Ye have heaped treasure to-gether for the last days. Behold, the hire of the labourerswho have reaped down your fields, which is of you keptback by fraud, crieth : and the cries of them which havereaped are entered into the ears of the Lord of sabaoth.

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