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Covetousness Produced by Natural Affection

Covetousness Produced by Natural Affection

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Published by glennpease

Luke xiv. 26.

If any man conu to me, and hate not his father , and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple,

Luke xiv. 26.

If any man conu to me, and hate not his father , and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple,

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Published by: glennpease on Oct 02, 2013
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COVETOUSNESS PRODUCED BY NATURAL AFFECTION.BY EDWARD IRVINGLuke xiv. 26.If any man conu to me, and hate not his father , and mother, and wife,and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, hecannot be my disciple,npHE avenue to covetousness which Satan finds throughour best and strongest natural affections — ^that is, thetemptation to which men are liable of being betrayed, out of duty to their wives and children, into worldly schemes anddesires, and a coveting of worldly riches — ^is a subject so deli-cately entwined with the best affections of the natural man,and so sanctioned by the most approved and venerablemaxims of wisdom, that I hardly know in what way to ap-proach it with the liberty of a Christian minister, or to treat itaccording to its actual demerit when measured by the stand-ard of the word of God ; and therefore I set out by solemnlydeclaring that the Lord regardeth every man, in the firstplace, as the guardian under providence of his own life, andwhile he prays in simplicity, "Give me this day my dailybread," the Lord requireth of him industriously to occupy histalents, and strength, and time, and means to procure thatdaily sustenance which he besought, the Christian rule beingshort and strict, " If a man will not work, neither should heeat;" in the second place, as the guardian and supporter of his wife, not from any refinement of sentiment concerning theweaker sex, but from the fearful sanction of the primevalcurse, which made this partition of the sorrowful burden — toman that he should labour the earth with the sweat of hisbrow, to woman that she should cleave unto her husband, andDigitized by VjOOQ IC
COVETOUSNESS FROM AFFECTION. 445reverently own his authority, and bear the sorrows of concep-tion and child-birth with all their consequent cares. Where-fore we regard it as the calling of man to labour the earth andits productions, and bring forth from them nourishment forhis wife not less than for himself; so to exercise his superiorstrength and his superior understanding, and so also to attem-per, by bountiful and liberal gifts, the sovereignty which Godhath endued him with withal, as it is written in the 104thPsalm — " Man goeth forth unto his work and to his labouruntil the evening." And, in the third place, with respect tothe children, the immortal souls whom God may give them.He doth regard them as responsible in so solemn a way thatit is written, " If any man provide not for his own, especiallythey of his own household, he hath denied the faith, and isworse than an infidel." And lest words and commandmentsand statutes, however much repeated, might prove insufficientto express the whole of this vast obligation of the parent tothe child, the Lord hath, in the sacrament of baptism, signi-fied that a child is His own special charge, property, andpossession, with the care of which He invests a father andmother, holding them sponsors for the supply not only of material but of spiritual aliment, the father being to all intentsand purposes as much bound to nurse the mind and will of the child as the mother is to nurse his body. Yea, and with-out separating the charge of father and mother, both arebound in all spiritual penalties to train up their little ones inthe nurture and admonition of the Lord. Wherefore theLord hath in the fifth commandment enjoined upon childrenby all penalties that they should not only acknowledge buthonour this authority of their parents, whereof Christ gave usthe example. And furthermore, we assert that these officesof a man to his wife and' to his children, this well-orderedconstitution of the family, hath nowhere been seen in thisworld in that loveliness and beauty in which the gospel hathproduced it, — man being everywhere, except in Christendom,a tyrant, woman a slave, and children at the best regarded
only with an animal affection, and often made an object of traffic, and often exposed to premature death. Nay more, inChristendom itself the purity and love and mutual attach-Digitized by VjOOQ IC446 MISCELLANEOUS DISCOURSES.ment of families will be found to be in proportion to thediffusion of the light of the gospel.Now, dearly-beloved brethren, it will be found to be a con-stant rule that, according as any doctrine of the gospel is moreprominent than another in the scheme of salvation, and accord-ing as any principle is more prominent in the system of Christian duty, Satan doth pervert the one and the other withthe more cunning artifice. They are the strongholds of truthof which he seeks to possess himself. They are the disguiseswhich he assumes when he would appear as an angel of light.For example, in doctrine there are no two points against whichhe rageth so violently as these two, the doctrines of electionaccording to grace, and of justification by faith, — the twopillars of the Church. And I do not believe there is any dutywhich he converts to his own worldly ends so much as this,the strongest, of providing for ourselves, for our wives, and forour children. I take you to witness this day, who now hear me,if it be not so, that the cares and concerns of this world haveeither completely involved your souls, or are daily striving todo so by this very consideration of providing for yourselvesand those of your own household. It is so natural, it is sohonourable, it is so Christian, that Satan propounds it continu-ally in our ear as he did Scripture to our Lord in His severaltemptations ; and under this covert he introduces covetous-ness. It is first for daily bread, and to provide things honestin the sight of all men ; but after a while, it becomes in orderto keep our rank and appearance in the world ; and after a

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