Hopkins - HP BR75 .H65 1710

The Vanity of the World. folly then are moll: Men guilty of in fetting fo high a price upen that which is of no worth nor fubftance? Tho' formerly we have been fo much deceived as to t:tke the World's Paint ::1nd Varnilh for true Beauty, and its glittering for fubftantial Treafiue; yet now fince the Cheat is difcovered, fine~ you have feen this falfe Pack opened, and nothing but c~unterfeit Wares c;>~ttuded upon you, Y?Ur folly will be jnexcufable, if :1fter Expenments and Admomttons you fuould contrtbnte any longer to your own Cheat, and fct a price upon things which you know to be vile and wonhlefs. The wife Man (as you have heard) fums up their whole ~alue, only in a great Cypher! afl:d a gr~at Blot, Vanity and V~xatfon. At what pru;:c would you rate Vanity, whrch IS nothmg? Or VexMion, whtch IS worfe than nothmg? And therefore our Saviour, Mark 4· 9· compares the things of this World to Thorns ; Somt jdl among Thorns: which Thorns he interprets to be the Cares o[ thiS World, and thtdtctitfulnefs of Riches, v. 19. Now, he were a mad Man, ~hat to afiwagc his Hunger, would attempt to fwallow a Bufh of Thorns. No lefs IS the madnefs and extream tally of moft Men, who to fatis_fic the eager Appetite of an hungry and indigen t Soul, g::tpe after the Thorns of thisWorld, and chew Thiftles; which inftead of yielding them either Grapes or Figs, will only ferve to pierce them through with innumerable Sorrows. A Man's Wifdom or Folly is commonly judged by the Bargains he makes. If he lay out that which is very precious, to purchafc what is of no worth, this we jufrly account a foolilh Bargain. If on the other hand, he purchafe that which is of great Price, with fomething little worth, we account it a wife and thriving Bargain. Now here we may fee the grofs folly of moft Men. Tho' they arc wife enough in bartering one part 0f the World for another; yet they !hew themfelves very Fools in purchaling any part of the World with that which is no part of it. The Scripture hath told us, That all that is in the World, is Honour, Pleafure or Profit. While we only traffick with t hefe for one another, we do not arnifs. The World is a proper price for it felf; and doubtlefs we may lawfully part with fome worldly Advantages to procure others. But then there arc other things which do not belong to the \\Torld under this Acception: Our Aftettions, our Confciences, our precious and immortal Souls. And thefe God hath given us to trade with for Heaven, and Eternal Glory. Now herein lies the folly of moft Men, that they pnrchafc the vile things of this World, with fuch anincftimable price, and extravagantly outbid themfetves to procure Trifles with that which might procure them eternal Happinefs. More particularly,; Firjf; Is it not extre::~m folly to lavifh our precious AffeCtions upon ·vile and vain 1 ~ Objcds? AffeCtions are the Wings of the Soul, without ,..,,hich the Soul it felf were but a dull and una8:ivc Carkafs. Thefe God bath given it, that it might be able to t~ke its flight to Heaven, and lodge it felf in his Bofom. Now how unworthy a thing is it, only to flutter to and fro upon the fitrface of the Earth, to clog and clatter thefe Wings with mire and dirt, which were at firft made to take fa high, and fo noble 3 flirht? * The Apoftlc hath commanded us to Jet our AffiUi.ons on thin,rs above, and ."lot on • Cot. 3 .:. things on the Earth. And indeed, there is great reafon for it. For the two choice AftCClions of the Soul are Love and 7oy. Now that is moft worthy our Love, that can return 3 Joy moft worthy of us. But the Joy that the World gives, is ufi.tally tumultuous, alway check'd with fame fecret annoy,and it ends with a dulnefs and damp 11 pOn the Spi ri ts. lt is but like the empty+ crackling t Ecclef. 7· 6 . Flamm~Jfip~­ of Thorns under a Pot, that for the prefent makes a great noife and liJtxor!"· _tlarQ erepitu,largofulblaze, but fi1~d~nly vanifheth. all away into Smoak. ':Nhereas an ~:~;~~ie~:,::J;:;;:!uC~~o;r;~~ heavcn~y qhnftu:l fc~ls fomettmes ~ponderous and weighty Joy, a IU rtliquJis. Apul. Apol. Joy fpnng1ng up 1nlus Sonl almoft mtolerablc, and altogether unutrera~le,, a Joy that melts him into ecftafies and rapture. How infinitely doth he then dtfdatn that any Soul fhould be fo wretchedly fottifh, as to prefer the World befo re, ?requa!ize i~ ~ith God! He thinks rh: Happi~efs he then enjoys fo great, that altho he. belteves It IS, yet he cannot concetve how It fhould be more, or greater in Heaven lt felf. T~en the So~! claps its Wings; it would f:tin take its flight, and be gon: It breaths, It pants, It reaches after God, and falls mto an Agony of Joy and Defire in~()nceivably mixt together. Can theWorld giveus any fuch over-powering Joy as thts? It may affi>rd us Corn and Wine, tho weak Recruits of a frail Life: but whentt bath emptied all itsStore and Abundance intaourBofoms,it is not worthy to be