Hopkins - HP BR75 .H65 1710

16 The Vanity of the World. Pral.6;·3· be mentioned wi~h ~he Love ~nd_ Favour of God, which is bttur tlum Life it felf. And therefore the Pft.tlmift makes lt hts prayer, Pf.4.6. Lord, lift thou up the Light ofthyCmntmance upon UJ: Thou haft put gladnefs ;n my heart, more than in the time their O:Jrn and W:ne encreafed. The Joy of the World refembles a Torrent: As upon a glut of Rain, you fh,ll have a Torrent come rolling along with Noife and Violence, overflowing its Banks, and b~ring all befor7 it; yet it is b~t muddy and i~pure~ater, and 'tis foon gon and dned up. Such IS all the Joy this World can yve; It makes a great noife 'tis commonly immoderate and fwells beyond its due bounds, yet 'tis but a muddy and impure Joy, it foon rolls away, and leaves nothing behind hut a drousht in the Soul. Now fince the World's Joy is but fi1ch a poor empty thing as this, 1t is moll: grofs folly for us to lay 011t our bell Love upon that which cannot repay us with the belt Joy. . .. 2. Secondly_; If t~e World be ~hus vam, what folly IS lt to lay out our moft ferions Cares and Contnvances upon 1t! The Cares of worldly Men are moft abfi1rd and irp rational. Ask them why they care? they will tell you it is that they may live wirhp out Care: and yet the more they get, the more do their G:~res fwarm and encrcafe about them. To what pur_pofe do they thus. difquiet the~fclves? They were as good make Nets to catch the Wmd, as lay Plots either to obtam, or fccure a World, \'Vhich is fo flippery, and fo full ofDifappointments, that neither they who have it, are fure of keeping it; nor they who have it not, of getting it. We may obfcrvc a kind of coynefs in the World; Thofe who court it mofr, and purfue it clofeft, oftptime!i m ifs of their Defigns, becaufe they overaa them. And it is commonly feen, that thofe who (as we ufe to fay) have many Irons in the Fire, get nothing thereby, but only the burning of their own Fingers. 'Tis true, there is a prudential and providential Cafe, that is fa f.1r fi-om be ing chargeable with folly, that it is ncceJTary, :1nd a great part of our Duty, not only as t 1Tim. 5. we are Men, but as we are-{- Chriftians. And this pr.udential Care is,. when we do B. what !Jwfully We may, to procure the Comforts of Life; and then wtth all Q!Iiernefs and Indifferency, fubmit the fbccefs to God. This is a Care of Diligence. But that which is jufl:ly branded with folly, is a Care of Diffidence, which is alwa ys accomp:mied with Torment, Fears and Difl:ratl:ions about the Succefs and Hfuc, and mofl: unreafonably vexeth tis, for what is not in our power to determine. Such a Care as this ufi.trps upon God. And certainly it is no lefs a Fault to invade God's part tha~ to !legl~tl: our own; and a like Foll.y. ~he right ~empcr.a Ch~ifri.:m Jhould obferve m procunngany worldly Comfort, ts to rntereft hts Judgment m the choice of Means, but to keep his Atreaions dilintercfted and unconcern'd in the Evene. But when we are anxious how our Defigns will fucceed, we make it a Torment to us in getting, before we can make it a Comfort to_us in enjoying. . . . To what purpofe then daft thou, 0 worldhng, rack thy Brams wtth Contnvanccs how to fill thy baggs with Treafi1re, how to empty them ~utwithAdvantage? Whe~ tho11 haft added Heap to Heap; of all thy ftore thou CllJOyeft no more, than what thou c::ttefr, or drinkeft, or wearcft: And of this too ~hou enjoycft no more than will juft fi.lfficc to fatisfie thy Hunger, to q~ench thy !htrft, and to fence ofrthe Injuries of the \1\Tcather: All the refr turns either to Dtfeafes or Burthens. True Rea- . fon will teach us to chufe our Eftates as we would do our* Gar- ,,;,.~:~~;~:;1~~~;;~;:;/t::5~: ments, not thofe which ~re largeft, but thofe ~vhich are fitteft for quippt ttiam (IJ fi 11Q11 zejllf~<r, m. V aft and over-ftowmg Eftates are ?ut like huge. cnormons &triJhtJtur, 1:ihilo minKs quam Rllddcrs, that rather ferve to fink the Ship, than freer It: Their l1uinfA: pr.etm~m'. impt1i> & Abundance is ufelefs, and their Excefs dangerous. To what end ';i~~':,~",;;IJ ~:,';;/" :;;;~:,~ therefore is all our care and. carkin-g, all on.r pcq~Ie:ing and foli.ci1,11, m~d(rlflionem fi.perg•etht~<r taus Thoughts, th?fe parchmg and confummg DifttaaiOns, wh1ch flltri p111'UJ qtwn ~tfui exubm•:. can haften on nothmg but our own natural Decays 7 to what end Apul Apol. are they, unlefs it be to contradia our Saviour, and Jhew that we t Matt. 5· 36. have a Power to make our t black Hairs white? When we lay fi1btile and in~ricate Deligns, to obtain the things of this Wo:ld, we are but like Spiders~ that w1th a gre.lt deal of Art and Labour, weave a cunous Cobweb, only to catch Flies ; and poffibly fpend more of their Bowels in framing it~ than the Prey they catch can again repair. Yea, and it may be too, before the Prey be caught, both they and their Web arefwept down together, and trod in the Duft. So when we frame Defigns, to get any worldly Advantage, it is but taking a great deal of pains to