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And if they do not follow him in this world, they will not follow him in the next; or be received by him into everlasting habitations.

And now to God, &c.


ST. MATTHEW Xix. 23.

Then said Jesus unto his disciples, Verily I say unto you, That a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven.

As soon as the young man, of whom I discoursed to you in my last lecture, had left our Saviour, our blessed Lord turned round, and said to his disciples, "Verily I I say unto you, that a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven." And again, "I say unto you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God." Our Saviour means in this place, that it was very difficult-though not impossible for a rich man to become a Chris

tian in those times and to be saved. A camel is a very large animal, and of course cannot go through the eye of a needle. Now what made this so difficult a thing? In those days, people, who believed in Christ, were very badly treated, had a great many enemies who hated them because they were Christians, lost their goods and their riches in consequence of their belief in Christ, and were otherwise so used by the world, that one of the apostles says of himself and his fellow Christians, "If in this life only we have hope in Christ; " if there is no other world to make us amends for our sufferings here, "we, Christians, are of all men the most miserable." Now, you know how natural it is for rich men to love their riches, how unwillingly to part with them; and therefore, rather than lose them for Christ's sake, they would refuse to believe in him. Besides, people in those days, who were Christians, had a great many hardships to bear, were forced to suffer many evils and afflictions, and to

give up their ease and their enjoyments for Christ's sake. Now as rich men loved their ease and their good things as much in those days, as they do in these, they would not like to give them up for Christ, and therefore would not be Christians. It was all this, my friends, which made our Saviour speak as he did about the rich.

But now what is there in these days to prevent people from being Christians, and from behaving like Christians. No body will take your life for being a Christian. Nobody, I suppose, will take the smallest thing belonging to you, because you are a Christian. Good people, that is, sincere, well-disposed Christians, will rather encourage you to be so. And yet you see the old leaven working still, and many, too many, among you not willing to enter the kingdom of God. Their riches do not prevent them, it is true: perhaps, they are poor slaves. But yet they are so wedded to this world, that they cannot

think of the next; they are so anxious about their pence and farthings, and how to gain a little pelf by trafficking, that they cannot find time to come, and hear the word of God. Can you be surprised that rich men, in our Saviour's time, would not enter into the kingdom of God, that is, become Christians, because it was likely to cost them their riches and their lives, when you find a poor slave, who ought to look for his happiness in another world (and he cannot look for it, if he is not a Christian) yet treating with contempt and slighting the opportunity given to him of believing and being saved.

The truth is, that although you may have but little of this world's goods, you may be as fond of that little as the richest can be of their riches. Pence and farthings may appear as important to you, as pounds and shillings may do to them. You may think as much about your little property and your lesser gains, be as anxious to add

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