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MATTH. vi. 21. For where your Treasure is, there will your Heart be
S Man is naturally a Creature of great Want and Weakness, fo he does as naturally carry a moft intimate, and infeparable Sense of that Want and Weakness about him: And because a State of Want must needs be also a State of Vnea
finefs, there is nothing, which Naturè puts a Man, with fo much Force and Earneftnefs upon, as to attempt a Supply and Relief of the Wants which he is fo fenfible of, and so incommoded by. Infomuch that the whole Course of his Actings, from first to last, proceeds in this Method; Firft. That every Action which a Man does, is in order to his compassing or obtaining to himself fome Good thereby. And Secondly. That he endeavours to compass or obtain this Good, because he defires it. And Thirdly and Laftly. That he defires it, because he wants it, or at leaft thinks, that he does fo. So that the first Spring, which fets all the Wheels and Facul ties of the Soul agoing, is, a Man's Apprehenfion of fome Good wanting to complete the Happiness of his Condition.
But, as every Good is not in the fame Degree contributive to this Happiness, so neither is it in the fame Degree defirable: And therefore, fince Want (as we have noted) is still the Meafure, as well as Ground of Defire ; that which anfwers all the Wants, and fills all the Vacuities of a Rational Nature, muft needs be the full and ultimate Object of its Defires. And this was called by the Philofophers, Man's Summum Bonum; and here, by
by our Saviour, Man's Treafure; both Expreffions importing a Good, fo comprehenfively Great and Equal to all the Appetites of Nature, that the Prefence and Poffeffion of this alone renders a Man happy, and the Want or Absence of it miferable. Upon which Account, though it be impossible, that this prime or chief Good fhould admit of any Plurality, fo as to be really more than one, yet in regard Men take it in by their Apprehenfions, which are fo exceedingly subject to Error and Deception, even in their highest Concerns, and fince Error is various, and indeed infinite; hence it is, that this Treafure, or Summum Bonum falls under a very great Multiplicity: This Man propofing to himfelf one Thing, and that Man another, and a third something else for his chief Good; and that, from which alone he expects all that Happiness and Satisfaction, which the Condition of his Nature renders him either capable or defirous of.
Now the Words of the Text may be confidered two Ways.
I. As they are an entire Propofition in themselves. And
II. As they are an Argument relating to, and enforcing of a foregoing Precept, in the 19th and 20th Verses: And accordingly, in the Profecution of them, we fhall take in both Confiderations.
I. And If we take them, as they are an entire Propofition in themselves, fo they offer us these two Things.
1. Something fuppofed, which is, that every Man has fomething or other, which he accounts his Treafure, or chief Good. And
2. Something expreffly declared, namely, That what foever a Man accounts his Treafure, or chief Good, upon that he places his Heart, his whole Defires and Affections. And
1. For the Thing fuppofed, or implyed in the Words; to wit, That every Man bas fomething or other, which he accounts his Treasure, or chief Good. The Truth and Certainty of which Propofition will appear 3 founded upon these two Things.
(1.) The Activity of Man's Mind. (2.) The Method of his Acting. And (1.) For the first of these. The Mind of Man is of that fpirituous, ftirring Nature,
that it is perpetually at Work. Something it is still in Pursuit of, either by Contemplation or Defire: The Foundation of which latter, I fhew, was Want; and confequently, as Man will be always wanting fomething or other, fo he will be always fending forth his Defires to hunt after, and bring that Thing in which he wants: Which is fo true, that some Men having compaffed the greatest and nobleft Objects of their Defires, (so that Defire could no longer afcend, as being already at the Top) they have betook themselves to inferiour and ignoble Exercises; fo that amongst the Roman Emperors, (then Lords of a great Part of the World) we find Nero at his Harp, Domitian killing Flies, and Commodus playing the Fencer; and all this only to busy themselves fome Way or other: Nothing being fo grievous and tedious to Humane Nature, as perfect Idleness.
But now, there is not any Thing (though never fo mean and trivial) which a Man does, but he antecedently defigns himself fome Satisfaction by the doing of it; fo that he advances to every Action, as to a Degree of Happiness, as to fomething, which, according to its Meafure and Proportion, will gratify or pleafe him, and without which, hẹ