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SERMON. THE PROFITABLENESS OP GODLINESS. 1 Tim. IV., 8. BUT
GODLINESS IS PROFITABLE FOR ALL THINGS. PROFIT, MAN'S CHIEF OBJECT.
How generally men, with most unanimous consent, are devoted to
profit, as to the immediate scope of their designs and aim of their
doings, if with the slightest attention we view what is acted upon
this theatre of human affairs, we cannot but discern. All that we
see men so very serious and industrious about, which we call
business; that which they trudge for in the streets, whichthey work
or wait for in the shops, which they meet and crowd for at the
exchange, which they sue for in the hall, and solicit for at the
Court, which they plough and dig for, which they march and fight
for in the field, which they travel for on land, and sail for
(among rocks and storms) upon the sea, which they plod for in the
closet, and dispute for in the schools (yea, may we not add, which
they frequently pray for and preach for in the Church ?) what is it
but profit ? Is it not this apparently, for which men so eagerly
contest and quarrel, so bitterly envy and emulate, so fiercely
clamour and inveigh, so cunningly supplant and undermine one
another; which stufleth their hearts with mutual hatred and spite,
which tippeth their tongues with slander and reproach, which often
embueth their hands with blood and slaughter; for which they expose
their lives and limbs to danger, for which they undergo grievous
toils and drudgeries, for which they distract their mind with
cares, and pierce their heart with sorrows; to which they sacrifice
their present ease and content; yea, to which commonly they
prostitute their honour and conscience ? This, if you mark it, is
the great mistress, which is with so passionate rivality everywhere
wooed and courted; this is the common mar...
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