Quest. But why are these things called their own?
Answ. Not because they are so properly, for there is no∣thing truly ours but our sinnes. Our health, wealth, riches and honours are not ours, but Gods, Hag. 2. 8. The silver is mine, and the gold is mine, &c. Hos. 2. 9. My wood and my flax, &c. We are but Stewards of these things, and Stewards at the will and pleasure of the Lord. That is pro∣perly called our own, which we may keep as long as we please, and doe with it what we please, but we cannot doe so with our health, riches and honours, &c. For riches have wings and fly away from us whether we will or no, and so have honours, Page 3 and health, & therefore cannot be said to be our own properly, neither may we use them as we please, but according as God hath prescribed, therefore they are called another mans, and not our owne. L•k. 16. 12. We our selves are not our owne, 1 Cor. 6. 19. You are not your owne much lesse are these bodi∣ly comforts our own; but they are here so called, because men have a civill title to them, and because in the opinion of the world, they are their owne.
This is the positive and affirmative part of the offence, and it is of an high nature. For a Christian that believes the immor∣tality of his Soule, to seek his owne bodily promotion and in∣terest, and to neglect the profit and comfort of his eternall Soule: For a Christian that is elected and called to things heavenly and everlasting, to seek onely after things earthly, and temporary, this is a sinne of the superlative degree.
And it will appeare the greater, if we consider,
2. The Negative branch of the offence, And not the things of Jesus Christ. The things of Jesus Christ are the things of the Church of Christ, which are therefore called the things of Christ,
- 1. Because Christ is the Husband of the Church, and the things of the wife are the things of her husband.
- 2. Because Christ hath purchased them for us by his Death and Passion.
- 3. Because of the great love that Christ hath to his Church, which is so great, as that the Churches interest is his interest, and her injuries his injuries, Act. 9. 4.—
- 〈◊〉. They that neglect the things of the Church, neglect the things of Christ.