Tuesday, July 2, 2013

The Puritans on Riches

Over the past several months, I have been working my way through A Puritan Golden Treasury. It is a collection of Puritan quotes that have captured my heart. The way these men think about issues we still face today deeply impacts my heart. I find myself wishing I would spend as much time thinking deeply on subjects like these.

As I read their thoughts, I am trying to pick out a different topic each week to share a few golden nuggets. I have already shared thoughts on Unity, Idleness, Excess, Parenting, the Church, Eternity, and Emotion. Today, I wanted to share a few of their thoughts on the topic Riches

As you know, we are in a constant rat race to see who can accumulate the most things in life. The world is in the pursuit of riches. We work more hours so we can buy more toys or do more things with our kids. We overspend our money so we can keep up with our neighbors. But riches themselves are not evil. It is the love of these riches that produce all sorts of evil in our life. They can be very dangerous. The Puritans thought deeply about this subject and these quotes impact me. I hope they might impact you as well.
"Riches may leave us while we live; we must leave them when we die." (Thomas Fuller) 
"When a man is to travel into a far country. . . . one staff in his hand may comfortably support him, but a bundle of staves would be troublesome. Thus a competency of these outward things may happily help us in the way to heaven, whereas abundance may be hurtful." (Richard Sibbes) 
"Solomon got more hurt by his wealth, than he got good by his wisdom." (Thomas Brooks) 
"As sick men used to love health better than those that never felt the want of it; so it is too common with poor men to love riches better than the rich that never needed. And yet, poor souls, they deceive themselves, and cry out against the rich, as if they were the only lovers of the world, when they love it more themselves though they cannot get it." (Richard Baxter) 
"It is hard to carry a full cup without spilling, and a full estate without sinning." (Thomas Watson)

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