XXXVII. The Trials of Prosperity.

MARK iv. 18.
“The deceitfulness of riches.”

WE all know the trials of adversity. Let us endeavour
to point out some of the dangers which are peculiarly in-
cident to a state of worldly prosperity.
I. The growing occupation of time is one of the most
serious of these dangers. To make a fortune one must
rise early and sit up late. Now if the business of grace is
to be transacted between God and the soul, there must
be time for it. When we begin to be fairly floated on the
great stream of success, that is the time to watch and
pray.
II. If the time be abridged, and other objects fill the
heart, is it not evident that when the time comes the
inclination and spiritual taste for religion may be much
abated?
III. The third danger is the increase of pride. We are
all liable to the encouragement of this bad and foolish prin-
ciple in all stages of life; but the pride of worldly substance
is perhaps the most dangerous, the most shallow, and the
most insidious of all, and is peculiarly offensive to God.
IV. Another danger is that of self-indulgence, an easy,
soft, luxurious temper.
V. Worldly success has a tendency to lead to a thoroughly
worldly life, from which the spiritual is to a great extent
excluded.
Alexander Raleigh, D.D.