[Page 3]

THERE was certainly a critical time, when the world was entirely happy, and blessed with content; when there was no cheating, slandering, envying, nor robbing and plunder­ing one another, and consequently no gibbets, pillories, whipping posts, &c. Covetousness was not known in those days, but nature was liberal to all her sons, and gave a plentiful sub­sistence to every diligent hand: Men cropped the sweets of the earth, and had it for their pains; no Landlords then oppres'd their Tenants to fill their bags with wicked GOLD. Priests did not sell their Faith for Lucre▪ nor Maids their virginity for pride. No Son cut his Father's Throat to come at his bags; nor Mother bawd­ed for her Daughter, to share the reward. Such a time there was, but Historians have been so negligent as not to transmit it to these sinful Times: However, since we have the Liberty to guess, I shall build upon a very strong Presump­tion, that it was before the invention of MON­EY; and it has puzzled some great Philosophers to find out, whether it has not destroyed more People in the other World, than Gunpowder has done in this. As soon as this wicked Mammon sprung up among Men they left their Maker's Image to worship Cesar's; then sprung up Cor­ruptions in the world, and the dark Seeds of co­vetousness, Usury, Extortion, Cheating and Knavery began to grow apace. Here was one cutting his neighbour's Throat for being richer than himself; and another selling his soul that he [Page 4] may be richer than his Neighbour. Justice was bought and sold like a pig in a market, the grea­test bidder went away with it. Money made a man righteous, and poverty made him a rogue: the sin-offering of the poor was despised, but the fat sacrifice of the rich perfumed it with the in­cense of the altar. The temple became the priest's shop, where religion was sold by retail; according to the laudable expression of a famous author:

Natural religion easy was and plain,
[...] made it fabulous, Priests made it gain;
And next the sacrifices were prepar'd,
The priests eat roast meat, and the people starv'd.

Money was both religion and laws, no penny, no pater-noster; no money, no justice; a bad cause with a big purse, was sure to carry it from a good cause and a light one; and to this day, if you have retained a council, 'tis a thousand to one but he forgets your face, if you dont give him a second token to remember you by. If covet­ousness be the root of all evil, 'tis money is the root of all covetousness. No sooner was Dei Gratia stampt upon these enticing metals, but people forgot it in their prayers, and paid all de­votion to mammon, wicked mammon. Selling and buying became so vehement among men, that for interest they sold one another; example, Jo­seph was sold by his brethren; Judas sold his master; the S—h sold their King; and how many Judas's of our age, have sold their contry! [Page 5] would you corrupt a man's honesty, or a wo­man's virtue, tempt them with money; 'tis a charm so strong, there is no withstanding it.—Would you have your neighbour's throat cut, money will do it. Would you lay with your neighbour's wife, money will introduce you.—'Tis the key to a statesman's breast, and lets out all its secrets; it will bring you to my lady's bed, and will keep my lord's mouth shut. 'Twill make the crooked strait, and the strait crooked. Let a woman have a good portion, and though she is as deformed as a crooked billet, she will go off, though others both beautiful and virtu­ous, for want of it, stick a hand.

Let a powdered coxcombly beau, with round shoulders, and a hatchet face, have a gilt chariot, and a fine equipage, the people shall presently spend their judgment, there goes a pretty Gentleman, though he is extremly like a dog in a doublet, or a hog in armour.—A man that has money, is qualified for any post, while his wiser and honester neighbours are neglected and despised for the want of it. In short, money is a bewitching thing, and they are mad that set there hearts upon it. Riches are a perplexed state; and a little with contentment, is better than all the wealth in the world. In my opinion, he was a happier man that sold his flesh to a jew, than the extorting infidel that bought it. Murder, whoredom, treason, felony, &c. are the offspring of satan; and money is the grand parent of them all. The usurer gets over his bags, and prays to this effect.

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O Satan! I this aid implore,
That thou would yet increase my store,
For much does always covet more.
Thou first invention of all coin,
Still let thy earthly blessing shine;
Give me but gold, and I am thine.
I crave no blessings mortals prate on,
My bags are what I most debate on,
Then rid but them, and take me Satan.

In the mean time his servants pray as heartily for food, and with his neck as long as his bags, for not keeping a better house; but 'tis no won­der he neglects their bodies, when the same rea­son makes him forget his own soul.

A rich man is a mere ship in the tempest, al­ways tossing and tumbling in the perplexity of his affairs, and if he chance to meet with some dire unexpected ill fortune, he sinks downright, and becomes miserable; he is always accompani­ed with fear and concern, and even in the calmest of his business is never truly contented; while a man in a moderate condition, that carries most of his wealth about him, enjoys himself with a thousand times the satisfaction. The careful father, like a true wise man, breaks his rest, dis­composes his mind, and makes his whole life uneasy; to get an estate for his son, who spends it like a fool as soon as he is dead.

Were money a blessing, the Jews would nev­er be so universally rich; and he that sits with a piece of bread and cheese, and content, under a hedge, may be a happier man, than he that re­vels [Page 7] in a palace; though there are a great many that are happy and don't know it, and a great many wretched and won't believe it.

There is a poet which says,

That women and silver in one age were born.

I thought it could never come without bring­ing another plague with it: or if it did not come in with fornication, it has debauch'd many a strapping jade since. To sum up all the evils that money has been the occasion of, would swell to a volume. O money! thou art the D—l but the [...] on't is, thou dost not much haunt some sort of people.

Money is [...]
Men would [...];
That has [...] was understood,
More [...] do [...]e by half than good;
It has towns [...], and murder'd kings,
With many o [...]er wicked things;
It so [...] into pla [...]s got,
And turn'd the more deserving out;
For th [...] [...]rru [...]ting, wicked gold,
Whole fleets and armies have been sold,
Father and son has [...] st [...]fe,
And rais'd [...]ad stir [...] man and wife,
Made match [...] cursed [...],
And sometimes has reduc'd the godly;
So [...] the ills about it,
The [...] had better been without it.

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