By William Law
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For as all waste and unreasonable expense is done designedly, and with deliberation, so no one can be guilty of it, whose constant intention is to please God in the use of his money. I have chosen to explain this matter, by appealing to this intention, because it makes the case so plain, and because every one that has a mind may see it in the clearest light, and feel it in the strongest manner, only by looking into his own heart. For it is as easy for every person to know whether he intends to please God in all his actions, as for any servant to know whether this be his intention towards his master.
I have the authority of our blessed Saviour for this remark, where he says, " Take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or Wherewithal shall we be clothed? "(Matt. 6:31,32) But if to be thus affected even with the necessary things of this life, shows that we are not yet of a Christian spirit, but are like the Heathens, surely to enjoy the vanity and folly of the world as they did, to be like them in the main chief tempers of our lives, in self-love and indulgence, in sensual pleasures and diversions, in the vanity of dress, the love of show and greatness, or any other gaudy distinctions of fortune, is a much greater sign of an Heathen temper.
Why do you not think it as dangerous for you to live in such defects as are in your power to amend, as 'tis dangerous for a common swearer to live in the breach of that duty which it is in his power to observe? Is not negligence and a want of a sincere intention as blamable in one case as in another? You, it may be, are as far from Christian perfection as the common swearer is from keeping the third commandment; are you not therefore as much condemned by the doctrines of the gospel as the swearer is by the third commandment?