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Charles Buck Theological Dictionary


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An unreasonable desire after that we have not, with a dissatisfaction with what we have. It may farther be considered as consisting in,

1. An anxious carking care about the things of this world.

2. A rapacity in getting.

3. Too frequently includes sinister and illegal ways of obtaining wealth.

4. A tenaciousness in keeping. It is a vice which marvellously prevails upon and insinuates into the heart of man, and for these reasons: it often bears a near resemblance to virtue; brings with it man plausible reasons; and raises a man to a state of reputation on account of his riches. "There cannot be, " as one observes, "a more unreasonable sin than this. It is unjust; only to covet, is to wish to be unjust. It is cruel: the covetous must harden themselves against a thousand plaintive voices. It is foolish: it destroys reputation, breaks the rest, unfits for the performance of duty, and is a contempt of God himself: it is unprecedented in all our examples of virtue mentioned in the Scripture. One, indeed, spoke unadvisedly with his lips; another cursed and swore; a third was in a passion; and a fourth committed adultery; but which of the saints ever lived in a habit of covetousness? Lastly, it is idolatry, Col.iii.

5. the idolatry of the heart; where, as in a temple, the miserable wretch excludes God, sets up gold instead of him, and places that confidence in it which belongs to the Great Supreme alone." Let those who live in the habitual practice of it consider the judgments that have been inflicted on such characters, Joshua 7:21 . Acts 5:1-42 :; the misery with which it is attended; the curse such persons are to society; the denunciations and cautions respecting it in the Holy Scripture; and how effectually it bars men from God, from happiness, and from heaven. Scott's Essays, 72, 73. South's Serm., vol. 4: ser. 1; Robinson's Mor. Exercises, ex. iv; Saurin's Serm., vol. 5: ser. 12. Eng. Trans.

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These files are public domain.
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Bibliography Information
Buck, Charles. Entry for 'Covetousness'. Charles Buck Theological Dictionary. 1802.

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