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Charles Spurgeon's Illustration Collection
Wealth: Involves Danger
It was as much as we could do to keep our feet upon the splendid mosaic floor of the Palace Giovanelli, at Venice: we found no such difficulty in the cottage of the poor glassblower in the rear. Is it one of the advantages of wealth to have one's abode polished till all comfort vanishes, and the very floor is as smooth and dangerous as a sheet of ice, or is this merely an accidental circumstance typical of the dangers of abundance? Observation shows us that there is a fascination in wealth which renders it extremely difficult for the possessors of it to maintain their equilibrium; and this is more especially the case where money is suddenly acquired; then, unless grace prevent, pride, affectation, and other mean vices stupify the brain with their sickening fumes, and he who was respectable in poverty., becomes despicable in prosperity. Pride may lurk under a threadbare cloak, but it prefers the comely broadcloth of the merchant's coat: moths will eat any of our garments, but they seem to fly first to the costly furs. It is so much the easier for men to fall when walking on wealth's sea of glass, because all men aid them to do so. Flatterers haunt not cottages: the poor may hear an honest word from his neighbor, but etiquette forbids that the rich man should enjoy the like privilege; for is it not a maxim in Babylon, that rich men have no faults, or only such as their money, like charity, covereth with a mantle? What man can help slipping when every body is intent upon greasing his ways, so that the smallest chance of standing may be denied him? The world's proverb is, 'God help the poor, for the rich can help themselves;' but to our mind, it is just the rich who have most need of heaven's help. Dives in scarlet is worse off than Lazarus in rags, unless divine love shall uphold him.
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Spurgeon, Charles. Entry for 'Wealth: Involves Danger'. Charles Spurgeon's Illustration Collection. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/eng/fff/w/wealth-involves-danger.html. 1870.
Second Sunday after Epiphany