But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided? Luke 12: 20

The subject which I would like to discuss is the vanity of the world and all things here below, so that we can cease our vain pursuit of them and set our affections on things above. These alone are valuable and the only permanent and stable good.

Why is it that immortal souls can become so degenerate as to stake themselves down to perishing enjoyments? We should be soaring aloft with God on the wings of meditation and affection—and here we are groveling in the clay and muck of this world! We are like the serpent licking the dust of the earth!

Do we not degrade ourselves when we stoop to gain what is so vastly below us, and fling away our precious souls? Our souls are worth more than ten thousand worlds, and yet we seek to gain a small part of this one. The god of this world has blinded man's eyes and cast a strange mist before them, so that they cannot discern what is very evident: namely the instability and vanity of all earthly enjoyments.

Whatever God has made is good, but if it is considered the greatest good, it turns into vanity. It is vain to expect happiness and contentment from the world whose crosses are greater than its comforts.

Should the never-dying soul be neglected? Alas! Most busy themselves attempting to heap up temporal riches, while giving the soul worthless husks. Our Savior brands the rich man a fool when he stuffed his barns with grain at the neglect of his soul. What folly it is to purchase a vain world at the loss of our precious souls! What great losers they are to gain the world, and then at last lose the world along with their souls!

"For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his soul?" Mark 8:36

~ Ezekiel Hopkins, (1633-1690)