Go to now, you rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come on you.…
Pleasures nourish the heart, and fatten it into a senseless stupidity: nothing bringeth a dulness upon it more than they. There is a fish which they call the ass-fish, which hath its heart in its belly; a fit emblem of a sensual epicure. The heart is never more dull and unfit for the severities and masculine heights of religion than when burdened with luxurious excess; therefore Christ useth that expression, "Let not your hearts be overcharged," etc. (Luke 21:36). Ah! do but consider how many reasons we have to be wary in our pleasures. Will the inconveniences they bring to your estates mow you? "He that loveth corn, and wine, and oil, shall be poor" (Proverbs 23:21). How often hath the belly brought the back to rags? Or will the mischiefs they bring upon the body move you? Lust, which is but the last end and consummation of all pleasures, sucketh the bones, and, like a cannibal, eateth your own flesh (Proverbs 5:11). Ah! but chiefly think of the inconveniency which your precious souls sustain; your hearts will be nourished and fattened. Pleasure infatuateth the mind, quencheth the radiancy and vigour of the spirit, the generous sprightliness of the affections. So the apostle speaketh of persons given to pleasures, that they are past feeling (Ephesians 4.); they have lost all the smartness and tenderness of their spirits. Oh! that men would regard this, and take heed of nourishing their hearts while they nourish their bodies. You should starve lust when you feed nature; or, as Austin, come to your meat as your medicine, and use these outward refreshments as remedies to cure infirmities, not to cause them; or, as Bernard, refresh the soul when you feed the body, and by Christian meditations on God's bounty, Christ's sweetness, the fatness of God's house, &c., keep the heart from being nourished whenever you repair nature.
Parallel VersesKJV: Go to now, ye rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon you.