There are many acts allowed in the Old
Testament which are prohibited in the New Testament. An example is the
possession of wealth: in the Old Testament, man may possess wealth without
restriction as long as he acquired it in a just way.
Surprisingly, the holy man of old spent his
wealth according to the prescription of the Law. Anna, the prophetess,
Nathaniel, Tobias. . .all used their wealth according to the will of
Tobias used his wealth to bury the dead who
were poor, even endangering his own health. He even allotted part of his
inheritance to his servants. And know that he was a poor man who became
rich. Such persons usually are stingy.
Such were the men of the Old Testament. I
doubt if many of us in the New Testament can even equal that. And yet more
is required of us.
The heroes of the Old Testament were
described thus : "They possessed all things according to the Law and
left all things behind according to the Law. But the old have passed away,
and all things are made new."
What is new? At that time, indulgence was
tolerated; now, the rule is abstinence. At that time, fasting was rare; now,
our whole lifetime, we should be fasting. At that time, vengeance was the
response for injury; now, patience. At that time, the law was lenient
towards carnal pleasure; now, even indulgence with the eyes is not
". . .those who have wives as if they
have none, they that weep as though they weep not and those that rejoice as
though they do not rejoice, and those who buy as though they do not possess
and they who used this world, as if they do not use it."
While in the Old Testament unlawful things
were prohibited, in the New Testament, licit things are restrained. God
restricted the usage of marriage, the pagan flow of tears, the intemperance
of joys, the lust for possessing, and the greed for purchasing.
How far removed are they from God who,
when God orders them to renounce their wealth while they live, seek to
keep it in the possession of their families when dead.
O madness. . .to have all kinds of in-laws
inherit your wealth while you disinherit your soul; to leave others rich for
a short time, you condemn yourself to eternal beggary.