The Danger of Prosperity


Danger of Prosperity Cover ArtIn The Danger of Prosperity William Bates insightfully teaches Christians how wealth, honor, and fame often contribute to the downfall of the unwary. He challenges his readers with the tender encouragement of a shepherd, to carefully consider the ways in which prosperity that is abused is both fatal and destructive, while providing numerous helps that Christians who enjoy God’s hand of blessing can use to avoid its sinful abuse and improve it to God’s glory and their eternal advantage.

This classic work has been carefully prepared for the enjoyment and benefit of a new generation of Christian readers. Previously available only as part of a “complete works” lithograph from the early 19th century, this edition–completely revised by the editor of The Digital Puritan–includes embedded scripture references from the English Standard Version, as well as numerous annotations to make the text more understandable to the modern reader. Includes a biographical preface by James Marsh.


  1. Prosperity abused is fatal and destructive to foolish sinners.
    1. Prosperity feeds the fleshly lusts that war against the soul and deprive it of its beauty, order, freedom, and felicity.
    2. Prosperity makes the soul more prone to outbursts of anger.
    3. Prosperity inclines sinners to neglect God.
    4. Prosperity dangerously exposes men to the tempting power of Satan.
    5. Prosperity affords men advantages to corrupt others, and exposes them to be corrupted by others.
    6. The prosperity of sinners usually renders the means of grace ineffectual.
    7. Prosperity renders men averse to suffering for the sake of Christ.
    8. The prosperity of sinners tempts them to delay repentance till their state is desperate.
  2. It is folly and madness above all wonder when sinners abuse the blessings of God to their destruction.
    1. The perfection of man consists in the excellencies of his spiritual and immortal part.
    2. All the prosperity in the world cannot bring true satisfaction to him that enjoys it, because it is disproportionate to the spiritual and immortal nature of the soul.
  3. The justice, certainty, and heaviness of destruction that shall seize on foolish sinners that abuse prosperity is considered.
    1. The justice of God is illustrated in that their destruction is the fruit of their own choice.
    2. The certainty of their destruction considered.
    3. The heaviness of their destruction accords with the aggravated nature of their sin.
    4. Use of application.
  4. How to avoid the evils that usually attend prosperity and improve it to our eternal advantage.
    1. Humbly preserve a sense of your original meanness, continual frailty, and sinful unworthiness.
    2. Maintain a meek temperament and deportment.
    3. Sanctify prosperity with a solemn and affectionate thanksgiving to God for his mercies.
    4. Fear God and take great care to be vigilant in avoiding the sins that so easily encompass us.
    5. Use worldly things in moderation.
    6. Let the favour of God be your most precious and joyful possession.
    7. Employ riches and power for the glory of God and the good of others.
    8. Resolve firmly to part with all possessions and dignities when God’s honour and the testimony of his truth requires it.
    9. Pray earnestly and constantly to God for divine grace.

Paperback (ISBN 9781463506643), $8.99; e-Book (ISBN 9781105313042), $2.99. 94 pages. Available from these e-tailers:

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