An avaricious disposition

(Archibald Alexander, "Letters to the Aged" 1844)

"Take care, and be on your guard against all
 covetousness, for one's life does not consist in
 the abundance of his possessions." Luke 12:15

Many begin life with little of the world's goods; and
the claims of an increasing family render it necessary
to exercise much diligence and economy to make a
living. But thus it often happens that an avaricious
under the semblance of necessity, and
even of duty--strikes its roots deep into the soul,
before the man is aware of any danger. Indeed, it
is almost impossible to convince a man of the sin of
covetousness, while he avoids open acts of injustice
or fraud.

The folly of the miser who hoards his money without
a thought of using it, is easily shown, and has often
been ridiculed. But the truth is, that all ardent pursuit
of worldly objects beyond what is necessary for the
real needs of nature, might be demonstrated to be
equally absurd.

"I have seen a grievous evil under the sun: wealth
to the harm of its owner. Naked a man
 comes from his mother's womb, and as he comes,
 so he departs. He takes nothing from his labor that
 he can carry in his hand. This too is a sickening
 tragedy--exactly as he comes, so he will go. What
 does he gain, who toils for the wind?" Ecclesias. 5