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XII.

overcast with Sorrow, into Joy and Glad- SERM. ness? To revive with refreshing Showers of Love and Kindness that barren and dry Land where no Water was? How muft his Heart burn within hiin while his Hands are thus stretched out! Believe me, it is but a well-judged, more refined, and better Taste for Pleasure, to lay out, in undoing the beavy Burden of our Fellow-Creatures, that Money which all of us, more or less, expend in innocent but useless Gratifications; and too many of us, it may be, in criminal Pleasures. And who would not detty himself the short-lived Indulgence of some Appetite, some trifiing and

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Diversion, rather than see his Brother pinched with Necessity, and starving with Want? Deny himself, did I say? No ; He denies himself the most, who refuses to purchase so many lasting and unallayed Pleasures at fo easy a Rate.

We are affected with delightful Sensations when we fee even the inanimate Parts of the Creation, those Meadows, those Trees, and those Flowers in a flourishing State. There must be some deep and rooted Melancholy at the Heart, when all Nature appears smiling and chcarful about us in its most advantageous Dress, if we are not inclined to correspond with the Rest of the Creation, and join in the universal Chorus of Joy, But if Meadows and

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XII.

SER M. Trees in their Verdure, if Flowers in

their Bloom, and all the vegetable Parts of Nature in Chearfulness at this Season, can inspire Gladness into the Heart, and drive away all Sadness and Despair ; to see the rational Parts of the Creation flourishing, ought to give us a Pleasure as much fuperior, as the latter are above the former in the Scale of Beings. But still the Pleasure is greater, if we have been instrumental in contributing to their Happiness; if we have watered these Plants with our Bounty, and fenced them from the Inclemencies of the Seasons.

He that centers all his Regard upon himself, 'exclusively of others, has placed his Affections very oddly; he has placed them on the most worthļess Object in the World-himself. He that has fhut his Hands, and steeled his Heart, against all Impressions of Compassion, is a moft insignificant Blank in the Creation. He may have Sense enough to get and keep his Fortune; but he has too little Spirit truly to relish and enjoy it, by communicating it to others. For Joy like Light grows greater by being communicated: And that Happihess, which is solitary, is but Happiness by Halves. And if, as our Saviour fays, it is more blessed to give than to receive, then you are to look upon him who asks, and deserves your Charity, as your great

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eft Benefactor. He that brings you an Serm. Opportunity of doing Good, fubftantial. XII. Good, in Effect obliges you ; he brings you what is far more valuable, and more valued by every good Man, than the Gold and Silver which you part with to him. To be rich in good Works is the molt lafting Riches.

But this brings me to the last Motive which at present I shall sugget for our Charity, which is,

3. Thirdly, The Recompence of the Reward.

We are all, Rich and Poor, travelling to one Country; and we fhould not scruple to accommodate our indigent Fellow-Travellers with Necessaries on the Road, when we are sure of being repaid at our Journey's End with an immense Reward. And remember that at the last Day, the great Question will not be, Whether you have been negatively good, whether you have done no Harm? but, What Good

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have done? What Hungry ye have fed? What Sick ye have visited?' The Rich-Man in the Gospel is not charged with injuring any Perfon, or defrauding his Neighbour. The only Fault recorded is, that he fared sumptuously every Day, while Lazarus lay at his Gate perifhing for Want of common Neceffaries. He was one of that Set of Men, a numerous Set, who are very hof

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XII.

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Serm. pitable to those that do not want, and very

unfriendly to those that do.
This then was his Crime and

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the next Report that we have of him is; that in Hell be lift up his Eyes, being in Torments. A melancholy and shocking Consideration to those who have this World's Goods, and yet shut up their Bowels of Compassion against their Brethren in Distress.

Our Saviour has made the Poor his Representatives : - Inasmuch as ye have done it to the least of my Brethren, ye have done it unto me.

And Solomon says, He that giveth unto the poor, lendeth unto the Lord. Charity is then a Treasure transferred to Heaven. It bestows on the Receiver the Comforts of this Life ; and on the Giver the Glories of another.

It is the last Thing I should believe, that the Man who acted by a Principle of Obedience to his Maker, has cherished each generous and liberal Movement of the Soul, with a Head ever-studious to contrive, a Heart ever-willing to promote, and Hands ever-active to distribute to, the Good of his Fellow-Creatures, should notwithstanding be doomed to be an Associate for ever of those accursed Spirits, in a place where Benevolence never sheds it's kindly Beams: But Malice and Anguish, and Blackness of Darkness reign for eyermore,

No:

No: The Riches that we have given S erm. away will remain with us for ever. Charity. XII. never faileth- -the same Habit of Love which we have begot and confirmed by many repeated Acts of Kindness will accompany us into another World. When we have shewn Mercy to our Fellow-Creatures, we may safely expect it from our Creator.

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