תמונות בעמוד

himself for ever blessed by giving them to those that want them."

25. May not this be another reason why rich men shall so hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven? A vast majority of them are under a curse, under the peculiar curse of God; inasmuch as, in the general tenor of their lives, they are not only robbing God, continually embezzling and wasting their Lord's goods, and by that very means, corrupting their own souls, but also“ robbing the poor, the hungry, the naked; wronging the widow and the fatherless; and making themselves accountable for all the want, affiction, and distress, which they may, but do not remove. Yea, doth not the blood of all those who perish for want of what they either lay up, or lay out needlessly, cry against them from the earth ? O what account will they give to Him who is ready to judge both the quick and the dead !

25. The true way of employing what you do not want yourselves, you may, fourthly, learn from those words of our Lord, which are the counterpart of what went before: “ Lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven; where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through and steal.” Put out whatever thou canst spare, upon better security than this world can afford. Lay up thy treasures in the bank of heaven; and God shall restore them in that day." He that hath pity upon the poor lendeth unto the Lord, and look, what he layeth out, it shall be paid him again.” “ Place that,” saith he, “ unto my account. Howbeit, thou owest me thine own self besides!”

Give to the poor with a single eye, with an upright heart, and write,“ So much given to God.” For “inasmuch as ye did it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.”

This is the part of a “ faithful and wise steward.” Not to sell either his houses or lands, or principal stock, be it more or less, unless some peculiar circumstance should require it; and not to desire or endeavour to increase it, any more than to squander it away in vanity; but to employ it wholly to those wise and reasonable purposes, for which bis Lord has lodged it in his bands. The wise steward, after having provided his own household with what is needful for life and godliness, makes himself friends with all that remains, from time to time, of the “ mammon of unrighteousness; that when he fails, they may receive him into everlasting habitations:"_that whensocrer his earthly tabernacle is dissolved, they, who were before carried into Abraham's bosom, after having caten bis bread, and worn the fleece of his flock, and praised God for the consolation, may welcome him into Paradise, and into “the house of God, eternal in the heavens.”

27. We “charge” you, therefore, " who are rich in this world,” as having authority from our great Lord and Master, Urychlegyeiv, - to bc habitually doing good, to live in a course of good works. “Be ye merciful, as your father who is in heaven is merciful :" who docth good and ceaseth not. “ Be ye merciful,”-how far? After your power; with all the ability which God giveth. Make this your only measure of doing good, not any beggarly maxims or customs of the world. We “charge you to be rich in good works;” as you have much, to give plenteously. “Freely ye have received ; freely give;' so as tolay up no treasure but in heaven. Be ye “ready to distribute” to every one, according to his necessity. Disperse abroad; give to the poor; dcal your bread to the hungry. Cover the naked with a garment; entertain the stranger; carry or send relief to them that are in prison. Heal the sick; not by miracle, but through the blessing of God upon your scasonable support. Let the blessing of him that was ready to perish, through pining want, come upon thee. Defend the oppressed, plead the cause of the fatherless, and make the widow's heart sing for joy.

28. We exhort you, in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, to be willing to communicate ; xovwvixos Elvad ; to be of the same spirit (though not in the same outward state) with those believers of ancient times, who remained steadfast in an xouvwrit, in that blessed and holy fellowship, wherein “none said that any thing was his own, but they had all things common.” Bea steward, a faithful and wise steward, of God and of the poor; differing from them in these two circunstances only,—that your Wants are first supplied, out of the portion of your Lord's yoods which remains in your hands,-and, that you have the blessedness of giving. Thus “lay up for yourselves a good foundation,” not in the world which now is, but rather, “ for the time to come, that ye may lay holdou eternal life.” The great foundation indeed of all the blessings of God, whether temporal or eternal, is the Lord Jesus Christ,--his righteousness and blood, --what he haib dove, and what he hath suffered for us. And “other foundation,” in this sense, “ can no mau lay;” no, not am Aposile, 10, not an Angel from heaven. But through his Petits, bateraire du in his time is a foundation for a good reward, in the day when “ every man shall receive his own reward, according to his own labour.” Therefore “ labour" thou, “not for the meat that perisheth, but for that which endureth unto everlasting life. Therefore," whatsoever thy hand (now) findeth to do, do it with thy might.” Therefore let

“ No fair occasion pass unheeded by;

Snatching the golden moments as they fly,

Thou by few feeting years ensure eternity!”. “ By patient continuance in weildoing, seek thou for glory, and honour, and immortality.” In a constant, zealous perforınance of all good works, wait thou for that happy hour, when the King shall say, “ I was an hungred, and ye ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink : I was a stranger, and ye took me in: naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.-Come, ye blessed of my Father, receive the kingdom prepared for you, from the foundation of the world!"




"No man cun serve two musters: for either he will hate the

one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one and

despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and maimon. Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life,

what ye shall eat, or wha: ye shall drink ; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more

than meat, and the body tha raimort? Behold the fowls of the air : for they sow not, neither do

they reap, nor gather into barns ; yet your heavenly Father

feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? Which of you by taking thought can uild one cubit unto

his stature ? And why take ye thought for ruiment? Consider the

lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither

do they spin: And yet I say unto you, that even Solomon in all his glory

was not arrayed like one of these. !!"herefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which

to day is, and tomorrow is cast into the oven, shall be not

much more clothe you, () ye of little faith? Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat.

or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we

be clothed ? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek :) for your

heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these


But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness;

and all these things shall be added unto you. Take therefore no thought for the morrow : for the morrow

shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the chiry is the crit thercor.Valt. vi. 24–34.

1. It is recorded of the nations whom the King of Assyria, after he had carried Israel away into captivity, placed in the cities of Samaria, that “They feared the Lord, and served their own gods.” “These nations,” saith the inspired writer, “ feared the Lord;” performed an outward service to him; (a plain proof that they had a fear of God, though not according to knowledge ;) “and served their graven images, both their children, and their children's children; as did their fathers, so did they unto this day.” (2 Kings xvii. 33, &c.) • How nearly does the practice of most modern Christians resemble this of the ancient Heathens ? “They fear the Lord;" they also perform an outward service to him, and hereby show they have some fear of God; but they likewise “serve their own gods." There are those who “teach them (as there were those who taught the Assyrians] the manner of the God of the land;" the God whose name the country bears to this day, and who was once worshipped there with an holy worship: “Howbeit,” they do not serve him alone; they do not fear him enough for this : But “every nation maketh gods of their own : every nation in the cities wherein they dwell.” “ These nations fear the Lord;" they have not laid aside the outward form of worshipping him ; but “they serve their graven images,” silver and gold, the work of men's hands : Money, pleasure, and praise, the gods of this world, more than divide their service with the God of Israel. This is the manner both of "their children and their children's children; as did their fathers so do they unto this day.”

2. But although, speaking in a loose way, after the common manner of men, those poor heathens were said to “fear the Lord,” yet we may observe the Holy Ghost immediately adds, speaking according to the truth and real nature of things, “They fear not the Lord, neither do after the law and commandment, which the Lord commanded the children of Jacob; with whom the Lord made a covenant, and charged them, saying, Ye shall not fear other gods, nor serve them.-But the Lord your God ye shall fear, and he shall deliver you out of the hands of your enemies."

The same judgment is passed by the unerring Spirit of God, and indeed by all the eyes of whose understanding He hath opened to discern the things of God, upon these poor Christians, commonly so called. If we speak according to the truth and real nature of things, “they fear not the Lord, neither do they serve him." For they do not “after the

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