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other business, without urgent necessity. You have likewise a peculiar advantage over many, by your station in life. Being superior in rank to them, you have the more influence on that very account. Your inferiors, of course, look up to you with a kind of reverence. And the condescension which you show in visiting them, gives them a prejudice in your favour, which inclines them to hear you with attention, and willingly receive what you say. Improve this prejudice to the uttermost for the benefit of their souls, as well as their bodies. While you are eyes to the blind, and feet to the lame, a husband to the widow, and a father to the fatherless, see that you still keep a higher end in view, even the saving of souls from death, and that you labour to make all you say and do subservient to that great end. 4. “But have the poor themselves any part or lot in this matter 7 Are they any way concerned in visiting the sick? What can they give to others, who have hardly the conveniences, or perhaps necessaries of life for themselves?”. If they have not, yet they need not be wholly excluded from the blessing which attends the practice of this duty. Even those may remember that excellent rule, “Let our conveniences give way to our neighbour's necessities; and our necessities give way to our neighbour's extremities.” And few are so poor, as not to be able sometimes to give “two mites:” but if they are not, if they have no money to give, may they not give what is of more value? Yea, of more value than thousands of gold and silver ? If you speak “in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth,” may not the words you speak be health to the soul, and marrow to the bones? Can you give them nothing 1 Nay, in administering to them the grace of God, you give them more than all this world is worth. Go on, go on, thou poor disciple of a poor Master Do as he did in the days of his flesh! Whenever thou hast an opportunity, go about doing good, and healing all that are oppressed of the devil; encouraging them to shake off his chains, and fly immediately to Him

“Who sets the prisoners free, and breaks
The iron bondage from their necks.”

Above all, give them your prayers. Pray with them; pray for them; and who knows but you may save their souls alive? 5. You that are old, whose feet are ready to stumble upon the dark mountains, may not you do a little more good before you go hence and are no more seen 7 Oh remember, “'Tis time to live, if you grow old:

Of little life the best to make,
And manage wisely the last stake "

As you have lived many years, it may be hoped you have attained such knowledge as may be of use to others. You have certainly more knowledge of men, which is commonly learned by dear bought experience. With what strength you have left, employ the few moments you have to spare, in ministering to those who are weaker than yourselves. Your grey hairs will not fail to give you authority, and add weight to what you speak. You may frequently urge, to increase their attention,

“Believe me, youth; for I am read in cares, -
And groan beneath the weight of more than three score years.'

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You have frequently been a sufferer yourself; perhaps you are so still. So much the more give them all the assistance you can, both with regard to their souls and bodies, before they and you go to the place whence you will not return. 6. On the other hand, you that are young have several advantages that are almost peculiar to yourselves. You have generally a flow of spirits, and a liveliness of temper, which, by the grace of God, make you willing to undertake, and capable of performing, many good works, at which others would be discouraged. And you have your health and strength of body, whereby you are eminently qualified to assist the sick and those that have no strength. You are able to take up and carry the crosses which may be expected to lie in the way. Employ then your whole vigour of body and mind, in ministering to your afflicted brethren. And bless God that you have them to employ in so honourable a service; like those heavenly “servants of his that do his pleasure,” by continually ministering to the heirs of salvation. 7. “But may not women, as well as men, bear a part in this honourable service to Undoubtedly they may : nay, they ought: it is meet, right, and their bounden duty. Herein there is no difference: “there is neither male nor female in Christ Jesus.” Indeed it has long passed for a maxim with many, that “women are only to be seen ; not heard.” And accordingly many of them are brought up in such a manner, as if they were only designed for agreeable playthings | But is this doing honour to the sex 7 Or is it a real kindness to them 7 No; it is the deepest unku.Jness: it is horrid cruelty: it is mere Turkish barbarity. And I know not how any woman of sense and spirit can submit to it. . Let all you that have it in your power assert the right, which the God of nature has given you. Yield not to that vile bondage any longer You, as well as men, are rational creatures. You, like them, were made in the image of God; you are equally candidates for immortality; you too are called of God, as you have time, to “do good unto all men.” Be “not disobedient to the heavenly calling.” Whenever you have opportunity, do all the good you can, particularly to your poor sick neighbour. And every one of you likewise, “shall receive your own reward according to your own labour.” 8. It is well known, that in the primitive church, there were women particularly appointed for this work. Indeed there was one or more such in every Christian congregation under heaven. They were then termed deaconesses, that is, servants: servants of the church, and of its great Master. Such was Phebe, mentioned by St. Paul, Rom. xvi, 1, “a deaconess of the church of Cenchrea.” It is true, most of these were women in years, and well experienced in the work of God. But were the young wholly excluded from that service 1 No: neither need they be, provided they know in whom they have believed; and show that they are holy of heart, by being holy in all manner of conversation. Such a deaconess, if she answered her picture, was Mr. Law's Miranda. Would any one object to her visiting and relieving the sick and poor, because she was a woman? Nay, and a young one too? Do any of you that are young desire to tread in her steps ? Have you a pleasing form 1 An agreeable address? So much the better, if you are wholly devoted to God. He will use these, if your eye be single, to make your words strike the deeper. And while you minister to others, how many bless


ings may redound into your own bosom. Hereby your natural levity may be destroyed; your fondness for trifles cured; your wrong tempers corrected; your evil habits weakened, until they are rooted out. And you will be prepared to adorn the doctrine of God our Saviour, in every future scene of life; only be very wary, if you visit or converse with those of the other sex, lest your affections be entangled, on one side or the other, and so you find a curse instead of a blessing. 9. Seeing then this is a duty to which we are called, rich and poor, young and old, male and female; (and it would be well if parents would train up their children herein, as well as in saying their prayers and going to church;) let the time past suffice, that almost all of us have neglected it, as by general consent. Oh what need has every one of us to say, “Lord, forgive me my sins of omission P’ Well, in the name of God, let us now from this day set about it with general consent. And I pray, let it never go out of your mind, that this is a duty which you cannot perform by proxy; unless in one only case;—unless you are disabled by your own pain or weakness. In that only case, it suffices to send the relief which you would otherwise give. Begin, my dear brethren, begin now, else the impression which you now feel, will wear off; and, possibly, it may never return What then will be the consequence? Instead of hearing that word, “Come, ye blessed;—For I was sick, and ye visited me;” you must hear that awful sentence, “Depart ye cursed —For I was sick, and ye visited me not l”

SERMoN CIW.—The Reward of the Righteous.

Preached before the Humane Society. “Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world,” Matt. xxv, 34.

1. REAsoN alone will convince every fair inquirer, that God “ is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” This alone teaches him to say, “Doubtless there is a reward for the righteous;” “there is a God that judgeth the earth.” But how little information do we receive from unassisted reason, touching the particulars contained in this general truth ! As eye hath not seen, or ear heard, so neither could it naturally enter into our hearts to conceive the circumstances of that awful day, wherein God will judge the world. No information of this kind could be given, but from the great Judge himself. And what an amazing instance of condescension it is, that the Creator, the Governor, the Lord, the Judge of all, should deign to give us so clear and particular an account of that solemn transaction If the learned heathen acknowledged the sublimity of that account which Moses gives of the creation, what would he have said, if he had heard this account of the Son of man coming in his glory ! Here, indeed, is no laboured pomp of words, no ornaments of language. This would not have suited either the speaker or the occasion. But what inexpressible dignity of thought ! see him “coming in the clouds of heaven; and all the angels with him!” See him “sitting on the throne of his glory, and all the nations gathered before him P' And shall he separate them, placing the good on his right


hand, and the wicked on his left 1 “Then shall the King say.”—With what admirable propriety is the expression varied “The Son of man” comes down to judge the children of men. “The King” distributes rewards and punishments to his obedient or rebellious subjects. “Then shall the King say to them on his right hand, come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.” - 2. “Prepared for you from the foundation of the world:”—But does this agree with the common supposition, that God created man merely to supply the vacant thrones of the rebel angels? Does it not rather seem to imply, that he would have created man, though the angels had never fallen's Inasmuch as he then prepared the kingdom for his human children, when he laid the foundation of the earth. 3. “Inherit the kingdom:”—as being “heirs of God, and joint heirs.”

with his beloved Son. It is your right; seeing I have purchased “eter

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mal redemption for all them that obey me:” and ye did obey me in the days of your flesh. Ye “believed in the Father, and also in me.” Ye loved the Lord your God; and that love constrained you to love all mankind. Ye continued in the faith that wrought by love. Ye showed your faith by your works. “For I was hungry, and 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 in prison, and ye came unto me.” 4. But in what sense are we to understand the words that follow 1 “Lord, when saw we thee hungry, and gave thee meat 1. Or thirsty, and gave thee drink?” They cannot be literally understood: they cannot answer in these very words; because it is not possible they should be ignorant, that God had really wrought by them. Is it not then manifest, that these words are to be taken in a figurative sense And can they imply any more, than that all which they have done will appear as

nothing to them; will, as it were, vanish away, in view of what God .

their Saviour had done and suffered for them 1 5. But “the King shall answer and say unto them, verily I say unto you, inasmuch as ye have done it to one of the least of these my brethren, ye did it unto me.” What a declaration is this! Worthy to be had in everlasting remembrance. May the finger of the living God write it upon all our hearts |

I would take occasion from hence, first, To make a few reflections

on good works in general : secondly, To consider in particular that institution, for the promotion of which we are now assembled: and, in the third place, to make a short application. I. 1. And first, I would make a few reflections upon good works in general. I am not insensible, that many, even serious people, are jealous of all that is spoken upon this subject: nay, and whenever the necessity of good works is strongly insisted on, take for granted that he who speaks in this manner, is but one remove from popery. But should we, for fear of this or of any other reproach, refrain from speaking “the truth as it is in Jesus?” Should we, on any consideration, “shun to declare the whose counsel of God " Nay, if a false prophet could utter that solemn word, how much more may the ministers of Christ; “We cannot go beyond the word of the Lord, to speak either more or less!” Vol. II. 22


2. Is it not to be lamented, that any who fear God should desire us to do otherwise ? And that by speaking otherwise themselves, they should occasion the way of truth to be evil spoken of 1 I mean, in particular, the way of salvation by faith; which, on this very account, is despised, nay, had in abomination by many sensible men. It is now above forty years since this grand scriptural doctrine, “by grace ye are

saved through faith,” began to be openly declared, by a few clergymen of ,

the church of England. And not long after, some who heard, but did not understand, attempted to preach the same doctrine; but miserably mangled it; wresting the Scripture, and “making void the law through faith.”

3. Some of these, in order to exalt the value of faith, have utterly depreciated good works. They speak of them as not only not necessary to salvation, but as greatly obstructive to it. They represent them as abundantly more dangerous than evil ones, to those who are seeking to save their souls. One cries aloud, “more people go to hell by praying than by thieving.” Another screams out, “away with your works! Have done with your works, or you cannot come to Christ!” And this

unscriptural, irrational, heathemish declamation, is called, preaching

the gospel ! 4. But “shall not the Judge of all the earth” speak, as well as “do right !” Will not “he be justified in his saying, and clear when he is judged 7” Assuredly he will. And upon his authority we must continue to declare, that whenever you do good to any for his sake; when

you feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty; when you assist the

stranger, or clothe the naked; when you visit them that are sick or in prison; these are not splendid sins, as one marvellously calls them, but “sacrifices wherewith God is well pleased.” 5. Not that our Lord intended, we should confine our beneficence to the bodies of men. He undoubtedly designed that we should be equally abundant in works of spiritual mercy. He died “to purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of all good works:” zealous above all, to “save souls from death,” and thereby “hide a multitude of sins.” And this is unquestionably included in St. Paul's exhortation; “As we have time, let us do good unto all men:” good in every possible kind, as well as in every possible degree. But why does not our blessed Lord mention works of spiritual mercy 2 He could not do it with any propriety. It was not for him to say, “I was in error, and ye convinced me; I was in sin, and ye brought me back to God.” And it needed not; for in mentioning some he included all works of mercy. 6. But may I not add one thing more ? (only he that heareth, let him understand:) good works are so far from being hinderances of our salvation; they are so far from being insignificant, from being of no account in Christianity, that supposing them to spring from a right-principle, they are the perfection of religion. They are the highest part of that spiritual building, whereof Jesus Christ is the foundation. To those, who attentively consider the thirteenth chapter of the first epistle to the Corinthians, it will be undeniably plain that what St. Paul there

describes as the highest of all Christian graces, is properly and directly

the love of our neighbour. And to him who attentively considers the whole tenor both of the Old and New Testament, it will be equally plain, that works springing from this love are the highest part of the religion therein revealed. Öf these our Lord himself says, “Hereby is my Fa

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