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sophers. For no law can subsist without a sanction; and, since hope and fear are two of the strongest motives to action, that alone will justify him in striving to work upon those motives, which were most likely to control us to the obedience of the will of God. But, be this as it
of St. Paul to his converts, the Galatians, is extremely clear to us christians; who are more concerned to know the meaning of his text, than the propriety and justness of his application. For, in the sixth verse of this chapter we may read, “ let him that is taught in the word, communicate to him that teacheth in all good things :” and in the tenth, “ as we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them that are of the household of faith.” The words of my text, therefore, being intermediate, and connecting these two passages together, it is evident that the expression “ well-doing" here used, must fignify the same as “ to com“ municate in good things,” or
to do good.” Let us not be weary then, says
the apostle, in relieving, by seasonable supplies, the wants and distresses of our brethren; for God, who is our common father, will cheerfully repay what we shall thus charitably expend; and, in due time, will give us our reward, if we persevere in our duty to the end.
Such, therefore, being the motives to christian beneficence, and such the basis upon
which it is founded; we will now proceed to consider further the nature of it in general, and then turn aside to that particular branch of it, which we are here assembled to promote.
And here, I do declare that I am chiefly distracted with the variety of matter that presents itself to my imagination, and the method in which I should arrange it for your use. I might ascend to the origin of property, and thew, that God, being the primary lord, and every proprietor only a receiver from him, it could only be meant to be given to any poffeffor, in trust that he should apply it to the benefit of his brethren in affliction, when his own necessities were provided for and supplied. I might
argue also from the feelings of nature, and that tender sympathy which is excited by distress, that it was the design of our beneficent author to provide, in the strongest manner, for its relief, by communicating the uneasiness of poverty to those in happier circumstances, and making it the interest of their own sensibility to remove it, I might produce also some prudential motives for the exercise of this virtue, as that it is the sure road to popularity and esteem, and that it is securing an harbour for ourselves against the winds and storms of adverfity. But to you, my brethren, I trust that I can advance founder arguments than these. A christian is not to be amused with reasons and probabilities, but acquainted plainly with the precepts, and examples, of the written word of God. In these, he cannot be deceived; since what we find commanded or forbidden there, must be performed or omitted on peril of salvation. Hear then the law by which we must be judged. " Blessed is he that considereth the needy: the Lord shall
deliver * Psalm xli. I. -42. Mark, ix. 41.
deliver him in the day of trouble.”* “ He that giveth to the poor lendeth to the Lord; and look what he layeth out, it shall be paid him again.”+
66 Whofoever shall give to drink unto one of thefe little ones a cup of cold water only in the name of a disciple; verily, I say unto you, he Thall in no wise lose his reward.” that soweth sparingly, shall reap sparingly; and he that soweth plentifully, shall reap plentifully: let every man give as he is difposed in his heart, not grudgingly, or of necessity for God loveth
loveth a cheerful giver."S “ Give and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosoms: for with the same measure that ye mete withall, it shall be measured to you again.”ll Charge them who are rich in this world that they do good, that they be rich in good works ; ready to distribute, willing to communicate;
+ Prov. xix. 17.
Matt x. § 2. Cor, ix. 6. 7. || Luke vi. 38.
laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.”*
These passages set forth to us the sense of scripture upon works of charity, and those fruits which we may expect to gather from them“ if we faint not.” I would not be understood here to mean that the exercise of charity is of itself sufficient to lay hold on eternal life,” without that faith in Christ, and that universal holiness, which is likewise required in scripture.
From the precepts of the gospel thus explained and understood, we will go on to consider the practice of its author ; and mark the leading lines of that beneficent life and character that was facrificed for us,
leaving us an example that we should follow his steps.” The sacred text informs us, that “ he went about doing good :” that he spent his whole life in search of ignorance and disease; that he might remove the one by his wisdom, and expel the other by his power.
When he saw the hungry multitude that followed him for instruction, we are told that “ he had compassion on them ;'
and * I Tim. vi. 17-19.