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and even changed the course of nature, and wrought a miracle for their relief. When the diseased leper cats himself at his feet, and cries out in the language of passion and distress, " if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean :” Benevolence itself replies, “I will ; be thou clean : and immediately his leprosy was cleansed.” When the despised beggar utters the piercing cry,

( thou fon of David have mercy on me;" he graciously defists from his present purpose, and, in spight of the remonstrance of his attendants, ftops to restore his fight. Whilst the

poor paralytic is helpless and forlorn, he hears those healing words of his physician, “arise, take up thy bed, and go into thine house."

A third observation that I would make upon christian charity is, that it not only, like every other virtue, contributes to our eternal happiness, but the want of it seems particularly marked by the apostie as a note of reprobation, and an impassive gulph that separates between us and our God. “Whoso hath this world's good, saith St. John, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him ; hów

dwelleth sciences

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dwelleth the love of God in him ?* And

we be saved without the love of God? and can the mercies of the benevolent Jesus be applied to the wretch, who is so insensible of his favours as to refuse his relief to a distressed fellow-creature ; to one whom Christ died” as well as for himself, notwithstanding their present difference of condition ? No; the gospel inference is very clear;

“ if God so loved us, we must also love one another.” It is impossible for one that hath a deep and serious sense of his own loft estate by sin, and the advantages he hath gained by Christ, not to rejoice in an opportunity of returning his tribute of thankfulness, and relieving his fellow-finner, and fellowservant in distress.

These are the motives which I have thought proper to make use of for the enforcement of christian charity; the commands of God, and the example of Christ. They are but few, and may therefore be more easily recollected, more fairly weighed, and, I hope, make the stronger impression, Whether you will apply them to your consciences or no, God, the searcher of hearts, only knows. I know only that I have difcharged my duty in telling you of them, and that the time will come when

* 1 John iii. 17,


will be glad that you had discharged your's in performing them.

“ When the windows begin to be darkened, and the silver cord loosed;" when the symptoms of decay approach, and death stands visible and near ; then wilt thou wish, O miserable man ! that thou hadst bestowed thy wealth " where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through, nor steal.” In health, indeed, and strength, we are apt to smile at the mention of future calamity; or, however, to turn aside for relief to those various appetites that every where press upon, and surround us. But the time draws on when ease must give way to pain, and health and strength to sickness and debility; when our weeping friends shall surround our bed, and in vain endeavour to charm away by their cares the rack of paffing nature. For, “we must all appear, says the apostle, before the judgment seat of Christ : that every one may receive the things done in his body, whether

they they be good or bad.” And when we stand unbodied before the God of purity, with nothing but our sins and follies for companions; in that hour, when “ the righteous scarcely shall be saved,” how dreadful must be the state of the ungodly and the finner? The sentence of our faviour upon the charitable and uncharitable is indeed

particularly recorded, the process of which is too long to be related here, but whose conclusion I desire you will remember, “ these shall go away into everlasting punifhment; but the righteous into life eternal.”

I am now, as I proposed, to apply what has been said, to the occasion of this discourse.

We are here assembled to promote the cause of religion and virtue, in the maintenance and education of these children. And, if charity in general will be so highly rewarded, there is something peculiarly excellent and deserving in this branch of it, and in the case of the objects before us.

I would observe, in the first place, that though other charities



well cal



* Matt. xxv. 46.

culated for the relief of misery and distress; this alone claims the still more exalted merit of acting by way of prevention, and of destroying unhappiness in the bud: this gives health to the constitution that prevents disease, whilst the others are, at best, only remedies when the infection has taken place. The virtuous education of poor children, and the storing their minds with principles for the proper

conduct of their future life, prevents that poverty and intemperance which flow from idleness and vice; and, thereby, saves these our fellow-creatures, from experiencing their threatened wretchedness, and the public from feeling the bad effects of it. If they, therefore, are to be blessed, who feed the hungry, cloath the naked, and visit those that are sick and in prison ; much more surely those are entitled to this blessedness, who apply their preventive prudent assistance, and so form the tender minds of these children of the unfortunate, that by the grace of God, and their own industry, they may never know the distresses of their fathers,


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