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have been left unattempted ? Our part is, to chufc out the most deserving objects, and the most likely to answer the ends of our charity; and when that is done, all is done that lies in our power: The rest must be left to providence. What we bestow on these occasions, is given by us, not as unto men, but unto 60.1; for his fake, and in de bedience to his commands. And with him the value of our gift depends not on the success of it: For it is true, in this sense also, what the a. postle affirms, 2 Cor. viii. 12. that “ if there be first a willing mind, it is accepted, according to that a man hath, and not according to that he hath not According to that a man hath,” i.* 2. a sincere intension of doing good; “ and not according to that he hath not” in his power, the effectual accomplishment of that intention. Sh.all we repine at a little misplaced charity, we, who could no way foresee the effect; when an allknowing, all-wise being (whom it is our duty and our happiness to imitate) showers down every day his benefits on the unthankful and undeserving? For he “ maketh his fun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and unjust," Mat. V. 45 He hath blessed us, even us, the most sinful and ungrateful people in the world, with viétory and triumphs, and a near prospect of peace, beyond not only our deserts, but our very hopes, and without any probability of our employing these blessings to the good purposes for which they were intended-I mean, the advancement of his glory, and the salvation of our own fouls. “Be ye therefore merciful, as your heavenly Father also is merciful;" even to objects,
that may, perhaps, prove unworthy of your boun. ty, and never answer the detign of it. And yet this I must say, in behalf of several of those ways of well doing which are now recommended to you, that they are, of all others, most likely to attain their end, and to bring forth fruit ; Those, I more particularly mean, which relate to the education of poor children. For the force of education is fo great, that, by the means of it, we may mould the minds and manners of the young into what shape, what form almost we please ; and give them the impressions of such habits, as shall ever afterwards remain : And therefore in the promoting of this sort of charity, we act under the pleasin>view, and indeed under the utmoft assurance, of success; if a due care bę but taken by those, who have the conduct of our bounty. And it is a certain proof, that such a care hath always been taken by the worthy governors of these, and the rest of the city-charities ; that they have thriven and profpered gradually from their infancy down to this very day: As they could never have done, if the integrity, and prudence, and Godly zeal of those, by whoin they were administred, had not been as confpicuous all along, as the excellence and usefulness of the charities themselves. To this wise inanagement it is owing, that the stream of beneficence, which at first was not great, hath, by leveral rivulets, which have since fallen into it in its own course, wonderfully enlarged its current, and grown wider and deeper still, the further it hath flowed. Even to this day there are not wanting some, who, Itruck with the beauty and usefulness of these
charities, and observing the care and fidelity with which they are directed, break through all the difficulties and obstructions that now lie in the way towards advancing them. Notwithstanding the general decay of traffic, and the growing weight of taxes, and the many rival-charities which have been lately erected; notwithstandingan universal dissolution of manners under which we groan; notwithstanding the prevalence of infis delity and prophaneness, and of that irreligious fcorn with which good men and good deligns are now publickly treated; yet still, I fay, there are fome, who please themfelves in patronising and encouraging these useful designs, and in rens dring them every day more useful and more amiable. May God continue the zeal of such persons, and increase their number!
It will, I ain persuaded, conduce to this end, to have a true account of the present state and wants of the several foundations of charity, bclonging to this city, now laid before you.
[Here the REPORT was read.].
You have heard, what the present condition and exigencies of these several charities are; and I doubt not but you are difpofed and resolved, according to your several abilities, to do somewhac. towards the supply of them. Your own merciful temper, and the application I have already made of what has been offered under each particular nad of discourse, might render a folenn and formed exhortation needless. You are thoroughly acquainted with the extcntive nature and influence
of those admirable designs, and pofleft with a true sepse of their beauty and usefulness : You have a near and daily experience of the uprightness, wisdom, and frugality with which they are con . ducted; the pityable persons, relieved in these feveral ways, are constantly under your eye and observation ; and therefore I do, in their behalf, appeal to your own knowledge and very senses, which persuade more powerfully than any arguments : If the moving objects themselves, with which you familiarly converfe, be not cloquent enough to raise compassion, mere words, I fear, will scarce be effectual. However for the sake of those who have not such affecting opportuni. ties, and yet may be well-inclined to works of mercy; somewhat I shall say of the several in stances of charity, to which the report (now read to you) refers.
. There is a variety in the tempers even of good men, with relation to the ditlerent impressions they receive from different objects of charity, . Some persons are more easily and sensibly touched by one sort of objects, and some by another : But there is no man, who, in the variety of charities, now proposed, may not meet with that which is best suited to his inclination, and which of all others he would most desire to promote and cherish. For here are the wants of grown men and children ; of the soldier, the feaman, and the artificer; of the diseased, the maimed, and the wounded ; of distracted persons and condemned criminals; of sturdy wandring beggars. and loose disorderly livers ; nay, of those who counterfeit wants of all kinds, while they really
want nothing but due correction and hard labour; at one view represented to you. And surely, fcarce any man, who hath an heart capable of tenderness, can “ come and look on” all these sad spectacles at once; and then “ pass by on the “ other tide,” without extending a merciful hand to relieve any of them.
Some may delight in building for the use of the poor; others in feeding and cloathing them, and in taking care that manual arts be taught them: Some, in providing physic, discipline, or exercise for their bodies; Others in procuring the improvement of their minds by useful knowledge Some may please themfelves in redressing the mischiefs occafioned by the wicked poor; Others, in preventing those mischiefs, by securing the innocence of children, and by imparting to them the invaluable blefling of a virtuous and pious education: Finally, Some may place their chief satisfaction in giving secretly what is to be distributed: Others, in being the open and a. vowed instruments of making and inspecting such distributions. And whoever is particularly difposed to any one or more of these methods of beneficence may, I say, within the compass of those different schemes of charity, which have been proposed, find room enough to exercise his Christian compassion. To go over them particularly-
Haft thou been educated in the fear of God, and a strict practice of virtue? was thytender age fenced and guarded every way from infection by the care of wise parents and masters ? and shall not a grateful relish of thy own great felicity, in that