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respect, render thee ready and eager to procure the same happiness for others, who equally need it? shall it not make thee the common guardian, as it were, of poor orphans, whose minds are left as uncloathed and naked altogether, as their bo dies; and who are exposed to all the temptations of ignorance, want, and idleness?
Art thou a true lover of thy country? zealous for its religious and civil interests ? and it chearful contributor to all those public expences which have been thought neceffary to secure them, an gainst the attempts of the common enemy and oppreffor? is the near prospect of all the blessings of peace welcome and desirable to thee? and wilt thou not bear a tender regard to all thofe, who have lost their health and their limbs in the rough service of war, to fecure these blessings to thee? Canft thou fee any one of them lie by the way, as it were, “ stripped, and wounded, and half. “ dead;" and yet “ pass by on the other side," without doing as much for thy friend, as that good Samaritan did for his enemy, when he had “ compassion on him, and went to him, and « bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, “ and brought him to an inn," (or house of common reception, so the word, Ilardo x ftov, signifies) and “ took care of him.”
Have thy reasoning faculties been eclipsed ar any time by tome accidental stroke? by the mad joys of wine, or the excess of religious melancholy ? by a fit of an apoplexy, or the rage of a burning fever? and haft thou, upon thy recovery, been made sensible, to what a wretched state that calamity reduced thee? and what a sad spectacle, to all thy friends and acquintance, it rendered thee? And shall not this affliction, which thou haft felt thyself, or perhaps observed in others, who were near and dear to thee; shall it not lead thee to commiserate all those, who labour under a settled distraction who are shut out from all, the pleasures and advantages of human commerce, and even degraded from the rank of reasonable creatures ? wilt thou not make their case thine? and take pity upon them, who cannot take pity upon themselves ? wilt thou not contribute; to the best of thy power, either towards restoring the defaced image of God upon their souls; or (if that cannot be done) towards supporting them, for a while under a charitable confinement, where human nature may be rescued from that contempt, to which such objects expose it ?
Once more; hast thou suffered at any time by vagabonds and pilferers? hath the knowlege or opinion of thy wealth exposed thee to the attempts of more dangerous and bloody villains ? have thy pnquiet slumbers been interrupted by the apprehension of nightly affaults, such as háve terrified, and perhaps ruined fome of thy unfortunate neighbours ? Learn from hence duly to eftcem and promote thofe useful charities, which remove such pests of human society into prisons and work-houses, and train up youth in the ways of diligence, who would otherwise take the fame desperate courses: Which reform the stubborn by correction, and the idle by hard labour; and would, if carried to that perfection of which they are capable, go a great way towards making life
i . . more
more comfortable than now it is, and property itself more valuable.
These are the several ways of beneficence, which you are now called upon to practise. Many are, guments might be urged to induce you to it : But I am fenfible I detain you too long; and there. fore fhall ure but one ; however, such an one as is equal to many, and cannot but have great weight with all that call themselves Chriftians. It is this That our blefied Saviour went before us, in the practice of every one of these four instances of well-doing, which I haye now recommended to you.
His compassion and benignity towards little children, is observed by all the Evangeliíts; and with fuch .circumstances as fhew, that he laid great stress upon this kind of charity, and did, in a peculiar manner, recommend it to all his followers. For, when.« his disciples rebuked those 56. who brought young children unto him, he was * difpleased, and said unto them, Suffer the little 16. children to come unto me, and forbid them 16not; for of such is the kingdom of God. .66 Verily I say unto you; Whosoever shall not
a receive the kingdom of God, as a little child, is« he shall not enter therein. And he took them * up in his arms, put his hands upon them, and
« blcfied them;" Mark X. 13, 14, 15, 16. it was : impoflible for him to have thewed a greater tendernofs and concern for the infant-state, than by
what he said and did on this occasion. And, left - we should ftill be apt to disdain such humble offi:
ces, and not to think thein of importance fufficie ent to employ our thoughts; he further assures Vol. II.
us, that the care of these little ones is committed to ministring spirits, who attend continually on this very thing -“I say unto you, that in heaven “ their angels do always behold the face of my “ Father which is in heaven,” Matth. xviii. 10. And we cannot surely think it beneath us, to share with those glorious beings, in such an ad. ministration !
As to the cure of the diseased, the maimed, and the infirm, it was his familiar and every day's employment; I must work the works of him " that sent me” (says he, in relation to these very cures) “ whilft it is day; the night cometh, when “ no man can work :" John ix. 4. And therefore the very last miracle he did, before his day of working expired and he left this world, was the healing the ear of the high priest's servant, whom St. Peter had wounded.
His compassion towards the distracted and lunatic, appears in divers instances: For such many of those demoniacs seem to have been, whom he healed in great numbers. The descriptions which the evangelists give of these wretched objects, and of the several symptoms with which their maladies were attended, are very particular and moving, and shew, that both our blessed Lord and the holy pen-men of his story were deeply affected with them. Hear the account, given by St. Mark, of one inítance of this kind; “ the man “ with an unclean spirit, whose name was Le“gion! He had his dwelling among the tombs, « and no man could bind him, no not with « chains; because he had been often bound with “ ferters and chains; and the chains had been
.« plucked «« plucked asunder by him, and the fetters broken « in pieces; neither could any man tame him. " And always night and day, he was in the moun. “ tains and in the tombs, crying, and cutting him“ self with stones," Mark v. 2, 3, 4, 86. Our Savi. our took pity on him; and we find him foon af
terwards “ Gitting at Jesus feet, cloathed, and in • 6 his right mind.”
Nay, he himself was pleased to set us a pattern · also ot that severe charity, which consists in cor
poral punishment and correction. For, when he saw the outward court of the temple profaned by ungodly merchandise; He, who was meeknels and mildness itself, “ made a scourge of small “cords, and drove these buyers and sellers out 6 of the temple, and overthrew their tables,” John ii. 15. This he is expresly said to have done, at two several pafsovers; and with so remarkable a degree of holy warmth and indignation, as made his disciples apply to him what the Psalmise had said, The zeal of thine house hath eiten me up! John ii. 17.
Ye fee, brethren, what a divine warrant you have, for abounding in all those offices of charity, which are this day proposed to you; and which the Saviour of the world did not himself in person disdain to exercise. “ If therefore there be « any consclition in Chrift, if any comfort of « love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any * bowels and mercies ; fulfil ye" the work to which ye are invited and appointed; Phil ii 1. « Look not every man on his own things, but “ every man also on the things of another! Let « this mind be in you, which was also in Chift Ji.