« SebelumnyaLanjutkan »
they that have eftaces, should cake heed of truling in them. They should labour to get weaned hearts from their present enjoymears, and pre pare their minds co be willing to part with any shing God calls for. They should live upon God, and account him all in all, even in their fulles and highest enjoyments of the Creatwe. Traf and dependance is the greatest homage we can yeeld to God. But cf this I have spoken more largely, pag.207,
VII. They ough to be very cbaritable and open-handed cothe necessaries of the poor, and li. beral to good and pious uses. They that have riches, bave a multitude of tools to work with (as one of che Ancients (pakse wisely) and may do God much service wich chem. Sach ought to endea vour not onely to be good chemselves, but to do good, to be rich in good works. They should a The eleet of God, pur on the bowels of compaffios Col.3.12. Holy Fob could comfortably say Tibe blessing of him that was ready to perish, can apon me, and I caused the widows beart to fingir joy; I was cies to the blind, and feet was 1 tot láme. I was a Father to the poor, &c. Fob 29.11: 15,16. This is the bele way for rich men ro in prove their estates, Prov.19.17. He that giga to the poor, lends to the Lord, and be will rear him again. Though the poor man cannot thee, yet God becomes bis furety, and evil thee aßuredly ,-yea , fully and abundantly.
man shall be a lofer by God. 'Tis good cherefore to lay up treasure where it may be sure to be forthcoming; to put it into Cbrifts hands by relieving his poor members here on earth. Buc alas ! though God hach made so many gracious promises to the charitable, yet strange it is to see how hardly people are perswaded to the practise of this Duty. They can spend freely on their pride or lufts, or pleasures, and sacrifice liberaliy co the idol of cheir Credit ; but what riggardize and pinching is there when it comes to a work of mercy? Let chem meet in an Inn or Tavern, upon businesse, or in a way of kindnes, then what ftriving is there who shall pay, and who shall pay most? What chrowing down their Money on the Table ? &c. But how backward, and dull and close-fifted are they, when it comes to a work of Charity ? Certainly at the day of judg. ment, this will be a better account, Icem, so much (pent to relieve the poor and needy ; so much laid out for the advancement of Religion, or good Learning; so much expended for publick good uses ; Rather than this, Icem,
so much spent on pride, so mnch spent on luft, so much in gaming, and in Luxury, and rio, &c. And chereforeic conceras those chat have this worlds goods, to consider how they use and employ them. And here it will not be amisse to persoade rich men not to defer and put off their Charicies till their death, out of an Infidel fear, they should want themselves before they die. They fould (as one well advises ) make their ovon hands their executors, and their own eies their overseers, 'Tis beccer to be like the sheep, to do good iwhile they live, than like che Swine , to be good for në thing till they die. I shall conclude this Head with some few Directions as to the manner how we should exercise our Charity.
1. Do it in fincerity. Do it in obedience to Gods Command and with an eie to his Glory. Take heed the praise of men be not chy Motive, He that giveth (faies the Apostle, Rom. 12.8.) let bim do it with fimplicity. & Mat.6.1. Take heed ye do not your Almes before mer, to be seen of them otherwise ye have no reward of your Father whichs in Heaven.
2. Cheerfully. God loveth a cheerful giver 2 Cor.9.7. Deut.15.10. Thine heart shall not be grieved when thou giveft 10 thy poor Brother, &c.
3. Liberally; according to the proportion of chy estate, 2 Cor.9.6. He that somes fparingh Ahall reap Sparingly, and he that soweth bountifsky fhall reap bountifully. We should chink him a ré ry imprudeni Husbandman, chat to save a litti: feed at present, would fow fo thin, as to spc his crop. And the fame foby 'cwill be in us, by the paringneßand niggardize of our sim we make our felves a lank Harves-hereafte: and lose che reward God hath provided for at
liberal Almes-giver. Now liberality is to be i measured, not so much by what is given, as by
the ability of the giver. 'Tis not how much, buc out of how much, that God looks a!. In 1 Cor. 16.2. The Apostle advises, upon the first day of the week, let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath propered him. Surely it were very expedient to lay by somthing in bank for good sjes, either weekly, monet hly, quarterly, cr yearly (as may best suit with the variety of mens conditions) thac so they may not be unprovided of somwhat to give , when'occasion offers it self; and then their charity would Aow more freely, without any regret, or grudging of heart, which those that leave all to occasional Charity are many times in danger of. 4. Humbly and thankfully
. Let thankfulnes to God attend thy Charity to men. Blesse God thou art not the needy person thy self. Blesse him for giving thee both an ability and a heart to distribute and communicate. Though God hath lifted thee up in this wo:ld, above those thou relievest, yei lec not thy heart be lifced up,
but be low in thine omon eies. I shall conclude this, with chat Divine and affectionate thanksgiving of ho1y David, in i Chron. 29.11. Thine o Lord is the greatnes, and the power
V.12. Both riches and honour come of thee. V. 13. Now therefore our God, we thank thee and praise thy Glorious name. V.14. But who am I, and what
is my people, that we should be able to offer sowil. lingly after this fort, for all things come of thee, and of thine own have we given thee, Deut. 8. 12, When thou hast eaten and 41
full, and haft built goodly houses, and dwel therein, V.13. And when thy herds and thy flocks multiply, and thy silver and thy Gold is multiplied, and all that thou hast is multiplied. V.14. Beware left this heart be lifted up, and
thou forget the Lord thy God V.17. And thou say in ihy heart, my power and ibe' might of my band bath gotten me this
wealth. V.18. But thou shalt remember the Lord thy God, for it is be that giveth thee power to get
wealth. 1 John 3.17.. But whoso bath this worlds good, and seeth his Brother hath need, and soutteths his boroels of compassion from him, hon dwell
the love of God in him? Prov.29.7. The righteous confidereth the caufe of
but the wicked regardeth not to ksen it. Ecclef. 11.1. Caft thy bread upon the waters, for
thou shalt find it after many dajes. V.2. Give a portion to seven, and also to eight: for thou knowest not whas evil shall be upon the carth.