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anxious about her domestic affairs, yet who can forbear applauding the benevolent regards the expressed for our Saviour and his friends *? The generous love of one of the Maries, who at a great expence procured an alabaster box of very precious ojotment, and look itoveriour Lord's head as he sat at meat ; was so grate, ful to him that he declared, what she had done should be told forrla memorial of her wherever the gospel should be preached in the whole world #. The primitive Chriftians were much given to hospitality. In the beginning they had all things in common : "they " fold their poffefsions and goods, and parted them to "all men, as every man had need; and daily breaking
bread from house to house, they ate their meat with " gladness and singleness of heart I.' Wherever the gospel was received a liberal spirit was diffused among the people, and the houses, as well as hearts of men in all places were open to entertain strangers who came properly recommended to them. In fine, the names, of Priscilla aud Aquila, of Lydia, of Gaius, and many others, will be conveyed down to the latest potterity with marks of divine approbation for their benevolence and hofpitality. But the most powerful argument to persuade us to the duty, we are recommending, is that which refults., i
n ni inn , i 5. And lastly, from divine Hospitality ...
- The blessed God is the father of a numerous family, the great Householder of the universe ; and words are wanting to express the benevolence of his heart and the bounty of his hands. He is good to. ** all, and his tender mercies are over all his works.
“ All * Luke x. 38---ult. + Mat. xxvi. 6---13,
Ci Acts ii. 45:40.
“ All his works praise him, and his faints bless him. His “ creatures, every one of them, wait upon him, and he “ gives them their meat in due season. He openeth his “ hand, and satisfies the desire of every living thing *.??? His fun shines and his rain falls on the evil as well as the good. His very enemies share of his bounty. 'He gives liberally to all men, and upbraids not. From him we receive ability to be hofpitable, and hearts to be fo too. The tables to which we invite our friends he fpreads, and the cup we put into their hands he-fills. Oh the munificence of the great God! How large, how constant, how inexhaustible is his bounty !-Ought. we not then to be followers of God as dear children ? To be hospitable is to be like God: and to resemble his Maker is the glory of an intelligent creature.,
But when we have furveyed the bounties of Providence in their larget.extent, the idea we collect from thence, of the generosity of the blessed God, falls pro. digiously short of that which the gospel-inspires. Here: to use the language of an apoftie," he hath shewn the " exceeding riches of his grace, in his kindness towards * us, through Christ Jesus t." A feat he has prepa. red for myriads of guilty, wretched, helpless beings, at an expence which angels are at a loss to compute.
The sacrifice is his own Son! How exquisitely grands muft the fealt on such a sacrifice be! Let eastern monarchs, in all the pride of wealth and power, afsemble their princes, nobles, and people, to partake of a banquet the most expensive and magnificent they can furnish. Let them on these occafions, like Ahasuerus, exhibit to the view of their subjects. “ the riches of " their glorious kingdoms, and the honour of their ex
cellent * Psalm cxlv. 9, 10, 15, 16... Eph. ii. 7.
** cellent majesty.* " : It is all idle shew, a mere fplendid nothing, when compared with this the noblest of all entertainments. Nor is the reception which the Master of this feast gives - his numerous guests, less kind and gracious, than the feast itself is sumptuous and dele&able. With infinite condescention and goodness, he sends his servants to invite men of all descriptions to it; with a cordiality not to be imagined, he welcomes them to it; and with anexampled hospitality, pours upon them a profufion of joys the most refined, fubftantial, and unutterable. Happy day, when all the guests shall be affembled, and this glorious feftival shall be celebrated in the palace of the great King above ! !!. . . . . " ..
Let us now lay all these ideas together--the fitness of this duty-ibe reward it brings with it--the fair examples of those who have most diftinguished themfelves by their generosity in this way-and, above all, the hospitality of the blessed God, on whose favour our happiness depends ; let us lay all thefe confiderations together, and then ask ourfelves, whether we can find it in our hearts to be felfish, parfimonious, and inhofpitable? A man of this character is a wretch, a disgrace: to his species, and deserving of the contempt and detestation of every rational and sociable being. Such monsters there may be in our world : but such, surely, are not to be found among the disciples of the kind; the benevolent, the hospitable Jesus. It is impossible that they who have shared of his bounty, and have drank into his Spirit, should thrust the honest poor from their doors, fhut up their bowels of compassion from the widow, the fatherless, and the stranger, and
have * Esther i. 41: .".!!
have no taste for the generous pleasures of friendship and society... We speak therefore, Christians, a language harmonious in your ears, and congenial to vour heirts, when we say with the apostle, Ufe hofpiiality one to another, without grudging. 321
Job i. 4, 5. And his fons went and feafted in their boufes, eve. ry one bis day, and fent and called for their three fisters, to eat and to drink with them. And it was so, when the days of their feasting were gone about, that Job sent and fanctified them, and rofe up early in the morning, and offered burnt offerings according to the number of them all : for Bob faid, It may be that my fons have: finned, and curfed God in their hearts. Thus
did Job continually. TESTIVALS in families, on occasion of marriages, 1 births, and other prosperous events, have been usual in most ages and countries. And it is not to be doubted, that the practice is innocent and commendable. It is capable of being improved to ends the most falutary and important; and, on the contrary, of being abused to purposes very criminal and pernicious. To offer fuch advice, therefore, as may prevent the evils