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himself for ever blessed by giving them to those that want them."
25. May not this be another reason why rich men shall so hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven? A vast majority of them are under a curse, under the peculiar curse of God; inasmuch as, in the general tenor of their lives, they are not only robbing God, continually embezzling and wasting their Lord's goods, and by that very means, corrupting their own souls, but also robbing the poor, the hungry, the naked; wronging the widow and the fatherless; and making themselves accountable for all the want, affliction, and distress, which they may, but do not remove. Yea, doth not the blood of all those who perish for want of what they either lay up, or lay out needlessly, cry against them from the earth? O what account will they give to Him who is ready to judge both the quick and the dead!
26. The true way of employing what you do not wanf yourselves, yon may, fourthly, learn from those words of our Lord, which are the counterpart of what went before: "Lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven; where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through and steal." Put out whatever thou canst spare, upon better security than this world can afford. Lay up thy treasures in the bank of heaven ; and God shall restore them in that day. "He that hath pity upon the poor lendeth unto the Lord, and look, what he layeth out, it shall be paid him again." "Place that," saith he, "unto my account. Howbeit, thou owest me thine own self besides!"
Give to the poor with a single eye, with an upright heart, and write, "So much given to God." For "inasmuch as ye did it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me."
This is the part of a "faithful and wise steward." Not to sell either his houses or lands, or principal stock, be it more or less, unless some peculiar circumstance .should require it; and not to desire or endeavour to increase it, any more than to squander it away in vanity; but to employ it wholly to those wise and reasonable purposes, for which his Lord has lodged it in his hands. The wise steward, after having provided his own household with what is needful for life and godliness, makes himself friends with all that remains, from time to time, of the " mammon of unrighteousness; that when he fails, they may receive him into everlasting habitations:"—that whensoever his earthly tabernacle is dissolved, they, who were betorc carried into Abraham's bosom, after having eaten his bread, and worn the fleece of his flock, and praised God for the consolation, may welcome him into Paradise, and into "the house of God, eternal in the heavens."
27- We "charge" you, therefore, "who are rich in this world," as having authority from our great Lord and Master, izya^ocgvciv,—to be habitually doing good, to live in a course ot good works. "Be yc merciful, as your Father who is in heaven is merciful:" who docth good and ceaseth not. "lie ye merciful,"—how far!' After your power; with all the ability which God givcth. Make this your only measure of doing good, not any beggarly maxims or customs of the world. We "charge you to be rich in good works; " as you have much, to give plenteously. "Freely yc have received; freely give;" soastolayup no treasure but in heaven. Be ye " ready to distribute " to everyone, according to his necessity. Disperse abroad; give to the poor j deal your bread to the hungry. Cover the naked with a garment; entertain the stranger; carry or send relief to them that are in prison. Ileal the sick; not by miracle, but through the blessing of God upon your seasonable support. Let the blessing of him that was ready to perish, through pining want, come upon thee. Defend the oppressed, plead the cause of the fatherless, and make the widow's heart sing for joy.
28. We exhort you, in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, to be willing to communicate; y.oacnux.*s atvxi; to be of the same spirit (though not in the same outward state) with those believers of ancient times, who remained steadfast in rr, xoivcon^, in that blessed and holy fdloivship, wherein " none said that any thing was his own, but they had all things common." Be a steward, a faithful and wise steward, of God and of the poor; differing from them in these two circumstances only,—that your wants are first supplied, out of the portion of your Lord's goods which remains in your hands,—and, that you have the blessedness of giving. Thus "lay up lor yourselves a good foundation," not in the world which now is, but rather, "for the lime to come, that ye may lay holdon eternal life." Thegreat foundation indeed of all the blessings of God, whether temporal or eternal,is the Lord JesusChrist,—his righteousness and blood, —what he hath done, and what he hath suffered for us. And "other foundation," in this sense, " can no man lay ;" no, not an Apostle, mi, not an Angel from heaven. But through his merits, uhatevci we do in his name is a foundation for a good reward, in the day when "every man shall receive his own reward, according to his own labour." Therefore "labour" thou, '«not for the meat that perisheth, but for that which endureth unto everlasting life. Therefore "whatsoever thy hand [now] findcth to do, do it with thy might." Therefore let
"No fair occasion pass unheeded by;
Snatching the golden moments as they fly,
"By patient continuance in welldoing, seek thou for glory, and honour, and immortality." In a constant, zealous performance of all good works, wait thou for that happy hour, when the King shall say, ** I was an hungred, and ye ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: i was a stranger, and ye took me in: naked, and ye clothed mc: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.—Come, ye blessed of my Father, receive the kingdom prepared for you, from the foundation of the world!"
"No man can serve two mutters: for either lie will hate tiir one, (Did love the other; or else he will hold to the one and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.
"Therefore I so// unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall cat, or whai ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raimPat?
"Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye. not much better than they?
"Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature?
"And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin:
"And yet I say unto you, that even Solomon in all his glory
was not arrat/ed like one of these. "Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which
to day is, and tomorrow is cast into the oven, shall he not
much more clothe you, O ye of little faith t "Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat?
or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall ice
"(For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.
"Jiut seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
"Take therefore no thought for the morroiv: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient auto the day is tht ceil thereof." Matt. vi. '24—'64.