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circumstances will have upon him, before that change comes to pass. New accessions of fortune bring with them new wants, new sentiments, and new desires; and that man acts with a laudable firmness, who, when he becomes wealthier, does not become worse. In one word; let us remember that it is both our duty and our happiness to be contented with the station which Providence has assigned us; and, though we have but a handful, if we possess it in quietness, it is better than both the hands full, with travail and veration of spirit. . - *
Preached at St. Sepulchre's, London, for the Benefit of the Charity-Girls, March 26, 1762.
OF all the institutions that have done honour to human virtue, those that have been established on the principles of uninterested charity are deservedly the most distinguished. We may be incited to great actions by a thirst of honour, by an emulation of excellence, or a desire to be recorded in the history of mankind. These are honourable, but they are selfish motives. It is then only that we acquire unsullied glory, when we are virtuous from motives in which self has no concern; when out of pure benevolence, and the love of human kind, we relieve the indigent, or rescue the oppressed. S
It cannot be without peculiar satisfaction that we see our country distinguished by this public-spirited virtue. It must be with the greatest complacency we consider, that to be born Britons, is not only to be the heirs of freedom, but to be the sons of benevolence— not only to inherit the liberty which our forefathers have delivered down to us sacred, but to add new virtues to those they have left us, and to be distinguished at once by bravery and beneficence—not only, like them, to break every yoke, but to bind up the broken hearted, and to let the oppressed go free.
To save the poor from the miseries that are entailed upon their unhappy condition, is the first and greatest object of social charity, because it many times happens that their poverty is their destruction.
It is probable, that the wise man had in his eye many different ways, wherein the poverty of the poor might contribute to their destruction; and it may be worth our while, not only as Christians, but as members of the community, to consider in what manner so numerous a part of the public body, as the poor are, may be said to be destroyed by poverty. The dangers and difficulties that await the unhappy person who is born to extreme indigence are very many and very, great. In a
state of infancy, indeed, he is insensible of the miseries that surround him; then he knows not that secret anguish which pierces the breast of a father, when he looks upon him as destined to suffer all the hardships he has himself endured ; then he understands not that painful tear which flows from the eye of a mother, when she beholds him helpless as he leans upon her breast, and fears that the following day may not afford them bread. The following day comes, but provision comes not to support it; and the unhappy infant now mixes his tears with those of his wretched parents, tears that fall from the distresses of nature | Many such days probably must he suffer, till his parents, overcome by the afflictions of continued want, at last let go their integrity; and give up their hapless offspring into the arms of some infamous stroller, who carries him about to excite compassion, and to justify her idle pretensions to beg. His situation is now most deplorable, while by day he suffers the pain of cold and hunger, that his cries and miserable aspect may add to the success of the wretched mendicant he accompanies, and at night is thrown into some dungeon unregarded, while she intoxicates herself with the profits of the day. In this pitiable state he continues, till the extremes