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Serý ture of Inconsistencies, and such a shame. IX. ful Mistrust of Providence, and Abuse of
Common-Sense, that barely to mention it, - is sufficient to expose it: And then these
yery People, when they die, by as strange, and undefigned a Sort of kindness, leave their Substance to they know not whom, for no other reason, than because they cannot keep it any longer. But after all, tho' we may not withhold Good from them to whom it is due, yet we may yrithhold it from them to whom it is not due: For they who are able to help themselves, and such there are, who nevertheless refuse to do so, can never be entitled to that Good, which it is in their own Power to help themselves to, and which should they receive, they must of neceffity rob those, to whom the Scripture has given a Title to it. The Rod of Justice is the greatest Charity that can be bestowed on them, who by their voluntary Necessities impose upon Mankind, and deprive those who are truly necessitous of that Help and Alistance, which they would otherwise enjoy. They certainly are the
only Objects of Charity whose Necessities SERM. are not of their own making, such as they
Since I am describing to you the several
SERM. Words, while I recommend to you one
be exceedingly well bestowed, I mean in
Years, fo in Grace, till they come unto a SERM.
IX. perfect Man, unto the Measure of the Stature of the Fulness of Chrift:
Having proved that Charity is a Debt, and how far it is timited and restrained, I shall, Secondly, proceed to bring fome Arguments to perswade you chearfully to dif
And First, We should be always ready to help and affist our Fellow-Creatures in their Wants and Neceffities, because it is what we would expect of them, if we were in their Condition, and they in ours; and therefore it would be unreasonable to deny them that, which we should think unreasonable for them to deny us.
Secondly, We should take Care chearfully to discharge this Duty of Charity, because we do not know how foon it may be our own Case to want Assistance ourselves. No one can tell how it may please God to deal with him, and what Condition he may be in before he dies, however profperous and successful he
be at present; and then if he hath stopped his Ears at the Cry of the Poor, he also shall
SERM. self, but shall not be heard: For what IX.
can he expect of God in his Adversity, who refused him any Acknowledgment in his Prosperity? Or what can he expect from Men, when he himself refused to grant what he is now obliged to ask? But if he hath been accustomed to Acts of Charity and Beneficence, and hath not shut his Ears upon the Cries of the Poor and Needy, happy is he, the Lord shall deliver him in the time of Trouble. A charitable Man when he is under Afidions is sure to be pitied by all Men, and to draw Compassion from that stony Heart that seldom shewed any before: For Nature is not so far degenerated, but it must love and admire that Divine Temper of Mind, that delights in doing Good, and shew the greater Compassion to it when in Distress.
Thirdly, A third Argument I shall make Use of to perswade you to a chearful Difcharge of this Debt is the Encouragement that attends it; for tho' Charity is a Debt which we are obliged to discharge, yet because it is always accompanied with such a lovely Frame of Mind, such Pity, such