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These happy objeûs of charity rise, in their turn, to be heads of families, and the good which they have received they convey from generation to generation.
If our charity hath not only provided the means of religious knowledge, but hath been successful in really communicating that know: ledge, have we not the reasonable prospect of its tranfmission to a distant pofterity ? With the Scriptures, the rich repository of all religious truth in their hands, with the love of that truth in their hearts, with glowing admiring gratitude for this inestimable mercy to themselves, what must be their deep concern and fervent zeal for the instruction and falvation of all with whom they are connected ? How must the parent travail in birth again till Christ be formed in his children ; and, if the children are first partakers of this precious benefit, how must they be fired with an holy ambition to encrich their parents with this fpiritual gift? One act of charity may, in this manner, be the foundation of a magnificent building of mercy : And if it exerts itself with equal benignity upon numbers, how many fplendid temples may it rear, for the worship and service of God? The words of the angel to
Cornelius may then be addressed to such a pious liberal Christian. “ Thy prayers and thine “ alms are come up for a memorial before God.” Accepted of God, as “ workers together with “ him," and his atl-powerful blefling giving the increase, “our labours shall not be in vain in “ the Lord.” The good feed scattered with a liberal hand over the wide field of human neceflities, shall bring forth abundance of fruit. Though the beginning of good may be small, the latter end shall greatly increase. While he sows beside all waters, the prospect of advantage and usefulness grows upon him. The richness of the foil improved by the unsparing and cultivating hand of active beneficence, and rendered fruitful by the bleiling of heaven, attracts even the careless eye, and invites others to fimilar generous exertions. Thus Christian bounty, through the thanksgiving of many, redounds to the glory of God, and the ample satisfactory reward of the liberal Christian.-But, however much the scene may now swell before his eye, in various beauty, and pleasing grandeur, the profpect is not confined to this world. The highest hope is laid up for him in heaven.---Obferre, therefore,
In the fourth and left place, that he who soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully in a future and eternal state. There he fall receive a full reward indeed. “ He that giv“ eth to the poor lendeth to the Lord;” and the loan shall be repaid with highest interest. “ The Lord is not unrighteous to forget his “ work of faith, and labour of love, and pa“ tience of hope." By liberal charity “ we are “ faithful in the unrighteous mammon, and con. “ fequently receive the true riches.” By being ready to communicate to the necessities of others, we do not throw away our money, “ but lay up “ for ourselves treasures in heaven.” Instead of suffering any loss or diminution of fortune, we acquire immense gain, not of perishing filver, bui of “ durable riches and righteousness ;” a precious heavenly treasure, which moth cannot “ corrupt, nor thieves break through and steal.” The liberal Christian " honoureth the Lord with « his substance.” To such he says, “ them that s honour me, I will honour."-" And what, my co brethren, shall be done to the man, whom the “ Lord delighteth to honour?” Shall he have praise of mion? To this he is well entitled ; and from the wise and the worthy he shall receive it;
“ yea, who shall harm him, if he be a follower of ss that which is good ?” But believers, “ whose “ faith worketh by love, seek not honour one of Canother.” They seek for honour from God only, and they shall not be disappointed. Even though their good should be evil spoken of, they have reason to rejoice, for great is their reward in heaven. The riches of their beneficence are but partially known to the world ; indeed, they give not their alms to be seen of men: But their father in heaven seeth in secret, and will reward them openly; and, when he rewards, it is with a munisicence like himself. He would be ashamed to be called their God, were he only to bestow upon them' the most splendid honours, and the richest estates of this world. But he displays the true glory of his connexion with, and peculiar favour for them, in preparing for them a city which hath foundations, eternal in the heavens. Though now concealed by their own modesty, or disregarded and despised by the world, ungrateful and unworthy of them, “ their “ witness is in heaven, and their record on high.” “ The Lord fhall bring forth their righteousness “ in all the glory of the light, and their judg. “ment with all the brightness of the noon-day.”
Yea, this shall be done in a manner the most majestic and divine. " The Lord shall all to “ the heavens from above, and to the earth, that « he may judge his pcople: Gather my faints so to jether to me; and the heavens shall declare or his righteousness; for God is judge himself.” What can equal the solemn grandeur of that day, and the glory with which the faints shall then be crowned, as these are represented by our Lord himself *. Angels, good and bad, with the whole human race, affembled before the awful tribunal of the great Lawgiver ind Judge of the Universe. In such an assembly, what must be the transports of joy to the faints to be called forth and distinguished by his highest approbation expressed in the most honourable terims, marked with every grand folemnity of a public and final decision, and followed with immediate effects, yea with all the inconceivable glory and blessedness of heaven and of eternity ? This honour have all the people of God. Every one of them, without exception, “ having been justified “ freely by the grace of God, through the re“ demption that is in Christ Jesus," and fo “ made heirs according to the hope of eternal
* Matth. xxv. ver. 31.–41: