Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

you do not spend your money in doing good to others, you minst spend it to the hurt of yourself. You act like one thai refuses the cordial to his sick friend, which he cannot drink himself without intlaming his blood. For this is the case of superfluous money: if you give it to those that want it, it is a cordial; if you spend it upon yourself in something that you do pot want, it only inflames and disorders your mind.

“In using riches where they have no real use, nor ire any real want, we only use them to our great burt, in creatius unreasonable desires, in nourishing ill tempers, in indulging foolislı passions, and supporting a vain turn of mind. For high cating and drinking, finc clothes and fine houses, state and equipage, gay pleasures and diversions, do all of them naturally burt and disorder our heart. They are the food and bourisliment of all the folly and weakness of our nature. They are all of them the support of something, that ought not to be supported. They are contrary to that sobriety and piety of heart, which relishes divine things. They are so many reialıts upon our mind, that make is less able and less inclined to raise our thoughts and aflections to things above.

“ So that money thus spent is not merely wasted or lost, but it is spent to bad purposes and miserable effects; to the corruption and disorder of our hearis; to the making us unable to follow the sublime doctrines of the Gospel. It is but like keeping money from the poor, to buy poison for ourselves."

21. Lqually inexcusable are those who lay up what they do not need for any reasonable purposes :

If it man had hands, and eyes, and feet, that he could give to those that wanted them; if he should lock them up in a chest, iustead of giving them to his brethren that were blind and lame, should we not justly reckon him an inhuman Wreich! If he should rather choose to amuse himself with livarding them up, than entitle himself to an eternal reward, by giving them to those that wanted eyes and bands, might We not justly reckonlim nad?

Von mentyhaslere nuci tlie nature of eyes and feet. If thercrore we lock it up in chests, while the poor and distressed want it for:heir necessary 11scs, lre are not far from the cruelty of him, ilal chooses raiher io hoard up the hands and eyes, Un in vive them?!'

Othat want then. If we choose to lar isip, rather than to editle ourselves to an eternal reward by disposing of our money well, we are guilty of his madness

ther choose to lock up eyes and hands, than to make 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, afiction, 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 want yourselves, you 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 bis Lord has lodged it in his bands. 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 when

66 Be

socrer bis earthly tabernacle is dissolved, they, who were before carried into Abraham's bosom, after having eaten bis 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, LYZIOEgyiv, —10 bc habitually doing good, to live in a course of good works. “Be ye merciful, as your Father who is in heaven is merciful :” who docth good and ccaseth not. ye merciful,”-how far? After your power; with all the ability which God giveth. 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 ye have received ; freely give;" so as tolay up no treasure but in heaven. Be ye “ready to distribute” to e every one, according to his necessity. Disperse abroad; give to the poor; 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. Heal the sick; pot 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; xvwvixos Elva1 ; to be of the same spirit (though not in the same outward state) with those believers of ancient times, who remained steadfast in tn Xowvid, in that blessed and holy fellowship, wherein “none said that any thing was his own, but they had all things common.” Bea steward, a faithful and wise steward, of God and of the poor; differing from them in these two circunstances 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 for yourselves a good foundation,” not in the world which now is, but rather," for the time to come, that ye may lay hold on eternal life.” Thegreat foundation indeed of all the blessings of God, whether temporal or eternal, is the Lord Jesus Christ,- his righteousness and blood, --what he haih dove, and what he hath suffered for us. And “other foundation,” in this

sense,

can no man lay;” no, not an Aposile, yo, not an Angel from heaven. But through his tils, lateraire do in his time 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) findeth to do, do it with thy might.” Therefore let

“No fair occasion pass unheeded by;

Snatching the golden moments as they fly,

Thou by few fleeting years ensure eternity!” ' By patient continuance in weildoing, seek thou for glory, and honour, and immortality." In a constant, zealous perforınance 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 me: 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!"

SERMON XXIX.

ON OUR LORD'S SERMON ON THE MOUNT,

DISCOURSE IX.

" No man cum serve two musters: for either he will hate the

one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one and

despise the other. le cunot serve God and mainmon. Therefore I say unto you, Toke no thought for your life,

that ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more

than meat, and the body than ruimet? 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 ruiment? 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 arrayed like one of these. Vherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which

to day is, and tomorrow is cast into the oven, shall be not

much more clothe you, () ye of little faith? Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat.

or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we

he clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek :) for your

heuvenly Father knoweth that ye hure need of all these

things. But 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 morrow: for the morrow

shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the diiy is the cril thercos." Viatt. vi. 24–34.

« AnteriorContinuar »