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such a provision for thyself as will endure when time shall be no more!" And I will say to my soul—Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry. But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided ?"* They shall be God's, and he will burn them up with the world in unquenchable fire, with anger, and indignation!
Therefore, beloved, "take no thought, saying, what shall we eat? or what shall we drink? or, wherewithal shall we be clothed? but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also." And with the eye of faith be ever looking forward to gain a place in that world which is to have no end:— here you labour to no profit, but there you shall reap an ample reward for all your diligence which you shall have exercised in making your calling and election sure, for "whosoever" said our blessed Lord " will lose his life for my sake, shall find it:" and every man shall be rewarded according to his work!
* 12th chap. Luke, 19th and 20th verses.
A. M. W.
Chelmsfotd, 12th Oct. 1844.
SHKiJtCKOIT, TTP. CHSLKSFOKB.
TRUE CHARITY, THE CHRISTIAN'S HIGHEST ATTAINMENT.
—"It is more blessed to give than to receive."
20th chap. Acts, latter clause 35th verse.
Of all the excellent virtues which the Christian is exhorted and encouraged to imitate and to cultivate, Charity is pronounced the greatest; inasmuch that it tends to lessen us in our own value of ourselves and our possessions, and induces a self-denying spirit. For be it remembered, that Charity does not consist in giving of our superfluities, in parting with what we shall never miss;—on the contrary, True Charity is in giving from that treasury of ours from which treasury we supply ourselves with means to support us every day in life; and to do this, we must deny ourselves some pleasure or indulgence, in order to give a trifle to some good cause. The widow's two mites which we read of in St. Mark's gospel were received by our Lord, and the act commended by our Lord far more than the Rich who cast in of their abundance; the rich had dispensed liberally, but they would never miss it; whereas, the poor widow " of her want did cast in all that she had, even all her living." The worldly man, the avaricious man, will doubtless, condemn this; and in the present age we are not required by God to strip ourselves of all we have, and throw it down at the feet of Mercy; but we are expected to give according to our ability, and to be generous without ostentation. But, who can say he is liberal from the motive only of doing good for others, and promoting the religion of Christ? How many are influenced in their alms deeds by the love of popularity, or the desire to be thought rich in the world, or with the selfish expectation of receiving as much again. "If you love them that love you, what thank have ye? If ye do good to them which do good to you, what thank have ye? and if ye lend to them of whom ye hope to receive, what thank have ye?" The maxim of the world is, "Charity begins at home." The gospel tells us "Charity seeketh not her own." It may be difficult for us to assist our friends and advance their welfare, at the injuring perhaps of our own interest, or to give up some pursuit or amusement to gratify them and promote their happiness. Yet such is required of the Christian, for " we are members one of another." And the less we value earthly things, the more we shall feel disposed to share our blessings with those who are proceeding with us to that abiding city which is to come, "to an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens."* It was the great characteristic of our Saviour, "who went about doing good," "for even Christ pleased not himself,"f he never consulted his own wishes, and even denied himself the common necessaries of life as food and rest; frequently he prayed all night: for we read in the 21st chap, of Luke, "In the day-time he was teaching in the temple, and at night he abode in the mount of Olives." He shunned popularity, and avoided the applause of men, which is of no value; when he had performed the miracle of feeding the four thousand, he immediately left them, and entered into a ship and departed to Dalmanutha.§ He waited not for the praise which the multitude would have given him,—he was content at knowing that he had done the will of his
Father, and for that purpose was he sent. We observe too his unwearied exertions in the ministry. He was thirty years in the world unknown and unrespected ;— treated scornfully—considered a wine-bibber—a friend of publicans and sinners, for in those days the publicans were regarded as a mean and rapacious people. We see also his parentage born in Bethlehem, in a deserted part of Judea. He bore the reproaches and contempt of the Jews with meekness and patience, and submitted himself to his earthly parents, and reckoned to be the son of Joseph, the carpenter: he had no home, not even where to lay his head. He never enjoyed the family circle, or participated in those great luxuries which we possess. Again, our Saviour is an example of self-denial in his sufferings and death. "He was despised and rejected of men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief!" We are told if we wish to enter glory, we must "take up his cross and follow him," and bear with submission all the ills which may befal us. The Christian is never to consult his own ease, his own convenience, his own pleasure, when he is called upon to do anything for the benefit or advantage of others, or the glory of