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to act; and if you are properly impressed with a view of your Father, we shall not plead in vain for these orphans.
But other motives should affect you, as they ought to have done this covetous man. "Shall I give ?" Yes: because of the instability of all earthly things, the great uncertainty of riches, you should devote a portion of your wealth to this benevolent purpose, that you may by charity secure some of your possessions beyond the possibility of losing them. Ah! how many instances have you seen which prove, that to-day we may have the wealth of Job, and tomorrow need all his patience; that to-day we may exult in boundless wealth, which to-morrow may vanish, and leave nothing but melancholy, disappointment, and remorse? We can give permanence and security to these fugitive blessings only by employing them in acts of charity. Thus they are placed out of the reach of the spoiler, and secured from accident or danger. What we give to the poor, we deliver and intrust into the hands of God, from which no force can wrest it, and no artifices withdraw it. It is laid up in heaven, whither no thief can climb, and where no moth or rust can consume. Thus it becomes a source of felicity, even when we no longer have it in possession.
Do you still ask with Nabal, "Shall I give?" Yes; consider the day of trouble, and bestow your benefaction. In a short time the shadow of death shall encompass you about, the vanities of life shall fade away, and the comforts of the world shall vanish. Your riches and your possessions, your pomp and your magnificence, your sports and pastimes; the companions of your pleasure, the admirers of your fortune, the flatterers of your vices, must be torn
from you: desolate and unattended, you must go down to the chambers of darkness. This period may be near you: as in the case of Nabal, it may be only ten days before the Lord may smite you; and smite you perhaps as he was smitten, for your illiberality. What do I say? Perhaps in the midst of your dreams of long life, your "soul may this night be required of you; and then whose shall those things be which you possess ?" Then will you not acknowledge, that to have preserved and increased your wealth by illiberality and want of mercy, will only render your account more difficult, and inflame your future reckoning; that all your treasures, instead of procuring you any favour, or bribing any advocate in the impartial world of eternity, shall "be a swift witness against you," and press you deeper into perdition? How much happier in the hour of dissolution is he, who from Christian principles, has rescued sickness from the grave, and poverty from the dungeon; who has heard the groans of the aged struggling with misfortune, and the cries of infants languishing with hunger! His recompense shall flow from the Fountain of mercy; he shall stand without fear on the brink of life, and pass into eternity with an humble confidence of finding through the Redeemer that mercy he has never denied.” (Taylor.)
"Shall I give ?" Yes; if you wish your memory to be cherished by your survivers. As to the uncharitable person, “men," says Job," shall clap their hands at him, and shall hiss him out of his place." Having lived but for himself, no tears are shed over his corpse; his possessions are pointed at as marks of obloquy, and monuments of infamy upon his memory. Who mourns for Nabal? who regrets his departure
from the earth, to which he was a burden? not one. Whilst with regard to a Dorias, with regard to all the benevolent, the unbought burst of sorrow from the widow and the orphan, declares the loss the children of misfortune have sustained; their memorial is gratefully recorded on the fleshly tables of the heart; and at the mouth of the grave is disclosed a part of that beneficence which their modesty when living had concealed, but of which the smallest circumstance shall never be erased from the records of eternity.
"Shall I give ?" Yes! for the judgment-day is approaching: and then, what unutterable anguish, what agonizing horror, shall convulse the heart of him who shall receive judgment without mercy, because he hath showed no mercy!" While those who, from a sincere love to Jesus, have clothed the naked, consoled the afflicted, and caused the heart. of the disconsolate to sing for joy, shall hear the transporting declaration of their beloved and almighty Redeemer, " Inasmuch as ye did it to one of the least of these, ye did it unto me.' Read the account of the transactions of that day in Matthew xxv. and if you then dare act uncharitably, you are either sworn enemies to your own felicity, or you have renounced your God, your religion, your Redeemer, your everlasting hopes.
Brethren, it is unnecessary for me to proceed further. You well know the value of the institution for which your benefactions are solicited.
Rich men, we call upon you for your contributions. Present not the excuses of a Nabal; weigh the motives which have been urged upon you; remember that the eye of Jesus, who solicits you in the person of these children, is fixed upon you; and that
at his bar you are to give an account of that wealth with which he has intrusted you."
Poor men, be not discouraged because you can give but little; your Redeemer accepted the mite of the widow; and has declared that the poor man, who gives a cup of cold water in the name of a disciple, shall not lose his reward.
Mothers, whose hearts fill with joy as you think of the fair prospects of your children sporting around you, your hands will be stretched out liberally to relieve these children of sorrow, who were born to poverty, and" baptized in tears."
Ye widows, who are blest with outward comforts, which cannot, however, expel the aching remembrance of the loved relatives you have lost, you will sympathize with those who are "widows indeed;" who are left with children, poor and helpless, desolate and friendless, bereft of partners on whose bosoms they may recline their throbbing heads, and who will divide their griefs.
Ye who in early life became orphans, ye will look back with a sympathizing heart upon those who follow in the same dark, defenceless path; and remembering with gratitude the friends Providence raised up for you, will emulate and exceed their benevolence!'
Christians, in the house of the God of mercy, on the day when Jesus rose to seal your immortal hopes, you will rejoice in the opportunity of showing your attachment to the Redeemer, by befriending the friendless and proving the orphan's stay.
I proceed no further: you have seen your duty; I confidently leave the result to your hearts, your consciences, and your God; and I pray this God to accept the willing contributions which you are about to bestow.
THE SAVIOUR's tenderneSS TO LITTLE CHILDREN.
MATTHEW Xviii. 10, 11. 14. 5.
Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones: for I say unto you, that in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven. For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost. Even so it is not the will of your Father which is in heaven, that one of these little ones should perish. And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name, receiveth me.
In the preceding chapter, the evangelist exhibits his Lord transfigured upon Tabor. There was exhibited the brightest scene ever beheld upon earth; there was a glorious conjunction of heaven and earth, the law and the gospel, the church triumphant and the church militant, the chief of the prophets and the chief of the apostles, while Jesus stood decked in robes of celestial splendour, as the glo
* This Sermon was preached for the benefit of the Savannah Orphan Asylum.