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jects, shall not thereby be impoverished-on the contrary, he shall be enriched. The way to become rich is to be liberal. Instead therefore of repining, we have the utmost reason to be thankful, that our lot was cast in this favoured period of the world, when the claims of so many great and important objects are presented and urged, and so frequent demands are made upon the liberality of Christians. If there is any truth in the Scriptures, or of that view of them which has been taken in this discourse, the present age should on this very account be regarded, not as a hard and impoverishing one, but as affording peculiar facilities for the acquisition of wealth, and for advancing even in temporal prosperity.
Many persons seem to entertain fears, that the present efforts of Christians for the spread of their religion will be a means of weakening and injuring the Church. In their zeal to extend the blessings of the gospel to others, they will become so enfeebled, as to be unable to support it among themselves.— But if what has been said is true, there is no reason to apprehend this; nor would there be, were the contributions of the Church increased fourfold. If "the liberal soul shall" indeed be made fat;" if the way for Christians to become rich is to be liberal; then the Church, which is composed of Christians, must be, not impoverished, but enriched, by the same means. Have the different Protestant Churches in this country and in Europe been in fact impoverished, by their recent exertions for the spread of the gospel? are they now less able, or less disposed, than they were twenty years ago, to maintain religious institutions among themselves? Or is there an individual Church, in any country, which has become so enfeebled by Missionary efforts, as to be unable
to retain its customary Christianprivi leges? Ihazard nothing in asserting that there is no such Church in existence-and never was. So far from this, it has proved universally true, that the more the Churches did for the spread of the gospel, the more they found themselves able to do; and the more they did for the diffusion of their religion abroad, the greater was their ability, and their disposition, to support its institutions at home. -True indeed, there is a point of liberality, beyond which if Churches or Christians should go, they would overstep their duty, and might be impoverished; but there is no reason to think that in general they have ever passed this point, and no reason to fear that they soon will.
Persons in low, or in moderate worldly circumstances, are liable to think, that they have a sufficient excuse for withholding, and are under no obligations to do any thing for the spread of the gospel. It is the business of the rich, they say, to be liberal. It is as much as they can do to take care of themselves.-But if what has been said is true, this excuse is without foundation. God is indeed a reasonable Being. accepteth according to that a man hath." He does not require those who have but one talent, to improve ten; or those in moderate worldly circumstances to vie with the rich in the extent of their charities. But he requires all his rational creatures to possess, what the apostle denominates "a willing mind"--a liberal and charitable spirit. He requires them to care for the necessities of their fellow men, and to hold whatever he has committed to them in subserviency to his glory, and the interests of his holy kingdom. Our Saviour, while on earth, did not consider poverty an excuse for covetousness.
He commended the poor widow, who possessed only two mites, because she had cast her all into the treasury of the Lord.-It becomes those who are in circumstances of comparative want very seriously to consider, whether it is not their covetousness which has made them poor, and which continues them in that state. The Jews, at a certain period of their history, thought themselves too poor to build the house of the Lord, and to pay their tithes and offerings, according to the requisitions of the law of Moses. And the consequence was, that God" smote them with blasting, and with mildew, and with hail, in all the labor of their hands," and thus impoverished them more and more. At the same time, he promised them; if they would "honour him with their substance," if they would "bring all the tithes into the store house, and prove him therewith; that he would "open unto them the windows of heaven, and pour them out a blessing, that there should not be room to receive it." "The liberal soul shall" The way to become rich
certainly be made fat." is to be liberal. If then any present would have their circumstances improved-if they would be in a prosperous and thriving state; let them take that course to effect it, which the God of nature and of providence has here pointed out.
Had we a stronger faith in the promises of God, and a more unwavering confidence in his fidelity and truth; we should be more ready for every duty, and especially for that which has been considered in this discourse. We should be more ready to meet the calls of his Providence, and to hold our earthly substance at the disposal of his sovereign will. We should be more ready, in labors, in sacrifices, and self-denials, to devote ourselves to his service and
kingdom. Our prayer then for ourselves should be that of the sometimes wavering disciples, "Increase our faith." And as we regard the advancement of Christ's precious cause, and the fidelity and comfort of his followers; we shall offer the same prayer in respect to them, "Increase their faith." May the faith of all those who profess to be followers of the Lord Jesus, be increased many fold. Thus will they increase in liberality, and in every grace, and the knowledge of their Divine Redeemer will be rapidly spread from sea to sea, and from shore to shore.
OBLIGATIONS OF CHRISTIANS IN RELATION TO THE
Romans xi. 26.
"And so all Israel shall be saved."
IN this verse, as well as in those preceding and following it, the Apostle is giving instruction to the Gentile converts, relative to the actual spiritual condition and prospects of the Jewish nation. And he informs them, that though the great mass of this once favored people were now broken off from their church privileges because of unbelief, yet there continued "a remnant according to the election of grace ;" and although the part of them who had been rejected, with their posterity, might remain blinded and dispersed for a very long period," until the fulness of the Gentiles were gathered in," still, "the Deliverer who had come out of Zion should ultimately turn away, ungodliness from Jacob, and so all Israel should be saved."-It is evident, not only from the promise in the text, but from other intimations and promises in this chapter, and numerous declarations in different parts of the inspired volume, that the Jews will, at some future period, become sincere converts to the faith, and members of the Church of Christ. It is my intention in this discourse to offer several special reasons, why it is devolving on Chris tians at the present time to attempt the conversion of the Jews.