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&c., ye shall give unto the priest, that he may cause the blessing to rest in thine house."

Mal. jii. 10. “ Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of Hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it."

Gal. vi. 6. “Let him (that is, he is bound by his Christianity) that is taught in the Word communicate to him that teacheth in all good things.” May my gracious God, who has blessed me with wealth, may He bless me with humility and gratitude, and with a perseverance in the most lovely grace of charity. When God left out the tribe of Levi in the division of the land, He did it for his advantage ; for He gave him a tenth instead of a twelfth part; and even this under such conditions as freed him from bodily labour. Every one is bound to help the poor, not just as he is assessed by human laws, but according to his ability, as God has prospered him; and if he will do no more than he can be compelled by law, he will have but a bad account to make. Prescriptions are therefore unlawful.


Ecclus. vii. 9. Say not, God will look upon the multitude of my oblations, (that is, if we wilfully break His laws,) and when I offer to the Most High God, He will accept it.” GOD has no need of our help to relieve the poor. He commands us for our own profit to help one another; that we help the poor with our riches, they us with their prayers. We give nothing to the poor but what we have received from God. How well is a man paid for his alms, when they obtain for him the grace of God, not to mention a reward in temporal blessings! The administering of charity not only supplieth the wants of the poor, but is abundant also by many thanksgivings unto God, and by their prayers for you '.

1 2 Cor. ix. 12.

1 Tim. v. 8. “ But if any provide not for his own, and especially for those of his own house, (kindred,) he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.” A very terrible sentence! And will not this awaken pastors, masters, parents, now fast asleep in a deplorable neglect of those who stand related to them, both as to temporals and spirituals? We rob the poor, when we leave to others the care of maintaining our poor relations, when we ourselves are able to do it; and thereby deprive those charitable persons of the means of supporting other poor persons. Remember to give to those that are ashamed to ask ; and do not forget your poor relations, lest you be worse than an infidel.

John xii. 6. “ This Judas said, not that he cared for the poor, but because he was a thief, and had the bag, and bare (the money) which was put therein.” Our Lord trusts a thief with the little money that He had for His own, or His disciples' necessities, and for the poor, because He values it not much. My Saviour, Thou who hast entrusted me with the revenues of Thy poor, make me a faithful steward ; let me not be proud of the trust, since Judas himself had once the same office; but let me dread being unfaithful, lest I draw upon me his cursed fate and end! They who are united in an expectation of an eternal reward, ought to have very little regard to those external advantages which distinguish men. We ought to look upon it as a certain truth, that it is God who sends to us His friends in the


strangers. Ecclus.

“ In all thy gifts show a cheerful countenance, and dedicate thy tithes with gladness." Give unto the Most High according as He hath enriched thee. For the Lord thy God recompenseth, and will give thee seven times as much. But do not think to corrupt (viz. God) with gifts, nor trust to unrighteous sacrifices, for the Lord is Judge.

Rom. xii. 18. “ He that showeth mercy, let him do it with cheerfulness.” The good Lord preserve me from vanity, and from seeking applause for my charity.

N. B. To lend is sometimes better than to give, because it flatters not our vanity ; it puts not the receiver to the blush,

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and gives not encouragement to idleness and sloth. Christ has left the poor in His place, and has in them continual wants and necessities to be supplied. There is danger in letting our thoughts run too much upon the good we do, lest we should at last come to fancy that God is in our debt; and that He should reward us in this life. The merits of the poor is not to be the rule of our charity. “If thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink. I was a stranger, and ye took me not in." God Himself maketh his sun to shine


the evil and upon the good. We should always have enough for the poor, if we would but moderate our vanity, and live according to the spirit of the Gospel. It will one day be found true, that the measure of the riches which any man possesseth, should have been the measure of his charity.

Ecclus. xl. 24. “ Brethren and help are against the time of trouble; but alms delivereth more than them both.”

Tobit xiv. 10. “Manasses gave alms, and escaped the snares of death which they had set for him." He who gives to receive glory of men, is as great, but worse beggar than any he gives to. Send Thy blessing upon my labours and my substance, and continue to me a willing mind to help such as have need according to my ability. Ecclus. xviii. 15, 16, 17. “My son, blemish not thy good

. , deeds, neither use uncomfortable words when thou givest any thing. Shall not the dew assuage the heat ? so is a word better than a gift. A word is better than a gift; but both are with a gracious man."

Prov. xi. 24. “There is that scattereth, and yet increaseth: and there is that withholdeth more than is meet, but it tendeth to poverty." Whenever we relieve the wants of the body, we ought not to forget the necessities of the soul. Good advice, and devout petitions, for their eternal welfare, will then be most proper and acceptable to God. O God, who knowest the necessities of all Thy creatures, give Thy poor the spiritual graces they stand in need of. LORD Jesus, conduct this poor blind person in the way of light and peace everlasting. Support Thy

. poor members, O Jesu, under all their difficulties, and sanctify

their bodily wants to the salvation of their souls. May Thy poor, O LORD, engage Thee, by a life of resignation and piety, to make them amends in the next world for what they want in this. Let Thy poor have a particular share of Thy grace and mercy, that they may appear for me at the day of judgment. Let these poor people have Thy grace, whatever else Thou deniest them. May the wants of Thy poor here, help to increase their happiness hereafter. LORD, grant, that these may bear their poor estate with patience and resignation, and that we may one day meet in the paradise of GOD.

Matt. x. 8. "Freely ye have received, freely give." Give me, O my LORD and Benefactor, an abhorrence of making a trade of Thy gifts, of which I am only a dispenser.

Prov. xiv. 31. xvii. 5. "He that mocketh, and he that oppresseth, the poor, reproacheth his MAKER." As if He did not order what is best for all His creatures. May this Thy poor member, O LORD, make a Christian use of this condition in which Thy providence hath placed him. JESUS CHRIST is continually humbled in His members; some are poor, in prison, sick, naked, hungry, &c. Let me, O LORD, see and help Thee in all these objects. A man that has faith will be glad to discharge himself of the burthen (some part at least) of temporal goods, in order to secure those that are eternal; and to be in some sense the preserver of his brethren. Charity treats the most unknown and remote like brethren, as being children of the same Heavenly FATHER, and members of the same body.


Col. iv. 6. "Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man." One mild, prudent, and edifying conversation, has often gained more souls than many sermons.

1 Thess. v. 11. "Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another." These are two express duties of Christian conversation. May that good SPIRIT, which appeared in the likeness of tongues of fire, warm my heart, direct my thoughts, and guide my tongue, and give a power to persuade;



that by my conversation and example, as well as by my sermons and writings, I may promote the kingdom and interests of my great Master. Amen.

Psalm exix. "I will speak of Thy testimonies even before kings, and will not be ashamed." We, of all men, should desire to talk, and to be talked to, in our own way, and of things relating to our own profession; and so we should if our profession were most at our heart.

Matt. x. 16. "Behold I send you forth as sheep among wolves." My SAVIOUR, give me grace to oppose nothing to the violence of men, but the meekness and simplicity of that


Matt. x. 20. "It is not ye that speak, but the HOLY SPIRIT speaketh in you." O HOLY SPIRIT, speak in me on all occasions, that I may always speak as a Christian.

Matt. x. 19. "It shall be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak." Let no incredulity, O JESUS, hinder the effects of so positive a promise, that neither want of talents, nor any other defect or surprise, may hurt Thy cause.

John xv. 20. "Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than the LORD. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you: if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also." O Thou great Master of humility and of suffering, how unwilling are we to follow this maxim, and imitate Thy conduct! O let me learn from Thee never to murmur, never to complain. I can never suffer any thing but what Thou hast suffered.

Mark iv. 38. "Carest Thou not that we perish?" LORD, give me always a great concern for the Church, a true compassion for its evils, and a sure confidence in Thee. O LORD JESUS, Thou seest our afflictions, our troubles, and our wants. Haste Thee to help us, O LORD God of our salvation.

Prayer before Study.

O God, the fountain of all wisdom, in a deep sense of my own ignorance, and of that great charge which lies upon me, I am constrained to come often before Thee, from whom I have

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