Imágenes de página
PDF

ciously removed from it, that, if Possible, they may be safely Restored to it again. - Lastly, If we cast our Eyes upon the Places appropriated to the Confinement and Employment of Vagrants, and Wicious Persons; * Those likewise will be found proper Repositories of the Mammon of Umrighteousness. Imprisonment is as necessary an effect of Charity, in this case, as Redemption from it is in others. The jews did wisely seclude their Lepers from the most publick Places of Concourse, to prevent the mischief of spreading Infection. And by how much Mens Souls are more Valuable than their Bodies; so much more Solicitous should we be to prevent the propagation of Vice than of Leprofie; which cannot possibly be effected, if those Profligate Persons, who are confined for their Enormities, were suffer'd to breath in the open Air. And yet, whilst you thus abandon them from common Conversation, you do not only provide for the Preservation of O

# Bridewell, and the Work-House.

thers'

thers, but likewise for their own Deli

verance. You prevent their running in

to the Occasions of Sin, and reduce them from Idleness, that Fruitful parent of Vice, to an Innocent and useful course of Life, to Confideration, and the means of Repentance. Since then there is more joy in heaven over one simmer that repenteth, than over ninety and mine just persons, who need no repentance; How acceptable unto God must that Charity be, whereby the most Desperate offenders are rescued from the very Jaws of Eternal Death? -

These are Unexceptionable Objećts of

Charity; And the Hands, through which the Effects of Charity are transmitted to them, are likewise Unexceptionable. Here is no room for that Little, Trivial subterfuge of Uncharitable Men, which they are so frequently infinuating, as a Cover for their Narrow and Base Spirits, That Charitable Gifts are often misapplied. Here is a Sure foundation for

their good works to rest upon; Let them

bring in their fruits of Charity into these Treasuries; which are so managed, that

they

they are not strain'd, even with the Suspicion of Embezlement, or MisapplicatiOIl. Let it be frequently and seriously revolved in our minds, That when our Lord shall appear the Second time, com— ing in the clouds of heaven, and Summon every one of his Servants, to bring in the accounts of his Stewardship; we shall not only be charged with the utmost of our Abilities to do GoodWorks, but with all Opportunities of doing them. And Blessed will those Servants be, who have faithfully and cheerfully embraced all proper occasions of making to themselves friends of the Mammon of Umrighteousness; of converting even their Earthly and Corruptible Treasures, into an inheritance Incorruptible and Undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved for them in Heaven, through the Merits and Mediation of jesus Christ our Lord; 7% whom, with the Father, and the Holy Ghost, Three Persons and One God, be all Honour and

Glory, henceforth and for evermore. Amen.

3 SERM.

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

S E R M O N IV. Before the Sons of the Clergy.

1 COR. xiii. 13.

And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greates of these is charity.

HIS Account of Charity was occasion'd by anUndueEstimate,

which the Corinthians had made of their High Qualifications and Endowments. God had Blessed them with a Variety of Extraordinary Gifts; but so it happen'd, that, according to the common Frailties and Infirmities of Men, they Misapplied, or Overlook'd the Wise purposes of God, and, having too Little ! regard regard to His honour, They had too Much to their Own. - - * * That they might not therefore fink, from the Spirit of Christ, into a Spirit of Envy or /ainglory, or Intirely devote their Zeal to those Eminent Gifts, which were most apt to gain Admiration and Applause, the Aposile admonish'd them. to measure their Effeem and Desire of every Spiritual Gift, by the Degrees and Measures of the Benefits arising from it, Accordingly he closeth his Account of Spiritual Gifts in the xiith Ch, with an Exhortation, that they would be Most Zealous of Those, which were most Useful, Covet earnestly the bes; Gifts; not so much Those, which are most Surprizing and Astonishing, and apt to Adorn Your Charaćters, as Those which are most Conducive to Spiritual Edification: And then it follows, and yet shew I unto 7%u a more excellent way, the Great Endowmentof Charity, which is more Excellent and Useful, than any Other Endowments or Qualifications, how Glorious soever they may appear amongst You, or how Earnestly

« AnteriorContinuar »