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LONGMAN, AND CO., AND WERTHEIM AND MACKINTOSH,
“We all owe God as much as we are able to devote to His service and honour, and we must not think to put Him off with part of it; for He reckons that He receives nothing from us unless it be proportionable to what He hath bestowed upon us. But how little soever it is that we give or offer to Him, if it be but answerable to our estates, it will be accepted by Him. This our Saviour hath Himself assured us of. From whence we may certainly conclude, that there is not the poorest person whatsoever but may be as rich in good works as the richest, because God doth not measure the goodness of our works by their bulk or quantity, but by the proportion which they bear to our estates; so that he who gives a penny, may do as good a work as he who gives a pound, yea, and a better too, because his may be as much as he is able, whereas the other's is not."-Bishop BEVERIDGE.
• Mark xii, 43, 44.
AM I HELPING ?
A QUESTION FOR THOSE WHO DAILY PRAY,
'Thy Kingdom Come.”
At a meeting which was held at Northampton, for the benefit of the Infirmary, in the year 1843, a collection was made, and a farmer sent £20: the gentleman who brought his money gave this message from him—" It has pleased God to bless me with a plentiful crop, and with good weather to get it in. I desire to send this sum as a thank-offering for the goodness of God to me.” On the same day, there was also contributed in aid of the charity, a very handsome present, given by à gentleman, who afterwards mentioned, that "it was sent by one who could do very well without it." Now, how often might the pence be increased to shillings, and the shillings increased to pounds, for charitable purposes, if we would only ask ourselves the question, "What can I do very well without, that I may have to give to him that needeth, and at all times be ready to distribute not only of my abundance, but of my want and self. denial ?" For if the love of Christ so reigns in our hearts as to lead us to think, "we can do very well without” many things for His sake, that we once thought needful to our comfort, we shall then “take joyfully” the lessening of our worldly goods and riches; knowing in ourselves, as St. Paul observes to the Hebrews, that we have in heaven a better and an enduring substance.*
But it is not the rich alone that the Saviour bids deny themselves for His sake and the Gospel's- “Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself.”+
A rich young ruler, and a poor fisherman, were among the listeners of our blessed Redeemer ;I one “had great possessions "—the other, but a net and a fishing-boat, and sometimes had to toil all the night for a subsistence.|| The first asked, “What good thing he should do, that he might have eternal life ?" Jesus said unto him, “ If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven.” But his heart was set upon his riches, and “at that saying,” he went away sad and grieved. The other had forsaken all to follow Christ, and little as that “all ” was, in comparison with the rich man's possessions, yet when he asked what he should have in return, he was promised a throne in the everlasting kingdom of heaven, when the Son of Man should come in His glory; and the Saviour added this gracious promise, that every one who had given up his home, his kindred, his lands, for Christ's sake and the Gospel's, should have an hundred-fold more in this present time, and in the world to come, eternal life.* So great, so immeasurably above our poor sacrifices, are the rich rewards laid up for those who are willing to count all things but loss that they may win Christ, and be found in Him.t
• Heb. x, 34. † Mark viii, 34. 1 Matt. xix.
|| Luke v, 5. John xxi, 3.
And in regard to helping forward the spread of the Gospel, which it must be the duty of every one, whether rich or poor, to strive to do, let the poor recollect these two things, that no gift is too small in God's sight for His gracious acceptance, if it is given with a right motive, and for His honour and glory ;I and the other is for them, and indeed for all of us, constantly to bear in mind, that God gives us every thing we possess, and could take it away at any moment it pleased Him.ll
It is related of the late excellent Mr Thornton, who was well known for contributing munificently to every charity that was brought before him, that a gentleman, on one occasion, waited on him to solicit his support to a charity; that support he had just given, in the shape of a cheque to a considerable amount, and the gentleman had the cheque in his hand. Just at that moment, the intelligence arrived that one of Mr. Thornton's largest ships had foundered on her voyage • Mark x.
+ Phil. iii. 1 Luke xxi, 2, 3.
I Job i, 21.