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holdeth more than is meet, but it tendeth to poverty.” It has been often observed, the more a man gives, the more he desires to give; and receives the blessing, “he that watereth, shall be watered also himself;" and those who give nothing, are frequently visited with the fearful punishment of finding, as years roll on, that their hearts become harder and harder. And is not this portion of Scripture full of warning to such persons, who are Christians not in deed, but in word only ? * And when Jesus saw a fig-tree in the way, he came to it, and found nothing thereon but leaves only, and he said unto it, Let no fruit grow on thee henceforth for ever. And presently the figtree withered away."*
We find there are those who endeavour to stifle their consciences in not giving their help to Missionary Associations, by the cheap and easy way of saying, “charity begins at home, and they do not know what becomes of their money after it is given." Like Nabal to the wearied servants of David, when they asked for his assistance: “Who is David ? and who is the son of Jesse ? Shall I then take my bread, and my water, and my flesh that I have killed for my shearers, and give it unto men whom I know not whence they be ?" But“his heart died within him, and he became as a stone,” when he learned that he whom he had refused to assist, was one the Lord had loved and chosen, and whose “soul was bound in
• Matt. xxi, 19.
the bandle of life.”* And who are those you decline to aid ? Are they not immortal beings? Are they not those for whom that merciful Saviour shed His blood, “who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth?”+ Are they not those who will with us be gathered into His heavenly garner, or bound up in bundles for everlasting fire ?"I Can you honestly say, "the cause which I knew not, I searched out?"|| for the Society's Reports, and the accounts of Missionary labours, are now so regularly sent home and freely distributed, that ignorance of its expenditure of the money received, ought not to be pleaded, and is but a bad excuse; besides, if you give in faith, and unto the Lord, what have you to do with the result ? “In the morning sow thy seed, and in the evening withhold not thine hand : for thou knowest not whether shall prosper, either this or that, or whether they both shall be alike good.Ş “He which soweth sparingly, shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully, shall reap also bountifully." And do you keep back from sowing your seed, because you know not whether your crops shall fail or be abundantly increased ? Often, indeed, is that Word,
• 1 Sam. xxv. # 1 Tim. ii, 4. I Matt. xiii, 30. Job xxis, 16. $ Eccle. xi, 6.
2 Cor. ix, 6. A farmer of Alsace sent two hundred francs to the Missionaries, with this short observation—"When I was a boy, being once employed to sow, an experienced farmer said to me, Throw the seed out far, my lad. I did so, since then I have become rich in worldly goods, I therefore think I ought to do the same in spiritual matters."
which the pounds of the rich, and the pence of the poor, are assisting to spread in foreign lands, scattered, we know not on what soil, (as we learn from the parable of the sower ;) some falls “by the way-side, upon stony places, among thorns, other into good ground." But at that great harvest—the end of the worldwhat a gathering in will there be! Let it be one of the earnest desires of your hearts, that when you stand at that awful day before the Son of Man, you may meet some soul shining among the faithful ones, who, by your prayers and assistance, it may be but a few pence given yearly, (if you were not able to afford more, bas, through a blessing from on high, been "turned to righteousness," and will join with you in endless ages, in singing the song of the redeemed.* Pray that it may be your happy lot to hear yourself addressed in those most touching words, “Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.” “It is worthy of remark,” observes Bishop Mant, “that our Saviour does not say, 'unto one of the least of my brethren;' but he says, unto one of the least of these my brethren. The word 'these' seems as if it were intended to convey to the understanding, that they who
.“ After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands; and cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God, which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb."-Rev. vii, 9, 10.
had called forth the exercise of Christian benevolence, should be presented immediately to the eyes of those by whom that benevolence had been exercised towards them; and that the dispensers of temporal as well as spiritual blessings (as in the case of St. Paul) should be thus delightfully reminded of the special objects of their care."
Lastly, when we bend our knees in prayer, and draw nigh to God, and pray that His “ kingdom may come," let us take heed that We purpose in our heart, with His gracious Spirit assisting us, to act up to what we pray for; that we bring not upon ourselves the reproof which the prophet Ezekiel delivered from the Lord to his people Israel: “With their mouth they shew much love, but their heart goeth after their covetousness." + When Daniel prayed for the restoration of an earthly kingdom (Jerusalem), I such was the earnestness and sincerity of his prayers, that “while he was speaking he was heard ;” and this striking message was sent to him by the angel, “I am come for thy words.” And let us remember, day by day, yea, hour by hour, that One shall appear with all His holy angels, and His voice shall pierce the tombs, for the dead shall hear it; and He will come for our
• 1 Thess, ü, 19.-2 Cor. i, 14. + Ezekiel xxxii, 31. * Dan. ix, 15.
will John v. 28, 29. Rom. ü, 6.-Rev. ii, 23-xxii, 12.
The following account from the Life of the Rev. Joseph Mede, appears to the writer of this tract to be very applicable to the subject of which it treats :
“By the assistance of the renowned Lord Bishop Andrews, Mr. Mede was confirmed fellow of that College to which he owed his education. This signal providence and goodness of Almighty God he was so piously sensible of, that he solemnly vowed (and as religiously kept that vow) to lay aside every tenth shilling he should ever receive in the College, and to dedicate it to pious uses. As concerning this strange vow, I had heard of it accidentally (says the narrator) in Mr. Mede's lifetime, and once I took the freedom to ask him about it. He startled at it, that I should come to the knowledge of it; and after a pause, he only said this, 'I charge you as a friend to keep it to yourself;' which I faithfully did till after his death. And now I could name another like instance, and that out of Mede's own College, and one who was contemporary with him; and that was Mr. William Whately, some time ricar of Banbury, a famous and rare preacher. Upon a holy day, when there