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dren, and near Relations. This is a Duty of Nature; and the Apostle has told us, If any Man provide not for his own, especially those of bis own Houshold, he is worse than an Heathen, and bath already denied the Faith. Nor must their present Maintenance be your only Care, but likewise their future Well-being : For the same Reasons which oblige you to lay up in Store for yourself against future Calamities, oblige you to do the same for your Family. But what is the Measure, you will say, of this Provision for Futurity? Who can guess how much himself or his Family may want hereafter? And when shall we satisfy this Duty, so as to be able to begin the other of being charitable to our poorer Brethren ? Our own present Wants must be supplied ; and therefore he who can get no more than is necessary for the present Maintenance of himself and Family, is under no Obligation to give to Charity: But when we get beyond this Neceffity, we are then obliged to provide for our own future Wants, and the present Wants of the Poor; so that I reckon to lay up in Store for ourselves, and to give in Charity to others, are concurrent Duties.
But it must be allowed, that Charity is naturally the Duty rather of the Rich than the Poor. And if it be the Duty of the Poor to give to Charity out of the little their Hands can earn; how much more will it be expected from such, to whom God has given more than enough? who are appointed Stewards over his Houshold, and are entrusted with the good Things of the World, that they may use them to the Honour and Glory of his Name, and to the Comfort and Relief of their poor Brethren? He has given you plentifully, and made the Things you enjoy to be your own; he has secured to you your Poffeffions, and commanded that no Man rob or steal from you, on purpose that you may shew your Love by the Freedom of your Offering. Look down and -behold the Toil and Labour of Mankind, how in the Sweat of their Brow they eat their Bread; how their Hands are galled with Work, and their Shoulders with Burdens: And then look up to Him, who has exempted you, and given you a Life full of Ease and Comfort; and reflect what it is you owe to this kind, to this bountiful God. The Time will come when you must quit your Lands and your Houses; when you
shall be Suitors for Mercy and Favour : Make to yourselves therefore Friends of the Mammon of Unrighteousness, that when all shall leave and forsake you, you may be received into the Habitations of Righteousness, where there is Mercy, and Peace, and Joy for
I PETER iv. 8.
among yourselves ; for Charity shall cover
HE Exhortation in the Text
So being joined with other Exhor-
tations to Sobriety, and Watch-
lity, and to a faithful Use and Exercise of the Gifts and Graces of God bestowed on the several Members of the Church; and yet, being introduced in this distinguishing Manner, Above all Things have fervent Charity among yourselves, plainly