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where a greater than Solomon and pleasant flowers. The graces reigneth, the fruits of the Spirit of the Holy Spirit evidence your shall abound more and more. profession, and your good works
“ This is the image our Lord are the fruits of your faith. And makes use of, in order to convey although, till your sun approaches to his people an idea of what he nearer to you, you will be exposed has done and is still doing for his to many a chilling blast which may Church. The blessed Jesus invites threaten the destruction of your his Church or faithful people to flowers, yet, being rooted and arise and come unto him without
master's love, ye any fears or doubts, for all dangers need not fear. Although a cloud are removed. Hear this, ye that may hide his genial heat for a seahave tasted of his redeeming love. son, although the wind of temptaArise, and call upon your God. tion may
a time, yet Rouse yourselves, ye highly fa- a little while and the cloud shall be voured of the Lord, from all car- dispersed; the storm shall cease nal fears. Are ye in a gloomy, when it has purged the air of pesdisconsolate frame?
tilential vapours, and the glorious to Jesus, whose arms are open to Sun of Righteousness shall break shelter you from impending dan- through all opposition, shall exhale ger.
Fear no evil, for it is all re- the mists and damps of fears and moved. The winter is past; this doubts, and shine upon you with is the first blessing your Redeemer redoubled splendour. The time has purchased. You were by of the singing of birds is come. nature the children of wrath, even Grateful hymns and spiritual songs as others.' You were born in sin; are sent up to your Redeemer by you remember what it was to be in the faithful; prepare to join in the the cold winter of spiritual death, same delightful exercise. and in the dark night of guilt. wintry state, indeed, you had no Happy for you, my brethren, this root, were made a prey by your winter is past. The Sun of Right- enemy, and fell into the snare of eousness arose and dispersed the the cruel fowler. But now the clouds of ignorance and unbelief, snare is broken, and you are deand a glorious gospel has broken livered.' Now you are returned, in upon your heart. The rain is with an olive-branch of
in over and gone: the storms of God's your mouths plucked from the true wrath rained down vengeance upon
olive-tree, which is for the healing Him for your sins and transgres- of the nations : in which you find sions. Sin excited God's anger a peaceful shelter from the storms and indignation; but, to your un- that blow around
sit speakable comfort, the storm is and sing among the branches.' blown over.
He sustained the The voice of the turtle is heard in heaviest of his Father's wrath, that your land. The heavenly mystic you might have none of it to bear. Dove, the Spirit of God, applies . He has wrung out the dregs of that many comfortable promises to your bitter cup, and left the sweet for souls. He has assured
of your you. The flowers appear on the peace and pardon, and he often earth; even in the rude soil of breathes upon you, and brings a your earthly minds have the seeds kind message from him whom your of
grace been sown; which, by the soul loveth. The fig-tree putteth enlivening rays of your
Redeemer's forth her green figs. You are not righteousness, spring up into fair barren fig-trees; you have not only
In your the leaves of an outward profession, full proof of his ministry." He but are desirous of abounding in now rests from his labours, and his the fruit of all good works. Per- works do follow him. In concluhaps, indeed, infirmities may retard sion, let the consideration of such your growth, but your fruit is put a character lead us to admire the forth, the tree may be known what grace of God which alone made it is, and in due time ye shall be him what he was; to gather encoutransplanted into that happy soil ragement amid the darkest times, where nothing shall interrupt the that God will never utterly forsake shining of your heavenly luminary a Church which he has so signally upon you. The vines with the blessed; and to pray that the goodly tender grape give a good smell. company of those who, laying Wild and uncultivated as you were aside the sophistries of a vain by nature, being ingrafted into the learning, are now proclaiming the true vine, you produce grapes, pure doctrines of the Gospel, may though as yet they are but tender, go on increasing in number and which nevertheless send up a grate
usefulness, and that we may long ful smell, a pleasing odour to the have in our midst a brotherhood of Almighty, as being the fruits of holy and devoted preachers filled his Spirit.”
with love for the souls of men,
determined to know nothing among The above account will, it is us but Jesus Christ and him cruci. hoped, suffice to show that Mr. fied, and willing to spend and be Jones " endured afflictions, did the spent for his sacred cause. work of an Evangelist, and gave
ON CHRISTIAN LIBERALITY.
BY THE LATE REV. H. VAUGHAN, OF CRICKHOWEL.
WELL does the apostle call good- Gladly will I endeavour to reply to ness or munificence a fruit of the
the inquiry. Spirit.” It is the liberality of a The generous devotion, then, of soul filled by the Spirit with the this heavenly grace, will induce fulness of Christ. It is an effect of you to expend yourself upon Christ, that unstraitened devotion which not only your time, your money, the Spirit produces, as he sheds your influence, but your soul, your abroad in the heir of glory, the inclinations, interests, desires, peace which passeth understanding, (yourself, it will make you bestow the hope full of immortality and on him who loved you, and gave glory. In a word, it is the over
himself for you.
Who can tell flowing of a soul unable to contain whither it may impel you
do the exhaustless bounty of Christ. not curb its holy generosity?
And now the hearts of some What if it should bear you to burn within them to ask, how is heathen lands, an ambassador of this principle to evince its noble
mercy to perishing souls? * origin! What are we, under its But is that generous enlargeinfluence, to do more than others? ment of soul, which spares not
self-devotion, only required in the it devoted to religious purposes. missionary field ? Far from us be The amount of new property erectthe thought. In every new-born ed annually within the United soul, in
every redeemed sinner, the Kingdom, and its colonies and deprinciple of unlimited devotion lives
pendencies, in other words, its and glows. Anything short of the annual income was, in the year unreserved surrender of ourselves 1812, estimated at six hundred and to God in Christ, makes cold work ninety-three millions. Stupendous of religion indeed. God's munifi
A tithe of it would have cence has kept nothing back from poured near seventy millions into us; miserable parsimony is that the treasury of God. which offers him less than all. Our But is the Church in fault? Is all! what is it? Shall we be con- not the deficiency rather to be tinually occupied in endeavouring looked for amongst those, the first to give Christ less than nothing? article of whose creed is, “to eat, O Christians! saved by grace; elect drink, and be merry?" according to the foreknowledge of I cannot but persuade myself, God the Father, through sanctifi- that a very large deficiency must cation of the Spirit unto obedience, after every allowance, be charged and sprinkling of the blood of to the account of those from whom Jesus Christ,” lay yourselves out Christ looks for the income of his for the Lord; spend and be spent poor-to the account of the sons of in his service; keep nothing back God, and heirs of glory.
Is it unfrom him. Let your time, strength, reasonable to suppose, that out of influence, all your talents, be hus- six hundred and ninety-three milbanded for the Lord. Give him lions, fifty might possibly belong to freely all your soul; let all you the family of heaven? A tenth of have and are be his.
that sum would be five millions. And now, dear brethren, there is The whole income of religious soone point especially connected with cieties, (those, I mean, of the greatthe subject of this grace, in the est prominence and importance in view I have taken of it, to which I the church,) in the year 1820, was am anxious to call your most de- under five hundred thousand liberate attention. It is the extent pounds. Now, is it not worthy of to which Christian bountifulness in the deepest consideration, whether giving ought to be carried. It is each of us may not, unconsciously very generally acknowledged that be contributing towards this defithe Church of Christ is not yet ciency, from want of some proper fully alive to the responsibility of standard in these matters, or from possessing the silver and the gold. want of due consideration of the It is expected by those who have responsibility of our stewardship? faith, that the great Head of the Let us come to facts. Allow me body will, ere long, consecrate to plainly to inquire of you individuobjects more immediately connected ally what proportion of your annual with the promotion of his kingdom income you are in the habit of and glory, a far larger proportion devoting to exclusively religious of the gains of the earth. It is im- uses? I am fully aware that nopossible, on the most cursory re- thing can be arbitrarily determined flection, not to be struck with by one Christian for another, in a amazement at the vast dispropor- matter which lies between God and tion between the income of our each man's own conscience; but I mighty empire, and the portion of would humbly suggest that, in all ordinary cases, a large-hearted churches of Macedonia; how that in child of divine
a great trial of affliction, abundance a tenth as the very lowest propor- of their joy and their deep poverty, tion that can be seriously thought abounded unto the riches of their of. And yet I am inclined to be- liberality. For to their power I lieve, that an accurate investiga- bear record, yea, and beyond their tion will convince us that a much power, they were willing of themlower standard prevails. Does the selves ; praying us with much enChristian of two thousand pounds treaty that we would receive the a-year give regularly two hundred ? gift, and take upon us the fellowof one thousand, one hundred? of ship of the ministering to the saints. eight hundred, eighty? of five hun- (2 Cor. viii. 1, 4.) These are the dred, fifty: of four hundred, forty? examples which we should propose If this proportion were observed, to ourselves. The highest standabout five thousand believers, of ard alone is worthy of the God of two thousand a-year each, would the heavens, and of the earth, and more than support all the public of the seas, and of the glorious charities of the United Kingdom. gospel.
However short we may We might be bold to say that if fall of reaching it, by circumstances this proportion were strictly at- over which we may have no contended to, even by those possessed trol, the cross of Jesus and his of but four hundred pounds a-year,
crown demand that the attainment enough would be received from of it be not hindered by want of a them, exclusive of all others, to willing mind. Thanks be to God, give an impulse to charity hitherto the annals of the church in more unknown. But let me not be mis- modern times, are not altogether understood. In mentioning a tenth barren in examples of those who of the income, I take the very
low- have taken this proper estimate. est standard. The Scriptures and Into the poor man's drawer the the Lord Jesus Christ will bear us good Bishop Wilson deposited, out in adopting a much larger mea- at first a tenth, then a fifth, aftersure of liberality. I never heard wards a third, and at last, (growing that the Lord Jesus repressed the wiser and more prudent as he grew zeal of Zaccheus, who, under the older) half of his income. Brainfirst impressions of devoted love, erd, at a time when, like his stood and cried, the “half of my heavenly master, Jesus, he had goods I give to the poor. (Luke hardly where to lay his head, bexix. 8,)
We are not told that she stowed, in fifteen months, one hunwas blamed for imprudence or in- dred and eighty pounds in charity, discretion, who cast into the trea- and was giving a liberal education sury two mites, even all her sub- to a friend who was portionless. stance, all the living that she had. The venerable Swartz, in all things (Mark xii. 44.
Luke xxi. 4.) eminent amongst saints, was in The apostle Paul, so far from con- nothing more remarkable than in demning, commends those who his unbounded generosity and diswho gave more than their all (more interestedness. All the various than the all they had to spare) to grants made him by government, their needy brethren; he holds in grateful acknowledgment of his their example forth as one most services, (in one instance amountworthy of imitation: "Moreover, ing to nine hundred pagodas,) he brethren, we do you to wit of the freely consecrated to the glory of grace of God bestowed upon the God, the benefit of the missionary
cause, and the relief of the poor love of Christ, which in primitive and needy. It is well known that times made a Barnabas sell all that Bishop Berkeley offered to resign he had, and lay it at the apostles' his deanery of Derry, of the value feet, still constrains to similar deof one thousand
hundred votedness. pounds per annum, and to devote But why are such instances to be the remainder of his life to the in
How is it that they do not struction of the Indians, on the form the rule rather than the exmoderate allowance of one hundred
Do we owe less to the pounds a-year. It
be added, grace of God than a Wesley, a that the effect of his example was Wilson, or a Swartz?
Is some such, as to induce three senior fel- Christian worthy to be thought the lows of Trinity College, Dublin, to wonder of an age, because he apconcur with him in his design, and proves himself faithful in the least to
express their readiness to aban- of the talents which God has comdon all their glittering prospects at
mitted to his servants ? Or shall home, for a settlement in the At- the Christian Church leave to mislantic Ocean, at forty pounds a year.
sionaries all the glory of exhibiting It is related of the Rev. John to the world that the love of Christ Wesley, that he gave away, not is dearer than thousands of silver merely a certain part of his income, and gold ? They, noble men, give but all that he had ; his own wants themselves, their fortunes, their all, being provided for, he devoted all to the Lord, who hath redeemed the rest to the necessities of others. them by his blood, and count their We are told that when he had
gift as dross, as dung. And shall thirty pounds a year, he lived on we dole out a guinea or two from twenty-eight, and gave away forty among three or four hundred, or as shillings. The next year, receiving many thousands, and call it a sacrisixty pounds, he still lived on fice ? If so, our gold and our silver twenty-eight, and gave away thirty- are cankered, and the rust of them two pounds. The third year he shall be a witness against us. But received ninety pounds, and gave no! the long dormant spirit of away sixty-two. The fourth year
devotion is awaking. Our beloved he received one hundred and twenty Church is breaking from her slumpounds, still lived on twenty-eight, bers. She who has sent forth ere and gave away ninety-two pounds. now a whole band of dying marDuring the rest of his life he tyrs from her bosom, is now rearing lived economically, and in the living ones. Many of her sons and course of fifty years, it has been daughters are pledged to die to self supposed that he gave away more and gain, and never to be rich while than thirty thousand pounds. A the cause of Christ is poor. They scrutiny of the accounts of the have begun to act out their genelate Henry Thornton brought to rous design. I rejoice in reiterating light the fact of his having, in one the well-established fact, that there year, distributed to the poor the is expended, of property belonging sum of seven thousand pounds. to the members of our beloved But time would fail to tell of a Church, in benevolent objects, a Fletcher, a Buchanan, a Morrison, proportion far beyond twenty-fold a Carey, a Wilberforce, a Van more than of any other property in Mildert, a Simeon, and many the nation. more, who in these our days have But a beginning only has been exhibited a glorious proof, that the made. We see good signs, but