Page images
PDF
EPUB

22. I Have Done Giving

A gentleman of high respectability, and a mem. ber of the church, made this remark the other day, when informed that an application was about to be made to him in behalf of some charitable object. “I have done giving," said he. When I heard of his remark it awakened in my mind a train of reflection, which I have thought it might not be amiss to communicate. Done giving !" Has he indeed? Why? Has he

? given all ? Has he nothing left to give ? Has this disciple done what his Master did ? Was he rich, and has he become poor for the sake of others, that they, through his poverty, might be rich ? O no! he is rich still. He has the greatest abundance-more than enough to support him in elegance, and to enable him to leave an ample inheritance to his chil. dren. What if he has a great deal ? He has not only not impoverished himself, but is probably richer now, through the favor of Providence, than he would have been had he never given any thing. Now if, by honoring the Lord with his substance, his barns, instead of being emptied, have been filled with plenty, he had better continue this mode of honoring him. He should rather increase than arrest his liberality.

“ Done giving !" Why? Is there no more need of giving ? Is every want abundantly supplied ? Is

a

the whole population of our country furnished with the means of grace? Is the world evangelized ? Have missionaries visited every shore? Is the Bible translated into every language and distributed in every land, , a copy in every family, and every member of every family taught to read it ? Are the accommodations for widows and orphans as ample as they should be? Is there a house of refuge for every class of the human family that needs one? Or have the poor ceased from the land ? O no! There are no such good reasons as these for ceasing to give. Why then has he done giving? Is it because others do not give as they ought? But what is that to him? Will he make the practice of others his rule of conduct, ra. ther than the precept of Jesus Christ? If others dc not give, so much the more should he. Will he add another name to the list of niggards?

Does he feel worse for having given away so much? Has it made him unhappy? Is his experience different from that of the Lord Jesus, who said, " It is more blessed to give than to receive ?''

Has he, who thinks he will give no more, been led to that conclusion by having found that what has been given hitherto has done no good? And is it so, that no good has been done by all the Bibles published, and all the Tracts distributed, and all the missionaries sent abroad into our own land and into the world, and all the schools established, and all the children taught to read, and all the civilization intro

a

duced, and all the asylums opened, and all the poverty relieved? Has no good been done ? Good, great good has been done by what has been given; but still more will be done by what shall be given hereafter. Bibles can now be printed at a cheaper rato than heretofore, and the conductors of our charitable operations have learned, by experience, that economy which can be learned in no other way. And yet at this time, when a dollar goes so far in doing good, here is a man who says, “ I have done giving !" If I had his ear for a moment, I would ask him if he has done receiving—if God has done giving to him. I would ask him, moreover, if he has done spending, or done hoarding, or done wasting. Now, if he has not, he surely should not stop giving. When he ceases to waste, to hoard, and to spend, except for the merest necessaries, then he may stop giving, but never till then.

Done giving ! that is, done lending to the Lord ! Done sowing and watering! Done offering the sacrifices with which God is well pleased ! Done making the widow's heart leap for joy, and bringing on himself the blessing of them that were ready to perish! Well, I am sorry-sorry for the sake of the poor, and the sick, and the orphan, and the ignorant and the heathen. But no less sorry am I for the man's own sake. Poor man! poor with all his affluence, for there is really no one more poor than he, who, with the ability to give, has not the inclination. He has it in his power to give, but not in his heart. He is enriched with abundance, but not with liberality.

" Done giving !" well then, if he will not give his money, he must keep it. And yet how short the time he can keep it! Had he not better freely give away some of it, than to wait for it all to be torn from him? The thought that he has given, will be at least as agreeable a meditation in his dying moments, as the reflection that he spent, or that he laid up.

I hope that gentleman who said " I have done giving," will recall his resolution, and taking revenge on himself for having made it, give more liberally than ever.

23. “I WW Give Liberally."

It is a good resolution, founded on good reasons, some of which I will state, in the hope that others may be induced to come to a similar determination.

I will give liberally, for the following reasons, viz.

1. Because the objects for which I am called upon to give are great and noble. It is the cause of letters and religion, of man and God, for which my donations are wanted. The interests of time and eternity both are involved in it. Now, it is a shame

11

Pr. Thoughts.

to give calculatingly and sparingly to such a cause, and for such objects. If one gives at all, he should give liberally. Nothing can justify a person's putting in only two mites, but its being all his living.

2. Liberal donations are needed. The cause not only deserves them, but requires them. It takes a great deal to keep the present operations a going; and we must every year extend the works. Do you not know that we have the world to go over, and the millennium is just at hand ? Look, the morning of that day is getting bright. We can almost see the sun peering above the horizon.

3. My means either enable me now to give liberally, or, by economy and self-denial, may be so in. creased as to enable me to give liberally. I will give liberally so long as I do not resort to economy and self-denial; and if I do resort to them, that will enable me to give liberally.

4. I will give liberally, because I have received liberally. God has given liberally. He has not only filled iny cup, but made it run over. He has given

good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over.” I will imitate him in my gifts to others, and especially in my donations to his cause.

5. I am liberal in my expenditures, and therefore I will be in my donations. Why should I spend much and give little ? It is not because spending is more blessed. No, it is giving that is said to be

me

« PreviousContinue »