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be regarded now—not to receive an offering into the Lord's treasury, if there be any

evidence of its being reluctantly given ? If nothing was to be received for the work of the tabernacle, but what was given with the heart, why should heartless donations be accepted for the edification and extension of the church? It has occurred to me, that perhaps one reason why the means which our benevolent societies employ effect no more—why our Bibles and Tracts, and the labors of our Missionaries, are not more extensively blessed, is, that these operations are not sustained and carried on by purely free-will offerings. A great deal that goes to sustain them is grudgingly given. I know it may be said that if we reject all but free-will offerings, our means will not suffice. If that should be the case, yet I doubt not less money, cheerfully contributed, would accomplish more than a larger amount drawn out of the pockets of an unwilling and complaining people. But I do not believe that the sum total of receipts would be less. Was there any deficiency in the offerings contributed for the tabernacle? So far from it, there was a superabundance. The artisans came and told Moses, saying, “ The people bring much more than enough for the service of the work.” Accordingly, Moses forbade any more offerings being brought. “So the people were restrained from bringing, for the stuff they had was sufficient for all the work to make it, and too much.The liberality went far beyond the necessity. Christians give now no such examples of liberality for the church. Now much less than enough is received; and that, though the notice is oft repeated—and thongh more than a mere notice is given though warm and earnest appeals are made, and the greatest urgency used; and though new arguments are employed, such as could not have been used with these Jews. What a foundation for argument and appeal is laid in the love and death of Christ! What convincing force—what persuasive efficacy ought there not to be to the mind and heart of every follower of Jesus, in the logic of that passage which Paul used so successfully with the Corinthians ! “Ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye, through his poverty, might be rich.” The Jews did not know that. Yet how liberally they gave !--more than enough! But now, with all our knowledge, less than enough is received; and that, though after the public application and appeal are made, the people are waited on, and the application and appeal are renewed in private. Moses sent no one round, from tent to tent, to gather the contributions of the people. No. These Jews brought them. But, ah, how little do Christians now bring to the treasury of the Lord ! How small a proportion of the money used for the work of the Lord is brought! No. It has to be sent after The benevolence of the church now complies. It does not offer. It does, to be sure, stand still and do some good; but it does not go about doing good. All the labor and trouble connected with giving is declined. It is considered now-a-days to be a very good excuse for not giving to a well-known object of benevolence, if the person can say that he has not been called on to give. Not called on! Did your Master wait to be called on? Did his charity defer its action until application was made to it ? Formerly it was held that the disciple should be as his master. In other days Christ was regarded as the model, and that Christianity was not thought any thing of which did not include an imitation of Christ. Would it not be considered as a very unwise

proceeding on the part of an agent now, should he, after stating an object, immediately dismiss the people, and leave it entirely optional with them to give or not? Would he be likely to hear from all of them again ? But Moses did so. He dismissed them; "and all the congregation of the children of Israel departed from the presence of Moses.” But the very next verse says, “they came and brought the Lord's offering." There was nothing lost to the cause by this arrangement. They came, both men and women, as many as were willing-hearted.” They all did it cheerfully.

But some may say, “ It is no wonder they gave; what use had they in the wilderness for their money and substance ?" But observe what articles they con


tributed. Gold, and silver, and precious stones, which men value, whether they have any particular use for them or not. Nor these only, but their personal ornaments, “ bracelets, and ear-rings, and rings, and tablets, all jewels of gold.” You see they gave things which are valued under all circumstances. Nor could it be said that they gave generously because they were in prosperous business. Some persons say they are always willing to give freely when they are making money. Now, the Israelites were not making money, nor were they passing through a gold country, yet they gave liberally-far beyond the liberality of prosperous Christians generally. Nor was it a single donation they made. We read in the 36th chapter, "and they brought yet unto him free offerings every morning." They kept it up from day to day; and how long they would have gone on, if not restrained from giving more, no one can tell. I wonder when we shall have to restrain Christians from giving. What a different state of things we find now! We talk about “ stubborn Jews, that unbelieving race;" but there was one generation of them, at least, that were not near as obstinate in holding on to their money and substance as the present race of Christians.

27. Another Example of Liberality.

The first example was taken from the history of the Jews. The one I am now to give is taken from the records of Christianity. And yet it is not in any history of the modern church that I find it. They are not the Christians of the present day that I am going to hold up as a model of bountifulness. The reader will find the account in the eighth and ninth chapters of the second Epistle to the Corinthians. It relates to the Christians of Macedonia. Paul, wishing to excite the Corinthians to the exercise of liberality, tells them what their brethren of Macedonia had done-how liberally they had given. The account is very remarkable in several respects.

1. These Macedonian Christians gave, though they were very poor-in " deep poverty," ch. 8, v. 2. They had the best of all excuses for not giving. They might, with the greatest propriety, have pleaded poverty. I do not see, for my part, how they gave at all. But somehow or other they made out to give, and to give liberally. Their poverty does not seem to have stood in their way in the least. It is even said that “their deep poverty abounded unto the riches of their liberality." Now, if their deep poverty so abounded, it occurs to me to ask, what would not their great riches have done, had they been as wealthy as some American Christians ? The truth is, as the proverb says, " when there is a will, there

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