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included in the first gift. I suppose the reason that some give no more property to the Lord's cause, is that they have not given themselves to him. They have not begun right.

6. I suppose also that these Macedonians were infuenced to the exercise of liberality by the consideration which Paul uses with the Corinthians in verse 9. “Ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though ne was rich," &c. They thought that the disciples ought to do like their Master. I conclude, moreover, that they held the doctrine, that giving is sowing, and that men reap in proportion to what they sow; and since they wished to reap bountifully, they sowed bountifully. They knew too that God was able to make all grace abound toward them; that they, always having all sufficiency in all things, might abound to every good work, ch. 9, verse 8. They were not at all concerned about the consequences of their liberality.

It should not be forgotten that they gave for the benefit of people a great way off—the poor saints at Jerusalem. They might have said that they had objects enough at home, and where was the necessity of going abroad for them. But it seems distance had not that weight with them that it has with some

The wants of the poor saints at Jerusalern touched their hearts, and they contributed for their relies, though they were poor, very poor them selves. I don't know but I might have made it with propriety a distinct head, that they seem to have been even poorer than those for whom they gave; for theirs was deep poverty. When we give to evangelize poor souls in heathen lands, we don't give to those who are as well off as we are. We have no such objects at home as they are. Finally, what a noble example of liberality is here! How worthy of imitation by American Christians! We need much that the spi rit of these men of Macedonia should come over and help us.



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In my opinion there is nothing which lays the church more open to infidel attack and contempt, than its parsimony to the cause of Christ. Professors of religion, in general, give nothing in comparison to what they ought to give. Some literally give nothing, or somewhere in that immediate neighborhood. I shall not inquire whether such persons are really Christian men. One might almost ques. tion whether they are human.

I have used the word give; I must correct my language. Deliver up, I ought to say, when speaking of Christians who have so often acknowledged themselves as not their own, but themselves and their's to be the Lord's. Not a cent, or not much more, will some of these deliver up of all that their Lord has given them in trust. What stewards we Christians are! We act as if we were undisputed owners and sovereign proprietors of all; when we know, and if pressed, acknowledge, it is no such thing. The infidels know that we profess to be but stewards, and that, in our devotional hours, 'we write on every thing we have, " This is the Lord's;" and they naturally expect to see some correspondence between our profession and practice; and when they perceive that in this instance it is but bare profession, and that we do not mean any thing by it, they are very apt to conclude that this is true of our religion generally. Moreover, these shrewd characters see common humanity constraining men of the world to greater liberality than the love of Christ constrains his reputed disciples to exercise; and that, though they hear Christians continually saying that there is no principle which has such power to carry men out to deeds and sacrifices of benevolence as the love of Christ. What must they conclude from this? Either that there is no such principle, or that Christians do not feel the force of it.

Again: Infidels hear us speak of giving, as lending to the Lord. Now, they don't believe any such thing; but since we do, they are astonished that we do not lend more liberally to such a paymaster, and


Pr. Thoughts.


faint as

on such security. They are in the habit of lending liberally, and they wonder Christians do not. They hear us also repeating and admiring that sentiment, " It is more blessed to give than to receive.” Must they not think us insincere in our commendations of this sentiment, or else that have

very pirations after the more blessed part, when they look on and see with how much more complacency and good humor we receive a great deal, than give a little.

But about the parsimony of Christians. I do not hesitate to say, having well considered the import of my words, that men are not so mean (I must use the word) to any cause as Christians, in general, are to Christ's cause. They give more sparingly to it than to any other. Just think of the American Bible Society receiving scarcely one hundred thousand dollars a-year from these United States, to give the Bible to the country and to the world. There is one fact for you. More is often given to carry a political election in a single limited district; professors of religion will give more to promote such an object than to help on the conversion of the world. I should not wonder if this article were read by some who have done so this very year.

Many persons never give until they have done every thing else; and when any pressure occurs, it is the first thing they stop doing. They go on spend. ing, not only for necessaries and comforts, but even for luxuries, never minding the pressure. They only

and some

stop giving; commencing retrenchment with their donations, and generally ending it with them. They are liberal still for every thing but charity. You could never suppose, to look at their dress, equipage, furniture, table, &c. that the times were any way hard. No, they forget that, till they are called on to give; then they feel the pressure of the times.

The manner in which some persons give is worthy of no very commendatory notice. They say, when applied to, “Well, I suppose I must give you something." Mark the word must, where will ought to be; and give, where contribute, or strictly speaking, yield up, should have been; and you give you. It is no such thing. The man is no beggar. He is not asking any thing for himself. He has himself given to the same object; and more than money-his time and thought, his cares and efforts. Nay, perhaps has given his own person to the service which he asks others to aid by their pecuniary contributions. Christians, so called, talk of giving to support missionaries, as if they laid the missionaries under some obligation to them. Preposterous ! How it sounds to hear a British Christian indulge such a remark in reference to the richly-gifted, and profound ly learned Martyn, who, when he might have shone at home, went into the sickly East to hold up the light of life in those dark places! To call men who give themselves to the work of the Lord, and to labor and die for their fellow-men, the protegees, ben.


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