« PreviousContinue »
for joy". I was eyes to the blind, and feet was I to the lame. I was a father to the poor, and the cause which I knew not, I searched out. And I brake the jaws of the wicked, and plucked the spoil out of his teeth1.
SECT. 6. Mercy and kindness to our distressed brethren, are peculiarly enjoined by our Lord.
Blessed are the merciful; for they shall obtain mercy*. Give to every man that asketh of thee; and of him that taketh away thy goods, ask them not again. And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise. For if ye love them which love love them which love you, what thank have ye? for sinners also love those that love them. And if ye do good to them which do good to you, what thank have ye? for sinners also do even the same. And if ye lend to them from whom ye hope to receive, what thank have ye? for sinners also lend to sinners, to receive as much again. But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest; for he is kind unto the unthankful and the evil. Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful. Judge not, and ye shall not be judged; condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned; forgive, and ye shall be forgiven. Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom ".
When thou makest a dinner or a supper, call not thy friends, nor thy brethren, neither thy kinsmen, nor thy rich neighbours; lest they also bid thee again, and a recompense be made thee. But when thou makest a feast, call the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind; and thou shalt be blessed, for they cannot recompense thee; for thou shalt be recompensed at the resurrection of the just. And he took a child and set him in the midst of them; and when he had taken him in his arms, he said
r Job, xxix. 11, 12, 13.
§ 6. Matt. v. 7..
a Job, xxix. 15, 16, 17.
• Luke, xiv. 12, 13, 14.
to them, Whosoever shall receive one of such children in my name, receiveth me; and whosoever shall receive me, receiveth not me, but him that sent me. And whosoever shall offend one of these little ones, that believe in me, it is better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he were cast into the sea. And whosoever shall give to drink unto one of these little ones, a cup of cold water only in the name of a disciple, verily, I say unto you, he shall in nowise lose his reward. Verily, I say unto you, in as much as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me. Sell that ye have, and give alms; provide yourselves bags which wax not old, a treasure in the heavens that faileth not, where no thief approacheth, neither moth corrupteth". Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them; otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven. Therefore, when thou dost thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do, in the synagogues, and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily, I say unto you, they have their reward. But when thou dost alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doth; that thine alms may be in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly'.
SECT. 7. The parable of the good Samaritan.
A certain lawyer, willing to justify himself, said unto Jesus, And who is my neighbour? And Jesus answering, said, A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, which stripped him of his raiment, and wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead. And by chance there came down a certain priest that way; and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. And likewise a Levite, when he was at the place, came and looked on him, and passed by on the other side". But a certain Samaritan, as he
a Mark, ix. 36, 37.
§ 7. Luke, x. 25.
• Mark, ix. 42.
Luke, xii. 33.
Luke, x. 29-32.
f Matt. x. 42.
i Matt. vi. 1-4.
journeyed, came where he was; and when he saw him, he had compassion on him, and went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him. And on the morrow, when he departed, he took out two-pence, and gave them to the host, and said unto him, Take care of him; and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come again, I will repay thee. Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbour unto him that fell among the thieves? And he said, He that showed mercy on him. Then said Jesus unto him, Go, and do thou likewise ".
SECT. 8. Compassion, kindness, and beneficence, are essentially requisite. The spirit of love is indeed the true Christian spirit.
From whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members? Ye lust, and have not; ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain; ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not. Ye ask, and receive not; because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts. Go to now, ye rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon you. Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are moth-eaten. Your gold and silver is cankered; and the rust of them shall be a witness against you, and shall eat your flesh as it were fire; ye have heaped treasure together for the last days. Behold, the hire of the labourers which have reaped down your fields, which is of you kept back by fraud, crieth; and the cries of them which have reaped, are entered into the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth. Ye have lived in pleasure on the earth, and been wanton; ye have nourished your hearts as in a day of slaughter; ye have condemned and killed the just, and he doth not resist you. He shall have judgment without mercy, that hath showed no mercy.
The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the
с Luke, x. 33--37.
§ 8. James, iv. 1, 2, 3.
b James, v. 1-6.
C James, ii. 15.
communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ? For we being many are one bread, and one body; for we are all partakers of that one bread". For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body; so also is Christ. For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body; that there should be no schism in the body, but that the members should have the same care one for another. And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or if one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it. For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office; so we being many are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another. Let him that giveth, do it with simplicity; he that showeth mercy, with cheerfulness. Let love be without dissimulation: be kindly affectioned one to another; with brotherly love preferring one another"; distributing to the necessities of the Saints; given to hospitality'. Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep. Be of the same mind one towards another*. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others'. Use hospitality one to another without grudging. As every man hath received the gift; even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards. of the manifold grace of God. of God. If any man minister, let bim do it as of the ability which God giveth; that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ". As therefore we have opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them that are of the household of faith"; and walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and given himself for us. Be Be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another; love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous. The wisdom that is from above is peaceable, gentle, and easy to be entreated,
full of mercy and good fruits. Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, clamour, and evil-speaking, be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind one to another, tender hearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you'. Comfort the feeble-minded, support the weak, be patient towards all men. Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ', even as I please all men in all things; not seeking mine own profit, but the profit of many, that they may be saved". Be not forgetful to entertain strangers; for thereby some have entertained angels unawares. Remember them that are in bonds, as bound with them; and them which suffer adversity, as being yourselves also in the body. Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father, is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world'. But to do good, and to communicate, forget not; for with such sacrifices God is well pleased. Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, long-suffering, forbearing one another, forgiving one another; if any man have a quarrel against any; even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye2.
SECT. 9. Of almsgiving.
Is not this the fast that I have chosen? To loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke? Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house, when thou seest the naked that thou cover him, and that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh? And if thou draw out thy soul to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul, then shall thy light rise in obscurity, and thy darkness be as the noon-day. He that hath a bountiful eye
? James, iii. 17.
t Gal. vi. 2.
▾ James, i. 27.
§ 9. Isa. lviii. 6, 7, 10.
Eph. iv, 31, 32. u 1 Cor. x. 33.
Heb. xiii. 16.
* 1 Thess. v. 14.
* Heb. xiii. 2, 3.
a Col. iii. 12, 13.