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Springs, and

grows up we know not how, and so does the kingdom of God.

Good men have ever been apt to despond, and suspect the worst, when they have taken a serious view of the world, and seen its wickedness.

The children of Israel, (faith the sorrowful prophet,-) The children of Israel have forsaken thy covenant, thrown down thine altars, and pain thy profits with the sword; and I, even I only, am left. But what faith the answer of God? I have reserved to myself seven thousand men that have not bowed to the image of Baal.

But let the world be as bad as it will, (and that is bad enough, God knows) this should neither discourage us from endeavouring to mend it, nor put us upon unwarrantable ways of doing it.

It is very certain, that when Jesus Christ lived in the world, and his apostles after him, there was as great a degeneracy amongst those people with whom they conversed, as ever there has been fince; and yet they made use of the same methods of converting men, as we do at this day, and of no other, after once their mission was proved and established.

They exhorted the Jews to read the scriptures; and assured the Gentiles, that unto them God had granted repentance unto life; that both the one and the other ought to repent and turn unto God, and to bring forth fruits meet for repentance. c Kings xix. 14.


They exhorted parents to bring up their children in the fear of God; children to be obedient to their parents; masters to treat their servants well; and servants to be faithful to them.

In short; what they then delivered to the world to be believed and done, we, at this day, endeavour to recommend and press the very same truths.

And as those truths (though coming from the mouth of the Son of God) were rejected by many then, so we must not be surprised if they are still despised by too many now; nor ought our ministry, nor your worthy endeavours, to be despised, because, the world is much unreformed, notwithstanding all we

can do.

But after all, we have not so melancholy a prospect before us as this comes to; here is abundance of good feed sown in this place, and in many places of the kingdom.

Besides those that are instructed by their pious parents, there are many thousands who have none else to take care of them--there are many thousands of these at this day educated and brought up in the knowledge and fear of God, by the care and charity of others. And are we to hope for no good from all this? Will they when they are grown up, will they all forget their God, their benefactors, the principles in which they have been educated,


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the duties they have been taught, and the sins they have been warned against?

God forbid we should think so ill of the great Lord of the world, who blesseth the labours of the husbandman with a constant increase; and why should not we be confident he will bless our endeavours with proportionable success.

But whatever shall be the visible fruits of your labours now,

IV. There is a tiine coming, when we shall certainly reap according as we have fown. There will be an harvest. And as that is the husbandman's great comfort, so ought it to be our's.

It will be a subject of comfort upon two accounts especially, as we shall certainly see the fruit of our labours, and as we shall meet with the reward of our labours.

To see those whom we have plucked as firebrands out of the fire, giving God eternal praises for his goodness, in making us the inItruments of their conversion and salvation. To find the LORD of heaven and earth, who needs none of our services, yet accepting of our poor endeavours, and rewarding them beyond our utmost wishes !—The thoughts of this is sufficient to make us bear with patience the discouragements we meet with; and still strive steadily to pursue the work we have undertaken, to bring men from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God.


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And now, to come to a conclusion of this discourse. The charities I am to recommend to you are well known to all that hear me. As there are in all places, and especially in great towns, very many poor who have cast off all modesty, and can ask relief with assurance, and without restraint; so there are a great many, who will suffer very much before they can prevail with themselves to let their necelsities be known. I am therefore to put you in mind, that one part of what you think fit to give will faithfully and religiously be laid out upon such objects as these.

We all readily allow, that these are the true objekts of charity; but it is not in every body's way to find them out. Now, here we have them found out by persons who delight to do good; and we have an opportunity of relieving families which would blush to ask or to receive our alms in public, and yet cannot subsist without help. Thus will one part of your alms be bestowed.

As for the other part, it will, beyond controversy, be laid out to the best purposes in the world; in giving a Christian education to those whose hard fortune it would be (without the help of others) to live and die in vice and ignorance. For that there are very many, in the very throng of Christians, who know little of God, of themselves, or of their errand into the world, who live in vicious courses, and die without fear of danger, is a truth too

plain plain to be questioned. And though this can never be wholly prevented by the piety and industry of men, yet it is a worthy attempt (and God has wonderfully blessed the undertaking) to rescue so many thousands, in this and most great towns in these nations, from extreme poverty, and the consequences of it, which are, generally, want of instruction, grofs ignorance, great temptations to vice, and a proneness to run into it.

Now, to countenance, to promote, and to continue this great and good work, is one great occasion of our meeting at this time; a work in which every one present is, or ought to be concerned; some to give, and others faithfully to manage what is given to this purpose.

The advantages will be very many; the number of evil examples will every day be lessened; a great many families, knowing and fearing God, will in his good time be established; a great many among these gratefully, remembering the hand that raised them out of the dust, will be ready hereafter to continue this sort of charity to future generations:-In the mean time, we shall be no losers by what we give; it is seed sown, which will have its increase infallibly. And indeed, could we but see all the benefits attending this charitable work, we should give with that cheerfulness which good men feel when they are sure they are laying up their treasure in heaven,

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