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cure their Maladies, redress their Grievances, or give them Subsistence under all their disa consolate Necessities. Her Charity is so extensive and universal, that it diffuses it self to the farthest Parts, and spreads like the Sun all over the World, with its cherishing Beams or kinder Influences. Every virtuous Person she hears of in Affiliation and Poverty, is immediately intitled to the comfortable Supplies of her Purse, without Distinction. If he passes in View by the Door of her House, or meets her en passant in the Streets, he is sure never to go away empty-handed or unreliev'd. If he suffers for Conscience-Sake, his Exigencies are only the greater Exercises of her Virtue, and stronger Incitements of her Liberality. His Poverty makes her rich in good Works, and causes her but to abound the more in her Bounty. Besidesa The oftentimes gives with both Hands too, as the Text hints, in the plural Number, over and above Expectation: thereby doubling or multiplying her Deeds of Charity to the poorest Sufferers. And then again, no Distance of Time or Place can outreach her Charity, or shorten her Arm. It arrives out of Hand; and goes the greatest Lengths of her Riches, Power or Capacity. It extends to the farthest known Parts of the Earth, and is not bounded on this Side Heaven; for the Memorial of it is recorded in the everlasting Books. Above, if I may be allow'd to speak so metaphorically. In fine, the extraordinary Acts of her Generosity, next to a pious Profuseness, finish her Character, crown her Glory, aud accomplish her Happiness with the loudest Honours, Praises, and Prayers of thankful reliev'd, Indigents in this World.
REMARKS. CHARITY, in its general Acceptation of
u Love, seems chiefly to consist in the good Offices of Assistance and Forgiveness: the One re. lating to the Necessities of our Friends and Exio gencies of our Neighbours, in Point of Distress; and the Other, as plainly regarding the Injuries of our Foe's and Offences of our Enemies, in Point of Revenge. In that Sense, we Christians are 0blig'd to relieve, fuccour and comfort the Former: in this, we are as much bound to love and bless the Latter, or intirely to forgive them, and do them Good for Evil; not to retaliate, but requite their worst Treatment, or wickedest Returns with Kindness. But the old Moralists, among the Jews, scarcé ever carry'd their Chao rity up to that Degree of Perfe&ion, in this last Signification. They talk'd of an Eye for an Eye, and a' Tooth for á Tooth, by Way of insisting upon a specifical Punishment, or a revengeful Recompence. And yet we find that the wiser Antients were very generous, discreet and hos nourable, in revenging of Injuries with Disdain. The Philosophers made a common Practice on't: Good may be drawn from the worst of Enemies, says Xenophon, as the sweetest Honey is made by. the Bees from the bitterest Thyme, and some of the best Medicines come from the most poisonous Serpents. Theophrastus asserts, that Revenge hurts our relves more than it does our Enemies Harm. Cicero advises to contemn Injuries, rather than contend with them for Mastery. A Spirit of Revenge reigning in our splenetick Breasts, how sweet soeyer by the Proverb, is only a self-will'd or malevolent Discom posure of Mind, that rufa
fles our own Tempers, and disconcerts oor fedatest Thoughts, for the Satisfaction of others out of the Reach on't. There can be no right Way of repelling Injury by private Force, or discretionary Violence, but only by publick Lam and stated Fuftice : Nina detener for a veuway, as Phocylides morally dire&ts. Plutarch calls an Enge my á School-Master, whether selfish or severe, that costs us doching for teaching us Experience; but Caution and Prudence against his future Treacheries. The Reproaches of a profess’d Enemy are ridiculous, and no Disreputation. His Tongue is no Slander, that deserves Credit. He that gives the Lie in Conversation, is the Liar himself, against the Rule of good Manners. No Afo front is sufficient for a Duel by the foundest Reason. Ó Dueller! The Sword is the King's only, and not thine. No Indignity can be provocation enough to take away Life, either in hot or cold Blood; nor can it ever justify Murder, but among common Bravo's, Bullies and AsSafines. Socrates and Plato, both Master and Scholar of the greatest wisdom, went farther yet, and agreed, that no Revenge was eicher lawful or reasonable. Better receive, than do Evil; better take, than give Offence; better suffer, than fin, are the soundeft Maxims of humane Politicks, Religion or Philosophy. The noblest Point of Honour and Magnanimity, is to bear the most violent or arbitrary Outrages with Patience: A Man fhews more Bravery and Courage in generously forgiving, than invidiously revenging a Wrong. The belt Revenge is Contempt, and it generally proves the greatest Conqueror. For when an Enemy finds himself defpis'd, he thinks himself almost half-murder'd. 'fis next to cutting his Throat, not to be thought worthy of
another's Anger, or a vindi&ive Word. Bet to do any Mischief to our vileft Enemies in Heat and Choler, is to be reveng'd of our selves, and recoiling the Injury, with a Vengeance, on our own Heads. It is like revenging Death upon our own lives, and turning it the wrong Way. We ought not to be judges in our own private Cases. We are none of the Twelve at Westminster. Hall. The Law is open and publick. There Justice and Punishment take place. I must not rob a Thief to be reveng'd of him, nor make Reprisals that Way, to recover my Right. If a Masty-Dog bites me, or an Ass gives me a Blow, must I take out a Writ, or bring an
Action against them; to fhew that I am their Competitor or Equal ? If I am mock'd, or scoffingly reproach'a, muft I mimick the Buffoon of a Fool for Company? If I am dishonour'd, or disgrac'd by a Poultron, must I honour him with my Refentments upon the fame Level ? If he revile, or vilify me with his backbiting Tongue in private, must I rail by his Example, and not speak well of the Wretch; to make him asham'd of Himself in publick? If he hate, or perfecute me without Occasion, must not I love the spiteful Brute; to be unlike him, as a Toad and a Tyger that has lost his Teeth, and spit his ve nom? The greatest Enemies may sometimes be made the best Friends, by Difcretion. We ought to bless them that curse us, for a Reconciliation ; and to conquer them with Christianity : by doing them Good for Evit, Right for Wrong, and heartily wishing them well in the World. We are oblig'd-to prayfor their Conversion here, and Forgiveness hereafter to Salvation ; if not also for their temporal Prosperity, and fecular Welfare in the mean time. We ought to wish them all
Happinefs, and every Thing, according to the
it overcomes all Insults through Patience, kills FED with Kindness, and triumphs by Submission. It
always turns to the Disadvantage of the Vanquifher, and gives the Glory of the Victory to che Vanguished, by the Right of Christian Warfare, or spiritual Conquest. Not to seem too tedious by these Quotations. In short, the blesfed Jesus Himself forgave Fudas, for our Example, who betray'd the Lord of Life to his Crucifixion. But Charity, in giving to the Pour, andarfisting the Needy in their Wants, is the chief Drift, and main Subječt of our present Discourse.
RELIGIOUS Charity then, the greatest of the sacred Graces, becomes a virtuous Woman's natural Choice, almost as well as acquir'd by Divinity, or given by God. It is an infallible Criterion of her incomparable Goodness; but not exclusive, either of Faith or of Hope. All the Three of Course fall regularly into the Compofition of her Christian Character and Profession. And, although this be the Last of them in No. mination, fhe makes it the First in her Election ; to confummate the Glory of the other. Timo in Practice. She believes it to be the chief Ornament of her Mind, as well as Happiness of her Life, to assist the poor and the Needy, by
her extraordinary Beneficence, to the utmost of i her Fortune or Ability; in Order to fish her
universal Love towards all Mankind, labouring & under the common Calamities of the World.
But then she carries her Charity still on to a higher Pitch of Perfection, than meer Morality could ever yet reach; by forgiving her Enemies, as well as relieving those of the Houshold of S 2