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ligion, it is of a sober and judicious kind, and holds out no encouragement to idleness, extravagance, or imposture. What was the language
of St. Paul to the Thessalonians ? even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work neither should he eat. Thus Christian charity is not at all at variance with sound policy. They concur in providing for those, and for those only, who from infancy, or age, or other infirmity, are unable to work; and for those who being both able and willing to be industrious, cannot from circumstances, over which they have no control, find any, or, at least, sufficient employment. These are the descriptions of persons, on whose behalf a call has
forth from our gracious Sovereign, which I hope will be cheerfully and liberally answered, by the affluent classes of his subjects. The call is general, and the mode judicious. Because if it be adequately met by those, who are well able to meet it, its object will be fully accomplished; without pressing upon those, who with the best disposition to be charitable, have little means of gratifying it. They who have nothing to give to the poor,
prayers or their mite, may still do them service, which
may avail them much; and bring down the blessing of their Saviour upon their own heads. But they who have been favoured by Providence with abundance, have a correspondent duty to perform, of distributing abundantly to those who need it; and they will be no less weak, than wicked, if they refuse to perform it. For if they trust in their riches to procure them happiness in this world, either by gratifying their pride, or indulging their appetites, or above all, by making senseless, and useless accumulations, they will in all probability be miserably disappointed. But if they venture to look beyond this world, and raise their hopes to the enjoyment of the kingdom of heaven, and still notwithstanding, pursue such courses, the text alone may assure them, upon what a wretched foundation their hopes are built. There is but one way, in which they may trust in their riches, with confidence for their present happiness, and through the merits of their Redeemer, for their future salvation. And that is, by making a wise, a generous, and a charitable use of them. An opportunity for that purpose,
will probably before long be afforded you at your own houses, on the urgency of which, it is
needless for me to insist. It is unhappily but too well known to all of us. That such an appeal may not be made in vain, either to your hearts or your understandings; but that every man may be disposed to do his utmost, to remove the present distress, and to avert the fatal consequences which may ensue from it, may God of his infinite mercy grant,—to whom, with the Son, and the Holy Spirit, be ascribed all praise, and glory, might, majesty and dominion, now, henceforth, and for
1 CORINTHIANS xv. 22.
As in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be
The doctrine of a future state of just retribution, is unquestionably the most important part of our religion. There are even many amongst its professors, who declare that “ it appears to them to be the one great object of the Christian Revelation !.” With these our Church does not agree; holding that there are other, and equally essential doctrines, as clearly revealed in the Scriptures : but which are all inseparably connected with it, and without it, could avail us nothing. She yields therefore to none in maintaining, that the belief of a future life should be, and will be, if we really
1 Belsham's Calm Enquiry, p. 470.
possess it, the governing principle of our conduct. Not that without it, powerful motives are not wanting, to induce us to live virtuously—not that even then a wise and good man could fail to see, that his own truest interest would be best consulted, by promoting that of his fellow-creatures ; and by cultivating those kind and benevolent affections, which are comprehended under the duty of Christian charity: but that no other principle is capable of interposing a sufficient check
passions of bad men; and that even good men would be liable at times to feel the want of its powerful support; and be disposed to enquire to what end they were practising painful virtues, and imposing restraint upon strong and not unlawful inclinations : and to ask with St. Paul under similar impressions—what advantageth it us, if the dead rise not? let us eat and drink for to-morrow we die.
Deeply interesting as this subject is at all times, it has at this period of the year, a peculiar claim to our attention, when we are accustomed to commemorate the death and resurrection of our Saviour, which the same Apostle justly considers, as establishing the truth